Bucks County Writers Workshop


San Francisco/Oakland-based publisher Montag Press has released the print version of Don Swaim's novel Man with Two Faces. An ebook version will be out shortly. It began as a series of interconnected short stories vetted by the Bucks County Writers Workshop.

Swaim describes it as a decopunk fantasy, while Montag calls it a "A Depression-era superhero radio serial novel."

"Don Swaim writes with such bravura assurance and rollicking good humor that the readers are carried along from beginning to end with little chance--or desire--to catch their breaths." -- S.T. Joshi, author of I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft

New from former BCWW member Connie Wresniewski. Pub date June 2018.


Beverly Black has published a short story vetted by the BCWW, "The Silversmith's Daughter," which is in the online edition of Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine.

Bev is racking up the publishing credits!


Veteran BCWW member Chris Bauer's gritty movel, JANE'S BABY, from Intrigue Publishing, was vetted through the workshop. Bounty-hunter Judge Drury gets caught up in a muderous scheme foisted by a radical anti-abortion rights splinter group involving the famous Roe v Wade baby. Advance ebook orders HERE


The revelry began after the regular meeting of Dec. 19, 2017

First the work.

Then the eats.

Earnest communication.

Formatting chat


Photos by Alan Shils


Bev's story "The Keystone of the Family," which was vetted by the BCWW, can be read in the Post's online edition of Dec. 8, 2017. HERE


BCWWer John Schoffstall's fantasy, Half-Witch, is available for preorder from Small Beer Press. Kind-hearted Lizbet and witch girl Strix embark upon a perilous quest where even the fate of Heaven is at stake.

  • Natalie Dyen. One of my stories, "Tango," that was critiqued by the workshop, has just been published in Damselfly Press. Scroll down to the Fiction section. Thanks, guys. Read HERE

    Don's Poe-like zombie story, "The Dank Tarn of Auber," was included in an annual anthology of original fiction, edited and illustrated by M. Grant Kellermeyer, publisher of Oldstyle Tales Press. It can be read for free here or purchased as an inexpensive paperback from Amazon.com.

  • Al Sirois. Publishing news: I've signed with Azure Spider for the publication of my horror novel, Jersey Ghouls. I will also be painting the cover art.

    Pub date for ex-BCWW member Al Sirois's fantasy, The Bohemian Magician, from Dragon Scale Publishing, was September 22, 2017. Al says: "Duke Guilhem was the first true troubadour, and later the grandfather of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I made the book as historically accurate as possible. Minus the fey, that is."


    Damian signed copies of his novel The Moment of Truth (Pegasus Press), about an American female bullfighter in Mexico, at the Doylestown Book Shop on Sep. 9, 2017. Damian's first published book, A Son Called Gabriel, which has just been republished, was vetted through the BCWW.

    John Schoffstall

    I have a story in the May/June 2017 issue of Fantasy & Science-Fiction: "The First Day of Someone Else's Life."

    Buy link for the interested is HERE

  • Chris Bauer. My conspiracy thriller Jane's Baby was picked up by Intrigue Publishing for publication in 2018. Final touches to the contract are in the hands of my persevering agent Jessica Faust, BookEnds Literary.

  • Beverly Black. My story "The Swinging Tree" was accepted by PennyShorts.com, which is based in the UK. It's my first officially published story because "Flightless Bird" won't come out till December. The editor at Penny Shorts changed the ending a smidge to make it more ambiguous and I think a little stronger. If you have the time to visit the site and the story, please try to leave a review. Thanks!.

  • Don Swaim. Oldstyle Tales Press has taken my story "Dank Tarn of Auber" for Volume 6 of its paperback/ebook anthology series The Yellow Booke." The book will be out in October 2017. The Poe-centric "Dank Tarn" piece, originally titled "The Halflings of Oz," is about an adopted zombie boy kidnapped by dwarfs who grows up to become mayor of Wichita, Kansas.

  • John Schoffstall. I am delighted to announce the sale of a novel, Half-Witch. 90k words, fantasy. To Kelly Link and Gavin Grant at Small Beer Press, via the indispensable Sally Harding at The Cooke Agency.

  • Beverly Black. Disturbed Digest, a quarterly trade digest, published by Alban Lake Publishing, finally accepted "Flightless Bird," my Aztec story. Yay! This is my first short story accepted for publication. I want to thank everyone for critiquing it and helping me get it into shape. My story will be coming out in December.


    Pegasus Books, Pub date June 6, 2017. DETAILS


    Farrar Straus Giroux, Pub date May 9, 2017. With Baldev Lamba, Sonia Sanchez (Illustrator) DETAILS


    The BCWW's Jim Kempner (right) sleepily moderates as Don Swaim discusses his novel The Assassination of Ambrose Bierce: A Love Story, November 10, 2016.


    Sponsored by the Doylestown Bookshop on June 25, 2016.
    BCWWers Don Swaim (The Assassination of Ambrose Bierce: A Love Story) and Javad Mohsenian (Gold for Sugar) sign copies of their books.

    PUB PARTY FOR DON SWAIM on the occasion of
    The Assassination of Ambrose Bierce: A Love Story

    Hippocampus Press, New York

    Borghi's Restaurant, Chalfont, PA, June 3, 2016

    click on images to enlarge

    Don pontificates (as usual)

    drinks before dinner

    Champagne and cake with a book cover you could actually eat

    Food was terrific

    someone said something funny

    Tracy Grammer sings Jimmy Buffet's
    "Love in the Library" (official song of the BCWW)

    Bev Black, Natalie Dyen, who made it all happen

    Appreciation to all who submitted photographs -- including Alan Shils -- and especially to Natalie Dyen and Beverly Black who coordinated and hosted the event. But not the least to the ethereal folk singer Tracy Grammer who often gets paid for events like this.

