If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for our new bloggers this month. Debra Sennefelder will blog on 1/15, and Debra Goldstein debuts on 1/22. Please welcome our double Debs to WWK.
Don't miss our January author interviews: 1/10-Lawrence H. Levy, 1/17-Kaye George, 1/24-Janet Bolin, 1/31-Kathy Aarons. And E. B. Davis will interview Shari Randall on Monday 1/29 about the publication of her first novel, Curses, Boiled Again. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
Our January Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 1/6-Becky Clark, Pat Hale, Leslie Karst, Edith Maxwell, Shawn McGuire, C. Perkins, and Sue Star, and 1/13-Polly Iyer. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 1/20, and Kait Carson on 1/27.
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Guildy As Charged by JM Reinbold
Let me begin with a little background about the Guild. The Written Remains Writers Guild grew out of the Written Remains Writers Group, a critique group that has been in continuous operation for eighteen years. The Guild celebrated its first anniversary in August. At present, we have eleven members and membership is by invitation. Our statement about who we are reads as follows:
“The Written Remains Writers Guild is a coalition of Delaware authors working together to advance their craft and careers. The Guild was founded on the belief that writers can achieve greater literary excellence and a larger audience by working together, sharing knowledge, skills and resources, rather than as individual authors working alone. In addition to supporting one another as literary artists, the Guild also supports the Delaware writing community as a whole through its blog and website, monthly Get Out & Write gatherings, sponsorship of two critique groups for fiction writers, and our developing reading series.”
I mentioned earlier that membership in the Written Remains Writers Guild is by invitation. Some folks might perceive this as exclusionary, but there is a good reason we are an invitation only group. I learned this the hard way from running a critique group. What I learned is this: open groups, whether critique or guild, get a lot of turnover. An open group attracts many people who are not committed to either their craft or their writing community, a dynamic that causes instability in a group and will also prevent serious writers from joining or staying. Another reason for an invitation only group is that while we are looking for highly accomplished and ambitious authors, we are also looking for writers with valuable contacts, established networks and strong skills in promotion, marketing and technology to bring to our community. If this sounds calculating and a bit uncompromising, it is. And it works.
As an example of how this approach works, I’m going to use the occasion of our first public reading – the first in our guild’s developing reading series – which we presented this past August, to show how membership in the Guild can benefit individual writers.
One of our members, Tery Aine Griffin, had recently won a prestigious Delaware Division of the Arts Fiction Fellowship Award. As part of her responsibilities as an award recipient she was required to give a public reading of her work. She decided this would be an excellent opportunity to launch our new reading series. With that in mind, Tery invited two other guild members, myself and Ramona Long, another Division of the Arts award recipient, to read with her.
Tery is a member of the Friends of Kirkwood Library and through her connection with the Friends, she was able to book us an excellent venue, and the Friends also offered to co-host the reading which included publicity through the County library system and a reception after our performance. Additionally, Tery used some of her award money to publicize the reading with colorful and cleverly designed postcards.
As part of the Guild’s advance publicity for the reading, I conducted an extensive Member Spotlight interview with Tery that was published on the Written Remains Writers’ Guild blog. Since its publication in early August 2010, Tery’s interview has continued to be one of our most popular and frequently read posts. In addition, as a contributor to the Delaware Arts Info blog and a friend of the publicist who runs it, I was able to arrange for a reporter to cover our event.
We also have a contact at the News Journal and our reading was listed as one of the top ten things to do in Delaware.
And, in addition to each of our own networks of family, friends and colleagues, we also had the benefit of all our guild members’ networks.
At the time of our reading Kirkwood Library did not have an in-house sound system, however, the Guild has its own sound system and a Guild member who is a sound technician ran the sound for us and flawlessly monitored and adjusted the system to accommodate each reader. Other Guild members served as greeters and door monitors to make sure we weren’t interrupted once the reading was underway.
I have to admit, because of the time of our reading, early August, and the number of folks on vacation, we were afraid we would have low attendance. We were surprised and elated when the community room, which seats forty people, was filled to capacity and people were standing in the back. After the reading, guests surrounded us to offer congratulations, ask questions and discuss our readings. It was great. Do I think I could have achieved this degree of success on my own? I do not. The success of our reading was a result of the collaborative effort of many, each person acting with the assurance that s/he could count on their fellow Guild members for the same degree of assistance and support when needed.
It is also important to note that the success of our reading didn’t end that day. A few months later, as a result of our performance, the Guild was invited to partner with the New Castle Library for a public presentation during Library Week in April of 2011 and to partner with Kirkwood Library to facilitate monthly community free writes. Also, the Friends of Kirkwood Library, our reading hosts, have offered to sponsor our reading series. Each one of these events offers opportunities to all Guild members to give readings, promote and sell their books, interact with the public, teach, and receive media exposure.
And that, my friends, is the power of the Guild. Our members, like Alexandre Dumas’ three inseparable friends, operate by the motto: "tous pour un, un pour tous" (“all for one, one for all"). At least, that is the goal to which we aspire.
JM Reinbold is the Director of the Written Remains Writers Guild, editor of the Written Remains Blog, moderator of the WR Mixed Genre and Literary Critique Groups, and co-editor with Ramona Long of Stories from the Inkslingers, an anthology of short fiction by Delaware authors. Her work in creative non-fiction has been published by the OBOD and Mything Links On-line Encyclopedia in Britain; her fiction and poetry by Gryphonwood Press and Red Fez magazine respectively. Her interviews with Delaware authors appear on the Delaware Arts Info blog and in the PRATE interviews from Full of Crow Press. The Written Remains Writers Guild can be accessed at http://www.writtenremains.org/. Their blog url is: http://writtenremains.blogspot.com/