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Monday, September 28, 2009

Change in Meeting Site for Coffee and Critique - Rendezvous Cafe

From Donna:

Hi Everyone,

First, I apologize to everyone who did not get the word last week that we were trying a new place or whose names I left of the e-mail about the meeting change, especially Doyle and Darrell (I'm not sure about your spelling) who showed up at Barnes and Noble.

Tomorrow we are again going to meet at the Rendezvous Cafe on Main Street in O'Fallon from 10 am to noon.

If you plan to read, please bring at least 10 copies--no more than 5 pages, double-spaced.

If I've forgotten to include anyone, please send to them.

Thanks. Hope to see you tomorrow.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Open-Mic Coffeehouse This Week

St. Charles Community College is hosting their first open-mic coffeehouse of the Fall semester this Thursday, September 24, 2009. Come by and share your work (3-5 minutes worth) or just sit back and soak up the inspiration. Bonus - free coffee and cookies. This event is free and open to the public.

The SCC Coffeehouse meets from 7-9 p.m. in the auditorium of the Daniel J. Conoyer Social Sciences Building.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't Forget the Writer Mama Book Giveaway Going on Now

Christina Katz is still distributing free books over at the Writer Mama blog with her Back-to-School Giveaways. Pop over and leave your comment of at least 50 words on the question of the day, and you're eligible to win.

Today's book is Chapter by Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams by Heather Sellers.

As the McMann would say, you can't win if you don't enter...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Glimmer Train Contest for Unfinished Stories: Best Start Fiction Contest

If you're like me, finishing a short story can seem an almost insurmountable challenge. The pressure to get it all done perfectly can be paralyzing. But Glimmer Train has a contest for the story stuck among us.

Their Best Start Fiction Contest asks for an excerpt from your story. It doesn't have to be a finished work! Send in the part you have perfected. I have no more excuses. Damn you, Glimmer Train.

This is an outstanding literary magazine, and if you're a short story writer, I heartily recommend you subscribe to see the great work out there today. I'm off to renew mine.

Contest Deadlines are Midnight Pacific Time:
1st Contest Period: September 1 - September 30
Next Contest Period: December 1 - December 31

Length: 1,000 words maximum

Reading Fee: $10 per story

Prize: $50 for the best 50 story excerpts

From the website:
"Best Start is meant to encourage new writers to tackle that story!
This category is different from our others in that the piece should be an engaging and coherent narrative, but it does not need to be a complete story; it needs to be an important part of a story in progress. You could think of it as a writing sample, but we hope you'll feel free to reach a bit. Maybe you're experimenting with a new voice, developing a character, working on clarity in a complex bit of plot or trying to make your dialogue believable and significant. You could be playing with point of view, working to build tension, or looking for a satisfying ending. Or you might be two pages into something brand new.

What we want is to read is an engaging slice of a story you're excited about writing.
All pieces should be original fiction and not have appeared in a print publication.
No fiction for children, please.
It's fine to submit more than one piece."

Start your submission here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dirt is Good For You Now Available on Amazon

Yeah! Dirt is Good For You, the book with my essay in it, is now available for order on

Here's to "bad parents" everywhere.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Children's Writing Workshop from WOW: Women on Writing

Here's an online workshop opportunity from WOW Women on Writing taught by my writer pal Margo Dill.

WRITING FOR CHILDREN: Everything You Need to Know About Short Stories, Articles, and Fillers by Margo L. Dill

START DATE: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DURATION: 7 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will teach the basics of writing for children’s magazines, crafting short stories, nonfiction articles, poetry, and fillers. The student will come away with a short story and cover letter, nonfiction query letter, and a filler or poem. She will also have a list of potential markets, fitting her manuscripts. The instructor will also share an organizational tool for submissions and information on finding other children’s writers and networking.

COST: $200

Not a children's writer? They also have a ton of other online workshops to choose from including fiction and magazine writing classes. Scroll down to see the choices.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Researchers Say Zombies Would be Tough Opponents

Some of you have read my WIP and know I have a thing for zombie lore, so this story made me grin. Some Canadian researchers have studied how a zombie infestations should be fought. Get out your bats and shotguns ladies and gentlemen, or we are all doomed.

I recommend you prepare here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Kind of Year It's Been

I have of late--but wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.

Like Hamlet, I am whiner.