Author Archives: editor@rockfordwritersguild.org

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Welcome to the literary blog for Rockford Writers' Guild.

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A Year of Sensational Writing                                                                  

June 16 Meeting:  Review your sense-based writing from the past year. Revise a piece or write a new piece that focuses on the senses.  If you have missed meetings, write new work that focuses on any or all of the five senses. New people are welcome! 1,300 words or less for prose and 50 lines or less for poetry.  Share your work with the group. We will discuss your work and have a writing contest.                                  

July 21 Un-Gala: Come meet Sally Hewitt! She will be flying in from Washington state for this event. We will distribute the summer-fall edition of The Rockford Review, feature an open mic, host an author’s row, and have a writing contest. We’ll swear in new board members, and feast on cake, fruits, and veggies. 

New President and Editor: Sally Hewitt has been elected president and editor of the Guild. Sally has also agreed to be the Guild’s new web director! Jesse will be training her in this July. She will be sworn in at the July Un-Gala. Please make a note of Sally’s email address:  sally@rockfordwritersguild.org. In July, Connie’s “editor” email will be obsolete.

June 16 & July 21 Meetings: Burpee Museum of Natural History is located at 737 N. Main Street in Rockford. Meet us downstairs in the Riverview Room from 1-3 p.m. Park in the lot for free.

Looking Ahead: We have renewed our contract with Burpee for the 2019-2020 writing season! That means our meetings will continue to take place there every third Sunday of the month from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Burpee except for August and April. Per the Guild’s Constitution, August is our month off and April is when we celebrate National Poetry Month at Severson Dells Nature Center. 

Guild Meetings Take Place on the 3rd Sundays of the Month:  Sep. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 19, Feb. 16,  Mar. 15, Apr. 19 at SDNC, May 17, June 21, & July 19.  

 

Thank you for reading. Now…go write! -Connie 

Dan Klefstad Keynotes Rock Valley College’s 35th Annual Writing Awards Ceremony

Most people know Dan Klefstad as Morning Edition host on 89.5 and WNIJ, author of Shepherd & the Professor, and our first Guildy Pleasures Podcaster. After reading this dynamite speech he delivered at Rock Valley College’s 35th Annual Writing Awards Ceremony, we think he qualifies as a motivational speaker for writers, too!  What do you think?

DAN KLEFSTAD’S SPEECH

Congratulations in advance to the writers who will be recognized tonight. I look forward to reading your work and sharing the stage with you at future author events. And to those who don’t receive an award: Take heart, you will be recognized one day. And, one day, you might even get the publishing contract your novel, academic paper, or memoir deserves. But I think we should all prepare ourselves for an industry that is structured to say No to your work.  That’s the default. Your job is to be so brilliant you force publishers and agents to flip the switch when they encounter your words.

I’ve published many times, but I’ve also been rejected hundreds of times. In 2016, I got my first traditional contract for a novel – actually a fictional memoir — about a woman who’s a veteran, cop, and single mother.  I realized I’d need some reviews so I sent another round of query letters. The reviews couldn’t have been more varied. They ranged from “Unconventional and refreshing” to – quote — “It read like the ramblings of a crazy woman and for a short amount of time that’s fine but not for 267 pages!” Then she added: “Many thanks to the author for providing me a digital copy of this book.”

I am living proof that bad reviews and rejection letters will make you stronger…if you let them. One of the people who inspired me is not a writer but a freelance I-T worker featured on NPR’s Invisibilia podcast. His name is Jason Comley, a thirty-something who spiraled into depression and paranoia after his wife left him. She found someone who was taller than he was and wealthier. Comley’s feelings about himself got so bad that he became afraid to leave the house and meet new people. In his words: “I had nowhere to go, and no one to hang out with… so I just broke down and started crying.” Comley realized he was afraid, so he asked himself: afraid of what?

“I’m afraid of rejection,” he realized.

So Comley resolved to get over his fear. He decided to make a game out of rejection, and this is what I recommend you do. He made a point of getting rejected at least once every day by someone. After a while, it felt good to get rejected all the time because, as Comley put it: “I disobeyed fear.”

Disobeyed. Comley really hit on something there. I never thought that fear depended on our obedience. But it does. And it’s not like fear is the criminal justice system – It can’t lock you in prison if you disobey. There is no enforcement mechanism, and if nobody can prosecute you for fearing rejection… then rejection is an empty threat.

