Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 12th Meeting Report

Thirty two of us met last night to hear seven readers and offer feedback. We enjoyed sharing a lot of brags this meeting as well as some good laughs and a few tears. A warm welcome to new members Chelsea Ramsey and Joey Kantor.


Remember that in 2013 our meeting schedule will change, alternating between our current location (Lutheran Church on Tropicana) and the Albertson's Grocery Store on College and Horizon in Henderson (Directions with photos and more on that to come as it get's closer). We will also begin meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Our Farmer's Market is in limbo. The weather has turned colder and there wasn't quite enough turn out in previous weeks. So it's currently on hold but if you'd like to participate contact Amanda. If we can round up a a few more people we'll start it up again.

If you ordered a shirt they will be here next week.

Mark your calendars for our December Holiday party which will be held Monday December 17th at the Clark County Library.

Jo Wilkins is looking to hire an editor. If you or someone you know is interested in a part time editing job ($10 an hour) let her know.


Congratulations (?) to Linda Lou for her anti-brag letting us know that the second time she tried KDP select (Kindle Direct Publishing) through Amazon it didn't work out well. She was better off before she did it.

Congratulations to Howie on receiving an outstanding response on his current book from his first beta reader!

Congratulations to Audrey Balazart on participating in a book reading for Writer's Bloc IV at Nevada State College.

Congratulations to Oksana Marafioti on an upcoming interview with Debbie Kunz called "Car Chat" at  noon in the Paseo Verde Library on November 30th. She will also have a show on January 12th at the Winchester Center for her book "American Gypsy."

Congratulations to Gregory Kompes on being invited to headline the Spring Fling Book Fair on April 6th as a phychic intuitive.

Congratulations to Kathleen Mosko on an upcoming interview on radio station KLAV 1230 this Wednesday at noon.

Congratulations to Eva Santiago on her upcoming book launch for "Salsa" at the Coffee House on Water Street in Henderson on December 8th from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Our next official meeting is next Monday, November 19th at the Lutheran Church at 6:00. For more information on our meetings see the Calendar.
Writer's Pen and Grill will be tomorrow at the Mardi Gras Bar at the Orleans at 6:30.

Tough choice this time! There were so many one liners that made me laugh out loud, and several excerpts from the readings where a play on words or feel of the language made me want to write it down so it would linger with me a little longer. I'll pick the first words that made me laugh last night:

"I have a good memory. It's just short."

WRITING TIP from Jo Wilkins:

When writing descriptions make your prose vivid. If you have a compelling setting, it can be as valuable to the story as an additional character. Remember thrillers like The House of Ushers, or epics like Gone with the wind, what would they be without their locations, the normal madman killing people and a spoiled southern girl’s escapades. These locations define their plots into memorable stories.

ARTICLE by me (Jenny Ballif):

So you want to write a memoir?

When I tell people I am writing a memoir, they often respond with interesting comments. Things like:

"What's a memoir?"
"Aren't you too young to write a memoir?"
"I've never read a memoir."
"I bet you'll have a hard time publishing a memoir if you aren't already famous."

My usual answers to those questions are:

"A memoir is like a selective biography, a 'memory' of certain events."
"I'm not too young to have had some life experiences worth sharing. I'm not trying to write my autobiography or eulogy. Anyone can write a memoir."
"You should try "Funny in Farsi." Its a quick fun read and one of my favorite memoirs."
"Probably. Thanks for your vote of confidence."

Susan Cheever said:

"I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it's an amazing form that we haven't even begun to tap... we're just getting started figuring out what the rules are."

The genre is certainly growing (Entering "memoir" in a search on Amazon turns up more than 100,000 book titles) and it has it's share of critics. People who think the average person has no right to write a memoir are sometimes very rude in their criticism of the genre and its authors.

I don't doubt that there are plenty of poorly-written memoirs in print. But I am glad to see that the genre is growing and I disagree with its critics. 

Everyone has a story, and I think there are enough unexpected and beautiful truths woven into the fabric of the ordinary that anybody's story had the potential to be a good book. More importantly, I believe that writing a memoir is a great learning experience for the author. 

William Zinsser has authored a few books about writing memoir. My favorite suggestion of his for getting started goes something like this: 

Every day choose a personal memory and take 20 minutes to write it. File it away and after you've practiced this habit for a few months pull out all your entries again and re-read them looking for a common theme.

If you aren't yet an aspiring memoirist I encourage you to give this technique a try. 

You may discover a neat story that you want to shape into a book and put through the ridiculous and difficult publishing process. 

You may come up with a collection of short stories to give to loved ones for Christmas. 

Or perhaps you will strike upon inspiration to help with whatever else it is you are currently writing. 

Whatever the end result, I think you will enjoy the journey.
-Jenny Ballif

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Upcoming Events & Places for Writers & Readers

At the Henderson Writers Group we support education and events around the Las Vegas Valley

Las Vegas Writers Conference

April 18-20, 2013

Annual Student Writing Contest

The Henderson Writers Group is serious about educating writers. We believe that our youth, specifically students, are the place to start. To further these efforts we have established this writing contest to award scholarships to the best of these budding authors.
See Website for details & submission guidelines.

Vegas Valley Book Festival


Clark County Nevada Libraries