Area 7s First Mini Conference A Success

Runway bannerOn March 28, 2015 Area 7 hosted its first mini conference at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, Virginia. Titled Writers Project Runway – Fashioning Your Story. The full day conference was offered to serve Pennwriters in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area and to increase awareness of Pennwriters within the community. I’m happy to say it seemed to have done both and we have a few new Pennwriters as a result. Credit for that goes to the speakers and the workshops they presented. My wonderful planning team (indicated by a *) and I are already thinking about next year’s event.

: Dixiane Hallaj *                  Don Helin                     Hana Haatainen-Caye,      Kathy Jo Shea      Linda Sittig *

Dixie HallajDon HelinHana Haatainen-CayeKathy Jo SheaLinda Sittig

Ramona Long                               Marc Leepson            Pat DiCesare                            Val Muller

marc leepson 3Pat DeCesareRamona Longvalmuller (2)

Click on the link to view the conference schedule and workshop descriptions. Schedule -writers project runway

I also want to thank Mike Carducci** who worked tirelessly throughout the planning and the event itself in support of Writers Project Runway – Fashioning Your Story. He carried books, made coffee, worked with the event location staff to overcome a lot of IT problems and so much more.

Mike B-Day 034

Bobbi Carducci, Area 7 Representative

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Interested in Writing a Children’s Book?

PERMISSION TO FORWARD GRANTED

Writing a Children’s Book

This interactive workshop will cover:
* 6 Common myths about writing children’s books.
* Does my book include all the elements of good story telling?
* Who is my customer?
* Writing for children while appealing to parents.
Upon completion of the workshop participants will receive a copy of Bobbi’s PowerPoint presentation on writing for children and a signed copy of her multi-award winning book, Storee Wryter Gets a Dog.
Course Schedule: Feb 3, 2014 –Mar. 7, 2014

AUTHOR BIO
Bobbi Carducci’s book for young readers, Storee Wryter Gets a Dog, received a Gold Mom’s Choice Award, a Bronze Living Now Award, and was named A Best Dog Book for Young Readers by Cesar Milan, TV’s The Dog Whisperer. http://www.storeewryter.com
She is a multi-award winning short story writer and a former senior staff writer for a small Washington, D.C. area newspaper.
Bobbi was honored to be the luncheon keynote speaker at the 26th annual Pennwriters Conference in May 2013. She serves on the Pennwriters board of directors as the Area 7 Representative.
Bobbi is also known as The Imperfect Caregiver on her blog of the same name, written to support women and men caring for loves ones at home. http://www.pennwriters.org/prod/

Contact info:
bcarducci@comcast.net

Register at http://www.pennwriters.org, Courses \ Online Courses, http://www.pennwriters.org/prod/

WRITING A NONFICTION BOOK PROPOSAL – By Carol Silvis

If you are thinking about writing a nonfiction book, you need to consider more than the manuscript. Unlike fiction works, which should be complete before submission, nonfiction books are generally sold through proposals. The proposal presents a strong case for your book idea and will have a publisher take you seriously. In addition, developing a proposal will help you stay focused on the book’s topic and the market for which it is intended. How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen is one of the best books I have read on this subject.
Book proposals contain specific information arranged in an easy-to-read format. Some publishers have their own standard company proposal templates, which they send to the author. A typical nonfiction book proposal consists of four main parts: Overview of the Book, Sales and Marketing Strategies, About the Author, and an Outline and Overview of the chapters. These main sections contain subsections, resulting in a proposal that is several pages in length. My typical proposal runs between 18-22 pages.
The main sections of a proposal include the following:

Title Page
• Introduction/Overview
• Outstanding Features
• Market
• Competitive Books
• Complementary Books
• Author Promotion
• About the Author
Table of Contents
• Overview of Chapters

Title Page. Center the title and the author’s name. Type the author’s contact information in the lower left corner.

Introduction/overview. Describe the book’s (1) main subject area, (2) contents, and (3) page count. State whether the book will be part of a series. Answer the following questions in the introduction/overview:
• What is the book about? (3-4 sentences)
• Why is the topic important?
• What will the book’s angle be?
• What makes you the best person to write the book?
• What outstanding features make this book different from others on the market?

Market. Describe the market and audience for this book.

