Announcing a Reading with Susie Finkbeiner

Attendees of the Jot Conference will recognize Susie Finkbeiner. She’s worked the registration table and faithfully attended the conference for years. But in addition to being a wonderful helper and friend of Jot, Susie is a published author.

Her most recent book, A Cup of Dust, is a novel set in the midst of the dust bowl.

Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff’s family, they’ve got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They’re who the town turns to when there’s a crisis or a need―and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.

Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother’s unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn’t sure she likes.

Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he’s really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won’t be the only thing darkening Pearl’s world.

Susie will be reading a chapter from A Cup of Dust at the Jot Conference on Friday, September 9th at Baker Book House, 2768 East Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Please join us!

Advertisements

The Jot Writers’ Conference Returns! 9.9.16

Friday, September 9th, 2016

FREE Admission – Event begins at 7pm

Open to all writers. Rookies. Veterans. And everyone in between.
Open to writers of any genre.

The Jot Writers’ Conference is a biannual, one-night event for writers held each spring and fall in West Michigan. It features short, TED-style talks on various aspects of writing and publishing. Admission is free. Come for the inspiring speakers. Stay for the coffee and the chance to meet other writers.

Or just find a nook in the bookstore and write all evening. Don’t worry. We totally get it. 🙂

LOCATION

Baker Book House
2768 East Paris Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

GUEST SPEAKERS

Aric DavisARIC DAVIS is the author of seven books: From Ashes Rise: A Novel of Michigan, Nickel Plated, A Good and Useful Hurt, The Black Death: A Dead Man Novella, Rough Men, Breaking Point, The Fort and Tunnel Vision. He is married with one daughter and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he worked for sixteen years as a body piercer; he now writes full time. A punk rock aficionado, Davis does anything he can to increase awareness of a good band. He likes weather cold enough to need a sweatshirt but not a coat, and friends who wear their hearts on their sleeves. In addition to reading and writing, he also enjoys roller coasters, hockey, and a good cigar.

 

 
Sarah Grimm

S. D. GRIMM’S first love in writing is young adult speculative fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and her debut novel, Scarlet Moon, is slated to be published in October 2016. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), making clay dragons for her Grimmlies store on Etsy, practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and doing anything outdoorsy with the family. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog.

 

 

 

Tom Springer 2015 300dpiTOM SPRINGER is an essayist, journalist, and environmentalist. He has written about nature and outdoor travel for newspapers and magazines such as Backpacker, Michigan Out-of-Doors, and Notre Dame, and his nature-themed commentaries have aired on several National Public Radio programs. His collection of essays, Looking For Hickories: The Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest (University of Michigan Press), was named a Michigan Notable Book in 2009. Springer holds a master’s degree in environmental journalism from Michigan State University. He lives near Three Rivers, Michigan.

What Do You Love Most About Jot?

Jot is roughly two weeks away! (September 12th 6-10PM in Three Rivers, MI) Our free one night writers conference will feature – journal editors, acquisition editors, bloggers, poets, poetry editors, marketers, novelists, flash fiction writers, and you!

We’re thrilled about meeting with other writers both new and familiar and sharing the love we have about the written word.

Jot is and will always be about you, the attendee. If you’ve been to a Jot conference before, would you take a moment and answer one of the questions below in the comments section? This will help new Jot attendees get to know the event before it begins.

Click here to register and claim your seat.

Thank you and we hope to see you in a few weeks!

Have you been to Jot before? What was your experience?

What do you love most about the Jot Conference?

Did a speaker or workshop help you in anyway? Tell us how!

What have you learned from Jot?

How did you hear about Jot?

What success have you experienced since attending Jot?

On Setting Goals That Are Achievable

Sometimes, we chase after what we love with a fiery passion, but that fire can fade and dwindle until a project becomes unappetizing or forgotten during the busyness of life. For me, and for other writers I know, setting goals addresses both the direction of the a writers passion, and helps pull your through the doldrums.

Goals, by themselves, are dull, ordinary things. For me there is nothing that can squelch the creative spark than looking at a list of things to write. Where’s the muse? Where’s the magic?

However, I find this is the best way to remain focused and on track.

But I don’t think of these as a list of things to do anymore but guidepost and combining them with a frequent reminder to review them (say once a week) can be the framework we need to accomplish what we want, and even drive progress.

There are scientific reasons for writing down our goals. There is also the notion that you get to cross things off a list and also finish your writing tasks at the same time. To me, the simultaneous awesome that comes from crossing something off a task list and writing project list is almost second to none.

That's it. Nice easy Pace  Photo Credit -CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0

That’s it. Nice easy Pace
Photo Credit -CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Writing them down makes then real, but we must also make sure these writing projects have realistic deadlines. If you are working full time and going to school and have a family, maybe your two hundred thousand word fantasy epic will not be completed in three months. Instead calculate a weekly or daily goal and the multiply that to have your end date. This will help eliminate procrastination and allow you to settle into a nice even pace that won’t take over your life.

It’s also important that the goals are just a little bit aggressive to push us but not so much they rule over us like a tyrant. They must come along side you as an aide, similarly to a running coach.

So set the bar just out of reach. Then, review them with frequency to ensure you’re on the right track

Have a daily or weekly goal? Share below to help others!

How to Get the Most Out of Jot

jotI’ve read it in writing magazines and on blogs and websites of famous writers that going to writer’s conference is one of the best things you can do if you are serious about being a writer. Writing conferences are part education, part encouragement, and part filler of that elusive creative well.

If you’ve been to Jot, I hope you’ve experienced these things.

Writing can be a lonely process. This is not just true for us amateurs but for professionals too. In the book CS Lewis: Eccentric Genius. Reluctant Prophet., Alister McGrath points out that Tolkien (older and well respected in higher education circles of his day) timidly showed CS Lewis one of his poems he had been working on. Lewis approved of it so enthusiastically, he showed him more. In part, because of that encouragement we now have The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Being around other writers is essential to our success.

So, how do you get the most out of a writer’s conference that lasts for only one night? Pull a bit of your hidden world out of your pocket, be bold and share. Ask the presenters questions. Take notes and attend Matthew Landrum’s Poetry workshop (limited spaces available) even if you are not a poet.  Get to know the person next to you, and share a little bit about your work. You may find a kindred spirit, and even if they are a poet and you are writing a memoir, you will find a friend and also affirm aloud what you are: A WRITER.

Every time I leave a writers conference I am buzzing with so much energy I cannot sleep. If that is you, use that energy to write when you get home.

Don’t miss out on this great event. Come ready to learn. Come ready to meet other writers, and come with you notebook or laptop and commit to getting some words down on the page.

The Weaklings thank you in advance for coming out for this free event.

If you have questions about the event, please post them below. We’ll try our best to get them answered before tonight. Or, write them down and bring them with you.

If you cannot attend, I’ll be live tweeting the event. You can follow me @parttimenovel. We may also have a live stream up and if so, I’ll tweet or post the link here on the blog.

See you tonight!

The Jot Conference returns on Friday, September 13th, 2013!

megaphoneYou read it correctly. We’ll be having another JOT: GR Writers Mini-Conference on Friday, September 13th, 2013. We’re working on the outline for the evening now and will be posting updates here as we get things finalized. Here’s what is set in stone:

When: Friday, September 13th, 2013 at 7pm

Where: Baker Book House

What: We’ll be focusing on the same three key goals we focused on for the first JOT conference – Meet. Learn. Write.

Our first goal is to provide writers with an time to meet each other and strengthen the Grand Rapids literary scene through a fun community event.
Our second goal is to provide excellent content for writers to learn something about the craft or the industry.
Our third goal is provide busy writers with space and time to actually write and not just talk about it. We’re all busy, but by attending JOT you are insured some quality writing time in a beautiful local book store.

Cost: Totally FREE.

Who: For sure The Weaklings will be there (Josh, Matt, Bob, and Andy) along with some friends in the publishing industry and writing community. More to come!

We’ve got a lot planned for JOT this September. Watch this space, and our Facebook page, for updates. We’ll be posting them as we’ve got them. Hope to see you there!

Keep writing!

-Andy Rogers

How to Support Jot at No Cost to You

There is a reason Jot is free. Most writers aren’t rolling in piles of cash. We understand that. In fact, we represent that.

So here are a few ways that you can help us out for little or no cost:

  • Re-blog our posts. If you don’t have a blog of your own, start one and use it to re-blog our posts.
  • Tweet or Link to Jot on Facebook. Use this link, it’s short! http://bit.ly/ZZFvAw
  • E-blast your contact list info about Jot. If they tell you that the email wound up in their spam folder, maybe you should just remove them from your contact list. Those aren’t the type of people for you.
  • Print out and hang a poster at your favorite library, coffee shop, or public writer hangout. (Click here for the jot_mini_poster)
  • Talk about it to your friends. If you don’t have friends, talk about it to strangers. Maybe you’ll end up making a friend!
  • Shave “Jot” into your head. When you are asked why you did it, tell people about the mini-conference.
  • Come to Jot. We’d love to see you here.

We’re looking forward to Jot and hope you are too!

DSC00968