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The Basics: Point
(Part 5 - Exercise)
by Sandy Tritt
(continued from last month)
EXERCISE: Point of View
(see Section 6 for possible solutions)
Want to try your hand at identifying point of view? Get out your
highlighting markers and mark this section, using Blue for Ray’s point
of view and Pink for Carol’s point of view. When you are finished, check
Section 6. to see if you’ve marked the same things we have. For the
purposes of this exercise, assume that all prose is in either Ray’s or
Carol’s viewpoint (eliminating the narrator), and that viewpoint changes
occur only when something causes us to go into a different character’s
Ray was ten minutes early for his appointment the next day. He stood in
the doorway and tugged at his beard, wondering if he should interrupt or
come back later.
Carol looked up from her work. She smiled at the sight of the large man
in the doorway. “Come on in,” she said.
Ray hesitated. Talking to schoolteachers still intimidated him. But he
forced himself forward and walked to the desk. “I’m Ray Gambel.” He
extended his hand. “David’s brother.”
Carol accepted his handshake. Although he looked nothing like David,
there was something familiar about him. She motioned toward an empty
chair and waited while he sat. “This is a creative writing class,
generally for seniors, but David submitted writing samples last spring
to qualify. He’s the only junior in the class.”
Ray nodded. He knew the kid was smart.
Carol shuffled through the folders on her desk. “I’m concerned about
some of his poetry. I wondered if you would take a few minutes to read
She handed him a stack of papers. Some teachers would have graded the
papers and forgotten the content, but Carol worried about her students.
Ray slowly read through the poems. The first was titled “If I’d Have
Loved You More.” Ray immediately knew it was about their mother. David
and Joey had written songs during the summer with the same type of stark
lyrics. Ray sighed and looked at the next title, “When Wishes Come
True.” He rubbed his forehead and handed the paper back to Carol. “Our
mother died last November. David never got along with her too good.”
“David seems to have a lot of anger and guilt he’s trying to work
through. I’d like to refer him to Mr. Meeks, the school counselor.”
“We talked to Rev. Mitchell right after Mom died, but David wouldn’t
cooperate. Rev. Mitchell said not to bring him back unless David decided
he wanted to talk about it.”
Carol smiled. David had always been polite in class, but he had that air
of arrogance that said he wasn’t going to do anything he didn’t want to.
“Him and Joey—that’s another brother—they wrote some songs this summer
Carol’s eyes widened in sudden recognition. “You’re a musician, aren’t
“I got a band.”
“You played at Dino’s Lounge on Labor Day Weekend.” He was the one with
the wonderful voice, the one who filled the air with ions of sensuality.
Ray’s face reddened. Labor Day Weekend was Gary’s last time with the
band. They’d chugged two pitchers of beer and gotten rowdy—even did the
Lion Sleeps thing. It wasn’t the type of show he’d want a schoolteacher
to attend. “You weren’t there late, were you?”
Carol’s blue eyes danced. “You were wonderful.”
Ray wished his face would quit burning.
“Would you mind if I gave David’s poetry to Mr. Meeks? And suggest he
talk to him?”
“I’ll ask David for his permission before I do.” She rose to her feet.
“I think David will be fine. Thank you for coming in.”
Carol offered her hand. “Anytime you need to talk to someone, give me a
call. I’m in the phone book.”
Ray shook her hand. “Thank you.”
“It was wonderful meeting you, Mr. Gambel,” Carol said, allowing her
hand to linger in his. “I hope to see you again. Soon.” And she was sure
that one way or another, she would.
- - -
After you have marked your paper and checked to see if you agree with my
answers, go ahead and take this to the next level: rewrite this scene,
first from Ray’s viewpoint, then from Carol’s viewpoint. Although your
scenes are sure to differ from mine, I’ve offered my rewrites in Section
(continued next month)
(c) copyright 2002 by Sandy Tritt. All rights reserved,
except for those listed here. November be reproduced for educational purposes
(such as for writer's workshops), as long as this copyright notice and the url: http://tritt.wirefire.com are distributed with the pages. For use in
conferences or other uses not mentioned here, please contact Sandy Tritt
for permission and additional resources at no or limited charge.
