Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thinking Through the Tree of Life

by Dennis Fargo
He stared at it for two weeks. He did not know what to do.
So he picked up his tools and began …

First he stripped the log of all its bark.
He cut its length in half, that a sturdy crossbar could be fashioned to carry the unseen,
Precious Weight.
He wanted strength, but
At its head appeared a twisted crown evoking thorns and gold.
Suffering and glory at once revealed by the strokes of his chisel.

Cedar filled the carver’s head like incense, but still he didn’t know …
Anxious now, he stood in the woodchips.

The bottom next, perhaps. He meant a worthy pedestal for the base.
The column started true – but – the – tools – gave up instead a mirror of the chase.
Alright, he thought. Strong roots to grasp the Rock that bears the tree,
And yet, within, the unmistakable joining of ankle and of knee …

A gouge to sharpen the lines, then, that upper and lower might be one piece.
But the knot above asked for more work, and became instead, a wound, a crease.

On the right a simple flourish would do. Follow the twist again, in application.
But as he worked, his tools worked, too.
The braid was open here, a hand up-turned, both plea and supplication.

Still, the work had strength. Then last, the left.
Perhaps the chisel slipped – or was it by design?
The grain was true enough, and fine.
But where at last the limb outstretched, it was as if a hand were cleft.
Good enough, the carver smiled – for WE are His left hand made flesh.

He stared at it for two weeks. He did not know what would suffice.
But working with the carver’s hands, the Maker gave it life anew.
To honor Son and hope imbue,
The Maker carved a Tree of Life.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Time

by Leigh Giza

The air is cold and crisp
It numbs my fingertips
It’s Christmas time again

In the fireplace logs glow
The forecast calls for snow
It’s Christmas time again

Children make their lists
Grown-ups shop for gifts
It’s Christmas time again

Wreaths and stockings are hung
While carols are joyfully sung
It’s Christmas time again

Lights on faux firs twinkle
Holiday partygoers mingle
It’s Christmas time again

I wish I could feel this way
Not just now but every day
It’s Christmas time again

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fear of Creativity?

by Patricia Daly-Lipe

Creativity leads to creation,
An imitation of God's work.
Our best is our breath,
Our life called inspiration
Living where the spirit dwells,
That Creative Muse who lurks within us all.
A soaring spirit seeking truth,
An intuitive attribute of the divine.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Calls for Submissions and Contests


Speechless the Magazine will be publishing a feature on poems pertaining to Route 66—opened in 1926, decommissioned in 1985—the highway that gave rise to the country’s first franchise (Fred Harvey Restaurants), played a large (and long) role in the Great Depression, served as a corridor for people fleeing the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, and has been immortalized in the classic The Grapes of Wrath. They want strong, accomplished poems with interesting takes on the “Mother Road”.
Deadline: Undetermined

Poets.org wants to know what lines of poetry have shaped your life. As executive director Jennifer Benka recently said "It's poets who sculpt ideas, images, and experiences in language that reverberates across our lifetime and beyond; whose lines we turn to for a distillation of truth we can hold like a mantra in our mind." You can share the lines of poetry that have sustained you by emailing Jennifer at JenBenka@poets.org.
Deadline: On-going

Writing is one way to make sense of our experience and turn pain into art. Your insight matters, to you and to other women who don’t yet believe they can get out. Pick one moment when you knew something had to give, and for once, it wouldn’t be you. This anthology will contain short stories, either non-fiction or creative fictionalized accounts, of your experience which demonstrate creativity and clarity.
Deadline: December 15, 2013

Voices Israel announces the opening of submissions to the 2014 Annual Anthology (Volume 40). Submissions are accepted from Voices members and non-members alike. There is no fee for submitting poems to the anthology.
Deadline: January 31, 2014

Their vision is to publish the highest quality of poetry online from the many talented poets in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, as well as from poets anywhere with a connection to the Monterey Peninsula.
Deadline: February 15, 2014


Enter a series of poems, a short story, novel excerpt, or an essay. Winners in each genre receive $1000, publication in Quarterly West, a featured reading at the Writers @ Work conference, and 2014 conference tuition. The judges are Ellen Bass (poetry), Robin Hemley (nonfiction), and Michael Martone (fiction).
Deadline:January 15, 2014

