Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mayday! How Can We Help You?

by Gary Fearon, Creative Director

While universally recognized as a distress signal, “Mayday” is also what today is, and I’ve mock yelled it at least once every year on this date, usually to some tolerant friend who pretends to appreciate my often groan-worthy puns. Perhaps broadcasting it to the blogosphere today will finally get it out of my system.

Meanwhile, it’s appropriate that this attention-getting term is derived from the French phrase m’aider (“help me”) because today the magazine staff’s attention is focused on two things intended to aid our fellow writers.

First of all, being May 1st, the newest edition of Southern Writers Magazine hits the virtual streets (online and by mail) today and it’s packed full of bestselling authors and topnotch writing advice.  Notable is the fact that this issue includes a special emphasis on research and historical writing, two areas you’ve been requesting.  You’ll find helpful insights on bringing history to life from Ann H. Gabhart, learn how to do reliable internet searches with Sheila S. Hudson, and get inspiring thoughts on writing memoirs from Kimberly Rae.  You’ll also sit down with Allison Chase, Robert Noonan, Dorothy Love, Mona Hodgson, Ed Southern, and others who share their secrets of artfully capturing history on the printed page.

Have I mentioned Viggo Mortensen?  A familiar face to moviegoers (Lord of the Rings is just the tip of the Viggo iceberg), you’ll discover a whole new side of this prolific poet in an exclusive interview with Sherry Perkins. And if you saw Courageous at your local cineplex you’ll especially enjoy Vicki Moss’ conversation with author and producer Michael Catt. Look over the shoulder of children’s illustrator Robert J. Blake, get a look at Vicki Allen’s private writing hideaway, and discover how daily discipline helps Irene Latham find publishing success.

There’s lots more and I could go on all day about the May issue, but you’ll see for yourself.  Just keep telling us what you want in the mag and who you want to read about, and we’ll keep delivering.  As our editor Susan Reichert said back in issue #1, this is your magazine, and you are helping to make it what authors tell us is their favorite publication for wordsmiths.

As for the other May Day event on our minds: Tonight at midnight is the deadline for our Short Story Contest 2012!  So you still have time to get your 1000-word opus into us for a chance to win cash prizes, subscriptions, and an appearance in a special short story issue we’ll publish of the winning entries.  Details and guidelines are a click away.  Thank you for participating, and good luck!

Well, this has turned out to be one big shameless plug for the mag and the contest, but today it’s all we can think about here so I hope my enthusiasm has been at least a little contagious. In any event, we all learned a little French today. M’aider!