April Newsletter

April, 2014

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at theloftmtsu@gmail.com.

–Karen Alea Ford

NEWS

Save the Date: Our Fall Conference will be held Saturday, September 20th at MTSU. More details to come.

The novel workshop with Darnell Arnoult on April 26th is full. We look forward to seeing many of you there. Yes, we’ll arrange for her to return!

Registration for Summer Session opens soon. It starts June 1st and lasts until August 31st. $1,000. Feel free to email me with questions.

 

FACULTY NEWS

Gloria Ballard:  A feature by nonfiction mentor Gloria Ballard, “Garden events bloom after a long, cold winter,” appeared in The Tennessean on March 29. http://www.tennessean.com/story/life/home-garden/2014/03/27/garden-events-bloom-long-cold-winter/6982125/

Bill Brown: I have new work forthcoming in River Styx, Broad River Review, Conclave: Journal of Character, Number One, and Nashville Arts Magazine May edition. I will be reading a new poem, “Dance” for the artist, Carlos Barela in an Ekphrases event at the Ortega Gallery in Phoenix, Az, May 2. My Poem “The Names of Creeks” was selected for Poetry in the Parks and will be preserved on Granite at Edmond’s Park outside of Boston, MA.

Linda Busby Parker: I’m reviewing Roy Hoffman’s new novel, COME LANDFALL (Tuscaloosa:  University of Alabama Press, 2014), for the writers’ magazine 2ND AND CHURCH; that same book review will also appear on-line at the Alabama Writer’s Forum website.  It’s the story of three women, war, and the men they loved and is set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Roy Burkhead spoke for the Pensters March meeting in Fairhope, Alabama.  Actually, we double-teamed—I asked questions about 2ND AND CHURCH and he answered them.  He answered them very well!!  The Pensters loved him.  He nowhas a following on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.  The Loft makes so many great connections possible.  I’ve attached photos.

I entered the RIVER STYX Flash Fiction Contest—top prize was $!,000 and a case of micro-brewed beer.  My piece, “Stage Whispers,” was a semi-finalist.  Very nice—but no beer.

Terry Price, Charlotte Dixon and I are working on a program proposal for the next AWP Conference (Associated Writing Programs) in Minneapolis, 2015.  The program title is–“Creating Characters from the Inside Out: Tools and Inspiration.”

Meanwhile, I have been writing, writing, writing!

 Kory Wells:

I’m participating in the Big Poetry Giveaway, a nationwide blogging event, on my blog at http://korywells.com/2014/03/the-big-poetry-giveaway/
Also on my blog is a round-up of articles about National Poetry Month here in middle Tennessee, including one by Loft alumni Sandy Coomer and my own in The Murfreesboro Pulsehttp://korywells.com/2014/04/middle-tennessee-poetry-news/
I’m just back from the Tennessee Mountain Writers workshop, where I had presented ideas for starting – or building a better – blog, and presented my poetry with the help of musician Kelsey Wells.
Alumni and Students:
Amanda Moon:

My book, Your Pilates Life, is available for free download: http://books.noisetrade.com/amandamichellemoon/your-pilates-life.
Last weekend I attended the Prairie Gate Literary Festival at University of Minnesota Morris and got to attend wonderful workshops by Joanna Scott and Matt Hart. In Matt’s workshop, focused on poetry, we practiced different “tricks” to get writing. This was my favorite: Go to a story that sells paint. Pick out one sample page with three or more colors on it. Pick out one singe color sample. Write a poem using all of the color names, in the order they appear on the samples. Your single color can go at the beginning or the end. In Joanna’s we talked about narrative voice and studied examples from “Exercises in Style” by Raymond Queneau. Really, really interesting read and I highly recommend it- he writes the same story 99 times, but using a different style each time.
My first novel, Stealing the Ruby Slippers will be available on May 12! Information available here: http://amandamichellemoon.com/writing/stealing-the-ruby-slippers.
Leisa Hammett: “You do know about “Listen to Your Mother, Nashville,” right? You’re gonna laugh. You’re gonna cry. And, you’re going to be really sorry if you miss our one-time performance about the beauty and the beast of motherhood, Sat. Apr. 26, 7 PM, TPAC-Tennessee Performing Arts Center‘s Polk Theater.”
Kimberly Cross Teter: The Loft is very excited to announce that Kimberly’s middle-grade historical novel Isabella’s Libretto will be published by Excaliber Press. The press date is in the Fall, and we all look forward to holding one in our hands! Congrats, Kimberly!

 

WEBSITES and BLOGS

Gloria Ballard

http://thegardenbench.wordpress.com

http://gloriaballard.wordpress.com

www.gloriaballard.com

Ashley Loar

www.brilliantmediocrity.blogspot.com

Jeff Hardin

www.jeffhardin.weebly.com

Leisa Hammett

www.LeisaHammett.com

Jennifer Chesak

www.wanderinginthewordspress.com

www.wanderinginthewords.com

https://twitter.com/jenchesak

Michael Potts

http://www.michael-potts.com
Author’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Potts/e/B006EC8XKW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/potts-end-of-summer?keyword=potts+end+of+summer&store=allproducts

Charlotte Dixon Rains

http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

http://www.teachersacup.com

Emily Davidson Nemoy

emilydavidsonnemoy.com

Kory Wells

http://www.facebook.com/korywells

http://twitter.com/korywells

http://www.korywells.com/

Candace White

www.aintgotenoughgravy.com

OPPORTUNITIES

*Spoken word artist Minton Sparks (www.mintonsparks.com) will be teaching her next workshop Saturday, May 3rd. Details are below:
Saturday, May 3rd
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Scarritt Bennett Center
1008 19th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
***Space is limited to 20 participants. Registration closes Friday, April 25th at 5 p.m.
 PRICE: $125
WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: www.mintonsparks.com/workshop

 * Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards

Sponsor:          Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

SYNOPSIS:  The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation provides an award to
encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace
and the human spirit. All poems must be the original work of the poet,
unpublished, and in English.

Deadline(s):      07/01/2014
Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards
PMB 121
1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 1
Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2794
U.S.A.

Web Site: http://www.peacecontests.org/
Program URL: http://www.peacecontests.org/poetry/index.php

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April 18, 2014 · 6:12 pm

March Newsletter

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at theloftmtsu@gmail.com.

–Karen Alea Ford

Upcoming Event

Novel Workshop with Darnell Arnoult
Drafting the Novel

What is the difference between the terms “story” and “novel”? Stories happen, novels are constructed. Novels are the architecture of what happened, revealing events and information to the reader in the most seductive and engaging way so as to keep the reader’s interest from the first page to the last. In this workshop we will explore novel structure along with global and linear approaches to creating the story and the architecture.

Cost
Free for Writer’s Loft graduates and current students.
General Public–$20 CASH or CHECK (to MTSU) at event.

Date
Saturday, April 26th, 10-12

Address
Peck Hall, 3rd Floor, MTSU

About Darnell
Darnell Arnoult is the writer-in- residence and co-director of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. She is also co-editor of the literary magazine, Draft Horse. She is prize-winning author of What Travels With Us: Poems (LSU Press) and the novel Sufficient Grace (Free Press). Her shorter works have appeared in a variety of journals, including Appalachian Heritage, Asheville Poetry Review, Nantahala Review, Now and Then, Sandhills Review, Southern Cultures, Southern Exposure, and Southwest Review.
Darnell holds an MFA from University of Memphis and an MA from NC State, and is a regular faculty member of the Table Rock Writers Workshop, Tennessee Young Writers Workshop, John C. Campbell Folk School, and Learning Events.
She was the recipient of the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature, SIBA Poetry Book of the Year, Mary Frances Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters, and in 2007 was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance.

TO REGISTER, CLICK HERE.

NEWS

Mentor Gloria Ballard–Gloria had a non-fiction travel piece in a recent Tennessean: Chattanooga From the Outside In, with sidebars on the Bluff View Art District, Spring Break Safari and other features was published in The Tennessean on March 9. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20140309/TRAVEL/303090030/Chattanooga-looks-good-from-outside-in

WEBSITES and BLOGS

Karen Alea (Ford)

http://www.karenalea.com

Gloria Ballard

http://thegardenbench.wordpress.com

http://gloriaballard.wordpress.com

www.gloriaballard.com

Ashley Loar

www.brilliantmediocrity.blogspot.com

Jeff Hardin

www.jeffhardin.weebly.com

Leisa Hammett

www.LeisaHammett.com

Jennifer Chesak

www.wanderinginthewordspress.com

www.wanderinginthewords.com

https://twitter.com/jenchesak

Michael Potts

http://www.michael-potts.com
Author’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Potts/e/B006EC8XKW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/potts-end-of-summer?keyword=potts+end+of+summer&store=allproducts

Charlotte Dixon Rains

http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

http://www.teachersacup.com

Emily Davidson Nemoy

emilydavidsonnemoy.com

Kory Wells

http://www.facebook.com/korywells

http://twitter.com/korywells

http://www.korywells.com/

Candace White

www.aintgotenoughgravy.com

Opportunities

Front Porch, the online literary journal of Texas State University’s MFA, invites all writers to submit works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for our Summer 2014 issue.
http://frontporchjournal.com http://frontporchjournal.com

Front Porch is dedicated to publishing the most celebrated talents in contemporary writing published alongside exceptional new voices. Our editors seek out both innovative and traditional literature. In short, we’re looking for insightful and relevant writing that excels, regardless of form, theme, or style.

Our submissions are rolling with no deadline and submitted online through Front Porch’sonline submission manager. The guidelines and submission manager can be accessed here: http://www.frontporchjournal.com/submit.asp http://www.frontporchjournal.com/submit.asp
If you’re interested in the work we publish, our entire archives are available online, andissue 25 http://www.frontporchjournal.com/, our Winter 2013 issue, was recently published.

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February Newsletter

The Writers’ Loft

Middle Tennessee State University

Image

February, 2014

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at theloftmtsu@gmail.com.

–Karen Alea Ford

NEWS

It is the time of the year when writers apply for conferences and fellowships. Some deadlines are March 1st. If you are interested in applying for a competitive conference like Sewanee Writer’s Conference (http://sewaneewriters.org/conference) or Bread Loaf (http://www.middlebury.edu/blwc), please let me know and I’d be happy to assist with the application.–Karen

 

We will have a fiction module on Saturday, April 29th with Darnell Arnoult. More information to come. This will be free for alumni, faculty and current students.

“Darnell Arnoult is the writer-in-residence and co-director of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. She is also co-editor of the literary magazine, “Draft Horse.”  She is prize-winning author of What Travels With Us: Poems (LSU Press) and the novel Sufficient Grace (Free Press). Her shorter works have appeared in a variety of journals, including Appalachian Heritage, Asheville Poetry Review, Nantahala Review, Now and Then, Sandhills Review, Southern Cultures, Southern Exposure, and Southwest Review.

Darnell holds an MFA from University of Memphis and an MA from NC State, and is a regular faculty member of the Table Rock Writers Workshop, Tennessee Young Writers Workshop, John C. Campbell Folk School, and Learning Events.

She was the recipient of the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature, SIBA Poetry Book of the Year, Mary Frances Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters, and in 2007 was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance.”

 

FACULTY NEWS

Bill Brown: Bill is excited about his forthcoming book and its design. Keep you fingers crossed. Since the last newsletter he has new work in Cumberland River Review, Blue Lyra Review and Still: the Journal. His poem “Poem of Questions” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his poem “Our Death” was nominated for Best of the Net Anthology. Bill’s sonnet “Backwoods Vespers” is currently featured in the Poetry Corner of an online magazine, Sweatpants and Coffee.

http://sweatpantsandcoffee.com/inspiration/poetry-corner-backwoods-vespers/

Andrea Seigel: Andrea’s film, Laggies, premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Five distributers were engaged in a bidding war. AK4 bought the rights and the film will debut this summer. Tentative date is May 9th.

 Gloria Ballard, Charlotte Dixon Rains, Linda Busby Parker and Terry Price are all very active in events outside of their work in The Loft. Please go to their websites to see what they have going on—classes, trips, retreats.

 

Best Writing Advice You Ever Received:

*This is dedicated to our current students.

1- “Never leave any holes in your writing”~the late Albert Cason, former Business Editor at the Tennessean. He meant leave no questions in the mind of the reader and to this day I do that or TRY–even with emails!

2-”The Right to Write” by Julia Cameron. The whole book is great but I love the chapters on not letting “drama” get in your way of writing. Your drama or other people’s drama. She suggests making a list of 100 things “you, personally, love”. The author continues to recommend pulling out the list when “stress strikes” and it will bring you to a sense of well being so that you are clear to write.

I also love what is written on the back of the book “Why should we write?” It is several paragraphs long but the closing line is great advice: “we should write, above all, because we are writers, whether we call ourselves that or not.” –Patty Outlaw

The best advice I ever received was when a certain poet friend, who’d been reading some of my poems every so often for a couple of years, suggested I had enough material to put a manuscript together. The idea caught me by surprise but set me on the path to putting together my first collection and finding a home for it with a small press – as it happened, one which the same friend also suggested I try. I’ve had good experiences with acting on the unsolicited advice of other writing colleagues and mentors as well. I think the moral of the story is to trust and honor the people who know you and your work by actually trying what they suggest. They’re likely looking at your work in both a broader and more objective way than you can, plus applying their own intuition and experience, and all of that raises your chances of success.–Kory Wells

The best writing advice I have ever received was to read my work out loud to myself before doing anything else with it. I do this with everything I write or edit, whether it’s a press release for a client, a full-length feature article for a magazine or a chapter I’m editing for another author’s book. I summon up my television reporter voice (from my broadcasting days) and read to the dog. No joke. When I first heard that advice, I thought it was corny, and I simply re-read my work in my head, not out loud. But then I eventually tried it, and I was astonished how much I could improve my work after I heard it out loud. Now, this is the first piece of advice I give to any aspiring writer. –Jennifer Chesak

Everyone needs an editor. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. –Leisa Hammett

The best I ever received was this all-purpose one: Being a professional means doing the things you love to do on the days you really don’t feel like doing them. –Roy Burkhead

I don’t remember much direct, soulful advice from anyone that would fit on a bumper sticker. I did have some individuals who lived advice for me. A former editor at the Daily News Journal named Jerry kindly looked over the feeble attempts of myself as a young college student trying to write. I still have his emails. I think he sent my first article back about 5 times with corrections, but neither would he let me quit. To his credit it was about a sensitive political issue which he could have dismissed very easily. After I rewrote the piece that many times, he said something matter-of-factly like, “See? You did it. It makes sense now. Thanks.” In calmly helping me “try to make sense” he reminded of the reason why one writes–to communicate, to understand the facts as best you can, and engage with others. –Laura Beth Payne

If it doesn’t hurt, you aren’t doing it right. –David Harris

Concentrate on the story first. Then edit. –Diana Revell

 “Get down on the blanket…”~ Darnell Arnoult. Which I translate as plopping myself right smack in the middle of the scene and looking around…what do I see, smell, hear…. –Debbie McClannahan

Being a serious writer is a job, not a lifestyle. Treat it like a job. Show up everyday and do your work. –Lou Mindar

Had a poetry teacher once declare a 10 year moratorium on end rhyme for each student in the class (there were about 12 of us). I may have broken that rule a time or two thousand. I suppose my point is that sometimes the best advice is that which you consciously choose to act against or in spite of. –JR Robles

Richard Bausch said this in a workshop once, just threw it out there. He said, “You can fix ‘it’ with one line.” He meant when you are revising, you come across something that doesn’t fit and you think, “OMG, how am I going to explain this?!”  A lot of time you can do it with one line. Presto. Done.

Cary Holliday said, “Pay attention to whose heart is hurting the most.”

And then, there is everything Darnell Arnoult ever said. Especially about not worrying about going in a linear direction. Write what comes to you, what has energy at the moment you are working. –Patti Meredith

I think it was Sherman Alexie who said that beginning poets should read 20 poems for everyone they write. I still do and I’ve published many collections. Next: Even if you are a free-verse poet, write in form on occasion–it will sharpen your syntax and diction, as well as help determine fresh subjects. –Bill Brown

Alice Mattison told me that for every rule in writing, the exact opposite can also be true. This has proven itself time and time again regarding: write what you know, engage the senses, use correct grammar, be in a writing group, let readers identify with your antagonist, etc.

