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WRITEFUL PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Eric D. Goodman, MWA Public Relations Director

DATE: April 7, 2007

EMAIL: edgewriter@gmail.com

The CityLit Project’s Fifth Annual Celebration of Literature

Poet Afaa Michael Weaver joins authors Lippman, Fesperman, Suri, Carson, and others at the CityLit Festival V.

The fifth edition of the festival takes place on Saturday, April 19, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Enoch Pratt Free Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Weaver wrote and published poetry while working factory jobs at Procter & Gamble and Bethlehem Steel. He founded 7th Son Press and published the journal “Blind Alleys,” which featured Andrei Codrescu, Frank Marshall Davis, and Lucille Clifton among others. As a freelancer, he has written for the Baltimore Sun, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune, and the Baltimore Afro-American. He began his teaching career as an adjunct in 1987, teaching at New York University, the City University of New York, Seton Hall Law School, and Essex County College. In 1990, he began at Rutgers Camden and received tenure with distinction there as an early candidate. In 1998, Weaver joined the English Department at Simmons College, where he founded the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center.

Deputy Mayor Salima Siler Marriott, Pratt Library Executive Director Dr. Carla Hayden, and CityLit Project Executive Director Gregg Wilhelm join the poet at 10:30 to declare April 19 “Afaa Michael Weaver Day.” Weaver reads from The Plum Flower Dance at 2:00.

The Maryland Writers’ Association will be present all day at the Festival—find out more about the MWA and learn how you can become a part of the organization by stopping by the booth.

Meanwhile, three of Baltimore’s most prominent literati share their brand new books at 1:00 in Pratt Library’s Wheeler Auditorium. Tom Hall, Culture Editor for WYPR’s “Maryland Morning,” talks with Dan Fesperman, The Amateur Spy; Laura Lippman, Another Thing to Fall; and Manil Suri, The Age of Shiva.

Dr. Ben Carson, world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, shares his insight and advice from Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk. Dr. Carson presents at 3:00. The Maryland Humanities Council’s Maryland Center for the Book honors its “Letters About Literature” contest winners from around the state at 11:00 with special guest children’s chapter book author Margaret Meacham. S. James Guitard and Victoria Christopher Murray read from and discuss their latest novels, and sports writer John Eisenberg revisits the Barbaro story in his new book. Michael Olesker, Tonight at Six; Diane Scharper, Reading Lips; and contributors to Freshly Squeezed, a new anthology based on writing from the popular “Write Here, Write Now” workshops, all present special pre-publication previews of their new books. Featured authors reading their work from the anthology include Rick Connor, Fernando Quijano III, Nicole Walton, Tamara Keurejian, Barbara Friedland, Holly Myers, Mare Cromwell, Eric D. Goodman, Nancy O. Greene, and Leo Horrigan. For families, Caldecott Honoree and New York Times bestselling children’s book author Carole Boston Weatherford shares her latest book, Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins.

Poetry is never in short supply at CityLit Festival. Reggie Harris returns to host “Poetry by Place,” a spoken word tour de force featuring poets who appear at various venues around Baltimore. Poets Ink is back again conducting a workshop and reading.

Attendees are also encouraged to browse and buy at the Literary Marketplace, featuring more than fifty authors, editors, literary journals, presses and organizations.

CityLit Festival is made possible with the support of the Maryland State Arts Council and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts.

Programs take place throughout the library. A complete schedule of times and locations is available at CityLit’s website below.

www.CityLitProject.org

Learn more about this and other literary news and events at

www.Writeful.blogspot.com

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After reading the title to this post, you’re probably uttering the word, HUH?

As most of you know, Jason Walker and I co-wrote his memoirs entitled, “Missing My Body”. Well, after loading the book on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, I really haven’t had time to do much within the promotion scheme of things.

Well, enter Full Circle Admin Services! 2 Associates with Full Circle have taken it to their hearts to promote the heck out of this book for Jason. For those of you that don’t know the circumstances:

Jason has a rare form of Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and is a quadreplegic. My friend plans to have booksignings for him at some bookstores. However, Jason gently reminded me he can’t sign his books. His Mom, Linda Walker came up with the great idea of having him do thumbprints on the books! She would simply ink his thumb as people line up for his “signature”.

