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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Three proposed books seek submissions

Seeking Submissions from U.S. Writers for 3 Proposed Books

1. Women & Poetry: Tips on Writing, Publishing and Teaching from American Women Poets

Foreword by Robin Merrill, Maine Poets Society President 2006-2007. M.F.A. Stonecoast. With hundreds of poems published, some from her chapbook Laundry & Stories (Moon Pie Press) were featured on Garrison Keillor's "Writers' Almanac."

Afterword by the editors of Iris Magazine, an award-winning publication of 27 years celebrating and empowering young women through provocative articles, essays, and fiction pieces that are uplifting, inclusive, and literate.

Markets for women, why women write, time management, using life experience, women's magazines, critique groups, networking, blogs, unique issues women must overcome, lesbian and bisexual writing, formal education, queries and proposals, conference participation, family scheduling, feminist writing, self-publishing, teaching tips, are just a few areas women poets are interested.

Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful. Please avoid writing about "me" and concentrate on what will most help the reader.

2.Milestones for American Women: Our Defining Passages

Foreword by Carolyn Lesser, Webster University, St. Louis, MO, nonfiction writing faculty; natural science children's books published by Harcourt, Alfred A. Knopf; essayist, poet, photographer, keynote speaker, artist.

Afterword by Dr. Loriene Roy, 2007-2008 President of the American Library Association. Professor, University of Texas at Austin, founder of "If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything," a national reading club for Native American children.

Please consider sharing the important milestones, life changing events, transitions in your life--material that would broadly fit the "Women's Studies" genre that is highly readable, moving and relatable. There are the passages that occur to us (for example, losing a loved one, having to relocate) and then the passages we choose (such as getting a degree in mid-life, adopting a child). Please focus on those pivotal moments and why they were milestones for you.

This book celebrates our passages as women, from one moment into another, from one door to the next. Often it is after the navigation, that in reflection, we see that some of the most difficult are the ones we have learned the most and have had lasting effects as well on those around us.

Guidelines for Women and Poetry
and/or Milestones for American Women:

Word total for 1-3 articles based on your experience: 1,900 minimum; maximum 2,300. Two articles minimum preferred.

If you are submitting 2-3 articles, please break them up fairly evenly in word count to reach the 1,900-2,300 range.

Please submit all contributions at one time.

No previously published or simultaneously submitted material. Books such as this can typically take up to a year to compile. Contributors receive a complimentary copy and contributor's discount on additional copies.

Please first send topics before writing to avoid duplication, and a 65-70 word bio with your present position, location, relevant publications, career highlights for the contributor page; please use POETS or MILESTONES as the subject line to

Once your topics have been approved, deadline for e-mailing articles is February 28, 2008. Again, please use POETS or MILESTONES in the subject line to either Cynthia at; or Carol at in a Word document (.doc format only) using 12-point Times New Roman font.

Co-editor Cynthia Brackett-Vincent is publisher/editor of the esteemed Aurorean poetry journal; poetry instructor; award-winning poet; author of The 95 Poems chapbook (2005) and contributor to Educators as Writers: Publishing for Personal and Professional Development. In 2007, her poems received a citation, honorable mention and second place in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, New England Writers and Maine Poets Society competitions. View Cynthia's background

Co-editor, Carol Smallwood has written, co-authored, and edited 18 books such as Michigan Authors, for Scarecrow, Libraries Unlimited. An award-winning writer, her work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Phoebe, The Writer's Chronicle, and several others including anthologies; Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women. A chapbook is forthcoming from Pudding House. Her recent book

3. Women Writing on Family: Writing, Publishing, and Teaching Tips by U.S. Women Writers

Foreword: Robbi Hess, Journalist, co-author, Complete Idiot's Guide to 30,000 Baby Names (Penguin Books); Editor, Byline Magazine

Afterword: Suzanne Bunkers, Professor of English, Minnesota State University, editor of Diaries of Girls and Women: a Midwestern American Sampler (University of Wisconsin Press).

This is a book not just on writing but tips for women writing about family. Possible subject areas you might address include: Markets; why women write about family; using life experience; critique groups; networking; blogs; unique issues women must overcome; formal education; queries and proposals; conference participation; family scheduling; self-publishing; teaching tips; family in creative nonfiction, poetry, short stories, novels.

Guidelines for Women Writing on Family:

Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful to readers. Please avoid writing about "me" and concentrate on what will help the reader. Word total for two or three articles based on your experience, 1,900 words minimum; maximum 2,300. One article may be 1,000 words, another 900 (or three 634 word articles) to reach the required 1,900 words. Minimum, two articles. Please submit all contributions at one time.

Deadline: January 30, 2008

No previously published or simultaneously submitted material, please.
Please submit all contributions at one time.

Contributors receive a complimentary copy and contributor's discount on additional copies. It is common for compilation of an anthology to take upwards of a year, but we will be in touch with updates on securing a publisher.

Please send your topics first before writing (to avoid possible duplication) along with brief descriptions; a 65-70 word bio with your present position, relevant publications, awards or honors. Use FAMILY for the subject line and submit to Rachael at

Co-Editor Rachael Hanel is a freelance writer and college instructor in Madison Lake, MN. The first chapter of her memoir was named runner-up for the 2006 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction at the Bellingham Review and appears in the Spring 2007 issue. The chapter was also a semifinalist for the 2006 Gulf Coast Creative Nonfiction Award. She teaches personal essay and editing. Her website is

Co-Editor Carol Smallwood has written, co-authored, and edited 18 books such as Michigan Authors, for Scarecrow, Libraries Unlimited. Her work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Phoebe, The Writer's Chronicle, The Detroit News, several others including anthologies; she's in Who's Who of American Women. A co-edited anthology is with an agent. A recent book is

*For All Three Calls: In our experience, most publishers return rights to individual contributors variously after publication. However, because we am still seeking a publisher, we cannot speak to those rights specifically at this time. Contributors will be asked to sign a release form from the publisher and therefore will be have the opportunity to agree to the details of the contract or withdraw one's work at that time.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

WV Writers Roundtable End of Year (Beginning of New Year) Marathon Writing Event

Seasons’ Greetings

2008 is moments away and if you are a member of the WV Writers Roundtable, YOU are invited to participate in another Marathon Writing Event, hosted/Sponsored by Tovli and Yosif Simiryan.

When? Beginning Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 6pm and ending Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 6pm.

Our “Prompt” Schedule:

First Prompt Starts… 6pm December 29, 2007!

The Marathon Continues with Prompt # 2 beginning at Noon December 30 2007!

Bid Farewell to the writing year of 2007 with Prompt # 3, starting bright and early…
6 am, December 31, 2007.

Begin Writing in 2008 at WV Writer’s Round Table with our final prompt revealed at
Midnight January 1.

1st * 2nd * and 3rd Place Prizes (no, I’m not kidding) will be announced at the conclusion of this event, 6pm January 1, 2007.

The Prompt is still being organized but it’s possible there might be opportunity to practice the following genres: Journaling, Poetry Forms, Short Fiction, Essay.

There might also be inspiration to increase skill in: Dialogue, Imagery, Form, Characters, Plot.

We might discuss: When to ask for support vs. critique; Ways to celebrate “writer’s block”; Setting achievable goals for 2008.

Recognize Your Importance as A Writer/Poet And participate in the WV Writer’s Round Table’s First Annual New Years Writing Prompt Marathon.

Besides— you might create something so dynamic you’ll just have to submit it to
West Virginia Writer’s 2008 Writing Contest.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cathy Pleska on the Air

From WV Writers' own Cathy Pleska:

"West Virginia Public Radio aired me reading an essay this morning. Click on the link below and my essay is under Headlines, about the fourth one down (today, anyway). At the end of the paragraph, click on the little speaker. If your computer will play Mp3 files, you should have no problem. I hope :). The title of my essay is Unexpected Harvest. -- Cat"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cynthia Sterling Market News

First up, a couple more Spotlights for the Romance Writers of America national convention in Dallas:

The Spotlight on Samhain Publishing was presented by Executive Editor Angela James and Publisher Chris Brashear Samhain Publishing has been in business for a little over a year. They publish all genres of fiction and romance, primarily as ebooks. Many titles are also released in trade paper. Printed books are distributed by Ingram. Samhain also is partnering with Kensington books to create a line of Samhain titles published by Kensington.

Samhain publishes stories 12,000 words and up. Complete novels should be 60,000 words or more. They are interested in all genres of fiction. Right now they would especially like to expand their interracial, fantasy and inspirational romance offerings. Paranormal and erotic romance continue to do well for them. In paranormal, readers seem to be looking for ‘different’ paranormal -- shape-shifters, angels, demons, etc. In erotica, multiple partners and male-male stories have been popular. Samhain pays a royalty of 40% of the cover price for ebooks. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically. Follow the directions on the website.

In addition to regular submissions, Samhain is currently seeking material for two upcoming anthologies: The Red Hot Summer Romance anthology will feature four erotic romance stories. Deadline to submit is January 10, 2008. The Psychic Powers Anthology will feature four stories of any genre that feature psychic powers. The deadline for those submissions is January 13, 2008. Stories for both these anthologies should be 20,000 - 30,000 words. All the submission information is on the website.

Samhain does some re-releases of books that were previously published by other electronic publishers, but they require that the author publish original material with Samhain first.


The Spotlight on Loose Id Books ( was presented by Chief Financial Officer Doreen DeSalvo, Chief Marketing and Technology Officer Allie McKnight and Editor-in-Chief Treva Harte. Loose Id was founded in February 2004 with its first books released in July of that year. They are primarily an e-book publisher, with select titles released in trade paperback format. They pay a 35% royalty on gross sales.

Loose Id publishes erotic romance and erotica - heterosexual, homosexual and polyamorous. They prefer cross-genre romance — romantic suspense, multi-cultural, and paranormal elements. All stories must be erotic. They love humor in stories. Stories should be 20,000 words and longer. They will consider previously published stories if the author has retained all rights, and if the author agrees to write an original work for Loose Id as well. Complete guidelines are available on the website.


As always, feel free to pass along this newsletter and to encourage others to sign up to receive it. If you reprint or forward the newsletter, all I ask is that I be given credit for it. Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to

Cindi Myers
Marriage On Her Mind, Harlequin American, Oct. 2007
Wild Child, Harlequin Blaze, Nov. 2007
A Perfect Marriage? #7 in Mediterranean Nights miniseries

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Poetic Nightfall Gives Voice to Original Poems

Poetic Nightfall will descend upon the Marlinton Opera House on Saturday, Dec.1.

The night will begin at 7:30 p.m. with an "Open Air" poetry reading where anyone who wishes to sign in, may take the stage and read their original poetry. Come and read just for the fun of it. Unlike at a poetry slam, there will be no judging to add to the pressure of reading your work in public.

The program will then be turned over to three featured West Virginia poets: Kirk Judd, Wolf Knight and Edward Kennison.

Kirk Judd is a talented poet and performer originally from Wayne County. His first volume of poetry "Field of Vision" was published in Huntington in 1986 by Aegina Press, and a second collection "Tao-Billy"was released in the Spring of 1996 by Trillium Press of St. Albans. He is co-editor with Dr. Barbara Smith of the widely acclaimed anthology, "Wild, Sweet Notes – 50 Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950 – 1999." He is also one of the co-founders of the Allegheny Echoes Workshops held in Pocahontas County each summer. Kirk's poetry deals with the Appalachian cultural experience, and the individual emotional and spiritual involvement of living day-to-day in this unique environment.

In his childhood, Wolf Knight, often wore his T-shirt backwards as a form of social protest. Now he writes poetry. He was an early performer at the Ann Arbor Poetry Slam and served on Ann Arbor's team to the national Slam for three years and was a featured poet at Chicago's Green Mill where poetry slams began. Wolf’s chapbooks are out of print, but they included semi-classics such as "Howling at the Same Moon", "Shouts and Whispers" and "Climbable Without Oxygen", ( "Life may be a steep hill, but it's no mountain. It's climbable without oxygen"). Wolf now wears his T-shirt forward as the pocket is so much easier to reach that way.
Edward Kennison saw his first by-line in Easyriders Magazine in July of 1983 in the form of a one-sentence letter to the editor, and was hooked on writing. Now he writes slightly longer pieces. He published his first fictional short story in November 1986 in Iron Horse Magazine and his first poem in East Coast Biker in February 1988. He has published his poetry in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, and his work has been read on Allegheny Mountain Radio. Edward was born in Harford County, Maryland, but now resides in Pocahontas County with his wife, kids, three dogs, and two cats.

Everyone is invited to Poetic Nightfall, whether you want to mount the stage and present your own original material or just sit and listen as the poets weave their rhythmic magic.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lois Casto book release and book signing

"Azariah's Legacy is his mother's final words to him, 'God will take care of you.' As her heart is pierced with a marauder's sword, the eight year old boy scrambles away from his burning home with her legacy to take him into manhood.

From pirate adventures with Captain William Kidd, to his studies of medicine in Angola with an African doctor trained in China, Azariah is led to the American colonies where his medical practice takes him to a Philadelphia almshouse, the Virginia lowlands, and the mountains of western Virginia."

Lois Casto, member of the Jackson county Appalachian Wordsmiths, has just released her first novel, Azariah's Legacy. The novel, she says, " meant to be enjoyable and inspirational."

Azariah's Legacy is available in Ripley at Evergreen Florist and Christian Supply, Borders in Parkersburg and online at

Casto's next book signing is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, December 1, at Borders in Parkersburg."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bluestone Review Accepting Submissions

The Bluestone Review
14th Edition
The literary magazine of Bluefield College

Dare to think off the page...

* We are moving to a multi-media format this year by including a CD-ROM with our traditional magazine.

* We accept submissions of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction,
photography, artwork, video or audio of artists performing original
music, and short films.

* Works of prose should be no longer than 750 words. No more than five
poems should be submitted per person. Short films should not exceed
five minutes in length.

* We are particularly interested in black and white photography and
photography of human subjects, but other photos may be submitted.

* Along with your submission, please include your name, address,
contact information and one biographical sentence.

All works must be submitted by February 15, 2008.

Submissions may be sent to or
Bluefield College, The Bluestone Review, 3000 College Drive, Box 14, Bluefield, VA. 24605. Email submissions are strongly encouraged.

For more information, please contact Dr. Rob Merritt at (276) 326-4270.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Euphoria's Annual Poetry Contest

(This information courtesy of Tovli Simiryan)

Win $100 in "Euphoria's" Annual Poetry Contest!

"Euphoria" has an annual Poetry Contest which offers a prize of $100 for the Winning Entry. There is No entry fee, and nothing that must be purchased if this contest is won.

Entries for this Contest may be sent after August 1, of each year. Poems may be of any genre, with no more than 5 poems being entered, and with a 50 line maximum for each poem. Please send all entries in the body of an email (no html please) To, and type "Poetry Contest Submission" in the subject line of the email.

Be sure to type your name, give biographical info. and a working email address, so we may contact you when we receive your entry. If you send more than one poem in the email, be sure that you separate each poem and be sure to add a copyright date for it also, to protect your rights. The winner will retain all rights to their poem, with the exception of "Euphoria" printing and displaying the poem on the Web Page as the winning poem. The Deadline for all poems is December 31, 2007, and the Winner will be announced on February 1, 2008 on the front page of Euphoria. Hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Call for Panel Proposals

Split This Rock Poetry Festival:
Poems of Provocation & Witness
March 20-23, 2008 Washington, DC

Split this Rock invites proposals for panel discussions and workshops on a range of topics at the intersection of poetry and social change. The possibilities are endless. Let's talk about craft, let's talk about mentoring young poets, let's talk about working in prisons, connecting with the activist community, sustaining ourselves in dark times and the role of poetry in wartime. Let's remember great poet activists and discover new ones. We are looking for panels that are international, visual, and collaborative.


Split This Rock calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national community of activist poets. Building the audience for poetry of provocation and witness from our home in the nation's capital, we celebrate poetic diversity and the transformative power of the imagination.

Split This Rock Poetry Festival will bring poets and writers to Washington DC on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq , in the midst of the presidential election. The festival will feature readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, film, activism, and walking tours - opportunities to build community, hone our activist skills, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change.