Also, the one I go back to often: Richard Bausch making me cry with saying, “Your doubt IS your talent.” Takes a few hours/years to get it, but it means doubt comes from reading enough good writing that you know how much your own writing falls short. The doubt is where the talent lies, because it means you have the awareness of the difficulty. Plus, it puts you in company with every great writer out there. –Karen Alea Ford

WEBSITES and BLOGS

Gloria Ballard

http://thegardenbench.wordpress.com

http://gloriaballard.wordpress.com

www.gloriaballard.com

Ashley Loar

www.brilliantmediocrity.blogspot.com

Jeff Hardin

www.jeffhardin.weebly.com

Leisa Hammett

www.LeisaHammett.com

Jennifer Chesak

www.wanderinginthewordspress.com

www.wanderinginthewords.com

https://twitter.com/jenchesak

Michael Potts

http://www.michael-potts.com
Author’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Potts/e/B006EC8XKW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/potts-end-of-summer?keyword=potts+end+of+summer&store=allproducts

Charlotte Dixon Rains

http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

http://www.teachersacup.com

Emily Davidson Nemoy

emilydavidsonnemoy.com

Kory Wells

http://www.facebook.com/korywells

http://twitter.com/korywells

http://www.korywells.com/

Candace White

www.aintgotenoughgravy.com

OPPORTUNITIES

Alabama Writers Conclave Call for Submissions 2014 Contest

http://www.alabamawritersconclave.org

Submissions are now open for the Alabama Writers Conclave 2014 competition. Awards of $100, $75, $50 and $25 will be awarded for the first through fourth place in the following categories (maximum word count is listed for each category):

–First Novel Chapters (1,500 wds.)
–Short Story (1,500 wds.)
–Flash Fiction (500 wds)
–Juvenile Fiction (1,500 wds)
–Creative Nonfiction (1,500 wds)
–Poetry (1,000 wds. may include more than one poem, but total word count may not exceed 1,000 wds.)

Author name should not appear on the submission nor should any contact information. The submission should include only a title, category, and word count. Submission title, name and contact information should, however, be included on a separate page. Submission deadline is April 30, 2014 (postmark date). Entry fee in each category is $5 for members of the Alabama Writers’ Conclave and $8 for nonmembers. (Checks should be made to the Alabama Writers’ Conclave and should accompany submissions.) Submissions should be sent to the contest chair: Dr. Linda Busby Parker, Department of English, University of South Alabama, 307 N. University Blvd., Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002. Include an SASE if you would like a list of the winners. Awards will be presented at the annual convention in Fairhope, Alabama July 11-13. Entries must be original and previously unpublished. Submissions from AWC voting Board Members are not eligible. Multiple entries are accepted, but only one prize per person is awarded in each category.

See the Alabama Writers Conclave website for details about the conference and for information on the contest judges.

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January Newsletter

The Writer’s Loft at MTSU is a non-degree, low-residency creative writing program that matches professionals with writers. It is for beginning writers as well as MFA graduates. More information is at http://www.mtsu.edu/theloft.

 

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at theloftmtsu@gmail.com. –Karen Alea Ford

FACULTY NEWS

Bill Brown is excited about his forthcoming book and its design. Keep you fingers crossed. Since the last news letter he has new work in Cumberland River Review, Blue Lyra Review and Still: the Journal. In 1913 his poem “Poem of Questions” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his poem “Our Death” was nominated for Best of the Net Anthology.

Jeff Hardin–See events below to attend one of Jeff’s readings.

Karen Alea Ford will be doing a fellowship/residency in Virginia from February 24th-March 11th. She will not be answering emails or writing newsletters while away. She will, most likely, still be addicted to Facebook.

Andrea Seigel’s movie, Laggies, is premiering at Sundace Film Festival this week, and as of now has garnered much attention and praise.  Andrea has recently been hired by Dreamworks.

 

 EVENTS

 

EVERYONE INVITED. Sent in By The Writer’s Loft founder, Roy Burkhead:

 

Hemingway drinking

 

Issue 4 (the Journalism Issue) of 2nd & Church will launch at January’s installment of Literary Libations (on Twitter #LitLib) in Nashville onJanuary 23, 2014.  Literary Libations meets the 4th Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Union Station Hotel’s Prime 108 bar, under the portrait of Jack Nicholson. No invitation needed. Please feel free to join this gathering of writers, journalists, poets, agents, publicists, book sellers, publishers, creatives, librarians, book readers, and lovers of the written word! The issue features our friend, the late John Egerton, who wrote or edited nearly two dozen non-fiction books and one contemporary fable, as well as contributed scores of articles to newspapers and magazines.

MORE LOCAL EVENTS: MARK YOUR CALENDARS 

LEADERSHIP BREAKFAST WITH MALCOLM GLADWELL

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Friday, February 21, at 7:30am

Parnassus Books and Belmont University’s Executive Learning Network present a Leadership Breakfast with New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell on Friday, February 21, at 7:30am. Tickets are $45 and include continental breakfast, entry to the program, and a copy of David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. For more information about the event, please click here.

 

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http://www.vanderbilt.edu/creativewriting/gertrude-harold-vanderbilt-visiting-writers-series/

 

Calendar of Upcoming Events at Austen Peay

 

 

 

ImageFebruary 6, 2014
 8:oo pm 
Morgan University Center Ballroom

 

A Reading by Toi Derricote and Jeff Hardin

Toi Derricotte has published five collections of poetry, most recently, The Undertaker’s Daughter (2011). An earlier collection of poems, Tender, won the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize. Her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, published by W.W. Norton in 1997, won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Derricotte’s essay, “Beginning Dialogues,” is included in The Best American Essays 2006, edited by Lauren Slater; her essay, “Beds,” is included in The Best American Essays 2011, edited by Edwidge Danticat. She is a Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and serves on the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Chancellors. To learn more about Derricote’s writing and numerous awards, please visit her website.

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Jeff Hardin was born in Savannah, TN, (Hardin county), an eighth generation descendant of the county’s founder.  He is a graduate of Austin Peay State University (B.S. in English) and the University of Alabama (M.F.A. in Poetry).  He is the author of two chapbooks, Deep in the Shallows (GreenTower Press, 2002) and The Slow Hill Out (Pudding House, 2003) as well as two collections of poetry:  Fall Sanctuary, recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize from Story Line Press, and Notes for a Praise Book, recently selected by Toi Derricotte and published by Jacar Press.  His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times and have been featured on Poetry DailyVerse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac.  He is professor of English at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.  To learn more about Hardin, please visit his website.

 

 

A Reading by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid’s Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000.  To read more about Atwood, visit her website.

ImageApril 11, 2014
 8:00 pm
 Mabry Concert Hall 

 

 

 

From Salon 615 at http://nashvillepubliclibrary.org/salonat615/

 Wednesday February 05 2014

Salon @ 615 – Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs

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Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt

6:15 PM (120 min)

Anna Quindlen’s work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. In Still Life with Bread Crumbs, a famous photographer has drifted from the spotlight and is now more inclined to think of herself as the Artist Formerly Known as Rebecca Winter.

 

This is a ticketed event. A limited number of advance tickets will be available online for a $2.50 service fee per ticket. A limited number of free tickets will be available on-site on the day of the event. We recommend that you arrive early for the on-site ticket line.

 

Wednesday February 12 2014

Salon@615 – Laura Lippman, After I’m Gone

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Nashville Public Library

6:15 PM (105 min)

Laura Lippman is the author of six New York Times bestselling novels. In After I’m Gone, Laura delivers a masterful tale of emotional force that explores how one man’s disappearance echoes through the lives of the wife, mistress, and daughters he left behind.

 

This is a ticketed event. A limited number of advance tickets will be available online for a $2.50 service fee per ticket. A limited number of free tickets will be available on-site on the day of the event. We recommend that you arrive early for the on-site ticket line. Once auditorium seats have been filled, guests will be accommodated in alternate viewing locations.

WEBSITES and BLOGS

Gloria Ballard

http://thegardenbench.wordpress.com

http://gloriaballard.wordpress.com

www.gloriaballard.com

Ashley Loar

www.brilliantmediocrity.blogspot.com

Jeff Hardin

www.jeffhardin.weebly.com

Leisa Hammett

www.LeisaHammett.com

Jennifer Chesak

www.wanderinginthewordspress.com

www.wanderinginthewords.com

https://twitter.com/jenchesak

Michael Potts

http://www.michael-potts.com
Author’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Potts/e/B006EC8XKW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/potts-end-of-summer?keyword=potts+end+of+summer&store=allproducts

Charlotte Dixon Rains

http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

http://www.teachersacup.com

Emily Davidson Nemoy

emilydavidsonnemoy.com

Kory Wells

http://www.facebook.com/korywells

http://twitter.com/korywells

http://www.korywells.com/

Candace White

www.aintgotenoughgravy.com

 

 OPPORTUNITIES

*Nelson Algren Short Story Contest
https://algren. submittable. com/submit
Ends on 2/1/2014

This contest is open to residents of the United States. All entries 
must be:

- Fiction
- Less than 8,000 words
- Double spaced
- Written in English

One grand prize winner will receive $3,500. Four finalists will each 
receive $1,000. Five runners-up will each receive $500. Total value of 
all prizes: $10,000.

The contestant’s name must not appear on any page of the story.

