Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March-April Newsletter

Central Oregon Writers Guild's mission is to support, encourage and assist writers
of all genres throughout the Central Oregon Community.


March 27, 2008 Central Oregon Writers Guild Meeting--Rod Morris, Senior Editor, Harvest House Publishers, will speak on the topic, "Dialogue Do's and Don'ts."

Rod Morris's presentation will focus on writing dialogue that rings true, which is critical for fiction writers as well as writers of narrative nonfiction. Morris will cover some practical tips for writing better dialogue, how good dialogue can help sell a manuscript, and common pitfalls to watch for that often lead to rejection by publishers.

Rod Morris is a senior editor at Harvest House Publishers in Eugene, Oregon, where he acquires and edits both fiction and nonfiction writing. He was an editor at Multnomah Publishers for 28 years and before coming to Harvest House he was senior fiction editor at NavPress in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rod has worked with a number of leading Christian authors and is a member of the editorial board for Jerry B. Jenkins' Christian Writers Guild. A graduate of Kansas State University, Rod is a resident of Bend where he lives with his wife Deanne. They have three children and one grandchild.

Central Oregon Writers Guild meetings are free and the public is invited to attend. Meetings take place the fourth Thursday of each month 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. at the Redmond Library, 827 SW Deschutes Ave. A critique session follows the program. Those who would like to present their work for critique (limit is three readers) should bring along 20 copies. Critique guidelines are available at the meeting.

April 24 Meeting--Ali McCart will speak on the topic "The Other Side of the Red Pen: How Editing Can Help an Author Catch a Publisher's Attention." Ali is the founder of Indigo Editing in Portland, where she serves as senior editor. She brings nine years of writing and editing experience to her position, and she has a master's degree in writing and publishing. Be sure to attend this meeting for Ali's insight into what an editor looks for.

Upcoming Meetings:

May 22--Award winning writer Eric Witchey, who lives in Salem, will speak on the topic "Mythic Power from Your Life."

June 26--Dwight Newton, author who has been writing western novels for sixty years.

August 28--Bill and Mary Lewis will present "Interviewing-Mining for the Story's Golden Nugget."

September 25--Cameron Prow, poet, writer and owner of Type-Rite II in Bend will present a coaching workshop for authors/writers who speak in public.

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, April 5, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.--COWG DVD Workshop
Comfort Suites Inn, 2243 SW Yew, Redmond
Workshop fee: $15, payable at the door
Central Oregon Writers Guild is hosting a DVD Workshop by Chris Vogler and Michael Hauge entitled, "The Hero's 2 Journeys--Insider Secrets for Uniting the Outer Journey of Plot Structure with the Inner Journey of Character Arc." COWG program chair Paty Jager will moderate this session. The workshop presents a fast-paced and in-depth look at the structural elements that tie a story together, the stages of the journey through which a story's hero passes, and which offer the writer a blueprint for creating compelling characters and stories that sell.

Chris Vogler and Michael Hauge are highly successful writers who join forces in this workshop to provide aspiring authors the tools they need to assist in their own writers' journey. You can learn more about Chris and Michael at their websites, www.TheWritersJourney.com (Chris) and www.screenplaymastery.com (Michael). Workshop participants are encouraged to view the movie "Erin Brokovich" prior to the workshop, as it will be referenced in the presentation.

No pre-registration is required, but registration will take place from 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. so that the session can begin promptly at 10:00. Lunch is not provided. Attendees should bring their lunch or purchase it at a nearby restaurant. For further details about the workshop, contact Cindy Prescher at 388-0836 or e-mail her.

More Upcoming Events/Activities:

Saturday, May 17, 2008--Oregon Christian Writers Conference
Northwest Christian College, Eugene, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
COWG member Carol Brian will conduct the workshop, "Real Poetry for Real People" during the Oregon Christian Writers Conference in Eugene. We are honored that Carol has been invited to make this presentation and we know that all who attend will benefit as she shares her passion for poetry. As Carol says, "Poems are all around us every day." She encourages everyone to be in the moment and turn those moments into poems. The results, Carol explains, can be profound. To learn more about the OCW conference and how to participate in Carol's workshop, go to www.OregonChristianWriters.com. Conference keynote speakers are authors and relationship experts Bill and Nancie Carmichel.

