Story Circle Network

  Story Circle Network

  ...for women with stories to tell

National e-Letter  
June 2009, Vol. 10, No 6  

SCN's Editorial Service Launch

Susan's Blogging at
Telling HerStories

SC/ES We're delighted to announce the launch of our brand-new SCN Editorial Service, under the direction of Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett. Please visit the new website, check out the services, and meet Matilda and Kendra and the wonderful team of editors they've assembled. As a writer, you deserve nurturing, support, and the very best professional help available. That's what you'll find at SC/ES. You won't be disappointed!

Be Our Guest! June 14

If you live in the Austin, Texas area, we hope you'll join us on Sunday, June 14, from 2-4pm, for our upcoming Be Our Guest! program. This meeting, a joint presentation by Story Circle and The Central Texas Story Telling Guild, will feature SCN & Central TX Story Telling Guild members reading and telling their stories. The meeting will be held at the Family Life Center, First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca St, Austin TX 78701.

Mark your calendars for a very exciting Be Our Guest! program in early November: Susan Albert and Susan Tweit will discuss their new memoirs, both being published this fall by UT Press. This book talk / book signing will be held on Monday, November 2, from 7-9pm, at the Garrison Chapel, First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca St, Austin TX 78701.

More details can be found here.

Calling all entries: The Susan Wittig Albert LifeWriting Competition

The entries are coming in already for the 10th annual Susan Wittig Albert LifeWriting Competition. Is yours among them? If not, get out your computer and start clicking those nails across that keyboard. This year's topic focuses on overcoming obstacles, which is a theme to which we can all relate, right?

The benefits are great for entering your best work: giving shape to a life story; possible publication in the SCN Journal; and cash prizes for first, second, and third places.

The competition is open to Story Circle Network members in good standing. The entry must be original and previously unpublished. Click here for complete information.

Okay, what are you waiting for? Tick-tock, tick-tock. Deadline for entries is July 1.

Stories From the Heart V: Feb 5-7, 2010 Call for Proposals

SCN's fifth national memoir conference is eight months away, but our planning committee is already hard at work. To read all about it, visit our conference web site. To ensure that you get the latest scoop, please sign up (on the website) for our National Conference eLetter mailing list. Mark your calendars now, and come, learn, share, and celebrate with us as we honor women's stories!

If you've been thinking you'd like to facilitate a session at one of Story Circle's events, now's the time! We're looking for presenters who have a deep interest in personal writing and expertise and experience they want to share. For details and easy on-line submission, see our Call for Presenters. Deadline: July 31.

Get Involved!

SCN needs YOU to help us with our 2010 National Conference, February 5-7, in Austin TX. (You are planning to be there, aren't you? We hope so!) Check out the opportunities and others here.

Online Classes, Mentorships

Our Summer online classes will be posted in another few days. Check out the website for the list, or watch for our special Online Class eLetter.

If you're looking for one-on-one help, we can offer that, too. SCN's Writing Mentorship Program helps you connect with an experienced, professional mentor who can encourage you to achieve your personal best.

You're a teacher? We're looking for strong writers who have taught memoir, journaling, life-based fiction, and/or other lifewriting forms, with experience in online teaching. Check out the details and deadlines.

SCN Publication News

Get your Journal PDQ, Save $$ and Trees, and Win a Free Book!
The June issue of the SCN Journal is on its way to the printer. We'd love to send it to you via super-speedy email, rather than through the snail-mail post. This will save $$ for SCN and save trees. So....

To encourage you to sign up to receive your Journal via email, we're holding a drawing for a free copy of Starting Points, signed and personalized by author Susan Wittig Albert. All you have to do is send us an e-mail with "SCN Journal via PDF" in the subject line. We'll enter you in the drawing and put your name on our email list. You help save a tree, SCN saves printing and postage costs, and somebody wins a free book!

Last month's winner is Sharyn Pierot of Snohomish, WA. Sharyn, your book is on its way!

Get Published
We publish original stories from members in our quarterly Journal. Look for submission details online or in your Journal.

(What? You're not a member? Why not? We're passionate about women's lives and women's writing. Join us!)

SCN Annual True Words Anthology
The annual True Words Anthology was mailed to members in mid-May. Thanks to this year's anthology editor, Amber Starfire, for a fabulous publication, filled with our members' writing!

Kitchen Table Stories on
KTS is now available on!

Story Circle Book Reviews: By, For, and About Women

Check out our Review of the Month!

Linda Wisniewski This month, we say goodbye to Linda Wisniewski, co-editor of StoryCircleBookReviews. Linda is a gifted, dedicated editor and leaves to spend more time on her writing. If you're interested in making an editorial contribution to the site, check out our volunteer opportunities.

StoryCircleBookReviews offers over 700 reviews of fine women's writing, author interviews, podcasts, an eletter, and a bundle of other features. Please drop in and browse through the wonderful books we've found just for you. And don't forget: every time you purchase a book through our website, you're helping to support SCN!

Did we just hear you say that say that you love women's books, too? That you'd like to write reviews? Wonderful! Go here for details.(And if you need more incentive, here 'tis: you get to keep all those fantastic books you review!)

SCN Bloggers: My Own Velvet Room

Linda Hoye Linda Hoye's beautiful blog bears the motto, Nulla dies sine linea—No day without a line. What a courageous commitment, carried out always with humor, resolve, and the desire to share her work-in-progress, her joys, pleasures, and—yes—pain. Linda, you're an inspiration to the rest of us, line by line, day by day. Thank you!

Do you blog? Tell us so we can add you to our growing list of SCN member bloggers (73 now, and more every month!).

Members In Print & In the News

Hey, we've got news! North American rights to Donna Johnson's memoir-in-progress, Holy Ghost Girl: Scenes from the Apocalypse, were recently bought at auction by Lauren Marino Gotham. A chapter from the book won first prize at the Mayborn Creative Nonfiction Conference in 2007. Donna is a member of the Wordweaver Story Circle group in Austin.

And a round of applause for Nita Lou Bryant, winner of the Mozelle Memoir Contest sponsored by The Writers' League of Texas! You can read her entry, "Seventeen Snowsuits," on the Writers' League website.

Congratulations, Donna and Nita Lou. And there's more to crow about here. If you're an SCN member, please let us know about your magazine, book, and on-line publications so we can crow about you, too!

LifeWriters' Market

It's contest season! Check out our up-to-date Market Watch page for listings. Also of note: anthology opportunities, several of them. Go here for details. (Sorry: members only. Not a member? We'd love to have you join us!) And if you know of a market, don't keep it to yourself! Email us with details.

Workshop Watch

SCN invites writing teachers and writing-related workshop facilitators among our members to affiliate their programs with SCN. For more information, see the members-only Affiliated Workshops web page.

For more info on upcoming writing workshops, classes, etc., see our Writers' Workshops/Conferences/Classes web page.

Reading Circles

The Austin area's reading circle's June selection is The Shiniest Jewel, by Marian Henley.

The Internet Chapter's reading circle's June selection is My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, by Jill Bolte Taylor.

You can browse this year's Austin-area book list and Internet Chapter book list (Internet Chapter members only). You can also purchase the books on those pages. And remember, when you buy a book from our web site, your purchase helps fund our Story Circle programs!

Internet Chapter News

Last month, the Internet Chapter said "goodbye and thank you" to reading e-circle facilitator Helen Lowery. Helen's dedication to promoting the circle's reading and discussion of phenomenal books by gifted women authors is commendable. She will be missed! But have no fear! The reading e-circle is alive and well.

In a bit of restructuring, the reading e-circle is happy to welcome co-facilitators Renee Cassese and Rachel Orozco. Each brings her own vision of what the future of the reading circle can be. We are pleased to have Renee and Rachel join the group of generous women who give so freely of their time and talents to support the mission of Story Circle Network.

Renee Cassese (writing e-circle #4) was chosen for the "Story of the Month" award for June. Congratulations, Renee! Chapter members can read her story and previous honorees' stories on the Story of the Month web page. (Not a member of the chapter? Read a sample Story of the Month.)

If you're a Story Circle member and want to join our cyber-circle, see our Internet Chapter information web page. If you're not a member but are interested in joining the Network, check out our online membership form.

