HSW April 2021 Newsletter

Next HSW Meeting 

Saturday April 10 at 10 am via Zoom. 


Come join our Zoom meeting when we welcome Janice Hermsen from LaRue Press as our guest. Janice has been in the publishing business for most of her life and broadcasts her “What’s the Story?” radio program where she interviews authors and other creatives. Bring your questions about independent publishing as Janice joins us to talk about the industry and what’s new and exciting.
 Along with that, Rene will do a short presentation on how to use Draft2Digital to publish your indie book to multiple platforms through one channel for free. She’ll go over how to enter your book, format it, then select distribution. 


Shameless Self-Promotion
Writing Contest Update
Janice Hermsen on Publishing
Draft2Digital Demo
First Pages

See you on the second Saturday of the month! Zoom information will be sent out on the Thursday before the meeting. 

From the President – Matt Bayan


When I’ve worked on new writers’ manuscripts, I’ve often asked them what they would consider “success.” The spectrum of answers is wide. Some say immediately that they want a bestseller. Others say they just want to get published. Some say they want something their families will remember them by and would be happy self-publishing a memoir and posting it on Kindle for free.

It’s interesting that most of the answers revolve in some way around publishing. From Big Four (yes, Simon & Schuster has been bought) to freebie Kindle.

How do you view writing success? What path do you need to take to achieve that success? What tools do you need? What allies?

Answering these questions requires an understanding of agents, small-house publishers vs. the Big Four, your platform, your writing skills and deficiencies, editors, marketing… The list seems endless.

The April meeting will focus on publishing. We’ll get a personal viewpoint from a local publisher, as well as discuss some of the issues I listed above.

So, please join us for a wide-ranging discussion and how you can write your way to what you consider your personal success.

We’ll also offer you the opportunity to write an op-ed for The Washington Post.

Coming in May… 

The Compass of Character: Creating Complex Character Motivations

Mark your calendar and set your reminders for this meeting as David Corbett joins us via Zoom.

The central question for any character—what does she want—needs to be realistically complex to create a truly memorable depiction. 

In this workshop, award-winning author David Corbett (The Art of Character, The Compass of Character) will guide participants in an examination of the four key counteracting forces tugging the character’s willfulness in different directions: Lack, Yearning, Resistance, and Desire. This understanding will inform the uneasy truce the character has established between pursuing the promise of life and protecting herself from the pain of life at the story’s outset, and how the misfortune or opportunity that launches the action destabilizes that equilibrium, creating the character’s internal struggle.

Our May 8, 2021 meeting will be taken up mostly by our workshop on character. Seven years ago we had David here in person for a weekend workshop, and he got rave reviews from our members. Don’t miss this.

Membership Renewals

Just a reminder that if you haven’t renewed your membership in HSW, you are overdue. Don’t miss out on any member opportunities and benefits by letting your membership expire. As you know, your membership dues help to make it possible to have great speakers like David Corbett for our meetings as well as provide for the expenses associated with the organization itself, such as our PO Box, Zoom, and meeting room expenses when we get back to them as well as bringing in paid guests.

Please renew today! 

2021 Contest is Coming!

Yes, we will have a three-pronged writing contest in 2021. We are planning to launch it May 1st to run through September 30th. We will present the categories and guidelines at the next meeting. We are also looking for a theme for the short story contest with an eye to doing a compilation book from the entries.

In addition, we are planning an additional contest that deals with an aspect of marketing more than the craft of writing. Rene will tell you more about that at the meeting. 

Boomer Writing Contest

Thought this one might interest a few of you to give it a try. For those who aren’t sure, Boomers were born between 1946 and 1954.

Stories Through The Ages Baby Boomers Plus 2021:

We are very excited to be in the fifth year of this contest. Submissions are open. The deadline for the 2021 publication is June 15, 2021. Tell us about an experience growing up as a Baby Boomer, or use your experience gained becoming a Baby Boomer and tell us a story. The entry may be fiction or nonfiction.

New for 2021, we have changed the eligibility requirements to include authors born 1966 or earlier. While technically not Baby Boomers we feel people in this age range possess the experience we are looking for.

The word count for the contest is 900 – 4000 words. The entry fee is $25 for one story and $20 per story when submitting multiple stories

 A minimum of the top fifteen finalists will be published in the 2021 edition of the book.

• 1st place winner will receive $500.00
• 2nd place $200.00
• 3rd place $100.00.

New Book Release!

High Sierra Writers has quite a few published writers in the group. We have a page featuring the various books grouped by author under genre. These are under HSW Writers link. As our authors release new books, we’ll feature them here . 

Book CoverEven though this compilation of interviews was released earlier this year, we missed posting it here. Ken Beaton is one of three contributing authors to Legacies of the Silver State: Nevada Goes to War. This collection of interviews with World War II survivors covers the war years with their memories of the events. The book is raising money for Honor Flight and has thus far made over $9,000 for the charity. It is available at Sundance Books, Purple Avocado, and on Amazon in both eBook and print. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. Check it out and help a good cause.

If you have a book release coming up next month, please send me the information, including the book link, cover, and your blurb if you would like it mentioned and/or posted to the web site.

Advertising Tip

At the last meeting, Matt mentioned a web site to try for advertising your book at a reasonable price. The Fussy Librarian boasts a newsletter distribution of 118,000 to 470,000 readers, depending on if it’s a bargain or free book promotion. The prices for advertising in this newsletter are very reasonable, ranging from $11 to $21 for bargain-priced books and $12 to $72 for free books. 

To take a look for yourself and see what an ad would cost for your book, visit The Fussy Librarian at:




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