ADMIN’s NOTE: New member Katie Caliando submitted this review of a fall conference right in our backyard for writers and readers in paranormal, fantasy & horror genres. If you want to write for TWP, get in touch.

Hallowread is a really awesome, yearly”book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, and Horror.” They welcome crossover and fusion genres, as well – like paranormal romance.  Rachel Rawlings, Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, is the creator of this gathering, and head honcho. The website stays up year-round, so you can check out the authors who were there, this year.  The list includes both self-published and traditionally-published authors.

It runs Friday afternoon through Sunday, and is usually held the weekend before Halloween.   Friday and Saturday feature workshops/roundtables, including a book fair with author signings on Saturday afternoon, ghost/paranormal tours and other entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings, and an author’s tea on Sunday.  The first two years it was in Ellicott City, and this year it was in Havre de Grace (the change in location was made before the flooding). Next year is still TBA.  As far as I know, there’s no limit on how many people can sign up for it, but it hasn’t been very large (less than 100 people, including the various authors).

Everyone is really nice and supportive, and the subjects discussed run the whole gamut, from coming up with ideas, making the paranormal “believable”, gardening vs architecture (another way of saying pantsing vs plotting, taking George R.R. Martin’s terminology for it), and related topics, to getting published, and working on marketing.  This year, there also was a lady from the Maryland State Arts Council, who told us about the still-quite-new grants for writers.  (see www.msac.orgThey give grants to individuals as well as to organizations.

I totally recommend Hallowread. It’s not expensive (this year, an all-event ticket cost about $60), I learned a lot, and I was really inspired.  The first time I went authors at the mini-con really helped me to find the nerve to start putting my writing out there (although I’m still “toe-ing in the shallows!”) .

Oh, and I’m actually Katie or Kathy, whichever you prefer.  I didn’t realize when I named my newly-minted blog “discoveries4writerstoo”on WordPress that that would be my screen-name, too.

Thanks, Katie for the report! We look forward to another great year of AWWG, including more contributions to our blog!


How to set a writing goal…

Twelve Amazing Real-World Secrets for Success!

1. Set a goal that does not take ANY of your other activities into account, because in the moment of setting your goal, you can’t imagine doing anything but writing. (Even eating seems excessive, unless it is the snack you eat while writing…)

2. Begin working towards the goal. Get a telephone call. Have to go to work. Realize you failed immediately.

3. Try again. Fail again. Reflect on the way you misspel gaol when you’re writing a rant about how being a writer SUCKS! – is the same as the old word for jail and how do you get out of jail? Impossible! Stare at the computer. Eat ice cream. Wash the keys and go to work.

4. Give up. Decide you’re not a writer.

5. Wake up one morning passionate about writing. Forget last week’s failure, that’s the past! Make another impossible goal immediately!

6. Lather, rinse, repeat….

7. One day, when you’re bored with checking your emails, write something quickly, just because it seems kind of fun — and suddenly discover you particularly like it, and that it makes the coffee house chain brighter, the people more interesting…. Then, imagine publishing it. It’s a story — no — it’s a novel! A novel! Wow. Take another sip of coffee. Read it again, feeling a little smug. It’s a chapter…. of a novel!

8. Read it again. (Why not?) Fix a mispelling. Like it even more. Change “the” to “a,” and take out a “very.” Feel smug.

9. Decide to write the next chapter, sometime. Look at your calendar. Mark out fifteen two-hour time slots in the next month.

10. Go see a movie with a friend. Have popcorn. Decide not to talk about the plot of your chapter. Think about it and lose track of why the movie villain seems to be becoming a giant bumblebee, or is that his costume? Don’t care. Feel smug.

11. The next morning, when you open your calendar, notice that you have a writing date with yourself in the afternoon. Set the alarm in your cell phone. Think about the character you created yesterday. Have your coffee, do your errands, order your latte, start writing.

12. When the alarm goes off, giggle. Keep writing.