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Monday, January 11, 2010

Special Writer's Night - M.M. Buckner

LWC has added this event as a special meeting for our group. Mark the date on your calendars -

Barnes and Noble Writers Night will be held Thursday, January 28, 7:00 PM at the Cool Springs store. The guest speaker will be M. M. Buckner, science fiction writer and author of several novels. She was listed in B&N Top Ten for Science Fiction books of 2009.
Web site for M.M. Buckner:

M. M. Buckner (Mary M. Buckner) is a U.S. science fiction author specializing in hard science fiction, and also an environmental activist. Her third novel, War Surf, won the 2005 Philip K. Dick Award for best novel of the year, and her first novel Hyperthought was nominated in 2003. Buckner studied English at Memphis State University and earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University. She worked as marketing vice president for a financial firm before her work earned two Diamond Addy Awards. Afterwards, she devoted herself mainly to writing.[1] Her novels include Hyperthought, Neurolink and War Surf (all published by Ace). Twice, she has been interviewed on the podcast The Future And You: first in December 2005 concerning global warming and then in May 2006, shortly after winning the Philip K. Dick Award, to describe the experience. She is married to Jack Lyle and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

*All of the above information was shared by Kathy Rhodes, President of Council for the Written Word in Franklin Tennessee.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Agent Profile - Noah Lukeman

If there is such a thing as an agent groupie, I'd probably consider myself a Noah Lukeman groupie. His advice is invaluable in the literary world. He goes beyond the common sense approach and addresses writers' issues from a unique and fresh perspective.

Lukeman offers free advice regularly through his blog Ask a Literary Agent. You can also link to it at any time through our "Publishing Blogs" on the Living Writers Collective blog side bar. On Lukeman's blog, readers ask questions through the comment function and he creates his blog posts based on those questions. Here's a recent question:

"Mr. Lukeman, If I have a debut literary/historical novel that's 110K... is this too long? What would this word count mean to agents and editors and how would it affect my chances of representation/publication?"

Click here to read Lukeman's response.

You can also sign up for Lukeman's monthly newsletter and download his entire book How to Write a Great Query Letter - both free - on his blog site.

I was first introducted to Lukeman through his book The First Five Pages. I wouldn't have even considered myself a serious beginner writer at the time, and this book was one of the tools that inspired me to take the next step and move beyond hobby writer. It was written on my level, and as I read I thought "Hey, I can do this."

Last night, I was browsing the book store and came across another of his books The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life. I would consider this a bit more advanced (still, an important tool for all levels of writers), but if you are already in the throes of writing a novel or have a manuscript you want to polish or if you want to write a novel, get this book. It contains advanced techniques on characterization, conflict, the journey, transendency, suspense, and context. It spends the first three chapters on characterization (the foundation of every book - the biggest piece that can make or break a novel). It's a small book - maybe 5X7 - no chit chat, just the important stuff. I was so enthralled with it, I sat down in the floor at BAM and lost myself in the book - stopping after about 30 minutes only because I had somewhere else to be. I made a mental note to place it on my next Amazon order.

As I browsed Amazon, I ran across another of his books I plan to pick up A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation. I haven't looked through this one, but since it is a Lukeman, I am confident it will have plenty to offer me.

This does not exhaust the list of Lukeman's educational materials, but this will give you a start. I warn you - once you start reading Lukeman's advice, you may become a groupie, like me.

Posted By: Karen Aldridge

Monday, January 4, 2010

Let's Get Serious About Writing

Why not declare 2010 your year to get serious about writing? Attending LWC meetings would be a great place to get started. I want to challenge you to create writing goals and action plans. These will give you a vision and help keep you on track.

When creating writing goals, be realistic but be sure to challenge yourself as well. If you work full time and have three children, writing a novel, looking for freelance work, and writing a short story each month may not be realistic. But writing and submitting one short story each month might be realistic and challenging. If you are a stay-at-home mom and your kids are in school, now would be a great time to create a detailed and challenging goal list and start working toward publication and/or a career in writing. If you are a student who wants to pursue a writing career, your door is wide open - choose courses that will feed your writing plans and pat yourself on the back for getting started on this journey early in life.

Everyone - use our writers group, Living Writers Collective, to provide support and inspiration as you begin or continue your writing journey. I wandered across a great writing web site that you all may be interested in. You can visit it for daily writing tips or have it e-mailed to you. I have it e-mailed, and I get a great and unique writing tip each day. Check it out:

If you are not on our e-mail list, e-mail us at to receive meeting reminders, meeting changes, and newsletters.

2010 Meeting Dates

All of our meetings are scheduled at 7:00 p.m. Our Critique Sessions are the first Thursday of every month. Our Creative Writing Sessions are the third Thursday of every month. Here is a list of the of 2010 meeting dates (subject to change with notice):

Jan. 14 - Critique Session (rescheduled from 1/7 canceled date)
Jan. 21 - Creative Writing Session
Jan. 28 - Special Meeting - Click here for details.
Feb. 4 - Critique Session
Feb. 18 - Creative Writing Session
Mar. 4 - Critique Session
Mar. 18 - Creative Writing Session
Apr. 1 - Critique Session
Apr. 15 - Creative Writing Session
May 6 - Critique Session
May 20 - Creative Writing Session
June 3 - Critique Session
June 17 - Creative Writing Session
July 1 - Critique Session
July 15 - Creative Writing Session
Aug. 5 - Critique Session
Aug. 12 - Webinar (Professional critique session)
Aug. 19 - Creative Writing Session
Aug. 26 - Webinar (Building an online writing platform)
Sept. 2 - Critique Session
Sept. 9 - Webinar (Professional critique session)
Sept. 16 - Creative Writing Session
Sept. 23 - Webinar (Organization for the freelance writer)
Sept. 30 - 5th Thursday meeting (topic TBA)
Oct. 7 - Critique Session
Oct. 21 - Creative Writing Session
Nov. 4 - Critique Session
Nov. 13 - Fall Feast at 6:00 P.M. at Eric Gannon's House
Nov. 18 - Creative Writing Session
Dec. 2 - Critique Session
Dec. 18 - Creative Writing Session

Occasionally we may call a special meeting for contest submission preparation or write-ins or a variety of other reasons. I will let you know as soon as possible when we do this so you can prepare.

If you are not on our e-mail list, e-mail us at to recieve meeting reminders, meeting changes, and newsletters.