NETWEST WRITERS CONFERENCE

http://netwestwritersconference.blogspot.com/

Copy the registration form and mail with your check before May 5 to get the discount for early registration.
Presenters: Judy Goldman, Susan Snowden, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Nancy Simpson, Gary Carden, Newt Smith, Bill Elliott - You don't want to miss this one.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What can I give? What can I do?

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. 
                                                                                                                --Mother Teresa

My mother didn't tell me this, and she was no Mother Teresa, but she lived it. I watched Mother and her relationship with other people from the time I was a small child. She didn't run around looking for places to be of use. She had a large family, seven kids, and a farmer husband. She didn't have extra cash stashed to donate to others. But when a neighbor was in need, mother comforted her, gave her refuge from an abusive husband. When a relative lost a child, Mother was there to listen to the same stories over and over poured out with a cascade of tears. When a poor family had needs, Mother could find some way to make things better. I didn't know, of course, when I was observing her, that I was learning how to live my own life, and I was learning from a master teacher.

In the mail, every day, I am inundated with solicitations from organizations as varied in their needs as The Baptist Children's Home to the Democratic Party. My telephone rings and I see numbers from far away cities that I know are charities wanting my money. I just don't pick up anymore. 

On the TV news I see earthquakes, mudslides, refugees of war, and my heart aches for those people caught in the worst of all situations. I am overwhelmed with so much need and suffering in this world. If only I were strong and healthy enough to go and help, but I am not. Those days are gone for me now.

Although I have always been frugal with my resources and saved for my retirement, the nagging worry still hangs over me. Will I outlive my savings, my nest egg?

Are the needs of others more important than my own? If I give to all the organizations that ask, will I one day find I am among those doing the requesting?


I have made the decision to help one person at a time and to start with the person nearest me. 
I will help him/her in the way that is best for me. What do I have to offer? Not money. Not physical strength. 

  • I can offer what I know about writing, about publishing, about marketing, about building relationships, about organizing events and I can offer ideas to improve my community. 
  • I can offer to help those who have lost loved ones and have trouble moving on and finding purpose. My experience in that department is vast.
  • I can offer sympathy and empathy where it is needed. I can offer encouragement to that young person who has yet to enter the arena, to pursue her dreams, to take the risks involved to become a success. I can be there as backup if needed. 
  • I can share what I know with mature adults who want to be remembered for the lives they have lived - either by their family or by the world at large. I can and do help them find a way. I can listen. Sometimes that is the most important thing we can do - simply listen.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Traveling around western NC

I can't believe how much is going on this spring and summer. I am a member of the NC Poetry Society and on the committee for Poetry Day. My sister is traveling with me to Hickory for Poetry Day.
I am one of the volunteers working on the Netwest Writers Conference in May. It takes many volunteer hours to hold a conference.
And as part of the NC Poetry Society, I will be reading in Franklin, NC. in July.
I hope to see you, my friends and readers,
Scott Owens
at the events below. 


Saturday, April 26, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory NC
Becky Gould Gibson, NCWN Regional Representative, Scott Owens, and Pat Riviere-Seel will read as part of the 2014 North Carolina Poetry Society's Poetry Day. Owens, NCWN Regional Rep Glenda Beall, and others will sit on a panel, "The State of Poetry in Western NC." The day also includes workshops and an Open Mic.



Saturday, May 10, 9:15 am
Jackson County Courthouse Library Complex, Sylva, NC
Judy Goldman will give the Keynote Address; Gary Carden and Newton Smith will present "History and Writing: the Cowee Tunnel Tragedy"; Kathryn Stripling Byer and Nancy Simpson will present "Building a Readership for Your Poetry"; William Everett will be the special guest at a workshop hosted by City Lights Bookstore; and more at the 2014 NetWest Writers Conference. Register: www.netwestwritersconference.blogspot.com.




Saturday, July 19, 2:00 pm
Macon County Community Facilities Building, 1288 Georgia Rd., Franklin NC
Glenda Beall and others will read as part of a poetry reading series sponsored by The North Carolina Poetry Society and Ridgeline Literary Alliance.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Do You have to be High Tech to Build a Brand?

What a great time I had at the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference in Blue Ridge Georgia. Carol Crawford and her staff including Caroline Mann make it seem effortless to host over 80 people all day long and move them from room to room as needed, keep all the presenters moving toward their posts, and feed them lunch.
Glenda B. and Carol Crawford   

Although I was deliberately late, needing to pace myself for energy, and because I had suffered from the overload of fragrance at the reception on Friday night, the day was quite long for me. 

Eager writers filled almost every seat in the room for my 11:00 a.m. session waiting to learn something that would help them to become published writers. Even now, at my age and with my experience, I am still honored and pleased when others look to me for expertise. I was there to help all the wanna-be writers and those who considered themselves writers already, but needed a boost to get their name out there, to be known to the readers they want to reach. 

I have been going to this conference for seventeen years. Never missed one. I know who attends this event in the beautiful little tourist town in the North Georgia mountains. I have walked in their shoes and know what they want to know. I know that most of them are not into high tech marketing. 

I asked how many had a website and then how many had a blog. As I expected, a few hands shot into the air. Many of the folks in the room were over fifty. I relaxed and felt right at home. These were my people. 

We talked about building relationships with readers, building a name as a writer at home in our own community and I told them the many ways I had done that before finding the Internet in 2007. 

In another room a professional writer with a movie contract and ten novels to her name explained her method of building her career - Facebook and Twitter mostly - it seemed. I suggested to my group that they set up a free blog and "dip their toe into the water of the web." I did this because I know that most of them are scared to death of jumping into cyberspace in the way many do today to promote yourself and your work.

I like blogs because the writer has the opportunity to show her writing ability, show her readers who she is, what she likes, and what she expects and wants people to think about her. My theory is that a writer must first think about her readers and give them some reason to choose her words over others, to buy her book if she has one. I have favorite authors who blog and I like to know them through these weekly posts. I had some author's blogs I followed and enjoyed until those authors decided to go to FB and Twitter and leave their blogs. Now I don't follow them.

It is just not the same on FB or Twitter. If one is a famous author, he has a staff that plops up promotion material for him or he tells where he will appear next week. But an author, like our own Vicki Lane, author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell keeps her readers with her every step as she writes and publishes her next book. We read her blog and we know the ups and downs she faces just as we do. We learn to care about her as a regular person as well as the author of the series. We worried about her when she had a car accident recently.

This quote from Seth Godin says what I think about depending on Twitter to build your writing platform.
How many eyeballs are passing by is a useless measure. All that matters is,
"how many people want to hear from you tomorrow?"

I had planned to go on with more information on building a brand, but our 45 minutes flew by once the audience became interactive with the discussion of blogging. I will be most interested to see if anyone there will set up a blog and I hope, if they do, they will let me know. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Memoir or Fiction, we have you covered

Check out the subjects for workshops at the Netwest Writers Conference on May 10, Jackson County Public Library in Sylva, NC 


2:00 - 3:45: Workshops

Second Floor Conference Room: Judy Goldman
What I Wish I'd Known Before I Wrote a Memoir


In this workshop, geared to both beginning and experienced writers, Judy will explain how to find the focus for your memoir, how to use the techniques of fiction to make your memoir come alive, how to write a beginning that gives the reader goose bumps, how to use reflection, how to understand the difference between scene and exposition, and how to deal with loved ones who might have a problem with what you write. She will do one in-class exercise to help you find your most engaging material.

First Floor Conference Room: Susan Snowden

Brighten Your Writing


Whether you write fiction or creative nonfiction, this workshop will help you hone your skills. Author and veteran book editor Susan Snowden will discuss creating strong characters, writing believable dialogue, self-editing, and more. Come with pen, paper, and your questions for the Q&A period at the end of the session.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Don't miss Dana Wildsmith - Saturday, April 12, 1 - 4 p.m.

April 12, Saturday, 1 - 4 p.m. 2014: Dana Wildsmith - Writers Circle, Hayesville, NC
Fee: $45

CHANGING FACT TO FICTION,
OR: 
CHANGING I TO US

All we have to work with when we set out down fiction's road is the stuff of our lives, but that's enough. Every one of us has a couple of horror-story-worthy relatives, and we've all lived through years of high drama in our lives. The material is there, for sure, but the rub lies in figuring out how to use that material when memoir is not our aim. In this class, we'll talk about ways to use those three crazy uncles of yours to flesh out one strong character for a story or novel, how to conduct and make use of interviews, and a little about scene-writing. This will be a class for all levels of fiction writers.

Bio: Dana Wildsmith's environmental memoir, Back to Abnormal: Surviving With An Old Farm in the New South, was Finalist for Georgia Author of the Year. She is the author of five collections of poetry, including most recently, Christmas in Bethlehem. Wildsmith has served as Artist-in-Residence for Grand Canyon National Park, as Writer-in-Residence for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, and she is a Fellow of the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Netwest Writers Conference Registration form is online

I am constantly reminded of how lucky we are to live in this area where writers abound and writing opportunities are so numerous.

