A Message From ShelfAwareness Pro About Our NaNoWriMo Reading on December 3!

Cool Idea of the Day: NaNoWriMo in a Bookstore

For the past four years during National Novel Writing Month, Red Wheelbarrow Writers has created a collective novel, with author Laura Kalpakian writing the first chapter and 29 people signing up to take a day each. This year, the group is working on a story titled Juicy Fruit Don’t Grow on Trees, which takes place in Our House Books, a fictional Northwest bookstore. The central characters are all booksellers or, as Kalpakian hinted, “the books themselves.” About 20 of the co-authors will be reading from their collective work at Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., in early December.

Red Wheelbarrow Anthology

Red Wheelbarrow Anthology Submission Guidelines

stock-photo-18473382-old-fashioned-typewriterWriters, as you know, RWB is “sponsoring” our first publication. An anthology!! Read on for details.

Our Theme: Memory into Memoir. In honor of the fact that many in our community can trace our Bellingham writerly associations back to Laura Kalpakian‘s “Memory into Memoir” course, our first community anthology will focus on short memoir pieces. This anthology should reflect the vitality of the RWB community.

Process: RWB founders, Cami, Laura, and Susan T will be making the primary selections. We and others, who will form an editorial team of about 4 or 5, will offer editorial suggestions for the authors whose work is chosen to help ready their material for publication.

Submission requirements: Please read this carefully.

  1. Your memoir piece should be no more than 3000 words
  2. You should try to focus on one self-contained scene
  3. One submission per writer
  4. Please include a 150 word bio of yourself

And note our special consideration below:

As you know, Red Wheelbarrow Writers takes its title from the famous poem by William Carlos Williams. Over his long career, Williams published in literary magazines, as well as whole volumes of verse (here is a quick link to some of his poetry available online). Please have a look through his work (it is all collected in one volume if you’d like to reference that) and find a line that strikes a chord in memory. With your submission, please identify the line and the poem from which you took it. The line itself does not need to appear in your memoir essay, it simply needs to inspire your piece in some way.

Deadline: October 30, 2015.

Send to: rwbarrow@live.com

**Publication: MEMORY INTO MEMOIR will be a self-published production, appearing under the banner of Red Wheelbarrow Press. We will be raising funds to create the final product, and publication will be contingent on the funds coming in.

If you have experience with Kickstarter and have the skills and inclination to help create a crowd-funding video and/or you have other techno skills you’d like to lend to the project, contact me and let me know (clostman@live.com).

Let’s launch our first book for Red Wheelbarrow Writers with the fanfare it deserves. We’re on our way!!


A Message from Laura Kalpakian!


RWB Book Club:

Sunday, June 14, 4 p.m. in the lobby at Pickford Theatre

The Red Wheelbarrow Writers Book Club theme choice for June is, not surprisingly, Fathers. For June we’ve added a petite caveat: no one can choose Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is the most sterling father in American literature, the father everyone wanted to have. We might as well subtitle our June choice: Beyond Atticus.


Our themes can be genres as well. If you would like to have a writerly discussion on memoir, sci fi, time travel, travel-travel, YA, fantasy, graphic novels and other genres, join us on June 14th [check date] at 4 at the Pickford and make a suggestion for July.


For our May discussion of Mothers, naturally, Mommy Dearest made an appearance among other titles. Mostly the fictional mothers we noted were either comic, symbolic or nasty unto evil. One reader chose books like Jane Eyre where girls who were motherless made their way in the world as successful, if challenged adults. As a group we marveled at the paucity of novels with good mothers. The only one I could think of was Lucia Santa from The Fortunate Pilgrim, Mario Puzo’s first novel. There’s the mother in Little Women, I suppose, a model of loving decorum.   One reader brought the children’s book, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree in which the maternal tree yields up its everything to and for the demanding child. Is that the good mother?


Atticus Finch aside, are fictional fathers portrayed differently? Think on it, and join us for a lively discussion Sunday June 14th at the Pickford.


Below are some of the titles offered up for the Mothers Theme

Grapes of Wrath

Scarlet Letter

Nicholas Nickleby

The Fortunate Pilgrim (Mario Puzo’s first novel)

Bleak House

Jane Eyre

The Giving Tree

Happy Mother’s Day at Big Rock Garden Park!


If you’re looking for a delightful way to spend Mother’s Day, this might be just the ticket!

In Honor of William Carlos Williams

And in the wake of National Poetry Writing Month.

Here is a poem by our very own Linda Lambert


But first…

The Red Wheelbarrow (1923)

by William Carlos Williams


so much depends



a red wheel



glazed with rain



beside the white




Standing before you:

four couplets

of our namesake poem,

a single declarative


No capital letters,

no punctuation,

except for that annoying

final period.


Then those lines forcing pauses.

and the disparate subjects:

a lonely wheelbarrow,

(a common object)

beautified by rain,

plus a few  chickens,

(social creatures)

next to a farmer’s equipment.


Think about this poem

cinematically,** in which

we readers are prodded

to change perspective.

The wheelbarrow is a close-up.

The rainwater glaze,

an extreme close up.

The wheelbarrow, combined with the chickens, a wide angle view.


I can see the poem as a painting,

as Williams’ painter mother

might have seen it,

a still life with implied action,

and the color red,

a contrast to the color white.


Williams wrote this poem, he said,

because it gave him pleasure.

Laughing, he explained:

“Then I thought about it

and I wondered what it meant.”**


Ninety-two years later,

after explications by many pens,

we continue to think and wonder,

remaining captivated.



* http://www.redwheelbarrowwriters.com/


**an idea suggested by X.J. Kennedy in the Winter 2001 issue of Explicator


***from a radio interview of William Carlos Williams by Mary Margaret McBride in 1950