-Notes from the MWG Meeting 9/21/19

Here are my highly unscientific notes from our meeting. Feel free to add something that spoke to you in the comments!

Poetry Bridging Continents Event, Oct 28-31
MWG members have no charge for events but do email Roger or Maura to get on the list

Smoky quartz has rolling submissions https://smokyquartz.org/

Fall in Love With New England has free access on Friday, in Nashua http://fallinlovewithnewengland.com/

Nov Peterborough Library Book Group Evicted by Matthew Desmond – Wed Nov 20 6:30 pm, Fri Nov 22 11 am
This Pulitzer Prize-winning book is available for 25% off at Toadstool in Peterborough

Alliance of Artist Communities (like Macdowell)

September Quill

We have released the first issue of the Monadnock Writers’ Group newsletter for our 2019-2020 program year: https://monadnockwriters.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/the-quill-2019-9.pdf

Note that our first meeting will be held at the MacDowell Colony on September 21. This venue always provides an exciting start to our programs, featuring presentations from two of the current MacDowell Fellows.

Also note that on the next day, September 22, we will sponsor an event jointly with Cathedral of the Pines to announce the winners of our summer poetry contest. The three winning poems and four other finalists will read their poems in addition to a reading by Tim Mayo, our contest judge. See details in the Quill.

Rodger and Denny installing the winning poems at Cathedral of the Pines. Photo and supervision by Carl.
Rodger and Denny installing the winning poems at Cathedral of the Pines.
Photo and supervision by Carl.

Seeking an author: Hunger and Homelessness Week is November 16-24. The Toadstool is interested in holding a reading related to this theme, possibly on Saturday the 23rd. If you can recommend a local author who has published on hunger, homelessness, or poverty to do this reading, please let me know.

Carl Mabbs-Zeno, Secretary
Monadnock Writers’ Group

-Writerly Event: Peterborough Players Playwright-Director Downtown at Mariposa Museum for First Friday

Charles MoreyJoin the Peterborough Players at the Mariposa Museum for First Friday in August. Playwright and Director, Charles Morey, will give a peek behind the curtain at the process of writing, and then directing his upcoming play Dumas’ Camille.

Mr. Morey is the author of eleven produced plays. Figaro was commissioned and produced Off-Broadway by the Pearl Theatre Company in 2012 and was named a NY Times “Critic’s Pick.” The Granite State was premiered by the Peterborough Players in the summer of 2014. In addition he has written Laughing Stock – a hilarious romp, loosely based on his time as Artistic Director of the Players in the 70s — which has received close to 200 hundred productions around the world, The Yellow Leaf, The Ladies Man (an adaptation from Feydeau with over 70 productions to date) as well as adaptations of the 19th century classic novels, The Count of Monte Cristo, A Tale of Two Cities, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dracula and The Three Muskateer. His plays have been produced at numerous professional theatres around the country, and Laughing Stock has been in continuous production in Russia since 2013. His current projects include a commission to write the Libretto for a Music-Theatre piece about Walter Reuther and the American Labor Movement with composer Greg Pliska, tentatively titled A Most Dangerous Man. He is also working on the first draft of a new play, Monadnock, the third of the ‘New Hampshire Plays’ including The Granite State and The Third Sky.

Mr. Morey was the Artistic Director of the Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City from 1984 to 2012 where he directed more than 90 productions including world premieres of Find and Sign by Wendy MacLeod, Bess Wohl’s Touch(ed) and In as well as first regional theatre productions of Les Misérables, The Producers, and The Vertical Hour. While serving as Artistic Director of the Peterborough Players from 1977 to 1988, he directed some 35 productions including significant world premieres by Percy Granger (Eminent Domain and Unheard Songs) and Poet Laureate of the United States Donald Hall’s Ragged Mountain Elegies.

Charles Morey splits his time between Peterborough and NYC. He received a BA from Dartmouth College and a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony.

He will direct Dumas’ Camille at the Players August 14th -25th. This will be the east coast premiere for this moving play filled with some of the most beautiful music ever written. It is a deeply romantic love-story about the relationship of reality to memory and art, set at a rehearsal for Verdi’s La Traviata.

“I am delighted to be part of the Players First Friday presentations and look forward to talking about the rich and fascinating history behind Dumas’ Camille” says Playwright–Director, Charles Morey. “I enjoy being a part of this incredibly creative community in the Monadnock Region.”

Don’t miss the August edition of Peterborough Players First Friday downtown at the Mariposa Museum on Friday, August 2nd. Admission is free, doors open at 5:30pm, and the program will begin at 6:00pm. Tickets for summer season shows are on sale and can be purchased at Peterborough Players, 55 Hadley Road, Peterborough, or by calling (603) 924-7585. For more information, please visit www.peterboroughplayers.org.

-Member News: Carl Mabbs-Zeno Releases A Witness Too Silent

Have you tired of hearing me claim I am writing a novel, several novels, just not willing to to do the busy work of getting them published? Well, I am tired of making the claim so I finally did the busy work. I expect one to be released each month this summer. The first is available now on Amazon or by order from any bookstore (ISBN978-1-7331262-0-5). The Toadstool had some copies today. The electronic version is available for $5 from Amazon (ISBN 978-1-7331262-0-5). More details are attached below.

Not everyone reads novels and no one is likely to be interested in all of mine but I enjoyed writing all of them and offer them you in case you find something amusing in one of them.

Carl M-Z


A Witness Too SilentA Witness Too Silent
Two years teaching in Africa! A new PhD envisions an exciting start to his career but soon sees his training has given him little preparation for the experience.
How much can a modest young American on his own help in an unfamiliar country? Bretton must set his goals low although he hopes to leave some legacy of his time overseas. He struggles to understand the agricultural college where he is teaching in Lesotho while apartheid rages in neighboring South Africa.
When Bretton returns twenty years later, he is less modest, less naïve, and less ambitious but more troubled by a crisis no one but he remembers.
paperback: ISBN978-1-7331262-0-5
electronic: ISBN 978-1-7331262-0-5

A Pale Shade of HonorA Pale Shade of Honor
Eighteen is too early for some young men, even bright and sincere ones, to navigate the demands of starting college, meeting girls, growing independent of family and facing the draft.
The narrator of this story would hate to admit he learned more about himself from the Army than from college although he knows he failed at both. At twenty-one, with the war behind him, he expects, and we agree, he will cope better with whatever he faces next.
Release date: July 4, 2019
paperback: ISBN978-1-7331262-2-9
electronic: ISBN 978-1-7331262-3-6

Niege NoireNiege Noire
Two women lost in an urban storm; three days of bad weather; one reluctant guide to find the way.
Release date: August 8, 2019
paperback: ISBN978-1-7331262-6-7
electronic: ISBN 978-1-7331262-7-4

Birch Bark and Blackberry ThornBirch Bark and Blackberry Thorn
Three honest young men in rural New Hampshire struggle with the dark underground in their community.
Release date: September 2, 2019
paperback: ISBN978-1-7331262-8-1
electronic: ISBN 978-1-7331262-9-8

-Poetry in the Pines: “Nature in New England” Summer Poetry Contest 2019

Summer Poetry Contest

winning poemMonadnock Writers’ Group and Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge announce a Summer Poetry Contest for anyone who enjoys the Monadnock Region.
Poet Tim Mayo will judge final submissions
The three winning poems will be displayed on the trails at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge.
A reading of winning poems will be held in September.

You may submit 1-3 original poems, each up to eight lines in length. Submissions must be sent to monadnockwriters@gmail.com
Deadline: August 3, 2019
Theme: Nature in New England

Cathedral of the Pines

-Tips from the submission event by Kate McIntyre

*We recently held an event where several experts explained how to submit your work. Here is one of the handouts from the event:
Submit Your Work to a Literary Magazine!

Tips from Kate McIntyre, managing editor of The Worcester Review, katemcintyrewriting.com.

