Sunday, May 31, 2009
Andrew Wheeler holds a Master of Forensic Science degree from The George Washington University and has over ten years of field experience in civil and criminal investigations. He is qualified as an expert witness, and has testified in several fields of forensic investigation. Mr. Wheeler received the prestigious “Professor of the Year” award given by the Mountain State University Student Government Association in 2005. I think we just turned this presentation up a notch.
"The Nanny Dish was created to find a fun way to transition between blogging and writing a structured storyline - small-size!" Karen explains, "Michelle and I have been navigating the world of Twitter for our companies over the last six months - in the midst of research we were finding hundreds of entertaining and unexpected blogs, quirky Facebook rants and posts, the majority from moms..." Karen pauses to note that she is always on the lookout for raw female writing and directing talent. "The Nanny Dish is about inspiring moms to write in eye-catching, unexpected style -- while making every word count." Adds Karen, "you can't fake your way through 300 words!"
The grass-rooots PR and marketing campaign for The Nanny Dish will be executed across North America, with a mom-specific audience in mind. "We're building on the strengths we both bring to the project," says Michelle, "I'm focusing on my network of Canadian moms. Karen's production company is based here in Vancouver, but she primarily works with writers out of the US. She actually started out in the industry as an executive at The Weinstein Company in Los Angeles." Karen's LA ties also helped her bring a touch of Hollywood to the contest: TV writer Aury Wallington - of SEX AND THE CITY and VERONICA MARS - will join Karen and the YummyMummyClub's popular blogger EarnestGirl in judging the entries.
The Nanny Dish grand prize is a full-time nanny placement service from Nannies on Call valued at $1,500 and registration in Fat Rock's August session of the BETTER THAN CHOCOLAT Screenwriting Workshops (a four-week online screenwriting series for mothers). "The winning Dish will also be developed into an actual screenplay during the BTC workshops," Karen says. "This is a teaching tool exclusive to both The Nanny Dish and the BTC workshops - we're very excited!"
Along with the grand prize winner, judges will select three finalists to receive prizes from sponsors The Willamette Writers Conference, Urban Harmonie Handbag Designs, Munch Family Restaurant (the newly re-launched Babyeats) and Juliet's Room Organic Skin and Body Care.
Entry to The Nanny Dish is free and all winning Dishes will be posted on the website for the pubic to enjoy.
Submissions open June 1st at www.nannydish.com.
"Dish up your favorite nanny story - and win! There are three simple rules: write from a mother's perspective, feature a nanny as a main character, 300 words tops. That's it. Submissions close July 15th. Start Dishing - we can't wait to start reading!"
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Bottle Tree Productions One Act Play Competition For Writers. Awards: $1,000, $250, $100. One-act plays of any length may be submitted. Plays can have previously been produced or work-shopped but not professionally.
Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 30, 2009.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Check it out at the Podcast Page.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
High Prairie Poets – New Mexico State Poetry Society Bimonthly Contests. 32-line limit. Awards: $25, $10, $5 plus honorable mentions. Entry fee: $3 first poem; $1 each additional poem. Deadline: July 20, 2009. Info: SASE to Carol Dee Meeks, Silver Arrow Estates, 2601 South Elm Place, Apt. #108, Broken Arrow OK 74012; or email@example.com.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sourcebooks, Inc (www.sourcebooks.com) is currently looking for: romance fiction (single title all subgenres, 80,000 words +), YA fiction and non-fiction, historical fiction, Jane Austen sequels/retellings/contemporary romances/etc., commercial women's fiction (must have a really unusual premise), multi-media and digital book projects, non-fiction: memoir, how-to, humor, college guides, study aids, parenting, business, careers, personal finance.
Sourcebooks is one of the fastest-growing independent publishing houses in the country, widely known for their sales and marketing, as well as a steady focus on building authors' careers.
In addition to a presentation on Sourcebooks, the business of the writing world, and what is required of today’s writer, Peter Lynch will hold five minute pitch sessions in hopes of landing a new batch of clients for Sourcebooks. This is his primary reason for coming.
ALSO…… The appearance of Peter Lynch is due in great part to the incredible efforts of Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency. Christine will be on hand to keep this opportunity flowing.
Books Cents has become an outstanding advocate to the writing community in West Virginia and Kentucky. Much thanks to Christine and Judith Ann!
For conference registration information: http://www.wvwriters.org/conference.html
Thursday, May 21, 2009
It has always been our intention to get this conference planned far enough in advance for you all to make a conscious decision about who you would like to hear and see but if we find an opportunity to add someone or something to the play-list that will inform, delight, entertain, or amaze you – we will add it to the conference immediately.
