HSW August 2021 Newsletter

Next HSW Meeting 

Saturday September 11th at 10 am – IN PERSON!

Our meetings are returning to Scheels beginning in September and barring any unforeseen orders to the contrary. Masks are required and the seating should give us adequate space to spread out socially. We will still  have an online  meeting, but we will not be using ZOOM. Scheels is set up for Google Meets, so we’ll use that program for the meeting. Instructions for getting into the meeting are in Matt’s President’s Letter. 

For our program this month, we’re doing a workshop on Blurb Writing.  This seems to be one of the most difficult things most writers encounter. We’re all struggling to craft the right short elevator pitch and/or the longer back blurb for your book. What sells the book? How do you make it snappy to catch the reader’s attention? 

For this workshop, we’re asking any of you who have a book blurb written that you’re willing to use as an example to submit it to RPAverett@gmail.com by Thursday, September 9th so we can project it for everyone to see. As a group, we’ll see if we can improve your blurb. If you’re reluctant to submit ahead of time, bring your blurb to the meeting. We’ll critique as many as we have time to do.

Here’s something to think about. The elevator pitch and blurb are the core of your novel. You don’t have to have a completed book to write one. 

Matt will be doing First Pages at this meeting.  If you have a first page you would like feedback on, please send it by Friday  Sept.10 to MattBayan@aol.com  For easy reading, please use 12 point Times New Roman and double space.  Do not include your name on the page, but indicate the genre. 

From the President

Welcome back to the real world!
Our September 11 meeting will take place at Scheels the normal time from 10 AM to Noon. I will be there and I hope you will be too. Scheels requires us to wear masks, but so does Costco. We rented two of the meeting rooms, so there should be plenty of space to spread out.
If you’ve been panicked by all the news hype about Covid breakouts and variants, etc., you can join the meeting through Google Meet. No, we can’t use Zoom. Scheels has a conference capability through Google Meet only.
Here’s the simplest way to join the meeting no matter what hardware you are using:
Go to Google.com (from any browser) and click on the menu of Google services.
Click on the icon for Google Meet. You’ll see a box: ENTER A CODE OR LINK.
Paste or enter this link in the box: https://meet.google.com/xwg-oarw-mfb?hs=224 
On the right of the box, click JOIN.
You will enter Google Meet. On the right, click on ASK TO JOIN.
On the lower left, make sure your audio and video is on. The default is MUTE, so you need to activate audio and video.
For those with an Apple phone, our understanding is that if you go through Google.com, you should be able to enter.
Please do a dry run anytime between now and the meeting to be sure you’ll be able to connect. You’ll get to the meeting screen, but you’ll get a message: YOU CAN’T JOIN THIS CALL. That’s because nobody is in the room to let you in. If you succeed in getting this far, you should have no trouble entering on the day of the meeting.
You can also join by phone (audio only)
(US) +1 828-539-0381 (PIN: 438524734)
See you soon,

Author Branding Replay

Kitty Turner did a terrific presentation on Author Branding at our August meeting. We did record it and Kitty has graciously uploaded it to her YouTube channel. This is an unlisted setting, so only those who have the link below can find it. So, if you missed it or just want to re-watch, go to the link.

You can see Kitty’s other videos on her channel at YouTube:  


Or her Podcast at: 

Looking for Critique Partners?

One of the benefits of being an HSW member is to utilize our critique groups. If we don’t have one with an opening that fits your genre, Lynda Bailey (Linda Enos), our Critique Wrangler, will do her best to find one for you or locate other members with the same genre. So, send a note to Linda at:

And, if you need a Finish Group – a set of critique partners for a completed book – let Lynda know. These usually consist of 4 people, who all have a completed book. You read  and critique one book a month.

The 2021 Writing Contest deadline is coming up quickly. We initially stated October 15th as the deadline, but we’re extending it to the end of October to give everyone a little more time to polish your work.

If you’ve completed your entry or entries, you can submit them anytime now. In fact, you can bring your entry to our meeting at Scheels in September or in October. Be sure to put your story and your entry form in an envelope or on a flash drive or CD if you’re handing it to either Rene or Troy at the meeting.  You may pay your entry fee(s) for the category at the meeting via check or send it through PayPal.

Or you may enter by emailing your entry to RPAverett@gmail.com with a subject line of Contest Entry. Payment buttons are on the website at

As if this writing, we are still working on the judges for the contest. 

New Book Release!

High Sierra Writers has several published writers in the group. Our HSW Authors page features 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. This month, Mark Bacon has a book releasing on September 30th. The book is on pre-order now at Amazon.  

Book Cover Dark Ride DeceptionIs Tom Wyrick Dead? The computer genius is missing. So are his priceless tech secrets. Time for Lyle to go undercover again.

Tom Wyrick’s mind-bending technology will rocket Nostalgia City theme park decades ahead of the competition. His billion-dollar, breathtaking discovery is the Perception Deception Effect. But the computer genius is missing. So are his secrets. Is he dead? On the run? 

Find out in Mark Bacon’s newest book in the Nostalgia City Mystery series.

Please support our authors by reading and reviewing their books.


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