Monthly Archives: July 2015

Another contest

The Missouri Review is now accepting submissions for its 25th Anniversary Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with a $5,000 prize in each category.  Entry may be made by snail mail:

The Missouri Review, 357 McReynolds Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 65211

or through the website:

Postmark deadline is October 1; winners will be announced in January 2016.

Speaker of Note

Behind some of TV’s best comedies – MASH, Cheers, Frasier, and one of the longest running animated series, The Simpsons – is a man by the name of Ken Levine. He’ll be the Keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the Doberman Rescue of Nevada on September 2. The event will be held at the Las Vegas Academy – Lowden Theatre and the cost is a mere $29.  For $49 you’d get up-front seats, refreshments, and a meet-and-greet with Ken.  No unsolicited screenplay, treatments, manuscripts, or unsolicited materials will be accepted. For more info, call 702-672-7204, or log onto the Doberman website:

Win a prize!

Be the first to correctly guess which of the Henderson Writer’s Group members wrote the following short story and win a dig through the Book Bag!

Writers’ Freeze

 When I sit at the computer ready to line out beautiful prose cradling wisdom with a sniff of calm and peace, I freeze. For many reasons.

Since I went to school with Ben Franklin (he kept tricking me into holding the tail of that damn kite), I’m a late writer. With whatever days or years I have left for writing, I am compelled to compose my best stuff, to create effortless narrative that crackles with wit and runs line to line error free. Well, I would if I weren’t afraid of wasting so much time and energy getting down a mediocre draft that might be salvaged through edits.

I often stare at the screen, searching the corners for the flash of an important idea, a notion that would pull readers with magnetic force like a tractor beam from an alien ship. Not the trivial discourse of common days but the solution to producing stellar content from the banal syllables found in every writer’s toolbox.

Can you feel the north wind?

My introverted (and slightly serious) self feeds the anxiety demon as I finger the keys waiting for the betraying tremor of a conversational tone, an easy flowing monologue that joshes enough at the edges that some reader will believe I’m just a regular guy.

Do you see that July snowstorm drifting the first edges that will climb the stucco siding of my house?

Or, in spite of my research, planning, and nightmares, the end destination of every piece lies in the distorting haze of uncertainty. How does anyone get from here to there?

You’ve felt the bone chill, too? That shiver pulsing in your muscles, shaking the hands as they poise above the keys.

By definition, we’re on the right path. Writers have a healthy fear of words. Words can mean more than the sum of their connotations. Words, well-strung, provoke images and feelings and experiences that readers share with writers. To be or not to be. Call me Ishmael. I have a dream. In the case of Obergefell V. Hodges…

When the cold creeps into your lower back and your hips squirm with numbness, you have unlocked the gate to the writers’ community. You are in the land of risk takers and the first to be arrested in totalitarian regimes.

When I sit and sense the frozen mist crawling from my torso to the fingers held aloft, I remember I’m a writer. So many resources stand by my shoulder to stare back the demon: Books. Articles. Blogs. Critique partners. Writers groups. And readers.

The only time the cold wins is when a writer is cut from the herd and isolated beyond the support buoying the creatives.


Enough of this shit. Back to explaining Good and Evil in one syllable words.

Two More

Be sure to time your visit to Joe’s signing so you can drive down and around the block to support your fellow members, Alba Arango, and Tina Willis, who will both be signing copies of their books at The Writer’s Block, Vegas’ newest Indie bookstore. The signing begins at 5pm and runs until 7:30pm.

Tina will be signing copies of her delightful children’s book, “Baja Brody and the Birthday Surprise.”


Alba will be signing copies the latest in The Decoder series, “The Magic Sapphire.”


Support your local authors, support your local Indie bookstore, support your fellow HWG members!




Inspiration required?

Looking for a place to inspire you? One that might get the ideas rattling around in your head to flow through your fingertips to keyboard, or get the ink flowing from your favorite pen (or pencil) onto your pad of paper?

The serenity of June Lake, California might be just the place to renew your energy with workshops, performances, events, and fellowship during the Inspired by Nature Writer’s Retreat. The retreat is September 25 – 27, and space is limited.  Check it out and register online.

Link: Inspired by Nature

Marketing ploy worth pondering

Whether you are self-published or you’ve gone with a traditional publisher, you need a whole host of marketing ploys to help promote your book. Here’s one that just might be worth the small fee: The 6th Annual eLit Awards.

If your book has a publishing date no earlier than January 2014, they’ll be accepting submissions at a discounted rate until August 31, winning could get you all kinds of publicity coverage – and bragging rights! Deadline for entry is December 31. For the full skinny, hit their website or contact Andrew Parvel, Awards Director, at

Link: eLit Book Awards

Looming deadlines

A reminder that The Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers deadline is close at hand! The awards recognizes the best piece of fiction (under 6000) words with $2000, publication, and agency review by Curtis Brown’s Katherine Fausset. Second and third place stories also receive agency review, publication, and $200 and $100 respectively.  They define “new writer” as not having published a novel at the time of submission.  Deadline is July 15.

Hit them with your best shot: Masters Review

And, don’t forget the Aesthetica Magazine 2015 Creative Writing Award with prizes awarded for poetry and short fiction. Deadline for submissions is August 31.

Fire off an entry: Aesthetica Magazine

Grant writing workshops

Grant Writing USA and Grant Management USA will present two workshops in Las Vegas
Learn where to find the grants and how to get them in Las Vegas.
Learn to stay in compliance and keep the money in Las Vegas.
Attend this grant management training, August 6-7, 2015 in Las Vegas, and you’ll learn what to do after your government grants arrive.  We will help you hone your grant administration skills and arm you with extensive knowledge of the compliance requirements that all grantees must meet when managing federal funds.  This training is recommended for grant recipient organizations across all disciplines and is again locally hosted the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.  Tuition is $595 and includes all materials.
Join us October 5-6, 2015 when the United Way of Southern Nevada hosts Grant Writing USA’s two-day grant writing workshop in Las Vegas.  Attend this proven class and you’ll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.  Beginning and experienced government and nonprofit personnel are welcome to attend.  You do not need to work in the same profession as the host agency.  Tuition is $455 and includes all materials.
Attend both classes and receive $100 off your combined tuition!  Checks, cards, and purchase orders are welcome.  Multi-enrollment discounts are also available. Questions? Contact:
Janet Darling
at Grant Writing USA
888.290.6237 toll free