A panel may consist of 3-4 persons, with one person designated as facilitator. Please title your panel and include brief biographical information for each participant, along with a two paragraph description of your panel-what are the questions you wish to explore-why is this conversation timely and necessary at this time-how will this panel further the goals of Split This Rock? How are the members of your panel uniquely qualified to lead a conversation on your proposed topic?
We have a strong interest in interactive conversation and community building, so please indicate how you will involve participants in the discussion.

Please note that panel presenters must register for Split This Rock Poetry Festival. Some scholarships will be available. There is no limit to the number of proposals you may send, but please be sure that all proposed presenters have agreed to be part of your proposed panel. Also, we are a small, mostly volunteer group, so please send only your favorite ideas.

Send proposals in the body of an email to: by December 1, 2007. Please include full contact information for yourself and all proposed panel presenters. Please use or recreate the attached form. Just copy or retype the questions into an email and paste or write your answers in. You may also mail your proposal to: Split This Rock Panel Proposal, 1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC, 20036. Please be sure to save a copy of your proposal, as emails do sometimes go astray. We will acknowledge receipt of your proposal, with a timeline for hearing back.

Questions? Email us at We look forward to reading your proposal!

Split This Rock Poetry Festival


Convener/Facilitator Name:
Mailing Address:

Email Address:

Participant Name:
Mailing Address:

Email Address:

Participant Name:
Mailing Address:

Email Address:

Participant Name:
Mailing Address:

Email Address:

1. Please include a one paragraph bio for each participant.

2. Please describe in 250 words or less the purpose of your panel.

3. Describe your method for involving festival participants in the panel.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Rarity from the Hollow review

Rarity From the Hollow:
A Lacy Dawn Adventure

by Robert Eggleton

Review by Adicus Ryan Garton

Imagine “Wizard of Oz” and “Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” smashed together and taking place in a hollow in the hills of West Virginia. Now you have an idea of what to expect when you sit down to read Rarity From the Hollow: A Lacy Dawn Adventure by Robert Eggleton.

This novel is an unabashed, unashamed exploration of the life of young Lacy Dawn, as she learns that she is the savior of the universe. The naked, genderless android, Dot-com, who lives in a ship in a cave, told her so. Add her abusive father, her weak-willed mother, a sexually-abused ghost for a best friend that was murdered by her own father, trees that talk to her, a dog that can communicate telepathically with cockroaches and so much more.

There is so much to this story, and its writing is so unblinkingly honest; Eggleton spares us nothing in his descriptions of her father beating her and her mother, the emotions that the mother and daughter go through, the dark creeping insanity that eats away at her Iraq-veteran father, and the life in general of people too poor, too uneducated to escape.

In part, it is a grueling exposition of what children endure when being physically and emotionally abused. Eggleton almost seems to suggest that the only way for a child to escape is to learn that she is the savior of the universe. Lacy Dawn is strong, tough, smart—all those attributes that any child should have—and she reminds us that children are survivors, adaptive and optimistic. Instead of giving us a story of escapism, Eggleton shows us a girl whose life follows her through the story.

But don't think you're going to be reading something harsh and brutal and tragic. This book is laugh-out-loud funny at times, satiric of almost everything it touches upon (some common themes are shopping, masturbation, welfare, growing and selling drugs, and the lives of cockroaches). The characters from the hollow and from the planet Shptiludrp (the Mall of the Universe) are funny almost to the point of tears.

I hate happy endings to stories that deal with any kind of oppression or abuse because they tend to suggest, “In this case, it worked out okay,” and the reader walks away with the impression that the world is a better place (think of all those inner-city sports movies about black kids who win the big championship despite being addicted to crack). I thought for a long time that this book was an escapist fantasy, and when the fantasy broke, it was going to be tragic. No one wants to see a little girl go through heaven only to learn that hell awaits her at the end. And then when I realized that Eggleton was not writing an escapist fantasy, I worried that this happy ending effect was going to take place, making me not like the book, despite all its positive attributes. But when I realized that Lacy Dawn had to fix her life first before the story could progress, and that this was IMPOSSIBLE except by extraterrestrial means, and that Lacy Dawn carried her past with her as part of her instead of in spite of, it made the prospect of a happy ending much better.

Go here, buy the book and read it. It's absolutely fantastic, and the proceeds go to the Lacy Dawn Adventures project. It's like buying ice cream for charity—everybody wins.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ann Pancake & Diane Gilliam Fisher at WV Wesleyan appearance

BUCKHANNON - Nationally acclaimed West Virginia writers Ann Pancake and Diane Gilliam Fisher will speak at West Virginia Wesleyan College on Thursday. [November 1, 2007]

Pancake holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington and currently teaches at Pacific Lutheran University.

Fisher holds a Ph.D. in romance languages and literature from Ohio State University and a master of fine arts from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

The program, which begins at 7 p.m. in Nellie Wilson Lounge, is free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

365 Days of the Dead

(This news courtesy T.W. McNemar.)

Morgantown Writers Group’s resident horror writer, Scott Emerson has reported to MWG Moderator, George Lies that he will be blogging on zombies….non stop for one year.
Starting October 31st (a day, I'm sure you'll recall, he’s quite fond of) he'll be starting 365 Days of the Dead, a blog experiment in which he'll watch one zombie film a day, every day, for an entire year. Each day's entry will then be reviewed on the website:

I know this will be great fun…check it out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Christmas Traditions Seeks Submissions

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Christmas Traditions: True Stories of Holiday Celebration

Send submissions to: Helen Kay Polaski (Szymanski) at

Christmas Traditions: True Stories of Holiday Celebration will be filled with stories that touch the mind as well as the soul as they take the reader on a magical journey through Christmas—past and present—while giving the reader ideas for traditions they might be interested in adapting in the future. Each story will include a well-known holiday tradition or a unique tradition known only to a particular family or community, as well as a touching story that circulates around each individual tradition. (I love traditions and can’t wait to see how your family celebrates Christmas!)

Stories must be first person, true accountings of either shared or unique traditions celebrated by families, communities, and/or groups during the Christmas holiday season, and all must be based on strong individual family/community dynamics, specific geographical location, and/or different cultures and religion. Approximately 70-80 stories (700-1,200 words) will be gathered. (When writing your story please keep in mind that Christmas is the most magical time of the year. I want to see the magic unfolding on the page before me as I read, and so do my readers.)

Only stories that have a beginning, middle, and an end will be considered. I’m looking for great inspirational stories that “include” a holiday tradition. Please do not send an essay that lists all of the things your family enjoys during the holidays. Instead, choose one tradition your family follows and write a story about it that is as moving as it is real. Only true stories that have not been previously published will be accepted.

Payment: upon publication, $75 and a copy of the book (for each accepted story)
Deadline: November 15, 2007

Please include your full name, current address, email address, phone number, and a 50-word bio.

Editor – Helen Kay Polaski (Szymanski)

Helen Kay Polaski

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Christmas Traditions
Editor: A Cup of Comfort for Weddings, Rocking Chair Reader book series, Classic Christmas, Christmas Through a Child's Eyes

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Self-Rising Flowers

A new book illustrating the spirit of Appalachian women has been published. It's called Self-Rising Flowers. Among its authors is WV Writers own Susanna Holstein.

Read all about it HERE.

Friday, October 19, 2007

prizewinnerreadings tonight in Harpers Ferry

Neighborly lovers of verbal artistry, remember tonight at Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Library we'll have the WV Writers prizewinnerreadings, free, starting at 7 (refreshments)----including Hap Becker and Sean O'Leary anda short play by the late Joe McCabe. I'll befilling in for Joe, who was to be emcee.Words will be willing to dance tonight!Yours in the new reign of rain,Ethan Fischer

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Brown Bag Reading in Greenbrier County



Award-winning author Russell A. Vassallo, (Tears and Tales and The Horse with the Golden Mane) will appear at the Greenbrier County Public Library on October 18 th at 12 noon for the debut of a new occasional lunch-time program called Brown Bag Readings. The Brown Bag Readings concept is a simple one: You bring your lunch and the library will provide the place to eat it and the literary entertainment . Mr. Vassallo will treat attendees of the first Brown Bag Reading with readings from his two short story collections.

Vassallo is a retired attorney who lives on a farm in south central Kentucky where he and his wife Virginia care for rescued animals. His true-life adventures with those animals have inspired the stories of his books. Vassallo began his writing career in 1999 while undergoing chemotherapy. His collection Tears and Tales is about life, faith and restoring hope. It's essentially a book about how animal rescue and human rescue can happen at the same time.

Tears and Tales has won the USABooknews Award, the Readers Choice Award and the Indies 500 Excellence Award. It contains tales of animals he has rescued and others that hastened his recovery from colon surgery and post surgery depression will be highlighted in his talk. Vassallo integrates a number of both sad and humorous tales about his animal friends, including that of a whiskey drinking duck that propelled him into manhood.

His second book, The Horse with the Golden Mane, is another collection based on true events with spine-tingling plots, twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. Midwest Book Review wrote" "The Horse with the Golden Mane… is highly recommended and rewarding reading for anyone who has a deep regard for animals…"

Following the lunchtime reading session, Mr. Vassallo will be available to sell and autograph his books until 3 p.m. All proceeds from sales of his books go to benefit the animal rescue farm he and his wife run in Kentucky.

And on the evening of October 18, Mr. Vassallo will also be appearing as a part of Greenbrier Valley Theatre's Literary Tea series at 5:30 p.m. at GVT.

So please join the Greenbrier County Library for their first Brown Bag Reading, October 18 at noon in the lower-level multi-purpose room. Bring your lunch, bring your ears and be prepared to be entertained.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Directions to Joe McCabe Memorial

Joe McCabe's memorial gathering will take place at his home on this Sunday, October 14, 2007. Please bring a covered dish.

Here are directions from Joe's wife, Hilda Eiber:

Coming from the South: Take I 81 north past Martinsburg - go to the Marlow exit - turn left when coming off the ramp - turn left again in 1/4 mile (My Bank is on the north corner) onto Grade Road (don't know if there is a road sign) then go 1 mile until you see a small strip-mall and go left onto Forevergreen Drive ( it only goes left). Go up the hill to the second right turn (Manassas Drive) to number 82 (third house on the right).

I hope this helps. It's actually pretty easy to find. Here is my phone number, just in case: 304-274-6986

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WVW/GVT 2007 Literary Tea Series

For those in the Lewisburg area, the Greenbrier Valley Theatre is about to begin its annual Literary Tea series, co-sponsored by West Virginia Writers. At the literary teas, attendees are treated to both tea and snacks as well as literary works read aloud by area and regional writers as well as by the actors from the theatre itself.

On Thursday, October 4, at 5:30 PM, I'll be reading from former Region 3 rep Beverly Pauley's new collection of humorous West Virginia vampire short stories. GVT's creative director, Cathey Sawyer will also be reading.

On October 11, Courtney Smith, who placed honorable mention in our scripts category in 2007's contest, will present scenes from her play The Hammer of the Scots.

On October 18, Kentucky-based author Russell Vassallo will present stories from his books The Horse with the Golden Mane and Tears & Tales.

And on October 25, Laura Benedict will take over the full Literary Tea hour to read from her new novel Isabella Moon. This will be the only tea to take place at 7 PM instead of 5:30.

So come on by, have some grub and enjoy the show.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

WVW Spring Writing Contest 2008 News

The WV Writers 2008 Spring Writing Competition will get under way very soon. The contest entry forms will make their debut at our table at the WV Book Festival in Charleston on October 13-14, 2007.

Then, on Monday, October 15, you will be able to find those forms available for download here on this very page as well as through the WV Writers Roundtable, WV Writers e-news and direct email to WV Writers members.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Hello All!

WV Writers still has openings on both Saturday, October 13th and Sunday, October 14th for authors to display their published books and sign autographs in the WV Writers booth at the WV Book Festival in Charleston, WV.

If you are a MEMBER in good standing (membership dues of $20 paid), have published a book, and have copies of your book available for sale, then WV Writers has a spot waiting for you! This is the perfect venue in which to sell your book, network with other authors, poets, and publishers who frequent the book festival, and acquire more new fans of your work!

Simply send an email to me at:, and let me know if you prefer a Saturday or Sunday slot, and which time(s) would be best for you. Slots are available in one-hour increments, and you can easily schedule them back to back (for example, from 1pm-3pm).

If you are not a current member of West Virginia Writers, now is the time to join! In addition to our participation in book festivals and fairs around the state where members can display their books free (in lieu of paying booth rental) you will receive a quarterly newsletter, and you will be networked with the state's greatest group of writers to date! You can obtain more information on the group, including a membership application (you can even join online and pay your $20 membership dues via PayPal) by visiting us at

Please contact me ASAP if you'd like to sell your wares at our booth, or if you are interested in volunteering a brief shift at the booth during the festival. Slots are filling, so don't delay!

Rhonda White

Friday, September 21, 2007

Joyce Carol Oates lecture in Charleston

(This News Courtesy of GORDON SIMMONS)

The West Virginia Humanities Council invites you to "An Evening with Joyce Carol Oates," as the American literary icon delivers the 2007 Betsy K. McCreight Lecture in the Humanities. The event is free and open to everyone.

It will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 18 in the Geary Auditorium of Riggleman Hall on the campus of the University of Charleston. Ms. Oates will share her experiences and read from her work. A public reception will follow the program and Ms. Oates will sign copies of her books.

Ms. Oates is an author of fiction and non-fiction as well as a publisher, playwright, poet, reviewer and teacher who has influenced the literary landscape in this country for four decades. She has helped many emerging authors through the years, including West Virginia's own Breece Pancake and Pinckney Benedict, by bringing their work to the attention of a wider audience. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.

Contact Mark Payne, Program Officer for the Humanities Council, at 304-346-8500 for more information.

Mark Payne, Program Officer
West Virginia Humanities Council
1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301
304.346.8500 ~ 304.346.8504 (fax)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The seventh annual West Virginia Book Festival

Mark your calendar! The seventh annual West Virginia Book Festival will be held October 13 & 14, 2007, at the Charleston Civic Center. Each year the festival offers something for book lovers of all ages and interests: authors, publishers, book vendors, the Festival Marketplace, a special section just for children, a used book sale, meet the author events, workshops and panel discussions.

Admission is free.

Informational Links:

Festival Overview

2007 Program Presenters *updated 8/24/07*


Prospective Authors

Used Book Sale

Book Festival News

Directions & Accommodations


Now, here’s the best part, if you are an active member of WV Writers and you have authored a book that is ready for sale, we are extending an invitation to join us at the WVWriters, Inc. booth to sell and sign your book. We provide the venue and you provide the lit and ink. Please contact us in advance (email or so that we may schedule your time slot for a signing.

So, visit their website (listed above and below), check out the program, and get ready!

I'm really looking forward to seeing the many friends from last year and perhaps some new faces as well.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New WV Autumn Festival Writing Contest

THIS COMPETITION IS FOR ALL AGES. Children ages are 3 and under, 4 to 6, 7 to 9, 10 to 12 and Teens are 13 to 15, 16 to 18 and the Adults are 19 to 39 and 40 & over.

Entry fee is $2.00 per piece for children, $5.00 per piece for Teens,and $10.00 per piece for adults. There will be one winner per age group and one winner per category PLUS there will be one OVERALL age division winner and one OVERALL category winner and ONE GRAND OVERALL winner for the best piece in general. Winners receive a CASH award (amount to be determined ) and a trophy or plaque and the overalls and GRAND overall receive more CASH (amount to be determined) and a trophy or plaque. ALL contestants receive at least a trophy. GRAND OVERALL wins a minimum of fifty dollars and this amount can increase dramatically as the contestant numbers grow. Everyone winning will at least get their investment back or more.

CATEGORIES will include Poetry (rhyme), Poetry (non-rhyme), Essay and Short Story.

NON PUBLISHED, PUBLISHED BUT WITHOUT PAY, SELF PUBLISHED writers are welcome to enter but writers with agents, publishers other than self or professionals are not permitted.

ENTRIES will be displayed at our pageant and our Talent and Karaoke Championship so please enter early and we need you to preregister by October 5th, 2007. You may register but mail the entries later or drop them off but we must have them in hand no later than the morning of October 20, 2007.


