Saturday, December 6, 2014

Why Count our rejections?

I am always surprised when I read that a writer knows exactly how many rejections he has received. I wonder why one would want to rub salt in the wound that occurs when the rejections arrive. I make note that the journal has rejected my work, and then put the info away in my files. I have two files in the drawer. One has all my acceptances and the other has rejections. Those that come now by email get filed in my documents. I have no idea how many times my work has been rejected.

Once a poem has been turned down a couple of times, I revise it and send it out again to different publications.  I have an idea of the number of  publications I have because I list them on my blog, but I have never counted them to make me feel good or bad. If I counted all the rejections , I am sure I’d be unpleasantly surprised. Since I have no idea of their number, I never think about it.

Part of my approach to life is making sure I don’t poke sticks in my eyes anymore. Why torture myself when it is unnecessary and does no one any good? Why would I lash myself with a big whip?
Instead of thinking of the negative, I glory in my acceptances when they come and share them with friends that I know care about me. I think it is best to celebrate our greatness every chance we get.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Classes for 2015

We are happy to have Paula Canup, former English teacher, writer and journalist, join our faculty in 2015. She will teach a workshop in March.  The date and time will be announced later.

We can always use a brush up on our basic skills and new writers often have forgotten those details of grammar that we learn in high school and college. I see many problems with new students such as when to use ellipses, where to place quotation marks in dialogue, what is an em dash and where to use it. How often can we use an exclamation point or when should we use it?

Put it on your calendar now to sign up for Paula’s class at Writers Circle next March.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Glenda  Beall teaches at TCCC in March

I will be teaching in March at Tri-County Community College. The dates are: March 24, 31 and April 7 and 14. Time for all classes is 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The title of the class is Write Your Life Stories for Your Family or for Publishing.
I have taught adults to write stories about their lives for a number of years. The stories are often written for grandchildren or other family because the writer wants to leave a legacy of what life was like before cell phones, before computers and video games, before families were too busy and before they were scattered all over the country and around the world. 

Each of us has a unique story, and in this class you learn
  • where to begin
  • how to begin
  • how to organize your work
  • what to write and what not to write
  • how to write so that your audience will want to read your stories
Each student will have several stories completed and written by the end of the course in an entertaining and interesting form. Each student will carry home a number of tools he/she can use in the future. 

Classes for 2015

We are happy to have Paula Canup, former English teacher, writer and journalist, join our faculty in 2015. She will teach a workshop in March.  The date and time will be announced later.

We can always use a brush up on our basic skills and new writers often have forgotten those details of grammar that we learn in high school and college. I see many problems with new students such as when to use ellipses, where to place quotation marks in dialogue, what is an em dash and where to use it. How often can we use an exclamation point or when should we use it?

Put it on your calendar now to sign up for Paula’s class at Writers Circle next March.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Glenda  Beall teaches at TCCC in March

I will be teaching in March at Tri-County Community College. The dates are: March 24, 31 and April 7 and 14. Time for all classes is 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The title of the class is Write Your Life Stories for Your Family or for Publishing.
I have taught adults to write stories about their lives for a number of years. The stories are often written for grandchildren or other family because the writer wants to leave a legacy of what life was like before cell phones, before computers and video games, before families were too busy and before they were scattered all over the country and around the world. 

Each of us has a unique story, and in this class you learn
  • where to begin
  • how to begin
  • how to organize your work
  • what to write and what not to write
  • how to write so that your audience will want to read your stories
Each student will have several stories completed and written by the end of the course in an entertaining and interesting form. Each student will carry home a number of tools he/she can use in the future. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Michael Diebert will be teaching at Writers Circle in 2015. Time and date to be announced.




Michael with students at Writers Circle

Monday, October 13, 2014

JOIN US FOR AN EVENING WITH AWARD-WINNING APPALACHIAN POET
JESSE GRAVES
Monday, Oct.20

6:00 p.m.
Wilson Lecture Hall
Sponsored by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Community Engagement

Friday, October 10, 2014

From my journal, September 30, 2014

Today is September 30, 2014, our first full day at the house on Cape  Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. I slept better last night than I have in a long, long time. The bed is just soft enough and has the exact right amount of cover. I cracked a window to get the fresh cold air into the room. When I turned off the lamp, darkness settled over me so black I couldn’t see anything. I closed my eyes and immediately fell asleep.

