Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

NCWN-West to sponsor a Bookfest for Writers, at the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC, on Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018, Noon to 4 PM,
at the Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street, Hayesville, NC

Sponsored by NCWN-West 
Admission is free!

 Author Speakers include:

Carol Crawford: Author, Poet, Editor
Deanna Klingel: Author, Writer of YA and Children’s’ Lit
Tom Davis: Author of Memoir, Publisher
Polly Davis: Author of Memoir, College Professor
Lisa Turner: Author, Writer of “How to: books

Author/members of NCWN-West, will sign books, talk about publishing & marketing, will give tips & advice, based on their personal experiences.

Drawings for door prizes: will be held throughout the PM, including a free writing class at Writers Circle around the Table in Hayesville, NC and free editing by Carol Crawford of up to thirty pages of your writing.

Left to right: Carol Crawford, Deanna Klingel, Tom & Polly Davis, & Lisa Turner

For more information about the Bookfest , contact Glenda Council Beall, Program Director for NCWN-West, at 828-389-4441, or the Moss Memorial Library at 828-389-8401.

Monday, May 8, 2017

It was a great "Day for Writers", a NCWN-West event, at Sylva, NC, May 6, 2017

North Carolina Writers' Network-West's "Day for Writers", at the Jackson County Library, Sylva, NC, on May 6, 2017, proved to be a success. The conference was well attended, and many members and non-members of NCWN-West enjoyed the professional writing workshops.

Program Coordinator Glenda Beall
NCWN-West's Program Coordinator Glenda Council Beall, and professor/writer/and NCWN-West's representative for Jackson County, Catherine Carter kicked off the event. There were seven workshops offered at this conference. Presenters included, Katherine Stripling Byer, Terry Kay, Catherine Carter, Tara Lynne Groth, Deanna Klingel, and Gary Carden.

Katherine Stripling Byer
Katherine Stripling Byer's workshop was entitled, "Lifelines: letting another poet's work help revitalize ours". In this workshop, participants brought a copy of a poem by a poet whose work they admired and went to time and time again, and held clues for that person, Students then used these clues to modify a poem of theirs that needed to be energized, and re-evaluated in terms of its poetic elements.

Terry Kay
Terry Kay's workshops were: “The Things Dr. Epps Didn’t Teach Me”, which addressed basic writing techniques Kay described as the DNA of writing and, "Questions and Considerations, Issues that Writers might have that go beyond the typing of words".  Kay discussed the practical application of writing, such as the value of rhythm, the imperative power of verbs, the sense of voice, and some smoke and mirror tricks that work.

Catherine Carter
Catherine Carter's workshop was:  “ Free Verse Isn’t’: Sound and Structure in Free Forms”,  as in writing free verse, writers still have to make choices, as there are decisions to make regarding structure. Carter and her classroom participants explored some tightly crafted free verse poems, then wrote and shared some of their own, using devices that were discussed in this workshop.

Tara Lynne Groth
Tara Lynne Groth's topic was: "Why Authors need bylines in magazines and how to make that happen". This workshop focused on how an author's bylines in magazines and newspapers could help attract literary agents, grow their writer platform, aid in book marketing, craft a perfect query letter, build authority, and produce income. 

Deanna Klingel
Deanna Klingel's workshop was: "The Merry Go Round of Children's Literature". Klingel discussed how to recognize the types of children's literature, the myths about writing for children, and the writing process for Child Lit and how it differed for each kind of Child Lit. She also went over questions to ask your publisher before signing a contract and addressed how to market Child Lit.

Gary Carden
Gary Carden's topic was "Folk Drama", its origin at Chapel Hill, NC. and his exposure to folk drama at Western Carolina Teacher's College classes. He ended his presentation with a discussion of how his work defines the purpose of folk drama as exemplified by Paul Green and Fred Koch. 

Tom Davis
There was a Marketing and Publishing panel, at the end of the day at the conference. Participants were: Tom Davis, publisher (Old Mountain Press), Deanna Klingel, author, Tara Lynne Groth, marketing expert, and Glenda Beall, author and teacher.  The panel was moderated by Staci Lynn Bell, poet and former radio personality.

This event was planned by Glenda Council Beall, program coordinator for NCWN-West, with the help of several volunteers. The volunteers were: Marcia Barnes, Catherine Carter, Merry Elrick, Joan Howard, Kathleen Knapp, and Joan Ellen Gage. A special thanks goes out to Newton Smith, NCWN-West's treasurer for managing the business end of the conference.