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How Do You Get Talk Radio Interested in your
Hot Tips For Getting On The Air
By Marsha Friedman
If you’re hoping to turn your book into a sensation you can’t afford to
overlook talk radio. Your book isn’t going to sell itself, so you need
to do everything you can to get the word out. By generating
word-of-mouth on talk radio shows around the country, you can create
that all-important buzz that can transform your book into a bona fide
Experienced publishers and
best-selling authors know that talk radio is the best medium for selling
books. We know that talk radio works because we’ve been doing it for
over 16 years. As one of the top providers of radio guests in the
country, we get asked all the time for tips on getting booked as a
guest. Here are a few helpful tips for those of you looking to book
yourselves into this medium:
HOT TIP #1 --- The first thing you have to do is continuously follow the
news. Study the news, scan the newspapers, and most importantly, make
sure that you monitor the talk radio landscape. Take some time to listen
to talk shows and hear what they’re talking about. Get a read on the
pulse of the public. This research will help you develop a relevant
message that people will be interested in hearing.
HOT TIP #2 --- As you follow the news, pay close attention to the hot
stories and think how the issues tie in with your book. Perhaps your
book ties in with a controversy of some kind. If you can develop a
newsworthy angle, you can even get on the air with a fiction book as
we’ve done successfully a number of times.
HOT TIP #3 --- As you develop your message, remember that radio hosts
don’t want to do infomercials. When pitching to producers, be careful
not to pitch yourself too heavily. Instead, present yourself as an
expert on a hot issue. Put the emphasis on the issue, not on your book.
The simple fact that you’ve authored a book enhances your credibility.
Don’t worry, hosts will give you an opportunity to plug your book
HOT TIP #4 --- The fourth and possibly most important part of getting
yourself booked onto talk radio is the actual press release. One of the
reasons we’ve been so successful in this business is the quality of our
pitches. Producers want to see your pitch before they schedule an
interview, so make sure your headline is attention-grabbing. In the
text, elaborate on the subject matter and be sure to include provocative
These tips should get you jump-started into the world of talk radio.
Marsha Friedman – CEO of EMSI, a national publicity firm specializing in
media coverage since 1990 for authors and experts in a variety of fields
ranging from law, finance, politics, to lifestyle, sports, health and
food. EMSI is considered to be one of the top resources of guests for
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interviews every week with clients also appearing on national TV shows
such as CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Montel and Maury
Povitch - and covered in major daily newspapers and national magazines.
Write Marsha Friedman at
Critiques by Sandy
Unlike most editors, I consider my role
to be a mentor or a coach. Instead of just telling you what is wrong, I
explain how to correct the problem, and I work with you to teach you how
to write effective prose. More than 50% of my business is repeat
business, and I relish establishing long-term relationships with other
Treat you with respect and compassion.
All criticism will be of the "constructive" sort. My purpose is to
improve your writing, not to destroy your confidence.
Mark your manuscript, correcting
grammatical and spelling errors and suggesting alternative wording where
Highlight areas that are especially
well-written, so you will know where your strengths are.
Where appropriate, offer suggestions for
plot development, character development or other areas that could be
Return a two-to-four page written
analysis of your work. This will include evaluation of: plot, setting,
characterization, dialogue, special effects (flash forwards, flashbacks,
etc.), voice, point of view and any other areas particular to your work.
If appropriate, recommend reading or
resources to strengthen your areas of weakness.
Answer any questions you have via
Provide my telephone number for a
personal follow-up, if you desire.
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The Celebration of Ugandan Women
Ugandan Female Literature
by Jane Musoke-Nteyafas
wake of the sixties and seventies vis-à-vis.the dominance of male
writers like Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Ngugi wa Thiongo, Leopold Sedar
Senghor, Wole Soyinka and Ken Wiwa, it seems like there is a
proliferation of female Ugandan writers cropping up. Although we are
hearing many of their names in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that
does not mean that they were not writing stories before this period. On
the contrary, they were just not getting published. However, like many
other fields, African women all over the world are making their mark and
Ugandan women are no different. They are excelling in large numbers in
the literature field. In a country where the past thirty years have
barely produced women writers, let alone male writers, baby boomers and
Generation Xer’s are getting out there are passionately telling their
stories through the eyes of women.
Part of this so-called literary boom is thanks to the efforts of Femrite-the
Association of Ugandan Women Writers. Founded by Mary Karooro and
Goretti Kyomuhendo, in 1996 Femrite was created with the aim of creating
awareness about women's writings; promoting a reading and writing
culture in Uganda; training women writers to upgrade their writing
skills; networking and publishing Ugandan women's creative work.