• Be sure your piece is absolutely ready to submit. Once it’s published, it’s published forever. Check that your piece is 100% free of typos, and get a trusted reader to review it. Once I believe a piece is finished, I don’t send it out immediately. Instead, I set it aside for two weeks then read it through again. If I still can’t see anything to edit, I’ll send it out.

• Identify potential journals. Be sure that they are publishing good stuff! Five to ten years ago, there was a debate in the literary world about the relative “value” of print vs. online publication. Many writers only wanted to publish in print venues, feeling that online publication was somehow less legitimate or real. This attitude has relaxed, I’m glad to say. One boon of online publication is that it’s likely that your work will be read and seen by more people.

Resources for learning about literary journals:

Duotrope. www.duotrope.com ***charges $5/month for the service—you could join for one month, do a whole bunch of research, and quit***
An online, searchable database of literary journals. You can put in details about your work (word count, genre, etc.), and it will provide a list of journals that fit your criteria. You can make a list of favorite journals and limit your search to those. Also features a submissions tracker so you can see how long your submission has been at the journal and how long an average submission is at a journal before it receives a response. Has links to journal websites, which can help you decide if the journal is a good match for your work. Journal websites also post submission instructions, sometimes clearly marked as such, sometimes buried under headings such as “About Us.”

New Pages. www.newpages.com
Free website. Offers reviews of journals, calls for submissions, and other writing resources.

Perpetual Folly. https://cliffordgarstang.com/2019-literary-magazine-rankings/
A personal blog that offers a ranked list of journals based on how frequently the journal has pieces appear or receive honorable mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology.

Erika Dreifus’s list. https://www.erikadreifus.com/resources/where-to-publish/
This page contains links to a variety of publishing resources. Dreifus also offers a free newsletter called The Practicing Writer, which collects fee-free submission opportunities monthly: https://www.erikadreifus.com/newsletter/current/

Other literary journals. If you find a journal you like, flip back to the list of contributors to see where else they’ve published their work. These journals might have similar sensibilities to the journal you like.

• Prepare a cover letter. Keep it very, very simple. Here’s a model:

Dear Fiction [or your genre] Editors:

Please consider my story, “xxx,” for The Southern Review. My work appears or is forthcoming in xxx, xxx, xxx, and elsewhere [if this would be your first publication, you can say that instead, or give a very brief biographical detail here instead—no need to get cute].

Thank you for considering my work.


Kate McIntyre

• Be sure to follow the journal’s submission instructions exactly—they might want the submission formatted in a certain way, i.e., word count at the top, footer with your name and the page number at the bottom of each page. Generally speaking, you want your submission to include a header on the left top corner of the first page with your name, address, email address, and phone number. You should use an easily readable, 12pt. serif font, such as Times New Roman or Garamond. Prose submissions should be double-spaced. For poetry submissions, you can single-space, but you should start a new page for each new poem. Number your pages. For online submissions, the least problematic file types are .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Some journals only take print submissions, some only take online submissions, and some take a mix.

• It is now common practice for journals to charge a small fee for online submissions. This fee usually ranges from $1 to $3 and goes to pay the submission manager (Submittable, usually) and to support the journal.

• Most journals take three months to a year to get back to you. They are able to accept only a very small portion (in some cases tenths of a percent) of the submissions they receive.

• If you receive a rejection, look carefully. Is it a form rejection, sent to all submitters, or a personal rejection, in which whoever read your piece offered you more specific feedback or invited you to submit again? That’s great news if you get a personal one. From now on, be sure to submit your new work to this journal. You might have found a good match for your style. Make sure to mention in future cover letters how you appreciated the editors’ kind words about your previous submission. A website, www.rejectionwiki.com, can help you to determine if your rejection is form or personal.

-New! Smoky Quartz – Spring 2019 Issue

Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers. ~ May Sarton

Leaving its two-year hibernation behind, Smoky Quartz celebrates its return with a poetry-packed Spring 2019 issue. Twenty-three poems contributed by eleven poets take us from formal to free verse with stops at 7-Eleven, a wood pile and Hades. Flowers are bountiful and migrating birds are back. The issue also features a photo essay and photographic art.

Click here to start reading https://smokyquartz.org/spring-2019-issue/.

Our heartfelt thanks to the many writers and poets who submitted their work for this issue. We continue to be impressed with the quality of writing here in New Hampshire.

And don’t forget, Smoky Quartz is now accepting submissions for its Fall 2019 issue. Submission deadline is September 15. We look forward to reading your best work.

The Editors,
Deni Dickler, Sara Miller, Deborah Murphy, Louise Werden

-New Writing Critique Group in Rindge

Writers Group
The Rindge Writers Group is a community of new and established writers who want to connect in a friendly and supportive environment. Participants gain skills by sharing their own work, receiving feedback and critiquing the work of others. All genres and areas of interest are welcome from crime to humor to memoir and more, be it an article, short story, novel or poem. We have no dues or educational requirements. Our only expectation is that you have an interest in writing.

The Rindge Writers Group meets the first and third Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Rindge Recreation Building, 283 Wellington Rd., Rindge, NH 03461. Please join us. For more information email: RindgeWritersGroup@gmail.com.

-Six Word Story Project Submissions

You can now read all of the Six Word Story Project submissions (that we got permission to post)!

Also check out our winners.

Martin F. Danahy
1st Place – There’s always yet never another now.

Cynthia Sue Martel 
2nd Place (tie) – Hush.  Sirens are headed our way.
Bad dog.  Drop Jason’s jawbone now!
Conscience guides.  Joseph’s lost his direction.

Lynda Mabbs-Zeno
2 nd Place (tie) – Childless daughter becomes mother to mother.

Brian Campbell 
Ben hid from pain, squandered love.
Aliya trusts herself, and earned it.
Andre woke from a dream, exhausted.

Bill Chatfield 
Quentin quivered querulously in quickening quicksand.
Innocent bystanders found guilty as charged.
William boiled water with ambivalent anticipation.

Deni Dickler
Yes, Virginia.  Butterflies were once real.
The Last Supper: Homo sapiens flambé
Finally home, she dreamed of leaving

Nancy Kahler
She was dying for a cigarette.
Yell at your wife, not me!
If Puppy grows big, he’s out.

R.G. Kaimal
She came. Met Sir. Now Dame.
The sun rose. Many ill. Sunstroke.
Sun setting. Feathered chorus. Nests occupied.

Mary Crane Fahey
Old men love telling old stories. 
“Is Dad there, too?” he asked. 
She pushed against the door, growling. 

Robert Hanson 
Slush, rain, sun, daffodils, happiness      spring!
Warmth, green      Here comes the sun!!
Robins, leaves, grass, sun     FINALLY SPRING!

Joan Jansen 
Richard loves. He laughs. He lived.

Catherine Orkin Oskow
Crows quarrel, dart, volley. Hawk bolts.
Spring unfolds, backtracks, sloshes: lush jubilation.    

Linda Smith 
Life is about to change. Grandma!
Robins back at the feeders. Bear!

I’m alive because my brother isn’t.

Six Word Story Project

-Submission Opportunity: Tiny Friendship Stories

Tiny Friendship StoriesTiny Friendship Stories
Performed at The Thing in Spring, Peterborough NH
Sunday June 9, 1 pm on the Toadstool lawn, free

Firelight is thrilled for our next project, TINY FRIENDSHIP STORIES, to be performed at The Thing in the Spring. You are invited to write and submit a tiny story about Friendship — 100 words or less. Up to 30 stories will be selected for performance. This project, inspired by the NY Times’ Tiny Love Stories Project, echoes the themes of our second season.

Submissions due May 21 to firelighttheatreworkshop@gmail.com. Please use the subject: FRIENDSHIP, and include your hometown.

We are also seeking performers for TINY FRIENDSHIP STORIES. Performers are required to attend one brief rehearsal on Saturday, June 8 at The Firelight Studio in Peterborough, NH. Email firelighttheatreworkshop@gmail.com with subject: PERFORM, and include your availability on June 8. Writers may also be performers.