Does weather influence our writing? Most of us would agree that just about everything in the universe influences our writing, but weather could be the box most checked. Would Ahab’s confrontation with a whale have taken place if not for a typhoon? A sun streaked afternoon turning into a windswept evening can quickly change your character’s attitude, attire, or agenda.
Having just observed the ravages of Hurricane Florence, as it made landfall in North Carolina before making its way to South Carolina, we know a very serious human and environmental impact was made. If we did not experience it first hand, we were able to read about it. Continue reading
Meet an alien from a planet whose inhabitants come in three sexes, a Maryland ship-owner smuggling slaves to the north in the years before the American Civil War, or a young man searching for butterflies who discovers the mysteries of Asia. Hear about a bigamous scoundrel in a small Pennsylvania town at the start of the nineteenth century, love letters between a young couple separated in the years before and during World War II sharing their lives in ink, and a strong, sassy woman finding modern day love and a medieval princess surviving in a male-dominated society. Those characters mingle in the air of our conversations when their creators and writers get together at SCWA Surfside Chapter meetings. Oh, and let’s not forget the spiders who slip through a portal in Maine to devour human prey.
The Surfside Chapter is one of many writers’ groups dotting the state within the South Carolina Writers Association. We are small in numbers at Surfside, but big in imagination. We have writers at all stages of their writing journeys working in a variety of genres. Short stories, we have them. Long family sagas, yes, we have them as well. Some of our authors create a series of books because their characters have too much to say and do to be constrained to just 80,000 words. We share stories of horror, fantasy, fiction, and non-fiction. We support each other as caring people as well as imaginative writers.
The Surfside chapter is preparing to launch a series of public presentations entitled “Everybody has a story.” We welcome new members wherever they are along their writer journey. Are you just getting started? We can help guide you—if you have that great novel in mind, or wish to write about family legends to share only with your children and grandchildren. Further along on that journey? We are supportive cheerleaders and can offer advice from those among us farther down our shared path.
Anyone in the greater Myrtle Beach area wanting to know more about this writer’s group and the benefits of joining us in Surfside, please contact me or check out our Facebook page. We usually meet the first and third Saturday of each month, 10 am at the Surfside Library, as the library’s schedule allows.
I’m excited to bring The Quill to you in a new format. The newsletter was limiting because it never allowed me to dive into specific topics. I’d want to offer a slew of upcoming events or submission opportunities, but there was so much other information that it just wouldn’t fit. I’ll be sending out more Quill updates, but they’ll be more specific. This week’s topic is submission opportunities.
Many literary journals open in late summer and early fall for submissions, so I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you about some helpful sites which list submissions openings.
- The Master’s Review is a great organization to get updates from. They’ve got great contests for emerging writers and send out a list of contests and submission opportunities every month.
- One of my new favorite writer websites is CRAFT. Not only do they accept rolling fiction submissions, they also take articles about the writing craft. The stories they look for showcase an element of craft, whether it’s setting, point of view or structure. They’ve also got some upcoming contests, so check them out.
- When I’m looking for submissions to send out to you, I also go to New Pages. What I like about New Pages, is that it includes journals that go beyond “literary” writing. For our SCWA members who are writing mystery, fantasy, horror, etc…, New Pages is a great website to search when you’re looking for places to send a finished piece.
- Literistic offers a free list of places to submit to every month. They also offer a more extensive list to paid members. You can sign up for their monthly “shortlist” to get a taste of what they offer. I like that they offer fellowship and grant opportunities in addition to literary journals.
- This gargantuan list from Entropy includes presses accepting full-length manuscripts as well as journals, grants, fellowships, etc… It’s pretty exhaustive and takes awhile to go through. I’ve also found some great journals to subscribe to through this list.
- If you’re a visual person, you might like the submissions calendar provided by Poets and Writers. This shows submissions by deadline.
ON WRITING AND THE WRITING LIFE
Some articles I’ve been reading about writing are below.
This short essay in CRAFT says a lot about a hook. When I was just starting to write, I thought a great hook could be encompassed in the opening line of a piece, but it’s so much more than that. Read more here: https://www.craftliterary.com/2018/08/17/the-hook-more-than-the-opening-line/
Need writing advice? James Baldwin is here to help. There are some major gems here. https://lithub.com/write-a-sentence-as-clean-as-a-bone-and-other-advice-from-james-baldwin/
Ruminate’s blog this month has a great article about the narrator within us, which becomes the writer. https://www.ruminatemagazine.com/blogs/ruminate-blog/musings-from-a-first-generation-writer
Member News and Upcoming Events will be posted next week. If you’ve got some news you’d like to share, please let your chapter leader know or email email@example.com.
My journey to becoming a member of the South Carolina Writers Association (formerly South Carolina Writers Workshop), was slightly complicated. The original goal was to find a writer’s refuge which was in the vicinity of my home in Chapin, SC. An on-line search took me down many retreat roads, but none came close to the growing goal of writing unity I was envisioning. The search did eventually lead me to the site advertising the 2012 South Carolina Writers Workshop (SCWW) Conference in Myrtle Beach. Continue reading