Sunday, December 2, 2012

Open Mic is December 20 - special time with special guests!

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective will hold its next monthly Third Thursday Open Mic on Thursday, December 20 at The Vintage, 326 Spruce Street, Scranton. This installment will begin at a special time - 7:30 PM - and will open with a special program for local students, concluding with a very special visitor (from the south, not the north!) reading Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit from Saint Nicholas."

At 8:30, the program will shift gears to the more traditional Open Mic Night format. While parental guidance is advised, all are welcome to attend and participate. There is no charge for admission, but donations for the support and upkeep of The Vintage will be happily accepted!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

Thanks to Kait Burrier for posting this.

Brain Pickings: The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

From Ray Bradbury and Joan Didion to Benjamin Franklin and Ernest Hemingway, famous writers provide insights in their own words into the routines they follow (or don't follow) that enable them to write.

Contests announced on The Write Life

The Wilkes University writing blog The Write Life recently announced several contest opportunities from various groups. Most of the deadlines are in January, but one is December 1.

The Write Life: Contest opportunities recently announced

Saturday, November 17, 2012

K.K.'s "Killing Naked Roses"

Congratulations to K.K. Gordon, whose play "Killing Naked Roses" was recently produced at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire!

Colby-Sawyer College Production of 'The Biggest SNAFU Ever' Features Nine Short Plays by International Theater Professionals

“Killing Naked Roses,” a comedic drama about the vagaries of fame, love and bad art, is written by K.K. Gordon and directed by Michael Lovell. Twenty-one of Gordon's plays have been produced in Northeastern Pennsylvania and he has won 13 NEPA Theatrical Alliance awards, including for Best Original Production, Best One Act, and Best Drama. Gordon has worked with Scranton's Diva Theater for more 13 years and is a creative consultant to Scranton Public Theatre's Jason Miller Playwrights Project. He is a Penn State-rostered artist who currently serves as an artist/instructor specializing in theater and poetry for NEIU's Art Save program for at risk youth.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Open Mic Poetry at The Vintage, Thursday November 15

Time sure flies - especially when the month begins with a Thursday! Believe it or not, this coming Thursday, November 15, is the third Thursday of the month, which means Open Mic poetry (and prose) readings at The Vintage, 326 Spruce Street in Scranton. Readings begin at 8:30 PM. Bring your favorite pieces and come read with us!

Tips from writers about writing

Courtesy of Chaz Patrick Bennett, who posted this to the NEPWC Facebook site. You can also find this list here.

Tips from writers about writing

1. “What lasts in the reader’s mind is not the phrase but the effect the phrase created: laughter, tears, pain, joy. If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what’s it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse.” – Issac Asimov

2. “You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” – Joseph Campbell

3. “I think of my novels as being something like fairground rides: my job is to strap the reader into their car at the start of chapter one, then trundle and whizz them through scenes and surprises, on a carefully planned route, and at a finely engineered pace.” – Sarah Waters

4. “The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” – William Saroyan

5. “Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.” – Jeanette Winterson

6. “Study the genre that applies, determine what works and only then, write your outline and the book.” – Larry Moniz

7. “Plot springs from character… I’ve always sort of believed that these people inside me- these characters- know who they are and what they’re about and what happens, and they need me to help get it down on paper because they don’t type.” – Anne Lamott

8. “Use the landscape. Always tell us where we are. And don’t just tell us where something is, make it pay off. Use description of landscape to help you establish the emotional tone of the scene. Keep notes of how other authors establish mood and foreshadow events by describing the world around the character. Look at the openings of Fitzgerald stories, and Graham Greene, they’re great at this.” – Janet Fitch

9. “Before you sit down to write a scene, mull it over in your mind and know the purpose of that scene. What earlier set-ups will this scene pay off? What will it set up for later scenes? How will this scene further your plot? As you work, drive, exercise, hold only this question in your mind. Take a few notes as you have ideas. And only when you’ve decided on the bones of the scene – then, sit and write it. Don’t go to that boring, dusty computer without something in mind. And don’t make your reader slog through a scene in which little or nothing happens.” – Chuck Palahniuk

10. “To produce a mighty work, you must choose a mighty theme.” – Herman Melville

11. “Never fear [the audience] or despise it. Coax it, charm it, interest it, stimulate it, shock it now and then if you must, make it laugh, make it cry, but above all . . . never, never, never bore the hell out of it.” – Noel Coward

12. “A writer’s job is to imagine everything so personally that the fiction is as vivid as memories.” – John Irving

13. “Advice from this elderly practitioner is to forget publishers and just roll a sheet of copy paper into your machine and get lost in your subject.” – E. B. White

14. “Today’s impatient readers give a novelist fewer than seven minutes . . . Therefore, whenever an author told me that his novel really got going on page ten or twenty or thirty, I had to pass on the news that his book in all likelihood was doomed unless he could revise it so that the first three pages aroused the reader’s interest enough to quarantine him from distraction for the several hours the book demanded of him.” — Sol Stein, Stein on Writing

15. “Any writer who has difficulty in writing is probably not onto his true subject, but wasting time with false, petty goals; as soon as you connect with your true subject you will write.” – Joyce Carole Oats

16. “If you’re actually allowing your creative part to control your writing rather than a more commercial instinct or motive, then you’ll find that all sorts of interesting things will bubble up to the surface.” – Emma Thompson

17. “Moving around is good for creativity: the next line of dialogue that you desperately need may well be waiting in the back of the refrigerator or half a mile along your favorite walk.” – Will Shetterly

18. “The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.” – Norbet Platt

19. “Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant – you just don’t know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you’d mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place. Trust your demon.” – Roger Zelazny

20. “Writing is finally a series of permissions you give yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To invent. To leap. To fly. To fall. To be strict without being too self-excoriating. Not stopping too often to think it’s going well (or not too badly), simply to keep rowing along.” – Susan Sontag

21. “If you don’t write when you don’t have time for it, you won’t write when you do have time for it.” - Katerina Stoykova Klemer

22. “I like writing a lot more than I used to. I used to find it scary but now I’ve got used to it once it gets going. I used to find it hard to start. Fear of the blank page. The first thing you write down won’t bear any relation to what’s in your head and that’s always disappointing.” – Victoria Wood

23. “Just tell the damn story; don’t try to impress.” – Rick Bragg

24. “This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.” – Steven Pressfield

Friday, November 2, 2012

October 2012: Dead Poets and Crave

On Thursday, October 18 the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective resumed its monthly Third Thursday Open Mic at The Vintage, 326 Spruce Street in Scranton. The feature for the night was "Dead Poets," an October tradition in which members of the NEPWC channel their favorite dead poets.

Leslee Clapp gave the opening remarks and presented a bucket full of candy and a Tonka truck for donations for the upkeep of The Vintage.

K.K. Gordon as Edgar Lee Masters, author of the Spoon River Anthology.

K.K. as K.K., performing "Hour of the Wolf," "Leftovers," and several other favorites.

Jason Macey as William Butler Yeats.

Greg Russick as Greg.

Kathleen Jacobs as Federico García Lorca.

Kait Burrier as Gertrude Stein.

One member of the audience came up to recite an original poem.

Two days later several members of the NEPWC made the trek to the city of Jim Thorpe to present poems in the upper room of Crave, located in the Albright Mansion. Jason Macey, K.K. Gordon, and Greg Russick read with Laurel Radzieski at the afternoon performance. Laurel had to leave early, so for the evening performance her spot was filled by Rebecca York Moll, a local poet who is very active in the Jim Thorpe arts and poetry scene.

Jason, K.K., Rebecca, and Greg
The venue was beautiful, and Jim Thorpe has tremendous potential. Future events are in the works at Crave, though a date has not yet been set.

