Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November LUW Meeting

Hello Friends! Jennie here :) Wow I'm late doing this! It totally slipped my mind, but I remembered today and here we are. The first post since April, wahoo!

Why am I so late? Well it's November, duh, and that means NaNoWriMo for us writers! First up, the five of us that came to the meeting gave updates on our writing (we will be doing this in every meeting from now on) and we also welcomed our new member David! Or was it Harry? Oh yes, I remember now, Justin!

Then we decided to plan the entire years worth of meetings because no one showed up. Just kidding, we were going to plan the meetings with whomever showed up, no matter what. I'm also posting a poll below so that we can vote on other meetings.

The purpose of having the year planned is so that everyone can know what meetings they want to attend and plan ahead of time. Here's a list of each month, which can be changed depending on what you guys want.

(Reminder: Meetings are on the 3rd Thursday of every month, 6:30 pm, Tooele City Library)

January - Social Media. This one is cemented in. Terron and I will be talking about platform building and general computer-ish things. Then you all can be as awesome as I am ;)

FebruarySelf-publishing workshop (Roseanne and Nicole - surprise! We want you guys to host this one.)

March - Writing Prompts working with Voice and Style. There will be live writing so bring a notebook and pen.

April - Guest Speaker - Kelley Lindberg, Query Letter Workshop
In Kelley’s query letter workshop, you’ll learn the dos and don’ts of query letters, then take what you’ve learned and tackle each other’s query letters. So bring a draft of a query letter for something you’d like to submit. After exploring what makes a strong query letter and deconstructing some examples, we’ll look at your letters together to find ways to make them even better!

May - LUW social! Food, games, and good company. (maybe not the games ^_^)

June - Conference follow up. Anyone who attended LDS Storymakers will share tidbits learned from their favorite classes.

July - No Meeting (too many fun things going on during the summer)

August - Guest speaker. (if we can find someone who's not booked. Look at this list if you want to help us decide who should come.)

September - A publishing house will visit us to talk about publishing! (Redundant, I know. No publishing house selected yet)

October - Conference follow up. Anyone who attended LUW Roundup will share their favorite classes.

November - Not yet decided (please take the poll below)

December - No meeting. Happy Holidays!

Okay, now for the poll!

See you all in January!

Friday, April 20, 2012

April LUW Meeting

·         Terron James has been re-elected as the president of the League of Utah Writers Tooele Chapter.
·         Melanie is writing the newsletter for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. They are having a week long conference at Waterford school June 18-22nd. Visit for more details.
This week Terron shared the most valuable things he took from his 5000 college course on creative writing.
There are two major things that are important in a writer’s career -
1. Writers need to fail over and over again
2. We need to learn to fit more story into less space.

To teach us how to fit more story into less space Terron gave us an example of two different stories. The first was basic. Wake up, get out of bed, go to lagoon, etc. The second one, while still short, was much more exciting due to the powerful adjectives used.
When writing there is no need to be too general. Stories should be very specific; making sure the words are active. Adverbs (ly words) should also be avoided. i.e. 'smashed on the floor' vs. 'fell from its place' or 'crawled' vs. 'slowly'
Make sure you are writing consistently and failing often so that you can have room to improve. Welcome criticism -- we can't learn to fix our mistakes if we never fail.
Other tips
·         Be consistent in your writing and let others critique you.
·         Your writing is only as good as the best book you've read in the last six months.
·         Avoid clich├ęs like 'A Twinkle in the eye' and 'run for your life'
·         Avoid dialogue tags such as 'he laughed' or 'she screamed' try avoid tagging altogether when possible and only use 'he said' 'she said' to identify the speaker.

    Thank you Terron for continuing to lead our group for the next two years!
    And thanks to J.A. Bennett for this blog update!!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blogging 101

Our fabulous resident blog expert J.A. Bennett addressed our group last night at our monthly meeting. She gave a fantastic tutorial on how a personal blog can benefit you as a writer, and shared some tips on how to get started.

She began by discussing how having a strong internet presence helps others find you, including publishers. Agents want you to have a blog, as now the standard seems to be publishers will google your name as an agent is pitching them your book.

Having a strong following increases your internet presence, but how do you gain a following?

Jennie shared 3 tips to get you started.

1. Be consistent.
Blog at least once a week, if not more. If your blog runs dry, so will your readership. The more you blog the more search engines will start to pick you up. Expert tip: Don't make your blog posts too long!

2. Comment on other blogs.
Find other bloggers like yourself, who blog things you are interested in. Not only will you gain more followers for your own blog, but you'll create an entire network of support and find loads of helpful information. You'll be surprised what you can learn from other writers!

3. Participate in bloghops.
This is a good way to gain followers for your blog, and to discover blogs that interest you.
Twice a year blogger Rachael Harrie runs a writer's platform building campaign that helps connect bloggers and readers. Many blogs participate in bloghops so check them out!

Other tips to increase your internet presence and following are:
Using Twitter and hashtags. Good hashtags to get you started are #amwriting, #pubwrite, and #mywana. Check out Terron James' blog post, The Hidden Power of Twitter for more detailed Twitter information.

Using these hashtags connect your tweets with other people doing the same things you are. Your network will grow and grow!

Also check out to find other writer's blogs. You can even submit to have your own blog included.

Thank you to Jennie for her knowledge and advice, and to League President Tim Keller for joining us this month!

As always thank you to Chapter President Terron James for hosting and leading our group!

Good luck and happy blogging!!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jolly Fish Press-HELLO!

The holiday hiatus is over, and I'm happy that our group is back to its regular meeting schedule.

January's meeting was, in a word, SERIOUSLY AWESOME. Oh, was that two words? Shame on me!

We were very pleased to have Christopher Loke, the Executive Editor of Jolly Fish Press come to our group and speak to us.

Mr. Loke is experienced in the publishing industry, passionate about what he does, and pretty darn fun to listen to! We learned a lot, laughed a lot, and I think we all left with a renewed passion.

Having learned the ropes working for Penguin Publishing, (yeah, I know, drool right) he has branched out and started his own publishing house. We discussed the differences between self publishing and traditional publishing. Jolly Fish Press is a traditional publisher that strives not only to sell books but to nurture the career of authors.

They are looking for passionate writers who want to make a career out of writing! And don't we all dream of that? We learned about the extensive editorial process, marketing, and distribution. Mr. Loke knows the industry inside and out and it was very informative. He was also kind enough to hear pitches and offer feedback and advice.

Check out their website, to see more. And the best news? They are accepting submissions! The guidelines can be found on their website as well.

Thank you Jolly Fish Press for your time. It was a great night!