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Notes from Riverside Roundtable Meeting
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Dec 13, 2012, 3:41 PM

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Notes from Riverside Roundtable Meeting Can't Post

Periodically, Poets & Writers convenes regional roundtable meetings, where writers and other members of the literary community can exchange ideas, network, and discuss common challenges. If you're interested in being invited to the next roundtable in your area, please email cklein@pw.org. Below are notes from our last Riverside, CA, roundtable meeting. Please note that the text is not an exact transcript of what transpired, and that the opinions expressed by attendees are not necessarily shared by Poets & Writers.

Poets & Writers

Riverside Literary Roundtable Meeting

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Riverside Public Library


Cheryl Klein, Poets & Writers
Jamie FitzGerald, Poets & Writers
Andrew Wessels, Poets & Writers
David Gamboa, CWC Inland Empire
Joel Lamore, Inland Empire Poets
Michelle Gonzalez
Ellen Estilai, Inlandia Institute
Gertraud S. Daviau
Joan Koerper
Deenaz Coachbuilder
Eliud Martinez, UCR
Cati Porter, Inlandia Institute
Adam Somers, PEN Center USA
Calvin Gogerly, Friends of the Idyllwild Library
Angela Thomson Brenchley, workshop leader
Jo Scott-Coe, RCC & Invisible Memoir Project
Kathryn Morton
Kris Anderson, RCC

Cheryl Klein, Director of the California Office & Readings/Workshops (West)


Cati Porter, Inlandia Institute, http://inlandiainstitute.org/

The History and Current State of Inlandia Institute
- Inlandia Institute began its workshop program in 2008. The workshop program has grown to now include workshops in Riverside, Palm Springs, and Idylwild.
- The institute recently was awarded 501(c)3 federal non-profit tax-exempt status. This designation will help Inlandia’s fundraising abilities as donors can now deduct their charitable donations.
- Riverside Community College has recently instituted a class focused on the Inlandia Anthology.
- The institute has recently formed two new partnerships. One is an affiliate agreement with the Riverside Art Museum. The other is a partnership with Women Wonder Writers, which hosts “The Write of Your Life” workshops for young, at-risk women ages 16-18.

Impact of Inlandia Workshop
Participants of the Inlandia Institute’s workshops in attendance discussed the impact of the workshops on their writing and lives:

- “[The workshops] gave me the courage to read my own work [out loud].”
- “So great to meet other writers.”
- “Getting to know people you trust.”
- “Finding linkages.”

The Inlandia Institute’s workshops run twice a month for 10 weeks each season. Each workshop is tailored to the individual group depending on the makeup and needs of the individual members.

Other Area Workshops
- Joel Lamore discussed the workshop he runs, which meets on Wednesdays outside the downtown Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (note: currently on winter hiatus).
- Angela Thomson Brenchley mentioned the Poetrie workshop run by Larry Eby (http://poetrie.net/) on Wednesdays at Augie’s Coffee Shop in Redlands.

Open Discussion
E-Books & Self-Publishing
- E-publishing and self publishing platforms discussed and used by roundtable participants: Smashwords, Lulu, Blurb, and Amazon CreateSpace.
- Keys to success:
o Hire an editor!
§ One participant noted that writers should approach hiring an editor like conducting a job interview: know what you’re looking for.
§ Another participant noted that it is advisable to ask a potential editor to look over part of the manuscript as a “test-run” before making the official hire.
o Get an ISBN number for your book—this is important for getting your book into as many distribution channels as possible. Some e-publishing platforms can do this for you (for a fee) or you can purchase ISBN numbers yourself.
o Promote yourself—self-publishing puts the responsibility of promotion entirely on your shoulders. Here are some tips participants discussed to get your book noticed:
§ Advertise in venues that serve your target audience (David Gamboa advertised his sci-fi novels in a science fiction magazine).
§ Read your work and meet your audience face to face.
§ Create a vibrant and engaging website.
§ Capture your contacts. When somebody purchases your book and you can get email or other contact information, make sure to use that when you write and publish future books. You can use these contacts to create pre-publication buzz.
§ Have the guts to simply approach someone and tell them to read your book. (Ideally somebody who you legitimately think would have an interest in it.)

Cheryl Klein, Director California Office and Readings/Workshops (West), Poets & Writers, Inc.

(This post was edited by cklein on Dec 13, 2012, 3:41 PM)

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