Karen Paul Holmes, Deanna Klingel, and Janice Moore were influential with marketing this conference.

We want to express our appreciation  to the Jackson County Library staff for all of their wonderful help in planning, setting up and tearing down.If we had need of anything, they were right there with it.

Thanks, Jessica!

Here are some photographs of the volunteers, our marketing team, and our treasurer:

Kathleen Knapp and Joan M. Howard

Glenda Council Beall and Marcia Barnes
Staci Lynn Bell (right) with Tara Lynne Groth
Merry Elrick
Catherine Carter

Janice Townley Moore
Deanna Klingel
Karen Paul Holmes

Newton Smith

Photos by Joan Ellen Gage.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Be Persistent say John Jakes and Nancy Purcell

“Be persistent. Editors change; tastes change; editorial markets change.  Too many beginning writers give up too easily.”  — John Jakes, Author of the North and South Trilogy

Do you get a rejection and mark that poem or story off your list to submit? Do you have spurts when you send out work and then submit nothing for months? 

One of our NCWN-West members, Nancy Purcell, submitted a short story over 100 times before it was accepted. Nancy is an excellent writer, but that is not the only thing required to have your work accepted in magazines and journals. Nancy is persistent also. She had to find the right editor, the one who liked her story or needed her story for their next issue. This is what Nancy told me:

The story, "The Unwrinkled Heart," is online now at Valparaiso Fiction Review. It's the Winter 2015 edition. They only publish 6 stories a season. 

It was invigorating to receive the editor's letter saying, "I pray you have not accepted any other Review for this work. I love your writing and this is a great story. By the way, it's a pleasure to read a manuscript that is clean." 

Nancy has published 26 pieces of short fiction and is working on a collection of short stories she hopes to publish in the coming year. 

Some gifted poets give up writing or submitting when they receive a few rejections. It often takes hours of our time to search for markets and submit to publications. That is all part of being a writer. As someone said to me after our panel discussion at the Moss Library recently, "I understand now. Writing and publishing is hard work." Yes, it is and only those who are determined and who grow a thick skin will continue to submit. 

If you are an experienced writer, what is your advice to new or beginning writers and poets who want to see their work published? Tell us in our comments section.

Nancy Purcell served as a North Carolina Writers Network/Elizabeth Squire Daniels Writer-in-Residence, Peace College, Raleigh, NC, teaches Creative Writing in the Brevard College Community Education program, and Quick Coaches aspiring writers. Studied Creative Writing at the Iowa Summer Program. Seven years as County Representative for the NCWN-West Writers. Presently serves as the Prose Judge for the Board of the Carl Sandburg Home Writer-in-Residence Program,
Publications: 26 Short Stories to include: RiverSedge, The MacGuffin, Pangolin Papers, Troika, LongStoryShort, The Square Table, DiverseVoicesQuarterly, The Final Draft and RCVRY among others.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Writers and poets seem to have one question these days. NCWN-West will answer on December 12, 2015 at a Panel Discussion in Hayesville, NC.

Dad in hat
Wally Avett
Deanna Klingel

“How do I get my writing published?” And then they have another question. “How do I sell my book?”

We hope to have some answers for them on Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 1 – 3 p.m. at Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street, Hayesville, NC.  No charge to attend.

We will have a panel of three novelists and me, Glenda Beall. Cherokee County resident, Wally Avett, journalist and author of four novels, Deanna Klingel, of Sapphire, NC, author of nine books for young and young at heart readers, and Tom Davis, who lives in western NC, an author who also owns Old Mountain Press. Each of these writers will have a story to tell about their publishing experiences and the way they promote their writing careers.

Glenda Beall, moderator of the panel discussion

Recently I asked Scott Owens, well-published poet and teacher from Hickory, NC to share his publishing experiences and his ideas on marketing and publishing. He publishes a new book of poems about every two years. His latest is from Main Street Rag Press. 

Scott Douglas, owner of Main Street Rag Press, was generous with his answers to questions I posed to him on these topics. He has built his small press into a well-established business with some of the best poets on his author list. He once told me that he publishes books for people he is confident are good readers who can promote their books. That is one thing a writer will not get from a small press – book promotion. They don’t have the staff or time to do that. It is up to the author to build a readership and promote his work.

