And the Winners are…

A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.
~ Lorrie Moore

Stephen King writes: A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger. 

Our winners reflect both these concepts.

John Crain of Cerrillos, has had professional careers in the fine arts, astronomy, and computer science. Between those unraveling strings of time in which he is forced to make money, he writes short stories, poems, and novels having to do with multiple universes. His short story, Forgiveness, appears in Las Vegas Lit’s collection, Tapestry: Tales, Essays, Poetry. His Elmer Schooley Short Story, I Saw You in a Dream Last Night, captured in less than 1,000 words the essence of the Schooley image and took the story in a different direction, reminding readers what dreams can be made of.

Pam Lewis, of Los Ranchos, states on her author page that she was born in Burbank but moved frequently because of her father’s career path in the aviation industry. The family settled in New York City long enough for Pam to attend high school. A shy, observant girl, “a little too tall too soon,” she excelled at school when she finally set her sights on Stanford University and squeaked in on so-so grades. She is mom to two adult children.

As is true of many creatives, she has worked at a little of this and a little of that. “On the cusp,” she writes, “of her 59th year, her first book was taken by Simon and Schuster, then a second and now, with the publication of A Young Wife, a third. 

Her story for the Elmer Schooley Short Story Contest, Sometimes it’s Out of Your Hands, met the requirements of the call with writing excellence, and a tight mystery with a mere 1,150 words.

Mary Rose Henssler spent most of her life in Nevada in the small town of Battle Mountain, Henderson, neon lit Las Vegas, and other places and other states. She and husband, Bob, two dogs and a cat have found their roots at a rambling home surrounded by prairie just outside Las Vegas in New Mexico. She majored in play writing at Vermont College of Norwich University and studied script writing and voice over at UNLV. Two of her plays have been performed. Publication credits include poetry in now defunct literary magazines and a chapbook of political limericks. She writes and enjoys drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and being outdoors. Her story, The Hat, tells a tale of promises kept. She has several pieces in Tapestry.

Announcement of the winners and presentation of awards took place at the closing reception of the June Art Show and Sale, an event curated by Las Vegas Arts Council president, Richard Lindeborg. Proceeds from art sales went to support other nonprofit agencies in Las Vegas: Friends of the Montezuma Hot Springs, Hermits Peak Watershed Alliance, Las Vegas Literary Salon, Las Vegas Arts Council, MainStreet de Las Vegas, Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern NM , NMHU Foundation Lindeborg Fund and Collection Fund.

Artists represented included: Elmer Schooley, Dia Atman, Ellen Koment, Pamela Bounds-Seeman, Mary Beth Pizzoli, Eugene King, Eloise Lindeborg, Gail Malley, June Bowers, Ray Drew, Lina Valdez, Ethel Kriechbaum, Lucy Finch, Lee Weber, R.C. Gorman, John Gavahan, D. Chase Keightley, Clayton Lewis, Ralph Bowyer, M. Craig, Carol Dahl, Scott Vail, Ray John de Aragon, Rosa Maria Calles

The winners each received $300. Mary Rose Henssler chose to donate here prize back to the Literary Salon. The three winning stories will be published in a spring/summer anthology scheduled for release in time for the holidays 2023.


Las Vegas Literary Salon is a nonprofit organization under the fiscal sponsorship of Las Vegas Arts Council. For more information about how you can become involved, email lvliterarysalon@gmail.com. We are seeking active creatives.

RESOURCES AND MORE

Julie Sola Shares Her Experience:

Julie explains how she created this layered print.

Julie Sola’s insight and experience gave Word Merchandising event attendees food for thought and solid leads to outlets that can help writers and artists get their work before new eyes and into viable marketplaces. See her resource list below.

PRINT ON DEMAND SOURCES

MERCHANDISE NOTE: The profit margin for you on all these print-on-demand sources are low, but you are not out any initial cash outlay, nor do you have to store boxes of merchandise.
This is a great way to test your designs. You can always go the traditional route where you find a local printer that can handle your printing needs, like a silk screener. I do not have local sources at this time.

SOCIETY 6 society6.com
No upfront cost, artist receives 10% of each sale. You upload your images and choose what items you want to print on. You will have an option to integrate an online store like Etsy or use their storefront. They handle everything from printing to shipping, and their quality is good. This is a great option if you are wanting to sell online.

GOOTEN gooten.com
You upload your artwork, you pay per item, price goes down the more items you order. You can order the items to sell yourself or use their store front. You pay upfront for this service, but get a better discount.

VISTA PRINT vistaprint.com
This is a great inexpensive way to get postcards, calendars, flyers etc. They do print T-shirt’s and mugs as well. I have used them for years for my postcards. They have different levels of pricing depending on quality of paper and other factors. Great option for selling your own work in your shop.

PRINTFUL printful.com
I have not used them but have heard great things about them; they work with local printers in your area.

BOOKS-SELF PUBLISHING

LULU lulu.com
This is a great source to see your poetry or stories in print. You can print one book or as many as you like, the price goes down the more you order. They have many cover, binding and paper options. There are a lot of self publishing print on demand places like Blurb, I have only used Lulu and have been very happy with them.

FABRIC PRINTING
SPOONFLOWER spoonflower.com
This is a great print on demand fabric source, they have other products like wallpaper. The quality of their printing is great; I have used them for many years. They do not make finished products, this is yardage only. That being said they have a sister company that will sew items for you, not sure of the pricing. Designers get 10% off their orders. They have great sales, which are good when you want to buy a lot of fabric to make your items to sell; you will make a larger profit. You can sell your designs on the site where you will earn spoondollars which you can apply to your fabric purchases.

NOTE: YOU WILL NEED BASIC COMPUTER SKILLS IN PHOTOSHOP TO BE ABLE TO FORMAT YOUR DESIGNS. IMAGES SHOULD BE SCANNED FOR THE BEST IMAGES TO PRINT.  I HAD A STUDENT HELP ME AT FIRST BECAUSE I AM DEFINITELY NOT PROLIFIC ON THE COMPUTER!

Julie says to come by Fat Crow Print Studio and Mercantile anytime. She enjoys talking about the creative process in all it’s forms.


PHOTO: Robert Henssler

TAPESTRY NOW AVAILABLE

The Las Vegas Literary Salon team says THANKS! The response to our book launch featuring Tapestry: Tales, Essays, Poetry was amazing. We were busy greeting everyone and failed to count noses, but the guesstimate was forty attendees, twelve of whom were writers represented in the book.

We also want to thank Jan and Frank Beurskens for allowing us to use their venue ­– Stella’s – ­for the event. It was perfect. The setting, the historic vibe the building gives off, comfy seating, and a welcoming spirit. The building continues to be a work in progress, but it is clearly going to continue the Estella’s legacy of being a place where folks want to gather.

The Lit Salon also extends warm thanks to our writers and anyone who contributed – and continues to contribute – to the success of Tapestry. If you have the book already, please don’t skip over the acknowledgements. Take note of the folks who made the Las Vegas Literary Salon’s dream of an anthology of local writers come true.

As has been noted, this is a fund raiser for Las Vegas Literary Salon, so continued sales are important to our ability to achieve our mission of providing a safe space for writers, readers, and thinkers to meet, talk, and exchange ideas about writing and the written.

This will involve providing a platform for writers to exchange ideas about the art, crafts, excitement, and responsibilities of writing; to offer programs in publishing, writing, editing, book design, and other writing related topics; to support writers of all ages and abilities. 

Readers may join in discussions that examine a variety of genres from poetry to fiction to non-fiction as well as to experience excitement, joy, and enlightenment. Read more about our ambitious but doable agenda here.

Tapestry is available on Amazon. More important, it’s available right here in Las Vegas from Paper Trail on Bridge Street and Books of the Southwest at FrankieAnnTiques on the Plaza. The Las Vegas Arts Council, our fiscal sponsor, also has books on hand for purchase.

Tapestry is worth the price – $10.99 – and an excellent gift idea for Christmas giving. If everyone is all sold out, never fear! I have copies.

Now for a wee bit of housekeeping. One of our guests on Dec. 5 left behind this cozy coat. If you know who it belongs to, email lvliterarysalon@gmail.com so we may return it to its owner.

Thanks to those of you who offered to become a part of Las Vegas Literary Salon. You have been added to our mailing list. To avoid our email to you going into your spam folder, please add our email, lvliterarysalon@gmail.com to your approved list.

Last, but by no means least, thanks Mary Rose and Bob Henssler for all your help in preparation for and implementation of the launch event, and to Patti Romero, whose thoughtful suggestions helped along the way.

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Photos: Bob Henssler

Writing and reading go hand-in-hand

Writers write. Right?

One would think so, but it’s surprising how many writers are inveterate procrastinators. Every bit of advice about writing boils down to putting one’s behind in a chair and banging away at your word processor, be it a computer or an old fashioned pencil.