    Available HERE
    Like Carlos Fuentes's The Old Gringo, this absorbing novel...tracks Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) south of the border as the American journalist and short story writer journeys with Pancho Villa into the maelstrom of the Mexican Revolution.... Fans of Bierce's writing should enjoy this semibiographical tale with a suspenseful plot as wild as some of his more fantastical works. --Publishers Weekly

    In The Assassination of Ambrose Bierce: A Love Story, expect to be entertained, to laugh and sneer and shiver; expect to think -- on life, on death, on love -- and expect to feel; pain, anger, desire -- but most importantly, expect to find out what happened to Ambrose Bierce when he left his home without looking back, and faded into the white dust of Mexico. --Michael G. Kellermeyer, publisher, Oldstyle Tales Press

    Ambrose Bierce is alive again in Don Swaim's new novel. A harrowing, often terrifying tale of love and adventure. --Bill Diehl, Entertainment correspondent, ABC News Radio


    Borghi's Restaurant, Chalfont, Oct. 9, 2015
    click on each image to enlarge

    Javad autographs

    some of the group

    Daniel autographs

    Daniel Dorian's Memoir: Peripatetic
    Daniel vetted his memoir through the BCWW. From the Nazi occupation of Paris to a journalism career in New Yotk, the story of a Frenchman's odyssey through war, love, and politics

    From Javad Mohsenian

    Javad vetted his collection of short stories through the BCWW. Gold for Sugar was published by Ketab Corp, Los Angeles.


  • NATALIE DYEN. My flash fiction piece "By the Numbers" has been published in Wordhaus. Thanks for your feedback on this.


    Connie Wrzesniewski's new book of poems, Watching Over My Shoulder, was published on May 15, 2015, from Finishing Line Press. You'll frequently see Connie byline in the Bucks County Herald. She's a former, long-time BCWW member. Click to order.


    Many of the stories in Donahue's collection vetted by the BCWW

    Praise for Too Much Poison: "[William J. Donahue] murders it here, folks, goes deep and scores multiple times poking the underbelly of the human condition. An excellent read" --C.G. Bauer, author of Scars on the Face of God: The Devil's Bible.

    "Accept loss forever" as the acclaimed novelist and poet Jack Kerouac once wrote. In this vein, Too Much Poison offers sixteen stories about the influences that touch a human life and, ultimately, fade into the gray. With the turning of each page, we see lovers, friends and spouses-even our own fragile vitality-either crumble with age or simply succumb to the world's great and many pressures. Equal parts horror, erotica and pathos, Too Much Poison explores the precious things we all lose in a lifetime but, if given the choice, would rather have held close till the end. William J. Donahue is an award-winning journalist and magazine editor. He has authored several other published works, including "Filthy Beast," which was a finalist for the 2004 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award. He lives near Philadelphia. Click to buy.


    DON SWAIM's short story, "The Barrier," about a posse of nits crossing the no man's land between two human eyebrows to recover a kidnapped female nit, has been published as part of a collection of original weird tales, The Yellow Booke. The publisher, Oldstyle Tales Press, has issued it as a trade paperback at Amazon.com. It can also be read online at the Oldstyle Tales Press

    The anthology's title relates to an 1886 collection of strange tales by Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow, which used references to the Ambrose Bierce classic "An Inhabitant of Carsosa." H.P. Lovecraft adopted the Chambers and Bierce echoes in his own work. Those who watched HBO's super series True Detective with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey may have caught the allusions.


    Ilene Raymond Rush, former BCWW member, is interviewed in the Chestnut Hill Local about how her experiences at the Iowa Writers Workshop, as well as some of her own medical issues, influenced her writing. Read HERE

    Rush's latest fiction, "In the Land of the Schustermans," can be read in the spring 2015 issue of Philadelphia Stories


    A power failure blacked out downtown D-town the evening of July 8, 2014, just as we were starting our final critique. Undeterred we whipped out our iPhones (they come with built-in flashlights now) and finished our work. Above: John Wirebach, Lisa Roche, and part of Daniel Dorian.

    Check out Don's CBS Radio interviews with hundreds of the world's greatest authors HERE


    Buy HERE.
    Jim's memoir, published by Saint Johann Press, was vetted through the BCWW

  • DON SWAIM. My mini-pictorial essay about "The Book Thing" HERE.

  • DON SWAIM. My essay about don marquis and archy & mehitabel. Read it HERE.

  • NATALIE DYEN. A story of mine, "Weight," was published in the spring issue of the Schuylkill Valley Journal. Read it HERE. It was a story that was vetted by the BCWW and submitted well over a year ago. In fact, I'd forgotten about it until I received the email. Of course, looking at something a year later is tough--all those awkward transitions, extra words, etc. Anyway, it's always good to be published.


    click to enlarge

    Don Swaim's new ebook from Amazon.com

    I was dashing in my pith helmet and goggles, Evangelina fetching in a velvet fez trimmed with feathers. But we didn't stay for the newspaper sketch artists and the photographers up from St. Louis with their tripods and flash powder, even though we would have looked appropriately heroic in half-tone. To be a proper fighter on the side of justice one must dress the role but not exploit it.

    Inspired by Rudyard Kipling's poetry, Woodrow D'Urberville, his stunning companion Angelina Jekyl, and their mentor, the dirigible-residing Professor Emory, set out to save the world -- starting with the rescue of Oscar Wilde from Reading Gaol. Every Steampunk weapon, mode of transportation, piece of clothing, and cliché is utilized in this more than 11,000-word send-up of the genre. Illustrated by the author (me). A much shorter version of this tale was vetted by the BCWW. CLICK to buy for the introductory price of... 99¢. Yes, 99¢. Download the free Kindle app to read on any device.

    Comeback for a Forgotten Writer?

    photo from James Purdy Memento Mori Site

    by Don Swaim

    Liveright Publishing (bearing the hallowed name that dates to the 20s and 30s and now an imprint of W.W. Norton) has published The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy. Purdy died nearly forgotten in 2009 at the age of 94. Yet in the 1950s and 60s he was celebrated for his often bizarre, sexually violent stories. His novel Malcolm was adapted by Edward Albee for the Broadway stage.

    You see my books are really all underground in that they are about things people don't want to hear expressed. And though the critics would like to carry them off to the shit-yard, they can't seem to get rid of them because they haunt people. --Purdy

    I got to know James Purdy in New York. He was more than an acquaintance but something less than a close friend. I first met him in 1984 when his novel On Glory's Course was published, and went to a party for him at the home of Vassilis Voglis at 30 East 20th Street. I believe the incredibly chain-smoking writer Fran Liebowitz was the co-host. James didn't smoke, and barely drank.

    I would meet Purdy in Brooklyn Heights for lunch, and once visited him in his home, literally a garret, an attic room in a five-story walkup at 236 Henry Street, where he did all of his writing. On a manual typewriter, he would sometimes type out his poems for me and autograph them. Within the fringes of the gay world, he never married, but after he suffered herpes of the eye that temporarily blocked his vision, he was helped by a woman friend named Elaine to Manhattan where we had drinks. When I asked Elaine what she did, she replied, "I take care of James."

    He was said to be extremely difficult. One of his former editors told me that Purdy would phone in the middle of the night, enraged about something or another. I never had to work with him, of course, but I always found James courtly and polite, and flattered by my interest, understandably as I was one of the few major media entities to promote him. I took him at his word that he was born in 1923. He was actually born in 1914.

    I interviewed James Purdy three times for CBS. Here are the actual broadcasts:
  • On Glory's Course: listen
  • The Candles of Your Eyes: listen
  • Garments the Living Wear: listen (trashes his publishers)

    Ohio University posted Don's complete and unedited interviews with Purdy at Wired for Books:
  • 1984: listen
  • 1987: listen
  • 1988: listen

    A beautifully done tribute site by the director, actor, and editor John Uecker is called James Purdy Memento Mori, which uses his own words and photographs: here

    There's also a James Purdy Society website, to which I contributed, but it hasn't been updated since 2004: here

    originally posted at Book Beat: The Podcast

  • DON SWAIM: Q&A with S.T. Joshi, world authority on fantasy, science-fiction, H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, and the weird tale in general. Joshi has published nearly 200 books, and my interview with him runs nearly 9,000-words. Joshi himself says one could write a biography of him based on my interview. This is a major coup for my Ambrose Bierce Site!

  • DON SWAIM. My definitive illustrated article, "The Fabulists Benet&Bierce," contrasts Stephen Vincent Benet with Ambrose Bierce, both writers of the weird and the Civil War. A year in the writing, it's just been published on The Ambrose Bierce Site. I'd love feedback. It can also be accessed through my personal website (which most of you don't know about): Book Beat.

  • JIM BRENNAN. A local artist, Alex Cohen, contributed a painting for a periodic series I run on my blog I call The Art of Running.
    Alex's picture was accompanied by my essay that appeared in the Bucks County Herald last summer. Happy New Year!

  • MARLENE PROST. I had a short story published online in a journal called Rose and Thorn Journal. Unfortunately, soon after it was published, the journal announced it is folding. Fortunately, my story is still posted (It's called "Yizkor") and it can be accessed by going to www.roseandthornjournal.com and clicking on the magazine cover.

  • DON SWAIM. I published my mini-essay "Behind Every Great Building," about the famed architect Eero Saarinen, concrete (yes, concrete), and the elegant CBS Building on the WCBS Appreciation Site [which I edit] here: wcbsnewsradio88.html. Old-timers with an affinity for what was once radio may like this site.

  • NATALIE DYEN. My flash fiction piece was published on the Every Day Fiction site. Here the link: http://www.everydayfiction.com/manfreds-other-cheek-by-natalie-zellat-dyen/. As the editor said when he gave me feedback, their readers' comments and evaluations are extremely critical, so if anyone cares to give this a positive vote, that would be nice. [Natalie's story was vetted through the BCWW.]

  • JIM BRENNAN & JAVAD MOHSENIAN. Both Jim and Javad, BCWW members, were offered book contracts in December 2012, Jim for his memoir as a long-distance runner, Javad for a collection of Iranian-themed short stories. Details to come. Congratluations to both.

  • Winners announced on Nov. 16, 2012, at 86West Restaurant in Doylestown by Bill Donahue, editor of Philadelpha Life Magazine and Suburban Life Magazine. First prize Javad Mohsenian; Second Jules Winistorfer; Third Don Swaim; Fourth Pina Rahill. Read all entries HERE. Great photo-essay by Alan Shils HERE.


    Charles Osgood/Don Swaim -- Oct. 20, 2012 (with two of Charlie's books)


    Dr. Albert M. Honig died on August 31, 2012. It's fair to say that without Al the BCWW might not exist in its present form. In the early summer of 1998, Al formed a writers circle, which met on alternate Thursday afternoons at the library in Doylestown. Coincidentally, during that same period, I emigrated to Bucks County from New York City and joined Al's circle. The meeting time was awkward for would-be writers who had day jobs, so I was asked to form an evening workshop (the BCWW). Eventually, Al's original group merged into the BCWW. Al remained in the workshop as did Sylvia, his widow.

    Al, who was a psychiatrist, had a motive in launching the afternoon group. He was writing a novel based on the experiences of a young psychiatrist whose unorthodox treatments led to his indictment on criminal charges. Needless to say, both the psychiatrist in the book and the real-life psychiatrist beat the rap -- as the newspapers of day attest. The novel, The Insanity Wars, which was vetted through the BCWW, was published in 2009. Similarly, a collection of stories based on his psychiatric cases, Hard Boiled Eggs, was published in 2001. Both books are available through Amazon.com.

    Al's first book, The Awakening Nightmare, was issued by the American Faculty Press in 1972. It focuses on the treatment of schizophrenia. And following his visit to China after the recent lifting of the bamboo curtain, Al published China Today: Sin or Virtue in 1978.

