News from the Village Writers Group

February 7, 2017 7:00 pm

Mary Torre Kelly, author of Guava Dreams and The Televisionary

Eagle Eye Books
2076 North Decatur Road (at Clairmont)
Decatur, GA

Mary Torre Kelly grew up in south Florida, studied literature and art at Florida State University, and received a Bachelor Fine Arts Degree from the Atlanta College Of Art. She attended the Iowa Summer Writing Workshop, and won a tuition grant to Emory University Writers' Institute for her memoir, Guava Dreams. She attended the New York State Writers' Institute at Skidmore for a workshop with Marilynne Robinson. Based on Guava Dreams, she was awarded a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to attend the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her novel, The Televisionary, won a tuition grant to attend the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conference. She was a finalist in the New Millennium Awards for her short story “That Awful Family,” and a finalist in The New Century Writer Awards for her screenplay of The Televisionary. Her short story “Love on the Sidelines” was filmed as a short movie (Love Birds) at Boston University. Mary was awarded a space in fiction at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, to workshop The Televisionary.

Kelly published her first short story called “The Flamingo and the Snowman” in Touchstone magazine. She won a Redbook short story prize for “Holding Harmless.” She has since published short stories in Pleiades, The Sun, Grasslands Review, Black River Review, The Southern Humanities Review, Poets, Artists & Madmen, New South Review, Manzanita, and others.

Meetings coming up:

(all monthly meetings at 7:00 pm)

March 7, 2017: Gilda E. Stanbery, author of Fort Valley in the Images of America series

As early as 1822, James Abbington Everett established a trading post at the convergence of Native American trails, which became known as Fort Valley and eventually the world's "Peach Paradise." The 1856 charter established city limits as one mile in each direction from the railroad depot, and large cotton plantations devoted to peaches, asparagus, and pecans lay beyond. By the 1860s, more than 30 percent of Georgia's cotton traveled on rail lines through Fort Valley. During the Civil War, there were multiple Buckner and Gamble field hospitals, as well as temporary ones in what are now Fort Valley's historic homes and structures. The development of the Elberta peach, the refrigerated railroad car, hydro-cooling, and rail connections to transport fragile peaches combined to make Fort Valley the peach-growing center of the South. People prospered, and thousands celebrated the peach at the Peach Blossom Festivals of the 1920s. Fort Valley became home to the Blue Bird Body Co., Wanderlodge, the American Camellia Society, and Fort Valley State University. Motorists traveling on the Old Dixie Highway, Andersonville Trail, Presidential Parkway, or the Golden Isles Parkway are still treated to the warm hospitality of Fort Valley.

April 4, 2017: to be determined

May 2, 2017: Neville Carson, author of Trouble Spots: a Smartass in Hell

A recovering English major, Neville Carson has always had “write fiction, particularly a novel,” on his list of lifetime to-dos, but, outside a few short-lived bursts of literary creativity, he never seemed to get around to it. Then, a few things happened at once:
   • He reached late middle age and thought, “Hey… My performance on Earth is a limited engagement.”
   • E-books came along and turned publication from something highly unlikely to a certainty (not sales… just publication… but that beats a dead end).
   • His college roommate finished a first novel and he thought, “Well, if he can do it…”
   • He read Cold Mountain and thought, “Why do the vast majority of ‘great’ novels have to be depressing at the end? I am fed up with that nonsense!”
   • A wise counselor helped him realize that it was okay to write what he wanted, on the schedule he wanted, in the way he wanted.
The result is Trouble Spots, a lighthearted, action-packed fantasy in which a young man, Colin Davis (well, his soul), lands in Hell by mistake and encounters a host of manic adventures while getting out again, wisecracking every step of the way, and, in the end, defeating Satan, rescuing the universe from hellish dominion, and, yes, getting the girl.
Neville is supported in his writing efforts by his extraordinarily understanding wife, Julie, enthusiastic son, Nicholas, Biscuit the Wonderdog, the Thursday novel writing circle of the Village Writer’s Group (Denis Hearn, Kenn Allen, Rohini Last, Simon Menkes, Susan Crawford, and Tony Miller), and many loving souls who have generously purchased copies, and are even reading them. Thanks, y’all!

June 6. 2017: to be determined

Thanks to our regular host:
Eagle Eye Books
2076 North Decatur Road (at Clairmont)
Decatur, GA

The first VWG anthology is on sale for $10.00 at monthly meetings. You can also order it on-line at The book is entitled
Loves Lost and Found,
or, Love is where you find it.

Lynn Hesse and Sally Matthews joined Tony Miller on the selection panel; none of the three had made a submission, so there was no conflict of interest. The panel picked the following entries:

Short Stories
"Big Box" by Cecilia Dominic
"Leslie's Last Concubine" by Kenneth Allen
"A Luscious Epiphany" by Kaye D. Schmitz
"When the Hurleyburley's Done" by Susan Crawford
"Family Defined" and "Where Furniture Goes to Die" by Cheryl Hart Snapperman

"Room with One Window" by Aaron Bean
"Rooms" and "Wars" by Susan Crawford

The cover picture is the gift to VWG of Mary Frances, both author and artist, and a past member. It shows a chair that appears in both of Cheryl Snapperman's stories as a supporting character.

Congratulations to the chosen authors, and thanks to all who submitted.

--Anthony Miller
Chairman, Village Writers Group 

March 17, 2015, 7:00 pm
Susan Crawford, VWG Member, launched first novel

On Saturday, July 25, 7:00 pm at The Marlay House, VWG member Denis Hearn launched his second mystery thriller starring the detecting team of Garda inspector Conor Horgan and journalist Anne O'Gorman. Set in the author's native Ireland, of course the novel was launched in an Irish pub.

Village Writers Group: a community of writers for writers.

Many thanks to our host:
Eagle Eye Book Shop
2076 N. Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033
Tel: 404-486-0307
For more information, click here.