Archive for June, 2016

Chatthoochee Valley Writers Conference Set for September

June 23, 2016

By Elaine Johnson

For ten years, the Chattahoochee Valley Writers has offered an annual writers conference. It’s inspired a lot of success!

T.K. Thorne was about to retire from the police force when she came to the conference years ago wanting to write. She entered the short story contest, sat in on the workshops, and went on from there to writing novels. Rev. Charles Cox retired from the ministry and went to a workshop on writing a memoir. He now is working on his fourth book of historical fiction and one of his articles, honoring his father,  is in the current issue of Georgia Forestry Today.  We think of writers working alone in an attic, but that just doesn’t happen. Every book and movie credits many people. The Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference tries to offer support and guidance to writers at all levels.

Each of the past 10 writers conferences has been great, but this year’s promises a lot. Columbus native Billy Winn will deliver the keynote speech. Ty Manns, founder of CME films here in Columbus, will present a workshop on developing strong characters. Michael Bishop, an award-winning author from Pine Mountain, will discuss fantasy and science fiction. There will be workshops on memoir writing, teaching kids to write, translating intangible feelings into precise and powerful poetry, and reviewing what written success actually looks like. We will offer one-on- one mentoring from a book agent coming from NYC and a workshop on how to market books in the 21st Century.

So enter a poetry or short story contest, network with fellow members of the writing community, and get the guidance you need to take the next steps in your writing journey. The 10 th annual Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference will be held Sept. 23 & 24. Go to www.chattwriters.org for more.

Elaine Johnson is President of Chattahoochee Valley Writers

Campaign 2016: What’s in a Name?

June 11, 2016

     Juliet:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

     By any other name would smell as sweet.”

     Romeo and Juliet (II,ii, 1-2)

Hillary Clinton is a “crook.” ” Donald Trump is a “fraud.”  ABC reporter Tom Llamas is a “sleaze.” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is an “idiot.” Donald Trump is a “jackass.” Bernie Sanders is a “communist.” Donald Trump i s a “pathological liar.” “Bernie Sanders is a “maniac.” Donald Trump is a “nutcase.”  Marco Rubio is a “clown.” Donald Trump is a “con artist.”

Those are just some samples of name-calling in the 2016 race for the White House.  While this election seems particularly notorious when it comes to name-calling, there have been some in our nation’s history that could rival it.

It started with our Founding Fathers.  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had hatchet men do their dirty work.  Among other things, John Adams was called a “fool.” “hypocrite,” “criminal,” “tyrant,”  and Jefferson was called a  “coward,” “weakling,” “atheist,” and “libertine.”

When Adams’ son John Quincy ran against Andrew Jackson in 1824, things really got ugly. Adams was called “pimp,” and Jackson’s wife was called “slut.”

So, name-calling in presidential elections is nothing new.  Too bad that sometimes it appears to work.  I’d really prefer to hear more from the candidates about the important issues facing the nation at this time and how they would deal with them.