Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Forest Avenue Press

#MainStreetWriters – Joining Together to Improve the Literary Landscape


Main Street Writers Movement

Click this Image to find out How to Join…

Since I published my first and the most complete post about the Main Street Writers Movement, I’ve begun my own little campaign in my own location—Akron, OH, USA—by emailing info to the local library’s Adult Services Librarian and receiving a very positive response. I’ll be calling local bookstores, writers’ groups, and publishers next.

Actually, I’m hoping I meet someone else during this process who’s also promoting the Movement :-)

I must share that MSWM is not just for writers; it’s for “Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

So, when the founder of Main Street Writers Movement, Laura Stanfill, tweeted a link to a story in Oregon Coast Today, I knew I had to blog about it

The article was written by journalist and author, Lori Tobias, and here are a few excerpts:

“Today, for what might be the first time since Girl Scouts, I took a pledge. It involves the simple promise to join other writers in supporting each other. A given, right? Not necessarily.”

A critical comment about the lack of support when her novel was published:

“After Wander found a home, I was overwhelmed by the genuine happiness for me. But I was also sucker punched by those who claimed to share my joy, but soon bowed out of my life.”

However:

“…when Laura Stanfill…mentioned she was forming the Main Street Writers Movement to encourage other writers to support each other, I got it. As a publisher and novelist herself, Stanfill has seen what can happen to writers when the community lets them down.”

And, about the potential of the Movement:

“Stanfill launched the movement barely a month ago, but already she’s seeing the impact. When a publisher and an author, both from Ann Arbor, separately contacted Stanfill, she connected them. They are now friends and supporters of each other’s work. She’s had people take the pledge from all over the country and even as far away as London…”

Then, Lori quotes Laura:

“What I want to do is encourage writers to celebrate each other and to honor each other’s successes and efforts, so we’re all stronger and less lonely. By talking about the market and sharing stories, writers start to feel better about themselves. We are better and happier when we are allies for each other.”

If you have any interest at all, do go read the full article; and, don’t forget, this Movement is for “Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”
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#MainStreetWriters > “…a tiny writing festival steps into the big leagues”


My original article about the Main Street Writers Movement is where I explain its goals and principles and help you become a part of the Movement (there are no fees...).

Main Street Writers Movement

Click this Image to find out How to Join…

Today’s post is about an article on the Forest Avenue Press site—Main Street Writers Movement: In rural Oregon, a tiny writing festival steps into the big leagues.

Here are just a few excerpts:

“In rural Oregon, literary life tends to happen in solitude.”

“Here, writers work behind closed doors and are forced to go elsewhere for writerly conviviality.”

I just want to point out that this is being said about a town of 30,000 people. However, some folks in very large cities feel like this

“Writers here—real writers, who fill pages and tell stories and dream big—sometimes haven’t yet gotten the message that they don’t need anyone else’s permission to identify as such.”

Again, this is something many writers in large cities need to know

The Terroir Creative Writing Festival has always aimed…to bring the conversations to the people where they can access it and make it affordable to all. Yes, it’s about creating a literary community, but it is also about teaching people to value their own stories, their own processes, and to give them the tools needed to move their creativity a notch every year.”

The Terroir Creative Writing Festival honors what this particular soil has given birth to and recognizes that soil needs compost just as creativity needs its own type of fertilizer.

Do read the full article for more info on this “tiny” but interesting festival

Here’s one more excerpt for those in “small” towns—something to possibly inspire you to have your own festival (or, at least, join the Main Street Writers Movement…)

“McMinnville hosts smaller events on the literary calendar—author talks at the local Linfield College, an open mic series, a writer’s group at the library, so I don’t want to give anyone the impression that it’s some kind of creative wasteland out here. It’s not. But Terroir is the one time of year when all the writers seem to come out of the woodwork, reconnect, get inspired, and sally forth with strength and inspiration into their own projects.”

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In Honor of #InternationalWomensDay, I’m promoting Independent Publishing


International Women’s Day‘s theme for 2017 is #BeBoldForChange… 

Independent Book Publishers Association And, since this blog is about Reading, Writing, and Publishing, I firmly encourage any woman reading this post to find Empowering Literature to read, to find a place to write your most vital thoughts and feeling (privately or publicly), and to consider, if you’re already a writer; or, if you intend to be one; and/or, if you can tell a writer friend, to consider this organizationIndependent Book Publishers Association (#IBPA).

The first thing of note about IBPA is the categories of membership:

Future Publisher

Author Publisher

Independent Publisher

Publisher Partner

I’m a poor man; but, I’m considering joining—the benefits are certainly copious!

