Writers’ Associations: Of Value to You??

by @AnnieDaylon 

Writers Associations Value


I am a member of three writing associations– the Federation of British Columbia Writers, the Houston Writers Guild, and the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador–all of which have proved valuable. How? Here are three examples: 

 

 1) At a recent meet up of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, I met up with a very talented artist, Loreena M. Lee who is now preparing illustrations for my upcoming picture book, THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE.

2) I entered my novel, CASTLES IN THE SAND, into a contest at the Houston Writers Guild, won the contest, and have since received the B.R.A.G. medallion for excellence in independent writing for that novel.

3) For most recent manuscript, OF SEA AND SEED, which is set in Newfoundland, I wanted an evaluation by an author/editor who wrote historical fiction in the same setting.  I have worked with editors across Canada and in the United States and am fully aware of the range of cost factors. I found exactly what I needed at a price I could afford through my membership in the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of WANL are entitled to receive a manuscript evaluation at 50% off the actual cost; the Writers Alliance pays the rest. The fees for this service are based on the number of pages in the manuscript. My manuscript is 306 pages long; the total cost, tax included, came in at about six hundred dollars. The cost to me? $300. (My membership costs me twenty-five dollars per year.)
The WANL contract promised a turnaround time of three weeks. It was actually two weeks from the day I agreed to the contract that my evaluation arrived. I received not only a fifteen page, single-spaced anecdotal evaluation but also a full version of the manuscript with Track Changes applied.

The take-away for you? Spend a little time checking out your local or national writing associations. Maybe you are a member of one or two, yet don’t know all of their offerings. You too could benefit from a meet up, a contest, or a professional critique.

Thank you to all of the above writing associations for the services they offer. A special thanks to Alison Dyer, Executive Director of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to author/editor Paul Butler for his prompt, detailed, and professional evaluation of my work.

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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Reflections on Writers’ Retreat

 

by @AnnieDaylon

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This past weekend, I took part in the 2nd Annual Federation of British Columbia Writers’ Retreat at the Rosemary Heights Retreat Centre in South Surrey, BC . Such a welcoming venue! The staff was friendly and accommodating and the food was delicious and nutritious. Each attendee had a single room with ensuite bath. The wing assigned to the group had a meeting room, a living room, a dining area, and a kitchen.  In addition, there were quiet places (both inside and out) for reflection.

So what did I do there?

I wrote. I chose the tactile approach this weekend, meaning that I printed out my three-hundred-page manuscript and took it with me. I read through it, looking for plot holes and character blips, liberally marking it up as I went along.

I attended workshops. There were three excellent presenters (Lois Peterson, Ben Nuttall-Smith, and George Opacic) and a smorgasbord of workshops: Character, Point of View, Voice, Show vs Tell, Oral Reading, Query Letters, Writing to View, and Digital Publishing.

I had a Blue Pencil Session.  I greatly appreciated seeing my manuscript through the eyes of another author: strengths glowed; weaknesses glared. (These insightful sessions were available daily. Thank you, Ben and Lois!)

I met other writers. In between sessions and at meals, we shared life experiences, suggested great reads, and tossed around writing ideas.

I reflected. I abandoned the grid in favor of a time free of distraction, a time to focus, a time to create ‘white space’ in my overworked brain. I frequented the chapel to meditate, found space to do Tai Chi, and wandered the wood path  (nothing like nature— a symphony of chickadees, the scent of pine and cedar, the sponge of mossy carpet, the vibrant green of ferns, the rustle of autumn leaves—to  bring stillness to the soul.)

This was my first writers’ retreat. I returned home with a better handle on my manuscript and new avenues to improve it.  Oh, yes. And inner peace.

Overall, a fabulous experience, one that I highly recommend!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue