I’m a Writing Conference/Workshop Junkie

by Tisha Reichle

I don’t know if it’s being surrounded by the energy of other writers or pretending for a week, a few days, an afternoon, that I’m a student again, but I sit dutifully in the hotel ballroom chair or at a classroom table or around the cozy fireplace with a view of nearby nature, and listen carefully, take notes, ask thoughtful questions, and offer my insight when appropriate. In 2015-2016, I attended more than ten different conferences and workshops, traveled to seven cities, and spent a lot of my teacher salary. Various notebooks strewn about my apartment and a pile of receipts can attest to this. The experience thrills me every time and after each one, I’m eager for the next.

There are many writing conferences and workshops to choose from in the US and abroad. Which one is “the best” depends on your needs as a writer, your budget, and your desire for distance (or not). I usually looked for conferences/workshops in summer when I wasn’t teaching, in places I love (like New Mexico), where a writer I admire is an instructor, or a topic I’m passionate about is the focus. This strategy led me to my first workshop, Flight of the Mind, in 1995 in Eugene, Oregon with Helena Maria Viramontes. Continue reading

Hedgebrook and Other Residency Resources

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Hedgebrook’s 2018 Writer in Residence is now open. The deadline for applying is July 25th. Though there is a $30 application fee, rumor is you can request a fee waiver based on need, and if you are accepted, the stay–which includes room and board–is free of any cost aside from travel costs to Whidbey Island an hour outside of Seattle, Washington.

Hedgebrook is an all-female and female-identifying writing retreat. Writers stay in their own little cabin in the woods equipped with a desk and fisherman’s fireplace, and are given three meals-a-day, which includes a community dinner each night. No more than seven writers are on the premises at one time. One aspect that makes this residency highly sought out is Hedgbrook’s belief in radical hospitality. Some highlights of this include: menus catered to each writer’s specific food needs (and even the occasional favorite comfort food), fresh baked cookies daily, a well-loved garden writers are encouraged to pick flowers from for their desks, and absolutely no pressure to write. As someone who has experienced Hedgebrook, you and your writing will rarely feel so nurtured. Continue reading

WWS On the Town: Gathering of Latina Writers and LA Weekly Pitch Workshop

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Saturday, June 17th, The Latino Arts Network sponsored the very first Gathering of Latina Writers at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights. The Gathering was organized by LAN organizers, Rebecca Naverez and Tomas Benitez, along with Jessica Ceballos y Campbell and Iris de Anda. This was a free event that included four panels on genre bending, publishing, identity and community, lunch, and an award presentation to Trini Rodriguez of Tia Chucha Press. Many WWS members were in attendance including WWS organizers, Tisha Reichle, Ashley Perez, and me. Continue reading

A WWS PUBLICATION ROUND UP FOR JUNE

Another month, another inspiring list of publications. Congratulations to all!

From Carla Sameth‘s “I Do Exist” at Hometown Pasadena:

It’s hard to hear my mom talking baby talk.
I’d rather go to sleep than think of this.
It seems so fast—from craziness of raising a child alone
To carrying a diaper bag for my mom.

From Shawna Kenney‘s “How the Fiercest Warrior in ‘Wonder Woman’ Kicked Her Way Into Hollywood” at Narrative.ly:

Madeleine Vall Beijner woke up face down on the floor. A strange metallic noise rung in the 29-year-old’s ears as her eyes slowly focused on the edge of a black and white striped rug. Yes, I know this place… It’s my boyfriend’s apartment, she thought. She saw she was wearing the tracksuit of the Swedish national kickboxing team, with her gym bags stacked next to her – but she couldn’t move. Am I injured? Have I had a stroke? Am I dead? Continue reading

"Who the f*ck is Taleen Kali"

Behind The Editor’s Desk: Taleen Kali

by Lauren Eggert-Crowe

Even though I’ve never been published there (yet), I feel a certain kinship with DUM DUM Zine. It came into existence the same year I moved to L.A., 2011. I spent ten years of my youth making handmade zines about poetry and politics, so I’m drawn to anything with ‘zine’ in the title. It features interviews with some of the first writers who I was introduced to in the early disorienting days of searching for my footing in a new metropolis: Kate Durbin, J. Ryan Stradal, Zoe Ruiz, Yumi Sakugawa. A sidebar link list displays Los Angeles fixtures like Skylight Books, Otherwild, and Stories.

DUM DUM is an online zine of poetry, prose, and uncategorizeable ephemera, calling out to the avant garde, the hybrid writers, the genre-melting artists among us who need an outlet that celebrates weirdness. They accept submissions on a rolling basis for their e-zine, and publish a print issue yearly. Don’t expect a traditional format; DUM DUM’s previous tangible productions have included a music/poetry CD in a handmade envelope, a cardboard box, and an accordion-folded chapbook.

I asked some questions of Taleen Kali, the artist/writer/yoga instructor/musician/editor-in-chief and founder of DUM DUM. Continue reading

Claps & Cheers: ¡Viva la Hustle!

by Ramona Pilar

Claps and Cheers is a column dedicated to honoring pioneers and visionary storytellers who have forged their own path in their creative careers.

Leaving a solid, creative job, with fantastic health care and retirement plans to found your own creative business with no template is frightening. Not having a creative precursor on either side of one’s family, pursuing low-paying, artistic gigs with no long-term health or retirement benefits can be a hard sell both to family, friends, and especially to one’s self. I find myself in the throes of this conundrum and I know I’m not alone.

I have been fortunate enough and hashtag blessed to have found myself in the company of a community of creative hustlers who are eking out their own path in service of creating a life that serves both personal and professional needs.

I met Michelle Zamora when she was an undergrad at Cal State Los Angeles. She moved from Brownsville Texas in 2000 to study acting. We were both working on a theatre project with my roommate at the time (Selene Santiago), who was in graduate school at CSULA.

Continue reading

Highlight on WWS-Pittsburgh: An Interview with Chapter Lead, Jenny Ruth

How would you describe your city and your local literary community?

Pittsburgh is a literary destination! Historically the poster child for America’s industrial revolution, we’re reinventing ourselves through an economy with education at its core. We nurture an inordinate amount of literary ventures like reading series, literary magazines, MFA programs, indie bookstores, read & critique groups, etc… If you’re a writer looking for a writing community, you’ll find many options.

How did you hear of Women Who Submit, and why were you drawn to start a WWS chapter in your area?

I happened to see a tweet from the main WWS account in my feed in the spring of 2015 shortly after attending a writing conference in D.C. It was at this conference that I heard a panel of lit mag editors discuss gender disparities in submission rates and the VIDA Count. I immediately connected to the idea and recognized the need to support women in their submission efforts. Seeing that WWS tweet was a great example of “right place, right time.” I started tweeting at it every time I submitted work!

In spring 2016 my family moved to Pittsburgh. I asked WWS HQ to put me in touch with the Pittsburgh chapter only to discover we did not have one. Totally surprised me because PGH seemed to have everything else. So I started the chapter here. Continue reading