So how does a writer play Comley’s rejection game?  You write something, you submit it to a publisher. Pick a publication you aspire to be in or an agent you want to represent you. Then pick several more. Write, submit – don’t even wait for the replies because those take weeks. Write, submit, and embrace the “No thanks” emails when they start coming in.

And remember: The publishing industry has No as its default. Even after you get a good edit, the gatekeepers who are flooded with manuscripts will try to find a reason to keep you out. Dare them to. Because content is subjective and if they don’t like your work now, they might like it later. Or another publisher might take a chance with you.

It’s worth pausing for a moment and reflecting on all the times publishers got it wrong. They said No to authors who’d go on to be blockbusters. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter pitch was rejected a dozen times. John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, got 24 rejections. Stephen King rejected himself initially — He threw out the first chapters to, Carrie. Fortunately, his wife fished the crumpled pages out of the garbage and made him finish it, which he did. Then it got thirty rejections. The list goes on and on, so I’m guessing several people here could – eventually – land a major contract or get into a prestigious journal. You just have to keep trying.

Some of you may have been studying the market for the type of writing you do. You have a pretty good idea how your manuscript will fit in, and you can tell an agent or publisher at least three titles that resemble your work. That’s a benefit because publishers would rather repeat someone else’s success than take a chance on something unfamiliar. If you take this route, I hope you make lots of money. There is no shame in playing it safe and cashing a check. It means one day you’ll have the freedom to take a risk, to experiment, to try to advance the craft in the way you think it should go. When you’re ready to do this, that’s the book I’ll read.

For those here who don’t care about the existing market and who insist on being original… you’re after my own heart. You’re the writer other writers will love – and maybe even give you a couch to sleep on when your meal ticket dumps you. One day, and it may take a really long time, enough of the reading public will catch up to you. They’ll like how you test the limits of their expectations – even their patience. They’ll appreciate how you helped them see the world differently. But for many years, all those risks you’re taking with form, character, and plot will be poison to publishers. And when you do finally publish, the reviewers will savage you.

Embrace their attacks. Any professional reviewer who takes the time to bash you in public has at least taken the time to read your work. You got under their skin and they will remember you.

(lean in) Send them another book. Let them shoot you full of arrows again. Someday, long after, they’ll encounter you at a writer conference or online chatroom, and they’ll see you survived them. You kept writing – despite their criticism – and managed to find an audience and build on it. They couldn’t keep you down. They will respect that.

 

A moment ago, I said “You managed to find an audience and build on it.” This is inevitable for any writer, or any artist, who has talent and keeps working to improve. Malcolm Gladwell writes about the theory that it takes 10-thousand hours to become a master of your craft. He explores this in his book Outlier. In one chapter, he calculates all the hours the Beatles rehearsed privately and played publicly before their landmark album Meet the Beatles came out in 1964. Ten thousand hours. In another chapter, Gladwell calculates all the hours Bill Gates wrote computer code – starting in high school — before co-founding Microsoft in 1975. Ten thousand hours.  I think it’s safe for you to expect a similar time investment. The Beatles were in their early 20s when they hit it big. Bill Gates was the same age.

How old are you?  Take a moment and think how many hours you have been writing and re-writing in class or on your own time. You might be closer to 10K than you realize.

At some point in your efforts to get published, you’ll walk into a bit of luck. I’m a big believer that people who strive make their own luck. The agents and publishers who have the power to keep you in obscurity just can’t help themselves when they see someone struggling to get their manuscript through the door. In my case, a handful of agents offered advice – They took precious moments from their day to write me an email saying why my manuscript wasn’t working for them and offered suggestions for improving it. If this happens to you, treat that advice like gold. Thank them, revise again, and then re-submit.

Speaking of submissions… Industry insiders will tell you they don’t like it when you submit to every publisher who handles science fiction or horror or literary criticism. They do have a point when they say “Hey, we invested valuable time reading your submission and then you went with this other publisher (or agent).” My thoughts on this are simple and direct: They have all the power. You are at a disadvantage. You need to do what’s best for your manuscript, so I recommend you don’t become too concerned when they complain about investing a little time in you. THAT’S THEIR JOB. Now, you can play fair and say in your query letter that you’re submitting to everyone and that you’ll inform them when you get an offer. Do this but know you don’t owe them anything more.

Let’s fast forward a few years. You have a brilliant manuscript and got a professional edit. You finally found a publisher who believes in your book or article and signed the contract. Congratulations — Welcome to the world of literary promotion!

