Pennwriters Area 6 Accomplishments

The following announcements were shared at the 2009 Pennwriters Conference, and we are pleased to share them again here at the Area 6 blog.

Pennwriters Area 6 has achieved much during the past year for which we can be proud:

Collectively we have added 20 writers to our Area 6 membership, and we know that number will continue to increase.

Much of our growth is the result of the efforts on behalf of our Critique Group Coordinators.  Area 6 now offers 10+ active critique groups meeting throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, with more groups forming.  Members use these groups to develop their writing, network with writers, and exchange industry news.

2008 also marked the beginning of the Area 6 blog.  As our home-away-from-home online, the Area 6 blog has become a great place to learn about local writers and events.  Pennwriters Sue Lange (with an “e”) and Ash Krafton have made great contributions in articles and interviews.

In addition to our group achievements, we would like to share a selection of the writing accomplishments and goals of individuals in our Area.  Jade Blackwater compiled this information from email exchanges and from scouring the web (so if there are any errors or omissions, rocks may be thrown her way).  This list is not all-inclusive, but it does reflect the diversity of our writers and their aspirations (we will repost this at our blog next week):

Michelle Weisen’s current novel Lavinia’s Window is a semi-finalist in the Juvenile/Young Adult category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards (“IPPY”).  She is also working on a grant application from Autisim Speaks to turn her first book, In My Own World, into an interactive e-book for autistic children.

Lisa Colón DeLay has some interest from the editors at Tyndale for her book proposal Life As Prayer: A Paradigm for Contemporary Spirituality Inspired by Ancient Piety. Her new blog Life As Prayer ( is a support for that effort.

Ash Krafton tells us that 2009 has been very exciting. Her work has finally seen the light of publication—she has poetry and short fiction appearing in Poe Little Thing, Numinous, 42 Magazine, and Everyday Poets. She’s well on her way to earning Published Pennwriter status. She’s also done well on the contest scene, as her novel Bleeding Hearts was a finalist in both the Pikes Peak Writers and Houston Writers Guild contests. Her YA fantasy WIP Takin’ It Back scored first place in Houston as well, which makes her think she really ought to get to work finishing it…

Currently Ash Krafton is marketing Bleeding Hearts, which is being read by what she thinks is a staggering number of agents. It provides enough inspiration for her to finish the sequel and follow-up, which she hopes to do by year’s end. Hopefully, she won’t get distracted too often, although her distractions tend to take the productive forms of shorter works and blog entries. Those little distractions have worked out rather well in the past, especially since she became a contributor to our Area 6 blog.

Right now, however, Krafton’s focus is on novelling; in addition to the above-mentioned projects she have plans for four other stand-alone titles. Being unpublished gives her the freedom to write in several genres without fear that she’s alienating her audience. She loves writing and does it for enjoyment above all other reasons. Funny how that isn’t stopping her from trying to break out, however, and she hopes the rest of 2009 is as exciting as the first half has been.

Those are her goals for 2009 in a large, spacious nutshell—attain published Pennwriter status, finish her WIPs, and sign with an agent. Next year’s goals are easier and more fun by comparison, as she hopes to meet you all at the 2010 conference.

Stephen L. Thompson announced in April that his piece “Somethings Never Change” will be published in August by AntipodeanSF.  This month he is attempting his “30 Stories in 30 Days” regimen.  Thompson also is just about finished with writing his tway The Invisible Cliff, and filming will begin soon.  “What’s a ‘tway’?” you might ask?  At the ONEOVERALPHA Writing Blog ( Thompson shares his concept of the “Twitter play,” shortened to “tway”, which would be an amalgam of webpages and YouTube videos shared on Twitter.  You’ll have to watch the InvisibleCliff Twitter profile to learn more.

Peter Bodi continues to work on his crime novel, with aspirations to complete his manuscript this year.

Carolyn Pouncy, Coordinator of the self-contained Springfield Pennwriters Critique Group, continues her work on her romance novel The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel.  She is also developing her short story Code of the Steppe.

Lisa Kastner, founder of the original Springfield Pennwriters Critique Group (now located in Valley Forge/KOP), launched the new Center City Pennwriters Critique Group in Philadelphia.  In 2008 she attended the Squaw Valley Writer’s Workshop in Squaw Valley, California, and later performed in Moises Kaufman’s “The Laramie Project” locally in Philadelphia.  Kastner’s recent publications include her short story “What Broke My Heart” at Creative Caffeine, her short story “On the Way to Martha’s Vineyard” at Straightjackets, and her short story “Graduation” appeared in 63 Channels Journal.

