Saturday, April 13, 2019

Online Workshop: Your Online Presence, Saturday, April 27, 2019

As many of you know, I've been teaching monthly online workshops through my business, Rachel Pilcher Writing Workshops.

My next workshop is coming up in two weeks! Here is a bit of information about the workshop. I hope you'll join me!
Online Workshop: Your Online Presence
Saturday, April 27, 2019
10am-1pm CST (Here's a helpful timezone converter)
Registration Deadline: Friday, April 26, 2019, 8pm CST

The way you represent yourself professionally online is important. Whether it is through your website or on social media, having an online presence is necessary in today’s publishing world. Many publishers will not even look at a manuscript of a writer who doesn’t have some sort of online following. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the opportunities you will have as a writer online, how you can begin to gain an online following, as well as the dos and don’ts of presenting yourself online.
*This workshop is geared towards writers, but professionals from other communities are welcome to join in on the fun!
For more information or to register, please click here.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Panther City Review #4 Deadline is NEAR!

If you weren't aware, I have a publishing company, Sleeping Panther Press. I decided to start this micro-press to showcase local writers (at first, just my critique group!) through an annually published literary journal, Panther City Review.

Definitely take a moment to check out previous issues, which can be ordered through Amazon, via this link (Issue #3, 2018).

If you are interested in submitting to Panther City Review this year, the deadline for Issue #4 is April 29, 2019 at 11:59PM CST.

Here are the submission guidelines:

Click here to submit

The theme for this issue is "Focus." 

The submission fee is $5 per entry (Poetry may submit up to 5 poems for $5, Cover Art up to 2 images for $5).

What Is Published in Panther City Review?

Creative Non-Fiction (up to 4,000 words)
Novel Excerpts (up to 4,000 words)
Poetry (up to 5 poems per submission)
Short Play/Screenplay (up to 15 pages)
Short Story (up to 4,000 words)

Submission Guidelines:

Please make sure to include the type of entry in the title of your document file (ie- nf=Non-Fiction, ss=Short Story, etc). Please make sure your file is an editable file (ie- .docx or .rtf).

We are also seeking Cover Art.
If you are an artist and interested in submitting cover art, please make sure to include a document describing the art you are submitting and how it relates to the theme of "Focus." Please make sure that your submission is a vertical image (the journal is printed 5.125" X 8"), and submitted as a .jpg file no smaller than 300 dpi.
All submissions chosen for Panther City Review Issue #4 will receive a complimentary copy of Issue #4 as well as wholesale discounts on any additional copies. All accepted writers will be invited and encouraged to attend in the launch party in Fort Worth, where there will be an opportunity to read a selection from your included work in the Fall of 2019.

Any submissions not accepted will receive critique notes as a thank you for your interest. If you have questions, please contact Rachel Pilcher at

Friday, April 5, 2019

Facebook Live Coming Up Sunday, April 7th at 6PM CST! me on Sunday, April 7th at 6pm CST over on the Rachel Pilcher Writing Workshops Facebook page for Episode 25: The Necessity of Social Media for Writers.

In this episode, we will discuss the various benefits (and the downfalls) of participating in social media outlets for writers.

If you don't do Facebook, you can always catch the replay of all episodes over on the Rachel Pilcher Writing Workshops YouTube page. Make sure to click "Subscribe" when you get there so you are alerted every time a new episode is uploaded!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Spring Means Girls in Glasses

I’ve been looking rather studious lately, donning my glasses most days. It’s not that I’ve become anti-contact lens. I love wearing my contacts. It’s that spring has sprung, which means that my eyes have been incredibly itchy and puffy due to all the pollen floating about. It’s covering everything. The car. The patio umbrella. Even my black cat had a sheen of green on his coat for the few hours he was outside with me yesterday.

I love my trees and I know that pollen is useful. It just seems worse this year. I’m sure it’s not. That’s just what we always say when we are experiencing something pretty distressing. Sneezing, hacking up junk from down deep in the lungs, attempting to breathe normally—all things that I will not miss when the trees finally leaf out.

The best thing about the pollen coverage is that it also means that it is Spring, which is tied with my other favorite season, Autumn. I wonder what it means that my two favorite seasons start with growth and end in dormancy? I look forward to seeing all those plants that decide to come back each year and experience the joy of those that never died off due to our mild winter. 

Spring in Texas also means crazy weather, so I am not looking forward to the temperatures dipping and rising extremely, or the thunderstorms threatening to drop tornado clouds. When my trees start swaying, I start thinking about how fast I can make it to my bathroom with my dog and cats! The best thing about all that wind and rain—it clears away all the pollen!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Upcoming Writing Workshop Class: Writing Your Artist Biography

I have a new online class coming up on Saturday, March 16th: Writing Your Artist Biography.

I'd love to have you join me!

Here's a brief summary of the class:

Your artist biography is usually the first thing that a publisher or reader will look at before deciding whether your work is worth reading further. You want to make sure that what you write doesn't turn off those who will most impact you becoming a success. In this workshop, you will be guided through the process of what to include in your artist biography, and most importantly, what not to include. You will then write your biography. By the end of this session, you will have a biography ready to share with the publishing and reading world.

For more information, please click on this link.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Third Winter Strikes!

My car told me it was 22° F when I started it up this morning. It is obviously Third Winter around here. I’d think this was a strange anomaly for it to be this cold one week before Spring Break, but I had a Facebook reminder this morning that exactly four years ago we had about five inches of snow. No precipitation this morning, however there was a busted pipe near one of the oldest streets in the city on my way to work this morning. It made for a nice, slick fishtail turn when I made my way to school. Scared me terribly.

As one of my students said this morning, “It should be criminal for it to be this cold in America, especially Texas, and not snow.” He was right. There is nothing fun about freezing your buns off while waiting for the car to warm up. We are not completely used to the idea of “pre-warming” our cars here, so everyone ends up being late on days when either it’s very cold or there is ice on the windshield.

It is agreed this morning that we need Third Spring to come back ASAP. We may get our wish—It’s supposed to warm up to 72° F by Friday.

I seem to be writing about the weather quite a bit lately…

Monday, February 11, 2019

When "Figure Out Life" is a Task for the Day...

When figuring out life, a fire is needed (also to keep off chills).
While cleaning off my desk in my office at school, I found a “To Do” list that had one of the items listed as “figure out life.” It was the only task on that list not marked off as completed. Who would have thought that figuring out life would be so difficult?

I’m also now questioning exactly what was going on in my head when I thought to put that down on as a “To Do” task? It was several tasks down on the list, so perhaps I had something stressful happen that day? I’m not sure. What I do know is that if I went so far as to write it down, it must have been necessary in the moment!

For me to “figure out life,” it must mean that I really want to figure out what I’m going to do besides what is going on right now. I know I have it pretty great at my current school, with just a few things that drive me absolutely bonkers. It could be much, much worse. I’ve experienced much, much worse at another school. Like many great things, they do eventually come to an end. It could be that my principal retires and we get someone fairly awful as a replacement. It could be that my role as librarian completely changes, which is in the realm of possibility, for sure. It could also mean that opportunities arise that would mean my whole career path changes. 

All of this thinking of “it could mean” does kind of scare me. I don’t have a bullet proof career, and there are many people out there who could say the same. I do have those moments where I dream of independent work, where the only boss I have to answer to is me. I don’t know if my current path through Rachel Pilcher Writing Workshops will lead me there, but I can sure hope. I know that the surefire way to ensure that it doesn’t would be to not do a thing to move it in that direction. That would be unacceptable.

I'm pretty sure that I still haven't "figured out life" yet. Maybe I should add it to my tasks every day until I do?