Sunday, June 30, 2013

The SJWG and the Sisters at the Crescent Moon


Super D and Super G headed out to Mullica Hill, N.J. on Saturday to sell books at the Crescent Moon Coffee Shop. Super G brought a guest with her. Jane is visiting from Napa California and wanted to see first-hand what we do when we sell our books.

It was a very productive day and we sold eight books. Our first sale was to Danny Rios. He’s giving the book as a gift to his son.
                                         Amy, Marie, Dawn and Danny Rios

My friend Elaine, who lives in Mullica Hill, stopped by to get her book signed by the authors. Jane, Super G’s sister, fit right in with our group and even helped with the sale of two books. Everyone was grateful that the sisters refrained from fighting during the selling of books.
                                                                 Elaine Jacoby  

Several people were interested in joining our group and I found a fellow Steampunk fan.
                   From left to right: Amy, Christine, Dawn, Marie, Patti, Nanci, Barb
Jane was so happy to help us sell books that she’s coming to the next book signing on July 13th at the Book Asylum on 26 N. Black Horse Pike from noon to 3 p.m.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reflections from the Founder of South Jersey Writers Group

Janice Wilson is very modest person, and a lot of people don 't realize that she was the founder of the South Jersey Writers Group. While we were at the Philadelphia Writers Conference, I had a chance to speak with her. Here is the interview below. Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been writing since I was about 13 years old, and it began with short story swaps with a friend in school.  The stories turned into novels, and even when she became too busy or bored with it, I kept going.  Plus, I kept dream journals.  I can’t possibly stop now!  J


I have a daughter who inspired a lot of what I write, and she’s my biggest fan and my best encourager. 


The writing journey has taken a winding path through some interesting projects and opportunities as well, such as church newsletters, website copy, business writing for work, getting published, winning contests, starting a writers’ group, and teaching classes for others to get published.  Everything was equally challenging and rewarding, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead in life.


What inspired you to start the South Jersey Writer’s Group?

A few years ago after some life changes, I had gone through a long bout of writer’s block, and my daughter missed my writings, so she encouraged me to start it again.  But I needed like-minded friends to support and motivate me. I went into the nearby bookstore to see if they had a group already, and they did not have one.  So I wrote a few ideas down, walked in, proposed it and just at that time they were looking for a leader.  It was one of those perfectly timed meant-to-be kind of things. 


In the last seven years, I have learned a great deal more from the other writers than what they learned from me, including what I am capable of doing and achieving.  The support of our writers has been a tremendous blessing and help for me.


Why is it important to belong to a writing group?

I am firmly convinced that the understanding of other artists help to motivate, guide, and shape us into better writers, and more committed to actually doing the work.


We also learn from each other, and we cheer each other through every little step, good or bad.


Yes, find a writers’ group and if there is not one around, form your own!  The rewards don’t stop, and you find extended ‘family’.


What do you like to write (types of stories)?

For the most part, I love to share my faith in stories and novels.  But I also love a good fiction novel with intrigue, twists, and surprises, so I want to learn to write like that as well.  Most of all I like to keep it REAL, like real people having real decisions to make in the prevalent issues we face.


Once in a while I dabble in poetry or other genres for fun and mental exercise, but for the most part it’s typically short stories, exploratory essays, and fiction novels.


You’ve been to the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference this year. Was it worthwhile going and what did you take away from this experience?

It was worth every penny, and especially since my attendance was made possible as a wonderful gift from a loved one, I made the most of it by going every day, entering every contest, and networking with a lot of fabulous and talented people.  From all walks of life, and some seasoned travelers, the writers and instructors motivated, enriched and encouraged me to continue what I’m doing, making it better, and they all gave me a needed boost to show it to the world.  I was pleasantly surprised to win an award for a genre that I just started to explore.  The fact that someone else found it worth reading and enjoyable shows me what else I can accomplish if I just try.

                                                   Janice after wining her award                                

I would recommend going to some kind of writer’s conference in a writer’s lifetime!!


What advice would give to anyone interested in writing?

First, just WRITE!  Don’t edit, change or worry just yet.  Also, READ!   Read all the books by your favorite authors, really dig in and ask yourself what it is you like about their stories.  Then try and emulate what you do like but in your own style, which you will develop over time. 

Never throw out/delete what you write, because I have used old things and refreshed them so many times!  I recommend keeping journals, and be descriptive.

And join a writer’s group or form one.  Explore the publishing world together. 

Follow the guidelines when you submit work and celebrate!

Take your time and most of all, ENJOY IT!  It is an art form, your passions and dreams just come out through a pen (or keyboard) instead of a brush or body movement.

 Thank you so much for this interview, Janice. You were instrumental in bringing all kinds of writers together as a group, and we are all proud to be members of the South Jersey Writers Group.
Please follow Janice on the sites below.

Janice M. Wilson

Twitter: soothingprose

FB:  Soothingprose

Monday, June 10, 2013

South Jersey Invades the Philadelphia Writer's Conference


On June 7th, Philadelphia was all set to host the 2013 Philadelphia Writer’s Conference.  Guest speakers were invited; workshops were set up; manuscripts mailed in for critiques and contests; Agents and Publishers were there to hear our pitch; everything was set to start at 9 a.m.

What the city of Philadelphia didn’t know was that a group of writers from across the bridge were on their way. It was an invasion from the South Jersey, indeed, an invasion of the South Jersey Writers Group.

James Knipp, Shelley Szajner, Helene Cooke, Janice Wilson, Marie Gilbert, Gregg Feistman, Denise McGlinchey, Mark Doenges and Carol Waties entered the Wyndham Hotel at Fourth and Arch with notebooks in hand and ready to learn from the experts on how to spruce, nip, tuck and whatever else needed to be done to set their writing careers soaring.
The opening speaker was Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania and author of A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.

  The Keynote Speaker was George Anastasia, veteran Philadelphia Journalist and author of five books, Award winning author of The Last Gangster and Blood and Honor.
We had the best lunch on Saturday at the Pizzicato on 3rd and Market Streets. Our waiter, Brian Scott, was an absolute sweetheart and he made sure that we were back to the conference in time. Hint to the owner of Pizzicato: “You have a wonderful employee on your team!”
                    On Sunday we went to the Continental Dinner on 2nd and Market.

                         Glenn Walker would love the French fries in this place; very tasty! 
                    There was even something for the Zombie Lover of the group; me.

I had the pleasure of taking two of Author and New York Times Bestseller and Multiple Bram Stoker Award-winner, Jonathan Maberry’s classes. No, it wasn’t a class on how to kill zombies, but how to promote our writing, but if I run into zombies while selling my books; I have my katana.
                                   Janice Wilson won a prize for her writing. Can you tell?
Everyone from the South Jersey Writers Group left the three day conference feeling energized and ready to finish those manuscripts and send them to Agents. There will be many more of the SJWG members going next year! Are you ready for us Philadelphia?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Block Parties and Books


This past Friday, we had the pleasure of participating in the ten year anniversary of the Treehouse Coffee Shop. The Treehouse, located in Audubon New Jersey, is really the community oasis; a joyful hiding place from the cares of the world. Customers are treated to a great selection of coffees, teas and food by the husband and wife team, Randy and Tina Van Osten.
The street was blocked off and tables were set up down one side of the street and up the other, with vendors, artists and writers displaying their wares. There was music and games for all to enjoy and although it was hot, everyone had a great time. 


The South Jersey Writers Group was there promoting their book Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey


 We also promoted the Kickstarter campaign for our next anthology. Please help us to reach our goal!

Super D and Super G, along with some of the authors of the first anthology and some of the members of our writing group, enjoyed the crowd, the activities and we sold lots of books!