Tag: Carol L. Wright

Home > ArchivesTag: Carol L. Wright

Listen, my children, and you shall hear . . .

July 13, 2021 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , , , , ,

April always takes me back to my childhood in Acton, Massachusetts, right next door to Concord (pronounced more like “conquered” than like “concorde”). Growing up there imbues a child with both a sense of history and an appreciation of literature.

Concord is famously the home of many legendary authors including Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64), Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), William Ellery Channing (1818-1901), Louisa May Alcott (1832-88), and Harriet Lothrop, who wrote as Margaret Sidney, (1844-1924). Even today, well-known authors are drawn there, including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Alan Lightman, and Gregory Maguire. What a wonderful place to grow up. Writers can, as we know, make us see the world in new ways.

Equally ingrained in the culture of the area is its history. There, kids don’t get a “Spring Break” from school. Instead they get a February vacation (the week including Presidents Day) and April vacation (the week including Patriots’ Day.)

What is Patriots’ Day, you ask? It is the commemoration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord—events with local celebrations that rival or exceed Independence Day. Over time, those battles have been the inspiration for many of the region’s poets, not least of whom was lyric poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82) who immortalized the “midnight ride of Paul Revere” in his poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

Listen, my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere

On the 18th of April, in Seventy-five:

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year. . . 

That’s 1775, when British General Thomas Gage, who commanded the British troops occupying Boston, ordered 700 Redcoats to scour the countryside for the radical leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock, rumored to be staying thirteen miles away in Lexington, and to discover the location of stores of munitions and supplies for local militias, rumored to be hidden in Concord, seven miles farther on.

Colonial spies learned of Gage’s orders and planned to warn Adams, Hancock, and the surrounding towns. That night, two lanterns were hung in the steeple of the Old North Church, signaling the route British troops would take out of Boston.

“One if by land, and two if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be,

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country-folk to be up and to arm.” . . .

And they were. In Middlesex County towns, Minutemen—so named because they were ready to rise to arms on a minute’s notice—were alerted not just by Paul Revere but by William Dawes, who took a different route out of Boston to avoid the risk of both of them being captured at once.

It was one by the village clock,

When he galloped into Lexington. . . .

Revere and Dawes met at Lexington, arriving about a half hour apart, and warned Adams and Hancock who quickly departed. The two couriers then set out for Concord. Fortunately for history, they were joined by Dr. Samuel Prescott who was out late, returning home to Concord after a courting visit with a young lady in Lexington.

Just as the sky began to lighten on the morning of April 19, an advance party of British troops, led by Major John Pitcairn, arrived in Lexington. A militia of seventy-seven armed colonists stood on the town green. They faced each other down, both sides having been ordered not to fire. Pitcairn ordered the colonists to disperse, and they began to do so. Then a shot rang out. Its source is unknown, but its effect was that the British opened fire, killing seven Minutemen. One mortally wounded patriot crawled home from the green, only to die on his doorstep.

It was two by the village clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town. . . .

Despite Longfellow’s heroic telling, before Revere could reach Concord, he was arrested by the British and held for questioning before being released hours later. Dawes and Prescott eluded the British, but Dawes lost his horse and walked back to Lexington. It was Prescott who, knowing the terrain, was able to get through to alert the patriots in Concord. He then traveled on to Acton while his brother, Abel, alerted other towns.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket-ball.

Captain Isaac Davis, the captain of the Acton Minutemen, had been preparing his land for spring planting and left his plow in his field the evening before. After hearing the alarm, at least thirty of his force of forty Minutemen (including a young drummer and fifer) mustered there. Besides being a farmer, Davis was a metal worker who had fashioned bayonets for his militiamen. They were ready for close combat if need be. In the early morning hours of April 19, they marched with their arms along a nearly seven-mile trail (now followed each Patriots’ Day by local residents, scouts, and history buffs) to the home of Major John Buttrick of the Concord militia. The Buttrick farm served as the meeting place for the approximately 400 Minutemen from various towns who had responded to the call. Between the Buttrick home and the center of Concord a half mile away, flowed the narrow Concord River spanned by a wooden bridge.

By eight o’clock, the British arrived in Concord. Frustrated by not being able to find the stash of weapons and supplies, they went into houses, dragged out furniture, wooden bowls, and anything else flammable, and created a bonfire on the village green. The Minutemen saw smoke rising above the bare trees and feared the British would set the entire town afire.

