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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Writers, we Hold the Tools of Change

What It Means To Be A Writer In The Time Of Trump

Huffington Post publishes thoughts from 18 writers on the work ahead.

 

Aftermath: Sixteen Writers
on Trump’s America

from the New Yorker magazine.

 

“This is precisely the time that artists go to work.There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”

~Toni Morrison

ToniMorrison
More concrete resources: take action on what you feel strongly about – Slate has a great list HERE

how_liberals_can_channel_their_post_election_anxiety_into_action

It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

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It’s that time again:

Time to get ready to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The marathon for first drafts, the inimitable NaNoWriMo. Nano is the writing event that taught me that “I can’t run a marathon, but I can write one!”

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Some resources to help you get ready:

If you’re not a novelist, non-fiction and other genres are more than welcome to the party.

Last year AWWG had at least 5 participants, and several members used all the inspiration to advance existing projects. You can make it work for you! There will be Write-ins several times a week in various locations, and lots of online encouragement.

Ask me about NaNoWriMo!

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…

How do you establish a productive writing routine? Ronald Kellogg’s advice…

Wendy MacNaughton for Brain Pickings

Wendy MacNaughton from Brain Pickings

Here we are again, the symbolic (or real) beginning of the school year, and the revv up for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).

Do you know what your writing schedule will be?

Check out this great blog from Brain Pickings!

The summary of Kellogg’s findings about the psychology of effective writing habits might inspire you!

Here’s a taste:

“Location and physical environment also play a role in maintaining a sustained and productive workflow. Bob Dylan, for instance, extolled the virtues of being able to “put yourself in an environment where you can completely accept all the unconscious stuff that comes to you from your inner workings of your mind.” Reviewing the research, Kellogg echoes Faulkner’s memorable assertion that “the only environment the artist needs is whatever peace, whatever solitude, and whatever pleasure he can get at not too high a cost” and notes that writers’ dedicated workspaces tend to involve solitude and quiet, although “during the apprenticeship phase of a writer’s career, almost any environment is workable” — most likely a hybrid function of youth’s high tolerance for distraction and the necessity of sharing space earlier in life when the luxury of privacy is unaffordable.

But the key psychological function of such dedicated environments isn’t so much superstitious ritualization — an effort to summon the muse through the elaborate juju of putting everything in its right place — as cognitive cueing. Kellogg considers the usefulness of a special space used solely for writing, which cultivates an “environment that cues the desired behavior.”

Read more…

More Goodies from Summer Camp

Here are the links

to a variety of treasures shared at Summer camp:

Writers retreat Accokeek 4

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Delicious Tea goodies at Jo’s house for Tuesday’s book discussion

MONDAY

Dr. Judith Briles, host of the Monday Author & Publishing teleconference. Free book download, Useful blog, Events & more

TUESDAY
Books recommended by AWWG members – a new page we can keep a running list of recs!

WEDNESDAY
Movie: Midnight in Paris 2011, directed by Woody Allen, at his witty best. Cameos by a who’s-who of 1920’s Paris, this charming and silly-sweet film is lovely to look at. Oscar for Best Screenplay.

THURSDAY
DocumentProfiling systems to consider using to understand your characters

TJ Ritter’s author web site, including how to get her book, etc.

 

FRIDAY
I don’t have any handouts from Friday, when we did:

  • Tarot for Writers
  • Writing Great Dialog
  • Reading Your Work Aloud

But I have pictures! Go see the entire set at my Flickr AWWG album, and send me more if you have them, from any of our events!

 

Incredible new resource for African American History

According to a story in the Guardian published last Saturday, a huge archive of handwritten records about slaves who were newly freed in the 1860s is now coming available. Not only can you access the records for research purposes but you can also volunteer to help digitize them.

Here’s the article:

African American family records from era of slavery to be available free online

“A major project run by several organisations is beginning to digitise the 1.5 million handwritten records from the Freedmen’s Bureau, which feature more than four million names and are held by various federal bodies, for full online access.

All the records are expected to be online by late 2016, to coincide with the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington.”

And here is a video about the Freedman’s bureau and a link to project, where you can help enter the handwritten records and digitize this incredible archive.

Freedman’s Bureau

A writing coach without a red pen

A writing coach without a red pen.

Check out this great article about William Zinsser, brilliant editor and writing coach, 90 years old and still helping writers! He says it so well — as a writing coach myself, I wish everyone knew the process could be made so much more easy!

People come to him in stages of typed-out paralysis, stalled, uncertain whether they have written too much or too little. He tries to help them organize their thoughts by condensing, reducing — learning what not to include.

“By talking to them, by finding out who they are, I bring out their own personality,” he says. “And ease their mind, for God’s sake.”

Interested in Writing Coaching? You’re worth it, and so is your writing!

Find out more at my website, or email me at cburbank@carolburbank.com

Non Fiction Writers: Great Headlines

It’s the first thing a reader sees, and the ONLY thing many readers take in, so headlines are pretty critical to your success as a writer. Here are some resources for great headlines for bloggers and journalists. It’s chock full of links to help you improve your headlines.

Here’s the article that spawned this post: The Key to Writing Great Headlines, with details on crafting:

  1. How-to headlines – “How to Get Rich Writing Cookbooks”
  2. Lists – “7 Ways to Clean Your Cat”
  3. Secrets Revealed – “Big Deduction Secret the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know”
  4. Fast & Easy – “Quickest Way to Make a Fast Million”

According to advertising godfather David Ogilvy, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

NEW PAGE! Prompts & Exercises

Check out our new Prompts & Exercises page, here by public demand, a place for the current monthly exercise for short form writing, and other prompts, exercises, and challenges.

Go check out the new page! And please send me any intriguing writer’s prompts and challenges you come across, by email of comment.

PROMPTS & CHALLENGES PAGE