January 2017 Meeting +

When – Saturday, January 21 at 1 PM

Where – Cardinal Cafe, downtown Stillman Valley

Discussion Topic: Short Story Submissions & Formatting

Some writers consider themselves novelists only; others believe their work is more suited to writing short—stories, poems, profound journals, light humor. The truth is, even if you’re a novelist you can learn a lot from writing short works. Doing so is intense; limited space forces you to measure every word and action. This month we’re going to jump ahead a little and explore how getting a short story/poem/anecdote published works and how doing so can build an author’s platform. This process is part of both goal setting and getting legs under you that will be noted by the next editor or agent you approach.

Pre-meeting Reading – This month’s articles are focused on general information. Some of you are doubtless already familiar with this information; others may not be. We’ll address some of this in the meeting and connect it to our seminar challenge. Click to read:

Get your head–and words–in the game!  Avoid Submission Mistakes
Formatting a fiction manuscript: Proper Manuscript Format by Shunn
Formatting poetry submissions: Poem Format by Shunn
What is an author’s platform? A Definition, What All the Fuss is About

Short Story Seminar Breakdown

Part 2 Details:
Part 1 asked you to work out the following: 
Main Characters, Main Conflict, Central Event or Moment, and Setting. For Part 2, focus on developing an outline of the main story movements or actions based on those part 1 elements. Your outline can be formal, informal, a paragraph–whatever works best for you. Your goal here is to create a summary of your pending story in a progressive manner that you can use as a contemplation vehicle and guide as you begin to write. Consider what we’ve read and talked about that’s important in a short story as you craft this important step. (If you need a refresher on any of these items, refer back to the invitation email with links and information. Poets and journalists, remember that these exercises can help you too; consider the information and adapt to your area of interest…and go for it!) Submission deadline for Part 2 is February 11.

  • Write a short story, practicing what we discuss in the seminar segments, beginning with basic elements and culminating with a workable, strong story draft. Through the coming months, OWLS will guide you through the short story development and creation process with relevant articles, meeting discussions, and feedback. We’ll help you set reasonable goals, hold you accountable, and offer support along the way. When the seminar series is complete, you’ll have a story/poem/anecdote worthy of final polish, and with some determination, the potential for submission to contests, journals, and anthology calls–or at least the experience and methods to do it all again with a specific purpose in mind.
  • Not a short story writer? read on…
  • Whether you’re recording life’s anecdotes through journaling, composing epic poems, or feeling determined to write a great American short story, you can benefit from this seminar series. We mention journaling and poetry here, alongside fiction, because all types of writers will take away an important understanding of the “short writing” process and gain insight into what makes short-anything appeal to readers and wow them in the end.
  • Missed the deadline for Part 1? No worries! Check your in box for the email inviting you to participate and jump in any time. Then, get determined and hit the part 2 deadline. You can do it! Start 2017 the write way.