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The Nittany Valley Writers Network Newsletter
March 2012

Network Events

Tues 13 Mar – NVWN Meeting and speaker Zoë Brigley Thompson on the Celtic bard tradition – The 2nd Tues of the month, 7-8:30pm in Schlow Centre Region Library’s Community Room.

Welsh poet and NVWN board member Zoë Brigley Thompson discusses the Celtic bard and what modern writers can take from this ancient tradition. While poets are often thought of as dreamy and unpractical, the Celtic bard was regarded with respect. The bardic tradition dates back to the sixth century and presents a very different role for the writer. Rather than being about personal expression, the position of bard dictated serving the community. Reflecting on her own experiences as a Celtic poet, Zoë will question what legacies ancient bards like Taliesin have left for modern writers.

Wed 21 Mar – 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 Mar – 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.

Register now for Sat 28 Apr Writers Workshop in State College – NVWN will host a writers workshop featuring C. Hope Clark at Schlow Centre Region Library, 211 S. Allen Street, State College, Sat 28 Apr 10am-4pm. Hope is the editor of the Funds for Writers newsletters and website, one of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. She is a full-time freelance writer and the author of The Shy Writer:  An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. The first book of her agricultural mystery series, Lowcountry Bribe–A Carolina Slade Mystery, was released in February. Hope will speak on four topics:  The Story of Carolina Slade–A Mystery Becomes a Reality; Revisions–Polishing for Publication; Funding Streams for Your Freelance Career; and Platform and Other Tools for the Serious Writer, including a discussion of The Shy Writer. Afterward, she will hold a Q&A session and a book signing. Seating is limited. Registration is $20 through 21 April and $25 at the door if any spaces remain. For information on how to register, contact Karen Dabney at greywing228@verizon.net).  (See http://www.fundsforwriters.com,http://www.chopeclark.com ).

Other news/events:

Wed 14 Mar – Poetry Reading by Rachel Mennies – 12:10pm: ‘The Art of Poetry’ series at the Palmer Museum of Art.  http://live.psu.edu/story/57389#nw43

Tues 20 March – Skype with Markus Zusak, Author of “The Book Thief” – The closing event for Centre County Reads’ 2012 Community Read of The Book Thief. Author Markus Zusak will speak via video call from Australia to Centre County residents about writing this amazing novel. WPSU’s Patty Satalia will moderate. 7pm at Mt. Nittany Middle School Auditorium, 656 Brandywine Drive, State College.

Wed 21 Mar – Poetry Reading by Mark Doty – 7:30-9pm, Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library. See http://english.la.psu.edu/events/mark-doty-is-the-steven-fisher-writer-in-residence

Thurs 29 Mar – Lecture about Books, Henry Petroski – 4:30pm in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library – the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and professor of history at Duke, will present The 2012 Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts — “Telling My Books by Their Covers: What’s Behind the Dust Jackets?”. His most recent book is “An Engineer’s Alphabet: Gleanings from the Softer Side of a Profession” (2011). In “The Book on the Book Shelf” (1999), he turned his attention to the long and complex evolution of books as we know them. Petroski will speak from first-hand knowledge about the production of his own books, including his working relationships with publishers, editors and designers. See: http://live.psu.edu/story/58070#nw13

More cuts to Schlow – Governor Corbett’s budget proposal cuts 5% of the annual state public library subsidy, a loss of approximately $20,000 for Schlow Centre Region Library on top of $141,000 in cuts since 2007. See http://supportschlow.org

Monthly Forum

This month, let’s talk about our upcoming Writers Workshop. Share your comments or questions at the next Social (or with mts@uplink.net or Yahoo or Facebook).

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:
Nice: http://litreactor.com/essays/chuck-palahniuk/stocking-stuffers-13-writing-tips-from-chuck-palahniuk
Wow: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/07/146534518/rasputin-was-my-neighbor-and-other-true-tales-of-time-travel

Daily writing prompt: http://figment.com/dailythemes (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/lev-grossman-writing-prompts_n_1249630.html)

Critique Groups

Creative Writing Group – 3rd Tues 7-8:30pm – FrankRocco38@yahoo.com, 861-3625
The Artist’s Way
 for Women – Tues 7-8:30pm, – elisha@etchdance.com
CLAW (Creating Literature At Webster’s) – Fiction – Jen, facilitator@clawcritique.com

W4K (Writers for Kids) – Virginia Loewen, vloewen@verizon.net, 237-0947
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
New!  Poetry/Haiku – Anne Burgevin, anneatpeace@yahoo.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.


Herman has taken to writing poetry. You need not tell anyone, for you know how such things get around.  – in a letter from Mrs. Melville to her mother, 1859 (as quoted in “Confessions of a Barbarian:  from the Journals of Edward Abbey”)

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  – Mark Twain

A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction.  – William Faulkner