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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Julia Nunnally Duncan at Little Switzerland Books and Beans

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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
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Promoting Writers

We are in the glad business of promoting books and writers, and can benefit from sharing ways to do that--for the field is open to doing a lot more, so that literature gains prominence.

Members: 39
Latest Activity: Jan 12, 2015

Discussion Forum

Raising Pastured Pigs Ebook Published

Started by Samantha Ann Biggers Jun 19, 2012.

Author/Bookstore Relations 7 Replies

Started by Spellbound. Last reply by Kathryn Magendie Apr 22, 2009.

Ideas: Getting The Word Out! 2 Replies

Started by Dot Jackson. Last reply by Suzan Tanner McCoury Apr 14, 2009.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Dot Jackson on April 4, 2009 at 1:33am
Loved the review of "The Missing." Makes it almost impossible NOT to get it and read it. There are some people out there who are really writing. And thank God some really reading. Was at a grand book club yesterday, lots of educated women -- bankers' and lawyers' wives who don't have jobs but read to keep their minds alive. There are a LOT of such clubs out there and I love to hear what they all have to say. I read my dinky little bit and we eat strawberry cake and little sammiches, you know -- and then they get to talking. They take note of how so many writers start out GREAT and then, because their publishers demand a book a year, the writers run out of things to say, pretty quick, and fall back to the level of Sally, Dick and Jane. And the publisher keeps on selling them, even after they've turned to pure crap.
These gals yesterday were off on John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks, et al -- who are now so pale, beside the likes of Gautreaux. Let us hope that he does not succumb to greed and drag art through the mud.
Comment by Patrick Covington on April 1, 2009 at 2:07pm
Following up on Rob's mention of our poetry events at Accent on Books, I would like to note that the one on April 10 (6:00 PM) features a member of this very group: Pat Riveiere-Seel. (I just posted about this on The Read's blog.) We're looking forward to it!
Comment by Gary Carden on April 1, 2009 at 8:43am
I finished The Missingand it is probably in Smoky Mountain News today.
It is a remarkable book and I am tempted to read Gautreaux's other novels, but I have a stack of unread books here. I have my review on my blog now. I'll find out what is going on with the young playwrights this Friday when I will talk to the class again. Ed Southern is also interested in this class! I'll try to get some photos to share with everyone.
Comment by Rob Neufeld on March 31, 2009 at 5:54pm
Well, I'd love to encourage local playwrights, like the Carolina Folk-Plays writers. I think there's something there, with small theatres, local subjects (as you say, Dot), radio, and the Internet.

Let me shift to a couple of other subjects. I'm halfway through The Missing, Tim Gautreaux's new novel, cause I'm gonna promote the online discussion of it in my next book review. The thing is, we can get a host of discussions going, including of local books. So think about that.

Then, there's Patrick Covington's recent blog entry, about promoting poets for April at Accent on Books. I'm about to launch into some additional poet features. See the forum about it. Y'all are doing so much, what think?
Comment by Gary Carden on March 28, 2009 at 10:52pm
Dot is right. We had two wonderful performances. I am exhausted, but the show was fantastic. The entire experience is a testimonial to promotion by word of mouth. Our success reminds me of the good luck I had when my storytelling DVD came out six months ago. I took my old email addresses and simply wrote every single person and asked them to com to a performance of "An Evening With Gary Carden" at the local book store. That probably involved 400 email address. We packed the meeting room at City Lights and actually turned away over 50 people because there were no seats left.
Gary Carden
Comment by Dot Jackson on March 28, 2009 at 5:31pm
Thanks, Rob. Just want everybody to know that we have had the most bang-up, gall-busting response to Gary Carden and Milton Higgins here, in our second time around with "The Prince of Dark Corners." Last year it sold out both nights.
This time, with a hall probably three times bigger, it was a near sell-out last night even after a day of pouring rain and misery, and we're expecting a VERY good house tonight -- and it's STILL pouring.
Now, so much of this is due to word of mouth, around here. The ones of us who knew the play talked it up -- it didn't hurt a bit that I said some of it was much too vulgar for me, and that I had warned Gary very soberly to leave those parts out -- noting that he DIDN'T and I am still offended -- every time I see it again.
We wrote about it in every space we got, stuck up posters everywhere the law allowed, and of course it did not hurt when its filmed version was on SCETV over and over. It didn't hurt either that Lewis Redmond was our very own beloved Pickens County Bad Man and so many around here are his descendants.
But it's done so well here that other area theaters are now scheduling it.
Hint -- as you know well first hand, Rob, it does not hurt one particle to be on the best of terms with people who put out the newspapers and run the local radio stations. It does not hurt at all to tell these people when they do a good job on something, and to write copious letters of thanks when they've helped us.
Another hint to writers and playwrights -- people LOVE well-done (interesting! colorful!) stories based on local history. Non-academic, please! You may not score, in New York, but Podunk can be just as interesting and far more rewarding. Write what you know -- but find out far more about it before you get started! There are riches out there, in spirit if not in big bucks.
Comment by Rob Neufeld on March 28, 2009 at 4:45pm
Dot, I'm gonna be thinking about more word of mouth power.

Also, check out the "Who's a Poet" feature, and the resources on local poetry and poets.
Comment by Dot Jackson on March 25, 2009 at 3:07pm
I say, You Bet, Gary! We are promoting good writing, in whatever form. Most assuredly, your plays are good writing!
I see that our aim is to think up and share ways to promote -- and that will be grand. If all else fails, we can do what my literary agent told me, a couple of years ago -- seeing that there was not much chance of an avalanche of commercial promotion for "Refuge" -- he said, "Word of mouth can do wonders to keep a book alive!" And thanks to the "word of mouth" from a league of splendid people -- most of whom I have never known, alive and thriving it continues to be.
Thus, what we MUST do, along with anything else we can think of, is to talk up work that we like, wherever we have the smallest opportunity. I know it worked well for "Mason Jars in the Flood," which many of us still recommend at every chance. It also worked for "Mariah of the Spirits," Sherry Austin's first book, and I hope it is working for her others.
Meanwhile, whoever has an idea about how to get the word out, bring it on! We will promote to the fullest!
Comment by Gary Carden on March 25, 2009 at 2:48pm
I am going to assume that "Promoting Writers" includes Playwrights and screen plays and plug my play, "Prince of Dark Corners" which is currently on this site on the video component. Rob has been very supportive of my plays, especially this one. At the present time, two performances of the play are scheduled in South Carolina and Dot Jackson and her friend, Pam Edmunds are completing the arrangements. We did two performances of the play two years ago at the Pickens Museum (packed houses, standing ovations) and we have been invited back. I'm not sure of the details of the performances, but Dot and Pat can provide that. Thank you for your support!
Comment by Dot Jackson on March 24, 2009 at 2:58pm
Oh my, dear Gary -- Thank you for opening this door! We BOTH know too well how successful relentless promotion can be -- no matter how worthy (or otherwise) the product. And some of us are far less "gifted" than others at horn-tooting for our own work.
Therefore -- those of us who write because we HAVE to -- not because we want to be known as "Writers" (bah humbug!) -- need each other badly.
Thank God also for those dear bookish people who read with discernment and go to bat readily for what is good, as opposed to what is purely the product of misled ego and promotion.
We all have different gifts -- I will never be an opera singer -- for which the public should be grateful -- but I love great singing, and do happily spend part of my life promoting singers whom I LOVE just because they work sacrificially hard to deliver the goods. There are similar folks who love great writing -- you and I among them -- and it behooves us to cheer on the people who are living up to our ideal.
The whole publishing empire falls prey to the ambitions of bad writers. The worst part of it is, if a beginning writer lucks into a fine editor, with an early book, and a massive PR campaign that only the biggest houses can afford these days, we are stuck with what may be a dud for decades down the road, because if a first book makes money, the template is then set for a book a year from that writer danged near forever. The book-buying public is trained to jump through the PR hoop and buy, without flinching, what will turn out over time to be horrific crap.
A literary fact -- there are writers who have ONE extraordinary book to give, and no more. Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee were among them and had the judgment NOT to fall into the book-a-year trap. J.D. Salinger did well at refusing to write when he had nothing to say. There have been plenty of others. But that is not popular with publishers -- who want easy cash cows, and to hell with quality.
Another thorn there is that these formula robots who bring in a manuscript on demand are paid the sort of advances that deplete the chances of gifted new writers to get published, in the first place.
If we want to know what crap is, and how it is perpetuated, we need go no further than the New York Times Sunday book section, which many of us read like the scriptures. I sit here and scour the reviews each week. Occasionally -- usually in the non-fiction, I see something that might hold some real interest -- to somebody -- but much of the rest just generates boredom and despair. The current fashion is in books about dissolute families who drink, dope, cheat each other and have lots of dreary sex -- without discernable love, with not a speck of light at the end of the gloom.
This is a consistent argument I have had with my own publisher. PLEASE give us something with some uplift -- with at least the every-hundred-pages sentence of levity -- even joy -- as does occur in real life!
So, we are here to appreciate the best. And promote it. We may be pushing the boulder up the hill, but what's new about that?
It will be marvelous (Luminous! Incandescent!) to be able to bring before this gathering the writing that sparks real communication and vision.
Thanks to all.

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