LETTER ummer ..We’ve got an inkling that you’re ready for some sun and fun! Find yourself a shady tree to sit under and enjoy our new crop of captivating and compelling submissions across a range of genres. Read engaging articles about lifestyle blogging and literary travel right here in Connecticut... enjoy excerpts from suspenseful mystery novels and a fascinating memoir ... and get an inside look at some of the exciting events planned at the Storyteller’s Cottage this summer. Many thanks to our talented contributors. If you enjoy their excerpts, Penny and R.C.’s novels are available to purchase in the Storyteller’s Cottage Booktique, and C. Flanagan Flynn is available for individual writing instruction. Happy reading!
Contributors Penny Goetjen
R. C. Goodwin
C. Flanagan Flynn
TABLE of CONTENTS FEATURES
INSPIRATION: It’s a Charming Life ......................8 LITERARY TRAVEL: The Mark Twain House.......12 RESOURCES: How to Get Published .................. 16 PHOTO FEATURE: Literary Tea Room .................18
Murder at the Timeless Cottage .................. 52 Midsummer Night Fantasy Ball ................... 54 Victorian Parlor Magic Summer Soiree....... 55 The Grand Tour Book Brunch.........................56 Summer Calendar ..........................................58
Upcoming Author Events.....................................22 REVIEW; Lift & Separate ................................... 24 REVIEW: Tippy & Kimothin ................................ 26 Dinner with an Author: Marilyn Simon Rothstein ....................................28 Literary Unleashed............................................. 30
Literary Crafting Studio ..................................59
Summer Camps ............................................62 Tea Party Club ................................................64 Children’s Writing Workshops .....................65 Summer Children’s Calendar ......................67
by R. C. Goodwin .....................................36 by Penny Goetjen ................................... 38 by Carmen Champagne..........................40 by Margo! Wiser ..................................... 42 by E. R. Reitzas ...................................... 43 by Ella Pass ............................................ 44 by Hannah Smelter ................................ 46
Writing Workshops ............................................. 48
A Look Back at Spring..................................66
INKLING Staff Lisa Natcharian, Editor Heather Murray, Photography & Illustration
-- Inspiration --
Lindsay and Jonas bring style and charm to everyday life
Lifestyle blogging has taken off in recent years. Thousands of clever writers have elevated the trend, creating beautiful online journals to describe and illustrate their version of an ideal life. The husband and wife team of Lindsay Dianne and Jonas Karlsson have built a stunning example of a vintage lifestyle blog, combining their love for graceful and artistic ambiance with their fondness for adventure and spot-on fashion sense. Called â€œItâ€™s a Charming Life,â€? the blog follows the travels of the couple as they
wander the globe visiting gloriously appealing locations around the world. Dianne, a native of California, and Jonas, a talented illustrator from Sweden, describe their project as the amalgamation of historic old-fashioned fun, mindful cottage living, enchanting travel and food culture. Their posts range from married life adventures to enchanting travel guides to tiny house living. Recent entries include a trip to the Grand Biltmore estate in North Carolina, a photo essay about the fairytale characters Snow White and Rose Red, complete with live models posing
as the princesses in a mysterious forest, and an essay about finding inner strength throughout the endless winter. Recently, Lindsay and Jonas visited the Storyteller’s Cottage and participated in a fun photoshoot spotlighting their delightful vintage aesthetic. Wherever they posed throughout the house, they looked as though they’ve lived here forever! We asked the “charming” couple to describe their unique lifestyle approach, and are pleased to share their thoughts with you:
Imagine a place where you’re known by name at your local library ... the coffee shop knows just how you take your cup of joe, and you often pop in to the neighborhood antique store for a rummage and a chat. Doesn’t that sound like the ideal community of small town charm? If you don’t live in a village like that, then it’s easy to imagine a virtual one through an online community of like-minded friends on social media. Though platforms like Instagram can feel oversaturated, there are niches of communities, like hidden gems, if you just do a little digging, or you can simply create your own if you can’t find one just to your liking. Over the last several years we’ve become apart of a vintage enthusiasts community on social media, but that can also be a very broad spectrum of folks with varying tastes within the retro realm. Once we started adding our love of storytelling, literature, and all things charming to our posts, we saw that we were truly beginning to build
“Holding a hot teapot too long might burn your hands, but passing it along creates a wonderful tea party.”
our own little community of bygone gals and gents with a similar devotion to the whimsical ways of the past. Over time, some of these connections have turned into creative collaborations, old-fashioned pen pals, and sometimes even meeting up in person. These special souls that were once just faces on a screen have turned into life-long friends. Of course, one must always use caution when meeting people from the Internet. Use good judgement, just as you would carefully read the back of a book and not simply look at the cover.
living, and sharing tales of our adventures as an international couple from Sweden and California. We have learned through ups and downs that a strong following (as we see on other blogs) can easily be mistaken for the illusion of a fan club, and we realized when looking up the actual word “community” that it is far away from the truth. The dictionary says about community: “A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”
We expanded our community into a lifestyle blog, www.itsacharminglife.com, where we cover a mixture of topics like our vintage inspired fashion, mindful cottage
We love that perspective of fellowship: finding togetherness along the journey. Holding a hot teapot too long might burn your hands, but passing it along creates a wonderful tea party. What usually happens at tea parties
Photos: Heather Murray
“The Storyteller’s Cottage is a place that feels like an old friend that opens up the doors to a magical portal where the only limit is our imagination and friendships are waiting to be made.”
when you share them with others is that someone brings their homemade specialities. What started with a very hot teapot for one hand to hold ends with a strong circle of people sharing their personal strengths and treats together. The more time you spend together makes you see that even if you were brought together through similar interests, each one brings their unique talents and personality to the table, creating a one-of-a-kind mix.
community feels the same way, like the cherished feeling of belonging in a charming small town or the heartwarming sensation when you receive a handwritten letter from a faraway friend. Of course, face to face is always preferred and for us, and “The Storyteller’s Cottage” is a place that feels like an old friend that opens up the doors to a magical portal where the only limit is our imagination and friendships are waiting to be made.
We were so happy when we first laid our eyes on “The Storytellers Cottage.” Not only because we are cottage enthusiasts and happen to live in one ourselves. But also, because it is a perfect example and model of how to grow a fellowship of kindred spirits. We hope our blog’s
Many thanks to Lindsay Dianne & Jonas L G Karlsson. You can find them at:
Mark Twain House A first-hand view by Heather Murray
Walking from Mark Twain’s richly decorated dining room into his library, it is easy to imagine the iconic writer living there. The walls are lined with beautifully bound books and details seem to jump out: a vase, a framed photo of a cat, the plush velvet of an antique chair. From the far end of the impressive room there is a green glow that emanates from a small greenhouse, full of happy plants and sunlight that is blinding compared to the much darker corners of the Gothic home. The Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut is not just a historical landmark, it is an important literary one. When standing inside the home, one is struck not just by the personality of Mark Twain, which is present nearly everywhere, but also by the great number of other book lovers who have found their way into the home as well, individuals who must have marveled at the space in the very same way. On their website, the Mark Twain House has a quote on their landing page: a house with a heart and soul. This is a perfect description. The house, while undergoing many different owners and renovations, has
been perfected into a place that is believably Mark Twain’s home, as if no one else has ever lived there besides him. For the duration of our tour, I couldn’t help but entertain the far-fetched idea that Mr. Twain was going to round the corner and explain the choice of wallpaper, the origins of the rich wood in the lobby, the fun that was had in his billiards room. It is true, the heart and soul of Mark Twain is ever present in his home, so it is easy to understand why the museum draws so many visitors. Samuel Clemens, known more widely by his pen name Mark Twain, moved with his wife Livvy and his children to the house in Hartford on September 19, 1874. Smitten with the city of Hartford, he said, “Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, this is the chief…. You do not know what beauty is if you have not been here.” In 1896, tragedy struck when Clemens’ daughter Susy passed away. Too heartbroken to stay in the house, Samuel and Livvy decided to sell the property in 1903 to Richard Bissell. Over the years, the house was used as a residential home, a school for boys and then as an apartment building. It was
Katharine Seymour Day, working for The Friends of Hartford, who purchased the house in 1929. The Mark Twain Memorial and Library Commission was started to restore Mark Twain’s House on Farmington Avenue. The house became a National Historic Landmark in 1963 and restoration began with the Billiards Room. The space is now portrayed as a hybrid of a bachelor’s playroom and an author’s workplace. The center of the room features a large billiards table, and in the corner is the desk that Samuel wrote his most famous pieces, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” After restoring the rest of the house, all of the major rooms were opened to the public in 1974, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the house. As the years have gone by, more renovations were completed and members of the public have continued to flock to the fantastic space. The Mark Twain House and Museum has also opened its space for events and workshops for lovers of literature and writing. For the blooming literary and book-loving community in the Hartford area, this historical place is more than just a museum. As we were shown around the grounds by Jennifer LaRue, the marketing director at the Mark Twain House, she shared with us a phrase that she coined about the space: “A writer’s home, and a home for writers.” We couldn’t agree more. ~Heather Murray
[Photos courtesy of the Mark Twain House]
How to Get Published Find all the tools you’ll need to become a published author
Have you always cherished a dream to be a published author? What obstacles have stood in your way? Are you having trouble getting started, or do you need help paring down an encyclopedia-sized manuscript? Are you uncertain whether your work is good enough for publication, or are you scared to show anyone else for fear of negative feedback? Are you confused about the pros and cons of self-publishing, or wondering about the necessity of hiring an agent? Have you sent dozens of query letters and haven’t heard a word back? Whatever your situation, the Storyteller’s Cottage has the tools you’ll need to cross the finish line and become a published author. Start with a free, casual chat with a published author about the basics of the publishing industry. Learn all about what you’ll need to get started as you sip tea and nibble cookies at one of our upcoming Tea and Tips events this summer (see facing page). Join one of the popular creative writing workshops that meet on weeknights or weekends. Choose from topics ranging from the general, like Secrets of Screenwriting and Creative Essay Publishing, to the specific, like Writing Dialogue or Plotting Your Novel. Learn from published authors how to
hone the exact skills you need to fill in your own personal gaps. If you don’t have a lot of time to commit to a six-week class, try one of the practical and efficient writer’s retreats held seasonally. Spend one solid Saturday taking four or five targeted classes one after the other and come away with a headful of specific tips. In September, choose the Get Published retreat, in October, try the Travel Writer’s retreat, or next April join the Screenwriting retreat. Would you like more personalized attention? Make an appointment with the Storyteller’s Cottage Writer in Residence, C. Flanagan Flynn. C., a professional editor, holds office hours on Thursday afternoons, and will offer feedback on all aspects of your written work. Just need help getting across the finish line? The Six Months to Your Manuscript class provides the push you need to finish and polish your manuscript. Think of it as a much cheaper version of an MFA! Would you like to meet other local writers? Stop in to an Author Networking Brunch, or join the Storyteller’s Society, a weekly group for peer feedback and writing tips. Whatever your obstacle, there’s a solution waiting for you at the Cottage!