The OWL-Circle Memoir Workshops: For Women Over 60

What's an OWL-circle? OWL stands for "Older Women's Legacy," which began with a grant to SCN from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. It was designed to help women chronicle their memories of life experiences as a gift to their children, grandchildren and friends. It began in Austin where groups continue to flourish and so far there have been over 100 groups in the U.S. and Canada. Currently-meeting circles are listed, along with our "regular" story circles, on our Story Circles Around the World page.

Anne Beckner, OWL-Circle Coordinator, will be starting a new OWL group at the Querencia retirement community in Austin, TX on May 1. Interested? Contact Anne for more information.

To learn more about the OWL-Circle Program and see a list of our publications, visit the OWL-Circle web site. If you are interested in attending an OWL-Circle Writing Program in the Austin area, please contact Anne Beckner.

New Members

Since our last e-letter the following women have joined or rejoined:
  • Deborah Alborell of Sarasota, FL
  • Joellyn Avery of Morgan Hill, CA
  • Barbara Bingham of Sarasota, FL
  • Leta Adele DeFee of Alexandria, LA
  • Dawn Espelage of Vinton, VA
  • Cissy Galloway of Alexandria, LA
  • Raven Herron of Round Mountain, TX
  • Laurel Hunt of Asheville, NC
  • Ann Kriss of Austin, TX
  • Lisa Kuntz of Cedar Park, TX
  • Mary Marino-Strong of Fort Wayne, IN
  • Mary Muir of Wakefield, MA
  • Allyson Whipple of Austin, TX
  • Janice Aston White of Bellaire, TX
  • K. Ann Wood of Nanaimo, BC CANADA



We publish four monthly e-Letters:
  • This National e-Letter brings you writing tips, quotes, and book reviews.
  • The Story Circle Book Reviews e-Letter brings you information about our book reviews and book news.
  • The Story Circle Online Classes e-Letter brings you information about our upcoming online classes and workshops.
  • The Internet Chapter e-Letter is sent only to members of the Internet Chapter; it features chapter news and events.

We appreciate your help in spreading the word about Story Circle Network. Please forward this e-Letter to anyone interested in lifewriting—family and friends, students, clients, members of your writing group.

If a friend has forwarded this to you, add your e-address and click below to get your own subscription.

To join any of our Story Circle Network e-Letter mailing lists, type your email address below, then click the 'Go' button:

To unsubscribe: see link at the very bottom of this email.

Who We Are & How to Join Us

Our mission: The Story Circle Network is dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives and to raising public awareness of the importance of women's personal histories. We carry out our mission through publications, a web site, classes, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. Our activities empower women to tell their stories, discover their identities through their stories, and choose to be the authors of their own lives.

If you're receiving this e-Letter but aren't a member, please join us. Learn more about how SCN can help you tell your story. We offer

  • a quarterly newsletter with features on women's lifewriting
  • opportunities to publish your work
  • workshops, classes, online courses
  • writing circles
  • an Internet Chapter
  • Speaker's Bureau
  • much more

Membership categories:

  • Member: $35; Canada & Mexico: $45; International $50
  • Supporter: $70
  • Sponsor: $125
  • Patron: $200
  • Benefactor: $400+

Internet Chapter membership: $18
(To join the Internet chapter you must also be a member of the national organization; chapter dues are in addition to the national dues.)

To join, see our online membership form. You can pay online, or send a check to Story Circle Network, P.O. Box 500127, Austin TX 78750-0127

Susan Tweit
Susan Tweit

Susan Tweit is a multi-published nature writer who began her science career studying sagebrush, grizzly bears, and wildfires—then realized that she loved the stories behind the science as much as the science itself. Read "Highway Haiku" to see how she puts the "right words in the right order." And while you're visiting our blog, take a few minutes to read the posts by other gifted SCN writers.

Telling HerStories

Real Words from
True Women

"I had to grow up and learn to listen for the unspoken as well as the spoken—and to know a truth."
—Eudora Welty (author)

"Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe."
—Oprah Winfrey (TV personality, producer, actress, author)

"There is a period of life when we swallow knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside."
—Pearl Bailey (vocalist, movie and stage actress)

Read more from "Real Words from True Women".

Join Our Online Group

Think writing is lonely? Not if you belong to SCN LifeWriters. We get together for daily this-and-that about our writing, reading, thinking,'s all part of our life stories! Sometimes we read and discuss a book, sometimes we're silly, sometimes serious. Log on, tune in, and join the party. No makeup necessary. Come exactly as you are.

We're on Facebook!

If you're an SCN member on Facebook, you're invited to join our new Facebook group and keep with the goings-on in the life stories of your SCN sisters.

Start Your Own Story Circle

Start a writing circle in your community—and let us know if you do so! For more information, see our Facilitator's Guide web page. And, please let us know about other writing groups you are in.

SCN Authors, Let Us Know Who You Are!

We're updating our list of SCN authors and we don't want to leave anyone out. If you're an SCN member who as written a book, tell us about it. Send details to us.

What Wildness is This

What Wildness is This

"Powerful, important anthology." —Dallas Morning News

What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest celebrates women's experiences in the landscapes of the Southwest. Winner of the 2008 WILLA Award for Creative Non-Fiction. See our book web site for more details.

Kitchen Table Stories

        KTS cover           

Kitchen Table Stories is a 160-page soft-cover cookbook and story collection from SCN members. Over 70 recipes from our members together with the funny, heartwarming, and touching stories behind those recipes. Order the spiral bound Special Edition through the cookbook web page.

Starting Points

            Starting Points            

Starting Points is SCN's writing prompt e-book. Based on the weekly writing prompts that Susan Albert sent to the Internet Chapter members for six years, this book is available for purchase as either a pdf download or in a spiral-bound edition (shown here). See the Starting Points web page for more details and to place your order with our bookseller,

How I Found SCN

We love to hear how members found us. Tell us your story and we'll publish it online!

Story Circle T-Shirts

Our periwinkle feminine tees make a lovely gift, and feature this quote on the back: "We are the only ones who can tell our stories because we are the only ones who have lived them." —Susan Wittig Albert, SCN founder. Available in medium, large, 1X; size 2X is available in the same color but in a regular-style tee. Price is $18 (shipping/handling and tax included) (click here to see a photo).

Our original beige regular-style tees are still available, too. Quote on back: "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open." —Muriel Rukeyser. Available in medium, large, 2X, & 3X. Close-out sale price: $12 (shipping/handling and tax included) (click here to see a photo).

Use our online T-Shirt order form to order yours today.

Making Payments Online

You can now renew your membership and purchase books and gifts using your credit card—something new for SCN and more convenient for you. Visit our Book & Gift Store page for a list of all our books and tees.

Your Contributions

Share your life. If you are a member of the Story Circle Network, please share your story with us. Check the Journal for details, or see our Writers Guidelines.

Support Story Circle! You can help in the following ways:

  • Contribute to our Annual Fund to further SCN's mission
  • Contribute to our Memorial Fund in honor of a deceased loved one
  • Drop a bit into our Sugar Bowl to support our members in prison and other members under financial duress

    For more details, see how you can help SCN.

  • Share & Multiply

    Earn credits for your membership referrals!

    Now you can earn credits for each new member you refer to the Story Circle Network and each SCN gift membership you give. Your credits will accumulate through the calendar year, and be awarded each Spring. See our Share & Multiply credit plan.

    Story Circle Brochures

    The Story Circle Network's brochures are now online! You can print copies of our national and OWL-Circle brochures anytime. They are in PDF format, so you may need to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Details and downloads are on our SCN Brochures web page.

    Journal Back Issues

    The Story Circle Journal is a unique publication dedicated to helping women tell their personal stories, now in its sixth year. Missing some issues? You can buy back issues on our Buy SCN Journals web page.

    We can supply sample Journals to those starting circles. See our facilitator's guide for more info.

    To read this e-Letter on our web site, click here:

    This e-Letter is a publication of the Story Circle Network, (P.O. Box 500127, Austin TX 78750-0127). It is provided free, via e-mail, for women interested in lifewriting worldwide. ©2009 Story Circle Network

    Feel free to forward this e-Letter to friends and colleagues with appropriate credit to Story Circle Network.

    This e-Letter is written and edited by Peggy Moody & Susan Wittig Albert.

          voice: 970-235-1477