Notes from the March, 2016 Tamale Hut Café Writers Group meeting

We had our forty-second Tamale Hut Café Writers Group meeting on Saturday, March 13.  Thanks to Matt H, Marianne, Beth, Salvador, Christian, Lisa, Sean, and Cary for joining me to talk writing and stories.  And as always, thanks to Jaime for the mostly-quiet surroundings.

We started with a few quick news items:
– Round-robin story: Eight chapters done, and the file went to the ninth author last Thursday.  There are 5 more writers to go on the initial list.  We again briefly discussed what we should do once everyone takes a turn, and it was suggested that rather then have everyone take a second stab at a chapter of this story, maybe we should finish it and start another with a different plot.  Something to think about once those last five people have their chance.
– The next Bad Grammar Theater is Friday, Mar 18 at Forte Framing and Gallery, 2301 W. North Avenue. Show starts at 7 o’clock.  I went last month and the new space is pretty nice.  Cozy, yet plenty of room.
– Thanks to the Illinois Woman’s Press Association, I will have a spot at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest this year – June 11 and 12.  Maybe I’ll sell a book or three.  It looks like we’ll reschedule the June meeting to the third Saturday that month, but we can decide that for certain before the next flyer is due.
– I’m going (as a consumer, not vendor) to the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention on April 22-24.  I had a few flyers at the meeting, but the info is on their site.  I go every year and always have a great time, and spend way too much money.  If you’re curious about what I’ve been so excited about, think about going on Sunday.  It’s only $10 to get in, and that’s the day that all the panels are dedicated to new stories and their creators.  Reading Series regular Lance Stahlberg is even on one.
– Sean passed out copies of a humorous page of suggested Amazon warning labels.  I’m sure  none of our writing would qualify for any of these, but you can get your copy here.
– Beth asked about the Barefoot Writer, a web site and Facebook page that purports to offer tips on making money writing for non-traditional outlets like web sites and e-newsletters.  Matt H said that it was a scam, and a Google search seems to reinforce that opinion.  It looks like it’s just intended to get you to buy some get-rich-quick classes.
– Matt H said that next time someone tries to sell you a copy of Streetwise (you see this a lot downtown) you should pick up a copy.  Not only are you helping out the homeless person selling it, but he has an article in an upcoming issue.
– Lisa said that the calendar is full for 2016 for the Reading Series.  The next few dates and featured readers are:
March 19 – Nathan Beauchamp
April 16 – Jeffrey Westhoff
May 21 – Cyn Vargas

Internet Notes –
– The Smarter Artist Podcast is a daily podcast put out by the Self-Publishing Podcast guys.  Each runs 5-8 minutes, and cover a variety of topics like what is an unreliable narrator or what to do when you write yourself into a corner.  I just listened to one that might rub people the wrong way, but I like their take on it: What to Do If Someone Pirates Your Work

The rest of the meeting was taken up with the usual conversation and critiques.  It was only after the meeting that I realized that all five of the pieces we discussed this month were incomplete works, meaning that each was a section of a longer piece, either novel or novella.  I think that’s the first time that’s happened in 42 meetings.  Does that mean that we’re getting more ambitious the longer we go on?  I certainly hope so!

Thanks again to everyone for joining me this month.  Here’s the schedule for the next month or so:
– the next Tamale Hut Café Reading Series event will be next Saturday, March 19 at 7PM.  The featured reader will be series regular Nathan Beauchamp. Please check the blog for more information.
– around Mar 28, I will send a reminder to you to submit a piece for critique during our next meeting.  This e-mail will also contain the current round-robin story.
– as I get pieces, I will send them out as quickly as I can
– our next THC Writers Group meeting will be Saturday, Apr 9 at 2PM at the Tamale Hut Café.

Thanks for your interest in the THC Writers Group.  I hope to see you at the next Reading Series event or next Writers Group meeting.

Matt B

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