Archive for the ‘Amy Munnell’ Tag

SWA Presenter Spotlight: Darrell Huckaby

As I announced in December, I will be teaching a workshop on journalistic writing* at the 35th annual Southeastern Writers Association conference in June 2010.

To gear up for that, I am featuring interviews and spotlights with this year’s presenters.**

Next up is humor writer Darrell Huckaby.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

This University of Georgia grad and native Georgian not only has six humor books under his belt, but he also writes the syndicated humor column “What the Huck?”

Click here to see some his articles in at the Athens Banner-Herald.

Huckaby.

In addition to speaking all over the South, Huckaby teaches high school history and appears weekly on the radio show “Moby in the Morning.

His books include What the Huck!, Dinner on the Grounds, Grits is Groceries, Southern is as Southern Does, Need Two and Need Four.

Although I was unable to reach Huckaby for an interview, fellow SWA presenter Amy Munnell interviewed the columnist on her 3 Questions . . . and Answers blog back in ’08.

Here is an excerpt from Munnell’s piece:

“If you’re standing behind someone in the check-out line and she’s searching through every pocket, through her entire purse, for three cents—THREE PENNIES—” columnist Darrell Huckaby says, “you can get mad . . . or you can look for what’s funny.”  Huckaby always looks for, and usually finds the funny things in life and often that’s what he writes about in more than a dozen newspapers across the Southeast. He’s a self-syndicated columnist, an author and recently a “spoken word artist” in the vein of Southern humor writers Lewis Grizzard and Jeff Foxworthy.

Click here to read the rest of Munnell’s post.

For more information about Huckaby, his books, or his speaking engagements, please visit his Web site.

THE PLUG

Join us at the Southeastern Writers Association conference in June in beautiful St. Simons Island, Ga.  For the 4-1-1, please see their registration page as well as my post.  Reserve your spot today!

*To learn about the workshop I’m teaching, click here.

**For more SWA Presenter Spotlights, click the appropriately-named category in the right-hand sidebar.

Conference Corner: Southeastern Writers Association

Interested in writing?  Want to come see me?  I’ve got just to conference for you: the Southeastern Writers Association conference.

THE 4-1-1

The 35th annual Southeastern Writers Association conference will be held June 20-24 in scenic St. Simons Island, Ga.

The full conference fee is $395, and it includes:

  • Up to three manuscript evaluations
  • One-on-one critiques with instructors
  • Entry into up to 15 contests (in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, inspiration, humor, romance, juvenile writing—children’s through young adult—science fiction and fantasy)—cash prizes for winners!
  • Access to all workshops, evening speeches, and open mic night
  • A one-year membership to SWA

WHY YOU NEED TO REGISTER NOW

While registration is open until the conference takes place, you’ve got just one more week to take advantage of the manuscript evaluations and contest entries—the deadline is April 1.

WHY SWA?

Held at the beautiful Epworth by the Sea in St. Simons Island, Ga., SWA’s annual conference is the perfect place to soak up some rays along with some writing knowledge from seasoned professionals.

As well, at $395 for a four-day conference, SWA is a steal.  Check around; most other conferences and writers’ retreats charge extra for manuscript critiques and contests.

ADDED BONUS

Did I mention I will be teaching a workshop on journalistic writing?  Come heckle me!**  To learn more about my workshop, click here.

Go easy on me!

I LIKE YOU AND EVERYTHING, BUT WHO ELSE WILL BE THERE?

This year’s presenters include:

To learn more about these presenters, click here or click on the presenters’ names above to see my interview series featuring several of them.

For more information about the Southeastern Writers Association conference, please see their registration page as well as my recent post.

Again, you must be registered by April 1 in order to gain full access to all this conference has to offer, so reserve your spot today!

**Actually, while I would love to see you, I’d rather you didn’t heckle me!

SWA Presenter Spotlight: Sheila Hudson

As I announced in December, I will be teaching a workshop on journalistic writing at the 35th annual Southeastern Writers Association conference in June 2010.

To gear up for that, I am featuring some interviews and spotlights with this year’s presentersFor more SWA Presenter Spotlights, click the appropriately-named category in the right-hand sidebar.

Next up is freelance writer and short fiction expert Sheila Hudson.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Long-time board member of the Southeastern Writers Association, Sheila Hudson is published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Chocolates for Women series, God Allows U-Turns series, Stories from the Heart series, Taking Education Higher, Stories from the Border, and God’s Vitamin C.

Not only is Hudson a correspondent for Athens Banner-Herald, but she also contributes profiles, features, essays, humorous takes on life, how-to, and travel articles to several print and online publications such as The Christian Standard, Lookout Magazine, Athens Magazine, and Athens Parent.

For more information about Hudson or to see samples of her work, please visit her Web site.

THE INTERVIEW

RS:  How did you get into writing?

SH: I was recovering from surgery and writing in my journal when I decided to write about a significant family event.  It was very personal, so it took me some time to write it and submit to a magazine.  I had had a few publications before coming to SWA in 1993.

Hudson

RS:  What keeps you writing?

