I’m fortunate to be able to say that the very first writing group I was in is still going strong eighteen years later. Our group has been a wonderful constant in my writing life, and I’m amazed at the insights I get from my mates at Dogpatch Writers Collective. As usual, they had much to say about my last piece of writing, and I’m now inspired to finish revising my essay.
XO Laurel Leigh
Dogpatch writer Laurel Leigh’s essay explores how as a child she experienced the scars of her mother’s mastectomy and how those issues of image and identity carried into her adult life. Here’s an excerpt of “Scars” and our comments about this deeply honest piece of writing.
The wound in my chest was open and wide, and I could see the layers of my skin disappearing into the circular black hole. As a kid growing up in the country and later an acrobat, I’d had plenty of scrapes and bruises, but I’d never had a cut that deep. I was engrossed by how deep the hole was—about an inch.
The doc came back to the table and explained that the wound leakage had just been fluid, but it likely would re-occur if he used liquid anesthesia. If I was tough enough to look at…
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If there possibly is anyone who knows me who doesn’t know my rather shady past as self-appointed fan club prez (some rude people have brought up the “S” word, but I think that’s totally uncalled for, and part of the proof is that a recent post of his linked to a post of mine, which means we’re sort of friends, so there) of that Writer Fellow Mike Allegra’s doodles . . .
I kind of lost track of that last sentence. Anyhoo, the esteemed doodler is after a long hiatus hosting another doodle contest with fabulous incentives. Plus you don’t have to do much at all to enter. Go on his blog and talk about yourself. Who doesn’t love doing that? Hit a couple share buttons or write a book review if you are a readerly sort. And in return, you get to be in a drawing to win a super-amazing doodle, which if you want could be a doodle of a pal for a certain salamander I know. Head over to Writer Fellow’s site to get the details!
XO Laurel Leigh
I really like hosting blog contests!
And I really, really like doodling!
And I really, really, really like the fact that some people like my doodles!
So it is time once again for my semi-annual
WIN A DOODLE CONTEST!
The grand (and only) prize will be a custom made, one-of-a-kind, Mike Allegra doodle of ANYTHING YOU WANT!
“Anything?” you ask.
Yes, anything—provided that “anything you want” isn’t perverted. I’m a children’s book author, so get your mind out of the gutter!
Otherwise, yes. ANYTHING YOU WANT!
Past contest winners have asked for all kinds of doodles. Like exotic birds…
A caffeine gnome…
A raven shapeshifter (whatever that is)…
A woman doing yoga and holding a pen as the ghost of her dearly departed dog looks on…
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Dear Writers: Here’s Amberly Baker of the Chuckanut Writers Conference back again with more about this year’s conference:
It is finally June. School is out for the summer, the days are as long as they’ll ever be, and here in Western Washington, we’ve even had a few sunny days. With the beautiful month of June comes the weekend of the 7th annual Chuckanut Writers Conference, which is coming up so fast—June 23rd and 24th, just a week away.
Coming from someone who has been working behind the scenes, this year’s conference is going to be a great one. We have arranged for a delicious spread of food and drinks for our Friday night faculty reading and reception. The swag bags you will take with you are full of useful items to help you take advantage of local businesses and restaurants all over Bellingham. And the conference itself is going to be beautiful, rain or shine—a rainy day in Washington can be just as beautiful as a sunny one, which is good, because you never know what the weather will do.
We have such a great faculty line-up this year, bringing a broad range of talent to all of our sessions. From fiction writers like Jonathan Evison, Samuel Ligon, and Kelly Magee, to nonfiction writers like Daniel James Brown, Paula Becker, and Ijeoma Oluo, our faculty are sure to get your pens (or keyboards) moving. Our faculty also features past and present Poets Laureate Elizabeth Austen and Tod Marshall. Everyone on this list comes with unique talents and experiences to offer, and they have promised their expertise over the weekend of the conference for one ultimate purpose–to help you get excited and inspired about your own writing.
For some of you, this isn’t new—you have enjoyed the conference before, maybe several times. For some of you, this is your first time experiencing it. Well, it’s my first time, too, and I for one cannot wait. The promise of this event leaves me buzzing with excitement! I am thrilled by the thought of so much talent concentrated into one space—the talent of both the faculty and the attendees. I am so excited to meet you, to spend the weekend with you, surrounded by the support and inspiration that comes with a room full of writers. I am honored to have been able to be a part of making this event happen. And I can’t wait to hear about everything you take away from this experience—all of the sage advice you receive, your new writings inspired by our breakout sessions, the lifelong friends and connections you’ll make, the food you’ll eat. It is all coming so soon. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Amberly Baker is a student in Western Washington University’s Creative Writing program, and works at a small bookstore. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys playing Animal Crossing, knitting, and is obsessed with her cats.
Dear Writers: Here’s Amberly Baker of the Chuckanut Writers Conference to tell you what’s in the works for this year’s amazing event!
Welcome to Bellingham, Washington, an eccentric city nestled in the northern corner of the great Pacific Northwest. Bellingham is home to all kinds of people: With the bay to the West and Mount Baker to the East, it attracts all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. With so many amazing independent restaurants and holes-in-the-wall, it is a food lover’s haven. It’s a college town, bringing in passionate, excited college students by the thousands. It is also home to a huge writing community, and the annual Chuckanut Writers Conference.
The Chuckanut Writers Conference is an amazing opportunity, whether you’re local or visiting, whether you’ve published three novels or are writing on napkins in rare quiet moments. This year, it takes place on Friday and Saturday, June 23rd and 24th at Whatcom Community College, and offers a wide range of breakout sessions to help you find inspiration and continue to develop your craft. These sessions are taught by some of the finest writers the area has to offer—and it has a lot.
There are several great events included in this year’s conference. If you are looking to pitch your amazing new piece of writing, you can find Sean Fletcher and Andy Ross offering Pitch Sessions. Continue reading
Dear Writers: Lookie! The results of the Sully Award are in!!!
First things first: I owe everyone an apology.
I was supposed to announce the winner of The Sully Award for Excellence in Writerishness last week, but the days got away from me.
The reason: Easter Week.
For many, many years I have avoided hosting holiday family gatherings. This is primarily because my home is “Entertaining Hostile.” That is to say the rooms are small and have no flow, there isn’t enough seating, and I own only one, small TV.
Another reason for never hosting family gatherings is because, well, I didn’t wanna.
Things tend to break and get messy when people come over. And the more people who come over, the messier and break-ier things get.
Allegra holiday family gatherings average about 13 people. That’s a potentially huge amount of messiness and breakiness.
Normally the Easter Saturday gathering is the responsibility of my aunt and uncle (who owned a huge house and approximately 92…
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Nope, we simply can’t get enough of Sully the Salamander! Now that Writer Fellow has gone and started a writing contest in the name of the one and only Sully. It’s just about open season for topics and style, and you can read the details on his post:
Last week on this blog I asked you a question: “Should I start a writing contest?”
I followed up my question with a promise: “If there is enough enthusiasm for a writing contest, I will start a writing contest.”
So. Was there enough enthusiasm for a writing contest?
And that’s good enough for me.
Welcome to the First Annual
Sully Award for Excellence in Writerishness!
The (one and only) winner will receive a bunch of valuable prizes!
A $20 gift card to Starbucks, because writers need to wake up before writing.
A $10 gift card to iTunes, because writers need to be in the right mood while writing.
A $20 Gift card to Barnes & Noble so you can read after writing.
And, best of all, a beautiful SULLY AWARD CERTIFICATE, because great writers deserve great accolades. The certificate will look something like…
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