A prize of $1,000, publication by Gival Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection.
Deadline: December 15, 2013

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by the Poetry Society of America are given annually for poetry chapbooks by poets who have not published a full-length collection. Two fellowships are open to poets 30 or younger living in any of the five boroughs of New York City, and two of the fellowships are open to poets of any age living anywhere in the United States.
Deadline: December 21, 2013

A prize of $3,000 and publication by Tupelo Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 88 pages.
Deadline: December 31, 2013

A prize of $1,000 and publication by New American Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Jillian Weise will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 48 to 100 pages.
Deadline: December 31, 2013

A prize of $250, publication by Bull City Press, and a fellowship to attend the Frost Place Poetry Seminar will be given annually for a poetry chapbook. The winner will also receive a week long writing residency at the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.
Deadline: December 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bethesda Literary Festival Writing Contests Beginning

The 2014 Bethesda Literary Festival writing contests applications are now live! You can find more information and links to the application below.

Essay Contest
DEADLINE: January 24, 2014
Apply Online

Topic: Open

First Place: $500 and published in Bethesda Magazine
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $150
Honorable Mention: $75

High School
First Place: $250 and published in Bethesda Magazine
Second Place: $150
Third Place: $50

All winning essays will be published on the Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Magazine websites and will be honored at a special event during the Bethesda Literary Festival on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Essays must be limited to 500 words or less about a topic of the writer's choosing. Only one entry per person. Your essay must be your original work. Any essays containing material that is obscene or objectionable will be disqualified. Previously published essays are not eligible.

Residents of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible. Current and former employees, contractors, directors, and officers of the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) and their immediate family members are ineligible. Current students, relatives, or close personal friends of the judge(s) are also ineligible.

The judges for this contest are Lisa Page, acting director of the Creative Writing Program at George Washington University; and Lisa Shroder, editor at Bethesda Magazine.

Winners will be contacted by March 28, 2014.

All entrants retain the copyright rights that they have in the essays they submit, but by participating in this contest and submitting essays, all entrants grant Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) the right, license, and ability to use and publish all submitted essays (in complete form or in excerpted form) on the BUP Web site, on other Web sites, and in other media.

Questions? Please email essay@bethesda.org or call 301-215-6660, Ext. 117.

For more information, please visit www.bethesda.org.

Short Story Contest

DEADLINE: January 24, 2014
Apply Online

Topic: Open

Requirements: Stories must be limited to 4,000 words or less.

Eligibility: Residents of Montgomery County, MD and Upper NW Washington, D.C. (20015 and 20016 ZIP codes) are eligible. The contest will take entries in two categories: High School (grades 9-12) and Adult (ages 18+).

First Place: $500 and published in Bethesda Magazine
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $150
Honorable Mention: $75

High School
First Place: $250 and published in Bethesda Magazine
Second Place: $150
Third Place: $50

The first place winners in both categories will also receive a gift certificate to The Writer’s Center.

All winners will be published on the Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Urban Partnership websites and will be honored at a special event during the Bethesda Literary Festival.

Poetry Contest

DEADLINE: February 14, 2014
Apply Online

First place: $500, published on The Writer's Center's "First Person Plural" blog, and a free class and membership to The Writer's Center.
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $150|

All winners will be published on the Bethesda Urban Partnership Web site and honored at a special event during the Bethesda Literary Festival, held April 11-13, 2014.

Poems cannot be more than 21 lines of text. Do not double space your entry. Only one entry per person. Your poem must be your original work and must be currently unpublished. Any poems containing material that is obscene or objectionable will be disqualified.

Open to residents of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. who are 18 or older at the time of the entry deadline. Current and former employees, contractors, directors, and officers of the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) and their immediate family members are ineligible. Current students, relatives, or close personal friends of the judge(s) are also ineligible.

The judge for this contest is Professor of English at George Washington University, David McAleavey.

Winners will be contacted by March 24, 2014.

All entrants retain the copyright rights that they have in the poems they submit, but by participating in this contest and submitting poems, all entrants grant Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) the right, license, and ability to use and publish all submitted poems (in complete form or in excerpted form) on the BUP Web site, on other Web sites, and in other media. Questions? Please email poetry@bethesda.org or call 301-215-6660, Ext. 117.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

"A Christmas Carol"

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge 
The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:
And now they checked their eager tread,
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung,
A Mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung.


