Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meeting Reminder

The Oshkosh Area Writers Club will meet at 10 a.m. Jan. 3, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. Come prepared with one or two personal writing goals for 2009!

As always, meetings are free and open to anyone 17 or older.

Dan's Blog

You don't have to wait until Saturday to read more of Dan Higgin's work! He's started a blog, DesignGuru, off the Oshkosh Northwestern website. Dan invites anyone from the Oshkosh Area Writers Club to sign up for an ID and post blogs on the site.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Party

The Oshkosh Area Writers Club will host a Holiday Party at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. Please bring a treat and a wrapped white elephant gift (a new or gently used item you don't use).

Also come prepared to state a writing goal(s) you would like to achieve in 2009. We will open up the second hour of the meeting for critiques.

NOTE: The Library will be closed Dec. 15 to Dec. 19 and the day of our Holiday Party is the day the library reopens. Please expect a full parking lot.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2009 Writers' Institute

The 20th annual Writers' Institute will be held March 27-29, 2009, in Madison.

Although there are workshops on a variety of topics, the main focus this year is on agents - why you need one, how to get one, what kind of authors they are currently representing, etc. Lots of agents will be present so this will be a great opportunity to network.

The keynote event will be Friday, titled "Finding Your Fortune: Things I’ve Learned," with Marshall J. Cook. Cook has been published in several fields, including novels, nonfiction books, articles, and short stories. He contends, “So can you.” Discover what he knows to be true for a writer’s success. Limited space for this event; deadline for buying a ticket is Monday, March 24.

Fees vary, from $25 to $245 for the whole weekend.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Writing Prompt for Dec. 20th

The writing prompt for Dec. 20th is: Santa was on fire. Use it in a poem, essay, short story, etc.

We've had some VERY creative and sometimes hilarious results with these prompts and will continue to have them in 2009.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Call for Submissions- Cup of Comfort

Passing along a email from Susan Twonsend-

The newest "Cup of Comfort" project is a volume tentatively titled "A Cup of Comfort Book of Christmas Prayer." This book will consist of true, uplifting stories and devotionals with a Christian Christmas theme. I would like you to consider contributing something special to this project. Please read this email in its entirety, as specific guidelines will be included.
The devotionals should consist of a short one-page thought between 350-400 words related to a spiritual principle or concept as it applies to your experiences (past and present), your thoughts and feelings about Christmas and, of course, your memories of Christmas. The stories (1200-1500 words) will explore the same themes and principles found in the devotionals, but in a different structure. Although the stories will have a strong Christian message, they still need to contain the basic elements of a captivating short story. These elements include a beginning, middle, and end. There must be conflict and resolution, as well as compelling dialogue and emotion, against a backdrop of action and human drama.
As with other volumes in this series, these devotionals and stories must be true. Your contributions to "A Cup of Comfort Book of Christmas Prayer" will create a unique and diverse book that represents the magic and wonder of Christmas with a strong emphasis on the true meaning of the holiday -- the birth of our Savior and what His coming has meant to the world. Your submissions may be light-hearted or serious but, most importantly, they should be insightful and inspirational. We try to avoid too many stories related to illness, but if you have one without too many details under positive parameters, we will consider it.
The book will cover the 25 days leading up to Christmas Day (December 1-December 25), and then, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" leading up to January 6. For this reason, I would like your devotionals and stories to represent topics that cover this time period. I will need a wide variety of stories and devotionals that deal with the weeks leading up to Christmas Day as well as the days that follow. I'm sure you would all agree that the Christmas experience covers much more than just one day. Above all, keep in mind the significance of Christmas in the life of a Christian living his/her life for the Lord.
We will issue you a permission contract surrendering the rights of this story to sole use by the publisher. It also may not be previously reprinted by any major publication. If accepted, we are offering a $50 dollar one-time fee for stories and a $20 one-time fee for devotionals, to be paid upon publication. You may send as many stories and/or devotionals as you like, but please keep in mind, I want to see your best work, and I will use only one story per contributor and up to five devotionals per contributor. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING FOR IMPORTANT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.
All correspondence, including submissions, should be sent to me, Susan B. Townsend, at CoCChristmasPrayer@gmail.com. Your submissions should include:
1) Your full name
2) Your address
3) Your phone number
4) Story title
5) Story word count (REMEMBER: Stories should be 1200-1500 words, and devotionals should be 350-400 words *including* brief, opening Scripture and closing thought (see examples below)
6) A short bio of no more than 20 words
In the subject line, please cite the title of the book -- e.g. Submission for "A Cup of Comfort Book of Christmas Prayer." Unfortunately, I cannot accept attachments at this time (I am in process of switching from dialup to wireless and waiting for my new computer). So, please NO ATTACHMENTS. Please copy and paste your submission(s) in the body of your email.
DEADLINE: I need your submissions NO LATER THAN JANUARY 6, 2009. I understand how busy and chaotic this time of year can be, so I particularly appreciate your time and participation. Although I will be making my selections for the book in late February, this book is scheduled for publication for the Christmas season of 2009. Consequently, it will probably be early summer before the manuscript is finalized.

Jennifer Chiaverini Cancelled

Tonight's author talk and book signing by New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Chiaverini at the Oshkosh Public Library has been cancelled because of inclement weather.

The Oshkosh Public Library and co-sponsor Apple Blossom Books LLC are currently talking with Chiaverini's publisher about rescheduling during the author's tour in spring 2009.

Muse Prize for Poetry

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets is now accepting submissions for the Muse Prize in Excellence for Poetry Contest.

Rules Summary:

Only one original unpublished poem not under consideration elsewhere may be entered in the WFOP Muse Prize contest. 75 line maximum. Plagiarism disqualifies the contestant.

Manuscript must be typed on 8.5" x 11" white paper, one side only. Writer's name should not appear on the page with the poem.

Entry fee:
$3.00 for WFOP members and $6.00 for non-members must accompany the submission. Checks are to be made out to WFOP Literary Fund and mailed to Muse/Rafal, P O Box 340, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.

Prizes are: 1st place—$200.00 and trophy; 2nd—$100.00; 3rd—$75.00.

Send entries to:
P.O. Box 340
Baileys Harbor, WI 54202


For complete rules and submission information, please click here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award

Amazon.com, Penguin Group (USA), and CreateSpace are partnering again to present the Breakthrough Novel Award in 2009.

This unique contest brings together talented writers, reviewers and publishing experts to find and develop new voices in fiction. Visit Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award page and get up to speed on this year's contest. Bestselling authors Sue Monk Kidd and Sue Grafton will be leading the expert reviewer panel in 2009, and you'll also see that several of the top 10 finalists have received publishing contracts since the close of last year's contest.

Open submissions for manuscripts begin on February 2, 2009. If you're an author with an unpublished novel waiting to be discovered, you can sign up for important contest updates now and learn how to get your entry ready for submission at www.amazon.com/abna


WritingRaw.com is a FREE literary sharing website (like YouTube but for the literary world) where writers can upload, view and share their writing. The only restriction is that the material cannot be illegal in any sense of the word (such as child porn, plagiarism, etc.). Other then that, feel free to post in any of the following categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, life stories, and essays.

To view someone’s writing, just click on the link and a .pdf version of the piece will open in your browser. Read it, comment on it, vote for it to be a showcased piece! Most important - ENJOY IT.

There is no catch here – all writings will be posted. Let’s create a world where no one rejects a writer or the work of their future masterpiece.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


At the last meeting, several people asked about the website Duotrope, a database of over 2275 current markets for short fiction, poetry, and novels/collections that is updated several times day. Search for markets by genre, length, payment and type of media. The website is at: http://www.duotrope.com/index.aspx

Writing Prompt - Dec. 6

The writing prompt for the Dec. 6 meeting is: She was a diaper model.

Use the prompt in a poem, essay or short story. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Author Visit – Jennifer Chiaverini

Welcome back New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Chiaverini to the Oshkosh Public Library! Meet the author and hear about her latest books, The Quilter's Kitchen and The Winding Ways Quilt.

The free event will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3 at the Oshkosh Public Library.A book signing will follow the author's talk. (Books will be for sale at the event, courtesy of Apple Blossom Books.)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Poetry and Fiction Contest

Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Crazyhorse are given annually for a single poem and a short story. Submit up to three poems or a story of up to 25 pages with a $16 entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to Crazyhorse; deadline December 15, 2008.

Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
Poetry and Fiction Prizes
Department of English
College of Charleston, 66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
(843) 953-7740.
Garrett Doherty, Editor.crazyhorse@cofc.edu

Short Story Contest for Emerging Writers

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for a short story by a writer who has not published a nationally distributed book. The editors of Boulevard will judge.

Submit a story of any length with a $15 entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to Boulevard, by December 31, 2008. Send an SASE, call, or visit the web site for complete guidelines.

Boulevard, Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
P.O. Box 325,
6614 Clayton Road
Richmond Heights, MO 63117
(314) 862-2643.
Richard Burgin, Editor.www.richardburgin.net/boulevard.htm

Monday, November 03, 2008

R.I.P. Margo

Sadly, Margo Pontius passed away on Friday, Oct. 31.

