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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Southern Writers and Websites for Muggles

It's too, too easy to get caught up in the web everyday and forget to write. There are so many excellent websites and blogs that dish up brilliant updates everyday and far too many filled with repeats and general junk. Is it just me or does anyone else believe there is a secret school with a curriculum of website topics for muggles? Read one and you've read them all. Know-what-I-mean-Vern? I just had to throw in that great Southern line from the Captain of Craziness, Ernest aka Jim Varney. It works very well in situations like this, but back to the topic at hand.

The secret academy of website scholastics no doubt has a strong alumni organization because the better sites refer to each other over and over and over again, and they're all teaching/preaching from the same text. Sadly, this is causing me to hit the unsubscribe button more than I like, but there is only so much time in the day, etc. etc. etc. It's similar to one of those roundabout definitions in the dictionary, or better yet, forgetting what you were looking up in the first place when you get lost in The Chicago Manual of Style.

I'm pretty sure there was arresting information about writing shared prior to the lawsuits involving Amazon, why writers should switch from traditional to indie publishing, the reverse of that last clause, and how much money I stand to lose if I don't SEO and maximize my blogging through Google, Yahoo, etc. At least I think there was - did you forget where I started with that last sentence? See what I mean?

On to a more inspiring topic: Southern Writers. I've been exploring the writing of Mark Childress again (Crazy in Alabama, A World of Fire.

Bless his pea-picking heart, the man can write, and his momma should have given him “Pacing” as his middle name. Fraught with tension - internal and external, he takes readers on the ride of their lives through snake infested, paranormal, Bible thumping of the highest ilk. Childress can tear your heart out, stomp on it, and put it back in place without missing a step. I've got Georgia Bottoms 2012 and will step cautiously within its covers shortly after I post this. I'll let y'all know next week if it was worth the trip. I'm not takin' bets.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Writing Contests and Meetings, Scholarship, Poetry Society, Christian Writers

At the Penster's meeting yesterday, several contests and upcoming meetings were announced, and I wanted to share them with you. Mary Bird, a longtime Penster's member, left a fund to the group, which was used to fund a scholarship. It is open to graduating Baldwin County, public high school seniors.

Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or better, be accepted at an accredited university, and have a recommendation from their English teacher. Students applying must submit a letter with their application that details their career goals. A member of the Pensters will be contacting each of the seven public high schools in Baldwin County. Additional information can be obtained through the students' schools or contact Barbara Lassiter, the Chair of the Scholarship Committee, at

Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems dedicated to poets who find meaning in the nature,

accepts poems that have a vivid, concrete, descriptive imagery and insight. Contact them at for guidelines and submission criteria.

On April 27 and 28, the Alabama State Poetry Society's Poetry Fest 2012 will be held in Fairhope. Contact for fees and presentation information. Dr. Sue Walker, Alabama's Poet Laureate, will speak on "Uncreative Writing." Atlanta performance poet, Ayodele Heath, is the guest speaker.

Baldwin Writers Group will host their second conference in the "Write Tight" series on June 23, 2012 in Fairhope. Go to for registration information. The anthology will be accepting additional poetry submissions for the current contest through the end of April. Funds from the sale of the anthology go to help Nolan White and his family who lost their home and all their possessions at Christmas last year.

The Central Baldwin Christian Writers meets the first and third Mondays of each month. The May 7 feature speaker is Richard Schmidt, who will talk about "Writing: For Fun, For Ministry, and For Selling." For more information, contact Joy Sterling at 251-945-5957.

Submissions for the April MAC Contest are rolling in. Jump on the bandwagon and win a good writing book.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Writing Contest: MAC for April

Guidelines for this month's contest posted to your left. Word count is up to 130 words. Mahala