They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng.
Around them shone, suspending night!
While sweeter than a mother's song,
Blest Angels heralded the Savior's birth,
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth.


She listened to the tale divine,
And closer still the Babe she pressed:
And while she cried, the Babe is mine!
The milk rushed faster to her breast:
Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn;
Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born.


Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace,
Poor, simple, and of low estate!
That strife should vanish, battle cease,
O why should this thy soul elate?
Sweet Music's loudest note, the Poet's story,
Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?


And is not War a youthful king,
A stately Hero clad in mail?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;
Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail
Their friends, their playmate! and his bold bright eye
Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.


Tell this in some more courtly scene,
To maids and youths in robes of state!
I am a woman poor and mean,
And wherefore is my soul elate.
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled,
That from the aged father's tears his child!


A murderous fiend, by fiends adored,
He kills the sire and starves the son;
The husband kills, and from her board
Steals all his widow's toil had won;
Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away
All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.


Then wisely is my soul elate,
That strife should vanish, battle cease:
I'm poor and of low estate,
The Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn:
Peace, Peace on Earth! The Prince of Peace is born!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

December Events at the Manassas Museum

During the month of December, the Manassas Museum will host a free book talk, a Holiday Ornament and Dollhouse Exhibit, an Open House, and tours at Liberia Plantation.

On Sunday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. join author John Muller for his free book talk on Mark Twain in Washington, D.C., The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent. Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, first visited the nation’s capital in 1854. By 1867 he returned to cover the capital for several newspapers and enjoyed the company of fellow hard drinking, irreverent correspondents. It was while he was in Washington that Twain received a publishing offer from the American Publishing Company that began his literary career.

For the month of December, with the price of admission to the Museum, step back in time and get into the holiday spirit at this exhibit of hand crafted Holiday Ornaments and Antique Dollhouses on display at the Manassas Museum.

On Dec. 6, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Manassas Museum will host a Holiday Open House.  The Open House is being held in conjunction with the Annual Tree Lighting program in Old Town Manassas.  The Museum will have cookies and cider.  Visits with Santa will be available after the tree lighting.  Echoes, The Manassas Museum Store, will offer a 10% discount on all merchandise during the Open House.

On Dec. 14, at 5:00, 5:45, 6:30 and 7:15 p.m., the Museum will offer Holiday Tours at Liberia Plantation.  Visitors will experience a glimpse into Christmas during the Civil War era.  Costumed interpreters will portray the Weir family, the original owners of Liberia Plantation.  The program also features soldiers encamped on the property and how slaves observed Christmas at the start of the Civil War.  Tickets are available at the Manassas Museum for $15 for adults and $7.50 for children 12 and under. The house and grounds are not handicap accessible.

For more information on any of these programs, visit www.manassasmuseum.org.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Equine Therapy: A Poem

I see you
on a horse,
as the moon,
no longer struggling
with your world.

And I hear
your anxiety
slowly absorbed
into saddle
and sinew
and mane,
your nerves
by the gait
of gentleness.
You are
our child.

So long
our seasons have
turned too quickly
with worry,
our days ground
by the milling
of our stomachs,
frantic you’d
never make it.
The nightmares,
the notes
from teachers,
the shake
of the doctor’s head,
this is the way
it is.
We abandoned rest
long ago.

Yet here
you are,
confident as sunset,
sitting straight,
shoulders back,
a streak of smile
on your serious lips.

You laugh
as the mare
tickles your senses,
lifts her head
to meet your touch,
softly jolts you
into recognition
that you are
as good as anyone,
that you are
loved unconditionally,
that not being able
to speak it
does not equal
or lower-than,
or a negative number,
especially when
you’re riding a dream.

We’ve waited
for this time
when you
would be strong
enough to wave
while riding,
happy enough
to giggle,
hopeful enough
to love tomorrows.

as afternoon drops
behind the field,
we see you,
our child,
standing up
in stirrups,
matching the rhythm
of your carrier,
trotting towards
You lean forward
to the future,
and maybe,
just maybe,
a good night’s

Katherine M. Gotthardt
copyright 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Help Write by the Rails Fund a Poet Laureate!

Through Advance Title & Settlement's "Advance My Community Give Back" program at Potomac Local, 30% of their sales commission will be donated to local charities until Nov. 4, 2013 by 11:59 p.m. Local non-profit charities will receive their percentage of the campaign funds raised based on the percentage of total votes they obtain by Nov. 4.

Help us by casting your vote as often as you can! Any winnings will be put towards sponsoring an area Poet Laureate--the first ever--creating a new tradition in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.   The Poet Laureate will help spread the joy and beauty of poetry to the area by working with youth and adults through organizations dedicated to education and the arts.

*** Homeowners looking to sell, buy, refinance or short sale, contact advancemycommunity@closeithere.com

*** If you are a Realtor or mortgage professional, contact advancemycommunity@closeithere.com

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Hero's Welcome

You left unscathed and unharmed
You returned a bit shaken, battered, and wounded
You lived your life in constant fear of
Not knowing when or where the
Enemy might appear out of nowhere
To hurt and kill you and your comrades
Overshadows your dreams
Your dreams are about the war zone
That seem to haunt you on a daily basis
Sometimes insomnia reminds you
Of being on the battlefield
Regardless of the effects of war
Freedom is all that matters to you
Freedom is worth going to war for
Freedom is worth every bit of sacrifice and pain
For you, home is where your heart is
Hero, Welcome Home!
-- T. E. Brooks

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Write by the Rails Sponsors Fall for the Book Event Sept. 26 at Hylton Center!

The 15th annual Fall for the Book welcomes its largest line-up ever of cookbook authors and food writers. From surveys of ethnic flavors through a healthy dollop of school spirit and to a memoir of modern-day agricultural struggles—and tastings, don’t forget the tastings!—the festival offers a little something for all palates on Thursday, September 26, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus. A 6 p.m. panel discussion with all of the participants is followed by cooking demonstrations, tastings, and book sales and signings from 7-9 p.m. The entire evening is sponsored by Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Media sponsor is Potomac Local News. Admission is free, but be prepared to purchase your favorite books and have them signed by the authors.

Norman Davis is the co-owner of The Sweet Life, a custom cakery in Annandale, Virginia. Davis and partner Zane Beg have competed in twelve Food Network Challenges and four with TLC/Discovery, have been seen on the Oprah Show, and have designed cakes for the Washington Post, President Clinton, Rosie O’Donnell, T. Boone Pickens, and singer Patti Labelle, among others, and People Magazine chose The Sweet Life to represent Virginia in their feature “A Cake From Every State.”

Since opening their first restaurant in Washington, D.C., the highly acclaimed Equinox, more than a decade ago, Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray have risen to the top of the city’s vibrant culinary scene, and their Harvest Moon Hospitality Group now includes four restaurants, two catering companies, and partnerships with leading brands and institutions. Todd Gray is also the culinary director for Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which opened a luxurious estate in Middleburg in August. The Grays’ book, The New Jewish Table: Modern Seasonal Recipes for Traditional Dishes, examines the couple’s culinary and personal lives, reveals how rewarding the sharing of two people’s traditions—and meals—can be, and proves them once more as pioneers in the movement to promote regionality and seasonality on the plate.

A Taste of Virginia Tech offers recipes from the best of Blacksburg’s eateries, both on- and off-campus, and explores the college’s culinary history through essays, remembrances, and more. Editors Krista Gallagher and Kris Schoels are both proud VT alums; Gallagher majored in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, and Schoels earned her degree in Fashions Merchandising.

Dave Lefeve of Market Salamander in Middleburg, VA, will be joined by his wife, novelist Claudia Lefeve, whose young adult speculative fantasies Parallel and Paradox incorporate her husband’s recipes. The Lefeves are Manassas residents and Claudia is a member of Write by the Rails.

Forrest Pritchard’s memoir Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm offers glimpses into the business, politics, and personal struggles of modern-day agriculture, and charts the author’s own journey from lost profits to renewed prospects for the future. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly praised the book’s “remarkable odyssey of food from farm to table” and called Pritchard himself “a born storyteller.”

Michael Stein is a staff writer for the blog DCBeer.com, which “seeks to promote and grow the DC area’s craft beer culture through its locally focused beer website and its tasting and educational events.”

Joe Yonan is Food and Travel editor of The Washington Post, where he writes a monthly column, Cooking for One, and regular feature stories. He is a two-time James Beard Foundation award-winner for best newspaper food section and the author of Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One and Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook—and notes that his recipes also gives tips on making meals for two!

From beet soup, pierogies, and potato pancakes to mazurkas, babas, and more, Peter and Laura Zeranski’s Polish Classic Cooking and Polish Classic Desserts offer not just a tour of Poland’s culinary landscape but also a taste of the country’s history, heritage, and customs as well. Including the most iconic national dishes as well as a wide range of flavors from peasant fare to haute cuisine, these books seek both to preserve the traditions of Polish cooking and to update techniques for the modern kitchen.

Fall for the Book’s 2013 festival is September 22-27 at George Mason University and locations throughout Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Go to www.fallforthebook.org for more details.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two Free Book Talks in September

For Immediate Release
Aug. 28, 2013
Contact: Patty Prince
703-257-8456 or 703-895-6535

Two Free Book Talks in September

City of Manassas, VA . . . In September, the Manassas Museum will host two free Book Talks, one on Sept. 8 and the other on Sept. 29. Both talks will be held at 2 p.m. at the Manassas Museum and are free to the public.

The first talk, on Sept. 8, features author and former Washington Post reporter Peter Carlson speaking about hislatest book Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy. This absorbing and somewhat humorous tale chronicles the unbelievable, but true adventures of New York Tribune Civil War correspondents Junius Browne and Albert Richardson. While trying to report on the war, the two were captured during the Battle of Vicksburg.

They suffered in multiple prisons, encountered a pirate and a secret society called the "Heroes of America." They then escaped over snowy mountains with the help of sympathetic southerners and slaves.

Carlson started writing and publishing newspapers when he was nine-years-old. He eventually found his way to the Boston Herald American, People magazine and The Washington Post, where he wrote features and columns for 22 years.

The second free Book Talk, on Sept. 29, features author Andrew Carroll who will discuss how his book, Here Is Where, grew out of a volunteer initiative to find and spotlight unmarked historic sites.

Before writing this book, Carroll trekked to every region of the country by car, train, plane, helicopter, bus, bike, kayak, and foot, seeking what he calls the "hidden history" that is all around us. His trek included Mound City, Arkansas, where a Civil War-era maritime disaster occurred that claimed more lives than theTitanic; the Paisley Five Point Caves, Oregon, where the oldest human DNA in America was discovered; Saluda, Virginia, where an African-American woman was jailed after refusing to give up her seat on a Greyhound bus, prompting a U.S. Supreme Court desegregation case-more than 10 years before Rosa Parks' arrest; and Rigby, Idaho, where a 14-year-old farm boy had a brainstorm that led to the invention of the television.

Andrew Carroll is the editor of several New YorkTimes bestsellers, including War Letters, which inspired the critically acclaimed PBS documentary of thesame name, and the Grammy-nominated audio version of the book. Andrew was the co-founder, with the late Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky, of the American Poetry & Literacy Project, which distributed free poetry books throughout the U.S.

Both books, Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy and Here is Where, are available at Echoes, The Manassas Museum Store at www.manassasmuseum.org<http://www.manassasmuseu.org>.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Three local writers to represent Prince William in state competition

Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, recognized winners of the chapter writing contest – the first tier of the VWC’s annual Golden Nib Contest – at their Aug. 15 meeting.

Of 178 networking local writers, there were 20 entries in the chapter contest (eight fiction, five nonfiction and seven poetry entries).  The distinguished panel of judges included Lillian Orlich, a guidance counselor in the Prince William County Public School System with 60 years of service (fiction); Kari Pugh, editor of Prince William Today (nonfiction) and Sofia Starnes, the Poet Laureate of Virginia, who graciously gave comments to the winning poets. June Forte, adjunct faculty at NOVA-Woodbridge and a member of VWC’s Board of Governors, organized the local contest.

These winners were chosen:
  • Fiction) First-Place: Cindy Brookshire, Manassas, “Woman of the Year”; Second-Place: R.P. Barr, Manassas, “Closing the Book”; Third-Place: Tamela J. Ritter, Haymarket, “Lima Beans & Barbie Dolls”
  • Nonfiction) First-Place: Carol Bellacera, Manassas, “And the Day Went Downhill”; Second-Place: Carol L. Covin, Bristow, “Remember Me”; Third-Place: June Pair Kilpatrick, Gainesville, “Reverberation: September 11, 2001”
  • Poetry)  First-Place: R.P. Barr, Manassas, “Seasons”; Second-Place: R. M. Goad, Woodbridge, “Bubble Wand”; Third-Place: Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, Bristow, “Lincoln from the Grave”
First-place winning entries have been forwarded to the Virginia Writers Club (VWC) for statewide competition. Carol Bellacera, declined to go forward, so Carol L. Covin will advance in the nonfiction category. Statewide awards are presented during the VWC Annual Meeting in November in Richmond.  For more information about VWC, the Golden Nib Contest, the upcoming Teen Golden Nib Contest and Write by the Rails, visit www.virginiawritersclub.org/wbtr.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Minutes of the Write by the Rails Monthly Meeting August 15, 2013

President Cindy Brookshire opened the meeting at 7 PM.

Those in attendance reported on projects and needs.

Old Business

Cindy reported on a very productive officers’ meeting.

June Forte announced the local winners of the Golden Nib Contest. They were: Cindy Brookshire, Carol Covin, Burnett Deyerle III, Richard Barr, Tamela Ritter and Carole Foley Bellacera.

New Business

Katherine Gotthart reported that she would be at the Prince William County Fair representing the Rainbow Riding Center and also conduct a drawing for our basket of books by local writers.

Upcoming Events

Aug 20 – 2 to 4 pm meet and greet at Grounds Central Station, Manassas

Aug 24 & 25 – Authors at Civil War at the Junction, Manassas

Aug 26 – GMU-PW Welcome Week Community Corner

Aug 28 – 2 pm meet and greet at Uncle Sam’s Niece, 7568 Gardner Park Drive, Gainesville

Sept 26 - Fall for the Book Event 6-9 pm Hylton Center


Kate Brown-Wing spoke about illustrating books, publishing a quality book, and the business of promoting, publicizing and selling books.

Next Meeting: Thursday, September 19, at Trinity Episcopal Church. The speaker is Carol Covin—“Fivvr.com.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Koi Pond

by Leigh Giza

I swim slowly
Inside a small prescribed circle
When I move I reflect the sun’s light
So that I will look pretty for you
And you will feed me

It’s going to be a long short life
Here there are few distractions
And fewer problems
But if I ever try to leave
You will put me back in my place

For my own good, you say
Because the fresh air
Might just kill me
And we wouldn’t want that
Now, would we?

Monday, August 12, 2013

From Member Bill Golden

I have only great expectations for this week. Have spent the last week at Walter Reed (WR) National Military Medical Center with some of the most challenged and courageous individuals that you will ever meet. Overcoming challenge is what gives us purpose. As always, every Monday is the chance to start anew. So let the games begin!

You cannot walk the WR halls without meeting brave lives that were shattered by war but now being rebuilt by some of the world's best doctors, specialists, therapists and nurses. ... It can be awkward ... What do you say? 'Gee, you are looking good' ... How do you look without looking? Missing arms and legs and hands and feet have been replaced by every contrivance of possibility in what now borders on sometimes cyborg design. ... And then you realize that it all goes on ... yesterday cannot be changed ... many of these wounded warriors have a smile on their face and their family by their side. The children of these warriors seem to adjust to their changed parent ... lots of smiles and playfulness ... at least in the hospital where services are provided to help the entire family evolve to what comes next: living life and overcoming life's challenges.

About the nurses, I spent quality time with 7 or 8 of them. There must be a special pill that each takes when they start their shift. Every WR nurse that I experienced was cheerful. Scary cheerful. Positive attitude cheerful. 'What can we do to help?' cheerful. It is the nurses of WR that most definitely help bring you back to living life. Bless them.

