Archive for November, 2008

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“Citizen Kang” serial draws to close

November 28, 2008

gary-phillips1After running for nearly a year on The Nation website author and longtime SCWC staffer Gary Phillips brings his serialized hard-boiled political novel, Citizen Kang, to its inevitable conclusion with the 40th and final chapter, “Sunrise, Sunset.”

If you’re not already addicted to the machinations of California Congresswoman Cynthia Kang, start with chapter one, “Wide Stance,” then step the hell back and enjoy!

–msg

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For San Diego-based emerging screenwriters

November 12, 2008

Roughly once a year I conduct a 9-week real-world screenwriting course for the University of California San Diego Extension that typically sells out in advance. When I don’t announce the upcoming course I get nasty emails complaining about not informing everybody the course is coming up. Consider yourselves warned: Screenwriting I details

Dates stretch Saturday, Jan. 17 to Saturday, March 21, 2009. If you’re seriously considering writing a quality screenplay for either market or personal production, be there or be really, really 4:3 square.

–msg

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Writing Crime track debuts at SD23

November 12, 2008

Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, from mysteries to memoirs authors are often confronted with depicting an aspect of crime, whether the act itself or the empirical perspectives of law enforcement responding to it. Debuting at SD23 and open to all conferees, the SCWC Writing Crime track will address many of the key issues that routinely undermine the verisimilitude required to successfully write about crime and criminal law enforcement.

From the psychological side to the practical matters impacting it, the track is being designed to empower the writer on a number of levels. The final list of sessions will be posted at WritersConference.com in the next week or so, but one we guarantee for Saturday night is a popular hands-on workshop we haven’t done in a while, “Writing for Real: Shoot, Don’t Shoot,” where participants are placed in a real-world training situation under the supervision of real cops and must make a split-second decision of irrevocable consequence. Gonna be fun!

–msg

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Radio interview with editor Redmond online

November 11, 2008

Jennifer Silva Redmond

Jennifer Silva Redmond

Appearing on The Writing Show this week, Sunbelt Publications editor-in-chief Jennifer Silva Redmond offers writers great insight from her perspective working the publisher’s side of the business, as well as provides practical solutions to the gaffes too many routinely make soliciting houses for their manuscripts. Among the topics she deftly addresses:

* How to select a publisher to query
* What the difference between a query letter and a proposal is
* How to write a great query (and what not to do)
* How to talk yourself up without being obnoxious
* Why you should adhere to publishers’ guidelines (and what happens when you don’t)
* How long is reasonable to wait for an answer.

An always popular staffer at the SCWC — she’ll be back for SD23 — you can check out the terrific interview here.

Listen and learn!

–msg

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Another agent announced

November 11, 2008

Joining the SCWC for the first time and looking to expand her list is Literary Works’ founding agent Jacqueline S. Hackett, rep to many bestselling authors including J. California Cooper, Rachel Vassel and Omar Tyree.

Among her recent sales: Daughters of Men: Portraits of African American Women and Their Fathers (Amistad/HarperCollins November 2007), Darker Mask: Superheroes of Color (Tor Books August 2008) Cinescopes: What Your Favorite Movies Say About You (Quirk Books November 2007), Prince: How He Revolutionized Rock N Roll and Survived (St. Martins 2009); The Last Street Novel by Omar Tyree (Simon & Schuster July 2007); Pecking Order (Simon & Schuster September 2008); A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply (Lyons Press June 2008); and untitled short story collection and novel by J. California Cooper (Doubleday 2010 and 2011); Saviors or Sellouts: The Promises and Perils of Black Conservatism, From Booker T. Washington to Condoleezza Rice (Beacon Press January 2008); Let’s Get Free: How Ordinary Citizens Can Take Back American Justice (New Press 2009); Girls Inc. Presents: Amazing Girls (Adams Media July 2008); Racial Performance (Oxford University Press 2009) and (Un) Happy Lawyer (Sourcebooks July 2008).

Jacqueline will be accepting advance submissions for review, followed by one-on-one consultation at the conference, of commercial fiction and serious & entertaining nonfiction. Details at WritersConference.com.

–msg

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San Diego 23 survives crash

November 10, 2008

Two weeks — count ’em, two weeks! — after our primary computer expired, taking with it to the ether-neither yonderland of data divestment all crucially required up-to-date info regarding the upcoming San Diego conference, we’re back up to speed.  It required my rebuilding only three different number crunching monstrosities strewn together from the silicon guts of those that’d came and went before to finally revive the calculating brain that possessed so much history, so much plotting, so much gleeful scheming of all things SCWC related.

But then shortly after the freshly rankled beast awoke from his slumber, as he dutifully purged himself of his binary life’s blood so that a newer, freshly revitalized incarnation could rise from the caches like an electric pulsing Phoenix and ferry forward his great legacy, tragedy suddenly struck again, as suddenly as all things tragic seemingly strike.  Which, of course, is always rather suddenly.  (See picture)

ibeeone-1

That’s right. That’s a picture of Ib1o4 (I-Beeone), the original SCWC administrative unit, retired some five or more years ago but not yet recycled, sitting disemboweled and piecemealed back together on the workbench only an hour after saving the day and recovering the knowledge from his esteemed successor. Turns out the brackets attached to the garage ceiling, brackets sustaining the weight of several pounds of wood slats, aluminum eaves, metal rods of questionable ilk — including brass — and other home improvement flotsam, proved too much. It all came crashing down on top of I-Beeone mere hours ago ago. And it all came crashing down suddenly.

So on this day I ask that we all raise a glass to I-Beeone. “To I-Beeone!” My primary unit, who served the SCWC faithfully to the very end.

I only wish he’d not powered back up after I poked the On button afterword. Sure he’s only got 256k memory left, which makes him the equivalent of a retard by today’s standards — I’m sorry, I mean mentally challenged — but scrapping him now, after all these years, seems cruel.

–msg

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Begging your pardon

November 3, 2008

Look, I know this is SCWC, and it’s supposed to be about the Conference, and all. But I need to digress from all of that for a moment.

Tomorrow is November 4, 2008. And this year, that means it is Election Day.



Please Vote





Thank you.

-bd