  • Serious writers write
  • Traditionally published authors work as hard at getting an agent as they do at writing books
  • Serious writers write
  •  Indie and traditionally published authors learn how to promote their own books with confidence
  • Serious writers write
  • Author platforms are crucial
  • Serious writers write 
  • Authors read nearly as much as they write 
  •  Serious writers write

And don’t depend on family to edit your work, unless that is their profession and they are generally heartless when it comes to reviewing your article, or essay, or book. My ever-patient husband has been my biggest supporter and kindest critic (as in being no critic at all). He is not my editor. According to him everything I write is “fine.” Yikes. The worst word on the planet for a writer. “Fine.” A writer wants to be “thought provoking,” “hilarious,” “a thorn in someone’s backside,” “extraordinary,” any and all of the superlatives you can imagine. “Fine,” I didn’t think, quite cut it. And then I looked at synonyms for fine:

  • excellent
  • first-class
  • great
  • outstanding
  • quality
  • superior
  • prime
  • supreme
  • wonderful

So I guess I’ll take “fine” from my husband, who really, when I think about it, is a discerning and highly intelligent man. He’s still not my editor.

Over the past several years I’ve had the opportunity to talk to writers of varying levels of success. These wonderful interactions have taught me a lot about what it means to be a writer.

Write tight. Whether you are writing an advertisement or penning the Great American Novel, less is more. Good writing is often a matter of making the most of a few well-chosen words.

Do your homework. (Research). Writers have an obligation to their readers to be credible. Works of fiction with shaky plots and weak characters turn readers off. Nonfiction books with incorrect information turn readers off. Period. End of story.

Write. To be successful, writers must write. It sounds simple, but making time to write is difficult if you are not intentional about putting words on paper (or computer), which is why most authors have a schedule and stick with it come what may.

Be interesting. Create a compelling story with strong characters, drama, conflict, action and a satisfying conclusion.

Be creative. There are many ways to write about the same subject. Love. Hate. Death. Life. Fear. Happiness. Truth. Lies. You name it and it has been written about, and that will continue. How does your creativity and innovation bring new life to these concepts? That’s the story you want to tell.

Read. Yes. Read. Read a lot. Read different genres. Read nonfiction, poetry, history, fiction. Read. Read. Read. As famed author Stephen King said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”

_________________

Next up: In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), the September 18 Las Vegas Literary Salon will feature two of the writers who will be published in Tapestry: Tales, Essays, Poems. Ray John de Aragon and Sylvia Ramos Cruz will talk about their work, the craft of writing and their writing journeys. Read more here and register to attend. The event begins a 2 p.m. on Zoom.

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NOTE: If you are interested in being on the Las Vegas Literary Salon planning team, contact lvliterarysalon@gmail.com. We’re also interested in guest posts from writers about their writing journeys, the craft of writing, book reviews in any genre, posts about reading. If you have a guest post idea, let us know.

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Coming in October: Las Vegas Poet Laureate Kayt Peck will be our featured author at an event full of surprises, which may include hot cider and spooky treats! Hopefully by then in person gatherings will be possible. Stay tuned. Either way, Kayt will be talking writing and poetry and publishing.

_________________

November launch of Tapestry! Details to come.

Celebrating young writers

Thanks, Next Gen writers! Writing is a solitary endeavor and we never know the gift our words are to others until we share them. The Next Gen event on July 25, at Gallery 140, was well-attended by an appreciative audience whose support for young writers was evident. The seating limit was 35 and there were a few people standing, ergo, we had a standing-room-only crowd!

Thanks Maya Sena, Josephine Morales, Dominic Garcia, Christian Lopez, Viviana Rivera and Joshua Sandoval. You all did an excellent job and we at the Las Vegas Literary Salon look forward to working with you and encouraging you in your writing journey. We appreciate you taking time to share your work.

Thanks also, to those of you filled out an “I Want to Help” form. We will be getting in touch with you soon. And our deepest appreciation to those of you who donated.

Next Gen is the 14th presentation by the Las Vegas Literary Salon since launching in July 2020. Thanks to our fiscal sponsor the Las Vegas Arts Council, Las Vegas Community Foundation, and a Mustard Seed Grant from the First United Presbyterian Church, LVLS has shared the talents of more than 30 writers from the Las Vegas area! Previous events have been virtual, thanks to Zoom, a technology that has allowed us to take a dream concept to reality. We will return to Zoom for our next event, La Nina: The Story of Nina Otero-Warren. Details and registration form here.

We invite you to join us in celebrating the written word as a writer and a reader. The craft of writing is a skill set that goes beyond putting pen to page. It is immersing oneself in the art of creation and bringing your reader along for the ride.


Fill out the contact form below and let Las Vegas Literary Salon know how you would like to be involved as a writer, reader or volunteer.

Next Gen Writers Featured

Next Gen Writers of Las Vegas
Sunday, July 25, 4 p.m.
Live at Gallery 140 on Bridge Street

Las Vegas Literary Salon produced a Zoom open mic event a few months ago in which several high school students participated. Their talent encouraged the Lit Salon planning team to organize an event featuring young writers. We’re calling it, Next Gen.

The event will be held on July 25, at 4 p.m., live at Gallery 140 on Bridge Street. It is free and open to the public. Our list of participants includes Maya Sena, Josephine Morales, Dominic Garcia, Christian López, Viviana Rivera, and Joshua Sandoval. This is an open forum with each writer choosing whether to present poetry or prose or both. Each will have up to 10 minutes to present his or her work.

The mission of Las Vegas Literary Salon is to provide a safe space for writers, readers, and thinkers to meet, talk, and exchange ideas about writing and the written. Among our objectives is to support writers of all ages. Join us on July 25, p.m., to hear young writers read and talk about their work.

Preregistration is not required
but helpful to event hosts for purposes of planning and set up.

Yea! Open Mic Event a Success

I’m going to crow just a bit. Las Vegas Literary Salon’s Edwina (Patti) Romero, suggested we do an open mic event in recognition of poetry month, celebrated annually in April. We already had an April event scheduled, Dreams and Creativity presented by Jan Beurskens, but we decided to add the event to the schedule and see how it developed.

It developed very well. Eighteen signed up for the first Open Mic poetry reading on April 29, to read poetry, either their own or the work of another poet. Thanks to these amazing talents who shared their passion for poetry. Three of them were West Las Vegas High School students, and one was their teacher, who also read the work of a student who couldn’t make the Zoom event. See the names of participants here.

This is the eleventh Lit Salon event since we launched in July 2020. Check out our Guest Roll to read more information about the presentations, authors, and books we’ve featured.

So, why a Literary Salon? The founders of the Las Vegas Literary Salon, Patti Romero and Sharon Vander Meer, wanted there to be opportunities for writers and readers to come together in a welcoming environment where the art of the written word may be celebrated.

It appears, we’re on the right track. With the encouragement of Susie Tsyitee of the Las Vegas Arts Council, and with funding from a Mustard Seed Grant, we moved the idea forward, one guest – sometimes more – at a time.

The Great Pandemic of 2020-2021 was not the obstacle it might have been. Through Zoom, we have reached a growing audience and expanded our network.

One of our projects is the publication of Tapestry: Tales, Essays, Poetry, a collection of written work by Las Vegas and area writers. To qualify for the publication, you must live – or have lived – in Las Vegas or Northeastern New Mexico. Submissions that reflect the area are preferred, but not required. There is much to celebrate – or comment on – about Northeastern New Mexico, a diverse area with a broad mosaic of cultures and lifestyles. You will have lots of fodder for your writing muse. And, yes, speculative fiction, mystery, suspense, comic relief, ghost stories and any other genre you can imagine – and write in short-form – is admissible and encouraged. Essays and poetry are open to the writer’s imagination and creativity.

Tapestry authors will receive a copy of the book as compensation and a publishing credit to add to their writing resume.

This is a fundraiser for Las Vegas Literary Salon. Proceeds from sale of the book will go to the Las Vegas Arts Council, our fiscal sponsor, to support future programming and workshops. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2021. Projected publication date is mid-November, just in time for Christmas sales.

Stay up-to-date on Lit Salon news and upcoming events, follow this website lvlitsalon.org. We appreciate your support and participation. If there is an author you would like to see featured, contact the Lit Salon at lvliterarysalon@gmail.com.

Our Visit with the Author May 23, will be retired educator Alvin Korte. More to come about Mr. Korte and his work.


Other Lit Salon news:
Call for Submissions – Tapestry: Tales, Essays, Poetry.
Find out more here. Deadline for submissions, June 1, 2021
A Visit with the Author, Alvin O. Korte, May 23 on Zoom.
See our Poetry Open Mic event video here.