Submittable entry link: https://algren.submittable.com/submit

By entering all participants agree to be bound by the terms and 
conditions set forth here:
http://www.chicagot ribune.com/features/books/chi-2013-nelson-algren-award-official-rules-20120906,0,1101198.story

 

*The 2014 Julia Peterkin Award at Converse College
Established in 1997 by the Department of English and Creative Writing 
at Converse College, the Julia Peterkin Award is a national contest 
honoring both emerging and established poets and writers. The award is 
named for Converse graduate Julia Mood Peterkin who won the Pulitzer 
Prize for her novelScarlet Sister Mary.
 Submission Guidelines for the Julia Peterkin Award
 Eligibility
 The 2014 Julia Peterkin Award is open to all poets writing original 
works in English. Previously published works are eligible for inclusion 
in the submission.
 Manuscript Format Guidelines
 Entries must be typed on quality paper, 8 1/2 by 11.  Photocopies or 
copies from letter-quality printers are acceptable. Each entry must 
include no more than 10 poems or a maximum of 15 pages. In addition 
include a cover page with the writer’s name, address, daytime phone 
number, and titles of submission. Also include a one-page biography. 
Author’s name should not appear on the poems.
Entry Requirements
 •An entry fee of $15 made payable to:  Converse College English 
Department. Deadline :  Feb. 15, 2014.
 •Send one copy of the manuscript prepared according to format 
guidelines.
 •Winner will be contacted directly and results will be announced 
online at the Julia Peterkin Award Page in late spring. The winner will 
receive $1000 and travel expenses for a reading at Converse College. 
Winner must be willing to read in the Fall 2014 Visiting Writers Series.
 Send entries to:  The Julia Peterkin Award, Converse College, 
Department of English, Spartanburg, SC 29302.
For more information, contact Prof. Rick Mulkey at 
<rick.mulkey@converse.edu>.

 

*South 85 Journal, the online literary journal of the Converse College 
Low Residency MFA, is currently accepting submissions of poetry, 
fiction, and nonfiction.

Deadline for submission is April 30, 2014.
For submission guidelines go to: 
<http://south85journ al.com/index.php/submission-guidelines>.

 

*Blinders Literary Journal is a new online magazine which only reads 
blind submissions and is now taking submissions for the first issue. 
Since the concept of the magazine doesn’t allow the editors to solicit 
submissions, they are relying on unsolicited material to make the 
journal great. They take submissions of poetry, fiction, creative 
nonfiction and art.

The link to their website is http://www.blindersjournal.org

 

*CFP — Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed 

Edited by D. Gilson 
Afterword by Ayanna Thompson 

From that very first line, Shakespeare tells us “we desire increase.” First published in 1609, the 154 sonnet sequence has not only proven to be a seemingly immortal book of poetry, but also a series that changed the art form itself endlessly. Even if unbeknownst, we have never stopped revisiting the Sonnets, revising and remixing them at every turn. 

Out of Sequence, a media event from Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, seeks responses to Shakespeare’s sonnets from poets, writers, and visual artists. Resulting in a 154-part publication with editorial introduction accessible both online (here) and in print (under advance contract with Parlor Press), we expect the project to be available by the end of summer 2014. We are particularly interested in responses that remix the sonnets in a contemporary context while also speaking back to the historical moment of Shakespeare’s original. 

We ask that you choose a sonnet and respond to it through a poem, brief essay of no more than 500 words, or visual piece amendable to .jpg formatting. Poems do not have to be in sonnet form. Submit your response along with a brief third-person bio to outofsequencesonnets@gmail.com 
outofsequencesonnet s@gmail. com mailto:outofsequencesonnets@gmail.com. As contributions are accepted, this site will be updated with a list of sonnets that have been claimed. Will you help us create in every bad a perfect best, as fast as to our beams assemble? 

Submissions are due March 1, 2014. 

Sonnets Still in Need of Remixing (as of 1/13): 4, 17, 24, 25, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 59, 62, 63, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 92, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 105, 107, 108, 109, 112, 113, 114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 125, 127, 128, 131, 132, 133, 139, 140, 141, 144, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 154

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December Newsletter

Happy Holidays to The Entire Writer’s Loft Family!

large_Writing_Wishes_Cartoon

The Writer’s Loft at MTSU is a non-degree, low-residency creative writing program that matches professionals with writers. It is for beginning writers as well as MFA graduates. More information is at http://www.mtsu.edu/theloft.

SPRING REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 10th

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at theloftmtsu@gmail.com. –Karen Alea Ford

EVENTS

1) To promote our commitment to the craft of writing, The Writer’s Loft is offering a workshop on Saturday, Jan. 25th from 10-3 with lunch provided. It will be at Peck Hall at MTSU.
Instructions will be sent out to participants. If you have not attended a workshop in the past, the group (made up of other participants and 1 or 2 leaders) reads everyone’s work ahead of time, marking notes on each one. Then, during the workshop, each student will have his/her work commented on by the group and leaders. The learning curve in workshops is very high!
This is FREE to students and alumni.
I will hold spaces for students, however, please inform me ASAP if you CANNOT attend.
Alumni will register by turning in their work to be workshopped by January 3rd. Only those who do so will be able to come to the event.
For poetry, there will be 15 total spots. Fiction/non=12 spots. If all current students attend, there will be 13 poetry spots and 5 fiction/non-fiction available. If spots do not fill, we’ll open to MTSU students and the public. If it fills fast, we might consider letting it be larger.
For poetry, we will have Marcus Jackson. For fiction and non-fiction, we will have a team of Jennifer Kates and myself, Karen Alea Ford. Bios are below.
Poetry–submit 1-2 poems.
Fic/Non-fic–10-12 double-spaced (12 pt. font) pages of the beginning of a work or story. NO explanations of work (where the novel is going, etc.) will be excepted. This is an exercise in understanding what is on the page is all that matters. Work must not be previously published, but it must be something you are willing to receive critique on.
 I hope to see many of you there!
 I can’t hold spots (except for current students), so get your work in as early as you can. “Polished but not perfect” is a good guideline.

Marcus Jackson was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. After earning his BA at the University of Toledo, he continued his poetry studies in NYU’s graduate creative writing program and as a Cavem Canem fellow. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harvard Review, and The Cincinnati Review, among many other publications. His chapbook, Rundown, was published by Aureole Press in 2009. His debut full-length collection of poems, entitled Neighborhood Register, was released in 2011. Marcus lives with his wife in Nashville and teaches at Middle Tennessee State University.

Jennifer Wachtel Kates is a Tennessee native who earned her M.A. in creative writing from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers and her Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University.  She teaches fiction writing at Middle Tennessee State University, where she has taught in the English department for the past sixteen years.  Her short stories have appeared in The Southwestern Review and GSU Review, where her story “Egg and Spoon” earned the short fiction award.  She is the recipient of the Allen Tate Creative Writing Award, and serves as faculty advisor for Collage and Future Authors of America as well as two other student organizations.  She is a volunteer and advocate for Autism Speaks Tennessee, for which she earned the MTSU Faculty Outstanding Public Service Award.  She lives in Murfreesboro with her three sons.

Karen Alea Ford has her MFA from Bennington College and is an alumna of Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her short stories have been published in various magazines including Eureka, Stickman Review, Riverwalk Journal and the anthology, Catch Fire in the Treetops. Her short story “The Next Guy” won The Nashville Scene fiction contest judged by Ann Patchett, which led to a guest column in the publication. She has written non-fiction for Images Magazine, Jacksonville Magazine, Catholic Journal and, somehow, Auto Restorer. She teaches English as an adjunct at Middle Tennessee State University where she is also the director of The Writer’s Loft–a non-degree, creative writing program. She will  be a Fellow at Virginia Center for Creative Arts in Spring 2014.

For more info, email me at theloftmtsu@gmail.com. I will be letting the public know by the end of this week, so get your writing in.

2) EVERYONE INVITED. Sent in By The Writer’s Loft founder, Roy Burkhead:

Hemingway drinking

Issue 4 (the Journalism Issue) of 2nd & Church will launch at January’s installment of Literary Libations (on Twitter #LitLib) in Nashville onJanuary 23, 2014.  Literary Libations meets the 4th Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Union Station Hotel’s Prime 108 bar, under the portrait of Jack Nicholson. No invitation needed. Please feel free to join this gathering of writers, journalists, poets, agents, publicists, book sellers, publishers, creatives, librarians, book readers, and lovers of the written word! The issue features our friend, the late John Egerton, who wrote or edited nearly two dozen non-fiction books and one contemporary fable, as well as contributed scores of articles to newspapers and magazines.

FACULTY NEWS

Bill Brown–”My new publisher has a Photographer in Taos looking for a cover photo for my 2014 book and she is sending the text soon to the design person. I’ll keep you posted. New work accepted in Cumberland River Review. My “Poem of Questions”  has been nominated for a Pushcart.”

Jennifer Chesak–”I was recently commissioned to produce the content for a smartphone app that essentially teaches poetry 101. It’s an interesting project because I have to teach the material with video and sound, rather than in just a talking-head format. I’m enjoying the process of delving into teaching with multimedia. My broadcast television background and video editing skills are certainly coming into play here. I’m creating the app for an online-course developer, not a college or university.”

