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Our next Writing Workshop Workshop is on Sunday, June 30, at Olive’s on Ludlow in Clifton’s old gaslight district in Cincinnati, Ohio. We officially gather at 2 p.m., but if you want to take advantage of Olive’s breakfast buffet, get there by 1:30! We need to be done by 5 p.m., so the first 10 people to get there and sign up will get to read.

The group is a great mix of people in many genres and subgenres: memoir, fiction, poetry, nonfiction. If you’re a newbie, you’re more than welcome to just attend and soak up the atmosphere, if you like. Or if you want to read, bring seven minutes’ worth of reading and $5 for the kitty (meow). Bring more money if you intend to eat. :-)

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In the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to three friends about where they go for feedback on their writing. Their answers were different, just as they are different. One is enrolled in an online class, and the other two are in several writing relationships. One way to get feedback, of course, is through the Writing Workshop Workshop at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 21, at Olive’s on Ludlow. Continue Reading »

We had a great Writing Workshop Workshop yesterday at Olive’s on Ludlow! In addition to our old regulars, we had a “new” regular show up and welcomed back a long-absent face to the fold. Even better, the long-absent face was accompanied by the rest of her body, too. She’s been busy while she’s been away and has self-published the first installment of her work using Lulu.

Our next meeting will be on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Please feel free to invite friends. Just drop me a note to let me know how many to expect!

If you’re looking for a welcoming group of writers with whom you can share your writing and get a good, gentle (but honest) critique, please join us at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, at Olive’s on Ludlow in Clifton. All genres are welcome!

Bring about seven minutes’ worth of material to read and $5 for the kitty. (Come early if you want to enjoy Olive’s breakfast buffet.)

See you Sunday!

Want to know more about us? Check out these links:

The Arts of Being Critiqued and Critiquing Other People’s Writing

Where Do We Learn to Criticize Others?
(Please note that the dates in that last one are from previous years.)

Attention writers! Are you looking for a place to share your writing? A great bunch of people from whom you can get insightful, constructive criticism? A really good hamburger or vegetarian dish? Then please join us on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. at Olive’s on Ludlow.

Bring $5 for the kitty and more for your tummy, and about seven minutes’ worth of writing to share. Or you can just bring your ears if you’d like to sit in on a meeting before you venture into reading your own work. Either way, we’d like to see you there!

At one time, it was easy to figure out who the self-publishing companies were. They were called vanity presses, and people paid them large amounts of money to get small amounts of books to distribute to their closest friends and family members.

 

Then the self-publishing world exploded and in so doing became a little more respectable. Unfortunately, along with that came a bunch of companies that took advantage of writers who were unfamiliar with how to get published traditionally, who were too impatient to climb up the rungs of traditional publishing, who wanted to control their own publishing process, or (yes) who had written something that wasn’t ready for publication but wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

 

Self-publishing can be the perfect answer for people whose books are of interest to a limited audience or who want to be able to control the entire experience, but you need to do your homework when choosing the company that’s going to help you do that. (If you want a sickening look at the dregs of this industry, read Ten Percent of Nothing: The Case of the Literary Agent from Hell by former FBI agent Jim Fisher.)

 

After a while, it was still somewhat easy to tell who the self-publishing companies were. It became difficult when the less ethical companies changed names once they got a bad rep among writers. For example, did you know that AuthorHouse used to be 1st Books? Well, it turns out that Author Solutions owns a lot of the less-than-savory self-publishing companies: iUniverse, Trafford, AuthorHouse, xLibris. Many of us relied on sites like Preditors and Editors to keep track of who was on 1st and what they were calling themselves now.

 

Now the plot sickens. Simon & Schuster has entered the self-publishing business. And they’re partnering with Author Solutions to do it. David Gaughran describes it all in Simon & Schuster Joins Forces With Author Solutions To Rip Off Writers.

 

I have to say that I’m not going to think of S&S the same way again. It would be as if I’d found out that Women Writing for a Change had acquired Hustler.

 

There are many respectable self-publishing companies out there, like Orange Frazer Press Custom Books and Queen V Publishing. Author Solutions just isn’t one of them.

Hey writers! If you’re a beginner looking for a nurturing environment in which to share your writing, or you’re a seasoned professional looking for a new source of feedback, please consider joining us. We’ll be at Olive’s on Ludlow at 2:00. Bring about seven minutes’ worth of material to read, $5 for the kitty, and more money if you plan to eat.

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