Monthly Archives: January 2015

Contest Deadline Today

Your May calendar could fill up quickly as Maui sends word of theirs. Beginning May 1 and running through May 3, the conference focuses on fiction and memoir with a panel including best-selling authors, editors, and agents. They plan to offer a self-publishing track, scholarships, and writing contests for kids. There’s even group discounts. Interested in joining the fun? Here’s the link: Maui Writer’s Conference

The 2015 e-Lit Awards final deadline for submission is today. If you’re novel, written in English, was published during 2014, it may be eligible. Entry fee is $80 per  submission, per category. Here’s the link: e-Lit Awards

Idaho’s Premier Writer’s Conference

I hope you’ve registered for our very own Las Vegas Writer’s Conference.

But do you love attending writer’s conferences and making new contacts? Well, the Idaho Writer’s Rendezvous will be held May 14 – 16, at the Boise Center, Boise, Idaho. This is the state’s premier writer’s conference where you’ll have the chance to mingle with fellow authors, dine a presenter, and pitch to agents one-on-one, or get a personal manuscript evaluation by a professional editor. Early bird registration ends on Feb 1. Here’s a link to the site for more info: 2015 Idaho Writers Rendezvous

New Blog Admin

Well, I’ve agreed to administer the blog. Despite having a blog on my own website I’m fairly new at this blogging thing, so bear with me.

If you’ve got something you’d like to share with the group – a short story, an essay, writing tips, contests, or news of agents / editors looking for new clients – fire off an email to me: paul-atreides@cox. net

To get the ball rolling, because the subject came up in a Thursday meeting, here’s a PDF on industry standard Word Counts you may find helpful:

Word Counts


Local Author Showcase



libraryPaseo Verde Library Local Author Showcase
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Paseo Verde Library, 280 South Green Valley Parkway, Henderson NV.
• There is no charge to participate. The event is free and open to the public. We kindly ask that you donate 1 copy to the library if your book is not in our Local Author Collection. Your book will be searchable systemwide in our library catalog and can be checked-out and reserved by library patrons.
• Approximately 20 tables will be set up in the showcase space and authors will be asked to share a table. Two authors will be assigned to one six foot table. You are welcome to bring promotional materials, but please keep in mind that you must share the space.
• Participating authors can sign-up for one 2 hour slot, 9:30am-1130am OR Noon-2:00pm.
• Exhibit space is limited, so authors who wish to participate are encouraged to apply early.
Please fill out the following information and email it to Caroline Hoover at or drop it off at the Paseo Verde Reference Desk by February 21st, 2015. Once reviewed, library staff will confirm with authors by February 28th.





Please indicate your preference for exhibit time. We will try our best to accommodate your preference; however we cannot make any guarantees.
☐ 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ☐ Noon – 2 p.m.
As a part of your application, please email us a high-resolution image of your book jacket cover/s and author photo. Additionally, please include a short author biography and your book titles with genres.
An example of what we are looking for:
Gayle Bartos-Pool
Damning Evidence [Mystery]
A former private detective and reporter for a small weekly newspaper, Gayle Bartos-Pool has several books in print including The Johnny Casino Casebook series. She is the former Speakers Bureau Director for Sisters In Crime/LA and teaches writing classes on the Short Story, Writing a Killer Opening Line, and Writing Convincing Dialogue. Website:


Book Titles with Genres:


Brief Bio:

Storytellers Conference & Expo

Authors & Screenwriters

March 21 – 22, 2015

Greetings Fellow Writers!
Yep, it’s me again and I’ve got some great news for you. We’re having a FREE PitchFest Boot Camp on Friday evening, March 20th, 2015. The people whom you want to pitch your project to during the StoryTellers Expo (agents, producers and publishers) will be the same ones teaching you exactly how to pitch to them!
Please note . . . Time is running out for the Early bird discount, so be sure to get your tickets before that discount goes away. In addition, PayPal offers convenient payment and credit options. So go ahead and give yourself the perfect gift this holiday and attend the StoryTellers Expo in March. It may just be the best gift you ever receive . . . one that makes your literary dreams come true!

    One of our most exciting new presenters is Mark Coker, the founder and CEO of Smashwords – one of the world’s largest and most successful self-publishing companies. I recently met Mark at a presentation he gave to the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) and was astounded at how much the self-publishing industry has changed.  I GUARANTEE that you’ll be overwhelmed with all the information Mark has to share with both new and experienced writers. Once known as “vanity publishing”, Smashwords has turned self-publishing into a very lucrative venue for writers. So do yourself a favor and make sure you attend Mark’s presentations.
FYI: Smashwords has phenomenal distribution. Its major online retailers include:Apple (distribution to iBook stores in 51 countries), Barnes & Noble (US and UK), Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, OverDrive (world’s largest library ebook platform serving 20,000+ libraries), Flipkart (India’s largest online bookseller), Baker & Taylor (Blio and the Axis360 library service), and Page Foundry (,, Cricket Wireless, and Asus).  Simply by distributing to Kobo (via Smashwords), Smashwords’ books will also reach WH Smith in the UK, FNAC in France and Portugul, Livraria Cultura in Brazil, Angus & Robertson in Australia, Bookworld in Australia, Indigo in Canada, Collins in Australia, Feltrinelli in Italy, Libris in the Netherlands, Paper Plus in New Zealand, Play in Great Britain, Rakuten in Japan, (now Rakuten) in the US, Whitcoulls in New Zealand,  . . . and more on the way.

A total score on our part, we’ve recently added as a pitch fest participant, the amazingSusan Johnston, who is president of Select Services Films, Inc. – an award-winning production company which is certified DBE, has a casting agency, and operates the New Media Film Festival. Susan has previously purchased and optioned several scripts from Pitch Fest attendees. One of those scripts is currently in production. If you have an interesting and original project, make sure you pitch to Susan on either Saturday or Sunday.

I’m tremendously excited to announce that another of our outstanding Pitch Fest participants is Michael Slifkin, a 30 year veteran in the movie and television industry. Michael is a Founder and Partner of Archstone Pictures, where he’s responsible for the development and production of on-going feature film content. Michael has worked with numerous well-known and respected individuals such as: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, and Rob Reiner. He has also worked with companies such as Sony Pictures, Columbia Tri Star, 20th Century Fox, MGM/UA, Lionsgate, Warner Brothers, Grindstone, New Line and many others. Recently, he’s completed work as Producer on “Battle Force” a WWII period feature film currently being distributed to world-wide markets.
Michael is looking for scripts in the action, drama, comedy, and thriller genres. If you have something Archstone might be interested in, be sure to see Michael. He’ll be listening to pitches on both Saturday and Sunday.

Don’t forget  . . . we will be offering a 2 hour FREE Pitch Fest Boot Camp on Friday evening, March 20th 2015. This is your chance to learn how to successfully pitch yourself and your projects. And hello! It’s FREE! What’s not to love about that? Agents, publishers, and producers will instruct you on how to get them EXCITED about YOU and your projects.  Make sure you attend our invaluable, FREE Pitch Fest Boot Camp on Friday night, then, attend the Expo on Saturday and Sunday. This event will be heldFriday, March 20th, 2015.  7pm to 9pm.

The StoryTellers Expo
March 21-22, 2015
Be sure to get them while discounts are available. Once we’re sold out, I’m afraid that’s all, folks!   For more information, or to purchase tickets, click on: 

Soap Stone Creek Literary Journal

Soap Stone Creek Literary Journal

for kids of all ages

 Bi-monthly Print Journal for Children of all Ages

 Debuting May 2015

$25 (6 issues) USA

$35 (6 issues) Canada & Other Countries



Current Needs

Fiction: Short Stories for children, all ages (500-1000 Words)

Essays for children, all ages (500-1000 Words)

Poetry for children, all ages (Up to 20 lines)

We accept stories by children (Parents Signature Form Upon Request)

Artwork by students: 8 1/2 x 11 original pictures by students

Photos (no more than 6 per submission)

Manuscript Format: WORD, Double Spaced, Attachment – cover letter in the body of the email.

Please include name, contact info and brief bio with all submissions. Pay is in copies. Journal Size: 8 1/2 x 11

Soap Stone Creek Literary Journal

for kids of all ages


2413 Bethel Rd.

Logansport LA 71049 USA

Joshua Tree National Park


Good morning,

The Desert Institute is offering the following writing workshops in Joshua Tree National Park:

March 7                Desert Haiku Writing in JTNP with Ruth Nolan and Deborah P. Kolodji

April 4 – 5            Desert Experience:  Transforming Observation Through Writing with Rebecca Lowry

May 2                    Plein Air Poetry with Jeanette Clough and Jim Natal

Press releases are attached for your convenience.

Kevin Wong

Program Coordinator, Desert Institute

Joshua Tree National Park Association


“Be a Part of the Adventure

The Joshua Tree National Park Association has been supporting preservation, scientific research and education at Joshua Tree National Park since 1962. As the park’s primary non-profit partner, we operate four Visitor Center bookstores that are often the first stop for visitors from around the world; offer a field institute with classes taught by experts in natural sciences, cultural history and the arts; and raise funds for the park though public events and our membership program. Join us and make the most of your Joshua Tree experience!”

Always – Guess Who Wrote This

2014-11-22 09.51.18He said he was leaving.
I sat at the small table in the corner and watched him.
It was the first time I noticed how slim he’d become.
His shoes clicked on the tiled floor as he walked to the bathroom.
The sound of the shower rang through the air.
I heard him throw his shoes and clothes into the corner, as he always did.
He hummed and it bothered me.

I leaned forward, with chin on fists, and looked about the room.
The bed seemed so far away with the blanket half on the floor.
He’d thrown it there when he said he was going.
I would fix it, later.

The apartment became quiet as he finished his shower.
I knew he would throw the wet towel onto his clothes, as he always did.
But maybe not, not today.
He would need the shoes, and belt, and the pants.
My brow was hot.
My lips were dry.
My fingers were frozen against my neck.
My heart pumped and it thumped in my throat.