You might know that each author must be the chief marketer of their work. Even large publishers with marketing staff can only do so much. Most publishers will give you resources and advice, but they don’t have the staff to sell your book. So how do you pick up their slack and start selling?

You can spend a lot of money paying for marketing services and, believe me, there are a lot of people out there who offer various packages and rates – and none of them can offer you any metrics on how successful their services are. Let’s be clear: marketing is an art not a science. With this in mind, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned through my own experience, and that begins with this: Never pay for promotion.

I’ve never paid a penny. But I have spent many more hours marketing my writing than actually writing. I still don’t know how I feel about that, and I cannot point to any metrics saying my marketing efforts are paying off. But I feel like I’m moving the ball forward and that’s got to mean something. I’m still in the game. I’m… here after all, so I must be doing something right. So what did I do?

I looked up book bloggers. These are readers, just like you and me, except they maintain blogs containing their reviews plus other cute features like “First Line Friday” or “Short Story Sunday” or “Monday Memoir.” Each one has a TBR or “to be read” stack that’s a mile high and I wanted to see if they’d move my book up. So I pitched them with the following line: “Looking for extra content for your blog? How about an email Q & A?”  And a surprising number of bloggers jumped on this. They sent me a list of questions, I answered within a day or two, and – Voila – there’s my interview on their blog, plus my photo and a link to the Amazon “buy page” for my book.

It was the easiest thing I could do with my time, and now I have bloggers who are curious about me and my work. And it only takes one if they’re part of a network, so I recommend you focus on these. Many bloggers have agreements with other bloggers where they share posts on their websites, and then post the links on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Let me give you an example:

Two years ago, Love Books Group reviewed four of my vampire stories that will be included in my next book. This Scottish blog gave me a good review, included a photo of me, and links to my other work available on Amazon. That’s not remarkable. Here’s what is:

18 UK-based bloggers shared it on their sites and tweeted it. Each member of this network averages 6,000 Twitter followers, and they’re also active on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

6,000 x 18 equals… I don’t care what the number is, THAT is a network that’s too important to ignore.

It includes blogs like Chat About Books, Keeper of Pages, Linda’s Book Blog, Between the Lines, Bits About Books, and Swirl & Thread. Each of them got to know me after I pitched an interview. Then I pitched my first vampire story “The Caretaker” and three of them gave enthusiastic reviews.

In my experience, when one of them likes you, you’re in. It’s not necessary for them to like everything you write. The blogger at Swirl & Thread, for example, doesn’t like vampires. Keeper of Pages loved my story “The Caretaker” but was not happy with my novel Shepherd & the Professor.  This experience taught me something about what works and what doesn’t with certain readers.

That’s how I got free publicity and laid the groundwork for sales of my forthcoming novel. If you write creative fiction, I recommend you get in this network or something similar. If you’re an academic writer, find a journal that gets quoted in popular media. And in both cases, be sure to let your local media know about the attention you’re getting — because reporters tend to chase the same stories and, depending on what else is going on in the news, you might be the story for one day.

It seems ridiculous to have to say this, because you’re all polite people, but being nice makes all the difference. Sadly, not everyone gets this, and I feel sorry for the writer who responds angrily to a bad review. The bloggers I know consider an attack on one an attack on all, and they will shut out any author who insults them.

When I saw this on Twitter, it resembled an excommunication. I felt certain the offending author’s writing would never again see the light of day, and he would die frozen and alone knowing it was his own damned fault. Which, of course, it was.

It doesn’t need to end this way. Don’t like that two-star rating? Suck it up and say “Sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea,” and thank them for their time. If the reviewer had a specific complaint, consider that when you write your next book or article. Then pitch them again.

It’s worth noting that amateur bloggers devote enormous amounts of time reading books and maintaining their sites. Ever wonder why? The ones I know don’t get paid for reviews, although they make a little money from selling ad space. They do it because they love books so much that they need to share their feelings about them — even to total strangers. They also enjoy getting to know authors. They really want to shout your name from the rooftops. All you have to do is give them a reason to do so.

Another way to promote your writing is through podcasts. Authors writing on any subject can reach new audiences by producing their own podcasts or getting invited on better-known ones. Any podcast that allows you to read an excerpt and talk about your work is worth investigating. A very well produced one lives on the Rockford Writers Guild website. Their “Guildy Pleasures” podcast features two Pushcart-prize winners, plus excellent emerging authors. I was the first guest, reading five of my vampire stories. Podcasts are great for authors because they’re sharable on social media, and you can track metrics like “full listens.” But the audience is getting more and more sophisticated so there’s less tolerance for schlocky production than, say, a decade ago. If you get invited to a podcast, make sure you do your part and rehearse the excerpt you want to read, and make sure you know exactly how you’ll answer basic interview questions like “What inspired you to write this book or article?” Nobody wants to listen to meandering answers, and nobody wants to hear an author stumble their way through a reading.

