Over the course of 48 hours, SinC members throughout New England participated in our Reading Weekend event. Volunteers from Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, organized venues in their home state and invited members to read from a short story, a work in progress, or a novel excerpt. This year’s events took place in libraries, homes, New England Mobile Book Fair, and a vineyard.
I can’t thank Louisa Clerici, Julie Hennrikus, Marilyn Kemp, Linda Machett, Edith Maxwell, Maureen Milliken, and Lynn Marie Steinmayer, enough for volunteering to host events. Without them, the Reading Weekend would not have been possible.And thank you all of you who attended and shared your writing with us.
Marilyn, Linda, and Louisa shared their thoughts and experiences with me:
Marilyn Kemp East Greenbush Library, East Greenbush, NY
On March 23rd at the East Greenbush NY library, SinC/NE and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild co-sponsored an afternoon of 5-minute reads, which turned out to be 10-min reads because we only had 7 readers and I wanted to fill an hour. Attendance was small; 17 people of which 7 were the readers, but Saturday is not a good day for programs in our area. Even week days are better for attendance. Despite that, we had an extremely varied program, with areas ranging from typical noir to historical to psychological to comical. Readers included Susanne Alleyn, author of the Aristede Ravel series set during the French Revolution; Julie LoMoe who writes psychological suspense; M.E.Kemp,historical mystery author of the two nosy Puritan series; Cynthia Merkin who writes in the style of Sue Grafton only set in Paris; Kate Laity and Vincent Landri, more noir in tone and Tom Martin, traditional mystery. It was gratifying to listen to so many fine local authors from the Berkshires to the Albany area. As word spreads I’m sure we’ll attract more readers for future programs.
Linda Matchett– Wolfboro Public Library, Wolfboro, NH
The day of our event dawned crystal clear and warm – unusual for a March day in New Hampshire. Would that bode well for our reading event or prove to be a recipe for disaster? As the time drew near to head to the library, I pushed aside the tentacles of fear and nervousness and decided to enjoy myself no matter what happened. Worst case, I could read aloud to myself.
I was in for a pleasant surprise. At the stroke of 2:00, a former business colleague walked in the door. I see him in our small town several times a month, yet I never knew he was a fellow mystery writer. Another writer who carves out time from working for a living and trying to have a family life to write “the great American novel.”
Did anyone else come? No. Did that matter? No. Two writers came together and shared their work. We discussed the writing industry, conferences we had attended, classes we had taken, commiserated over the difficulty of balancing our writing life with our “real” life and swapped information and ideas. My favorite part after listening to his well-written pages was when we regaled each other with our favorite rejection letters. We had a good laugh over that then encouraged each other to press on.
Before we knew it our two hours was up. Another successful Sisters in Crime event. No mystery there.
Louisa Clerici– Plymouth Library,Plymouth, MA
We had a fun afternoon on Saturday, March 23rd at MURDER BY THE MINUTE in Plymouth, Ma. So many talented writers read from their work, among them the delightful and funny, Arlene Kay, the amazing Mary Stibal, brilliant literary couple Judy Travis Copek and Hans Copek and the award-winning Gary Braver. Everyone enjoyed hearing Steven Marini and Gina Fava for the first time and new Brother in Crime – Kevin Symmons, who joined Sisters in Crime that very week and read at our event – a great addition to our group! Books were sold and refreshments nibbled. Thanks to the Plymouth, Ma. library and our librarian Jennifer Harris who said she really enjoyed the event and was so helpful. And thank you to all the listeners who appreciate mystery, suspense, thrillers. It was a pleasure to host this event! –
Again, thank you to everyone who volunteered and took part in our Reading Weekend. I’m already looking forward to 2014’s Murder by the Minute. Hope to see you there!