Copyright April 2016 St. Louis Writers Guild – All rights reserved
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Photo of Left Bank Books (Central West End) and cover design by Brad R Cook
T. W. Fendley
Brad R. Cook
The Scribe is published monthly digitally by the Saint Louis Writers Guild with an annual print issue. The editorial staff invites Guild members to submit original submissions of poetry, short stories, or articles about writing (4,000 words or less) for publication in this magazine. The Scribe is promoted to more than 1,000 people on our mailing list. Submissions should be sent by the first of each month to -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.
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[In this issue
by David Alan Lucas
by Ryan Freeman
by Brad R. Cook
by Lauren Miller
by Melanie Koleini
From the President’s Desk: Relationships with Bookstores
By David Alan Lucas
The novel is being published and you are excited. You should be. We all know what you have done. Maybe a big house or a small press is publishing you or you may have chosen to publish it yourself. Whether this is your first published novel or your fiftieth, now you have a job to do. That’s right, you need to get the word out and get your book where readers will find it.
If you are being published through one of the remaining big houses or a small publisher, then getting into Amazon or Barnes and Noble online is pretty easy. Your publisher should do this for you. But how, you ask, do I get into the bookstores? How do I see my readers? How do I convince a local bookstore to carry my book?
St. Louis Writers Guild had Emily Hall, owner of Main Street Books in St. Charles () discuss how to do this and please read the article about her presentation and tips later in this magazine. Your relationship with any bookstore is important, but with an independent bookstore, it is precious and unique. Every independent bookstore is a small company. That means they have to be lean, efficient, adapt, and remain fresh while always struggling against the dominance of the large bookstores—like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Independent bookstores want to know how your book will sell, and how you will drive customers to their store. It is a business relationship and the storeowner’s time is precious. They are juggling a lot. You should never pop in with a copy of your book, a life size poster of you holding your book, and expect them to immediately embrace you and throw your book on the shelf. (Well, not unless you are a household name author.) To get into the store, you need to first remember that they are a business and then research how to get the book in the store. Be ready to pitch the book. If they allow you to just walk in, be aware of their busy times. If they want you to schedule a meeting, treat that as gold and keep the meeting.
Independent bookstores don’t want you to feel like you are just another product. They want you to feel special and important and they want the same courtesy. They want to know that you value them and that your readers know your book is with them—and announcing that it is with their bookstore on your website above where you say it is with Amazon may even make them smile.
By Ryan Freeman
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating (repeating) – I think I’ve done my best writing while personally at my worst.
As Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” This resonates with me deeply. This fall, my first completed work, Rienspel, will be releasing via Amazon. Writing this work, especially the end, helped carry me through a time when I felt purposeless and void. Only a few years ago, I was out of work. Frustrated, embarrassed, and powerless – the one thing I had going for me each day, was to get up and write.
To this day, 9 o’clock is ‘the magic hour’.
It’s the time of morning when my house would be quiet and empty. I would brew what coffee I had, turn music on, and write. There, in that suspended mythos of creativity, there was only the story. There was only the characters and there was only the plot. When I woke up and sat down – and after a few sips of coffee – my day synced with my character’s day. In my experience, when a writer is broken and humbled, then there is less of him to get in the way of the story. Like the slow brewing of coffee (French-press style, in my case), the bits and pieces of my life settled down, and what was left was pure and unadulterated ambrosia: Pure Story. I was myself – unleashed before an open page – white before my black-lettered voice.
If my heart ached, it was there that I could feel the power I had inside, raw and unrefined, propelling my tale on and on. It was a heady place. Delve too deeply or inquire too closely and the vision would vanish away… But then, when the sun rose again, when the morning rains came once more, there was 9 o’clock. And it was time for magic, once more.
Writing also helped focus my purpose when I felt I had none.
The other day, one of my friends and beta-readers, Jennie, told me I was talented. I still feel boggled by her compliment. In my mind and heart, once the life-dregs have settled once more, I still feel like the Ryan I was during those magic hours years ago. When I felt like every other pride, or dream, and source of definitive power had left me exposed to the world… there was still my writing. It wasn’t very good yet, and it wouldn’t matter much… but what I created mattered to me. That was what I had and it helped carry me though.
Whatever you have and whatever state you find yourself in, know that you can always create something. Sub-creation is a power we are all given. It is small and it is humble. But it has the power to guide you through the darkest of life’s storms. We each have our own 9 o’clock – we each possess our own magic hour.
