January 2021 Newsletter

Fred Fitzsimmons

President

December left me with a head filled with happy memories and excited with anticipation of what the new year can bring. It's true the pandemic altered the way my family typically enjoys our December religious festivities, the other joyous activities throughout the month, and the warmth of our family gatherings, but we found ways to compensate.    

   We also embraced December 31, New Year's Eve day, as we moved into our new condo. Our excitement over beginning a new lifestyle bubbled over like the bottle of champagne we uncorked to celebrate the event. It was marvelous!
 
   Our thoughts spilled over in anticipation of receiving our COVID-19 vaccine immunization early in the new year and the hoped-for resultant mediation of the pandemic. We were emotionally comforted imagining the psychic and financial relief soon to be felt by millions of individuals and businesses desperately in need when government relief funding finally finds its way to them. We feasted on the positive thought of a potential explosive economic expansion across America as the pandemic subsides, and we felt tantalized by the offerings provided by the outstanding OCWW workshop calendar for the new year. 

   No doubt the economic gains will be uneven, and not nearly every American or every business will share the benefits. But conditions will significantly improve from where we currently stand. Still, it will take years to achieve a semblance of normalization of life as we used to know it. Scores of retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses will not have the resources to withstand collapse, and great numbers of families will have lost their homes or face eviction. However, we are a resilient population who will find a way to rebound. 

   My recommendation for a New Year's resolution, if you are looking for one, is it's time we all start to think about the favorable situation we face ahead and not dwell on the harsh realities of what the pandemic has rent. Projecting a national positive outlook attitude will go a long way toward helping to influence positive outcomes. Let's each do our part in spreading that positive attitude. 

   While at it, like me, you might also consider being less polite and politically correct toward bad actors. Let's confront non-mask wearers and tell them, "Stop being so selfish and unAmerican. If you don't care about your health, that's your prerogative, but don't compromise the rest of us."

   In closing, please accept my heartfelt good wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

Stay safe and be well,
           

Fred

PLAN AHEAD

OCWW Manuscript Critique Info and Deadlines 2020-2021

One of the outstanding benefits of being an OCWW member is the opportunity to have your work critiqued by some of our highly qualified speakers. To check if a speaker is accepting manuscripts please scroll down to the list below. 

For all Speakers, unless otherwise indicated. Manuscripts should be sent as an attachment to email: ocww.info@gmail.com. Please make the email subject OCWW Manuscript. Manuscripts should be in Word, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font with one-inch margins, pages numbered, and name on the front or in the header.  They should be received and paid for no later than 2 weeks before the workshop. Your manuscript critique will be returned by email the evening before or on the day of the speaker’s session.

  PLEASE NOTE: Different speakers may have additional requirements or guidelines for manuscript submission. See the event description below for complete details.

Mandatory $10 Speaker Session Fees:

In addition to the manuscript critique fee, a single $10 session fee is required to submit a manuscript for an OCWW speaker’s critique. This $10 fee pays for the attendance of the session; this fee is due even if the member does not attend the speaker’s session.

Speaker’s Critique Fee:

 $3 per page, with a 20 page maximum. *Please note there is a $15 minimum (even if you submit less than 5 pages) *

How to Pay for Your Critique:

Once your manuscript is received, you will be sent an invoice to allow for quick and easy online payment. Manuscripts cannot be passed on to the speaker without advance payment. Payment must be received at least two weeks before the workshop. Contact ocww.info@gmail.com if you haven't received your invoice.

PLAN AHEAD TO SUBMIT TO OCWW CONTESTS AND TO GET FEEDBACK ON YOUR WRITING

Manuscript Critique and Contest Info and Deadlines 2021

Manuscript Critiques and Contests are for 2020-2021 OCWW members only

Contests are Free to Enter!

For all Speakers, unless otherwise indicated. Manuscripts and Contest Submissions should be sent as an attachment to email: ocww.info@gmail.com . Please make the email subject OCWW Manuscript. Manuscripts and Contest Submissions should be in Word, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font with one inch margins, pages numbered, and name on the front or in the header.  They should be received and paid for no later than 2 weeks before the workshop. Your manuscript critique will be returned by email the evening before or the day of the speaker’s session. Contest winners will be announced at the session (of the judge). 

PLEASE NOTE: Different speakers may have additional requirements or guidelines for manuscript submission. See the event description below for complete details.

3.  Mandatory $10 Speaker Session Fees for Critique and Contests:

In addition to the manuscript critique fee, a single $10 session fee is required to submit a manuscript for an OCWW speaker’s critique. This $10 fee pays for the attendance of the session; this fee is due even if the member does not attend the speaker’s session. 

4.  Speaker’s Critique Fee:

$3 per page, with a 20-page maximum. *Please note there is a $15 minimum (even if you submit less than 5 pages) *

5.  How to Pay for Your Critique:

Once your manuscript is received, you will be sent an invoice to allow for quick and easy online payment. Manuscripts cannot be passed on to the speaker without advance payment. Payment must be received at least two weeks before the workshop. contact ocww.info@gmail.com if you haven't received your invoice. 

All OCWW Contests are member only and FREE to enter! 

Deadline            Details

January 14       Mary Ruth Clarke will judge the Compelling Scene Contest Members only and free submission. Maximum 6 pages, less is better.  Do not write your name on the submission.

                         Winners will have their Scenes acted out by professional actors.  All submissions will receive written feedback

                         Submission criteria: Comedy, Drama, Dramedy Plays, Screenplays, Teleplays.
                         Aim for no more than 3 characters (but no worries if there are more).

How to format a play:  Here’s the formatting criteria for the Dramatists Guild: https://www.dramatistsguild.com/script-formats

How to format a screenplay or teleplay?  Here’s a good guide:  https://screenwriting.io/what-is-standard-screenplay-format/ 
(especially the link to John August’s site).

January 20          Saba Sulaiman Will critique up to 15 single-page, single-spaced query letters on a first-come basis

January 20          Terri Bischoff will accept up to 15 twenty-page manuscripts on a first-come basis

February 4          Nadine Kenney Johnstone will accept manuscripts for critique.

February 11        John McCarthy will accept poetry and prose for critique.

February 25         Ian Belknap will accept manuscripts for critique in fiction and nonfiction.  

March 11             Kathleen Rooney will judge a 500-word Short Short Contest. 
                           (Members only and free). Do not write your name on the submission.

                            First Prize:       Full 2020 Subscription to Rose Metal Press

                            Second Prize:  Signed copy of Rose Metal Press Spring Book 

                           Third Prize:      Rose Metal Press Spring Book

April 29               Zach Martin will accept manuscripts for critique.

May 6                 Jennifer Solheim will accept manuscripts for critique.



Susan Monshaw, a newish member of OCWW, is thrilled to report that her travel article, “Treasure Hunting in St. Tropez,” will appear in the spring issue of the American In Britain magazine, along with her photographs. This is the second piece to be published there, the first was also a travel story about visiting Cornwall in England.

Marcia J. Pradzinski has a poem published on December 16 on the Highland Park Poetry Facebook page, and at http://www.highlandparkpoetry.org/home.htm in the Daily Poems Plus link. She has also posted it on her Facebook timeline.
Kelsay Books has accepted her poetry manuscript for publication in 2021.
She won second place for an ekphrastic poem in Poets & Patrons 2020 contest, and an honorable mention for another poem in the ISPS contest.   

       

Ivy Sundell  writes that she has put author-artist interviews with Beth DeSchryver and Linda Buyer on Facebook and Instagram under crowwoodspublishing,  especially She especially likes for people to follow her on Instagram if they use the app. The Facebook page link is https://www.facebook.com/crowwoodspublishing

The Instagram link is https://www.instagram.com/crowwoodspublishing/

She adds that she is having a 15% discount for Visions of Life 2 on her website, crowwoodspublishing.com, during the holidays.

 

No matter the weather, Julie Isaacson wears many hats. As a writer, she's been exploring many opportunities to explore her passion after her 45-year career in education. Now as a teacher in private practice, she guides young children into literary success and high schoolers to become empowered to write to their voice and purpose. As a storyteller, she relates personal experiences with a universal sense and sensibility. One example is shortstorytheatre.com which has now become an in-home source of entertainment. 

Julie is the author of The Angry Chef: Satisfying Recipes Inspired by Unsatisfying Relationships.  

The Angry Chef: Satisfying Recipes Inspired by Unsatisfying Relationships - Romantic Edition (Volume 1) and 

The Angry Chef: Satisfying Recipes Inspired by Unsatisfying Relationships - Friends & Family Edition (Volume 2).

While she doesn't share a recipe for making lemonade from lemons, her cookbooks find humor in you-can't-make-this-stuff-up scenarios! She has received honors for poetry in contests and submissions spanning several years in the Muses' Gallery on highlandparkpoetry.org and is a regular contributor and Board Member of eastoncentral.org where her poetry and short stories appear in the annual Journal of Arts and Letters. Submissions for all writers and artists are open now through March 1 for the next edition. 

