The Noble Pen for March 14, 2013

Next Noble Pen Meeting

March 14th, 2013 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


We had a great attendance at the last meeting.  Unfortunately, that means it is harder to get things done in a timely and orderly manner.  We are going to have to be stricter with such good attendance.  As I remember the rules from when we routinely had a dozen participants,

-The person giving critique has the floor and discussions is saved for after the round of critiques.  (Let’s not have to bring back the Cone of Silence.)

-Keep the side conversations down and attention on the matter before the group, no matter how much what someone just said reminds you of a funny scene in a classic movie.

-Limit the critiques to about three good things and three that show how you think it could be improved.  It is not necessary to talk about every item you marked – talk about the trends.

-After the round of critiques, the author gets to ask for clarifications and explain widely-misunderstood points.  It is not necessary to “defend” the work nor to respond to each item mentioned in the critiques.

-A free-form discussion may follow, before we pass in the papers.  This will often be an extension of topics brought up during the critique round, but may be anything relevant to the work under review and, of course, civil.


Random House has generated a furor over exceedingly bad contract terms offered under its Hydra e-pub sci-fi imprint and Alibi mystery-crime imprint.  The consensus is that you are unlikely to make any money since they charge an unspecified amount for their services.  SFWA has declared they don’t count as publishing credits.  Random House has issued a reply that hasn’t smoothed any feathers.


Dylan got thorough feedback on Sand & Blood (formerly BAM).  Unfortunately it was pretty negative.  He got paid for a commission and will get another from that patron.  He has reached a half-million words on his serial and plans to end in a “few” more chapters.

Janice found employment and it won’t keep her from writing.

Shannon is about a couple chapters from the end of Panic.

Nick started the 2nd book of his sci-fi trilogy.

Ciuin finished reading the 4th book on her yearly list.


One new writer talks about how she got an agent.  It took patience and hard work, and lots of queries and rejections.  Sometimes you can learn from rejections, as this very helpful piece explains.  You have to believe in your opus, perhaps even to the point of borderline arrogance.

As an artist you have to have a certain amount of arrogance. ~Kim Weston

As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~ William Hazlitt

Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings. ~Samuel Johnson

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance. ~Bruce Barton

Upcoming Schedule

Mar 14th

Nick (double)

Mar 21st

Nick (double-the end of the Knight story)

Mar 28th

Tyree (if no one needs slot)
Ciuin (?)

Apr 4th

Tyree (?)
Open slot

Keep Writing,