DENTON WRITERS LEAGUE
FIRST EDITION
APRIL 2004 VOL. 15 NUMBER 4

DWL Home Page: http://byjoni.com/dwl

If you would like a copy of the newsletter e-mailed to you instead of through the US post, please contact George Avera or Joni Latham.


WHERE WE MEET AND WHEN

The second Saturday of every month, at the

Denton Library-North Branch - click here for map 
3020 N. Locust St (corner of Windsor St & N. Locust St)
 Denton, TX

General Meeting 10:30 a.m.

Lunch at Noon at the
 Evergreen Super Buffet - click here for map 
1006 W. University Dr
Denton, TX 76201

NEXT MEETING - APRIL 10, 2004


Guest Speakers

April - Jeff Crilley of Fox 4 News
May - Roxanne Conrad
June - Lillian Stewart Carl
July - Hart Parris - RonJon Publishing
August - Karen DeVinney, Managing Editor-University of North Texas Press
September - Anual Workshop
October - Pamela Stone
November - Gloria Oliver
December - General Meeting  
 

GUESTSPEAKER

Jeff Crilley is an Emmy Award winning TV reporter in Dallas. During his 20 years in television news he has made hundreds of national news appearances including CNN, CNN Headline News, FOX News, The Discovery Channel, Good Morning America and The CBS Early Show.

He has been recognized by his peers with dozens of national and regional awards including the Emmy, the National Headliners Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Thurgood Marshall Award and has just been named by the Texas Associated Press, "The Best TV Reporter in the state."

As a general assignment reporter he covers a wide range of topics from presidential elections to Spam cooking contests at the State Fair. His day-to-day news gathering experience has given him special insight into what the news covers and why.

Visit Jeff's Website at http://jeffcrilley.com/
 


MARCH MEETING RECAP 

Jim discussed what a publisher looks for when viewing query letters and manuscripts and described the process Timberwolf Press uses in making an audio copy of a novel.

When Submitting:

Audio books are not just someone reading the novel into microphone.  The recording is an actual dramatization with actors and sound effects.  The novel is converted into a script and the actors are brought in individually to read their part or parts.  Once all the voice are recorded then the sound effects are added and the recording is cut into tracks.  Then, there is the packaging, manufacturing of the CD's and promotion.  Since Timberwolf contracts for the audio rights, when they review novels in the submission process, they look for a novel that will make a good dramatization.


A Beginner’s Checklist: An Essay of Writerly Advice
Author: Stella Atrium
Date: 03-06-03

You always wanted to go it alone. You sit at your work computer and wonder, "What am I doing here? I'm a suffering artiste, I must make art! I can live in the attic. I'll be content with handouts from the local baker who loves literature. I can get an agent who promotes me. I am the one to draw order out of chaos.

I must have solitude to develop my characters and write scintillating prose. I'm the next James Joyce."

Yeah, well.

First of all, don't go it alone while in your twenties. No offense, but young people don't have enough experience to fill a 600 page novel with new ideas. Write some rock 'n roll songs. Become the next Jim Morrison. He ran out of material, too, you know.

Second, take a long cold look at your aspirations and their real world possibilities. Can you write? Can you write well? Do you have a specific life experience or world vew which makes your story stand out from the 500 other novels that get published each month? I know this is your life's work. I know this is your self identity you're talking about. But there's nothing wrong with an occasional reality check. Ask yourself the following questions. Give yourself real answers. Hold onto your dream and make a plan that includes both the dream and your practical daily needs.

Let's start with the writing basics:

Do you write every day? Do you finish your projects? Do you have a mountain of EDITED work you're sitting on?

Has someone other than friends and family provided positive critiques? Can you provide, while talking on your feet, a polished sales pitch? Do you have a publishing contract? Do you have a secondary source of writing income?

Then there are the practical concerns:

Is your car paid for? Do you have substantial savings? Can you live on air? What is you minimum monthly outflow? Is your spouse tolerant that your income will be cut in half?

Hopes and dreams that must die:

My first novel will make money. My second novel will make money. I'll be invited to speak at conventions at their expense. I'll be invited as a guest on Oprah's show. I'll be invited to do a book tour. I'll enjoy my book tour. My publisher will ask for my second manuscript even before the first is on the book stands. I'm confident that the buzz about my novel will bring in the next project.

About the support staff:

Agents are valuable only after you have been offered a publishing contract. Don't sign the contract until you have talked to an agent or industry attorney. The publisher is running a business and is not your fan. The publisher's marketing department doesn't like you. The distributor is busy, keep it short. Independent bookstore owners do like you and want autographed books. Chain bookstore employees don't know you from Adam. Chain buyers talk only to designated distributors. Fans will gush at you after you've published six novels, not before.

Have I discouraged you yet?

If you still want to take the plunge, do these things:

Get catastrophe health insurance. While still employed, get a fistful of credit cards. Don't use them, of course. Be sure you can afford your car insurance payments. Be sure your house doesn't need structural repairs.

Take these small business steps:

Form a promotional business shell for your sales efforts. Get an 800 number plus letterhead. Get credit card acceptance ability. Develop and personally maintain a website. Call the reviewer back, call him again. Anticipate promotion expenses including postage and travel. It costs YOU as much to market a novel as it does to produce it.

