Scholarship Sponsors, Radio Spots and Billboards, Oh My!

Scholarship Sponsors, Radio Spots and Billboards, Oh My!

Thanks to a huge boost of support from the local community, this has been a stellar week in Crossroadsland! WMUM, Macon’s GPB station, is running a new promo for the 5th annual Crossroads Writers Conference. Click here to listen to the Crossroads Stereo Promo. The next day, Lamar Advertising gave the conference space on one of its digital billboards overlooking Watson Boulevard so our buddies in Warner Robins will know what’s up. And in great news for writers-in-need, we picked up two more scholarship sponsors from story-loving organizations and businesses. The first comes from Historic Macon, whose hard work has preserved the gorgeous historic housing stock that makes our city so unique. Their crown jewel is the Sidney Lanier Cottage, where Macon’s famed poet was born and where you’ll now find the Lanier Center for Literary Arts. So it’s only appropriate that they want to sponsor a budding poet with a Storyteller Deluxe scholarship in honor of ol’ Sidney Lanier. We’re also able to give away another Pen & Paper scholarship thanks to the generosity of the Law Office of J. Michael Cranford, who is also helping support Authors’ Avenue on Friday, October 4 in downtown Macon. This one goes to a writer-in-need, doesn’t matter where you live or whether you’re a student. And if you’ve already applied for a scholarship, you’ll be considered for this one too. No need to reapply. To apply for either scholarship, you need to go to this form and answer all of our unreasonable questions! Click here. Now, you’re probably wondering about those other scholarships. Who won those? Well, our anonymous donor has picked two...
What’s the “Short Story” ticket?

What’s the “Short Story” ticket?

You have spoken and we have listened. Several of our folks said they can’t get off work early on Friday and they wanted a Saturday-only ticket, which is what we’ve just created: the “Short Story” ticket. Now, for just $99, you can get into all our daytime Saturday sessions, panels and talks. Unfortunately, the Short Story ticket doesn’t include the lunch voucher and it won’t get you into our special sessions on Friday and Sunday, but if you’re on a tight schedule and need to keep a close eye on your budget, this is a deal that’s hard to beat. And stay tuned… the full schedule comes out...
Some Q, Some A: Trauma Comics founder Simon Sanchez

Some Q, Some A: Trauma Comics founder Simon Sanchez

One of our favorite Crossroaders, Rachel Helie, recently started writing a column for The Comics Cube called ‘Double Helix’ and she’s agreed to share some of that goodness with us. In this installment, she interviews Simon Sanchez, the founder and force behind Trauma Comics. Sanchez is also the writer of Trauma’s grindhouse revival comic ‘Nazi Werewolves from Outer Space.’ Catch the rest of their conversation (including the story behind this photo) on Double Helix at the Comics Cube! Simon Sanchez aka “Trauma Comics” by Rachel Helie, Double Helix   Rachel: When did you first think “Hey, I can write a comic”? What was your inspiration? Are you a fan and if so what specific kinds of comic books do you prefer? Simon: A few of my friends and I were kicking around ideas one day at lunch and we started talking about werewolves and then one thing led to another. Before I knew it I was talking about ‘Nazi Werewolves from Outer Space.’ I contacted Don Marquez through an Ebay cover auction and told him my idea. He sent back his sketch. I sat down and wrote 8 pages of text and the rest, as they say, is history. That Marquez painting became the cover art for issue #1. I’ve been a fan since I was a boy. That was a while back and I loved horror movies too. My dad took me to see ‘The Excorcist’ when I was seven and it scared the hell outta me but I loved it and grew to love it more as I became an adult. Some of the best times I can...
Amber J. Gardner: How I Got to Crossroads

Amber J. Gardner: How I Got to Crossroads

I decided to become a novelist shortly after my mom passed away in 2006 from cancer. My father had died (also cancer) when I was a year old, so I found myself without any immediate family and completely on my own by the age of 20. The latter was probably a good thing, the former not so much. It was the first time I decided to take writing seriously, but didn’t actually make any progress till I finally completed the first draft of a novel in 2008 thanks to Chris Baty and NaNoWriMo. Still, I wasn’t writing as much as I should’ve been due to perfectionism, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, etc. Once I failed to graduate college, I was miserable. I hadn’t achieved any goals and I was still living in Puerto Rico, which is where I’ve lived since I was five-years-old and desperately wanted to leave since I was 13. So after a Quarter-Life crisis, I decided I had enough. I was going to take my goals seriously. Moving to the U.S. was one of them, so after family on my father’s side found and contacted me (thank you Facebook!), I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Fayetteville, Georgia. Meanwhile, I’d become an avid fan of Chuck Wendig and his blog Terribleminds.com for at least a year now. He was one of my writing idols because he was doing it. He was writing full time and doing it HIS way. I loved that. Thanks to his blog and his books, I was writing more than ever before. So when I heard he was speaking at the...
Chuck Wendig’s Talk at Crossroads 2012

Chuck Wendig’s Talk at Crossroads 2012

So: I also run this blog called “terribleminds.” Is that the word for it? “Run?” I write it? I curate it? Whatever — let’s just go with, “I pull blobs of dubious writing wisdom that get caught in my brain filter and smear them on the Internet’s walls.” This blog, which is nominally focused on writing, obviously draws a lot of writers of various experience levels — from the never-written to the never-published to the often-published. And with writers — particularly those from the more inexperienced end of the spectrum — come questions. Questions of how to *do* this thing that we do. Some questions are very specific: how do I make my characters pop, how do I outline, how do I write a query letter? But then there’s a category of question I like to think of as, “Questions From The Department Of The Overwhelmed, The Bewildered, The Insanely Frustrated.”  These are questions that are *gibbered* more than *asked* — if one were to ask such a question in person it would sound like, “Whuh? How do I… what do I? Wh… where do I begin? How do I start? Muh? Guh?” More a series of squeaks and whimpers that ultimately culminate in communicating a feeling of helplessness, confusion, and abject frustration. Thing is, I understand this sense of helplessness. We step up to the blank page — this snowy tract of tabula rasa that hasn’t earned even a single footprint across its virgin expanse — and the potential overwhelms us. Or, it has me, at least — once upon a time upon starting a new story I’d...