Parkdale Seniors Writing Guild
Parkdale Nifty Fifties Seniors Association
3512 – 5th Ave NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 0V7
Contact: Karl Buchner (403-229-4108)
Welcome to the Parkdale Senior Writers Guild. The group originated from a single thought: seniors have a wealth of life experiences, wisdom, and ability they would like to share yet feel they lack the writing and publishing skills. We supply those skills through structured learning experiences in a comfortable social environment.
Each bimonthly meeting includes:
· An education session on one of approximately twenty critiquing criteria (voice, point of view, theme, scenes, backstory, character development, grammar, etc.),
· A member provides a reading for discussion under a structured nonconfrontational critiquing session, and
· Those that wish might join us after the meeting at a nearby eatery / pub for social interaction.
The primary outcomes include:
· The critiquing process is an excellent learning opportunity,
· The member supplied education sessions focuses on a single critiquing category where everyone feels comfortable in sharing their views,
· Each member contributes a short story for publication as a paperback, Kobo, and Kindle anthology,
· The writing process is self-editing,
· Members are encouraged to publish their own works,
· There are no publishing or editing costs,
· Marketing is achieved through circulation to other senior centers and public events.
Fees and costs:
· Membership in the Nifty 50s – $30.00 / year plus drop-in activity fee.
· A writing retreat to the Michener Center once or twice per year for a two or three-day writing retreat (see below for details)
One of the club’s goals is a published anthology of the members’ literary works.
· The periodic Amazon publishing of a 6×9 paperback anthology of approximately 130,000 words,
· Publish the above for Kindle and Kobo eBooks,
· The anthology consists of 6k to 10k short stories in selected genres (length and genres are subject to discussion),
· Cover design may have an external cost unless a member knows a good graphic designer willing to do the work for an acknowledgement,
· A Word manuscript template is provided,
· Word paperback and eBook templates are provided,
· The author’s work has been critiqued and edited by club members,
· No charge software tools are provided (mind map, synonyms, project management, vWriter),
· Instruction in the use of email, Word, Zoom, and other software is provided if required,
· As publishing is nontrivial and time consuming, it is understood the membership will share the workload and comply with templates.
2.2 Indie Publishing
Indie authors (self-publishing authors responsible for editing, producing, distributing, and marketing) are welcomed. The Guild provides the tools required for the author to publish on Amazon and Kobo under their name with royalties paid directly to their bank account. Details of this process are provided in education sessions.
The meeting agenda might be structured along the following:
· Meet every two weeks,
· 30 – 45 minutes for the critiquing session (10-minute reading, 10 for the assigned critique person, and 10 for general comments and feedback). The work being critiqued is emailed to the members the previous week,
· 30 – 45 minutes for the education session (a member assigned at the previous meeting will present one of the critique’s categories: point of view, character arc, etc. Added subjects might be included upon request, and
· A social session in the meeting room or over drinks at an external location to share writing experience and issues.
2.4 Business Development
Costs and Revenues:
· Membership in Nifty 50’s – $30 / year,
· Writing Guild Membership fee – to be determined,
· Paperback and eBook publishing cost – no cost, all a function of knowing the Amazon publishing process.
· Paperback Royalty – Author receives 60% of the selling price (minus the cost of printing, about $6 US in the case of a 350-page book),
· eBook Royalty – 70% of Kindle selling price and 50% of Kobo
· Author copies of paperback books – printing and transportation only.
The Writer’s Guild is entirely volunteer, and it is proposed all revenues, after expenses, be returned to the Nifty 50’s Seniors Association. This applies only to anthologies where indie authors retain all paperback and eBook royalties.
A writing retreat in a mountain environment with other writers is quite wonderful for a host of obvious reasons. It is proposed we have two retreats per year at the W.O. Mitchell URSA Retreat Centre:
· Low cost at about $125 / day including three meals,
· A writing loft where we devote time to our writing project(s),
· The Writer’s Guild may organize sessions at the request of members, and
· Eighteen acres of forested land with trails, seating beside a fire pit, BBQs, sleeping for 16 – a wonderful place to get away and unwind among friends.