January 2021 Newsletter
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,
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com if you haven't received your invoice.
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.
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.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:
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:
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram Guru/Volunteer to set up and post to an OCWW instagram account. Contact: email@example.com
Volunteer to Assist Treasurer and Membership Data using Excel software. Must have familiarity with Excel. 2 to 3 hours a month. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Free, open to the public
No registration needed
Via Zoom, link to:
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.