    He resided in a log cabin -- actually an extensive log house -- on North Street across from the Moravian Tile Factory property in Doylestown. As a psychiatrist, his office was in a wing of his home, festooned with pictures of his heroes: Freud, Jung, Adler, and Theodore Reik. He co-founded the clinic that is now known as Foundations, which is across from Delaware Valley College.

    Al was a marathon runner. A couple of years ago, after he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he considered heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, but was ruled unacceptable because of his age. However, he told me at the time that his years as a runner and athlete had prolonged his life. When I last spoke to him a few weeks ago he was in rehab at the Pine Run facility north of Doylestown.

    Al was old enough to have known Stuart Cummings Ripley, and wrote about the experience HERE

    --Don Swaim.

  • JIM BRENNAN's essay version of his short story "Once a Welder" (a fictionalized version was vetted by the BCWW) has been published in the July 2012, literary magazine Still Crazy Lit. Read it HERE.


    The BCWW's Chris Bauer has announced that two of the three short-story anthologies of which he's the editor have been simultaneously released as ebooks: crappy shorts: skid marks and crappy shorts: number two. The titles belie the actual contents, which aren't crappy at all, but well-written, clever, and often quirky. (Still in the works is number three in the series: crappy shorts: another load.)

    Several past or present BCWW members have contributed to the collections, each of which contains nine stories. You may be familiar with some of the authors: C.G. Bauer, David Jarret, Kristian Rowley, Al Sirois, Don Swaim. The late Knute Isinglass and Stuart Cummings Ripley also make appearances. Al Sirois created the cover art.

    As an introductory offer, Chris has priced the books at just 99-cents each, and they can be downloaded from Amazon.com for the next three months, and from the other ebook sources, including Apple's iBook Store, after that. Go to: crappy shorts

    An explanatory note: you do not need a Kindle to read Amazon.com's Kindle ebooks. They can be read on any device -- smartphone, iPad, Mac, PC -- simply by downloading the free Kindle software. Go to: downloads

  • NATALIE DYEN: I just learned that Philadelphia Stories has accepted one of my stories for publication in their summer edition. The story is "When She Could Fly," which the BCWW reviewed and provided valuable feedback.

  • DON SWAIM: Did John Steinbeck help to prolong the Vietnam War? A qualified YES -- in my review of Steinbeck's newspaper dispatches from Vietnam is in the May 2012 issue of The Steinbeck Collectors Gazette. Alas, the magazine's editor Phil Ralls died in 2013, and the magazine, which was very good for what it was, is now defunct.

  • _________________________


    One hundred one-thousand-five-hundred words, published as an ebook. Available on all e-readers: Kindle, Nook, Sony, etc. A psychological thriller (fiction) about identity theft, mind-control games, and the personal consequences. Based on a real-life experience.

    Vetted through the Bucks County Writers Workshop.

    Jack writes: "Thanks for forwarding my announcement to all the BCWW participants. You and the BCWW have received a big acknowledgment in my book. You will never know how valuable the BCWW was to me. I miss it every month when I attend my current workshop [in the Catskills of New York]."

    click to enlarge

    For parts of two decades Don Swaim's daily radio feature about books and authors, "Book Beat," was syndicated by the CBS Radio Stations News Service. This treasure trove of more than 700 interviews (and approximately 3000 broadcasts) is now maintained by Ohio University's Alden Library and posted on line at Wired for Books and at Book Beat: The Podcast. The library published a profile of Swaim in its quarterly publication Gatherings. To read the article click HERE

  • LINDA CIULIK WISNIEWSKI. Today [4/5/12] I learned I won the annual Pearl S. Buck Writing Center short story contest, in the adult category, for my story, "Cold Beer and Great Good." Yes, I did! Story will be up on their website soon. I will post the link! Meanwhile, we went out for cheesecake!
    Chris Bauer: Nice job, Linda! Of note: Our very own Don Swaim won in the adult category last year. Some outstanding bragging rights for Don's writers group, having produced two winners! Yowza.

  • CONNIE WRZESNIESKI Glad to hear about [Stuart Cummings] Ripley and that his spirit is being kept alive. It was a fun project. You can read my recent article on historic movie theatres in the Local Living magazine.It can be found in Wegman's.

  • DON SWAIM: My decade-long search for an elusive variant of a famous John Steinbeck title has been published as an illustrated essay in the March 2012 edition of The Steinbeck Collectors Gazette. The entire issue of the magazine can be read HERE. By the way, it costs nothing to join the Steinbeck Collectors Club and members receive its interesting monthly digital magazine free.

  • NATALIE DYEN: I just learned that a travel essay I wrote about India was published in the Philly Inquirer. Had no idea until I received an email here in India from a former neighbor. Go to: Philadelphia Inquirer

    Photo by Natalie Dyen


  • JIM BRENNAN: OCCUPY FRINGE: SILENT OCCUPIERS. Essay in Fringe Magazine, Issue 29.


    JIM BRENNAN, Dec. 22, 2011 issue of The Bucks County Herald




    Author of four published books celebrates his Eight-Oh on November 5, 2011
    by displaying a "literary owl." click to enlarge


  • Don Swaim: Pretty good mini-profile at Ohio University's Alden Library website. (That's me in the tie and horn-rims with author John Irving.) Click on it to make it more readable:


  • Pina Rahill: Wanted to let you know that since that first article on Drowning Prevention (which you so kindly read for me), I've been writing regularly for 2 local publications ... Parents Express and MetroKids (pen name Jo Rizzo). Here's a link, to my latest article. The Benefits of Bilingualism, Now and Later. Am really enjoying being a part of BCWW.

  • Natalie Dyen: I want to point you to a poem of mine that was published on the Jewish Writing Project site. I had submitted the Button story (about the Jewish grandmother) that the BCWW reviewed, but it turns out the Writing Project doesn't publish fiction. So I refashioned it as a reflection on my own grandmother using the refrain of a Yom Kippur prayer, and voila.

