Sunday, August 29, 2010

Centre Cup on First Friday

Wheeling celebrates the First Friday of each month. First Friday promotes arts and culture combined with social networking. OV Writers Group members Rich Knoblich and Andy Fraenkel will be enjoying some storytelling time at the Centre Market coffee shop on Sept. 3 at 5:30. Hope you can come and enjoy some socializing with us this Fri.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

author's blog

The first chapter of Lynda Sasser Hill's debut mystery novel is available on her blog. Please check it out. Of course I like it because it centers around a race track. Reminds me a bit of Dick Francis. She is very active on her facebook and blog and is also on a book signing tour right now. She gave me permission to post her link to our blog.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

James F. Casto

James F. Casto from Huntington, WV spoke at the Wheeling Public Library last Tuesday.  He was a newspaper columnist with about 20 historical books to his credit.  His main topic was the 1937 Flood.

Two things that he mentioned stood out.  When he first started out as a journalist, he used the by-line Jim Casto on his very first article.  His editor told him that, if he only used that name as his by-line, he would probably wind up as a sportswriter.  From then on, he was James F. Casto.

One of his books that he penned was about the Tugboat industry.  His publisher talked him into buying the last 30 copies that they had left from the production run, meaning it was technically out-of-print.  But since everyone recently went to Print-On-Demand, he can get just a few more copies printed up and still make money on them.

To clarify the difference between the 1936 flood and the 1937 flood, the 1936 flood was much higher and caused more damage in the local area reaching a height of 55.1 ft in Wheeling. It was basically caused by an early snow melt in the mountains and occurred in March.

Only 10 months later, a massive storm came over the area and stayed for a while.  It caused more destruction down river in Huntington, Cincinnati, and Louisville.  This was in January, 1937.  It flooded again in Wheeling, but not as bad.  Of course coming so soon behind the other flood caused severe hardship on everyone affected.

We had a number of people in atendance that told us 1st person accounts of what happened when they were 7 and 8 years old.  This was when the Tabernacle building broke free and took 5 houses with it from Wheeling Island. 


In Cold Blood

There will be a book talk at the Bellaire Public Library at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 21st on the great true crime novel "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote.  Unfortunately, Mr. Capote won't be here.  The speaker will be John Whitehead, professor of fine arts at Wheeling Jesuit University.   The presentation is free and open to the public.  No reservations are needed.


August Meeting

We had a tremendous meeting this week with a total of 16 budding authors in attendance plus our guest speaker, John McCabe, from the Wheeling Newspapers.

We had a lot of new people due to Rich’s article being published in the newspaper last week with the time and place of the meetings.  Since this was the 1st Anniversary of the club, I believe that this was the most that we have had in attendance since 18 showed up at our very first meeting.

Congratulations are in order to Jo for landing the on-line free-lance assignment.  Thanks for the links, Jo.  Keep turning out the good work.  Those small remittances will soon add up to something substantial.

Jo mentioned that she had to use the AP Stylebook in her new assignment.  John McCabe repeated this advise.  This book can be purchased at .  It may be cheaper to buy a copy at Amazon or you can use an on-line version for any questions that may arise.  Per John McCabe, a new edition is published each year since changes are constantly made to it. 

John McCabe gave us some good guidance on writing for the newspaper.  The main thing deals with critical thinking – be skeptical about anything.  Don’t be afraid to dig deep for your assignment.  If you have an idea for an article, contact John McCabe or Mike Myers before you start your research.  They’ll point you in the right direction or tell you if it’s not right for the Wheeling Newspapers.  Remember there are other newspapers out there to pitch.  There is a Writers’ Digest with the contact info for any newspaper in the United States. 

Another helpful book that we discussed was CRAFTING SCENES by Raymond Obstfeld. 

Finally we had a sign-up sheet for Rich’s live readings that will begin with the next meeting.  We have a total of 10 on the sign-up sheet.  Remember to have your story ready by the next meeting.  You may not have to read it at the next meeting, but be prepared in case a lot of the people can’t make it.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Demand Studios

As I mentioned tonight at the meeting, I really encourage everyone to consider applying to Demand Studios. I have had a wonderful experience with them so far, and I've written six articles that have made it to publishing on To write for Livestrong, you have to have some health or science background, but Demand Studios also needs writers for other sites such as eHow and Answerbag. Just go to the site, and click on the "Now Hiring" button. You'll need a resume and a writing sample, but other than that, the application process is fairly straightforward. You'll also have to agree to their "contributor's agreement," but it's all pretty standard stuff. Please let me know if I can help in any way if you get stuck or have questions.

Here is the site:

Also, if you would like to see a sample of what I write for Livestrong, here are the links to a few of my articles. They put my name and photo at the bottom, and my bio is sometimes there (not sure why it doesn't always show up -- I assume it has something to do with whoever edits the article).

Good luck!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Free Online conference

I though someone may be interested in this.

CAUTION: This is not an endorsement. Check it out before you get involved. It sounds like a good thing.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Newspaper article: OV Writers Group Aug. 13, 2010

For those who missed the entire article as submitted here is the original version to enjoy. Rich K.

