Deadline for entries is July 31.
***Check out our Events Page for the full details***
Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00 PM in the Union County Community Arts Building, 120 N. Main St., Monroe, NC. Bring a one page selection of your work for a reading with a twist.
Darrell McCoy - President
Carolyn Elkins - Vice-President
Joan Gauker - Secretary
Barbara Johns - Treasurer
This year marks the 20th anniversary of our club. From its start as an idea by a group of individuals who believe there were literary talent in the county until today, the club as served that purpose. Over the years, we have seen membership up and down but always the spark has remained. There has been projects and activities sponsored by the club. This year we will again sponsor a summer youth poetry contest that will become an annual event.
The club has published three anthologies, sponsored literary contests for short fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. It had helped local authors get published by establishing a writing press with ISBN numbers. Annual literary events have brought in notable authors such as Ron Rash and Robert Morgan. In a word, the club whether large or small, has been active.
Let us continue this tradition going forward for another 20 years.
January is the month we pay our annual club dues. Regular membership is $20.00 and senior (65 and over) is $15.00. Make checks payable to the Union County Writers Club.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a writer? Many people do. Personal computers with word processors have made that dream possible for almost anyone. All you need is a computer or some paper and a pencil, and a passion for the written word.
Sure you want to write, but do you want to be a writer? The difference between writing and being a writer is about the same difference as going fishing and becoming a fisherman, or golfing and joining the PGA. No amount of talent or passion can take the place of hard work in writing.
The Union County Writers' Club is a group of people who both write and want to become writers. If that is your dream, we would love to help you get started. But before you set out to become a writer, here is some things you ought to keep in mind.
* Do not quit your day job. Most people have no idea how many people are just like them. It is estimated that for every non-fiction manuscript accepted by a publisher, more than two hundered are not. For fiction manuscripts, the number jumps to five hundred. The majority of books that do become published will lose money. Only a handful of people manage to make a living as freelance writers.
* Get use to disappointment. Due to the enormous volume of manuscripts, it can be many months before you hear back from a publisher. Expect to go through dozens, if not hundreds, of publishing houses and agents before you do. Hemmingway papered his office walls with rejections slips. Even the best writers receive rejection letters. They are not personal; they are part of the business of writing.
* Do your homework. Publishers have different ways of handling unsolicited manuscripts. Some mail them back unopened or throw them away. Other publishers will only receive query letters, while others want to see a chapter or two.
How do you find out what a publisher wants? Simple. You ask them. Usually, you can find their requirements on their websites. Others will send their rules when you write for them, just make sure to include a stamped, self-address envelope. Also, make sure what kind of books a publisher wants. They may specialize in only one genre and others will not be considered.
* Keep your notes from English 101. Publishers will not consider manuscripts which are sloppily written or contain poor spelling or grammar. If you are serious about publishing, it is a good idea to give it to a professional proofreader and editor before you send it off the first time.
* Go to conferences. Consider attending professional writers' conferences. Publishers and agents often go to these looking for promising work. You will meet actual professional writers and see how the business really works. You can also get valuable assistance and feed back from a writers club such as The Union County Writers' Club and from joining critique groups of fellow writers.
* Consider alternative publishing. Now for the good news. There are other ways of getting in print. Considered self-publishing or electronic publishing. In self-publishing, you pay a company to print your work. The publicity is all up to you. E-publishing is a promising new option. It costs very little to put a book in a form that can be read with book readers (Kindle), computers, or mobile devices.
Whether or not you publish, writing, it is worth the effort. What you say and think is important, so start writing. Remember your most important audience is yourself.
by Billy Fleming
Do you have that unfinished novel stuck in a drawer or storage closet? Have you ever wanted to write down your life story or special memories for your children to read and cherish? A recent survey shows that 79% of Americans have that dream to write a story or book, but they never do. Most do not know how to get started.
One way is to read books on writing that can be checked out at the local branch of your county's library. There are plenty of inspirational books that give tips on writing techniques on many genres, such as Christian to romance, non-fiction to fiction. Another way is to engage in writing seminars and workshops sponsored by local academic institutions. Most are offered in the spring. Again, even the public library offers authors' lectures or short writing workshops. Just contact these institutions for information. Another way is to seek advice and gain knowledge on writing your story from people who have the same interest.
Of the above three avenues, the third is the easiest to obtain. For the last 15 years, Union County has had a writers' club that offers free advice on writing and publishing with a place to meet with other writers, professional and novice, even other aspiring writers. All in the area are welcomed. The club's mission is to offer the people of Union County a way to obtain and share its members' knowledge of and their love for writing. Again, you do not have to be a writer to be a member. The club meets the third Tuesday of each month from 7PM to 9PM in the Union County Community Arts Council Building in Downtown Monroe and is open to the public.
You might be that person who wants to write, but not at that point in your plan. At the UCWC you have the place to get started; you have no excuses to put it off any longer.
by Robert Hinson
Ezines, e-newsletter, e-e-e-yikes! How can anybody handle all of the new forms of media in addition to the traditional favorites? It can be an overwhelming experience and before you know it, it is taking up way too much precious time. Well, here is my take on it.
The beauty of the electronic form through the Internet is that it gives far more opportunities for writers without power to express themselves and therefore may give you something more specific to your tastes to read.
Still, if you desire more than the simplest of opinion pieces, the credibilty of these sources of information may be questionable; so you want to do some research. Research? Doesn't that take a lot of time? Maybe, maybe not.
Start with a directory. Free or by subscription, these offer a “one-stop” way to locate what interests you. Often in addition to a brief description of the material, they will provide links to preview or learn even more about what you would receive. Sometimes, a free sample can be viewed or downloaded. Plus, you can check the source's credentials and length of time it has been in publication.
Consult an online library. You don't have to be registered to take a look or put an interest in a search field. Here is an example-- www.thefreelibrary.com. You will find some unique ezines there as well as other things, but one great aspect of this type of environment is you can return anytime on your time; you are in control. No one will contact you to renew or offer other stuff. Also, when you tire of one magazine, you can try another-- free.
Try an online search engine using several key terms to narrow and represent your interest. For example, “Christian education for children ezine (or magazine)” or “Trucks rigs jobs ezine (or magazine)” or “Backyard bird watchers e-newsletter”. Put in that form, you will get fewer results that are more pointed in the desired direction. Give these a try and discover new reading material you will enjoy and help omit the rest of the clutter.
by Nancy Bezant