The Minutemen advanced toward the bridge to cross with orders not to fire unless fired upon. Captain Davis volunteered his men for the front line because they had bayonets, saying, “I haven’t a man who is afraid to go.”

A small company of the British forces had crossed the bridge as the colonists approached. Seeing the combined militia making chase, the British retreated back across the bridge, prying up some of its planks to delay the Minutemen’s crossing. Once across the bridge, the British turned and fired on the undaunted Minutemen. Isaac Davis and another young Acton Minuteman, Abner Hosmer, fell—the first to die at the Battle of Concord.

But instead of turning and scattering as they had in Lexington, the assembled militias held their positions. Captain Buttrick shouted, “Fire, fellow soldiers, for God’s sake fire!” They fired on the British–the first time colonists had fired a shot for liberty. It was the British who turned and ran.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,

How the British Regulars fired and fled,—

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,

Chasing the red-coats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.

Longfellow put it well. The British, never expecting armed resistance, reassembled and marched in formation back to Boston. The colonists pursued them, shooting from behind trees and stone walls. When the day was over, forty-nine colonists had died, but they had killed 73 soldiers of the finest army in the world.

More importantly, the Revolutionary War had begun.

Longfellow was not the only poet of his generation inspired by these events. Concord resident Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Concord Hymn,” a portion of which is inscribed on the base of a statue of a Minuteman which stands at the Old North Bridge.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard round the world.

Both poets highlight the heroic acts of the colonists, heaping immortal praise on those who fought to free Americans from the yoke of the tyranny of King George III. But there is a portion of one more poem, by the lesser-known poet James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), that struck me the hardest the first time I visited the Old North Bridge as a young girl—so much so that I memorized it that day. It’s not on the tall Minuteman monument erected in 1875 that sits on the colonists’ side of the bridge, nor the obelisk erected in 1836 and placed on the other side of the river to commemorate the battle. Rather it is engraved on a slate slab attached to a stone wall on the town side of the bridge. Overlooked by most tourists, it is flanked by two small British flags. It marks the grave of two unnamed British soldiers who died at that bridge, far from their homes, on April 19, 1775.

They came three thousand miles, and died,

To keep the Past upon its throne:

Unheard, beyond the ocean tide,

Their English mother made her moan.

Standing there, a chill ran through me as I read it. I then realized that the Minutemen weren’t the only patriots in that battle. That there are two sides to every conflict, and it is good to remember that both deserve to be understood.

Writers can, after all, make us see the world in new ways.

*First published in the Spring 2020 Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, Literary Learnings. Reprinted with permission.

Carol L. Wright is a former book editor, domestic relations attorney, and adjunct law professor. Her debut mystery, Death in Glenville Falls, came out in September of 2017 and was named a finalist for both the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and for the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. In addition, Carol is the author of several short stories in various literary journals and award-winning anthologies. Many of her favorites appear in A Christmas on Nantucket and other stories. She is a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group, a life member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America, and a member of Pennwriters, the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, and SinC Guppies. She is married to her college sweetheart, and lives in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania with their rescue dog, Mr. Darcy, and a clowder of cats. You can learn more on Carol’s website, or by following her Facebook page.


Some of Carol’s Books

(Click on the covers for more information. Hover over the covers for buy links.)

A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER

Buy now!
A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER

A READABLE FEAST

Buy now!
A READABLE FEAST

DAY OF THE DARK

Buy now!
DAY OF THE DARK

DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS

Buy now!
DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

ONCE AROUND THE SUN

Buy now!
ONCE AROUND THE SUN

ONCE UPON A TIME

Buy now!
ONCE UPON A TIME

THE WRITE CONNECTION

Buy now!
THE WRITE CONNECTION
UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL

WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW

Buy now!
WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

1 0 Read more

ONE TASTE TOO MANY by Debra H. Goldstein: A Review by Carol L. Wright

December 30, 2018 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Book Reviews tagged as , , , ,

I was surprised when I had the chance to receive an advance reading copy (ARC) of award-winning author Debra H. Goldstein’s first book in her new Sarah Blair Mystery series, ONE TASTE TOO MANY (Kensington Books), available for purchase on December 18.

