From Creation to Publicatiion: the Birth of a Novel
Many of you know that three and a half years ago, Marina Cramer and Jenny Milchman began the series Writing Matters. But it was thirteen years ago when Jenny first began trying to publish a novel.
On Wednesday, January 16th at 7pm Cover of Snow will make its New Jersey debut at Jenny's hometown bookstore--and yours.
Please join Jenny, her editor Linda Marrow, Senior Vice President of Ballantine Books, and her agent Julia Kenny of Markson Thoma Literary Agency as they discuss what it takes to bring a novel from spark to shelf.
Refreshments and fun drinks will be served.
Writing Matters is a series of informal panel talks about the craft and business of writing. Moving beyond a reading or book signing, our purpose is to facilitate a discussion among readers and writers, and to explore the rapidly changing landscape of contemporary publishing.
Each program features authors and editors with experience in a give subject area. In the works: Alternative Roads to Publishing Your First Nove; Can Writing Be Taught?; The Art of Translation; Reaching Today's Teen; From Page to Stage; Food Writing As Social History; Serious About Humor, and other topics.
Chats are scheduled bi-monthly, (July, September, November, January, March, May),on the third or fourth Friday, at 7pm.
Previous Writing Matters Events
Hope & Desolation in Fiction and the Writer's Life
How do writers struggle with these two poles, both in their work and their careers? Do fictional hope and desolation have an effect on the real life of their creator? When the devastating events in a book come to a close, does the writer simply pick up and move on? And does the struggle to make a meaningful string of events impose order upon the messy days of ordinary living?
Three authors share their own take and experience on the above questions, and your own.
Emily Colin´s mesmerizing debut, The Memory Thief, explores the way memory, love, and great loss bind our lives together in ways we might never expect. http://www.emilycolin.com/
David Harris Ebenbach's collection of short stories, Into the Wilderness, explores the theme of parenthood, from a reserved father who uses an all-you-can-eat buffet to comfort his heartbroken son to a lesbian couple trying to decide whether their toddler son needs a man in his life. http://davidebenbach.com/between-camelots/into-the-wilderness/
Robert Blake Whitehill's Dead Rise sends Ben Blackshaw down to discover the wreck of a speedboat, filled with both gold, and a dirty bomb. But the real shock is the corpse of a drowned man at the helm of the wreck; a man Ben has not seen in fifteen years. His father. http://www.robertblakewhitehill.com/
Please join us at the bookstore for a night spent discussing the writing life, wine, cheese, and far more hope than desolation!
Writing Matters, our continuing exploration of the art and business of creating, producing, promoting, and selling a book is celebrating its third anniversary this month with a special program - Women on Top: Writing and Publishing Women's Fiction. This popular workshop, focused on the most important aspects of navigating an essential niche in the publishing industry, is hosted by acclaimed author Lisa Verge Higgins, who is joined by her equally recognized colleagues Lisa Dale and Shelley Noble. The date is Friday, July 27th, at 7; no reservations needed.
Lisa Verge Higgins is the RITA-nominated author of fourteen novels that have been translated into fifteen languages—quite a switch for this former PhD candidate in chemistry. Currently this mother of three teenage daughters is finding inspiration in women's lives and women's friendships. THE PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF FRIENDSHIP won the 2011 Golden Leaf Award, The 2012 Bean Pot Award, and was anointed a top-twenty book-of-the-year by Barnes & Noble's General Fiction Book Club. Her next book, ONE GOOD FRIEND DESERVES ANOTHER, hit the shelves in June 2012.
Lisa Dale writes stories for the head and heart. Her RITA-nominated third novel, SLOW DANCING ON PRICE’S PIER (Berkley, 2011), was a Top Pick at BookPage Magazine. A nominee for The Pushcart Prize, Lisa worked briefly at a Manhattan literary agency before earning her MFA in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in many literary journals and magazines, including The Writer, Fourth Genre, Flyway, Southeast Review, and more. Her fourth novel, A PROMISE OF SAFEKEEPING (Berkley, 2012) was called by Publisher’s Weekly “emotional...surprising…and spectacular.” Lisa lives in New Jersey with her husband and pet hedgehog, Cleopatra.
Shelley Noble is a multipublished author who is passionate about beaches and vintage carousels, and likes to incorporate them into her stories of women and their journeys from broken dreams to new beginnings. BEACH COLORS (William Morrow-June 2012) is the story of a Manhattan fashion designer known for stark, black designs who returns to the Connecticut shore to rediscover color, joy and love, three things she lost on her climb to fame. STARGAZEY POINT will be released in the summer of 2013. A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She also writes mysteries as Shelley Freydont.
LIVING THE DREAM: Publishing a Book with the Big 6 Today
On Thursday May 10th, 2012 at 7:00 o'clock pm
We will feature a special event that touches on every aspect of book publishing today. You will meet a debut author who made the leap from micro press to major house, an acclaimed author who is new to her publisher, an author with multiple internationally bestselling titles--and the gifted editor of all three. Our lineup will also include an independent book publicist responsible for launching careers--and dreams.
Greer Hendricks--Vice President, Senior Editor, Atria Books
Sarah Pekkanen www.sarahpekkanen.com--internationally bestselling author of These Girls, The Opposite of Me, & Skipping a Beat
National and international bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers www.randysusanmeyers.com--author of The Murderer's Daughters
Peter Golden www.petergolden.com--author of Comeback Love
Julie Schoerke www.jkscommunications.com--founder of JKSCommunications
Whether you are an author, a writer, a reader, or a student of these tremendous publishing times, this night will present a lively discussion, the chance for in depth Q&A, and some of the brightest names in books today.
Arrive early to browse & find books since seats are expected to fill in advance!
A Writing Matters panel discussion
Friday, March 23, 7 pm
Ten years ago, it was possible to operate a bookstore without internet access, and most libraries still had card catalogs. What are the best and worst aspects of today's integration of the physical and virtual spheres? Join us for a Writing Matters exploration of this and other questions relating to the new partnership of authors, bookstores, libraries and resource centers, with panelists Gioya McRae, Jenny Milchman, Margot Sage-El, and Mercedes Salvador.
Friday, January 27th at 7:00 o'clock pm
Where do ideas come from, and how does a writer enter the state of flow that is conducive to producing great work? How do you switch between the left and right brain work of creativity and editing? What blocks you and how do you get past obstacles in sticking to a writing schedule? These and other questions about the writing life will be discussed by four authors and teachers of the craft. There will be a focus on how freely children write and how we can return to that liberated state ourselves.
Please join our panelists for a lively, meaningful discussion, refreshments, and beautiful books to browse and discover.
· Judith Lindbergh, author of “The Thrall’s Tale”, www.judithlindbergh.com
· Michelle Cameron, author of “The Fruit of Her Hands” and “In the Shadow of the Globe”, http://www.michelle-cameron.com/
· Stuart Lutz, author of “The Last Leaf: Voices of History’s Last-Known Survivors”, http://www.thelastleaf.com/
· Paula Balzer, author of “Writing & Selling Your Memoir”, http://saturdaymorningmemoir.wordpress.com/
The Writers Circle
Passion in Tranquility: Teaching the Writing of Poetry
Sunday, December 4th at 4pm
Those deep thoughts and wrenching feelings so many of us pour out
on paper in our teen years - is that poetry? Can anyone be taught to
write poetry? Why study poetic forms? How does a teacher approach poetry
in translation? To rhyme or not to rhyme? Join us at watchung
booksellers on Sunday, December 4th, at 4 pm. for a lively exploration
of these and other questions, in a Writing Matters panel discussion titled Passion in Tranquility: Teaching the Writing of Poetry.
Nicole Cooley, a native of New Orleans and the author of the collections Afflicted Girls, Resurrection, and most recently, Breach. She is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Queens College-City University of New York where she directs the new MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation.
Mariana Romo-Carmona is a Chilean poet and translator who teaches at City University of New York's Department of Hispanic Languages. She is the author of Sobrevisi y otros complejos: Narrative Poems in Englillano. She is co-founder (with Mercedes Salvador), of Escritorial, a literary network for writers who write in Spanish and/or English, providing translation and other vital editorial services.
Roger Sedarat is the author of the award-winning Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic, and Ghazal Games. He teaches poetry and literary translation at Queens College, City University of New York, and is working on a full-length collection of ghazals by the 14th century Sufi Persian poet, Hafez.
Madeline Tiger is a poet, teacher and mentor of many years' standing in the academic community. She is the author of numerous poetry collections, among them Birds of Sorrow and Joy and The Atheist's Prayer. She has worked as Artist-in-Education in New Jersey schools, and is a Dodge Foundation poet.
The Writing Life, the Lonely Life: Building a Sense of Community
Writing is a solitary profession. Alone in our heads, we dream up whole worlds, perfect them on the page, imagining their effect on our
readers. But writers--especially today--must also be marketers of their work. How do we accomplish this when so little of our day is spent interacting with others? And whom do we turn to when we need to bounce ideas around, learn elements of craft, or gain perspective on our work?