Tea & Tips July 21 with Penny Goetjen 2:00 - 3:30
August 3 with C. Flanagan Flynn 2:30 - 4:00
Literary Tea Room What complements a good book better than a steaming cup of tea? The Storyteller’s Cottage has launched its very own Literary Tea Room, open weekdays (Tuesday - Friday) from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Stop in with your favorite book or your favorite reader, and enjoy a variety of flavored teas and delicious sweet treats from classic literature. Our selection changes regularly, but you may find anything from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” Ginger Cakes to Bruce Bogtrotter’s Mini Chocolate Cakes from “Matilda.”
â€œThere is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside y -- Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Author Events JAMES CHESBRO: Thursday, June 13 “A Lion in the Snow” Join James M. Chesbro for an immersive discussion of his book, “A Lion in the Snow,” a story about becoming a father and the beautiful and honest moments between family members. James will read from the book, then will open up the conversation to discuss writing about different generations of family members. A special activity writing prompt activity will allow the audience to briefly try their hands at documenting the past. Enjoy a light reception afterward.
James M. Chesbro’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, America, Child Magazine, The Writer’s Chronicle, Brain, Essay Daily, and The Huffington Post.
When his wife was pregnant, James M. Chesbro started having daydreams of seeing a lion in his street, padding toward his house through the snowflakes of a New England storm. He felt more like a son, still grieving over the early loss of his own father, rather than a prepared expectant-dad. In these essays, Chesbro finds himself disoriented and bewildered by fatherhood again and again as he explores the maddening moments that provide occasions for new understandings about our children and us.
CHUCK RADDA: Thursday, June 27 “Absolute Truth”
Chuck Radda was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and holds an English degree from Fairfield University. He has enjoyed a 35-year teaching career at Plainville High School.
From the author of Dark Time comes an exploration of a small Boston suburb shattered by the seemingly senseless murders of two young women. When a young reporter on the local weekly becomes involved in the investigation, she winds up closer to the events than she realized...and in greater jeopardy. Brutal murders on successive nights have shocked the small town of Drayton. In their aftermath two young women are dead, two anguished families will confront a shattering loss, and residents must face the possibility that a serial killer lives among them. To Brianna Cooper, a reporter for the Drayton Courier, even such horrific crimes would ordinarily mean little more than an assignment; but because the first victim was a friend, Brianna feels a greater personal involvement. Brianna doesn’t realize that simply doing her job may well have consequences she could never have anticipated, and that the absolute truth can present its own dangers.
CT OPEN HOUSE DAY: Saturday, June 8
Meet a Local Author
Connecticut Open House Day is an annual event when cultural organizations and tourism attractions throughout the state open their doors to Connecticut residents. Drop in anytime between 10am and 4pm for a tour of our historic house or to hear a local children’s author read their stories aloud. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase signed copies of books from dozens of local authors as well. While you’re here, stop in to our Literary Tea Room for free tea & cookies! Meet Lana Bennett (Truly the Fairy), Amanda Bannikov (Tippy the Dragon), & Kati Mockler (Magnets & Glue)
TEA WITH AN AUTHOR: Saturday, June 29
Kathryn Orzech “Asylum”
Meet Kathryn Orzech, author of “Asylum” and “ Premonition of Terror”
Meet a fascinating local author and enjoy an inspirational afternoon of literary discussion and tea treats! Come for tea in our charming English Kitchen with Kathryn Orzech, author of the modern Gothic thriller, Asylum. Your ticket price includes a signed copy of her book, plus an array of delicious cakes, scones and refreshing herbal teas. Sit at our sweet bistro tables, sip from vintage china teacups, and hear Kathy read from her novel and discuss her writing process. It’s a lovely way to spend a summer afternoon, and a wonderful opportunity to speak with a professional author in an intimate setting.
AUTHOR NETWORKING BRUNCHES: Sunday 6/23 & 8/11
Published and aspiring authors welcome
Are you a Children’s or Young Adult author or aspiring author? Stop in for brunch and meet your local peeps! This casual meet & greet is a great place to network with area writers. Get a close-up look at all the cozy and inspiring writing nooks at the Storyteller’s Cottage while you’re here. The popular Author Networking Brunch Series continues throughout the year. It will include a Fantasy Author brunch on Sunday, October 6, and additional events featuring other genres will take place quarterly in 2020. Meet and develop relationships with other local authors over brunch
Finding Fun in a Fiasco
Marcy Hammer’s life has been turned upside down. Her husband, the head of a global brassiere empire, didn’t think twice about leaving her after thirty-three years of marriage for a 32DD lingerie model. Now Harvey the Home-Wrecker is missing in action, but Marcy’s through thinking about what a cliché he is. What she needs now is a party-size bag of potato chips, a good support system, and a new dress. “Three days after my husband left me, I stood in the master bathroom with my best friend Dana. ‘I would throw out his toothbrush,’ I said, ‘but I don’t know which is his and which is mine.’ Dana had arrived at my house direct from Kennedy Airport, vaulting up the stairs to find me staring stun-gun still into the bathroom mirror while squeezing a family-size tube of Colgate into one of the double sinks. I hadn’t brushed my teeth in three days.” Striking out on her own is difficult at first, but Marcy manages to find traces of humor in her heartbreak. Even while devastated by Harvey’s departure, she still has her indomitable spirit and her self-respect. She has no intention of falling apart, either, even when her adult children drop a few bombshells of their own and she discovers a secret about her new, once-in-a-lifetime friend. Life may be full of setbacks, but by lifting herself up by her own lacy straps, Marcy just may be able to handle them all. “I had no patience. I got right down to it. ‘Are you still seeing her?’ I asked. If the answer was yes, the conversation was over. If the answer was no, I would accept it. ‘Can I first say that you look nice?’ I stared at him. ‘No,’ he said assertively, as though under oath. ‘No. I am not.’ ‘Tell me something. Are you lying?’ ‘I don’t lie,’ he said. ‘Are you sure? Because I think you were living a lie.’ My voice cracked. ‘There you go with the accusations. I’m always the bad guy. You always turn everything on me,’ he said. ‘Is anything in this world ever your fault?’ ‘You have an affair and I turn everything on you?’ I was intent on his paperweight. It was a replica of Stonehenge -- so heavy that I could knock his head off with it. And I was considering it.” Lift and Separate and Husbands and Other Sharp Objects are both available at the Storyteller’s Cottage Booktique.
