What’s next for the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group?

IMG_5543Exciting changes for our local gathering of dedicated writers! We’re moving to a more collective structure, sharing more retreats, and continuing to build a diverse, passionate and supportive community!

The biggest shift is that we are sharing facilitation! Instead of one person running every meeting, each of us is stepping up to share our skills and passions, and lead the group.

We’ve put a new folder with instructions for leading a meeting, and sign up sheet for leaders, readers and mailing list. So if you want to step up, we’ve made it easy!

The best thing about this change is that each leader offers her strengths and passions, and we’re all learning so much in the process.

lsIf you haven’t joined us at the Accokeek Library, every second Monday of the month, from 1:15 to 3:15, come along! If you’re already a member, sign up to lead and read, and enjoy the new AWWG!

 

 

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OUR EDITING PROMPT FOR THE MAY 8 MEETING

READY TO PLAY? FOR THIS WEEK, as guest facilitator, I CREATED AN EDITING GAME I CALL “BAD WRITING BEGONE!”

Choose one to revise. Each paragraph begins with an inspirational quote from a writer who knows his or her stuff! Revise the paragraph to make it better, based on the quote and the instruction above. Be creative — play — do your thang!

MAKE IT SCARY: “Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do― to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

She looked out the window again. There was her neighbor, being weird again. He left a trail of thick liquid as he dragged the garbage bag out to the bin by the road. He looked around before he made a phone call from his cell, and went back into the house.

 MAKE IT FEEL REAL: “True mysticism should not be confused with incompetence in writing which seeks to mystify where there is no mystery but is really only the necessity to fake to cover lack of knowledge or the inability to state clearly. Mysticism implies a mystery and there are many mysteries; but incompetence is not one of them; nor is overwritten journalism made literature by the injection of a false epic quality. Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic.”
Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

The afternoon expanded like a drumbeat with fever heat and the rising, rippling waves of mirage-quality distortion that filled the air a few feet above the simmering tarmac. The birds refused to sing; the dogs lay as if dead on porches that offered no shelter from summer. Neighbors peered from frosted windows into the knife-sharp brightness, their air conditioners shrieking with overwork. Indeed, global warming felt as close as an unwelcome lover today.

FIX THE STORY “If a story is no good, being based on Hamlet won’t save it.”
Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines

He looked at Dessie and sighed. She was crying and pleading for his love. He hoped she wouldn’t really go drown herself, but what could he do? Life was hard for him, too! He had other things he had to take care of. He had to save the company from his wicked uncle! Really, he was doing it to protect her, anyway! His uncle was so mean! He had to avenge his father’s death before he could get married! There was just too much pressure! She would have to understand!

©2017 Burbank Writing Coaching

Want to find out how writing mentoring works to help your writing shine and get you past writer’s block! Email me to arrange your free 30-minute breakthrough session…

Aging Gracefully? Who Needs It? Check out this inspiring poem by Moyra Donaldson

Who says we can’t write poems that break open cliches about being a woman!? Well, no one really, no one worth listening to. If you are writing about aging, check out this great poem and be inspired to speak freely, and think out of the box!

When I Am Old
by Moyra Donaldson

I’ll have dewlaps and a hump and say what all the time
in a cross voice: on every one of my bony crony fingers
a ring. My lips painted with a slash of bright fuchsia,
I’ll drink margaritas by the tumbler full and if my dealer
dies before I do, I’ll just have to look for younger suppliers.
I can’t imagine not being interested in sex, but if it happens,
so be it, really I could do with a rest, complete hormonelessness.
I may forget who I am and how to find my way home, but be
patient, remember I’ve always been more than a little confused
and never did have much of a sense of direction. If I’m completely
demented, I’m depending on friends: you know who you are.

“When I Am Old” by Moyra Donaldson from Selected Poems. © Liberties Press, 2012.

FEMINIST WRITING FELLOWSHIP

Are you a feminist writer? Check out this opportunity!

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Fellowship Program

Everyday Feminism is offering a Fellowship Program in order to grow the number of intersectional feminists who can write about social justice issues in a way that reaches a more general progressive audience.

The Fellowship is a 6-month training and mentorship program for activists who write at the intersection of personal and social liberation. Fellows will learn the very writing approach that has helped Everyday Feminism reach 3-4 million people per month in less than 4 years and made more radical politics accessible, appealing, and relevant to a more mainstream audience.

This is a virtual program and Fellows can be anywhere in the world as long as they have Internet access and can participate in the webinars, which will be held during US business hours.

CLICK HERE

March Submission Deadlines: 20 under $20

Check this out — and submit your work!

Women Who Submit

By Lisbeth Coiman

As part of our ongoing effort to encourage women to submit to top tier literary journals, Women Who Submit has put together a monthly submission call round up, hoping women writers find it useful and come back to it again and again. For our first list, we have included 19 publications with under $20 submission fees, and one publication with a slightly higher fee.

