Archive for February, 2009

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Marla Miller on how to deal with agents

February 26, 2009

Must-watch, from one of Marla’s SCWC “Marketing the Muse” workshops…

–msg

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Bwa-Ha! Some hot woman-on-writing action

February 22, 2009

Multi-SCWC-topic award winning conferee, columnist and upcoming debut author with her novel Freezer Burn (Echelon Press), Gayle Carline is also a runner-up in the recent WOW-Women on Writing Summer 2008 Flash Fiction Contest. Besides making her piece, “Quarter Life,” available for reading, they conducted an interview with Gayle that’s also well worth the read.

Also, Gayle won for the third time a Topic Award for her flash fiction at last weekend’s San Diego 23 conference. Be sure to pop over and read her entry, “Home to Roost.”

–msg

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SD23 award winners announced

February 22, 2009

With considerable competition in the mix, it wasn’t easy declaring who would be honored this time around, but after two nights of high-spirited debate — and by high-spirited, of course, I mean bourbon — a consensus was found among the authors, agents and editors attending. Here are the SCWC*SD 23 Award Recipients:

• OUTSTANDING FICTION >> Reina Lisa Menasche
from Spring Valley, CA for Every Holiday on Ice
• OUTSTANDING FICTION >> Reina Lisa Menasche
from Spring Valley, CA for Silent Bird
• OUTSTANDING FICTION >> Juliette Engel
from Moscow, Russia for Moscow Traffic
• OUTSTANDING TOPIC >> Gayle Carline
from Placentia, CA for Home to Roost
• OUTSTANDING POETRY >> Paul R. De Lancey
from Poway, CA for Regret

Congratulations to all, and to the so many other emerging writers who attended San Diego with work that never sucked as much as it could have. Check out the site for all the latest details.

–msg

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The Fruits of the Poetry Workshop

February 20, 2009

Thanks to everybody who came to the poetry workshop. As far as I’m concerned, and this is no bull, it was you guys who made it a hit, and I can’t ever thank you enough.

For those who were not in attendance, the workshop was basically two-fold. The first being two identify and list those certain cliche words that tend to be overused in poetry. Words such as:

Passion
Regret,
Desire
lust
ripe
Heart
Soul
Sun
Moon
Stars
Sky
The Heavens
soar
clouds
pungent
etc.

The list was actually quite long and restrictive. After we finished adding items to it, I asked the class to write a poem about REGRET, in 15 minutes, that did not use any of the words on the list. Had you seen the size of the list, you would understand what a difficult task that was, especially in such a short time. We had an argument over whether “regurgitate” should be on the list, but it was shot down. Hence, four people put “regurgitate” in their poems to spite me, (punks).

Below are some of the poems we received, starting with the award winning entry by Paul R. Delancey, who, in a bold act of defiance used three of the prohibited words in one sentence to spite me. (Punk.)

If you do not see your poem here, it was because I didn’t receive it, or couldn’t read your handwriting (That means YOU Julie Shapiro).

Read the rest of this entry ?

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SD23: Our super-special Special Guest Speakers

February 12, 2009

Did someone say, “Guest speakers”? What about guest speakers? Well, it’s not like I went and forgot them. I’m just saving the best for … er … oh, dear.

Anyway, without further ado, your Special Guest Speakers:

  • Don Winslow (Friday night) will kick things off on Friday night, treating us to the insights of his adventurous career that includes time as a private investigator and safari guide before penning ten novels including the widely praised The Dawn Patrol and The Winter of Frankie Machine, which is in production for the screen starring Robert DeNiro under the direction of Michael Mann. His novel The Death and Life of Bobby Z hit the screen in 2007, directed by John Herzfeld and starring Paul Walker and Laurence Fishburne.
  • Laurel Corona (Saturday morning), we’ve already met (click the link), and I really do feel like I should say something more here, but that might also be anticlimactic.
  • Val McDermid (Saturday evening) comes to us all the way from Scotland, where she works hard to be the widely-praised, widely-read author of twenty-five books, including the Lindsay Gordon Mysteries, the Kate Brannigan Mysteries, and the Carol Jordan Mysteries. As you can tell, Val will fit right in with SD23’s crime track. Her stories have been transformed into a television series, and her novel The Torment of Others won the 2006 Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. And it goes on, too. Short stories, nonfiction … can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening?
  • Caitlin Rother (Sunday morning) will greet us shortly before teaching some of you a thing or two about interviewing. (Go ahead, click the link for more on Caitlin.)
  • Marie Etienne (Sunday evening) has written for newspapers and magazines, and is currently working on her first novel, Skating on Shattered Glass. Now here’s the fun part. She’s an internationally-competitive springboard diver, and her two memoirs are called Storkbites: A Memoir and Confessions of a Bi-Polar Mardi Gras Queen. I certainly think those count for something, don’t you?

And now you don’t have any excuses. Neither do I, at that. Er … see you all in San Diego!

—bd

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KYSL SD23: The Agents and Editors Panel

February 12, 2009

And now, for something completely different.

Introducing our Agents and Editors, who will enlighten and entertain you with insightful discussions with a regular feature of SCWC, the Agents and Editors Panels. There are two of these talks slated, one each on Saturday and Sunday, and if I’m not especially embarrassed that I’ve somehow managed to miss these events at the conferences I’ve attended before (only two!) it’s because I have plenty to be embarrassed about, and at least I’ll survive this.

But, as word gets around, these are very good talks, and I’m just an idiot for having skipped them before. (I’ll spare you the story.)

Thus, some people I really ought to be paying attention to:

  • Claire Gerus packaged her experience as editor-in-chief for two major publishing houses, and from years working for seven other major publishers into a literary agency. During her time in publishing, she oversaw the editing of the first biography of former First Lady Laura Bush, and was recently ranked among the nation’s best literary deal-makers.
  • Kathleen Gilligan works as an editor for Thomas Dunne Books, and has worked with many non-fiction writers on titles including Susan Konig’s Why Animals Sleep So Close, Senator Arlen Specter‘s best-selling portrait of live with cancer, Never Give In. In addition, she has a keen interest in women’s fiction, and to borrow a quote, “Particularly with curious, genuine narrators whose quirks resonate with my own, moving literary fiction, or nonfiction projects that inspire me to cook delicious food!”
  • Jacqueline S. Hackett is an attorney and member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives. She is also the founder of Literary Works, a full-service boutique literary agency. She brings a solid track record to our panel, with recent titles including Michael Schacker’s A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply and Rachel Vassel’s Daughters of Men: Portraits of African-American Women and Their Fathers.
  • Jeff Moores represents writers for Dunow, Carlson & Lerner, a Manhattan literary agency with a diverse roster. Equally diverse are his interest, which include literary fiction, voice-driven sci-fi and urban fantasy, narrative nonfiction, memoirs, politics, current affairs, journalism, graphic novels, gay & lesbian, popular culture and popular science.
  • You’ve already met Lynn Price, although I’m sure there’s plenty to add. So let’s hear another round of applause for Lynn, eh? You’re wonderful. All of you.
  • Jennifer Silva Redmond is also adding the panel to her list of things to do. I don’t know, can I beg more applause?
  • Adrienne Rosado is making the trip out from New York, where she works for PMA Literary and Film Agency, a firm with a diverse roster including genre fiction, true crime, world history, even politics (including Vincent Bugliosi’s The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder).
  • And then there’s the lovely Karen Syed. I’ll just hold up a cardboard sign that says Applause. Yeah. Just like that. Thank you.
  • Sally Van Haitsma is making the trip out from Del Mar, home of the Castiglia Literary Agency, a publishing house with broad interests including commercial, literary, and multicultural fiction, narrative non-fiction, investigative journalism, pop culture, parenting, gardening, architecture and interior design, biography, business, investing, finance, cookbooks, sports, and more. It really is an impressive list. And Sally’s in on a bunch of those. And we so adore her. Er, I mean … just like everyone else.
  • Natanya Wheeler comes cross-country from Lowenstein-Yost Associates, where she specializes in narrative nonfiction including memoirs, women’s issues, alternative energy and green living, politics, and apparently she really likes stuff about birds. And she’s working to build a fiction portfolio, focusing on literary fiction, women’s fiction, “edgy character-driven thrillers”, “moody mysteries”, young adult, and stand-alone graphic novels.

And … wait a minute. Let me double-check. Okay, I don’t think I left anyone off that list. (Just watch.) But I’m surprised, because, well, aren’t we just dripping with talent?

And you know what? It’s not over yet ….

—bd

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KYSL SD23: Laura Taylor

February 12, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Laura Taylor is slated for a Read & Critique, and she’s definitely one to pay attention to. She is the award-winning author of no less than twenty-two novels, including the widely-praised Honorbound. In addition, she offers professional writer’s services, and is spoken of well by her SCWC fellows. I mean, really, Andrew Peterson‘s praise is just icing on the cake, right?

—bd