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“We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne”
Dear Woman Who Writes—
Happy beginning to 2023! A shallow dive into my browser describes The New Year as a cultural occasion, originating with the ancient feast of the two-faced Roman god Janus, honored for his ability to look forward and backward at the same time. Indeed, we writers are often two-faced. We tell stories of times past, and we create speculative futures. We may even enjoy describing the vivid present! Some of us create new worlds that are not set in past or present—but both. Aren’t we the fortunate ones to have discovered this occupation?!
At the cusp of 2023, many of us heard at least one version of Auld Lang Syne. The song feels like a celebration or wistful nostalgia, depending upon who is singing it. Here the song lyric first written in 1788 by Scottish poet, Robbie Burns, is performed by another Scotsman, Dougie MacClean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMFnqj6aFwY
Auld lang syne directly translated is “old long since.” This writer’s favorite line in the song is “we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,” which suggests we raise a cup to the people of the long-since. But the verb “take” implies we might invite ourselves to partake in a cup of kindness. Resolution #1—Be kind to yourself!
We are pleased to announce that Ashley Striegel and Katie Odom have joined our leadership team, Ashley as treasurer and Katie as an at large member, which will allow her to work on special programs and/or shadow a leader whose term might soon end. We’ve lowered the average age of the leadership team significantly! We can now more fully represent the interests of all our members!
Our team has been working on our 2023 programming for members and friends. As you scroll down, you’ll find meeting dates, including two planned events with published writers. And you’ll find the usual writing prompt and invitation to submit to our monthly meeting for peer critique. Also, at the end of the newsletter, you’ll find new additions to our publication as well as educational opportunities! Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WomenWhoWriteKY/ Like. Comment. Participate!
In this newsletter, you’ll find a list of our events through March as well as writing conferences
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OUR MONTHLY WRITING PROMPT
Many of us associate the New Year with resolutions— goals to become a better version of ourselves. Yet, some of us know the evil twin of resolutions—disappointment. Why not turn these proposed resolutions on their head? Consider writing an essay, a story, or a poem with a repeating first line, as in Brian Bilston’s poem, “This Was the Year that was not the Year.” Using a repeating first line is a terrific prompt for all writing (as in one essay I love, by Brenda Miller in The Sun Magazine, which repeats the line, “A man I like is coming to dinner.”)
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MARK YOUR CALENDAR
On Tuesday, January 10 beginning at 6:30 PM, we will gather at the South-Central Regional Library at 7300 Jefferson Blvd, Louisville, KY 2019. The zoom link was sent in the January Newsletter, or you may email us for the link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As usual, our monthly meeting will feature peer critiques of member writing. Share submissions of works-in-progress for comments on writing strengths and for revision suggestions. Send your double-spaced manuscript (or excerpt) as an attachment to an email to email@example.com by noon on January 10, so we can screenshare with our Zoom attendees. Please limit manuscripts to four pages double-spaced or two poems. Persons who attend the meeting in person please submit an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org AND bring five printed copies.
We have two very special programs planned for February and March. Two authors, Lynnell Edwards, and Erin Keane, will join us to engage, educate and enrich our writing lives. In both meetings we expect lively interaction with our guest experts.
We will skip our usual meeting day, which falls on Valentine’s Day. Instead, we’ll gather on Tuesday February 21 at 6:30 PM for at the South-Central Regional Library, for a workshop with poet Lynnell Edwards who— through instruction, conversation and writing prompts— will inspire us to write our own poems.
Lynnell is Associate Director of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding. She has published four poetry collections, most recently This Great Green Valley by Broadstone Books “all about the spirit of a very specific place, in this case the environs of central Kentucky, . . . in two very different times, in two very different styles.” Her upcoming collection is The Bearable Slant of Light (Red Hen Press, 2023), exploring the devastating effects of mental illness on the family.
At our March meeting—Tuesday, March 14, beginning at 6:30 PM (place TBA), we will welcome author Erin Keane for a reading, conversation, and book signing about her book of memoir-essays—Runaway: Notes on Myths that Made Me (Belt Publishing 2020). This event will be open to members, friends, and library patrons.
Erin is the Editor in Chief of Salon.com and is on the faculty of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University. Learn more about Erin here
Erin would love for you to purchase your copy of Runaway in advance of the reading and conversation, from her publisher Belt Publishing,— https://beltpublishing.com/products/runaway-notes-on-the-myths-that-made-me
WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR WRITING LIFE.
Here are opportunities for writers, for education and publication—
Consider joining a caravan of WWW members and friends for SOKY—The Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green on March 25, 2022, from 9 AM to 12 PM. Free and open to the public.
Another upcoming conference is the Bluegrass Writers’ Conference, by the Bluegrass Writers’ Coalition on April 29, 2023, in Frankfort, Kentucky. This is the second annual conference. There is a small fee tba.
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!
Consider submitting to this online magazine for personal essays—Dorothy Parker’s Ashes has as its tag line, “Brazen words by witty dames. Everything true. More or less.” The next three themed submissions are Food (due February 1); Libido (deadline March 15); Endings (deadline April 15).
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.
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
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”
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?” https://www.fictionalcafe.com/coffee-club/
HerStry literary essay/memoir blog seeks to empower women through their writing. They offer $20 for published work—both general and themed. The next three themes are Mental Health (due February 1), 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.
HERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN 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 meetings on the second Tuesday of each month.
Visit our Facebook Page and stay awhile—@womenwhowriteky. Don’t forget to like us and follow us. Also, send us links to your published writing. We will include your writing on our Facebook page! Answer polls. See video interviews of WWW meetings with visiting writers.
Members, please email email@example.com with your comments, requests, or suggestions.
We wish you a happy 2023, gratified by your writing and personal pursuits!
Be safe. Be strong. Be peace.
Love your writing life!
Kim, Megan, Alisa, Janet, and Irene