Julie was recently the recipient of Honorable Mention for her poem “The Beating in Your Eardrums” dedicated to First Responders in a contest sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society, where she is a new member. 

MEMBER NEWS TO SHARE?

We want to share your good news about publications and other honors. Send them, along with JPGs of you and your publication, to:

newsletter4occw@gmail.com. The deadline for each issue is the 20th of month before. Please keep your news short (less than 100 words if possible) and write them in the third person. No PDFs please.

Membership Is a Bargain

An old saying states that guests, like fish, begin to smell after three day. While we’d never suggest that about any of our guests, what’s true is that at just three sessions, guests to Off Campus Writers’ workshops pay more than the sum cost of the $40 membership and the $10 member fees.

Save money—join Off Campus Writers.

There are a lot more benefits to membership. In addition to the lower per-session fee of $10, OCWW membership entitles you to:

 Opportunities for manuscript critiques by speakers (using our manuscript submission guidelines)

 The chance to join an OCWW critique group.

 Opportunities to build your writing network

 Join a fun, interesting, skill-building committee

 Check out books from our extensive lending library when we return to live programming.

 Share information about your publications and speaking events with other members at sessions and through our monthly newsletter.

 Add your book cover to our Buy Member Books section on our OCWW website where it will be linked to purchase at Indiebound.

 Enter OCWW Writing Contests

Also new this year is a lower price for students to attend our sessions. We offer a free discounted student membership with discounted session fees at $5 per session. Students must send verification of their student status. Please contact Claudia Katz at ckatz17755@aol.com for details.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AND POSITION CONTACTS

Volunteer To Assist with Transactions using membership software. Computer skills needed. 1 - 2 hours per month. Contact:
ocww.info@gmail.com

Volunteer Coordinator to help us identify members willing to manage a variety of volunteer projects currently in need of help. Contact: Paco Aramburu Pacoargent@gmail.com  

Volunteer to Help with the Tee Shirt/Sweatshirt Fundraiser. Computer skills needed. 1 - 2 hours per month. Contact:
ocww.info@gmail.com

Virtual Meetings Point Person to run some of the scheduled workshops. We have 38 sessions every year, and that’s too many for any one person to handle. Contact: Susan Levi, 2012susanlevi@gmail.com

Instagram Guru/Volunteer to set up and post to an OCWW instagram account. Contact: ocww.info@gmail.com

Volunteer to Assist Treasurer and Membership Data using Excel software. Must have familiarity with Excel. 2 to 3 hours a month. Contact: ocww.info@gmail.com


OUR PARTNERS

MIDLAND AUTHORS presents

Writing and Publishing Children’s Books

 

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

Social half hour; 6:30-7 pm

Panel discussion: 7-8:15 pm

(Central time)

Free, open to the public

No registration needed

Via Zoom, link to:

https://bit.ly/3qvYTcK

  Kate Hannigan,  Moderator,  A Lady Has the Floor

Hannigan writes fiction and nonfiction for young readers, including Cape and Mask in the historical fantasy series The League of Secret Heroes, and the Golden Kite Award-winning historical fiction The Detective's Assistant. Her picture book biography A Lady Has the Floor was a Society of Midland Authors honoree.

 Claudia Guadalupe-Martinez Not a Bean

“Martinez reveals the hidden secrets of the legendary Mexican jumping bean in her picture-book debut. Much like the seed pod’s concealed cargo, this informational picture book packs plenty of facts and learning into a thoroughly entertaining package. Engaging and fun, as all learning should be.” — Kirkus Reviews

  Patrick McBriarty,  Drawbridges Open and Close

“As a kid, I always loved books that explained a concept I didn’t fully grasp when I first saw it. Drawbridges is one of those books…a great book for those who want to understand the world they encounter.” — Michael Higdon, Retail Manager at the National Building Museum

 Eileen Meyer,  The Superlative A. Lincoln: Poems about our 16th President

“These 19 poems demythologize A. Lincoln. An excellent use of language and recognizable rhyme schemes make this title a wonderful teaching tool for the classroom. ­VERDICT: A good example of how poetry can also inform. Highly recommended for elementary schools and public libraries.” — School Library Journal

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For more information, contact events chair Greg Borzo: (312) 636-8968; gregborzo54@gmail.com

Many of us have books published in Amazon, where they languish for a long time due to the lack of reviews. We'd like to help.

We have created a Google Doc listing our members' Amazon-published books.

Feel free to add yourself to the list. Leave the name of the author, the name of the book and the URL of your book in Amazon.

If you take advantage of this opportunity, please make sure you read and review other OCWW authors. Fair is fair.


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620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093

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