  • MARIE LAMBA [former BCWW member]: I'm so happy to announce that my newest young adult novel Over My Head is now (finally) published. For those of you who remember, this is the sequel to my first novel What I Meant... The publishing world can be pretty brutal at times, as you all know, but good things do happen! (Especially when you're pro-active, right?) It's available now in paperback for $12.99, and in ebook for $2.99. If you're interested in purchasing it, order it through your favorite bookstore.

    Or get it through Amazon: here
    Or for Kindle: here
    Or for Nook: here
    Or through Smashwords: here
    Anything you can do to spread the word would be much appreciated. Thanks so much for your friendship and your support. It always means a lot.


    What if stories written by a deceased business partner arrive at your home? A young couple falls victim to an escalating road rage at the hands of a man and woman. A man meets his doppelganger and harrowing events ensue. Johnny Alto's dog responds to stimuli with only an animal's perception. A photorealism artist's evil paintings come alive in horrifying reality. Young Billy Bintliff helps his stepfather run a speakeasy in the New Jersey Pine Barrens during prohibition. A turnpike toll collector flirts with motorists and reaps surprising results. Jimmy, a disabled Viet Nam War vet, helps a kid from the hood outsmart a bully. A Muslim girl finds a way to restore her virginity. Winston Churchill rallies his nation through Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. A hapless vampire falls victim to a blood theft ring. Circus clown Billy Lard becomes a hero in the Korean War. Four Washington bureaucrats tackle a daunting task. Captain Morris Reid leads his company through the WWII Battle of the Bulge. These and more wondrous tales await your perusal in The Tockterman Papers.

    Written by veteran BCWW member Jules Winistorfer, the stories in this collection were vetted in the workshop. Available in paperback at AMAZON.COM


    The Canadian-based magazine published Jim's article "Glasgow to Prestwick in 60 Seconds," a result of Jim's recent trip to Ireland and Scotland. Read the article HERE.


  • DON SWAIM: Nice write-up about an early novel of mine in the May 2011 issue of The Mencken Society's newsletter. The novel has been republished as a trade paperback by the Authors Guild back-in-print program and available from Amazon.com.

    click to enlarge

  • CHRIS BAUER's short story "Zombie Chimps from Mars" (a BCWW short story contest award-winner) is in the spring issue of Shroud Magazine.

    click to enlarge


  • DON SWAIM: My definitive account of the relationship between Ambrose Bierce and his intellectual heir, H.L. Mencken. fills the entire spring 2011 issue of Menckeniana, a scholarly online quarterly dedicated to H. L. Mencken. The magazine is available only by subscription at Menckeniana. However, an illustrated version of the text has been posted on the Ambrose Bierce Site. Go to Ambrose & Henry.

    click to enlarge



    Don Swaim's H.L. Mencken Murder Case, originally published by St. Martin's Press, returns to print as a trade paperback through the Authors Guild Backinprint program. Available at amazon.com. $12.95. Swaim is founder of the Ambrose Bierce Site. "...there's a dusty-attic charm to Mr. Swaim's fond evocation of bookshops past, and he couldn't have enticed a livelier ghost than Mencken to haunt them." --The New York Times Sunday Book Review


    Satirical and literary, Bright Sun Extinguished: Ode to Norman Mailer by Don Swaim is an original pastiche of dark fantasy and horror. The free software to read it can easily be downloaded to Macs, PCs, iPads, Kindles, or any digital device from amazon.com. $5.99. Swaim is editor of the Book Beat Site. A literary gem filled with subtleties re pop culture and events leading up to and beyond a literary apocalypse. -- C.G. Bauer


  • CHRIS BAUER: Short story "Zombie Chimps from Mars" sold to Shroud Magazine. Yep. Shroud Magazine's editor Timothy Deal liked it, is buying it and gave me a choice: put it into Shroud's first digital edition to come out next month or have it published in their regular winter print edition. As tempting at it is to go for the instant gratification of inclusion in their digital online version, which may well be seen by a wider audience, I opted for the print version since, well, I've never had a short story published in a print magazine. I'm sure you remember this one since it was runner-up in last year's BCWW "Ghost" contest chaired by author Alix Ohlin. Again, thanks for your support, Don. Without the contest, this story may not have ever been written. SHROUD

  • CHRIS BAUER: The author profile Philadelphia Stories did on me made the magazine's summer print issue available now at reading, writing and other fine retai; establishments in and around Philadelphia, as in, for example, the Doylestown Book Store. Plus I get to do a reading at the Chestnut Hill Book Festival on July 11. Cool!

    The Insanity Wars by Albert M. Honig

    KIRKUS REVIEWS -- The novel follows a young psychiatrist, Dr. Mel Lipkin, as he embarks on a career helping the severely mentally ill. Mel makes inroads with difficult cases using radical new techniques. A tragic accident involving the Lipkins' daughter, Leah, causes their marriage to collapse just as the state health board is investigating Mel for his unusual treatment methods. Well written.

    KIRKUS DISCOVERIES -- Dr. Honig, without revealing identities has fictionalized many of his most intriguing cases and woven them into the lives of psychiatrist Mel Lipkin and his beautiful but ambitious wife Lois. Their lives are an engaging mix of reality and fiction. Along the way they find success, failure, tragedy, conflict, humor and happiness. A must read for the thinking person.
    -- Jules C. Winistorfer, author of Shades of Bale, The Attic Trunk, and Ultimate Future

  • STUART CUMMINGS RIPLEY. Improved design for the only site on the web dedicated to this now forgotten literary genius. An original project of the BCWW. Go to Ripley.

  • CHRIS BAUER: Paperback version of my debut novel SCARS ON THE FACE OF GOD is available 12/1. I'll be signing books at the Doylestown, PA, Book Shop on Fri 12/11 at 7PM then at Between Books in Claymont, DE, Sat 12/12 at 3PM. Yeah, I'm nervous.