This is an unusual occurrence for me. I have been an insomniac all my life. Being thousands of miles from my responsibilities makes a huge difference I think, even though my waking hours are often filled with concern about my work and my house. Will my plants die while I am gone? Did I get the article into the newspapers soon enough? Will I stay healthy for this week away from home?
But those thoughts didn't enter my mind last night. I am on vacation with my sister and brother-in- law and they are great traveling companions. 

We left their house in Roswell, GA  Sunday at 8:30 a.m. We arrived in Halifax, NS around 3:45 but did not leave the airport in the rental car until nearly five. We had no GPS and no good directions to the hotel in Dartmouth, so we became lost and finally found the place after dark.  Thankfully a restaurant, on the premises, had a fine menu. A large bowl of seafood chowder, brimming with lobster, scallops, crab and fish was all I could eat. After our meal I collapsed on the bed and slept for nine hours.

I had called ahead and asked for a chemical free room. I was told it was no problem and I found out the entire hotel, A Best Western Plus, used no polluting air freshener or fragranced cleaners. The lobby had no odor and the rooms were completely clean and free of synthetic scents.

I love Canada. The people are far more conscious of the earth than where I have lived and they know how to care for it. Recycle containers are everywhere and people seem to know how to use them. Even in my hotel room, I found recycle containers available.

I remembered that I had heard of a hospital in Halifax for those with chemical sensitivities. Wish I had had time to investigate that place.
The view from the house we rented in Nova Scotia
Today is a bit overcast and the temperature is in the sixties, but that is fine with me. We decided we needed today to rest from the long trip and maybe tomorrow we will get out and drive the Cabot trail around the island. We hear that the views are fantastic to behold.
For now, I think I will take a nap.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Elizabeth Hunter teaches workshop October 25

October 25, Saturday, 10-1:00 p.m.
Fee: $35

Second Draft Strategies: Taking the Terror Out of Revision
Congratulations! You’ve completed a first draft. You know it needs work, but where to begin? This three-hour workshop will supply you with a roadmap through revision that will improve your writing and calm your nerves. We’ll work our way through a structured set of questions, beginning with the big one: Have I said what I wanted to say? Others follow, concerning beginning and ending, voice, tone, tense, language, and flow. Students who wish to are invited to bring a first draft (maximum length 1,000 words) to read and critique.


Elizabeth Hunter began her professional writing career as a newspaper reporter before becoming a freelance writer. A columnist, contributing editor and writer for Blue Ridge Country Magazine, she was commissioned to write the text for two coffee table books on the Blue Ridge Parkway and one celebrating the 150-year anniversary of Mitchell County, NC, where she lives. She is a self-taught naturalist, and has taught nature writing at John C. Campbell Folk School for many years.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Take Advantage of Leadership - Read These 7 Tips

If you are a writer, it is likely you don’t want the limelight. You work best in the quiet of your own space. You don’t need people around and you don’t want to be bothered. You are happy working on your book – whatever it may be.

But eventually you have to think about what you will do when the book is finished, published or ready to be read by the public. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just mail the manuscript to someone who would take over and print it, promote it, sell it, and send you a big fat check each month? You could just write and write and never leave the house.

I see many writers who seem to think that is the life of an author. Sadly, that is one of the myths the public has believed for years. In today’s world the author must be seen and heard. The author is the one who markets his/her book.

I want to suggest some painless methods an author can use to reach an audience. Take on a role of leadership. Don’t volunteer for more than you feel comfortable doing, but try the following suggestions.
  1. If there is a writing organization in your town or area, join and attend the events.
  2. Find ways you can help the organization – lead a critique group, become the helper to the leader, and if there is no job, make one that you want to do, then do it.
  3. Offer to do the publicity for your writing group. Write articles on the members and publish them in the local newspapers with your name listed as the writer. Be the one to put your local literary group on the map. Use photos with each article.
  4. Join your state literary group. Know the leaders and call them or email them with suggestions of how they might best serve their members. Better—call or email and tell them what a great job they are doing for the members.
  5. Become a mentor for beginning writers. 
  6. Hold an open mic event in a local coffee shop or book store once a month. Write an article for the local newspapers about who attends and who reads, and be sure the event is on social media with your name attached.
  7. As soon as you feel you are ready, volunteer for a major leadership position in a literary organization. When your name is well-recognized, your book will soon follow. Be sure you make as many speeches or appear at as many events as possible where you can mention your book. 
Tell me what you think of these ideas. Do you think they would help you?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Writers Circle will Continue into November

Carol Crawford
We had a week full of good instruction for writers at Writers Circle around the Table. Carol Crawford, poet, writer and editor had us writing and creating an essay that we hope to have ready for submitting this coming Thursday when she will hold the second session of this workshop.


Carol has taught writing for years and is a favorite instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School and here at Writers Circle. Carol has been coordinating the annual Blue Ridge Writers' Conference in Blue Ridge Georgia for many years. It has become one of the best conferences and I was thrilled to be on the faculty last year. 

Scott Owens, who teaches every year at Writers Circle, was one of the instructors at the Blue Ridge conference a couple of years ago. His poetry workshop Saturday here at my studio inspired seven poets who, I'm sure, went home filled with more ideas for poems than they could have imagined if they had not been present.
Scott Owens, poet

Several poets, as they were leaving, praised Scott and said this was one of the best workshops they have attended. After five years, I am fortunate to have been able to interest good writers like Scott and Carol in coming to Writers Circle. And our local attendees have expressed their gratitude to me for bringing in high caliber artists and for keeping the fees reasonable. As long as I can make enough to keep the lights on and keep the doors open as well as pay our instructors a decent honorarium for their work, I will continue as we have been doing. 

I owe much of the  success of Writers Circle to my volunteer work with NCWN West. For several years I wrote articles about writers for the newspapers as part of my publicity duties.  I met many peopole around our region just by talking to them on the  phone. In 2007 I  became the Program Coordinator for Netwest. I attended the Spring and Fall Conferences and met members of the literary community from all across the state. I began the Netwest Writers blog in 2007 which enlarged our circle even more. 

My husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, and I had to  curtail my duties with Netwest. When he died in 2009, I resigned. Overcome with grief and exhaustion of care-giving, I knew it would be impossible for me to continue to do what needed to be done as program coordinator. 

In 2010, needing to do something useful and helpful to others, I started Writers Circle downstairs in my house. We had outstanding writers like Maureen Ryan Griffin stay overnight in my guest room and teach a Saturday morning class. Maureen's successful WordPlay classes are well-known, and she teaches at John C. Campbell Folk School in their writing program each year. She gave me advice and was willing to help me get my business off the ground. I am forever indebted to her. 

The past five years have been filled with writing time, classes in writing, discussions with authors and enjoyment of having friends feel at home sitting around the table in my studio. I am never happier than being with writers and talking about writing. 


Friday, September 5, 2014

The Folk School Blog has a post by a writing student


If you have never taken a writing class at the John C. Campbell Folk School, you are missing a special treat. Tonight I read a short piece on the Folk School Blog written by a student of a writing class. I think you will enjoy it.
I took my first writing class, a poetry class, with Nancy Simpson in 1995 or '96. Can't remember exactly now. But it literally changed my life. A writing class at JCCFS is not like a class in high school or college. No one is going to embarrass you, hurt you or demand more than you  want to give. You will find yourself so comfortable with others who, like you, just want to learn and enjoy the experience of being in the beautiful setting in the mountains of western NC, that you will go home with lasting memories and new friends. But you will also go home having learned new skills that you can continue to use. Check out the website and look for Writing Classes. 
Local writers can take classes for half-price tuition. Ask about that when you register.