Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Writer's Digest Poetry Contest

Writer's Digest has announced the only Writer's Digest competition exclusively for poets! Regardless of style—rhyming, free verse, haiku and more—if your poems are 32 lines or fewer, we want them all.

Entry Deadline: Wednesday, December 20, 2006.


First Place: $500; Second Place: $250; Third Place: $100; Fourth Through Tenth Place: $25; Eleventh Through Twenty-Fifth Place: $50 gift certificate for Writer's Digest Books.

Competition Rules

1. The competition is open to poems 32 lines or fewer. Entries longer than 32 lines will be automatically disqualified. Each poem must be self-contained and must be titled. Style and subject matter are open. Type the line count on a separate cover sheet along with your name, address, phone number and email address. Entries received with names and other identifying information on the poems will be disqualified.

2. Entrants must be 16 years of age or older.

3. Entry fee: $10 for first poem, $5 for each additional poem. You may enter as many poems as you wish, but all poems must be entered at the same time. If you enter one poem or batch of poems and then submit another entry later, you must again pay the full entry fee of $10 for the first poem, $5 for each additional poem. You may send one check (in U.S. funds) and one entry form for a single entry or batch of entries.

4. All entries must be in English, original, unpublished, and not submitted elsewhere until the winners are announced. "Unpublished" means poems may not have appeared in print or on the Internet for public consumption (i.e., poems posted on a public forum or on your Web site may not be entered). Writer's Digest reserves the one-time publication rights to the 1st through 25th-place winning entries to be published in a Writer's Digest publication.

5. If you are submitting your entry via regular mail, all entries must be on one side of 8-1/2 x 11 or A4 white paper. Unusual typefaces, colors, and graphics should not be used. Poems will not be returned so keep a copy for your records.

6. Entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, December 20, 2006. Online entries will close after midnight EST on December 20.

7. Winners will be notified by March 1, 2007. If you have not been contacted by this date, you may assume that your entry is not a finalist and may be marketed elsewhere.

8. Winners' names will appear in the August 2007 issue of Writer's Digest magazine. Their names and poem titles will be posted at www.writersdigest.com.

Entry Form

To submit your entry online, visit their secure online entry form.

To enter via regular mail, use the printable form, and send it with your entries and entry fee to:

Writer's Digest Poetry Awards
4700 E. Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236


Good luck to our friends who are participating in National Novel Writing Month!

NaNoWriMo is an annual challenge where participants write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November; or about 6-7 pages per day. Obviously, quality is not an issue. The main idea is get into the habit of writing every day and to learn how to write fast without that voice in your head judging every word.

If this sounds like fun, it's not too late to register! To do so, visit: http://www.nanowrimo.org

As in years past, Stacie P. is our regional contact: oshkosh_wi@nanowrimo.org

Next Meeting - Deadline

Our next meeting is 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Ave.

This meeting is the DEADLINE for submissions to the OAWC Anthology. If you would like to be included in the book, please follow the guidelines below:

There is no theme and we will accept all genres; essay, poetry, short story, non-fiction, etc.

Word limit is 3000 words or 10 pages (can be one long piece or several shorter pieces of writing).

In addition to your submission, please write a bio about yourself in 100 words or less.

We reserve the right to decline a submission and/or change the guidelines as needed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Teen Lit Group

Young adult/chick lit novelist Sarah Mlynowski has created a MySpace Teen Lit group -a place for readers and writers of teen fiction to meet. Writers can post book info, event info and new covers. Readers can ask all those questions you've been wondering...about books you've read, books you're thinking about reading, or about writing in general. To visit the site, go to: http://groups.myspace.com/teenlit

Help Write a Teen Story

From October 17th to December 15th, HarperTeen editors and a panel of bestselling authors (Meg Cabot!) invite you to join thousands of readers online to collectively create an original short story—one chapter at a time.

It’s easy to get involved. Just register for the event, and then follow the weekly schedule to participate. You can submit chapters, vote for your favorites, or just browse and get writing tips and feedback from HarperTeen editors and bestselling authors, including Meg Cabot, Rachel Vail, Jodi Lynn Anderson, Laura Ruby, and more

To register or get more information, click here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Poetry Markets

For current contact information on Wisconsin magazines and publishers specializing in poetry, please click here. The information is maintained by wisconsinauthor.com

WRWA Newsletter

The Wisconsin Regional Writers Association has now made its quarterly newsletter available online. The newsletter includes conferences and contests; news briefs from local clubs; and articles related to writing and publishing. The Summer 2006 issue is the most recent issue available online

Monday, October 16, 2006

Local NaNoWriMo events

Stacie P. is once again the regional contact/coordinator for those participating in National Novel Writing Month.

If you would like to meet Stacie and other writers from the Fox Valley Area who have signed up for NaNoWriMo, please visit the Regional Lounge.