After a lifetime of marriage, Marcy Hammer is ready to get herself unhitched—just as everyone else in her life is looking for a commitment. Her new boyfriend, Jon, wants to get serious, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Harvey, is desperate to get back together. When her headstrong daughter announces a secret engagement to Harvey’s attorney, Marcy finds herself planning her daughter’s wedding as she plans her own divorce. “Whenever anything was in need of repair, I called a man. We had a lot of men. Plumber Man, Electric Man. Air-Conditioning Man. We also had guys. Gutter Guy. Plow Guy. Tree Guy. Chimney Guy. Guys tended to be younger than men. Harvey used to say that a checkbook was the only thing in his toolbox. That wasn’t really true. Harvey didn’t have a toolbox. One less thing for him to take with him when he left.” Now with two huge events on the horizon, the indomitable Marcy soon realizes that there’s nothing like a wedding to bring out the worst in everybody. From petty skirmishes over an ever-growing guest list to awkward confrontations with her sticky-fingered new in-laws, pulling off the wedding is going to be a challenge; seeing her divorce through is going to be a trial. And trying to make everyone happy might prove to be impossible—because in the end, Marcy alone must make a choice between something old and something new. “The bathroom attendant welcomed me from her chair. At the sink next to mine as a little woman with curly gray-blue hair. Her eyeglasses, on a plastic beaded chain around her neck, hung to her bosom. I wondered if her breasts were nearsighted or farsighted. She dawdled with her lipstick and seemed to be killing time... When the attendant went to clean a stall, the woman grabbed several Tampax Pearl tampons. She placed the tampons in her purse, which featured silver studs spelling “Paris” but screamed Target. She reached for a fistful of peppermint candies. I understood her pilfering the hard candies, but I was puzzled about why a woman my age needed tampons. Did she know many teenage girls? I pretended I hadn’t seen a thing and deposited a dollar in an otherwise empty tumbler for tips. I turned to check the mirror one more time and saw the woman take my George Washington. I didn’t say a word. I hated confrontation. If she needed the cash that bad she could have it. I proceeded to the cocktail lounge. Amanda waved, and introduced me to her fiance Jake’s parents. I couldn’t take my eyes off his mother. She was the tampon thief.”
Marilyn Simon Rothstein is the winner of the Star Award presented by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association for Outstanding Debut. She grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, married a man she met in an elevator, and owned an advertising agency for more than twenty-five years.
Overcoming Obstacles Learning to handle scary situations with Amanda Bannikov
Kimothin is a brave girl who also happens to be a knight. Her fellow knights look down on her because she hasn’t yet killed a dragon, so she heads out on an adventure to find one. She travels far and wide without seeing a single ferocious beast, but when she finally comes upon a small dragon, he’s actually in the market for a friend. Named Tippy, the kindly dragon is having trouble falling asleep. Kimothin changes her view of dragons and successfully shares her favorite falling-asleep tips with him, much to his delight. Young readers not only learn to fall asleep more easily, but parent can also open the conversation about preconceived notions (of scary things), and the power of friendship. SHOP THE SLEEPY DRAGON
Kimothin and Tippy, now the best of friends, head off on an adventure to see the world. Along the way, they meet Ben, a very smelly pirate. Poor Ben doesn’t brush his teeth, which has led to a very odoriforous situation indeed. Kimothin and Tippy share their favorite tips for tooth-brushing, which Ben appreciates very much. Soon, Pete is smelling fresh and clean, and he’s invited to join Kimothin and Tippy’s group of friends at the castle. Young readers will be thrilled to follow in Ben’s footsteps and brush their teeth with gusto every night. SHOP THE SMELLY PIRATE
It’s time for Tippy to visit the doctor for a checkup, but he’s afraid of what might happen. Will he get a shot? Will it hurt? Kimothin the brave knight helps Tippy every step of the way, as does the kindly Doctor Theo. Young readers can follow along as Tippy has his height measured, his eyes checked, and his throat examined, until it’s finally time for that shot. Doctor Theo gives Tippy some excellent advice to think about all of his favorite things, and before he knows it, the shot is over! This charming storybook is excellent preparation for any kind of doctor’s appointment. COMING SOON TO THE STORYTELLER’S COTTAGE BOOKTIQUE!
Tippy and Kimothin would like to host a holiday party in the kingdom of Smesselleo, but aren’t sure where to start. All of their friends come together to share their holiday traditions, including Knight Joy who tells them about Christmas, Knight Filip who explains Hannukah, Knight Ayana who describes Kwanza, Knight Manish who explains Diwali, Knight Samir who tells them all about Eid, and Knight Chow who explains Chinese New Year. All the knights bring their favorite foods to the party, and a wonderful time is had by all. This story is a lovely way to introduce the concept of world holidays. SHOP TIPPY AND KIMOTHIN’S HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
Dinner with an Author
Featuring: Marilyn Simon Rothstein Spend an evening with the hilarious author of two award-winning novels
Have you ever read a book that makes you laugh so much you wish you were best friends with the author? Well now is your chance to spend an evening with the hilarious Marilyn Simon Rothstein, author of the award-winning humorous novels, Lift and Separate and Husbands and Other Sharp Objects. Join Marilyn and six other lucky guests on Thursday, September 19 at 5:30pm for a unique dinner party you’ll never forget. Marilyn Simon Rothstein is a longtime resident of Avon and former owner of an Avon-based advertising agency. She published her first novel in 2017 at the age of 62, which received the prestigious Star Award
from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association for Outstanding Debut Novel and rose to the number one spot on the Amazon Best Sellers in Fiction Satire list. Lift and Separate was followed two years later by Husbands and Other Sharp Objects, and now Marilyn is well-entrenched in this new chapter of her life, touring the country as a successful novelist. Enjoy a delicious 3-course sit-down dinner with Marilyn in the Storyteller’s Cottage dining room. The evening promises to be full of humorous conversation and personal insights. Dinner will be followed by a public book reading & signing at 7:00pm. Tickets can be reserved HERE.
Shop our Booktique Support Local Artisans!
Stop in to our Booktique and find an array of fun literary merchandise and signed books by local authors, or check out our online shop for books, t-shirts and totes!
A monthly column by C. Flanagan Flynn, Writer-in-Residence at The Storyteller’s Cottage
“SIX MONTHS TO YOUR MANUSCRIPT”
WORKSHOP GRADUATION Six Months to Your Manuscript submissions opened at the end of November. The Storyteller’s Cottage began accepting writing samples and bios from writers who were excited to complete their novels and memoirs. After careful review of the submissions, four writers – Anita Arakelian, Carmen Champagne, Leslie Perrone, and Natalie Segal – were accepted into the Wednesday night workshop. Starting in early January the workshop officially kicked off in the Jane Austen Regency Salon. Gathered around tables covered with laptops, handouts, and notebooks, we clasped mugs filled with coffee or tea that
first night as writers shared what they hoped to achieve with their books. In six months, we spent over 50 hours together in the writing salon discussing elements of the writing craft: structure, loglines, character development, plot, settings, world building, scenes, themes, point of view, flashbacks, backstory, dialogue, time markers, and so much more. Outside our workshop, the writers spent time writing. With 20 pages due weekly, completing a sizable portion of the writing was everyone’s priority to reach 80,000 words. After the writers had a substantial writing output, each was assigned a writing cohort with
whom they exchanged writing. Fiction writers were paired with nonfiction writers. The difference in genre and perspective provided everyone fresh insights. The workshop was designed so that meeting would nurture each writer and incubate their manuscripts. Excerpts were exchanged in the workshop and read aloud by peers. Hearing someone else read their writing allowed the writers the objectivity to find holes in their stories or address other writing elements which fell short. The group provided additional insightful feedback, as well as praise for what was already working well. A crosspollination occurred. Great writing bred more great writing. As months passed, stories drastically evolved. Chapters and sections were revised, some unrecognizable from how they’d first begun. Writers grew exponentially as writers, self-editors, and collaborators. We dispersed some evenings to the library, tea room, and the kitchen. I worked oneon-one with writers as we drilled down on structure and main characters’ trajectories. We searched for the connective threads, the underlying themes, and the high moments of tension to build into scenes. Each week, I’d been reading their 20-page installments and providing each writer developmental feedback, so we used that time to delve deeper into other macro issues. After spring arrived, we moved into the next phase of the workshop: publishing and presenting your writing. In the cozy nook off the English Country Kitchen, we Skyped Lilly Dancyger, Editor of Narratively Magazine. She spoke candidly about her circuitous route to publishing her memoir and her forthcoming anthology Burn it Down: Women
Writing About Anger. She shared her query preferences as a Barrelhouse Books editor, as well as tips on some “large small” presses for writers to target. Novelist Leland Cheuk, an author turned indie publisher, also spoke about what piqued his interest in queries at 7.13 Books. A recent essay of Leland’s was published in Catapult Magazine which caught the eye of The University of Nebraska Press who reached out to him to include his essay in Apple – Writers on Their Parents – Tree. That underscored a message both writers imparted about placing excerpts in literary magazines to gain the attention of agents and publishers and to work toward earning bylines. Both Lilly and Leland also shared how they used Twitter to build a literary community and engage with readers. They made it clear that marketing a book doesn’t end once the manuscript or book proposal is finished. Kara E. Simmers, a public speaking consultant, visited and imparted strategies to reduce nervousness for author readings and help with the performative aspects of presenting writing. As June approached, writers continued to edit their manuscripts or work on their query letters or book proposals. Truly this has been one of the most incredible experiences of my editing career. I’m thrilled with what these four writers accomplished in six months. They all entered the manuscript workshop as talented writers and graduate in June as masterful authors. With great pleasure, I introduce the memoirs and novels from the Six Months to Your Manuscript workshop:
C. Flanagan Flynn is the Writer in Residence at The Storyteller’s Cottage. She leads the “Six Months to Your Manuscript” Workshop, the “Write Your Memoir or Novel” Workshop, as well as one-day workshops on writing and publishing.
Carmen Champagne writes her memoir from the perspective of a newly divorced 911 operator searching for a better life in Control Alt Delete: An Online Passage. Post-divorce she finds herself working the police station’s graveyard shift. Loneliness sets in, and she’s drawn to the internet where she connects first to recipes then with online dating. The men she dates challenge her but also pose new ones. Fed up with the status quo, Carmen runs a marathon, quits her job, and takes center stage as the lead singer for an indie band (“The Grimm Generation”). Champagne captivates her readers with her honesty, fierce temperament, and feisty wit. Part Gen X, part Gen “Grimm”, Champagne’s eclectic musical tastes and her songwriting infuse her writing with a je ne sais quoi befitting her French-Canadian ancestry and her Filles a Marier, Marriageable Girl, roots.
Leslie Perrone’s Roon: A Search for My Father, Myself, and a Place to Call Home is a memoir about a woman’s yearning to find a sense of connection and belonging through the 8 mm film reels of her childhood, Key West fishing trips with her father, and through her pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland. Perrone writes about Iona’s mystique with such reverence; one wants to travel in her footsteps to the rocky coastline, see the eponymous abbey, and find those who greet her on the island’s many enchanting paths. Perrone’s writing invites the reader to reflect on the past and the present, entices us to wonder about coincidence versus fate, and shows us how loss can lead to spiritual healing.
United by supernatural powers unveiled in menopause but divided by long-held secrets; cousins must battle a murderer hellbent on brutally mutilating her victims before she kills one of their own. Natalie Segal’s Heroes of the Middle Ages contains a mysterious pin, a Russian spellcaster, and revenge of the most gruesome kind unfolding in Connecticut. Segal blends murder mystery elements with fantasy fiction and flashes of menopause. Three things which seemingly don’t belong together, yet Segal’s skilled story-crafting lead the reader searching to add up pieces which don’t make sense: inside-outside bodies and an unusual encounter in an unlikely place: Hartford’s Elizabeth Park. Only it’s too early in the season for the famed rose garden to be in bloom, so why are the cousins there?
Anita Arakelian’s novel Sevan is told from a baby’s point of view. Sevan kicks off his mother’s womb walls and begins his journey towards independence. The world of life inside the womb allows Sevan to read his DNA, the womb walls, and his Mom’s memory bank. In his seventh month, Sevan’s life deviates from what he expects which throws him into an unknown world. After his premature birth, Sevan must live in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where his doctors and family use all medical tests and procedures available in a race for answers to his baffling, life-threatening symptoms. Arakelian’s writing allows her readers to deeply connect to Sevan. We root for him, fall in love with him, learn from him. Sevan teaches us compassion, the importance of deep connection, and that humans have an innate need to communicate. Arakelian’s prose has stunning precision. She’s able to evoke powerful emotions in readers while deftly showing the complex natures and biases of those who care for and treat Sevan.
When we first convened, snow was on the ground and each writer’s manuscript was in a different stage of completion. Now the flowers are in bloom and these four writers are poised to read excerpts of their novels and memoirs in the Jules Verne Library on June 12th as we celebrate them as newly minted authors. The Storyteller’s Cottage is proud to be part of these four writers’ literary journeys and will continue to support them on their path to publishing. We’re pleased to announce that an excerpt of Carmen Champagne’s memoir can be found in this issue of Inkling Magazine. Providing authors and writers a venue to showcase their work is just one of many things The Storyteller’s Cottage is honored to do for writers. We congratulate Anita, Carmen, Leslie, and Natalie and wish them continued success with their books and future literary endeavors.
Join us on Wednesday, June 12
6:00 - 8:00 pm to hear our new authors read from their works at a free celebratory event, which will conclude with a short graduation ceremony and sparkling cider / dessert reception. RSVP to Svenja@StorytellersCottage.com
The Storyteller’s Cottage will begin accepting applications for the next Six Months to Your Manuscript workshop in September. The workshop begins in January and runs through June of 2020. For more details, email email@example.com or call 860-877-6099. Note: Bernice Schaefer also was accepted into the workshop, but unforeseen circumstances precluded her from attending. She continues to write her inspiring memoir, Reinvented.
Model Child by R. C. Goodwin
is available on the Storytellerâ€™s Cottage online shop, and in the on-premises Booktique
Hal Gottlieb pulled into his driveway and wondered what lay in store for him. More precisely, what Peter, his fifteenyear-old son, had in store for him. Thoughts of him besieged his father throughout the day, thoughts that took him back and forth in time . . . First there was the newborn son, with his round perfect face and his wealth of black ringlets. The newborn son, the link to generations stretching forward to the end of time, the holder of infinite possibilities. And then there was the little boy with serious bright dark eyes and the laugh that boomed like a trombone. The little boy who favored his father’s company over everyone else’s, even his mother’s. Whose idea of a perfect afternoon was to drive with him while they did errands and end it with an ice cream cone or donut. The little boy who didn’t know his father was too fat, with unruly, kinky hair — his father, still self-conscious about his acne scars, and his eyes too close together, and all the rest of his aesthetic failings. The little boy who not alone loved his father but who saw him (was this possible?) as something akin to a hero. Gottlieb’s wife and his mother and brothers loved him — his own father had died when he was nineteen — but not like that. And then there was the schoolboy who invariably did well, who never needed
prodding to complete homework or turn in book reports on time. Who took a B+ as a personal affront. Not gregarious, but with a solid coterie of friends. Not athletic, but strong and healthy. Like his father in a lot of ways: quiet; a creature of understatement; demanding of himself, intolerant of his own errors. An avid reader who vastly preferred books to television. A curious child who asked unanswerable questions. What made them so sure that George Washington never told a lie? How could they prove he didn’t? Why were some people, like his best friend Cal Utley, left-handed? Do animals know they’ll die someday? And then there was the boy of nine, blind-sided when his parents split up for half a year. One evening he did his homework as usual, he drank a glass of milk and ate some gingersnaps, and went to bed. Everything was fine. He woke up an hour later to the unaccustomed din of their fighting, which lasted all night long. The next night his parents told him that they wouldn’t be living together for a while. How long was a while, he asked them. They didn’t know. Neither one looked him in the eyes when they told him. That was unprecedented. It bothered him as much as the news itself. And then there was the boy of six months later, reunited with both parents, relieved but wary and still shaken. They told him everything had been worked out. He had no idea what they meant. He didn’t know they’d had things to work
And then they moved 1000 away. He left behind his best friend, and everyone and everything else familiar to him. And then there was the eleven – year – old, still reeling from the near-demise and resurrection of his parents’ marriage, and from a move he’d had no say in, and now he had a baby sister. The apple of his parents’ eye, just as he had been; the focal point of their time and attention. Eleven years of an absolute monopoly, and now he had a baby sister. Sarah Gottlieb, a beautiful child, with her mother’s fine features and fair coloring, resembling her father only in her dark eyes, soft and inquisitive. Sarah Gottlieb, an adorable usurper. He’d tried to be the good big brother. He’d held her proudly, chucked her under the chin, enjoyed her smiles and coos. He even loved her in his fashion, even when he resented her the most forcefully. The truth was, he didn’t know how he felt about her. And now there was the boy of fifteen, whose added girth was disproportionate to his added height. Increasingly unhappy, Peter had turned to food for solace. He might eat three oversized muffins at a sitting. But at other times he scarcely ate at all. His openness devolved into little more than a sullen yes or no, more commonly yeah or nah. He withdrew from the rest of the family and sequestered himself in his room, with its slag heaps of clothing and its always-unmade bed, with its scattered books and CDs. His room, with its smell that his
father could only liken to the office of a busy vet. And somewhere deep within this homely, sad, reclusive youth still lurked the beautiful child, serious but happy, still possessed of a sharp wit and a wide-reaching curiosity, still full of infinite promise. Or so believed his father. A belief which sustained him, however much he had to struggle to hold on to it. If he lost it, a large part of him would die.
Award-winning author R.C. Goodwin graduated from Yale with a degree in history, attended medical school in Dublin, and completed an internship and psychiatric residency in Connecticut. He has worked in private practice, jails and prisons, a facility for the criminally insane, and the counseling center at a large university. To date he has had seven short stories published; three have won literary competitions.
Murder Beyond the Precipice by Penny Goetjen
National award-winning author Penny Goetjen writes murder mysteries where the milieu play as prominent a role as the engaging characters.
revolver after a shoot-out and re-holstering it. Padding across the worn Oriental rug, he adjusted the temperature on the thermostat as low as it would go, then slipped through the old wooden door, locking it secure Clenched fists dan- ly behind him. No one gled at his sides. He stared could be allowed in. Not until he made things right blankly at the atrocity again. For now, there was sprawled in front of him, blood on the stairs that lying still as if in restful sleep. If only it were true. needed to be tended to. He couldn’t undo the work The musty air of his strong hands, still aching from holding on so caught in his nose, cretight. Now he would have ating a wrinkle on the bridge. Surveying the to take care of the mess. Stretching out his space lit only by a single fingers, he examined them bulb hanging from the ceiling where the sides closely, turning his palms of the roof met at the over and then face down again. Bulging red knuck- highest point, he weighed his options in the narrow les. Veins that protruded swath of his flashlight. on top. Creases that cut curiously across the palms. An old buggy once used for horse-drawn carriage There were no calluses. No discernible scars other rides on cool summer evethan the raised jagged line nings filled one dark corner. Next to it was an anthat curved around the tique sleigh whose useful base of his thumb where he’d undergone stitches as life ended with a broken runner many years earlier. a youngster after a fight, but no evidence the hands It would have been ideal could have performed such to dig the hole under one of those half-forgotten a grisly act. vehicles, but he would Shoving a hand deep into his pocket, a wad need help moving them of keys jingled as he pulled away from the corner and back again. Eager to get them out. Slipping the metal ring onto his first two started, he decided on an fingers, his gaze wandered area next to the far wall where tools hung neatly. out the windows as he The dirt was hard twirled the ring effortless- packed, cool, and gritty, ly around. Once. Twice. Three times and then back and the digging arduous. into his pocket again. Like Not what he was used to doing. He hoped it would a cowboy spinning his An old New England inn in a sleepy harbor town on the coast of Maine may seem like an ideal spot for a summer wedding, but the inn’s dark side resurfaces as no one could have predicted….
only take a couple nights, only daring to dig when the rest of the town was asleep. Padlocked doors during the day. No one in. No stupid questions to answer. Shovelful after shovelful, he thrust the blade into the soil, scooping and heaving it onto the pile. The hole began to take shape. The depth was more important than the other dimensions. Shovel in, dirt out. The mound grew taller. Throughout the night he toiled, leaving the door open a crack so he would see the first sign of morning light. A couple feet in, he ran into rocks; some mere pebbles, others the size of his fist. They trickled down from the top of the pile after he tossed them. Fluttering above his head drew his eyes away from his task. A barn owl had returned from a night of prowling, slipping in through the missing slats in the vent at the top of the eaves. Inspecting his work, he decided he’d dug more than halfway. Done until the next night. Wiping sweat from his brow, he shoved a hand deep into his pocket and pulled out a ring of keys. Slipping it onto his left hand, he sized up the pile of rocks and dirt as he twirled it around his first two fingers. Once. Twice. Three times and then back in again.
The click of the lock releasing within the door made him jump, terrified someone had heard. Pushing open the old panel, wood scraping on wood, his body stiffened as it creaked on its hinges. Stepping inside, he pushed it closed behind him and crossed the room, fumbling for the switch on the bedside lamp. Flinching at the sudden brightness, his eyes shot straight to the pillows. The most gruesome part of the task lay ahead. But it would all be over soon. Inching nearer, he dared a closer look. Time did strange things to a dead body. Probably better that way. He could pretend it was someone else. Someone he didn’t know. There was less of a connection that way. A shiver ripped through his body from the chill in the air, ripe with a sour odor. Fortunately there was no blood to clean up. His rash move hadn’t involved a knife or any other sharp object. He had relied on his strong hands fueled by the fury that burst inside him. Cleanup would be relatively straightforward. He pulled the bottom sheet up and wrapped it around the body, reserving the top one for later. -----------Murder Beyond The Precipice is the second novel in the Precipice series, the third and final of which Murder Returns To The Precipice will be out in October of this year.
Control Alt Delete: An Online Passage a memoir by Carmen Champagne
Working the overnight, the police department is dimly lit. The offices that are occupied during the daytime hours with detectives, captains, the chief of police and the records’ department staff —are vacant and dark on third shift. From my seat in the communications center, I have a view of nearly every room in the building. I keep tabs on the 12 TV camera views on the first monitor in the two-by-four row of computer monitors before me. I watch the employee’s backdoor entrance and can see officers coming in or leaving the building. More black and white camera views bring me to the prisoner processing area, the holding cage and the four prisoner cells. Should anything get out of hand, I can radio the officers— send in assistance. Outside I have a view of the sally port, the garage entrance to the PD, and I can raise or lower the door when prisoners, or their meals, are brought in. I monitor alarm systems for some of the town’s buildings. If they are set off, I’m alerted with a signal from a computer that sits behind me. Once I acknowledge the alarm, I dispatch police— or the fire department, dependent on which alarm is set off. Half auditor, half auctioneer I communicate with police, fire and Ems on their radio frequencies in short succinct spurts. When the
Department of Public Works (DPW) employees are on the road in rain and snow storms, I monitor their frequency too. I answer routine phone calls. I answer 9-1-1 calls, perform EMD, emergency medical dispatch— offering medical instruction, like how to do CPR or the Heimlich maneuver, all the while gathering and dispensing pertinent information for the officers in route. I am the front line. On first and second shift there are two dispatchers on duty, one a sworn police officer, that share in the responsibilities of the job. On third shift, there is one. Being on third shift is more concrete for me. All or nothing. It can be busy for a few hours— and there are times when all my faculties are on at full throttle. Windsor has both the Farmington and Connecticut rivers running through its town and when the rain pours and the river banks overflow, the amount of phone calls flooding dispatch is an entire other deluge a dispatcher must contend with. Leaving in its wake, all four fire houses in town empty as firefighters house hop from one to the next advising homeowners in bathrobes on how to deal with the increasing water levels getting into their basements. The tree blocking the road on route 218 is tying up an officer needed for more pressing calls. The
sergeant on duty calls in on the routine line and says, “Start dialing the roster to get an additional two officers in right now. Oh, and by the way, another tractor trailer driver thought he could fit his 18-wheeler under the bridge at the intersection of 75 and 159. He’s stuck. Can you call a wrecker?” As a dispatcher, there’s a zone you get into when it goes down. All your senses are active and on full alert when you hit it just right. From my seat at the console in the communications center, I read code— a mix of radio scratches, words on the line, beeps and tones. Dispatchers receive all transmissions, unscramble them and send out appropriate response and services. Professional, helpful, courteous, efficient. A steady voice to frantic callers in a time of need. I received a Departmental Citation for an incident I handled in March. Walked across the stage at the high school auditorium, shook the Chief of Police’s hand, accepted the wooden plaque with my name on it, smiled for the picture before returning to my fold-up theater seat being saved for me by Henri and Josie. It sits on a shelf in the entryway of my home. Recognized for “persistence and insight.” But then…then there are the still shifts. When the hours are long and I’m pulling tooth-
picks from my bag to keep my eyes open. Behind me, there’s another computer for use by dispatchers. This one so we can check our email and have access to the internet. I start digging around one particularly slow shift. I print off a couple of recipes to try from the website www.recipezaar. com. I listen to 911 calls on wav files for a bit, then locate an alternative music station to play softly on live365.com. Then I stumble upon Myspace… I’m wide awake, it’s morning.
Writer, baker, mistake-maker, Carmen Champagne spent the latter half of the aughts writing and singing with Indie band, The Grimm Generation. The band was nominated for a Connecticut Music Award and noted in Art New England Magazine. Currently, Ms. Champagne is writing a memoir, based partially on her years as the band’s lead singer.
by Margo! Wiser, gr. 5 Prologue I was spinning at what seemed like the speed of light, butt clenched, eyes shut tight. As I hurtled towards planet Mackintosh in my teeny tiny spaceship, I realized why my ship had gone rogue. You see, I had been trying to escape from the humans on my home planet when my controls had gone haywire. How could I have been so dumb? I was pondering whether it was worth staying alive or not when a blinking red warning signal appeared on my beat-up controls screen. Guess it was still working. Anyway, alarms started to wail, and I braced for impact, ready for a trip to planet Mackintosh. Chapter One “OMG, OMG, OMG,” I repeated. I slowly opened my eyes to reveal that I had, in fact, crash-landed on planet Mackintosh. But I was just glad to be alive! I hadn’t expected to live when I fled Earth, but anything was better than living under the humans’ reign on what they had made a filthy, polluted planet. Even death. It was bittersweet--Mackintosh looked like Earth, before. Before there were machines, or cars, or pollution of any kind. Before there were houses and roads and skyscrapers and bicycles. All there was was nature, as far as the eye could see. Grass went on forever, an endless sea of green, like a carpet made of emeralds. Suddenly, I started shaking, trembling with fear, as I noticed animals coming from all directions, approaching my space ship with curiosity. I tried to think of what they could be. Foodies, maybe? Hopefully--they use blueberries for bullets. Oh, wait! You don’t know what Foodies are? They’re creatures from Earth. They originated when a strange toxic substance mixed with some crops. Everything they use is made of some sort of food. Anyway, I imagined my encounter with the foodies: “Hello! I am Fooder! I come in peace! Now, as tasty as it may look, my space ship (aka hot dog) is not for eating.” This made me smile, but the thought of my best friend on Earth, who had been a Foodie, made me sad. Though I had bigger problems to handle.
Chapter Two So I’m going to leave you hanging right here, because I’ve got some explaining to do. I have four tails (yes, tails), opposable thumbs, and huge fluffy ears, which means I have very good hearing. Yup, as you could probably tell from the description, I’m a Wobbki. Me and the rest of the “magical” --as humans call us-- creatures had to flee Earth or forever live in a world taken over by humans. And so I took off in my little hot dog-shaped spaceship, shooting for planet Lupic with a week’s worth of protein bars and bottled water, and here I am. Chapter Three So anyway, I had nothing to defend myself with, and no idea what was going to eat me alive, when out from the shadows came-a mole? Yes, a mole. A huge mole, about ten feet tall, with a nose the size of my head. Out from behind it came dozens more. I slowly backed away…. (To Be Continued) Margo Wiser is a fifth grader form Canton, Connecticut. She studies writing at Canton Intermediate School and at the Storyteller’s Cottage. She loves to read and write fantasy and science fiction stories. She is currently working on a novel, hopes to be a published author someday, and would like to go to Yale.
The Great Trash of Ct Smopa by E.R. Reitzas, gr. 5
Prologue Francis Vonikk was just a regular girl -- well, as regular as she could be, of course. Kids with foster parents don’t always feel like they can tell them everything -- that’s why Francis had her best friend, Maple Yonwood, to talk about those things with. Chapter 1 Morning Routine It was just a regular day in Ct Smopa. Francis was sitting on the beach, skipping rocks out into the glistening ocean. Until Maple got there. “Hey, Francis, ready to go to school?” “ Yeah, let’s go.” Chapter 2 School of Brats Oh no, it was the mean girls, Kayla, Rayla, and Tayla. What a coincidence, you might think, that their names are close to the same. Well, Tayla’s real name is Taylour -- she just wanted to have a name that matched her friends’, so they gave her a nickname. “Hey Dorks, how ‘bout you go back to Dorkfest were you belong,” Kayla said. “Hey Rayla and Tayla, you could be doing something way better in your lives than working for Kayla,” Francis responded. “My girls would never leave me for you dorks.” “Actually we would! Bye, Kayla!” “ Ughhh, you BRATS!” Then, ring, ring, ring went the bell, like the sound of a screech from a baby.
Chapter 3 The Book When Francis Vonikk got home she was pleased by an unexpected surprise. Her granny had come to visit! You see, her granny was too old to take care of her. “Granny, what are you doing here?” Francis asked. “I came to give you something. This was my book when I was younger and I wanted you to have it. It’s about Ct Smopa -- and includes the history, a map and the geography of our world.” “ Thank you, oh thank you, Granny! I love you so much! Granny, Granny, are you okay?” “ I-I-I need to go to the hospital. Go get Carolyn.” I ran to get my foster mom. “Carolyn, my Granny came to visit and she needs to go to the hospital!” “Okay, be right there.” (To Be Continued)
E.R. Reitzas is a 5th grader at Canton Intermediate School. She was born on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachussetts. She loves to read books by Katherine Applegate. Her favorite is Wishtree. She is 11 years old and excited to write. When she’s not writing, she loves to play with her golden retriever Angus and ski and play soccer. She is currently working on her second book in the 4-book series of The Great Trash of Ct Smopa.
Ruby and the Made -Up Poem by Ella Pass, gr. 5 Hi, I am Ruby. I live in New York, oh, of course not the city, but a small town outside the city. I only go to the city on field trips or for spring break. Anyway, I think school is -- what do you call it -- meh. I like the typical subjects, reading, math, OK, every subject, except writing class, because Mrs. Wrote teaches it. And over and over and over, and again and again and again, she says I am “meh” at writing. See how I struggled to say that, that, meh word? At school today, this is what she said: “Hello class.” “Hello Mrs. Wrote,” we all said, except for me, I just glared. “I am holding a poem contest with this class tomorrow, instead of essays. I will let you work on your poems today in class,” Mrs. Wrote said. I heard the popular girls whisper about doing poems on fashion, with their girly claps and their “Oh! Oh! Yes! Totes!” To me that sounded like a foreign language. Then, I heard the boys talk about monster trucks and Harry Potter. Oh, as for me, I thought, blah. I was disgusted, to be honest. Then we started to write our poems. I decided to do mine about the ocean, because I was born in Cape Cod. This is how my poem went: Blowing wind is swirling sand. Into many directions. Tickling my nose. Smelling the sea air. Seeing dolphins jump up and saying hello to me. Bubbles coming from fish’s mouths. The sun setting. Crabs hiding. The sea.
As I finished“the sea” line, I saw Mrs. Wrote walk over to me. I saw her glance at my paper. Then she froze. She took out her phone. Then I froze. I felt like my pencil would split in half, because of how hard my grip was. Then I heard a tiny, SNAP! Oh my cheesiness, she took a picture of my poem! This may seem “Awesome, wow girl, you’re famous,” because only the best drafts get a “Yes, yes!” from her, and pictures are just under that level (I think). But what if she embarrasses me in front of all the teachers, or wait, the whole school!? No, the whole town! No, the state, wait, the country, no the world! Wait, the universe! Even little dwarf planet Pluto may laugh! (To Be Continued) Ella Pass is a fifth grader at Canton Intermediate School. She love to play soccer and basketball, and she is starting tennis this summer. She love, loves to write. And she does a little craft every day. She loves a science fiction series called Star Wars, and superhero comics by DC and Marvel. She loves ducks a whole lot.
A New Beginning
Your branches Strong And covered with thousands of tiny pops of color Shade me Not only from the sun but from the raging world around me When I am under you I have no worries I sit beside you And watch you grow And your leaves change And then fall to the ground And the sprouts beneath you have a new blanket And a new beginning
Sun glistening. Hearts warming. April showers. And May flowers. Fireflies glowing. Flowers growing. Budded trees. Spring bees. Sweet nectar. Sunsets. Sunrise. Dayâ€™s on. Fresh air. Animals. Peace. Calmness.
By Margo! Wiser, Grade 5
Memories in the Water By Ellery Reitzas, Grade 5
Uncle Mike surfing the waves Sharks passing by me Paddle-boarding with Angus by my side Charlie splashing in the water And poppa racing by
By Ella Pass, Grade 5
Selections by Hannah Smelter
It is not that I don’t have words. There are just so many that stain my fingers With the ink from my fountain pen That look more like Picasso than Van Gogh. -My Writer’s Block
Hannah Smelter is a writer currently pursuing her BA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry and Nonfiction at St. Lawrence University. She is a poetry and art editor for St. Lawrence’s literary magazine, The Laurentian.
Scented like the tree I slept under As tiny lime buds blossomed into Lilac scrapbook pages And laughter heard from 1000 miles away. -Joy
My words are not sweet. People pop them in their mouths They taste of black coffee And sound like dissonant chords. -An Acquired Taste
My troubles will subside; Like the receding waters of the Great Flood And the snow after a long winter in Connecticut Leaving room for the primroses to bloom again -The Reward for Resilience Just some extra wisdom To prepare us for A chorus of laughter and crying -Lifeâ€™s Verses
I was never attached to the colonial with the apple orchard, the tiny cottage with daylilies sprouting from the patio, And the yellow mansion with the pool in the back But I could never wave goodbye to the middle school yearbooks, the stench of seashells in hurricane jars And the polaroids scattered across my bed -Home is Not a Place, But Memories
The Psychology of Strong Characters
Saturday, June 1 / 12:00 - 2:00 pm Learn to apply basic psychology to the development of your characters. Create more com-
pelling characters by revealing their fears, desires, and dreams with authentic detail. Make use of psychological foundations to understand your characters and intensify writing. Topics will include: The psychology of the body, what dialogue tells us about characters by what is said or not said, taking characters past their edge of comfort (and yours). With Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD. REGISTER: $40
Point of View
Saturday, June 1 / 2:00 - 3:30 pm One of the most overlooked and crucial decisions concerns who actually tells your story. Different narrators or perspectives can add texture or weaken your impact, and they all have special advantages and demands. Using recent examples, Steve helps you understand how to choose the narrator who can give your story that extra punch. With Steve Liskow REGISTER: $30
Secrets of Screenwriting
Sundays, June 2 - July 14 / 1:00 - 2:30 pm Learn the secrets of writing a screenplay that will get noticed! In this introductory
class, start with the basics of visual storytelling, create characters, structure, story arc and conflict, discuss dialogue and voice, and most importantly, learn the correct way to format a screenplay (potential producers will not read a screenplay that is formatted incorrectly). With Pamela Perry Goulardt REGISTER: $180
Hooked on Recovery: Therapeutic Writing for Loved Ones of an Addict
Saturday, June 8 / 2:00 - 5:00 pm Loved ones and family members are the overlooked victims of addiction. Writing and sharing individual experiences has a positive, therapeutic effect in a group with others who have traveled the tumultuous terrain of loving an addicted person. This workshop uses both prompts and free-writing exercises to guide participants, and leads to the Quarterly Story Share. Stay tuned for dates & times. With Nan McKernan REGISTER: $90 for a 3-hour class
Write Your Memoir or Novel (Summer Session)
Tuesday June 25, July 16, August 6 / 6:00 - 8:00 pm Make writing your memoir or novel a priority in this collaborative workshop. Gain the necessary guidance, structure and writer’s tools. In this 3-week mini workshop, you’ll learn how to draw upon your life experiences to write a memoir or to craft fiction from your imagination. With C. Flanagan Flynn REGISTER: $140
Writing for the Booming Y.A. Nonfiction Market
Saturday, June 29 / 12:00 - 2:00 pm This workshop will assume most attendees have little to no experience in the genre but a
real interest in exploring this vibrant book market. Do you have a knack for translating complex information into story? Do you love biography? Have you ever tried your hand at writing projects-for-hire for major publishing houses, such as writing a volume in a book series? Come work with a veteran nonfiction author, Mary Collins, who has written five adult nonfiction titles and five YA history titles. With Mary Collins REGISTER: $40
Writing to Heal Trauma
