Story Circle Network

  Story Circle Network

  ...for women with stories to tell

National e-Letter  
August 2009, Vol. 10, No 8  

The Susan Wittig Albert
LifeWriting Competition

Janet is Blogging at
Telling HerStories

The judges have awarded prizes in our recent lifewriting contest. Mary Lee Fulkerson of Reno NV won first prize, Linda Hoye of Auburn WA second, Linda Sievers of Arcata CA third, and Michelle Welch of Bakersfield CA fourth. You can find the announcement, with links to the winning entries, on our Contest Winners page. Their stories appear in the September issue of the Story Circle Journal. Thanks to everyone who entered and to our team of fine judges. And congratulations to our winners!

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

We're unique! SCN offers the only regular national memoir conference in the country—and it's just for women! The conference is still seven months away, but our planning committee is already at work. For all the who-what-when, visit our conference web site. And to ensure that you don't miss the latest development, please sign up (on the website) for our National Conference eLetter mailing list. Mark your calendars now. Learn, share, and celebrate with us as we honor women's stories!

Call for Presenters Extended. If you're a woman teacher or workshop facilitator with a special interest in women's stories, we invite you to check out our conference Call for Presenters. That's where you'll find all the details and instructions for easy on-line submission. New deadline: August 15.

Call for Vendors. This conference will be a perfect opportunities to show off your wares! We welcome vendors (including small publishers) who would like to sell their own books, paper products, print-related services, writing-related items, and hand-crafted items of interest to women. For information, see our on-line application form. Deadline: December 1.

SCN's Editorial Service

SC/ES Do You Suffer Writer's Worry #1?
Are you afraid to turn their words over to a stranger? You don't want to lose your voice? Story Circle Network-Editorial Service editors respect and understand writers—many are writers themselves. SCN-ES gives you easy access to a team of professionals that understand the stories women write.

Learn Online!

We're offering one more course this summer. If you're considering a book project, this is a course you won't want to Sarah White's three-unit mini-course (August 17-Sept. 7) on developing a book proposal. Even if your book is still in the pre-writing stage, this course will help you focus your attention where it needs to be.

We'll be back in our virtual classrooms in just a few weeks, with a great lineup of online courses for the fall term. Check out our offerings on our website and in our special Online Class eLetter, coming to your inbox over the next few weeks.

You'd rather learn one-on-one? Then take a look at SCN's Writing Mentorship Program, where women writers with clearly defined writing projects work with experienced professional mentors who encourage them to achieve their 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 Bloggers: The International Mom

Judy Miller Judy's blog, The International Mom, gives us a stunning glimpse into her international family of adopted children. The subtitle, "Parenting a Diverse family in Today's Contemporary Culture," tells the story in a few words, and every entry opens a new and wider window on her family's active life. Diversity is the theme of the blog, but family unity is the underlying message. No matter how different we may look, she says, "these children are my real children. I am their real mother. My husband is their real father. They are real brothers and sisters."

The International Mom is beautifully written and illustrated, the ongoing story of a unique and remarkable family. But it also provides us with an important model for the way families can grow together, in love and care for one another. Thank you, Judy, for sharing your story with us!

Blogging is an important form of published lifewriting. If you blog, tell us so we can add you to our growing list of SCN member bloggers (77 now, with more every month!).

Real Women Get Involved

Volunteer positions can help us gain new skills, make new contacts, and have new kinds of fun. We have a few positions that need filling here at SCN. If you've got some time and energy, we can use it! Check out the possibilities here. Members only.

SCN Publication News

Get your Journal PDQ, Save $$ and Trees, and Win a Free Book!
Members, we would love to send our quarterly Journal to you via super-speedy email, rather than through the snail-mail post. 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 put your name on our email list and enter it in the drawing. You help save a tree, SCN saves printing and postage costs, and somebody (could be you!) will win a free book!

Last month's winner is Bettyann Schmidt of Springfield, TN. Bettyann, your book is on its way!

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

We're delighted to welcome two new editors at StoryCircleBookReviews: Linda Hoye and Judy Miller. Linda will be focussing her attention on Christian fiction and women's general fiction; Judy is interested in books for girls and for parents.

In case you haven't heard, StoryCircleBookReviews is the largest, most comprehensive women's book review site on the Internet. Please drop in and browse through the wonderful books we've found just for you—author interviews and other features, too! And don't forget: every time you purchase a book through our website, you're helping to support SCN.

And did we just hear you say that say that you love women's books, too? That you'd like to write reviews? You go, girl! And go here for details. (And if you need more incentive, well, that's easy. You get to keep all those fantastic books you review!)

Members In Print & In the News

Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett recently released their DVD set "The [Essential] Women's Memoir Writing Workshop: 21 Steps from Planning to Publication," to strong reviews. Janet Caplan's short piece entitled "Rock" appears in the online journal Tiny Lights. Bobbi Chukran's play, "Annierella and the Very Awesome Good Queen Fairy Cowmother," walked away with top honors at Youth Education On Stage last month. And Sandi Simon's "Running" and "Raspberries and Tea" are appearing in This Path, an anthology that will be published by Silver Boomer Books this summer. Congratulations, all!

Check for more news here. We love to brag about our SCN members, so please let us know about your magazine, book, and on-line publications so we can crow about you, too!

LifeWriters' Market

The lifestory market is hot right now, and editors are actively looking for good writing. Check out the long list of current possibilities here for details. Many of these markets offer prizes (Writer's Digest: $3,000), all offer publication. Check the deadlines carefully, read the rules for each, and plan your submissions. (Sorry: markets available to members only. Not a member? We'd love to have you join us!) And if you know of a market, don't be selfish—share! Email us with details.

Workshop Watch

The Power of Words Conference:
Liberation, Transformation & Celebration
Through the Spoken, Written & Sung Word
September 4-7, 2009
Goddard College, Plainfield VT

Explore how we can use our words—written, spoken or sung—to make community, deepen healing, witness one another, wake ourselves up, and foster empowerment and transformation. Organized by the Transformative Language Network, and founded by Goddard College, this conference features experiential workshops on a wide range of the expressive language arts and right livelihood, performances, open readings, and celebrations. Make community with others who share your passion.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website.


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.

Internet Chapter News

The Internet Chapter is always looking for new readers and writers to join the ranks! All that is required to join a writing or reading e-circle is (a) an up-to-date membership of the National and Internet Chapter SCN (b) a love of reading and/or writing and (c) a desire to connect with other women who share those loves.

There's no better time to join than TODAY! Go here for more information and here to join.

Catherine Close (writing e-circle #15) was chosen for the "Story of the Month" award for August. Congratulations, Catherine! 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.)

Reading Circles

The Austin area's reading circle's August selection is Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found, by Marie Brenner. The Austin circle is open to non-members. Join our lively discussion!

The Internet Chapter's reading circle's August selection is The Assault of Laughter, by Melissa Hart (SCN/IC members only).

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!

Writing Circles

Story Circles Around the World
Check out our ever-expanding list of Story Circles Around the World. If your story circle isn't listed, please be sure to let us know so we can help publicize it.

OWL stands for "Older Women's Legacy," a grant-funded program designed to help senior women chronicle their life experiences. So far, there have been over 100 groups in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more and see a list of our publications, visit the OWL-Circle web site. If you would like to attend an OWL-Circle in the Austin area, please contact Anne Beckner.

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.

New Members

Since our last e-letter the following women have joined or rejoined:
  • Jane Almquist of Houston, TX
  • Priscilla Ambriz of Lockhart, TX
  • Missy Beach of Beaumont, TX
  • Judith Bjorck of Liverpool, NY
  • Sharon Buettell of Dubuque, IA
  • Candice Byrne of Martinsburg, WV
  • Emily Carter of Wimberley, TX
  • Katherine DeGrow of Richardson, TX
  • Candace Grams of Lockhart, TX
  • Barb Haynes of Murphy, NC
  • Georgeann Hendrick of Belmont, CA
  • Marjorie Hyman of Winchester, VA
  • Maddy Johnson of Groton, CT
  • Marie LaConte of Waukesha, WI
  • Kristy Maher of Greenville, SC
  • Nancy Malvin of Troy, IL
  • Kelly McCool of Lockhart, TX
  • Dee Merian of Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Barbara Miller of Naples, FL
  • Donna Miller of Austin, TX
  • Beverly Offen of Glenview, IL
  • Patricia Page of Austin, TX
  • Chestelle Samford of Austin, TX
  • Connie Stokes of Athens, TX
  • Sheree Chalfant Troy of Lincolnton, NC
  • Aditi Worcester of Austin, TX



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.

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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

Janet Riehl
Janet Riehl

"Art is good, but craft will see you through," Janet Riehl says. "Our muse comes when we're at work." At HerStories, Janet's "Creative Catalyst" offers seed thoughts, activities, and tips to keep your writing hand moving even when your brain or your life seems paused. Read Janet's blog posts on working and staying creative at HerStories.

Telling HerStories

Real Words from
True Women

"Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that a quiet conscience makes one strong."
—Anne Frank Read more from "Real Words from True Women".

Join Our Online Group

Writing is never lonely if you belong to SCN LifeWriters. We get together for daily this-and-that about our writing, reading, thinking, feeling—it's all part of our life stories! Coming up in September, we're reading and discussion: Walking Nature Home, a wonderful memoir by SCN member Susan J. Tweit, who will join us to answer our questions. Log on, tune in, and join the party.


Join us on Facebook and keep with our SCN goings-on. A girl can never have too many friends, right? We're updating regularly, so you can be in touch.

And check us out on Twitter, too!

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).

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).

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

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