More details will be posted about his appearances (if you’re in the southern Georgia, Tallahassee, Florida region).

Go on….buy a book. I can get it thumbsigned for ya. CLICK HERE TO BUY

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Taryn Simpson is a fulltime ghostwriter who looks forward one day to gaining wealth and fame. Cheers.

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If a Book Festival comes to your town this weekend, GO. If ever a time was more important to support your fellow writers, poets, screenwriters, authors etc. Now is the time. I had a chance to check out the Southern Festival of Books in beautiful downtown Nashville, TN. The weather cooperated beautifully and hundreds upon hundreds of vendors and writers of all kinds and from all over the world were there in force.

I got to see the C-SPAN bookmobile parked at the entrance, talk to some fellow writers on publishing, self-publishing and other issues that are important to wordsmiths. And, made some good contacts and some good ideas to try myself.

So, do yourself a favor. Support your fellow writer!

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On September 30th, 2007, I woke up from a very relaxing sleep to realize that I was late for the start of the last day of this year’s BBF. I had planned to make an early start of things in order to enjoy the readings of some of my friends and colleagues.

So I quickly got myself together and headed down to the festival. Fortunately, I was in time to hear most of the readings of Works in Progress, sponsored by Gregg Wilhelm’s CityLit Project and moderated by Paul Lagasse, MWAB’s President. Unfortunately, I missed the first reading by Edith Goldman of her work “Pan-delerium,” though I’m sure it was excellent.

Michael M. Hughes, a local horror writer, read an entertaining and funny piece called “Lunch Meeting.” Barabara Friedland read an excerpt from her upcoming novel A Member of the Force, based on the true story of a local murder case. Having heard and read earlier excerpts from the novel, it was wonderful to see that it is coming along so well. I think it could possibly become a Baltimore staple, one of those novels that people mention when they talk about Baltimore’s literary scene. Jen Michalsk’s reading of “The Movie Version of My Life,” from her short story collection Close Encounters, was another interesting read. It was, if memory serves correctly, my first introduction to her work.

Mathew Lee Gill’s novel excerpt “Broken Charm” was a telling piece about a shady characters. Lalita Noronha also read an excerpt from her novel in progress. Afterwards, I purchased a copy of her short story collection Where Monsoons Cry. The last time I heard her read at one of the MWA meetings, her writing stuck in my mind and I knew before she finished that I would be purchasing a copy. Lauren Eisenberg Davis read a selection from her memoir-in-progress. Eric D. Goodman read “The Silences” from Tracks, his novel of interconnected stories. It’s always good to hear Eric read; in fact, a few months ago he read “A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein,” one of my favorite pieces from the novel, on NPR. It’s an excellent example of how authors should read their work, and a first-person version of the story is available at To Be Read Aloud.

Last, but not least, Ian Hochberg read several of his poems. I was reminded of the beat poets, he just had an energy about him that was so fun to watch and his pieces were engaging.

I enjoyed the readings so much (despite having to take a seat outside of the tent because of my late arrival, and therefore baking in the hot, hot, too hot sun), and afterwards I chatted briefly with some of the other writers before heading off to find some food. Even though hadn’t had breakfast, I ended up waiting several hours to buy something to eat–a soda sustained me while I walked around and decided on what books to devour.

Last year I didn’t have much time to purchase. This year was different. Thanks to huge discounts, I walked away with two bags full of books, magazines, and miscellaneous items.

Raw Dog Screaming Press (publisher of the wonderful book Vacation by Jeremy C. Shipp) was on hand, and we talked and I browsed and on my second time around—after deciding on what I would and wouldn’t purchase—I bought The Bizarro Starter Kit: An Introduction to the Bizarro Genre. It turned out that one of the men I chatted with, John Edward Lawson, was also featured in the collection and he signed it for me.

I also purchased several copies of the literary journal Mosaic. It was a surprise to find out that such a professional publication was no longer stocked in bookstores. The publisher and I talked a bit about their attempts to get it back into stores now that the magazine is non-profit. I personally prefer to buy literary magazines from the stores, whether a big chain like B&N or a local independent, simply because of problems with receiving subscriptions in the past, but maybe I should re-evaluate that policy. Maintaining a lit mag is undoubtedly a difficult job.

There were many other events that I enjoyed, including a staged reading of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, musical performances, and I bought several more books. But eventually my legs wore out and I was nearly past my spending limit, so after a quick stop at the Walters Art Museum and a local aromatherapy shop, I grabbed my bags and headed home. Good times.
Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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handwriting.jpgI always knew that working as a writer would mean that I would need to be prepared to don many hats in order to be successful. Those of you that are writers know what I mean.

For example, written a book lately? Not only do you have to write the book, you need to market it, seek out publishing for it, call bookstores about stocking it, make sure it gets listed on top retail online bookstores and so on.

And, now the rage is book trailers. So, either you must get really creative and make one for your book, or you need to seek out someone that can do it for you. What about blogging about your book? That seems to be the “thing” to do. It is a nifty self-advertising web presence.

Then there is press releases to write, newspapers to contact, tv interviews to seek, and so on. The job is never done. Really. It could be a fulltime job just tending to the marketing and publishing efforts alone.

I have to say, I have learned alot and learned things that I never thought I could do. So, in a way, that is a good thing. Oh, did I mention that seeking out reviewers and book contests was another duty? Sigh…a writer’s work is truly never done.

Some people may look at this post and think, “Why in the world would anyone want to do that for a living?”

I just know I have to write.

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Taryn Simpson is a freelance writer specializng in fictional novels. Her latest work, “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road” is competing for Best Fiction Novel in the USABooknews.com contest as well as Best Fiction Novel for a Pulitzer Prize. She is currently writing “Invisibile Fences”. http://www.Taryn-Simpson.blogspot.com

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Well, the time is drawing near when “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Roadwill be on display at The International Book Fair in Beijing. The book is scheduled to be shown by the Jenkins Book Group to various book retailers that are looking for books to stock on their shelves.

I can tell you that from the looks of things, the novel has been practically flying off the virtual shelves at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com!

If you’re in the area on Aug 30, 2007 – Sep 3, 2007, please feel free to meet Alan Solomon at this book fair.

Taryn Simpson is a professional ghostwriter specializing in novels. To read more about Taryn’s work, read the latest article from The Tennessean: Ghostwriter Connects across Continents

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I know that title sounds awfully conceited, but I assure you, I am truly blessed to have had this project plop into my lap as it did. I feel like I just co-wrote the best book of my career. And, this magical book has provided some opportunities and surprises along the way:

1. The book was shipped to New York last week and is on its way to the Beijing, China International Book Fair. Hopefully, the book sellers in this region will request to carry the book in their stores which will increase the book’s popularity.

2. Someone created a Yahoo group for the Book! It’s called “MangoTreeCafe” and everyone reading this blog is welcome to join by CLICKING HERE

3. As I mentioned before, the book is for sale and you can order a copy (or several hundred!) by CLICKING HERE

4. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank everyone here at the Writer’s Block for being patient while I blabbed incessantly about “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”! Its an important book and I believe will be very successful (From my mouth, to God’s ear as my grandmother always said).

IF ANYONE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN DOING A REVIEW OF THE BOOK, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

ALSO, HAS ANYONE DONE A VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR? HOW DO YOU GET STARTED?

I would love to hear from anyone who has bought the book. Now to continue Marketing the book. A writer’s job is never done. 🙂

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My partner and I have decided to self-publish and with good reason. The Beijing Book Fair is coming up in August and my partner would like to pander our wares to book sellers.

We also decided to self-publish because of a newsletter I received yesterday. It was from a well-known author that stated she published with Lulu.com because no one, including agents and publishers would pay attention to her because she was a “nobody”. She began self publishing her book and sent it to another author with better connections and she was blown away.

This blown away author sent it to her agent who in turn sent it to a large publishing house who decided to buy it. That’s the way it is these days…unless you have the collateral to appease a Simon and Schuster or Random House, authors have to fend for themselves and show that “the proof is in the pudding”.

This powerful book (if I do say so myself) will be offered shortly on Barnes and Noble and Amazon as well as the blog. When that happens, you can rest asuured that I will blab all about it right here.

Just think; 1 author in Beijing, China; the other in Nashville, TN, 1 internet connection = 1 helluva good read.

