Authors Fair is Back!

2015 Authors Fair

After a three-year hiatus, the Authors Book Fair is back in a new location.

When Mt. Shasta Mall changed ownership, and the new owners took the center court in a direction that could not accommodate our function, we did not know of any other affordable venues that would fit the needs of the Authors Book Fair. The Writers Forum Board believes we have finally found that appropriate venue.

The 2019 Authors Book Fair will be on November 9 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on Hilltop Drive. As before, the Authors Book Fair will be held in place of the regular meeting for November.

The name of the event has been slightly modified from the original Authors Fair. This is to clarify to the public that the Fair is not an event just for authors.

Wanted: Authors With Books Ready to Sell

The Fair is a free-to-the-public event held at the Holiday Inn Redding, Calif. Local authors can register for full or half tables, either all day or am/pm shifts. There will be a limited number of tables and pop-ups, so register early to be ensured a seat (some juggling may be necessary; you will be reimbursed for any differences). You may have posters on your table (or your portion of table). Chairs are provided; one per author, but you may bring your own for assistants or your comfort.

Open to authors that have books for sale, we invite all genres from mystery and children’s literature to historical and how-to-book writers. Graphic novelists are also invited. Fees range from $10 to $40, depending on whether you are a member or non-member.

Click here to open a registration application that you can complete on-line and submit. Payment must be received by October 15 to reserve your spot.

You Need a Valid Sellers Permit to Reserve Your Spot

In order to sell your books at a table with the Authors Book Fair, you will need you own seller’s permit through the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Here’s a URL for the CDTFA site’s page about permits: http://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/services/permits-licenses.htm

Here’s their phone number:  (530) 224-4729

Here are the main points all sellers will want to be aware of:

How do I register for a permit, license, or account?

The CDTFA has a secure, convenient, fast, and free way to register online for a permit, license, or account. The system guides you through the process and will assist you with the types of permits you may need for your business.

We are looking forward to your participation. The last year we held the fair we had over 30 authors. We are limited to the tables that the Holiday Inn provides.

From the last Authors Fair…

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Award-Winning Author Sarah Selecky to Run Local Writing Workshop

From a press release, for our members who might be interested in attending a local writing workshop —

Sarah Selecky

Strawhouse Resorts Hosts “Writing With Curiosity & Courage” in September 2019

Picton, ON (August 20, 2019) — Join Sarah Selecky for three blissful days of writing, reading, and connecting at Strawhouse Resorts in Junction City, California.

Sarah is the acclaimed author of This Cake Is for the Party, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, as well as the new novel Radiant Shimmering Light, which has been optioned for a TV show by Muse Entertainment.

She is also the creator of internationally-acclaimed creative writing school (and MFA alternative) Sarah Selecky Writing School, which includes collaborations with Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Karen Joy Fowler, and other authors.

During the three-day workshop, Sarah will teach writers to feel the joy of flow, and write from a more receptive state of mind. Participants will learn how to courageously write alongside their inner critic, use their curiosity to dissolve their resistance, and leave with clarity and direction.

Dates & Location: September 13–15, 2019, at Strawhouse Resorts near Junction City, CA

Fees: Workshop Tuition: $750; Accommodation and Meals: $551 to $866

Sarah will also be reading from her new novel, Radiant Shimmering Light, on Thursday afternoon (September 12) at Strawhouse Resorts. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP for the reading by emailing support@sarahselecky.com.

 

“Sarah’s writing classes helped make writing one of my closest friends. Her expansive spirit leaves room for all styles and personalities. She’s a truly talented teacher, helping guide even the most timid.” — Peggi Lepage

 

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For more information, please contact Laura Gendall at laura@sarahselecky.com.

A Handbook for Dogged Research

I found a great new book on the writing craft at Barnes & Noble in Redding. It’s called Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing, and it’s by Robert A. Caro. Caro is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for biographies. The first Pulitzer was in 1975 for The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. The second was in 2003 for The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate, Volume Three of Caro’s multi-volume biography of Johnson.

Yeah, I had never heard of Robert Moses, either. Caro wrote the book because he was interested in the theme of political power. Moses was an unelected city planner for New York City who was the driver behind the modernization on the city. The current NYC freeway system was the vision of Robert Moses. Caro was amazed that an unelected official could hold so much power. Building that freeway system was not just about pouring concrete. People lived and worked in the paths of those proposed freeways. They had to be moved. Entire neighborhoods were demolished to make room for the roads. The Power Broker is more than the biography of one man. It is the story of the shaping of 20th century New York City. It is a huge book: 1296 pages.

