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  • 23 Aug 2021 5:13 PM | Andrea Glass (Administrator)

    By Janice Coy

    Learning how to give and receive critiques is an important skill for any level of writer. It’s natural to initially reject any critique of a writing piece. After all, a written piece can be very personal. Writers, like other creatives, take a risk when they’re vulnerable with their work and ask for input. I would love to hear nothing but accolades about my work. However, I know my writing won’t improve without the valuable input of those who are interested in helping me.

    A critique is different than a criticism. A criticism can be a remark or comment that expresses disapproval. It can also refer to “literary criticism” or the activity of making judgments about the quality of a written piece. A critique typically refers to a careful judgment in which someone gives an opinion about something.

    For example, a writing workshop instructor critiquing an attendee’s work could mean that the written sample is excellent but that the teacher is giving pointers to make the writing even better. If a reviewer criticizes the writing, it means the reviewer regarded the writing unfavorably.

    Sometimes, a critique when first received can feel like a criticism. This is when the writer needs to use his or her judgment to discern whether the input is meant to be helpful. This discernment usually comes with practice.

    Writers who are objective about critiques can learn to recognize which suggestions will improve their work and which will not. Sometimes, a critique can be well-intentioned but miss the mark by encouraging a writer in a different direction than he or she wants to go.

    Last year, I received a critique about the main character in my novel. The reader said the character came across as mean. I was surprised as that wasn’t my intent, and I was tempted to reject the comment. However, a careful review of my descriptive word choices revealed that the reader was right.

    A helpful critique will often contain some positive feedback about the writing. Every writing piece has some good in it. Remember, the goal of a requested critique is to encourage writers to make good writing better.

    When asked, comment on a well-written description, make note of an original character or unique turn of phrase. Be specific about where a character’s choice is confusing or where a scene skims the surface.

    I first learned how to receive and give helpful critiques in a novel writing class at UCSD Extension. Later, I was a member of a writing critique group. I’ve also experienced expert critiques from editors at the San Diego State University Writers’ Conference and the Southern California Writers’ Conference.

    SDWEG offers a wonderful critique service to its members for the first twenty pages of a manuscript. I’ve benefitted from this service as well as from the critiques I’ve received with my SDWEG anthology submissions.

    It’s not easy to receive a critique. It can also be difficult to give one if the recipient isn’t truly open to suggestions. This can happen even when a critique is requested.

    Like any other part of the writing process, giving and receiving helpful critiques takes practice and sometimes, lots of deep breathing.


    Janice Coy is the author of six novels. Her work has appeared in several anthologies including the SDWEG anthologies and the upcoming San Diego Decameron Project anthology.


  • 20 Aug 2021 6:23 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)


    For the full lineup and panel schedule, click here.

    Admission is free to the virtual event.
  • 19 Aug 2021 7:15 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)
    View this email in your browser

    Sunday August 22 at 4pm
    Panel with E.A. Aymar, Alma Katsuand Tara Laskowski
    VIRTUAL EVENT - FREE

    Attendance is free and it is open to the public. 
    SHARE THIS INVITE WITH FRIENDS
     

    You are invited to a free special event on August 22 at 4pm.  As part of their Sizzling Summer Series, three chapters of Sisters in Crime are presenting a FLAVORS OF MYSTERY panel that gives you a taste of three authors’ different takes on the mystery genre.  With moderator Maddie Margarita, these authors will talk about how they write and the differences in their approaches in their latest books.  

    The well-known E.A. Aymar has a recent thriller to discuss while Alma Katsu has her first spy novel, after a lifetime of work as an intelligence officer. Tara Laskowski’s debut novel is suspenseful and award-winning.  All of these authors bring different styles and approaches on what it takes to write crime fiction.

    Join the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego Sisters in Crime for a FREE event.  We welcome all members of the public interested in hearing these authors and maybe getting a chance to ask a question yourself.  The Zoom link is below.  Share the info with your friends.

    Anthony Award-nominated E.A. Aymar’s most recent thriller, They’re Gone, was published in 2020 under his pseudonym E.A. Barres. He has a monthly column in the Washington Independent Review of Books, is a former member of the national board of the International Thriller Writers and an active member of Crime Writers of Color, the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. He also runs the Noir at the Bar series for Washington, D.C., and has hosted and spoken at a variety of crime fiction, writing, and publishing events nationwide.

    RED WIDOW is Alma Katsu’s first spy novel, the logical marriage of her love of storytelling with her 30+ year career in intelligence. As an intelligence officer, Ms. Katsu worked at several federal agencies as a senior analyst where she advised policymakers and military commanders on issues of national security. Ms. Katsu also writes novels that combine historical fiction with supernatural and horror elements. THE HUNGER (2018), a reimagining of the story of the Donner Party, was named one of NPR’s 100 favorite horror stories. 

    Tara Laskowski’sdebut suspense novel One Night Gone won the Agatha Award, Macavity Award, and the Anthony Award. Her second novel, The Mother Next Door, will be published in October 2021. She also wrote two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders. She has won the Agatha Award and Thriller Award for her short fiction and was the longtime editor of the online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly. A graduate of Susquehanna University and George Mason University, Tara grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. 

    BOOK CARNIVAL and the chapters of SISTERS IN CRIME in Orange County, San Diego, and Los Angeles welcome you to the third and last of their Sizzling Summer Speaker Series themed The Many Flavors of Mystery featuring East Coast authors,E.A. Ayar, Alma Katsu, and Tara Laskowski.

    Link to Purchase Books is on the Book Carnival event page: https://www.annesbookcarnival.com/events/

     


  • 19 Aug 2021 7:13 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)
    The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books

    A glimpse of the lineup 

    From poets to personalities, renowned authors offer a wide scope of genres. Here are some of the authors participating in 
    The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books. 

    John Grisham
    John Grisham 

    John Grisham is an author, attorney and politician whose bestselling legal thrillers have been adapted for film. Grisham is the author of 36 novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories and seven books for young readers. His works include “A Time to Kill,” “The Firm” and his latest book, “Sooley.”

    For the full lineup and panel schedule, click here.

    Admission is free to the virtual event.

    Register now!


  • 14 Aug 2021 6:18 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)

    Aloha from Kauai!

    This Sunday's session of KWC Online and the Kauai Book Club will feature Paula McLain discussing her new bestselling novel When the Stars Go Dark. 

    We're delighted to tell you that KWC faculty member Amanda Eyre Ward will join in to discuss the book. This conversation between these two amazing authors will be one not to miss! 

    There is a session every Sunday. One Sunday each month is devoted to the Kauai Book Club, much like a living room book club but with the author herself leading the discussion. The other sessions focus on topics of interest to writers, with bestselling authors sharing advice on their craft and agents and publishers giving guidance on how to get published.

    We warmly invite you to join us.
     
    Register for Kauai Writers Conference online sessions

    Paula McLain is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Paris WifeCircling the Sun, and Love and Ruin.  Her new novel, When the Stars Go Dark, was released this spring to widespread acclaim.

     “A total departure for the author of The Paris Wife, McLain’s emotionally intense and exceptionally well-written thriller entwines its fictional crime with real cases.”—People (Book of the Week)

    “The kind of heart-pounding conclusion that thriller fans crave . . . In the end, a book full of darkness lands with a message of hope.”—The New York Times Book Review

     
    Amanda Eyre Ward is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Jetsetters, as well as nine other books including novels, nonfiction, and a collection of short stories. 


  • 13 Aug 2021 11:44 AM | Andrea Glass (Administrator)


    Bio

    My name is Bob Boze and I live in the South Bay area of San Diego. My partner, Robyn Bennett, lives in Blenheim on New Zealand’s South Island. We are both published romance and non-fiction authors, editors, teachers, workshop presenters, speakers and bloggers. Together we have over fifteen published works, several short stories and are collaborating on several more novels, short stories, articles and other works.  We also offer a variety of writer and business services through our business website, Writing Allsorts. To learn more about us, our published works and the services we offer, go to https://writingallsorts.com/, which is also linked to our writer’s websites, https://bobboze.com

     Amazon link: www.amazon.com/bob-boze

    Connect on Facebook: https://facebook.com/bobbozeauthorpage/

    What aspect of editing or writing are you involved in?

    Pretty much everything related to writing. We write, edit, teach, do workshops, speak at writer’s conferences and provide a wide variety of services to writers and businesses.

    What first attracted you to writing/editing?

    A tour of a friend’s horse rescue ranch. I kept staring at the horses thinking there’s a story here. It took me over a year though to figure out how to write it. The editing and teaching parts came later when I met Robyn, who teaches, and the two of us realized we would make a great writer’s teaching team.

    How long have you been writing/editing?

    I started writing my first book twelve years ago. We formed our editing business about six years ago. 

    As a writer, what kind of books do you write? Any published? How about short stories?

    I have nine published books and three short stories, with two more books in the works with a target publication dates of Fall 2021. We both write feel-good romance, with a little nonfiction (Text books and an autobiography) thrown in for good measure. Together we have over fifteen books and five short stories published. There are also two more series containing six more books outlined.

    As an editor, what kind of clients do you work with and what services do you provide?

     We do editing for both writers and businesses. Developmental, line or copy editing, proofreading and I guess you could say borderline production editing since a lot of our clients self-publish. So, a lot of formatting, adding front and back matter (title page, copyright page, about the author and acknowledgements) and helping them with a good description for the back cover and Amazon page.

    What are you working on now either writing or editing?

    I’ve lost track of how many edits we’ve done and books we’ve helped get published. Right now we’re quoting an edit for a dark fantasy writer in Romania and we just helped three writers (two in New Zealand and one in the US) self-publish two memoirs and a mystery. All of them are now working on their next books, by the way.  As for us, we’re finishing up the two I mentioned above, with at least six more behind them.

    How long have you been a member of SDWEG and why did you join?

    I’ve been a member for about eight years now and Robyn for five. We both joined to see what the rest of the writing world is doing and hopefully learn from the other writers in the Guild.

    What benefits have you gained as a member?

    Listening to other members and learning from them. We also answered a request for help from a teacher with the San Diego Charter School of the Arts who came to a Guild meeting. She teaches writing and we’ve been helping as guest teachers for three years now. It’s unbelievably rewarding for both the students and us.

    What’s something unique or special about you, that you’d like others to know?

    I love teaching, almost as much as writing. Robyn’s been a teacher much longer and I’m sure much of love for teaching has rubbed off from her.

    What request might you have of other members? (joint venture promotions, launch team, referrals, reviews, advance readers…)

    I think the biggest single message I can give writers, especially those just starting out, is learn your trade! There are so many elements to writing and getting yourself published, many of which you only find out about after your story is finished. Getting your work edited, formatted, copyrighted, writing a description, getting your cover done and on and on and on. Little of which writers are prepared for or know much about. That’s where writers’ groups like the Guild come in. Learning from experienced writers and experienced editors to help finish and polish your work is critical to making sure your work gets published and out into the world.

  • 5 Aug 2021 2:10 PM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)
    Hi, Supporters of the SDWF/Warwick's Book Club!

    We're so excited about our next book club event with author Joshua Henkin and his AMAZING book, Morningside Heights. The book club will be on Facebook Live on Monday, August 16, from 5 to 6 p.m. PT.

    If you would like to be part of the Zoom audience where you have an opportunity to ask our author questions, RSVP to 
    tjjones1@gmail.com


    There's still time to order your copy from our sponsor, Warwick's, at this link:

    https://www.warwicks.com/book/9781524748357



    There's a building buzz around this book:

    #1 Indie Next Pick for June

    The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Book
    Good Morning America 27 Books for June
    The Millions June Most Anticipated
    One of 2021’s Most Highly Anticipated New Books —Newsweek
    38 Novels You Need to Read this Summer —Lit Hub
    One of Alma’s Favorite Books for Summer 2021



    Thank you for supporting the SDWF/Warwick's book club. We hope you'll join us on Zoom on August 16


  • 2 Aug 2021 7:54 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)


    Ameya Pandit has released Impressions: Short Letters, a non-fiction collection on nature, art, and childhood. You can find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at local bookstores like Bay Books Coronado and DIESEL.

    The short letters in this book are the narration of many things felt. All the letters curated here are an extension of all those things that were naturally felt. In today’s time and age, as the world divides itself, these letters attempt to unify it, portray the commonality in each of us, and provides any thoughtful reader, an elevation, an escape into a world of ideas—one of objectivity, of purity, and of individuality.

    This is Pandit’s first book, a selection of letters from the remains of his file, his inquiry, his study in the magnificence that lives in and around us, of those in plain sight—in the child, the nature, or the art. The short letters in this book endeavor to highlight the brilliance of these most basic forms. It’s a quest, so it’s by no means finished.

    Review

    "'The simplicity of life paradoxically makes its comprehension difficult.' This passage from Impressions applies generally to these 'short letters' from Ameya Pandit, because while they often touch on seemingly simple and quotidian matters, they reveal an underlying and often unseen depth, and reward extended consideration. Pandit combines his training and profession in science with a passion for art and philosophy, right and left brain joined with heart, all connected to eyes that see the world with exquisite clarity. He begins with meditations 'On Childhood' and the way that young children are natural artists and scientists, and throughout the following sections 'On Nature' and 'On Art' he models how to maintain a child-like sense of wonder and imagination. He extols music in particular as 'a language the world fully grasps,' and along with its literary equivalent of poetry he suggests they offer the prospect of a 'universal philosophy' and a peek into our 'inner nature.' Life is simultaneously 'a mathematical equation' and 'a musical melody,' he asserts, and 'where art ends, science begins.' In Pandit’s vision, and in his life practice, they form a continuum, each informing the other, together revealing 'the universe is a work of art.' This book is now a contribution to that work, and that art."

    -- Larry W. Moore, Publisher, Broadstone Books.

  • 31 Jul 2021 6:11 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)
    The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books

    Join The San Diego Union-Tribune for the fifth annual
    Festival of Books on Saturday, Aug. 21 starting at 10 a.m. PDT.
    Enjoy live panel sessions, author Q&A’s, children’s storytime, 
    Spanish-language programming and much more! 

    Click Here for more Info.


  • 19 Jul 2021 11:30 AM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)


    The debut novel “Down Under” by  Georgia Faye launched on Amazon in July.  This  romantic  summer read is set in Australia, where a free spirited girl finds herself in a love triangle between two suitors. 

    Amazon is offering it free on Kindle on Wednesday, July 21 only.


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