Margo was an original member of the OAWC and our "senior" writers may also know Margo through the Learning in Retirement series and/or the Senior Center, where Margo taught creative writing, specializing in life story writing. She will be missed by many!

You can read Margo's obit here.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Writing Prompt & Misc. News

The writing prompt for Nov. 15 is: I told him what I wanted.

Under Good & Welfare, a quick note that Bill R. is having surgery and Margo (the life stories writer/teacher) had a stroke and lapsed into a coma. Prayers and well wishes to both!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Call for Submissions - Hell Trips


Road Junk Travel wants to hear about your worst journeys, your near-death experiences, when you were robbed, beaten up, extorted, heartbroken or brainwashed. There’s way more juice in hearing about the nightmare stories, the hell trips when everything that could go wrong did. Stories should be between 800 and 1,500 words and sent as .doc or .rtf files. No fiction. Deadline December 31, 2008. No entry fee.

First Prize – $400
Second Prize – $200
Third Prize – $100

The judge's decision is final and whilst you keep copyright, you allow Road Junk exclusive electronic rights i.e. don’t just send us something you wrote for another site. If they choose to print your stories at some stage in an anthology you’ll get paid decent royalties and Road Junky reserves the right to post the best stories on the site, with an author credit and link to the writer's homepage.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Author/Illustrator Visit - Jan Brett

Jan Brett is renowned for her picture books that annually climb to the top of the best-seller list. The admired children’s author/illustrator will do a booksigning at the Oshkosh Public Museum from 12 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Nov. 16. An autorgraphed book always make a great Christmas gift for children! And if you dress up as your favorite Brett character, you'll get a free poster.

Brett's appearance kicks off The Art of Jan Brett exhibit of 45 original paintings from some of her best selling books. The exhibit runs from Nov. 15, 2008 to Feb. 1, 2009 and includes interactive games for the kids.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Member Blog

OAWC member Bill R. has started a blog, New Insight Analysis, to showcase his writing pertaining to national, world and local politics. You can read his work

Writing Prompt for Nov. 1

The writing prompt for Nov. 1 is to write about yearning. Your piece can be a poem, essay, prose...whatever. Have fun with it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wisconsin People & Ideas Contests

Enter the 2009 Wisconsin People & Ideas/Wisconsin Book Festival Short Story and Poetry Contests

Wisconsin People & Ideas, the quarterly magazine of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, is accepting submissions for its annual short story and poetry contests, with a deadline of December 1, 2008. Prizes include cash, publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas, and a one-week stay at [link: http://www.edenfred.org/] Edenfred, a creative arts residency in Madison. Winners are also invited to read their work at the Wisconsin Book Festival.

About the Short Story Contest
The 2009 Wisconsin People & Ideas/Wisconsin Book Festival Short Story Contest is supported by the Wisconsin Humanities Council, Avol’s Bookstore, and a number of other independent booksellers throughout Wisconsin. Winners will receive prizes of $500 (first place), $250 (second place), and $100 (third place). Their works will be published serially beginning with the first-prize story in the summer 2009 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas. The first-place story will be reviewed by a noted literary agent, and the author will receive a one-week stay at Edenfred, a creative arts residency owned by the Terry Family Foundation.

This year, an esteemed panel of authors will judge short story submissions. The lead judge is UW–Madison English professor Jesse Lee Kercheval, author of eight books and two poetry chapbooks, and director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. The contest is coordinated by author and UW–Madison assistant dean, Timothy Walsh. Other judges include Marylyn Annucci and John Heasley.

About the Poetry Contest
Winners of the 2009 Wisconsin People & Ideas/Wisconsin Book Festival Poetry Contest receive cash awards of $500 (first place, the John Lehman Poetry Award), $100 (second place), and $50 (third place). Winning poems by the top three winners appear in the spring 2009 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas, with 10 runners-up in the summer 2009 edition. The first-prize poet receives a one-week stay at Edenfred and a three-hour CD recording/editing session at Abella Studios.

Some of Wisconsin’s best poets will judge this year’s poetry contest. Lead judge Karl Elder is the Poet in Residence at Lakeland College and author of nine collections of poetry. The contest is coordinated by Rosebud founder and Wisconsin People & Ideas poetry editor, John Lehman. Other judges include Joan Wiese Johannes, Nancy Rafal, and Lynn Patrick Smith.

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 2009.

Contest Rules
Deadline for both contests: December 1, 2008, 5:00pm.

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 $20 entry fee (non-Academy members) or $15 (Academy members, including those who join while submitting an entry) 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 1, 2008. Entries may be hand-delivered to the Wisconsin Academy (1922 University Avenue, Madison) by 5:00pm on December 1. Entries postmarked after the deadline will not be considered and the entry fee will be retained to cover handling.
7. Previously published stories (online 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 (www.wisconsinacademy.org) and notified by the end of March 2009. The three winners will be published in the summer 2009, fall 2009, and winter 2010 issues of Wisconsin People & Ideas.

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.
3. Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee of $10 (non-Academy members) or $8 (Academy members, including those who join while submitting an entry), payable to the Wisconsin People & Ideas Poetry Contest.
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 1. Entries may be hand-delivered to the Wisconsin Academy (1922 University Avenue, Madison) by 5:00pm on December 1. Entries postmarked after the deadline will not be considered and the entry fee will be retained to cover handling.
6. Previously published poems (online or in print)) 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 (www.wisconsinacademy.org) and notified by the end of February 2009. Top three winners will be published in the spring 2009 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas, which appears at the end of March, in time for National Poetry Month (April). Ten runners-up will be published in summer 2009.

Short Story Contest Sponsors
This year’s contest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Book Festival, the Terry Family Foundation, Avol’s Bookstore, and the following independent bookstores:

Bramble Bookstore, Viroqua
Conkey’s Book Store, Appleton
Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, Milwaukee
Ocooch Books & Libations, Richland Center
University Book Store, Madison

We thank these sponsors for their generous support.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chapterbook Contest

The Karen Fredericks and Frances Willitts Poetry Prize
The 2nd Annual Hotmetalpress Chapbook Contest

Our prize is $350 and 20 free copies. We also want to send every entrant a copy of the winning collection.
Page Limit: 32 pages
Fee: $20.00
Deadline: end of November 2008

If you are looking for clues as to what we look for a winner, we wish you luckbecause our selections are unpredictable and eclectic. Last year’s winner was Peter Nash’s collection of nature poems, “Tracks”; and other four top collections all have been published by other presses. Our two Best Poem winners this year included a language poem and a poem about a long-lasting love. We even have considered a high school student for a second place position. We like to take risks if the poems interest us. We do not know what poems will interest us
either until we see the poems.

Please make out a check for $20 to Hotmetalpress. Judged by Martin Willitts Jr (author of a full length book “The Secret Language of the Universe” and editor of a poetry anthology about cancer “Alternatives to Surrender”, and published many chapbooks).

Send one hardcopy of the manuscript to:
Martin Willitts Jr.
P.O. Box 4322
Rome, NY 13244

The entry rules:
Single spaced poems in 12 pt Ariel or Times New Roman.

Attach a separate page for the title page with your name, address, telephone, and email. Do not put your name anywhere else on the pages.

32 page maximum limit including title, content page, acknowledgements, and pages. Anything with more pages will be eliminated.

Include the check, the manuscript following the entry directions, and a SASE if you want the manuscript returned with a comment from Martin (he writes interesting comments) or the manuscript will be destroyed.

Attach all items together with a swing clip only. No staples, paper clips, etc.
The winner will be requested to submit a finished, edited version of the manuscript in a Word Document file upon winning. We are not responsible for any errors.

Flash Fiction Contest

Blue Earth Review’s Sixth Annual Flash Fiction Contest opens September 1, 2008.

We want only your brightest, boldest flash fiction—work that breaks boundaries in genre and content. The only requirement is that each entry is 600 words or less.

Reading fee is $5 for up to three entries. You can enter online by going to our Submission Manager and pay online.

Please note: Unlike previous years, we will only accept submissions for the contest online, unless you have a really good excuse, in which case you should e–mail the editors first.

Put all entries in the same document—either a Microsoft Word document (.doc) or Rich Text (.rtf) file—and give it the name "Contest_FlashFiction_FirstLast" (i.e.: Contest_FlashFiction_SallySmith.doc). Make sure to select "Flash Fiction Contest" in the genre drop down box.

Deadline is December 1, 2008.

Three winners will be chosen and awarded $100, $75, and $25.
Winners will be announced sometime in February and the three winning pieces will be published in the Spring 2009 issue of Blue Earth Review.

Ramble Underground Short Fiction Contest

Ramble Underground is now running semiannual Short Fiction Contest.

Official Short Fiction Contest Rules:

Short fiction story must be 2500 words max.

All short fiction contest entries must be submitted by November 15th, 2008.

Entry fee is $6 per story.

You may enter the short fiction contest as many times as you like.

All work must be original, unpublished, and the sole property of the person submitting.

First and Second place short fiction stories will be published in the summer '08 issue along with one honorable mention. Cash prizes will be awarded.

All finalists will be notified by email prior to publication.