OV Writers Group Lending Support
Article: Rich Knoblich
Photo: by Bill Orkoskey
Imagine the glamor of being an author! The book tours, celebrity status, and rubbing elbows with the literati when your publisher announces to the media that your latest novel is being turned into yet another blockbuster movie project! Rumor has it that Oprah put you on her book club list. The money talk flows with the champagne at receptions. What will you wear to the book signing in LA? Excuse me, I better check the cellphone. It may be the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize people calling. It’s only Sis and you ease out of your Walter Mitty fantasy.
It seems many individuals have a desire to be published, not so much for the allure of fame and fortune, but for the personal satisfaction of having one’s work read by others. But time limitations and a lack of support puts a damper on their writing enthusiasm. The desire to be published remains an unfulfilled dream.
However, in August of 2009 a group of enthusiasts organized the first meeting of the Ohio Valley Writers Group. The informal group dedicates each monthly meeting to sharing information and experiences towards the goal of helping one another become published.  Among the nearly two dozen aspiring writers are Jomana Krupinski and Joanie Murray.
Although the members of the OV Writers possess various talents and expertise levels, Krupinski and Murray developed a common approach. Each looked to Writer’s Digest, a magazine ‘devoted to helping writers develop their craft and hone their publishing acumen.’ Since 1920 the company has encouraged writing and publishing through its monthly magazine. Yet, WD keeps up with technical advances and has evolved into an Internet presence with a website containing a discussion forum, on-line classes, an e-newsletter, writing links, and writing conference information.
Krupinski, who has a BS degree in Environmental Studies from Wheeling Jesuit University, wanted to expand on her education. Acknowledging a creative desire she regarded freelance writing as a viable alternative. It allowed her the flexibility to work at home, raise her two children, and continue her education.
After subscribing to WD magazine she quickly discovered the many course offerings on their website. Dozens of online classes were listed ranging from six to 15 weeks with reasonable costs. Coursework and communication support was done online with email support from a knowledgeable instructor. Encouraged by her husband Mark, Krupinski successfully tackled many course assignments about writing.
Encouraged after a couple of articles got published Krupinski then wanted to venture into fiction. “I always dreamed of becoming a novelist, and as soon as I found out Writer’s Digest offered a course on the fundamentals of fiction writing, I knew it would be perfect for me.”
The online class addressed setting, plot, and crafting scenes in the first week. The feedback received “was incredible and extremely thorough” with the instructor also considering grammar, voice and viewpoint. The critique, by an editor who had published thirteen novels, was done in a professional and supportive manner.
Joanie Murray caught Krupinski’s enthusiasm quickly and was impressed with the information offered on the magazine’s website. Her search revealed ‘The Editor’s Intensive,’ a weekend conference held in Cincinnati, OH.
After a registering she emailed her manuscript two weeks before the intensive began to allow the editors time to read and critique. An appointment for a 30 minute one-on-one critique was made the week before to accommodate each writer.
“I was hoping to learn the secret to landing an agent,” explained Joanie. She received, “Positive feedback on my work. Though I still have a great deal of work ahead of me, I feel I now have the tools to make my manuscript the best it can be. I knew I needed help to find the flaws in my work and get it publishable.” Also, Joanie learned she needed a good hook in a great query letter to gain the attention of an agent.
Now the hopeful authors have the support of a local writing group for direct face-to-face feedback. And with the perseverance these women are showing towards their writing, readers may soon enjoy a satisfying book from these aspiring Ohio Valley authors.
The OV Writers group is open to everybody interested in writing or publishing. The informal meetings are held at 7:00 PM the third Monday of each month at the Joe Muggs Cafe located within Books-a-Million at the Highlands in West Virginia. For information contact Rich Knoblich at or 304-232-6436.
Recommended Sites for:
Writing in general see Writer’s Digest - www.writers
Help on Children/Young Adult genres see - Alice Pope’s blog -
Literary agents see -
While Jomana Krupinski was a student in Wheeling Jesuit University’s MBA program she contributed to the book Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion by Edward Younkins. She has been published in several online magazines and contributed business articles for WJU’s website. She is currently working on a young adult novel Ordinary. awarded her second place in a contest for initial chapter.
Joanie Murray and her husband Bryan have been married for 13 years. She works as an office manager for DRD Consulting in St. Clairsville, OH. This Mount de Chantal graduate attended WVU and the Community College of Southern Nevada. She competes on the Hunter Circuit with their three horses. Two dogs and three cats help fill the house.
Rich Knoblich is author of Talking ‘bout the Relatives a collection of his award winning tall tales from the WV Liars Contest. He is currently working on a book of ghost stories and was the ‘Ghost Host’ for Steel City Bus Tours in Pittsburgh.

Next Meeting

Hi All
If anyone has a copy of the article that appeared in the paper on Friday, please bring it to the meeting.
Speaking of the paper - John McCabe, managing editor, will be there to answer questions and discuss opportunities for freelance writers.
Bring a friend.


Article in Wheeling News-Register

I just wanted to post that I saw the article in the newspaper today that Rich submitted (albeit a lot shorter, but hey, let's not complain, right?!). Nice job everybody -- we're officially "newsworthy!" See you on Monday, I hope -- my car will be in the shop, so I'm hoping to borrow my mom's truck to get up there. Have a great weekend!


Monday, August 2, 2010

For those who want to learn more about self-publishing

Writer's Digest is hosting a webinar this week for people who are interested in self-publishing. I thought it might be of interest to some of you:

I know sometimes the link doesn't work on the blog site, but I think you can copy and paste and it should be okay.

Happy writing!