Writing can be a long, lonely slog. So often one works in isolation for such extended periods of time–conceptualizing a viable idea, crafting a first draft and winnowing it into a taught pile of pages worthy of submission to those who may be willing to represent and pitch it to others prepared to pay for the right to publish and make it available for strangers expected to spend money for the privilege of reading it (the ultimate goal)–that it’s often easy to overlook the needed joy of recognizing the accomplishment of each successive step of the process. Publishing a good book is a big deal. A bigger deal? Readers recognizing a good book published.
SCWCer Ara Grigorian’s debut novel, Game of Love, just came out, following a particularly tortured journey. Who bothered to care? Well, at his first-ever book signing, held last week at the Burbank Barnes & Noble bookstore, both readers and writers. While thrilled for Ara, we’re also especially proud that the SCWC community turned out to support another debut author’s success, among them Melanie Hooks, Kendall Roderick and August McLaughlin. There’s nothing like your first, except every other one after. Congratulations, Ara. Cheers to many more!
Initial Staff Announced
Ara returns to the SCWC in September with a couple of cool new workshops, “Anatomy of Romance: New Adult and Beyond” and “Finding the Beats of Your Story.” Other workshop leaders already committed to LA13 include Jean Jenkins, Marla Miller, Stacey O’Brien, Matthew J. Pallamary, Kathy Porter, Laura Taylor, Janis Thomas, Darlene Quinn, Jennifer Silva Redmond, Claudia Whitsitt and Maralys Wills. Still plenty more to announce, but we’ve identified topics and are beginning to build out another SCWC weekend itinerary that addresses what we believe to be the most pressing issues pertinent to the modern writer. Yes, for those electing to go it alone, selling books will be a part of it. But, as usual, crafting books that warrant being sold will be most of it.
SCWCers With Books Out or Out Shortly
Lots to report on the not-premature-e-publication front. Books recently out from SCWCers include Elana K. Arnold’s new adult fiction Infandous; Barrie Summy’s middle grade mystery The Disappearance of Emily H.; Vivian Carpenter’s legal thriller The Fifth Letter; Amy Gettinger’s memoir Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism; and Miranda K. Simon’s true tale Sexy Serenity. Cheers to the best of success for all!
Those with titles coming out shortly: Teresa Burrell’s The Advocate’s Geocache (The Advocate Series Book 7); Don Winslow’s The Cartel; Michele Scott’s (writing as A.K. Alexander) The Preference, the third book in her Holly Jennings thriller series; Stanton “Sandy” Swafford’s China Sea; and John Edward Mullen’s Digital Dick. Also, a shout out to Karla Tipton’s Dangerous Reflections: A Historical Fantasy through Time, which just got named a finalist in the Fantasy category of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Awards.
Farewell to a Friend
Been a few years since the founder of the SCWC has been actively a part of it, but she remained a fixture up until only recently. Though it turns out many conferees who join us time and again are not even aware of who Betty Abell Jurus is, it’s important to know not only that she passed away last week, but that our vital community wouldn’t exist had in not been for her. If you’re a writer (and you better be), check my latest blog post on Betty and watch the first 30 minutes of We, The Writer, a “doculogue” I made for PBS back in 1996, which features a lot of her. (It’s a crappy VHS copy, so I apologize in advance for the quality.)
Advance submission readers are now open. Several more will be added over the next several weeks, so don’t jump the gun. Also, don’t forget to join our greater .COMmunity on Facebook and Twitter to keep up on all things importantly writerly.
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC