You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sandcastles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible.”
Dear Woman, Who Writes—
The theme of this monthly newsletter is LOVE, though not the romantic kind. I refer to our shared passion for the written word. Recently, this writer felt stuck on a memoir-essay she has been revising for decades. She sensed something was amiss. In a moment of writerly despair, the muse spoke. “Put the love in it,” she said. And I realized my problem. I had been working hard, trying to sound like a writer rather than the mother of a daughter injured in a horseback riding accident. Within five minutes, I had changed the title to “The Girl Who Loved Horses.” And the way forward seemed, finally, clear.
Loving the characters, the places, and the process are essential to the writing life.
We writers should be kind to ourselves! Writing is not about publication. It’s about our imaginations, our memories. It’s about what makes us laugh. It’s about our longings and what we’ve learned by living. It’s about sharing a piece of our authentic selves on the page.
As you scroll down, you’ll find meeting dates, including two planned events with published writers. You’ll find our monthly writing prompt. Also, at the end of the newsletter, you’ll find upcoming affordable conferences and publication opportunities!
We love our members, your yearning to learn, and the peer support you provide to one another. We strive to provide quality accessible programs. Two of these programs are in February and March. Authors Lynnell Edwards and Erin Keane, will join us to engage, educate and enrich our writing lives. In both meetings, we expect lively interaction.
We will resume peer critiques in April.
On Tuesday February 21 at 6:30 PM for at the South-Central Regional Library is a generative workshop with poet Lynnell Edwards. Through instruction, conversation and writing prompts, Lynnell will inspire us to write our own poems. She will inspire us by using Ada Limón poetry. Limón is our brand-new US Poet Laureate, and she is a resident of Lexington.
Participants can expect to sharpen their understanding of what makes a poem a poem. We will draft poems that engage transformative life experiences. We’ll develop strategies for revision. For more information about Lynnell Edwards, click here.
Limón’s poetry is accessible, vivid, and evocative. Here are three poems and a video to acquaint you with her writing. Lynnell will also bring poems to share with our membership.
- “The Hurting Kind,” in Rumpus, 2021
- “Forsythia,” in Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR) 2021
- “Sparrow, Sparrow, What Did You Say?” From Tupelo Quarterly 2017
- You might also enjoy this video of Limón reading three poems for the National Book Award Finalists (2015).
We encourage you to attend this workshop in person at the library at 7300 Jefferson Blvd, Louisville, KY 40219. But if in-person attendance is not possible, the Zoom room is open! The Zoom link was sent in the February newsletter; if you need the link please email us at .
At our March meeting—Tuesday, March 14, beginning at 6:30 PM at the St. Matthews Branch of the public library—3940 Grandview Ave, Louisville, KY 40207, we will welcome author Erin Keane for a reading and a lively conversation about her book.
Erin Keane is a critic, poet, essayist, and journalist. She’s the author of Runaway: Notes on the Myths That Made Me (Belt Publishing), one of NPR’s best books of 2022. She has published three collections of poetry. She is the editor of The Louisville Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2020). In 2018, she was co-producer and co-host of the limited audio series These Miracles Work: A Hold Steady Podcast. Erin is Editor-in- Chief at the online magazine Salon.com and she teaches in the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University.
To enhance your experience in this conversation with Erin, consider buying Runaway through Belt Publishing for a discounted price of $12. It is also available at Carmichael’s Bookstore at the original price— https://beltpublishing.com/products/runaway-notes-on-the-myths-that-made-me
“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.”
In her interview on the Prompt to Page podcast, author Marcia Thornton Jones encourages us to love our writing lives. The podcast is thought-provoking and instructive, featuring conversations with Kentucky authors about how they motivate themselves and their students to write forward.
As a writer, Jones does not enjoy in-class prompts. Yet, she must provide prompts to the aspiring writers she teaches. This month’s WWW prompt is based on Jones’ prompt process in her writing classes at the Carnegie Center and elsewhere. She begins each prompt with a ‘pre-prompt’. We’ve adapted our February prompt from the podcast with the author. Here goes—
- What is it that you wish to write? The story you can’t ignore.
- Who is in this scene? Where are they? What is happening to those people in that place?
- Write two to three sentences containing the answers to the above questions. These sentences will be your “scene anchor”.
- Create a word bank of at least five dynamic verbs—active verbs showing movement.
- Write a scene using at three of the dynamic verbs.
Consider revision and developing your story for peer critique at our April meeting!
WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR WRITING LIFE!
The 17th annual Kentucky Women’s Book Festival is on Saturday, March 4 from 10 AM to 1 PM. Featured are nonfiction book authors, Emily Bingham and Farrah Alexander, and novelist Angela-Jackson Brown. This event was started by Women Who Write founder, Carrider “Rita” Jones, and continues through the University of Louisville Women’s Center. Register for this free virtual event— https://bit.ly/3vDYzfY
Consider joining a caravan of WWW members and friends for The Southern Kentucky Book Festival (SOKY) in Bowling Green on March 25, 2023, from 9 AM to 3 PM (Central Time). The festival features several author keynotes, a book sale, and small workshops—all free! Learn more here
Another upcoming conference is the Bluegrass Writers’ Conference, by the Bluegrass Writers’ Coalition on April 29, 2023 (Eastern Time) from 9 AM to 4 PM in Frankfort, Kentucky. Cost is $85. This is the second annual conference. Learn more and register here—
Short story writers, consider entering this contest. Deadline for submission is March 10, 2023. The contest is sponsored by Louisville Literary Arts (LLA) and Hydra Publications. Twenty short stories judged by the LLA board will appear in an anthology published by Hydra Publications. The first-place author receives $300 and an invitation to read at the 2023 Writer’s Block Festival in Louisville, KY. There is a fee for entry. Learn more about submission guidelines here.
Submit to the Women Who Write web blog! Members, please submit essay, poem, or fiction (no more than 2,000 words). 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! http://womenwhowrite.com/our-blog/. Write to and tell us about your story, poem, or essay—the one you’ve written or the one you want to write!
Split Rock Review is accepting submissions through March 31, 2023— poetry, short creative nonfiction and fiction, comics, hybrids, visual poetry, interviews, book reviews, photography, and art that explore place, environment, and the relationship between humans and the natural world. Learn more and submit here.
Scroll down the comprehensive Big List of Contests on Newpages.com
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 tag line, “Brazen words by witty dames. Everything true. More or less.” The next themed submissions are Libido (deadline March 15); Endings (deadline April 15). https://www.dorothyparkersashes.com/the-writing-life
Consider submitting to this new literary magazine, Third Street Review, accepting all prose, poetry, and visual art. They like experimental, flash, and innovative forms but will publish more traditional pieces as well. https://www.thirdstreetwriters.org/
Mulberry Literary believes in “the power of sharing, regardless of genre or style. We are a literary magazine without a niche, without a theme, just a simple goal to showcase your work.” Accepting submissions from March 1 to May 1, 2023.
Thimble Literary is “based on the belief that poetry is like armor. Like a thimble, it may be small and seem insignificant, but it will protect us when we are most vulnerable.” The online journal publishes quarterly. Find out more here!
Maudlin House publishes fiction, short fiction, and poetry, as well as columns and book reviews. The online literary mag describes itself as “a bridge between new form fiction and experimental lit that takes on mainstream pop culture through the lens of 21st-century indie art” https://maudlinhouse.net/about/
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?”
HerStry literary essay/memoir blog seeks to empower women through their writing. They offer $20 for published work—both general and themed. The next two themes are Women at Work (due March 1) and Motherhood (due April 1).
The Persimmon Tree’s mission is to “bring the creativity and talent of women over sixty to a wide audience of readers of all ages.” They are “looking for work that reveals rich experience and a variety of perspectives.”
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.”
Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers publishes prose that “treats motherhood as a subject worthy of literature.” This online journal is now part of Creative Nonfiction journal. Find out how to submit here.
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.
The Quartet Journal features poetry by women fifty and over. Find out how to submit here.
WOMEN WHO WRITE NEEDS YOU TO 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. We 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.
Attend our monthly member meetings on the second Tuesday of each month for a brief program, peer critiques and conversations about the writing life. There is a Zoom option! No 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!
We wish you a joyful writing life.
Be safe. Be strong. Be peace.
Love your writing life!
The Leadership Team
Kim, Megan, Alisa, Janet, Irene, and Katie