And, the way I found out about this organization was because Laura Stanfill, of Forest Avenue Press (and, the founder of the Main Street Writers Movement) will be speaking at the IBPA’s Publishing University.

So, back to International Women’s Day

There’s a book I want to recommend—The Woman Who Read Too Muchhere’s a review of the book in The Guardian.

Oh, and here’s IBPA’s YouTube channel.

And, IBPA’s TwitterFeed

And, to give you an audio/visual eperience of IBPA, here’s a video about some of what they do for members, from last year:


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Little Books Might Be the Best Solution for Promotion


When I used the word “Promotion” in the title of this post, I was thinking broadly—more in a minute… 

Scout Promotional Books

Click Image to Visit Scout Books

A little over a week ago, I published a post about the Main Street Writers Movement.

Back in January, the Independent Book Publishers Association published the article, Portland-Based Independent Press Launches a National Community-Building Writers’ Movement.

In that article, this is said:

Forest Avenue [Press] will give away a thousand notebooks created in partnership with Portland’s Scout Books and featuring a pledge for writers to sign, an action-item list, and quotes about why such a movement is necessary in these times.”

As you might have noticed, the “notebooks” mentioned are Scout Books; and, Forest Avenue Press is backing the Main Street Writers Movement

Scout Books can be 3.5 X 5 inches (each starting at about $2 {more with fancier printing options}) or 5 X 7 inches (each starting at about $3 {more with fancier printing options}); and, of course, the cost is less in quantities greater than 250 books; plus, all of them have 32 pages.

You can take the Scout Books link and explore the full potential of these little books for various promotional efforts or you can dive right into the Shop and Blog pages for idea-prompts to get you thinking about how you might use these books, like:

“…a series of nine custom notebooks to use as backer rewards for their record-breaking Kickstarter campaign….”

“…Let’s Do This! goal notebooks, filled with prompts to help you capture and achieve your goals.”

“…charming series of custom notebooks as a giveaway for their members and team….”

“Custom Scout Books make a fantastic and unique holiday gift.”

“Scout Books teamed up with Jolby & Friends to create a limited edition notebook called DRAW MORE, PLANT MORE! Best of all, we’re planting a tree for each notebook made. …”

“We Choose Hope Notebook”

“Night Writer Gift Set”

“Big Ideas Start Here Notebook”

That Shop page up there might be for you if you only want to buy some already designed books

And, if you have any interest, at all, in these Little Promotional Books, do visit Scout Books’ page of their own favorite designs

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

#MainStreetWriters ~ Moving Forward


I started promoting Main Street Writers Movement on the 12th of February with a re-blog by Roz Morris, where she said the Movement is, “…a campaign that aims to represent the work of literary writers, small presses, independent bookshops and anyone who struggles to be heard or find their audiences.” Main Street Writers Movement

The next day, I did a full-on post about Main Street Writers Movement and I urge all the following folks to go to that last link and find out what’s going on:

“Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

Since then, there’s been a post on their site from author Kate Ristau about Building Writer Relationships, which I’ll do a bit of excerpting from:

“Writing is lonely. For many of us introverts, spending the day by ourselves, sitting at a computer, maybe not even taking a shower, is . . . awesome! Am I right?”

“But occasionally, even I want to get out of my shell – to peek my head out and see what’s on the other side of my computer. And sometimes, I need more support than my dog.”

“…how do you build your own writing community? How do you find other writers and hang out with them in a not-weird way?”

She then goes on to list four ways to engage in Community…

And, if you go to their Pledge page, you’ll find this line of reasoning for forming Community:

“These are scary and uncertain times, but we must continue to use our voices and to listen to our neighbors’ words….The Main Street Writers Movement urges experienced writers to strengthen the national literary ecosystem through passionate engagement at the local level. Let’s honor and amplify our communities’ underrepresented voices. Let’s buy from local bookstores and small presses. Let’s leave our houses and dance in the streets to the sound of each other’s words.”

Plus, a few days ago, I received the first Main Street Writers Movement Newsletter, which had valuable information from a literary agent, a sharing from Laura Stanfill (Founder of the Movement), and this rousing statement:

“If you’ve been waiting for years for someone to give you permission to join the parade instead of waving your flag from the sidewalk, here’s your letter of recommendation, your megaphone, or (if you’re a pessimist) your umbrella. It’s time to get off the sidewalk. Let’s go. Let’s do this together.”

If I’ve piqued your interest in the Main Street Writers Movement, do check out my full post with all the details

I should also link to the hashtag you can follow on Twitter — #mainstreetwriters  and, if you’re in the USA, check out this site for getting in touch with folks in your neighborhood — NextDoor

Though, I truly hope folks from places other than the USA will leave a few comments on engaging in Literary Community in their own countries…

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com