Jeff Hardin–“I’ve had poems accepted recently by The Southern Review, Potomac Review, and Lake Effect.  My collection of sonnets, Restoring the Narrative, just received the Donald Justice Poetry Prize and will appear in 2015.  Also, a collection of my “five-liners,” loosely based on the form of tanka, will be published by Red Hydra Press in 2014 in a letterpress, limited edition (less than 100 copies). “

Linda Busby Parker–”Since last reporting in I have been granted two weeks at the Wolff Cottage, the Center for Writing Arts in Fairhope, Alabama.  I will be using this quiet time to put the final edits on a mainstream novel titled Oliver’s Song.  The cottage is a sweet little place behind the new Fairhope Public Library.  If you haven’t been there, Fairhope is one of the most beautiful little cities in the entire country, and very much a writers’ community.

On December 5th, I gave a presentation on conflict and tension in fiction for the Mobile Writers Guild.  That meeting was at the Mobile’s West Regional Public Library.  The Guild is an active community of writers located on the Gulf Coast.

I have been re-reading Fierce, a memoir by Barbara Robinette Moss, and a biography about Eva Tanguay, a 1930s vaudeville performer.  In addition, I’ve been re-reading various short stories, including “Tiny Feasts” by Chris Adrian and “The Ceiling” by Kevin Brockmeier.  These are two of the most elegantly constructed short stores ever written!  Both take metaphors and extend them, and extend them, and extend them some more.  Also, have been spending a little time with Vladimir Nabokov—I take Nabokov in small doses, very small.”

Andrea Siegel–Sundance Film Festival announced that it will be debuting Andrea’s film “Laggies” at the festival in January.

ALUMNI NEWS

Tiana Clark–”The Raven Chronicles (http://www.ravenchronicles.org/), a literary journal out of Seattle,  nominated my poem “The Ayes Have It,” in their Vol. 19 Race – Under Our Skin issue for a Pushcart Prize! yippee! (http://www.ravenchronicles.org/raven/News.html). Very honored and brought a huge smile to my face:)

Amanda Moon–”In August I moved with my family to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have been working on my novel, Home, since the beginning of 2012. I have had three agents give me really good feedback and have just finished what I hope will be the final draft incorporating that feedback. It’s in editing now and I’ll be doing another round of submissions to agents at the beginning of the year.

I will be self-publishing Your Pilates Life, a guide to incorporating Pilates principles into everyday life, at the beginning of the year. I actually drafted this before my time in the Loft, but over the last few years have slowly been making updates. I no longer teach Pilates, so I was hesitant to put it out at all, but recently re-read it and feel like it has value and I want to get it out.

I am drafting a story that weaves together the real-life theft of The Ruby Slippers (from the Wizard of Oz) and Hurricane Katrina, which happened on back-to-back nights in 2005. I plan to have that finished and self-published in time to launch at the Judy Garland Festival in June where they will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of movie.

Also, I just found out yesterday that I have been accepted into the Creative Writing MFA at Hamline University starting Spring 2014. I am ecstatic.

The last thing I wanted to share is the upcoming launch of NoiseTrade Books. My husband has worked on the music side of NoiseTrade for several years (if you like free music, definitely check it out) and they are now expanding into books. I’ve attached their promo deck, but the basic rundown is that the author puts up free content (it could be a short story, back catalog, whatever ) and they capture the email and zip code of the person who downloads it, building their email list, platform, etc., and giving them the ability to do targeted marketing.”

A Writing Teacher Gets Schooled in NaNoWriMo

By Karen Alea Ford

nanowrimo_calendar_wallpaper_by_moonfreak-d301g6e

            Some people put out their holiday decorations in November. Men participate in No Shave November to raise awareness for cancer. Runners burst onto the roads for 5ks. I decided to do something much more challenging, yet decidedly less physically active. I wrote a novel. Well, I wrote part of one.

        NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started very small in 1999—just 21 people trying to tackle the task. Now, they span the world, had more than 300,000 people sign up this year at NoNoWriMo.org, and have a fully stocked online store that sells notebooks, mugs, tee shirts and posters. Local chapters are run by volunteers that set up “write-ins” at coffee shops and eateries. Out of the people who took the pledge to get up to 50,000 words on paper in a month, a tad over 40,000 aspiring novelists became “winners.” Winning comes with a digital banner that goes over your name on the website, some discounts from writing software and self-publishing companies, and the self-satisfaction of writing more than your friends did. It has become an event that not only promotes writing, but also has developed a cult following.

            Selling tee-shirts and having published paranormal romance authors give pep talks, it became apparent to me that these writers were some of the same people you see at ComicCon and Renaissance festivals. Their online profiles show them wearing Viking hats and growing twirly mustaches. Their screen names refer to obscure sci-fi series that I’ve never read or seen. I have always seen people like this as the fringe of the writing community, but being from a literary writing background, this month-long adventure made me wonder if maybe I’m the fringe.

I’d heard about NaNoWriMo for years. It was spoken about with aloofness, as if anyone could or would write over a thousand words a day. How absurd (stupid Stephen King). And with Donna Tartt’s ten-year-in-the-making tome just arriving on shelves, the new trend (in the last two weeks) is to preach that quality only comes with long stretches of time—a decade being the new preference.

Since I direct a non-degree creative writing program for people with real life jobs, I am in a position to motivate writers. I, with my fancy MFA, have recently been schooled in the truth that many non-degreed writers surpass the elite when it comes to work that has truth and bone in it. So I decided to try NaNoWriMo. What’s a month? If I tried to think what I accomplished in October, nothing came up. But I do know October went by just as fast as the others in my 46 years of life, so I might as well tackle a novel for November.

For years I’ve dabbled in different routines, rituals and bribes to get things on the page. I preach inspiration isn’t necessary for writing, but I’ve been known to reward myself with chocolate as if I was a toddler. Taking note that all THE authors struggled with similar feelings (“Every writer I know has trouble writing.”—Joseph Heller) did not ease my plight but offered me yet another excuse. “Look, I’m just like Heller!”

So I ducked into the trade paperback back ally of quantified, hastily done writing of NaNoWriMo, and I realized…I get quite ecstatic seeing numbers add up. I sold a lot of candy bars in seventh grade just to watch the test tube shaped graph get colored in until we reached the school goal. I can’t add on my own, nor subtract, or, lord god, do percentages, but I can watch numbers count down and increase in front of me. That was the instant drug to this experiment. Each day, when you finish your day’s work, you type in the number of words you wrote. Or, like I did, you paste your copy into a field on the NaNoWriMo site that counts it for you. No work is saved on the site. You do it in your own word processing program. When you make your goal of 1,667 words for that day, a bar turns blue. Why does this delight me? Maybe because there is no one else, although I have the most supportive family and friends, who cares about the number of my words. Nor do they turn a different color when I reach it. To bring the pressure, there is also a place that shows how many words you have left to reach the month’s goal of 50,000 words and how many days are left to git-r-dun. I felt somewhat like a heroine in a movie that must diffuse a bomb as numbers blink red.

My month was worth more than any other month in my literary life thus far. Perhaps the first reason is that I didn’t take it too seriously. Unlike the instructions on the website, I didn’t use the previous month to plot and take notes on characters. In fact, the idea to participate struck me on the night of October 31st. Turning over in my head what to write about, I came to the conclusion that this would not be a novel, but a series of notes for a future novel. I’m aware Water for Elephants and The Night Circus were just two of the esteemed books that came out of NaNoWriMo, but I wasn’t going to give myself that kind of pressure. Instead of seeing October as a month of planning, I’d use the actual novel writing month for that. This “novel” would be treated as mere notes for a future project. And if I could pick a topic, it’d be something that I’d thought about for years. It’s not a shock that writers obsess over strange things. Mine is Pitcairn Island. However, anything could do—a fascinating disease, an alternate world, a sticky divorce or a church of snake handlers.

Next was to decide how to write it, what form it would take. Writing in first person narrative (writing as if I am the girl who grew up on Pitcairn Island) prevented me from getting stuck like I have when writing from different third person points of view. No wondering who should talk next, have I spent enough time with that character, or worrying that I hadn’t taken enough time to develop someone. What I learned is that first person allows you not to worry about the traffic-jammed criss-crossing streets of a difficult plot. You get to drive straight, smoothly on a country road. The events that my character encountered were the rolling hills, and I didn’t have to worry about subplot and an intersecting climax like one has to in some of the other forms. My only task was to think, “what next?” And because I told it chronologically, and had a fascinating setting with a history (the island is made up of the descendants of the mutiny of the HMS Bounty), it felt more like painting than plodding. First person narrative with no pressure of writing an actual novel meant I sat, typed, and finished each day in less than an hour. Less than an episode of The Voice. Plus, I could make a character look like Adam Levine if I felt like it.

For me, it is part of a greater journey to shake off my formal writing training. Not to disrespect it, but to remember why I got into writing in the first place and to remind myself that the majority of readers want entertainment. Frankly, I want entertainment. Writing something of importance has held me back for far too long. That month was probably the best thing to teach me about certain aspects of writing, but more importantly, de-program me from the mindset I had adopted over the years. The task is fast, limited and quantified—all the things I believed were literary sins. And yes, now December, I’m a tad down. There’s no countdown clock or bar that glows blue when I’ve reached my daily goal. But now I am waist deep in this alternate life I can’t wait getting back to. I’m more than 50,000 words deep into a young woman who I want to know what happens to.

Will you ever see it on the shelves? I could care less. I’m a winner.

###

Recent Conference and Author Readings

For this of us in Middle Tennessee, there has been a boom in literary events. Between the Nashville Library, Humanities Tennessee and Parnassus bookstore, there is something nearly every week. Below is a clickable list of upcoming events. Please send in your review of a reading if you attend.

Parnassus Book store–http://www.parnassusbooks.net/event/2013/11/17/month/all/all/1

Salon 615–http://nashvillepubliclibrary.org/salonat615/

WEBSITES and BLOGS

Gloria Ballard

http://thegardenbench.wordpress.com

http://gloriaballard.wordpress.com

www.gloriaballard.com

Ashley Loar

www.brilliantmediocrity.blogspot.com

Jeff Hardin

www.jeffhardin.weebly.com

Leisa Hammett

www.LeisaHammett.com

Jennifer Chesak

www.wanderinginthewordspress.com

www.wanderinginthewords.com

https://twitter.com/jenchesak

Michael Potts

http://www.michael-potts.com
Author’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Potts/e/B006EC8XKW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/potts-end-of-summer?keyword=potts+end+of+summer&store=allproducts

Charlotte Dixon Rains

http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

http://www.teachersacup.com

Emily Davidson Nemoy

emilydavidsonnemoy.com

Kory Wells

http://www.facebook.com/korywells

http://twitter.com/korywells

http://www.korywells.com/

Candace White

www.aintgotenoughgravy.com

OPPORTUNITIES

*Sent to us via Chapter16.org–

“My column is smaller - 250 words – and will include a reminder of the Emerging Southern Writers’ contest deadline, which is Jan. 3. I mention this because you may know a writer or two with unpublished fiction or poems stashed somewhere who may wish to enter the contest, or would like to attend the Southern Writers Symposium here at Methodist University, which also sponsors the contest. Eligibility includes authors or poets writing about the South, or who are Southerners. Your state’s poet laureate, Margaret B. Vaughn, attended several years ago, and took part in some way, although I did not get to hear her speak.
In case you know someone who might be interested, here are the details: http://www.methodist.edu/sws/index.htm
*2013 Southern Literary Contest

The club is honored to announce that we will again sponsor a literary contest.  This year we are accepting entries from North & South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. There will be three (3) categories:  Short Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry.  While we are calling it a Southern contest it is not limited to southern themes.  Submission dates are October 1 through December 31.  Winners will be announced in March (2014) and invited to read their work at our 2014 Spring Literary Event.  Please see our event page for contest rules and entry guidelines.

*Call to Christian Poets: In Touch Magazine

In Touch magazine  is the monthly publication of In Touch Ministries (www.intouch. org), which is the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley. A hybrid of devotional and lifestyle content—blending storytelling, cultural observation, and theological reflection—our magazine exists to help readers lead more thoughtful, faithful, beautiful lives.

We’re looking for poems that explore the complexities of the Christian faith in accessible but graceful ways. We tend to select works that rely upon strong imagery and maintain a devotional outlook without sermonizing.

Some details about submissions:
Submit as many poems as you like, at anytime, to poetry@intouch.org
Simultaneous submissions are okay, so long as you notify us if anything submitted has been accepted elsewhere.
We pay $5 per line.
Submissions will appear in print and online in our new digital edition (coming in 2014).
You will receive hard copies of the issues in which your poems appear.

*Little Patuxent Review is accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and artwork for the Summer 2014 Open issue, co-edited by Laura Shovan and Steven Leyva. The Open issue is LPR’s first unthemed issue, so write with abandon, occupy your imagination, and send LPR your best writing. The poet Bei Dao wrote, “Freedom is nothing but the distance / between the hunter and the hunted.” LPR’s Open issue provides the freedom; tell us what passions, obsessions, and themes you are hunting, or are hunting you.

You may submit one fiction piece of up to 5000 words, one non-fiction piece of up to 3500 words, or a maximum of three poems.
Full submission guidelines are at: http://littlepatuxentreview.org/submissions/
Reading period: December 2013 to March 1, 2014.
Laura Shovan
Editor
Little Patuxent Review
6012 Jamina Downs
Columbia, MD 21045

*The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop invites writers of all stripes (Poets! Fictioneers! Memoirists! Journalists! Essayists! Dramatists! Genre-benders! ) to submit to CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing. Writers are invited to submit their personal aesthetic philosophies and manifestos for the anthology, writing exercises and prompts that have helped to kick-start their imagination, and short essays on the art of writing, reading, and being creative. Please send us a brief (7 pages max) submission in one of the following categories:
I. Credos:

Writing manifestos, rules to live by, artist creeds, hand-written notes to self, aphorisms earned, and personal philosophies on what makes good writing work and why. If you have ever typed or scrawled out a manifesto, we would like to see it. Feel free to send us manifestos for creative writing that you have drawn up for yourself or for your writing group. We accept typed written credos, hand-written lists, and even collages that demonstrate your aesthetic philosophy.
II. Writing Exercises:

We would like you to send us writing exercises, prompts, or any practices that have helped energize and motivate your creative writing practice. Is there a daily ritual you do to kickstart your imagination? Are there writing exercises and prompts that you keep on going back to or to use in class with your students? We are interested in your favorite writing exercises. Please send us original writing exercises or prompts, or please write to us about how your favorite published writing exercises work.
III. Essays on Writing Advice:

We are looking for essays that describe the writing process, essays on creative arts communities, salon culture, and advice on creative writing. What has helped you sustain and catalyze your writing career? What has inspired you, from reading the works of your favorite authors, experimenting with new forms, finding communities of writers, experience with social media and writing, etc.? We welcome any essays on creative writing between 5-7 pages.
Please also include: A brief biography of 200 words or less.
SUBMISSIONS PERIOD: October 15, 2013 – January 15, 2014
SUBMIT AT: cww.submittable. com

Follow us on Twitter @CamWritersWkshp
Facebook: https://www. facebook. com/cambridgewritersworkshop

*Call for Submissions

The Survivor’sReview is a not-for-profit online journal encouraging the creativeexpression of cancer survivors. Our goal is to publish stories, essays, and poems that are powerful, poignant, and unflinchingly honest.

Each issue features approximately 12 to 15pieces contributed by survivors and caregivers like you – along with aninspiring column by a guest contributor with expertise in the field of writingand healing.
If you haven’t visited our site, please do so at: http://www.survivorsreview.org/
Also, if you have written a piece that has the potential to touch another’ s soul, please consider submitting your work to us. Our guidelines and submission procedure can be accessed at: http://www.survivorsreview.org/submit. php Those submitting by December 20, 2013 will be considered for our 2014 winter issue.
We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions. Please contact us directly at: editor@survivorsreview.org

editor@survivorsrev iew.org.
We hope to hear from you!

Sincerely,
Editorial Team, http://www.survivor sreview.org/

Question:Who is a cancer survivor?
Answer:Anyone living with a history of cancer from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.

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November Newsletter

The Writer’s Loft at MTSU is a non-degree, low-residency creative writing program that matches professionals with writers. It is for beginning writers as well as MFA graduates. More information is at http://www.mtsu.edu/theloft.

Below you will find information related to the program and writing in general. Please send your updates to me at theloftmtsu@gmail.com. –Karen Alea Ford

EVENTS

For those who couldn’t make it to the Southern Festival of Books this year in Nashville, please make plans for next year. We will see about having a booth.

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Mentor and poet Jeff Hardin signing copies of his book.

The Writer’s Loft conducted a module on publishing  November 2nd. All 22 spaces filled. This is a great way to meet others and gain a little knowledge. We will offer more in the coming year. Most of them will remain free to Loft alumni and students. They will be open to the public at a reasonable fee.

FACULTY NEWS

Bill Brown–”I have new poems forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Poem, Conclave: a Journal of Character, Number One and The Cumberland River Review.   I have a new book, Elemental, coming out from 3: A Taos Press in 2014.”