The next Open Mic Night at the Vintage is scheduled for November 15.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Please try to be at the meeting Saturday, October 27

There has been quite a bit of reflection and discussion among the members of the group who have attended the last two meetings concerning the direction in which the group is heading, as well as specific events and general trends that may have led to our current trajectory. We're asking everyone who can to come to next Saturday's meeting (Saturday, October 27, from 1:00-3:00 at The Vintage, 326 Spruce Street in Scranton.) We'd like to begin to lay the groundwork for a revitalized group, and we'd like to have everyone's involvement in determining the next steps.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kait Burrier at the Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces in Scranton

If you can't make it to Jim Thorpe on Saturday, October 20th to see four members of the NEPWC doing poetry readings at Crave at the Albright Mansion, why not check out the second annual Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces in Scranton, featuring performances of pieces written by Kait Burrier! From Kait's blog:

I’m really looking forward to the second annual Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces! I’ve been working with the Pop-Up Studio and Scranton Story Slam and have written three monologues that will be performed by excellent local actors under the arch of a furnace. But that’s only part of the fun that’ll be available at this awesome event on Saturday, 10/20 from 8pm-11pm. Tickets are available online (click on the image) for $15 in advance. Tickets will be $20 at the door, and children 12 and under are free. Hope to see you there!

See here for more information about the Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces. You can also find the event's Facebook page here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

NEPWC members to read at Crave in Jim Thorpe on Saturday, October 20

Jason Macey, K.K. Gordon, Laurel Radzieski, and Greg Russick will be reading at Crave at the Albright Mansion on Saturday, October 20. Readings will be at 3:30 and 8:00, with open mic before the featured readings. Tickets are $5.

Crave is located at the Albright Mansion, on 66 Broadway in Jim Thorpe, PA. Telephone is (570) 326-4440.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Open Mic featuring Dead Poets, Thursday, October 18

The Vintage at 326 Spruce Street in Scranton will once again play host to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers Collective's Third Thursday Open Mic Night on Thursday, October 18 at 8:30 PM. The feature will be the always-popular Dead Poets readings. The event is free and open to all.

Click on the image below for a list of October events at The Vintage:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Jason Macey to read at Narrowsburg October 5

Jason Macey will read a selection of poems at the Tusten-Cochecton Branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library in Narrowsburg, New York on Friday, October 5. Open mic will begin at 7:30, with features to follow. Jason will open for the main featured writer, Nina Burleigh. From the official announcement:

We will celebrate National Banned Books Week with author and international journalist NINA BURLEIGH who will read a short selection from her favorite banned book, speak on international perspectives of censorship and read from her own newly forthcoming book regarding women and the "Arab Spring" in Egypt coming our on Byliner. NINA BURLEIGH is a journalist and the author of five books. Her latest book, The Fatal Gift of Beauty, was a New York Times bestseller. In the last several years, she has profiled a wide array of subjects, including American politicians, Israeli archaeological forgers, an Arab feminist, a small-town Italian mayor murdered over slow food politics, asteroid deflection experts and Chinese immigrants to Italy.  She's written for numerous publications including Businessweek, The New Yorker, Time, New York, The New Statesman, New York Times and is a contributing editor at Elle. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, The Today Show, 48 Hours,  MSNBC, CNN and C-Span, on NPR and numerous radio programs.  Nina was born and educated in the Midwest, has traveled extensively in the Middle East and lived in Italy and France. She covered the Clinton White House for Time and reported and wrote human interest stories at People Magazine from New York.  She is a an adjunct professor at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and has lectured around the United States, in Italy, and in Mexico. Her book, Mirage, published in 2008 by Harper Collins, was selected by The New York Times as an editors' choice and won the Society of Women Educators' Award in 2008.

