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The Nittany Valley Writers Network Newsletter
July 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.


No NVWN Meeting / speaker this month – Join us at the Breakfast or Social instead.

Sat 16 Jul – BookFestPA – Meet local authors and purchase books in the BookFest tent in the Schlow Library parking lot, and attend events in the Library’s Community Room and at the Hintz Family Alumni Center and the State College Presbyterian Church.  For more info, see http://bookfestpa.org/ .

Wed 20 Jul – 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 26 Jul – NVWN Writers Social – The 4th Tues, 5:30-7pm at The Autoport, 1405 S Atherton St., State College. All are welcome – ask for the Writers Table.

Network News

Like many Farmers Markets, we decided to cut back in these tough economic times, and we eliminated the apostrophe in “Writers’ Network” some time ago. Turns out it is not necessary (nor is putting the period inside the quotes in the last sentence or starting this sentence with “It”).

Monthly Forum

This month’s question was “How are you making yourself a better writer?” The most popular answer at the Social was:  “Just write!”  Other answers:  Critique groups, online resources and discussions, reading good writers, self-discipline.

The new question of the month is, “What do you think of serial writing contests (as the CDT has had) and would you be willing to contribute to and/or judge one?” Share your answer(s) with mts@uplink.net (or Yahoo or Facebook or the Social).

                                                   Why Poetry Matters              by Zoë Brigley Thompson

Poetry is often thought to have a special relationship with nature, from the British Romantics to Walt Whitman and Robinson Jeffers. Nature poetry is now sometimes frowned upon as being too sentimental or idealist, imagining utopias that cannot exist in a modern, urban world. Poetry, however, might be a very useful tool for understanding the human relationship with nature, especially when pollution is rife and industry threatens to destroy America’s beautiful natural spaces for the sake of profit.

In his study, The Song of the Earth, the critic Jonathan Bate draws on the ideas of the philosopher Martin Heidegger to put forward the idea of “poetic dwelling”. Though writing is an act of human production, far away from the natural world, Bate notes that poetry emphasizes the imagination rather than possession, something that is particularly important with regards to nature. This poetic attitude can be seen in the poems of Robert Frost, such as `The Need of Being Versed in Country Things,’ which describes a tumbledown house where birds fly in through the broken windows. Frost notices that in this scene of human wreckage, life carries on: `the lilac renewed its leaf’. Human beings do not dominate the landscape and finally nature reclaims the human dwelling. Frost concludes that for the birds, `there was really nothing sad’.

Worthy Links

NVWN web page:  http://schlowlibrary.org/nvwn > Nittany Valley Writers Network
NVWN Yahoo group:  
(e.g., click Links to find members’ blogs, Files to see old Newsletters)
NVWN Facebook page:  
This Month’s Recommendations:
On irony:  http://theoatmeal.com/comics/irony
On rejections: 
On apostrophes: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/editors-desk/article_511e714e-a0cb-11e0-9e02-001a4bcf6878.html

Critique Groups

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


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


http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FAQDetailView?&faqCategory=AboutWegmans#question_15 says “Believe it or not, adding an apostrophe to the sign on the front of each of our stores would cost more than a half million dollars!”

For her review of a novel by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Dorothy Parker wrote “This is not a book to be cast aside lightly. It should be hurled with great force.”