Writing and Editing News

Membership Benefit of the Month–Meetings

By sdwegwebmaster

Each month, on the fourth Monday but adjusted for federal holidays when necessary, the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild invites speakers to share their experience as authors, editors, publishers, publicists, and marketing specialists. There is no cost to SDW/EG members for these presentations. A $5.00 fee is requested from non-members.

Speakers and programs in the past two years have included the following:

  • Neil Senturia and Barbara Bry, Humor in Business Writing
  • Charlene Baldridge, My Writing and All It Entails
  • Carolyn Wheat: Author of Suspense and Mystery
  • Richard Lederer: Celebrating Shakespeare
  • Margaret Harmon: Character-Building: Literary Games
  • Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock: the Jim Croce Story
  • Alan Kilpatrick, Ph.D.: Crafting Plays
  • Kathleen B Jones, Ph.D.: Biography and Hannah Arendt
  • Larry Edwards: How He Did It (Self-publishing and marketing); Using Social Media
  • Richard Lederer: Monsters Unleashed
  • Kathi Diamant: The Art of Giving and Receiving Critiques
  • Judy Reeves: “First Paragraphs and What They Must Do”
  • Hutton Marshall: editor of the San Diego Uptown News
  • Zoe Ghahremani: The Arc of a Writer
  • Bonnie ZoBell: Writing What Happens
  • Donna Eckstein: Telling Your Story
  • Alan Russell: Ghostwriting
  • Jefferson Parker: Writing a Hometown Story
  • Richard Lederer: American Presidents; Shakespeare
  • Martin Kruming: Legal Issues for Authors
  • Gered Beebe: Creative Non-Fiction
  • Marnie Freedman: 7 Essential Writing Tools
  • Dennis Lynch, Leslie Johansen Nack, and Lauri Taylor: Panel of Memoirists
  • Wendy Patrick: The Darker Side of Social Media
  • Antoinette Kuritz: The Business of Writing
  • David Wogahn: Metadata, Registration, and ISBMs
  • Jonathan LaPoma: Screenwriting
  • Christina Alexandra: Romance Writing
  • Diane Hinds: Marketing Your Books
  • Mark Reichenthal: Legal Issues for Authors
  • Penn Wallace: Marketing 101
  • Jonathan Maberry: Writing for MG and YA audiences

The Board of Directors is always interested to know of speakers members would like to invite for meetings. To suggest a speaker, send a message to sandiegowriterseditorsguild@gmail.com.

Via:: San Diego Writers Editors Guild


Guild Members Win San Diego Book Awards

By sdwegwebmaster

Marcia Buompensiero at San Diego Book Awards

The San Diego Book Awards ceremony on June 10 announced SDWEG member Marcia Buompensiero as the winner of the Best Published Mystery (Sumerland) and Larry Edwards as the winner of the Best Unpublished Short Story (“By the Light of the Moon”).

Congratulations to both Marcia and Larry for work well written.

Via:: San Diego Writers Editors Guild


Jonathan Maberry Presents in June

By sdwegwebmaster

Jonathan Maberry

Crossing genre lines is one of the most reliable paths to a successful and sustainable writing career. Not just within a single story (though that works, too!) but by stretching out into new areas, trying new things, and building yourself into a stronger and more diverse writer. New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry is the author of more than thirty novels and over a hundred short stories that cross and sometimes blur genre lines. He has published mysteries, thrillers, horror, noir crime, science fiction, epic fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, alt-history, comedy, and more; and his market includes adults, young adult, and middle grade, as well as comics and nonfiction. Writing cross-genre and multi-genre fiction allows for greater creative freedom and draws on different demographics within the book-buying public. Maberry will share trade secrets for how to maximize your selling potential while growing as a writer and having fun.
JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times bestselling author, 5-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, and comic book writer. He writes in multiple genres including suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and action, for adults, teens and middle grade. His works include the Joe Ledger Thrillers, X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate, Mars One, and many others. Several of his works are in development for film and TV. He is the editor of high-profile anthologies including The X-Files, V-Wars, Scary Out There, Out of Tune, Baker Street Irregulars, Nights of the Living Dead, and others. He lives in Del Mar, California. Find him online at www.jonathanmaberry.com
We meet at the San Diego County Health Services Center, 3851 Rosecrans, San Diego, CA 92110.
A Marketing Support Group meets at 5:30 p.m., before the regular meeting. Anyone interested in sharing or learning about marketing tips is welcome to attend.

