Saturday, April 27, 2013

Write by the Rails – 4.18.13 Meeting Notes (and updates)

OFFICERS. Cindy Brookshire – President/Treasurer; Linda Johnston – Projects Manager/Liaison to Virginia Writers Club; Katherine Gotthardt – Liaison to the PWC Arts Council; Carol Keily – Membership Coordinator

WRITERS PRESENT. We changed the meeting agenda. Writers introduce themselves at the beginning of the meeting. Cindy Brookshire, Carol Covin, June Forte, Katherine Gotthardt, Linda Johnston, Charles Sutherland, Dan Verner, Val Wallace.

CONTINUING BUSINESS. Arts Alive! 2013 went very well – we had 18 writers participating in book sales, readings and/or education sessions for children (poetry and storyboarding). Over 3,000 people attended. Rheta Van Winkle, a reviewer for stopped by and picked up a copy of The Forgotten Mourners by Magdaline DeSousa (aka John’s Sister)’s to review. Rheta invited anyone with a new book coming out (or out recently) to query managing editor Hilary Williamson at If Hilary can interest one of her reviewers in your book, she will have one contact you. Bob Chase, manager of Prospero’s Bookstore in Old Town Manassas also stopped by the booth. He said Rodney Jordan will be signing his book, Tired of Being Black, at the store during the May 3 Gallery Walk. Local Writers Directory – 20 writers responded. Have not seen directory yet from Robin Tucker. The online Book Nook columns for Prince William Living magazine are going well. Dan is reading Charles Sutherland’s reality novel, The Poison Planters and will post a review. No new news on the Parlor Readings at Manassas Junction B&B (Katherine Gotthardt) or the Read Local QR-code poster at Grounds Central Station (Nick Kelly/Linda Johnston.)

NEW BUSINESS. The FY14 New Emerging Arts Grant application has been delivered to the PWC Arts Council. Thanks to Leigh Giza, Linda Johnston, Carole Keily and Dan Verner for their hard work on the grant and the Five-Year Strategic Plan. The grant panel will review our application in May. In June, they will give their recommendations to the Board of County Supervisors. If we receive the grant, the funds (up to $1,000) will be distributed after July 1 as soon as possible after the new fiscal year begins. Among the programming we proposed is a full-day writers conference for 60 writers in the July 2013-June 2014 time frame. Comcast grant - Boys & Girls Club summer workshop is not happening, however we may be able to do the workshop anyway if we receive the arts council grant. May 3 Gallery Walk – Author’s Alley at The Things I Love in Old Town Manassas. Dan Verner arranged our participation in this event. Writers signed up to read on the terrace behind the store from 6 pm to 9:30 pm. If you missed this signup, you may be able to participate in other upcoming events. June Kilpatrick is working with the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas to have writers read from their works during “Tuesday Take Out” from 6 pm to 8 pm on July 2.) Summer Shorts Contest and Golden Nib Contest rules have been posted on the chapter website and the Virginia Writers Club website. June Forte is securing judges for the first tier of the Golden Nib, including educator Lillian Orlich, who has served the PWC Public Schools for 60 years, and Poet Laureate of Virginia Sofia Starnes. The first author announced to participate in GMU’s Fall for Book Festival event @ Hylton Center on Sept 26 is Write by the Railer Claudia LaFeve, along with her chef “hubs” who works at Market Salamander in Middleburg. Other authors and foodies to be announced.

Upcoming Events

May 3 – 6 to 9:30 pm – Author’s Alley readings at The Things I Love, Manassas

May 3 – 7 pm – Rodney Jordan (Tired of Being Black) at Prospero’s Books, Manassas

May 3 – 7 pm until – Open mic reading at Deja Brew in Haymarket

May 4 – 2 to 4 pm - Local Authors Fair, Bull Run Library

May 7 – 2 to 4 pm – WbtR Meet and Greet at Panera in Merchant Shopping Center, Lake Ridge

1st Annual Authors’ Retreat

May 18, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At Carol Covin's House, 12510 Izaak Walton Drive, Bristow, Virginia

(703) 330-5478 (home) Everyone welcome, but RSVP please.

Be prepared to WRITE.

June 1 - Authors at 19th Annual Heritage Railway Festival in Old Town Manassas. Contact Doug Horhota, Manassas Museum, 703-257-8265 if you want a free table on the lawn or Stuart Schadt has a table on the street and is looking for one or two more writers to join him ($18.50 each).

July 2 – 6 to 8 pm – WbtR reads at Tuesday Takeout at the Harris Pavilion

Aug 3 – VWC “Navigating Your Writing Life” Symposium at Piedmont Virginia Community College in the Dickinson Fine & Performing Arts Center, Charlottesville.

Aug 24 & 25 – Authors at Civil War at the Junction. Contact Doug Horhota, Manassas Museum, 703-257-8265.

SPEAKER. Our speaker was June Forte, NVCC-Woodbridge instructor and former president of the Virginia Writers Club. June gave her tips on “The Art of the Interview.” It was interesting to hear June’s advice, and then watch a skype interview the next day that Carole Bellacera did with S. Luke Abaffy on Author Feast: The Writer Show – For example, June said before the interview starts, make sure you’ve written down the title of your book, where to buy it, and have the book there to show on screen – even put a sticky note at a good selection, so you’re ready to go if you’re asked to read. Carole was very prepared.

More of June’s Tips (for radio, TV or print interviews)

· Research the media online or at library - 2013 Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media.

· Send a news release with a news angle that shows you know their audience and convince them you have what they need. Tell them you are available for last minute bookings.

· Write hometown releases to all the places you’ve lived, including your university magazine.

· Pick your best time for the interview – if you aren’t sharp until after lunch, schedule it then. If you’re a morning person, schedule it first thing. Get there early.

· Outline on paper the interview YOU want, and be ready to steer the conversation to those talking points. Talk at a 10th grade reading level.

· Dress up, whether anyone can see you or not. Wear makeup, whiten your teeth, smile. Wear solid, soft colors, not white, stripes or bold patterns. Don’t distract from your message. Don’t slump. Don’t touch the microphone. For a call in show, know that you are on the air as soon as you answer the phone.

· Use your books as props, with them facing the camera.

· Include the audience in your statements, such as “many listeners are familiar with this genre” or “well, I know this is a big farm community.” Converse like a close friend and have good eye contact.

· Bring along a media kit that includes a bio sketch of you and a copy of the book cover mounted on a black background (ready to go in front on a camera)

· Send a thank you note to the interviewer!

· Keep a tape or link to your interview and use it to promote yourself.

NEXT MEETING. Thursday, May 16 at 7 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 9325 West Street, Manassas. Speaker: Tamela Ritter, author of the recently released “From These Ashes.”

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