Previous to this that only one female writer had been featured among
male writers like Okot p'Bitek, Henry Barlow, Timothy Wangusa, John
Ruganda, John Nagenda, Taban lo Liyong and Robert Serumaga. There was a
considerable disparity that needed to be tackled and these women found
themselves inundated with a plethora of female writers that the country
did not even know that it had. Several books were published as a result
including: Words from a Granary: An Anthology of Short Stories by
Ugandan Women Writers, Men love chocolates but they don’t say by Mildred
Kiconco Barya and Memoirs of a Mother by Anne Ayeta Wangusa.
The British Council-Crossing Borders Writers Programme was another
valuable venue that helped in the representation of Ugandan talent to
the world. It is a distance learning scheme linking young African
writers to experienced UK mentors and developing their work through
e-mail tutorials with the aims of get the writers to hear, identify and
develop their voices as writers. Many Ugandan female writers seized the
opportunity, which in turn helped them to successfully improve their
writing skills and give them exposure.
Throughout history, Ugandan women have played important roles in
society. Oral literature has very much been a part of the African past,
with women at the forefront. In African tradition women are the
traditional storytellers. Passing on history and telling stories to
their children was a very important part if African culture. However
this was eroded by colonial interruptions that destroyed the cultural
network of African societies. Slowly by slowly, with the growth of
Negritude, a literary and ideological movement of French-speaking black
intellectuals against colonialism, more African men began writing and in
turn began to express themselves in the literature field, while the
women were left behind. Add civil wars and political unrest to this
recipe and it only would be in the 1990’s that Ugandan women would
emerge onto the literary scope of Uganda.
Since these women came to writing after the waning of the Negritude
period, many Ugandan female writers still have to go through the
nuisances of beaurocratic obstacles before their work is accepted and
published, which has stagnated them out of the distribution process
despite being published. In fact very few works by female Ugandan
writers seem to have made it into the Western academic curriculum. A
paradox appears as most critics highlight the explosion of women writers
in Africa as the most significant attribute of African literature in the
1990's, while devoting almost no space to their works.
Despite these odds though, many of Ugandan women are winning awards
including Doreen Baingana who won the 2003 Associated Writing Programs
Award for Short Fiction, and her short story collection, "Tropical Fish:
Stories Out of Entebbe.” She was also shortlisted for the Caine Prize
for African Writing 2004 and 2005. Other writers are Monica Arac de
Nyeko for "Strange Fruit" and Jackee Budeste Batanda for "Remember Atita"
both from Cook Communication, online magazine AuthorMe who were also
shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing 2004. It is clear
that these young women are opening the door for the many other women
that have yet to have their work recognized on an international level.
LIST OF UGANDAN WOMEN WRITERS:
Amollo, Regina; Arac de Nyeko, Monica; Baingana Doreen; Bakaluba Jane J;
Bamwoyeraki, Nuwagira, Sophie; Barenzi, Lilliane; Barungi, Violet;
Batanda, Jackee Budesta; Isharaza, Grace Birabwe; Kaberuka, Jane; Ekochu,
Bananuka Jocelyn; Keshubi, Hope; Kiconco, Mildred Barya; Kiguli, Susan
N.; Kimenye, Barbara; Kyomuhendo, Goretti; Lamwaka, Beatrice;
Musoke-Nteyafas, Jane; Musoke-Nteyafas Rose, Nambozo, Beverley; Namukasa,
Glaydah; Nandelenga, Rachel; Ntakarimize, Margaret; Olanya Amaguru,
Jackline; Oloro, Nancy Okoed Aimo, Sandra; Okurut, Mary Karooro;
Oryema-Lalobo, Christine; Tindyebwa, Lillian; Twongyeirwe, Hilda;
Wangusa, Ayeta Anne
of writers courtesy of a Celebration of Women Writers: Uganda
As well as the British Council-Crossing Borders writers Programme
Jane Musoke-Nteyafas, poet/author/artist and playwright, was born in
Moscow, Russia and currently resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the
daughter of retired diplomats. By the time she was 19, she spoke French,
English, Spanish, Danish, Luganda, and some Russian and had lived in
Russia, Uganda, France, Denmark, Cuba and Canada. She won the Miss
Africanada beauty pageant 2000 in Toronto where she was also named ‘one
of the new voices of Africa’ after reciting one of her poems. In 2004
she was published in T-Dot Griots-An Anthology of Toronto's Black
storytellers and in February 2005 her art piece Namyenya was featured as
the poster piece for the Human Rights through Art-Black History Month
Exhibit. She is also a columnist for Bahiyah Woman Magazine and is a
fellow with the British Council-Crossing Borders Writers Programme.