June 2020 Newsletter

Next HSW Meeting 

Saturday June 13 at 10 am via Zoom

Our next HSW meeting will be another Zoom meeting due to the restrictions on meeting in large groups. The code for the meeting will be sent to all members in a news blast a few days before the meeting and will be posted on the HSW web site and our Facebook page. 

If you have not used Zoom before, it is easy. Just click on the link that we will send and post. It will take you to the Zoom web site where you can quickly download the application. You do not need to be on video. The meeting last month went well. We hope to see more of you this next meeting.


Michael will join us on June 13 via Zoom to discuss the changing landscape of Amazon marketing: what has worked, what no longer works, and what may be strategies for the future. We’ll also have Q&A with him, so bring your questions about book launching and ongoing marketing. Michael is one of the top 20 bestselling authors on Amazon and has self-published all of his books.


We’re pushing back the dates of the short story contest. We’re having a planning meeting for the contest on June 2 to nail down the timing and rules and we’ll announce the results at the June 13 meeting.


When we write in first person, we’re limited to the character’s voice, but in third person how much of the author’s voice should creep through? When does the author’s editorializing break the reader’s flow? How do we navigate POV and what effect does POV have on narration? Join the discussion as we navigate the wide spectrum of ideas on the topic.


We’ll have the usual session. Please send the Word version of your first page to mattbayan@aol.com no later than June 12. We’ll display the pages on the Zoom screen. Please include title and genre. Your submission can be from either a novel or short story. For easy reading, use 12 point Times New Roman and double space.  Do not include your name on the page.

From the President

The gym of which I’m a member just went under. One of my favorite restaurants won’t be re-opening.

I just realized that High Sierra Writers is also a small business. We’re incorporated. We have a tax ID number. We file a tax return.

Will High Sierra Writers make it through this pandemic? Or will it wither away?

The businesses that are failing right now are doing so because they don’t have the financial resources to weather the storm. Are we in that situation? No. We have financial resources. For us, the challenge is more about will. Can we hold together as an organization or will members get distracted after months of not meeting?

The HSW board of directors is just as motivated as before. We hope our members will hang in through the next few months as we figure out how to navigate the changing health landscape.

Encouraging signs: critique groups are meeting with Zoom; our request for a volunteer to become the corporate secretary has been successful; our May meeting – the first on Zoom – had twenty members participating.

We’ll hold our June meeting via Zoom. July may be different, but we’ll have to play it by ear. If you know of a large venue – a very large venue – where we can socially distance up to 40 people, please send us an email to board@highsierrawriters.org with info. For the near future, Scheels may be too small to allow us to spread out.

If you have suggestions for meeting topics, or know of guest speakers you’d like to see in our monthly meetings, please send your ideas to board@highsierrawriters.org as soon as possible.

Please keep checking the HSW web site for updates of the June 13 agenda. www.highsierrawriters.org 

See you June 13th.


New Secretary on Board

With our elected secretary, Nicole Frens, leaving the area soon, Troy Becker has agreed to fill the position, and the Board is pleased to approve the change. We welcome Troy to the HSW Board. Thank you to Nicole for her contributions as both secretary and critique wrangler to our group. We wish her the best of luck.



Linda Enos (who writes as Lynda Bailey) here. I’m the Critique Group Wrangler for HSW and also the leader of the after-the-regular-meeting (ATRM) critique group.
I wanted to share something one of the ATRM members said to me. (Please note, to spare this individual any possible embarrassment, I won’t reveal his/her gender or the genre he/she writes.)
This person wrote in an email, “I feel like I have a professional editor when I read your comments.”
While the sentiment is terribly sweet, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m not a professional editor – nor would I ever claim to be. I simply have fresh eyes.
As authors, we fight and struggle to do revision after revision in the hopes of perfecting our manuscripts. As a result, it’s easy for us to have tunnel vision when it comes to our stories. We know everything about the plot and characters. And since we know everything, we sometimes fail to actually put pertinent information on the page. We leapfrog over important motivations for a character or miss a crucial plot point altogether. This is why critique groups/partners are a vital component for any author, whether newbie or an old hat. We all need fresh eyes on our manuscripts.
So, if you’ve been kicking around the idea of joining a group, why wait? Contact me today … linda.r.enos@gmail.com … with your name, the genre you write and your writing experience. If I can’t match up with a group (which, with the pandemic, is kinda tough right now) you can always join the ATRM group to get your feet wet. Obviously with the pandemic ATRM hasn’t had a face-to-face meeting, but we do exchange pages via email. The general guidelines for critique groups as well as the guidelines for ATRM are listed on our website. www.highsierrawriters.org.
Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Stay safe and stay well!

Has your creativity flourished or floundered under the quarantine?

By Rene Averett

I’ve seen that many writers have had trouble getting their thoughts focused on any story line while being confined at home, while for others, it was business as usual. Have the worries of the situation stifled your creativity? Or is privacy to write harder to find than it was? Conversely, are you someone who likes to sit in a coffee shop surrounded by chatter and other people? 

Either way, it’s time to stimulate your creative juices.  Here’s one way to do it.

If you need some encouragement to get back into the swing of things, you might consider the summer session of Camp NaNoWriMo. It begins on July 1st and runs the entire month. Like the spring version, the goal is up to you. If you want to write 30,000 or 50,000 words over the month or choose to edit an already completed piece, hat’s your choice.

The main objective is to get people working on a project with others doing likewise. With the limitations of the quarantine, we might be relying more on Zoom meetings and online writing sprints more than physical get-togethers, but it’s still a great way to bounce ideas off fellow writers and get the competitive spirit that encourages you to keep going.

If you are interested, join Rene and the NaNoWriMo Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/NaNoReno
To learn more about Camp NaNoWriMo go to: https://nanowrimo.org/what-is-camp-nanowrimo


Administrator for account
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.