“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can . . . You will have created something.”
Dear Woman Who Writes—
We usually begin with a quote from a female writer, but we decided to make an exception for Kurt Vonnegut. His words focus on the joy of writing, in particular, the process of creating something new.
Nothing centers me like being immersed in a story. There’s an afterglow after each writing session. The monkey mind keeps climbing. The ideas flow: unfortunately, they flow when I’m nowhere near my writing project! I write because I love to write, in the same way that some people like to garden, wash and wax their car, or needlepoint. Writing is a craft and passion. Nevertheless, we sometimes feel discouraged, especially when feeling stuck.
Here are some ways to regain your writing mojo. In her Writer’s Digest article, “How NOT to get Discouraged with Writing Projects,” editor, publisher, and writing guru, Jane Friedman, offers tips on how to lift yourself out of the quagmire.
- Assume that what you’re working on will take longer than you think it should.
“By allowing yourself more time to work than you may need, you’ll reduce stress, enjoy the process more.”
- Write a fast draft. Get it down. You can always go back later.
“Sometimes we need to just write quickly, tapping into the unconscious, not worrying about each word, each line. Speed also gets us to the other side: the end.”
- Get some air, peek your head out into the world, show your work to a friend. “Basically, don’t allow yourself to get trapped in both your house and your story . . . We need new eyes on our work. We need fresh air, too! Take a walk, meet a friend for coffee, attend a writing workshop, and allow others to cheer you on.”
- Put the work away. “We all know the writer is constantly writing, and you will continue to ‘write’ your story even when it’s in the drawer. You will see things, hear things, and feel things that will inspire you to move forward when your story and you are ready.”
We highly recommend you check out Jane’s award-winning blog for prose writers, at JaneFriedman.com.
Image provided by GiveGab.com
Women Who Write will participate in our second campaign for Give for Good Louisville, the annual one-day online fundraiser to occur on Thursday, September 14 between midnight and 11:59 PM.
Last year we raised close to our goal ($2,500). This year we plan to reach or exceed that goal. These funds help us to supplement memberships so that we can plan programs that are free or affordable for our members. For example, our guest authors and workshop leaders often receive honoraria. We offer scholarships. We supplement retreat costs. We need our membership fees of $50 per year to keep us in business. Donations enable us to provide and expand the programming so valued by our writers.
We hope that each of you will consider donating to Give for Good Day. As part of the fundraiser, there are bonuses for the number of individual donations of $10 or more. Last year, for 30 individual donations, we earned an extra $300.
To celebrate our Give for Good fundraiser on Thursday, September 14, we’re having a party at Captain’s Quarters in their Stone Room (the 19th Century Harrods Creek Tavern). The event will include an appetizer buffet and a cash bar, which we’ll enjoy as we listen to award-winning Louisville writer, Ellen Birkett Morris. The cost for the event is $24 per member (including gratuity). Members may bring one non-member for $28. The ticket fee pays for room rental and the buffet and soft drinks. No part of the price is a donation!
Members can register here: http://womenwhowrite.com/events/september-2023/
MARK YOUR CALENDAR—
Our next monthly meeting is Tuesday, August 8 beginning at 6:30 PM in person at the St. Matthews Branch of LFPL, 3940 Grandview Ave. Louisville, Kentucky 40207. Persons interested in receiving peer critiques please bring 7 printed copies of the manuscript you want us to critique. No more than 1300 words for prose or two pages of poems. If the prose piece you’d want to share is longer than 1300 words, please bring an excerpt.
If you want to receive a peer critique on Tuesday, August 8, please let us know at">
At our August member meeting, we will ask you what programming members might like to see repeated or added.
Our September monthly meeting will be on Thursday, September 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Captain’s Quarters on River Road in eastern Louisville—the day of the Give for Good Louisville fundraiser.