Saturday, June 29 / 2:30 - 3:30 pm “The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them,” says Badger in Barry Lopez’s book Crow and Weasel. “Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” The hardest stories to tell are the ones about the times that life broke us; and yet the are the stories we need to tell the most. We need, as somebody once wrote, to follow our heartbreak. By writing about the trauma and loss we’ve endured, we can drain the infection and heal ourselves -- we’ll give voice to the pain and tell the stories that we need to tell in order to heal. With T. J. Banks REGISTER: $20
From Poetry to Prose
Saturday, July 13 / 1:00 - 2:30 pm Learn from a published author and creative writing professor how poetry and prose can
improve each other. Use a series of prompts to create work in each genre and see how the writing of poetry can enrich your prose (and vice versa). With Steven Parlato REGISTER: $30
Public Speaking for Authors
Saturday, July 13 / 2:30 - 4:00 pm In this workshop, participants will learn strategies to harness the power of effective public
speaking. Topics include planning engaging speeches and book readings, dealing with speaker nervousness, and delivering compelling presentations. While focus will be placed on developing skills for writers and other professionals, anyone interested in enhancing public speaking skills is welcome. With Kara E. Simmers REGISTER: $30
Good Grief: Writing to Process Loss
Saturday, July 20 / 2:00 - 5:00 pm Loss is an inevitable and life-altering event. Processing through writing is a beneficial part
of healthy grieving. This workshop provides participants an opportunity to explore the complexities of grief and healing using guided prompts. With Nan McKernan REGISTER: $90
Get Published: From Ideas to Instagram
Saturday, July 27 / 1:00 - 2:30 pm This workshop presents writers with the tools to prepare a manuscript for publication and
then navigate the process of marketing a book after publication. Come learn from a real published author! Topics include: The Right Fit: Opportunities on websites such as Submittable, preparing manuscripts, and deciding between a traditional publisher, and indie publisher or self-publishing. The Wait: Once accepted, what usually happens and how to navigate the process of publication. What to expect from publishing companies and editors. Revising and editing. After publication: A marketing platform is vital these days. We will take a look at some of the most popular ways authors market their books from traditional bookstore signings to blogs, to Instagram With Lisa Acerbo REGISTER: $30
Reading Like a Writer
Tuesday, July 30 / 6:00 - 8:00 pm In this workshop, we’ll read Tara Westover’s bestselling memoir Educated from the lens of a
writer. We’ll learn how to deconstruct Tara’s book to understand what makes the memoir work from a reader standpoint. We’ll analyze the memoir for elements of the writing craft and discuss ways to incorporate similar writing craft elements into your writing to elevate your memoir writing. Whether you’ve read Educated or have been wanting to read it, dive deeply into this bestseller with writer and magazine editor C Flanagan Flynn. This workshop will be highly engaging and informative with the purpose to help you, as a writer, glean valuable lessons from Educated. Please purchase Educated at least two weeks prior to the workshop to leave yourself ample time to read before the workshop. Instructor will supply notebooks (or bring your computer). With C. Flanagan Flynn REGISTER: $40
Saturday, August 3 / 1:00 - 3:00 pm Dialogue helps move your story along, depict character, enhance mood, and create ten-
sion. Using examples from contemporary fiction, Steve will help you refine your dialogue to make your characters distinct, even as they strengthen your plot and establish a mood. The class includes exercises that apply to all fiction writing and will help train your ear for what works. With Steve Liskow REGISTER: $30
Creative Nonfiction Essay Publishing 101
Saturday, August 10 / 2:00 - 4:00 pm Learn the nuances of submitting your work for publication. Includes how to identify
which publications are best suited to specific genres of interest, contacts for those genres as well as main stream magazine publication tips. Includes query writing and pitfalls to avoid. A must-attend for any novice writer looking to publish for the first time or for more seasoned writers looking to expand their portfolios of published work. With Nan McKernan REGISTER: $60
Reverse Engineer a Book: Learn How an Essay Led to an Anthology
Tuesday, August 13 / 6:00 - 8:00 pm In this workshop, we’ll reverse engineer Michele Filgate’s What My Mother and I Don’t Talk
About. Learn the nuts and bolts of how one essay from one writer grew into an anthology of essays by 15 writers. Unpack how the essay’s powerful title and theme hooked readers, how strategically placing an essay in a targeted literary magazine can increase your odds of publication, and which venues to target and how/where to find them. With C. Flanagan Flynn REGISTER: $40
The house is full of authors from past and present ... which one is a murderer?
Murder at the
Timeless Cottage A live murder mystery night!
Step into an immersive evening of glamour and mystery at the next event in the Storyteller’s Cottage Live Murder Mystery series!
detective hats and participate in the party. Guests are invited to come dressed as their favorite author and plan to interrogate the suspects throughout the house.
On Saturday, June 15 at 8:00 pm, a stunning array of famous authors from past and present will gather together in their secret sanctuary, the Ivory Tower, for their annual meeting. Much like the meeting place for Harry Potter’s Order of the Phoenix at 12 Grimmauld Place, this location appears to be a normal house to the uninitiated, but for those in the know, it is a fantastical portal to another dimension. To enter this magical space, guests must give a secret password and pass through a hidden time machine (disguised as an antique wardrobe), which allows authors who have ostensibly passed on to join in the revelry.
Speak with the Bronte sisters, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain and more, and be prepared for a night of shenanigans as you enjoy food & drink in a period speakeasy!
Incredibly, a series of tragic murders have occurred at previous author gatherings, and it may come to pass that history repeats itself and a similar misfortune befalls one of the authors present. In order to prevent yet another murder, the Storyteller’s Cottage has invited the public to put on their
This dramatic and stimulating alternative to traditional night-out activities provide guests a chance to feel transported to fantastical times and places, and immersed in their favorite books. Live murder mystery parties are held quarterly at the Storyteller’s Cottage, and every backstory and murderer is different. These glamorous evenings offer guests a uniquely dynamic experience, where their own actions influence the flow of the story. Prizes are awarded for guests who correctly identify the criminal based on the strength of their alibi and the clues they reveal throughout the night. $60 includes heavy hors d’ouevres and wine. TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
Midsummer Night Immerse yourself in your favorite book!
Celebrate a beautiful Midsummer Night with a fantastical costume ball! Whether youâ€™re an ethereal fairy, a mysterious steampunk adventurer, a mythological elf, an elegant Regency baroness or a dastardly pirate, come dressed in your favorite fantasy ensemble and enjoy the company of a dapper and disparate group of fascinating fellows. Our magical Victorian house will set the stage for an array of enchanting festive activities. Take a perfectly staged photo of yourself and your friends in a precisely decorated, immersive fantasy room that complements your character (choose from our Steampunk Library, Medieval Castle, Fairy Forest, Magical Common Room, Regency Salon and more). Mix magical
potions into delicious cocktails (both virgin and not) in our Elixir Laboratory. Make otherworldly potion necklaces, delicate floral crowns, gear-strewn bracelets and more at our Clever Crafting Stations. Taste mysterious and indescribably delicious tidbits from all of the fantasy realms, from delicate fairy cakes to Victorian steampunk molecular gastronomy. Enhance your glorious garb with professional face painting and body painting. Meet and mingle with old and new friends, all of whom hold nerdy literary cosplay in high esteem. This immersive event will be a night to remember! (Cash bar available) TICKETS: $25
Summertime Soiree Immerse yourself in your favorite book!
Experience the most unique live magic show in Connecticut! Celebrate summer with an elegant Victorian lawn party, followed by a fascinating up-close parlor magic performance in our candlelit Jules Verne Library. Begin with cocktails and croquet on the lawn, then just as dusk falls and the luminaria begin to glow, withdraw to the historic salon to thrill at amazing feats of skill. If you like, come dressed in white tea dresses or light linen pants and straw boater hats to complete the immersive experience.
Surround yourself in Victorian splendor as expert magician David Reed-Brown performs captivating sleight-of-hand tricks right before your eyes, as you enjoy elegant desserts in our vintage historic parlor. Unlike most magic shows, this exclusive performance allows guests to get up-close and personal with this talented magician as he wanders among them while they eat and chat. Surrounded by vintage red and gold wall coverings, antique Victorian furnishings, and mysterious low lighting, guests will feel transported to the Victorian era, the golden age of magic. Tickets: $50 (includes soft drinks and desserts)
Have you ever wanted to travel the world? Join us to travel by BOOK!
JULY 21: Travel to Denmark “The Year of Living Danishly” by Helen Russel When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. REGISTER
AUGUST 11: Travel to India “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city’s poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power. REGISTER
SEPTEMBER 8: Travel to Spain “The Telling Room” by Michael Paterniti In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room.” Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets—usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong. . . .
Summer Events june - july - august
“Murder She Wrote” Mystery Tea Party
Live Storytelling: Tales from Beyond the Ban
Celebrate Four New Authors
Author Night with James Chesbro Murder at the Timeless Cottage
Author Networking Brunch: Children’s Authors Author Night with Chuck Radda
Summer Literary Crafting Studio June 27 Tea with an Author: Kathy Orzech June 29 Midsummer Night Fantasy Ball Launch Party for Author Kati Mockler
June 29 July 7
“Murder She Wrote” Mystery Tea Party July 10 A Grand Adventure: Grandparent/Grandchild Mystery
Victorian Parlor Magic: Summer Soiree July 20 The Grand Tour Revisited: Denmark
Tea & Tips: How to Get Published (Penny Goetjen) July 21 Tea & Tips: How to Get Published (C. Flanagan Flynn)
Author Networking Brunch: Y.A. Authors
The Grand Tour Revisited: India
Sign up for our newsletter
Summer Theme: The Hobbit Join us for a creative summer evening of literary crafting in our lovely Jane Austen Salon! Come to Hobbiton and create crafty art journals with Bilbo Baggins! Write in Elvish in your journals and enjoy a cozy evening immersed in the world of J. R. R. Tolkien. Weâ€™ll be painting and illustrating quotes from the book, drawing classic images from the movies, using botanical items to decorate, writing our names using the Elvish alphabet, and using Hobbit-inspired scrapbooking paper to make beautiful artwork. COST: $15 (includes book pages & crafting supplies, but not a journal - please bring your own) PLEASE REGISTER HERE
Literary Summer Camp JULY 29 - AUGUST 2
Do you suspect you might be a demi-god? Come to Camp Half Blood and find out! Spend the week immersed in mythology, monster lore, weapons training, and more. REGISTER
JULY 15 - 19
Are you a fan of exciting problem-solving books like the Mysterious Benedict Society, Book Scavenger, Mr Lemoncello’s Library, Greenglass House and 39 Clues? Spend the week learning to break every kind of code there is! We’ll play all three of our mystery rooms, then build our own room from scratch. REGISTER
AUGUST 12 - 16
Do you love to write? Would you like to become a published author? Spend the week with us exploring all the coolest types of writing, like journalism, blogging, food critics, fan fiction, fantasy world-building, and more. Meet a different REAL PUBLISHED AUTHOR each day, and learn where to submit your writing for publication, how to write a query letter, when you’ll need a literary agent, and get professional editing on your own work. Spend afternoons at our mini “CAMP NaNoWriMo”, the kid’s version of National Novel Writing Month, working on your creative writing -- complete a publishable piece by the end of the week! REGISTER
JULY 8 - 12
Were you born in the wrong era? Are you really a knight, or a mage, or a bard, or an elf at heart? Spend a week immersed in a land of fantasy ... create a clever and powerful character and spend your mornings crafting amazing costuming and accessories for it (like wings, horns, armor, weapons and more), then spend the afternoon playing Dungeons & Dragons as that character! REGISTER
AUGUST 5 - 9
Spend a week at Hogwarts! Bring your wand, wear your house colors, and take classes from a range of visiting professors in all your favorite subjects, including Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Alchemy, History of Magic, Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and more. Enjoy book discussions, scientific experiments, crafts & costuming, cooking, and even learn magic from a real magician! We’ll make chocolate frogs, drink butterbeer, play Quiddich, and even take a field trip to Hogsmeade. REGISTER
Tea Party C L UB
What could be more fun than dressing up for a fancy tea party? Every month the Storytellerâ€™s Cottage hosts a bevy of charming beauties, all decked out in their teatime finest, for an afternoon of classic stories, crafts and treats. Held on the first Sunday of each month at 2:00pm, the Tea Party Club features a different beloved story every time. After Princess Heather reads the book, participants make a lovely craft themed to the story, then enjoy cookies or cupcakes and lemonade in real china teacups at the charming bistro tables by the fireplace in the English Kitchen. Tickets are just $15 per party, and discounts are available for multi-month purchases. This event is designed for children aged 5 - 8. For grandparent/grandchild teatimes, please see A Grand Adventure.
Do you know a child who loves to write? The Storyteller’s Cottage offers a range of children’s creative writing workshops after school, on weekends and during the summer. Every Friday at 4:30pm, the Friday Night Mystery Writers Club meets in the elegant Victorian Parlor to dream up mysterious stories by candlelight. Cost is just $15 per session, and pre-registration is not required. MORE This spring, professional writer Lori Kase teaches students in 3rd - 5th grade how to “Get Published.” This five-week session meets on Wednesday afternoons and culminates in every student’s work being published in the Storyteller’s Cottage Inkling magazine. In August, the “Get Published” summer camp will run from August 12 - 16 from 9:00am - 4:00pm. Campers will explore a variety of types of writing, like journalism, blogging, food critics, fan fiction, fantasy world-building, and more, and will meet a different published author each day. MORE
Children's Writing Workshops
Coming this fall, fans of Harry Potter will enjoy an exciting monthly writing workshop titled “Magical Pencraft” on Sunday afternoons, featuring Hogwarts-themed fan fiction opportunities and writing prompts. MORE CHILDREN’S WRITING SCHOLARSHIP Do you know a child who would really enjoy a creative writing class at the Storyteller’s Cottage, but for whom the price is an obstacle? A generous benefactor has offered to sponsor a child up to $150. To apply for this Youth Creative Writing Scholarship, please encourage your favorite student to send one paragraph explaining why they love to write to Lisa@StorytellersCottage.com.
Sign up for our newsletter
JUNE - JULY - AUGUST Friday Night Mystery Writer’s Club Every Friday ............................................................................................................ Board Game Cafe Every Friday ............................................................................................................ Storytime with Amanda Bannikov: The Sleepy Dragon June 1 ............................................................................................................ Tea Party Club: James and the Giant Peach June 2 ............................................................................................................ Dumbledore’s Army: Hogwarts Ball June 9 ............................................................................................................ Harry Potter Camp July 1 - 5 ............................................................................................................ Tea Party Club: Pippi Longstocking July 7 ............................................................................................................ Dungeons & Dragons Camp July 8 - 12 ............................................................................................................ A Grand Adventure: Grandparent/Grandchild Mystery & Tea July 14 ........................................................................................................... Code Breakers Camp July 15 - 19 ............................................................................................................ Camp Half Blood Jul 29 - Aug 2 ............................................................................................................ Tea Party Club: Wizard of Oz August 4 ............................................................................................................ Harry Potter Camp II Aug 5 - 9 ............................................................................................................ Get Published Camp Aug 12 - 16 ............................................................................................................
A Look Back... on springtime events
alice in wonderland
midnight dinner Color-changing drinks, breakfast for dinner, a treasure hunt, literary Mad Libs, and teacup candles turned an ordinary evening into an extraordinary adventure.
gilmore girls fan day
Over a dozen fans of the popular tv show spent the day enjoying creative writing, crafts, coffee and conversation.
BOOK ODYSSEY SCI FI AUTHOR NIGHT
NANCY DREW MYSTERY NIGHT & TEA PARTY
TEA PARTY CLUB AND CRAFTS
STORYTIMES WITH LOCAL AUTHORS
LADIES NIGHT OUT AND WELLNESS FAIR WITH LIVE STORYTELLING
“BECOMING A MEDIUM” WITH SHARON FARBER
MAGICIAN DAVID REED-BROWN
ALL ACCESS AUTHOR NIGHT WITH BERNICE ROQUE KRISTEN TSETSI AND PENNY GOETJEN
Would you like to see your ad here? Reach thousands of fans of literature every quarter through direct mail and social media sharing of Inkling magazine. 1/4 page ad: $50 per issue 1/2 page ad: $90 per issue Full page ad: $165 per issue Email Lana@StorytellersCottage.com for details
Publish your book with The Storyteller’s Cottage!
Why publish your book with us? The Storyteller’s Cottage is the center of a vibrant booklover’s community. We prioritize local authors, and will use all of our reading, writing and book distribution contacts in the area to launch your book and bring as much local attention as possible. We will also work to introduce your book to new readers with national bookstore chains and online booksellers. You’ll receive personalized, human attention and be part of our local book “family!”
What do we offer authors? -Small initial print run -Hard cover & soft cover options -Upload of ebook and paperback on Amazon -Editing resources -Book design and layout services -Book illustration resources -Author website design assistance -Author social media account launch -Personalized marketing
How do we spread the word?
-- Launch Party at the Storyteller’s Cottage -- Author Salon (book reading & signing) -- Dedicated page on our website -- Storytimes (for children’s books) -- Media blitz (incl social media) -- Featured space in our Open Houses -- Feature article in “Inkling” -- Creation of an educational lesson featuring -- Bookmarks, stickers and coloring your book, to be used by local schools & pages to match your book posted on Teachers Pay Teachers cover or illustrations -- Inclusion in a Field Trip Package -- Foam board signs for in-person events for local schools -- Feature space in our Booktique -- Opportunity to lead a creative writing class book--store on the premises and feature your book -- Book Trailer on YouTube -- Help designing an author web page & Facebook page
Call alanna to set up a free consultation! (860) 877-6099
SIGN UP TODAY
The Storytellerâ€™s Cottage Staff Lisa Natcharian - Owner Alanna Hammond - Director of Facilities & Publishing Heather Murray - Creative & Writing Director Svenja Volpe - Director of Operations & Mysteries Casey Croft - Summer Keeper, Camp Counselor Hannah Smelter - Creative Writing Intern Juan Aguilar - Game Master Jen Cook - Game Master Josh Jaggon - Game Master Dave Murray - Game Master Emily Scott - Game Master
The literary magazine of the Storyteller's Cottage.