The same applies to bookstore or radio appearances. I can’t tell you how many times I attended events where an author showed up and it was clear they weren’t prepared. Or they stood, chin down, quietly reading their words without any emotion or emphasis. Remember: You have one chance to make a good impression on your audience – so knock ‘em dead.

I hope I made a good impression with you. One day when my career has stalled, and you’re headlining a publishing or academic conference, I might want to hitch my wagon to your rising star. In the meantime, I’ll do what I can to help your career. If you think it may help to drop my name, feel free to do so.

I gave you A LOT of things to remember tonight. The short version is: write your very best work, get a professional edit, get 100 agents to reject you, pay nothing for promotion, be nice, and rehearse.

Thank you for inviting me. And remember me when you’re famous!

Editor’s Note: Hear Dan on Morning Edition M-F from 5-9 a.m. on 89.5 WNIJ. He invites you to follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter, too. His Twitter handle is @danklefstad. And you can friend him on Facebook! We encourage you to get to know this successful man and learn some tips about writing, re-writing, and marketing your work.  

P.S. Thank you for reading. Now…go write!

“Snow Day” Poetry Contest – Deadline is March 15

Dear Writers,

The deadline for the “Snow Day” Poetry Contest is March 15, 2019. If you are a member of the Guild in good standing (dues are paid), you may enter up to three poems for this cash writing contest.  Here are the rules:

 

(1) poems must be fifty lines or less, and

(2) poems must express the theme “snow day.”

 

Per the Guild’s constitution, we will not publish content that is pornographic, sexist, racist, and/or vulgar.

 

Email your subs to editor@rockfordwritersguild.org or snail mail ’em to:

Rockford Writers’ Guild

PO Box 858

Rockford, IL 61105

 

The winners will be announced in the April newsletter. Winners will receive a cash prize up to $100 and have their winning poem published in the next summer-fall “Members Only” edition of The Rockford Review.

Thanks for reading. Now…go write! -Connie Kuntz

Submit to the 2019 Summer-Fall Edition of The Rockford Review

Dear Guild Writers,

It’s time to submit your writing to the 2019 summer-fall “Members Only” edition
of The Rockford Review.

Submit up to 3 new, previously unpublished poems (50 lines or less) or 3 new prose pieces (1300 words or less) or a combination of up to three poems and prose pieces to be considered for publication in The Rockford Review.

No theme.

Any Guild member in good standing may have one poem or prose piece published in this edition as long as it meets the Guild’s content rules, listed below.*

If you want me to select, send me a bunch. If you prefer to pick your own, that is perfectly fine.

Deadline: April 15, 2019. Include your bio, 50 words or less.

*Per the Guild’s Constitution, we will not publish content that is sexist, supremacist, racist, vulgar, or pornographic. We publish work that is new; a reflection of the global, national, local, or personal times.

 

If you are unsure, ask.  Better yet…Go write! -Connie Kuntz

A Poem for The Current Condition by Cindy Guentherman

A Poem for The Current Condition                                                                         by Cindy Guentherman                                                                                                           Loves Park, IL

The wind chill is 45 degrees below zero
and the USPS has suspended service.
All the junk mail lies smug in the carriers’ bags
and even the bills are not eager to show up.

All the kids have a snow day
but none of them are out playing in it.
They are snug with their dogs
under blanket forts or else
in the kitchen drinking marshmallow cocoa.
Because the wind chill is 45 degrees below zero

and even the lawyers don’t want to talk about it –
they have cancelled the courts
for the whole county.

The DMV is closed. The mall
is closed. The banks are keeping
the money locked up in drawers.

Behind the apartments
the trees still stand tall
but they tremble like old men
caught bare in the locker room.
They know they can’t
go anywhere at all,
even at a wind chill of 45 below zero.

My sparrows still come for the sunflower seeds
but they are little pufferball featherbutts.
They just dart in and dart out again,
because did you hear?
The wind chill is 45 degrees below zero.
Records may be set.
The brake fluid in cars can turn to gel.
I’m not going anywhere at all when
the chill temperature is 45 degrees below zero.

Guild Treasurer Cindy Guentherman wrote this poem on Wednesday,  January 30, 2019.  Thank you for reading it!  Now…go write.  -Connie Kuntz

Feb 17, 2019 – Save the Date!

All Guild members (who are able) are strongly encouraged to attend the February Guild meeting.

The meeting is Sunday, February 17, 2019 from 1-3 p.m. in the Riverview Room at Burpee Museum of Natural History.

We have important announcements about the future of the Guild and the safety of its members.  Input from the membership is crucial.

More details later.  Until then, mark this date on your calendar.  Now…go write!       -Connie Kuntz

 

 

2019 Winter-Spring Edition of The Rockford Review

Our fantastic printer, Gary Ehrhardt with 11th Street Express Printing emailed me a couple days ago.  He wrote:

 

“Hi Connie, Everything looked good with the files.  Have started the job.
Thanks, Gary”

 

Hearing that the manuscript is no longer a galley proof but is actually almost a book always brings me great relief.  We’ll be distributing the books at the February 17 Guild Meeting at Burpee Museum of Natural History.  If you are Guild member who is unable to attend, we will mail you your copy and you will receive it by the end of February.

 

In the meantime, below is a peek at the front and back covers.

 

And here’s a quick thanks to our amazing editorial board:  Eunice Fisher, Cindy Guentherman, Sally Hewitt, Jesse Kuntz, Lori Marshall, and Kris Veches.

Thank you for reading this update.  Now…go write! -Connie Kuntz

 

Front cover

 

 

Back Cover

Guild News for January 2019

A Year of Sensational Writing: 

Month Five – January

On Sunday, January 20, 2019 from 1-3 p.m., meet us in the Riverview Room at Burpee Museum of Natural History.

Bring new writing that focuses on “senses in a late winter setting.”  Consider how you are using your words to evoke different feelings and settings. Rehearse, then share writing with  group. Prose must be 1300 words or less. Poetry—50 lines or less.  We encourage creativity!  Be thoughtful, serious, joyful, or whatever. James Marshall will lead a literary discussion around your work and conduct a cash writing contest. 

Recap of the Year of Sensational Writing: In September, writers brought famous writing that highlighted a sense.  In October, writers returned with their own writing about that same sense. We are building off this pattern throughout the year.  We will culminate with a sense-themed Un-Gala in July 2019.  If you miss a meeting, just “catch up” and participate whenever you can.

Date & Venue Change for April Meeting:  Per the Guild’s Constitution, we meet every third Sunday of the month except in August, which is our month off.  Because Easter lands on the third Sunday of April, we are moving our April meeting to the FOURTH Sunday of the month.  That means we will be celebrating National Poetry Month at Severson Dells Nature Center on Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 1-3. Meet us on the porch for one of the most popular meetings of the year.

 

WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Embellish/Unembellish Writers,

We received forty-eight submissions for the Embellish/Unembellish Rush Writing Request.  Our original intention was to select one for the back cover, but we received so many great interpretations, we decided to add several pages to the 2019 winter-spring edition of The Rockford Review.  The journal was supposed to be 100 pages long, but we extended it to fit the following writer’s poems and stories: 

Marie Asner of Overland Park, KS for 24 Hours (embellishment of day and night), Event Planner (embellishment of nature), and Lost (not finding embellishment)

Maureen (Dailey) Baldwin of Bradenton, FL for Embellished Free Spirit

Mike Bayles of Davenport, IA for Planted Field

Ryan Dowling of Sycamore, IL for Not Your Average Cup of Coffee

Eunice Fisher of St. Petersburg, FL for Embellished or Unembellished, That Is the Question

Susan Brazas Goldberg of Rockford, IL for The Job Interview

Cindy Guentherman of Loves Park, IL for Embellish

Sally Hewitt of Glacier, WA for Bare Necessities, Candles, and Without Adornments

John Kalkirtz of  Beloit, WI for Unembellished 

Travis Morgan of Roscoe, IL for Disposable

Sharon Nesbit-Davis of Rockford, IL for Untitled

June Thompson of Neillsville, WI for Embellishments

Larry Wahler of Rockford, IL for To Embellish…Or Not! 

So what is going on the back cover? Instead of a single poem, we are publishing the names of the authors and writers who are published or reviewed in the journal. -Connie

REMINDER:  Winners of “Embellish/Unembellish” Writing Contest, “Vote” Prose Contest, and “Judge” Writing Contest are invited to share their work at the January meeting. And all of these poems and stories will appear in The Rockford Review, which will be released at the February Guild meeting.

 

RWG Good News

If you would like your literary good news published in the newsletter, email your news to Connie Kuntz at editor@rockfordwritersguild.org every month.  Email Blast items go to email director Wilda Morris at rockfordwritersguild@gmail.com.

Writers on the Avenue posted one of Mike Bayles’ short stories on writersontheavenue.wordpress.com.  Recently, The Brewed Book in Davenport started selling copies of his book, Breakfast at the Good Hope Home. Mike continues doing poetry readings in the Quad Cities, Muscatine, and Iowa City.

Fifty years ago, Kandie Bott gave birth to a secret.  Her “secret” was a baby boy and she put him up for adoption.  Through modern day technology, the two have joyfully reunited.  Kandie will share her experience through her (and her son’s) writing in the 2019 summer-fall “members only” edition of The Rockford Review.

Charlotte Digregorio of Winnetka, IL has her haiga (a haiku sequence combined with art) exhibited  through March 4 at City Hall in Highland Park, IL. In other news, she took Second Place in the Modern Haiku Category of the Illinois State Poetry Society Contest. And, she had a feature article published in The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, IL. 

Kelly Epperson is hosting the Vision Your Life Workshop on January 5.  Visit www.kellyepperson.com for details about registering to participate either in person or online via Zoom.  She also offers a free online book club (also through Zoom).

Hana Ferguson’s debut novel The Sound of Rain, about a blind girl and her mysterious discovery of life and how the universe comes together, is available on Amazon, through CreateSpace publishing, for $14.  She plans to sell copies at the January meeting for the discounted price of $10 each! 

Rhonda Parsons has a Q & A in the latest issue of Lone Stars Magazine.  She is one of two featured poets.  She says she talks about one of her more current poems, “Claim Your Nobility and that you can read a snippet of the poem alongside the interview.” 

Terence Gallagher’s short story, “Steps” appears online at Two Hawks Quarterly.

 

That’s it for now.  Thank you for reading.  Now…go write! -Connie Kuntz

MEETING CANCELLED

Dear Writers,

Today’s December 16 meeting at Burpee Museum of Natural History is cancelled due to a power outage.  The museum is closed to the public while Com-Ed works to restore the energy.

 

I will go down to the museum to personally explain the cancellation to any writer who does not get this message.

 

We will not be rescheduling this meeting, but will combine the December writing and sharing with the January meeting.  We’ll have details about that in our January newsletter.

 

I am so sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this news may bring to you.

Thank you for staying apprised of all things Guild.  I hope you find time to “go write” today, just as you would have at today’s meeting.

 

Yours,

Connie Kuntz

 

December 16 Guild Meeting at Burpee Museum of Natural History

Bring new writing that focuses on the senses, set in late December

For the December 16 meeting, bring new writing that focuses on “senses set in a late December setting.”  The setting can be winter, Hanukkah, Christmas, etc. – Think about how you are using words to evoke different feelings and settings.  Share you writing with the group.  Rehearse before you step up to the mic.  Prose must be 1300 words or less.  Poetry–50 lines or less.  We encourage creativity!  Be thoughtful, serious, joyful, or whatever.  James Marshall will lead a literary discussion around your work and conduct a cash writing contest.

 

Winners of Judge and Vote are invited to share their winning work at the mic and light holiday refreshments will be served.

 

Who:  This meeting is free and open to all who write.  All ages of writers are welcome.

What:  A sharing of new wintry “sense-themed” writing material based on James Marshall’s “Year of Sensational Writing.”

Where:  Downstairs in the Riverview Room at Burpee Museum of Natural History.  737 N. Main Street, Rockford, IL.

When:  Main Meeting:  Sunday, December 16, 2018 from 1-3 p.m..  Volunteer Meeting is held one half hour before the meeting, from 12:30-1:00.

Why:  We believe that sharing new work with a thoughtful, intelligent group is good for the individual, the Guild, and the community. We believe that getting comfortable using a microphone (or projecting) to convey your creativity and discipline is an important skill.

 

How:  Park in the lot for free. Say “Hi” to the front desk and tell them you are with the Guild.  They’ll wave you through

 

How Do I Volunteer:  Come to the Volunteer Meeting!   Volunteers are given fun but serious 30-minute or 60-minute tasks that help grow the Guild.  You need to be a Guild member in good standing to volunteer.  The Volunteer Meetings take place a half hour before the regular Guild meeting, from 12:30-1:00.