Photo taken by Kim Crum during her retreat at Loretto
JOIN US FOR A FALL RETREAT
WWW will host an overnight & daytime retreat Saturday and Sunday, October 14, and 15 at the Loretto Motherhouse about a 75-minute drive from Louisville, past many bourbon distilleries in rural Kentucky. “Knobs Haven and Cedars of Peace are ecumenical retreat ministries of the Sisters of Loretto, located on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in central Kentucky. The spaciousness of the 788-acre farm and the hospitality of the Motherhouse community creates a welcoming, reflective space for individuals and groups.”
Loretto is popular for solo and group writing retreats. The Kentucky Foundation for Women sponsors many solo retreatants each year (including two of our members, Kim Crum and Janet Boyd).
Persons who want to come for the day, either on Saturday or Sunday, are welcome for $40 per person. Fees for overnight guests are $125 for a single room and $85 for a double room (including the $40 daytime retreat fee). We will stay at the Knob Creek retreat house. There are walking trails and two lakes, a lovely labyrinth, many places to sit down, and plentiful wildlife (also cows). If you are a bird watcher, bring your binoculars. You can sign up on our website in mid-August.
THE WRITING PROMPT
“Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.”
― Erma Bombeck~
The car is both literally and figuratively a vehicle for storytelling in prose and poetry. Many of us will recall, our first car, car trips with family, first dates, and road trip mishaps. Getting lost provides tension to your prose or poetry. And cars are great for characterization. Consider what your reader might think if your character drives a red Ferrari, or a 1955 Chevy Belaire, or a silver Prius, a black Harley, or a pink Vespa . . . A car is also a great place to give your protagonist thoughts while noticing the passing landscape. She might listen (and sing) to her favorite songs, sneak a cigarette, or sip a Slurpee. Automobiles are also multi-sensory. It’s easy to conjure touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound while driving or riding in a car. Might even be a good set-up for a murder mystery or time travel!
You may take this car theme wherever your vehicle wants to go! We look forward to hearing your car stories, at our August meeting or later.
WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR WRITING LIFE!
The Writer’s Block Festival is coming! Plan to join other WWW members and friends on Saturday, September 30 at Logan Street Market— “25,000 square feet filled with 25+ locally owned and operated food, beverage, provisions, and artisan shops.” The market is located south of Broadway near Paristown. The cost for the day is $25, which includes a keynote address by Emily Bingham, five workshops on different topics, and an InKY reading. Learn more (and register) here.
Kim is reading the Louisville Literary Arts Writer’s Block Anthology, which includes stories from current members—Holly Hinson and Erin Wedemeyer—as well as a story written by WWW former director, Jessica Hildebrand. Congratulations to these women who might have at times been discouraged. Nevertheless, they persisted!
At Women Who Write, we celebrate both rejections and acceptances for publication, because you can’t have one without the other.
All members are invited to submit to the Women Who Write web blog! We accept personal essays, poetry, fiction, and memoir. No more than 2,000 words, please! We’ll read your work in advance and offer revision suggestions if needed. Publishing on our blog will expand your writing platform since you can share the blog link on social networks. And you’ll help WWW show off the variety of talents within our writing community! Browse our web blog now! Write to Kim at and tell us about your story, poem, or essay—the one you’ve written or the one you want to write!
Submit a story to Landslide Lit(erary) on Medium.com, a publication edited by two WWW members—Kimberly Crum and Bonnie Omer Johnson. We will provide developmental and editorial suggestions. Here are the submission guidelines.
Bookfox is an ongoing well-regarded list of journals accepting submissions for poetry and prose. This is a great overall resource for writers. Each of the links he lists also lists the cost of submission. Learn more here.
ECOTONE is an award-winning literary magazine “dedicated to reimagining place, “welcoming work from a wide range of voices. Open Submissions
Chestnut Review is reading both poetry and prose submissions between July 1-Sept 30 for the Winter Issue Open Submissions
Rose Metal Press: Open Submissions
Thimble Literary Magazine is primarily a poetry journal, but we happily publish plenty of short prose and art. Next submissions August 1 through September 30. Thimble Literary Magazine: Open Submissions
Folly is an international journal of poetry, prose, and art (published in New Zealand). Submissions are year-round. “We are drawn to dark humour, satirical takes on the social scene, and starkly honest accounts of ordinary life. Diversity is celebrated, adversity is welcomed, and, above all, personal expression is championed. Open Submissions
Green House wants poetry, short stories, creative essays, and flash fiction for bi-monthly digital issues. The website is worth a visit! Clever, unique, and informative!