How to Enter?

1. Send your short fiction contest entry (Word or txt attachment) to fictioncontestATrambleunderground.org . Be sure to put the Author (you), the Title of your short fiction contest submission, and the word count in the subject line of your email. We will contact you if there is any issue with your attachment.

2. Once your email has been sent, please enter the Author - Title in the field below (This should match what you put in the subject of your email so we can sort out which entry fees were paid). Then enter your email address so we can contact you with the results.

3. Click on the PayPal button to be brought to their site for a secure transaction. We never see your credit information. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can easily use any major credit card.

Short Fiction Contest

The Danahy Fiction Prize is an award of $1,000 and publication in Tampa Review given annually for a previously unpublished work of short fiction. Submissions between 500 and 5,000 words are preferred; manuscripts falling slightly outside this range will also be considered. Tampa Review editors will judge, and all entries will be considered for publication.

Manuscripts should be double-spaced and include a cover page with author’s name, mailing address, and other contact information, plus a total word count for the manuscript. Enclose a $15 entry fee payable to “Tampa Review.” All entrants receive a one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries must be postmarked by November 1 and mailed to:

Tampa Review
Danahy Fiction Prize
The University of Tampa
401 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606-1490

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Clearance Sale!

Don't miss a Friends of the Oshkosh Public Library clearance sale for great buys on used books! The sale is from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

database of publishes

Looking for a place to find a place to send you short story, poem, or novella. You can search Duotrope's database of 2275 current markets At: http://www.duotrope.com/index.aspx.

It works well.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Books for Writers

The following are new books recently added to libraries in the Winnefox Library System, including Oshkosh Public Library.

From First Draft to Finished Novel: A Writer's Guide to Cohesive Story Building by Wiesner, Karen

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories, and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually Do It by Sark

How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them -- A Misstep-by-misstep Guide by Mittelmark, Howard.

Forensics: A Guide for Writers by Lyle, D. P.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books by Underdown, Harold D.

Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature by Roorbach, Bill.

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice: Encountering God Through Attentive Writing by Cepero, Helen,

How to do Biography: A Primer by Hamilton, Nigel.

How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries: The Art & Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past by Emerson, Kathy Lynn.

The Power of Point of View: Make Your Story Come to Life by Rasley, Alicia.

Keep it Real: Everything You Need to Know about Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction by Gutkind, Lee

Memoirs Contest

The Writers Workshop of Asheville, NC is sponsoring their 20th Annual Memoirs Competition: Submit a memoir of 4,000 words or less. All work must be unpublished. Pages should be paper clipped, with your name, address, email, phone and title of work also on a cover sheet. Double-space, and use 12 point font. The entry fee is $20 per memoir, or $15 for Workshop members.

$20 entry fee; deadline is Nov. 20, 2008.

Prizes: First place $350. Second place $250. Third place $150. Ten Honorable Mentions.

E-mail: WritersW@gmail.com

short short story competition

The 9th Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition is accepting entries! We're looking for fiction that's bold, brilliant ... but brief. Send us your best in 1,500 words or less. But don't be too long about it—the deadline is December 1, 2008.
The Grand-Prize winner will receive $3,000 (that's $2—or more—per word). For guidelines, prizes and to enter online, click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Author Visit - Gary Schmidt

On Tuesday, October 21st, the Neenah Public Library will host a visit with acclaimed young adult author Gary D. Schmidt. Schmidt is an American children’s writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor Books. His visit will include a presentation for the community at 7:00 p.m., followed by book sales and signing by the author.

On Saturday, October 25th at 1:00 p.m., there will be a reading group to discuss Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (youth staff leaders); On Sunday, October 26th at 2:00 p.m. there will be a discussion of Trouble (with retired English professor and poet Doug Flaherty); and, on Monday, October 27th at 7:00 p.m. there will be a discussion of Wednesday Wars (youth staff leaders). These discussion sessions are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Gary Schmidt lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan, with his wife and six children; there he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College. Schmidt has an MA in English literature and a Ph.D. in medieval literature.

All events are free – no registration necessary. For more information, call (920) 886-6335 or visit our web site at www.neenahlibrary.org.

Wisconsin Book Festival

The schedule is finalized for the Wisconsin Book Festival, Oct. 15-19 in downtown Madison. Over 100 authors, agents, publishers and book dealers are speaking on a variety of topics of interest to authors and readers. Most events are free and open to the public. The keynote author, David Sedaris, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 (ticket required).

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Directory of Writers Conferences

It's not complete but the The Writers’ Conferences & Centers (WC&C) website is a valuable resource for writers looking for comprehensive information about attending the most established writing conferences, centers, festivals, residencies, or retreats in North America and abroad. The website is at http://writersconf.org/

Monday, September 08, 2008

Author Visit - Ron La Point

Local author Ron La Point will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, at the Oshkosh Public Library. La Point will present his book "Oshkosh: A South Sider Remembers," a memoir of growing up in south side Oshkosh during the 1940s and 1950s.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Business of Children's Publishing

The Center for Children's Literature, Hedberg Library, Kenosha, is presenting its second annual Second Annual "The Business of Children's Publishing" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18, 2008.

Speakers include Gary D. Schmidt; author Jan Greenberg; author Timothy Basil Ering; Dinah Stevenson, publisher for Clarion Books; Jason Wells, marketing manager Abrams Books; Susan Pearson, editor Chronicle Books; George Nicholson, agent; and Marijka Kostiw, art director.

After each speaker's presentation there will be a question and answer session. Participants will have an opportunity during the (optional) lunch and also during the book autographing times to talk informally with the speakers. For further information, please call (262) 552-5480, or email John Stewig at jstewig@carthage.edu

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Words for Food

For something TOTALLY addicting, go to www.freerice.com and build your vocabulary and feed the hungry at the same time. For each word you can define correctly, 20 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program. And if you get a word wrong, don't worry, it will come up again later until you get it right.

Author Visit - Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

As part of Oshkosh Public Library's annual Book Fest, children/young adult author Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6 in the lower level of the library.

Stephanie's latest teen book, The Compound, gets a Starred Review from Publisher's Weekly and has been nominated for both of the ALA's 2009 Best Books for Young Adults and 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers lists.

Her blog, Days of Angst and Coffee, is available here.

If there is enough interest, I can arrange for members of the writers club to have dinner with Stephanie. If you would like to attend, please let me know. ~ Ruth

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Call for Submissions - A Cup of Comfort

A Cup of Comfort is currently seeking submissions on the following subjects:

Parents with Children with Special Needs, deadline Sept. 30
Dog Lovers, deadline Dec. 15
The Grieving Heart, deadline Feb. 1, 2009

The A Cup of Comfort anthologies are nonfiction stories that read like fiction, but always ring true. They are slice-of-life tales that make us think and care, that give insight and inspire positive action, and that entertain and enlighten. Stories must be uplifting, written in English, based on real people and events, and 1000 to 2000 words in length. $500 grand prize; $100 each for all other published stories. http://www.cupofcomfort.com/share.htm

Note: Tom C. has published in A Cup of Comfort and may be able to advise you.

Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Contest

The Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards is now accepting entries for short stories. Compete and Win in all 5 Categories! The Grand Prize-Winner will receive $2,500 cash. Click here for guidelines and to enter online. Deadline is Nov. 3, 2008.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Author Visit - Jerry Otteson

Jerry Otteson will be at Conkey's Bookstore, Appleton, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20.

Otteson, a local author, will be signing copies of his book "Great Salespeople Never Die (They Just Go Out of Commission)". Mr. Otteson is a longtime salesperson and a very funny humorist.

Call for Submissions

Words & Images of Belonging seeking submissions for proposed anthology that deal with
legacies, generations (especially that of grandparents and grandchildren), family, a sense of home and identity (i.e. the pull between home and work, leaving your childhood home to start your own home or a sense of place within oneself). Reflections may include such forms as essays, short stories, diary entries, poems, memoir and play excerpts, letters--up to approximately 4,000 words per contributor. Visual art submissions are encouraged. For example, photographs, oil paintings may compliment print submissions or be submitted separately.

If accepted, contributors will receive a complimentary copy upon publication and a contributor's discount on additional copies.

No previously published or simultaneously submitted material.

For more information, please contact the editors: Cynthia at Cafpoet37@encirclepub.com, or to Carol at smallwood@tm.net.

A deadline for submissions has not been set. For more information, please click here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Area Author Visits & Events


Spring Green Literary Festival
Sept. 12 &13

“Oshkosh: A Southsider Remembers” author Ron LaPoint, Monday, Sept. 22 at the Oshkosh Public Library (time to be determined).

Wisconsin Regional Writers Conference
Sept. 26 - 28, Wausau

Edgerton Book Festival, Oct. 4 & 5

Wisconsin Book Festival
Oct. 15 - 19
Madison and Milwaukee

Book talk with Jennifer Chiaverini, 7 p.m. Wed., Dec. 3, Oshkosh Public Library.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Author Visit - Gary D. Schmidt

Gary D. Schmidt will visit the Neenah Public Library on Tuesday, Oct. 21 and Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Schmidt is a Newbery Award-winning author of the young adult novels, The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy will be at the library.

