Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gift of Reading

The Children’s Department of the Oshkosh Public Library announces its annual “Give the Gift of Reading” project. Shiny, new books for children age newborn through teen years will be delivered to the Salvation Army for Oshkosh area children.

The library is looking for board books, lift-the-flap books, picture books, easy readers, junior novels, and non-fiction as well. The “Gift Box” location is in the Children’s Department of the library. Items may also be dropped off at OPL Express in the Festival Foods parking lot Monday-Friday from noon to 7 p.m. or on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Author Spotlight Schedule

Upcoming Author Spotlight authors:

Dec. 2 - Bob
Jan. 6 - Jack
Jan. 20 - Joyce
Feb. 3 - Dixie
Feb. 17 - Tom
March 3 - Sebastiene
March 17- Bethany
April 7 - Bob

"Auther Spotlight" is held during the last hour of each meeting and is devoted to one, larger piece of writing by the featured author. Copies are distributed at the meeting prior to the Spotlight. Please note that if you accept a manuscript, you are making a commitment to read it and attend the critique session.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Fond du Lac - Book Debate

Parents of students of Fond du Lac High School have asked the School Board to remove Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" from the advanced English reading curriculum. As the story grabs national attention, you can read more about the controversy here.

Pullman, Paolini, Pierce Interview

Thanks to Stacie P. for informing us that Random House is releasing a free, nine-part podcast with authors Philip Pullman, Christopher Paolini, and Tamora Pierce as they discuss writing, their influences, and more. A new podcast is released each week; as of this week, four podcasts are available. Podcast titles are:

1. On mapping out fictional worlds
2. On the coming-of-age story
3. On animals
4. On deception
5. On religion in their stories
6. On gender roles in their works
7. On inspiration and good reads
8. On relating to their characters
9. What's coming next from these authors?

Click here for the podcasts and instructions on downloading.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Word Play

Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. The winners are:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3 Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.

12. Karmageddon: It's when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes and it's a serious bummer.

13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you

14. Glibido: All talk and no action.

15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

18. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

NaNoWriMo Progress

Since Stacie is modest, we thought we'd brag her up here about her amazing progress on writing a 50K-word novel in one month as part of National Novel Writing Month. She claims much of her high word count is because she took a vacation day and wrote all day at the beginning of the month. But we know it takes more than, such as self-discipline and time management skills. To keep track of Stacie's progress, click here.

Author Visit - Elizabeth Berg

Apple Blossom Books is excited to sponsor author Elizabeth Berg at her book signing on Tues., November 21st from 5pm-7pm held at the Women’s Center on campus at UW-Oshkosh. She will speak about her latest novel, The Handmaid and the Carpenter, and be available to answer questions and sign books. New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg tells the familiar bible tale of Mary and Joseph in The Handmaid and the Carpenter (on sale November 7, 2006). Beautiful in its simplicity and faithful to the traditional version, Berg’s careful examination of the young couple’s feelings about their immaculate conception brings fresh insights and a deeper meaning to this ancient tale.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Zander Press

Jeanette from Zander Press in Brillion has offered to be a guest speaker and/or schedule a press tour of their print facility.

She wrote "... We could be a good resource to your writers' club. Zander Press has the capability of making paperback books. We have helped authors self-publish their work into professional books. Some authors have gone on to market their books on and at local bookstores."

Please let Ruth know if you interested in either/both the speaker or tour; if there is enough interest, she will make the arrangements.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Anthology Update

In order to spread the workload of putting together a club anthology, we're going to have a "working meeting" at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. The meeting will be entirely devoted to assisting our editors with proofreading, etc. And yes, snacks will be provided!

A Night at the Movies

In a change of pace, some of us from Writers Club thought it would be fun to take a group outing to the movies to see "Stranger than Fiction" since, well, it's about a novelist.

So, this Friday, Nov. 17 we will be going to the 7:05 p.m. showing at the Marcus Cinemas here in Oshkosh (on Koeller Rd.) We will meet at the theatre at 6:45 p.m so that we can all buy tickets, popcorn, candy, etc. and get seats.

You don't have to respond, but if you are pretty sure you will come, send an e-mail to so we know how many people to expect.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wisconsin Academy - Writing Contest

Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine (formerly the Wisconsin Academy Review) is accepting submissions for its annual short story and poetry contests, with a deadline of December 4, 2006. Awards include cash prizes, publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas, and the opportunity for winners to read their work at the Wisconsin Book Festival and other venues.

New this year--for the poetry contest only--is the theme of farming and rural life in Wisconsin. Poets are invited to compose works relating to Wisconsin’s evolving agricultural and rural heritage and identity. Contest judges are not looking for the sentimental, but for an honest exploration, in poetry, of what farming or rural life means to you. For background information and possible inspiration, learn about the Wisconsin Academy’s “Future of Farming and Rural Life in Wisconsin” initiative,

The short fiction contest remains unthemed; stories about any topic are welcome. Winners of the Harry W. Schwartz/Wisconsin People & Ideas Short Story Contest receive prizes of $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place). Their works will be published serially in Wisconsin People & Ideas beginning with the first-prize story in the summer 2007 issue. The lead judge is novelist, essayist, and poet Charles Baxter, author of a number of critically acclaimed works including “The Feast of Love,” “Saul and Patsy,” and “Believers.” As an added bonus, the first-place story will be read and reviewed by a literary agent of national note.

