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The Nittany Valley Writers Network Newsletter
May 2011

The NVWN is a sharing, supportive, inspiring community linking local writers of all genres and levels of experience:  expert and novice, published and hopeful.

Events

Tues 10 May – NVWN Meeting and Greg Halpin on Self-Publishing – The 2nd Tues, 7-8:30pm in Schlow Library’s Community Room. Greg Halpin will lead a discussion about self-publishing: how, where, why. He is the author of Welcome to Scranton (2010), which he self-published with Lulu. If you have self-published a book, we hope you will share your own experiences.  http://welcometoscranton.com

Wed 18 May – NVWN Early-Risers Breakfast – Every 3rd Wed, 7-8am at The Waffle Shop, 1610 W College Ave, State College. All are welcome – ask for the Writers Table.

Tues 24 May – NVWN Writers Social – The 4th Tues, 5:30-7pm at The Autoport, 1405 S Atherton St., State College. Bring some six-word stories if you are so inspired.

Network News

BookFestPA 2011:  Call for Authors Applications are now available for local authors to participate in the 2nd Annual BookFestPA, Sat 16 July 10-5. This year, a tent will be set up in the Schlow parking lot for authors’ tables. There is a small fee to participate to cover costs – $75 for a full table or $50 for a half table. For more information, see http://www.schlowlibrary.org/content/adults/bookfestpa/call-authors-bookfestpa-2011

Some words on self-publishing, by Amanda Hocking:  The odds are you will NOT do well with your first book. And if you are hell bent on publishing that first book, know that your first, second or third draft of it will not sell. Period. You do not finish a marathon, and a book is a marathon, until after you’ve run shorter races, failed at marathon length runs, and studied how to run them more efficiently.  You don’t tie on your sneakers, start running, and expect to finish in good time, in good shape, in good spirits. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. The point is that if you want to be successful with this and have a career as a writer, you need to do all the same work you would do if you were traditionally published. You just need to do it all yourself. The goal of being a professional writer is to produce a quality product, and that product should be indistinguishable from self-published and traditionally published.”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/self-published-author-amada-hocking_n_829906.html

Monthly Forum

This month’s question was, “Do you, or could you, make a living from writing?  How?” Answers included:  Write a bestseller, live with someone who can support you, or get a salaried position, e.g., reporting or writing ad copy.
The new question of the month is a six-word challenge:  “Write some good six-word stories.” like these: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html or the six-word memoirs linked below. Share yours with mts@uplink.net (or Yahoo or Facebook or the Social).

Worthy Links

NVWN web page:  http://schlowlibrary.org/nvwn > Nittany Valley Writers Network
NVWN Yahoo group:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nvwn/
(e.g., see Links to find members blogs)
NVWN Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/nvwritersnetwork
This Month’s Recommendations:
Blog re: self-publishing:  http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
A catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction:  http://tvtropes.org
Six-word memoirs: Not Quite What I was Planning, It All Changed in an Instant, etc.: http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/  http://www.smithmag.net/books/

Critique Groups

New – Steve Bressler is looking for 5 people to meet Jun-Aug, sometime on Fridays in downtown State College – scuttlebeez@yahoo.com

CLAW (Creating Literature At Webster’s) – Fiction writing – Jen, facilitator@clawcritique.com
W4K (Writers for Kids) – Children/YAF – Virginia Loewen, 238-1817, vloewen@verizon.net
Christian Writers Roundtable – Laurel West at 237-3010, laurelwest975@gmail.com
OLLI Writers Group – All genres – Rita, ritalouise@gmail.com
Memoir Writing Group – 1st Thu 1pm – Barb Foley, knock3xs@hotmail.com
State College Writers Group – Fiction and poetry – Glenn, 234-1949, gbv750@hotmail.com

Contacts

Programming:  Sally Driscoll (sallydriscoll@verizon.net), (814)231-0913
Technology:  Greg Halpin (gphalpin@gmail.com)
Marketing:  Zoë Brigley Thompson (zoe.brigley@gmail.com)
Critique Groups:  Karen Dabney (greywing228@verizon.net)
Publicity:  Bev Molnar (bgs3@psu.edu)
Newsletter & Social:  Mark T. Shirey (mts@uplink.net). Send items by the 25th.

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Ultimately literature is nothing but carpentry. Both are very hard work. Writing something is almost as hard as making a table. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. Both are full of tricks and techniques. Basically very little magic and a lot of hard work involved.  – Gabriel García Márquez

There’s a TED.org presentation by spoken word poet Sarah Kay with a good quote about writing: “It’s not the adage, ‘Write what you know,’ but gathering up all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected up to now to help you dive into the things you don’t know.”

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.  – Mark Twain

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