In the past weeks, we’re delighted to announce that Cathy (a.k.a. Cat) Pleska has joined the lineup of entertainment for Friday evening in the Assembly Hall. Cat will be performing a more bohemian segment of her historical dramatization of Frances B. Johnson. I can’t wait for this one.
In the Assembly Hall on Saturday, a few folks from the WV Commission on the Arts will be around to discuss opportunities available to artists in the state. This will be educational and informative, try to attend.
THERE IS ONE MORE AND I CAN'T RELEASE THE INFO YET, BUT I WILL IN A FEW DAYS. If you are “on the fence” about attending the 2009 West Virginia Writers, Inc. Conference, this announcement will put you at your keyboard and making your reservations pronto. Be ready to get on board and reserve a room on site or nearby.
I know, I don’t like cliffhangers anymore than Dan Brown, but I’m sworn to secrecy . . . for the moment. I just want you to be ready.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
WILMA ACREE writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Appalachian Heritage, Algonquin,
ANDREW WHEELER, holds a Master of Forensic Science degree from The George Washington University and has over ten years of field experience in civil and criminal investigations. He is qualified as an expert witness, and has testified in several fields of forensic investigation. Mr. Wheeler received the prestigious “Professor of the Year” award given by the Mountain State University Student Government Association in 2005.
WILLIAM BITNER is a life-long fan of both comic books and professional wrestling, with his tastes running distinctly old school in both mediums. At the age of 46, he decided to train to become a professional wrestler himself, and has since dragged his increasingly aching bones through over 300 matches, and a dozen title belts. Mr. Bitner is also the author of a short story collection, M Is for Monster, and currently resides in
ERIC FRITZIUS A Mercer County resident, Eric Fritzius is a freelance writer / editor / playwright / actor / director / webmaster / graphic designer / and podcaster whose work has appeared in the Greenbrier Valley Quarterly magazine, the Mountain Voices anthology, WV Daily News, the Charleston Gazette, and graces the covers of such books as Belinda Anderson’s Buckle Up, Buttercup, and WV Writers latest collection Seeking the Swan. His play “…to a Flame” recently debuted on the stage of the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg. He serves as President Emeritus and webmaster for WV Writers, Inc. and produces and hosts their weekly podcast.
GEOFFREY C. FULLER - author, teacher, editor, and managing partner of the Evergreen Syndicate LLC , is an award-winning author and the only person to win the coveted WV Commission on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships in all three prose categories - (fiction, nonfiction, and memoir), Geoff Fuller teaches and mentors an ever-increasing group of successful writers in the
KARIN T. FULLER, lifestyle columnist for the Charleston Gazette, first began writing in 1997, shortly after the birth of her best source of material, her daughter Celeste. In the years since, Karin’s columns have always been selected as one of the top three each year by the
GEORGE LIES a short story writer and journalist, has years of experience working collaboratively with writers of
DR. JOHN MCKERNAN was born in 1942 and grew up in
RENÉE K. NICKLESON is a former professional ballet dancer, and a graduate of the MFA program at
KEITH & JOAN PITZER are known and respected
CATHY PLESKA (Cat) holds a BA in English (
SUSAN REINHARDT has been heralded as “a modern-day, southern-fried Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry,” says Booklist. This award winning author of the celebrated Not Tonight Honey, Wait ‘til I’m a Size 6, (which the Chicago Sun-Times calls “wickedly fun…like hanging out with your bluntest, most mischievous friend, the one who never fails to crack you up.”) will join West Virginia Writers, Inc. for two workshops, a stand-up humor presentation on Friday evening, and an Awards Banquet keynote address. Now, the laughter resumed as Reinhardt took on domestic life in a new collection of essays, DON’T SLEEP WITH A BUBBA, a Kensington Books trade paperback original. Susan Reinhardt once loved a Bubba, so she speaks from personal experience. Susan Reinhardt is the mother of two precious children, ages 14 and 9, and enjoys anything related to water (except snakes), is a community volunteer, a member of the PTA and the Read it or Not, Here We Come Book Club. She is a regular public speaker, having done a keynote address for the Erma Bombeck Writers Convention last year. Reinhardt is speaker in demand to large corporations and small groups alike, listing such topics as: “Healing Through Humor,” and “Out of the Darkness,” which delves into her battles with depression and other illnesses. It is her mission to bring these issues out of the closet, to remove the stigma, and enlighten others so they may get help and find joy in their lives. She also does stand-up comedy and enjoys being a frequent guest on radio and local and network television. She is a highly awarded nationally syndicated columnist.