Please check Neenah Public Library's website for further details.

David Sedaris Advance Tickets

The Wisconsin Book Festival is very pleased to partner with the Overture Center for the Arts for a special benefit event, "An Evening with David Sedaris." One of America's premier humor writers, Mr. Sedaris will appear in Overture Hall just one week before our 2008 Fest, and a generous contribution from each ticket sold will benefit the Wisconsin Book Festival.

Please follow this link below and use the password FLAMES to order your tickets before they go on sale for the general public. Mr. Sedaris's wildly popular appearances always sell out quickly, so get your tickets now!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Members' Comment

This email was sent to me from someone who joined us in the last few months and I wanted to share it with everyone because it's really all us that make the club what it is. ~ Ruth

I just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying the writers group, the different people, how well it's run, how involved and active some of the people are (it takes all kinds), and how much information is being passed along (contests, etc.). I'm so glad I was able to find out about the group and I am getting a lot from the group.

Thank you for everything you do.

~ C.

Writing Prompt for Aug. 16

Actually, we have several prompts for the Aug. 16 meeting - use one or all in a poem, essay, sketch or story. Your options are:

I was here on time because....

"I'lll try."

"You've got 10 seconds."

Previous writing prompts have produced some very creative and oftentimes humorous pieces - thanks to everyone who participates!

It's a Boy!

From Jessica C.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I had my baby last week. Kayne Thomas Collins was born Thursday, July 31st at 5:26pm. He was 7lbs, 15 oz and 20 in long. Both baby and I are doing well. Please pass along the news to the group! Hopefully I'll be back in a few weeks.

~ I know we all congratulate Jessica on the addition to her family! ~ Ruth

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Call for stories from Adams Media

Literary Cottage is currently seeking entries for two, exciting new anthologies to be published by Adams Media: Woodstock Revisited and My Dog Is My Hero. Please click on our website http://www.literarycottage.com/ for full details.
For Woodstock Revisited, we are seeking fifty true stories written by people who attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival. This anthology will document the event itself, but will also provide a portrait of America as that tumultuous decade came to a close. Stories should be historical within the context of 1969, and yet unique to your experience. Stories must be TRUE, 850-1100 words, vivid, and substantive. Adams Media pays $100 and one copy of the book. Literary Cottage offers prizes of $100, $75, and $50 to top three stories respectively. Please carefully review the guidelines and sample story provided on the "Woodstock '69 Guidelines" page available on http://www.literarycottage.com/. HURRY - DEADLINE: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2008

For My Dog Is My Hero, the fourth book in Adams Media's Hero Series, we are seeking fifty 850-1100-word stories featuring a remarkable dog in your life. Yes, about dogs and only dogs, not cats, or other pets. Adams Media pays $100 per story (one per volume), plus a copy of the book, and Literary Cottage will also award three prizes $100, $75, and $50 for the top three stories respectively. Please review the spelled out guidelines and sample stories on the "Hero Series Guidelines" page available on http://www.literarycottage.com/. DEADLINE: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008.
Please, please pass on the word to any and all writers, friends, neighbors, bosses, etc., etc., etc., particularly regarding Woodstock Revisited, as we need fifty solid stories from people who attended the festival in 1969 an, due to the tight deadline, need to reach the largest audience possible in a short amount of time. You can write an "as told to" story if you have friends or family who attended.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Author Visit - Lesley Kagen

Lesley Kagen will do a booksigning of “Whistling in the Dark” and talk about her new July release of “Land of a Hundred Wonders” from 6 to 9 p.m., September 6th at Apple Blossom Books, downtown Oshkosh.

Author Visit - Victoria Houston

Wisconsin mystery author Victoria Houston will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. She will present her latest title of the Loon Lake Fishing Mystery series, "Dead Hot Shot."

Writer's Digest Competitions

Writer's Digest magazine offers several writing competitions throughout the year; those with deadlines in late 2008 are listed below but a complete list (with entry fees, deadlines, submission guidelines, previous winners and other information) can be found here.

Popular Fiction Awards
Deadline: 11/3/2008

Poetry Awards
Deadline: 12/19/2008

Short Short Story Competition
Deadline: 12/1/2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Writing Prompt - Aug. 2

The writing prompt for the Saturday, Aug. 2 meeting is: He/she never imagined this would happen to him/her.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Author Visit - Lynn Spencer

Lynn Spencer, author of "Touching History: the Untold Story of the Drama that Unfolded in the Skies over America on 9-11," will do a presentation and booksigning Monday, July 28, 7:00 p.m. at the Oshkosh Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Book Description: The story of the astonishing drama that played out in the skies and in the military installations and air traffic control towers on 9/11 has never before been pieced together and portrayed in a vivid moment-to-moment drama.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Glass Woman Prize

Submissions are now being accepted for the fourth annual Glass Woman Prize. It will be awarded for a work of short fiction or creative non-fiction (prose) written by a woman.

Submission length is between 50 and 5,000 words.

The top prize is $600 and possible (but not obligatory) online publication; two runner up prizes of $100 each and possible (but not obligatory) online publication.

Subject is open, but must be of significance to women. Entries will be judged on passion, excellence, and authenticity in the woman’s writing voice. Previously published work and simultaneous submissions are OK. Copyright is retained by the author.

There is no reading fee.

Submission deadline: September 21, 2008 (receipt date; anything received after that date will be considered for a future prize). Notification date: December 21, 2008.

Call for Submissions - Sci Fi/Fantasy

Jim Baen's Universe is a professional science fiction and fantasy magazine which is published on-line and bi-monthly. Pays 25 cents a word for the first 5,000 words; 15 cents a word thereafter.

Click the links below for more information:

Submission Guidelines

Current Issue

Monday, June 30, 2008

Writers Club Documentary

Jim S. was kind enough to do a short documentary on the Oshkosh Area Writers Club, which includes basic club information as well as interviews with numerous members. After much labor, the film is complete and will be broadcast on the Oshkosh community access channel, CATV 2, beginning the week of June 30.

The 30-minute documentary will air at:
11 p.m. Monday, June 30
10 p.m. Wednesday, July 2
10 a.m. Saturday, July 5
8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 6

If you know someone who might be interested, please share with a friend :)

For a complete programming schedule of CATV 2, click here.

UPDATE: Wisconsin Regional Writers Conference

The Wisconsin Regional Writers Association's fall conference will be held September 26–28, 2008 at the Plaza Hotel & Suites in Wausau. Jim S. is going and there is room for three more passengers. Check your calendar and let Jim know if you're interested in going; a second carpool can be formed if interest warrants.

UPDATED: Screenwriting Class

The Screenwriting Class in August is now being offered for FREE. Details below:

Love Movies? Want To Learn How To Write One?


Taught by Vermont’s Goddard College

MFA Screenwriting Candidate MATTHEW J. FORSS, BA, MS

(AUG. 15th & AUG. 16th, 2008)

• Formatting
• Dialogue/Character Development
• Act Structure
• Rewriting
• Selling Your Script and more!

Time: 9AM-4:30PM BOTH DAYS
Breaks Provided – Bring Lunch/Eat Out

Location: Faith Lutheran Church
1745 Ohio St.
Oshkosh, WI

Limited Enrollment. Cost $FREE$ Sign-Up Before JULY 25, 2008 By Phone: 920-966-0325 or Email: worldmusicman2002@yahoo.com

***Certificate Upon Completion**

Monday, June 23, 2008

Green Lake Christian Writers Conference

The 2008 Green Lake Christian Writers Conference will be held Aug. 17-22 at the Green Lake Conference Center, WI.

Writing Prompt for July 19

There is no meeting July 5th; the writing prompt for the July 19th meeting is: "She shakes her glass leg." Use it in a poem, essay, story or sketch. Best of luck!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Peninsula Pulse Contests

Peninsula Pulse’s Annual Writing and Photography Expose is accepting submissions of poetry, prose and photographs until July 4th for the Hal Grutzmacher Award for Literature. Selected winners will receive cash prizes and appear in the Aug. 1, 2008 issue of the Pulse.

Materials should be submitted via email or on CD; email address is letters@ppulse.com

Prose should be double-spaced, 12-point font, not more than 2000 words and no more than 3 submissions.

Poetry is limited to 3 poems; 1 per page.

Up to 5 photo prints between 4x6 and 8x12 may be submitted (photos will not be returned).

Send entries to:

or mail to:
Peninsula Pulse
c/o Contest Entries
P.O. Box 452
Sister Bay, WI 54234

Include your name, address, phone and email, plus 25-50 words about yourself.

For more information call (920) 854-9342.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Writing Prompt for June 21

The writing prompt for June 21 is: It was round and sweet.

Use it in a poem, essay, fiction or sketch - it's up to you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Character Checklist

Author Star Davies has created a check list that she uses when developing her characters, focusing on the character's inner workings that reveal what the character might do in any given situation. You can view the article here.

WRWA Fall Conference

The Wisconsin Regional Writers Association's fall conference will be held September 26–28, 2008 at the Plaza Hotel & Suites in Wausau.

Speakers include:

Ralph Sharp (Internet Content Developer)
“Authors and the Internet–
Make a Splash on the World Wide Web”

Nancy Christie (Professional Writer)
“Making Money with Words–
Corporate Writing Opportunities”

Joanna MacKenzie (Literary Agent)
“The Author-Agent Relationship: What You Need to Know About Finding Representation; Building a Platform and Getting Published”

Lamoine MacLaughlin, Jane Osypowski, (poets)
“Poetry and Our Youth”

Rosanne Bittner
(Established Novelist, ten million books sold)
“The Measure of Success”

You can attend one or both days ($45 for one day, $65 both; members receive a discount).

For more information, visit their website.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Author Visit

Denis Guillickson, author of "Vagabond Halfback: The Life and Times of Johnny Blood McNally and Before They Were The Packers," a historical account of the Packer's football baginnings from 1895 through 1921, will do a discussion and booksigning at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 21 at Barnes and Noble Store, Grand Chute. For more information, call 920-831-7880.

Literary Magazine Give-Away

Hope S. has donated sample copies of popular U.S. literary magazines that feature fiction, essays and poetry. Experts recommendation authors look at sample issues before submitting work for publication; most sample copies are $5 or more but you can get free copies at the next meeting on Saturday, June 7th.

Summer Reading Program

The Oshkosh Public Library adult summer reading program has begun. Register at the 1st floor Information Desk or online at www.oshkoshpubliclibrary.org.

Participation is easy; for every 20 minutes you read, check off a box on your reading ticket. When the ticket is full, turn it in to the Information Desk. Every Friday, tickets are randomly drawn for prizes. For more information, call 236-5202.

Author Visit

Jamie Miller, local author of the nationally popular “Make It Your Own” cookbook, will be at Apple Blossom Books, downtown Oshkosh, at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 7th.

Jamie was born in 1963, in Okinawa, Japan, to American parents, and grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. When not working on recipes for her cookbooks, Miller is trying out recipes she's developed for cooking contests. She's won more than $80,000 in cash and prizes over the past eight years.

Don’t miss this delicious treat to meet Jamie and get your cookbook signed by the author!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Screenwriting Class

Love Movies?
Want To Learn How To Write One?


Taught by Vermont’s Goddard College

MFA Screenwriting Candidate


(AUG. 15th & AUG. 16th, 2008)

• Formatting
• Dialogue/Character Development
• Act Structure
• Rewriting
• Selling Your Script and more!

Time: 9AM-4:30PM BOTH DAYS
Breaks Provided – Bring Lunch/Eat Out

Location: Faith Lutheran Church
1745 Ohio St.
Oshkosh, WI

Limited Enrollment. Cost $25.00. Sign-Up Before JUNE 23, 2008 By Calling 920-966-0325

***Certificate Upon Completion***

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Next meeting

Just a reminder that there are five Saturdays in May so our next meeting won't be until 10 a.m. Saturday, June 7th, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. Dan is the Spotlight Author.

Life Stories Needed

FieldReport is a new web site that awards significant cash prizes for the best in personal writing. This call for submissions is for FieldReport's pre-launch beta period. Submission deadline is June 30, 2008 and there is no entry fee. Prizes are awarded July 1, 2008.

Post 2,500 words or less by going to the web site and typing in the password "truelife." (without the quotes). Award categories include Animals, College Life, Friends and Relations, Home and Garden, Parenting, and many others.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Writing Prompt for June 7

The writing prompt for the June 7 meeting is: "Pick up a few to take with you." The prompt may used any way you want.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Open Mic & Free Magazines

Just a reminder that we're hosting an open mic night at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, under the Library Dome, 106 Washington Ave. You can read old or new stuff, yours or someone else's. Please bring a dish to pass.

Of note: Hope S. is cleaning out the office of the Wisconsin Review and will be bring a box of FREE sample issues of various literary magazines to the open mic. It's commonly suggested to look at sample issues of a magazine before you submit something for publication; Hope is giving us a great opportunity to browse an array of magazine titles where we might want to submit future work.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Local Author Jess Riley

Oshkosh native Jess Riley will do a book talk and signing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Oshkosh Public Library. Her appearance is co-sponsored by the club.

Jess spoke to the Writers Club in June 2006 about her self-published novel, which has now been picked up by Random House and will be available in stores May 20. The book, "Driving Sideways," is about a road trip taken from Fond du lac to L.A. by a young woman with Kidney disease (PKD) and a recent transplant. Lots of twists and turns in the plot and a killer sense of humor. Target has already selected it as one of their breakout books.

Jess's visit will be a great opportunity to ask her about going from self-publishing to working with a major publishing house, and what she has learned along the way.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Writing prompt for May 17

There are two writing prompts for the Saturday, May 17 meeting; use them in any way that suits you.

1. "Get off me!"

2. Write about your first apartment, dorm room, etc.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

tips for distraction free

Lifehack org has an article on ways to keep yourself from being distracted while writing. It is at least some food for thought. Click on the link below to go to the article.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Online Word Processor

Do you need a word processing program? Do you work on your writing in different locations or on different computers? The following article describes several online word processing sites:


I have tried Inet Word at http://www.inetword.com/. It is a free web-based word processor and seems pretty good. You type documents online and can save it online. These means you can retrieve it from any computer with web access. It seems to have many features- more than most will ever use.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Comic Book Day

House of Heroes, downtown Oshkosh, will be giving away comic books from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 3, 2008, as part of the national Free Comic Book Day.

Titles include Simpsons, Superman, Iron Man, Transformers, Hellboy, X-Men, Naruto and more!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Free online search for publishers

Here is some information from the website Duotrope:

It looks like a good way to find a publisher.

Duotrope’s Digest is a free, online resource for writers of fiction and poetry.

why duotrope? Search for the perfect market for your fiction and poetry, based on a number of criteria. We list well over a thousand current markets, and we check each listing once a week to ensure everything stays as up-to-date as humanly possible. You can also get nifty reports on markets’ response times and acceptance/rejection ratios. Sign up for a free account and track your submissions in one place. We’ll even remind you when it’s time to query. Explore and see what else we have on tap.

how can I duotrope? Pull up your web browser and head over to duotrope.com. Remember, it’s free!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Author Boni Ashburn

Children’s author Boni Ashburn with her adorable book, “Hush Little Dragon,” will give a book talk at 3 p.m. Friday, May 9 at Apple Blossom Books, downtown Oshkosh. The book is a sweet lullaby to a fussy eater of a baby dragon. Never mind the taste of that magician, he’s good nutrition!

Meet Elizabeth Berg

New York author Elizabeth Berg will do a reading from her new book, "The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Other Small Acts of Liberation," at noon, Tuesday, May 13 at the Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Ave. This is her only Wisconsin appearance north of Milwaukee.

Her novels of strong women, families, and new beginnings make excellent choices for contemporary fiction including Oprah’s book club choice, “The Art of Mending”, or others like “Open House”, “The Year of Pleasures, “What We Keep”, “Dream When You’re Feeling Blue”, and “The Handmaid and the Carpenter”.

The free event is sponsored by Apple Blossom Books.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Author Visit - Joseph Amato

Noted author and historian Joseph Amato will speak about his newest book, "Jacob's Well: A Case For Rethinking Family History" published by Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2008. Amato has a long list of publishing credits, including "A Place Called Home: Writings on the Midwestern Small Town" (2003).

Writers interested in genealogy and storytelling will want to attend; this is a great opportunity to get advice on organizing your life stories.

The program will take at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 8th, the Dome Area, 2nd Floor, Oshkosh Public Library, 106 Washington Ave. The author will have books for sale. For more information, call the library at 236-5205.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Next Meeting - April 19th

The next meeting of the Oshkosh Area Writers Club will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library.

Note: Due to filming, you will need to approach the library from the north, coming on Merritt Avenue and then turning onto Jefferson St. If there are barricades, just tell the person at the barricade you are coming to the library and they will let you in.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Discussion Topic - Define "Romantic"

One of our authors wrote in one of his Life Stories of growing up in the early sixties a description of coming home to find his mother sitting up late watching Johnny Carson and smoking her Chesterfields. This image was described by another as romantic and this lead to the question: What is meant by romantic in this context?

We couldn't really come up with a definition, but in reading "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren, this writer came across the passage, “It is because he is a romantic, and he has a picture of the world in his head, and when the world doesn't conform in any respect to this picture, he wants to throw the world away.” This seems to be the answer.

Do we want people sitting up alone with a vice (or vices if you count TV watching) that isn't good for them? No. But when we think of people in the fifties or sixties, don't we want them watching Johnny Carson on a black and white TV and smoking? That's how we picture that time. Don't we envy this mother in a simpler time when you could indulge in a cigarette and didn't worry about carcinogens and second hand smoke? When you could enjoy late night TV without hearing a commercial for ED or see a young starlet without underwear? Those times probably weren't any simpler than today, yet we yearn for them romantically. ~ TC

We can continue this discussion using the "comment" forum.

First Annual Fox Cities Book Festival

Celebrate the pure joy of reading and make plans today to attend the inaugural Fox Cities Book Festival, which will be held April 16-20, 2008.

The festival will connect readers and writers and offer an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the literary arts. It will also reach across all generations and genres with activities spanning the entire Fox Cities. A book fair featuring numerous publishers will be held at City Center Plaza in Downtown Appleton on April 19.

The Fox Cities Book Festival will feature many national, state and local authors. Among the national writers coming to the Fox Cities:

Charles Baxter
As one of America's best-selling poets, Collins is known for his witty writing style. He was appointed as Poet Laureate in 2001 by Congress and served two terms. Collins has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation and was also the recipient of the Poetry Foundation's original Mark Twain Award for humorous poetry. Some of his most popular books of poetry include "Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems," "Picnic, Lightning" and "The Art of Drowning." Collins is an English professor and lives in New York

Speaking with Dean Bakopoulos Friday, April 18 at 2:30 p.m. about finding your writing mentor, UW-Fox Valley Aaron Bohrod Gallery; Speaking Friday, April 18 at 7 p.m., Stansbury Hall, Lawrence Univ.; Panel discussion Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. on turning fiction books into movies, Appleton Public Library

Alex Flinn
Alex Flinn is one of the country's best-selling authors of books for young adults. She was born on Long Island, moved to Miami as a teen and still calls Florida home. Although Flinn went to law school and was a practicing attorney, she always loved writing and started work on her first novel, "Breathing Underwater," while completing her college studies. Flinn now has five published novels to her name with "Fade to Black" and "Diva" as two reader favorites.

Speaking Wednesday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m., Harmony Café, Appleton. Her topic is Dating 101: Finding Your Way.

Alice Hoffman
Hoffman is one of America's most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of 18 novels, two stories of short fiction and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, "Here on Earth," was an Oprah Book Club choice and several of her books, including "Practical Magic" and the New York Times Bestseller, "The River King," have been made into movies. She currently splits her time between Boston and New York. Alice will be speaking about her popular novels Blackbird House and Green Angel.

Speaking Thursday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m., Kaukauna Public Library
Speaking Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m., Appleton Public Library
Speaking Friday, April 18 at 10 a.m., Neenah Public Library

Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye has traveled the world and is known for evoking a humanitarian spirit and drawing upon her cultural experiences in her poetry. She received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award for "You and Yours" and is credited for several books of poetry including "19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East" and "Different Ways to Pray." Nye has also written for young readers and received several honors including two Jane Addams Children's Book Awards and four Pushcart Prizes. Nye resides in Texas with her family.

Speaking Saturday, April 19 at 3 p.m., Harmony Café, Appleton
Speaking Saturday, April 19 at 7 p.m., Kaukauna High School
Conversations with Nye and FCBF Committee Member Ellen Kort, Sunday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m., Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. Please note this is a ticketed event.

In addition, there more than a dozen state/local authors appearing throughout the area. For a complete schedule of events, click here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Free Print Cartridge - April 2nd

Thanks to Dixie for alerting us to this gem:

For one day only, April 2, Walgreens is giving away free ink cartridges (not available for Canon or Epson printers); when you present the free coupon at http://www.walgreens.com/dmi/inkrefill/default.html?ec=hn522p_trouble.

Author Spotlight Schedule

Just a reminder of upcoming Spotlight Authors:

April 19 - Tom
May 3 - Ron
May 17 - Dixie
June 7 - Dan
June 21 - Mike

"Read Across America" Authors Celebration

We've been invited to "Read Across America" Authors Celebration 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 20, under the Oshkosh Public Library Dome. Winners will read their short stories and refreshments will be served. It would be nice if a few of the judges can attend!

Please RSVP by calling 233-5955 by April 14th and leave your name and the number of people attending.

Also, the organization wishes to thank Ruth, Jessica, Bob, Joyce, Jane, Mike, Hope and Dorothy for being the final judges in the create-a-book contest.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke

We're sad to note the passing of science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.

I'm sure we would not have had men on the Moon if it had not been for Wells and Verne and the people who write about this and made people think about it. I'm rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.

~ Arthur C. Clarke, Address to US Congress, 1975

Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition

Writer's Digest is currently accepting submissions for their Annual Writing Competition.

Entry Fee: $10-$15

Deadline: May 15, 2008. There will be 1,001 winners and more than $30,000 in cash and prizes. Top winners will be listed in the December 2008 issue of Writer's Digest.

Grand Prize:
$3,000 cash and a trip to New York City to meet with editors and agents. Second Place: The Second Place Winner in each category receives $500 cash, plus $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books. The Third Place Winner in each category receives $250 cash, plus $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books. The Fourth Place Winner in each category receives $100 cash. The Fifth-Place Winner in each category receives $50 cash. The Sixth- through Tenth-Place winners in each category receive $25 cash.

Flash Prose Contest

Writer Advice is sponsoring the 3rd annual Flash Prose Contest.

Submissions can for flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction that grabs, surprises, and mesmerizes readers in fewer than 750 words. First Place earns $75, Second Place earns $50, Third Place earns $35, and Fourth Place earns $20. Honorable Mentions will also be published. A list of all winners will be posted in the June - July issue of WriterAdvice. Deadline April 10, 2008; $10 entry fee.

Strongest Start Novel Writing Competition

The Next Big Writer is sponsoring the Strongest Start Novel Writing Competition (you need to be a member of the The Next Big Writer to enter).

Run by the TheNextBigWriter online community, the competition provides a $2,000 professional editing package for the writer who submits the most compelling starting three chapters. The judges include a NY Times Best-Selling author, a former literary agent and publisher from HarperSanFrancisco, and the previous year's winner. Writers
may submit as many novels as they like and will receive feedback on every entry. Deadline April 16, 2008.

Prizes: 1st Prize $2,000 Professional Editorial Package and $100, 2nd prize $50, 3rd prize $25.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Online Writing Courses

Become a better writer, get organized, and get published with a growing collection of online, non-credit writing courses taught by experienced professionals through the University of Wisconsin.

All courses are taught for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end, for a total of eight weeks. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

Each class is offered four times this spring: March 19, April 16, May 21 and June 18. Cost is $89 per class. For more information and/or to register, click here.

Class offerings include:

Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writers

Who doesn't know the fear of the blank page? How can we transform our visions into the written word? Is it really possible to become a terrific writer? You'll find the answer to these and more of your questions in Writeriffic. In this high-energy class you'll learn lots of tricks from the published writer's toolbox. Whether you're at work now or hoping to write a novel, a nonfiction book, a memoir, short stories or articles, Writerific liberates the imaginative, inventive bolts of genius that are inside everyone.If you've ever dreamed of hearing your writer's voice and writing what's in your heart and head, this class will make it happen.

Write Fiction Like a Pro

What’s the single biggest difference between professional authors and novices? Professionals know how to structure novels and stories for maximum dramatic effect. This course helps you develop the same story structuring skills the pros use. You'll understand how your passion, theme, premise, and characters help you create the structure of your story, and you'll discover how viewpoint, dialogue, pacing, and many other techniques are used to build scenes and move your story from beginning to end.

Each assignment in this course helps you develop your own original novel or story. As you apply each technique, your story will take shape, with a clear path from beginning to end. And whenever you have questions or insights to share, you can join your instructor and classmates in the Discussion Area for some interactive brainstorming! Before you know it, you’ll be prepared to ...write fiction like a pro.

Romance Writing Secrets

Learn the secrets of writing romance novels that get publishers excited. Facilitated by a bestselling, multi-published romance author, this course will guide you on your road to writing your first romance and getting it published.

Romance writing is the hottest fiction genre going. From Nora Roberts to Jayne Ann Krentz to Linda Howard, readers gobble up romance novels to the tune of $1.2 billion a year. This course starts with the fundamentals of organizing your book, beginning with the overarching theme, and moves on to the basic elements of good storytelling—character development, structuring your plot, internal and external conflict, and point of view. The class then proceeds to the specifics of romance—the importance of writing emotions, love scenes, witty banter, and romantic imagery. The course concludes with hints and tips on getting published within the romance market.

Students will be exposed to real-life examples from popular romance novels and from the instructor’s 12 years of experience as a published author of 39 romance novels.

Pleasures of Poetry

If you want to write poetry, this course will help you to create your best possible work. You'll learn the formal elements of the craft, become aware of how particular forms work, and explore many avenues for possible poetry topics. Interactive exercises will help you to create at least one poem with formal elements, and you'll receive instruction and commentary in a constructive and nurturing environment. If you're serious about becoming a published poet, you'll also learn how to prepare a manuscript for publication and where to send it for the best possible results.

Creating a Sense of Place

You may live among the prickly pears, dust devils, and intense sun of the desert. Or you may reside in a small town nestled alongside cornfields. Or perhaps you live in the big city and take a train in to work every day.

No matter where you live, your surroundings have special physical, historical, and spiritual characteristics that you can--and should--rely on to breathe life into any work of fiction or nonfiction.

During this course, you'll learn to tap into the world you know in order to establish a realistic sense of place in your writing. You'll develop your eye for detail, and you'll find out how to collect the information you'll need to infuse your works with believable characters, memorable settings, and detailed descriptions.