General

  1. The Indiana Review

Reading Period: Opening date not listed – March 10

Submission guidelines

What They Like:  They’ve received a ton of stories about cancer, so he could do without seeing any of those for a while and would prefer to see stuff that’s “different.”

  1. James Franco Review

Deadline: March 31

Submission guidelines

Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction

Rotating Editors

Blind reading

  1. The Masters Review

Reading Period: January 15 – March 31

Submission guidelines

What They Like: Emerging fiction from new…

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Unpopular Opinion: Freelancers’ Rhetorical Inconsistency between Paying and Getting Paid for Services

Are you guilty of this contradiction — expecting to be paid, but being reluctant to pay for good services to help you be a better writer? Food for thought….

Contemporary Contempt

Contently’s “The Freelancer” published an article by Yael Grauer today entitled 5 Free Alternatives to Must-Have Freelance Tools. Being relatively new to freelance writing, I read it with great interest, and appreciated Grauer’s helpful breakdown of the pros and cons of various software options. But the underlying conceit of the article (money-saving tips!) is a familiar one, and when contrasted with another common refrain among freelancers (F-you; pay me!), it left me with a nagging feeling that there’s a growing cognitive dissonance that we should address.

While advocating that “freelancing isn’t free,” freelancers as a group persist in searching for free alternatives to the tools critical to doing business. This is characteristic of a prevailing, individualistic attitude among freelancers when it comes to compensation: we’re all looking out for number one and are encouraging each other to do so. This individualism is borne out of necessity. After all, we are…

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Embrace Your Ignorance and Just Get Started (again)

Inspiration!

Women Who Submit

by Rachel Sona Reed

The best part about having to repeat Algebra in high school was the amount of class time it gave me to write fiction. I had been doing this since 4th grade, using interstitial moments gained by finishing work early to scribble the stories, scenes, and sentences bubbling up into my consciousness before they spilled out of my brain and evaporated.

Like the tragedy that follows any bout of hubris, these epiphany-fueled, frantic (epi-frantic?) creative outbursts struck less and less, until writing became “something I used to do.” By college, my fiction, much like reading for pleasure, seemed to have officially left my life. My irrepressible urge to write hibernated so I could allocate energy to more intense academic work. Xanga, LiveJournal, and the many blogging platforms that have come since also played a role in redirecting my creativity away from its first love: fiction.

In truth…

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The Wisdom to Know the Difference: On Rejection, Violence, and Resilience

Check this out — self defense strategies to help us deal with different kinds of rejections, by choosing our response! “It’s up to us as writers to figure out when our writing is rejected because it’s unsettling and when it’s rejected because it’s not up to par. We need to know when to change and when to keep plugging on with submitting until our work finds a home. We need the wisdom to know the difference. Unlike in self-defense, our safety doesn’t depend on this wisdom. But our happiness and our resilience as writers might.”

Women Who Submit

by Jay O’shea

Recently, I was rejected for a fellowship for which I was asked to apply. This isn’t the first time I’ve been invited to put myself forward for an honor of some kind – an award, a job, a publication opportunity – only to receive a rejection. I am aware of this and, yet, every time I receive one of those requests-to-apply emails, the cogs of the fantasy-generating apparatus in my mind start to turn. I reflect on the benefits of the award, publication, or job and how satisfied I would be on receiving it. Each of those rejections sting even as I tell myself that rejection is part of the writing game and that rejection is, as we’ve all heard so many times, a sign that we’re making our best efforts to add our voices to the conversations we long to be part of.

Like many writers…

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The Art of Submitting to Writing Contests

Some wonderful insights here about entering contests.

Women Who Submit

by Tammy Delatorre

It was the first writing contest I had placed in. I was in the seventh grade. Our English teacher had forced us to write haikus and entered them—with a brief mention of this in class—into a statewide contest. On a field trip, we would find out the winners.

Cut to: We’re crowding into an auditorium, the good meal of a tuna sandwich and milk swimming in my belly. I was looking forward to a fun bus ride home, when a woman on stage announced I had won honorable mention for my haiku. Having heard my name, I looked around. People were waving me onstage. In a daze, I went up and accepted my ribbon.

For the most part, every writing contest I’ve placed in thereafter goes pretty much the same way. Bleary-eyed incredibility. I won. Are you sure?

Over the years, I have learned many lessons about…

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Amazon publication of Storyweaving Playbook!

Good news this month! My Storyweaving Playbook: Answer the Call to Adventure, which was published in October, 2015 as a paperback book, is now on Amazon, as an e-book! (Only $9.99)

This playbook is a self-paced, playful, practical journey into the heart of your creativity. Writers get a shot in the arm as they answer the call that brings them present and accounted for to their writing practice. Seekers gain confidence and clarity to bolster their creative life choices.

Check it out, and let me know about your experiences along the way.

The second edition of this game-changing workbook!

The second edition of this game-changing workbook!

25% COACHING DISCOUNT WHEN YOU BUY THE BOOK: Contact me at cburbank@storyweaving.com to schedule a free introductory session to find out more…