DAVID SAMUEL, former professor of wildlife management and conservation at WVU (1968-1998), has made a niche for himself as an outdoor writer. His articles can be found in all outdoor mass media reporting and the awards garnered include: Safari Club International World Bowhunter Chapters, Hall of Honor, Inducted, 2001, The Wildlife Society, Special Recognition Award, 2001, Lee Gladfelter Award, Pope and Young Club, 2002, West Virginia Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Mountaineer Award, 2005, Archery Hall of Fame, inducted Sept 21, 2007, Springfield MO., Deer Management Career Achievement Award, Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society, Feb. 24, 2009. Outdoor Writer of the Year, WV Bowhunters Assoc., 1992 and 2009.
NATALIE SYPOLT received her MFA in Fiction from
DANA WILDSMITH grew up in south Georgia, the daughter of a Methodist minister active in working for social justice. She attended college wherever her Navy husband’s career took them, finally obtaining a B.A. in Sociology from
(UPDATED 5/31/09 WITH UPDATES SHOWN IN RED)
1. Great Characters: I know you’ve read something and couldn’t put it down because there was a character in the book that you could not stop thinking about, cheering for, and hating to the very marrow. Susan Reinhardt will show you where these characters are hiding in the world and how to layer them into a riveting part of your work. (SUSAN REINHARDT)
2. The Business of Writing: When someone mentions the word, “AGENT’, most writers have a thousand horror stories. Susan Reinhardt has a few of those as well, but she will share her view of the underbelly of the ever-changing landscape of the business side of writing. She will talk about agents and publishers and how to react and interact with them to get where you need to be with your work. This is sharing with a writer whose approach has and is a success story. - (SUSAN REINHARDT)
3. Control vs. Creative Chaos: How do you let go of control (or fear?) enough to allow a poem the strength which can come from directed chaos? Learn some methods for pushing yourself outside of the walls that normally define what you allow in your poetry. (DANA WILDSMITH)
4. Focused Energy in poetry: Too many times we smooth our poems into listless shadows of what they should be. Try your hand at revving up the energy levels in your writing.
5. Writing Your Life: Explore how to use your personal stories as raw material for poems that speak beyond the facts of the story itself. (DANA WILDSMITH)
6. The Thick Plottin’s: Have you ever felt like your plotlines were just “going through the paces”? Sandy will discuss techniques that help you discover your story in places you never planned to explore and will show how good pacing and narrative give your story new levels of style. (SANDY TRITT)
7. Editing Your Toughest Customer, You! : They say the best place to hide is in plain sight. Well this is true of mistakes in our own writing. Sandy Tritt will discuss ways to methodically and creatively remove those embarrassing stains in our own prose. (SANDY TRITT)
8. The Nuts and Bolts of the Three Act Play: Even though the style of your dramas may vary, the mechanics of the three act play is basic and contains many working, interchangeable parts. This successful director/writer will show you these steps. (DANIEL BOYD)
9. The Building Blocks of a Good Story, or Screenplay, or Novel, or . . . : Just as if you were building a house, you start with the foundation and then you add block after block, to create the story that you want it to be. (DANIEL BOYD)
10. The Graphic Narrative: or, If You Can’t Afford to Film It, Turn it Into a Book! Unlike the graphic novel, this newer genre is more of an illustrated novel and yes, there is a brand new awaiting audience. (DANIEL BOYD and WILLIAM BITNER)
11. How to Write an Inspirational Romance: This session will shed some light on one of the most popular sub-genres in romance right now. Tips will also be offered on how to follow your own voice and still produce a suitable manuscript for this market. (PAM HANSON)
12. Jumpstarting Your Creativity: This interactive workshop will help spark your creativity. Come prepared to be re-energized! (KARIN FULLER and PAM HANSON)
13. Building Blocks of a Selling Synopsis: What is a synopsis? How do you write one? To submit a proposal to an editor or agent, a writer must write a synopsis, a concise abstract of your manuscript. This workshop will guide you through the steps necessary to produce a successful synopsis, including how to incorporate conflict, characterization and cohesiveness into your finished work. (PAM HANSON)
14. Teens Read Too: An Introduction to Writing Young Adult Fiction: This introductory class gives a clear picture of one of the hottest markets in literature today – the young adult genre. Brad will give descriptions of style and show samples of this market.