Kevin Watson, founder of Press 53, in Winston-Salem, NC  answered my questions as well and gave me great insight into what it takes for a small press to accept your manuscript and publish your book. 

Press 53, which opened in 2005, quickly began earning a reputation as a quality publishing house of short fiction and poetry collections.

With all the information from Scott Owens, Main Street Rag and Press 53, I will be able to speak to those who want to publish poetry books as well as short fiction.

Today, writers are often in a hurry to get their first book out to the public. They can do this by paying for the publishing or printing themselves. Tom Davis helps people self-publish, and his website fully explains what a writer needs to know about that process.

We ask that everyone hold their questions until the end when we will have a question and answer session. Nothing is more irritating to the audience than people who interrupt the speakers with personal questions.

We will have a short break when audience members can talk with the panelists.

We hope all local writers will mark December 12, 2015 on their calendar. Our speakers will have their books for sale and will be happy to sign them for you.

This event is sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network—West, a program of the state literary organization, the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What Questions Do You Ask?

We began this blog in 2007. Looking through our Archives tonight, I realize we have many posts that are worth repeating. This one from Maureen Ryan Griffin is one I think our readers will enjoy.

Monday, January 21, 2008
Good Advice From Maureen Ryan Griffin
I asked Maureen Ryan Griffin to guest post today, and she sent me the following:

What Questions Do You Ask? 

As a writer, the questions that you ask matter. Why? For one thing, they are important clues to the context you have for your writing. This context affects, not just the way you feel, but also what you choose to write about, how hard you're willing to work, and how tenaciously you seek publication.

I've had well over a thousand students in my writing classes and workshops, and there's one question I get asked over and over. Want to guess what it is?

The question is some variant of Do I have talent? Sometimes it comes out Is my writing any good? or Do you think I can get published? Regardless, what students are really asking for is a measurement of their innate ability. This is dangerous. And not particularly useful.

Of course, we all want to know, beyond all doubt, that we are brilliant. Of course, some people have more raw talent than others. But think about it-the correlation between talent and success is not particularly high. There are extremely talented writers who never publish a word, for reasons that range from practical to heartbreaking. Conversely, there are moderately talented writers who publish profusely. You've read their books, poems, and/or articles. You've said, "How could this get published? My stuff is so much better!"

I'll tell you how. The writer did what it took to write it and get it out there. Sure, he or she may have had connections, but forging those connections took effort, too. The focus was not on Am I talented? but something more akin to What will it take to get this published? or What's the next step?

Asking Am I talented? keeps the focus on you. And you will be much better served if your focus is on the writing, or on the reader. Remember J.K. Rowling's Dumbledore telling Harry that our choices say more about us than our abilities do? Talent is far less important than commitment.

One of my early successes was the publishing of an article, "Faith Lessons from a Dying Woman," in a Catholic magazine called Saint Anthony Messenger. It was about Lynn Tucker, a woman in my church who died of cancer, leaving behind a family, including a son who, at eight, was only a year older than my daughter. One evening several months after her death, our parish priest, the Father Burke I spoke of earlier, gave my daughter an angel filled with candy that Lynn had made and given him. The circumstances of that evening, coupled with my memories of Lynn's loving generosity, so inspired me that I was determined to share the story.

I'd never written an article like this before. My husband told me later that when he read my first draft, his heart sank because it was so bad. I don't remember how long it took me to prepare that piece for submission. I do remember that I turned to my mentor, Irene Honeycutt, for constructive feedback. And I'll never forget the day I revised and polished it for over four hours, only to have my dedicated word processor (a precursor to the desktop computer) lose every word. Of course I was discouraged. But I didn't let even that stop me. I rewrote the whole thing.

My husband was surprised when Saint Anthony Messenger took my story, but I wasn't. "Faith Lessons from a Dying Woman" made it to publication because the question I was asking was What will it take to get this story in print to show Lynn's family my gratitude? and I was willing to do whatever it took. My context was love and honor, not talent.

Instead of focusing on your talent, or lack thereof, ask questions such as How can I become a better writer? and What's possible for me if I throw my whole heart into my writing? What juicy, fascinating person, place, or thing can I write about? What can I write that will touch, or entertain, or inspire someone else? Your chances for happiness-and success-will multiply.

