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Writers Workshop Offers Tools for Success

by on April 21, 2012 6:00 AM

Author and editor C. Hope Clark will be the featured speaker for the Nittany Valley Writers Network's writers workshop at Schlow Centre Region Library on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

She will discuss writing and publishing a mystery, revising for publication, freelance funding streams, platform, tools for serious writers and how to succeed as a shy writer.

A major focus of  Clark's writing career is helping other writers succeed. Her FundsforWriters website, one of the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers since 2001, offers newsletters that list writing markets, artists' residencies, contests, jobs and grants for over 43,000 subscribers.

Clark said her non-fiction book, “The Shy Writer:  An Introvert's Guide to Writing Success,” was based on her personal experience.

“I was floored and astonished at the promotional aspects of writing, and being one who isn't comfortable in large groups, I came up with tricks to help me get through it. I compiled those tricks, and the logic behind them, in The Shy Writer. It was self-published using Booklocker.com in 2004, then because of the demand, I rewrote a second edition in 2007.”

Clark will compare the pros and cons of self-publication and her experience of working with a small publisher. The first book of her agricultural mystery series, “Lowcountry Bribe — A Carolina Slade Mystery,” was published by Bell Bridge Books in February, 2012.

Clark described “Lowcountry Bribe” as “crisp and edgy.”

“The protagonist is a woman who loves her children and works a mundane job, a real do-gooder who has no desire to get involved in investigations,” Clark explained. “A bribe throws her into a situation, and suddenly she's performing tasks to catch the guy, alongside federal agents, and she's not happy about it. The protagonist fights her calling, and it's only when the situation spirals out of control, to the point where she and her family are threatened, does she step up and assume her new role.”

According to Clark, no one has been been able to guess the twist in the book.

“I worked hard over the 14 years it took to write 'Lowcountry Bribe,' developing my own voice with a hint of humor, an edge and a Southern flavor,” she said. “No one has guessed the twist to this date, and it surprises all.”

Clark said she started FundsforWriters in response to demand after speaking to an Atlanta writers group about finding income as a writer.

“My day job involved grants, lending and financial activities, so I had some inherent knowledge of that world. I'd just never applied it to the arts before,” she said. “(I) came home from that presentation and emails inundated me. So, in an effort to buy time for my own writing, I created a newsletter to answer these questions and provide resources.”

Clark also writes for magazines, websites, newsletters and blogs. She said she hopes workshop attendees will leave feeling more empowered as writers.

“We will cover a ton of information and guidance in hopes of offering something to everyone,” she said.
The workshop is cosponsored by Schlow Centre Region Library. For more information, email greywing228@verizon.net or call (814) 861-1463.

For more information about C. Hope Clark, visit her websites, www.fundsforwriters.com and www.chopeclark.com.



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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