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Chuck Sambuchino, editor of Guide to Literary Agents and Writer’s Digest’s Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, will be the featured presenter at a workshop in Louisville on Friday 6 February. Entitled “How to Get Published,” the day-long event will include sessions on publishing options, queries and pitches, critique, and marketing. Agents and editors will be also available to meet with authors throughout the day.

For more information and registration, visit http://kentuckywritingworkshop.com/.

Book coach and publishing expert Peggy DeKay will lead a workshop on self-publishing Saturday, 17 January, from 2:30-4:30 at the Village Branch of the Lexington Public Library. To get more information or make reservations, call 859-246-1607.

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business card graphicThis Saturday, 13 December, two ECWG members will be at book signings in the area, just in time for holiday giving.

Evelyn Christensen will be at the Half Price Books on Tiverton Way (off Nicholasville Road) in Lexington from 2-4 p.m.

Chris Kelder will be be at the Half Price Books on Sir Barton Way (off Man O’ War at Hamburg) in Lexington from 1-4 p.m.

Take some time on Saturday to stop by one or both of these events and say hello!

caution signOnce again, paranormal romance author Jami Gold has posted some terrific tips for fellow writers. This time she tackles story flow at the sentence/paragraph level, where it often goes undetected by authors. A writer’s knowledge of the story tends to neutralize the jarring effects of small cause-effect reversals before the brain even registers them. Jami offers some practical ways to bring them to our attention.

The post (Cause and Effect: Understanding Story Flow) does a nice job of explaining how and why small speed bumps in our writing can have an undesired effect on readers. It then outlines a handful of techniques for locating potential speed bumps in our work. Best of all, the post discusses how selectively breaking the rules, with intent, can expand our writer’s toolbox.

This Thursday 9 October, past ECWG member Jesse Sisken will speak at the Tates Creek Library in Lexington about writing and publishing his novel, Cavanila’s Choices, the first in his Minoan Gold Trilogy. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. Call 859-231-5500 to register.

On Saturday 18 October, ECWG member Christopher Kelder will take part in the second annual Local Kentucky Author Book Bazaar at Bakery Blessings & Books, 1999 Harrodsburg Road in Lexington. The event, which runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., features authors reading as well as signing and selling their books.

ECWG facilitator Jennifer Barricklow will lead a pair of writing workshops at two Lexington Public Library locations this week. The first will be held at the Eagle Creek Library on Wednesday 9 October, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; the second will be held at the Central Library on Saturday 11 October, from 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Both hands-on workshops will explore using tarot (and other pictorial systems) as a tool for writing. Neither workshop is a requisite for the other. The second workshop will feature different techniques from the first and will allow more time for writing and practice. Call 859-231-5500 to register.

business card graphicThis Saturday, August 23, two ECWG members will be at book signings in the area.

Evelyn Christensen will be at the Morris Book Shop in Lexington along with other local authors of children’s books. The event begins at 2:00 p.m. and will include readings, storytelling, and games as well as book signing by the authors.

Charlie Roe will be at the Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort as part of the seventh annual Gathering of Authors from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Writers from across the Commonwealth will be there to talk with readers and other writers as well as to sell and sign their books.

Take some time on Saturday to stop by one or both of these events and say hello!

Paranormal romance author Jami Gold’s blog (http://jamigold.com/blog/) is chock-full of great ideas and tools for writers. Her latest post on beta reading (Introducing the Beta Reading Worksheet!) offers tips that apply to critique groups as well. She lists a number of phrases that can help shape feedback into something both concrete and useful to the author. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • I don’t understand….
  • The detail seems….
  • The (character, setting, etc.) comes across as (feisty, depressing, important, etc.)
  • This (detail, phrase, etc.) conveys (irritation, happiness, etc.)
  • It’s not clear how (Sally got to the store, John sawed down the tree, etc.)
  • I would expect a character (with such and such a trait) to do/not do (such and such)
  • I’m confused about (what happens here, this character’s motivation, etc.)
  • I really liked…. *it’s very important to identify strengths!*

She specifically notes that “why” questions tend to bring out defensive responses. For that matter, questions of any kind encourage dialogue with the author, which isn’t the objective in a critique group. The author needs to be able to hear everything the group has to say, and answering questions takes us out of a listening mindset.

The post includes a worksheet that could be used by writers returning to their work for revision as well as by beta readers. Accompanying the worksheet is perhaps the most useful advice for any writer to keep in mind: take what works and don’t worry about the rest.

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