15. Collaborating in Writing Young Adult Fiction: The creative juices never stop when you have a partner to share the process of inventing prose. Brad will discuss his positive experiences in writing YA in tandem. (BRAD BARKLEY)
16. Premises and Promises: This important class suits, not only the Young Adult writing, but all prose, all length, all styles. Don’t miss this class – it’s a keeper. (BRAD BARKLEY)
17. Using the Senses to Shape Your Work: Using prompts such as sampling dark chocolate, listening to music, feeling the texture of different fabric and other unconventional prompts, this session will help to unleash the sensual potential of prose. (RENÉE K. NICKLESON)
18. The Music of Line, The Making of a Poem: This session will focus on the sense of music in the line to create and revise poems. Participants will work on the sonic qualities as well as the visual qualities of building poems line by line. (RENÉE K. NICKLESON)
19. Get On the Program: Getting Your Work Out Into the World: Publications, readings, and other outcomes from our writing process may seem mysterious, difficult, and full of rejection. This session focuses on the strategies that work to keep focus on generating work while tending to the business of the writing life. (RENÉE K. NICKLESON)
20. Outdoor Writing: The Whole Ball of Wax: David Samuel will leads us as we stalk the dreaded outdoor essay, report, and article and we will see how this genre is easily one of the most lucrative markets alive. We will discover what outdoor writing is (and isn't), how to connect with the two national outdoor writer associations, how to get into the outdoor writing market, and where these potential markets are lurking (in magazines, newspapers, television, internet, and in books. He will also show us how to write power point programs for presentations on the outdoors. ONE CLASS ONLY. (DAVID SAMUEL)
21. My Father the Minotaur: Elements of the Ridiculous and Surprising in Fiction:
A fine line separates fiction that uses “magical” elements from genre fiction, such as fantasy or science fiction. How can we as writers use elements of the absurd without devolving into the gimmicky or ridiculous, and without crossing the line from “literary” to genre? We’ll look specifically at the work of Karen Russell who has recently made big splash in the world of literary fiction with her collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Exercises will allow participants to try their hand at using the “ridiculous” in their own work. (NATALIE SYPOLT)
22. Beyond She and I: Exploring Alternate Narration in Fiction: This session will focus on the exploration of point of view (narration); we will specifically investigate the collective narrator (first person plural) and second person point of view (including the “Self-Help” format). These are certainly the least often used of all forms of narration, so it’s possible you’ve not had much exposure to them before; even if you have, the chances are that you haven’t experimented much with them in your own writing. We’ll look at sample work and try our hand at writing our own stories using these lesser used POVs. (NATALIE SYPOLT)
23. Drawing the Story of My Life: Examining the Graphic Memoir: The graphic novel is a genre that is becoming more and more popular, especially with the recent cinematic release of the much anticipated The Watchmen; this session will focus not on the graphic novel, but on a lesser known relation: the graphic memoir. It seems no one can quite decide on the correct name for this emerging genre (these works have also been called “graphic narratives”, "book-length comics," and “true comic strip stories). In this session, we’ll discuss this genre, look at some samples, and try our hand at creating some graphic memoirs of our own. Don’t worry if you don’t have any artistic ability; as we’ll soon see, there is more than one way to tell our stories in pictures. (NATALIE SYPOLT)
24. Original Music from Traditional Sounds, Form, and the things that make you write songs: Whether folk, country, blues, pop, all songs follow similar structure. Understanding this from other songs will help to shape new original material that is both pleasant and new. Lyric structure will be covered as well, both from traditional structure, as in metre, rhyme, and patterns, as well as varying the pattern for original musical changes. Keith Pitzer will use traditional, popular and his own songs as teaching tools for this comparative learning experience! (KEITH & JOAN PITZER)
26. Horribly & Humorously True Nonfiction (and Fiction): From breakdowns of woefully unreliable vehicles, run-ins with fraudulent telemarketers, or particularly soul-crushing trips to the DMV (and by that, I mean ANY trip to the DMV), bad things happen to all of us. Oftentimes, however, these "horribly true” events can be humorous in retrospect. Eric Fritzius, author of many a Horribly True Tale himself, seeks to dig out that nugget of humorous gold at the core of the common crappy day experiences we all share. Attend this workshop for help finding your own golden crap nugget. (ERIC FRITZIUS)
27. Blogs, Podcasts and New Media (Not a Lot of Money in it, but Possibly Some Fun): A staple of the Internet for nigh on a decade, weblogs (blogs) have become a branch of the so-called New Media, turning average opinion-holders into real world political pundits and entertainment commentators. Similarly, with the advent of podcasting and vidcasting, nearly anyone can host their own show and reach a fairly wide audience. WV Writers webguy, Eric Fritzius, takes a look into the huge creative avenues to be found in the blogging and podcasting world, from non-fiction to fiction to points in between. (ERIC FRITZIUS)
28. Writing from Life, a personal approach to nonfiction: In this class, these two master writers offer their combined 45 years of experience to help you learn to master the art of turning life’s rich moments into writing that moves, amuses, and inspires readers. You will not only learn about how to write from life, you will experience the satisfaction of combining experience, memory, and narrative that sets a foundation for a good short piece or the basis for a longer work. (KARIN FULLER and GEOFF FULLER)
29. Assembling a Novel: Some novels may be read breathlessly, beginning to end, but most are assembled painstakingly: a foundation built of description and backstory, scenes constructed of dialogue and action. Writer and teacher Geoff Fuller discusses how novels are assembled, passage-by-passage, and reveals the under appreciated physical demands of novel writing.
30. Reasons For Writing Poetry: This discussion/workshop – for beginning to advanced poets – will explore some traditional answers to the question: Why write poetry? We will examine how different answers to this question can influence the form and content of a poem.
(JOHN J. McKERNAN)
31. Writing the Imagist Poem: This workshop – for developing to advanced poets – will present some examples of different kinds of imagist poems and will involve writing (and possibly revising) a short poem with an imagist perspective. (JOHN J. McKERNAN)
32. Some Ways to Use Prose In The Writing Of A Poem: This discussion/workshop – primarily for advanced poets – will divide the writing process into three stages and discuss how prose passages can help in the early, middle, and revising stages of writing a poem.
(JOHN J. McKERNAN)
33. Writers Present A Favorite Poem: This panel-discussion will enable a group of poets to read and comment on favorite poems. Each poet will read one poem by another poet and comment. Audience questions at the end of the panel. (JOHN McKERNAN and STAFF POETS)
34. Representations of Women in Appalachian Literature: In this session we will look at various categories of women portrayed in works of Appalachian literature: wives, mothers, working women, outcasts and misfits (and sundry other types). We will also use a number of dichotomies as a way of approaching depictions of women: real vs. ideal; round vs. flat characters; negative vs. positive traits; etc. (SANDRA VRANA)
35. Lives of Coal Mining Families: In this session we will examine which aspects of the lives of mining families are addressed and which are ignored. Some categories we will discuss: private vs. public selves; the individual vs. the family unit; recreation vs. work; also, modes of communication among family members; expectations according to gender and age; (etc).
36. Show Me! Don’t Tell Me! (Except Sometimes). Learn to “act out” your scenes so readers can watch your characters in action and eavesdrop on their dialogue; learn when “telling” is absolutely permissible and necessary. (RHONDA BROWNING WHITE)
37. Writing Your Own Eulogy! Join Wilma Acree for this fun workshop. Some of the most classic and fun eulogies, epitaphs, etc. are in the form of poetry, poetry of all types. Bring pen and paper and prepare for the fun. (WILMA ACREE)
38. What the dead can tell us: scopes and limitations of a Forensic Pathology Autopsy. Manner and Mode of death. What case(s) constitute a Medical Examiner-Coroner’s case or not. Myths of a typical Forensic Pathology Autopsy (ANDREW WHEELER)
39. Serial Killers: Dismembers of Your Family. Types of Serial Killers, Crime Scene dynamics, Profiling Serial Killers, Genetic link? (ANDRE WHEELER)
40. Sexual Assault: The All-American Crime. Five different principals involved in sexual assault, how to proper handle of all kinds of sexual assault crimes, contemporary issues of sexual assault through the victim’s perspective. Types of offenders, motivations, false allegations and false confessions, profiling the offender, child molestation, and the maligned investigator. Special population-juvenile sexual offenders, female sexual; offenders, gerophiles, serial rapists, and sexual sadists (ANDREW WHEELER)
41. People’s Choice Prose (Friday Session) We’ll have two sessions of People’s Choice Prose, wherein participants have 4 minutes to read an original short piece of prose which will then be judged by the vote of their People’s Choice Session Peers. Awards will be given at the Saturday Awards Banquet for first, second and third places.
42. Show Me the Money! Grant Proposal Writing. Learn the ‘thousand little tricks’ of grant writing with a man who knows grants and grant writing, from all perspectives. (GEORGE LIES)
43. Insights On Starting a Writer’s Group. Writers groups exist in some communities in the state, offering a unique way to obtain peer feedback on your prose and poetry. This session offers proven ways to organize a writer’s group in your hometown. Attendees will learn how West Virginia writers in the Morgantown Writers Group survived the ebb and flow of group dynamics to celebrate its 15th Anniversary. This information session includes lots of handouts on how to contact local writers, that first meeting, setting-up a schedule, doing promotion, how to do manuscript critiques, finding well-known guest writers, sponsoring open workshops, how to find small grants or donations for special events and, oh yes, tips on handling personality clashes. The presenter, George Lies, former President, WVW, Inc., and founding member of MWG, in 1994, will discuss and explore ways to start a writer’s group – and keep it going. Informative! (GEORGE LIES)
44. People’s Choice Prose (Repeat on Saturday)
45. People’s Choice Poetry (Friday Session) We’ll have two sessions of People’s Choice Poetry, wherein participants have 4 minutes to read an original poem which will then be judged by the vote of their People’s Choice Session Peers. Awards will be given at the Saturday Awards Banquet for first, second and third places.
46. People’s Choice Poetry (Repeat on Saturday)
47. People’s Choice Youth
48. The West Virginia Commission on the Arts Listening Tour (description to follow)
Monday, May 18, 2009
West Virginia Writers, Inc, is offering low-price ads to be printed in this year's Conference program. The program will be distributed to each attendee at the June 12-14 Annual Conference at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, West Virginia. The ads that appear in the program will also be offered for a limited time on the WVW website (www.WVWriters.org). The ads will be printed in black and white in the 8 ½ by 11 spiral-bound program. (Ads on the website can be in color.)
Ad rates and approximate sizes are:
Full page (8 ½ x 11) - $75Ads may be submitted as either a camera-ready print or emailed as a high quality jpeg, .tif or Microsoft Word document. Ads may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org . Paper copy should be snail-mailed to: T.W. McNemar, 1107 Cost Road, Stonewood, WV 26301. Checks should be made payable to West Virginia Writers, Inc. Please be sure to include contact information with your ad copy and ads must be received by June 1.
Half page (8 ½ x 5) - $40
Quarter page (4 x 5) - $20
Business Card size - $10
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com .
Friday, May 15, 2009
Dana speaks about her journey to becoming a poet, her time spent as a Writer in Residence around the country, her love of music and Garrison Keillor's reading voice, and what her workshops will bring at this year's conference. She was also kind enough to read one of her poems for us.
Find it HERE.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Check out the rules and regs and submission guidelines at the following link...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Tri-State Chapbook Contest will produce one winning chapbook from each state in Open Thread’s target region – Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – and package the three chapbooks as a collection. The goal of the contest is to promote emerging writers with a connection to the region and engage them with both a regional and national audience.
Open Thread will read manuscripts of poetry and prose until June 1st, 2009, officially ending the first round of reading. At that point, finalists will be announced on our website, and the finalist manuscripts will be sent to our final judges: Claire Donato for Pennsylvania, Tyler Meier for Ohio, and Isaac Pressnell for West Virginia.
The three prize winners will be announced later in June, and Encyclopedia Destructica will produce the chapbooks for release in July. Each winner will receive 20 free copies of her/his respective chapbook, the opportunity to read at the release event, and distribution through Open Thread's website and book fairs such as SPF 2009 in Pittsburgh and AWP 2010 in Denver.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
Eligible writers are either natives or current residents of the tri-state area and must not have previously published a full-length book of creative writing. Poetry and prose manuscripts will both be considered, though there will be only one winner per state, regardless of genre.
HOW TO ENTER
Entrants should upload manuscripts on our website before midnight on June 1st. Poetry manuscripts must be at least 15 pages and no more than 35 pages long. Prose manuscripts must be at least 10 pages and no more than 20 pages long.
Open Thread, known for its “Variety Variety Variety!” cabaret events at the Brillobox, was formed in early 2007 by co-directors Scott Andrew and Adam Atkinson. They just released their first volume of the Open Thread Regional Review, a compilation of regional art and writing.
Encyclopedia Destructica, an artist collective founded in 2005 by Chris Kardambikis and Jasdeep Khaira, has just released its 20th book and celebrated its 4th anniversary. They will manufacture each chapbook at their studio in Lawrenceville.
Tri-State Chapbook Contest: http://www.openthread.org/press
Encyclopedia Destructica books: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16927442@N03/sets/
Open Thread Regional Review Vol. 1: http://www.openthread.org/press
Monday, May 11, 2009
You can now subscribe to this blog using the following feed address. Easier still, click on the "Subscribe in a Reader" Feeburner link at the right and you'll have your choice of cool places our feed is syndicated to, one of which you likely use on a daily basis as it stands.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
ASK NOT WHAT YOUR WRITING HAS DONE FOR YOU, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR WRITING!
It's very simple. Your writing gives you a way to express the art and conscience buried deep in your psyche'. . . or, you simply have something to report. It lets you leave a piece of yourself behind. It allows you to create, when you have no choice, but to create and if you're a writer, this is important stuff.
So, what have you done for your writing, besides write? You've read some, contributed to a book, entered contests, celebrated the anniversary of the first publication of The Elements of Style. Great.
Now do you really want to do something great for your writing and yourself?
COME TO THE CONFERENCE!
You get to hang out with great poets, like John McKernan, Kirk Judd, Dana Wildsmith, Wilma Acree, Renee Nickleson, and several more, like you.
The book doctors will be there, with advice for the asking….editors and teachers like Geoff Fuller, Sandy Tritt, and Rhonda White.
We have writers who specialize in different genre. Pam Hanson is great to talk to about Inspirational Romance; Susan Reinhardt specializes in humor; Brad Barkley is an expert in YA fiction and a terrific novelist to boot. The list goes on and on.
If you're on the fence about coming to this conference, please go to our website and check out the schedule, the description of the classes, and the bio's of the presenters, it's impressive. And it's all for you.
We're adding to the list each day, so check back once in a while. We won't stop trying to make this conference better until the last minute.
If you haven't seen or shall I say "HEARD" the latest form of President Emeritus, Eric Fritzius' online promotion of West Virginia Writers, Inc. you must take a listen to the WVW, Inc. Podcast!
Eric has employed his talents of webmaster, master of ceremony, and masterful host to the likes of: teacher, memoirists, essayist, and future WVW VP, Cathy Pleska; writer, editor Rhonda White; humorist Susan Reinhardt, . . . and more.
This is an informative and entertaining addition to West Virginia Writers, Inc.'s ongoing quest to bring the arts to you. Congratulations have been pouring in from all over, so please, take a few minutes and have a listen!
WARNING: SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION!!!
If you have a service to offer, or a book for sale, or an upcoming promotion that you would like to advertise in an inexpensive way, we would be willing to put your promotional materials (PENS, BUSINESS CARDS, BOOKMARKS, BADGES, ETC.) into the goodie bags at the conference. We will need approximately 200 pieces and in order for us to distribute these items, they must be shipped to us well in advance of the conference.
For questions you may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
While at the conference, take a few minutes and pose for Boyd Carr and he will create a sketch that you will take with you and frame as a memory of the 2009 conference. Boyd will return as our "Artist in Residence" once more and make this outing that much more memorable.
Sign up today….
Sunday, May 10, 2009
MAY 28, 2009 NEW RIVER TECHNICAL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE GREENBRIER VALLEY CAMPUS, LEWISBURG, WV, 10a TO 4p.
The story of your life is itching to be written, awaiting your reflections on the path your life has taken and where it's headed. This workshop offers techniques in mining the rich veins of your memory. Learn how to express and organize your thoughts as memoir. You'll leave the workshop having already begun to write the story of your life and with the skills to continue. Lecture will be supplemented by in class exercises to jump start the creative process. Cost is $75. Preregistration is required. Deadline for registration is May 21, 2009. To register or for more information contact NRTCC at 304-647-6570.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
MAY 19, 2009 NEW RIVER TECHNICAL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE GREENBRIER VALLEY CAMPUS, LEWISBURG, WV, 6:30 TO 8:30P.
Author Belinda Anderson teaches this introductory workshop that will show writers how to develop an idea into a narrative, using the elements of character, plot and setting to craft a story. Participants will learn how to use the structural elements of fiction to create a short story. Lecture will be supplemented by in class exercises to jump start the creative process. Cost is $25. Preregistration is required.
Deadline for registration is May 14, 2009. To register or for more information contact NRTCC at 304-647-6570.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Jeffrey Moores Gives the Scoop on Query Hooks…and More
During last week’s Tuesday night chat, literary consultant and editor (and also former literary agent), Jeffrey Moores dropped the bomb. Agents are sick and tired of the query letter hook–avoid it at all costs. Here’s the 411 straight from the chat:
Yvonnetherese asked: How do you feel about starting the query letter with a hook sentence vs. genre, word count, etc. up front?
Jeffrey Moores replied: AVOID THE HOOK! It’s annoying. An agent instead wants simple reality: I am seeking representation for my YA novel about vampires and teenage werewolves. Put what you want up front. Be very simple.
I asked: Do many agents feel this way, Jeff?
He replied: As far as I know, all of them do. It’s very tiresome to read, over and over again, things like: “Imagine yourself in a world where…” An agent isn’t like a normal reader. They’ve got a lot more analytical wheels turning, and are more interested in your book’s place within the market and your ability to write. The actual details of your plot are only as important as your ability to frame your book within the query letter.