What questions will you ask?
Keeping in mind that the questions you ask are the foundation of your whole relationship with writing, which will you ask? Choose a question or questions from the paragraph above, or create a question or questions of your own.

From Spinning Words into Gold by Maureen Ryan Griffin

To order a copy, see

Monday, October 14, 2013

Prepare to Publish Panel Discussion at Moss Library on Saturday, October 19

What : Panel Discussion on Prepare to Publish
When: Saturday, October 19, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Moss Library in Hayesville, NC 28904
Who: Glenda Beall will moderate a panel of three authors who will discuss their experiences in self-publishing and in traditional publishing. We will share our mistakes, what we wish we had known, what we learned while publishing, and give our advice to those who want to publish. We will help you avoid scams, find out where to seek publishing advice you can trust. Is there a difference in vanity publishing and self-publishing?

What: Refreshments will be served at break. Audience can talk with authors and purchase autographed books.

And More: Handouts for you to take home will keep links available to you when you get ready to publish. Phone numbers you can call when you need to connect to someone in the writing community.

Thanks to the Moss Library for the use of the room.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Classes by Tracy Ruckman, editor and publisher of Write Integrity Press

Workshops - June 1 (fiction) and June 8 (nonfiction) at Unicoi State Park in Helen, GA. 

If you've been considering publishing your own books, these workshops are for you. A completed manuscript is not required, but we'll be looking at the publishing process from completed manuscript to publication. This is a hands-on one-day workshop, and it comes with 30 days of free coaching after the class is over (doesn't have to be the 30 days after the class, it can be any 30 day period within the next year - whenever you get ready to publish your book!)

June 1st: Unicoi State Park, logo room A, 9-5. How to self publish a novel
June 8th: Unicoi State Park, logo room A, 9-5. How to self publish your nonfiction
Classes are taught by Tracy Ruckman, editor and publisher at Write Integrity Press.
Each writer's how-to class is only $99. Register now at

Early bird registration is $99. On Wednesday, the price goes to $119. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012


This holiday week has been full of fun and work. Seeing old friends, talking with family, meeting new friends, and eating hot dogs and hamburgers.

The work came when a dear student of mine brought over dinner and her memoir manuscript she has been working on for three years.  She admitted she was shocked when she discovered the time and effort needed after all the words were on paper.
"I don't think I would have started this if I had known how much work it takes to get it published,” she said. But she has been bitten by the writing bug and is already planning future writing.

We spent hours Friday proofing and revising parts of just three chapters. She admits she did not really “hear” me when I said in class that revision is a big part of writing.
She had no idea that parts of her manuscript would have to be cut, rearranged or rewritten. She did hear me when I said she should hire a professional editor if she wanted to self-publish and her book to be the best it could be. She has an excellent editor, I think. The hardest part of working with an editor is accepting revisions that smooth out the writing, but leave out parts the writer feels were essential to her story. Maybe it would be helpful to remember that major authors of Best Selling Books are happy to have good editors who can improve on the way their words are written on the page.

I tell my students their memoir should inform, enlighten and entertain their readers. We want our readers to learn about us, about our situation or experience. We also want them to be enlightened – perhaps see something in a different light -- and I believe this author’s book will do that. Her editor likes the book and sees its worth and wants to keep the author’s voice intact. The book is entertaining. Humor, pathos, and outrage, flow throughout the pages, mixed in with the innocence lost as she meets with challenges she never expected to encounter.

A universal theme in this book is overcoming adversity and also the realization that no matter how things change they always seem to stay the same.

What started as a simple batch of stories about this writer’s life, has now become a full-blown 60,000-word manuscript. All this from someone who had never thought of writing a book until she began taking writing classes and devoting herself to writing.

If one wants to write, he/she should begin taking classes and keeping a journal. Write in that journal as often as possible. If not in a journal, start a morning practice of writing a few pages every day. Discipline is needed to begin a habit. Once the habit is begun it will be second nature to write whenever and wherever possible.

Click here to see a schedule of writing classes where you might want to begin.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Netwest Represented at the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference

Writers filling seats for afternoon session
I am taking a break from working on taxes to post about the Blue Ridge Writers Conference in Blue Ridge, GA last weekend. A number of Netwest members were there and one, Robert S. King, presented two sessions on publishing.

