Monday, October 30, 2017

Rainy Day (Last Monday)!

It was a little light at the WB today. We hand one author in England, another out sick, some no-shows, and a couple of folks who had to roll in late. I had to leave 90 minutes early, due to a new job kicking off later in the morning, so we jumped right in as folks showed up.

We managed to retrieve a fairly recent copy of a Kathy's The 500 thought to be lost and I managed to do some author blog site reporting.

MK Wiseman made it, head cold and all. She's finishing the edit work for her publisher! WOOT

We talked E E Cummings.

We talked about NaNo plans.

November 14th will be the release of MK Wiseman Bookminder audiobook!

We talked about old projects and possible NaNo goodies attached to the efforts coming up in November.

Kathy D came up with a quad group of time travelers for her NaNo!

All in all it was a pretty good way to kick off the day!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Stuff To Do


Today at the Writer's Block, we discussed writing aides, chat groups, and our projects!

We've got the first couple of chapters with more in the works for a mystery from Jen, Rose has her laptop newly updated and is working out some editing details with Kathy, Kathy has hit the letter P in her 500 book, M.K. Wiseman is in heavy editing mode for a couple of stacked projects, and I am prepping my NaNoWriMo effort for November.

There has been talk of an 'Inklings' group branching off from the Writers Block that might take off on the off weeks (on Thursdays, probably around 3 pm-ish) that will move around through the various coffee and spirits shops in Grafton and Cedarburg. More to come as details develop!

Speaking of authors groups, on Wednesday nights, Twitter has a chat #WritersLifeChat at 7:00. Think authors cocktail party with a general theme and then discussions branch off from that.
Go to create room, then you enter your hashtag.

Last time, there was a discussion about organizing our work / plots / characters using various techniques. One such technique is the site Obsidian Portal, which may be found at:

This is a 'gamers site', meaning that it is designed by (and for) Role Play Gamers who wish to keep information organized and the lines of communications open between players and organizers. It also has everything a developing story needs to keep track of characters, maps, equipment, story arcs, and even fellow beta-readers (through invite-only forums). There are two levels of membership, free (which allows for a couple of 'games' or stories to have their own filing, along with a wiki to use for each); and paid (which unlocks multiple 'games' / stories, along with the full list of applications for each). This is a great option for larger tales, massive character rosters, and series that require a lot of housekeeping and plotting.

Write on!


Saturday, August 26, 2017


Good day all!

Writer's Block will be at 9 a.m. this coming Monday (8/28) at the W.J. Niederkorn Library. I'm fresh from Gencon and had the good fortune to sit in on a few panels about / for writers.

Also, we have had some great reads at the W.B. meets! If you have anything you are working on or if you want to talk about something that is keeping your keyboard busy, bring it in.

Also, as part of the short story trend that we've been having a lot of success with, I've got the list of contests that we have talked about at the W.B. along with any links that I can find!

Book Bay - A Milwaukee bookstore and a contest

Sixfold - Submit an essay by mid October, judge six writings and then your writings will be judged in turn.

Where Writers Win - You might have to join this site to see what it has to offer, but it's worth a look!

Glimmer Train - Vermont Journal through Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA division.

Hay House - A publishing house.

That's about it for today. Hope you all have a great weekend and write on!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

More Contests!

Hello everyone!

I found another list of writing contests that we might make the deadline for...

Indiana Review’s Half-K Prize
 offers a first prize of US$1000 and publication. Writers can submit up to three pieces of writing up to 500 words each and there are no genre or form restrictions. Entries open on in July and are expected to close on 15 August.

CLOSED EARLY... It is on this list for a reminder in 2018.

The Sunday Times Short Story Prize
 is the world’s richest short story competition, with the winner receiving £30,000 (approx US$37,500). The 2016 prize was won by Jonathan Tel for his story ‘The Human Phonograph’. Entries for the next prize are expected to open at the end of June and close at the end of September. The six stories shortlisted for the 2016 prize are available here.


Manchester Fiction Prize
 is a major international literary competition open to anyone aged 16 or over. The winner receives a cash prize of £10,000 (US$15,000). Stories can be up to 2500 words in length. The organisers also offer a Manchester Poetry Prize. Entries will open in February and close in September.


Zoetrope All-Story’s Annual Fiction Contest
 has the aim of seeking out and encouraging talented writers, with the winning and runners-up’s work being forwarded to leading literary agents. A first prize of US$1000 is also offered. Stories can be up to 5000 words. Entries open on 1 July and are expected to close on 1 October.