Jeff Hennelly has completed two works of short fiction which he will be submitting for contests and journals in the coming months.

Jay Greenstein launched the Northeast Philadelphia Pennwriters Critique Group with an emphasis on in-depth critiques.  Greenstein has been working on a sequel to a story he wrote for Polymancer Studios; excerpts of his works are posted in the Harper Collins writer’s group including An Abiding Evil, which he is busy shopping around for publication.

Gretchen Lockwood, Co-Coordinator of the Valley Forge / KOP Pennwriters Critique Group is currently expanding her writing horizons from her first work of novel-length historical fiction to her latest adventure in fantasy fiction.

Cyn Balog is publishing her latest work of young adult fiction Fairy Tale, to be released by Delacorte Press in June 2009.  Her work Sleepless will be published by Delacorte in 2010.

Sue Lange (with an “e”) is a true champion in support of writers at all levels, and continues her many science fiction writing adventures including Tritcheon Hash, We Robots, and The Textile Planet.  Her story “The Failure” is posted at  Lange is an active member of the Reading, PA writing community, and is currently experimenting with broadcasting via her TV show Prose Jam on a local station BCTV.  Upcoming guest authors include Pennwriters’ own Jack Hillman, author of Giants Want the Lost River and There are Giants in this Valley.

Sue Lang (no “e”), owner of RevWriter, has been creating resources for spiritual leaders including The Book of Faith Initiative Planning Guide and Opening the Book of Faith Course Leader’s Guide, both published by Augsburg Fortress in 2008.

Mitch Goldfarb continues to revise his young adult novel-length fiction while pursuing new possibilities in non-fiction writing.

Nate Hardy, our Pennwriters Internet Activities Coordinator, has kept us all busy this year with a diverse selection of online programs.  Pennwriters Presents offers members the exclusive opportunity for question-and-answer with authors, editors, and agents via the Pennwriters Yahoo! Discussion Forum.  Hardy has also offer online courses in marketing for authors, and promotes us all via the magic of social networking at sites like LinkedIn and FaceBook.

Pam Garlick is currently running a special deal on her books: all Garlick’s novels are being sold for $10 (plus postage), and 100% of the sale price on the first 15 novels will be donated to the Pottstown Relay for Life, as well as 50% of the subsequent 15 novels, and 25% of the next 15.  Proceeds from Relay for Life go to the American Cancer Society.

Many of our writers are also active in the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG), founded in 1993.

Miranda Shevertalov will participate in the 2009 Clarion West Writing Workshop.  She also took Third Place in the Poetry category of the 2008 Write Stuff Flash Contest. And…

Precie Schroyer took First Place in the Fiction category of the 2008 Write Stuff Flash Contest with her piece Communing with Nature. And…

Melanie Gold continues to run circles around us all with her editing business.  Her blog ( continues to be an excellent resources for all writers.  As the Author Advocacy Chair with the GLVWG, Gold recently announced the first annual 2009 GLVWG Literary Awards program.  She is a finalist in the Journalism category for her piece “Relaunch Your Career” published in ePregnancy Magazine.  Several of our local Pennwriters are included among the finalists, including…

Kathryn Craft, whose essay, The Boys, Harry Potter and Me won an honorable mention in the 2008 Writing Contest of Central PA Magazine, and is a finalist in the Journalism category of the 2009 GLVWG Literary Awards; she has also been nominated in the Lifetime Achievement category.  Last year Craft took First Place in Non-Fiction and Third Place in Fiction for the 2008 Write Stuff Flash Contest.  This year Craft taught the six week class “Develop a Confident Writer’s Voice” in March and April.

We know that there are many, many more achievements among Area 6 Pennwriters to be shared, and for these we invite you all to visit us at the Area 6 blog for future interviews and announcements with our members.

Did we miss you?  Contact us, or a leave a comment, and tell us about your goals and achievements!


One response to “Pennwriters Area 6 Accomplishments

  1. Lisa Colón DeLay has an update that the release date for Tyndale’s new publication of the Bible (Holy Bible: Mosaic) is now 9/22! This edition is unlike anything that ever been published, with beautiful artwork from the 3rd to the 21st century, from every continent, writings from every Christian faith tradition, a devotional with mediations that follow the Christian year-starting at Advent, word study helps, Greek and Hebrew lexicons, and more. Lisa has is a contributing author for one of the meditations, on the subject of the Trinity. See this link at her blogsite for more information, and the link for Tyndale Publishers inside track to get goodies, updates, and prize $.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s