January 2009. A new year, a new blog. This is a place for Bluestem Writers group to share our stories of how 5 writers have published 3 novels, 1 short story collection, as well as essays, in the past few years. And two of us have additional books under contract, and the other three have new novels in the works.
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Great news from Bluestem Writer Judy:
January 30, 2009
I am happy to report that I won one of two of the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Awards in my community. I submitted the first twenty pages of my novel. There is a celebration on February 1, the birthday of Langston Hughes, and I will be doing a reading along with the other winner. I am excited and honored to have received this award. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my writer’s group (and my husband!). I am indebted to them for their close readings, feedback and generous spirits.
If you do not have a writer’s group and want one, you may want to start your own, like we did. We five have all experienced writing workshops in graduate writing programs and understand boundaries and good workshop skills. In other words, our background and education in writing is compatible. It is important to respect the goals each member has for her/his own work. Besides reading and giving feedback to each other, we share information and encourage each other when we suffer setbacks, as we all do. For me, trust and personal integrity are also traits that are important in group members. It provides a safe environment to share and listen.
January 12, 2009, from Bluestem writer Judy:
Well, I haven’t gotten a thing written but I will starting tomorrow. I have writer’s group at 9:30, and before I go, I will work on reconnecting with characters that I left behind over the holidays. At 6:30 AM, I’ll take my character sketches with me to the gym and re-read them on the bike. By the time I get home, characters and scenes are ready to take form on the page. It’s a great way to multi-task.
January 5, 2009, from Bluestem writer Judy:
I am getting geared up for another year of writing. I am reading more about an omniscient narrator and close third person, the combination with which I am working. Right now I am rearranging my office so that I can see out a window. This is, of course, the most important thing I have to do today–much more important than eating, sleeping, banking or anything else I can think of except drinking coffee.