Friday, October 17, 2008--Fall Literary Harvest
COWG is once again sponsoring the Fall Literary Harvest on Friday, October 17 at the Comfort Suites in Redmond from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Writers interested in reading at the event will submit their work for consideration by an editorial board who are not COWG members and who will determine the ten winning entries. The submission guidelines and entry details will be posted on the COWG blog in April. There will be a fee of $5.00 for each entry, with submissions accepted from May 22 until August 15, 2008. Mark your calendars now for the Fall Literary Harvest!

November 5 - 9, 2008--The Nature of Words, Central Oregon's premier literary event. Information about the 2008 program will be announced as plans take place. Go to www.thenatureofwords.org for updates.


February 28, 2008 meeting: COWG members Paty Jager and Lindy Jacobs presented an interesting, informative and entertaining program, "Critique: Getting the Help You Need". Their presentation included a skit, written by Lindy, illustrating what not to do when you're a part of a critique group. Paty and Lindy then talked about how to make a group successful and meaningful for all participants. Critique is a key to success for an author, and a good critique group can set a writer on the right path. Paty and Lindy talked about critique group structure, and how important it is for members to identify what it is they want from the session. Paty and Lindy emphasized that it's critical to stay focused on what you want to know, discard the nit-picky comments on things that can be fixed later, listen to the comments and ask questions. While the author does have the final say, there is a responsibility implicit in critique group membership, and the writer needs to take the critiquers' knowledge into consideration and always thank them for their feedback.

Lindy and Paty also discussed how to give feedback, bearing in mind what the writer asked for. They advise critique group members to be encouraging, be up, be positive and be accountable.

For more insight into critiquing, Lindy and Paty recommend "Toxic Feedback" by Joni B. Cole, "Self Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and Dave King, and "Writer Mama" by Christina Katz.

Speaking of Paty Jager--CONGRATULATIONS to Paty on winning the 2008 EPPIE Award! This annual award is sponsored by Electronic Publishing Industries. Paty was presented her award trophy at the EPICon conference in Portland, Oregon on Saturday March 8 for her novel "Perfectly Good Nanny." We are all very proud of Paty for this prestigious honor, and wish her many more awards in the future. Paty has written several Western Romance novels, and you can learn more about them and her at www.patyjager.blogspot.com.


Nature of Words Third Annual Rising Star Competition
This competition is awarded in fiction, literary nonfiction and poetry in two age categories, 15-18 and 19-25. Winning writers will receive a cash prize, recognition at an awards ceremony during the Nature of Words festival in November, and a scholarship to one of the event's workshops. Entry deadline is May 10, 2008. Competition details: www.thenatureofwords.org.

77th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition
The deadline for entries in this prestigious contest is May 15, 2008. For details about the categories, rules, entry forms and requirements, go to their website, http://www.writersdigest.com.

OnceWritten.com 2008 Spring Fiction Contest
OnceWritten.com is looking for high-quality, well-written short stories for their Spring Fiction Writing Contest. All entries must be original unpublished stories, word limit 5,000, with a first place prize of $1,000. Go to www.oncewritten.com/Contests/Fiction/Contest.php for details. Deadline for this contest is April 30, 2008.

Cool Stuff 4 Writers
Not only does Cool Stuff 4 Writers offer a monthly contest challenge, each issue is chock-full of great information for writers of all genres and features interviews with successful authors, writing tips, articles, announcements and links to other writer-related websites. Check it out at www.coolstuff4writers.com. This month's contest topic is "New Reality Show Needs Contestants."


Eugene writing teacher, author and editor Elizabeth Lyon has a new book titled "Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writers Can Afford to Ignore." Elizabeth conducts workshops nationwide that are an excellent resource on the craft of writing. Her previous books include "The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit" and "Nonfiction Book Proposals Anyone Can Write." Elizabeth's website is www.elizabethlyon.com.


Executive Director: Cindy Prescher
Membership & Finance Chairperson: Elsie Rochna
Membership & Finance Assistant Chairperson: Carol Brian
Publicity Chairperson: Anita Lanning
Program Chairperson: Paty Jager
CO Writers Report Editor: Anita Lanning
Refreshment Chairperson: Lindy Jacobs
Photographer: Jo Ann Senior
Blog Chairperson: Tia Linschied

Be sure to check out COWG's blog www.CentralOregonWritersGuild.com for updated information about what's happening in the Central Oregon Writers community.

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