Thursday, April 29, 2010

Romancing the Script Deadline in Two DAYS! Don't Miss This.

Frankly My Dear …

                             ... I'm entering Romancing the Script!
 
Romancing the Script is judged by industry professionals, and is the only screenwriting competition geared toward RWA members!  And that ain't no fiddle-dee-dee!

MAYDAY, MAYDAY!! The deadline is May 1, so you got to move it, move it!

Got a Love Story in script form?   If so, enter the Romancing the Script Screenwriting Competition judged by industry professionals!

SPONSORS: Scriptscene Chapter of RWA and InkTip

DEADLINE: May 1, 2010  COMING UP FAST!!

CONTEST FEE: Scriptscene Members - $20; RWA Members - $25 / US Funds

ENTRY: Submit electronic entries in PDF to consist of up to the first 30 script pages. Romance must be the main or subplot. Finalists are required to submit full scripts in hard copy.

Final Judge: Robert Gosnell

PRIZES: All finalists – a 6-month subscription to InkTip where scripts reach thousands of producers.

Winner – Full script critique from Robert Gosnell, and a read by Zac Sanford, Development Director of Suntaur Entertainment

What are you waiting for? Enter Romancing the Script today!

FMI, entry form and rules, visit www.scriptscene.org

Questions?  Contact coordinator Leslie Ann Sartor (yup, that's me, one of the scribes)  – RTS.contest@gmail.com


**Permission to forward to RWA Members Granted and Encouraged!**


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Silence speaks volumes: Daphne Du Maurier's "The Birds"

One meets the most interesting people coordinating contests, and when one of our contest judges mentioned she taught classes featuring the work of legendary Daphne du Maurier, I couldn't resist. I asked her to be a guest columnist for Five Scribes. Please welcome Ricki Schultz.

We've all heard it from time to time--and perhaps we've even said it: The book was better.

In a time when half the population watches television shows and movies spawned by their literary counterparts--and when actor/"director" Kenneth Branagh can mangle such a staple of British literature as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (and have the audacity to name the loose interpretation just that)--it's important that modern-day students understand not only the fundamentals of a good story but also the differences between literature and what some money-hungry producer throws up on the big screen. Pun intended.

The two years I taught eight grade literature at a prep school in Atlanta, Georgia, we covered the dramatic structure (the bare bones of every well-written story, which includes: exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). Within the unit, we charted the arcs and highlighted the literary elements authors used to keep the reader moving in several short stories. One commonly used convention was suspense (which we identified as a quality which makes the reader feel uncertain or tense about the outcome of events and that which impels him to keep reading).

"THE BIRDS"

We used Daphne du Maurier's "The Birds" as our most shining example of suspense. Through careful analysis, we identified the following ways she creates tension and foreboding.

  • Setting. By placing the short story in rural England--in December--the forecast is dreary, both literally and figuratively. Being on a farm also suggests that protagonist Nat Hocken and his family are "alone" when the birds revolt--removed from the rest of the world, save for a few neighbors (i.e., no one will be able to help them, should they need it=hopelessness).
  • POV. By writing the story in third person limited (where the reader is removed from the characters and limited to one lens) du Maurier creates an air of mystery because the reader isn't clear on what is happening in the rest of the world, beyond Nat's lens.
  • Escalation & Foreshadowing. By increasing the severity of the birds' aggression--from their bizarre flight patterns to drawing blood in an attack to (presumably) killing Nat's neighbors--du Maurier raises the stakes and creates tension by foreshadowing the Hockens' fate.
  • Silence. Du Maurier uses silence to intensify the mystery as well. A radio is Hockens' only link to the outside world, when they board themselves inside their farmhouse...but when they switch on their wireless, it's just static. This radio silence also symbolizes a "calm before the storm."
  • An open ending. Also, by leaving "the storm" off the page, du Maurier leaves a trail of clues, which suggest inevitable death by birds for the Hockens, but she lets the reader connect the dots. This is an effective tool in creating a suspenseful mood because it leaves the ending up to one's imagination and adds a personal touch to the terror.
  • Uncertainty. Overall, through du Maurier's skillful implementation of the unknown, the reader feels the Hockens' torture of hopeless waiting--they hear the tap, tap, tap at the windows and doors...they hear the creatures gain entry into the attic and down through the chimney...and even though Nat lights a fire, it does not seem as though he will have enough wood or supplies to fend off the feathered fiends forever. It is the unknown that makes the story so suspenseful.

