Writing Clubs

The first part of this article was published on the Green Money Publications website on 06/06/2017. Here is the continuation. 

success - go get it

Writing Clubs

Part Two

 The Business Side

As you are seeking to publish professionally, each member needs to bring an agreed monthly financial contribution to every meeting. They may, for example, pay in five dollars or five pounds at each session. The money accrued goes to the running of the club and eventual publication. Remember, this is a co-operative venture designed to develop writers and to help them publish their work and bring it to the attention of the wider world. You need to bear the following in mind:

  1. Monthly contributions should be affordable to all even if this means some writers, such as students and pensioners, paying less.
  2. Stick to the same date and time each month. For example, the second Saturday morning of every month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  3. Have at least one person who will help collect and deposit the money into the group’s account.
  4. As this is a professional venture, ensure that all rules are known, agreed upon and stuck to. The group needs to clear about its aims and objectives and how it will attain them. Obtain signatures when it comes to attendance and money. It could save problems arising later on.

Publication

After a while, and this could be a few months or a year or more, the group should have produced enough short stories to publish in an anthology. Discuss the following if you have not already done so:

Who will collate the stories?

Who will edit them?

Who will help with layout and cover design?

This could be one or more people within the group or a paid editor may be asked to help in the processes of publication.

Also, have fun choosing a name and logo for your publication venture. 

NEXT    Will you publish privately and go for a small print run, or are the group aiming for something bigger? You might, for example, want to publish the book as an e-book and a print book on a platform such as Amazon. At least one of the group will be needed to do all the negotiations and help upload the work. Now comes:

Marketing and Advertising

I have been looking closely at the whole business of publishing through organisations such as Amazon. This is a long discussion in itself and I know a great deal has been written about it. My conclusion is that it is best to pay for some form of advertising. Amazon is a big business with millions interacting with it book sections. The best way to get noticed is to pay them to advertise. As part of marketing, have a group website and also do the now usual routes of making announcements on Facebook, Twitter, et al. Free community newspapers and magazines might be happy to do a feature on the group and its accomplishments.

NOTE: Before venturing onto these platforms, the group will need to spend a lot of time analysing exactly what publishing spaces such as Amazon, Smash Words and Barnes and Noble offer.

Novels, Novellas, Children’s Books, Autobiographies, Biographies and other Publications.

As writing and publishing are expensive to many, here is when being part of a co-operative can really help. When a writer has competed a novel, novella or other work, the group may add to its success by helping the writer publish and market his or her work. The money collected by the group could be used to cover costs such as editing and cover design as well as advertising. Perhaps it could be agreed that when the writer has made enough money to cover the costs of publication, he or she gives the money back to the group. Any income after that goes to the author.

Have fun being part of a writing group and building yourself and fellow members. May a great writing club and publishing success be achieved in bright gold stars by you and your group.  

VISION + STRATEGY + PERFORMANCE + RESULTS = HAPPINESS

With good wishes,

Andrew Pender-Smith

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Writing Clubs

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Writing Clubs

Part One

KEYWORDS: writing, development, co-operation, support, publication, advertising, marketing, success

An excellent way to develop your skills, and get published, is to create or join a writing club. I was involved one for about seven years. The group published anthologies of short stories and poems, and some of the writers went on to publish children’s books and novels. I was also involved in the editing and layout for several of the anthologies we published. A suggested system for your group could work as follows:

