Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome to our newest newsletter! In this issue, we're pleased to share a writing tip from best-selling and prolific author David Morrell, the creator of Rambo and co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization. We were honored when David, who has eighteen million copies of his work in print, translated into twenty-six languages, agreed to speak at the up-coming Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. He will share his insights into the future of publishing. Visit this link to find out more about how you can join us for the conference November 10-12 in Santa Fe. Thanks for reading!

Warm wishes,
Anne and Jean

Writing Tip: Watch for the Flow
From David Morrell

A story is a living thing. Our goal should be to serve it and do what it wants, to be its instrument. Its flow from our imagination to the page is impeded in two main ways---if we try to make the story do something that it doesn't want to do, or if something in us isn't ready to face the full implications of the story's theme and emotions. Avoiding those blocks requires developing a relationship with the story, as if it were a person. At the start of each writing session, especially if I'm having trouble moving a scene forward, I literally ask the story, "What do you want to do? Where do you want me to go with you? Why are you stalling?" This is a psychological trick that almost always creates an imagined response, along the lines of "This scene is boring. Why are you making me do it?" or "This scene is full of gimmicks. Why aren't you being honest with me?" The device takes only a minute. It's part of my ritual, and over the years, it saved me from writing a lot of scenes that were either unnecessary or else dishonest.

(This excerpt comes from a piece Morrell first wrote for WRITERS DIGEST. Copyright F + W Media and David Morrell, 2011.)

Morrell, a presenter at the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference, is the author of numerous best-selling thrillers. He has been nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity awards for THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS, which he co-edited with Hank Wagner.

Five More Things to Like About Santa Fe (Besides Our Conference)
The Santa Fe Children's Museum: This family-oriented center offers great, hands-on activities for children from toddler to pre-teens. Evenings often include musical entertainment.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas: "The Ranch of the Swallows" is a living history museum that dates from the early 1700s and was an important paraje or stopping place along the famous Camino Real, the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe.

Sopaipillas! You can eat these little clouds of fried, yeasty goodness with honey or use them to soak up the final traces of that luscious red and green chile sauce. They come with your meal at many Santa Fe restaurants that specialize in New Mexican cuisine.

The Sangre De Cristo Mountains: The southernmost range of the Rocky Mountains, the Sangre de Cristos sit in Santa Fe's backyard, just a 20-minute drive from the Plaza. Hiking, biking, camping, skiing and more await. The aspen usually turn around the end of September, creating a
wonderful reason for a fall picnic.

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express: Take the Rail Runner from Albuquerque to Santa Fe-no car is needed! (An express bus takes passengers from the airport to the train depot.) Once in Santa Fe, the Depot stop is walking distance to many shops, restaurants and our conference hotel.

WORDHARVEST Contest Updates

Thanks to everyone who entered the Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest and who submitted novels for the Hillerman Prize. Your entries are with our judges. The winners will be announced at the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in November and posted on our website afterward.

Editor Peter Joseph of St. Martin's Press will announce the 2011 novel award (we hope the winner will join us!) at lunch, Friday, November 11. Peter will also discuss what makes a good mystery with 2010 Hillerman Prize Winner Tricia Fields. The short story winner will be announced on Saturday, November 12, at the keynote dinner. Author Douglas Preston will be on hand to give an intriguing after-dinner talk. Stay tuned!

We'll leave you with a few words from one of the previous Tony Hillerman Writers Conference participants. She described the conference as, "content rich, fun, lively and informative." We couldn't have said it better ourselves!


Anne Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg
Connie Gotsch www.conniegotsch.com Host Write On Four Corners KSJE FM, Farmington NM www.ksje.com Author two award winning youth novels ‘Belle’s Star,’ and ‘Belle’s trial,’ based on the life of a real dog and written from her point of view. Available from Artemesia Press at http://www.apbooks.net and amazon.com, and Anazon,com Belle’s Star was a New Mexico BookAward in 2009 and 2010; First Place for Juvenile Fiction New Mezxico Press Women and National Federation of Press Women Communication Contests 2010’ Silver Mom’s Choice Award 2010.
Belle’s Trial’ won First Place for Juvenile Fiction in the 2011 New Mexico Press Press Women’s Commuication Contest, and a Silver Mom’s Choice Award for 2011. The book received an Eric Hoffer Award nomination for 2011.

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