One other thing that I learned: don't try to laugh while in the ICU as you are recovering from a collapsed lung. It hurts like hell. ... Was trying to peel a banana and just as I was about to eat it I must have squeezed too hard. The damn thing flew off like a rocket across the floor into the hallway. I rang my bell and the nurse retrieved my banana ... with comment 'Perhaps it is best to eat something else' ... it was a good laugh but I cried for almost 20 minutes afterwards.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Free Book Talk: Mathew Brady, "Portraits of a Nation"

On Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m., Author Robert Wilson will deliver a free book talk at the Manassas Museum about the photographer who captured the iconic images of Abraham Lincoln and so many others of that time.

Wilson's new book, Mathew Brady, Portraits of a Nation, has met with rave reviews.  Wilson, a resident of the City of Manassas, will travel to Boston, Paris and other great cities during his book tour.  Although his is one of hundreds of books examining Mathew's work, reviewers say Wilson has brought the photographer to life in a new way.  Wilson's richly illustrated biography chronicles Brady's influence on 19th-century photography and his role as promoter, innovator, teacher, mentor, collector, historian, and advocate for the new medium of photography.

The Civil War was the first war in history to leave a detailed photographic record, and more than ten thousand war images are attributed to the Brady studio. Wilson says that Brady knew better than anyone the dual power of the camera to record and excite, to stop a moment in time and preserve it. Mathew Brady, Portraits of a Nation is available at Echoes, The Manassas Museum Store at www.manassasmuseum.org<http://www.manassasmuseu.org>.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Call for Essays for Radio

1) WVTF: Looking for personal essays -- stories rooted in local experience. Listening Audience: 160,000 listeners in central and western Virginia and surrounding states. The presenter said she's seen essay accepted that just mention an area in their listening areas.  3:15 minute time slot (Just less than 600 words)
Presenter: Janis Jaquith. If you'd like her opinion on your essay and/or help with your delivery, mention her Virginia Writers Club Symposium's handout email her: Janis@radioessays.com . She can submit it to WVTF.

Some info on the station below:
The main broadcast center is located in Roanoke where a 12,000 square foot facility houses 11 studios, a large newsroom, state of the art operations, and staff offices. WVTF/RADIO IQ also has satellite studios/offices in Charlottesville’s downtown mall as well as news bureaus in Blacksburg and Richmond.
WVTF is our legacy public radio service offering a blend of NPR and regional/state news, classical music and Jazz as well as entertainment programs. TheWVTF network of broadcast signals includes 13 transmitters and translators serving central and western Virginia.    
The newer service, RADIO IQ and RADIO IQ With BBC News networks of signals feature a 24/7 news and talk format including content from the BBC, NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, independent sources and our own reporters and producers. The 2 RADIO IQ networks consist of 9 radio signals serving central, southern, and southwestern Virginia plus the Richmond metro and Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania County.
2) WMRA: Harrisonburg, VA will broadcast essays with political opinion in the "Civic Soapbox" series. The slot is 3 minutes long. Contact Martha Woodroof by email (didn't provide that) or phone: 800-677-9672. Submit essays to wmra@jmu.edu

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dr. James Robertson Speaking at Manassas Civil War Weekend

City of Manassas, VA . . . Retired Virginia Tech History Professor, prolific author and internationally-known Civil War expert Dr. James "Bud" Robertson has perfected many talents in a legendary career, but storytelling may be his proudest achievement.  Dr. Robertson discusses Civil War military maneuvers, tactics and artillery with ease, and just as easily captivates audiences with stories of romance, mothers, and horses.

Dr. Robertson will be the featured speaker during the Manassas Civil War Weekend, Aug. 23-25. Robertson's Saturday, Aug. 24 talk will be about theConfederate General Stonewall Jackson, Death and Birth of a Legend, at 4p.m. on the Manassas Museum Lawn. His Sunday talk, The Untold Civil War, based on his newest book, will be at 1 p.m. on Aug. 25 also on Manassas Museum lawn.  Both talks are free and part of a three-day weekend filled with living history, music, and events for all ages.

As a young man, Robertson's interest in history was piqued when he heard his grandmother tell tales about her father's Civil War exploits. Former students say the stories he told in packed lecture halls were so enthralling that they often forgot to take notes. His mix of humor, first-person stories, curious facts, and insight into the psyches of the people who started and fought the war continues to inspire both scholars and those with little interest in history. His success may be due to what he says he does: "I make history human. It's full of emotion. It's not memorization of dates and places."