Via:: San Diego Writers Editors Guild


Eight-Week Challenge: Week One

By Sandra Yeaman

It’s time to report on the results of my first week. As a reminder, my goals for the eight-week challenge:

  • eat more nutritious food with fewer empty calories,
  • walk at least 5,000 steps per day,
  • spend one day a week reading the backlog of magazines sitting on the end table, and
  • write at least 500 words per day for at least five days each week.

This is not a picture of success. My Body Mass Index (the measure of my nutritious food goal) remains in the desired zone, but the weight figure it is based on has been going up, not down. My failure to meet my activity goal—5,000 steps—contributes to this trend. I must do better.

I didn’t simply fail to reach my writing goal of 500 words per day. Except for the first day, I didn’t write any words at all. (I wrote the four posts published this week earlier and scheduled them for the first four days. It would have been cheating to count those words, right?)

My one success in Week One: cutting down my magazine backlog. Admittedly, I tackled the smallest magazines, the ones I could get through largely by skimming, not reading. That gives me breathing room for tackling the larger issues, Writer’s Digest and The Sun.

Here is some of what I learned from my reading last week:

From AARP Bulletin of March 2017: The median daily cost for long-term care in a semiprivate room in 2016 in North Dakota was $359, the fourth highest in the country. Only Connecticut, Maine, and New York costs are higher. More surprisingly, the median costs in the three states that border North Dakota were $205 (South Dakota), $215 (Montana), and $242 (Minnesota). I think the makings of a story can be found in those figures. I mean, North Dakota routinely appears on lists of the 10 best states to live in, raise children in, and for opportunities. Minnesota also appears on those lists. So what makes it so much more expensive to receive long-term care in North Dakota?

That issue’s “Scam Alert” article defines 19 terms to describe scams, most of which are related to online activity, though one, vishing, the use of recorded phone messages intended to trick you into revealing sensitive information for identity theft, may target someone who doesn’t own or use a computer. AARP often reports on seniors being targeted because of their greater vulnerability. (Did you notice I used “their,” not “our?” Denial, denial, denial.) AARP even offers Fraud Alerts to protect you from con artists’ scams and schemes. Sign up here.

Of more value to me are that issue’s article listing 50 ways to live longer. Those that surprised me include

  • Say yes to that extra cup (of coffee)
  • Eating hot chili peppers may add years to your life
  • Fidgeting is good. A 2016 British study finds that sitting for seven or more hours a day increases your risk of dying by 30 percent—except among active fidgeters, who see no increased risk.

The rest reflect conventional wisdom, not much news, or in my case, motivation.

Via:: Sandra Yeaman


What You Missed

By sdwegwebmaster

From the June issue of the newsletter, by Mardie Schroeder

Jeniffer Thompson spoke on creating your personal branding. A brand helps you stand out. You need a logo and a style guide. Use the same typeface. Color is important. Everything should be consistent and recognizable. A brand will give you self-confidence. Consider having more than one domain name.

Begin with a strong platform and build on it. Connect the dots with everything you put out on social media so they work together. Drive all traffic to your website. Get people invested in you.

Make a five-year goal of what you want to do: write, teach, speak, conduct workshops, etc. At times you may have to redirect your course.

Write lots of content and share it with as many people as you can. Every time you speak or contribute an article include a bio with a link back to your website.

Jeniffer suggests updating your bios with different word lengths: 10, 25, 80, 180, and long form. You need a good head shot updated every few years (3 to 4 max).

Find out who your audience is, ask them what they want and need. Share personal stories. Get them interested in you.

Other authors are not your competition. They are influencers! Follow them, network with them, and subscribe to them. They will become part of your tribe.

Be consistent and passionate with everything you do. Budget your time and money, as well as your emotional resources. Remember that you don’t have to do anything that doesn’t bring you joy.

Connect with Jeniffer Thompson with your questions about branding! She is on Twitter @jeniffergrace; on Facebook at facebook.com/jenifferthompsonconsulting; and on Instagram @jeniffer_grace.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As per Jeniffer’s suggestion, the Board of Directors is currently compiling an SDWEG style guide to make use of our new logo (seen at the top of this email) and help direct our own branding strategy moving forward.