Deane Wagner: The Woman Behind the Contest
By Brad R. Cook, Historian of the St. Louis Writers Guild
This year, the Deane Wagner Poetry Contest enters its twenty-third year. It is one of several writing contests St. Louis Writers Guild sponsors ever year, but many may not know, however, that this organization had been holding poetry contests since 1921. This prestigious poetry contest was renamed to honor an extraordinary woman, not just for what she did for St. Louis Writers Guild, but the entire St. Louis community.
When people ask about the Deane Wagner Poetry Contest, the first question is never – ‘What are the submission guidelines’ or ‘When is the deadline?’ – but rather, ‘Who is Deane? The truth is a fascinating tale, one I never mind telling. Though I never had the honor of meeting Deane Wagner, from everything I’ve discovered, I think I would have liked to have heard her poetry.
Deane Wagner was a St. Louis poet who sadly lost her long-time battle with cancer in 1993. She passed away at home surrounded by her four daughters and multiple grandchildren. Deane was highly involved in the St. Louis literary community and was an active member of several organizations including the St. Louis Poetry Center, St. Charles Writers Guild, Missouri Arts Council, and of course, St. Louis Writers Guild. She was widely published in both local and national publications like River Styx, Missouri Anthology of Women Writers, and Image Magazine. Beyond Deane’s extraordinary involvement in the literary groups of this city, she was also a fervent supporter of several causes. Her obituary stated: in lieu of flowers she preferred donations to be made to the Ferguson Public Library, League of Women Voters, or the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
In honor of her commitment to all poets in St. Louis, the board members of St. Louis Writers Guild at the time lead by then President Jan Shafferkoetter, named the annual poetry contest after her.
St. Louis Writers Guild has a long tradition of excellent writing contests. From our founding in 1920, this organization has focused on honoring writers. That first year, they held a short story contest, but unfortunately we don’t know who won. In 1921, the switched to a poetry contest, and in 1922, they selected an essayist. This trend continued through the decade before the board members split the categories and started holding multiple contests a year, a trend that now continues to this day. The money was substantial for the time; it started at $10 in 1921, and eventually went to $25, but I suppose when one accounts for inflation the prize money is probably equal to today.
Let me leave you with a quote that accompanied Deane Wagner’s obituary – “It matters not how strait [sic] the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” – William Ernest Henley.
The 2016 Deane Wagner Poetry Contest opened on April 1 and has a postmarked deadline of June 1. This year’s judge is Dwight Bitikofer. Discover the submission guidelines, prize information, and entry fees at
Interview: Ted Mathys on Poetry
By Lauren Miller
Ted Mathys, in conjunction with and the , is researching the William Marion Reedy archives as the poet-in-residence at Central Library, and he is converting his findings into creative work.
Who, you might ask, is William Marion Reedy? He was a prominent St. Louis figure who, from 1891-1920, ran a magazine called The Mirror, which developed from a social gossip rag, to a political and eventually, a literary magazine. The St. Louis Public Library carries the full run of The Mirror and Ted Mathys has been spending 20+ hours in the library archives getting to know Reedy and St. Louis history, through this magazine, which is a time capsule of the period.
Lauren: Mr. Ted Mathys, welcome.
One of the goals of this collaboration (with Coffee House Press) is to provide writers with new venues for creating work as well as sparking new ideas for art. Have you come across anything yet in your time researching “in the [library] stacks” that surprised you or that you’ve found inspiring for future creative work?
Ted: Apart from the procedural poems that I wrote for the residency, I came across one of Reedy’s “Reflections” in The Mirror about a trained band of perjurers. There was a railroad outfit in the late 19th century in St. Louis called the Union Railway Depot Company. It had come to light that they had hired and trained a group of St. Louisans to lie on the corporation’s behalf when riders would sue the corporation for injuries sustained on the train cars. During trial, Union Railway would call on these people, who pretended to be regular riders and discredit the prosecution. I’m thinking of writing a short story called “The Perjurer.”
Lauren: You mentioned in a recent conversation that Mr. William Marion Reedy seemed to walk a fine line between being wanting to get in the thick of current events and report the truth, without compromising the standing in society that gave him access to the rich material which he editorialized.
In light of your coverage of the 1900 streetcar strike/riot (link) in which Mr. Reedy was essentially “in the trenches”, what level of involvement do you think Mr. Reedy would have undertaken as a writer/reporter if he had been living in St. Louis during the Ferguson unrest?
