Building Your Online Platform
By David Baker
Esmerelda Van Twinkle, the protagonist of Matt Stewart’s debut novel
weighs a quarter of a ton. When she moves, her “gumdrop-shaped body” quivers“like a landed bass.” Her twin sons, born on Bastille Day, are named Robespierre and Marat.Stewart, our featured speaker for the April 17 meeting, hoped these characters and aninteresting plot—a modern-day San Francisco family goes to extremes to forge its place inhistory—would catch the eye of acquisitions editors. Disappointment followed.According to Stewart’s Web site, his agent shopped his manuscript around, but the responses
were mostly variants of “too risky” and “not for us.” Wasn’t there a better way, he wondered.“In the shower one morning in late June 2009, the idea hit me—why not put the novel on Twitter? It’s no way to read anovel, but it’s a terrific way to connect with people fast, and give them a taste of the book so they can buy the wholething later.”On Bastille Day, July 14, 2009, Stewart broadcast
The French Revolution
via @thefrenchrev and thefrenchrev.com. Heexpected to be ridiculed for putting out his book in snippets, or accused of using Twitter as a gimmick, but was “aston-ished when the feedback was overwhelmingly supportive.” He made headlines worldwide and landed a book deal withSoft Skull. His novel went on to make the
San Francisco Chronicle
Best Book List of 2010.Stewart’s stories have been published in
, and more. He blogsfor the
At the April meeting, he’ll draw on his experience as he explores“demystifying social media and building an online platform that supports writers’ work.” We’ll ask him what’s effectiveand what isn’t when “new school” media invades “old school” publishing. We’ll listen to his answers and go home readyto experiment.
CWC Launches New Literary Review
A New Publishing Opportunity Knocks
The California Writers Club will launch a literary review late this spring and thereafter three a year—spring, fall, andwinter. Our magazine-style publication—think
but yet to be named—will host writing from membersthrough a blind selection process and will include fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Unique graphics and photography mayalso sneak in on a limited basis. Your co-editors, Joyce Krieg of Central Coast Branch, and Dave LaRoche of South BayBranch, solicit your work for inclusion. Your submissions may have been previously published or fresh from your vividimaginations, and, of course, sent with single-use rights.The
CWC Literary Review
(working title) will be mailed to all members in hard copy and, in time, made available fornonmember subscription. We intend a prestigious publication, both shining light on the included authors and bringingcachet to the club. You will want to be included.Submission requirements and deadline dates will be repeated each issue and apply to the next. For our first issue thefollowing applies:
Submit email attachment, MSWord, doc or rtf format, 1.5 line spacing, 1-inch margins, New Times Roman 12pt—no specialformatting.
Maximum length is 2500 words, fiction; 1500 words, nonfiction; 50 lines of poetry. These may be adjusted in future issues.
All work should be error-free and must include a cover sheet with author’s name, email address, number of words, and title.The remaining pages to be free of all ID except title: upper right, and page numbers: bottom center.
Submissions for the first issue must be emailed not later than April 15, 2011.
Include in your transmittal email the statement, “I (your name) own and convey the right to publish this work(s) (name it/them)one time in the CWC Lit-Review.”
Our first issue will include rules for a Name-the-Lit-Review Contest and identify a prize for member whose name ischosen. Send your work—only one e-mail submission, with no more than two included attachments (essay, poem,fiction, or nonfiction narrative)—to Dave LaRoche,firstname.lastname@example.org April 15, 2011, then sit back and watchour
grow. We are excited about this venture, another value in club membership, and haveaspirations that will see the review on shelves in bookstores and in e-distribution. Of course you are a big part of it,so join in and have fun.