Charlotte Writers' Club
September Program: Clifford Garstang Presents
"Approaches to Fictional Writing" 
Award-winning fiction author Clifford Garstang will be discussing his work at the first meeting of the Charlotte Writers' Club 2014-2015 programming year. Join us on Tuesday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Providence United Methodist Church for an exciting conversation on "Approaches to Fictional Writing."

Garstang began writing fiction after a career in international law with one of the world's largest law firms and with the World Bank in Washington, DC. His first book, the story collection In an Uncharted Country (Press 53, 2009), has been described as "impeccably written, sumptuously imagined, and completely enchanting," and his second book, the novel in stories What the Zhang Boys Know (Press 53, 2012), which won the 2013 Library of Virginia Award in Fiction, was called "a wonderful and haunting book." 

In addition to degrees in Philosophy, English, Law, and Public Administration, he holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. He is the co-founder and editor of Prime Number Magazine and currently lives near Staunton, Virginia. For more information about his writing and accomplishments, click here.
Market Yourself Like a Rock Star Author
Poet and creative writing instructor Alice Osborn will offer "Market Yourself Like a Rock Star Author" on Saturday, October 18, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at Providence United Methodist Church. 

This Charlotte Writers' Club-sponsored workshop is for both published and yet-to-be published writers who need help crafting a marketing strategy for getting the word out about their books via social media networking, websites, blogs, and the good old-fashioned way with press release and media contacts. If no one knows who you are, how will they buy your book? Osborn will give tips and tricks from her own experience as a successful published writer/editor and will address publicity/marketing tips for both traditionally and self-published authors.

The cost is $25 for Charlotte Writers' Club members and $35 for non-members. To register: email or visit the Charlotte Writers' Club website, click the Donate button and indicate which workshop you will attend and whether you are a member or non-member.
Meet-A-Member: Gretchen Hummel

Quick Bio:
Gretchen Hummel is 60 years young and lives in Davidson, NC. She is originally from Denver, CO and has an MFA degree in Creative Writing and an MS degree in Psychiatric Nursing. She is currently writing full-time on a speculative fiction trilogy. Catch more of her work at or

1. What type of writing do you do? What challenges you the most and what comes naturally?
I write speculative fiction novels. I am currently finishing the second book of a trilogy, the first book is titled, Dreamer's Island. I have also written, and happily published, short stories in literary magazines. As far as what comes naturally and what doesn't, I will avoid the blank page if I can; I must have a fear of white space. But I have found the best solution for me is to never get too far away from the writing. I try to write everyday. The longer the time between writing sessions, the harder it is for me to re-engage. Once I'm engaged, sitting down, and have read over what I wrote the day before, the writing will usually come.
2. How do you cultivate inspiration for your work?
Reading has been my greatest inspiration and I believe it was my impetus to write in the first place - adoring what other writers had accomplished and thinking how wonderful it might be to be able to do the same. I also follow Julia Cameron's advice to write morning pages (3 pages of free writing) as well as her suggestion to take your artist on a weekly artist date (a date with yourself to feed your artist, such as going to a movie, a gallery, an antique store, anything artistically stimulating for you). I also believe reading books about writing can be very inspiring. Books on writing by A. Dillard, D. Brande, and A. Lamott are all very good.
3.What do you enjoy most about the Charlotte Writers' Club?
Writing is a lonely job and for me the best cure for that is rubbing shoulders with other writers and talking shop. CWC provides an invaluable service in just providing the venue for writers to get together. I also value the wide variety of programs they have presented. In addition, while I'm not in a writing critique group at the moment, I have been in many in the past and know how valuable they can be. CWC provides a great service in helping to organize these and I'm happy to know where to direct other writers when they ask me about writing groups.
4. What writing advice would you pass on to other writers?
My advice to writers would be first of all to take some writing courses early so you don't get into bad habits that are later hard to break, to join a good critique group, to write everyday, and to read voraciously. For writers that are feeling stuck with their progress, I highly recommend Julia Cameron's The Artist Way series of books.
5. In a sentence or two, what else would you like people to know about you?
I am pleased that the first book of my speculative fiction trilogy, Dreamer's Island, has won several awards. It won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Awards for genre fiction, an award I am quite pleased about as it was competing with all genres of fiction. It was also a finalist for two USA Best Book Awards in New Age and Visionary Fiction categories. Dreamer's Island is available on,, iBooks,, and others.
Know that writing project you have almost finished but don't know what to do with?

Why not enter it in our Members Prize contest?

Not a member? Let's fix that: click on this link, sign up, pay with PayPal.

Good. Now, go finish that project and click here for our entry guidelines.

Oh, and as an added benefit of membership - you have five other contests to enter throughout the year. But, since you're a member, your entry fee is reduced. Good deal, right?

Still need convincing? How about affordable programs, opportunities to read your writing at a monthly program meeting, access to a critique group, and exclusive marketing outlets for your latest achievement or publication? Members only.

Join or renew today for the 2014-2015 year!
In This Issue
Please note that all CWC programs in the 2014-2015 year will meet at: 

Providence United Methodist Church
2810 Providence Rd.

Click here for a map of the new location.
September 16
General Meeting with Fiction Writer
Clifford Garstang
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Providence UMC

September 21
CWC-North Event:
A Reading from The Widows' Handbook
2 p.m.
The Warehouse Performing Arts Center
9216-A Westmoreland Rd., Cornelius, NC

October 18
"Workshop: Market Yourself Like a Rock Star Author"
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Providence UMC

October 21
General Meeting with
Creative Nonfiction Writer Cynthia Lewis
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Providence UMC
Members Prize
October 21, 2014

For a complete listing of CWC contests, please click here.
CWC-North Writing Group Releases Book; Announces Signings
A CWC-N Group, "Thursday Morning Writers that Meet on Tuesday," announces two readings for their recently released book, Above the Fold.

Contributors Lynn Dausman, Barbara Eckroad, Caroline Kane Kenna, Tom Perkins and Sandra Philipps will be reading poems from Above the Fold on Sunday, September 28 at 2 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in Birkdale Shopping Center in Huntersville.

A book reading and signing will also be held on Sunday, October 19 at 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. at Park Road Books.

Judy Goldman, David and Grace Radavich
Judy Goldman and David and Grace Radavich are among the local writers capturing the spirit of Charlotte in 27 Views of Charlotte: The Queen City in Prose & Poetry. The book will be launched September 27 at 2 p.m. at Park Road Books.

Grace Ocasio
Grace Ocasio's first full-length poetry collection, The Speed of Our Lives, has been published and is available at Park Road Books.
Writing Prompt
Open-Ended Prompt
Write a brief scene in the third-person point of view. The specifics of the scene are entirely up to you. When you're finished, write the scene, but write it in first person. Have any new character details been revealed by writing the same scene from two different points of view?

Writer's Digest, July/August 2014 issue, p. 28
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There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are. 
~W. Somerset Maugham

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