Digging for Words

One writer's quest to bring the past to life through imagination


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Now this is “my” blog

Digging with WordsSince the beginning, this blog has been “The Writers Circle”. But as many of you know, The Writers Circle has taken on a life of its own. I thought it high time to claim this space for me as a writer – a novelist. I’m calling it “Digging for Words: One writer’s quest to bring the past alive through imagination”. And though these days my time is consumed with running our workshops and all the business-y nonsense of keeping TWC alive and well, I am still and will continue working on my novel, bit by bit.

When I have something to share, like that very fun news about being on Mankind that I announced the other day, I’ll do it here. And eventually, when I have a moment to write about MY WRITING above and beyond the role I’ve grown into as a teacher and director of The Writers Circle, this’ll be the place.

Now, off to write for real!

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Pitchapalooza coming to Words Maplewood

As an addendum to my last post, I just heard from Words Bookstore in Maplewood that Pitchapalooza is coming on October 27. You can get all the details at Pitchapalooza’s site, but here’s a brief intro to what they do. I hear from friends that their events are well worth a visit.
Words Maplewood
“Five years ago, we created an event that has drawn thousands of people into bookstores, writing conferences and book festivals all over the country. It’s called Pitchapalooza, the American Idol for books (only without Simon) and it works like this: Anyone with an idea for a book has the chance to pitch it to a panel of judges. But they get only one minute. Eckstut and Sterry team up with two guest industry insiders to form the judging panel. The Judges critique everything from idea to style to potential in the marketplace and much, much more. Whether potential authors pitch themselves, or simply listen to trained professionals critique each presentation, Pitchapaloozas are educational and entertaining for one and all. All attendees come away with concrete advice on how to improve their pitch as well as a greater understanding of the ins and outs of the publishing industry.

“At the end of each Pitchapalooza, the judges come together to pick a winner. The winner receives a half hour consultation with Eckstut and Sterry. From Miami to Portland, from LA to NYC, and many stops along the way, Pitchapaloozas have consistently drawn standing-room-only crowds, press and blog coverage, and the kind of bookstore buzz reserved for celebrity authors.”


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Great Speakers, Great Events, Great Opportunities

Check out these great happenings at The Writers Circle and in our broader, connected creative circles.

First, we’re officially launching our monthly Writers Circle Speaker Series with a talk that goes beyond writing to all aspects of creative thinking.
The Writers Circle Speaker Series
Join me and TWC Associate Director Michelle Cameron on October 2, 2-4PM for “Tapping into Creativity” at Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange. We’ll be talking about how to bring creative thinking to the classroom, the workplace, and yes, into your own creative work, with hands-on exercises that will challenge your imagination. Tickets are $25/session if pre-registered, $35 at the door, and only $20/session for TWC students and parents (former and current). Students should’ve gotten an email with the discount code, but if you didn’t, just let us know. Register online and, while you’re at it, check out the entire schedule of ten great events. (It’s only $150 for all 10 sessions!)

Second, my good friend, novelist Christina Baker-Kline, shares this terrific mini-retreat for creative women. (Sorry, guys. I’ll find something for you next time!)

Rejuvenate Your Writing Life!
mini-retreat logo
A Restorative Mini-Retreat for Creative Women

with authors Christina Baker Kline and Deborah Siegel
Friday, November 4, 9:30am – 3:30pm, Montclair, New Jersey

This one’s not just for writers. As Christina says, “it’s for anyone who may have a story (or stories) inside but needs a little inspiration and encouragement.” Christina and Deborah are both professional writing mothers who believe that writing is vital — even when it has to happen in the crevices of our lives. (How true!) They held this workshop in Park Slope, Brooklyn this spring with wonderful results. Find out more at Christina’s blog and take advantage of these great women’s wisdom and a day of creative community.

Finally, this from one of the participants at my workshop at the Maywood Library last week. Katie O’Connell writes:

“I have a website, SocialJersey.com which is an event listing site and blog for young northern NJ professionals in their 20s and 30s. I’m updating the site and would like to update it monthly with new content. If you are interested in gaining clips, please email: SocialJerseyEditor@gmail.com.

Thanks, everyone, for spreading the word, sharing the talent and networking around. Now get to writing! I promise I’ll have something substantive to contemplate in the next post. Till then, see you at The Writers Circle.


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Backspace’s Stet! Reposts “The Times They Are a-Changin’”

Just thought I’d share another lovely repost of one of my recent blog entries.

The Times They Are a-Changin’” is today’s featured article on Backspace’s Stet! blog.

Check out Backspace: the Writers Space. It’s another great community for writers that I’m privileged to be connected with.


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Upcoming Events for Writers

This just in from the Adult Programs Coordinator at the Livingston Public Library:

The public is invited to “What’s Happening to my Newspaper?” with Star-Ledger columnist Kathleen O’Brien, who will share her observations on the current state of newspaper publishing. This presentation will be held 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13th at the library. Admission is free and no registration is required.

Kathleen O’Brien has worked at The Star-Ledger as a columnist and reporter since 1996, where her writing has been recognized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the American Association of Feature Editors, the National Headliner Awards, The Front Page Awards, the New Jersey Press Association, and the Garden State Association of Black Journalists.

She began her career on a Selectric typewriter, and now narrates videos and maintains two blogs. One, called “We’ll Know More on Monday,” chronicles her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. She’s a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She comes from a newspaper family; her father was an editor at The Detroit News. She’s married to a journalist, and has one daughter.

And my friend, author Christina Baker Kline shares this great writing workshop she’s doing for Mother’s Day. (Sorry, guys. This one’s for women only):

Rejuvenate Your Writing Life! A Restorative Mini-Retreat for Writing Mamas
with authors Christina Baker Kline and Deborah Siegel of SheWrites.com
Saturday, May 21, 9:30am – 3:30pm, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
53 Prospect Park West (near the 2/3, F, Q, B)

What do you need to turn your writing dream into a reality?

You spend your days taking care of other people’s needs. This May, give yourself a Mother’s Day gift of time and space for contemplation and creativity. Think of it as a spa treatment for your mind.

Maybe you’ve kept a private journal and dream of starting a blog. Maybe you have an idea for a memoir. Or maybe you just want to start writing and don’t yet know the form. Chances are, if you’re a mother and trying to write, your greatest obstacle is time. Whether you’re at the idea stage or further along, we’ll help you get to the next level not only in your writing, but in your writing life.

Christina and Deborah are two professional writing mamas who believe that writing is vital—even when it has to happen in the crevices of our lives. In this beautiful setting we’ll combine strategies for how to fit writing into your everyday life with concrete exercises and feedback designed to get your creative juices flowing. We’ll provide a stimulating and pampering combination of workshops and advice, group conversations with other writer-mothers, one-on-one consultations, inspiring writing prompts, and Q&As. You’ll leave at the end of the day with fresh ideas and insights, pages of new writing, concrete goals for your writing and your life – and a sense of community, something no writing mama should be without.

This day-long gift-to-self includes a delicious lunch, healthy snacks, caffeine (and caffeine-free) drinks … and of course – chocolate. Cost: $175 ($195 after May 1). Space is limited. Register early to save a spot!