Thursday, October 4, 2018

Young Writers of Kern

As a board we’re in constant communication, our members at the forefront of every decision. With that, we’ve taken extra care this year in helping our members, beginners or advanced, in their publishing journey—including our Young Writers of Kern, students from sixth grade through high school.

The YWOK Essay Competition is Writers of Kern’s flagship community service project. The purpose of the competition is to promote critical thinking, writing, and research skills. Up to twenty awards of $150 (middle school) and $200 (high school) are given each year. 

In addition, winning essays are published in an annual anthology (a publishing credit before the student graduates high school).

Ava, one of our budding young writers, has enlisted the help of her sisters and Kind Girls Make Strong Women volunteers to strengthen YWOK’s foundation. During the month of October KGMSW will donate all proceeds from their apparel sales and online donation drive.

For parents, students and teachers interested in joining/inviting writers to participate, click here or sign up for our newsletter hereYou do not need to be a YWOK member to participate.

If you would like to join WOK/YWOK, all student memberships (18 and younger) are $10 a year and include meeting fees with membership. 
If you’d like to donate via check, (Tax ID# 77-0383293) send to KCSOS, 1300 17th St, Bakersfield CA 93301 c/o Stephen L. Sanders. To purchase Kind Girls’ apparel or donate via credit card, click here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Word Crush Wednesday

Join us for our Word Crush Wednesday Goal: 3,000 words

Don't edit, don't backspace. Just write. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Word Crush Wednesday & Monday Madness Kick-Off

Ever so slowly, the temperatures dip along with our daylight hours and we welcome the season's change. It’s tempting to toss our writing goals aside with the starting of school (whether it be for our children or grandchildren—or even ourselves) and holiday season just around the corner.

Tempting—yes, but not for the publishing industry. Fall is when agents and editors are coming back from vacations and tackling projects with gusto. While most authors are sitting back with a steaming mug of cocoa, the industry is gearing up for their end of the year mad dash. Just like authors are ranked by their book sales, agencies are ranked by their book deals.

To help, I’m kicking off Word Crush Wednesday and Monday Madness. Every Wednesday I’ll give a set amount time with a word count goal while every Monday we’ll do the reverse—instead of writing, we’ll be editing.

Join in via Facebook or right here with your own set time and goal. Together, we’ll finish (and polish) your manuscript.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Workshop: How to Create Realistic Characters for Your Fiction

Great storytelling relies on great characters. And now there’s a fun system to help you develop yours.

Join Writers of Kern and creative writing instructor, Joan Raymond, for our September meeting and workshop.
Joan will walk writers through all the easy steps and fun questions that lead to those realistic characters in breakout stories. She’ll show you “how to get inside a character’s head and discover hidden secrets and emotions” that go beyond basic description and outer appearance.

Joan Raymond teaches creative writing through Bakersfield College’s Levan Institute and served as Writers of Kern president for four years. Her short stories have been published online and in print.

Workshop Details
When:     September 15, 2018 8:45 - 11:30 a.m.
Where:   Hodel's, 5917 Knudsen Drive, Bakersfield CA
Tickets:  $10 for members, $15 for guests, includes a buffet breakfast and can be paid at the door or online.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

August President's Message

For years I’ve visited clients and conferences alike. The greatest frustration writers expressed was the lack of community in local cities. It’s easy for those of us here in California. We to take for granted our WOK family and all that it entails. Writers pretend to be lone wolves but we secretly crave that pat on the back from our fellow bibliophiles. To create characters worthy of sharing is a passion—or cross to bear, depending on the writing day. It's what binds us as authors.

Yet in the last month, I received nearly thirty emails from shocked Bakersfield residents. Each and every email expressed pleasant surprise that California’s Central Valley had a writing group of its own. It’s a little ironic that an organization uniting writers has yet to “spread the word” to our own family and friends.

