A weblog forum for announcements of writing projects, events, contests and sundry other items for members of West Virginia Writers, Inc. and anyone else who finds them of use.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fund-raising Through Science Fiction

(THE FOLLOWING STORY AND TEXT COMES FROM THE io9 WEBSITE. IT IS VERY TIME SENSITIVE, SO PLEASE GIVE IT A LOOK ASAP)

Now's your chance to help one of science fiction's most entertaining writers, and get yourself some neat fiction into the bargain. Spider Robinson's wife Jeanne is battling cancer, and science fiction authors and readers are uniting to help out.

Dec. 30 is a "blog rally" for the Robinsons, and author Larry Santoro has agreed to donate all the proceeds from sales of his novella "Lord Dickens's Declaration," to the Robinsons' cause. Here are the details, from The One-Thousand:

Science Fiction author Spider Robinson's wife Jeanne is fighting cancer and they're both fighting to pay the bills. 100% of any money used to purchase Larry Santoro's excellent e-book, "Lord Dickens's Declaration," will go directly to the Robinsons. Here's the link:

http://www.starshipsofa.com/shop/lord-dickenss-declaration/

Dec 31st is the last day that people can buy Larry's story. I'd like to end the fundraiser with a bang. Let's get the word out all over the web to let people know on December 30th, there's only one day left to help. Why December 30th? Because if there's only one day left people won't put it off and say, "I'll do it later. I still have time." Make sure you link to the purchase page!

"So You Want to Write a Book" workshop

Rosalyn Queen Alonso will be conducting a workshop entitled "So You Want To Write A Book" at the United Technical Center on RT. 19 N, in Clarksburg.

It will start on February 2 and run for eight weeks from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.

The course will cover the basics from getting started to marketing a finished product. There will also be local published authors sharing their experiences and tips.

For more information or to register contact Charlotte Lake at the UTC or clake2008@yahoo.com

Queen-Alonso is a published author with her book "Arriverdici, Recipes and Customs Every Italian Girl Takes From Home" now in its fifth printing

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jayne Ann Phillips on her home town origins as a writer

WV author Jayne Ann Phillips has published an article in Smithsonian Magazine on growing up in Buckhannon, W. Va., and how such small towns make perfect starting points for writers.

Thanks to Steve Goff for the forward.

Read the article online HERE.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another passing...

Kirk Judd alerted us that West Virginia has lost another of its best poets. Paul Curry Steele, originally of Charleston, died Monday, December 22, at the Edgewood Manner in Lucasville, Ohio. Mr. Steele was 81.

From his obituary in the Logan Banner: "Paul was the son of the late George C. and Tava Curry Steele. Also preceding him in death was a sister, Sybil Washington; a brother, George C. Steele Jr., and a nephew, Robson Sage. He graduated from the University of Virginia and obtained an advanced degree from the University of Iowa. Steele taught at George Washington University, was a published poet, and later worked at a library in Charleston."

Mr. Steele was the author of Anse on Island Creek and Other Poems, published by Mountain State Press. This was a seminal work which explored through poetry the life, character and eventual death of the notorious Hatfield family patriarch William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield.

His work also appeared in Wild Sweet Notes: 50 Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950 - 1999. According to Kirk Judd, co-editor of that anthology, Steele was recognized as a great West Virginia bohemian poet.

Graveside services will be held Monday December 28, at 11 a.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery at Pecks Mill. Condolences may be left at www.honakerfuneralhome.org.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Keith Pitzer's passing.

Received some sad news today from friend of WV Writers, Pops Walker, regarding the passing of another friend of our organization, Keith Pitzer.

Pops writes...


Friends and loved ones….

It’s with a heavy heart that I write to you today, for we have lost a great friend and performer, Keith Pitzer. Keith passed on this morning after a courageous fight with cancer. His wife Joan, and his four grown sons mourn the loss of their loved one, as do I, Bobbi, and anyone who knew Keith.

I first met Keith in 2003 at the Mountain Stage NewSong Festival. After hearing him play, and jamming with him, I knew I’d found a kindred musical spirit. After talking with him for a while, I knew I’d met a dear friend.

He and Joan played at two of our events at the river, and another at the performing arts center in Luray. Each performance was special, and folks who had the good fortune of listening to them walked away richer for the experience.

We shared some stages together in West Virginia, and while on the road in that region, the Pitzer farm became our home-away-from-home. His hospitality was warmer than a fresh buttered biscuit, right out of the oven. And when dinner was done, and the dishes put away, the instruments came out. My oh my – did we have fun. Some of the best music I ever played was with Keith – he was such an accomplished musician, he brought out the best in me. And we laughed. Oh, did we laugh. I love him for it.

While driving today, taking care of some Christmas errands, Bobbi and I were amazed by the amount of snow still on the ground from this past weekend’s blizzard. We saw many cars still snowed-in, and many by-roads that looked impassable. Bobbi mentioned that it reminded her of Keith’s instrumental, “Loudon County Snow”. He wrote the song some years ago while at Drew McKnight’s place. They were snowed in that weekend and hadn’t much else to do except play music. Apparently, the snow brought out something deep within Keith’s soul. If you’ve ever heard him and Joan play it, you’ll understand. Quite simply, it’s a masterpiece of picking. How strange, and perhaps fitting, that he passed while so many of us were snowed in again.

There will be no public ceremony for Keith in the coming days. Rather, Joan and the boys will mourn with loved ones for a while, and in the Spring, host a celebration of his life at the family farm that he so dearly loved. As Joan told me this morning, Keith wouldn’t want a mournful event. Rather, a celebration is in order. And the timing of Spring will be just right. It’s a time of new life. No, gentle people, we don’t have a date yet.

One last thing … Keith was the Executive Director of “Friends of the Cheat”. The Cheat River in West Virginia had been abused and pillaged by industry for years. “Friends of the Cheat” are dedicated to restoring it and protecting its future. Keith took his job seriously and loved that river. So, rather than flowers or sympathy cards, I ask you, on behalf of Joan and the boys, to send a small donation in Keith’s honor to:

Friends of the Cheat
119 South Price Street
Suite 206
Kingwood, WV 26537-1478

I can hear Keith’s voice now – “Shucks Pops, just a couple of bucks each from a slew of caring folks could make a big difference”. You’re right, Keith – it would.

He was one of the gentlest souls I’ve ever met, and having him for a friend made me a richer man.

Your friend in loss,


Pops Walker

Monday, December 21, 2009

Author Ed Davis announces new blog

Ed Davis, author of I Was So Much Older Then and The Measure of Everything, has announced a new blog connected to his website. We have a link to it here, but you can visit it directly at authoreddavis.blogspot.com and subscribe to receive an e-mail when there’s a new posting.

New entries, just posted, include:

December 18, 2009: Free Fiction Writing Workshop to be offered in February at Blue Jacket Books in Xenia

December 17, 2009: Anatomy of a Reading: What I learned from a recent innovative literary event at Tipp City Public Library

Archived postings include:

July 30, 2009: Antioch Writers’ Workshop 2009. Words and wisdom of the workshop’s star, poet-teacher Rebecca McClanahan.

August 13, 2009: More on Writers’ Workshops. Valuable or destructive? Should workshops “fix” poems and stories?

August 26, 2009: One-Minute Muse. Meeting the literary giant who changed my life.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Greatest Nerdy Gift Books in the Galaxy

Naturally, we at WV Writers think you should consult our own gift guide for all your holiday purchases. However, website io9 has offered their own take for the scifi/ fantasty/ horror/ writer-in-training aficionado in your life, as well.

Find it HERE.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reminder: Doug Van Gundy appearance tonight in Morgantown

(This news courtesy of Morgantown Poets)

Poet, musician, teacher and Pushcart Prize nominee Doug Van Gundy will be featured with Morgantown Poets at 7 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 17).

The reading at Monongalia Arts Center (MAC) is free and open to the public. The MAC is at 107 High Street, downtown Morgantown (beside Hotel Morgan).

Van Gundy's poems, “Engineers” and “The Return of the Almighty,” were nominated for Pushcart Prizes this year. His first book of poems, "A Life Above Water," was published in 2007 by Red Hen Press.

The author's poems and essays have appeared in many journals including The Oxford American, Ecotone, Waccamaw, The Louisville Review and The Fretboard Journal.

A graduate of the Goddard College Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, Van Gundy has been a visiting poet at Randolph-Macon College, Barton College, Coastal Carolina University and Davis & Elkins College. The author was recently an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. He has been a panelist at The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) and South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) conferences, and has read at various venues across the United States.

In addition to being a writer and teacher, Van Gundy is a well-known traditional musician. He plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo in the old-time music duo, Born Old.

Van Gundy teaches writing at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon.

Public parking is available near the MAC in the parking garage at the corner of Pleasant and Chestnut streets and at the city lot behind 142 High Street (enter off Spruce). The MAC is accessible to individuals with special mobility requirements. Please schedule ahead at least seven days prior to the event by calling 30... , or write to info@monartscenter.com.