I have attended all fifteen years since this event began and have never come away feeling I didn't get my money's worth. This year I went to the Friday night reception and met some writers from Atlanta. Robert Kimsey and Robert S. King were both there and both were speakers on Saturday. Because I was particularly interested in Jessica Handler, having seen write ups about her online, I attended both her sessions and bought her book, Invisible Sisters. I am reading it now and find it fascinating.

Amy Greene, the keynote speaker, held us all spell bound with excerpts from her novel, Bloodroot, a best seller. She writes with a pure Appalachian voice. Maybe that is because she is from East Tennessee. Her characters will grab you, and you can't put the book down. I heard some say they had read all night because they couldn't stop until they finished. Carol Crawford, who heads up this conference each year, warned me to keep the tissues handy.

Nancy Knight from Atlanta was a founder of BelleBooks, a publishing firm that many of us recognize. Kathryn McGendie has published three novels, I believe, with them. Nancy is also an agent and was chock full of valuable information for writers. I was so happy when she went through a list to tell us the recommended word count for most popular genres such as mystery, thrillers, romance, science fiction, westerns and others. That is a question I hear from my students and I simply have never researched to find the answer.

Linda Ray of Curiosity Books in Murphy, with her assistant, Laurie, did a fine job of managing the book sales. How nice she was to let us local writers keep the full sale price of our books. She took no commission for selling them. Thanks so much Linda.

Echoes sold well at conference

The following is from Carole Thompson, Netwest Representative for the Georgia counties. She said, "Of course, seeing fellow writers and friends again was one of the best things about the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference. Our hosts were gracious, and the food was excellent.
Keynote speaker, Amy Greene's, review of her wonderful book, "Bloodroot" almost made me believe in "Haints". What was outstanding, was the wide variety of subjects covered by the speakers.
Quinlan Lee helped me understand the role an Agent plays in getting your manuscript to large publishing houses, plus hints to make any of your writings more dynamic to the reader, especially as it relates to children's books. I attended both her workshops.
Robert King discussed the advantages /disadvantages of self-publishing, and gave all of us a clearer idea of how the world of online publishing works.

Robert Kimsey
 Once again, Robert Kimsey kept us riveted to our seats as he illustrated through his own poetry why we need to make OUR poetry witnesses to events that burn themselves in our memory.
My final conference hour was spent with Stellasue Lee, a brilliant writer and editor, sharing her knowledge, through her own life-changing experience, of how it is possible to "Say the unsayable" in our poetry. I am sure the other speakers made a good impression, also, and I am sorry I couldn't hear them all."

Like Carole, I wish I had been able to attend every presentation, but was limited to four. I couldn't stay for the last hour, but I know it was just as good as the others. I advise all writers, poets and those who want to write, and who live within driving distance, to make plans now to attend the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference next year. It is usually held in March. Find the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association online and check to find the date for next year.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Conference in Greensboro, NC

Have you lived - or found - a fascinating true story, but need help capturing it on paper so that it reads like a great novel? You can find that help at the North Carolina Writers' Network's upcoming Spring Conference, Saturday, April 30, at UNC Greensboro.

Marianne Gingher's all-day workshop will inform you how to analyze a narrative's possibilities and how to mine " forgotten stories." You will also learn how to create suspense and make your story truly distinctive, however weird, wild, or provocative it might be. Gingher is the author of highly acclaimed nonfiction and fiction, and has taught at some of the top writing conferences in the United States. Currently, she is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Award-winning journalist Paul Cuadros's workshop will give you the nuts and bolts of nonfiction memoir and narrative writing: researching the idea, crafting a nonfiction book proposal, and employing narrative journalism techniques of reporting. He will use his book, A Home on the Field, as a template. It has been described as "a parable in the tradition of Stand and Deliver and Hoosiers-a story of one team and their accidental coach who became certain heroes to the whole community." He will also discuss selling your manuscript to a publisher and effectively promoting your book.

For several years I attended the NCWN Spring Conference in Greensboro and enjoyed all the classes, meeting the faculty and other writers from "all over."
Ed Southern and Virginia Freedman are there bright and early on Saturday to get things underway. One year I volunteered to help  give out the folders. It is a fun day and everyone goes home with tons of ideas swirling in their brains. I hope our Netwest members will attend if they aren't planning to be at Writers Circle for a workshop with JoAnn Dropp on April 30. (: )

The website where you can read about the faculty and register online is