Gator Talk Newsletter, June 2012
June 2012 Issue
Sherry Perkins, President
Believe it or not, our conference is fast approaching. I met Chris today with the last of this year’s grant applications. Since she lives in Moss Bluff, and I live in DeRidder, we met in Ragley. This was the third time we’ve met. She actually came to my house and I went to her house too, but those are different stories. All this running around so our group can get money to help support the conference. It’s daunting but fun and internally rewarding at the same time. For all the efforts which go on behind the scenes, you should really consider coming.
Speaking of the conference in November, I know it’s June, but I want to give you heads up on a lot of good information since time at our meetings are cut short for speakers. For those who have never attended a conference, it’s sooo much fun.
We get to mingle, visit, buy books, eat lunch, win door prizes, read pages of good stories, and listen to experts! Our “Best First-Page Contest” generates lots of entries and plenty of conversation. Best of all, the event lasts all day! Yes, all day.
Dr. Stella Nesanovich of Lake Charles will speak on poetry. Lafayette author Deborah LeBlanc will discuss fiction writing. Literary Agent Brooks Sherman of NYC will tell us a thing or two about agents and will receive one-on-one pitches. I’ll get you the details about what he’s looking for so you can pitch if your manuscript falls under one of his many categories. Nacogdoches author and Editor Linda Yezak (pronounced yes + sick, not yeezack) will advise us on the editing process, and Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy will speak on not only poetry but also folktelling! Dr. Saloy is a faculty member at Dillard University in New Orleans. Can you believe it? All these speakers will visit us all day.
The reason I’m elaborating on these details is because I want you to make plans now to attend. Start getting your manuscript in order for Brooks Sherman. Put some money away for the book store to buy books from our members. You know the ones you always want but, like me, keep forgetting to bring money to the meetings. Work on your submission for the “Best First-Page Contest.” The winning writer receives free admission to next year’s conference. Compose something for the 2012 Gator Bites. Pass a scholarship application to one of your friends who may be experiencing financial difficulty, or keep it for yourself. Remember, all applicants are confidential. I will be the only one to know who applies. I’m not even disclosing the names to Randy and Pam, the other “Scholarship Committee” members.
Our marketing campaign begins soon, but I want you to know all the details first in case someone asks you! After all, you’re a member of Bayou Writers’ Group and should know what your board members are doing behind the scenes. November will be here before we know it. Man, that’s scary. Don’t forget to visit our website and direct your friends to www.bayouwritersgroup.com. Also, Sylvia is always looking for something new to put on the blog. Come on, what are you waiting for? Get involved!
Gator Talk Editor’s Note______________________________
Not Another Social Media!
I recently joined Pinterest after reading this article by author Jody Hedlund; a writer I greatly admire. I also read this article by agent Rachelle Gardner. If you have not read these articles, or researched this medium, here are just a few reasons you might want to consider joining Pinterest:
1) This infographic by TalkingFinger shows how important Pinterest is becoming:
• It has 1.36 million users DAILY.
• It generates more traffic to websites than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.
• There is a 145% daily user increase since the beginning of 2012.
• Over one-fifth of connected Facebook users are on Pinterest daily (which amounts to over 2 million people).
And here’s another insightful infographic: Interest in Pinterest Reaches a Fever Pitch.
2) Pinterest provides key visual stimuli. A recent study shows that Pinterest drives more revenue per click than Twitter or Facebook.
3) Pinterest puts us into contact with more people than our followers. Every time you pin something that is “categorized” it will show up in that particular category under the “Everything” list which anyone can access. That means your pin has the potential to reach more than your followers.
4) Pinterest allows us to connect with readers in a unique way. On Pinterest, readers will get a better picture of my interests as well as my works. My boards display my love of reading, writing, creating, teaching, beauty and chocolate. I invite you to stop by and see what all the fuss is about.
(You need an invitation to join so ask a friend or colleague who is already a member).
- Sylvia Ney, Gator Talk Editor
What’s Happening at Our Next Meeting_________________
June 2 – Mike Jones – American Press writer will be discussing his approach to writing history.
July 7 – No speakers – On the Bayou – 5 minute readership. Please bring something to read aloud if you would like some feedback. Depending upon the number of readers, we may be able to devote up to 10 minutes to each person. Goal is to get some feedback/critique/see what’s working and/or not working on a particular piece. If you have nothing you’re working on, then show your support by listening to others.
Nov 10 – CONFERENCE
Quotes for the Month_________________________________
“Writers aren’t exactly people…they’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”
“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”
BWG Members – Some members already have their interviews posted on our blog with links to their social sites and books for sale. You can read them by clicking the “BWG Members” link under the banner. Don’t forget to return your interview if you have not done so yet.
Angie Kay Dilmore - She won second places in both the Juvenile Short Fiction and Picture Book categories at the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation conference on May 5th. She’s been writing cover stories for Jambalaya News and feature stories for Lagniappe magazine.
Marsha Kushner – hosted Leslie Berman’s Legal Workshop at her home on May 12th.
James Mitchell – The June issue of Bayou Bucks Magazine will have an article he wrote on the 2012 turkey season in Louisiana. This issue should hit the stands located in various restaurants, sporting goods stores and bait shops in southern Louisiana. It is a free magazine about Louisiana hunting.
Jan Rider Newman and Jessica Ferguson published the third Swamp Lily Review May 6, featuring an interview Jan did with Tony Kushner. See http://swamplily.com.
Sherry Perkins – On May 15th, she attended the Teen Writers’ Group at Central Library where teens read aloud some of their work. She read too.
EVIL INSIDE – YUREI PRESS http://yureipress.com/ – Deadline: June 15, 2012. We are a Speculative Fiction market. Speculative means genres like Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Fear, Steampunk, Alternate Worlds, Sword and Sorcery, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, and any other similar trope. We also publish some Romance, but usually in conjunction with some speculative element. Starting July 2012, we will be publishing one genre anthology per quarter. Current Theme: Stories that instill a feeling of dread or foreboding. Something evil is contained, but someone releases it by accident. Feel free to explore different avenues. Is evil contained in an abandoned factory? How about a shoebox at the top of Grandma’s closet, or the new kid on the block? How does it get released, and what happens thereafter. Authors submit only one story per anthology. Stories must be from 500 to 4,500 words. Unpublished works paid $25, reprints $15. Accepting four dark poems, minimum 15 lines. Pays $10.
THE FABRI PRIZE http://boazpublishing.tumblr.com/fabriprize – NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline for entry is June 15, 2012. Submit the first 50 to 100 pages of your unpublished novel in pdf or Word file format. There is never a fee to enter. The 2012 prizewinner will receive a publishing contract with a $7,500 advance and a $5,000 marketing budget. The winning novel will be published in the Spring of 2013 in a hardcover or trade paperback edition by Counterpoint/Softskull Press and distributed to the book trade by Publishers Group West. The contest is open to American novelists. Submitted manuscripts must be unpublished and written for educated adults with broad interests. Excluded from consideration are books for children or young adults and books that are focused on the religious market.
A MIDSUMMER TALE http://tclj.toasted-cheese.com/contest.htm#amt – NO ENTRY FEE. A Midsummer Tale is open to non-genre fiction and creative nonfiction. Stories entered in A Midsummer Tale should take place during a warm time of the year. The theme of the 2012 A Midsummer Tale writing contest is: Snail Mail. Length: 1,000 words minimum; 5,000 words maximum. Deadline June 21, 2012. Winning stories are published in the September issue of Toasted Cheese. If 50 or fewer eligible entries are received, first place receives a $35 Amazon gift card & second a $10 Amazon gift card. If 51 or more eligible entries are received, first place receives a $50 Amazon gift card, second a $15 Amazon gift
card & third a $10 Amazon gift card.
PINT AND PEN http://bukowskitavern.net/cambridge/events – NO ENTRY FEE. Submission deadline Monday, June 18, 2012. Announcement Party Tuesday, June 26, 2012. Stories must include the words: PINT, PEN, BUKOWSKI, and HARPOON. 500-750 words in any form of prose (short story, poetry, screenplay, etc…) Entries must be typed. Contestants must be 21 years of age or older. You can’t work here. And you gotta drop it off here or at Bukowski Boston. First Prize: $2,500. Second Prize: $1,000.
WRITING CLASSES FOR KIDS AND ADULTS FREE WRITING COMPETITION http://writingclassesforkids.com/ – Our Second Quarter writing competition is now open and the THEME for this competition is belonging and displacement. Your submissions must be fiction but they can be in any genre (although picture books are excluded from this particular competition). This is a FREE competition so no entry fee is payable. Entries will be accepted in the following categories: Children aged 8 to 12, Teens aged 13 to 17 and Adult category aged 18 and over. Limited to one entry per person. Prizes awarded in each category will include books and 5-page manuscript assessments. All children and teens who enter will receive a certificate even if they are not a major prize winner. Deadline June 30, 2012.
BLUE MOUNTAIN POETRY CARD CONTEST http://www.sps.com/poetry/index.html – NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline June 30, 2012. 1st prize: $300. 2nd prize: $150. 3rd prize: $50. In addition, the winning poems will be displayed on our website sps.com. Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.
FIRSTLINE ARTICLE CONTEST http://tinyurl.com/cjsjgn5 – NO ENTRY FEE. We know you’ve got something to say about life in practice or your role in cultivating the human-animal bond, so spill it. Enter the Firstline 2012 article contest, and you could take home $300–plus bragging rights that your entry made it into the pages of our magazine. Write an article 500 to 2,000 words in length concerning the topic of life for veterinarians and veterinary team members and/or the human-animal bond between veterinarians, veterinary team members, clients, and patients. Submit your article by emailing email@example.com with the subject line “Firstline 2012 Article Contest.” Deadline June 30, 2012.