Full disclosure: I know Debra, having been on panels with her at writers’ conferences and having published some of her short stories in my capacity as Executive Editor of Bethlehem Writers Roundtable . One of her stories was nominated for an AGATHA AWARD in 2018 and another received an Honorable Mention for the 2018 BETHLEHEM WRITERS ROUNDTABLE SHORT STORY AWARD. (See Short Story Award hfor information about our 2019 competition which opens January 1.) Obviously, I already knew Debra to be a talented writer, so when this opportunity to get a sneak peek at her latest novel arose, I jumped at the chance.

As with her previous mysteries, MAZE IN BLUE (2012 IPPY E-Book Regional Bronze Award Winner) and SHOULD HAVE PLAYED POKER (Five Star Publishing, 2016), her new book is definitely of the cozy variety. Cozy readers know that means that the main character is an amateur sleuth, the story is usually set in a close community (e.g. a small town, a nursing home, a ski lodge, a cruise ship, a school, etc.), and there is no graphic language or violence. Some follow a theme, such as a particular craft or profession, and they often include a pet. As the cover of ONE TASTE TOO MANY promises, we get both a theme and a pet.

The main characters are Sarah Blair (nee Johnson), a twenty-eight-year-old recent divorcee and her fraternal twin, Emily. The Johnson twins are as different as any two siblings could be. Growing up in small town Wheaton, Alabama, a Birmingham suburb, one is fair haired; the other is a brunette. One is reserved and pragmatic; the other outgoing, talkative, and a bit of a risk taker. One is a “convenience” cook; the other is a gourmet chef.

Sarah married her high school sweetheart, Bill Blair, right after graduation and stayed in Wheaton. For ten years, her natural reserve was exacerbated by her husband’s unrelenting undermining of her self-esteem. Meanwhile her sister Emily, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), worked in restaurants in Birmingham and San Francisco. When Sarah’s husband leaves her with little more than the cat, RahRah, he inherited from his mother (to which he was allergic), and Emily moves back home to take a job at the Southwinds gourmet restaurant owned by her previous mentor from San Francisco, their lives intertwine in new ways that neither could predict.

Sarah’s ex-husband holds a controlling interest in Southwinds, and the woman who had stolen Bill away from her, Jane Clark, works at the restaurant and is Emily’s chief competitor for the open sous chef position. The competition heats up when Southwinds chefs compete against each other and other gourmet chefs from around the region at a Food Expo at Wheaton’s Civic Center.

When Bill is found dead late one evening at the Civic Center, with Emily at his side and her rhubarb crisp, which contained nuts to which he was deathly allergic, on his fork, foul play is immediately suspected. Everyone knew that Bill would never willingly take a bite of Emily’s rhubarb crisp, so the police chief identifies her as the prime suspect in Bill’s apparent murder. Fortunately for the twins, Sarah works as a receptionist for a lawyer who takes the case pro bono.

Jane makes a perfect foil for the twins. Not only is she Emily’s rival for sous chef, she claims to have papers that give her the right to take Sarah’s cat, RahRah. The tangled plot thickens when development schemes, an animal trust, and divided loyalties twist the sisters in different directions, looking for the person responsible for framing Emily. The more they learn, the less certain they are about whom to trust. The author also sprinkles in a hint of romance and finishes with an unexpected ending.

As with many culinary cozies, there are recipes at the end. But don’t worry if you’re not a gourmet chef—they are Sarah’s “convenience” recipes.

Debra Goldstein is the perfect person to write this book as an Alabaman, the mother of twins, a retired federal judge, and a convenience cook herself. Since this is promised to be the first in a new series, it should be very interesting to find out what Sarah Blair is up to next.

ONE TASTE TOO MANY
Buy now!

Carol L Wright

Carol L. Wright escaped a career in law and academia for one in writing. She is the author of the Gracie McIntyre Mystery series, the first of which, DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS, was a finalist for both the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and a Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2018.

In addition to her mysteries, she is the author of short stories in several genres that have been published in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, including the award-winning Bethlehem Writers Group’s “Sweet, Funny, and Strange” anthologies in an assortment of themes.

She is a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group, a life member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America, and a member of Pennwriters and SinC Guppies. She is married to her college sweetheart, and lives in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania with their rescue dog, Mr. Darcy, and a clowder of cats. You can learn more on Carol’s website, or by following her Facebook page.


1 0 Read more

A Writers Group? What’s in It for Me?

December 13, 2018 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , , ,
Writers Group | Carol L Wright | A Slice of Orange

Carol L Wright

This month “From a Cabin in The Woods” author is Carol L. Wright.

Carol escaped a career in law and academia for one in writing. She is the author of the Gracie McIntyre Mystery series, the first of which, DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS, was a finalist for both the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and a Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2018.

In addition to her mysteries, she is the author of short stories in several genres that have been published in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, including the award-winning Bethlehem Writers Group’s “Sweet, Funny, and Strange” anthologies in an assortment of themes.

Carol is a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group, a life member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America, and a member of Pennwriters and SinC Guppies. She is married to her college sweetheart, and lives in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania with their rescue dog, Mr. Darcy,and a clowder of cats. You can learn more on Carol’s website,or by following her Facebook page.


A Writers Group?

What’s in It for Me? 

Carol L. Wright

Are you a writer? If so, you already know that it can be a solitary life. Some of us need isolation and quiet to write, while others like the white noise and energy of a public place, such as a coffee shop, to hear their characters speak. Our friends and family members might think us eccentric—or worse—when we say we’re working but all they see is us staring off into nothingness.

So where does a writer find those rare understanding souls who can help them along their journey?

In a writers group, of course!

If you’ve never been part of a critique group, you might feel timid about sharing your work with a bunch of strangers, but it’s definitely worth the plunge. That’s what I did back in May of 2006 when I started what would become the Bethlehem Writers Group.

Over time, we developed an identity. While we had writers of all genres visit us, it soon became apparent that we had a critical mass of fiction and memoir writers—so that’s what we focus on.

We meet twice a month. At each meeting, members bring several hard copies of work to share, then listen as other members read the work aloud. After each reading is complete, we all share our thoughts. Sometimes, I’ll admit, we can be pretty blunt, but it’s meant kindly and constructively. I’ll never forget the first words of commentary on one of my pieces. “It’s DEATH, Carol! DEATH!” I realized then that I had more work to do.

One thing we are passionate about is helping each other become better writers. We remind each other of writing “rules” (e.g. use all five senses, start with a stronger hook, show don’t tell). But we also offer our personal perspectives on others’ work, letting them know where the reader runs into speed bumps slowing the flow of the story.

We’ve occasionally had writers join us who didn’t mesh well with our “sweet, funny, and strange” authors.

One left in a huff when we didn’t burst into applause at the first reading of their work. Another never returned after getting praise for their writing skill along with a suggestion that they not kill off the main character in chapter one. A third got up to leave saying the meeting was “out of control” when the discussion went off on a brief, humorous tangent. One came to her fourth or fifth meeting to yell at us, basically saying she would not join any writers group that would have her as a member. But those who have persevered, listening to our critiques, taking what was worthwhile and discarding what did not work for them, have grown as writers. From a group of mostly unpublished writers, we are now a group with every member published, some with several books to their credit.

So, what should you look for in a writers group?

I’d recommend looking for people:

  1. Who share your general writing interests. If you are interested in screen writing, it obviously won’t work well for you to join a poetry group. Some groups focus solely on one genre; others are open to several. Either is okay since many writing skills cross genres. As long as you understand your colleague’s perspective and they know what you’re trying to achieve, a fantasy writer can critique a YA romance and vice versa—and give writers ideas they never would have thought of without them.
  2. Who, while different from each other, are serious writers who respect each other enough to give their time and effort toward helping you become a better writer.
  3. Whom you respect enough to give your time and effort toward helping them become better writers and whose opinions you respect enough to listen to them.
  4. Who give everyone a chance to share their work.
  5. Who encourage you when things aren’t working out the way you’d like and celebrate your successes.

And what should you expect to offer a writers group?

  1. Contribute work for critiques. It helps your colleagues hone their own editorial skills to have good work to evaluate.
  2. Do your share. You’re not just there to get your work critiqued. You’re there to reciprocate.
  3. Treat others with the respect you’d like to receive.
  4. Be open to people of different ages, backgrounds, experience, and writing interests. You can learn a lot from people who do not share your perspective on the world, whether that be in writing or everyday life.

And what will you get out of it?

  1. You will become a better writer, and
  2. You will have some of the most interesting friends!

Part of the reason for the success of our writers group is that we have continually challenged each other. Our first project was to put out an anthology of Christmas stories in 2009. A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE HOLIDAY TALES. We were from Bethlehem, after all. It won two NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS—Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction. Not abad start. Since then, we’ve published several more on different themes, and are planning our next one now—FUR, FEATHERS, AND SCALES: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE ANIMAL TALES.   

