Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jen nominated for SPJ awards

Jen Connic has been named a finalist in the 2007 Society of Professional Journalists Connecticut Chapter's Excellence in Journalism Awards Competition!

She has been cited for work she did with WestportNow. She is nominated for work on the breaking news pieces "Demolition of Paul Rudolph House" and "Flood Emergency"; she has also been nominated for the online feature "Eric Von Schmidt -- Westporters Who Knew Him" and for "General Excellence, Independent" (which I believe is a category).

The winners will be announced at a formal event on Thursday, May 22 at Fantasia in North Haven.

Awesome, Jen! If you'd like to check out her pieces and hear details from the gal herself, visit her blog at

Nick's latest column is available

Hey gang,

Nick's latest column in The Darien News Review is available at the following link.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pencils! News: Our New Home!

I'm MORE THAN PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE Pencils! new home...the private conference room at Shop Rite in Norwalk, Connecticut, on Route 1. Please read full details below, and many thanks to Carol M and Joyce for putting this together.

OUR NEXT MEETING, APRIL 22, AND EVERY MEETING HERE ON OUT, WILL BE HELD AT 6:45 P.M. AT SHOP RITE ON ROUTE 1 IN NORWALK. We will still meet for all the original dates on the Pencils! calendar, the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, and, as usual, will not meet in December so we can all take time to enjoy the Holidays.

While the idea of meeting above a grocery store may seem a bit odd for a writer's group, Shop Rite offers us many advantages. For one thing: a conference room with a large table, plenty of chairs, and a door to close (no more screaming kids! No more rude Borders employees!) More than ample parking, convenient to Route 1, easy to find. We're finally going to be in a space at which we can do whatever we want to do. And best of all, we can have the room until 10 p.m. No more rushing. If we need the time, we take it!

The information below comes directly from Carol. PLEASE PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE "NO COMPETING GROCERY STORE BAG" RULE. (Not that I've ever seen any of you with plastic bags from grocery stores, but, you know, let's just be super, super sure!) And get ready for some additional Pencils! magic. Just read below.

Happy writing! See you on April 22nd (this coming Tuesday!)

First Meeting at our New Location:

Shoprite in Norwalk

Connecticut Avenue

(across from Stop & Shop and same center as Barnes & Noble)

We will be meeting in the Community Room which is on the second floor

When you enter the store, turn right through the flower department and right again.

Walk past all the cashiers all and frozen food aisles all the way to the far end of the store

(on the far right if you are facing the store from the parking lot)

You will go through the double red doors into an employee area briefly.

As soon as you go through the doors, you will see the sign for the Community Room.

Turn right and either use the stairs or the elevator to the second floor.

The entrance to the Community Room is directly across from the elevator.

Meeting is 6:45 to 9:00 as usual (although we have more time if we want; we have to be out by 10)

Rules: Please do not bring any food or packages from competing locations (Stop & Shop, Stew Leonards, etc.)

You may bring drinks and of course, are welcome to purchase anything in the store and consume it during the meeting.

Please bring whatever creative outpourings you are ready to share (copies for everyone is appreciated).

We are also going to try something new by incorporating a portion of the meeting to listening to some audio break-out sessions that Carol McManus brought back from the Maui Writers Conference. Over the coming meetings, you will hear a mix of best-selling authors, editors, publishers and screenwriters talking about the craft of writing, how to pitch your work, and much, much more!

Pencils! Points: April 8, 2008

Hey gang,

MANY thanks to Jerry on this one. I could not attend!

Attendees: Al & Mary Ann, Henderson & Kay, Joyce, Jerry (& Carol at 9:00)

1. Henderson wrote an untitled piece (unentitled "A Piece") about Viagra and manhood.

"Brigham Young, the Mormon leader, had 27 wives back in the days when it was all right. He was known as a very vigorous man."

2. Joyce brought an update to a chapter from Venus Ascending.

"When the waiter served their drinks," Joe checked again. 'You can't have just one glass of wine?'

'Not tonight, Joe." Estelle read his disappointment. "Is being with the real me going to ruin your evening?'"

3. Al brought an old story up from the cellar. I don't have a copy, so I can't quote from it. Al was supposed to send you a 'clip' and Mary Ann was supposed to remind him. Did either of those things happen?

4. Carol arrived in the "nick" of time with a story called Bel Air Blues.
"Anyone reading this diary in the future will be confused and might wonder why my sleigh and eight reindeer are not in the picture. Christmas, 2007 is one that will go down in history."

Happy writing!


Monday, April 7, 2008

News from Jen Connic...and a great video

Hi folks,

Here's some news from Jen Connic. She tells it best, so here's what she wrote. Be sure to check this out if you've got a minute. It's a great video.

As you are probably aware, last Friday was the anniversary of Martin
Luther King Jr.'s assassination. We ran a story detailing his visit to
Paterson just eight days before his death. I tagged along for one of
the interviews, which was fascinating to me as a student of history,
and compiled a video including archival photos of King.
Here's the link to the video:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Jerry's piece now in Mouth Full of Bullets!

Jerry's story "Egghead" -- a great little flash fiction piece he presented at Pencils! last year -- is now available in the March 2008 issue of Mouth Full of Bullets. For now it seems it's appearing only in the print issue, but I think after the print issue's had its run it will probably be available online.

You can check it out here:

If you'd like to order the print edition in which Jerry's story appears, complete order info is here:

Congratulations, Jerry! Great work!

All Things Girl picks up Kaye's "Confetti"

All Things Girl has picked up Kaye's short story "Confetti"—all about paper dresses, a pissed off girl and a couple of matches—for its November and December issues; it will serialize the piece. ATG is an e-zine that launched in 2001, and their mission is to, as noted on their website (I don't want to plagiarize here, but they really put it best, so these are their words, not mine): "give women a place to showcase their stuff - their artwork, photography, poetry, prose, articles on health, reviews, thoughts on business, creative endeavours and so much more." Curious? Explore ATG at …and stop back there in November and December to take in "Confetti".

Several members' work appears

Several Pencils! members have recently had their work published in the brand-new publication for highlighting the work of Connecticut writers, Whatever Literary Journal:

Chris Emmerson Pace: "The Clutter of Things"
Lucinda Sands (Cindy): "Cowboys and Indians"
Vance Fazzino: "Paganini's Phantasma"
John Kildahl: "Peas in a Pod"
Sharon Butler: "Unloosed"
Joyce Fischman: "Bastille Day"
Kathryn Higgins: "Fear of Flipping" and "How to Collect the 100 Free Cell Phone Minutes You Receive in the Mail"

Nice work, everybody!


This issue is now available for purchase; you can purchase the print edition for $12.99, or conveniently download it to your computer for just $5.00. Support the small press! To purchase, go here:

At the moment, reports Whatever is temporarily closed to submissions--and the mag's submissions page has not yet posted a new deadline. I'd bookmark their submissions page--
and check back, or keep checking duotrope.

I'll keep you guys posted and let you know when they re-open, as I'm on duotrope just about every day. Or, you can sign up for Whatever's newsletter by visiting here: