Gator Talk Newsletter, September 2011
GATOR TALK, SEPTEMBER 2011
While reading one of my screenplays, someone compared my writing, or maybe it was my story line, to Mel Brooks. Since I don’t really care for Mel Brooks’ style, I don’t know how to take that although I’m sure the reader meant it to be a compliment. (It’s a big compliment when you think about it.) Finding this ironic, I’m feeling somewhat unconventional this month. So, in this newsletter I’m marketing our group!
Not only are thousands of websites and other resources available for you, we have some too. Since our meetings restrict our time to discuss these, here is some useful information. Pick one, pick two, pick all of them. Just give it a try.
Our Blog – When you submit something to Jessica, she posts it on our group’s blog on the Internet for anyone to read. Each piece stands on its own. The word limit is 500 words and the topic must reference writing. She does a fantastic job of mixing the blog up with different members, and she is always in need of something new. Check it out. Don’t be afraid. In the end, you might just like it.
Our “On the Wall” Contest – During our conference, we attach one page (with the writer’s name on the back so readers can’t see whom they are reading) to a wall for attendees to read and vote on their favorite. The winner receives free registration to the conference the following year, a prize worth $40. The premise is to capture a reader’s attention with your best first page. Our secretary, Linda Todd, is the contact person. Since our conference is in two months, you must submit by November 6th. The guidelines are on our registration form.
Gator Bites – Also during our conference, we stuff attendees’ bags with “goodies.” One of these goodies is a tri-fold pamphlet filled with members’ stories. I distributed last year’s Gator Bites at our meeting last month. To be fair and include more than a few authors, each submission must be 250 words or less. Depending on when you get this newsletter, you may still have time to participate. You must hurry. The deadline is September 6th. Jessica is the point of contact. Unlike our blog, there is no central theme. Write about whatever you want, just adhere to the word limit and other guidelines. This is a great way to get exposure. You never know who will read your work or where your words will end up!
Our Newsletter – If you don’t want to “toot” your own horn by sharing any publishing news, or maybe you don’t have any yet, you can always share your favorite book or interesting website, interview, quote, or advice with Jan. As our newsletter editor, she has an important job of keeping us all abreast with great information.
As you can see, we have opportunities! Get involved in your group. Don’t be a wallflower waiting for something to happen. We’re all here for each other, so be active and make something happen.
~ Sherry Perkins, President
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT OUR NEXT MEETING?
September 3 – our speaker will be Linda Yezak; we’ll have conference brochures!
October 1 – our speaker will be Wendy Lanier, who took part in the panel discussion at the 2010 Bridge to Publication Conference
November 5 – OFFICER ELECTIONS; business/conference discussion and speaker, Leslie Berman, an attorney from New York City and Lake Charles
November 12 – BWG annual conference, A Bridge to Publication
December 3 – BWG annual Christmas party
January 7 – Curt Iles will be our speaker
QUOTE FOR THE MONTH:
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
~ Douglas Adams
The Calcasieu Parish Public Library and SWLA Genealogical and History Society has granted us permission to use the Carnegie meeting room for our monthly meetings at no cost to us. We would have had to pay $50 per month without the waiver. Thanks to Rodney Hennigan for taking the initiative and starting the process to receive the waiver.
Socializing and critique every Thursday 10 a.m. to noon at Stellar Beans on Broad Street. All writers welcome.
Officer elections are coming up, and we will need to elect a new, or reelect a sitting, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, historian, publicist, and newsletter editor. The newsletter editor will have to be new. I won’t be handling Gator Talk after the first of next year. Even if current officers plan to run for reelection, that doesn’t mean no one can run against them and give them a run for their money. We need members to step up.
Charlotte Levingston Metcalf passed away August 18, 2011. Charlotte was a long-time member of the group who had been living in Lafayette recently.
Angie Dilmore has a feature story called “9/11 — Ten Years Later” in the September issue of Boys’ Life and a meditation in the Sept/Oct issue of The Upper Room.
Jessica Ferguson and Linda Todd just got home from the Killer Nashville conference in Memphis, TN! Can’t wait to hear all their adventures.
Westbow Press will release Curt Iles’s latest novel in September. A Spent Bullet is set in southwest Louisiana during the months leading up to Pearl Harbor. A companion children’s book, Uncle Sam: A Horse’s Tale, is set for pre-Christmas release and tells the origins of Fort Polk’s wild horse herd. See www.creekbank.net for more details.
Congratulations to Stan Weeber, Ph.D., who won the 2011 President’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship at McNeese State University. The award was presented at the McNeese faculty retreat on August 10.
Check our website at http://bayouwritersgroup.com for a printable registration form, information about the On the Wall/First Page Contest, speaker bios, and conference schedule. Or check your email/junk mail. I sent most members a brochure as an attachment.
We need door prizes for the conference. If you can donate something (a book, of your own or by someone else), please do so. If you know of a business that can donate something, please speak to the manager/business owner. Items to ask for include, but aren’t limited to, books, writing supplies, gifts certificates, candy, chocolate, throw blankets, etc.
If you have a book you’d like to sell in the conference bookstore, please read this carefully:
Published authors who wish to include their books in the conference bookstore, please contact Cindy Giglio at Barnes & Noble in Beaumont, TX, email@example.com, with “Bayou Writers’ Conference” in the Subject line, or call B&N at 409-898-1111. Please Note: Barnes & Noble will only order books which have ISBNs and can be returned to the publisher if not sold. If your book does not meet both these conditions, please plan to bring your own books to sell in the bookstore. Thank you.
The Writing Life
Inspired by “Questions & Quandaries” by Brian A. Klems April 15, 2008:
Are you using trademarked brand names in your fiction or memoir—Coke, Pepsi, Google, Roller Blades? These and many other words are common in everyday speech, but be careful when you use them in your writing. You can use trademarked brand names, but unless it’s important to the story somehow, instead of saying, “I reached for a Kleenex,” say, “I reached for a tissue.” Don’t have your characters go roller-blading; put on Roller Blades and go in-line skating. Get the idea?
You do not have to use a trademark symbol, ™, unless you’re writing a formal business paper—it’s fiction, not a U.S. Supreme Court brief.
When you use a brand name, be polite: spell, capitalize, and punctuate it correctly.
Avoid using a specific product name (Kleenex) for a general term (tissue).
Not sure what is and isn’t a registered brand name? Consult a reference librarian or do an internet search—Google it!
Georgia Downer recommends Donna Tartt’s The Secret History as a can’t-put-downer. Pun intended.
Curt Iles recommends Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz, Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See, and The Elements of Style by Strunk & White.
◊ After being pulled over for speeding, your character finds something important while looking for her registration in the glove compartment.
(From Zachary Petit’s Writers Digest blog: www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/promptly.)
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