Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: #mainstreetwriters

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…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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

#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 :-)

~~~~~~~~~
Read more posts about Main Street Writers…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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

#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.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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

#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.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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

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:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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