HITCHCOCK BETTER?

Once we dissected the short story, I showed the classes Alfred Hitchcock's famed film The Birds, which has little to do with du Maurier's tale--save for the high-concept: birds terrorizing a town and the protagonist's certain doom. After the viewing, we discussed how Hitchcock created suspense, but the students didn't come up with many concrete examples beyond the director's use of music and camera angles.

Sadly, however, although all classes laughed their way through the movie and overwhelmingly chose du Maurier's story as the better example of suspense in their end-of-unit essays, when I polled my former students for purposes of this piece, most said they had forgotten what happened in the short story and only remembered how "hilarious" the movie was.

Does this mean Hitchcock wins in terms of more effective storytelling?

METHINKS NOT...

If I, a former English teacher, have trouble erasing Kenneth Branagh and Robert DeNiro wrestling in goo or Helena Bonham Carter's head being set ablaze in Branagh's abomination of a Frankenstein "adaptation," how can I expect students one-and-two-years removed from our class to forget evil paper mache birds blowing up a guy and pecking people's eyes out? The quick spectacle will always be more memorable than something you have to analyze to find the meaning in--but it won't be remembered for the right reasons. Hence, I remember Branagh's movie, but I don't applaud it.

Likewise, not one of my students ever chose the Hitchcock film as the better example of suspense in an end-of unit-essay. And, in this regard, I think du Maurier must be hailed the quiet winner. She didn't write a gory, gimmicky, slasher; she wrote a fine piece of literature that, although recognized by my classes as the better version of the tale because of its subtlety, was also most likely forgotten because of it.

Somehow, however, I don't think du Maurier would mind at all. Forgotten or not, du Maurier and her masterful use of suspense enabled the students to recognize a well-crafted story in the moment--and I'm confident that, if any of those students were to revisit her short story and Hitchcock film, the outcome would be the same.

A freelance writer and editor, Ricki Schultz is a contributor to Writer's Digest Books, with articles forthcoming in Novel & Short Story Writer's Market, Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market and Guide to Literary Agents blog.

She has published poetry in The John Carrol Review, has written for St. Ignatius Magazine and Northern Virginia Magazine, and has won awards for both of her YA manuscripts. In addition to being the coordinator of Shenandoah Writers Online, she belongs to Southeastern Writers Association, South Carolina Writers Workshop, Romance Writers of America, and Young Adult Romance Writers of America.

Originally from Ohio, Schultz taught high school English and journalism for five years, and she holds a BA in English and a M.Ed. in secondary education, both from John Carroll University in Cleveland. She currently lives with her husband and beagle in McGaheysville, Virginia. You may read more about Ricki at www.rickischultz.com or www.rickischultz.wordpress.com


Networking: Brilliant Advice From James Scott Bell


James Scott Bell has done it again with THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS.  I want to run out and buy five more copies of this book and give them to my closest writing pals.  I want to shout from the rooftops that every writer MUST read this book.  As The Sandy Contest and Crested Butte Writers Conference Goddess, I want to INSIST that every person thinking of entering my contest or attending the conference must first read this book.  Jim’s left me aching to write—and do it right.  He’s that inspirational and it speaks to me that much.
Just sayin’.


My very favorite tidbit is his advice/thoughts on networking.  We should put this on our registration form in a box that makes every conference attendee check that they’ve read it before he/she is allowed to register.  


