HSW June 2021 Newsletter


Next HSW Meeting 

Saturday June 12 at 10 am via Zoom. 

Yes, we are still doing Zoom Meetings. We’re hoping to be able to resume in person meetings soon, but we are waiting for the good word from Scheels. However, we will continue to use Zoom for those who aren’t able to make it to Sparks for the meetings. We understand Scheels has a very good setup for web meetings, so we’re looking forward to it. 

Our guest for the June meeting is author Tim Maleeny. In an interview format, Matt will discuss the publishing landscape and how Tim broke into the world of mystery novels. Tim is skilled at working humor into tense situations while maintaining the drive of the narrative. TIM MALEENY is author of the award-winning Cape Weathers series of mysteries and the bestselling comedic thriller JUMP. Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss this meeting.

Rene will also do a short presentation about Kindle Vella, the new format from Amazon KDP. Set to go live in July, this new option for getting your work to readers gives writers an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new delivery format using episodic writing. Rene will go into a little more detail and show you how to set up your book on Vella.


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, June 11 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.


Looking ahead, our planned speaker for the meeting on July 10 is Anne Hawley from Pages and Platforms. You may remember Anne from the The Story Grid presentation she and Rachelle Ramirez did two years ago. This time Anne will cover an editorial topic:

Pages & Platforms presents: “Can You Edit Your Own Novel?”

Anne_Elizabeth HawleyJoin certified developmental editor Anne Hawley of Pages & Platforms for a one-hour presentation about editing your own book. This presentation explores the levels of editing, and focuses on understanding and solving the most common problems authors have in developing and structurally editing their own work.
Anne will cover:

  • The three most common structural problems she finds in her clients’ work: Story Type confusion, pacing problems, and manuscript length.
  • The 7 Story Types that are essential for editing your book;
  • Scene analysis techniques to help you find where your story isn’t working and where you can cut;
  • Tips and tricks for calculating the right length for your story.

Anne will also provide a downloadable packet that includes:

  • The Pages & Platforms Guide to the Story Types
  • The Scene Structure cheat sheet
  • The S.H.E.G. (Super Hardcore Editing Group) Manifesto, for establishing your own editing group
  • A suggested reading list

Anne Hawley is a developmental editor certified in the Story Grid method. She specializes in literary historical fiction, action stories in fantasy and science fiction settings, and indie screenplays. With her Pages & Platforms colleagues Rachelle Ramirez and Sue Campbell, she has developed the Story Path course, which provides clear, practical steps to help authors develop, write, edit and market their stories. 
Anne is the author of the historical love story Restraint, and the forthcoming The Footman. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

The rules for the 2021 Writing Contest are now posted on the HSW website. At this time, the PayPal links to pay for the entries are not yet posted. We need to create two new buttons for this year’s competition and I hope those will be done soon.

The PDF packet of the forms is also not done yet. I expect to have them up in the next couple of weeks, so you will be able to download the rules and the entry form. 

Meanwhile, we have a great article in this issue from Leanna Falconer on the fundamental elements of a short story. Keep reading below.

Can You Make Money as an Author?

A burning question for many writers is if it’s a profession that will pay off. In this article by Jane Friedman, writer and publishing guru, she talks about how much authors make and encourages them to talk frankly about the reality of it.Read her whole article here for an eye-opener:


7 Fundamentals of Short Story Writing

(Leanna Falconer has published short stories and novels under L.F. Falconer. Her short stories have appeared in several genre magazines, and she has published two collections, Beyond the Veil: 13 Tales on the Dark Side and Through a Broken Window: Ten Dark Tales of the Strange and Deranged  in addition to her novels. Visit her author page on Amazon here.)

By Leanna Falconer

I’m going to keep pretending to know what I’m doing until I actually do. When it comes to writing, that’s my guiding philosophy, so when I was asked if I might share some insights into writing the short story, I was left a bit flummoxed and hardly knew where to begin. Sure, I’ve sold a few stories, but do I really know what I’m doing?

 Are there any real secrets to mastering the short story form aside from having a love for them in the first place? For the majority of us, they were what we cut our teeth on: Bedtime stories, fables, myths, folklore, legends, campfire and fairy tales. And there are as many different types of short stories out there as there are novels. The long and the short form of writing share a lot in common. Neither one is superior to the other. They both have their strengths and their weaknesses. Whether you favor one form over the other, mastering the art of the short story can only enhance the mastery of writing the novel.

The short story can often be more powerful than the novel—it is the “impact” of the single bullet rather than the entire, extended battle. A novel is a roller coaster. A short story is a zipline. The novel is swimming the English Channel. The short story is a quick dip in the pool. But don’t confuse the word short with simple, for it can be argued that the shorter the story, the more difficult it can be to write. But hopefully, I can pass along a few tips I’ve learned over the years to make it a little easier.

A short story is written with a controlled state of mind. There is no room for indulgence, no excess. There is only room for story at a steady pace, saying only what’s necessary. As Chekhov stated: “The art of writing is the art of abbreviation.” The short story is a prime example of this.

Ed. Note: Since this is a long article, the rest is on the HSW website. Click here to continue reading.


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