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Add your name, genre and link to our members list.   Click on the Members tab at top of this page.


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If you would like to see your name and genre listed here with the Pocatello Writers Group, perhaps along with a link to your author’s website, or your blog or magazine, or even a link to your book selling out on Amazon, click on the MEMBERS tab at top of this page and leave your request for the admin.  We must do all we can to promote one another’s writing.

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Thanks to Charity, Trish, Chris, Nicholas, Andrea, Ralph, and Judy for their readings at our park picnic and for making our annual outdoor event an enjoyable success.

If anyone has a suggestion or request for a topic to cover at the August 18th or any other upcoming meeting, please click on the AGENDA tab at  top of this page and leave a message in the “Reply To” comments at the bottom of the Agenda page. While there, you can also volunteer to facilitate, lead a discussion, or read your work for any month on the schedule. The admin will see your post and add you to the list.

For fun don’t forget to join our open Facebook group where we hang out and socialize with fellow authors between meetings:

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A couple of members today asked about some resources for memoir writing and blogging, so here goes:

Good Memoir Books:

The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again by Sven Birkerts. If you think a memoir must be written in chronological fashion, think again. This book delves into just how memoir writers can juggle events in time — which often results in more drama and a much better memoir.

Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir by Sue Silverman. One of the best overall books on the subject. Sue demystifies memoir writing with her down-to-earth and knowledgable approach. Great exercises at the end of each chapter, many that helped me work through issues in my own writing, and she even includes pieces throughout the book, plus a terrific reading list at the end. A must have for anyone in the genre.

I’ve also heard good things about Zinsser’s Writing About Your Life, but haven’t read it yet. I am a huge fan of his On Writing Well, an indispensable guide for any nonfiction writer.

UPDATE: Also don’t forget a copy of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers — no matter what genre you write,  this book will teach you how to strengthen your own writing and stay away from mistakes that will mark your manuscript as “amateur.” Keep in mind, too, that memoir draws on the same techniques as fiction, and this will offer insight into using those fiction techniques to your advantage.

On Blogging:

There are a lot of free resources out there on the Internet — I could spend hours listing them (do a search on “how to start blogging”). But if you truly struggle with the subject or feel lost, they may not provide much help. So do yourself a favor and get your hands on one of these books.

Blogging for Dummies. This is the 2012 version, and by the looks of the Amazon reviews, should be a fantastic guide on the subject.

Blogging Like a Pro. Also looks like a great resource based on the reviews.

UPDATE: Cheryl Lyda mentioned you can see how she moved her book into a blog form at: http://walkingpocatello.blogspot.com,

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This year the Idaho Writers League is holding their annual conference in Pocatello at the Clarion Inn.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

To get program details, costs, and registration form, visit the league’s website at http://www.idahowritersleague.com. They have special fees for partial attendees, with or without meals.

The writers conference will start off at 9am Friday morning with some good motivational speakers. You will be able to choose among several workshops to attend throughout the rest of Friday and Saturday. This is a great chance to meet a visiting publisher and other experts, as well as chat with fellow writers of all genres over luncheon and the banquet.

They mentioned having a bookstore, if you want to bring your published books to sell.  If you need more info about that, or have questions beyond the website info, contact the IWL Pocatello Chapter coordinators: LaDean Messenger at 237-9289, email ladeanm@cableone.net or Alice Dunn at 238-7547, email delphicden@aol.com.

A good turnout will look good for the writing community in Pocatello.

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How can you use the Internet to support your writing? Here are some of my own ideas:


Online, there’s no genre left unwritten. Thanks to the proliferation of blogs, groups and forums, it has never been easier to connect with people in your own genre.

And it’s probably one of the best things you could do for your writing career. For example, after I joined the Travel Memoir Writers group (now on Facebook, started by Alexis Grant), I discovered that many literary agents actually treat memoir like fiction, and thus require the entire manuscript to be completed. This is COMPLETELY different from other nonfiction works, where you normally just do a book proposal. And, actually, to make it even more confusing, some agents want both a proposal AND a manuscript.

We have also done some online critiquing — by e-mail — which has been super-helpful!

How do you find these groups? Sometimes you can find them through major blogs within your genre, sometimes through a quick and dirty search in Google or Facebook or even Twitter.

Understanding the Publishing Industry

Before the Internet and the rise of blogging, the publishing industry was almost as mysterious as the vast cosmos itself. But nowadays, industry insiders have stepped up to give writers the scoop on what they’re looking for — in the form of blogs and guest articles and more.

There are a lot of voices out there, but here are a few you can start with:

Editorial Ass. While Moon Rat closed up shop on this one several months ago, her blog is still a rich repository about all things publishing, from landing an agent to working with an editor.

Guide to Literary Agents Blog. The definitive blog on all things agents. It’s also a fantastic place to discover newly minted agents, who are hungry to represent new writers. Additionally, they have a literary agent database, and a blogroll brimming with even more agent and publishing related websites.

Nathan Bransford. A long-time literary agent, now author and tech industry worker. But he still delivers some of the best insights out there into the world of agents and publishing.

Query Shark. An agent dissects real queries sent in by authors.

The Book Deal. Written by Alan Rinzler, a consulting editor and veteran in the industry, this blog covers everything from the craft of writing to publishing.

Writer Unboxed. One of my favorite blogs, “all about the craft and business of genre fiction.” (UPDATE)


Here are some helpful websites to keep in your writer’s toolbox:

Poets and Writers Magazine. Not only a great magazine, but also offers an online directory of literary magazines you can submit to.

Newpages. Another directory of literary magazines, with a blog introducing the latest and greatest new mags.

Wordhustler. This site helps writers submit to literary mags, but also has a searchable directory.

Writer’s Market Online Database. Like the Writer’s Market book, but now a searchable online database.

Writing Prompt Generator. Not sure where to start writing? This site offers a random prompt to get those creative juices flowing.

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Hi Fellow Writers,

With the cold front coming in and November upon us, there’s never been a better time to pick up that pencil — or laptop — to create the story of your dreams. Especially since November is National Novel Writing Month. Need that extra boost to start your novel? Check out their website to learn more.

I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again — Idaho Magazine has a fiction contest. Deadline is January 31, so what are you waiting for?

Also, interested in being part of Critique Group? Basically, it works like this — everyone takes turns critiquing each others’ written work, usually a chapter at a time (or whatever the group deems appropriate). Groups like this often get formed around certain genre, but ultimately, as long as you like to read each others’ work, it can work just fine too. If you’re interested, leave a comment to let us know.

So what’s coming up November 20? We have Cheryl Lyda, who self-published, coming to talk about the writing process. What is your writing process? What has worked for you in the past? I hope you’ll come and share your own ideas, and be ready to discuss.

As always, we have three 15-minute slots available for reading your work. Just be sure to bring in around 10 copies to share. Larry, you didn’t finish last time, perhaps you’d like to sign up this time around to continue?

Look forward to seeing everyone on November 20, 4-6pm at Marshall Public Library! And, as always, happy writing.

UPDATE: Almost forgot — thank you to Alice Kane for providing the DVD for our last meeting! Sorry for the delay in mentioning you, Alice!

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