Networking according to the law of reciprocity.  “You need to look at networking as reciprocal.  The value of the contact is proportional to the value you bring to it.”  Later—“Bring something to the group.  Earn the right to talk about yourself and, when the opportunity comes up naturally, you’ll be ready.”

 
These are absolutely brilliant thoughts that took me a decade to learn.  


Theresa’s definition of an experienced writer: one who has written a couple of books, who has taken writing classes, joined writing groups, volunteered in writing groups, gone to a couple of conferences a year, entered writing contests and started consistently finaling in them.  One who has paid his/her dues by investing a lot of time and money into his/her writing passion.


When we attend conferences, experienced writers often feel a lot of pressure to perform and to make the most of the short opportunity with an agent or editor.  Sitting at a luncheon table (or around the bar—or anywhere) with an A/E, instead of listening and enjoying the moment, we frantically search our minds on how to be witty, how to stand out and make a good impression.  We anxiously dissect each comment hunting for an opening to pitch our precious work.  This compulsion to perform and make the most of the opportunity lends one to give off the malodorous scent of desperation.  One I’m certain agent and editors can wiff at fifty feet and makes them long to bolt—anywhere—even off the closets cliff, if there was one handy.


Don’t do it.  I repeat.  Don’t do it.  Be reciprocal.  Be someone of value.


Being nice—without being a suck up --will make a far bigger impression and open more doors.   As Jim says, bring something to the table.  Earn the right to talk.  Be subtle.  If you become good enough at this, you will have them asking you to talk about yourself and your work—and not just the polite question of what you write, but they’ll be genuinely interested because you’ve already put them at ease and they already like you because you’ve given first.  Be a giver, not a taker.


The law of reciprocity is like Karma.  Put good things out there and eventually it’ll come back to you.
Stay tuned for my next favorite JSB brilliance from THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS—or better yet, go buy the book and read them all for yourselves!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When writing goes to the dogs...er...cats

My Writing GIAM pal Sylvia Rochester had a wee bit of an invasion last week. But don't worry, all's well that ends well. To top it off she transitioned it into a topic for Five Scribe's. Isn't she clever? Hope you enjoy. ~ Donnell

After weeks of anticipation and snooping, I discovered where my stray cat chose to have her kittens--in my boat. Not just in the boat, but under the console and down a hole that feeds the wires to the dash. The litter had squirmed through the four-inch opening and into the area between the floor and the outer hull.

What now? As someone who lives on a bayou, I had a fishing trip planned, and it did not include stowaways. How was I going to get these adorable, unexpected invaders out without hurting them? Ah, conflict, I thought. Solution: put the mama in the boat to lure the kittens from their hiding place.

"Gotcha," I said, picking up the first one to venture out of seclusion.

"Whoa, Nellie! That hissing, biting, scratching fur ball lit into me with needle sharp teeth and claws. I never realized external conflict could be so painful. But if I wanted to accomplish my goal, I couldn't turn loose.

Can't say I blamed the little fellow. A giant monster had descended upon him. After this first capture, I treated my battle scars and proceeded with great trepidation to face the remaining enemy. Fearing another vicious attack, I, now dubbed Goliath, came prepared with a pair of garden gloves.

I crept beside the boat with stealth, snared the two holdouts one by one, and locked them all in a carrying cage. Three gray tabbies and one solid gray kitten huddled together. Sure they were frightened, but no doubt planning revenge. One look at their wild eyes, and WACO popped into my mind. Some say the letters W-A-C-O have a certain meaning, and that meaning was written all over their faces --WE AIN'T COMING OUT!


I gloated. I had overcome major conflict, and my goal was in sight. I had only to take away their
hiding place, and their mama would move them. Grabbing the necessary materials, I quickly sealed off the console. No way could they get past my cardboard and masking tape barrier. Smug in my accomplishment, I placed the carrier in the bottom of the boat and opened the door.

Crap! Two kittens weaseled beneath the shield, and the third soon followed. What I thought was an indestructible solution, proved no match for a ragtag bunch of kittens. They found one tiny flaw and made shambles out of my handiwork. I would either have to revise what I constructed or think of an alternative.That's when it hit me. The same applies to writing. Just because you want a plot to work doesn't mean it will. The incident with the kittens made me scrutinize my work in progress. How about you? Will your conflict and resolution hold up against all odds? Or will some tiny, overlooked assumption be your undoing?

Award-winning Sylvia Rochester is both an artist and an author. Check out her web page at www.sylviarochester.com or www.myspace.com/sylviarochester.


Friday, April 16, 2010

The Muse & Creating: Not just for Writers

On February 1, 2010, I shared my pictures of my house, stating it had great bones, but it was time for a face lift. It was sad watching the demolition team come in and gut the place where my children had spent their formative years. But it was time, and when the process started, I observed how much it was like the blank page of a manuscript. My contractor is also a designer and I gave him pictures of what I liked, and he and his creative process took it from there.

I think from the very start, he saw the end result in his head. He took it from the germ of an idea, to the rough draft, a few rough edges and even a sagging middle. When something didn't work, just like I do when I have to scrap a scene or a chapter, he went back to the drawing board. And today when he completed his project, he wore a tired but accomplished smile on his face. I think he and his muse did an amazing job. Without further ado, here are the before and after pictures.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paranormal/Historical Rising Star Barbara Monajem


I've been waiting for a while to interview the talented Barbara Monajem. A writer of paranormal and historical novels, her 2005 Daphne Honorable Mention, Love in a Twisted Garden, landed on the desk of Dorchester's Senior Editor Christopher Keeslar, and in November, 2008, Barbara got THE CALL. Naturally as the coordinator of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense I was excited for her. I know readers will be too. Please welcome Barbara Monajem, author of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil.

D.B.: Barbara, welcome to Five Scribes.

B.M.: Thanks, Donnell. I'm happy to be a guest at your very cool blog.

D.B.: Why, thank you! I'd read an earlier version of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil, so when I read the published version, I noticed a substantial change. You'd substituted a different male protagonist. Not that I'm objecting--Gideon O'Toole is great hero material and his sex appeal leaps off the page. But what happened to your paranormal protagonist in the first version? Will we see him in another book in this series? Then, I'd love it if you'd tell us how Detective Gideon O'Toole came about.

B.M.: I'm not sure which version you read, Donnell (there have been many!), but I think you're referring to Constantine, the Native America rock star who was the protagonist on my first Daphne Entry in 2004. Eventually, he became a major secondary character in Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil. He has dangerous telepathic abilities and is a fascinating character to write. His story will be the third in the Bayou Gavotte series I'm working on now. I decided to create Gideon O'Toole because I felt that Ophelia's story--which involves vandalism, death threats, blackmail and murder--worked better with a sexy, persistent police officer as the hero. This really surprised me, because I'd never considered having a cop hero before, but Gideon was tons of fun to write.

D.B.: I love surprises as well as cop stories, and this particular protagonist works. Gideon is awfully fond of Ophelia Beliveau. But then, lots of men are. Ophelia is a vampire, but she's not one of the typical vamps we normally read about. She has no problem with daylight and she's not a member of the undead. She's human, but her vampire abilities are caused by a genetic mutation. She is everything most women wish they could be. She's likable, has compassion for people, but she has two differentiating traits--she craves blood and she's irresistible to men. I imagine you had a lot of fun creating Ophelia. She has stayed much the same character as in the earlier version in my opinion. What went through your mind when you created her? And how has she grown since your earlier version?

B.M.: I was intrigued by the idea of what it would be like to be irresistible. People may imagine it would be fun, but all I could think of were the difficulties! Being irresistible is the bane of Ophelia's existence, and problems with obsessive and even violent boyfriends make her give up on men altogether. But she really needs sex and blood to stay calm and happy--that's part of her genetic heritage. I don't think Ophelia's character changed much from one version to another.

D.B.: You certainly created conflict for Ophelia -- to resist men is to reject who she is. And she's determined to remain a love-starved vampire until she meets Gideon O'Toole. You create a wonderful setting for your book, a fictional place in Louisiana called Bayou Gavotte. Ophelia is a sympathetic character, a landscaper, who lives in a trailer and worries her niece may inherit the vampire gene. I also love the charming old world names you chose...Ophelia, Artemisia, Gideon, Zelda, Constantine. Of course, there's some quirky character names, too, e.g. Leopard, an underworld mob boss and Ophelia's cat Psyche. Did you search long and hard for these, or how did they come to you?

B.M.: Names usually just jump into my head while I'm writing. (Similarly characters just walk onto the page. :) Sometimes I have to change the names, though. There's a secondary character in the next book in the series, Taste of Love and Evil, which will be out in August. The name that jumped into my head during the first draft was Udo. During revisions, the character changed quite a bit, and that name just didn't fit anymore, so he became Gil.

D.B.: Sounds like you and your muse do a lot of talking. As I mentioned the book is quite different from the version I read. What convinced you to rewrite it and make such a dramatic change in plot when it was already winning awards in contests?

B.M.: I realized that Ophelia and Constantine had different stories and different requirements as characters. They are close friends, but they aren't meant to be lovers. Ophelia got a new hero, and Constantine, the rock star, gets a new heroine in book three.

D.B.: He's already an intriguing secondary character. Can't wait until Constantine gets a book of his own to see who you pair him with. I suspect we're in for a sexy, fun read!

Talk about your relationship with Dorchester. Senior Editor Christopher Keeslar gives you some high praise in your first book, Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil, comparing you in originality, Southern atmosphere and interpretation of vampire mythology to Charlaine Harris and her Sookie Stackhouse novels. What an outstanding compliment. Have you read Ms. Harris, and are you a fan?

B.M.: This is indeed a wonderful compliment, both from Chris and Susan Squires, the New York Times bestselling author who provided a quote comparing my story to Charlaine Harris's novels. I'm very grateful to both of them. I've read several of the Sookie books, and I love them. I've gotten behind on my reading in the last few years, but my daughter just loaned me all the rest of the Sookie books, and I can't wait to dive in. As for my relationship with Dorchester, they've been just great to work with, and very professional. Chris is brilliant and laid-back--the perfect combination in an editor.

D.B.: Tell us about the title Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil. Ophelia is obviously a lover of horticulture. Who chose the title and did you have any say in the matter? Also, your cover is outstanding. Did you have any input, or was that all a marketing decision?

B.M.: Chris Keeslar suggested the title, and of course I agreed to it. I was thrilled to have a title with so much punch! At the time, I hadn't read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but I went ahead and read it right away. What a fascinating story! I have great plans for my next visit to Savannah, all based on reading that book. As for the cover, I had a little input, but really, I don't know the first thing about marketing or what makes a good cover. I was thrilled to get such a gorgeous one.

D.B.: And it is gorgeous. You got "The Call" in 2008, and the book came out in 2010. You recently signed a three-book deal with Dorchester. What kind of deadline stress does that create, and how life has changed from an unpublished author to that of a published one?

B.M.: I'm past deadline now to finish revisions on the second book, which is due out in August. It's definitely stressful, but I try to set the stress aside and enjoy the writing process. Since being published, I've become much busier. Promotion takes an incredible amount of time. I thought I would hate it, but as it turns out I don't mind it as much as I expected, and the blogs and interviews are fun. They're definitely a welcome change of pace from writing novels. And it's a lot of fun to go into bookstores and ask to sign copies of my novel that they have in stock. :)

D.B.: That does sound like fun. You also write historicals. You had a novella come out in January. Last we talked you were working full time. Tell us how you handle your business and your new life as an author?

B.M.: Hmm. Well, I haven't been published long, so maybe I've yet to learn something worth mentioning here. There's a lot of great advice out there, and most of it is valid, but every person's experience is different. So I guess I would just recommend perseverance and a sense of humor.

D.B.: Laughter, good advice. I had such fun reading Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil. I loved the characterization, the weaving in of suspense and naturally the romance. For those who love sexual tension in novels, Barbara Monajem does it well. Here's an excerpt.

Setup: The heroine, Ophelia, is a horny vampire longing for some good red blood. Tony is another vampire and Phelia's friend, the hero. Gideon is a cop who doesn't believe in vampires when the story begins. He's in for a big surprise.

Tony whipped a knife out of nowhere and slashed Gideon’s thumb. Blood welled up, alive and brilliant red, rolling over Gideon’s wrist and down his arm.

Gideon sprang away. “What the hell was that for?”

“Tony, you traitor!” Ophelia leaped for Gideon, grabbed his thumb, and sucked it into her mouth, jamming his arm between the warm, lush curves of her breasts, backing him up to the wall. He sank against it, the sensation of her tongue against his bloody thumb making him so weak he could hardly stand. Her mouth swirled around and over his thumb and down his wrist, lapped up the blood on his arm, then returned to the wound, painting out the pain and offering pure pleasure instead.

Tony retreated laughing to the kitchen. He shut the door softly behind him, and the light on the patio went out.

Ophelia let go of Gideon’s thumb and sagged against him, all soft, pliant curves and hot breath on his chest. She shivered and let out a tiny moan. Her fingers burned across his skin, seethed up his neck and into his hair, and he shuddered in turn as she raised her head and latched her mouth to his. He groaned, yielding to the hunger and intoxication of her lips and tongue, returning the heat with an ardor as needy and demanding. He ran a hand down her spine, licking at her lips, fencing with her tongue, aflame to explore and discover and possess.

She broke the kiss and made as if to withdraw. No! His heart hammering, his loins insistent, Gideon held her hard against him, breast and belly and thighs—No, don’t go!—and bathed his senses in her glory. Stay with me forever.

Ophelia pulled away. She opened the gate to the dark alley beside the restaurant and turned back to Gideon, left breathless and bereft against the cool brick wall. “You won’t need a bandage,” she said.


D.B: Well, readers get the picture ;) Before I let you go I thought I'd ask your opinion about contest for aspiring authors.

B.M.: Enter the Daphne Contest, of course! (Too bad the deadline for this year's contest is already past.) Needles to say, I highly recommend contests. They're good for many, many reasons. If you final, you get your work in front of an agent or editor (and may even end up with a publishing contract). Regardless of whether you final, the feedback is worthwhile. High scores are a great ego booster, low scores can help you develop a thick skin, and medium scores (at least in my experience) are the most useful, because often (especially if many judges say the same thing), they help you tweak your manuscript, hopefully making it appeal to a wider audience. Also contests give you experience in figuring out which advice is useful and which can safely be ignored. Another advantage is that the judging is anonymous, so judges can feel more comfortable about being frank in their opinions. I'd recommend entering a number of contests, if possible, to get feedback from quite a few judges.

D.B.: Thanks for the plug, and I so agree about contests. Thanks also for being here, Barbara. What comes next in life?


B.M.: Once I finish with the revisions of Tastes of Love & Evil (that will be tomorrow at the latest!), I will get on with writing Constantine's story. I'm also finishing a novella in the Bayou Gavotte series, which will form part of an anthology sometime soon.


D.B.: I'm looking forward to all of them. So there you have it, Five Scribe Readers. If you love paranormal themed books, you're in for a great escape. Also, one lucky commenter will win a copy of Barbara Monajem's first book. She's also offering more free books and other prizes during April. See the events page on her website www.BarbaraMonajem.com for more information.

Questions? Comments? We'll keep this interview open Friday April 16th and then do our drawing. Please be sure to leave contact information so we can contact you. Happy Reading & Writing!


CONGRATULATIONS TO ANITA CLENNEY! YOU HAVE ONE BARBARA MONAJEM'S FIRST IN A SERIES, SUNRISE IN A GARDEN OF LOVE & EVIL!

CB Writers Conference

Ahhh, I sigh in relief as I got the last of the finalists sent off to The Sandy final agent and editors judges.
I've got all the entries returned to the 158 entrants. Forwarding thank yous, finishing my last Daphne entry to judge, and starting on my Genesis entries, while working on the Crested Butte Writers Conference.
If you haven't heard about the conference, I'm going to wax on now, because it's going to be a stupendous event!

James Scott Bell has written several amazing writing books as well as suspense and inspirational works of fiction--my favorite being, Plot and Structure. He's going to do a terrific workshop on Dazzling Dialogue and another on Plot and Structure. Margie Lawson says he's an amazing speaker, not to be missed!

We have a multi-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in H.W. Brands, and many more authors listed at the bottom, including my own discovery--yes, I'm claiming credit for a smidgeon of her success, Sandy finalist and multi-published Western Romance author, Kaki Warner.

Our agents and editors are such friendly folks, eager to experience our conference and to meet new talent.

But one of the most outstanding things about the CB Writers conference, is --well besides the food, 'cause we pack a lot into the weekend and need to sustain our body as well as our minds. O-kay . . . so we sustain our bodies in style over the weekend--take a look at our menu page of the website . But one of the best things is the intelligent, efficient, low-stress way we handle agent/editor appointments. Check it out under Pitches and Pages.

And then there's the Pie in the Sky Booksigning, where we share pie with the authors while they sign books. Hmm yes, we're eating again. And our Sandy Finalists will not be kept in suspense as to their finished rankings. The winners will be announced in the registration packets and ALL attending finalists are invited to sit on a panel with me, during the awards ceremony, where we'll get to know a little more about our finalists.

One of the most popular workshops is back, First Pages Panel. Our agents and editors will cold read first pages as if they were new submissions and will stop reading at the spot where they ordinarily would, then tell the group why-or they'd read to the end and then comment. A-N-D, just to keep them on their toes . . . I mix in a few recent best-sellers' opening pages and see if they can identify the pros from the prepubs. It's great fun!

That's jut a sampling of the fun we're going to have. Go to the website and check us out at www.crestedbuttewriters.org.
Tell all your writing pals! Waxing off now.
T

Crested Butte Writers Conference June 18-20

An Experience Like No Other

New this year—discounted group rates! For groups of 5 or more people attending the conference, each person saves $55 off the regular conference price!

Featuring: Key Note Best selling author, James Scott Bell.

Agents: Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown and Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary

Editors: Anne Bensson—St Martin’s Press and Christine Pride—Broadway books, Random House.

Guest Speakers: H. W. Brands, Holly Payne, Jeanne Stein, Janet Lane, Kaki Warner

Check us out at www.crestedbuttewriters.org

Important Registration Dates:

May 3rd for Advance Read and Critique with agent/editor

May 8th—Last day to register at the Early Bird Rate

May 15th for Pitch and Pages

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Congrats to Scribe KL!

I want to congratulate KL on finaling in The Sandy!!

Woo Hoo. Well, done Kerri-Leigh. I'm so happy to see all your hard work has paid off and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that agent Ginger Clark is blown away by your story!

I'm thrilled to see that each year The Sandy gets better and better quality entries. I'm also heartbroken when past finalists and other authors I know write well get good scores in The Sandy . . . just not good enough to final.

But we had a record number of ties this year and I'm proud to see the quality of writing I will be sending to our editors and agent final judges. And I'm VERY grateful to, and proud of, all my first round judges who give much of their time to help our Sandy entrants.

Now onwards to the finals. And then to the conference! To those who didn't final . . . I'm sorry. I hope you got some good feedback and I hope to hear from you next year! I'll be sending everybody's judged entries back in a couple of days.

Thanks for entering and hope to see you in Crested Butte at the conference June 18-20!
www.crestedbuttewriters.org.
T