He came out naked.
He was smiling.
He was teasing me, or hurting me.
I didn’t know which.

He dressed.
He packed only a few things and said he’d send for the rest.
I watched him walk out.
His shoes tapped on the hallway floor.
The door closed behind him.
The apartment was silent.
But he would be back.

I was sure.
He always did.


Fred Rayworth by Una LakeEvery author needs a publicity packet. As part of that packet, a good component is the quick interview to let potential customers know a bit about you. You don’t want to tell them every irrelevant detail in a fifty question diary that’s a hundred pages long, just a quick-and-dirty few questions to pique their interest. The following might or might not be the final result of what’s going to be in my packet. It’s an example of what you might consider for your own self-interview one day.


I was in Clarence Ruth Elementary School in Lompoc, Calee’fornia when my English teacher was talking about nuclear war. He said that if all the energy were released from our English book at once, that was enough power to destroy the world. From that point on, until I graduated from high school, I hated English. Yet, I loved to tell stories, loved to read, and my imagination had no bounds. Various essays in school, despite my aversion to English, showed I had a talent for writing (though I didn’t realize it at the time). However, my first attempt at fiction didn’t come until I started a Star Trek satire in Spain, in 1971 on a manual typewriter. I made ¾ of a page and realized it was hard! I quit and never tried again until I actually learned to write the “Nazi method” by my Air Force boss. He forced me to learn to write proper for performance reports, since I was a supervisor. After a while, I realized I had a knack for it, and took on a different outlook to that nuclear analogy from Clarence Ruth toward English. Then, in 1995, when I realized I was never going to make it as a musician, I needed a creative outlet. Things just came forth and I found magic in words.


I’ve always had an active imagination, from when I used to tell the kids at kindergarten during show and tell that my sister went down the drain after bath time, to being part of a crew on a sailing ship in junior high school. However, I can sum up the shining example one day coming home from kindergarten in Lakewood Calee’fornia. I used to walk home through the end of a cul-de sac to our house. All the neighborhood women would be out waiting for me to tell them what I did at school that day. One day, I had this drawing. The ladies gathered around and asked me what it was. I thought about it a moment, then it just popped into my head. “It’s a Polka-dot Sewer.” My mom heard them all laughing and came down to see what the uproar was about, and that was history.

That pretty much sums up my inspiration. It just comes out of the air. I can’t explain it any better than that.


I was on my waning years in the Air Force, working on college, yet I somehow found time to follow my muse – chase my polka-dot sewer. I had an idea for a bunch of friends to find a cave with alien artifacts inside. I wrote that first novel, The Cave, a science-fiction adventure and actually completed it. That story with never see print, but it was a start. Right then, I knew I could do it. I had so much fun, despite full-time classes on the weekends and lots of homework that I went right into my next novel, my first icky bug (horror), The Greenhouse.


I’ll say right up front that I follow my muse. Because of that, I write in multiple genres, which I’ve already alluded to above. So far, I’ve written science fiction, icky bug (horror), adventure thrillers and fantasy.

Something I need to impress upon you is that despite the broad genres, some things are common to all of them. They’re all still adventures, and they all have humor. That’s something I strongly believe is part of me, and I can’t help it be part of my writing. Will that ever change? Who knows, but as it stands right now, that’s the way it is.


Funny story about that. I never had any intention on writing a fantasy, frankly because I haven’t enjoyed a fantasy novel since reading Andre Norton back in the seventies. To tell the truth, besides some similarities you may notice in Meleena’s Adventures to Lord Of The Rings, I didn’t actually like the trilogy all that well. I tackled it in Palmdale Calee’fornia in 1969 while watering a golf course at night for a summer job. I read between sprinkler runs and had to keep my feet off the floor to avoid the scorpions running around on the floor. I had to struggle through the three novels, and didn’t understand why until I recently tried to read one again. They’re written in the omniscient point of view. Yuck! Besides that, the novels were too wordy. I’ve suffered through other fantasy tomes because my wife is into fantasy. I didn’t like them, mainly because of wordiness and because they were based mostly on intrigue rather than adventure and action.

My wife is the reason I decided to write fantasy. She talked me into it. My inspiration came from playing Dungeons and Dragons in the 80’s, not Lord of the Rings. The story is then again, an adventure set in a fantasy world, thus the main title, Meleena’s Adventures. I make no bones about that. I wrote it the way I’d want a fantasy to be. I’m hoping my readers will feel the same way.


Folks, there you have it. I could go on and on with questions, but much more and a reader’s eyes will glaze over. Maybe not, but I’ll leave it up to someone else to think of more questions. Happy writing!

When you become a published author, you should have a publicity package. One of the components is an interview. Rather than wait for someone else to ask random or even guided questions, it’s not a bad idea for you, the author to come up with the questions you want to be asked, or think you want to be asked! A good start for your package is a self-interview. An example of mine called A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH MYSELF can be found at Enjoy!