Six Excellent Reasons to Join Our Writers’ Forum

From writers’ workshops, to seminars and contests, we do our best to make sure we’re The Writerproviding our members with the best resources we can muster. Out of these, one of the most valuable (and little known) tools we offer is our Writers’ Forum.

The Writers’ Forum is a private community where writers can post work 24/7, and receive objective feedback from other writers. To ensure we’re facilitating a place for serious exchange, the forum is only open to paid CCC Members. (A Writer Membership is just $15/year.) There are no ads, no trolling, and no self-promotion.

To show you just how awesome the Writers’ Forum can be, we’ve created a nifty list of six excellent reasons to join the CCC Writers’ group:

TL;DR version: Participating in a writers’ forum is a great way to improve your writing, help other writers, and get active in the writing community. Become a CCC Writer Member here to gain access to the forum. 

1. You’re considering submitting a story to a publication, but you want to make sure it’s ready. The folks on the forum have no reason to lie to you. If something’s not working in your story they’ll let you know. If you’re seriously pursuing publication, this type of honest feedback is invaluable. Don’t waste your shot with an editor by submitting a story that’s not ready. Get some feedback, use it to make your story better, and THEN submit.

2. You’re a new writer who’s testing your chops. Putting your work out there is scary. If you’re not quite ready to face a room full of writers at a writers’ workshop, the writers’ forum is a great way to get your feet wet. The folks who use the forum are honest, but trolling, meanness, and bad attitudes are prohibited. Go for it!

3. You’re not able to get to a writers’ workshop. Whether you’re limited by a crazy work schedule, a growing family, or you’re physically or geographically incapable of getting out to a writers’ workshop, you can get feedback on your work from home on the writers’ forum. While nothing can truly compare to face-to-face feedback, the writers’ forum is a great substitute.

5. You’re looking for submission opportunities. Each week we post a submission opportunity from an outside publication. Scrolling through sites like Duotrope or Writer’s Digest for submission opportunities can be tedious and time-consuming. We do the time-wasting for you! We vet publication opportunities and post only those we think are legitimate, interesting and worth pursuing.

6. You want to swap writing tips, or discuss the craft. The Writers’ Forum has a separate section for “General Discussion.” Whether you’re sharing a cool article, or asking for advice on writing your query letter, there are a host of other writers waiting to chime in.

7. Help other writers while sharpening your own skills. Other writers are taking the time to review your work, and we assume that you’ll return the favor by giving feedback now and then. In addition to helping your fellow writer, providing constructive criticism is a great way to hone your writing skills. Learning to see and articulate what doesn’t work in the writing of others, in turn makes you better at recognizing the same problems in your own work. Everybody wins.

We all have a stack of half-finished stories, sitting sadly in a file labeled “Writing Crap.” Why not throw one on the Writers’ Forum, and see if you don’t get unstuck?

If you’re not already a CCC Writer Member, you can easily become one by clicking here. In addition to access to the Writers’ Forum, a Writer Membership comes with tons of other cool perks, including discounts on books, extra anthology submissions, and discounts at our partner business.

Questions about the Writers’ Forum, membership, or any other aspect of Columbus Creative Cooperative? Contact us here.

In Loving Memory of Birney Reed

Birney Reed, Author
Birney Reed, Author

I learned today of the passing of a dear friend, and a man who contributed much to Columbus Creative Cooperative.

Birney Reed, an author and CCC member since 2011, passed away at the age of 63.  Birney was a wonderful conversationalist, an intelligent man who had a story for everything.

Birney’s short stories were featured in several of our books, including “Shore Leave” in Overgrown, “Rerun” in While You Were Out and “2124: Finder’s Fee” in Columbus.

Here is Birney’s bio, which was posted to our blog after the release of Overgrown.

coachmanHe also published a collection of his own stories with Bad Dream Entertainment in the fall of 2014.  The book is called The Tales of Victor Coachman.

Birney was a fixture at our writers’ workshops, read every word of every story and was always ready with thoughtful feedback.  Even after moving to Florida, he was our most faithful contributor to the writers’ forum.  If you posted a story on the forum, Birney was always the first to provide feedback.

Birney Reed as Captain Hook at Bishop Hartley, circa 1968.
Birney Reed as Captain Hook at Bishop Hartley, circa 1968.

Birney volunteered at countless festivals and markets.  With a history in sales and marketing, he never backed down from the chance to hawk books, and he loved to share his work with readers.

Something about Columbus Creative Cooperative clicked with Birney, it just made sense to him for some reason.  And he gave of himself tirelessly to support the group.  As a result, he shaped much of what we do and the organization truly wouldn’t be what it is today without his influence.

Birney and I became close friends during the few years that I knew him.  Even though he was 35 years my senior, there was something between us that allowed us to connect as peers, as equals.  Birney could be a real pain in the butt sometimes, and he’d never hesitate to tell me what he thought.  But we shared a mutual respect and love for each other, and as such, our conversations were honest and comfortable.

