Guild Meets, Reviews Authors’ Works

The August Writers Guild meeting welcomed some new faces, updated health issues of members, and discussed the Literary Journal and PSBWC blog.

Most important, the deadline of the Fall Issue of the PSB Literary Journal has been extended to September 30th, 2016. You can find the submission guidelines here.

Cindy Loudon announced that she and Anne Kaler have a trove of books they will offer members. That sparked a debate about how best to handle the “swap” with more members participating.

The group concluded that a “tail-gate” book swap – putting your books spine up in boxes in your car trunk – would avoid us lugging them upstairs to the barn. This allows “shop” and swap books car-to-car. Later it’s easy to take unwanted books to the thrift store for donation.

Since some of us have writing-technique reference books that could be shared, I will  assemble a lending library for Guild members to use.

Sue Wagner wants to notify you of this unpublished poetry contest opportunity for Guild members:

The annual Sandy Crimmins Poetry contest sponsored by Philadelphia Stories will accept submissions until Nov. 15, 2016. The poet who comes in first place will receive a $1,000 cash award, an invitation to the awards event in Philadelphia, and publication in the Spring Stories issue. The three runners up will earn a $100 cash award and also publication in the Spring issue.

Follow the link here to Philadelphia Stories website and the contest’s submission guidelines. Editor’s Note: there is a $12 reading fee for every submission. All entrants receive a complimentary one-year membership to Philadelphia Stories (a $20 value).

Our Sunday Guild meeting featured seven shared works, ranging from Haiku poetry to Chapter One of a travel memoir.

  • The session began with Lois Hazel’s Cancer Haikus – very arresting and revealing, eliciting discussion about ordering them by date, leaving out the dates, or grouping them by early, middle and late periods, during treatment and recovery.
  • John McCabe shared his poem Dismantled. Everyone weighed in on the formatting. Discussion showed that the alternating lines, first in lower case followed by lines in upper case, were from combining two separate poems. John revised the poem later Sunday, with indents every other line, reflecting suggestions.
  • Expanding on her Earthly Living story about nursing in coal country, Jane Bleam’s newest version included background on mining. Suggestions then followed to insert some detail into the story through dialogue.
  • Parents at the meeting were entertained, touched by Susan Hellings’ story Smashing Acorns. Describing the careful balance between allowing freedom and needing to protect, Susan captured the glee and abandon of her toddler at play. Her own self-revelations, discovered while accompanying him, make this story special.
  • Tim Jost’s poem, Remembering When, featured a nautical theme, was a springboard [pun intended] into deep discussion about cliches. His use, we all agreed, of some phrases were perfect, others were questioned. Suggestions also included switching the first two stanzas to better effect.
  • A new participant, Connie Fenty, shared the first chapter of her memoir of a trip leading a group of travelers to Ireland. Treating the subject of inner dialogue during a life-changing event, in conjunction with her actual experience in the airport and plane, caused several to suggest the beginning needed to capture the reader more abruptly.
  • Meredith Betz in her memoir, My Horse’s Tail, described the various stages of her hair-do metamorphosis. She gave many attending, who have suffered such fashions, a laugh. This was a painful subject treated deftly with humor.

Everyone is urged to attend our September 18th meeting. Bring those books you don’t want to the swap, and take home treasures from other bookworms!

Try to arrive about 1:00pm in the parking lot for the swap. The group will go upstairs at 1:30pm for the monthly meeting in the Cultural Center (Red Barn).


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