Anticipate the drain on your time. Be a salesperson. Get over your shyness. Make five promotional contacts a day for the first six months of release. Then it'll be a habit.

And be aware of these pitfalls:

There are flush times and longer no-income troughs. Marketing efforts steal writing time. Discipline is everything. You get no applause. A writer's career doesn't provide a pension. You cannot with ease re-enter the business world after a long sabbatical.

So what's the best case scenario? Get a university teaching position. You'll have status and community and time to do research and write. At minimum wage. Of course. You'll need a couple of degrees to be considered for said position. Plus teaching can steal your creative energy. It happens every day.

And if you still feel you must go it alone? Well, Jack London went to Alaska. Try that.



Copyright 2003 Stella Atrium. All rights reserved.

Stella Atrium’s second speculative fiction novel Seven Beyond (ISBN: 1-59129-601-3) was released in January 2003 by Publish America and is available everywhere. She is promoted on the internet at Cecil Guy Productions' website Tsing Tse (pronounced sing-say), where you can read an interview, articles and story excerpts for upcoming publications. Please visit http://www.tsingtse.com.
 

Reprinted from Writers Net http://www.writers.net


BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSELLERS

7700 W. Northwest Highway, Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75225
(214) 739-1124

Please join us for the following upcoming writing events: (All events are free & open to the public. For more information, please contact: Maureen Boyd, Community Relations Manager, at (214) 739-3643 or crm2884@bn.com).

Tuesday, March 30th at 7:00 pm:
Writers Anonymous Workshop led by Bonnie Franke, Ph.D
Dr. Bonnie Franke will lead this brand-new monthly workshop for writers. Topics covered will vary from month to month, but will include getting started, the importance of editing, types of publishing and more. Bring your current work to read aloud and discuss with the group. This workshop is appropriate for writers of all skill levels.

Saturday, April 10th at 1:00 pm:
 Paula LaRocque, The Book on Writing
Award-winning columnist and author of Championship Writing, Paula LaRocque, will discuss her latest, The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well. Bring questions and prepare for an enlightening discussion with writing coach Paula LaRocque.

Saturday, April 17th at 1:30 pm:
Editing 10-Steps Workshop
Dr. Bonnie Franke will present the “Editing 10-Steps” workshop this afternoon. An editor by trade, Franke will discuss the importance of editing at all stages of writing and she will outline the most important editing tips for writers.

From:Maureen Boyd
Community Relations Manager
Barnes & Noble - Lincoln Park


Texas Conferences and Events 

March 25 - 28, Denton, TX, Texas Storytelling Festival, Contact: Tejas Storytelling Association at 940-387-8336 http://www.tejasstorytelling.com/

March 2004, Date TBA, Alpine. Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Contact J.J. Tucker at 915-837-1071 http://www.cowboypoetry.org/

April 17, 2004, Denton, Texas, 4th Annual North Texas Book Festival) from 9 am till 4 pm at the Civic Center. Visit the NTBF website www.ntbf.org for a registration form. Booth fees are slightly higher this year, but percentage of sales is being eliminated. Contact: mailto:cwood@tattersallpub.com

April 24-25, 2004 , Little Rock, Arkansas Literary Festival, http://arkansasliteracy.org/literary_fest.html

May 1-2, 2004, Houston, Houston Festival of Books. Location TBA in January 04

From the Texas Author’s Coalition, Inc website. URL in listing below.


On-Line Writers resources

Author's Network-for writers about writing based in Europe, but interesting- http://www.author-network.com/
Copyright Forms-
http://www.loc.gov/copyright/forms/
Dallas Sceen Writers- http://www.dallasscreenwriters.com/
Denton Public Library -
http://www.cityofdenton.com/pages/library.cfm
National Association of Women Writers -
http://www.naww.org
New Writer's Market
http://hge.members.atlantic.net/
Para Publishing Website - a good writing, publishing, and promotion source - http://parapub.com/getpage.cfm?file=/homepage.html&user=#user
Preditors and Editors-a resources to check out agents and publishers
http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/
Ralan's Webstravaganza-speculative fiction resource http://ralan.com/

Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators http://www.scbwi.org/
Texas Coalition of Authors, Inc.
http://www.texasauthors.org/
The Market List-the online resource for genre fiction writers http://www.marketlist.com/
The Novelist's Workshop-essays and advice on how to publish your book- http://www.monash.com/writers.html
Writer's Exchange
http://www.writers-exchange.com/epublishing/
Writer's Market
http://www.writersmarket.com/index_ns.asp
Writers Net-source for information for writers, editors, agents, and publishers- http://www.writers.net
Writing-World.Com - 
http://www.writing-world.com 
The Zuzu's Petals Literary Resource Homepage-for both writers and poets- http://www.zuzu.com/

There are multitudes of writing resources available on the Internet. Go to any search engine and ask for writer's resources, writer's markets, writer's contests, writer's conferences, etc


DWL OFFICERS:

President       Joni Latham ( joni1957@verizon.net) - 940/243-5200
Vice President  June Powell - 940/565-1013
Treasurer       Joseph Marino
Newsletter      George Avera (
gavera@chatter.com
) - 940/382-8161