2016 Wraps and 2017 Beckons

By Linda Donaldson

Here is a much-delayed recap of our October 2016 meeting, followed by a call for submissions to our Spring Issue of the 2017 Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal.

We began our last 2016 meeting with an Authors’ Tour of the Pearl S. Buck residence led by Cindy Louden that highlighted both Buck’s libraries, her office, and Richard Walsh’s office.

When all participating Writing Guild members had returned to the Cultural Center, we began with a discussion led by Anne Kaler of novel structure in response to a question. She explained the need to prepare both short [50 word] and long [250 word] synopses of your novel. The longer one can become your back-cover blurb, and the shorter one is or can be an “elevator pitch” when writing to agents or publishers.

Anne also explained that academic papers begin with a premise followed by your writing that works to prove it, and ends with a summary that concludes the paper.

The theme for the Spring 2017 Literary Journal submissions was discussed and officially chosen: Renewal or Re-Birth. The deadline will be March 31st, 2017.

Melissa Triol brought the next chapter in her mystery novel, prefacing the reading by a short synopsis of the plot for newcomers. Several listeners gave compliments on her pacing and use of dialogue to create anticipation. Discussion revolved around the use of surveillance cameras’ blinking lights as a plot device.

To tempt us all to take a longer story home to find out how it ends, Meredith Betz brought her first draft of “The Other Ten Commandments”, which you will see in its final version in the Fall Literary Journal. Using flowers and made-up vocabulary to illustrate traits of ghosts in a cemetery where the lead character is decorating gravestones was not only very unusual, but, as you will see, very funny.

Joel Mendez shared a satirical story about a reluctant editor that sways voters and concludes that those that eschew power want to be invisible. It was a timely topic and thought provoking during the run up to the election.

Speaking of Joel, he has forwarded to me a link to a story in the online newsletter: The Write Life. This article offers links to 19 websites and magazines that accept memoirs and personal essays. Follow 19 Websites & Magazines Who Want to Publish Personal Essays

Don’t forget our 2017 Spring PBS Literary Journal deadline is March 31, 2017, and its theme is Renewal or Re-birth.

In the interim, as Anne would say, Keep Writing!

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