Ted: Frankly, I think Reedy would have gone to Ferguson, talked to a lot of people, and then swooped back to editorialize. He would have started out, as he usually did, allying himself with community members who were oppressed and who were protesting the structural racism and violence of the city.
He would have called on the police to calm down, and he would have had a grand time mocking County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s conflicts of interest in the Mike Brown case. But I suspect Reedy would have also told the protesters to disband and he would have made the rather conservative call for more “practical” proposals than continuing direct action, because he was constitutionally conflict averse.
He had a flair for the absurd, but he was essentially pragmatic, so he might have tried to explain to everyone his take on the merits of both parties’ fears and assumptions. In the end, though, Reedy usually found himself on the right side of history. He would have recognized the historical sweep and essential nature of the Black Lives Matter movement in our country.
In 1916, when St. Louis was considering a vote on a horrible segregation law, Reedy was vociferously, consistently against it. The proposed ordinance said that if the inhabitants of any city block in St. Louis were comprised of 75% or more of one race, nobody from another race could move into that block. Reedy knew it was a violation of essential rights, that it would tear the city apart, and that it was the wrong thing to do.
He hammered against it over and over in The Mirror, almost begging St. Louisans to vote “no” as the election approached. He lost that battle; the citizens passed the ordinance. It was only overturned when the NAACP sued and won. The following year there were awful race riots in East St. Louis. The legacy of these events haunts us. For Reedy’s part, he was on the right side of history.
Lauren: Switching over to poetry, a common misconception for poets just starting out is that poetry has to rhyme or use antiquated language. In your opinion, what is a misconception or rule of writing poetry that aspiring writers should ignore from the get-go?
Ted: I think the idea of “inspiration” needs an oil change. I believe in flashes of pattern recognition, sure. And I believe in moments when the poem and the universe seem to fall into place, to fit together like Tetris pieces, giving a profound sense of insight and understanding and desire to write. This is what we’re often talking about when we talk about inspiration.
But I think that poetry is not something always received like this; it is also something discovered when the poet actively puts herself in the field of language and wanders around, or actively adopts constraints and tries to work her way out.
So I think the "inspiration --> writing --> expression" might be usefully complemented by a "constraint --> writing --> discovery" model. It's not so much inspiration as openness to language as a recombinant field of possibility.
Lauren: [My last question is,] in your latest book of poetry, Null Set, you experiment with negation and mathematical forms, which some may not typically associate with the craft. Can you explain what these concepts are and what drew you to the form?
Ted: I’m a rather divided person.
On the one hand I’ve always been very attracted to precision, organization, preparedness, order. Maybe it was being a good Midwestern kid who found satisfaction in completely meaningless feats like getting perfect attendance in elementary school. Who knows. But I find cerebral and architectural forms very attractive. On the other hand, I’m a loopy and emotional poet like the rest.
In this book, I suppose I exaggerated and formalized these competing impulses, seeing what kinds of friction I could create between them.
During the time the book was written, I quit my job, went back to grad school, got married, had a child, and dealt with some family health issues. So it was a period of great change for me. But I didn’t want to write about these experiences straight, because I knew I would be performing emotions rather than finding them. So I turned to these seemingly cerebral or cold forms and themes and stuck with them until they somewhat imploded and allowed me to find the registers of authenticity that I knew were in there.
On a larger level, ever since Plato kicked the poets out of the Republic we’ve had this division between rationality and irrationality, the head and the heart, the body and soul that I don’t find ultimately useful. But poetry is often thought of as a practice in which ceremonial irrationality is celebrated. Poets don’t often want to be bound by cold logic or the vaporous exactitude of math.
For me, the experiment of the book was not to reject the rational, the exacting, the mathematical, but to follow them and put pressure on them until they yielded something new.
Lauren: Thank you so much for your time, Mr. Mathys. You can learn more about Ted Mathys’ research adventures as recounted online at . Grab a copy of Ted Mathys’ poetry in stores or at online venues like .
Workshops for Writers: Wherever Books Are Sold with Emily Hall
By Melanie Koleini
Independent bookstores are a great resource for authors. Independent and small press authors can have trouble getting their books onto the shelves of large chain stores. But if they put in the effort, authors can sell their books in local independent bookstores. Emily Hall, co-owner of Main Street Books (), discussed how to work with independent bookstores like hers on April 2nd, 2016 at the Kirkwood Community Center.
Main Street Books is located in historic St. Charles, an area which attracts a lot of tourism, especially during the holiday shopping session and during festivals. The store makes most of its revenue during these times, or by running special events at the store.
Hall uses several sources to choose inventory. She selects a large part of her new stock based on meeting with publishers’ sales representatives. Also, if a customer requests to purchase a book not currently in stock, she will often order an additional copy to put on the shelf. Her personal preferences and the media also influence orders. However, she pays attention to what is selling. At Main Street Books, coloring books were selling very well so Emily started stocking more.
Like many small businesses, Main Street Books has limited shelf space. Just because an author is local doesn’t mean their book will be stocked. Even if an author is published through a major publisher, Emily may not have heard about your book. Booksellers want to stock what sells. In general, books have about a 90-day ‘shelf life.’ But that is not a hard and fast rule; it’s up to the owner. If a book has been a good seller or is a classic, Emily may keep a copy on the shelf. Of course, if a book is still selling, she will order more copies.
Most independent bookstores are happy to take local authors’ books on consignment. If you are planning to self-publish your book, Hall recommends hiring an editor and making sure that your final product looks professional. That includes professional binding and making sure your cover is high resolution. At Main Street Books, customers often ask about books by local authors. Store sponsored special events like book launches and author signings bring in potential customers that are specifically interested in a particular author.
Authors need to follow proper etiquette when working with booksellers. Before approaching a storeowner or manager, authors should do their research. Start with the store’s website. Main Street Books has their standard consignment agreement available online. Like most bookstores, they split sales 60/40. They also charge a $25 per title fee for stocking and handling. Books that are already in inventory are not charged the fee.
The next step is to visit the bookstore. Figure out if our book is a good fit. For example, if the store sells primarily mysteries and you’re written a cookbook, your book is unlikely to sell. If the sales person isn’t busy, ask them about carrying your book. If the store is busy, grab a business card of the book buyer (either the owner or the manager) and contact them later.
When asking about a consignment contact, be sure to contact the store in the manner they request, often a form on their website. You can also ask at the store, if traffic seems slow. If they are busy, ask when to come back. You will generally need to be there in person to sign the contract. Hall suggests giving several specific time and dates to meet so you can find a time that works for both of you. If you are talking to them in person, they may be able to finish the consignment on the spot but if you are contacting them through e-mail give them about a week before checking back with them.
Booksellers are running a business and you should treat your relationship with them professionally. Come prepared when you meet with them; read the contract beforehand, bring a pitch sheet for your book, as well as copies of your book. Generally, Hall just takes one book at a time but sometimes she has room for more on the shelf. If your book is available through a major distributor ,
bring a ‘good faith’ copy for the seller to look at. Remember to
communicate with bookstores, and give prior notice if you need to
reschedule. Confirm your appointments a few days ahead of time.
Sellers are often busy, so you may need to check back in on your
Try to have realistic expectations about what to expect from bookstores. Even if you are traditionally published, your book may not be in stock automatically. It is still a good idea to go in with a copy of your book and talk to the bookseller. During an appointment with Hall, you can expect her to: ask you about your book, look at a copy, and mostly accept your title for consignment. She can usually start the agreement that day but some stores have some delays.
Getting your book in the store is only the start. As Hall says, “You are always going to be your biggest advocate.” Once your book is in stores you need to get the word out. Direct people to the bookstore to buy your book and limit giving your book to all your friends and family. “Give one to your mom but make your sibling buy it.” Realistically, they will be the early purchasers of your book. “If everyone you know has already been given a copy, who is going to buy it?” Hall added.
Promote and advertise your book. Local bookstores can put books on their shelves, direct people who ask for local authors, and schedule book signings and launches, but you need to promote your book. Tell everyone you know. Announce where to buy it on social media, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Send out media blasts when your book is in a new bookstore. Publishing a sequel, scheduling a book signing or any other event are all opportunities for new announcements.
Make sure the bookstore is listed prominently as a place to get your book. Hall explained that Amazon is a sensitive subject for most independent stores.
“If [your book] is published on Amazon, that’s fine, I’ll take it, although some other booksellers won’t.” Since Amazon avoids paying sales tax, it has an unfair advantage over brick and mortar stores. But Amazon doesn’t provide the opportunity to connect with readers that is afforded by local stores. Emily urges authors to promote buying their books locally. Promote the bookstore on your webpage and social media and list locally first. “If Amazon is the first place you tell folks to shop for your work, I almost guarantee you that your book won’t sell at my store, or any other independent store,” she said.
The Saint Louis Post Dispatch has a local independent bookstore bestsellers list. Get on the list, and you can promote your book as a best seller! To maximize the chance of making the local bestsellers list, Hall recommends setting up book signings close to your book’s launch so the people most likely to come to your launch (friends, family, and your fans) haven’t bought your book yet. Emily sends in her sales number for the bestsellers list every Monday. If you can have a launch party (where Main Street or another indie bookstore is selling your book) and a book signing at another location the same week, there is a good chance of making the list.
Independent bookstores are a great place for book launches and book signings. Just because your book is going to be on consignment, doesn’t mean you will have an event in the store. At Main Street Books, Hall handles both consignments and event planning, but in other stores, these tasks may be handled by two or more people. Ask about scheduling an event early. Emily books event dates at least four months out. Since (ideally), most of your events should be close to your book’s release date, your events need to be scheduled well ahead of when you will have your finished book in hand.
Book signings (and launch parties) need to be well organized and publicized. They should be scheduled when people (both invited and walk-ins) can likely attend, like on Saturdays or weekday evenings. Certain holiday weekends are very successful times for signings. Festival weekends are already busy for the store, so Hall avoids scheduling additional events. Expect store events (at Main Street Books) to be advertised on all the store’s platforms including their website and the sandwich board on the sidewalk outside the store.
You need to heavily promote your event in advance. Make flyers. Tell your friends. Announce it on all your social media platforms. Ask your friends to bring another person with them. You can also send press releases to local papers and newsletters and even announce it in your church’s bulletin and in writers’ groups. Teaming up with another author in the same or a similar genre for an event is another good strategy for a successful event. It multiplies who may be invested in attending and exposes your book to a new audience. The day before, send out another media blast.
On the day of, make sure you come prepared. At Main Street Books, signings are held at the front of the store so passersbys can see what is going on. Arrive early to set up and remember to bring plenty of copies of your book, include copies of your earlier titles. Having swag (like bookmarks and pens) to give to people who come is a good idea. Even if you are traditionally published, you should still bring extra copies. Offering free cupcakes or cookies is very popular at events. Coordinate this with the location so they can have an area for it to be set up.
Keep in mind that signings are more about connecting with your audience than selling books. Have a signup sheet for your newsletter available, give swag, and talk to people about your writing. After your book signing is finished, leave signed copies for the store to sell. Send an announcement about where people can buy signed copies along with a thank you message to all the people who attended. Also, post pictures of your event and be sure to tag the bookstore. Write a thank you note (on paper) to bookstore and send it to them. As Emily said, “It’s really nice to let the bookstore know you aureate the effort, because it is an effort.”
Forming long-term partnerships with independent bookstores is an important resource for a developing author’s career. Bookstores are one of the best places for authors to find and connect with readers. Without the support of the writing (and reading) community, independent bookstores won’t survive. If they disappear, authors will have lost a valuable resource.
For the latest information on poetry events in the St. Louis, MO area, visit the .
Second Friday Notes, second Friday of each month, 7 p.m., at Whole Foods Town & Country, Clayton Road just west of Highway 141
RIVER STYX. Third Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Tavern of Fire Arts, 313 Belt Ave. riverstyx.org/events.
POETRY AT THE POINT, 4th Tuesday of the month, at Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Ave. Read their ezine at
Sheila Nolan Whalen Reading Series at SLU, 221 N. Grand Ave., Dubourg 409.
Tuesdays at 4 p.m.
CHANCE OPERATIONS on the last Monday of each month at Tavern of the Arts, 313 Belt Ave., just off Pershing, between Union and DeBaliviere. 7:30 p.m. Open mic follows featured poets.
EVERY WEDNESDAY open mic for poetry and music at Stone Spiral Coffee & Curios, 2500 Sutton in Maplewood (2 blocks N. of Manchester). Great food and beverages. Open mic, 8 until around 11 p.m.
GOODY HOUSE, 7 p.m., fourth Thursdays at Art Marketplace, 2028 S. 12th Street. Featured poets.
R_SPACE. Last Saturday of the month, Lenny Smith and friends at 2 p.m.
ST. LOUIS WRITERS GUILD open mic for prose and poetry, second Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., Kirkwood Train Station, Argonne Drive, just west of Kirkwood Road. Allow time to find parking.