  • CHRIS BAUER: "A note to let folks know that the podcast/audio of my short story 'You're A Moron' went live on the Well Told Tales website. Sixteen minutes of pulp. R-rated for language. Nice production & ccasting preceded by an intro from the director/owner of the website. Stop by, take a listen to it or download it for later. You can rate it and comment on it anonymously (or not). Not a contest, just feedback. It's had over 1000 downloads in under 24 hours. I'm liking that."

    Recent books by some past and present BCWW members. click to enlarge


    Novelist Alix Ohlin, who studied at the James A. Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas, Austin, awarded cash prizes to the winners of the Bucks County Writers Workshop's Summer Writing Awards competition during a dinner at the Plumsteadville Inn on August 25, 2009.


    The top prize winner in the competition, in which workshop members entered short stories based on the theme, "ghosts," was Judith Norkin of Newtown Second and third prize winners were Chris Bauer of Doylestown and Ilene Raymond Rush of Elkins Park. Ohlin chose from among twenty-one entries. The author of The Missing Person and Babylon and Other Stories, both published by Knopf, Olin was born in Montreal, earned her BA at Harvard, and teaches creative writing at Lafayette College, Easton, PA.

    In her remarks before the gathering, Ohlin said that even the most ordinary life contains drama, tragedy, and emotion, and that one's personal ghosts should be a writer's key influences.

    Bucks County Writers Workshop member Chris Bauer, author of Scars on the Face of God, published by Drollerie Press, discussed the ordeals of becoming a newly published writer of horror fiction. Read his remarks here.

    Nine authors, all current or former members of the BCWW, displayed copies of their recently-published books at the gathering.

    See pictures from the dinner here. To watch the awards presentation via YouTube click video

    click to enlarge

    Albert M. Honig's novel, The Insanity Wars (North Street Press), was vetted through the BCWW over several years. Much of the novel is based on Al's own experiences as a psychiatrist.

  • HENRY LOUIS GATES, noted black studies scholar involved in that sensational contretemps with a cop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The BCWW's Don Swaim knew him slightly, but not enough to call him Skip. Gates unearthed what is believed to be the first novel written by a black woman in America. To hear Don's interview with Gates go to Wired for Books.

  • ALIX OHLIN INTERVIEW: The novelist and short story writer, judge of the BCWW's Summer Writing Project, Ghosts, spoke at length with the BCWW's Don Swaim. First available on the BCWW Site, the interview can now be heard at Wired for Books.


    The BCWW's Don Swaim is one of the judges who'll select the winners of "What Happened to Ambrose?" sponsored by the Lincoln Square Theatre of Chicago in conjunction with its stage production, Ambrose Bierce Tales and Times. Deadline for entries August 1, 2009. The stage production will run from October 19 through November 22, 2009. For details go to: Lincoln Square Theater.

  • CHRIS BAUER: The author of Scars on the Face of God: The Devil's Bible (Drollerie Press) has been interviewed by Horror Bound Magazine. Chris writes: "Pray for me. This interview could either get me excommunicated or get my novel banned by the Catholic Church. Not looking for either, mind you, just sayin'."

    click to enlarge

    An action-adventure filled with international intrigue, Ultimate Futures is Jules' third book of fiction. Each chapter was vetted by the BCWW. The novel is available as a trade paperback from Amazon.Com. From the cover blurb: "Politics, greed, blackmail, and terrorist plots follow the characters across continents in a thriller with Patriot Games type action."

  • ILENE RAYMOND RUSH: "Just a note to let you know that my article, 15 Tips for Crafting Winning Queries, is a cover story in the June 2009 issue of The Writer. (on news stands now) For The Writer's website click here.


    The BCWW SUMMER PROJECT AWARDS dinner on August 25, 2009, at which novelist Alix Ohlin (Knopf) will award prizes for the top entries, is to be held at the historic Plumsteadville Inn, five miles north of Doylestown, PA, on Route 611. The inn, which dates to 1751, was originally known as Harts Tavern, and over the decades expanded into several wings and additions. The dinner is open to BCWW members and guests only.

  • BCWW IN FEATURED ARTICLE. An extensive article in Bucks Living Magazine, "The Good Earth," details the Bucks County literary experience. Written by Angelina Sciolla for the February 2009 issue, it focuses heavily on the Bucks County Writers Workshop. To read the online version go to Bucks Living
  • CHRIS BAUER: "I'm being interviewed on this blogspot the weekend of April 25-26, 2009: Book Talk with J&J. Folks who comment on the blog will be entered into a contest for a free book [Scars on the Face of God: The Devil's Bible]. Since we're getting closer to print publication I'll make sure the winner gets a choice: eBook or trade paperback."

  • JULES WINISTORFER is putting the final touches on his novel Ultimate Futures, scheduled for publication in July by BookSurge. Jules' third book of fiction, it's a fast-paced international thriller vetted through the BCWW.

  • SIX WORD STORY MINI-PROJECT. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, BCWW members on March 24, 2009, read aloud one or more original six word stories. The results have been posted here.

  • CHRIS BAUER: MOVER AND SHAKER. The BCWW's Chris Bauer's novel, Scars on the Face of God, has been deemed an Amazon Kindle "Mover and Shaker" (Number Three) by Publishers Lunch, an in-the-know publishing site on the Internet. The novel is available now as an ebook and will be out this spring as a trade paperback published by Drollerie Press.

  • FROM CHRIS BAUER: "Kudos to me for my first published short story ["You're a Moron"], something I vetted through the Bucks County Writers Workshop. Yes, this shows that if you put enough dirty words and a gun in the plot, you got a chance. Apologies in advance to all." Go to: THUGLIT Issue 29

  • FEB. 3, 2009, BCWW MEETING POSTPONED BY BAD WEATHER. For the second week in a row. Those with submissions for that date should reschedule.