Directions to the event:

Tusten-Cochecton Branch
198 Bridge Street
Narrowsburg, NY

Take Thruway to Route 17. Take Route 17 to Exit 104. Follow Route 17B West approximately 15 miles through Bethel (do not turn on Route 55 in White Lake). Once through Bethel look for Russell Farms on the Right (approx 1 1/2 miles past Bethel.) Just past the farm turn left onto Route 52 (sign says 12 miles to Narrowsburg.) Follow Route 52 to junction of Route 97. Turn right on 97 (which is also still Route 52). After 1/2 mile, Routes 97 and 52 split. Stay on Rt. 52 straight through light and over a bridge. Library is the first right after the bridge. 

Click for larger size

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Prompt for Saturday, September 29

From K.K.: "You and your yellow lightning."

Leslie Rakowicz's "Celia" to appear in issue 18 of Copper Nickel

Congratulations to Leslie Rakowicz, whose story "Celia" will be published in issue 18 of Copper Nickel! Copper Nickel is a literary journal published by the students and faculty at the University of Colorado Denver.

This issue will arrive in subscribers' mailboxes in late October.  To order copies, you can try their "Buy" link (which isn't working as of this writing) or contact the journal directly at element25 (at) copper-nickel (dot) org.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thanks to writer, poet, and playwright Art Walsh, who passed along this excellent resource for getting your play into the hands of people who might be interested in producing it. For a small fee, you can post information about your play, as well as the first ten pages of it, on Interested parties can then contact you through the website, and you split the revenue from the play 70/30 with the website. also offers many excellent resources for aspiring and established playwrights. Check it out and see what the site has to offer!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Call for submissions: Word Fountain

1,000 words or less, any genre, any topic
Ages 13+
Deadline: September 30, 2012

Submissions and Inquiries:
Osterhout Free Library
Attn: Word Fountain Editors
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
570-823-0156 phone
570-823-2475 fax

We are still looking for submissions for our all ages, multi-media flood issue, too!
This will be a special issue whose donations will benefit local flood victims through the Luzerne Foundation. Please help us spread the word!
Submission Guidelines:
1,000 words or less, any genre, from any age group
Original photos and 2-D art will also be considered
Topic: Hurricane Irene and/or Hurricane Agnes
flooding in Northeastern Pennsylvania

Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2012

Prompt for September 22, 2012

The prompt for next Saturday was inspired by one of Chaz's poems this week: "Writing our own self-help book."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vintage Theater Grand re-Opening Party, Friday September 14

The Vintage will celebrate its grand reopening on September 14th at its new home of 326 Spruce Street. This party will feature great food, drinks, music, art, friends and more- and all FREE! The Vintage team wants to thank everyone in the community for their incredible support and patience as this transition occurred.

Featuring special performances by -
Days In Transit , A Fire With Friends , Adam Catscratch, Matt Montella, Zach Graham and Senntenial!

September 14th 2012 
6:00 pm 
Free & Open To All

326 Spruce Street, Scranton, PA

On Facebook:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

K.K. Gordon's "The Operatives of Game Theory" to be performed

NEPWC member K.K. Gordon's "The Operatives of Game Theory" is one of twelve short plays that will make up Dyonisia '12: Apocalypse at the Old Brick Theater, 128 W. Market Street in Scranton, PA. It will be presented on September 21, 23, 27, and 29. Kait Burrier's "Patient/Fracture" will be performed on those same nights!

See here for the entire program:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cutting out "Lard"

Your Editing Toolbox: Cutting Out Lard

In Revising Prose, Richard Lanham lambastes writers for composing sentences fattened with meaningless "lard." Lanham offers his "Paramedic Method" for cutting out a sentence's fat and reducing its "lard factor."

- Courtesy of Chaz Bennett

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Prompt for September 15, 2012

"Did someone say 'medieval?'"

About the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective (NEPWC) is an open writing group that meets every Saturday at the Vintage Theater in Scranton from 1 to 3 PM. Membership is free, and new members are always welcome.

We also hold Open Mic readings at the Vintage Theater on the third Thursday of every month starting at 8:30 PM. These were on hiatus during the relocation of the Vintage Theater, but will resume on October 18, 2012. Admission is free, but donations to the Vintage Theater will be gladly accepted!

Attention all writers!