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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Persimmon Tree Poetry Contest for Women

Persimmon Tree ( ) is pleased to announce the upcoming poetry contest for women over sixty in the Southern U.S. region. (States include AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, TN, KY, WV, VA, DC, NC, SC, MD.)

Submissions will be accepted May 1 - June 15, 2009, only at; Jill Breckenridge is the guest poetry editor for this contest. The selected poems will appear in the September 2009 issue. See the "Submissions" link on the website (you have to log on first) for necessary further details.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Location!Location!Location! Play Competition Open for Submissions

“I don’t think you really want to go there.”

The Charleston Stage Company & Festivall announce the 2009
Location!Location!Location! Play Competition

This year the play will take place in the new Dickinson Street Pedestrian Overpass between Triana Energy and the parking garage. It’s at the foot of the South Side Bridge on the downtown side.

The theme of this year’s play contest is defined by the space. Every journey begins with a crossing whether it’s a doorway, street, river, ocean, space, or time. The crossing in this play can be real or imaginary, mundane or grand, silly or tragic, literal or metaphoric. Just go with whatever crosses your mind.

As long as you follow the rules which are as follows: Plays must have 2-4 characters of any age or gender. The play should have a running time of 10 minutes. The title must be: The Crossing. The first line of the play has to be: “I don’t think you really want to go there.”

The two winning plays will be performed in the overpass six times on Saturday June 27, 2009.

This is the fourth year for Charleston Stage Company’s Festivall! Previous productions have included the Elvis Play (back this year by popular demand) and the wildly successful Trolley Play.

More Rules

1. All playwrights must be West Virginia residents.

2. The play must not have been produced previously.

3. All plays must be type written and mailed to the Charleston Stage Company at 123 Summers Street Charleston, WV 25301 by May 1, 2009.

4. Playwrights can submit more than one play. Collaborations between writers are also acceptable.

5. Playwrights must be available to attend the first performance on June 27, 2009.

The plays will be read and judged by judges who will consider (among other things) creative use of the dramatic possibilities of the space. For more information check out the Festivall Play Contest at

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Conference First Timers Guidelines

We recommend that you register in advance by completing the forms on our web site at

If you plan to stay overnight, be sure to fill out the separate Cedar Lakes form, as well. You'll also need to fill it out if you plan to eat meals there, which I recommend, because it's hard to get out and back without missing a workshop or two.

On the weekend of the conference, stop at the Cedar Lakes office when you enter the grounds. The office is the first building on your right as you enter. You'll get your meal tickets (more like a typed sheet of paper) and your room keys. DO NOT LOSE YOUR MEAL TICKET.

Ask the Cedar Lakes staff to point out the Assembly Hall building for you (they'll give you a map, too, but you can see the building from the office). Come there next and register. If you have pre-registered and prepaid in full, there is usually a "quick line" you can jump to and simply check your name off the list, grab your name tag and goody bag (we always have the best goody bags of any writers conference), and head to step three. If you still need to register, that's fine too. We accept cash and checks, but we cannot accept credit cards at the registration desk (we can accept them online, so if you want to use a credit card, register online NOW through Pay Pal). (Cedar Lakes can accept credit cards for room and meals).

Stop by the reception table for a cold (or hot) drink and a snack.

The Assembly Hall is also where the Writer's Wall competition is located. For the Writer's Wall, participants can bring in a one page piece of poetry and/or prose to anonymously post to the wall (which means, naturally, that your name must not appear on it). There will be a sign up book and an intern to help with the process, assigning each entry a number which conference attendees will be able to vote for using the ballot slip in their goodie bags. The winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.

Similarly, there will be five total sessions of People's Choice, with prose and poetry sessions on Friday evening and prose, poetry and youth sessions on Saturday. During People's Choice, attendees are invited to read a piece of their own work that must come in at under 5 minutes in length. After all the pieces are read, ballots will be passed out for fellow readers and other attendees to vote on their favorite pieces. Winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.

You don't have to register for the individual workshops in advance. Just pick them as you go. Some people find that it's easier to print out the schedule (or use the one given to you at registration, which will be the most accurate) and then highlight two classes each session that you're interested in. Then, when the time arrives, you can pick between the two. Some people like to have a "back up class" in case one is overcrowded, or in case you find yourself enjoying a particular track so much that you want to stick with it (poetry vs. non-fiction, for example). We would recommend that you take at least one class outside of your chosen genre; not just for the broadened experience, but because you might find inspiration or a particular nugget of writing wisdom that you can apply to what you're working on. For example, if you write fiction, take a poetry workshop or a nonfiction editing workshop, which can help with your craft.

Be sure to dress light but bring a sweater and an umbrella. It’s an annual tradition that it rains very hard on at least one of the conference days. The classrooms can also be hot. And wear shoes that are comfortable for walking, not only for walking to and from the dining hall but for taking strolls around the grounds of Cedar Lakes.

We also hope you're planning to attend the banquet and stick around for entertainment, as we'll have some nice surprises in store!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Friendship Story Submissions Sought

What's Your Favorite Friendship Story?

Mention friends and everyone has a memory or story to share. Choice Publishing Group (CPG) is collecting these stories and memories about, by, and from friends for their new book Patchwork Path: Friendship Star.

CPG is looking for original stories and essays from 250 to 2000 words about friendship. Each submission will be reviewed and considered based on creativity, originality, concept, and style. Reading will be continuous and submissions will be considered as they arrive. Not all works will be accepted. There is NO Entry or Reading Fee. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2009.

Submissions will be selected for publication in Patchwork Path: Friendship Star by Choice Publishing Group president Tena Beth Thompson and bestselling author Gregory A. Kompes.

The Patchwork Path story collection titles are all based on quilt block names and have quilt and quilter themes. In addition to Friendship Star (to be published fall 2009) other titles include Grandma's Choice (November 2008), Dad's Bowtie (June 2009), Wedding Bouquet (2010), Treasure Box (2010), and Star Spangled Banner (2011).

Miss Thompson writes about her life experiences with humor. "If I can put a smile on one person's face for a second, easing their pain, I will consider my book a huge success," she says with conviction. Thompson's book, Separation Survival Guide, When Your Marriage Catapults into Limbo, will be available in 2008.

Mr. Kompes, Patchwork Path Production Director, holds a degree in English literature from Columbia University, New York, and an MS. Ed. from CSU, East Bay. He is the author of the bestselling 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live (Career Press) and editor of The Fabulist Flash, a newsletter for writers and the Eighteen Questions, a Writer's Digest "101 Best Website for Writers" 2007 & 2008.

Choice Publishing Group (CPG) publishes books that touch people's lives and offer a respite from everyday pressures. CPG books inspire readers to view life with a positive attitude, count their blessing or make them laugh.

For more information, including complete submission guidelines, visit Patchwork Path: Piecing Together Our Lives online at