Monday, July 31, 2006

Poetry workshop

Wisconsin Poet Joanne Flemming will lead a poetry writing workshop at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Apple Blossom Books, downtown Oshkosh. The workshop is free and open to new and experienced writers.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fall Writers Conference

The Wisconsin Regional Writers Association Fall Writers Conference will be held Sept. 22-24, 2006 at Ramada Inn of Janesville.

WRWA invites members, non-members, professionals, amateurs and students to attend our annual Fall Conference. Gather tips from nationally recognized speakers. Talk and share at a writers’ roundtable. Enjoy authors reading their work and shop at the book fair.


Chris Roerden, Voice—Sounds from the Submission Pile

Following a 40-year career as an editor, Chris Roerden, now an independent contract editor and publishing consultant speaks from experience as she advises writers how to have a stand-out voice that attracts an editor’s attention.

Jennifer Turner, Launching a Career, a Novel Journey

Award-winning author, Jennifer Turner, explains how her passion for storytelling, word smithing and scene crafting leads to adventure with a happy ending.

Jack Byrne, Literary Agents: Who, What, When, How and Why

Teacher and freelance writer turned literary agent, Jack Byrne answers the questions all writers ask about finding and working with agents.

Tom Montag, Writing Poetry Successfully: 99 Propositions

Poet and essayist, Tom Montag tells how personal experience influenced his writing. Tom has published five books and co-edited poets’ calendars.

Patricia Fry, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book

The author of hundreds of articles and twenty-four books, Patricia Fry speaks from experience. She provides editing and publishing services to writers.

Jack Magestro, Changing the Paradigm of Publishing

Author and acquisitions manager for a publisher, Jack Magestro addresses today’s publishing world where marketing and selling are as important as writing.


Visit, email

Or write Bette Williams, PO Box 115, Nashotah WI 53058.

Hotel reservations call 1-800-433-7787 or 608-756-2341 Ask for WRWA rate.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"Terrible Trouble"

Here's a link to a great article by James N. Frey (not the "Million Pieces" author) about how to begin a story with all the necessary background details but exciting enough to capture a reader's attention. Hint: begin with your character in "terrible trouble."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Bookstore closing

Book Warehouse, the discount bookstore on South Washburn in the Prime Outlets mall, is closing its doors. Currently, their entire stock of inventory is 20% off, with further reductions expected. They have not yet announced their last day of business.

Author Spotlight Schedule

The following is the current schedule for Author Spotlight, held during the second hour of our Saturday meetings. If you are signed up for a Spotlight, please remember to bring at at least 8 copies of your work to the prior meeting.

Aug. 5 - Bob B.
Aug. 19 - Tom C. (postponed from July 15).
Sept. 2 - Jim S.
Sept. 16 - Tom C.
Oct. 7 - Rachel C.
Oct. 21 - Stacie P.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Name Game

Need a name for your character? Try the Random Name Generator.

Pick the type of first name and type of last name from the drop down boxes, choose how many names you want returned, and hit go! You'll get a list of full names that are completely random.

You can choose to randomly generate both first and last names, or if you already have a name you like (either first or last) you can enter that and just randomly generate the other. Note: Remember to check the radio button if you decide to add your own name.

On the results page, if you see a name you like (either first or last), but don't like the other name it is paired with, click the name you like. This will return a list of names which includes your chosen name, while randomizing the other part of the name.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Usefulness of a Group

If you’re in a group and you’re at a standstill, step back and look at the big picture. Are you focusing too much on the so-called writing rules? Are you reading nearly exclusively in the same genre? Have you broadened your horizons and tried something new? Is the group as a whole pushing themselves to be better? Have you had that defining moment when you realized your group is holding you back?

Originally posted at Writeminded by Jan Kenny

Jan's post made me think. Is OAWC helping or hindering me? Are we on the same playing field? Do we have similar goals?

I have a few answers too.

Is OAWC helping or hindering me? Helping, definitely. I write more because I know that when I'm ready, I have people I can trust to share it with. I might not always agree with the answer I'm given. Either it doesn't fit with what I know is right for me, the piece or the genre. Just as often, I'm given an answer that blows me out of the water because it is so damn right.

Are we on the same playing field? Mostly. And where we aren't, we are good about explaining and helping. We celebrate successes, even the tiny ones, because everyone of us remembers what that tiny one feels like, the first time it is reached.

Do we have similar goals? Yes, and no. Most of us want to improve our writing (at the very least, we want to make sure it sounds okay to someone other than ourselves.) Publication is a goal for the majority, but publication means different things to each of us.

Our strength, I believe, lies in acknowledging of our differences, especially for that last point. Making my living by my writing is my ultimate goal. I'd love to leave my day job and be a mid-list author. The big dream is having the breakout novel that puts my name in everyone's mouth. But I respect those who want to leave their memories behind, whether they are prose or poetry. When I offer advice, I try to keep their goal in mind, not mine.

I admire the Writeminded group, who posed the original question. Five women decided that they wanted to take their writing to the next level. To earn contracts. To be published. The road has been bumpy, but they've stuck together.

Our group is always open. Not everyone stays. But the regulars, and those that will become regulars, are becoming the kind of group that Writeminded started as. It gives me great hope that we are headed in the right direction.

Race you there.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Actor Dan Fitzgerald

Actor Dan Fitzgerald is returning to Oshkosh, his hometown, for his class reunion and two book signings. With roles in 39 feature films and numerous TV credits over the last thirty years, Fitzgerald has met his share of stars and gained an insider’s perspective on the film industry. His autobiography, “Stars in My Eyes: An Odyssey from Oshkosh”, was published in 2005.

He will be signing copies of his book at Paper Tiger on Monday, July 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. and at the Oshkosh Public Library on Wednesday, July 12 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Copies will be on sale at both locations during the signing.

The Clearing

The Clearing, in beautiful Door County, offers the following upcoming classes that are of interest to writers. For non-writing classes, fees and other information, please click here.

Expanding the Reach of Poetry
July 16-22
Instructor: Ellen Kort

Seasons of a Journal
August 6 - August 12
Instructor: Darlene Cole

Writing From Your Life
August 13 - August 19
Instructor: Jerry Apps

Short Story Magic
August 27 - September 2
Instructor: John Lehman

Sunday, July 02, 2006


S L Viehl, aka Lynn Viehl, recent interviewee of Word Nerd, posted ten links to assist with dialogue, including advice about the pesky -ly description versus action.

Paperback Writer regularly posts a "Top Ten" list of some writing related advice. Her blog is definitely worth keeping an eye on, if you aren't already.