• Gator Talk

    Posted on January 22, 2012 by Bayou Writer in Gator Talk Newsletter, General.

     

    To receive current Gator Talk newsletters please contact bayouwritersgroup@gmail.com for membership information.

     

     January 2013 Issue

    President’s Column – “Good Words & Other Good Stuff”__

     

    First, let me thank the Bayou Writers Group for the honor and opportunity to serve as President for 2013. Traditionally, a “President’s Message” is included in an organization’s newsletter. I don’t want to bore the group with my rantings, so I’ve included (what I think are) some fun writing related things instead. Each month I’ll submit “Good Words & Other Good Stuff”. Ten of my favorite words, and a few other items, I hope you’ll be able to incorporate into your own work.

    1. Dun – brownish gray color

    2. Machiavellian – deceit, cunning and unscrupulous behavior

    3. Portico – a porch; walkway covered by roof supported by beams, leading to a building

    4. Vehement – done forcefully, or with passion, as in “a vehement denial”

    5. Abase – to humble or degrade someone or something

    6. Ambivalent – indecisive, having uncertain or conflicting feelings

    7. Euphemism – inoffensive synonym used to replace an offensive or unpleasant word or phrase

    8. Scintillating - shiny or sparkly, dazzling

    9. Sanguine – personality: confident, cheerfully hopeful or optimistic; complexion: ruddy

    10. Fecund – fruitful, as in vegetation or offspring

     

    1. Astrology vs. Astronomy: Astrology is fortune-telling or divination by supposed effects of positions of celestial bodies on human beings. Astronomy is the scientific study of universe.

    2. GREAT “People watching sites”: Food court at the mall, bars, church (don’t take writing notes during the preaching. HA!), and the park.

    3. “Now what do I do with all those people/personality profiles?” Glad you asked!  Set up computer files, grouping them for easy access. Male/female, old/young, etc. For example, “baby male”, “elderly woman”, “toddler generic”.

    4. Keep a small notebook handy as you read. When a particular word or phrase catches your eye, jot it down for later use in your own writing.

    5. My favorite quote: “The secret to success as a writer is the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” – Ron Franscell, newspaperman and award winning author.

    More next month! Hope y’all… ENJOY!

    -       Randy Dupre

    President

    Gator Talk Editor’s Note______________________________

    New Year’s Resolutions – we hear about them every year. While it’s always a good idea to write out your life’s goal, have you written out your writing goals?

    Some writer goals may include daily word counts, monthly submissions goals, markets to tackle or even research to complete. No matter what level you consider yourself (beginner or professional) here are four matters to attend to this year.

    1)    Talent – the size of your writing gift doesn’t matter. You can always learn or improve. If you’re a beginner, you are probably overwhelmed on where to begin. Whether this is true or you’re a more advanced author, I suggest reading or revisiting both Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. These two books are as much biographical and philosophical as they are lessons for the writer.

    2)     Agent – Make this the year you get an agent. Research who represents your favorite authors – this can usually be found in the acknowledgments sections of the book, but you can also find out on the internet. Use search sites such as http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/ , http://www.writersmarket.com/ , and http://absolutewrite.com/ to view reviews of agents in your genre. PLEASE be sure to review an agents personal website and submission guidelines before you contact them.

    3)    Publisher – Whether you have chosen the self-publishing route or not, it’s always a good idea to attempt traditional publishers. More and more authors and agents are suggesting you publish both routes.

    4)    Platform – An agent or publisher wants to see you can market and sell yourself before they put any of their own work and money into you. It’s about visibility and requires a focus on developing an unobstructed back and forth between authors and their readers, with the authors — not the publishers — controlling the flow. So get on facebook, twitter, pinterest, LinkedIn, get a blog or a website or do a combination.

    As with everything else in life, you’ll need to find a balance for your time. And remember, even the best writers have days when their resolutions flounder. Each day is a new beginning – make them count. Happy New Year!

    -       Sylvia Ney

    Gator Talk Editor

    Member News_______________________________________

    2013 BWG Officers –

    President - Randy Dupre
    Vice Pres. – Chris Baldauf
    Secretary – Georgia Downer
    Treasurer – Sherry Perkins
    Publicist – Cliff Seiber
    Newsletter Editor – Sylvia Ney
    Member At Large – Beth Savoie
    Historian – Julia Rodriguez

     

    Willis Abshire – his novel The Curse, the Diary and the Cross can be purchased through Westbow Press through the book store in soft cover, hard cover and ebook distribution. It will also be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million and various other online book distributors.

    Sherry Perkins – Her book of poems and short stories “The Red Book” will soon be available for $8.00 from her and will also be available on Amazon and Kindle.

