Thanks to Lindy Jacobs for this excellent summary of COWG's programs last year!
January – To write Biography of a Place, Passages through a Central Oregon Meadow, author Martin Winch “became a student of the meadow” and conducted detailed research of county records, maps and personal interviews to produce a moving account of the people who passed through, from the Paiute Indians who fished the local rivers to the Europeans who came later to the grassland north of Sisters known as Camp Polk Meadow.
February – Novelists Paty Jager (Perfectly Good Nanny) and Lindy Jacobs began their presentation “Critique: Getting the Help You Need” with a skit demonstrating how not to critique. Both writers recommended getting over the fear of being criticized. Learning to critique other writers work will help the writer polish his own work and is the fastest way to improve. Specific criticism that is non-personal is the goal in critique.
March –Rod Morris, Harvest House Publishers’ Executive Editor and former senior editor of Multnomah Publishers said dialogue is the best way to show not tell and gave tips on how to write dialogue that rings true including reading your work out loud. His presentation included a group editing exercise, “Dialogue: Do’s and Don’ts.”
April- Senior Editor Ali McCart of Indigo Editing in Portland recommended editing services before submitting to a publisher in her presentation, “How Editing Can Help and Author Catch a Publisher’s Attention.” To save editing fees, Ali suggested preliminary polishing with a critique group.
April- COWG presented a Video Workshop featuring screenwriters Chris Vogler and Michael Hague: “The Hero’s Journeys—Insider Secrets for Uniting the Outer Journey of Plot Structure with the Inner Journey of Character Arc,” using the film Erin Brockovich as an example.
May-In his program, “Mythic Power from your Life,” Award-winning author and teacher Eric M. Witchey recommended using the heroic journey to add emotional depth to writing and the sense of being real. His articles appear in Writer and Writer’s Digest.
June- Multi-published Western author and screenwriter, Dwight Newton was the guest speaker at COWG’s sixth anniversary. Mr. Newton shared how being an early riser and sticking with his daily writing habit contributed to the success of over one hundred books and numerous television scripts being published over a span of sixty years.
July- Reference Librarian Kathy Duffy encouraged writers to rediscover the library’s extensive reference books geared for the writer and take advantage of new online research resources in her presentation “How to Research, Using Your Library.”
August-Multi-published poet and founder of Type-Write II, Cameron Prow spoke about her past stage fright in front of the microphone at large events such as Poets West and how rehearsing and connecting with the audience helps make reading more rewarding for the writer and the audience in her presentation: “Sharing the Darlings of Your Heart.”
September-Travel writers Bill and Mary Lewis researched their book Through the Heartland on US 20: Massachusetts by talking to people along the route. The couple’s tips for success included: carry a tape recorder, research your topic before the interview, and always ask for permission in their presentation “Interviewing: Mining for the Story’s Golden Nugget.”
October- Fall Literary Harvest Event with outdoor writer Gary Lewis. The ten winners of the COWG Fall Harvest Writing Contest read their winning stories and poems.
October-Tina Davis, the owner of Camalli Bookstore in Bend, encouraged authors to work with their local booksellers before and after publishing in her presentation “How to Promote Your Book the Right Way.” Author readings and books clubs are a regular feature at Camalli’s.
November-Portland novelist George Byron Wright, author of Oregon Trio, Baker City 1948, Tillamook 1952, and Roseburg 1959 recommended persistence in marketing to gain acceptance in the marketplace: #1 keeping up a website, approaching bookstore owners, and attending book fairs and conferences.
December- COWG Holiday Social. This favored annual tradition went on as scheduled despite the snow and ice storm that gripped Central Oregon. Authors and their families gathered together to share favorite holiday recipes and conversation.