Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 14th Meeting Report

Monday night we had our last meeting before the conference. The Coffee House was packed and we enjoyed an evening critiquing bios and synopses as well as running some practice pitches. Great skills to learn and practice, whether or not you are attending the conference.


If you are attending the conference and haven't heard yet who and when you are pitching to an agent, please email Audrey or Jo and tell them who you want to pitch to. There seems to have been a bit of a glitch somewhere with the flow of this information.


Congratulations to Donald Riggio on a successful trip to New York and the sale of 80 books at a rock and roll show!

Congratulations to Howie Erickson on his short story being ready for publication!


"You're telling us about the story, but not what the story is about."

WRITING TIP from Jo Wilkins:

To help identify Passive Voice look at your sentences. Do you rely on auxiliary or helper verbs? If the main verb is not strong enough and needs an additional verb or adverb to complete the thought you should restructure the sentence. 


There is a local book signing coming up May 7th. They are looking for local authors to participate and if you are interested please email Jack McGuire at mcguirejack155 (at) gmail (dot) com as soon as possible. Sorry I don't have more details about where and who. If you'd like to find out send Jack and email.

A warm welcome to Henderson Writers' Group member Kevin Parsons who will soon be returning to Vegas from his 50 states in 50 weeks tour of the U.S. Here's a bit about the welcome party:
"Kevin and Sherri Parsons will arrive from their Adventure, '50 States in 50 Weeks' on May 19th, and you're invited. They'll ride into Mountain Crest Park (Area C) at Noon with their motorcycle and pop top tent trailer. Come on over and join in the fun!
Mountain Crest Park is the same place they left last year, at 4701 Durango, Las Vegas 89129. It's the corner of Durango and Lone Mountain. It's a potluck, so bring something tasty.
Please RSVP Kevin at kparsons901 (at) aol (dot) com"

The Writer's Digest self-published book awards are coming up. The deadline for the contest is May 1st. If you've self published a book here's a chance to get feedback on your book and win some significant $. Check out the link if you're interested.

Are you looking for an editor? Editor Joyce Mochrie recently worked with two of our members, Vital Germaine and Tom Powers, and they recommended her highly. She has recently been certified as a proofreader and would be happy to work with other writers. She can be reached at proofpro7 (at) mail (dot) com. And, no I didn't forget a "g" in that email address. It's just mail dot com.

HWG member Andres Fragoso is starting up a critique group. They will meet weekly and give out pages that you can take home to read and write on, and the following week come again for the group to discuss and return the edited pages. Here's the information:
The Writer's Sidekick Critique Group
Starts April 27th, 2013
at Typsy Coffee
6496 Medical Center Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89148
1:30 to 3:30 pm
To sign-up go to www.writerssidekick.com/WS_Critique_Group.html

ARTICLE from Amanda Skenandore:

Nine Necessities for the Conference: 

1. Light coat or jacket – When the temperature cranks up in Las Vegas, so to do the air conditioners. To keep your attention focused on writing and your teeth from rattling, bring a sweatshirt or jacket to throw on when needed.

2. Business Cards – Most agents and editors aren’t interested in your business card. But having them on hand doesn’t hurt. To help them remember you from the dozens of other authors they’re likely to meet, put your picture on the card and/or print the log line of your book on the back. Business cards are also a nice way to exchange information with other conference attendees.

3. Bio & Synopsis – Some agents and publishers are happy to accept your one page bio and synopsis. Others will act like you’ve handed them a blanket infected with small pox. Again, doesn’t hurt to try. At the very least, it demonstrates you’re prepared, organized, and professional.

4. Pens – Writing utensils will be available in the classrooms should your ink dry up or your neighbor confuse your pen for their own. But to avoid being caught empty-handed in one of those ah-ha moments, always carry a spare.

5. Watch – Go through the conference program and plan out which sessions you want to attend. Arrive on time (hence the watch) so you don’t miss any valuable information. You’ll also want know when it’s time to slip out for your pitch sessions.

6. Research – Before you arrive, be sure to research the conference faculty. Pitching to an agent? Visit their website and blog in advance. There you can find clues about their writing likes and dislikes and even points of common interest. Maybe scratch out a few notes to look over once you arrive so they’re fresh in your mind. Also look into the speakers—the nature of their work (are they an editor, a screenwriter, a marketing guru?) will inform the content of their class, even it that topic is general. Know in advance whom you want to meet or hear speak and highlight your program accordingly.

7. First Page – The First Page Read is one of the high points of the conference. For $5 you can enter the first page of your manuscript into a drawing to be read aloud by a panel of agents and editors. They stop reading once they all have lost interest and then why. Critique like this invaluable! Plus, it gives you a chance to stand out among the dozens of other writers clamoring for their attention.

8. Spending money – Almost everything is included in the admission fee, which makes the Las Vegas Writer’s conference one of the best values around. But whether you fall in love with a raffle item, want to submit more than one copy of your first page into the drawing, or bump into the agent of your dreams at the bar and want to buy them a drink, a little spending money will come in handy.

9. Positive Attitude – Improving your craft and meeting others striving to do the same—that’s what the conference is really about. Your pitch may flop, your first page read may fail to impress, but you’ll still take away a ton. Sit with new people at lunch, ask questions during the sessions, and keep your chin up.

-Amanda Skenandore


Look at the previous post and scroll down if you'd like to see it. The writer's conference is this Thursday through Saturday. Our next weekly meeting is next Monday at the Lutheran Church on Tropicana. Westside meeting coming up next Wednesday, April 24th.

-Editor, 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