    Rachel Windham – her children’s book on prayer and the accompanying coloring book about listening to God are now available for $15.

     

    Submission Opportunities_____________________________

    2013 NARRATIVE TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST http://www.transitionsabroad.com/information/writers/travel_writing_contest.shtml#contest_guidelines NO ENTRY FEE. The theme for this year’s contest begins with the experience of traveling to new locations, meeting local people, and immersing yourself in an empathetic manner within local culture(s) in an era in which it seems everything has been materially “discovered,” either virtually or physically. We are not looking for destination pieces which describe in flowery “amazing” terms your experience, nor are we looking for travelogues or blog-like posts which are too overly personal and self-involved to necessarily resonate with others on their own paths of discovery. We are looking for inspirational pieces which will lead others to experience the sense of engagement as a global citizen. Accompanying photos which enhance the narrative are highly preferred. Photojournalistic essays or accompanying videos will also be considered, and humor is appreciated where appropriate. The first-place winner’s entry will receive $500 (USD), the second-place winning entry $150, and the third-place winner $100. Any other articles selected as runner-ups will receive a $50 payment. Open to any nationality. Deadline January 5, 2013.

    ELLEN MELOY FUND FOR DESERT WRITERS http://www.ellenmeloy.com/the-award.html NO ENTRY FEE. The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers grants one $3,000 award in the spring of each year. Only literary or creative nonfiction proposals will be considered. No fiction or poetry proposals will be reviewed. The Fund supports writing that combines an engaging individual voice, literary sensibility, imagination and intellectual rigor to bring new perspectives and deeper meaning to the body of desert literature. All applications will be reviewed through a peer-panel process. Deadline January 15, 2013.

    CHA POETRY CONTEST http://asiancha.blogspot.hk/2012/11/cha-betrayal-poery-contest.html NO ENTRY FEE. This contest is run by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. It is for unpublished poems about “Betrayal.” Each poet can submit up to two poems (no more than 80 lines long each). Poems must be previously unpublished. Deadline January 15, 2013. First: £85, Second: £55, Third: £35, Highly Commended (up to 5): £15 each. (Payable through PayPal.) All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the March 2013 issue of Cha.

    PREMIERE STAGES PLAY FESTIVAL AT KEAN UNIVERSITY http://www.kean.edu/premierestages NO ENTRY FEE. Seeking unproduced scripts from playwrights born or currently residing in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Festival winner will be awarded $2,000 and a full Equity production in Premiere’s 2013 season. The runner-up will receive $750 and a 29-hour Staged Reading; two other writers will receive Staged Readings in March and $500. Scripts must be full-length, unproduced and unpublished, and have a cast size of no more than eight. No musicals. Agents may submit full scripts; playwrights should submit script sample and synopsis. Deadline: January 15, 2013.

    NAUTILUS BOOK AWARDS http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/ A unique awards program that recognizes books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living and positive social change. We also value books that stimulate the imagination and offer the reader new possibilities for a better life and a better world. Gold and Silver awards are given to books of exceptional merit that make a literary and heartfelt contribution to the fields of high-level wellness, green values and responsible leadership, as well as to the worlds of art, creativity and inspiration. Deadline January 31, 2013. Cash Prizes will be given to Grand Winners selected from each of three areas: I. Core Categories, II. Children / Teen / Young Adult, III. Small Press

    Markets____________________________________________

    CAT FANCY http://www.catchannel.com/magazines/catfancy/writers_guidelines.aspx We are open to working with new contributors and fresh voices in addition to drawing from a talented crop of established contributors. Each month, we provide our readers with a mix of informative articles on various topics, including breed profiles, feline health, nutrition, grooming, behavior, training, as well as lifestyle and special interest articles on cat culture, the human-animal bond and personalities. Length: 100-1,000 words. Query first.

    CLUBHOUSE http://www.clubhousemagazine.com/submission-guidelines Focus on the Family Clubhouse readers are 8- to 12-year-old boys and girls who desire to know more about God and the Bible. Their parents want wholesome, educational material with Scriptural or moral insight. The kids want excitement, adventure, action, humor or mystery. Your job as a writer is to please both the parent and child with each article. Generally 15 to 25 cents a word. $200 and up for feature-length fiction stories. $150+ for nonfiction stories.

    COUNTRY WOMAN http://www.countrywomanmagazine.com/contributor-guidelines/ Country Woman is a bimonthly magazine with subscribers across the United States and Canada. Published since 1970 for women who live in or long for the country, this magazine celebrates their diversity, strength and spirit. Positive, upbeat, entertaining and informative, Country Woman reflects the many roles and interests of its readers through profiles of women and their lifestyle.

    DIABETES HEALTH http://www.diabeteshealth.com/company/submission-guidelines.html Diabetes Health accepts solicited submissions from contributing writers for feature-length stories. Our feature stories run at a maximum of 1,500 words. Features should have at least three to five outside sources. We also accept shorter opinion pieces, columns (500 words each) and letters to the editor. Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes—both newly diagnosed and experienced—as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.

    DOLLARS & SENSE http://www.dollarsandsense.org/write.html Dollars & Sense is a progressive economics magazine that explains in a popular way both the workings of the economy and struggles to change it. Articles may be on the environment, community organizing,
    urban conflict, inflation, unemployment, union reform, welfare, changes in government regulation… a broad range of topics that have an economic theme.

    The Writing Life_____________________________________

    BWG members meet every Thursday 10 a.m. to noon at Stellar Beans on Broad Street for socializing and critiques.

    Louisiana Bound, a new book publisher and literary journal yielded from LSU Press and The Southern Review: http://blog.lsupress.org/

    BWGLogo Contest – deadline has been extended to February – please see blog for more information: http://www.bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com/p/logo-contest.html

    Recommended Reading_______________________________

    1)    The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe – “What are you reading?” That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne is diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying. Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.

    2)    Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham – In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power. Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, and Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove over and over again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

    3)    The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce – The book that inspired the Academy Award–winning short film, from New York Times bestselling author and beloved visionary William Joyce. Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books. But every story has its upsets. Everything in Morris Lessmore’s life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds. But the power of story will save the day. Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children’s literature, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today’s world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it’s story that we truly celebrate—and this story, no matter how you tell it, begs to be read again and again.

     

    Writing Prompts_____________________________________

    1)    Write a scene in which your character uncovers a secret about his or her family history, including the true meaning of his or her name.

    2)    Write a scene in which your character’s physical attributes either enhance or interfere with his or her professional abilities.

    3)    Your protagonist’s car breaks down along a country road late at night. In the distance the protagonist sees another car driving toward him/her quickly, loud rock music blaring from the windows. What does your protagonist do?

     

     

    October 2011

    President’s Column

    “Outside Opportunities”

    Last month I shared submission opportunities within our group.  This month, I thought I’d share some outside the group.  Unfortunately, I haven’t given out submission opportunities at our monthly meetings like Jessica did in the past.  Although Jan includes these in the newsletter, with limited space she can only list a few.  Peruse the list below and see if something grabs you.  See each website for further details.

    5X5 Magazine, www.5x5litmag.org, accepts photography, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  Published on a quarterly basis, with quarterly topics.  Pays with a contributor’s copy and a one-year subscription.  Also accepts student submissions.

    The First Line, www.thefirstline.com, has a quarterly publication and accepts prose.  A first line of text is given, and each submission must start with that line; hence the title The First Line.  Pays with a contributor copy.

    Necon Ebooks, www.neconebooks.com, has a monthly horror contest for flash fiction.  Your submission must be 100 words or less.  If your piece is selected for publication, it is posted on their website for a month and each month’s winners are included in an anthology at the end of the year.  Monthly topics change.

    Louisiana Life magazine, www.louisianalife.com, a monthly general-interest magazine devoted to all things Louisiana.

    Country Roads magazine, www.countryroadsmagazine.com, a monthly publication about happenings in and around Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Natchez, MS.  They sponsor a free writing contest each spring and publish the winning stories in the publication.

    Louisiana Road Trips magazine, www.laroadtrips.com, a monthly magazine from the northern part of the state.  Accepts travel, humor, historical, and pretty much anything dealing with Louisiana.  Pays $20 an article.

    Now, I’ve saved the best for last:

    Swamp Lily Review, www.swamplily.com, an online Louisiana journal published biannually with our very own Jessica Ferguson and Jan Rider Newman at the helm.  They accept photography, poetry, and prose.

    These are only seven, but with thousands of places for you to find a home for your stories, your photos, and your poetry, take a chance and query an editor.  Send your stuff out there.  “No,” is the worse thing that can happen.  On the other hand… what if they say, “Yes!”?

    ~ Sherry Perkins, President

    WHAT’S HAPPENING AT OUR NEXT MEETING?

    October 1 – our speaker will be Linda Yezak, rescheduled from the September meeting

    November 5OFFICER ELECTIONS; business/conference discussion, and speaker, Wendy Lanier, who took part in the panel discussion at the 2010 Bridge to Publication Conference

    November 12 – BWG annual conference, A Bridge to Publication

    December 3 – BWG annual Christmas party

    January 7 – our own Curt Iles will speak

     

    QUOTE FOR THE MONTH:  “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

    ~ Ray Bradbury

    Member News

    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!!!!

