#amwriting – The Busan Writing Group Releases Convergence

I finished editing and formatting an ebook for the Busan Writing Group!

Last year, the Busan Writing Group released Nothing Too Familiar, an anthology put together from the works of group members.

Convergence is the second anthology from the Busan Writing Group, and includes writers living in Seoul. With me again in this edition are Micheal Geer and Stephan Viau, and we had Amber Corrine, Clare HartwiegSarah E Lakin, Spook Larsen, Caitlin McGrath, Jonathon McMullen, Rachel L McMullen, and Aisling Mooney with us as well.

This time around, the only theme we gave authors was the keyword convergence. These stories were all submitted during workshops with the Busan Writing Group, and feature works from authors in Busan and Seoul. The stories were critiqued and edited by workshop members, and then I compiled them all into both print and ebook versions.

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The ebook is at this Amazon page. All purchases go toward making the Busan Writing Group even better and providing more opportunities for writers in Korea.

STORIES:

– Monochrome by Amber Corrine
Set in an alternate reality where growing up becomes a little bit more “colorful”, a second person narrative about a woman struggling to find out if the world is more than just grey.

– KO·VERGENCE by Caitlin McGrath
One woman grapples with the challenges and expectations of learning a new language, along with her role as a traveler.

– Stepping Into Rivers by Clare Hartwieg
You can’t really go home again, but the people and the way they make you feel stay with you always.

– The Door I Chose by TCC Edwards
One young man’s choice leads him on two divergent realities, yet somehow the two possible paths keep crossing.

– Monday by Spook Larsen
This story is not about Tuesday through Sunday.

– Integral to the Plot by Jonathon McMullen
Two agents find out that truth is very much stranger than fiction. You really can’t make this up.

– My Brother’s Keeper by MA Geer
Sometimes a stranger just wants to chat… sometimes….

– The Plant, Author Unknown
In Korea, the conspiracy theories are true.

– Think About Coffee by Sarah E Lakin
Some people will do anything for a caffeine fix.

– The Landlord by Aisling Mooney
Is this expat teacher going crazy, or is her landlord coming in while she’s away?

– Le Plateau Platonique by SA Viau
Fires never stop the jazz in Montreal, not until one cold winter night.

POEMS:

– Brick Making on Calvary by Rachel L McMullen

– Every Day in ESL by MA Geer

 

 

#IWSG February 2016 – Funding a Writing Group’s Publication

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The Busan Writing Group’s Publication from 2015

The Time Has Come Again!

The Busan Writing Group is publishing another collection.

When we did this last year, it was for one simple reason – so that we could rightfully say that we were a serious writing group that published. It was a good experience, and I’m glad we did it – it’s probably the biggest reason or group has increased in membership.

However, one thing it certainly didn’t do was earn money. Okay, well, none of us expected to make much, but we had hoped to break even at least! We lost money – we paid for a 50-copy print run, and we couldn’t even sell all of those! As for the ebook edition – I think we’ve had all of one confirmed purchase…

How embarrassing!

Okay, so a lot of this is part of the nature of the beast – we are a group of amateurs, no one really knows us yet, etc. etc. But there is no way we can ask our contributors this year to pay for the privilege of being in another collection that nobody will buy.

I’m also going to make an ebook again – the writing group members all have friends and family overseas, so an ebook makes a lot of sense for easy sharing and selling. I have to admit, though – I’m less enthusiastic about formatting and arranging it this time. Getting people to buy an ebook is often harder than getting them to pay for a print copy!

So we have to fund this.

Kickstarter, Patreon, begging at local bars – we’ve considered a lot of different ideas. THe current idea involves running a special event at the same bar that hosts Words Only and other spoken word events. If we can get a crowd of people who regularly do slam poetry, comedy nights, and reading events to pay a small cover charge for a fun , night, that money could pay for a limited run of prints.

#IWSG, I’d like to know:

Have you done a group self-publication before? Do you have any ideas for funding a project like this?

 


 

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Current Project – Far Flung, a Sci-Fi Serial

Yes, it will get updated soon, I swear…

Coming soon to eFiction! I’m getting published!

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Breaking news! I’m getting published again!

A story of mine has just been accepted by the literary magazine eFiction, one of the fine publications of FictionMagazines.com! The piece is called Painted Blue Eyes, and it’s a creepy little piece I wrote over several months with the Busan Writing Group.

In this story, a dark childhood memory comes to the surface, as a senior art student helps his last living relative move from her old house. As they clean, Gregory uncovers a familiar painting that his beloved Aunt Beatrice has hidden for years. A painting tainted with splashes of old blood.

Of course there’ll be more about this story as I learn its eventual publication date. Until I know more, allow me this moment to celebrate.

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YYYYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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Thanks for indulging me.

Busan Writing Group, June 17 – Pitches, please!

This week we looked at pitches for stories – the 250-word summary of a story that a writer has to compose to get the attention of agents and publishers.

The Busan Writing Group first took a look at pitches written by one of our members. The stories looked awesome – some of them were ones we’ve run through our critique process before. The main difficulty with the pitches was the complexity – there was a lot going on, and it was difficult to boil down the most important info into 250 words.

We then looked over the most popular choices for Pitchapalooza 2015, over at the Book Doctors. Popular votes from readers favored the weird and offbeat. The key to gaining votes seemed to be setting up a weird or creepy situation right at the start, or to present an everyday situation and then have a quick twist that makes it weird.

Last, we looked over the winners of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. These winning pitches were simple and to the point, clearly outlying what to expect in the story. When weirdness entered into these pitches, it was clearly integrated – we found we could easily understand how the unusual factors really affect the characters. This was key to any appreciation of the pitches – for fantasy or sci-fi elements to mean anything and sell the story, we have to know what those elements mean to the characters who have to deal with them.

My general takeaway from all this:

It’s damn hard to simplify a story and get the most important details across in a meaningful way. However, that is the exact skill needed for a great pitch – the skill of delivering major plot points, along with how they affect relatable characters, in a quick, simple way.

Easy to see why it’s so damn hard, huh?

 

Image from http://www.theinfluencebusiness.com/

Wednesday Writing Club, June 10

Wednesday Writing Club – A pitch, and a well-revised story

Just a quick one today – the Busan Writing Club had a nice little meeting tonight, and we talked about the pitch I wrote for a sci-fi serial story which I am getting in gear. My pitch was a mess – I tried hard to include details as suggested by David Henry Sterry, but I ended up cramming way too much into 250 words. Too much detail, too much complication. It all means a lot more work for me as I look for a simple, yet unique way to present the soul of my story in 250 words or fewer.

The other submission was a work by our member Clare, and wow did it ever look better than mine! She had the 8th draft of an excellent bit of literary fiction told from a young Irish girl’s point of view. It’s really amazing how the story has shaped into a compelling, melancholy tale of a girl and her father’s mental illness. All of us wish Clare good luck as she enters the story into a newspaper contest in her home country of Ireland.

Anyway, guess what the next Busan Writing Club is all about? Pitches!

Yup, our meeting on June 17 will be all about dissecting successful pitches to see what makes them tick. You can bet there’ll be an update on this very blog after the event.

Are you in Busan? Nearby? Send me a private message and let me know!

The Busan Writing Group is in Busan Haps

Just a quick one – the Busan Writing group and its book have been featured in this article on Busan Haps!

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Busan Haps is an entertainment magazine edited by expats in Busan, and is pretty much the magazine us expats look to when we want to know what’s going on.

I’m really glad the Haps staff were so helpful in our shameless promotion of our book!

An excerpt from “The Faces They Wore”, my part of “Nothing Too Familiar”

I’d like to share an excerpt from my work in Nothing Too Familiar – Vignettes of Korea.

More about this book can be found at the Busan Writing Group website.

This book can be bought in digital form at Smashwords or Amazon Kindle, or you can get a print copy from me or any other member of the Busan Writing Group.

The Faces They Wore explores the collision of two very different worlds within Korea – that of a Korean woman whose circumstances have forced her into prostitution, and the comparatively privileged life of a foreign English teacher.

I was supposed to read this part of the story at Wordz Only on February 28, but my wife and kids were sick that night. Instead, I present it here:


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