Bill’s poem “When the Dust Settles” was selected by Chapter16.org to run for Veteran’s Day.

http://www.chapter16.org/content/“when-dust-settles”

Gloria Ballard–The Winter Garden Calendar, Stay Green This Winter (along with a list of garden tips and tasks) was published in the Nov. 2, 2013 edition of The Tennessean. Also find it at Tennessean.com

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20131102/LIFE04/311020016/Gloria-Ballard-Keep-gardening-spirit-alive-winter

and

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20131102/LIFE04/311020018/Gardening-calendar-winter-months

Jennifer Chesak married Jereme Taylor on October 26th. Congrats to the newlyweds!

Andrea Siegel–Andrea will be speaking at UC Riverside (CA) in December about the making of the movie Laggies which she wrote. It comes out in 2014 and will be shown at Sundance Film Festival in January. The film stars Keira Knightly, Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell. Andrea and her boyfriend, actor Brent Bradshaw, are frantically finishing up their fiction book (each takes a chapter) “Everybody Knows Your Name,” to be published by Viking, Jan 2015.

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor–”I have just presented on “The Craft, Practice, and Possibility of Poetry in Educational Research” at a conference on Ethnography in Oaxaca, Mexico on November 4-5 and on November 10 I will present on in progress work on Americans learning Spanish at the annual MEX-TESOL conference in Querétaro, Mexico.  I have seven poems which were just published in North Dakota Quarterly.  I am working on several creative research articles for journals in the fields of TESOL, children’s literature, and critical pedagogy and always working on poems but lately in Spanish! I am teaching a poetry class at UABJO, the state university in Oaxaca during my Fulbright sabbatical year.  And as always, taking copious notes!”

Kory Wells–” I am glad to have a poem in the recently published anthology The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (Texas Review Press). Loft poetry mentors Bill Brown and Jeff Hardin and Loft alumni Michael Potts also have work in this volume, along with another 116 other poets with connections to the state. In a moment of geeky excitement that I may come to regret, I am trying to share a quote from each author in the anthology as I read it – about a quote a day, more or less. I am occasionally posting quotes from other reading, including another recently published anthology, Journey to Crone. I also have a poem in this book, which was published by Chuffed Buff Books in the UK – my first international publication. Check out the quotes on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/korywells/share-more-poetry-love/. I’m also tweeting them (@korywells).”

Miscellaneous news about conference speaker Kevin Wilson–Although everyone is waiting for him to send us a copy of his amazing essay he read to us, he says he wants to “clean it up.” There’s perfectionism for you. The movie for “The Family Fang” was just in the news as Jason Bateman has signed on to direct and star.

ALUMNI NEWS

Tiana Clark–”I just found out that my poem, “The Ayes Have It” was accepted in Raven’s Chronicles, Vol. 19, Race: Under Our Skin issue. The issue will be published in Winter, 2013-14. Whoo hoo! I’m so excited. Bill Brown told me about the submission, so I am super thankful to him! “

Leisa A. Hammett–”Hello! I attended my fifth blogging conference late September, in fact, the same weekend as The Loft. This year, I chose to attend Type-A Parent in Atlanta. (Not all bloggers were parents.) I won’t go into details about the conference other than I am very glad I went and found additional online markets for my books via additional (and new-to-me) blog sites and online magazines and Facebook groups. My main point in sharing is just how. Important. Social Media is for us authors. I heard that agents and publishers are now evaluating potential authors on how savvy we are at social media. One of my favorite semi-local authors, Susan Gregg Gilmore, once told me that she worked it as hard as she did (and she’s savvy) because she wanted publishers to know that for her future books, she was ready to pitch in and roll up her sleeves to make her book a success. Susan has done this via all types of clever ways, but on the social media front through vlogging, blogging, etc. In the words of Finnish social media guru Katja Presnal (whom I heard speak at a blog conference and became friends via the hot social medium of Instagram):’Social media is an ocean. Learn to swim.’”

Emily Davidson Nemoy–Recently, I’ve been published in Click magazine (http://emilydavidsonnemoy.com/writer/).  I am continuing to work on my first novel, One Simple Hour.  The book is a layered depiction of a complex family fighting to stay unified while struggling with their own self-understanding. I hope to have a first draft submitted to my editor by the end of the year.

Michael Potts–”My poem, “Butterscotch,” appeared in volume 6, Tennessee, of the Southern Poetry Anthology, edited by Jesse Graves, Paul Ruffin, and William Wright, and published by Texas Review Press in 2013.”

Recent Conference and Author Readings

For this of us in Middle Tennessee, there has been a boom in literary events. Between the Nashville Library, Humanities Tennessee and Parnassus bookstore, there is something nearly every week. Below is a clickable list of upcoming events. Also, read some comments from alumni who have joined in the opportunities.

Parnassus Book store–http://www.parnassusbooks.net/event/2013/11/17/month/all/all/1

Salon 615–http://nashvillepubliclibrary.org/salonat615/

Jennifer Chesak–Jennifer attended a reading and lecture by author Wally Lamb at Nashville Public Library’s Salon 615 on November 5. Lamb read from his new novel, We Are Water, but he also answered questions about some of his early hits like She’s Come Undone. “What really stuck out at this event,” says Jennifer, “is that Lamb told the audience that it took nine years for him to write and complete that first novel and six years for another. This is such an important statement because so many new writers today think that it should only take a month! Time for each author and each book will vary, but please remember that the writing, revising, editing, polishing and proofing can be long process. Hang in there. Drive and perseverance are key.”

Emily Davidson Nemoy–I’ve also been attending author events through the Salon@615 series including a speaking engagement by Wally Lamb. I enjoyed learning that Wally’s book titles are all inspired by song—his most recent by a Patty Griffin tune.

 Patty Outlaw–Back in the Spring, I went to Parnassus Books, Hillsboro Rd, Nashville to hear Julia Reed read from her most recent book “But Mama Always Put Vodka in her Sangria: Adventures in Eating,Drinking and Making Merry”. I had been a fan of hers before I knew much about her as she writes about food, THE SOUTH and best of all, Nashville! She is also a regular contributor to “Garden & Gun” but I was reading her articles on food in Nashville long before Nashville was known for such. She was very humorous and her presentation was comfortable. it was on a Sunday afternoon. I didn’t buy the book in hard cover as I’m trying to cut down on the number of books I have but I did buy it on my e-reader. She was just herself is what made it so comfortable. Her Mother was in the audience which made it warmer and even more fun!

Anonymous–On September 11, I went back to Parnassus to what was “billed” as an evening of laughter. I love comedy and good comedic writing. This evening of fun featured 3 women who I had never heard of but one had some funny book titles that I had seen in passing. The 3 were Notaro, Lancaster and Cummings. It was packed but soon people began leaving. I wanted to leave,too, but decided to give it a fair chance. I didn’t think any of the readings were especially funny nor did the varied audience. One reader would have been pretty good except me and the other listeners were ready for it to end 3 times before it did end. Instead of an evening of hilarity, etc.  it was short and sad to me. Sad that they are published and I’m not!

(Sometimes, going to hear something that falls flat is just as informative as going to a great reading.;) –Karen)

WEBSITES and BLOGS

Gloria Ballard

http://thegardenbench.wordpress.com

http://gloriaballard.wordpress.com

www.gloriaballard.com

Ashley Loar

www.brilliantmediocrity.blogspot.com

Jeff Hardin

www.jeffhardin.weebly.com

Leisa Hammett

www.LeisaHammett.com

Jennifer Chesak

www.wanderinginthewordspress.com

www.wanderinginthewords.com

https://twitter.com/jenchesak

Michael Potts

http://www.michael-potts.com
Author’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Potts/e/B006EC8XKW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/potts-end-of-summer?keyword=potts+end+of+summer&store=allproducts

Charlotte Dixon Rains

http://www.charlotterainsdixon.com

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor

http://www.teachersacup.com

Emily Davidson Nemoy

emilydavidsonnemoy.com

Kory Wells

http://www.facebook.com/korywells

http://twitter.com/korywells

http://www.korywells.com/

Candace White

www.aintgotenoughgravy.com

OPPORTUNITIES

*The Union County Writers’ Club (Monroe, NC) is
again sponsoring its annual literary contest. We are seeking entries
for our 2013 contest in the areas of fiction, creative non-fiction and
poetry. Contest guidelines are available on our website at
www.ucwc.webs.com. This is our 18th contest. In addition to a monetary
prize, winners will also receive a certificate of accomplishment with
an invite to attend our Spring Literary Event and read their work.

*Short Story Competition   
Story Feedback

SYNOPSIS:  StoryFeedback.com holds a competition for stories of
up to 5,000 words in any genre.