Along with our anthologies, since 2011 we have published an online literary journal: BETHLEHEM WRITERS ROUNDTABLE  And since 2017, we’re a paying market for short stories and poems.

Perhaps most exciting for non-BWG members is that we hold an annual SHORT STORY AWARD. Our theme this year is animal stories, broadly interpreted. Our winners receive cash prizes as well as publication, with the First Place winner considered for inclusion in our next print anthology. Each year we invite a guest judge to do the final selection of our winners, and we’re so pleased that this year we have John Grogan, the best-selling author of MARLEY & ME. Find out more at here.

Our 2019 contest opens on January 1, so get your animal stories polished and ready to submit—perhaps with help from your writers group.We’d love to publish your winning work.


Books by Carol L. Wright


A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER

Buy now!
A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER

A READABLE FEAST

Buy now!
A READABLE FEAST

DAY OF THE DARK

Buy now!
DAY OF THE DARK

DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS

Buy now!
DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

ONCE AROUND THE SUN

Buy now!
ONCE AROUND THE SUN

ONCE UPON A TIME

Buy now!
ONCE UPON A TIME

THE WRITE CONNECTION

Buy now!
THE WRITE CONNECTION
UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL

WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW

Buy now!
WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

3 0 Read more

An Interview with Carol L. Wright

September 2, 2018 by in category Interviews, Jann says . . . tagged as , , , , , ,

Jann Ryan is still on vacation this month, so we’re running an interview from our archives. The interview with Carol L. Wright first posted April 2, 2017.

Carol L Wright

My first interview on the new A Slice of Orange is with Carol L. Wright, editor for Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC. Carol is a recovering lawyer and adjunct law professor who traded writing on law-related topics for writing fiction. She has published several short stories in a variety of genres and is the author of the Gracie McIntyre Mysteries. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and Sisters in Crime, a member of SinC Guppies, and a founding member of the Bethlehem Writers Group. She is married to her college sweetheart, and lives in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. You can visit Carol’s website at http://carollwright.com, or follow her on Facebook at https://goo.gl/TtR9JL.

Jann: Welcome to A Slice of Orange, Carol. Tell us a little bit about Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC.

Carol: Thanks. I’m very happy to be here.

The Bethlehem Writers Group started out eleven years ago as a drop-in critique group at a local bookstore. While some of our regulars had several published works, many were writers who were just getting started, still learning the basics. As our membership grew, and our skills developed, we began taking on group challenges, such as meeting minimum word counts. That grew into accepting the challenge of compiling an anthology. Since we were based in Bethlehem, A Christmas Sampler Cover Pennsylvania, also known as “Christmas City, USA,” we decided to make it a Christmas anthology. Our writers work in many different genres, and had equally different takes on the theme, so when we decided on a title, we called it A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE HOLIDAY TALES. Sweet, funny, and strange pretty much describes our merry band of writers, too.

Since then, we have published three more anthologies, each with different themes, and are in the process of compiling our fifth anthology, UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL, forthcoming in 2018. In addition, many of our members have published their short works elsewhere, and we have many who have published novels, nonfiction, or memoir.

In addition to our anthologies, in 2011 we began publishing an online literary magazine. Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Shortly thereafter, we started an annual short story contest that offers cash and publication to the top three winners. But through it all, we have never forgotten our continuing mission of meeting as a group of mutually supportive fiction and nonfiction writers to help each other perfect their craft.

Jann: BWG publishes a quarterly e-zine, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, are you accepting submissions?

Carol: We are always open to submissions of prose or poetry. We limit submissions to no more than 2000 words, and the work must be previously unpublished.

In addition to publishing stories and poems, we have other features, including an interview of a writing professional, a column on commonly confused words, and another column from the mythical “Betty Wryte-Goode” (BWG!) with links to useful websites for writers.

Jann: Must the author be published or unpublished?

Carol: We are happy to accept good work, whether the author has been published before or not. We have had the pleasure of publishing award-winning authors, as well as writers who have never published before. Our goal is to bring good work to the attention of our readers—it’s as simple as that.

Jann: Is this a paying market?

Carol: Yes,Let It Snow as of this year, we are happy to be able to offer payment for published work. Our Featured Author receives $20/story. Those whose work we publish, but who are not featured, receive $10/story. Poets receive $5/poem.

Jann: How does an author submit?

Carol: Submissions are through our online form at https://sites.google.com/site/bethlehemwritersroundtable/submissions.

Jann: Where can we read the e-zine?

