Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: #mainstreetwriters

#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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#MainStreetWriters & Virtual Worlds


19 days ago I published a post that detailed the goals of the Main Street Writers Movement:Two Author Friends in The State of Writing -- Kitely

  1. To encourage my neighbor writers in the creation of art.
  1. To attend local literary events, because gathering to discuss ideas and encourage creativity is an essential and radical act in these times.
  1. To support my independent bookstore or, if I don’t have one, order direct from the publisher.
  1. To foster a healthy small press and literary magazine climate by reading new work and submitting my own.
  1. To introduce new friends to my core community, allowing us to grow louder and stronger together.
  1. To credit writers and presses publicly for their ideas, photos, and efforts, and to be genuine with praise.
  1. To celebrate every success in my community as a shared success. This is Main Street. Parades welcome.

And, to address the import of the first image up there, it shows two of my author friends (Ali Noel Vyain and Jane Watson) in the virtual world, The State of Writing, on the virtual grid Kitely.

World Portals in Virtual World Kitely We recently, thanks to the owner, author, Jane Watson, began to discuss  Main Street Writers as it relates to her Worlds.

Even though the Movement stresses local engagement, my first awareness of it was from an author in London—it seems to be going global while it establishes itself in localities

And, as far as the virtual worlds I visit, there are writers from Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, California, Germany, Australia, and the Country of Georgia (among other locations on the Earth)

In Jane’s worlds, whether we’re sitting in a cafe, climbing a mountain, taking a boat ride, hang-gliding, or walking under water, we constantly come back to talking about reading, writing, editing, publishing, and other writerly topics… Marina in State of Writing - Kitely virtual world

So, you can join Main Street Writers as a person “…who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.“

And, you can come join us writers and artists in Jane Watson’s virtual worlds.

Here are a few guidelines for entering Kitely and finding Jane’s worlds:

Go to Kitely.com and join up for free.

 Kitely works best with the Firestorm virtual world viewer—you definitely want the one that says “Opensim” in the description…

Most viewers have the Kitely grid predefined, so you can select it from a menu. For example, in Firestorm the Menu is labeled “Grid” and is located under where you enter your username and password.

When you first enter Kitely you will find yourself at the Welcome area, where can choose your first avatar.

Then, go to the Explore World Pages on the Kitely webpage and enter State of Writing in the Search Bar.

Though, you might want to visit another world of Jane’s called Avatari—you can find a bunch of different avatars there, grab as many as you want…

When you’ve logged in, find the avatar, Arton Tripsa, in search. To facilitate contact you may offer her Friendship and she’ll invite you to the Writers Island Group and, if necessary, send you some LandMarks to help you get around…

If you’re baffled by these instructions, send me an email, amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com, and I’ll have Jane contact you directly and help you enter her virtual worlds :-)

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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…
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Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Main Street Writers Movement ~~~ for: “Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.“


Main Street Writers Movement

This Movement is for, “Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.”

Yesterday, I posted a re-blog by Roz Morris about the Main Street Writers Movement.

She touched on all the top reasons to be interested, whether you’re a writer, publisher, or reader.

But, I thought I’d add my voice to Roz’s, since most of my visitors come from Google searches, meaning they could hit this post and never see Roz’s…

I’m going to share the kinds of folks you’d encounter in the Movement and their Pledge; but, I’ll clear up a small confusion first.

In Roz’s post she said, “There’s a pledge (which, alas, you can only sign if you have 5-digit zip code), but you can register separately for the blog and the newsletter.”

Laura Stanfill ~ Author & Publisher

Laura Stanfill ~ Author & Publisher

The woman behind the Movement, Laura Stanfill, of Forest Avenue Press,  has told me (in an email response):

“You ‘signed the pledge’ by filling out the form [Join The Main Street Writers Movement], which subscribed you to the monthly Main Street Writers Movement newsletter and made you a Main Street writer who has pledged to build community.”

So, there is a Pledge page; and, there is still a place to put a zip code (for those in the USA); but, Join The Main Street Writers Movement has the proper form to join the movement and pledge your efforts if you’re not in the United States.

So, here comes the Pledge:

I pledge…

  1. To encourage my neighbor writers in the creation of art.
  1. To attend local literary events, because gathering to discuss ideas and encourage creativity is an essential and radical act in these times.
  1. To support my independent bookstore or, if I don’t have one, order direct from the publisher.
  1. To foster a healthy small press and literary magazine climate by reading new work and submitting my own.
  1. To introduce new friends to my core community, allowing us to grow louder and stronger together.
  1. To credit writers and presses publicly for their ideas, photos, and efforts, and to be genuine with praise.
  1. To celebrate every success in my community as a shared success. This is Main Street. Parades welcome.

Are those things you can pledge?

Are those things you can let others know about?

Once again, you can “sign the Pledge“, if you’re in the U.S.A.; or, do essentially the same thing if you’re outside the U.S.A., by filling out the form <— right there; which 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.”

Is the Pledge talking about things we need?

I certainly think so; and, Laura’s reasons are powerful:

“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.”

So…

Do check out all the links I’ve shared; and, even if you’re not a writer, you can still join; and, even if you’re not in the U.S.A., you can still join ( Roz Morris said, “Laura’s vision is for a number of hubs around the US with live events and networking, but if you’re not one of her geographical neighbours, don’t be put off. Wherever your desk is (I’m waving to you from London), we can blog, tweet, share, meet IRL (heavens!). And support each other to do what we must do.”)

So…

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.”

And, toward the bottom of this page on the site, there are more detailed descriptions of the Who (which I will now truncate; but, urge you to go read in their glorious fullness…):

“Writers whose voices are underrepresented”…

“Introverted writers”…

“Writers who have spent five or more years working on the craft and are frustrated”…

“Established writers”…

“go-to writers”…

“Debut authors”…

“Angry writers”…

“Feeling-ignored writers”…

“Writers who are tired of writing fluffy reviews about books they don’t particularly like due to a sense of obligation”…

“Those who are tired of staring at screens”…

“The writers who start podcasts and reading series, create publishing houses and literary magazines, volunteer for literary organizations, and those who stay up-to-date on the industry”…

“Publishers, agents, editors, and publicists”…

“Indie booksellers”…

“Readers”…

Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.

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