Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: #mainstreetwriters

Latest News about the #MainStreetWriters Movement


I must begin this post with a “Prologue” <— something actually hated by some writers
Main Street Writers Movement

If you get bored at any point in this prologue, just scroll down to And, Now The News

You see, this blog has way more visitors from Google searches than from folks who sign up to Follow it.

And, while I have a natural inclination to “favor” the folks who have opened a space in their digital life that let’s this blog in, I also “favor” folks who just happen to drop by because the words they put in Google search happen to be what I’ve used as Tags in my posts.

So, many days, I sit here and weigh the “relative” “value” of speaking to the “fans” or speaking to the “most-welcome-visitors”…

Yep, I just used a bunch of quoted words and I have to, because I don’t “favor” anyone who might read my blog posts—that would be kind of like favoring your family but telling all others they must obey the family “rules”; or, favoring all visitors at the expense of family…

All these words to say something I’ve said multiple times here with must less fanfare…

I tag my posts with keywords that “describe” the contents (somewhat…).

And, for the sake of “posterity” I have a Top Tags widget down a ways in the left side-bar (hang on dear subscribed family and thank you for your infinite patience...)

That Top Tags widget could also be called a Tag Cloud—basically a place to see keywords that guide you toward groups of posts that have some “similarity”—tags with larger font having more posts in the collection…

Some folks might even call the Top Tags widget a Research Tool—there are now more than 1,900 posts on this blog, all tagged and grouped in that widget

O.K., almost done with the dreaded Prologue…

This post will be tagged with “Main Street Writers Movement” and this post will now also refer folks to the Tag “Main Street Writers Movement“; plus, this post will be in that archive…

Yes, I know I may have lost some readers over that prologue; but, some of the family may have forgotten the “value” sitting in the Top Tags Widget; and, some visitors from Google search may become members of the family :-)

And, Now The News

Main Street Writers Movement, itself, may be news to some of you; so, here’s the elevator description:

“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.”

And, here’s who should consider aligning with this new Movement:

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

I do hope you’ll explore all the posts about Main Street Writers Movement; but, if you like what this post has to say, you can Sign Up Here (No Cost)…

The enterprising novelist, award-winning journalist, editor, knitter, and Founder of MSWM is, Laura Stanfill, publisher of Forest Avenue Press.

Here are some of Laura’s comments from a recent email conversation… Main Street Writers Movement

On her current schedule:

“I’ve been quiet on Twitter lately, and summers are always a mish-mosh of trying to get things done between kid camp hours. I’m determined to have a summer with my kids this time instead of working through it while they play…. And I’m revising my own novel for an agent—very exciting but I’m doing my best to balance everything…. Main Street is still cooking but I think the next big push will be this fall.”

And, about the monthly MSWM Newsletter:

“A newsletter is coming out this week; it’s written, I just need to click send.”

About a major article that will soon appear:

“The next Main Street article will be in the Independent Book Publishers Association magazine, I think next month, featuring two Main Street members in Michigan interviewing each other about the movement and the importance of building local community. I’m really excited because it’s the first piece of publicity that came organically from the movement, instead of me sending out information.”

Main Street Writers Movement Then, there’s what she’s going to be doing, In Person, to spread the Movement:

“The next tradeshow I’ll do where I am actively signing people up will be the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association in October—all booksellers and librarians, but they totally fit our mission—and then Wordstock in November. I expect good boosts of numbers and visibility at both of those festivals.”

Finally, there are some details of what’s happening with an upcoming Major Video Interview:

“He has the footage back from the videographers now but wants to add “B roll” of filming here in Portland, with a few other editors and authors, before he turns it into a viewable mini documentary. I think it’s going to be amazing. His questions were great. He’s doing a series of these—one with a bookseller, one with a publisher (me), and one with a reading series/literary magazine collective.”

So…

Stay Tuned for more News about #MainStreetWriters and, in the meantime, Consider Signing Up
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“These are scary and uncertain times…” ~ “What’s a writer’s calling…”


These are scary and uncertain times... ~ What's a writer's calling...

Image courtesy of Antonio Jiménez Alonso ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/Capgros-58778

One week ago, I published a post called “Words Are My Matter” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin.

I’ve been reading that book and can recommend it to all Readers, Writers, and Publishers…

The other day, I got to a particular essay that had these words:

“Where am I to find strength and hope in this world? In my work, in trying to write well. What’s a writer’s calling, now or at any time? To write, to try to write well. What work will make a difference? Well-made work, honest work, writing well written. And how might we create a community of purpose? I can’t say.”

The thoughts in that essay are explored by Maria Popova in her article, Inner Preacher vs. Inner Teacher: Ursula K. Le Guin on Meaning Beyond Message and the Primary Responsibility of the Artist.

Le Guin wrote it a number of years ago and the words I quoted up there reminded me of the import of a relatively new “community of purpose” called Main Street Writers Movement—which is actually for “Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

The Founder of that Movement, a publisher in the state of Oregon, wrote what I can consider an answer to Le Guin’s words, “…how might we create a community of purpose?” — the publisher said:

“These are scary and uncertain times, but we must continue to use our voices and to listen to our neighbors’ words. By signing this pledge, you’ll become an official member of the Main Street Writers Movement, earning you access to literary community building tools, industry insights, and connections with #mainstreetwriters who are creating new opportunities in their cities. We’ll send you a newsletter once a month with ways to get involved and ideas to make a difference….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.”