Deadline(s):      12/31/2013

Address:          StoryFeedback.com Short Story Competition
7 Offley Street
Worcester,    WR3 8BH
U.S.A.
E-mail:          stories@storyfeedback.com
Web Site: http://www.storyfeedback.com/
Program URL: http://www.storyfeedback.com/contest-rules.php

DEADLINE NOTE
The entry fee is $4 per story if you do not require a tick-sheet
critique, $8 if you require a tick-sheet critique, $16 if you require
a tick-sheet critique and a proof edit.

OBJECTIVES:  Each entry must be no longer than 5,000 words. Each
entry must be the original, unpublished work of the stated author.

FUNDING
The winner will receive $100, the runner-up $50 and third-placed
$25, plus electronic publication.

*CALLING ALL WRITERS AND POETS!
Gulf Coast Writers Association 2014 Writing Contest
FOR BEST FICTION, NONFICTION, AND POETRY
July 1 through December 31, 2013

http://www.gulfwrit ers.org/contest/ wContest. html

AWARDS OF 100 DOLLARS OR MORE IN EACH CATEGORY
Once again, the Gulf Coast Writers Association takes great pleasure in encouraging writers from Southwest Florida to enter the Gulf Writers Association Writing Contest. Original works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will be awarded prizes of 100, 50 and 25 dollars for first, second and third place in each category. The contest is open to members and non-members.
Fiction and nonfiction works must be no more than 1500 words. Poetry is limited to 40 lines or less.
The contest will be open for submissions on July 1, 2013 and deadline for submissions is December 31, 2013. Winners must be present to receive their awards at the March 22, 2014 meeting.
The contest will help GCWA fulfill its goal of assisting Southwest Florida writers to stimulate and improve their skills. GCWA expects a high level of contest participation.

Guidelines: http://www.gulfwrit ers.org/contest/ ContestGuideline s2014.pdf

Entry form:
http://www.gulfwrit ers.org/contest/ EntryFormGCWAcon test2014. pdf

*Subject: Willow Books Literature Awards–Deadline Extended to December 1, 2013

Willow Books Literature Awards–Deadline Extended to December 1, 2013

https://aquariuspre ss.submittable. com/submit

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Willow Books will be given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction or creative nonfiction. The winners will also be invited to give a reading at the University of New Haven. Patrick Rosal will judge in poetry, and Judith Ortiz Cofer will judge in prose. Submit a poetry manuscript of 45 to 75 pages with a $25 entry fee or a short story collection, a novella, a novel, an essay collection, or a memoir of up to 280 pages with a $30 entry fee by Dec 1st.
Call, e-mail, or visit the website for complete guidelines.
Willow Books, Literature Awards, P.O. Box 23096, Detroit, MI 48223. (877) 979-3639. H. Buchanan, Publisher.

*Heron Tree’s submission period closes December 1.
Submit 2 – 5 poems with a cover letter via email to submitDOTherontreeA TgmailDOTcom
submit.herontree@ gmail.com and include your cover letter in the body of the email. Attach poems in a single doc, docx, or rtf file. All submissions will be read blind; please do not include your name on the poems themselves.
Simultaneous submissions are welcome with notification of acceptance elsewhere. Work previously published online, electronically, or in print should not be submitted.

Accepted work will be published on the Heron Tree website and will be included in a yearly bound edition available as a print-on-demand volume.
Check our website for complete guidelines. http://herontree. com

*Subject: Compose Journal—Call for Submissions

Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing is now accepting fiction, poetry, nonfiction and artwork for their Spring 2014 issue.

You can read their Fall 2013 issue at http://composejournal.com/issues/ fall-2013/

Submission guidelines: http://composejournal.com/submissions/

Contributors have included William Logan, Ada Limon, Randall Mann, Rebecca Hazelton, Rebecca Rosenblum, Katrina Kenison, Amorak Huey, Hannah Stephenson, and Marion Roach Smith.

*The Vermillion Literary Project (VLP) at the University of South Dakota is
currently seeking submissions of poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction
for its April 2014 issue of the VLP magazine, the University&# 39;s only
student-produced literary journal. For submission guidelines, visit

http://sites. usd.edu/projlit/vlp-magazine/submit-your-work

This year’s
submission reading deadline is December 15.

*Bird’s Thumb is a new online literary journal devoted to new and emerging writers. Our inaugural issue will be live on February 1, 2014; our submission deadline is December 1st. Bird’s Thumb is listed on Duotrope. We will be exhibiting at AWP 2014 in Seattle and at the 2014 Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. We were recently featured on Chicago Literati.

Submission instructions at

http://birdsthumb.org/submit

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October Newsletter

Before we recount the success of the conference, The Writer’s Loft will present a 2-hour workshop on how to submit work to agents and publishers, Saturday, Nov. 2nd at Peck Hall, room 326 at MTSU from 10-12.

From the responses after the conference, we wanted to offer a helpful workshop before the year closes, so you can start 2014 with the important tools you need.  If you cannot attend, we will be doing more in the future. Note that it is best to attend this module when you have a finished piece of work.
We will cover query writing and submissions for those who write short stories, essays, novels and memoirs. If you have a summary (synopsis) of your manuscript, bring it with you as you will leave with a rough draft of a query letter as well as agents, publishers or journals to submit to.
This workshop will NOT cover blogging, poetry, self-publishing or submitting to commercial magazines. Those are a whole other kettle of fish which will be covered in the future.
 Fees: free for Writer’s Loft students/alumni and current MTSU students, $10 for general public. This covers doughnuts, coffee and handouts.
 You must register at http://doodle.com/i8gc8i6rvhqx4sra
ONLY 11 spaces left. If you are not ready to submit work for publication at this time, please leave a space for others and attend another one soon.

What a fantastic time we had at our first annual Middle Tennessee Writer’s Conference!

For all those who attended, thank you for participating. I hope that the experience will give you motivation and guidance you need to tackle your projects. For those who could not attend, please make it a point to come next year!

Enjoy our review.

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We had 115 in attendance. In fact, we had to close the registration to make sure we had enough food! Write ups in The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro Magazine, 2nd and Church, The Tennessean and Chapter16.org really put the word out there.

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Bill Brown started us off with practical exercises to tap into our personal history. Not only was I approached with two marriage proposals for him, but a few attendants said they came out with a start to new poems and short stories.

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Alumni Jonathan Price introduced Holly Tucker. Jonathan helped put the 7 billion handouts on the tables for everyone. He also represents 1 of the 5 talented and kind alumni who introduced speakers that day: Marlene Sanders, Cathleen Reid, Kim Teter and Gregory Plemmons.

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Holly Tucker gave a very helpful talk on tools she uses for writing. Not only has the director (yup, the one typing this) signed up for Scrivener software at her suggestion, but many of us are going to look into the hilarious Writer or Die application.  On a side note, her boyfriend from London was with her. Simon is an editor at the BBC and left to hit up the hot chicken places in Nashville to do a BBC report. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.

Claudia Barnett

Claudia Barnett engaged attendants with a discussion on dialogue. When is what we write not really what the character means? It is an advanced technique the best writers use, and now we know more about how to design dialogue to fit character’s motivations. She demonstrated her points by showing a very creepy play that haunts us still.

Linda Busby Parker

Linda Busby Parker brought examples of the first page of well known stories for us to analyze how and why writers create tension. Not only were we introduced to some stories we were not familiar with, but we learned the techniques that allow readers to feel and experience. I heard she said a few lovely words about one Karen Alea Ford, but, of course, she was in the bathroom.

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Two poets who we wanted to recognize for their completion of the program were Walker Bass and Kelly Bills. Their mentor, Kory Wells, is center. Walker was a soldier for coming to the conference when he was recovering from surgery. We took this pic because he might not remember he was there. We look forward to seeing more poetry from both of them, and wish them luck and faith.

Kim Teter

And to our graduate, Kimberly Cross Teter, congratulations on the completion of your middle-grade book Isabella’s Libretto. What a lovely reading. We look forward to seeing it in print, resting on our bookshelves.

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Then there was Kevin Wilson. Holy Cow. What can be said? He read the most vulnerable, funny, brilliant essay many of us have ever heard. When asked where we can read it, he informed us he wrote is JUST FOR US! He will be making it available to us once he “cleans it up.”

With genuine humility, he walked us through failure and the need for discipline to get through it. One attendant said he wanted to ask everyone if anyone happened to record it because it was incredible. Sometimes, things like that are just for that moment and just for those people. It was magical. More magical than a half boy/half bear.

Although there is plenty to tweak next year, all we received were positive responses. It was a room full of open minds and humble talent. We couldn’t have asked for anything better. See you net year!

 IMG_1278Bill Brown signs a bookBook sales with Miriam Mimms of Parnassus Books

Book signing lineKelly BillsKevin Wilson signing

P1010648 Roy Burkhead and guests

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