The reports have come in from all over and SinCNE Reads Across New England was a huge smash! Held the weekend of March 10-11, 2012, this was the first time we’d done this always popular member event on a state-by-state basis. The result was far greater participation and attendance.
The local organizers universally praised SinCNE Board member Pat Remick for the way she provided them with an “event in a box” complete with templates for invitations to members, e-mail lists and press releases. We’ve already had several requests to do it again next year.
Here are the reports.
From Steve Liskow in Connecticut
Sinc Reads Connecticut was a huge success and everyone had a great time.
Including the ten readers, we had 52 people, and many came up to chat afterward. We didn’t serve refreshments because about a dozen restaurants and enough calories to put a nursery school into sugar shock lie across the street from the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford. I want to say again what a terrific space this is and thank the staff for giving us such a great assist. They set up 40 chairs in advance, and we had to find more as audience kept coming in.
I don’t think any of the attendees were SinC members, but we had friends, family, former students, and members of various reading and critique groups in the audience, which kicked serious butt.
We had a mix of amateur sleuth, traditional, paranormal, suspense, and hard-boiled from Patti Brooks, Liz Gordon, Rosemary Harris, Rhonda Lane, Steve Liskow, Kathy Orzech, Susan Santangelo, Carole Shmurak, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, and Anne-Marie Sutton. The high point of the afternoon may have been Mary-Ann Tirone Smith telling the audience that Dirty Water has been translated into 47 languages and will soon be a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, and Danny DiVito. As the ooohs died down, she said, “I just made that up. That’s what fiction writers do.” Priceless.
And once again, my hearty thanks to the readers who stepped up and made this event such a pleasure. We gotta do it again!
From Louisa Clerici in Massachusetts
Our Plymouth, Ma. event went very well. We had surprise snow flurries in the morning. Four people canceled, but the snow stopped and it was clear by noon.
We had nine readers and twenty-eight people attended in all. Half were SinC members. Two people came after hearing me on the radio the day before, two people saw the article on the event in the local paper that came out that morning. The rest were from an email I sent out to a local group of writers.
Eight out of the nine readers were published authors. Leslie Wheeler was wonderful, chatting with everyone about SinC and we found out we were the first audience Hank Phillippi Ryan shared an excerpt with, from her new book to be published this Sept. Everyone was very excited.
I am getting lots of great feedback from everyone. People really enjoyed the program! I had so much fun hosting this event Pat and thank you for all your wonderful help!
From Nancy Means Wright, Beth Kanell, and Robbie Harold in Vermont
Our Vermont event was unbelievably successful, considering our small state—more cows than people! We had an enthusiastic group of 28 listeners, including eight readers: five SinC members and three “guest readers.” (One reader arrived late because she set her clock back instead of forward!) Six readers were published and two were still in the guppy stage. We had rented a lovely hall from the Montpelier Unitarian church (the library is closed on Sunday), set up chairs in a welcoming circle, Beth Kanell took pictures, and we served refreshments. The media was highly responsive to Beth’s very inviting press releases, and the leader of a highly popular mystery group at Bear Pond books re-sent the notice to all his participants. Attendees remained an extra forty minutes for discussion, and many begged for a repeat session at least once a month!
From Sylvie Kurtz in New Hampshire
We had a gorgeous day for our reading event in Milford, NH. Seven members and two guests read while four more guests listened. After, we shared the goodies everybody brought and had a chance to talk and get to know each other. Even as small as our group was, I think the event was a success. We all had a good time.
What made the job of organizing this event easy: having all the promo from invitations to press releases all set to go. I just plugged in the information and sent it along to newspapers and to the library for their newsletter. Having the logo made it easy to make posters for the library (where we held the event) and for the local bookstore.
From Maureen Milliken in Maine
Attending (and all read!) were Kathy Lynn Emerson, Priscilla Grant, Brenda Buchanan, Emily Allen and Maureen Milliken. Emily is a member of the national, but told us after the event she is joining the New England chapter. Yay, Emily! Kathy read from a soon-to-be released book and the rest of us read from works in progress.
We traveled from a variety of communities, but the weather co-operated beautifully and everyone made it.
We not only read, but talked about writing process, mysteries, why we live in Maine and a lot of other great topics. The group was small, which actually made for a really interesting and fruitful group discussion.
Priscilla brought her partner, David, and Kathy brought her husband, Sandy. We also enjoyed the company of a high school student who was accompanied by her wonderful dad who thought the event sounded perfect for his daughter, who loves mysteries. They took part in the discussion and she is very interested in future events.
We also agreed (a discussion that was started by some members who couldn’t attend Saturday) that we should loosely organize and hold occasional events at different locations in the state – possibly members’ homes. We are going to start a Facebook page and possibly an email newsletter for Maine members, among other things.
It was great to meet fellow writers in the state and hear what they’re working on. Everyone is so talented! We all know what a vacuum writing can be and the Open Read not only helped us meet other wonderful people, but realize we’re not alone up here in the wilderness.
All around, a great event.