The entry form and address for the writing contest can be found at the following link...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Geoff Fuller Lecture

(This news courtesy of WVW 2nd VP T.W. McNemar)



Almost everyone secretly wants to write the story of his or her life, and today we have a wide variety of publishing choices available to us. First, though, you need to determine what story you want to tell and who you are writing your story for. Learn the basics in this Saturday afternoon discussion.

Saturday, September 15, 2-4 p.m.

THEN . . . . . .

You Have a Novel in You!
8 Thursday Nights, 6:30-9:00
September 27-November 15
Charleston Newspapers Virginia Street Parking Building Conference Room

Hey, folks! The novel class is two weeks away now. It's time to give yourself (or your spouse!) the gifts of time and inspiration necessary to write that novel that's been nagging for years. This class went VERY well last spring, and even resulted in most participants saying they wanted to go on to advanced work in the novel. (Special announcement coming on that, available only to graduates of the Dr. Write Novel Class!)

GIVE AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT! I've been going over notes from the last class--fleshing out, tightening, improving--and this new incarnation of the class should be even better!

We'll cover all aspects of the novel: story, characters, beginnings, point of view, pacing, dialogue, motivation, and many more. Everyone should learn tons of useful stuff and have fun doing it. I'll be working on my own novel right along with you all.

(I hope everyone--including me--will have their novels well underway by the end of class.)


(September 27) Talking about Story
(October 4) Building Your Novel with 360 Degree Character Development
(October 11) Jeopardy: In Media Res
(October 18) Psychology and Fortune, Floating and Grounded
(October 25) Depends on How You Look at It: Point of View
(November 1) All You Do Is Talk, Talk
(November 8) Setting as Element, Setting as Character
(November 15) The Working Writer

Again, that's eight Thurdays in a row, more than 20 hours of writing instruction, for only $225. Class size is capped: first come, first serve.

Email or call 744.4556 to sign up now!

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Oh, and the class Write the Story of Your Life! will take place on six Tuesdays, October 16-November 20, so watch for the announcement soon. LAST OF THREE FREE WRITING CLASSES THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2-4 PM, TAYLOR BOOKS.

Geoff Fuller
From conception to publication!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Barbour County Writer in the Spotlight

Garrison Keillor, of NPR’s ‘The Writer’s Almanac’ and of course, Prairie Home Companion fame will be reading a poem entitled "They'll" from Cheryl Denise’s book of poetry, I Saw God Dancing. Mark your calendar for October 9th.

Cheryl is a member of WV Writers, Inc. and the Barbour County Writers' Workshop. A hearty congratulations and job well done Cheryl.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


This fall, Colleen Anderson is involved in leading two (very different) workshops. These outings are designed for the female writer and both sound extraordinary.

Giving Voice: Words and Music that Change the WorldOctober 8-14: This weeklong seminar will be led by Juie Adams and Colleen at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, New Mexico. If you've ever been to that part of New Mexico, you know what a beautiful place it is. Ghost Ranch was Georgia O'Keeffe's ranch; now it is an arts/retreat center run by the Presbyterian Church. This year, the seminar will concentrate on songs that move people to action. Think Bob Dylan. Holly Near. Pete Seeger. And YOU.

Women's Writing Weekend at Tygart Lake State ParkNovember 16-18: A weekend retreat for women who write or want towrite. Take this opportunity to nourish your creative soul as winter begins. You'll have a good time and take home some tools to make your writing more vivid and shapely. And the price is right: packages start at $155 and include meals, workshop fees, and two nights' lodging at Tygart State Park's lodge.

Feel free to e-mail or contact Colleen if you want more information about either workshop.
Mother Wit Writing and Design
P.O. Box 525
Charleston, WV 25322

Sunday, August 26, 2007

ABZ Press Seeks Poetry Submissions

ABZ Press will soon be reading submissions for issue three of their poetry magazine.

According to their website: "We prefer interesting and exciting language. Our reading period is from September 1 to December 1 2007. Please send 4-8 poems typed with name and address and e-mail address on each page. If you want the poems returned, send a stamped self-addressed envelope with the correct US Postage. We do not accept e-mail submissions and poems sent other times can expect a long wait time. Send your poems and a SASE with correct postage to ABZ, PO Box 2746, Huntington WV 25727-2746. Back Issues are available for $8.00. Subscriptions are $8.00 a year postpaid. We pay a small stipend on publication and send two copies. "

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Belinda Anderson to teach Monroe Arts Alliance Workshop

(This information provided by WV Writers member and Monroe Arts Alliance representative Genevieve Sowards Gillen)

Have you ever thought about writing a family story? Or have you wanted to save an experience by writing about it? Has anyone ever said to you, "You should write a book!"

Here's your chance for a day of writing facilitated by local author Belinda Anderson. Belinda grew up in Monroe County and is one of today's leading Appalachian writers. Under her direction and guidance, numerous persons have had successful writing experiences. Some have gone on to write and publish books, both fiction and non-fiction. For the first time, the Monroe Arts Alliance has the opportunity to bring Belinda Anderson to Monroe County.

Saturday, September 22, 2007, the Monroe Arts Alliance is sponsoring a one-day workshop, "Intensive Writing," at Genevieve Gillen's Gallery on Swopes Knob, five miles from Union. The long view there oversees the ridges of four West Virginia counties.

Among her published works, Belinda Anderson is the author of The Well Ain’t Dry Yet and The Bingo Cheaters, both set in southern West Virginia. Belinda is a frequent presenter and speaker at conferences, libraries and book festivals. She was awarded special distinction in her promotion of writing here in West Virginia by West Virginia Writers, Inc.

Belinda Anderson conducts numerous writing classes and workshops throughout the state. This MAA workshop is limited to ten persons.

The Monroe Arts Alliance is delighted to make this learning experience in writing available to the public. The Monroe Arts Alliance, Inc., is a non-profit organization committed to community service through the promotion of the arts in Monroe County and the surrounding area. The purpose is exclusively charitable and for the enrichment of the general public.

The workshop begins with continental breakfast at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The cost of the workshop is $40. For further details, contact Genevieve Gillen at 772-3305. Pre-registration is required.

Monday, August 20, 2007

In Memorium

(The following was written by T.W. McNemar with photo by Phyllis Wilson Moore)

Joe McCabe
Joe McCabe 1934 - 2007

West Virginia Writers, Inc. and the very lot of us lost a true friend this weekend. Joe was so generous with his time as board member, mentor, and cheerleader to every single fledgling novice. Joe's plays have won awards and been performed in Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Florida; Maryland; New York; and West Virginia. He was a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Playwrights Forum, the Writers Center, and WV Writers, Inc. and even though his accomplishments were many, he never let you know you were in the presence of anyone other than just a friend. If ever he had bragging to do, it was of his wife, the artist Hilda Eiber. Please keep her and their family in your prayers.

I always looked forward to seeing Joe at Conferences and Book Festivals. I guess I always will.


Joe McCabe passes

I have some sad news to pass along. I just learned this morning that Joe McCabe passed away this weekend while recovering at home from triple bypass surgery.

Joe was a wonderful, gentle human being and I'm so glad to have known him, if only for a handful of years. He has served this organization in many capacities over the years, but has done an amazing job as a repeated member of our nominations committee, helping to shape the direction of WV Writers in a very positive way.

"Positive" is one of the best possible words to describe Joe. He was one of those people you could spend five minutes with and know right away that you're in the presence of a good soul.

Our condolences go out to his wife Hilda and his family.

The memorial service for Joe McCabe will take place at the McCabe's home (82 Manassas Drive, Falling Waters, WV 25419. Phone: 304-274-6986) at 2 PM on Sunday, October 14.

Attendees should bring a covered dish. Joe's wife Hilda says that it will be akin to an Irish wake.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Book Signing & Author Meet at Nitro Public Library

(This news courtesy of Tammy Lynn Whisman)

Meet the Authors sponsored and hosted by Waldenbooks of Ashland, KY and Nitro Public Library.

On Saturday, September 15, 2007 from 1 - 4 p.m. several local and West Virginia authors will be at the Nitro Public Library to sign their books and talk with the public. An eclectic mix of genres will be represented. Books will be available for purchase.

Scheduled to attend:

Tammy Whisman
Robert W. Walker (WV Writers Conference Workshop Leader)
Jean Gillespie
Patti Lawson & Sadie
Sean McCracken
several others to be announced

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The 15th annual Columbus Writers Conference, scheduled for Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25, 2007, at the Fawcett Conference Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, offers more than 50 sessions on fiction and nonfiction topics presented by writers, editors, and literary agents.

Still available are some one-to-one literary agent, editor, and writer consultations and, also, a few Advance Critiques. The conference also features informal agent/editor chat sessions and open mikes for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children's/young adult.

Conference topic areas include novel, nonfiction book, short story, children and young adults, memoir, poetry, screenwriting, author/editor relationship, finding and working with a literary agent, query letter, novel synopsis, nonfiction book proposal, pitching a book, book doctor, freelance writing, and the legal and business aspects of writing for books, film, and television.

To receive a brochure, e-mail conference director Angela Palazzolo at, or call 614-451-3075, or write The Columbus Writers Conference, P.O. Box 20548, Columbus, OH 43220. Details are also available on the Web site at

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Whidbey Island Writers Association Critique Mania

What: Critique Mania: Fifty writers (plus!) from the US and Europe will to do critiques of your writing!

When: Submission between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31, 2007; ms. returned by Sept. 30, 2007.

Where: By mail! No gas to buy, no planes or ferries to catch, no clock to watch!

How: Mail one poem or the first three pages of prose (could be anything from a complete short-short or the opening to a novel) postmarked August 1 - 31. WIWA members request first, second and third choice authors, but when authors are “full,” then material will be sent to next author on the list (alphabetically, according to genre). Non-members’ work will be distributed to the first available author alphabetically, according to genre.

How much: Twenty bucks! ($20.00) plus two stamped envelopes! What a deal! Professional critiques would normally range from $25.00 - $75.00.

Why? Because this is a terrific benefit to the submitters AND because ALL the proceeds go to support the Whidbey Island Writer’s Association magazine, Soundings.

Everybody wins!

Soundings Magazine will publish creative nonfiction, poetry and fiction. Guidelines on the back

Soundings Magazine, Whidbey Island Writers Association
PO Box 1289, Langley, WA 98236 360-331-6714
WIWA is a not for profit 501 c 3 organization


1. Submit one poem of up to thirty lines or the first three pages (700 words), double-spaced and 12-point font, of prose (any genre). Must be postmarked between Aug. 1 – Aug. 31.

2. Include two stamped envelopes: one will be a return envelope to you with your address on it; the other will be used to forward your material to an author for a critique; do not address this one. Required.

3. Items to include:

  • (as stated above) Your manuscript.

  • A cover letter with your name, address, email and phone number.

  • A check for $20 made out to Soundings.

  • If you are a WIWA member, include your first, second and third choice author
    preference (if all of these are “full,” your material will be sent to the next
    author on the list by genre). WIWA members will have preference in each day’s

  • If you’re not a WIWA member and you wish to join and list your top three
    preferences for author critique, include a membership check for $20 made out to
    WIWA (in addition to the critique fee).

  • To learn about this great organization, check out activities on the Web:

    The names of authors available to critique your work are posted on the WIWA Website

    4. Mail the above items to:
  • Soundings Critique Mania
    Whidbey Island Writers Association
    PO Box 1289
    Langley, WA 98260.

    5. Up to three submissions are allowed; please use separate SASE and envelope for each submission (they might go to different authors).

    6. To repeat: material will be disbursed to authors based on genre and alphabetical order EXCEPT for WIWA members first choices, as possible (see number 3 above).

    7. Authors who do critiques will not be contacting submitters; submitters agree not to contact the authors about the critiques. If there are concerns or questions about critiques, contact Marian Blue through WIWA:

    8. If all authors are “full,” your submission and check(s) will be returned to you.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    Tallahassee Writers Association now accepting submissions

    The Tallahassee Writers Association is now accepting submissions for their annual Seven Hills Contest for writers. Memoirs, short stories, and children's literature entries must be no more than 2,500 words. In the essay category, entries should be 1,000 words or less. Manuscripts must be postmarked by Sept. 30. Please see the TWA website ( for complete contest rules and entry fees.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Martyrs & Magicians Play Review by Ethan Fischer

    CATF Continues: Martyrs & Magicians
    by Ethan Fischer for The Shepherdstown Chronicle
    c 2007
    Darkness Before Delight --- Delmore Schwartz

    CATF continues with cool, stunning performances. You have perhaps heard about “I Am Rachel Corrie” and the attendant controversy. Rachel Corrie was a bright young woman from Washington state, who was killed in Gaza trying to help Palestinian families. Her own writings have been adapted by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner to fashion a play.

    After a run in England, a production of “I Am Rachel Corrie” was canceled in New York due to protests by big theater subscribers. Interpretations aside, young Rachel worked to the end as a peace activist, a non-violent resister. Naturally the story composed of her words presents the Palestinian perspective of an ongoing tragedy.

    Since theater isn’t journalism, plays often give us just one side of history, past or present. The real English King Richard the Third differed from the sly monster Shakespeare makes him. In The Trojan Women, Euripides creates sympathy for the defeated of Troy and skirts the Greeks’ motives for a mythic war. Drama needn’t aim for some imagined news balance. Adroitly directed in the round by Ed Herendeen, and performed by the wonderful Anne Marie Nest, “I Am Rachel Corrie” becomes quite an experience. The Studio Theater audience witnesses a witty gradeschool girl growing up, with discoveries and contributions to make in the wider world. She’s full of mischief and fun at first. But as she engages the audience with her teen dreams, Rachel seems always to be packing, preparing to travel emotionally all over the map. Her parents have encouraged her to explore, so she tells them and us: “I’m sorry I scare you. But I want to write and I want to see. And what would I write about if I only stayed within the doll’s house, the flower-world I grew up in?”

    Ms. Nest (poignantly real as the child in last year’s Mr. Marmalade) prowls the stage here with winsome, adolescent zeal. You cannot help loving Rachel’s half-baked brilliance and how she handles, with shy assertiveness, boys and authority figures. Later the grown Corrie, in danger, fends off pleas to come home from Palestine as she defers her desire for romance and family. She’s driven by a dream. First she must help humble people survive.

    Inevitably, as with Greek Tragedy, the audience endures change as a fate foretold plays out. After the play the “The Peace Cafe,” held Under the Tent, moved us toward conversational catharsis.

    Anne Marie Nest and her parents joined our sub-group. In a measure of this artist’s transformative powers, she had to identify herself as the actor just seen in I Am Rachel Corrie. Nest stressed the “heart connection” (over the political) in preparing her part. Soon various viewpoints mingled with love in the warm, unwounded air.

    * * *

    Another meditation on the Middle East occurs in Jason Grote’s play 1001, directed too by Herendeen. Historians say 1001 was an interesting year, but Grote’s script trades history for narrative entropy. Here The Arabian Nights and Scheherazade meet Jorge Luis Borges and Sue Grafton, among others. For chaotic completeness the playwright might have thrown into the melange Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, famed for stories within stories within stories.

    Yes, chapters of our lives can interweave, grow convoluted, but 1001’s script never gets traction on the road of reflection or reverie. Program notes say the playwright intended a “trunk show”--presumably something like close-up magic, not big stage illusions. But big stage illusions come, smoke and mirrors held up to the unnatural at Shepherd’s Frank Center. Most memorably, a genie (Ariel Shafir) rises upstage to grant wishes. We can only wish that Mr. Grote’s work to layer reality with mystery might have jelled. As it is, only sound and fury meld. But gorgeous brides lose their heads and an ancient Arab potentate (Jonathan C. Kaplan) becomes a Jewish gentleman before our eyes. Erotic plots abound and bellies dance. This magic carpet ride proves Grote a magic carpetsweeper.

    There is no intermission and characters multiply.

    Giving some moral grounding in varied roles (including Borges, author of
    the classic “Garden of Forking Paths”) is solid actor Marc Damon Johnson. As
    Scheherazade, Zabryna Guevara succeeds in seeming old and new, though her tales
    give way to tech titillations by sound and lighting designers Sharath Patel
    and D. M. Wood respectively. Margaret McKowen’s costumes stir wonder, confer a
    timeless childhood.

    Indeed 1001 works for something different, a Postmodern past, stereotypes reborn to enchantment.

