PictureWinner Donna Warren (photo by Yoojin Song).
The public is invited to party on Thurs., June 20, from 7-8 p.m. at Red Petal Cakes in Edmonds in celebration of our inaugural writing contest winners!

From :

Donna Warren’s entry, “The Red Pig,” took first place in EPIC’s inaugural writing contest. Warren, along with fellow winners in the Adult and Youth categories, will be honored at a party and reading at on June 20, from 7-8 p.m.

The Adult winners are as follows: First Place went to Donna Warren for “The Red Pig”; Second: Victoria Peters for “Kaidja”; Third: Susan Ferguson for “Citizen’s League”; Honorable Mention:  Jeanne Gerhard for “Inspiration.” In the Youth category, First Place went to Ailish Mackey for “Behind Those Glasses”; Second: Kunjan Chadha for “Mother”; Third to Lauren Mallory for “An Overweight Girl in a Dressing Room”; and Honorable Mention (tie) to Angela Lee for “Las Vegas” and Ethan Brown for “To Kill Intolerance.”

The contest was led by EPIC’s Dianne O’Connell, Sheri LaVay, and . When Jones was asked about the entries, she said, “I was surprised with the intensity of feelings and the grappling with harsh realities of life, which were much more evident than expected in the youth writings.”

O’Connell was struck by the opening line in “An Overweight Girl in a Dressing Room”: “A lonesome dove in a two-ton beast.” “It speaks for every girl of any age who has ever been told or who believes she is too fat,” said O’Connell. She was also “surprised and pleased at the number of Youth Division entries received. If we can continue to support and encourage young writers and poets, I think we will have done a very good thing.”

According to Jones, “The annual fall Write on the Sound set the stage for a strong writing community in Edmonds. The formation of EPIC cultivates a climate all year long to benefit those who desire to come together and support one another in the craft of writing. What once might have been considered a solitary endeavor has been reinvented into a community of those who write and encourage and inspire others to write.”

Contest leader LaVay summed up the value of writing: “Remember, you don’t have to be a published author to be a writer. Writing is simply good for the soul and many times is soul-saving.”

An e-book featuring the winning compositions is set to be released in time for the June 20 party. For more information on the event and the local writing community, see . (Cover photo All Rights Reserved for photographer Sienna Votry 2013).

Editor's note: The EPIC Group Winners e-book anthology is

Winner Donna Warren (photo courtesy Yoojin Song).
Author Naomi Baltuck at EPIC's Monday morning writing group.
"What are you afraid of?" asked award-winning author Naomi Baltuck at today's writing group. "You have to start out with what scares you most." For Baltuck, that meant tackling social media by starting her blog, and adding photos and observational stories to augment the writing tips she posted.

Baltuck's debut novel, , written with her co-writer sister came from a reverence for storytelling. "I taught my children to frame their world as stories," said Baltuck. Those children have gone on to win awards and scholarships for writing.

Baltuck also advised today's group to join PNWA, the Evergreen chapter of RWA (even for non-romance writers), and SCBWI for children's authors. And if the idea scares you, then you know it's something you really need to do now.  -Janette

On Monday writer visited EPIC's morning writing group to give a prod in the right direction. She expects writers to be clear about their market, join Facebook and RWA, and embrace the reality of self-publishing. Thanks for the whippin', Jacquie!

As always, the public is invited to join EPIC's Monday morning writing group, which meets at the Edmonds Library, Mondays at 10 a.m. Free.

Want to know how to complete a novel in a month? Kim Votry's NaNoWriMo book, "," lays out the path. Votry recently visited EPIC's Monday morning writing group and shared tips on preparing for the write-a-thon,. Watch for info on EPIC's NaNoWriMo write-ins and kickoff set for Nov. 3.

As always, you are invited to join EPIC's Monday morning writing group, which meets Mondays, 10 a.m., at the Edmonds Library. Free.

Join EPIC and the Edmonds Literary Series on Thursday, September 13, for a workshop on "Writing Your Story." Marcia Woodard and Jessica Star Rocker will discuss turning nonfiction narratives into essays and books. Bring paper and pen, and you may want to arrive at the Edmonds Library a few minutes before the start time of 6:30 p.m. FREE.

Now that EPIC's wildly successful first season has wrapped-up, let's look to the future. One model is the Ballard Writers Collective, which brings together community authors for live open mic events and online book marketing. From their site, clicking on a book takes you to the local book store -- wouldn't it be great to do this with the Edmonds Bookshop?

Let us know what you would like to see for the future. We have some great literary events planned for the fall, including an evening with Kathleen Flenniken, Washington State Poet Laureate, and the Monday morning writing group, which starts back up on September 17. Enjoy summer and prepare for a busy, literary season!
Today's EPIC Writing Group tacked wind to sails, storms and razor blades. Our featured guest was Emily Hill of AV Harrison Publishing -- thank you, Emily! I am certain we shall see many of our group published (traditional, micro and indie) soon.

We will not meet on May 28, so for June 4, bring your five metaphors from other people's work, and five of your own metaphors. Our last group is June 11.

Have a wonderful Memorial week! -- Janette