Carol: It is published quarterly at https://bwgwritersroundtable. Our Spring issue just came out on April 1. No fooling!


Jann: What about The Best of Bethlehem Writers Round Table Winter Collection?

We have been fortunate enough to get some really terrific stories to publish on Roundtable through the years. A couple of years ago, we compiled several in one volume: LET IT SNOW: THE BEST OF BETHLEHEM WRITERS ROUNDTABLE (Winter 2015 Collection). It’s available in print or ebook formats through Amazon.com. (And also in the A Slice of Orange Book Store.)

Jann: As one of the Roundtable editors, what are you looking for in a short story? A poem?

Carol: We describe what we’re looking for on our submissions page, but briefly, we are looking for great stories. We often receive the equivalent of a “still life” in words—mood pieces or character sketches. But unless they are part of a true story, we’re not apt to accept them. We’re looking for three things: character, conflict, and resolution. We want to see that the main character has changed because of the events told in the story. A great story beats flowery language every time.

For poetry, we want emotion, imagery, musicality, and great use of inventive language. Poetry is a subjective genre, but what we don’t want is flash fiction with line breaks, or awkward or worn phrases. If it’s hard to make sense of your lines, we’re not apt to accept them. But if our editors feel your poem, you’ll be published.

Jann: Any writing books that you would recommend? How about classes?

Carol: There are so many great books out there. As a mystery writer, I’ve found the books by James N. Frey (not to be confused with James Frey) to be particularly helpful. He has a series of “Damn Good” books, including HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD MYSTERY. He also has one for novels and another for thrillers. I found his discussion of mythic characters and themes to be particularly useful. Another great resource is the books by James Scott Bell. He has written on every aspect, from writing to editing to marketing. I’m not a horror fan, but loved Stephen King’s book ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT. Great books about being a writer include the classic BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott.

I think every writer also needs a ton of reference works—both about writing and about the subjects they choose. My shelves are full of books on psychology and forensics because I write mysteries. But I also have a number of style books that I use—but only during the editing process. When I’m writing a first draft, I try not to let my inner editor get in the way of my muse.

There are also a plethora of great classes for writers out there. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get some terrific instruction. If you write genre fiction, such as romance, mystery, or children’s

A Readable Feast

fiction, there are strong, vibrant, national organizations for your genre. They frequently offer their members low-cost or free classes on a variety of writing subjects. For instance, as a member of Sisters in Crime (sinc.org), and its Guppies subgroup, I have access to low-cost classes on all aspects of mystery writing.

There are also “free” webinars offered by self-proclaimed experts on a variety of aspects of writing. These might offer some useful information, but in reality, they are ill-concealed advertisements for their extremely expensive services. They will often tell you just enough to make you want to learn more—for only $99/month for six months!

BWG is now developing workshops for writers, and hope to be ready to offer them to the public later this year. So, if you’re in the Bethlehem, PA area, they might be a good place to start.

When the budget allows, I’m a big advocate of going to writers conferences. You learn a lot from other writers, but you also have a chance to make contacts with people who “get” you. Writing is a solitary profession, and it’s nice to get out there and discover you’re not the only one who is weird like that. I mean—how many of your friends will spend a good portion of their afternoon figuring out how to get rid of a body without leaving trace evidence behind? (Uh–if they aren’t writers, maybe you should find other friends.) I always come home from a conference with renewed energy to write.

But the best thing for any writer to do is to read—a lot. It might be trite, but it’s true. By reading, you learn what does or doesn’t work. You improve your vocabulary, and expose yourself to a variety of voices. Reading opens the world up to you, both as an individual and as a writer. There is no substitute.


Jann: BWG also publishes the Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales Anthologies. Tell us a little bit about these books.

Carol: As I mentioned, it all started with A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE HOLIDAY TALES. We were so excited when it won the 2010 NEXT Generation Indie Book Awards in two categories: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction.

When wOnce Upon a Time Covere first published A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER, we weren’t sure whether we would ever do another, but after a couple of years, we wanted to do it again. Having published a Christmas book, we wanted to compile one for other holidays as well. Soon, we had ONCE AROUND THE SUN: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES FOR ALL SEASONS which was also a finalist for Best Anthology.

Two years later, we published a collection of food-related stories entitled A READABLE FEAST: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES FOR EVERY TASTE, which earned another finalist medal from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Our most recent anthology just came out last fall: ONCE UPON A TIME: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES FOR ALL AGES. It’s a book of children’s stories ranging from the preschool through middle school target audience—and their parents, of course.