On Friday, September 23rd, at 7 pm please join four writers as we explore the ways in which isolation must give way to contact in this writing life.
Sean Ferrell's debut novel NUMB (Harper Perennial) was described as "eye catching," "daring" and "offbeat." His second novel THE MAN IN THE EMPTY SUIT will be published in 2012 by Soho Press. Visit him at http://www.byseanferrell.com/
Jael McHenry is a passionate home cook and the author of The Kitchen Daughter (Gallery/Simon & Schuster). Learn more about Jael at http://simmerblog.com/
Steve Piacente self-published his political thriller BELLA in 2011 and launched a unique marketing campaign to get the word out. Find out more at http://www.getbella.com/
Caridad Scordato is the author of THE LOST (Forever Romance/Grand Central). Visit her at www.caridad.com
Friday, July 22, 7PM
Picturing the Story: The Art and Business of Children’s Book Illustration
A watchung booksellers Writing Matters program
How does a story idea become a picture book for children? Why does an artist decide to illustrate a story, and what is the process of collaboration between author and artist? What role do agents and editors play, and how does an artist navigate the complex publishing business? How are industry changes and technology likely to affect the future of literature for young children?
Come explore these and other timely topics with our guest panelists – Gary Golio, Daniel Kirk, Javaka Steptoe, and Dan Yaccarino - all seasoned, notable professionals with wonderful picture books to their credit, who will share their insights and experience with us. Bring your questions, enjoy our refreshments, pick up a signed book for that special child in your life (or your own collection).
Gary Golio is the author of the award-winning Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow (illustrated by fellow-panelist Javaka Steptoe); When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan (illustrated by Marc Burckhardt), and the forthcoming Spirit Seeker: The Musical Journey of John Coltrane. Kirkus Review praised his second book, calling it “…another sensitively written, meticulously researched picture biography, this time capturing the intense ambition of the young Bob Dylan.”
The multi-talented Daniel Kirk is the author and illustrator of the popular Dogs Rule! and Cat Power! – picture books that combine art, poetry and song. He is the creator of Sam, who stars in the Library Mouse books, My Truck is Stuck (written by Kevin Lewis), While the World Is Sleeping (with Pamela Duncan Edwards), Keisha Ann Can! and many other delights for young readers.
Once a model and inspiration for his late father, award winning author/illustrator John Steptoe, Javaka Steptoe has established himself as an outstanding illustrator in his own right. After receiving the Coretta Scott King Award for illustrating his first book, In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall, his work has continued to garner recognition; he has worked with text by, among others, Walter Dean Myers (Amiri and Odette), the poet Nikki Grimes (Pocketful of Poems), and, most recently, Gary Golio (Jimi).
Dan Yaccarino’s bold, witty style has won his work international acclaim and a number of prestigious awards. In addition to his many books – most recently, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, Every Friday, and All the Way to America – he is the creator of the whimsical characters for the television series Willa’s Wild Life, Oswald the Octopus, and the Backyardigans.
A NIGHT OF MYSTERY
Friday, May 20th, 2011
at 7:00 pm
Writing Matters presents a very special celebration of the writing life.
Five authors and a literary agent gather to discuss the art of crafting
a fast-paced tale and what to do next in this revolutionary time in books.
Audience members who purchase a book will be entered in two giveaways.
Win a "Skip the Query, Go Straight to the Agent" prize or a basket of
Our lineup includes:
Lois Winston, author of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series
and associate of the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency
Dennis Tafoya, author of the critically-acclaimed novels, Dope Thief and
The Wolves of Fairmount Park
Mary Stanton, author of the Beaufort & Company series
Dirk Robertson, author of Highland T'ing, Bad Day for a Fat Boy, and
Deep Powder, all from The X-Press
Judi McCoy, author of the Dogwalker mystery series
Come enjoy a night of stimulating conversation, beautiful books, food, &
for a night of continued conversation, food, and fun.
MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE OR FALSE DISTINCTION?
On January 28th, 2011, at 7 pm our illustrious panel will gather to
explore the meaning of literary fiction, and whether it differs from
genre fiction at all.
Laurie Lico Albanese, author of LYNELLE BY THE SEA
Elizabeth Brundage, author of the just released A STRANGER LIKE YOU
Alice Elliott Dark, author of THINK OF ENGLAND
Peter Golden, author of the debut novel COMEBACK LOVE
Christina Baker Kline, author of BIRD IN HAND
for a night of conversation, food, and fun.