Winners of the Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest receive the following prizes: first place ($500, as the John Lehman Poetry Award); $100 (second place); and $50 (third place), in addition to such other prizes as studio time to record a CD of their poetry. Winning poems by the top three prize-winners appear in the spring 2007 edition of Wisconsin People & Ideas, with 10 runners-up in the summer 2007 issue. Lead judge for the poetry contest is poet Bruce Taylor.

The top three winners of both contests will be invited to read their work at a special event at the Wisconsin Book Festival in October 2007.

1. Authors must reside in or attend school in Wisconsin.
2. Stories must be between 2,500 and 5,000 words in length.
3. Authors must submit three copies of a story (photocopies are fine).
4. Each story must be accompanied by a $15 entry fee (non-Academy members) or $10 (Academy members, including those who join now) payable to Wisconsin People & Ideas Short Story Contest.
5. Writers may submit more than one entry, but each story must be mailed in separately with its own cover letter (see Rule 9) and entry fee.
6. Entries must be postmarked on or before December 4, 2006. Entries may be hand-delivered to the Wisconsin Academy (1922 University Avenue, Madison) by 4 p.m. on December 4.
7. Previously published stories (electronically or in print) are not eligible.
8. Each manuscript must be typed, double-spaced, in standard 10- or 12-point type. Each page must include the title of the story as a header. All pages must be numbered with both an individual page number and the total number of pages (e.g., Stormy Night, page 1/15, Stormy Night, page 2/15, Stormy Night, page 3/15, etc.).
9. The author’s name may not appear anywhere on the manuscript itself. The manuscript must be accompanied by a letter bearing the story title; the author’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if available); and the story word count. Every contestant must be able to provide an electronic version of the story if needed, either on disk or via e-mail.
10. Keep a copy of your manuscript. Manuscripts will be recycled, not returned. Do not send an SASE.
11. Contest winners will be announced on our website by the end of March.

1. Poets must reside or attend school in Wisconsin.
2. Poets may submit up to three poems per entry. No poem may be longer than one page. PLEASE NOTE THIS YEAR’S THEME BEFORE SUBMITTING.
3. Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee of $6 (non-Academy members) or $4 (Academy members, including those who join now) payable to the Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest. Nonmembers: A check for $12 covers the $6 entry fee and a copy of the award issue, which we will mail to you. (Members receive the magazine automatically.)
4. A poet may enter more than one submission of up to three poems each, but additional submissions must be accompanied by a separate entry fee and cover letter. (See Rule 7.)
5. Contest deadline is December 4. Entries may be hand-delivered to the Wisconsin Academy (1922 University Avenue, Madison) by 4 p.m. on December 4. Entries postmarked after the deadline will not be considered and the entry fee will be retained to cover handling.
6. Previously published poems (in print or electronically) are not eligible. All work must be original. Any style or theme is welcome.
7. The poet’s name or address may not appear anywhere on the poems. Poems must be accompanied by a cover letter bearing the poem title/s, the poet’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if available).
8. Keep a copy of your poems. Entries will be recycled, not returned. Do not send an SASE.
9. Contest winners will be announced on our website ( and notified by the end of February 2007. Winning poetry will be published in the spring 2007 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas, which appears at the end of March, in time for National Poetry Month (April). Works by 10 runners-up will be published in the summer 2007 edition.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Short Fiction Contest

$1,500 and publication in Boulevard awarded to the winning story by a writer who has not yet published a book (fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction) with a nationally distributed press.


All entries must be postmarked by December 15, 2006. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but previously accepted or published work is ineligible. Entries will be judged by the editors of Boulevard magazine. Send typed, double-spaced manuscript(s) and SAS post card for acknowledgement of receipt to: Boulevard Emerging Writers Contest, PMB 325, 6614 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO 63117. No manuscripts will be returned.

Entry fee is $15 for each individual story, with no limit per author. Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Boulevard (one per author). Make check payable to Boulevard.

There is no maximum length. Author's name, address, and telephone number, in addition to the story's title and "Boulevard Emerging Writers Contest," should appear on page one. Cover sheets are not necessary.

The winning story will be published in the Spring or Fall 2007 issue of Boulevard.
Include a 3 x 5 inch index card with your name, address and title of your submission(s). These are the complete guidelines.

Send submission(s) to:

Boulevard Magazine
6614 Clayton Rd
Box 325
Richmond Heights, MO 63117
Telephone: (314) 862-2643

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dr. Kickbutt

OAWC member Mike Wertel and his band, Dr. Kickbutt's Orchestra of Death is having a CD release party at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25 at the New Moon Cafe, downtown Oshkosh.

Dr. Kickbutt has to be the greatest ukulele this side of the Fox River Valley...or the that side. The Uke of Jackie Greesehound, Finger pickin guitar of Country Road Freddie, Clarinet noodleing of well...the Noodles Galore, and "Sexy" Lexi Franklin flouting and a singin, these are a few members of the Orchestra of DEATH!