Competing and Complementary Books. Make a list of books that compete with yours and those that complement it. Give a sentence or two about your reasoning.

Author Promotion. Describe what you will do to personally promote the book.

About the Author. Detail your background, including your academic and professional background as it relates to the book, your publications, and your writing-related activities (e.g., member or officer in a writing group)

Table of Contents. Type a table of contents.

Overview of Chapters. Give a page or so overview per chapter.

Writing a proposal is a lengthy but necessary procedure if you want to increase your chances for success.

Carol Silvis is the President of Pennwriters and the author of Job Hunting After 50,  available on Amazon.com

http://www.carolsilvis.com
http://www.carolsilvis.blogspot.com

Area 7 News

Good news for Baltimore, Maryland area Pennwriters. Pennwriter Secretary and Area 7 member, Jessica Williams, has stepped up to become the Area 7 Baltimore Group Leader. Jessica will be announcing the details of where and when meetings and events will be held early in 2012. I lead the Area 7 Blue Ridge Group meeting twice month in Purcellville, VA. Anyone interested in participating in these groups is encouraged to contact me for more information at bcarducci@comcast.net. I would like to see all Area 7 members benefit from regular interaction with other writers in their local area no matter where they live. Anyone interested in leading a group, please contact me directly. If you have a place to meet and a desire to spend time with fellow writers it is possible to host a group.

Coming in March – Area 7 (Baltimore Group) led by Jessica Williams will hold its first event, a workshop and new member drive. Description of Event: Self Editing with Ramona Long. Attendees can submit first three. double spaced pages, of their work for review by Ramona. Ramona is also offering to do longer critiques (20 pages) from the first ten participants, at a special rate of $30. Space will be limited. Sign up as soon as possible.
Location: Baltimore County Library. Date: March 24, 2012. Time: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM ( lunch on your own). To register and for more information contact Jessica Williams at jesswilliams06@verizon.net

Prepping for NaNoWritMo

PREPPING FOR NaNoWriMo with SUSAN MEIER: Online Course INSTRUCTOR: Susan Meier DATE: October 1 – October 31, 2011 REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201110 (LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.) COURSE DESCRIPTION: Everybody believes NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which runs every November at http://www.nanowrimo.org) is a race against the clock, a fight with procrastination and inertia. In some ways it is. But once you’re in the thick of things, you’ll discover NaNo is really all about ideas. Writers don’t stall because they’re lazy. Writers stall because they don’t know what to write next. The month BEFORE NaNo, get proven tips from Susan Meier—the author of almost 50 books for Harlequin and Silhouette—and let her take you through several different ways to examine the story you want to write, to capture the natural scene possibilities within your idea, to generate new ideas, and to push yourself through the most grueling, but fun, month you will spend this year! Lessons include: * The List of 20 (How to generate ideas quickly so you have little downtime when your natural ideas run out) * Turning a “Want” into “Need” (How does knowing why you’re writing this book provide you with both energy to write and ideas for your story?) * The One-Paragraph Story Summary (Say it succinctly…3 kinds of one-paragraph story summaries: back cover blurb, core story question, and growth paragraph) * Could, Might, Must and Should List (How to capture ideas that spring up naturally) * Storyboard Versus Synopsis (Breaking your idea down into manageable bites) * The Psychology of Pushing through the Hard Times (What to do when you get stuck) * The Psychology of a Draft (Push, push, push!) * What Are You Doing in December? (Editing tips) Discover how to get the most out of NaNo and write a publishable novel. LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now. REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201110 ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Susan Meier is the author of over 45 books for Harlequin and Silhouette and one of Guideposts‘ Grace Chapel Inn series books, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS. Her books have been finalists for Reviewers Choice Awards, National Reader’s Choice Awards and Cataromance.com Reviewer’s Choice Awards and nominated for Romantic Times awards. Her book, HER BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS won the traditional category in the 2009 More Than Magic contest. HER PREGNANCY SURPRISE, her first release for the Harlequin Romance line, made both Walden’s Bestseller List for Series Romance and Bookscan. MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE, MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD, and COUNTRY TWIN CHRISTMAS are her 2010 releases. Susan loves to teach as much as she loves to write and is a popular speaker at RWA chapter conferences. Can This Manuscript Be Saved? and Journey Steps, Taking the Train to Somewhere! are her most requested workshops. Her article “How to Write a Category Romance” appeared in 2003 Writer’s Digest Novel and Short Story Markets. Susan also gives online workshops for various groups and her articles regularly appear in RWA chapter newsletters. For more information about Susan Meier, visit http://www.susanmeier.com. * Subscribe to our announcement list for email on our latest online courses! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PennwritersOnlineCourses ***** * For more information on this course, contact Laura M. Campbell, Online Courses Coordinator. To mail in your registration and payment, send payment at least one week before the course starts using the mail form at this link.

Read and Critique – Round Robin

Pennwriters offers a Round Robin Critique Group program that is ideal for those who can’t get to area meetings as often as they would like, or who live too far away from their area meetings or other Pennwriters, or who write in a genre or form that isn’t as popular as others (and it’s difficult to find like-minded writers to network with).

A Pennwriters Round Robin Critique Group or partnership can be done either by e-mail or by US Mail. And do consider partnering to help those still looking for match-ups in: Short Story, Romance, Literary, Christian/inspirational, Mystery/suspense, Science Fiction-Alternate History, Middle Grade (ages 9-13) fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical nonfiction, and Eclectic (writing short in various forms/genres.)

All you have to do is contact Catherine McLean, mouserun@certainty.net and ask for a Round Robin Request form.

Catherine E. McLean is a Pennwriters Meritorious Service Award winner who has given more than 30 workshops and had two-dozen articles published on the devices and techniques of writing fiction. Her short stories have sold to magazines and anthologies. www.WritersCheatSheets.com

Why Attend a Writers’ Conference? by Deanna R. Adams

With all the buzz right now about the upcoming Pennwriters’ Conference (of which I’m proud to be a presenter), I thought this is an opportune time to address the importance of writers’ conferences and workshops—whether you’re a novice, or an established, published writer.
Of course, if you’re relatively new to the business—and make no mistake, it is a business—attending writers’ conferences is essential. Why? Oh, let me count just some of the ways:
• Network with Like-Minded Souls: Writing is such a solitary activity. As we sit alone with our keyboards (save for the cat on our lap) searching constantly for the right words, sweating over awkward sentences, and wondering why we’re in this crazy business (except that we love it!), we need to be with people who understand. Not merely for the camaraderie, but also to learn from each other. To make new friends who love the written word as much as we do. To bask in one another’s successes, or offer words of encouragement after that dreaded rejection. One thing about writers, we are a wonderfully supportive bunch.
• To meet professional writers, authors, editors, agents—all from whom we can draw inspiration, education, and connections. Who knows? Perhaps one of them will be the perfect source when it comes time to submit our work.
• To keep up with what’s happening in the industry. I recently attended the Las Vegas Writers’ Conference and learned the latest on Social Media, Creating a Digital/Online Media Kit, and other topics I needed to brush up on. As much as I began this decade kicking and screaming into the 21st century, I now marvel at all the new opportunities available for us writers. And yes, I am also happily certain there will still be printed books in the future. (See my last blog).
Let me add a phrase I heard often growing up: “You are who you associate with.” Well, real writers tend to hang out with each other, and a conference is simply the best way to meet a lot of them all in one place.
Now you may think that you cannot afford to attend these wonderful events because of today’s economy, gas prices, and your own dwindling bank accounts. Believe me, there is not a writer among us who doesn’t know the sacrifices we make for our prose.
So here’s an idea. Let me borrow from financial expert, Suze Orman, and say, “Pay yourself first.” Even if you tuck away $10 a week, that’s $40 a month. If there’s a conference or workshop coming up in six months that you want to attend, you’ll have $240 by that time, and even if that doesn’t cover the entire cost, it will surely be a big chunk of it. I admit to using my credit card to pay the balance for a more expensive conference (especially when I have to travel, say, to Vegas) but I know I’ll get it paid off, and that everything I get out of a conference will more than pay for itself when it comes to building my career.
And let’s not forget the tax write-off. . . .
So with all that said, I hope to see each one of you at the 24th annual Pennwriters’ Conference!
I’m looking forward to meeting new writer friends!
Deanna