What is this creation we call a play? When words on a page come
literally to life, with people standing on a stage, what kind of magic
The process and practice of creating theater will be explored in all its
glitter and gala by playwrights William Spear, Rosa H. Soy, Anne
Timmins, and Roselee Blooston
Please join us on November 19th, 2010 at 7 pm
when the curtain rises for our discussion of the play"
Brave New World: Publishing a Book in 2010...and Beyond
Ten years ago, it would've been impossible to describe the state of
publishing today. There are e readers, threats to print media, houses
have fallen and risen. And yet, people have been predicting the demise
of the book since the first one rolled off the presses. More people than
ever today are reading, while this year alone independent bookstores
opened from New Mexico to New York and New Orleans.
October 22, 2010
at 7:00 pm
Reagan Arthur, publisher of Reagan Arthur Books, Little, Brown
Aaron Talwar, Publisher of Dark Coast Press
Joelle Delbourgo of Joelle Delbourgo Associates
and Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary Management
will gather to discuss what's in store for book lovers everywhere.
Please join us for a champagne toast and what's sure to be a lively
discussion with these stars of the publishing world.
Seats will fill up fast. Come early to browse the books showcased by our
panel of speakers."
Growing Readers in a Digital World: Why the Publishing Market for Kids
Friday September 24 at 7:00pm
reading a book? Authors Tracey Baptiste, Susanna Reich, Troy CLE, and
Crystal Velasquez will discuss the craft and
business of writing for the children's market. From early readers to
tweens and teens, these authors have managed to keep their young
audiences turning the pages and coming back for more.
Please join us at Watchung booksellers on Friday, September 24, 2010 at
7pm to meet the authors, learn more about writing and publishing for
children, and find some great new reads for the young people in your life!
What To Do Before You Debut
If you've ever considered writing a book, or are just interested in this
brave, new world of publishing, please come to our sixth Writing Matters
panel. Novelists Randy Susan Meyers, Shelley Stout, and
Therese Walsh will all talk about the exciting process of bringing a
book into the world.
From independent press to major house, from already generating reviews
to not yet on the shelves, attendees will get the chance to hear all the
inside details about debuting in 2010, and after.
Refreshments will be served, and authors available to mingle and sign books.
Seats have been tight at this exciting series. Come early and browse--we
look forward to seeing you there."
Friday, March 19, 2010 at 7 pm
Our fifth dialogue between authors and readers seeks to address the age old question of whether writing is different from any other profession, medicine, law, or teaching itself. Are the arts unique? To be a writer must you have some innate ability before you learn to hone your craft? Is there such a thing as a gift?
These and other questions will be batted about by our trio of gifted authors and teachers, Sara Backer, Sally Koslow, and Charles Salzberg.
Come share your thoughts along with some light refreshments, and learn a little something about this thing we call writing.
Please call the store if you are interested in attending.
Friday, January 29, 2010 at 7 pm
Go Ahead, Make Me Laugh: Humor in Writing
Our fourth dialogue between authors and readers asks what, if anything, distinguishes humor writing from its less mirthful counterpart.
Local authors Debra Galant and Pamela Satran, along with mystery author Jeff Cohen, will appear.
There will be conversation, light refreshments, and plenty of laughs!
Please call the store if you are interested in attending."
Friday, November 20, 7 pm. Writing Matters: A Dialog on the Craft and Business of Words.
Our bi-monthly series of panel talks continues with Food Writing and Social History – Telling Stories, Touching Lives, featuring book authors Louise DeSalvo and Laura Schenone, and journalist MaryAnn D’Urso. Explore the unique aspects of the place of food in family dynamics and cultural identity, and the particular joys and challenges of food as subject for the nonfiction writer.
Louise DeSalvo is the Jenny Hunter Endowed Scholar for Creative Writing and Literature at Hunter College. She is the author of sixteen books, among them the memoir Vertigo, finalist for Italy’s Primo Acerbi literary prize; Crazy in the Kitchen, and Writing As a Way of Healing, a manual intended to help people cope with the effects of illness, trauma, and terrorist acts.
Laura Schenone’s book, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove received the James Beard Award in 2004. Her most recent work, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken, is an exploration of family history and the search for a long-lost recipe. Her essays and articles have appeared in numerous major newspapers and magazines. She is co-author, together with Nancy Ring, of the popular blog JellyPress: Old Recipes, Modern Life.
Journalist MaryAnn D’Urso’s food features have appeared in the Newark Star Ledger and other newspapers. Currently, she is involved in a mentoring project for women in crisis, using food writing as a therapeutic tool in dealing with the difficult conditions of their lives.
54 Fairfield Street
Montclair, NJ 07042