Well, I tell you, after cleaning all the grey matter that had splattered all over the chat room walls during the chat, I went away and thought about what Jeffrey had said. I decided I needed a bit more info on the topic and so the next night (he did two chats for us over on AQ.) I asked for a bit of clarification. Here’s the scoop:
My question: Jeffrey, in regards to your surprising advice in regards to queries (”AVOID THE HOOK”) I got to wondering, how do YOU define a hook? Could you give us some specifics in terms of what to avoid?
Jeffrey Moores: I think that the typical “hook”, wherein a writer tries to hook an agent with a taste of the plot right away, often comes across as false and forced. Such as: “Imagine a town where nothing quite feels like it should…”
Instead, agents want to hear something like this: “My novel is a comedy-of-manners that skewers the reality of a strange town whose inhabitants seem to have no clue about the rest of the world…” or something similar. This is a more abstracted and contextualized description of your novel, and is more effective than assuming that an agent is sitting at her desk waiting to be entertained the same way she is when she’s picking a novel off of a book shelf at home.
It is still VERY IMPORTANT to “hook” an agent, but it is MORE IMPORTANT to do this through concise and effective presentation of your book’s specific themes and its place in the market, rather than drafting a sort of plot description or synopsis. Often, writers go on and on after their “hook” but fail to mention anywhere in the query WHAT TYPE OF BOOK THEY’VE WRITTEN. novel, YA, fantasy, mainstream, etc.
He also mentioned to be confident in your proposal when writing nonfiction. The more confident you are, the more likely it will get picked up. As well, fiction writers should step out when writing their queries and “approach the query in a more nonfiction way”. That means, make your fiction query more about where your story fits into the market, who its audience is–that sort of thing. Which makes sense. It is a business letter. He also mentions to compare your letter to other books that are similar. Just make sure it is selling well! He provided pointers on how to pick the selling well books to compare yours to: Very simply — go to your local bookstore and browse. Notice which books have prominent placement in the stores (front tables, end caps, facing OUT on the shelves, rather than their binding facing out). Publishers have paid for these privileges and it means that they’ve invested extra money in hopes that these books will sell well. Or, it means the book has already begun to sell well so they are pushing it further. Also, check out Amazon’s book rankings, reviews, and blurbs by other authors for that book — if five well-known authors have blurbed a given book, it’s safe to assume is better-known than a book with a blurb by only one lesser-known writer.
Both chats with Jeffrey where informative with lots of great tidbits you won’t find elsewhere. If you missed the chats, you can read the transcripts over on AgentQuery.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Kathleen Coffee (a.k.a. Kayla Ward, of WV Writers fame) is performing in concert this weekend at the Riff Raff Arts Collective in downtown Princeton.
Conference 2008 attendees might remember her as the amazing singer/songwriter who performed during the Friday night entertainment.
She describes her original music as Acoustic / Folk / Healing & Easy Listening.
Based in Athens, West Virginia, this star is on the rise. Check her out at:
Tickets are $10. See the Riff Raff link below.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
"As West Virginia becomes a more popular place to shoot feature films, television programs, music videos and commercials, it is important for the Film Office to reach out to communities and community leaders to better prepare them when their region is chosen for filming," said Pam Haynes, director of the Film Office.
The workshops are free and open to the public. Haynes said she encourages representatives of convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, economic development authorities, mayors and city managers, county managers and commissioners, film and video production companies, and freelance film crew to attend.
The workshops are scheduled for May 19 in Weirton and May 20 in Follansbee, said Jamie Cope, location services manager for the Film Office. Cope said the Film Office presented similar workshops last fall in Wheeling, Martinsburg, and Charleston.
Cope explained that an expected increase in filming activity relates to tax credit incentives recently passed by the West Virginia Legislature. "The incentives allow the Film Office to participate more competitively with other states to recruit film production to West Virginia," he said.
Haynes said the workshop, titled "Business of Film: Paths to Opportunity,” will provide an overview of the tax incentives and how they will benefit West Virginia businesses, how communities may become film friendly, what to expect and how to handle filming when it knocks on the door, and how to work effectively with the Film Office. A brief tutorial on location scouting also will be highlighted, and there will be an assortment of helpful handouts.
The current schedule is as follows:
-- Tuesday, May 19, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, 350 Three Spring Drive, Weirton
-- Wednesday, May 20, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Community House at Follansbee City Park, State Route 2, Follansbee
Haynes said additional workshops are slated for July, August and September in other cities across the state. She also added that the Film Office will conduct the workshops in any county or community where interest and participation would be significant.
The West Virginia Film Office is a section under the WV Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, and can be visited at www.wvfilm.com.
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Friday, May 01, 2009