Commonwealth Short Story Prize
 aims to bring stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure, to the attention of an international audience. Open to citizens of the 53 Commonwealth countries, the prize covers the five Commonwealth regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific. One winner will be selected from each region, with one regional winner to be selected as the overall winner. The overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £5000 (US$6250) and the remaining four regional winners receive £2500. Entries for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize are expected to close on 1 November.

John Steinbeck Short Story Award
 is one of three prizes offered by Reed Magazine. This award is for a work of fiction up to 5000 words. The winner of the John Steinbeck Short Story  Award receives a cash prize of US$1000 and all entries are considered for publication. Entries open on 1 June and close 1 November.


Boulevard’s Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
 is open writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. Stories may be up to 8000 words and must be previously unpublished. The winner will receive US$1500 and have his or her story published in the magazine. Entries close 31 December.



Monday, July 10, 2017

Music & Contests

Good day all!

We had a couple of things go on with today's W.B.

First off, we discussed Book Track (website / soundtrack for online books). MK Wiseman uses that one to add a little sonic flavor to her books Millicent and Rue and Hack give 'me a look and see what I mean!

Next, we talked about contests. Below are three contests that have early submission dates in October:

  • Genre short stories
  • (writing contests with cash prizes)
  • Short short (1500 words or less) bit.lymshort-short

Also, we read some stuff! Diane gave us a sample of her poetic efforts much to the appreciation of all. Megan gave us a read from her online Millicent and Rue book (note that the link may be found at the MK Wiseman site). Kathy linked us up to her 500 Word Confusions. I handed out some reading homework to a couple of our authors (more on that one later...)

For next W.B., we are going to try something a little different. Diane and I are bringing in some 'fun and games' writing & poetry primers designed to inspire and prompt discussion. Come on down and give it a try!

See everyone July 24th!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Whoop whoop whoop (flashing red lights, much scrambling...)

Good day to all!

We have an issue that has popped up for the W.B.

Apparently, there has been a cross-scheduling snafu between our Monday meets and the library's summer reading / Lego project programming.

Long story short, we have to find a new place to hang out OR shut down the W.B. for the next couple of months.

I would much rather keep the W.B. going.

Here are the options that I've come up with so far:

1. Go to the public area of the Niederkorn. Up on the second floor, there is an area next to the quiet room where there are public PC's, study cubicles, and couches. Anne let me know that we could take over the spot up there.

2. Find a coffee shop. It should be someplace that has the space to hold 6+ of us AND be accessible to folks with limited mobility. Smith Bro's coffee might work, if I get in there early and block off a spot by the window. Collectivo or Starbucks might work, but that's in Grafton.

3. I can check out the Saukville library for a public meeting space, but I don't recall seeing one the last time I was in there.

4. Any other suggestions?


Friday, March 24, 2017

Dusting off the Block


I've been absent as of late. Between doctor appointments and insane snowstorms, I have not been able to give the Block it's due!

However; Writer's Block is still up and running.

We have our next meet at the Niederkorn at 9 a.m. until noon-ish on Monday, March 27th.

There will be tea and snacks.

I'll drag along a copy of Greenshore: The Hollow.

We'll talk about editing, continuity, book goals, and might even do some live reading! I look forward to catching up with everyone.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Let the writing begin!

Greetings to all!

We were once again treated to a full table, including the author of the Bookminder series Megan Wiseman! I'm trying out some new stuff this year, starting off with a focus on "Looking at what makes a published book work". With that being said, today's book was Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella.

Next W.B., we will talk about Holes by Sachar. In this book, look for character development! We will discuss how characters are introduced, what changes they undertake, and how this relates to the plot. If there is time, we will also discuss certain character's try/fail cycles and what came out of these story events.

Write on, everyone!

P.S. I've put a link to Megan's website up at the right side of this page.

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 and the Writer's Block Returns!

Happy New Year everyone!

We had a relaxing start to the W.B. this year, did a little catching up and some recap of December's W.B.
Then we got down to business!
I.   BREAKING DOWN A BOOK: Storm Warning (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher.
     1. The 'prep work': Look at the chapter-by-chapter structure (location / characters / events).
     2. Discuss how the story arc is portrayed and structured.
     3. Redeeming qualities verses issues of the story.
II.  We talked about Enneagram of Personality and the 9 personality 'archtypes' along with how they interact on the enneagram chart.
III.    Our book that we will break down for the 1/23 W.B.: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
         We will start with chapter 1 (setting, characters, events) and move on through to the end of the book. Ask yourself "What resonated?" Note the important, emotional elements. Try to find story arc links and what is skipped over. I'll try to get the chapter breakdown put together electronically and posted out here before the next meeting.
    If the magic is REALLY working in my favor I'll try to get the Storm Warning break down up on the blog as well!