Posts made in March, 2014

Writing camp lets young people express themselves

Josie Loza: Writing camp lets young people express themselves Josie Loza Omaha World-Herald   When you think of camps, there’s just about something for everyone: basketball, soccer, baseball, horseback riding, drama, music, math, science, art. Yet for all those choices, one is often overlooked: writing. The written word is one of the best ways for children to use their imaginations, express themselves and deal with their emotions, yet this fundamental form of creativity is often ignored by camp directors. That’s why David Martin created Fine Lines Writing Camp, now heading into its 15th consecutive summer. Martin, Fine Lines’ self-described “managing editor, president of the board and chief cook and bottle washer,” has 35 years of writing experience. A retired Omaha Public Schools high school English teacher, he has also taught at Metropolitan Community College and is an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His inspiration came from teaching a creative writing class to struggling high school students. “I had them write stories about their lives,” he said. “They had significant stories to tell. I saw how writing touched the students.” In 1991, he founded the literary journal Fine Lines to expand what he had achieved in the classroom and provide a place where creative writers could share their written ideas. The journal reaches all 50 states and has been read in at least 30 foreign countries. Fine Lines Camp was a natural extension of the journal. “I always wanted to have an academic creative writing camp,” Martin said. “For every academic camp, there are 100 athletic ones.” Fine Lines is open to students in grades 4 through 12 as well as to college students and adults. The half-day camp, which has a camper-to-instructor ratio of 10-to-1, takes place at Beveridge Magnet Middle School, and every day guest speakers come in for 45 minutes to serve as points of inspirational departure. Speakers have included ballet dancers, flautists, cello players, comedians and historical re-enactors. Wendy Lundeen, one of Fine Lines’ instructors, said, “We give kids so much time to work on their own writing. We try to teach them to think critically and analytically and to communicate their thoughts and feelings to express themselves.” She said the instructors don’t tell campers what — or how — to write. “I’m there to help with editing and revisions,” she said. “They think through their ideas and bounce ideas off one another. We try and spark their creativity, not give them rigid guidelines.” By the end of the week, students usually have at least one story or some poetry. Much of that writing is often published in Fine Lines, which validates their writing abilities and gives them the confidence to continue....

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2014 Creative Writing Camp Presentation Schedule

For Complete Details   2014 Presentation Schedule   Presentation Schedule: June 9–13, 2014 – Creative Writing Camp #15   Monday: David Martin (8:30-9:00) – Let’s Get Organized – Writing for Life Japanese Drums (9:00-9:45) Writing Reflections (9:45-10:00) Snacks (10:00-10:15) Small Groups (10:15-11:30) Auditorium (11:30-12:00)   Tuesday: Metaphors (8:30-8:45) – “Our Lives – Developed Metaphors” Michael Campbell (8:45-9:45) – poetry, lyrics, music, rhythm, healing Writing Reflections (9:45-10:00) Snacks (10:00-10:15) Small Groups (10:15-11:30) Auditorium (11:30-12:00)   Wednesday: 6 Ps and Writing (8:30-8:45) – “Inspiration and Discipline” Darrel Draper (8:45-9:30) – “The Edutainer” Writing Reflections (9:30-10:00) Snacks (10:00-10:15) Small Groups (10:15-11:30) Auditorium Readings (11:30-12:00)   Thursday: Final copies (8:30-8:45) “Writing Goals” Julian Adair – Ballet Dancers (8:45-9:30) – “Life Is a Dance” Photography (9:30-9:45) – “Focus, Clarity, and Frame the Idea” Writing Reflections (9:45-10:00) Snacks (10:00-10:15) Small Groups (10:15-11:30) Auditorium Readings (11:30-12:00)   Friday: (8:30-8:45) Cindy Grady (8:45-8:55) – WriteLife, authors, and publication challenges Jeff Quinn (8:55-9:35) – Magic and Creating Writing Reflections (9:35-10:00) Snacks (10:00-10:15) Small Groups (10:15-11:30) Auditorium Readings...

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Those Lowdown Rejection Blues

Those Lowdown Rejection Blues

There you sit. The message in your hand or on your screen reads, “Thank you for your submission, but it does not meet our current needs.” How do you not feel the lowdown rejection blues. You worked hard on that story, novel or poem. You gave up precious sleep to write the drafts. You spent hours at your computer searching for just the right literary journal or publisher for your work. You waited weeks or months for a response, and when it comes it tells you nothing useable. It doesn’t tell you why the publisher didn’t want your work, or how to make it meet the publisher’s “current needs.” What are those needs? Don’t writers have needs, too? You are in Good Company We’ve all heard the statistics. Stephen King received dozens of rejections for Carrie. Margaret Mitchell received 38 rejections for Gone With the Wind. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was rejected by 26 publishers before it was accepted, and went on to win the 1963 Newberry Award. Nicholas Sparks was turned down 31 times for The Notebook. Anne Frank’s diary was turned down by 16 publishers. The takeaway from this, of course, is that if you submit your writing for publication you will be rejected. It’s in the writer’s job description. Accept it. So, how do you handle those inevitable rejections? Here are three strategies that will help you get over the rejection blues.  Don’t take it personally. You have to see the rejection as strictly a business decision. If you’ve ever applied for a job you didn’t get, you understand that sometimes there are others ahead of you or who meet the employer’s expectations more exactly. Writing rejections are business decisions, too. The people who make the decisions don’t dislike you or even know you. Their main concern is the needs of their publication at the moment your work comes in front of them.  Go back over your work. If you are lucky enough to get specific comments about your work, be flattered and take it very seriously. You may think your protagonist is painted as clearly as a 3-D photo, but if the publisher thinks otherwise, defer to the publisher. When you resubmit, thank the publisher for offering criticism and let them know yours is a resubmission. That lets the publisher or editor know that you appreciate and respect the comments.  Learn how the publishing world works. Book publishers always have work in their pipeline that is months away from publication. Your book may be similar to something the publisher is already committed to produce. Literary journals receive piles of submissions and they often have a very small staff of volunteers...

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Join us to Hear Fine Lines Live!

Join us to Hear Fine Lines Live!

March 22nd Reading Event by Fine Lines Editors and Contributors Barnes and Noble, Oak View 1:00-3:00 You’re Invited! And so are your friends! Will you be there?      ...

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