OZ FICTION CONTEST http://hungrytigerpress.blogspot.com/2012/04/oz-fiction-contest-at-winkie-con-2012.html NO ENTRY FEE – $100 First Prize, $50 Second Prize. Maximum count 10,000 words. Deadline June 30, 2012. “Oz Fiction” is defined as any story about or pertaining to the Land of Oz as originally created by author L. Frank Baum in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels, but stories need not be confined to Baum’s vision. Submissions about or pertaining to the Land of Oz in any of its forms will be accepted. Stories may follow on from Oz books, Oz plays, Oz movies, Magic Land, or any other fictional version of Oz.
Chicken Soup for the Soul – Parenthood They always say it’s the best job and the worst job. But basically it’s the best! We are looking for your stories about parenting – the hard work, the joy, the unconditional love, the funny times and the occasional sad ones too. Whether you’re a new parent of one or an “experienced” parent of several, by birth, by marriage, by adoption, or by fostering, tell us your stories about parenthood. Funny stories, stories that will make us tear up, stories with nuggets of great advice – all your anecdotes are welcome. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is June 30, 2012.
MARY BALLARD POETRY CHAPBOOK PRIZE http://caseyshaypress.blogspot.com/2012/04/2013-mary-ballard-poetry-chapbook-prize.html – NO ENTRY FEE – The winner of the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize will receive $500, 25 printed copies of the chapbook, and a book contract for the sale of physical and electronic versions of the chapbook. Deadline June 30, 2012. Manuscripts may be either a collection
of poems or one long poem and should be a minimum of 20 pages and a maximum of 40 pages.
Chicken Soup for the Soul – Inspiration for Writers Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, books or articles, paranormal or romance, the process is equally challenging. Thus, it’s important to learn from others who have made the transition from dreaming about writing to being a writer. If this describes you, we want to hear about your setbacks, breakthroughs, and successes. How did you overcome writer’s block? Who or what encouraged you when you were about to give up? When did you realize that your story was ready to be shared with the world? This is your opportunity to help other writers — published and unpublished — draw inspiration and learn from your journey to publication (including self-publishing and blogging). The deadline date for story and poem submissions is June 30, 2012.
In the interest of “a little” brevity, I am not listing markets this month since I provided so many submission opportunities. However, if you are looking for some markets, please email me. I would be happy to provide you with some.
The Writing Life_____________________________________
At the May BWG meeting, Jerry Craven spoke with us about submitting work to several of his publications. Please visit his web page to learn more.
BWG members meet every Thursday 10 a.m. to noon at Stellar Beans on Broad Street for socializing and critiques.
If you are interested in starting an online critique group, please email Sylvia Ney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BWG applies for grants in order to fund our annual conference. To learn more specifics: http://bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/2012/04/grants-are-our-friends.html
Louisiana Bound, a new book publisher and literary journal yielded from LSU Press and The Southern Review: http://blog.lsupress.org/
Be sure to stay abreast of current publishing trends by subscribing to writers magazines such as Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Poets & Writers, Poetry and Writers’ Forum.
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown – One SEAL’s Extraordinary Tale. This inspiring true story recounts one soldier’s journey from reckless youth to elite Navy SEAL. Eric Blehm (the author of ”The Last Season,” a Discover Award winner) relates the moving tale of how Adam Brown found his calling, and made the ultimate sacrifice for comrades and country.
The Columbus Affair – An Explosive 500-Year-Old Secret Revealed by Steve Berry. Disgraced journalist Tom Sagan has no interest in the ancient mysteries buried with his father — until his daughter’s life is at stake. To save her he must crisscross the globe to unlock the secret left behind by the world’s most famous explorer. It’s an edge-of-the-seat intrigue from a master of the form.
Home – Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s new novel introduces a Korean War vet whose return presents trials fiercer than the firefights of combat. Physically and emotionally scarred, Frank Money now must rescue his sister and confront the racism he’d left behind. It’s a masterfully composed and deeply moving story.
Sherry Perkins recommends The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx. Be forewarned, it is a graphic tale of the downward spiral of a rock star. Although she’s not a Motley Crue fan (heavy metal band of the 80s), she says she cannot put this book down. Not for teenagers/children. (explicit language and adult situations) Normally not the kind of book she reads, but she is taking Mark Harris’ advice to “read different things.”
1.) You’ve just moved into a new house and are fixing it up. In the process of painting you find an odd crack in the wall. As you explore further, you find out it’s a secret passageway—and you have no idea where it leads. You decide to grab a flashlight and go exploring.
2.) You open the mail and receive a letter from one of your favorite childhood toys, explaining what the toy has been up to all these years since you have moved on. Some of it comes as a shock to you. What’s even more shocking is the reason the toy is contacting you.
3.) You and a friend have just finished a lovely meal at your favorite restaurant. But things take a turn when you notice that the waiter has scribbled an unexpected—and startling—message on your bill. Write this scene.