Present at the July 14, 2011 meeting:
Celia Miles
John Waterman
Penny Morse
Polly Kent
Geneva Morris
Cyndi Hodges
Dave Richards
Chris Yavelow
Laurel Elstrom

First, let’s welcome Laurel Elstrom, a writer who is working on a fantasy novel and a non-fiction book about marketing. Laurel recently realized she was spending too much solo time writing so she vowed to do at least one thing every week that involves writing and interacting with other writers. We’re very happy she decided to join us this week.

Since we had a new person, we went around the group and introduced ourselves. If you’ve been at any of the recent meetings, you know what that’s all about so I’ll skip over the details and concentrate on items that are new, updated, or worthy of being re-addressed.

Dave received his critique from NCWN and it was overall positive. The critique included a cover letter, chapter by chapter critique and advice about how to make the book more marketable with several interesting and useful comments which have him editing and cutting out quite a bit of detail, especially in the first 3 chapters. He’s very impressed with this service and hopes it will help him to polish his book for submission to agents.

Geneva is leaving for Florida today and plans to sit on the beach and write, write, write. Good luck, Geneva, and safe travel.

John’s Goodreads give-away was a success. He offered 3 free books and had more than 800 people sign up. Several ideas, mostly from Laurel and Dave, were tossed out about how to promote his book, 48 Hours to Chaos, tying the marketing into the fact that he’s an engineer. John also told us of some emails he’d received recently about conferences in Kentucky and Texas, and one about the Linda Flowers Literary Award. You can find out more about the literary contest at www.nchumanities.org.

Chris passed out flyers about his POD publishing company, Interesting Write. He’s keeping busy with publishing new books for his authors, as well as a book of his own, Tree of Life.

Celia reported that the book launch for her latest anthology with Nancy Dillingham, Women’s Spaces, Women’s Places was a success and that the book had received a great review in the Asheville Citizen Times. She has several signings scheduled over the next few weeks, including one this Sunday at Highland Books in Brevard at 1:00. She called our attention to an online POD publisher called 48hours which she’s had reason to use in the past and was impressed with the quality and quickness of their work. She also passed out flyers and stickers for the Candy Fund and told us all a little about what it does. Worthy cause, I urge you to donate!

Cyndi said that she and her sister have finished Whistling Woman, the book about their great aunt’s life growing up in the mountains of NC. They were going to seek representation to sell it, hoping for one of the big NY publishers. The book was inspired by her dad who turns 83 next month and with that in mind; they’ve decided instead to self-publish. This is a first for both of them so she had several questions about the process and the members generously shared their experiences and offered valuable suggestions.

Polly shared news that she is continuing to work on her YA novels and hopes to do something with them soon. One of the books was inspired by a story about the Korean War, and Penny mentioned that she’d seen something in the NCWN Opportunities newsletter that someone was looking for works revolving around the Korean War. I found the announcement in last week’s NCWN Opportunities newsletter but unfortunately, the deadline is for today and the contest is only for books already published. Sorry, Polly!

Penny updated us on our ad for Fresh Magazine—which should be out in the next couple of weeks. Also, she told an intriguing story about children’s book author, DeeDee Parker and how she came up with an idea for a one-sheet presentation to pitch her writing at conferences. She used it a Christian Writers’ Conference and landed her first agent and a 3-book contract.

The story about Ms. Parker sparked an informal discussion after the meeting about moving away from our standard introductory format and having speakers instead. Celia is willing to contact Ms. Parker and see if she’d be interested and said she’d bring a copy of the one-sheet presentation instructions to the next meeting. We also approached Chris and asked him to speak at a meeting about publishing.

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