/\/ \/ \/\/ /\/
The Nittany Valley Writers Network Newsletter
December 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.

Network Events

Tues 13 Dec – NVWN Party! – 7:30pm – ?  State College.  sallydriscoll@verizon.net .

Wed 21 Dec – 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 27 Dec – NVWN Writers Social – Every 4th Tues, 5:30-7pm at The Autoport, 1405 S Atherton St., State College. All are welcome – ask for the Writers Table.

Other events and news:

Thu 1 Dec – Stuart Dybek to read – 7:30 – 9pm in Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library. Stuart is the author of three books of fiction, two of which were New York Times Notable Books. He has also published two collections of poetry and has had fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in many magazines. His numerous awards include a MacArthur Prize and several O.Henry Prizes. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern U.

Fri 2 Dec – Discussion by Michael Naas – 3:30 – 5:00pm in 75 Willard Building. Topic: “If I could take just two books… Derrida on an Island with Robinson Crusoe”. The English department is co-sponsoring Professor Michael Naas’s visit with the Philosophy department. Professor Naas is from DePaul University.

Very Short Fiction – Submissions wanted:  Tom Hazuka, one of the editors of the original Flash Fiction anthology, is putting together a new book, Flash Fiction Funny. The only rules are 750 words maximum, funny, and good. Previously published is fine, though preferably not in an earlier anthology. Send stories in MS Word to hazukaj@ccsu.edu. (Thanks to Sarah Russell for this.)

Monthly Forum

Last month’s question was, “Can you teach/learn writing? What part is mechanics and what part art?”  Some thoughts:
– You need the mechanics to make the art part easier.
– Someone with stories to tell just needs a good editor.
Let’s continue to ponder the topic of teaching and learning writing.  Share your ideas at the next Social (or with
mts@uplink.net or Yahoo or Facebook).

                                                   Why Poetry Matters              by Sally Driscoll (for Zoë)

The long, bleary days of winter can result in dark poems, such as James Wright’s “Having Lost My Sons, I Confront the Wreckage of the Moon: Christmas, 1960” (http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/having-lost-my-sons-i-confront-the-wreckage-of-t/). Much less common are those poems that squeeze out a bit of humor from a snowfall, such as “Snow Day” by Billy Collins, with its lighthearted list of closed nursery schools (http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/Billy-Collins/1758 ). More often, poets are drawn to the magic and quiet beauty of a snowfall and the challenge to convey those sentiments without being sentimental. In “Snow Thinking,” Pattiann Rogers claims, “I believe that snow snowing is the form / of someone singing in the future / to a new and beloved child.” Whether you think winter is ugly or beautiful, haiku can be an excellent way to express what you see and feel. The 19th century poet, Shiki, wrote:

See the red berries…
  Fallen like little
On the garden snow.

Worthy Links

NVWN web page:  http://schlowlibrary.org/nvwn > Nittany Valley Writers Network
NVWN Yahoo group:  
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nvwn/  (see Links and Files)
NVWN Facebook page:  
NVWN Blog:  
https://nvwn.wordpress.com/ – email nvwnblog@gmail.com to get started.
This Month’s Recommendations:
This: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/02/are-americans-more-dyslexic-than-italians/

Critique Groups

Creative Writing Group – 3rd Tues 7-8:30pm – FrankRocco38@yahoo.com, 861-3625
All-In Writing
– Thu 6-8pm at Denny’s – Steve Brezler, scuttlebeez@yahoo.com
The Artist’s Way for Women – Tues 7-8:30pm, –
CLAW (Creating Literature At Webster’s) – Fiction – Jen,
W4K (Writers for Kids) – Virginia Loewen, vloewen@verizon.net, 238-1817
Christian Writers Roundtable – Laurel West, laurelwest975@gmail.com, 237-3010
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/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 (
Newsletter & Social:  Mark T. Shirey (
mts@uplink.net). Send items by the 25th.


It is better to write for the self and have no public, than write for the public and have no self.  – Cyril Connolly

Lone Gunman Envied By Married Gunman: http://onion.com/baP91o

I am a part of everything that I have read.  – Theodore Roosevelt