Obviously, some folks wouldn’t see important connections between a highly-celebrated writer’s words and the words of an Indie publisher…

Yet, there are two things I’m certain of:

1. Reading Words Are My Matter will give you the mental and emotional tools to decide what readers, writers, and publishers need in these times…

2. Joining the Main Street Writers Movement will help you gain a sense of Community which could help inspire readers, writers, and publishers to accomplish what is needed in these times…

One other thing I’m sure of is that reading Le Guin’s other essay, Staying Awake ~ Notes on the alleged decline of reading, could help you find, in yourself, the motivation to read Words Are My Matter and join Main Street Writers Movement
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The New Wave of Healing in the Dark Times . . .


We live in dark times; and, if you feel your life is completely sunny and care-free, you really should make videos about how you keep the dogs-of-malevolence at bay; then, share them widely so the rest of us wouldn’t have to suffer so much…

We live in dark times; and, I assume that most of the folks who are reading this engage in some form of art—painting, singing, playing music, dancing, sculpting, writing, and so forth…

However, this blog focuses on Reading, Writing, and Publishing; so, if you don’t write or publish, I’m fairly sure you read, right?

So…

What’s with that rather hippie-like title up there, The New Wave of Healing in the Dark Times . . .?

The simplest way for me to explain myself is to point toward that blue link up towards the top of the left side-bar that says, Main Street Writers Movement, then share a quote from the Founder of that movement; plus, share another quote from a post two days ago called, Dystopia & Apocalypse ~ Two Seemingly Immortal Genres . . .

Quote from the Founder of the Main Street Writers Movement:

“These are scary and uncertain times, but we must continue to use our voices and to listen to our neighbors’ words….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.”

Now, the quote from that past post (and, I can safely say that, even if you’ve already read it, it bears re-reading...):

This is your assignment.

Feel all the things. Feel the hard things. The inexplicable things, the things that make you disavow humanity’s capacity for redemption. Feel all the maddening paradoxes. Feel overwhelmed, crazy. Feel uncertain. Feel angry. Feel afraid. Feel powerless. Feel frozen. And then FOCUS.

Pick up your pen. Pick up your paintbrush. Pick up your damn chin. Put your two calloused hands on the turntables, in the clay, on the strings. Get behind the camera. Look for that pinprick of light. Look for the truth (yes, it is a thing—it still exists.)

Focus on that light. Enlarge it. Reveal the fierce urgency of now. Reveal how shattered we are, how capable of being repaired. But don’t lament the break. Nothing new would be built if things were never broken. A wise man once said: there’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. Get after that light.

This is your assignment.

D’ya get the idea?

I’ll boil it down a bit:

If you have even a scrap of creativity, realize that it is Light.

Please…

Cast your Light as far as you can!

We all need more Light

BTW, if you take this link, you can get a poster with the “This is your assignment” Credo…
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#MainStreetWriters Founded by Persevering Publisher


This is my seventh post about the Main Street Writers Movement <— that link goes to the main post with All the details… 

Main Street Writers Movement

Click this Image to find out How to Join…

One quick and important quote from the Movement:

It’s for “writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

And, joining gets you the newsletter as well as, “…earning you access to literary community building tools, industry insights, and connections with #mainstreetwriters who are creating new opportunities in their cities.”

Laura Stanfill - Forest Avenue Press

Laura Stanfill – Forest Avenue Press

I’m going to share a bit from the second newsletter (yes, the Movement is new…); but, I thought a quote about the Founder, publisher Laura Stanfill, would let you know more about the impetus behind this phenomenon:

“…Laura Stanfill, defies natural law with her energy and presence at literary events, and seems able to balance (and savor) the beauties of business, motherhood and art…I’ve watched her take the women-powered Portland press to national distribution, each act of business done with sterling quality and panache.”

Leigh Anne Kranz

 

So, the second newsletter for MSWM had some sharing from this powerhouse publisher under the title, Who Recharges You? Who Catches You?:

“Main Street Writers Movement launched last month in Washington, D.C., during the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. When I returned to Portland, I crashed. Really hard….My freakout wasn’t much different than those really tough writing days when putting a few words together feels futile, when a project feels too complicated, too big, too risky.”

Then, after she talks about her friend who helped her recover, she says this:

“If I’m exhausted or doubtful or on deadline, and if I can’t mentor everyone who asks, it’s okay, because when Main Street Writers Movement launched last month, it stopped being exclusively mine. You’re here too. Lots of us are here. We have members in Michigan, Colorado, California, New York, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Utah, Missouri, Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and London, and new members keep joining each week.”

She also says:

“I’m on the faculty of the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Publishing University, April 7-8, in Portland, Oregon, so come say hello if you’re in attendance!”

And, if you can’t go, you can still join Main Street Writers Movement :-)

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Read more posts about Main Street Writers…
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Grab A Free Novel…
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#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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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