Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Book Recommendation for Novelists

Hi OV Writer Friends,

This is Jason Pyles writing from Salt Lake City. For the novelists of the group, I found a how-to book series that I love! I recommend checking out this book:

It was published in 2005 and is part of the Square One Writers Guides series.

Anyway, I love having a concrete to-do list of instructions, without a lot of flowery, filler tangents. I hate most how-to books because they're too long-winded and fluffy. They spend too much time trying to tell stories and be cute; whereas, this book spells out cold, hard reality (a.k.a. what you're up against) and gives you direct instructions on what to do next.

Perhaps it just speaks to my personal learning style, but you should check it out, if you get a chance.

Happy writing!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rich and Andy

If anyone missed reading Linda Comins GRAPEVINE column in this Sunday’s Wheeling News-Register, Rich and Andy will be holding workshops for the Mountain State Storytelling Institute on the Fairmont State University Campus this coming Friday and Saturday, March 26-27.  Wish I could be there, but I’m working both days.

The article also mentions Andy’s upcoming appearance at the Ohio County Public Library on May 18th.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Meeting of March 15th

Thanks, Joanie, for bringing us up-to-date on the Cincinnati Writers Digest Conference, both in your blog and your report at our meeting. It shows that there is hope and that success may be just around the corner.

Since both Jo and Joanie have used the Writers Digest to further their writing careers, it was suggested that a newspaper article be prepared concerning their efforts. Rich has agreed to take on this task. It will be good publicity for the group and for the individuals involved.

I passed out a short story of what happened to me this winter. Rich gave me a good lead on finding an outlet for it.

Fred brought up that the Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster, PA is coming up soon. Since this isn't exactly close to our area, we may want to wait for next year's conference to be held in Pittsburgh. Pennwriters also has put out feelers for our loose-knit club to join them. There does not seem to be any benefits for us. Fred is doing some further checking on this.

Our next meeting will be April 19th at Highlands Books-A-Million at 7:00 pm. Remember to invite anybody else who may be interested in joining or furthering our careers.

There are some interesting Lunch with Books at the Ohio County Public Library coming up including our very own Andy Fraenkel on May 18th. Attached is a copy of the current schedule:


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Editor's Intensive

Hi Everybody,

Bill asked me to write a little bit about the Writer's Digest Editor's Intensive I attended last weekend in Cincinatti. I got a lot out of it and would encourage anyone who has a manuscript of any genre completed or at least fifty pages, to attend one of these. For me, having a 30 minute one on one with an editor to go over my work and give very specific advice on how to make it better was worth every penny. Where else can you go and get your work critiqued by a professional plus learn the ins and outs of blogging, tweeting and facebooking- platform building? I had a good experience but I have much work ahead of me to get my manuscript up to par. The great thing is now I know what I need to do to make my work more appealing to agents. I'll share a few tips now that I didn't get to in our meeting last night. Here are 5 ways you can meet agents:
1. At conferences
2. Through referrels (sp)?
3. Publishing credits. In other words, try to get articles or short stories published in magazines. Many times agents will seek you out.
4. Through writing contests
5. Through submissions/queries

It was suggested not to query any more than 5-7 agents at one time. If you get no's from those 5-7, it's time to revise something. There is so much more information to share. I will make copies of the hand-outs I received if any one would like a copy. I will bring them to our next meeting.
OK, so here's one more tip, Fred. One editor said the biggest turn-off for him when reading a manuscript is TOO MUCH PASSIVE VOICE. He suggested going back and underlining every was and is and adding action instead. I would be happy to go into more (editor's)turn-offs at our next meeting if any one is interested. Happy blogging!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Writer's Digest Writing Prompt

Okay everybody, here's our writing prompt for this month:

Your Story #25: April Fool's Day Joke

Two boys attempt to pull an April Fool's Day joke on a female classmate, only to find out that she's the one fooling them.

Unfortunately, the deadline for the contest is April 10, and we won't be meeting until the following week. But I think anyone who wants to enter the contest should, and we can just share our stories at the next meeting. If nothing else, at least we'll be motivating ourselves to practice!

The stories should be 750 words or less, and you can find more details about the contest at:


Good luck and have fun!

Monday, March 1, 2010

See You on March 15

Since there was no response to possible March 1 meeting, I assume it is off. As if the snow isn't enough, I have sickness in the family. See you all on March 15. Good Luck Joanie.