Friday, August 26, 2005

What do you want to talk about?

The Thursday Technique Workshops have been great and I would like to continue our round table discussions, but need your help. As I plan additional workshops for 2006, I'd love to know what topics interest you most.

Is there a topic or problem that you've been wanting to discuss with your fellow writers? I'm willing to research and bring handouts, but need to know what will best meet your needs.

Thanks for your ideas! You can either post your comments by clicking "Comments" at the bottom of this entry or e-mail your ideas to the Oshkosh Area Writers Club.

The discussion topics for the remainder of this year are:

October 13: Grammar Tips
November 10: Creating Dialogue
December 8: Changing Point of View

Stacie P.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wanted: Volunteer Reporter

We are currently in need of a member to submit quarterly briefs to the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association newsletter regarding club activities. The WRWA promotes the Oshkosh Area Writers Club on their web site and in their newsletter.

If you are interested in this writing assignment, please e-mail the Oshkosh Area Writers Club or call (920) 231-6182.

In addition to publishing a quarterly newsletter, the WRWA sponsors contests, conferences and more! Membership is $25/year.

"Bare Books"

Treetop Publishing offers “bare books,” books with blank pages bound like a “real” book. The books come in various sizes and there are several bindings to choose from. Make a prototype of your children’s book or create a diary, sketch book or notepad specific to your personal needs. Prices start at $.85 each.

Browse the catalog online at or or order a free catalog by calling 1-800-255-9228.

Celebrating Two Years!

The Oshkosh Area Writers Club will celebrate its second anniversary at the 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 meeting. Members are asked to bring a snack to pass; door prizes will be awarded.

We will take this time to re-introduce ourselves, discuss how our writing is going, what stumbling blocks or successes we have encountered, and how the club can better serve the needs of its members. If you've been thinking about attending a meeting, this would be an ideal time!

The writers club started in September 2003 for those interested in creative writing. The purpose of the club is to inspire and motivate members to write; share information regarding writing and publishing; and to provide a supportive forum for constructive feedback. Membership is free and open to anyone 17 years or older.

Critique sessions are held at 10 a.m. the first and third Saturday of each month; writing workshops are held at 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month. All meetings are held in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Ave. From time to time, we hold open mic poetry readings, have guest speakers and carpool to area writing conferences.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Amazon Shorts

Amazon Shorts, an entirely new way for customers to enjoy their favorite authors, was unveiled today. For 49 cents, readers can enjoy short stories from established and new authors. The stories are delivered electronically and can be saved or printed for the reader’s convenience.

Customers will find a variety of titles from accomplished authors in a diverse array of genres and formats, including alternate chapters and scenes to well-known stories, personal memoirs about everything from food poisoning to contact lenses to potty training, one-act plays, and, of course, classic short stories.

For more information on how to purchase a story or submit one for sale, please visit

Aestival Festival deadline

The deadline to attend the Aestival Festival is August 31. The writers conference, held at Menasha Public Library on Sept. 10, is open to writers of high school age and older. For more information, please visit the Menasha Public Library website.

Club members who want to carpool to the event will meet at the edge of the parking lot of Festival Foods by 8 a.m.

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Cup of Comfort

A Cup of Comfort is calling for submissions for two new titles: A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers and A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Autism.

Like the Chicken Soup series, A Cup of Comfort is an analogy of "compelling true stories about the experiences and relationships that inspire and enrich our lives. These engaging personal essays — written by people from all walks of life — are carefully selected for inclusion in A Cup of Comfort based on originality, creativity, emotional impact, and substance."

For submission guidelines and other uncoming titles, please click here.

UW Press poetry contests

University of Wisconsin Press's Brittingham Prize in Poetry and Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry open on Sept. 1. Deadline for both contests: Oct. 1.

From their web site: These prizes, each consisting of a $1,000 cash award and publication by the Press, are awarded annually to the two best book-length manuscripts of original poetry submitted in an open competition. Each manuscript submitted will be considered for both prizes. There are no restrictions on the kind of poetry or subject matter, although translations are not acceptable. The winners will be announced and the prizes awarded in February of each calendar year, with publishing contracts to follow soon thereafter.

Click here for submission guidelines.


Attention life story writers: Reminisce, the national magazine "that brings back more good times," is looking for contributors! Share personal memories and photos of days gone by.

For sample stories and submission guidelines, go to Reminisce and click on "Contributor Guidelines."

BTW - This is a great magazine to read if you're writing a period piece or simply interested in the details of everyday life of past generations.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Meeting Reminder

The Oshkosh Area Writers Club will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. Items on the agenda include the Aestival Festival on Sept. 10; author visit Michael Perry on Sept. 22; and the Wisconsin Book Festival in October.

Reminder: If you would like a writing critique, please bring 8 copies of your work.

As usual, the meeting is free and open to anyone age 17 or older. For more information, please call Ruth at 231-6182.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Recommended Book

Writer's block? Out of ideas? Try The Official Movie Plot Generator by Jason and Justin Heimburg (2004). The pages consist of three vertical panels which can be randomly flipped to create over 27,000 plot combinations. The top panel describes a setting and protagonist; the second panel describes an action or conflict, and the third panel adds a little spice.

Some blockbuster movies of the future may include:
  1. A flamboyantly gay hairdresser travels through time in order to pay off a gambling debt.

  2. A burned-out hippie hits the karaoke circuit with a wise-cracking robot.

  3. An ancient and powerfull wizard becomes a nanny for a conservative aristocratic family in 1954 Baltimore (based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel).

To "sample" the book, go to


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Book Review: "Off Main Street"

The August 2005 issue of The Valley Scene features a book review of Michael Perry's "Off Main Street." Pick up a copy of The Scene or read the review here.

Perry will speak and sign books at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Oshkosh Public Library.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Michael Perry coming to Oshkosh

It's official! Wisconsin author Michael Perry will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Oshkosh Public Library; a book signing will be held at the end of the evening. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Better still, Perry has agreed to dine with members of the Oshkosh Area Writers Club prior to his talk. (More details to follow!)

Perry is the author of "Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time" and has published in magazines including Newsweek, Salon, Utne and Esquire. His essays can be heard on Wisconsin and Minnesota public radio. When he's not writing, Perry contributes humor to the local fire department by being the first volunteer fireman in village history to miss the monthly meeting because of a poetry reading.

His newest title, "Off Main Street: Barnstormers, Prophets & Gatemouth's Gator," contains essays about life in small towns, on the road, and around the world. Topics include:

  • A traveling butcher whose daughter is in desperate need of a kidney

  • A heartwarming and breaking Christmas story set on a fleet of country music tour buses

  • The kidnapping of a giant Big Boy statue in Toledo

  • The goofy cultural significance of America’s water towers

  • Bunking beside a prostitute in Central America

  • Gearjammers” essays on hitching with truckers in a convoy and life on the road

  • Perry's book are available for purchase at The Paper Tiger or from his website: And of course, you can check them for free from the Oshkosh Public Library.

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Write for Letterman

    Late Night offers a weekly "Top Ten" comedy writing contest, where would-be comedians like yourself add a line to a Top Ten topic. Although CBS retains all rights, winners get a weekly prize and bragging rights. For the current topic, past contest winners, and an online submission form, visit David Letterman's "Late Show Top Ten" Contest.