Also, Stacie has organized a Kick-Off Party at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Barnes and Noble, Appleton (by the Fox Valley Mall). Topic of conversation will probably revolve around writing experience, goals, and NaNoWriMo experience. Spouses, children, ride-providers are all welcome. If you plan to attend, please contact Stacie at oshkosh_wi@nanowrimo.org

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Registration has begun for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Taken from their website:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and -- when the thing is done -- the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2005, we had over 59,000 participants. Nearly 10,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: Sign-ups begin October 1, 2006. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

For FAQs, forums, help lounges, writing tips, and much more, please visit www.nanowrimo.org

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Author Riley Weston

Teen author Riley Weston will appear at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, under the Dome of the Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Ave. Ms. Weston will speak for about a half hour, take audience questions and autograph copies of her book (books will be available for purchase, courtesy of Apple Blossom Books).

Oshkosh will be Weston's only stop in Wisconsin as she completes a national tour. The event is free and open to the public.

Riley Weston has worked as an actress on many television sitcoms and dramas, as well as the UPN television movie, What About Your Friends. She received rave reviews starring as Lix, the rebellious, orphaned teenager in the hit musical, 2nd Wind.

Riley started her writing career on the WB television drama Felicity. While writing on the first season, she guest starred as Story Zimmer in the critically acclaimed episode Drawing the Line. Riley followed that up with writing the feature film Damaged for Artisan Entertainment. In late 2004, Riley wrote and co-starred in the highly rated ABC holiday television movie Christmas at Water’s Edge starring Keshia Knight Pullium from The Cosby Show and Tom Bosley from Happy Days. She recently sold the family comedy script Summer at Dad’s to Revolution Studios.

Riley’s debut novel “Before I Go” is a touching story of family, love and the will of the human spirit. It centers on Annie, an ice skating coach who gave up on her dream long ago, and young Olympic hopeful, Madison Henry. What makes this team different from the rest is... Annie and Madison also happen to be mother and daughter.

The novel was published in September 2006 and is getting excellent reviews. Click here to read the first chapter.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cream City Review Writing Contests

Cream City Review sponsors annual Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry contests judged by established writers.

Deadline for current year's contest: December 1.

Fee: $10/story (no longer than 30 pages) or 3-5 poems, payable to Cream
City Review

Prize: $100 plus publication.

Address your submission to one of the following:

The C. Prescott Sobol Award for Fiction, The Erica F. Wiest Award for Poetry or The David B. Saunders Award for Non-Fiction

and send your entry to:

Cream City Review; Dept. of English,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413,
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Submissions must be typed, double-spaced, and include the author's name and address plus an SASE (for results only). Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as Cream City Review is notified in the event the manuscript is accepted elsewhere. The reading fee, however, is non-refundable.

Oshkosh BookFest

The Oshkosh Public Library will host Denys Cazet, author and illustrator of the Minnie and Moo series of books written for beginning readers. He has published more than 25 picture books including Never Spit on Your Shoes, winner of the California Young Readers Medal. The event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in the lower level.

Members of the OAWC are invited to attend the event, followed by our regular meeting at 11 a.m.

Wisconsin Book Festival

The schedule for the Wisconsin Book Festival has been finalized and is available here. The site includes detailed information such as directions, speaker bios, etc. The schedule is packed with lots of interesting speakers and workshops; a sampling of events are posted below but it would still be worthwhile to check out the schedule of over 60 events statewide.

Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, Gary K. Wolfe

Genre Fiction and the New Wave Fabulists -- A discussion with Neil Gaiman*, Peter Straub, and Gary K. Wolfe: The Evolution of Horror and Fantasy
Sunday, October 22 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Orpheum Theatre: Main, Madison

Presenter(s): Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, Gary K. Wolfe

Panelists will discuss their work in the broader context of genre writing. They will examine the current state of horror and fantasy writing, the "New Fabulists" movement, and why Wisconsin has inspired such notable horror--both real and fiction. A moderated discussion with questions from the audience will follow short introductions.

*NOTE: Mr. Gaiman is on-call for an overseas film production. His participation here is confirmed -- unless he is unexpectedly called overseas.

Author Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott: After This
Sunday, October 22 2:30 - 3:45 PM
Madison Public Library-Main Branch

Description: National Book Award winner Alice McDermott's powerful new novel is a vivid portrait of an American family in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Witty, compassionate, and wry, it captures the social, political, and spiritual upheavals of those decades through the experiences of a middle-class couple, their four children, and the changing worlds in which they live. After This, alive with the passions and tragedies of a determining era in our history, portrays the clash of traditional, faith-bound life and modern freedom, while also capturing, with McDermott's inimitable understanding and grace, the joy, sorrow, anger, and love that underpin and undermine what it is to be a family.

Magazine Editors' Round Table

Calling All Writers! Magazine Editors' Round Table
Sunday, October 22 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Wisconsin Historical Museum-Capitol Square

Description: Join local magazine editors at this open forum on writing for magazines. Topics to be covered include researching and writing, submission requirements, reader audiences, and article topics. Joan Fischer, editor of Wisconsin People & Ideas, Jane deBroux, editor of Wisconsin Magazine of History, and Harriet Brown, editor of Wisconsin Trails will discuss their respective magazines and provide direction to those interested in writing articles. After a brief presentation followed by Q&As, attendees will be free to talk one-on-one with editors and pitch completed articles or story ideas.

Jacquelyn Mitchard/Michael Perry

Jacquelyn Mitchard & Michael Perry
4-5:30 p.m. Sunday, October 22
Promenade Hall/Overture, Madison

What does the author of Oprah's very first Book Club book have in common with a guy who wrote a love story about his rusted-out 1951 International Harvester pickup truck?

A whole lot, we think! Especially when the authors are beloved Wisconsin treasures Jacquelyn Mitchard (Cage of Stars, Deep End of the Ocean and many more) and Michael Perry (Population: 485, TRUCK: A Love Story). Both authors are known for their candor, their refreshing honesty, and their side-splitting and often self-deprecating humor. Both can seemingly wax eloquent about anything from their vegetable gardens to their vehicles. According to critics, Jackie is "an astute observer of family dynamics [who] renders her characters flawlessly, endowing them with a humanity that is both accessibly grounded and astonishingly deep," while Perry "writes from a blue collar, hardscrabble, waist-deep-in manure-perspective that is never condescending ... His affection for and empathy towards people who aren't afraid to dirty their hands is always evident."

Join Jackie & Mike in this point-counterpoint conversation designed to bridge the gap between "He Says" and "She Says," and ultimately, to introduce die-hard fans of two dynamite writers to each other -- and to one anothers' favorite authors!

Author Jonathan Harr

Jonathan Harr: A Civil Action
Saturday, October 21 4:00 - 5:30 PM
Promenade Hall/Overture, Madison

Can lawsuits uncover the truth? What happens when the power and resources of the parties at odds are disproportionate? Jonathan Harr's compelling, true story in A Civil Action recounts the case constructed by a young personal injury lawyer on behalf of working class families of Woburn, Massachusetts. The book, now used as part of many law school curricula, reveals the messy, human way that justice is wrought. The author will read from this A More Perfect Union: To Establish Justice discussion series selection, take questions from the audience, and be available after the event for book signing. Madison's own Mayor Dave Cieslewicz will introduce Mr. Harr.


Wisconsin writers interested in particating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) are invited to attend "NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month Rev Up" at 1:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 21 at Mount Horeb Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Description: Candace Gallant will gather National Novel Writing Month participants from 2005 to rev their writing engines for 2006's November efforts. Newcomers are welcomed to jump on the bandwagon and find out how they too can write 50,000 words of fiction in 30 days this November.

Agent/Editor Workshop

AllWriters Workplace & Workshop, Milwaukee, will sponsor "Ask an Agent/Ask an Editor" at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Wisconsin Studio/Overture, Milwaukee.

Description: A moderated discussion on the art and business of publishing, to include Ted Genoways (Editor, VQR), Michelle Wildgen (senior editor, Tin House), and literary agent Katherine Fausset.

Awakening the Reluctant Writer

Sara Rath will present a brown bag/catered lunch workshop "Awakening the Reluctant Writer" from noon to 1 p.m., Saturday, October 21 at Mount Horeb Public Library.

Description: Revive your own writing with the author of Star Lake Saloon and Housekeeping Cottages and enjoy a light, healthy meal from Blue Sky Café. Sara will share fun ways to motivate your own writing when words seem to escape you. She will also discuss the development of her upcoming biography of the poet, activist and spiritualist Achsa W. Sprague. Beginners are welcome! Register for this free workshop and make lunch reservations by calling 437-5021 ext. 0.

Ten Percent of Nothing by Jim Fisher

Title: Ten Percent of Nothing
Author: Jim Fisher
Genre: Non-Fiction
Summary: The story of a scam agent and how her agency was brought down.
The Take-Away: Dorothy Deering's literary agent career began when her own novel wasn't accepted by publishers. She quickly found out how hard it was to find an agent, but became engrossed in the "helping" of others. It was easy enough, after all, to purchasing a Publisher's Market book and forward manuscripts to agents. Writing one took work that may or may not pay off.
Deering was one of the first scam agent, someone who charged fees to the writer in order to help the writer find a publishing home for their manuscript. Deering was a smooth talker, coaxing thousands of dollars out of her victims while her husband kept the books and made sure that contracts were renewed each year, for around $300 a year.
The persistance of those who had been scammed, combined with opportune timing for a FBI agent lead to the discover of the fraud.
While it's easy to see how people could be misled, it's amazing that no one caught on sooner. Unfortunately, the practice of scamming new agents continues today, however, various watch dog groups, like Writer Beware, or writer's boards, like Absolute Write, are available to new writers.
Recommendation: Great read, especially if you've wondered how a scammer can stay in business.

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