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CONTENTS OF THE JANUARY ISSUE

Writers' Night OUT! - Monday, January 16

Writers' Night IN! - Monday, January 23

Our Iconic Annual Book Party - Sunday, February 5

Have You Published a Book in 2022?

Taking Time to Be Brief

A Tale of Self-Publishing Success: E.L. James

Grants Available to Low-Income Writers

Open Mic Every Thursday

Calling All Book Authors! Tune-In Tuesdays

Kudos

Upcoming Events

Spread Your News on the Update and Our Website!

WRITERS' NIGHT OUT

MONDAY, JANUARY 16 @ 6:00-8:00 P.M.

730 TAVERN, CENTRAL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE


Come join the National Writers Union, Boston Chapter, for another fun night of socializing and discussing the writing life. We can celebrate MLK, Jr. Day, and the New Year, and the beauty of the written word. Come to the 730 Tavern in Central Square on Monday to meet your fellow writers, and enjoy the camaraderie.


Please contact Shannon O’Connor to RSVP. 

WRITERS' NIGHT IN

MONDAY, JANUARY 23 @ 5:30-6:30 P.M.


For those of us who like to stay warm in the winter, this is the event we can't miss! Please join your Writers Union colleagues (non-member friends welcome) in a casual virtual conversation about what you're working on, reading, watching, or whatever. We always have a good time and learn from each other.


For the Zoom link, please contact Charles Coe.


Hope you can join us...

Your NWU-Boston Steering Committee


OUR ICONIC ANNUAL BOOK PARTY

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2023

2:00-5:00 P.M. ON ZOOM


Be sure to make time to join us for our renowned annual book party, in which we celebrate our members who have published books (in any format) in 2022.


Our keynote speaker will be Christopher Castellani, perhaps best known as the artistic director of the prominent creative writing center Grub Street. Chris is also the author of several prize-winning books and is on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Warren Wilson MFA program. Some of our 2022 published authors will also read excerpts from their books.


Our last few Zoom book parties have been a lot of fun--and you can choose your own refreshments! Can there be a better way to spend the Sunday before the Super Bowl? To request a Zoom invitation, click here or write to bostonchapter@nwu.org.



DID YOU PUBLISH A BOOK IN 2022?


If you published a book last year, send details to editor Barbara Mende for inclusion in the list on our website. If you're interested in doing a five-minute reading at the party, let Barbara know that too. And congratulations! 


TAKING TIME TO BE BRIEF

by Barbara Beckwith

 

For this month’s professional tip, I’ll share what I’ve gleaned from a long-term NWU-Boston member: “Edith Pearlman, 86, Writer Who Won Acclaim Late in life” (01/02/23 NYT obituary). Edith wrote 200+ stories and essays over 40 years that appeared largely in literary magazines, newspapers, or WBUR’s Cognoscenti. She was 60 when her first fiction collection, Vaquita, was published, followed by two more. Despite Drue Heinz, PEN/Malamud, Mary McCarthy, and National Book Critics awards, she remained largely unknown, in part because she refused to go the novel route (“I’m a miniaturist by nature” -- “life is short: art should respect that and not waste words.”) Renown came finally, at age 75, with Binocular Vision (2011) and Honeydew (2015), both fulsomely praised.


Edith believed that every word has to “earn its presence”: “A sentence often takes an hour to compose before I throw it out” (www.edithpearlman.com). “Not a comma will be discarded until the story is finished again, revised again, submitted again, finished again, revised again, submitted again and again” (The Writer). Her perspective on persistence: “of the 250-plus stories and essays I’ve published so far, only a few were taken on the first try. The others are rejection survivors” (Boston Chapter newsletter).


She saw genres as flexible: “a rejected travel piece can be peddled as a back-page essay, an unwanted humor piece can be peddled as fiction, a failed short story can be repacked as reminiscence, and the above rules are reversible” (Boston Chapter newsletter).


We differ about genre overlaps, but I feel privileged to have been one of Edith’s essay-writing buddies.


When her health declined, she gave me her treasured 1931 Thesaurus: “I recall her insistence that “buttocks don’t bounce, they jounce.” 

Whenever I inadvertently delete a first draft (as I did with this piece), I think of Edith, and calmly start over, trusting each rewriting from the start to help me find what she called “the statue in the slab.”

A TALE OF SELF-PUBLISHING SUCCESS:

E.L. JAMES

by John L. Hodge


The biggest things usually have a small beginning. How did Fifty Shades of Grey begin? With an online posting followed by a self-published eBook and a print-on-demand paperback. James first posted a story, Master of the Universe, on a fan-fiction website and later on her own website. She developed this story into a trilogy and self-published the first volume. The response was so enthusiastic that within a few months she had sold the publishing rights to Vintage Books. It was the public, not the quite critical critics, who determined the book’s success. The book has been translated into 52 languages and, along with the rest of the trilogy, has sold 165 million copies.

GRANTS AVAILABLE TO LOW-INCOME WRITERS

TO ATTEND CONFERENCES OR WORKSHOPS

 

The Boston Chapter Steering Committee is offering $100 grants to up to five NWU members in good standing. These grants are available to those who face challenging financial circumstances and would like to attend a writing conference or workshop (one of those listed below or one of your choice), or to take advantage of some other professional development opportunity.

 

If you would like to apply, or would like more information, please contact Steering Committee Chair Willie Wideman-Pleasants.

OPEN MIC EVERY THURSDAY

The NWU New York Chapter, which for many years hosted open mics at the Muhlenberg branch library, is now holding virtual open mics weekly: every Thursday from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

All writers from all genres are welcome. You can read for up to seven minutes. Just RSVP on meetup.com to view the link to join.

CALLING ALL BOOK AUTHORS! TUNE-IN TUESDAYS

FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH

Royalty, Compensation & Distribution Issues for Book Authors


Join a discussion about the most pressing issues for book authors today. Share your experience and knowledge, and advance your career, in this virtual event hosted by Book Division Chair Dan McCrory and NY Member Timothy Sheard. Planned topics for the next several sessions are listed here.


To REGISTER for the Zoom meeting program email chair Dan McCrory.


CHARLES COE is interviewed in the January issue of "Boston Literary Magazine."


The Arts Fuse published a glowing review of Places of Permanent Shade, J. KATES's recently published poetry collection.


Please send any news of a publication, award, or writing-related appearance that has already happened to editor Barbara Mende. (A piece on your own blog or website doesn't qualify.) Send 50 words or less, plus your name and a link to the publication, event, or website where readers can find more info about you or the happening. Don't send notices of work that will be published in the future. Do send news of future events, but see the "Upcoming Events" block for that.

Open Mic Every Thursday (see above)

Tune-In Tuesdays - First Tuesday of Every Month (see above)

Romancing New England: Events for Local Romance Authors and Readers

NWU-Boston Annual Book Party - Sunday, February 5

The Power of Narrative Conference (BU) - March 17-18

Second Saturdays - Wising Up Zoom Discussion Groups

Authors Guild "From Manuscript to Marketplace" series

Grub Street Workshops

"The Muse and the Marketplace" - new Grub Street series

New England Science Fiction Association

New England Science Writers Events

Writers' Conferences

Tips and Tools for Writers to Advance Their Careers

Writing Contests (curated by the Authors Guild)

More Writing Contests


SEND US NEWS OF YOUR UPCOMING READINGS, BOOK LAUNCHES, OR OTHER PUBLIC APPEARANCES. WE'LL TRY TO HELP YOU RAISE A (VIRTUAL OR IN-PERSON) CROWD.

USE THE UPDATE AND OUR WEBSITE TO SPREAD YOUR NEWS

Are you speaking or reading from your work in the near future? Do you want to publicize an event that writers would be interested in zooming in to? Can you provide a service, such as editing or indexing or publicity, for your fellow union members? Do you just want to introduce yourself to the NWU membership?

Our Boston Chapter website, which you can reach at 
nwu.org/chapters/boston/ or www.nwuboston.org, is here for you to use. Not only that, but if you send us an announcement of a specific event by the second Monday of each month, we'll try to include it in these updates.

Please send us news of any upcoming events that you'd like us to publicize, along with Zoom links or PDF posters if you have them. If you'd like to promote your services, plug your latest book, tell us about something writing-related that happened to you, or post anything else you can think of, we'll try to give it a place on the website.

And we'd love to hear from you if you'd like to contribute to these updates. Do you have information or a viewpoint on some phase of writing or publishing that you'd like to pass along? Do you have tips that you'd like to share with your fellow writers? Send them in! And don't forget, if you've published something or participated in an event or made an appearance, we'll post it under Kudos.

Send all your news for the Update and website to your webmaster.

Chair: Willie Wideman-Pleasants

Editor and Webmaster: Barbara Mende