Green House: Open Submissions
Sad Girls Club: Open Submissions —”We want to see writing that explores what it means to be human. Make us laugh until our stomachs hurt, ugly cry, and everything in between. We accept poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and creative nonfiction.”
HerStry literary essay/memoir blog seeks to empower women through their writing. Submissions for general admissions are ongoing. Submissions for monthly themed issues are by the end of each month. Find out more here! Themes for the remainder of 2023 are Stories that Haunt Us, Thank you, I Guess, and Winter. If you have a work-in-progress that fits one of these themes, or if any of these themes prompt a personal essay, bring it to a WWW peer critique!
Poets and Writers has an extensive list of literary magazines to which you can submit. Learn more here.
N+1 literary journal accepts new fiction, drama, personal essays, criticism, and translation on a rolling basis. Find out more ">here.
Gionsko Literary Journal. Gionsko means, “to perceive, understand, realize, come to know; knowledge that has an inception, a progress, an attainment. The recognition of truth from experience.” Accepting short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, social justice, and literary insights. Learn more here.
Sky Island Journal is an online journal that publishes emerging and established writers. Prefers flash fiction and creative nonfiction (less than 1,000 words) and poetry. Rolling submissions. Inquire here.
Halfway Down the Stairs publishes quarterly themed issues of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and book reviews. Learn more here
Consider writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Some upcoming themes— The Power of Positive Thinking, Angels, Dogs, Cats, and Make Me Laugh! Learn more here
Consider submitting to this online magazine of personal essays—Dorothy Parker’s Ashes has as its tagline, “Brazen words by witty dames. Everything true. More or less.” https://www.dorothyparkersashes.com/the-writing-life
Thimble Literary is “based on the belief that poetry is like armor. Like a thimble, it may be small and seemingly insignificant, but it will protect us when we are most vulnerable.” The online journal publishes quarterly. Find out more here!
The Fictional Café is a unique literary venue inviting fiction and poetry. This international platform does require membership (looks like it’s free) to submit. They describe themselves as a Coffee Club, and their editors and staff as baristas. Here is their invitation— “Want to submit a short story or poetry? A chapter from a novel-in-progress?”
The Blue Mountain Review publishes poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, on a rolling basis, for publication in this quarterly print journal. “Blue Mountain Review is a Southern publication, but it draws no boundaries or borders on that interpretation. It seeks pieces that boldly create something new.”
The Keeping Room is an online magazine for women writers, poets, and artists, interested in “Women’s Wisdom, Lessons Learned, Self-care, Bodies, Relationships, and Community.” Find out how to submit here.
SUPPORT OUR WRITING COMMUNITY!
Become a member (or re-member)—As a community, WWW strives to nurture your writing life. We hope you choose to join or renew as a member and participate in our monthly meetings, author talks, retreats, and workshops. Our membership chair will notify persons when they are due to renew. Regular annual membership is $50. Student annual membership is $25. Membership entitles you to discounts on workshops and retreats.
Plan to donate to our Give for Good online fundraiser campaign on September 14.
Attend our monthly member meetings on the second Tuesday of each month for a brief program, peer critiques, and conversations about the writing life. Not currently a member? You can attend two meetings before deciding to join.
Visit our web page WomenWhoWrite.com. Also, visit our Facebook Page and stay awhile—@womenwhowriteky. Don’t forget to like us and follow us. Answer polls. See video interviews of WWW meetings with visiting writers.
Participate! Members, please send us links to your published writing. We will include these links on our Facebook page!
Love your writing life!
The Leadership Team
Kim, Alisa, Megan, Janet, Irene, Ashley, and Katie