ADDITIONAL OPEN MICS at The Wolf, (every Tuesday), Legacy Books & Café (every Friday), The Historical Crossings (every other Tuesday), Shameless Grounds (Wednesdays at 7), Venice Café (Mondays at 9)
A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events
It’s as easy as
Workshops for Writers
First Saturday of every month (except holiday weekends)
10 a.m. to Noon at the Kirkwood Community Center
Station Open Mic
Second Tuesday of every month
7-9 p.m. at the Kirkwood Amtrak Station
SLWG Authors Series
Third Thursday of every month
Query for “SLWG Authors Series” on YouTube or check the Members’ Room on our website, .
Brad R. Cook, author of the young adult steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles (Treehouse Publishing Group). A former co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press, he is a member of SCBWI, and currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. A founding contributor to , a resource blog for writers, he can be heard weekly as a panelist on Write Pack Radio. A cover designer since 2013, he also creates posters, bookmarks, and other marketing materials. Find more @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr.
T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, including Zero Time (2011) and The Labyrinth of Time (2014). She’s a founding contributor to , a resource blog for writers. Her short stories are available on Kindle and Audible. When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through and shamanism. twfendley.com
Steven W. Langhorst is a life-long resident of St. Louis with an insatiable hunger for the facts and trivia of St. Louis history. He is a retired elementary school principal who still serves education as a mentor and consultant focusing on leadership. Steven has dabbled in poetry and photography since his youth and still plans to publish a book of poems and photographs as well as a memoir of his years at principal. Besides holding membership in the St. Louis Writers Guild he also proudly holds a membership in the Professional Tour Guides Association of St. Louis. Steven also contributed to the design of the new St. Louis Writers Guild logo.
David Lucas is the President of St. Louis Writers Guild, a published fiction short story author and poet. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. For two years, David has been the host and producer of Write Pack Radio (WPR), a podcast with a panel of authors exploring the changing writing industry. In 2016, David decided to take his experience in podcasting and his love for radio dramas and start Winding Trails Media, which will produce podcast audio dramas beginning in the fall of 2016 as well as continuing WPR podcast.
Lauren Miller reviews books quarterly for the Historical Novels Review and has a fifteen-year background in library science. She has over fifty nonfiction reviews and articles in print and spends her free time discovering new reads, RPGs, period films, and surrounded by dogs. To read more about Lauren, visit her blog at .
Jennifer Stolzer is an author and illustrator living and working in St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Webster University with a degree in digital media and animation and uses this skill set to create bright and engaging characters. In addition to illustrating books for clients, Jennifer writes and illustrates original work, serves as secretary for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and commentates on the weekly writing podcast Write Pack Radio. See more of Jennifer’s work at , as well as Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
With special thanks to this issue’s contributors:
Ted Mathys is the author of three books of poetry, Null Set (2015), The Spoils (2009) and Forge (2005), all from Coffee House Press. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and was selected by Alice Notley for the Poetry Society of America’s 2013 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award. His poetry and criticism have appeared in American Poetry Review, BOMB, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Critical Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, Fence, Verse, The Volta, and other publications.
Originally from Ohio, he holds an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received the John C. Schupes Fellowship for Excellence in Poetry; and an MA in international environmental policy from Tufts University. He lives in Saint Louis, where he is Creative Writer in Residence at Saint Louis University and co-curates the Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts Poetry Series.
Ryan P. Freeman is a fellow adventurer. After miraculously surviving childhood cancer and several near-death experiences, he launched into the world of AM talk radio, hosting his own live program out of Albuquerque. Ryan is a former International Red Cross guest speaker, Pastor, and medieval-enthusiast who loves sampling craft-beers and is an unapologetically proud kilt-wearer. In his down time, his interests range from exploring real-world pan-mythology, survivalist camping, and copious video gaming. His debut high fantasy epic, The Phoenix of Redd, Volume I: Rienspel, will be published late 2016. Ryan’s novella, The Grey Isle Tale, will be releasing via Amazon mid May! Get ready to face Mororedros, the Sea Dragon! For more on Ryan and Rienspel, visit or
For more than a decade, The Scribe has been the mainstay for communicating with members of the St. Louis Writers Guild. It began as a way to showcase the organization and share insights into the publishing world. Back issues give a wonderful record of the Guild. The Scribe is now available to everyone, not just members. It features stories, poems, and essays from our members, as well as information about our events, most of which are open to the public. The April 2016 edition features a historical look at "Deane Wagner: The Woman Behind the Contest" by Brad R. Cook, a report by Melanie Koleini on the Guild's April 2nd workshop presented by Emily Hall of Main Street Books, an interview with "Ted Mathys on Poetry" by Lauren Miller and an essay entitled "9 O'Clock" by Ryan Freeman.