SH: I think the most significant thing is that I want to share thoughts and experiences with others.  I write primarily nonfiction, so I use my own experiences to hopefully benefit others, such as “how to coupon” and “travel tips.”

I also write for newspapers, women’s magazines, and Christian periodicals.

RS:  What do you do when you’re not writing?

SH: I live 45 minutes from my seven grandsons—the magnificent seven.  Whenever possible, I am with them.

My husband is a certified meeting planner, so I travel with him on business to seek out sites that he is responsible for.  We enjoy traveling for business and/or pleasure.

I knit, crochet, and sew.  We collect movies and enjoy serving on the Southeastern Writers Association board.  I became a member of SWA in 1993 and a board member in 2003.

Hudson, her husband Tim, and the "Magnificent Seven."

RS:  What draws you to writing for anthologies?

SH: The anthologies are popular because of their brevity, which is a strong suit for me.  Also, these essays tend to be inspirational and/or humorous, which is my favorite way to write.

RS:  What are you currently working on?

SH: My writing partner, Amy Munnell, and I are working on a nonfiction book titled 13 Decisions That Will Change Your Life.

Our agent is Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.  I am also a contributor to Athens Magazine, Christian Standard, and Athens Parent.

RS:  What’s one genre or type of writing in which you’d like to dabble but haven’t yet—and why?

SH: I have written a few children’s stories and poems, which, sadly, are not published, but I would like to write a cozy mystery.  I have started a few of them and ran out of steam.

Mysteries are my favorite books to read, so I would like to write one.

RS:  What book(s) currently adorn your nightstand?

SH: Just finished Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Steve Berry’s The Romanov Prophecy.

I like to read adventuresome mysteries and marvel at the research details.

Dan Brown's latest Robert Langdon novel

RS: Name an author that helped shape who you are as a writer and how he or she had that effect on you.

SH: Amy Munnell, my writing partner, has had a profound impact on my writing. She was my first contact with SWA; we have served on boards together and complement each other’s style.  She is a valued editor, confidant, writing partner, and friend.

Cec Murphey was one of my first writing instructors.  His encouragement kept me going in the early days.

RS:  Can you give us a quick teaser about the course you’ll be teaching at Southeastern Writers Association?

SH: Amy and I are teaching four days on Bright Ideas: Tips to Make Your Writing Shine.

Monday is B&E: Beginnings and Endings, Tuesday is Shiny Tools, Wednesday is the Five Rs, Thursday is critique day for the students.

THE PLUG

For more information about the Southeastern Writers Association conference in June, please see their registration page as well as my recent post.  Don’t wait to sign up—and you must be registered by April 1 in order to participate in contests and manuscript evaluations, so reserve your spot today!

To learn more about the workshop I’m teaching, click here.

SWA Presenter Spotlight: Gail Langer Karwoski

As I announced in December, I will be teaching a workshop on journalistic writing at the 35th annual Southeastern Writers Association conference in June 2010.

To gear up for that, I am featuring some interviews and spotlights with this year’s presentersFor more SWA Presenter Spotlights, click the appropriately-named category in the right-hand sidebar.

Next up is award-winning children’s author Gail Langer Karwoski.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Karwoski’s historical novels, short stories, nonfiction and picture books for young readers have been Junior Library Guild Selections, Mom’s Choice award winners and have received attention in Parade magazine as well as an endorsement by SeaWorld.

Her latest novel, Quake!  Disaster in San Francisco, 1906 (Peachtree Publishers, 2004) appeared on eight state award lists, and she has been named Georgia Author of the Year for Juvenile Literature three times—most recently for River Beds: Sleeping in the World’s Rivers (Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2008).

For more information on her books and ideas for how to use them in the classroom, please visit her Web site.

THE INTERVIEW

RS:  How did you get into writing?

GK: I love a good story!

I love swapping them with friends and acquaintances. I love reading them. I loved telling stories to my daughters and my students. I loved listening to my dad tell me stories about the imaginary kitties and mice that outwitted each other in the storeroom behind his hardware store.

Writing is a form of storytelling. I’ve always been into it!

RS: What keeps you writing?

GK: My readers!

I also love the process of writing: I like delving into a subject, looking at it from every side, turning it inside and out. I like the poetic parade of words—seeking the memorable turn of phrase, discovering the image that lays bare the essence.

RS: What do you do when you’re not writing?

GK: Cook (and eat)

Go for walks (and talks)

Read (and listen to books on CD)

Chat with our grownup daughters (and shop)

Snuggle my favorite cat (and my husband)

Watch movies (and whatever is my current favorite TV program—lately, I’m stuck on the PBS historical soap, Lark Rise to Candleford—maybe because of the British accents?)

Do crosswords (and Sudokus)

Look for humor in this nutsy world (and try to remember it long enough to get the punchline right when I share it!)

RS: What draws you to children’s literature?

GK: I’m a mom. For many years, I was a teacher. Plus, I view the world in a child-like way. (I’m never gonna grow up!) Writing for kids feels like my natural place.

As I craft a story, I think of my reader. I like thinking of a child skipping into the world that I am creating and having an epiphany: “Maybe I could do that . . . maybe there is another path for me . . . maybe I could be happier if . . . .”

Writing for kids is all about possibility, optimism, innovation.

RS: What are you currently working on?

GK: I have two novels for middle grades kids that I’ve been tweaking toward the finish line. They are quite different than my published work and very different from each other.

I have one historical picture storybook under contract, and I’ve got a few picture book scripts that I’ve been “sculpting.”

RS: What’s one genre or type of writing in which you’d like to dabble but haven’t yet—and why?

GK: I think it might be fun to try a sci-fi book—just for the sheer delight of going off in some wacky direction and ending up who-knows-where.

RS: What book(s) currently adorn your nightstand?

GK: I’m reading Phil Lee Williams’s latest novel, The Campfire Boys.

I recently, I finished The Help—talk about delightful characterization!—by Kathryn Stockett. But it’s not on my nightstand because I borrowed my friend’s Kindle to read it—to see how I liked reading this new way. (I have mixed feelings about the electronic reader, BTW. I liked the screen display much better than I anticipated, and, to my surprise, I did like the ease of holding it with one hand. But it was a real pain to scroll back to find a scene that I wanted to reread. No, I’m not going to buy an e-reader anytime soon. But if I was taking a long trip overseas, I probably would.)

My favorite read in the last year was Suzanne Collins’s YA, The Hunger Games, because it was heart-pounding, mind-bending, and the writing was so powerful, intense and invisible that I forgot that I was reading—I was there!

RS: Name an author that helped shape who you are as a writer and how he or she had that effect on you.

GK: Well, I read Scott O’Dell as a youngster, and he inspired me to try to make history come alive for a reader.

I shared the work of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor—who wrote a perfect fourth grade novel starring a dog (Shiloh)—with my students.

I met Roland Smith at a Florida book festival a few years ago, and he reminded me that this is a job that we got into because it’s fun.

And I’m continuously inspired by my friend, Lola Schaefer, who is optimistic and energetic and sensible, as well as prolific and successful.

RS: Can you give us a quick teaser about the course you’ll be teaching at Southeastern Writers Association?

GK: The Art, Business and Craft (ABC’s) of Writing for Young Readers

We’ll begin with a consideration of the art: Why do grownups write for kids? Are we writing to instruct, inform or entertain? Do we write to relive and share our own childhood experiences? Do children’s books need a “message”?

There are as many genres in juvenile as in adult writing. What are the different types of books for children? How old are the kids who will read or listen to each type? What are the requirements of each genre—word length, content, organization? What kinds of characters and topics are appropriate for kids?

What are your options for establishing a readership? The “gate-keepers” of children’s books are adults: How do you connect with readers through publishers and educators?

Focus on the Picture Book: We’ll take a hands-on look at this special form, where less is more. (Some have described the picture book as War and Peace in a haiku!) Picture books can be grouped into concept books and picture storybooks, and each has specific requirements. Today’s picture books reflect today’s culture, so we’ll examine the current picture book scene. What role do author and illustrator play in developing these books?

Focus on the Novel: We’ll take a hands-on look at fiction for “middle grades” and “young adult” readers (ages 8-16). Today’s reader is faced with a world of hi-tech distractions, so how do you keep ‘em down on the page after they’ve seen TV? What’s the difference between novels for adults and kids? What’s the difference between contemporary novels and the books you savored when you were a kid?

THE PLUG

For more information about the Southeastern Writers Association conference in June, please see their registration page as well as my recent post.  Don’t wait to sign up—and you must be registered by April 1 in order to participate in contests and manuscript evaluations, so reserve your spot today!

To learn more about the workshop I’m teaching, click here.

ADDED BONUS

Here’s a link to a short interview another SWA presenter, Amy Munnell, did with Karwoski in 2008 on her blog/zine 3 Questions . . . and Answers.

Join Me at the Southeastern Writers Association Conference

As I announced in December, I will be teaching a workshop on journalistic writing at the 35th annual Southeastern Writers Association conference in June 2010.

To gear up for that, I’m going to be featuring some interviews and spotlights with this year’s presenters:

  • Professional freelancer and PR master J.M. Lacey
  • Celebrated poet and creative writing instructor Susan Meyers
  • and moi (OK, I’m not interviewing myself.  If you want the gist of what I’ll be teaching, click here.)

ABOUT SWA

Held at the beautiful Epworth by the Sea in St. Simon’s Island, Ga., SWA’s annual conference is the perfect place to soak up some rays along with some writing knowledge from these seasoned professionals.

In addition to workshops led by the aforementioned instructors, the SWA conference offers:

  • Up to 3 manuscript evaluations, including personal conferences with instructors
  • Free entry in up to 15 contests (in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, inspiration, humor, romance, and science fiction & fantasy)
  • The chance to network with a literary agent, successful authors, and writers in all stages of their careers
  • A place to sell your books, whether you are pubbed or self-pubbed

Don’t wait to sign up, however.  Registration is open—and you must be registered by April 1 in order to participate in contests and manuscript evaluations, so reserve your spot today!

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