    The Contemporary American Theater Festival, now in its 17th season, does enchant and spin off artistic riches (like Goose Route Dance) across Shepherdstown through July 29th. Next year perhaps local playwrights may appear. CATF is on the map whose cutting edges etch vast themes--through lives playing out in a our places.

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Ragdoll Angel signing in Bridgeport

    On Saturday, July 28th, WV Writers' own Terry McNemar will be signing his novella Ragdoll Angel at Borders Express in the Meadowbrook Mall, Bridgeport, WV. Stop by with your copy or pick one up while you’re there. (The Potter stampede should be over by then.)

    If you can’t make it to the signing, ask for “Ragdoll Angel” at your local bookseller or, Barnes & Noble, or Booklocker .

    Conflict of Interest writing contest

    (This news courtesy the Cynthia Sterling Market News, posted to the WV Writers Roundtable via Fay Thompson)

    Harlequin Super Romance is sponsoring a Conflict of Interest writing contest. They're looking for stories with "heightened emotional conflict that raises the stakes -- and the sexual tension -- for your hero and heroine."

    Submit the scene or moment that best illustrates the conflict between the hero and heroine, along with the first chapter and a synopsis of no more than ten pages. The contest is open to both published and unpublished writers.

    Prizes include a critique by a Superromance editor, a one-year's subscription to Harlequin Superromance (72 books) and the possibility of publication. Deadline to enter is October 31, 2007. For contest rules, see

    Cats Curious seeking submissions

    (This news courtesy the Cynthia Sterling Market News, posted to the WV Writers Roundtable via Fay Thompson)

    Cats Curious Press ( is currently accepting gothic-style (preferably gothic romance) stories for an upcoming anthology. Stories may be submitted in two categories: 7500-17500 word stories selected for the anthology will receive payment of $250 while stories of 4500-7499 words will be paid $125.

    All the details are available at the above website. Deadline for submissions is July 31

    Broken Pencil seeking submissions

    (This news courtesy the Cynthia Sterling Market News, posted to the WV Writers Roundtable via Fay Thompson)

    Broken Pencil is a Canadian alternative magazine that publishes three times a year. The editors are interested in short fiction from 50 to 3000 words. Payment is from $30 to $300 "depending on our finances."

    For more information, see their guidelines at

    Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction contest accepting entries

    (This news courtesy the Cynthia Sterling Market News, posted to the WV Writers Roundtable via Fay Thompson)

    Entries for Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction contest are being accepted through July 31st. There is no fee to enter and the first place story wins $1200. Second and third place garner $500 and $300 respectively.

    Stories should be no more than 3000 words.

    For details, visit

    Feel free to pass along this newsletter and to encourage others to sign up to receive it. If you reprint or forward the newsletter, all I ask is that I be given credit for it. Anyone can sign up by sending a blank email to

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference

    The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference will be held on October 13, 2007, on the campus o f Montgomery College, in Rockville, Maryland.

    The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference is a full day of workshops, discussions, panels and salons for writers. This year's workshop leaders include Margaret Blair (young adult), Susan Coll (fiction), Alix Ohlin (short story), Carly Sachs (poetry), Donna Andrews (mystery) - to name only a few.

    This year, the conference will honor William Kennedy for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature.

    The Conference is Oct. 13, 2007, from 8:45am-8:30pm, and is held at Montgomery College's Theatre Arts Center, in Rockville, MD. The cost is $85 with several levels of discounts available (early registration, student, senior etc).

    Enrollment fills quickly. If interested, please register early.


    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Granny Sue's Storytelling Schedule

    (This news courtesy of WV Writers own Granny Sue Holstein's blog.)

    July 18: Stories at the River's Edge storytelling, Mason WV and Middleport, OH
    July 20: Pipestem, WV: Storytelling at Pipestem Resort
    July 25-July 31: storytelling for nine libraries in eastern West Virginia for the Summer Reading Program
    July 28: Fauquier County, VA: storytelling at Warrenton and Marshall libraries
    July 28: Storytelling at Lost River State Park, Mathias, WV
    July 30: Fauquier County, VA: storytelling at Bealeton Library
    July 30: Storytelling at Cacapon Resort, Berkeley Springs, WV
    August 3: Caldwell, WV: Storytelling at Greenbrier State Forest
    August 4: Bluefield, WV: Storytelling for private event
    August 11-12: Pittsburgh, PA: Three Rivers Storytelling Festival, MC and general go-fer
    August 18: Grafton, WV: Storytelling at Tygart Lake State Park
    August 21: Thomas, WV: storytelling at Blackwater Falls State Park
    September 8: Ripley, WV: Family Storytelling with Adele Browne at the Alpine Theatre
    October 3-4: Weston, WV: West Virginia State Storytelling Festival, Jackson's Mill Conference Center
    October 12: Charleston, WV: WV Reading Association Conference performance
    October 13-14: Charleston, WV: WV Book Festival

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Riverside Theatre Announces Deadline


    Iowa City, IA – July 1, 2007 - Riverside Theatre invites playwrights to submit monologues for performance in Walking the Wire: Monologues at Riverside. This ninth annual evening of original work features monologues of ten minutes or less by both established and up-and-coming playwrights. The focus for this season’s monologues is The Midwest: Beyond the Corn. Submissions must be postmarked September 1, 2007; final selections will be announced no later than October 29. The monologues will be performed February 29-March 2 at Riverside Theatre.

    Submission Guidelines

    Riverside Theatre is seeking submissions from writers with a Midwestern experience/perspective; non-Midwestern writers with an informed perspective about the Midwest are welcome to submit.

    Up to two submissions per author of original, unpublished and unproduced monologues (may be dramatic character or personal memoir) less than ten minutes length may be submitted. Please read it aloud to be certain and include the approximate performance time on your submission; all lengths of up to ten minutes will be considered, with the objective of choosing monologues of varying lengths). The copy must be easy to read: double spaced in a minimum 12 pt. font, and should include the playwright's name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.
    Simple is best. Since "Walking the Wire" typically includes a large number of monologues, it is important that each one require as little production as possible; set-pieces, props, or effects needing set-up, strike, or special technical support may disqualify an otherwise excellent submission.

    The POSTMARK deadline for submissions is Saturday, September 1, 2007. Playwrights selected for Walking the Wire will be notified no later than October 29, and also posted on Riverside Theatre’s website,

    Writers will be credited in all marketing and playbill materials; no royalties will be paid for performance. Monologues will be independently rehearsed until the week of the performance when the show will rehearse at Riverside Theatre. Area playwrights may perform their own work, or include the name of an actor interested in performing the monologue, although neither is required. Walking the Wire will be produced February 29-March 2, 2008.

    Submissions should be mailed to:
    Riverside Theatre
    John M. Baker, Literary Associate
    Walking the Wire submission
    213 N. Gilbert Street
    Iowa City, IA 52245

    For more information, contact Hillary Foster, Marketing Director, at 319-887-1360, For guideline questions, please contact Jody Hovland, Managing Artistic Director,

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Poetry Reading at Tamarack

    Poetry Reading: Lake Effect by Laura Treacy Bentley

    Date: Saturday - July 21, 2007

    Location and Times: Tamarack Book Department - 11:30AM and 1:30PM.

    Poet Laura Treacy Bentley will share some selections and sign her newest book Lake Effect.

    Visit Tamarack's website for more details:

    Greenbrier Valley's "Appalachian Journal" accepting submissions

    The Appalachian Journal, a monthly tabloid format paper that celebrates Appalachian culture, specifically in the Greenbrier Valley area, is looking to expand its pool of freelance writers.

    If you're local to the valley and would like to contribute, contact Sarah Elkins, courtesy of the Mountain Messenger, at (304) 647-5724 ext. 113.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    Morgantown New Playwright Project

    (This news courtesy George Lies)

    New play development is one of the cornerstones of M. T. Pockets Theatre Company and the basis for the Morgantown New Playwright Project a collaboration between the M. T. Pockets Theatre and the Metropolitan Theatre Board. Providing dramaturgical support for both women and men playwrights and nurturing scripts from rough first drafts through final production is a specialized, time-consuming and necessary labor of love. M.T. Pockets has shepherded projects by local playwrights Don Fidler, Jeremiah Munsey and Dan Stewart, and national and international playwrights.

    The project seeks to bring together emerging and established playwrights with local directors and actors. Deadline: First of each month, 3 months prior to desired reading. Submit Scripts to: M. T. Pockets Theatre c/o Don Fidler; 1117 University Avenue - Unit 505; Morgantown, WV 26505. Email PDF file to: Questions, call Vicki Trickett: 304.216.2895

    • Phase One: M. T. Pockets Explorations
    Readings of new scripts - selected from submitted scripts as part of a monthly series. Talkback sessions will follow each reading to allow audience feedback. Playwrights will receive written comments from review panel.

    • Phase Two:
    One to two of the plays will move from readings to Bare Bones productions the following season. Bare Bones is a fully rehearsed public presentation of a play in development, and it will have one weekend run on stage.

    • Phase Three:
    The two productions will have a two to three day, fully-produced run at the Morgantown Metropolitan Theatre.

    Script Submission Guidelines: Please submit the following: 1) A full script or work-in-progress; 2) Project description including a synopsis, a brief outline of your plans for development, and what you want to achieve at M. T. Pockets, and why; 3) Your resume, and 4) Any other resumes, bios, or applicable information. M. T. Pockets Theatre is 501(c)(3) organization and is supported in part by a grant from the Greater Morgantown Community Trust.

    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    Writers 24-Hour Short Story Contest

    (This news courtesy WVW 2nd VP T.W. McNemar)

    The Summer 24-Hour Short Story Contest is now open for entrants. Start time for the Summer 2007 24-Hour Short Story Contest will be at 12:00 p.m. (noon) central time on Saturday, July 28, 2006! Participation is limited to 500 entrants. Contests usually fill up, so don't delay if you want to participate! You can see the list of prizes (first prize is $300, second is $250 and third is $200 - plus 82 other prizes!) and sign up here:

    Tuesday, July 03, 2007

    Hidden Poet-Neighbors & Writers Class

    It's not too late to enroll in a Poetry Writing class this July at Shepherd. Led by Prof. Ethan Fischer, editor of Antietam Review & author of Beached in the Hourglass, English 472 will meet Monday through Thursday, 10:20 to 12:25 in Knutti Hall, Room 203. The class will explore what words can do to embody experience--travel with emotion or song. (This 4 week creative writing course will cost Senior Citizens a mere $45.)

    You can enroll the first day, Monday 7/2 after class or even Tuesday. Write poems this summer--students and others welcome! Come join us for this journey into how your play of language works. "A good poem can stop a tank or a bulldozer."

    For more info phone Ethan Fischer at 535-2624.

    Monday, July 02, 2007

    Allegheny Echoes Report

    (This report from Granny Sue Holstein, as posted to the WV Writers Roundtable)

    I've posted photos and notes from the Allegheny Echoes workshops in Marlinton, WV on my blog.

    It was a fantastic week! I had a professional development grant that paid for half of the cost, and it was almost like being paid to party! I learned a lot, met many wonderful people, reconnected with old friends, and stayed up way too late every night to listen to the many old-time and bluegrass music jams--not to mention tasting a little 'shine too.

    I was very surprised to run into Columbus area storyteller Larry Staats (who is a native of Sandyville, WV, where I live). His photo is on the blog, doing a great square-dance step. This year's liars contest winner is also in a photo on the
    blog--Karen McKay from just down the road in Silverton, WV. She is one wild lady.

    If you can find a way, this is the week for anyone into old-time music, Appalachian culture or creative writing. (I may be leading a storytelling week there next year--stay tuned for that.) The experience is hard to describe--it's like finding your family in the mountains. Not the place for self-promotion, but a place to connect, learn and immerse yourself in oldtime ways.

    Read the blog for lots of photos!

    Granny Sue
    Stories from the Mountains and Beyond

    Sunday, July 01, 2007

    New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest extends deadline

    (This news courtesy 2nd VP T.W. McNemar)

    Due to computer transition problems with Vista, submission post-mark deadline has been extended to July 15, 2007.

    New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest - an international contest whose mission is to seek out extraordinary, socially conscious scripts from around the world - is accepting scripts postmarked through July 15, 2007.

    First Prize: $300 and a reading in an established New York City theatre.
    Second Prize: a reading in an established New York City theatre.
    Third Prize: a reading in an established New York City theatre.
    For Submission Guidelines and Application Form:
    As a direct result of prior New Works of Merit Playwriting Contests:

    2004 winning script , “Conversation with a Kleagleâ?” by Rudy Gray, was produced in NYC February 16, 2006 - April 7, 2006; 2006:

    2003 third place script, “Interview” by Valerie Killigrew, was produced in NYC November 2 - December 2, 2006.

    2003 co-winning script, “Ruby's Story” by Ron Osborne was produced in NYC May 13 - July 3, 2004.
    2004: 2003 honorable mention script, “Cry Wolf” by Deborah Mulhall was produced in NYC October 7 - November 27, 2004.

    2003 honorable mention script, “Shade” by Paula J. Caplan received a free development workshop June 28-July 2, 2004 and a reading on July 11,2004.
    2004 contest winner, Rudy Gray: in 2006, Mr. Gray became Resident Playwright of 13th Street Repertory Company-NYC Six scripts that were not finalists received a free reading.
    Since January 2002, Sandra Nordgren, the founder of the contest, has been responsible for the offering of over 150 readings, 35 productions, 15 development workshops, and two theater playwriting residencies, all in New YorkCity at no cost to the playwright.

    As writers, we have been given a precious gift. Let us use that gift to create powerful, heartfelt new works that not only entertain, but also educate, enlighten and uplift humanity.

    We look forward to receiving your script!

    The Literary Staff
    New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest

    Thanks Joe McCabe

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Pam Cable Review

    First time WV Writers workshop presenter, Pamela King Cable, has written a wonderful review of this year's summer conference. You can find it on her blog at...

    We loved having Pam and her husband Michael as presenters and are glad they enjoyed it too. For those of you new to WV Writers and our summer conference, I couldn't think of a more glowing review to send you to.

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Appalachian Writers Read at Malaprops

    (This information sent in by Kird Judd)

    Asheville, NC—On Sunday, July 15, 2007, at 3:00 p.m., seven writers from the Southern

    Appalachian Writer’s Cooperative (SAWC) —Hilda Downer, Frankie Finley, David Wayne Hampton, Jane Hicks, Jim Minick, Jim Webb, and Dana Wildsmith—will read at the Malaprops Book Store/Café at 55 Haywood Street. The reading is free and open to the public; a reception follows. For more information, call (828) 254-6734.

    In 1974, SAWC was born when a group of writers and activists gathered at the Highlander Center in New Market, Tennessee. The gathering has been an annual event (more or less) ever since. Recently, SAWC has added an annual summer gathering at Wiley's Last Resort atop Pine Mountain in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Through these gatherings, the sponsorship of local readings around the region, and the support of the literary magazine Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, SAWC continues its original mission to foster community among and encourage publication of Appalachia's writers. For information on attending a gathering, visit

    About the Readers
    Hilda Downer teaches English at Appalachian State University. She has been published in journals and anthologies, including Bloodroot.

    Frankie Finley works as a writer in Lexington, KY, where she lives with her partner, daughter, and two dogs. She enjoys kayaking and cloud-watching.

    David Wayne Hampton teaches high school English and currently lives in Morganton, North Carolina, with his wife, daughter, and newborn son. Though he calls the
    North Carolina mountains home, he grew up in Carroll County and Galax, Virginia.

    Jane Hicks quilts, writes, and teaches in northeast Tennessee. Her book, Blood and Bone Remember, was the Appalachian Writers Association Poetry Book of the Year in 2006.

    Jim Minick lives in southwest Virginia and teaches at Radford University. His poems and essays have appeared in Orion, Shenandoah, Rivendell, the San Francisco Chronicle, and others. His essay collection Finding a Clear Path was published by WVU Press; currently, he's working on a memoir about an organic blueberry farm.

    Jim Webb—poet, playwright, and swarper from Pine Mountain in Letcher County, KY—wrote “Get in Jesus,” a poem heard by thousands, read by untold multitudes, and worn by nearly 600 people.

    Dana Wildsmith is the author of four collections of poetry; the most recent of which—One Good Hand (Iris Press, 2005)—was a SIBA poetry award nominee.