Morgantown Poets is an informal, all-volunteer community group that meets from 7-9 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at MAC, providing literary enthusiasts in north-central West Virginia the opportunity to express themselves, share their work, network and to connect up-and-coming writers with more established authors. New writers are welcome. Meetings usually begin with a spoken reading by a featured author followed by readings from attendees.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Morgantown Poets wants people to be aware we are now in winter driving season and encourages everyone to exercise caution. Please do not to attempt to drive to an event if road conditions are (or may become) hazardous. Remember, Morgantown Poets hosts an event every month. Thus, no one should feel any pressure to attempt to drive to any particular event if road conditions are hazardous. Safety first!

Join the group on Facebook by entering “Morgantown Poets” in Facebook’s search. Or join Morgantown Poets mailing list by writing to morgantownpoets@yahoo.com or the listserve at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/motownpoetry.

Doug Van Gundy on the Web: http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/doug_van_gundy/index.shtml

An interesting fundraising/book promotion combo

Author Alan DeNero has come up with a novel way of promoting not only his novel Total Oblivion, More or Less, but also to raise funds for a worthy cause at the same time. He's doing it with the help of his readers.

Read on to find out the details courtesy of the website io9.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Family of Sicilians reviewed

GoodReads.com posted a review of the book A Family of Sicilians, written by WV Writers' own Sal Buttaci.

Find the review HERE.

Friday, December 11, 2009

WVW Podcast: Lee Maynard Recorded Live Reading

Our 6th WVW Podcast Bonus Show is now online. It features a recorded live reading from Lee Maynard's appearance at the WV Book Festival, in October. Mr. Maynard reads the first chapter of his new novel-in-memoir-form The Pale Light of Sunset: Scattershots and Hallucinations in an Imagined Life, published by West Virginia University Press.

Be sure to also check out Episodes 21 and 22 for parts 1 and 2 of our podcast of the conversation between Lee and Cat Pleska.

Get the Lee Maynard Recorded Live Reading HERE.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Granny Sue's new CD reviewed


WVW's own Granny Sue Holstein's has a new CD out entitled Beyond the Grave, Ghost Stories and Ballads from the Mountains. A review of it written by Matthew Burns has been posted to his Appalachian Lifestyles blog.

Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Article regarding WVW's New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest

WVW's Regional Representative for Region 10 (Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral & Morgan counties) has penned an article for the Martinsburg Journal about WVW's New Mountain Voices Student Writing Contest.

Check it out HERE.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Uncle Terry's Gift Ideas from WV Authors List 2009

UPDATED 12/10/09

  • `Seeking the Swan' by West Virginia Writers, Inc.
  • Everything I Know’ and Tips and Techniques Workbook by Sandy Tritt
  • `Oscar and the Rainbow' by Marilyn McIntosh Blair
  • The West Virginia Encyclopedia, Ken Sullivan, editor
  • The Pale Light of Sunset’, ‘Crum’, Screamin’ with the Cannibals' by Lee Maynard
  • Journey of the Snow Goose’ and ‘No Name Harbor’ by Barbery Chaapel
  • I Saw God Dancing’ by Cheryl Denise
  • `Jewels in Our Crown: the State Parks of West Virginia' by Maureen Crockett
  • `Hometown Reunion' by Pam Andrews (a.k.a. Pam Hanson)
  • ‘Crum’ and ‘Lost Highway’ (audiobooks) by Ross Ballard
  • PSI Blue' by Rob Walker
  • `A Family of Sicilians' by Sal Buttaci
  • The Tree of the Nevee: A Kabbalistic Story of Elijah the Wizard’ by Jerry Blair
  • Chick Flicks’ by Barbara Smith’
  • `Arrivederci, Recipes and Customs Every Italian Girl Takes From Home' by Rosalyn Queen Alonso
  • Feast of the Seven Fishes' by Robert Tinnell
  • ‘The Rock and the Pebble’ by Mark Defoe
  • `Mountain Voices' by The members of the WV Writers Roundtable
  • `Black Days, Black Dust' by Armstead and S.L. Gardner
  • `Return to Io' by Henry Palek
  • `Surviving Mae West' by Priscilla Rodd
  • ‘Family Spirit’ by Jill Decker
  • `Bad Dragonflies' (children’s) C.S. Davidson (all proceeds benefit St. Judes!
  • `Sarah Beth, Eat Your Broccoli!’ and `A Child Shall Lead Them' by Nancy Merical
  • `Wild Sweet Notes I & II ' by ……everyone
  • To Keep The South Manitou Light ’ and ‘Golden Delicious: A Cinderella Apple Story' and `The Life of St. Brigid' by Anna Egan Smucker
  • Blood Kin and Other Strangers’ by Patsy Pittman
  • `My.th' by Boyd Carr
  • `Legends: Profiles of West Virginia University Basketball' by Norman Julian
  • `Clarksburg' by Robert StealeyClarksburg' by Robert Stealey
  • `The Well Ain't Dry Yet,' `The Bingo Cheaters,' and `Buckle Up, Buttercup' by Belinda Anderson
  • `Risk, Return, and the Indigo Autumn' by Tim McGhee
  • `Lake Effect' by Laura Treacy Bentley (poetry)
  • `The Green Rolling Hills: Writings from West Virginia' edited by V.J. Banis (anthology, various authors, included) or from Amazon.
  • `Echoes of a Woman’s Soul' by Dianna Doles Petry
  • ‘Bit and Pieces’ and ‘Peripheral Visions’ by Robert Flanagan
  • `Alzheimer's Care with Dignity' by Frank Fuerst
  • `The Transparent Feather' by Barbara June Appelgren
  • `Creighten’s Crossroads' and `Howard Hill' by Betty Larosa
  • `Silent No More' by Krista Fink
  • 'Life's Second Chances' and 'Thoughts From Within' by Debra Quick
  • `Beached in the Hourglass' illustrated by the author, Ethan Fischer and available from: The Bunny & the Crocodile Press, shops near Shepherdstown)
  • `In the Heart of the Hills: A Novel in Stories' by Dwight Harshbarger
  • `Eyes in the Attic' by Nadine McKinney
  • `Down Life's Path with Mom and Dad' by Nancy Merical
  • `Bequest for Nathan' `Azariah's Legacy' by Lois Casto
  • `the Almost Christmas Pony' by Ruth Lynn Kirk
  • `Short and Simple Annals: Poems About Appalachia' and `Llewellyn McKernan's Greatest Hits' by Llewellyn McKernan
  • `Scrambled Eggs at Midnight,' `Dream Factory,' and `Jars of Glass' by Brad Barkley
  • `Beyond the Grave, Ghost Stories from the Mountains' CD of stories by Granny Sue Holstein

  • While you’re finishing up your holiday shopping, don’t forget to support these WV Writer, Inc. authors. And don’t forget to stop at your local bookstores: Tamarack, James and Law, Borders, B & N, Frog Creek Books, the Open Book in Lewisburg, McClain’s Printing, Vandalia Press, Main Line Books, …to name just a few. This is where you might find these books! You may also send links if you have a website as a sales tool. Be happy to post it. Thanks.

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009

    Doug Van Gundy Reading

    Poet, musician, teacher and Pushcart Prize nominee Doug Van Gundy will be featured with Morgantown Poets at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17.

    The reading at Monongalia Arts Center (MAC) is free and open to the public. The MAC is at 107 High Street, downtown Morgantown (beside Hotel Morgan).

    Van Gundy's poems, “Engineers” and “The Return of the Almighty,” were nominated for Pushcart Prizes this year. His first book of poems, "A Life Above Water," was published in 2007 by Red Hen Press.

    The author's poems and essays have appeared in many journals including The Oxford American, Ecotone, Waccamaw, The Louisville Review and The Fretboard Journal.

    A graduate of the Goddard College Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, Van Gundy has been a visiting poet at Randolph-Macon College, Barton College, Coastal Carolina University and Davis & Elkins College. The author was recently an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. He has been a panelist at The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) and South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) conferences, and has read at various venues across the United States.

    In addition to being a writer and teacher, Van Gundy is a well-known traditional musician. He plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo in the old-time music duo, Born Old.

    Van Gundy teaches writing at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon.

    Public parking is available near the MAC in the parking garage at the corner of Pleasant and Chestnut streets and at the city lot behind 142 High Street (enter off Spruce). The MAC is accessible to individuals with special mobility requirements. Please schedule ahead at least seven days prior to the event by calling 30... , or write to info@monartscenter.com.

    Morgantown Poets is an informal community group that meets from 7-9 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at MAC, providing literary enthusiasts in north-central West Virginia the opportunity to express themselves, share their work, network and to connect up-and-coming writers with more established authors. New writers are welcome. Meetings usually begin with a spoken reading by a featured author followed by readings from attendees.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Morgantown Poets wants people to be aware we are now in winter driving season and encourages everyone to exercise caution. Please do not to attempt to drive to an event if road conditions are (or may become) hazardous. Remember, Morgantown Poets hosts an event every month. Thus, no one should feel any pressure to attempt to drive to any particular event if road conditions are hazardous. Safety first!

    Join the group on Facebook by entering “Morgantown Poets” in Facebook’s search. Or join Morgantown Poets mailing list by writing to morgantownpoets@yahoo.com or the listserve at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/motownpoetry.

    Doug Van Gundy on the Web: http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/doug_van_gundy/index.shtml