Our next anthology, UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL, is due out next year.

Jann: Do you accept submissions?

Carol: With one exception, the stories in our anthologies are by active members of the Bethlehem Writers Group. That exception is that the first-place winner of the annual Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Short Story Award competition is considered for inclusion in the upcoming anthology. For some of our anthologies, though, it takes us two years to put out the book. For those, we may have two successive contest winners’ stories included in the book.

Jann: A contest? How does that work?

Each year, we offer a SHORT STORY AWARD to the best story submitted to that year’s contest. As it happens, we are currently accepting submissions of original, unpublished, paranormal stories of no more than 2000 words. Our submission deadline is April 30. Members of BWG do the preliminary round of judging, then pass off the finalists to a guest judge.

Jann: Who is the final judge?

Carol: This year, we’re honored to have New York Times bestselling author, Carrie Vaughn as our Guest Judge. She will determine who our winners are.

 

Jann: Where do you enter?

Carol: All entries must be submitted through the form on the contest page of Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Payments are via PayPal. There is a PayPal link on our website to make payments easily.

Jann: How much does it cost?

Carol: There is a $10 entry fee per story.

Jann: What are the prizes?

We offer cash and publication to our winners. First place wins $200 and consideration for publication in our upcoming anthology. Second and Third places win $100 and $50 respectively. Both of these stories are offered publication in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. Honorable Mentions (if any) receive a certificate, and might be offered publication at the discretion of our Roundtable editors.

Jann: When will the next anthology be released?

Carol: UNTETHERED is slated to be published in the fall of 2018.

Jann: Take off your editor’s hat for a minute and put on your author hat and tell us what you have planned for 2017.

2017 is a busy year. I have just had a short story published in the anthology THE WRITE CONNECTIONS put out by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. Another story is due out in July in the anthology DAY OF THE DARK, edited by Kaye George and published by Wildside Press, LLC. All the stories included are related in some way to the total solar eclipse that will be visible in North America on August 21, 2017.

In August, I anticipate the publication of my novel, DEATH AT GLENVILLE FALLS. It is the first of my Gracie McIntyre Mysteries. The story is about recovering lawyer, Gracie McIntrye, whose newly-opened bookstore is vandalized. She is disturbed when the responding officer is strangely indifferent to the crime. When she discovers that he did not file a police report on the incident, she suspects he might somehow be involved. She complains to the police chief, but gets no satisfaction, even as violence against her escalates. She investigates, only to discover that it is all tied to the 18-year-old murder of her former client that everyone thought was solved.

I hope your readers will look for it, and enjoy it.

I would like to thank Carol L. Wright for taking the time to answer our questions. If you have comments or questions for Carol, please use the comment form below. 

Jann Ryan

Jann Ryan

Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since.

Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined Romance Writers of America. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.

If you are an author, editor, agent, or other publishing industry professional and would like to be interviewed on A Slice of Orange please contact us using the Contact Form.

11 0 Read more

Congratulations to the 2018 Silver Falchion Finalists

August 8, 2018 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley tagged as , , ,

 

Silver Falchion Finalists | A Slice of Orange

 

 

Congratulations to all the 2018 Silver Falchion finalists, but especially Carol L. Wright.  The winners of this contest will be announced at the Killer Nashville’s 13th Annual Writers’ Conference.  Carol’s novel, Death In Glenville Falls has also been nominated for the Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice Award as has the anthology Day of the Dark in which Carol has a short story.  Anyone may vote for the Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice Awards by following the link here.

 

Carol has been a guest author on A Slice of Orange. You can read An Interview with Carol L. Wright by Jann Ryan or her column Judging a Book by Its Cover. And you will find her books in our Book Store.  Click on the book covers for more infomation.

A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER

Buy now!
A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER

A READABLE FEAST

Buy now!
A READABLE FEAST

DAY OF THE DARK

Buy now!
DAY OF THE DARK

DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS

Buy now!
DEATH IN GLENVILLE FALLS
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

ONCE AROUND THE SUN

Buy now!
ONCE AROUND THE SUN

ONCE UPON A TIME

Buy now!
ONCE UPON A TIME

THE WRITE CONNECTION

Buy now!
THE WRITE CONNECTION
UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL

WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW

Buy now!
WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

 

 

 

 

1 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>