Caro has been working on The Years of Lyndon Johnson since the mid-1970s. The first volume was published in 1982. The fifth and final volume is in progress.

Working is sort of Caro’s memoir of his writing methods. He writes in the Introduction that it is “not a full-scale memoir.” It is a brief look (at only 207 pages) at what he has learned along the way about researching, interviewing, and writing (as the subtitle says).

As a memoirist and non-fiction writer myself, I was challenged and inspired by Caro’s dogged approach to his subjects. He describes how he researched subjects that did not exactly want to be open and forthcoming. He writes about securing and scheduling interviews. He uses multiple interviews of the same person, always digging for more, and usually finding it.

He learned the most basic lesson as a young newspaperman, before starting work on The Power Broker. An editor told him to “(t)urn every page. Never assume anything. Turn every goddamned page.” Young Caro takes that lesson to heart, and he has spent his successful writing career turning every page.

That’s a research lesson we could all use.

Writing can be found at the Redding Barnes & Noble, or at Amazon.

Full House for Benefits of Conference Connection

Turn-out was great for yesterday’s Writers Forum program, Benefits of Conference Connection.

Published author and professional speaker  Lezlie Winberry prepared attendees to attend any writers conference and to maximize the value out of that conference.

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There are several key points to remember about attending a writers conference.

  • Attend the right conference for your writing
  • Prepare your 30-second elevator pitch before you go
  • Socialize and have fun!

Do your homework before you go to a conference. Some conferences are geared towards a particular writing genre. Make sure that your writing will fit in to the focus of the conference. Even general writing conferences across several genres will have focused seminars, workshops, and speakers. Check out the schedule in advance and plan your time well. Schedules are subject to change, so be sure to keep checking back with the schedule.

At the conference, you will be meeting people that you need to meet to publish your writing. You will be running across agents and editors all of the time. Be as professional as possible. One way to do this is to have your 30-second elevator pitch prepped and polished, and ready for delivery. What is a 30-second elevator pitch? It is the essence of your story distilled down to two or three sentences. You need to hook your listeners attention quickly. Think of your pitch as the minimal TV episode description in the TV Guide, or the satellite channel guide. The better you can quickly sell your story idea to a listener, the better your odds of success.

Above all else, the point of writers conferences is to meet other writers and people in the industry. This is tough for naturally introverted writers, but get out of your comfort zone at the conference! Mingle! Socialize! Especially after all of the official conference activities are done for the day. Don’t just retreat to your room. Go out to dinner with new people. Lean some names. Have fun!

What are some other ideas that you took away from Lezlie’s program? Leave a comment!

 

Who has been to a writers conference? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

This Saturday: BENEFITS OF CONFERENCE CONNECTION

BENEFITS OF CONFERENCE CONNECTION

Presented by
Lezlie Winberry

Published author and professional speaker Lezlie Winberry will present a guide to making the most of writing conferences. Her talk will cover how to self-evaluate goals and expectations before attending a conference and the pros and cons of making a commitment to attend. There will be optional audience participation. Lezlie’s most exciting conference included an Alaskan cruise with Writer’s Digest. Come prepared to take notes, meet new people, and brainstorm conference topics.

After earning her Bachelor Degree in Liberal Arts from CSU-Chico, Lezlie has worked as an elementary teacher, taught community writing classes at Shasta College, and she’s been a member of ToastMasters International. Recently retired from teaching, she relishes her time spent in the area of her passion: speaking and writing.
 
Lezlie’s writing began as a healing process in 1990.  When I Cried Out is a personal story about the loss of her daughter. In 2013, she wrote an adventurous chapter book, Chinese Exchange, brainstormed by one of her previous 4th grade classes. Currently, she is working on a contemporary novel about a mother who is faced with a secret choice of her past. Lezlie’s writing has been published in several books and magazines and online, and she has spoken in varies venues over the past decades.

 

Writers Forum meets from 10:30am – 12:30pm monthly (except for July and August) in the All Saints Episcopal Church located at 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA. Doors open at 10am. The public is welcome to get acquainted with two free visits before joining. Annual membership dues are $25.

 

Other upcoming programs:

 

June 8: Read Around
Our semi-annual event in which Writers Forum members can read short pieces from their own works. Be prepared to read for five minutes.

July, August: No Meetings

September 14: Tentative title: What Makes a Poem?
What make a poem a poem if not content expressed in rhyme and meter? Susan Woodbridge, a popular presenter at Writers Forum, discusses writing free verse poetry.

October 12: What Editors Expect You to Know About Word Processing
WF members Sharon Owen and George Parker will offer tips on using Microsoft Word and Scrivener, either as separate programs or in combination. Sharon will demonstrate the expanded functions of Word, such as the Track Changes feature. George will introduce an alternate writing program while discussing the strengths and weaknesses to look out for in other writing software.

