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"A great talent is not to use two words when one will do." - Thomas Jefferson




CONTENTS

Writers' Night OUT! - Monday, September 19

and Writers' Night IN! - Monday, September 26

NWU-Boston at the Boston Book Festival, Saturday, October 29

Let Teachers Teach History

A Tale of Self-Publishing: William Blake

Grants Available to Low-Income Writers

Open Mic Every Thursday

Calling All Book Authors! Tune-In Tuesdays

Kudos

Upcoming Events

Spread Your News on the Update and Our Website!

WRITERS' NIGHT OUT

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 @ 6:00-8:00 P.M.

730 TAVERN, CENTRAL SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE


WRITERS' NIGHT IN

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 @ 5:30-6:30 P.M.


We had another successful Writers' Night Out in August. Some of our NWU members (above) gathered together to talk about writing. We shared stories, successes and failures; we talked about recently published books, Medusa, and aliens working at coffee shops; and everyone had a great time. If you want to come next week to join the fun, please email Shannon O’Connor


The Zoom world still flourishes! If you live in a distant place or for whatever reason can't meet in person, and want to be part of the conversation, it’s possible. You can also Zoom with us if you’re local, and guests are welcome as well. We will meet online to talk about life in the writing world, or any other subject that pops up, such as the best bookstores or your favorite recipes for pumpkin muffins. Please RSVP to Charles Coe.


NWU-BOSTON WILL BE AT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29
COME AND HELP US!

NWU-Boston will be hosting a table at the Boston Book Festival in Copley Square on October 29. We will provide information about the union and also have limited space for displaying books by NWU members. If you choose to sign up to volunteer to help staff the table for an hour during the day (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) we will be able to feature your book prominently and you will have the opportunity to sell and sign copies. If you are interested in signing up for a slot (no more than two people at a time, please) get in touch with Shannon O'Connor.


LET TEACHERS TEACH HISTORY

by Charles Coe


The following letter, endorsed by the NWU-Boston Steering Committee, will be made available to teachers in communities where efforts are being made to require them to teach students a sanitized version of American history.


This letter is in response to parents of school-aged children and to other citizens who want to limit teachers’ efforts to address how people of color have been treated throughout our nation’s history. Those who hold such a view claim they object to “critical race theory” being taught in the public schools. 


But that opposition to “critical race theory” is based on a misunderstanding of what that term actually means. It is meant to describe a method used by historians and researchers to examine in a systematic way how slavery, the legal and economic system, social structures, and other factors have impacted the lives of people of color. “Critical race theory” is a tool used in academic and professional settings, not one presented in K-12 educational settings.


In our view, opponents of “critical race theory” are essentially saying that they don’t want their children being taught anything that might make them feel “uncomfortable.” They would rather not have their children learn about slavery, or lynching, or Jim Crow, or this country’s treatment of Native Americans, or anti-Chinese sentiment in California, or the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. But these stories are as much a part of American history as are the many inspiring stories of our triumphs and achievements. Our hard-working teachers care deeply about our children’s future. They’re not trying to “indoctrinate” them; they’re giving them the tools they need to take their place in society as insightful and educated citizens. 


We cannot raise children who understand who we are, and who we might become, without looking at our history in all its complexity, with its shortcomings as well as its successes. Only by doing so can our children create a future in which they can learn from the past, and help this nation truly live up to its noble ideal of “Liberty and justice for all.”

A TALE OF SELF-PUBLISHING: WILLIAM BLAKE

by John L. Hodge


William Blake (1757 - 1827) was not well-known during his lifetime or for decades later. Now he is regarded as among the most influential of English poets and artists. He printed his illustrated poetry himself. He would take an order for a set of poems and print it for the customer. For a while a publisher reproduced copies of one of his etchings, but, for reasons left to historians’ speculations, he abandoned the publisher and afterwards printed the copies himself. His contemporaries considered Blake to be mad. It did not help that he opposed religious dogmatism, was a critic of class hierarchies, and an abolitionist. He admired the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft and was a critic of the marriage laws of his times, though he remained devoted to his wife, Catherine, until he died. Later, he became recognized as a complex but transformative artist and thinker who helped shape the world that later appreciated his contribution to art and culture. His poems have been set to music, and his admirers, including Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Van Morrison, and Aldous Huxley, have acknowledged Blake’s influence on them.