    Stan Weeber, Ph.D., has published again:  “Terrorism and Extremism.” Pp. 225-238 in William J. Chambliss (Ed.) Crime and Criminal Behavior. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2011.

    Michele Abshire has her own column in Gumbeaux magazine. Michele’s writing is Christian & spiritual.

    Jessica Ferguson will teach a Leisure Learning course at McNeese in the basics of nonfiction writing. The dates for the course are (Tuesdays) October 11, 18, 25, & November 1, 8, & 15; hours are 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The class meets in the McNeese Room at the Frazier Memorial Library on campus. During this 6-week course students will learn by doing, discuss and research markets for their work, and come away with the fundamentals of freelance writing for magazines and newspapers. Cost is $69 before September 27, $79 after that date. Email jessyferguson@gmail.com for more information. P.S. She isn’t moving to Mississippi!

    Linda Todd sent off the first 25 pages of her novel to The Permanent Press as instructed by the editor she met at Killer Nashville. Linda now has a blog called “An Incurable Itch,” which she is learning how to use.

    Stan Klemetson submitted several poems to an annual conference in Utah and has been editing some stories. He says:  “Since we bought an older home two months ago most of my time has been spent on the remodeling. We should move in this weekend, but the work could go on for another month. I have been reading some of the books that Jess recommended about writing.”

    Conference News

    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, crm2127@bn.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

    Why do you write what you write? Be one of the first four (4) members at the meeting Saturday, October 1, to hand me a typed paragraph that answers that question will win a book. Disclaimers:  1) Obviously, if you are the fourth, you’ll have the take the last book. [But you might talk someone else into trading if you really hate yours. J]   2)  If you’re fifth in line . . . sorry!

    Recommended Reading

    Pat Marcantel is reading the following—quite a list! Her special favorites are marked with an asterisk:

    Growing Up by Russell Baker (prize-winning memoir)*

    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruin*

    The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer

    I Called Him Dancer by G. Edward Snipes

    Your Book Starts Here by Mary Carroll Moore*

    The Art of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg*

    You Can Write Children’s Books by Tracey E. Dils

    and last, a cliche’-filled book that

    surprised me by being a very good read!

    Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin*

    Marcia Dutton is reading a trilogy by Susanne Collins:  The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Walking Jay, true page turners. The U.S. and its people no longer exist. It is part of a world run by a government which completely rules the lives of each and every individual. In order instill fear of defiance, the government arbitrarily kills any person who threatens its control in any way. The story follows a strong girl who defies the government. Exciting and plausibly written with an underlying love story.  A movie is in the offing.

    Marcia’s also reading I Was Born Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago. This descriptive, interesting, and critically acclaimed memoir follows the life and development of a young girl growing up in extreme poverty in a family of loving, but troubled, parents. This strong, spirited girl eventually ends up at Harvard.

    Linda Todd recommends The 3 A.M. Epiphany and The 4 A.M. Breakthrough by Brian  Kitely, full of unusual writing exercises for fiction writers.

    Writing Prompts

    ◊  Write a fortune cookie poem, “a very brief poem that either forecasts the reader’s future or imparts some life advice (can be profound, mind scrambling, or funny).”

    (From Poetic Asides by Robert Lee Brewer, September 14, 2011:  http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/ poetic-asides/poetry-prompts/wednesday-poetry-prompts-149.)

    ◊  Write a letter of rejection to your past self, explaining why you needed to go through the rough patches that complicated your life the past few years to grow as a writer.

    (From Writers Digest blog:  http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/rejection-letter-to-your-past-self)

    2011 Officers/Board Members

    Sherry Perkins, President                                                        Linda F. Todd, Secretary
    Marsha Kushner, Vice President                                            Georgia Downer, Treasurer
    Jan Rider Newman, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster               Luke Saucier, Publicity Chair
    Marcia Dutton, Historian                                                        Lori Leger, Member-at-Large
    Meeting Schedule:  unless otherwise noted, Bayou Writers Group meets the first Saturday of every month, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in the Carnegie Memorial Library meeting room, 411 Pujo Street, Lake Charles, LA (corner of Pujo and Bilbo Streets). We have lunch after every meeting at Ryan’s Family Restaurant on Ryan Street across from K-Mart.
    Guests are welcome and may attend two (2) free meetings before being required to pay dues.

    September 2011

    President’s Column

    “Inside Chances”

    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 5OFFICER 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

    Member News

     

    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.

    Conference News

    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, crm2127@bn.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!

    Recommended Reading

    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.

     

    Writing Prompts

    ◊  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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