Writers' Night In - Monday, November 15
Save the Date: Our incredible Annual Book Party
Never Doubt the Reach of a Review
Grants Available to Low-Income Writers
Spread Your News on the Update, Our Website, and Our Facebook Page!
Upcoming Events
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15 @ 5:30-6:30 P.M.

Now that the holidaze are upon us, we can look forward to hearing various versions of "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" somewhere between three and five hundred times between now and December 25th. Plus, we get to enjoy those always entertaining visits to Dante's Tenth Circle of Hell (aka your local mall parking lot).

The media keeps telling us that supply chain problems might make it hard to find stuff to buy this year. So let's be sure to appreciate what's truly important: our loved ones and friends, the acts of kindness we perform and receive (though they rarely make the evening news), and all the good people trying in spite of everything to make the world a better place. 

Another thing to enjoy is a chance to hang out at our monthly virtual "Writers' Night In," an informal, whatever's-on-your-mind chat with fellow scribes. The next one happens Monday the 15th at 5:30. 

To request a Zoom invite please click here or email Charles Coe. And please share it with your writer friends who aren't members (yet).

Hope to (virtually) see you there.
Your NWU-Boston Steering Committee

Questions? Click here.

Mark it down: Our Annual Boston Chapter Book Party is Sunday, February 7, at a time in the afternoon to be determined. The party highlights members who've had books published in the previous year and our keynote speaker will be Boston Globe journalist Renee Graham.
The party will once again be a virtual event. But let's keep our fingers crossed that in 2023 we'll be able to gather in person once more.

If you will have published a book by the end of 2021 (hard copy, paperback, or e-book; written, edited, or translated), please submit info and a short blurb on it to your webmaster. We'll publish the list on our website, which has great SEO. If you'd like to read from your 2021 book at the party, please tell your webmaster that too and we'll let you know when we're ready to choose the readers.
by J. Kates
The husband of a costume designer once threatened to punch me out because I didn't acknowledge his wife's work properly. A retired geologist who acted badly but enthusiastically in his local productions proudly posted my equivocal mention of his name — “the best work he's done all year" — on the refrigerator door, happy just to be noticed.

I've been writing music, film, book, and theater reviews for half a century, from community theater to international publications, and the principles are the same. "If you can't be kind, be clever" works until the cleverness becomes too unkind. You look for the good, but lose all credibility if you turn a blind eye to the ungood. George Bernard Shaw once wrote that people think the critic is one who hates music. No, Shaw answered, the critic loves music so passionately he can't be satisfied with less than the best.

Some reviewing demands immediate attention and a tight deadline, which can lead to silly mistakes. For one Shakespeare production, the editor failed to catch that I had called Romeo a Capulet, which kind of undermines the whole play. Oh well, what's in a name?

And sometimes deep and long consideration can lead to trouble. Once, after having written a review of a wonderful poetry book for The Village Voice, I walked into a New York bookstore to buy a copy as a gift. The bookseller exploded at me: "I sent that book back to the publisher months ago, now some asshole just reviewed it in The Voice, and three people have come in this week asking for it."

The asshole left quietly.

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 member Willie Wideman Pleasants.
MELAINE E. HALL, Ph.D., published I Wanted to Commit Suicide in August. Penned during Covid and based on a true story, it chronicles the journey of lifelong depression, deliverance, and healing.

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.

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 or, 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.

Be sure to like the NWU Boston Facebook page, and visit it often.

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.
Co-Chairs: Barbara Beckwith and Jeanne Cosmos
Editor and Webmaster: Barbara Mende