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Taryn Simpson is a professional ghostwriter and has recently completed a novel with her writing partner, Alan Solomon, “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”. Keep up with the latest on the book and how it fares at the Beijing, China Book Fair. http://www.MangoTreeCafe-LoiKrohRoad.blogspot.com

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2007 Tour of the Southland by the numbers:

Miles traveled: 4000+
States visited: Seven
Colleges toured/visited: Four
Scorpions sighted: Zero
Days on the road: 11
Days it rained: Seven
Hotels: Four

DAY ONE: June 27-DC-Bristol, TN
DAY TWO: June 28-Bristol, TN-Nashville, TN (visited UT) dinner Bosco’s with Jeff and Miramichee girls Kellye & Betsy.
DAY THREE: June 29, Breakfast at Noshville with old friend, Emily, Nashville-Memphis, TN, dinner at Cafe Ole with many delightful Miramichee girls and assorted others of all ages and sexes.
DAY FOUR: Memphis, reading at National Civil Rights Museum, lunch at the Rendezvous, H.S. reunion in evening with fabulous-looking former classmates.
DAY FIVE: Memphis to New Orleans, tour of French Quarter

lydajacksonsquare.jpg

DAY SIX: Tour of Tulane and the Garden District, drive to my brother’s ranchette near Wimberley, Texas.
DAY SEVEN: Tour of San Marcos and the Aquarena, a strange nature center that used to be a water amusement park featuring mermaids and Ralph the Swimming Pig. I remember this from childhood. We took the glass-bottomed boat to see the springs and then the boardwalk over a swamp and saw herons and scissortail flycatchers.
DAY EIGHT: Toured San Antonio, childhood home, and River Walk. Watched fireworks from my brother’s deck

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DAY NINE: Toured Austin, University of Texas. Headed out after tour returned and made it to Texarkana by 11 p.m.
DAY TEN: Texarkana to Nashville.
DAY ELEVEN: Nashville to D.C.

New Orleans

We went to New Orleans on the 2007 Tour of the Southland. The first time I had been back since Katrina. I had been there for a week in June 2001 staying at the Ritz Carlton for a convention where I was on the staff.
Physically where we were this year (the French Quarter and the Garden District) we saw little obvious damage. The Super Dome is rebuilt of course. We saw lots of construction and a couple of burned houses in the Garden District, near Carrollton Ave. Otherwise it was as beautiful and exotic as it has ever been, hinting of so much. But but but … the energy has been sucked out. The streets are not as crowded.

dscn0644.jpgA sign at Cafe du Monde on Jackson Square says, “Please seat yourself.” The last two times I was in New Orleans the lines were blocks long to get a seat. Bourbon Street had people, we saw a crew of tap-dancing kids leaving, there were eccentrics and freaks, but not so many, not so flamboyant. The old black man with a white beard singing “Sitting on a Dock of the Bay” on Jackson Square was really good, but he didn’t have much money in his guitar case.

Texas

I was born in Texas, in San Antonio. We moved to Memphis when I was six. This trip we went back to San Antonio, saw the house where we lived and went downtown to the Alamo and the River Walk. I thought I would remember it, have that emotional kick of memory. Nothing. We saw Joske’s, the department store whose jingle I remember perfectly. Nothing. It was like I had never seen it before. Same with the Alamo. I only remembered it as if I’d seen it in pictures.

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We went through the Villetta, the old city where my brother tells me I always begged to go to the old glassblowers shop. ??? Really? The glassblowers shop just closed last year. It had opened a few years after I was born. Strange, strange. The River Walk was lovely though.
And in Austin, I couldn’t get a sense of the city at all either. The coolness doesn’t hang in the air. I think I missed trees. I’ve lived so long in the East that the absence of big trees is oppressive.
But the part of the University of Texas we saw was wonderful. We went to see the dormitory our mother lived in when she was at Texas for one year in the 1930s. Littlefield Hall. Totally enchanting

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I would just like to announce that for a limited time (one month) you can purchase Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King and Portraits in the Dark together on Amazon.com. By purchasing together, you will save an additional 5%.

And while you’re at it, go see the movie “1408” if you haven’t already. I’ll be seeing the movie soon and will let you know what I think of how it compares to the short story!

sellsheet_cover.PNG Everything’s Eventual

Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King and Portraits in the Dark by Nancy O. Greene on Amazon.

AUTHORS OF MYSPACE INTERVIEW.

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