The Creative Aspect

  1. A group of writers eager to be part of a group writing and publishing venture gets together to write in a quiet space. If you do not already have a number of keen individuals, advertise for them online, at your local library or on campus, if you are a student.
  2. Getting started as writers: Writers may write on a subject of their choice or be prompted by a stimulus. Set writing times. Initially, ten minutes is often a good time space for what could be treated as a warm-up. Once the time is up, even if what is being worked on is incomplete, each member reads out what they have written. Special Note: this is not the time to be critical. The idea is to get and keep people writing with the aid of encouragement. It is a case of create first and craft afterwards. Your primary aim is to get your story out on paper, PC or laptop THEN work at polishing it for publication. This is all about process and building as new writers often have a lot to learn. To use an analogy, you are creating the rough diamond or piece of clay first. Once you have created it in the form of a first draft, you then set about shaping it into a desired piece of fiction.
  3. If members of the group wish to comment after one of the writers has read out his or her work, they are to only mention what they think works. Do not, at this stage, enter any form of criticism. Criticism can have a negative effect on the right hemisphere of the brain (the creative side) send it into melt down. See the end of part one for some useful links.
  4. The writers may now tackle a new piece or continue with the one on which they were working. This could well be a longer session. If the first was ten minutes, the next could be twenty. Again, people are encouraged to read out what they have written.
  5. If the writers have not been writing with a cup of tea or coffee at the side, now is the time for refreshments.
  6. The pieces the writers have created in the group could be left simply as exercises or developed into publishable fiction, be it a poem, short story, novelette, novella or novel.
  7. On some days you might like to hold discussions concerning issues such as plot or character development or writing through the senses, before tackling more writing while taking into account the contents of the discussion. Times such as these could be informal within the group or you could have a workshop on one or more aspects of writing and invite a local writer to spend time sharing with you. The main aim here are about trying different approaches to writing including exploring a broad range of literary forms. There is great deal that can be found online to assist writers.

Here are links to two useful discussions on the roles of the left and right hemispheres of the brain in the writing processes. Though I have not included any links here, you will numerous discussions online on the actual workings of the human brain.

http://www.writersonthemove.com/       https://ruthlivingstone.net/

Part two will follow in three days.

Regards,

Andrew Pender-Smith

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Good luck finding the stories in you. May they sprout forth and grow in abundance. 

Feel de Breeze

 

sky jumping

Feel de Breeze

When it comes to creativity,

don be shy –

swing through de trees

an feel de breeze.

Let go, my friend, let go.

Jump high!

Explore de highways

an de byways.

Get a feel for dis and dat.

Do your ting

by jus exploring.

Feel de way.

Tink de way.

Dive deep, my friend.

Fly high.

Know de waters

an de sky.

De mind must flow.

So, yo bro, yo,

take wing.

Learn to really swing.

Let go. Let go!

Let your body shake.

Feel de riddum.

Get de mind to dance.

Pick up your feet.

Clap your hands.

Now you’ve got de new partner.

It’s called CREATIVITY.

Now, my friend, you’re really free.

Sebastian de Vervet

hand and sea

Hear Me by Julia North

Introducing an exciting new novel by writer, Julia North. I have known this writer for many years as we did our initial training as teachers of Speech and Drama together. Julia North is now a deputy head teacher in Britain and is the author of two novels. ‘Hear Me’ is her second. To learn more about it, click on the link. I am sure you will find it well worth the the read. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06W9JV6GY

It is published by Hookline Books in the UK.

Hear Me

Her earlier novel is a work for young adults and it is called ‘Lieutenant Hotshot: The Story of an Invisible Child’. It is published by Lodestone books and is also available on Amazon. Both books are set in South Africa, a country Julia North knows well and evokes with ease in her writing.

Hotshot

Please feel free to reblog or link this post.

Happy reading of the books of a dedicated and excellent author. May she write many more. Andrew Pender-Smith

 

 

De Green Monkee Says ”Happy Easter”

 

Baby Easter Chicken

De Green Monkee says ‘’Happy Easter’’

If like jus like me,

an my mad an crazy family,

you celebrate de Easter, I say

‘’Happy Easter’’ to you.

I wish you peace an happiness

at dis happy Easter time.

Don eat too many Easter eggs.

Watch de beer an wine,

or you might take one swing too many

an fall off de branch or

ka-boomps de-boomps onto your

bums right off de forest vine.

Keep de happiness, make friends wid all.