I’ll miss talking to my friend Birney Reed.  We talked about nearly everything.  He was typically the cynic, I played the part of the hopeful idealist.  He was a worthy adversary in debate.

I’d like to share the very last two sentences he ever said to me, via an e-mail on December 17.  A couple of days before, he had a close call with a heart attack, which was not his first.  His heart stopped for several minutes, and he told me in detail about visiting heaven before being recalled to earth by his wife’s voice.

The coolest of cool result from all this is I now know there is something else and there is nothing to be afraid of.

You take care of yourself my friend and I will see you when I see you.

Here’s to you, Birney.  I’ll see you when I see you.

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Birney Reed, 1951-2015

Monthly Member News — October 2014

Each month we highlight the accomplishments of our Writer Member members and Sponsor members with our Monthly Member News. If you have news to share, email email@ohiowriters.org.

The Abundant Bohemian by Joe Downing was recently published by Columbus Publishing Lab. Joe’s book is a guide to living an alternative lifestyle while still making  a living. Find The Abundant Bohemian here.

Nice work, Joe!

The Tales of Victor Coachman by Birney Reed was recently published by Bad Dream Entertainment. The book has been nominated for a Stoker Award in the short story collection category. Find The Tales of Victor Coachman here. 

Congratulations, Birney!

“Culling” (a vignette) by Heather Sinclair Shaw was recently published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal. You can read Heather’s story online here.

Great work, Heather!

Clare R. by Ryan Blessing was recently published by Columbus Publishing Lab. This debut romantic comedy tells the story of a chance meeting, and the love that develops afterward. Find Clare R. here. 

Congratulations, Ryan!

“Ezra’s Mission” by Janet Slike was recently published in The Screech Owl Magazine. Read Janet’s story online here.

Nice work, Janet!

If you’re not already a Writer Member, please consider registering or upgrading and supporting Columbus Creative Cooperative. Membership comes with a ton of great benefits in addition to supporting the events and resources CCC provides to writers.

Learn more about membership here.

 

Monthly Member News — September 2014

Our members are awesome and we want to help spread the word! Every month we highlight the accomplishments of our Writer and Sponsor Members in our Monthly Member News.

The Light Catcher by Cynthia Rosi is now available to pre-order. The book features a strong female protagonist, paranormal experiences and mystery. Assent Publishing will be releasing the book on October 17. Pre-order The Light Catcher here.

Nice work, Cynthia!

Hagridden by Samuel Snoek-Brown was recently released by Columbus Press. Hagridden is set in Civil War times against the backdrop of the war-ravaged bayou. Two women, stranded and alone, fight to survive. Find Hagridden here.

Congratulations, Sam!

The Self-Publishing Handbook by Brad Pauquette was recently released by Columbus Press. The handbook clearly and concisely highlights the essential processes for producing a great book. Learn the five key steps to professional self-publishing while avoiding common pitfalls. Find The Self-Publishing Handbook here.

Congratulations, Brad!

Chris Minton was recently awarded first place in a Brilliant Flash Fiction contest. Participants were given the first half of a story, and instructed to finish it while staying under a strict word limit. Chris’s story was picked out of 187 entries! Read his winning story here. (The stories are listed alphabetically. Keep scrolling until you get to the “M” section!)

Way to go, Chris!

If you are a Writer Member or a Sponsor Member with news to share, email Emily@ohiowriters.org. The Monthly Member News is released once a month to spread the word about our members’ accomplishments.

If you’re not already a Writer Member, please consider registering or upgrading and supporting Columbus Creative Cooperative. Membership comes with a ton of great benefits in addition to supporting the events and resources CCC provides to writers.

Learn more about membership here.

 

Monthly Member News — What’s New With You?

Every month we highlight the accomplishments of our Writer and Sponsor Members in our Monthly Member News.

Did you just publish a new book? We want to hear about it! Do you have a short story that’s recently been published? Let us help you spread the word! Do you have a cool literary event coming up? Tell us about it!

We’re proud of our members and we want to help get the word out about all the cool stuff they’re doing.

Writer and Sponsor Members should email emily@ohiowriters.org with news.

If you’re not already a CCC Member, please consider joining. A Writer Membership is just $15/year and it comes with tons of great perks.

Learn more about CCC Membership here. 

Monthly Member News — July 2014

Each month we highlight the accomplishments of our Writer Member members and Sponsor members with our Monthly Member News.

The Tales of Victor Coachman by Birney Reed is now available to pre-order. The book features 13 original stories of urban fantasy. If you like dark mysteries and gritty short fiction this is the book for you! Publisher Bad Dream Entertainment will be releasing the book on October 28, 2014. Pre order The Tales of Victor Coachman here.

Nice work, Birney!

Chera Thompson recently read an excerpt from her short story “Missing Daughter” at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village. Chera’s story was recently published in HAVE A NYC 3: New York Short Stories, an anthology produced by Three Rooms Press. Find HAVE A NYC 3 here.

You can watch the reading below. Congratulations Chera!

If you are a Writer Member or a Sponsor Member with news to share, email Emily@ohiowriters.org. The Monthly Member News is released once a month to spread the word about our members’ accomplishments.

If you’re not already a Writer Member, please consider registering or upgrading and supporting Columbus Creative Cooperative. Membership comes with a ton of great benefits in addition to supporting the events and resources CCC provides to writers.

Learn more about membership here.

 

Monthly Member News – June 2014

We’re proud of our members! Every month we like to highlight the accomplishments of our Writer Members and Sponsor Members with our Monthly Member News.

Nisei by John White was selected as the Grand Champion of The Great Novel Contest 2014. Terra Chalberg of Chalberg & Sussman literary agency selected John’s novel from a group of other finalists.

You Don’t Know Me by Jessica Halliday was selected as The Great Novel Contest runner up. Jessica’s novel beat out the competition and was named the second best novel submitted.

Congratulations to both John and Jessica! Keep an eye out for these books as they’re sure to be good reads.

If you are a Writer Member or a Sponsor Member with news to share, email emily@ohiowriters.org.

If you’re not already a Writer Member, please consider registering or upgrading and supporting Columbus Creative Cooperative. Membership comes with a ton of great benefits in addition to supporting the events and resources CCC provides to writers.

Find more information on membership here. 

Monthly Member News – May 2014

Each month we highlight the accomplishments of our Writer Member members and Sponsor members with our Monthly Member News.

The Strategist by Bill Cunningham recently jumped to #3, #4, and #8, respectively, on Amazon’s best selling eBook lists for financial thrillers, financial suspense and political thrillers, with nearly all 5-star reviews. The Strategist is a book about a disgraced former Wall Street strategist who discovers the U.S. employment data is being manipulated to boost confidence in the economy leading up to the 2012 Presidential election. The book is fiction, but since its completion real news stories about its subject matter have come out in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

We’re excited to see Bill’s book reach milestones as it continues to succeed.

Find The Strategist on Amazon.com here.

Sejal: The Walk for Water by CCC Director Brad Pauquette was recently released as a paperback. The book tells the story of Sejal, a teenager living in a remote Indian village where fetching water is a dangerous part of her everyday life. Based on actual events, Sejal: The Walk for Water explores the water crisis in India through the eyes of the people the shortage affects the most. Previously only available as an Ebook, Sejal can now be purchased as a paperback through Amazon.com

We are pleased to see this great novelette get into the hands of more readers.

Find Sejal: The Walk for Water on Amazon.com here.

If you are a Writer Member or a Sponsor Member with news to share, email Emily@ohiowriters.org. The Monthly Member News is released once a month to spread the word about our members’ accomplishments.

If you’re not already a Writer Member, please consider registering or upgrading and supporting Columbus Creative Cooperative. Membership comes with a ton of great benefits in addition to supporting the events and resources CCC provides to writers.

Learn more about membership here.

 

CCC Author Drew Farnsworth – Graham’s Charlotte Release Party

Join CCC author Drew Farnsworth as he celebrates the release of his debut novel, Graham’s Charlotte, on April 17th from 7pm to 9pm at Wild Goose Creative.  Wild Goose Creative is located at 2491 Summit St. in Columbus, Ohio.

Graham’s Charlotte won The Great Novel Contest 2013, and will be released by Columbus Press on April 17, 2014.

Learn more about the book on the official website, www.GrahamsCharlotteBook.com.  The book can be purchased from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.

Come out and celebrate with Drew. Promises of free food, drinks and fun have been made!

Changes to CCC Membership System

It’s a new year, and that means new memberships!  We have made some changes to our membership system that I wanted to share with you.

We have added many additional benefits for Writer Members this year, but more on that later.

Most importantly, our memberships will now be a full year subscription, rather than based on the calendar year.  Through 2013, all memberships were for the calendar year (meaning that no matter when you signed up, they expired on December 31 at the end of the year).  When we started CCC in 2009 with less than 20 members, that made a lot of sense.  But now that our organization has grown, and expanded into a more diverse line of projects, it’s time to change.

So, from here forward, when you pay your annual subscription fee, you’ll be a member for a full 365 days, regardless of what time of year you sign up.

Membership subscriptions will automatically renew (you’ll be charged again in a year, unless you cancel your membership).

We’ve also added a free 30-day trial period for all new Writer Members.  This will give you an opportunity to test out the expanding writers’ forum and other benefits of membership before committing.

Unfortunately, this change is not retroactive.  All 2013 memberships did in fact end on December 31, 2013.  If you were a 2013 Writer or Sponsor member, you will need to manually renew your membership.  Sorry!

In anticipation of this change (to help assuage your wrath), we provided complimentary books to all new members in September, October and November.  If you registered in December, please contact us and we’ll make an exception for you, and extend your Writer Membership.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Note that Peer Memberships (our free members) will continue to be free, and will never expire.  If you were previously a Writer or Sponsor member, your account will revert to a Peer Membership until the renewal payment is received.  Peer Members can upgrade to a paid account at any time.

We hope that these changes will make your CCC membership even more valuable and easy to use.  It was an important change to make, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.

Questions?  Please contact us.  Happy New Year!