NEWSLETTER OF THE DENVER BRANCH
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF AMERICAN PEN WOMEN
Sandy Chapman, subbing for President Diane Chambers, CALLED THE MEETING TO ORDER at 10:10 a.m. We met at Café de France located at I-25 and Orchard.
DENVER NLAPW MEETING MINUTES 10/2/10:
IN ATTENDANCE WERE: Andrea Antico, Sandy Chapman, Kelly Ann Compton, Patricia Cox, Florence Elliott, Debbie McCulliss, Paula Pahl, Nancy M. Peterson, Lorrie C. Reed, Gwendolyn Scott, Virginia Small, guest Laurian Harshman and our speaker Caroline Stutson.
Lorrie Reed read an INSPIRATIONAL SELECTION entitled “Hope.” The MINUTES WERE READ and approved with one change. Instead of stating that the Arts Festival will be held in March, it should read that it will be held in the spring. Gwen Scott shared the TREASURER’S REPORT stating that with both an income of $50 and an expenditure of $50, our balance remained the same at $2,191.18.
Copies of the NEW DIRECTORY were passed out to those who don’t have email. It was noted that there is one correction: Florence Elliott does not have email at this time.
Paula Pahl shared information about THE TAPESTRY FOR PEACE. The tapestry was originally conceived by Denver Branch Member Eve Macintosh when she saw a vision of angels and thought of “A Place in Space for Peace.” It consists of eleven long panels with six designs on each panel. The various designs were made by Pen Women, children in Africa and others. The tapestry is currently on display in Salida. The hope is to find a permanent place for it to be displayed. The Executive Board of NLAPW in Washington, D.C. wanted the tapestry, but planned to tear it apart and only display a portion of it. Instead of this demise, it is hoped that the Tapestry for Peace will be displayed in Dayton, OH, Washington, D.C., or the United Nations.
• Andrea Antico will check with Sheila Wright about helping to coordinate the Artist Fair.
• The guest speakers for the NOVEMBER 6TH meeting will be Kelly Ann Compton, Virginia Small and Sheila Wright. They will share their ideas on holding regular member critiques and lead a discussion with the group to solidify plans.
• DECEMBER 4TH will be our Christmas potluck. Everyone is to bring a book that means something to her. The book should be wrapped so the title can’t be seen and needs to be new or gently used. A game will be played to distribute the books to new owners.
• JANUARY 8TH will be a brainstorming session about the Arts Festival.
• Patricia Cox will be speaking about memoir writing at our meeting on FEBRUARY 4TH.
• MARCH 5TH will be a critique day.
• The APRIL 2ND AND MAY 7TH programs are currently open. Three suggestions for programs were made: Andrea Antico offered to contact Helen Thorpe to come in regard to her book Just Like Me which is about immigration. Ms. Thorpe will be offered a choice of either date. If she can’t make either, then perhaps she can come sometime next year. Another option was to have Sheila Wright share about writing blogs. The third suggestion was to have Gwen Scott present her current and upcoming books. (Gwen, by the way, brought a copy of her new book to pass around. It looks to be quite intriguing.)
Virginia Small reported that there had been an issue with the WEBSITE. Everything was showing up twice. The issue has been resolved. Virginia is working on finding a way to put different owls on the website. She also asked that NEW MEMBERS SUBMIT A SHORT BIO AND PICTURE to either her or Ann Klaiman to put on the website.
A PHONE TREE will be organized by Diane Chambers and Ann Klaiman to be used for urgent business, such as meeting cancellations.
Our November 6th meeting will be held once again at the CAFÉ DE FRANCE at 8081 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village, CO, 80111-2501. Feel free to come early for breakfast or stay after the meeting for lunch.
During a discussion about EMAIL BUDDY responsibilities, it was decided that the secretary, Kelly Ann Compton, will send hard copies of the minutes to those members who do not have email. The email buddies will continue to share important information as it comes up with their buddy.
Respectfully submitted, Kelly Ann Compton, Secretary
THE SEPTEMBER PROGRAM:
CAROLINE STUTSON, AUTHOR OF TEN CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOKS
Ms. Stutson presented a wonderful program. She declares herself to have a “mysterious rhyming disease.” Her first book, On the River ABC was illustrated by a friend and published in 1993. Ms. Stutson believes “everyone has at least one picture book inside of them.” She shared that it is important for a writer of children’s books to remember what it felt like to be a child. After reading Oliver Finds His Way by Phyllis Root, Ms. Stutson pointed out the key elements to a picture book: 1) The main character is introduced right away; 2) The problem is known immediately; 3) The beginning connects to the story’s end; 4) The language is sparse and every word counts, and 5) The story has a universal theme. Later, Ms. Stutson mentioned that the main character must change somehow.
Picture books use an interdependence of picture and word on facing pages. The text and illustrations also set up drama for turning the page.
Ms. Stutson suggests that a person needs to read at least 100 picture books before she will know what a picture book is. Picture books generally have 32 pages, though in this economy, some are only 24 pages. Picture books are aimed at children ages 4 to 8 years old and are 400-900 words long. The text must promote illustrations, especially action. There is something new on every page—every scene has a segment of story action that advances the plot or reveals something new about the main character.
When it comes to illustrations, the text writer needs to be able to let go of the images in her head if she wants to be published. The illustrator and author are kept separate on purpose and the author MUST be prepared to make changes!
Quotes from Caroline Stutson regarding writing picture books:
“Look for ideas that have strong feelings for you”
“Start in your heart and then let go of it.”
“Every word is important. The sound of the words is important.”
“Every story is either a journey or someone comes to town, and the journey or visitor causes change.”
In writing picture books, remember how it felt to be a child. You might want to write the beginning and ending first then write to see how you get from one to the other.
An interactive activity had group members sharing memories and emotional events with one another. For example, sharing a special pet memory or a time when something very sad happened.
The presentation was delightful and informative. —Kelly Ann Compton
UPCOMING NOVEMBER MEETING:
Our November 6th meeting will be held once again at the CAFÉ DE FRANCE at 8081 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village, CO, 80111-2501 at 10 a.m. Feel free to come early for breakfast or stay after the meeting for lunch. or just enjoy a refreshing coffee.
PROGRAM: The guest speakers for the November 6TH meeting will be Kelly Ann Compton, Virginia Small and Sheila Wright. They will share their ideas on holding regular member critiques and lead a discussion with the group to solidify plans.
DIRECTIONS: From Hampton Avenue, go South on I25. Exit at #198 on East Orchard Road. Go west and take the first right. The Cafe de France is located in the Marilyn Hickey building (on the Orchard Rd side of the building), next to Subway, in suite #101.