He has authored and edited dozens of books, but Robertson's most well-known work is a 957-page award-winning volume on Stonewall Jackson, which took five years to research and two to write. While teaching and writing, he built the Virginia Tech Special Collections' Civil War research holdings, produced print and video material that has shaped Civil War history education in Virginia's public schools, and still serves as executive director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies <http://www.civilwar.vt.edu>.

President John F. Kennedy asked Robertson to serve as executive director of the national commission of the Civil War Centennial in 1961 after plans centered on a celebration rather than a dignified commemoration. Robertson successfully worked with 34 state and 100 local centennial commissions, all amid the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement. Robertson returned to the issue of commemorations 50 years later as a charter member of Virginia's Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, and has been influential in shaping the 150th observances throughout the Commonwealth.

Kennedy's aides also called Robertson to the White House on the evening of the president's assassination to redecorate the East Room as it looked when Lincoln's body lay in state in April of 1865. Robertson positioned the black bunting and located the Lincoln catafalque on which Kennedy's remains were laid.

When Hollywood came calling, producers used Robertson's book as the foundation for the portrayal of Jackson in the movie Gods and Generals, and Robertson served as the chief historical consultant for the film. Robertson has also made his mark in radio and television.

Over 14 years, Robertson wrote and narrated a collection of 350 radio commentaries that were aired on National Public Radio stations, and hosted a three-hour,award-winning Blue Ridge Public Television documentary entitled "Virginia in the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Remembrance." Designed for use in the classroom, the program was broken down into nine 20-minute segments and distributed free to all public elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as every library system in Virginia. Robertson said he considers this "one of my greatest achievements."

Visit www.manassascivilwar.org for a complete schedule of events for the Manassas Civil War Weekend.

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Patty Prince
Communications Coordinator

Monday, July 15, 2013

Calls for Prizes, Grants and Submissions


The Lincoln Library and Friends of the Lincoln Library are accepting poetry in five categories: Family, Friends, and Community; Creative Ideas for Change; A Time to Remember; Painting a Self-Portrait with Words; and Finding Beauty in Life.
Deadline: July 27, 2013

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Los Angeles Review are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay by a woman writer.

Deadline July 31, 2013

Blue Light Press is accepting manuscripts for the 2013 Blue Light Press Poetry and Chapbook Contest. For guidelines, e-mail: bluelightpress@aol.com or visit their website. The winner will be published by Blue Light Press, receive a $100.00 honorarium and 50 copies of his or her book, which can be sold for $10.00 each, for a total of $600.00.
Deadline: Extended to July 30, 2013

The Comstock Review has extended the deadline for its Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award. They are looking for original, unpublished poetry not under consideration elsewhere. First Prize receives $1,000.
Postmarked by: August 1

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Snake Nation Press will be given annually for a poetry collection.
Deadline: August 31, 2013

Five awards of $6,000 each will be given twice yearly to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers with children. Five Promise Awards of $1,000 each will also be given twice yearly to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers with children. Writers with at least one child under the age of 18 are eligible.
Deadline: August 31, 2013

The Skagit River Poetry Foundation has announced a new Phyllis L. Ennes Poetry Contest open to all Pacific Northwest poets, from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. Ellen Bass will serve as judge of the contest. Poets are asked to submit three previously unpublished works to skagitcontest@gmail.com.
Deadline: October 15, 2013


Seven Kitchens Press sponsors the annual Robin Becker Chapbook Series for an original, unpublished poetry manuscript in English by a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Queer writer. They will select one title from a writer with no previous poetry book or chapbook publication. The winner will receive 50 copies of their work.
Deadline: July 31, 2013

The Muse is an online bi-annual journal of poetry and representative poetic criticism. They are now accepting original, previously unpublished poetry submissions and research papers.
Deadline: November 10, 2013

FutureCycle Press is now reading poetry and flash fiction written in the English language for books, chapbooks, and anthologies to be published globally in both print-on-demand and Kindle ebook formats. They read year-round. Simultaneous submissions are okay.
Deadline: On-going