Guild Notes, 2019 Class Preview and BookFest

By Linda Donaldson

Cindy Louden opened our August Writers Guild meeting opened with a preview of the 2019 Writing Center’s classes with final dates to be announced.

Linda Wisniewski will offer a Beginner’s Memoir series of classes for six weeks in May and June. She will then offer Advanced Memoir classes monthly from June through October.

Pam Varkony, author, speaker and last year’s recipient of the Pearl S. Buck Woman of the Year award, will teach two classes next year: one on essays, op-eds and exposes, and the other on marketing your writing through web and social media. Pam plans to offer each of these two topics at three different times – morning, afternoon and evening – June and July.

Writers Guild meetings will be held next year at 1pm to 3pm on the third Sunday of the month from March through October.

Bob McCrillis described the upcoming BookFest in Doylestown on Saturday and Sunday, October 13-14, 2018. This is a link to the entire weekend’s workshops and author panels. Bob and other PSB Writing Center authors will share a booth that Sunday in downtown Doylestown Hamilton Street parking lot between State Street and Oakland Avenue.

Anne Kaler shared news from Melissa Triol, who couldn’t attend, but would next month. Meredith Betz also sent regrets for her ab sence, and she explained her new project – ghostwriting memoirs. You can read Meredith’s article on barriers to long-term care for the Hispanic population recently published in the Nonprofit Quarterly.

Five members then shared their writing with the group.

Author David Werrett distributed an excerpt from his writing journal. Typed in a cursive typestyle, it featured a single-spaced typewritten text. David uses this draft by highlighting in bright yellow any useful paragraphs, phrases or words. We all discussed how this tool could be an excellent way to mine our own random thoughts.

David then shared the first chapter of his novel Night Flight, crisp detailed prose describing an airport approach. After landing, the protagonist hints that the woman he meets will be memorable. Listeners were impressed by description of his technical process and decisions, but suggested the foreshadowed relationship might be hinted sooner. Comments suggested including more details of the pilot’s intense emotions while navigating at night to an unfamiliar air field.

Jennifer Klepsch offered an excerpt from her next novel Volcanic Paradise. It is set in a tropical paradise with a volcano. The female  horticulturalist and a male volcanologist both recognize the danger when the ground shakes. Members said Jennifer’s story needed to integrate more character detail with the setting descriptions.

Paul Teese used a 10-minute three character play to draft Bob McCrillis and Cindy Louden to read it with him. The Beat Goes On is a humorous play about rewriting the past. A poor drummer invites an older widower, who wants to learn to play. The tutor’s money troubles and a live-in girlfriend add interesting dimensions to this work with its spot-on dialogue.

Jane Bleam offered the final version of Daddy’s Little Princess, a story about her adoptive daughter’s childhood and talents. She included new facts and described the joys of parenthood and the many ways it changes your life.

Lastly, Anne brought a poem from a upcoming poetry book by Sue Wagner Unmuted: Voices from the Edge. We read this powerful piece and agreed to email our comments to Sue. The Girl Who Bound Pain to Her Bones is a prose poem with lyric imagery. Paul Teese said it best when he labeled more fable than poem.

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