October 2017 Newsletter

From the HSW President


Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas and New Year. The next three months will suck you away from whatever writing routine you may have. Don’t lament, don’t cry, don’t panic.

Accept the fact that you will be distracted. Downshift your expectations and take a detour.

Take the slowdown as an opportunity to stop writing new material and use it to improve what you’ve already written. Here’s how. Mark up the first three pages based on which of the three types of writing each sentence falls under: description, summary, or immediate scene. Use different colored highlighters or underline or circle. Whatever works for you.

Then look at those pages and assess which type of writing dominates. If description or summary come out on top, you have a serious problem. Go through the rest of your manuscript and mark it up. When you finish, you now have a road map of what you need to do. The good thing is that you can work on small segments at a time.

Have a half hour? Rewrite a few pages. Convert description to compact images. Get rid of long summary. Upgrade your chapters into immediate scene. Increase dialogue. Look for other ways to better say what you wrote before.

Whether you get done during the holidays doesn’t matter. If you do this mark-up, you’ve set an inventory of work to get done over whatever time frame works for you. Doing this exercise will make a significant improvement in your novel.

When you’re done, go back to page one of your manuscript and read through to see if it is “a dramatic story told dramatically.”

Matt Bayan

HSW Board Ballot is at the bottom of this newsletter. Please read.

November Meeting Changed

Due to scheduling conflicts with the library, the November meeting is rescheduled to the third Saturday of the month, November 18th. It will still be at 10 a.m. at the South Valleys Library on Wedge Parkway.

The program for this meeting is undetermined for this time. Details next issue.

Short Story Contest Entries

Since the November meeting has changed to November 18th, the deadline for the Short Story contest entries has moved to the 18th meeting when they can be handed over. Only current HSW Members may enter the contest.

Things to note:

  • All entries must be submitted by the NEW November date; Nov. 18 th.
  • The entry fee per each story submitted is $10.00 with a maximum of two entries.
  • Jay will be accepting fees starting at the October meeting if you will not be at the November meeting or wish to pay early.
  • If you can’t make the November meeting, you may hand your short story to Lynda Bailey (Enos) at the October meeting.

In case you forgot the criteria for the short story entry, your story must have:
A.  A romantic element
B.  A fight scene
C.  A plot twist
D.  Dialog as the first sentence
E.  A cover page with name, title, genre, and contact.

Winning story will be announced at the December meeting. Judges decisions are final and not subject to negotiation.

Next HSW Meeting Will Feature Planning
The meeting is October 14th at 10 a.m at the South Valleys Library. We will not be doing blurbs at this meeting, but we will be doing first pages, so bring those along. During our October meeting, we’ll have two programs.

1.    Goal Setting for Writers
Our October guest will be Gina Decker,, who will give a presentation on goal setting and then lead the group in a personal goal setting exercise. Gina Decker holds an MA in Educational Leadership and BAs in Music and English from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the owner of Tech Done For You, Writing and Editing Today and offers consulting services to authors and small business owners who need websites, blogs, and social media management. Gina works full time from home doing tech for business owners, has published 5 books with a 6th in the works, and is here to talk to you about how to organize your creative writing projects so you can focus on what you love. Bring a blank sheet of paper.

2.    Craft Workshop
Bring a few pages of your manuscript. We’re going to work on them and show some simple ways to make your writing more powerful and engaging. This workshop will be anonymous, so don’t freak out about having your work publicly analyzed (unless you want it).

Gina Decker did an interview with Barbara Ingrassia, a certified copyright manager, speaker, and trainer, regarding copyright mistakes small business owners make. HSW members may view the interview at this link.

Ms. Ingrassia offered a free booklet, which Gina passed on to us: The Top 10 Copyright Mistakes Small Businesses Make (that could land them in court) and How to Avoid Them:
http://techdoneforyou.com/barb gift.

Romance Times Convention Comes to Reno

Yes, this is a big deal in the romance genre. Romance Times is a reader/writer convention of epic proportions, almost as big as the RWA Convention.

Come May 15 through May 20, the Peppermill Hotel will be overflowing with romance, or at least a slew of writers and readers. Featuring an array of authors and numerous panels available to both readers and writers, this is a convention to consider. Although the price is also a little on the epic side, it does offer more than 100 workshops, parties, and reader events. As with any convention of this type, it’s a great place to network and make important contacts.

If you’re interested, check out their web site soon as they are accepting registrations NOW!

High Sierra Writers
Election Ballot

President – Matt Bayan
Secretary – Nicole Frens
Treasurer – Jay Leavitt
Director of Communication – Donna Stegman
Director of Membership – Rene Averett
Director of Education – NA


  • Voting is open until the end of October.
  • Since none of the positions are being challenged, you can email Linda Enos at enoslinda@sbcglobal.net with either a *Yay* or *Nay* vote.
  • We will also do a *voice* vote at the October meeting.
  • Results will be announced at the November meeting.
  • A challenge period will last until 11/20 with the final, official results announced at the December meeting.

Any questions or concerns, contact Linda Enos… enoslinda@sbcglobal.net.

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