GRANTS AVAILABLE TO LOW-INCOME WRITERS

TO ATTEND CONFERENCES OR WORKSHOPS

 

The Boston Chapter Steering Committee is offering $100 grants to up to five NWU members in good standing. These grants are available to those who face challenging financial circumstances and would like to attend a writing conference or workshop (one of those listed below or one of your choice), or to take advantage of some other professional development opportunity.

 

If you would like to apply, or would like more information, please contact Steering Committee Chair Willie Wideman-Pleasants.

OPEN MIC EVERY THURSDAY

The NWU New York Chapter, which for many years hosted open mics at the Muhlenberg branch library, is now holding virtual open mics weekly: every Thursday from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

All writers from all genres are welcome. You can read for up to seven minutes. Just RSVP on meetup.com to view the link to join.

CALLING ALL BOOK AUTHORS! TUNE-IN TUESDAYS
FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH
Royalty, Compensation & Distribution Issues for Book Authors

Join a discussion about the most pressing issues for book authors today. Share your experience and knowledge and advance your career, hosted by Book Division Chair Dan McCrory and NY Member Timothy Sheard. Planned topics for the first several sessions are listed here.

To REGISTER for the Zoom meeting program email chair Dan McCrory.

SHANNON O'CONNOR published a poem in Oddball Magazine, "Orange Line Blues."


The town of Acushnet, MA, had a festival September 10 and 11th to celebrate the harvest of their apples and peaches. This year was their 41s year of celebration with music, food and vendors selling their creations. Among the vendors was WILLIE PLEASANTS, selling her personal book Make Truth A Habit and two books she published for the Uphams Corner Friends, Write On! Write On! and A Writer's View.


Please send any news of a publication, award, or writing-related appearance that has already happened to editor Barbara Mende. (A piece on your own blog or website doesn't qualify.) Send 50 words or less, plus your name and a link to the publication, event, or website where readers can find more info about you or the happening. Don't send notices of work that will be published in the future. Do send news of future events, but see the "Upcoming Events" block for that.

Open Mic Every Thursday (see above)
Tune-In Tuesdays - First Tuesday of Every Month (see above)

SEND US NEWS OF YOUR UPCOMING READINGS, BOOK LAUNCHES, OR OTHER PUBLIC APPEARANCES. WE'LL TRY TO HELP YOU RAISE A (VIRTUAL OR IN-PERSON) CROWD.
USE THE UPDATE AND OUR WEBSITE TO SPREAD YOUR NEWS

Are you speaking or reading from your work in the near future? Do you want to publicize an event that writers would be interested in zooming in to? Can you provide a service, such as editing or indexing or publicity, for your fellow union members? Do you just want to introduce yourself to the NWU membership?

Our Boston Chapter website, which you can reach at 
nwu.org/chapters/boston/ or www.nwuboston.org, is here for you to use. Not only that, but if you send us an announcement of a specific event by the second Monday of each month, we'll try to include it in these updates.

Please send us news of any upcoming events that you'd like us to publicize, along with Zoom links or PDF posters if you have them. If you'd like to promote your services, plug your latest book, tell us about something writing-related that happened to you, or post anything else you can think of, we'll try to give it a place on the website.

And we'd love to hear from you if you'd like to contribute to these updates. Do you have information or a viewpoint on some phase of writing or publishing that you'd like to pass along? Do you have tips that you'd like to share with your fellow writers? Send them in! And don't forget, if you've published something or participated in an event or made an appearance, we'll post it under Kudos.

Send all your news for the Update and website to your webmaster.

Chair: Willie Wideman-Pleasants

Editor and Webmaster: Barbara Mende