And so, I challenge you (and myself) to open our mouths, extend an invitation and invite budding writers to a meeting. We’ve revamped our Student Membership with a lot $10 annual fee. For those eighteen and younger, they won’t pay for meeting fees. Not now. Now ever.

We hope to expand our reach and include members from all walks of life whether they are young in years, young in spirit or on the verge of society—Writers of Kern has a place you.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mentorship Survey

We're getting ready to kick off our Mentorship Program and need your input. 
Click here to take survey.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Win a Pitch Critique!

Snag that agent with our Pitch Critique!
All you have to do is post a pitch (good or bad, rough or polished).
Every pitch counts as an entry, so pitch away!

Bonus: double entry if you share the post (via blog, Facebook or instagram)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Forget the Siesta, We have First Draft

While most of the publishing world is throwing their yearly siesta, we're gearing up for another fantastic workshop. Our writers asked for help and Writers of Kern snagged First Draft Publishing.
Here's a sneak peek:

To make any task easier you need structure and publishing a book is no different. Self Publishing can be simple if you have the right system to work with.
Donnée and Marcus Harris have spent seven years writing, formatting and creating books to share with the world. In the process, their experience as a journalist, creative writer and publisher has prompted them to share their experience with other writers that have an interest in self publishing their books.
Our Self-Publishing System will give you everything you need to create an Ebook and Print book from your edited manuscript. This course includes video lectures, step-by-step instructional videos, templates and industry resources needed to complete your book.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Author Etiquette: Fortune favors the bold...and the polite

For the fifth time today I received an automatic message after accepting a friend. Immediately following was the author's newsletter. 
Even my love for writers can't stop the involuntary cringe. 

Authors, whether we like it or not, we are self employed. The surge in direct sales and multilevel marketing (think LuLaRoe, Amway, Nuskin...) has emboldened otherwise relaxed entrepreneurs. Sadly, this is chasing would be readers, including agents and editors, underground.

Temptation is ever present. 
We spent years honing our craft and are eager to share it with the world. 
Fortune favors the bold, right?

Yes. And no.

Bold is asking a newly minted friend if he would like to be added to your newsletter/email chain. 
It's taking a risk and extending an offer. 
But more important, it's polite. 

An automatic message to a friend/acquaintance is less polite and typically, the message is a not-so-subtle solicitation for their book or service. 
It's tacky and leaves bad taste in our mouths. First impressions once given, are hard to overcome.

Adding your new friend to a Facebook group or newsletter without asking, isn't bold. 
It's downright rude.

The breach of etiquette in social media has been the driving force behind Instagram's success. 
No one can add you to a group, post links in comments or take over your feed with their self promotion.

Be bold, but be wise as well. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Dear Writers

Dear Writers,

Cheering authors started out as a simple hobby but mushroomed to an all consuming career. For months, I vacillated back and forth on whether to accept the upcoming nomination for President of my local California Writers Club branch.

Thankfully, the decision forced me to revisit my priorities and schedules. With three small children (ages eight to thirteen) who are active in both the school and the community have more than the lion’s share of my time.

Add critique groups and clients, I had mere seconds left for my writing until I reached out to an incredible board. Overnight, I had volunteers help with critique groups and substitutes for the upcoming months already pegged for my daughters’ events.

I spent the last several years working side by side with a dedicated board—even saying an earthly farewell to a dear, dear friend. Through these friendships, we built a new caliber of critique groups, added Young Writers of Kern and expanded membership. It was a beautiful experience but also an overwhelming expectation to continue.

We—the board—played a bit of musical chairs and restructured positions; our past president now sits at the helm of our indie imprint while our past Vice President captains our ever-growing young writers program.

And now, we embark on a new fiscal year with the same eagerness and same hunger to help our authors with our new Mentorship Program. Writing might be solitary but editing and publishing doesn’t have to be.

Sending that first submission (or the hundredth) can be demoralizing—we’re unrolling a plan to help with the entire publishing process. From contests to queries, we’ll be here to help our members through their publishing journey.

 For more info on membership, click here.


Clarissa Kae