Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still.
Greetings to our Women Who Write!
Have you wondered about the elusive thing we call “voice”? Perhaps you’ve been told to “find your voice,” as if you’ve misplaced it under a sofa cushion.
Here is one way to describe the elusive concept of “voice”, from Masterclass.com—
Voice refers to the rhetorical mixture of vocabulary, tone, point of view, and syntax that makes phrases, sentences, and paragraphs flow in a particular manner. Novels can represent multiple voices: that of the narrator and those of individual characters.
This definition, though accurate, is hyper-technical. Hardly makes voice easy. All one must do is choose words carefully, vary sentence length and syntax, be aware of ones attitude toward the subject (aka tone), and know from whose point-of-view you are telling your story. This is not, as my daughters used to say, “easy peasey lemon-squeezy”.
In the delightful book, First You Write a Sentence, author Joe Moran says, “. . . a sentence is not just what it says but how it says it. Robert Frost called this its ‘sound of sense,’ the emotional truth you could grasp even if you heard the sentence spoken by a muffled voice in another room.” Voice is recognizable. When you read or hear a writer, speaker, or singer, you recognize her. Alas, you will never sound like Virginia Woolf or Maya Angelou, Janis Joplin or Dolly Parton. So why not be YOU?
Stop your search for that elusive voice. Write. Read promiscuously. And write again. Write letters to yourself and your characters. Write in the voices of different characters.
Let’s share ways we have found to discover our voices, at our Tuesday, July 12 meeting and/or Saturday, July 16 retreat (scroll down to learn more).
Mark your calendar—
The Women Who Write leadership team is planning many activities—a writing meet-up, a WWW reading, and a day retreat as well as an overnight retreat. Several of you have asked when we can return to the Kentucky Foundation for Women (KFW) Hopscotch House. We’ll book an overnight retreat there as soon as KFW completes renovations. We’ll also have a Women Who Write table at the Louisville Literary Arts Saturday, November 12 Writer’s Block Festival!
Tuesday, July 12 —Our next monthly meeting is Tuesday, July 12 beginning 6:30 PM, ending at 8:30 PM. We will again be on Zoom and in-person at the South Central Branch— 7300 Jefferson Blvd—of the Louisville Free Public Library. It’s a beautiful modern library with floor to ceiling windows looking out to a copse of trees.
For those who would rather participate from home, the Zoom link was sent in the July Newsletter. If you would like to request it, please email email@example.com.
As part of each monthly meeting, we share our works-in-progress. Please submit poetry or prose for discussion. Receive strength-based verbal comments from your peer writers, including developmental suggestions.
You may forward a manuscript for the July 12 meeting as an attachment to an email firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on the day of the meeting. Please limit manuscripts to four pages double-spaced or three poems. Writers attending in person, please bring 5 copies of your work to our meeting in addition to sending a copy as an attachment in an email.
Join us for our retreat on Saturday, July 16
We’ll meet 9 AM to 5 PM at a private home on St. James Court in Old Louisville. You’ll receive the address and instructions once you’ve enrolled.
In addition to quiet writing time, a walk in Central Park, an (optional) short walking tour and a buffet lunch, we’ve invited an actor to help us learn how to read our work aloud. Susan McNeese Lynch is the c0-founder of the Eve Theater Company, a Louisville non-profit performing arts organization that “explores the human experience from a female perspective,” and “creates opportunities for women of all ages to give voice to and develop their talents in all aspects of theatre arts.” Susan has performed in more than 100 productions at theatres throughout the region, including the plays Love, Loss and What I Wore, The Oldest Profession, Our Mother’s Brief Affair, and most recently, 20th Century Blues at Eve Theatre Company. Her musical theater performances include The Sound of Music, Cabaret, A Little Night Music, Side By Side By Sondheim, and La Cage Au Folles.
Here is the link to register for this workshop ($20 for members; $35 for non-members)— http://womenwhowrite.com/events/summer-retreat-2022/
Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash
MONTHLY WRITING PROMPT—
To speak or not to speak
“To write,” Marguerite Duras remarked, “is also not to speak. It is to keep silent. It is to howl noiselessly.”
~Terry Tempest Williams~
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
We have all been asked questions we’d rather not answer. In the interest of being polite (or choosing not to reveal personal details), we maintain silence or respond less truthfully than our thoughts reveal. Silence, in any writing genre, is NOT silent. As the narrator or character hesitates, she observes, reflects, fidgets, and finally decides. Consider this Brevitymag.com essay, “When the Uber Driver Asks, Do You Have Any Kids?” by Wendy Elizabeth Wallace.
Your prompt: Put your character in a situation (real or imagined) in which she must decide whether to speak up or stay silent. Suspend the time, while she makes her decision. Then have her say something (or nothing).
WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR WRITING LIFE.
Submit your work to literary journals and blogs. Why? Submission is part of the writing life. Rejection is universal. Acceptance happens. In submitting, you must revise and finish that story or poem (s) languishing on your to-do list.
Here is our July list of submission opportunities—
Write for the Women Who Write web blog! Members are invited to submit writing, life, or the writing life. Personal essay, poem, fiction all welcome (1500 words maximum). We’ll read your work in advance and offer revision suggestions if needed.
This provides you a link to share on your social networks. And we’ll accept reprints. Browse our web blog now! http://womenwhowrite.com/our-blog/
Split Rock Review publishes “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”.
Deadline for submissions—August 31.
(submissions are free until July 31)
They Call Us Eve, a feminist magazine devoted to discussing everyday gender discrimination, is currently accepting free submissions of poetry, prose, art, and photography for their new edition. Find out about submissions here. The word limit is 800.
Here are twenty-six paying markets for nonfiction, fiction, and poetry
Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction invited to submit to the Medium.com publication Landslide Lit(erary) . The co-editors are WWW members, Bonnie Omer Johnson, and Kimberly Crum. No need to be a paying Medium subscriber. Bonnie and Kim will provide a Medium.com tutorial and editorial suggestions for submitted manuscripts. See submission guidelines here.
Consider submitting short memoir or personal essay to Herstryblog.com. The theme for the August 1 deadline is ‘Women Who Teach.” The theme for the September 1 deadline is, “Twist of Fate.” Find our more here. HerStry also accepts non-themed memoir-essay year-round.
Small presses are excellent places to submit a book directly. Here is a listing of small presses—https://www.newpages.com/books/publishers
Pithead Chapel is looking for engaging art, fiction, nonfiction, and prose poetry.”
Consider writing for the Speculative Nonfiction journal. The current theme is “passage.” Submissions accepted until October 2022 for $3 via Submittable. Here is the link for submissions—https://speculativenonfiction.submittable.com/submit
Funds for writers newsletter—lists paying markets for 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/
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.
We’d love to have you on our leadership team as membership coordinator or treasurer. Membership coordinator keeps dues notices up to date. The treasurer oversees finances, keeps records, pays (our few) bills, oversees the budget, files simple reports, balances our bank statements, helps collect membership dues. We want more than your attention to detail. We want your ideas! Nominate yourself or another member. Questions—write to Kim at email@example.com.
Visit our Facebook Page and stay awhile—@womenwhowriteky. Send us links to published writing. We’d love to include you on our Facebook page! Like our page and become a follower. Answer polls. See video interviews of WWW meetings with visiting writers. Members, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, requests, or suggestions.
Be safe. Be strong. Be peace.
Love your writing life!
Kim, Megan, Alisa, and Irene