Dis not de time for fighting, fighting.

Now pass de peace an de monkee wine.

Happy Easter!

© Sebastian de Vervet

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De Green Monkee Speaks

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De Green Monkee Speaks

Pssssst! So babee,

you wanna know about

de green monkee?

You see me here.

You see me dere

when I swing frum

tree to tree

wid great agility.

When I’m eating de fruits,

or swimming in de jungle pools,

I’m tinking, tinking, tinking

because I got de hobbies

like dancing, writing, singing.

One big day I might be

de world’s most famous

dancing, writing, singing monkee,

but for now I chill, my brudder,

an enjoy de monkee beer

an eat de forest fruits, mon,

because life is cool, mon,

an slowly, slowly

I’m swinging, lazy, lazy

in dis forest tree.

© Andrew Pender-Smith and Sebastian de Vervet

Teachers and students are free to use this poem on the condition that the author is acknowledged.

De Green Monkee Speaks Again

I been tinking, tinking about

dis career business.

I don won anyone tinking I’m

just no swing-about.

Even when I’m drinking de best in

monkee beer,

my mind, my bro, is agile.

It’s workin’ absolutely clear.

If dis dancing, writing, singing business

is not de ting for me,

I’ll study a course in

monkee philosophy,

because my mind can jump from here

an’ my mind can jump from dere.

I dink I’ll run for president

or maybe monkee king.

Now it’s time for more beer, mon,

while I do my clever, clever tinking.

© Andrew Pender-Smith and Sebastian de Vervet

Teachers and students are free to use this poem on the condition that the author is acknowledged.

The Green Monkey is the brains, when he’s not drinking too much monkey beer and swinging from fruit tree to fruit tree, behind ‘Green Monkey Publications’. He’s the one who keeps a sharp lookout on its two authors, Andrew Pender-Smith and Craig Carden, to make sure they aren’t in the least bit slack and keep on writing.  His full name is Sebastian de Vervet but he is simply called ‘Sabs’ by friends and family. The top shows Sebastian as a baby with his parents.

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This photo is of Sebastian’s uncle, Uncle Herbert de Vervet.

A ‘High Five’ for Drama

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A ‘High Five’ for Drama

A ‘High Five’ for drama for every child in every school. I have taught, written about, and adjudicated drama in schools for long enough to know that there really is no greater teaching tool for helping children become well-rounded, confident adults.  See earlier posts for more of what I have said on the subject and to obtain poems that can be effectively used in the drama classroom. The photos in this post are here to illustrate the poem ‘The Jungle’ by Andrew Pender-Smith.

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The Jungle

The jungle’s alive with

jungly sounds:

Screeching parrots

and grunting tigers.

The beating of jungle drums.

The roar of a far-off waterfall.

The loud trumpeting of

an old, grey elephant

and the galloping hooves of a buck

as a growling lion chases him.

Run, buck – runnn!

                     ©    Andrew Pender-Smith

Teachers and students are free to use this poem. I hope they enjoy using it.

Once again I include one of my maxims: ‘A poem a day helps build vocabulary the easy way’.

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In Happy Celebration

Green Monkey Publications

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Both of these works are now available on Amazon as e-books. To find out more, click on the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/author/andrewpendersmith

Also just released is the poem ‘Aftermath’ by Andrew Pender-Smith. It is among a number of others to be included in the 2017-2019 syllabus of the Speech and Drama Association of South Africa.

Aftermath

The wind and waves boomed up the lagoon

crashing surf and sand over invisible rocks.

The fish were gone –

flailing fathoms deep

while gutted shells cracked and splintered.

The trees bent violently before being

snapped

over the roiling waters

as fishing boats spun and whacked

into brittle shards.

The once brightly painted hulls

were now no more as remnant after

remnant was snatched into the

savage tumult of boom and horrible roar.

Jagged out to sea or shore-bound as lightning

zapped and zithered from rock to black water

and scarred rock again.

When dawn…

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