November 9: Authors Fair
Our regularly scheduled meeting will be preempted by the revived Authors Fair.

December 14: Read Around
Our semi-annual event in which Writers Forum members can read short pieces from their own works. Be prepared to read for five minutes. This is also our Christmas potluck, so bring holiday finger food to share!

April is National Poetry Month

April has been dedicated as National Poetry Month in the United States since 1996. The Academy of American Poets saw how successful Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March) had been at raising public awareness of those topics, and they felt the need to raise public awareness of poetry, especially in American public schools. According to the Academy of American Poets, the mission of National Poetry Month is to:

We at Writers Forum would like to give you some resources for helping poets in their craft.

First, we have The Complete Rhyming Dictionary.

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This great little book includes a one-hundred page Poet’s Craft Book. This teaches you rhythm, rhyme, stanza patterns, and various forms and techniques of poetry. The meat of the book, however, is a literal ‘rhyming dictionary’, helping you find rhymes to almost any word you would need in your poetry. Need a rhyme for ‘alabaster’, and you have already used ‘plaster’ and ‘master’, but you need more? Well, how about ‘blaster’, ‘disaster’, ‘faster’, ‘forecaster’, or ‘pastor’?

The photo is my beat up copy that I have been carrying around for twenty-five years or so. The Complete Rhyming Dictionary has been an important tool on my writing tool box.

Then we have Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook: a Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry.

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Mary Oliver goes into the nuts and bolts of writing poetry, and she does it in clear language that is easy for the non-poet to follow. She encourages practice, practice, practice in writing, and says, “One learns through thinking about writing, and by talking about writing–but primarily through writing.” Ms. Oliver gives us plenty of examples and suggestions for writing exercises.

Then we have Pulitzer Prize-winner and former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual.

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The Poetry Home Repair Manual is especially geared towards beginning poets, but poets at any level can use Ted’s sage advice. He leaves most of the actual ‘how to’s for other books. Ted seems most concerned with the poet’s attitude and expectations, which mean everything to the heart and soul of poetry. He encourages us to write the type of poetry that we would like to read, which means accessible to most people. He writes:

The Poetry Home Repair Manual advocates for poems that can be read and understood without professional interpretation. My teacher and mentor, Karl Shapiro, once pointed out that the poetry of the twentieth century was the first poetry that had to be taught. He might have said that had to be explained. I believe with all my heart that it’s a virtue to show our appreciation for readers by writing with kindness, generosity, and humility toward them. Everything you’ll read here holds to that.

Kooser’s book is a great one for jump stating your motivation to write poetry.

And since we are in the 21st century, there are all sorts of on-line helps for the poet, from Rhyme Zone and Rhymes, to Poem-a-Day delivered directly to your e-mail box, the access we have today to poetry and writing helps is phenomenal. Don’t forget to look for poetry apps for your smart phone. Go to wherever you purchase and download your apps, and search for key words like ‘rhyming dictionary’. You might be surprised at all of the useful tools available for that marvelous little tool in your hand!

What poetry writing tools and helps have you found? What are your favorites? Please share them with us on our Facebook page, or shoot us an e-mail at writersforumeditor@gmail.com . We would love to hear from you!

#NationalPoetryMonth

Author Workshop with Tim Hernandez

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From the Shasta Public Library in Redding:

“Come join writer and poet Tim Hernandez for a discussion of his book All They Will Call You, and an hour-long writer’s workshop.

Delve into Hernandez’s years of painstaking investigative research of the airplane disaster which claimed the lives of 32 passengers, including 28 unnamed Mexican citizens—farm workers who were being deported by the U.S. government.

This FREE event is great for teens and adults.

This event is supported by the California Center for the Book and Poets & Writers, Inc. The California Center for the Book is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum & Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administrated in California by the State Librarian.

Support for Poets & Writers’ Readings & Workshops program in California is provided by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.”

Tim Z. Hernandez is a writer and performance artist. He is the recipient of an American Book Award for poetry, the Colorado Book Award for poetry, and the International Latino Book Award for historical fiction. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and National Public Radio. Named one of sixteen New American Poets by the Poetry Society of America, he was a finalist for the inaugural Split This Rock Freedom Plow Award for his work on locating the victims of the 1948 plane wreck at Los Gatos Canyon, the incident made famous by Woody Guthrie’s song of the same name. The result of this work is the basis for his newly released book, All They Will Call You (University of Arizona Press). Hernandez holds a B.A. from Naropa University and an M.F.A. from Bennington College. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing.