Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had the opportunity to do some traveling. To get through the long walks down airport terminals and window seat imprisonment on long flights, I queued up a dozen podcasts on writing.
There are several things I look for in a good podcast:
Theme – Most podcasts will have a topic (it's usually in the title of the episode) and shows that stay on topic are more valuable for me than wandering monologues that seem interminable.
Formula – Shows with an agenda or a designated formula sound more professional, in my opinion. When the hosts stick to it, they demonstrate that professionalism and I'm more likely to come back for another show.
Relevance – Even the "famous author" podcasts will be clear about how this information is relevant to you, no matter your writing level, age or experience.
Here are some of my favorites:
Short Story Today – An SCWA member, Lis Anna-Langston from Columbia, was on a recent episode.
The Creative Penn – Joanna Penn is a BIG name in digital publishing and this podcast has been around for so long, she's getting really granular in her topics. But she's on the forefront of digital trends, such as NFTs, and if you don't know what those are or why writers should care, you should queue her up.
The Shit No One Tells You About Writing – Hosted by a couple of agents who spend the first 10 minutes critiquing a query with the writer on the line. So, so valuable for insight into what agents are thinking when they read your email query.
Learning the Tropes – This one is a romance-genre-specific one, but I'm sure there are some focused on other genres, too. Definitely helps in learning what is expected of the genre you're writing in. The romance genre has a ton of podcasts, actually, and they all have clever names like Heaving Bosoms, Fated Mates, and Smart Women, Trashy Books.
Write On SC – Of course, I'll add my own show here. Rex Hurst and I do this weekly and share not just S.C. writers, but all kinds of craft, publishing and marketing things we're learning. Find us at writeonsc.blog.
When starting a podcast listening habit, keep in mind that some are short (less than 30 minutes) and some are a good deal longer (as much as three hours). You may want to consider what length you need for a walk in the neighborhood versus a road trip.
This month we're planning a SUPER SOCIAL event called SCWA Inside Out. It will be on June 25 in Columbia, it's free and pretty casual. Just a chance for us to be face-to-face again. Check out the details below. I hope you'll all join me there and thanks to the Events and Education Committee for planning it and making it happen.
Lastly, it’s Pride Month and I’d like to wish a very happy celebration to all of our LGBTQ+ members, friends and allies. This month is about celebrating so much, including the unbridled emergence of diverse stories and characters we’ve seen over the past few years. SCWA supports you, loves you and wants your writing career to be spectacular as you bring your own stories into the light.
Cheers and happy writing!
President, SCWA Board of Directors
Events and Education
Registration fees for our in-person Fall 2022 Conference Oct. 21-31 will go up July 1, so be sure to register soon and join us in beautiful Pawleys Island for this weekend of immersive workshops on craft, publishing and the writing life. SCWA is all about building your writing skills and building a cohesive writing community to keep you engaged and motivated in your writing practices. Come write by the beach!
Registration before July 1 is $255 for members and $330 for non-members; students, $175. Registration closes Oct. 1. Register now at Fall 2022 Conference.
Stay cozy on your couch and join us for a weekend of immersive workshops on craft, publishing and the writing life in SCWA's Virtual Fall 2022 Conference Oct. 7-9. There's even a special indie track.
SCWA is all about building your writing skills and building a cohesive writing community to keep you engaged and motivated in your writing practices. Come write with us this fall!
Registration is $165 for SCWA members and $240 for non-members; $100 for students. Registration closes Oct. 1. For more details and to register go to Virtual Fall 2022 Conference.
SCWA INSIDE-OUT JUNE 25 IN COLUMBIA
Come have some fun at SCWA Inside-Out, featuring FREE fellowship, fun and an OPEN MIC MARATHON, on Saturday, June 25, at One Columbia’s Co-op 1013 at 1013 Duke Ave. in Columbia, S.C. See flyer below for details and RSVP at SCWA Inside-Out.
DIGGING TRENCHES: A GENERATIVE FICTION WORKSHOP
The foundational aspects of plumbing a house do not start with roughing in water lines or PVC, and they certainly don't include the fancy ornamental sinks or shower heads. All of that comes later. To plumb a new house, start to finish, we first need to dig trenches to lay cast iron, which ultimately will flow to the city sewer line. Then the concrete foundation, exterior wall, and suddenly we see the outline of a house emerge.
Throughout the four-week short story workshop in August, Digging Trenches: A Generative Fiction Workshop led by Keith Lesmeister, we'll be digging our own trenches and building our foundation. We'll focus on character and setting, conflict and empathy – critical aspects of all good fiction. We'll read contemporary short stories from Kenyon Review, Narrative and other literary journals as blueprints for how to incorporate dialogue, action, desire, conflict. We'll read, discuss and write. We'll dig, pour and build.
The workshop will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 9, 16, 23 and 30 via Zoom; the link will be provided upon registration. Cost is $150 for SCWA members and $200 for nonmembers.
The submission window for the 2022 issue of The Petigru Review remains open for SCWA members and nonmembers through July 31, 2022. Members can submit at a discounted rate and the magazine will pay a $5 honorarium upon publication to each accepted author or artist. We are seeking cover art, book excerpts/chapters, nonfiction, fiction, flash and poetry. Complete guidelines can be found at The Petigru Review and Submittable.
For those who are impatient or would like to submit again in the same category, we also are offering expedited submissions for an extra fee.
Please feel free to reach out to Managing EditorMaria S. Picone at email@example.com with any questions.
SCWA AUTHOR RECOGNITIONS
Congratulations to these SCWA members on their recent accomplishments:
Catherine C. Con's Feuillemort was the finalist for Anne C. Barnhill prize for Creative Nonfiction Fall 2021. Her short story From Alajuela to Boston won the first-place fiction award from Lighthouse Weekly March fiction contest 2022. Her flash nonfiction Flapper was in New York Times Weekend Arts section on April 22, 2022. Con is a member of the SCWA board of directors.
Patty Wain Smith's A Letter to a Friend: The Story of Abuse in America received the 2022 Illumination Book Awards Enduring Light Silver Medal.
SHARE YOUR PUBLICATION NEWS:
Post to the SCWA website: First, keep your personal profile updated with your latest publications or accolades. Log in, go to your profile and edit it; you have free range! Second, post in the SCWA Forum; again, you can post whatever information you want (within the guidelines posted on that page).
The Quill: If you have received an award or special recognition for your work or it has been selected for a competitive publication, contest or journal, email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include it in an upcoming issue of The Quill. (Simply publishing a work does not qualify for this purpose; there are just too many!)
We'd like to thank Arthur Turfa for stepping up and volunteering to lead the Virtual Genre: Poetry group. Turfa is a poet/writer from Lexington. S.C. The most recent of his six poetry books is Saluda Reflections (Finishing Line Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in The Petigru Review, Catfish Stew and the Pangolin Review. His careers as a Lutheran pastor, a U.S. Army chaplain and veteran, and educator on the secondary and post-secondary levels have given him ample material for his writing. We thank him for taking on this vital role. Turfa is an advisor to the SCWA board of directors.
If you’re interested in joining the poetry group, go to Local and Virtual Chapters and scroll down to the group, then click on Turfa's name to contact him for more information. He would love to welcome new members.
WANT TO BE A CHAPTER LEADER?
We have openings for chapter leaders in Greer/Spartanburg and in Sumter. If you are interested in being a leader in either of these locations, please contact us at SCWAMembership@gmail.com.
If you have an idea for starting a new chapter, either in-person or virtual, please let us know at SCWAMembership@gmail.com.