Via:: San Diego Writers Editors Guild


SD/PEN Invites SDWEG For Networking

By sdwegwebmaster

SDWEG logoJune 15 (Thursday, 7:00 pm)The San Diego Professional Editors Network (SD/PEN) is hosting an evening of networking, food, and fun for editors and writers at the San Diego County Health Services Complex.

All editorial and writing professionals are invited to come with business cards in hand to meet like-minded language lovers, share success stories, and build relationships (professional and personal) – all in a room filled with friendly colleagues. This is an opportunity for editors and writers at different stages in the publishing chain to market their skills to those who need them. SD/PEN has extended a special invitation to members of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild (SDWEG).

The cost is free to SD/PEN and SDWEG members and only $10.00 for nonmembers. The evening will include snacks, beverages, networking activities, and door prizes.

RSVP via email to pr@sdpen.com no later than Monday, June 12.

Via:: San Diego Writers Editors Guild


Eight-Week Challenge: Preparation 4

By Sandra Yeaman

Write More

My fourth 2017 eight-week challenge goal is

  • Write at least 500 words per day at least five days each week.

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading and very little writing. I blame the Goodreads challenge. Last year my goal was to read 50 books. That was so easy I met the goal before the end of August. So this year I set 75 books as my goal. Well, we’ve just dipped our toes into June and I’m only eight books short of completing my challenge.

For the remainder of the Goodreads challenge, my goal is to read books that relate to my major work-in-progress: a memoir of my two-plus years in Iran. That’s one strategy for getting me back on track with the memoir.

Last year I reviewed most of the books I read, to keep up the habit of writing. I began this year with good intentions, but few of the 67 books I’ve read so far have prompted me to write a review. I give out stars on Goodreads, but not much else. Writing up reviews of the more memorable books is a strategy for establishing better writing habits.

One new project for me this year is to encourage a group of women connected with my Sons of Norway lodge to write about their growing up years. We met this morning and I gave them an exercise to get them thinking. Our group doesn’t meet during the summer, but I promised (some may think I threatened) to send them writing prompts periodically during the summer to keep up the remembering. I wouldn’t dare send out a prompt without putting together my own thoughts to share. That’s my third strategy for improving my habit of writing.

And my last strategy: I pledge to share some of the wisdom I glean from all those magazines I will be reading. After that, I’ll be sharing the magazines themselves with my read-and-critique group, friends I think might be interested in them, or I’ll leave them in the doctors’ offices my husband and I seem to spend too much time in these days.

Via:: Sandra Yeaman


Upcoming Events

By sdwegwebmaster

  • June 15: SD/PEN hosts their annual networking event from 7 to 8:30 PM, at the San Diego County Health Services Complex (the same location as our SDWEG meetings). Attendance is free for SDWEG and SD/PEN members. There will be snacks, drawings, and games for prizes. To help them plan the amount of food and beverages to provide, please RSVP to info@sdpen.com by Monday, June 12.
  • June 20: SD Memoir Showcase is accepting monologue submissions, to be performed by North Coast Rep in October, through today. For more information, see http://www.sandiegowriters.org/2017-0615-submissions-for-the-memoir-showcase-2017/.
  • July 1: Deadline for submissions to this year’s edition of The Guilded Pen. For more information, see https://sdwritersguild.org/anthology-2/.

Via:: San Diego Writers Editors Guild


10th Annual Good Read Essay Contest

By sdwegwebmaster

What was the happiest moment of your life?

Enter Real Simple‘s 10th annual Good Read Essay Contest and you could have your essay published in Real Simple and receive a prize of $3,000.

Submit your essay starting on Monday, May 22 at 12:01 A.M. EST.

Real Simple Good Read Contest Rules:

1. How to enter: This contest began at 12:01 A.M. Eastern Time (ET) on May 22, 2017, and ends at 11:59 P.M. ET on September 18, 2017.

To enter online submit your typed, double-spaced submission (1,500 words maximum in a Microsoft Word document) at realsimple.com/goodreadcontest.

To enter via postal mail, submit your essay by mailing your entry to Essay Contest, Real Simple, 225 Liberty Street, 9th floor, New York, NY 10281.

Entries must be postmarked no later than September 18, 2017, and received no later than September 25, 2017.

Limit one entry per person or e-mail account.

Essays should be submitted in English at a maximum of 1,500 words and typed and double-spaced on 8½-by-11-inch paper. Essays exceeding this length or handwritten may not be considered.

Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, or incomplete entries, postage-due mail, or entries not received for any reason. Entries will not be acknowledged or returned.

By entering, Entrant warrants that his or her entry (1) is original and does not infringe the intellectual-property rights of any third party, (2) has not been published in any medium, and (3) has not won an award.

2. Judging: Entries will be judged by Real Simple editors and contributors on the following criteria: originality (25 percent), creativity (25 percent), use of language (25 percent), and appropriateness to contest theme (25 percent).

All submitted essays must be nonfiction.

Incomplete and/or inaccurate entries and entries not complying with all rules are subject to disqualification.

Decisions of judges are final and binding.

The winner will be notified by telephone and/or e-mail after January 8, 2018. Names of winners will also be published in the April 2018 issue of Real Simple.

3. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 19 or older at the time of entry (“Entrant(s)”). Void where prohibited by law. Employees of Sponsor and its promotional partners and their respective parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries and participating advertising and promotion agencies (including members of their immediate family and/or those living in the same household of each such employee) are not eligible.

4. Prize description: The first-place winner will receive $3,000. ALL TAXES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER. The prize is awarded without warranty, express or implied, of any kind. THE PRIZE IS NOT TRANSFERABLE.

5. Conditions of participation: All the required legal language and additional details can be found on the Real Simple website.

The Sponsor of this Contest is Time Inc. Media Solutions, 225 Liberty Street.

Via:: San Diego Writers Editors Guild


Eight-Week Challenge: Preparation 3

By Sandra Yeaman

The magazine backlog

My third 2017 eight-week challenge goal is

  • Spend one day a week reading the backlog of magazines sitting on the end table.

My real goal is to eliminate the backlog so that means reading at least 4 magazines a week, even if it takes more than one day of reading.

In preparation for the challenge, I piled all the unread magazines into groups by title and identified those which no longer have value because the events in them are in the past. This culling step did not eliminate magazines simply because the issue date is in the past. The majority of the magazines I receive contain information of enduring value. I also discovered more unread magazines than the 45 I knew were in the pile. After recycling those I knew I would not read, I was able to reduce the number 59 to 35. Remaining in my magazine stack:

  • 5 AARP magazines or bulletins. These publications contain tips for seniors, especially regarding trends where fraudsters target seniors. Getting through these 5 publications shouldn’t take more than a week.
  • 7 Foreign Service Journal. Reading this monthly publication from the American Foreign Service Association sometimes seems like work. So I put it off. Repeatedly. When I finally get around to these, I skim most of the articles, taking very little time. But then guilt sets in. In spite of my retired status, I feel I should take more of an interest in international relations. Especially since our president seems not to care. I should be immersing myself in the finer points of our country’s relationships with other nations. No matter what, I will attempt to read one issue from this group each week of the challenge.
  • 1 Romance Writers Report. A friend shared this magazine with me to help me understand the requirements of romance novels. I don’t think this is a genre I will likely tackle, though romance fiction is among the most frequently purchased, at least in the United States.
  • 2 Toastmasters magazines. The monthly publication of Toastmasters International contains news of the international organization with informative articles on leadership and communication. Since Toastmasters will be introducing a revised educational program over the course of the next year, I need to read these magazines, even if they are months old, in order to understand the transition from the current system to the new Pathways system. The magazines are no more than 30 pages. Reading articles of interest will take no longer than one evening. The few remaining in my stack of the unread is an indication that I usually read them as soon as they arrive.
  • 7 The Sun. One of my favorite magazines. It has no ads. Every page is full of intellectually stimulating content. Essays. Poetry. Photography. Short stories. And the monthly “Readers Write” column. I want to read every word in them, and that’s why they get set aside. I know it will take me a full day to get through the entire issue. Once I finish them, I pass them on to members of my read-and-critique group. It’s my goal to read at least one of these magazines each week.
  • 4 Viking magazines. The monthly magazine of Sons of Norway contains useful travel information as well as historical, cultural, and educational articles about Norway. I hope to travel to Norway in 2018. Reading these remainders will take no more than an evening or two.
  • 1 Westways magazine. The June issue remains. Any other issues of this magazine went out during the culling since the contents are time-sensitive.
  • 7 Writer’s Digest. Another publication jam-packed with important information relevant to my journey as a writer.
  • 1 Writers’ Journal. The same friend who shared Romance Writers Report shared this magazine with me. I haven’t even opened it yet.

Via:: Sandra Yeaman