This hands-on course is filled with a variety of valuable exercises that will help you hone your skills of observation, interviewing, collecting oral histories, remembering details and descriptions, reproducing dialogue and diction, using figurative language, developing realistic characters, and more.

By the time you finish this course, you'll be well-prepared to create truly unique works filled with vivid and meaningful observations of the people, places, foods, customs, and events in not only your local community, but also in places that exist only in your memory.

Write Your Life Story

Have you thought about writing your story, sharing life-altering events? Does your family really know about their heritage? If you've ever thought about writing your life story, now is the time. You will have the satisfaction of telling history your way. You may even find a lucrative market for your story, just like the authors of the bestselling Rocket Boys and Angela's Ashes. This course walks you step-by-step through the process of writing your life story. It's fun. It's exciting. It's a story only you can tell.

Writing for Children

Join a published children's author and discover how you can touch the hearts of children by creating books for them. If you're a beginning writer, this course will help you transform a book idea into a finished product that you'll be proud to place into the hands of potential publisher. And if you're already a successful writer, this course will help you explore new opportunities and markets for your work.

In this highly interactive, hands-on course, you'll take pen to paper and begin work on your very first fiction or nonfiction manuscript. In the process, you'll explore the changing world of children's literature and understand the various formats--from baby's first books to novels for young adults. You'll get insights from guest authors and editors to gain a better understanding of the needs of today's market. By researching the genre and recognizing niche players, you'll open doors of opportunity, many of which you may not have previously considered. By the time you finish this course, you'll have all the tools and resources you'll need to continue to grow as a writer for children.

Mystery Writing

What makes a mystery?

If you consider the books you've read most recently, you may be surprised to discover that many--if not all--are mysteries. From Dan Brown to Dennis Lehane, mysteries are hot items on today's best-seller lists.

This course will teach you the techniques you need to know if you want to become a best-selling mystery author.

Mystery Writing begins by introducing the four story types and then explains how they relate to mysteries. It then reveals the three-act story structure, which is any story's key to success. Next, it shows you how to propel the action forward to a climax, followed by a catharsis in which your readers feel the release of tension that accompanies a great finish.

The difference between story and plot is one of the most important distinctions in fiction writing--and one that many professional authors don't fully understand. But you will have mastered it by the end of this course. You'll also get a chance to experiment with viewpoints and see which one works best for your mystery. And you'll write a complete scene from your story and learn the internal structure that makes every scene feel right.

Finally, you'll delve into the special techniques that apply to mysteries, including crime scene description, MacGuffins, and the use of red herrings to misdirect your readers and create suspense.

Examples from real mystery novels will show these techniques in action. Then, following each lesson, you'll get to practice on your own story. And when you have questions or insights to share, you can join your instructor and classmates in a dynamic, interactive discussion area.

This information-packed online course combines the best advice of many writing professionals, tempered with the instructor's own experiences as a mystery writer. Follow the guidelines taught in this course, and you'll be well on your way to writing a successful mystery of your very own!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Documentary is Done!

Jim Stevens has graciously created a documentary on the Oshkosh Area Writers Club and we all appreciate the time he took away from his family and other obligations to put this together. While it's not ready for television viewing, you can preview it here. It is 19MB.

"Power of the Pen" writing workshop

Jessica alerts us that the 4th annual "Power of the Pen Writer's Conference" will be held Friday, March 28 through Saturday, April 5. This year's schedule looks better than ever and the fee is ONLY $14.11 per class.

Classes to choose from include:
Chapbook 101 with John Leman
Expanding the Reach of Poetry with Ellen Kort
Image, Form and Voice Across Genres with Bruce Taylor
Writing, Not Typing with Bruce Taylor
Character Development with Tim Meier

For more information, click here and then click on "Power of the Pen" in the lower right hand corner.

Since this is the fifth weekend of the month and there's no meeting, we can organize a car pool!

Don't confuse this workshop with Write Away!, a one-day creative writing class from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the UW-Fox Campus, Menasha, 1478 Midway Road, Room 1346.

Instructor Bill Gillard (M.F.A. Creative Writing) will lead the class in memory and imagination exercises; experiments in a variety of forms and genres; and revision techniques. No writing experience is necessary; fee is $79 (bring a bag lunch).

For more details or to register, go to www.uwfox.uwc.edu/conted or phone 920-832-2636.

Upcoming Events

In addition to the writing critique sessions, we're holding the following special events this spring:

Story Starters

Need some inspiration? Join us for Story Starters - 5-minute writing sessions based on writing prompts to awaken your creativity and imagination!

7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23

The one-hour sessions are held in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. Bring paper and pen.

Open Mic

7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21
Library Dome, 2nd Floor

Whether you want to read your own work or that of your favorite author or poet, this open mic event is open to the public. What a great opportunity to share your writing with family and friends! All ages welcome.

Members are asked to bring a snack to share; beverages will be provided.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Congrats to Hope!

A big congrats to member Hope S., who was recently appointed editor of the Wisconsin Review, a literary publication of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Writing Prompt for March 1

The writing prompt for the March 1st meeting is: "I don't know why I remember this..."

Use the prompt any way you wish!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Children's Book Fest

The Rhinelander Children's Book Fest 2008 is a two day conference that will be held at the Rhinelander Holiday Inn on March 11 and 12, 2008.

Registration information for Children's Book Fest can be found on the RDL website home page. Scroll down under Library Catalog to Upcoming Library Programs. It will be necessary to mail the form and check. All registrations must be received no later than March 7. Payment of $6.00 per person must accompany each registration form. No purchase orders, please.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ask Beverly Clearly

If you've ever wanted to ask Beverly Cleary a question about her books, the memorable characters she has created, or her life as a writer, here's your chance! In celebration of National D.E.A.R. Day -- that's Drop Everything and Read -- Reading Rockets is collecting questions for Mrs. Cleary from readers. Teachers, librarians, parents, and readers of all ages can submit their questions.

The best questions will be selected for Mrs. Cleary to answer. Visit Reading Rockets on April 12th to hear what she has to say in a new exclusive audio interview.

You have until February 29 to send your question. If your question is selected to be answered, HarperCollins Children's Books will send you a set of Beverly Cleary titles! Visit the Reading Rockets D.E.A.R. web page to learn more or to submit your question at the Reading Rockets website: http://pbsmail.org/ct/mp1twK41F4NI/dearday

Thursday, February 07, 2008

UW - Fox Writing Class

Write Away!, a one-day creative writing class, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the UW-Fox Campus, Menasha, 1478 Midway Road, Room 1346.

Instructor Bill Gillard (M.F.A. Creative Writing) will lead the class in memory and imagination exercises; experiments in a variety of forms and genres; and revision techniques. No writing experience is necessary; fee is $79 (bring a bag lunch).

For more details or to register, go to www.uwfox.uwc.edu/conted or phone 920-832-2636.

Writing Prompt for Feb. 16

The writing prompt for the Feb. 16 meeting is: "That was the worst thing that anybody ever said to me."

Feel free to use the prompt any way you'd like.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sandvidge Sisters author visit

The Sanvidge Sisters, who grew up in Oshkosh, will talk about their new book, "Apple Betty & Sloppy Joe," 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26, 2008 in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. A book signing will follow the talk; books are available for purchase at Apple Blossom Books, downtown Oshkosh.

A great cookbook that includes lots of cute stories, the book is garnering lots of attention. One of the sisters, Julie Sanvidge of Ohio, was recently featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio. For local articles, click below:

Oshkosh Northwestern

Wisconsin State Journal

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Books for Writers

New books for writers available through the Oshkosh Public Library:

The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Fry, Stephen

Careers in Writing by Camenson, Blythe

The Longman Guide to Intermediate and Advanced Fiction Writing by Stone, Sarah

The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by LaPlante, Alice

Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Goldberg, Natalie

How to Get a Literary Agent by Larsen, Michael

The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself by Bell, Susan

The Legacy Guide: Capturing the Facts, Memories, and Meaning of Your Life by Franco, Carol

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction by Benrey, Ron

Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story by Myers, Linda Joy

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing by Leonard, Elmore

Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book by Poynter, Dan

Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus by Shapiro, Susan

How to Write: A Screenplay by Schwartz, Mark Evan

Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel by Yardley, Cathy

How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead by Gore, Ariel

The TV Writer's Workbook: A Creative Approach to Television Scripts by Sandler, Ellen

Monday, January 28, 2008

WFOP Triad Poetry Contest

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets annual Triad Contest ends Aug. 1, 2008.


Contestant must be a current WFOP member in good standing. (Annual dues are $25)

There is no entry fee. Do not send a SASE. Entries will not be returned.

Entry form must be completed in full, included with the submission and postmarked by the contest deadline date listed on the entry form.

Contestant may enter only one, original, unpublished poem in each category. The same poem may not be entered in more than one category. Categories are Designated Theme (theme for 2008 is "Keepsake); Kay Saunders Memorial New Poet (no specific subject or form) and Poet's Choice (no specific subject or form). Maximum length of all poems is 75 lines.

Manuscript must be typed on 8.5" x 11" white paper, one side only, one poem to a page. Type the category in the upper left corner.

Writer's name should not appear on the page with the poem.

Designated Theme: $50, $30, $20
Poet's Choice: $50, $30, $20
Kay Saunders Memorial New Poet: $50, $30, $20

For complete contest rules and entry form, click here.

2008 Fabulous Five Writing Contest

The Wisconsin Romance Writers of America is sponsoring the 2008 Fabulous Five Writing Contest. Submit the first ten pages of your manuscript in one of several categories listed below; only the first 25 submissions in each category will be accepted.

The contest is open to all authors unpublished in RWA approved full-length fiction in the past five years; deadline for submissions is March 1, 2008.

Fee: $18 for WisRWA members /$20 for RWA members /$22 for non-RWA members

Short Contemporary
Long Contemporary/Single Title Romance
Romantic Suspense/Intrigue
Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal/Time Travel
Women's Fiction

For submission guidelines, registration form and other information, please click here.

Wisconsin Romance Writers Convention

The Wisconsin chapter of Romance Writers of America will hold their 2008 convention May 16-18 at the Radisson Hotel Conference Center & Oneida Casino, Green Bay. Fees for Friday/Saturday are $110 for members; $145 for non-members. Day fees are also available.

Keynote speaker Lori Foster first published with Harlequin in January 1996. Her second book launched Temptation Blaze and her 25th book launched Temptation Heat. Since those early days, Lori has routinely had 6 to 10 releases a year. She's a Waldenbooks, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly and New York Times bestselling author with over 50 titles published through a variety of houses, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martins, Harlequin and Silhouette. In 2005, Lori received the prestigious Romantic Times “Career Achievement Award” for Contemporary Romance.

Other workshops include:

Anna Schmidt Self-Editing: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright What Were You Thinking!?

Editor & Agent Q and A session

Rhonda Penders Size Doesn't Matter: Its not the size of the publisher you should be looking at when deciding who to query.

Dianne Castell The Heroine Revolt...or you've come a long way, baby. Heroines from Mythology to Meryl Streep, complete with props.

The conference will also feature editors from publishing houses St. Martins Press, Avon, Bantam, The Wild Rose Press, Harlequin and others.

For a complete schedule of events, fees, and registration form, click here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wisconsin Science Fiction Writers Convention

WisCon, an annual Wisconsin science fiction writers convention, will be held May 23-26, 2008, in Madison. Registration is capped to the first 1,000 writers who register. The conference fee is only $45 for the weekend and childcare is available for $1 per child.

Over the weekend, attendees will get to choose from more than one hundred multi-tracked items, incuding lectures, readings, book signings and critique groups. Genres range from science fiction to fantasy to horror to non-fiction, from books to movies to comics to scholarly papers, from items populated with professional authors to detail-loving academics to attentive fans. For a schedule of events, click here.

Joyce F. has attended the conference several times and highly recommends it!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Key to Creativity

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."
Joseph Chilton Pierce

There's a neat article by Rob Daughery titled "Understanding the Mind: 5 Keys to a Writer's Creativity" that has some interesting ideas; it's not very long, yet has great information about how to use the brain's natural abilities to be more creative.

Club Judging Contest

The Oshkosh Area Writers Club will be judging entries for the Create-a-Book contest at the March 15 meeting. The contest is open to students in grades 3-5 and ends March 3. For more details on the contest, please click here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Author Alice Hoffman coming to Neenah

Author Alice Hoffman will be coming to Neenah Public Library at 10 a.m. Friday, April 18.

Bestselling novelist Alice Hoffman has published 20 novels for adults and several books for children and young adults. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Her book, "Here on Earth," was an Oprah Book Club selection. The newest “Fox Cities Reads" titles (a community-wide reading program), are Blackbird House and Green Angel, both by Alice Hoffman. Copies of the books are available at the Neenah Public Library and other Winnefox libraries. Seating is limited; first come, first served.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Oshkosh Area Writers Club is 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, in the lower level meeting room of the Oshkosh Public Library. The writing prompt is: "A picture is worth a thousand words" and the Author Spotlight is Dixie J.

Congrats to Dixie

Dixie’s novel, Running Crazy, which many of you reviewed, has been selected by the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest to move to the second stage of the contest. As one of 1000 semi finalists, she will get a review by Publishers Weekly. Please post a review on her site after reading the 5000 word excerpt: http://tinyurl.com/34hybf

No word yet from other members who submitted contest entries.

Club Documentary

Kudos to Jim Stevens, who has finished the documentary on the club; thanks to everyone who agreed to be interviewed and for allowing Jim to tape our meeting. Jim hopes to get the documentary aired on the Oshkosh Communty Access Televion (OCAT) Channel 10 but you can view the 10-minute piece at: http://www.boathouseloopers.com/videos/OAWCtest2.wmv

Thanks Jim for undertaking this project!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Classes at the Clearing

The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay has announced it's 2008 schedule of classes. Some of the offerings of interest to writers are below; prices are reasonable. More information can be found at their website.

Winter 2008 (registration now open)

Beginning to Write Poems
Mondays from 10 - 11:30
4 Sessions; First Class: February 4

Classes will include a variety of writing exercises and prompts to help students write their own poems. Please bring pens and a large notebook or legal pad.
Location: The Conference Room in The Meadows at Scandia Village, Sister Bay

Tuition: $40.00

Summer 2008 (registration opens Feb. 21)

The Process of Writing: Focus on Poetry & Short Prose - Chris Swanberg
May 18 - 24

Poetry Camp: Generating New Work - Robin Chapman & Judith Strasser
May 25 - 31

Writing Personal Fiction - Sara Rath
June 22 - 28

The Spirit & Practice of Poetry - Ellen Kort
July 13 - July 19

Joy Seeking & Journal Writing - Darlene Cole & Joyce Morrison
July 20 - July 26

Writing from Your Life - Jerry Apps
Aug. 3 - Aug. 9

The 3-in-1 Writing Workshop - John Lehman
Aug. 24 - Aug. 30

Women's Writing Retreat - Judy Bridges
Sept. 7 - Sept. 13

Curtis L. Brown Challenge

The Fox Valley Writers Club is again sponsoring the Curtis L. Brown Challenge (Dixie J. took second place last year!). This year's theme is "Inventing and Inventiveness."


There is no entry fee.

Deadline: Entry must be postmarked before midnight February 29, 2008.

Any high-school senior or older resident of the Fox Valley and surrounding communities is eligible to compete.

Entries should not exceed 2,000 words.

Any form of writing is acceptable - prose or poetry, fact or fiction - but must not have been published before.

The contest's theme, Inventing and Inventiveness, can be explored from any angle. It can cover the story or impact of an invention; the solution to a problem; or any event, in which quick thinking saved the day, rescued a pet or a person, or resolved an embarrassing situation.

Correct English is assumed, and entries will be judged primarily on originality and clarity. The judging decision is final, and entries cannot be returned.

Entries should be double-spaced on one side of sequentially numbered sheets. Only the title of the entry may appear on top of every page. The writer's name, address, and telephone number, the title of the entry, and its word count should appear on a separate sheet and nowhere else in the manuscript.

Mail to: "Curtis L. Brown Writing Challenge" 635 Quarry Lane, Neenah, WI 54956-4146.
Award certificates and monetary prizes will be given to the three best entries. First place: $45.00; second: $35.00; third: $20.00.

Winning entries may qualify for publication in the Club's Experimental Literary Journal, Ego Trips, but copyright stays with the author.


BIC HOK TAM is the motto of Book-in-a-Week, which means butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly.

Book-in-a Week writers are connected through a list created at Yahoo. The main purpose of the group is to write, but they also exchange information, publishing news and kudos. Anything writing related.

The Monday of the first FULL week of the month (usually) we begin BIW at 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The dates are planned for the year making it is easy to mark your calendar and plan ahead.

BIW writers decide on their own goals and submit them to the list the week prior to BIW. During BIW, writers write as much as they can and post their daily totals to the list. To stay motivated we recommend checking in everyday whether you write or not. We’re here to help with the support and accountability. The group works on the honour system.

No editing, no going back over what’s been written. Write, write, write. What is important is getting the words down, creating a first draft. Editing and revising comes later. Allow yourself to write quickly and without worry. Get your ideas down first.

Some members actually finish a book in one week and for others the only time they write is during BIW, thereby giving BIW a double meaning.

Writers can work on whatever they wish--a story, an article, book length fiction. It should be in the beginning stages rather than something you have already written and want to polish. You can even select something from work or school, like a research paper, as long as it is writing related.

At the end of each day writers post their page total to the list. Just the number of pages written, not the actual pages. If you had problems writing, share what happened and why. If you did really well, share that, too. List members are always supportive. Discussing the problems and successes helps.

The BIWs are scheduled a year in advance. Most of the traffic on the list is generated during this week but it doesn’t end there. You are welcome to stay and be as active as you like. We have some regulars who participate every month and some who only participate a few times a year. Check out “When” in the navigation bar to find out when the next BIW will occur.

We have members from all over the world: The US, Canada, India, Ireland, Australia, France and Taiwan. This BIW list unites writers from all walks of life, published and unpublished.