“I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as a dying friend. I hold its hand and hope it will get better.”
― Annie Dillard~
Dear Woman Who Writes,
Only love sustains the writing life. Why would a person willingly risk rejection? Why would anyone want to spend hours writing the perfect story or poem, to later discover the composition is flawed? What makes us return to the page to “hold the hand,” of our creation? Perhaps, a bit of brain, some courage, and a lot of heart!
After years of rejections—which I have renamed “regrets,”— and some successes, I’ve made peace with my writing life. I’ve learned that patience and trust are key elements of the process. Patience with myself. Trust that the writing will find its way if I’m willing to sit there and let the words come.
Oh, how scary and wonderful it is that words can change our lives simply by being next to each other,” says poet, Kamand Kojouri.
One thing that enriches my writing life is the community developed over the years. I’ve found people who understand my love of the written word. We talk a similar language—about image and setting, narrative flow, dialogue and conflict, point-of-view, plot, and narrative arc. Women Who Write is one of those sustaining communities. Thank you for being there, making me feel comfortable sharing my words and sharing yourselves and your words!
I’m in my third year of a two-year term and am curious to experience what it’s like to lead WWW without a pandemic! Alisa is extending her term as well. Pam and Melony are departing the leadership but not the community. Both have exceeded their terms and we thank them. Recruiting new leaders during the Zoom days did not seem necessary. Now, we are heading into a post-pandemic something, which will not resemble exactly what came before. This gives us the opportunity to replicate what has worked for us and re-vision what we might become, beginning with our hybrid meeting on Tuesday, February 8th (scroll down for details).
Now is the time to re-vision Women Who Write. To achieve this, we’re recruiting two to four new leaders, not for individual positions but for tasks that align with interests and skills sets. Here are some of the major tasks.
- Managing finances including budgets, reports, dues collection
- Planning and leading member meetings
- Taking minutes, keeping records, returning emails
- Updating social networks regularly with photos, writing prompts, outside links, etc.
- Writing and submitting the monthly newsletter to our web administrator
- Submitting changes, revisions, and additions to our website
- Building relationships with stakeholders in the community and region
- Program planning and execution
- Maintaining our blog
Members, please contact me—Kim— via firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d be willing to take on any of the above tasks and be part of our leadership team. Leaders meet once monthly for about 90 minutes to check on progress and make plans for future.
Our February 8 meeting will be on hybrid in-person at Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Ave., Louisville, KY 40206 in Studio 123 Building A. Directions to my studio—Park in the lot at the top of the hill, walk into the courtyard, and turn left into Building A (just before Danny Mac’s pizza) and follow the hallway to the right. I’m the first office on the right—glass balls in the window. If you prefer Zoom, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88499923311
- We’ll begin with a business meeting to elect leaders and approve the 2022 budget.
- We’ll ask you to share ideas about your vision for our writing community, as we come slowly out of pandemic world.
- We’ll include our usual peer commentary session. Send a poem, a chapter, a short story, a personal essay, or memoir piece for peer commentary. Send up to five double-spaced prose pages or three poems as a Word attachment to email@example.com by noon on Tuesday February 8. The host will screenshare your manuscript while you read it aloud. And each of us will offer strength-based comments along with helpful revision suggestions.
March is Women’s History Month. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, March 8. It’s time to celebrate ourselves and the wondrous women who preceded us. Our March 8th meeting will be held in-person and on Zoom at Kimberly Crum’s studio at Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Avenue, Louisville 40206 in Studio 123 (or by Zoom). Zoom participants will be visible on a television in the studio, and Zoomers will be able to view in-person participants on a laptop I rotate using a lazy Susan.
- We will provide peer commentaries, as usual. Bring a poem, a chapter, a short story, a personal essay, or memoir piece for peer commentary.
WRITING PROMPT—WRITE ONE TRUE SENTENCE
This month’s writing prompt is based on an Ernest Hemingway quote from his memoir A Moveable Feast. Here’s the quote—
“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you need do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally, I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”
Writing a new true sentence every day is a great way to jot down ideas. Begin by writing at least one sentence each day. A former instructor referred to this as the “grist list (i.e., grist for the mill). No need to be profound. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. Make a list of true sentences that come to you while you are living your life. As Flannery O’Connor said, “The longer you look at an object, the more of the world you see in it.” Jot down moments of clarity or recognition. Record intriguing observations.
Use one sentence to launch a personal essay. Write for 30-45 minutes, then stop to see what you’ve wrought. Where will you and your composition take your first draft?
We’d love for you to read your prompt response, raw or revised, at our meeting!
WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR WRITING LIFE.
Saturday March 26 at the Knicely Convention Center in Bowling Green. From 9 AM to 5 PM. https://sokybookfest.org/bookfest/
Free event, includes author speakers, presentations and a book fair.
Bluegrass Writers Coalition Conference is on Saturday April 30 —10AM to 4:30 PM in Frankfort KY. $75 for a “full adult” registration (whatever that is) and $55 for students— at the Frankfort Country Club.
Calls for submission listing on New Pages.com— https://www.newpages.com/classifieds/calls-for-submissions
Contest listing on NewPages.com—https://www.newpages.com/classifieds
Publishers on NewPages.com (small presses)—https://www.newpages.com/books/publishers
Submit to the Medium.com publication Landslide Lit(erary) would love to publish your fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. No need to be a paying Medium subscriber. Members Bonnie and Kim are willing to provide a Medium.com tutorial and editorial suggestions for submitted manuscripts. See submission guidelines here.
The literary blog HerStry is looking for personal essays on the theme, “Before and After,” Deadline is April 1. Published essays earn $20 for the writer!
Consider submitting to Minerva Rising’s on-line journal, “The Keeping Room.” The journal publishes “short stories, essays, free writing, poetry, and photo essays that touch on topics related to Women’s Wisdom, Lessons Learned, Self-care, Bodies, Relationships, and Community.”
Funds for writers newsletter—provides paying markets for writing.
Under the Gum Tree is a well-respected quarterly literary journal of creative nonfiction, with a variety of themed sections (shorter) and a feature article in each issue. Two of my students published features in the journal that began with writing prompts!
Here is a collection of 21 markets that publish humor writing.
Brevity accepts flash nonfiction submissions year-round. Well respected for short creative nonfiction (750 words or less). Hard to get in, but why not try? https://brevitymag.com/submissions/
For Women Who Roar: This platform is looking for poetry and stories of healing, writing and recovery.
Check out The Manifest Station: On Being Human literary blog. Submit poetry, essay, fiction, art, and photography. Submissions are open continuously.
This clearing house has an amusing name, “Publishing and Other Forms of insanity. The list of submission opportunities is ongoing.
HERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR WRITING COMMUNITY!
Write for our web blog! Members of all genres are invited to compose blogs about writing or life— essay, poem, fiction all welcome (1300 words maximum).
Attend our monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month. Our next meeting is Tuesday, February 8 at 6:30 PM on Zoom. Our March meeting is Tuesday March 8 beginning 6:30 PM (hybrid on Zoom and in-person at Mellwood Arts Center).
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. We will notify persons when they are due to renew. Regular annual membership is $50. Student annual membership is $25.
Visit our Facebook Page and stay awhile—@womenwhowriteky. Help us exceed 1000 followers. Answer questions. See video interviews of WWW meetings with visiting writers.
Be safe. Be strong. Be peace.
Love your writing life!
Kim on behalf of herself, Alisa, Pam, and Melony