The information about the Netwest Writers Conference which has been in the works for sometime, is now up and answers all the questions of Who, What, Where and When.

Visit this link to find a registration form to complete and print out for mailing with your check. Even though the presenters are some of the best writers and poets in North Carolina, the fees are exceptionally low, especially for NCWN members. 

Many of us worked for several years on the anthology Echoes Across the Blue Ridge which includes work by writers living in the Netwest region. That includes nine counties west of Asheville and bordering counties in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Sales of that book enable us to hold events such as the Netwest Writers Conference and to keep our member fees very reasonable. 

Keynote speaker on May 10 in Sylva, NC will be Judy Goldman, author of Losing My Sister, a lovely memoir, well-written and moving. Judy has many books to her publishing credit and you can read more about her on her website. Judy will teach a workshop in the afternoon at the conference.

Susan Snowden, author and editor of her own firm, will teach an hour and 45 minute workshop on Fiction. I encourage all writers of short story, flash fiction and novels, to take advantage of the opportunity to listen to Susan and work with her that afternoon.

Gary Carden, highly honored and well published playwright will share time with Dr. Newton Smith on the program. Their subject will be researching and writing about the disaster at the Cowee Tunnel. Gary is working on a play about this subject.

William Everett, poet and author of several books, is also on the program. Read more about this writer here.

Having as members and leaders of Netwest, two poets of note such as Kathryn Stripling Byer and Nancy Simpson to lead a session on Finding Readership for your Poetry, sets this conference apart. I hope you will take the time right now to register and reserve your place.


The beautiful Jackson County Public Library is the venue and the doors will be open at 9:15. Plan to stay all day and mingle and network and just bask in the presence of so much creative talent as you will find within the walls and on the porches of this historic place. 

City Lights Books of Sylva will be on hand all day to be sure the books you want are available. If you are a Netwest member or on the faculty for this event, contact Chris at City Lights to see how to have your books on the table. 

At noon we will have an hour to eat and visit with each other outside and inside. Contact information is on www.ncwriters-west.org. I'll see you there.




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coffee with the Poets and Writers pics



Deanna Klingel and Madonna Wise

Deanna Klingel author of several young adult novels as well as other historical books talked on truth in fiction.  CWPW, sponsored by NCWN West, meets each month at Blue Mountain Coffee and Grill and the event is open to the public.


Ellen Schofield talks to Bob Grove and Wally Avett while Roy Underwood, far right, listens.
In the center our busy waitress at Blue Mountain rushes to take good care of us.




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Good News for Abbie Johnson Taylor

We are happy to learn that one of our most loyal readers, Abbie Johnson Taylor, will soon have a poetry book published by Finishing Line Press.

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems, includes a poem about her wedding day. Little did she know on that lovely day, her husband would suffer a stroke within months, and she would become a 24/7 caregiver until his death six years later.

See part of one of her poems below:

Life Change

On a sunny day, a strong breeze

lifts hems of dresses.

Balloons, tree branches sway.

Framed by an arch of pink and purple flowers,

as traffic rushes by,

we stand before those we love,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Don't Miss Out on Writing News

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Thank you all for your loyalty over the years and for sending others to this page. My readers are the best.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A bowl of little green turtles

Below is an excerpt from an article on tricycle.com/, an interview with poet Mark Doty. He explains so knowingly how we humans persevere, even after tragedy hits and slaps us down again and again. 

Read the article, but first read this:
“I was walking on Broadway one day in SoHo and came upon an Asian woman who was sitting on the sidewalk selling, of all things, tiny green turtles. She had them contained in a big white enamel bowl, and the little things were climbing over each other trying to get out, then sliding back down into the bowl again once they made it a ways up toward the rim. They were so beautiful—brilliantly green—and seemed so absurdly fragile; how could anything that tiny make it in New York City? 

That’s how poems usually start for me: I begin with a description of some little thing that’s moved or interested me, and then, if I’m lucky, the process of writing teaches me why whatever it is matters. The turtles were such a potent image of ourselves: our incredible human persistence despite our frailty. We want to connect, to love, to move forward—we will climb up the sides of that bowl no matter what!”   
            ---poet, Mark Doty 

As poets, we want to learn and to teach what we see as important about little moments that move us. A good poem will do that.

Have you read any good poems today?