When Publishing Doesn’t Come To You…Create Your Own Magic

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The writing group that I founded more than three years ago now, SnoValley Writes!, just completed its third writing competition, third volume of our literary journal, and our third public reading. So many threes we decided that the journal’s theme would be THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER.

We increased our writing contest entries four fold this year – breaking the whole “three” theme we had going on. But it was totally worth it. We especially got slammed with entries from the category of writer age 17 and under. What incredible stories we got from our writers in the making! The adult category was stunning as well – and a very, very hard decision. Incredible, however, that so many of the young writers got the submission guidelines dead on and about half the adult writers missed the chance to be judged because they didn’t follow instructions. It’s great to think outside the box, except when it comes to submission guidelines, folks! Our 2013 contest should be announced by October or so. So stay tuned. In the meantime you can read the winning entries from both our winners on our web site.

Speaking of increases, the quality of the writing the group is producing and as is featured in the journal has increased threefold, if I do say so myself. And the fact that our first run in the journal is all but gone is testimony as well. However, more can be procured via our page on LuLu.

Art work incorporated into our journal by Toby VanBryce, Jackie Fedyk and Sheri J. Kennedy.


For some in the group, this journal presents a unique opportunity, if their only one, towards publication. As someone whose batting average is barely above nil for my personal submissions this year, I know the occasion for publication is few and far between. But self-publishing is changing all that. Self-publishing is providing new prospects and openings for those who would otherwise not get a chance, especially given that for most it’s all about a numbers game and less about quality (sometimes). Some self-publishing gets a bad name because of poor assembly and internal editing, but I think we cleared that hurdle even higher this time (yes, one could say even…*cough* threefold).  We’re fortunate enough to have some visual artists included in our ranks of SnoValley Writes! including painters, designers, graphic artists, and photographers. The design of this book shows off their talent in that as well.

Putting the book together is quite daunting and I’m refusing to do it again without a proper desktop publishing program. But it also taught me a few things as I work to finish up the first collection of Martius Catalyst episodes in Adventure One: Tangled Treasures.

As far as our Word Jazz performance is concerned, I think it was our best one yet, albeit the least attended. I’m blaming the plague that has descended on our little Cascade Foothills community. Those who participated were allowed yet another break in reading to an audience – something any successful author must expect to do throughout the course of her career. I shed the jitters and applied the lessons I learned from the AT SECOND GLANCE reading back in February. I had fun. My brother saw the photos from the event and said I looked as if I was spell-casting. In a sense anyone who does a proper reading does (and should) cast a spell on their audience.

The biggest lesson from the whole experience – contest, reading, and publication – is that you can create your own literary magic. It’s a lot of work; there may be mistakes made; but it’s all worth it in the end. Feel free to come get a piece of this magic we made, order your copy of THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER today.

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