My small convent school had very strict rules. There were rules that only made sense when you understood the establishment was "A School for Young Ladies." It said so on the sign swinging by the gate at the end of the gravel drive. Most schools in
When the annual school outing, to the Royal Tournament or The Championships,
Some of the rules were quite practical. Walk, don't run, down the highly polished corridors, keep to the left and in single file. This kept order and avoided accidents. What a joy it was to have days when those rules could be ignored. Such as on the day of the annual bazaar, when we walked, in the company of parents and others, several abreast down the middle. Thrills of excitement rippled through us, when the those seniors leaving thumped their way along the upstairs passage, then the lower one, doing the "bunny hop"--"a one, a two, a one, two, three"--still in single file, of course. And when the last bell had rung, on the last day of the school year, we dared to run into a glorious slide, doubting we would be punished, along the slick floors.
Breaking the rules of writing can also be a heady experience, on one condition: the author knows the rules well before smashing or slicing them to pieces. The most obvious rules of writing are those of grammar and spelling, and I'm sure I don't need to mention those to you, dear readers, but there are plenty of others. In fiction, head skipping, or jumping from one point of view to another, in a single scene, is frowned upon for good reason. It can be confusing and a distraction to the story. Poets must avoid forcing a rhyme, with awkward constructions, or using "thee" and "thou". Nonfiction writers must not make things up and call it fact. Though it's hard to imagine, there may be legitimate ways to break all these rules, and it may be called great literature.
With regard to TMW's rules for the annual contest, there can be no rule breaking. The rules are not there to save you from an accident, or turn you into young ladies, or gentlemen. They are there to present the fairest situation for all entrants as possible. They are there to preserve the anonymity of the authors, so that judging may be unbiased. They are there to discourage perennial winners from taking the prizes every year, and to open the field. They are there to maintain the most ethical competition TMW can devise. Sometimes, TMW sees a new way to do that, and changes the rules. Wanda Grooms and her Contest Committee have made some recent adjustments to the rules. It's not too early to think about your entry for the next competition. The closing date is
But, be warned. Read all the rules at our website-tmwi.org. On this occasion, you must not only recognize your "hat" and "gloves", but you must wear them, and, while you are it, "keep in single file".
IMPORTANT NOTE: Both Carol Grametbauer and I have referred you to our website. Unfortunately, our excellent site designer, K'Cindra Cavin, has been busy with vital family matters and some of the information might not be immediately available. Please don't give up. K'Cindra will have everything posted as soon as she can. We beg your understanding and patience.
A new Tennessee Mountain Writers' year is off and running! It seems like just a few months ago that I said this about our 2006-07 year. Our Fall Workshop-a poetry critiquing workshop led by Marilyn Kallett on September 29-has already passed; and if you didn't register, we missed you. But you still have plenty of time to register for January Jumpstart! Check this newsletter for all the details.
All the plans are in place for our 20th-yes, 20th!-annual conference, scheduled for
And speaking of our website, TMW was extremely honored to be featured as the "Tennessee Arts Spotlight of the Week" in the July 16 edition of Tennessee Arts Online, the Tennessee Arts Council's online newsletter. We were billed as "a creative community sharing the joy of writing," and a link to our site was provided. We deeply appreciate this recognition.
We also deeply appreciate past board member Margaret Pennycook for continuing to produce this newsletter, even though she left the board in April after concluding a three-year term. Also leaving us this year were long-time board member Ruth Smalley, who served on our Program Committee for many years, and Denise May, who produced our brochure for the 2006 conference.
On the bright side, we've gained three wonderful new board members. Linda and Daniel Leonard of
Linda, Daniel and K'Cindra join our returning board members Robert Alfonso, Vicki Brumback, the Connors, Steve Dekanich, Connie Green, Wanda Grooms, Ruth Ann Maddux, Joy Margrave, Joyce McDonald, Sue Richardson Orr, Mona Raridon, Valeria Steele Roberson, Jane Sasser, Dorothy Senn, and Wes Sims. Special thoughts go out to Joy Margrave, our immediate past chair, who is undergoing treatment and recuperating following surgery in June; we can't wait to have Joy back with us again. Likewise, our best wishes to Steve Dekanich's wife Linda, who recently underwent a bone marrow transplant at
And I hope you'll seek out any or all of our board members, at our upcoming events, get to know them, and give them your input about our special events and conferences. We want to make TMW everything that you, its members, want and need it to be.
I hope to see each of you at one of our events soon. In the meantime, keep writing!
n Carol Grametbauer
JANUARY JUMPSTART VIII
Would you believe it's time to mark your calendars for January Jumpstart VIII on January 11 - 13, 2008, at the Best Western Motel in Sweetwater, TN, at exit 60 off I-75. Our original Jumpstart I workshop leaders will be returning, Bill Brown for Poetry and Cecelia Tichi (Tishy on her books) for Fiction. Saturday sessions will run - and , Sunday session -
Bill Brown has published six collections of poems: Holding On By Letting Go, What the Night Told Me, The Art of Dying, The Gods of Little Pleasures, Yesterday's Hay and Tatters, released in March, 2007. During the past twenty years, he has published hundreds of poems and articles in college journals,
magazines, and anthologies. In 1995 the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts named him Distinguished Teacher in the Arts. He has been a Scholar in Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a Fellow at the
Cecelia Tichi is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at
This project is funded in part under an agreement with the
Registration fees are $100.00 for TMW or TWA members, $110.00 nonmembers. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and donuts before the morning sessions and Saturday lunch are included.
OPTIONAL CATERED DINNER BUFFET SATURDAY NIGHT ON SITE AT FOR $15.50. ***See below.
Participants will be limited to 20 per workshop. DEADLINE for registration is
For additional information: please check our website: www.tmwi.org
or contact: Sue Richardson Orr - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
REGISTRATION FORM - print and mail in with check.
TMW/TWA JANUARY JUMPSTART VIII - Fri, Jan 11 - Sun, Jan 13, 2008
Name ___________________________ Check one: fiction __ poetry __
Phone _______________ e-mail __________________
Please make checks to TMW: DINNER _______ Workshop ___________
TWA membership $25.00 TMW membership $10.00 Total amount enclosed ________
Mail to: TMW/January Jumpstart 2008
P.O. Box 5435
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-5435
In the past, we have eaten at the nearby Cracker Barrel, but this location is closing, so we are offering an optional catered dinner on Saturday night for $15.50, tip included. Menu: Barbecue chicken, beef tips with mushroom gravy, 2 cheese mashed potatoes, fresh vegetable medley, salad, cherry cobbler, coffee, tea, water. We need advance reservations for the dinner by
Sue Richardson Orr
Chair, Special Events Committee
The conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel, in
Terry Kay is an Award-winning novelist and screenwriter from
Peter Jacobi is professor emeritus and visiting Riley professor at Indiana University's School of Journalism, and former professor and associate dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. His journalistic background spreads across the print and broadcast fields. His work has appeared in numerous publications.
Anne Shelby, is the author of newspaper columns, plays, essays, and children's books, as well as poetry. Her plays have been widely produced. She has published five books for children. Her popular columns have appeared over a number of years in The Lexington Herald-Leader and other
Maurice Manning has published three books of poetry. His poems have been published in numerous journals. He has held writing fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center, in
Ron Pitkin is President of Cumberland House Publishing,
WRITING FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Patricia Lee Gauch is vice president and editor at large of Philomel Books as well as a respected author in her own right. She holds a doctorate in English literature, and has taught children's literature on the college level and reviewed for The New York Times. Patti has edited three Caldecott Medal winning books. Patti has written thirty-nine books for young readers.
Gloria Ballard enjoyed a 32-year career in journalism as a feature writer and editor at The Tennessean in
Jimmy Carl Harris is a retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major with a doctorate from the
Valeria Steele Roberson is a native Oak Ridger and currently teaches in the Humanities Department at
SPECIAL SESSION ON COLUMN WRITING
Dorothy Senn is an award-winning journalist whose career has included work as a reporter, feature writer, and editor for newspapers in
This project is funded in part under an agreement with the
Additional information: please check our website: www.tmwi.org
TMW contest deadline is February 1.2008. There are five adult categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, inspirational, and writing for young people. The Sue Ellen Hudson Award for Excellence in Writing will be chosen from the first place winners of these categories. There are two student categories: poetry and prose. Please encourage your local high schools to enter this competition. It's a great way to encourage budding talent. See the website, www.tmwi.org for more information and RULES.
Don Williams New Millennium Writings offers $4,000 in prizes, plus publication in NMW and on the Web. $1,000 for best Story; $1,000 for best Poem; $1,000 best Nonfiction (Nonfiction includes humor, memoir, creative nonfiction, travel, opinion, essay, interview, features, investigative reporting, etc.) Plus, $1,000 for best Short Short Fiction (1,000-word limit). Deadline:
For more information go to http://www.newmillenniumwritings.com/awards.php.
Cara Ellen Modisett
Editor, Blue Ridge Country magazine
phone 540.989.6138 fax 540.989.7603
Blue Ridge Country is looking for RV story ideas for our May/June 2008
issue. Do you have a memorable trip you've taken, know of a beautiful,
out-of-the-way RV-friendly campground, favorite RV-friendly drive - and do
you have some great photos to illustrate? Let me know!
TMW Webmaster-K'Cindra Cavin
If you have a website, K'Cindra would like to post a link to it on TMW's website, please contact her at email@example.com. She would also like to hear from members who have good news of upcoming publications of their work. She requests information and preferably a photo (which she will keep on file for future uses) so that she may showcase them on the Member News page of our website.
Jane Sasser won first place in poetry from the Tennessee Writers'
Connie Green will be on a panel with Bill Brown and Rita Quillen, "Rhythms of the Natural World: Three Poets," at Southern Festival. They will read at ,
Wes Sims' poem, "New Roads", has been accepted by The Binnacle at the
Edward Francisco's poetry collection, The Alchemy of Words, has been published by Birch Brook Press, and is available to Friends of Author at a discount price at www.birchbrookpress.info.
Former board member, Shannon Collins, has moved to
And finally, your Newsletter Editor won first place in the creative nonfiction competition of the Knoxville Writers' Guild, with "Dream Catching". The Guild posted the piece on their website http://knoxvillewritersguild.org/whatsnew.htm. A different version of the piece also won second place in the National League of American Pen Women's Ashville Branch nonfiction competition.
If you have any information for the TMW Newsletter, send them to me, Margaret Pennycook, at firstname.lastname@example.org.