  • NOVELIST ALIX OHLIN TO JUDGE BCWW SUMMER WRITING PROJECT. Ohlin, author of two books of fiction (Knopf) and an appearance in the Best American Short Stories of 2005, will select the three winning entries. The project, "Ghosts," is open to Bucks County Writers Workshop members only. Submissions must be in by June 30, 2009. Ohlin, who studied at the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, teaches creative writing at Lafayette College. For more information about the project and Ohlin click HERE.


  • FROM CHRIS BAUER: Drollerie Press has finally added me to their authors page drolleriepress.com/authors. My paranormal mystery SCARS ON THE FACE OF GOD: THE DEVIL'S BIBLE will be available next week as an ebook if you're into that form of reading (Mobipocket, pdf file, etc.).Print version will be over the winter, he says with fingers crossed since the ebook ooming out now [December 2008] was supposed to come out in July. Of the two book reviews available so far, both were very encouraging. See crow's nest. See Amberkatze's Book Blog amberkayze. I also received a nice blurb from horror author Scott Nicholson which has made it to the cover of the book. Yeah, it feels good.

  • LINDA C. WISNIEWSKI. Former BCWW member reads from her book Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother & Her Polish Heritage, Doylestown Library, Pearl Buck Room, 7 PM, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. Admission free.

  • BCWW SUMMER WRITING PROJECT 2009. See the flyer. [Project for BCWW members only.]

  • MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE. Critique by Sarah T. Williams. "Web Gem." Sunday, March 2, 2008:

    wiredforbooks.org/swaim/. Patience will reward those who visit this treasury of literary voices, a collection of uncut, unexpurgated, unedited radio interviews with hundreds of English-speaking authors -- from Ed Abbey to Sidney Zion. The interviews were conducted by Don Swaim during his long-running CBS Radio show, "Book Beat" (1983-1993). Just as in any conversation, a level of trust must be established and preliminaries and amenities gotten out of the way before a person begins to speak from the heart or the gut. With his gentle, earnest and endearingly honest probing, Swaim gets his subjects to open up: Margaret Atwood on our cannibalistic tendencies, Judy Blume on her troubles with censorship, Tess Gallagher on alcoholism in American life, Erica Jong on what happens to women who dare to write about sex. Seekers of sound bites can go to the archives of the two-minute daily feature at donswaim.com/bookbeatpodcast.html .
  • CARMEN FERREIRO writes (March 11, 2008): I have good news. My editor has agreed to publish my second book, The King in the Stone, the one you have critiqued for the last few years. Thank you so much for all your hard work.

  • CHRIS BAUER has a new webpage to celebrate the forthcoming publication of his novel, Scars on the Face of God, to be published by Drollerie Press, 2008. Go to: http://cgbauer.net/ The site's still a work in progress, but is beautifully done.

  • DON SWAIM's twenty-one page interview with novelist Kazuo Ishiguro was published in Conversations with Kazuo Isgiguro, University Press of Mississippi (March 2008).

  • MARSHA KROLL NAMED BUCKS COUNTY POET LAUREATE. Marsha, a charter member of the BCWW, went to Vermont to complete her MFA. She writes:

    Some shameless self promotion! I finished my MFA in December of 2006 and moved back to Pennsylvania from Vermont in March of this year. Then, a few weeks ago, I was named as the new Bucks County Poet Laureate. What a thrill! In addition to my poetry instructors and poety friends, I also have to thank you, Don, and everyone else in our writing group (s) for all their help and encouragement. You may remember that John Scioli once called me the Queen of the Short Short, which, ultimately, I turned into my poetry. Now, however, I'm actually also writing Prose Poems! It seems like I've come full circle. Don, could you forward this to the group in case anyone is interested in going to the (my) Poet Laureate inaugural reading at Bucks County Community College at 2pm on Sunday, November 18th. It will be held in the Orangery, which is behind and on the right side of the classroom buildings, if you're coming from the large parking lot accessed by the 2nd school entrance, on Swamp Road, just off of Rte 413. It is also to the left of the Tyler Estate gardens, and the school offices that are housed in the actual estate, I hope everyone is doing well and writing well. Much love, Marsha


    From the BCWW's Don Swaim: An old high school pal from Pittsburgh emailed that my CBS Radio Wired for Books web page, the brainchild of Ohio University, was cited by PC Magazine's "Best of the Internet" in the Nov. 20, 2007, issue. The page's address is: http://wiredforbooks.org/swaim/. The picture of me isn't a photo at all, but an "oil" painting by a college friend, the late James Tuverson, who worked from a snapshot of me taken outside the Robert Frost House in New Hampshire. The artist couldn't believe I didn't have gray hair at the time, so Jim made up for that in the painting, the rascal.

    The creator and ongoing producer of Wired of Books is David Kurz, Ohio University's senior web developer. Dave's an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University, and, oddly, has degrees in botany and plant biology. Less surprising, he's also a book collector and former professional librarian, with an MSLS. Dave writes about PC Magazine's citation: "It's great news. Congratulations! Your interviews will be enjoyed for many, many years. And it was your generosity and forethought that made this recognition possible."

  • BCWW's CARMEN FERREIRO-ESTEBAN'S NOVEL IN THE STORES. From the publisher of Two Moon Princess, Tanglewood Press:

    In this coming-of-age story set in a medieval kingdom, Andrea is a headstrong princess longing to be a knight who finds her way to modern-day California. But her accidental return to her family's kingdom and a disastrous romance brings war, along with her discovery of some dark family secrets. Readers will love this mix of traditional fantasy elements with unique twists and will identify with Andrea and her difficult choices between duty and desire.

    Carmen's 324-page novel is geared to young adult readers. It can be ordered from Amazon.com. For more information go to Tanglewood Press.


    Drollerie Press, a small (and new) publisher based in Ohio, wants to publish my novel Scars on the Face of God: The Devil's Bible. The publisher sent across the contract yesterday which I'm now studying. It's true I have no agent, and when someone asked me where had I learned of Drollerie Press, I couldn't tell them for sure. It may have been on Preditors & Editors. Then again, maybe not. Regardless, they are a small operation whose first print novels will be coming out this Fall and Winter; other offerings (novels, novellas, short stories) are available electronically on their website.

    The novel will be published in both electronic and print (trade paperback, I believe) format, the electronic version earlier than the print version; the print version will take about eight months after we get the process started. You can see their website at drolleriepress.com. The site, their values, their genres and intended audience, their willingness to work with first-time novelists, it all looks good to me so far. Now, I expect, is when the real work begins.

    Here's a tidbit regarding timing: The Devils' Bible (or Codex Gigas, meaning Giant Book), a very real manuscript with legendary origins written in the 13th century, was returned by the Royal Library of Sweden in September to Prague after 359 years. It will be on display in Prague into January. For the past four years while I toiled over this novel I ran across no new information on the old manuscript, and I had googled it quite a number of times during the process. Last week, when I received a thumb's up from the publisher, it suddenly became news again. Eerie.

  • DON SWAIM INTERVIEWS IN NEW MARTIN CRUZ SMITH SERIES. Ballantine is republishing, in trade paperback, classic Martin Cruz Smith's brilliant mysteries starring Russian homicide cop Arkady Renko: Gorky Park and Polar Star so far. There's a five-page interview by Don with Martin Cruz Smith in Gorky Park, and a different seven-page interview by Don in Polar Star. The audio can be heard at: Wired for Books.

  • BCWW STYLEBOOK AVAILABLE ON INTERNET FOR FIRST TIME. This handy how-to primer for writers seeking publication or workshop submission went through three printed editions before the revised, expanded version was posted on the BCWW website. It covers such issues as length, formatting, clarity, pace, wordiness, etc. Not everyone will agree with its conclusions, but it's hoped some will find it useful.

  • MARIE LAMBA 2007 NOVEL IS OUT. From Marie:

    I wanted to thank you all for your wonderful support over this past hectic month! I also wanted you to know that my YA novel WHAT I MEANT... is now published, and, thankfully, is garnering great reviews (PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY just called it an "outstanding debut"). More reviews and updates are on my www.marielamba.com.

    The book's status so far still holds the same: sequel and paperback cancelled, initial printing low (all because, I'm sure you remember, presales to chains were low), but the book is gathering steam, thanks to all the support I've been getting from you guys and others. So I thank you all! Let's hope it continues and WHAT I MEANT... reprints. My dream is to save my already written sequel (finger's crossed).

    I'm continuing to personally visit every bookstore I can to introduce my book (been to NYC and Philly and the immediate local area...and my feet hurt!), and I'm now trying to contact every library in the state too. It's exhausting, but seems to work. Now if I could just clone myself...

    Also, I've got some booksignings coming up:
    Friday, August 3, Doylestown Bookshop (part of First Friday celebration) 7:30 p.m. on
    Saturday, August 25, Borders Express in the Oxford Valley Mall, 1-4 p.m.
    Saturday, September 8, Writer's Corner at Oakland and Main in Doylestown (part of the Arts Festival) 11-11:45 a.m.
    Sunday, September 9, Doylestown Bookshop (Arts Festival again), time tba

    Some other dates/locations are also on my website. For those of you who live farther away and want a signed bookplate for a copy of my book, please email me and I'll be happy to send you one.

    So that's the news! Let's hope it keeps looking up. And I hope all your writer's dreams come true.

  • PUB DATE FOR CARMEN FERREIRO-ESTEBAN'S NOVEL SET FOR OCTOBER 25, 2007. Advance reading copies of Carmen's young adult novel, Two Moon Princess [originally Leaving the Castle], are already being distributed by the publisher, Tanglewood Press. The 324-page novel is geared to young readers age nine and up. It can be pre-orered from Amazon.com. For more information go to Tanglewood Press. Carmen, a long time member of the BCWW, grew up in Lugo, Galicia --- Nortwestern Spain-- and went to college in Madrid, where she earned a Ph.D in biology.

  • FROM MARIE LAMBA: To all my wonderful writer friends: I wanted to let you know in advance that I've just booked my first booksigning a week after my book hits the shelves. I'll be at the Doylestown Bookshop on Main Street in Doylestown from 7:30 p.m. till at least 9:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3rd, 2007. It's during the town's First Friday celebrations (for you out-of-towners, that means lots of people and free entertainment and fun around the town), so it should be a blast. Please come and visit. What I Meant... comes out July 24th, 2007 (3 days after Harry Potter), and is available for pre-order through Amazon.com now. I'm keeping my website up to date with info (and some new pix on there as of today), if you'd like to check out www.marielamba.com. Thanks to all of you for your support! Best, Marie

  • WIRED FOR BOOKS WINS OHIO "PROGRAM OF THE YEAR AWARD": Many of you know Don Swaim's audio interviews are posted online at Ohio University's Wired for Books website. The site's founder, David Kurz, sent this email (2/13/07): "I'm in Columbus today, where Wired for Books will receive Program of the Year Award from the Ohio Public Broadcasting Association. Thank *you* Don, for your gifts and your support. The award won't be official until 5 p.m. We were informed early so we'd be there to receive the award."

    Click above to go to Jules' web site

    BCWW Member Jules Winistorfer
    click to enlarge


    Jack manning the bar

    On Dec. 9, 2006, BCWW members and their guests descended on New Hope for a festive literary soiree hosted by member Jack Stewart and Don McGee at their gorgeous home. Scorecard as follows. WINE: ambrosial; FOOD: délicieux; AMBIENCE: affascinante; COMPANY: sympathique; MUSIC (by John Scioli): harmonious. For pictures click here.

  • FROM MARY JANE AKLONIS: I have a guest piece in the "I Remember" column of In Your Prime, November 2006 issue.

  • FROM CARMEN FERREIRO: Hello writers, I have good news. My first book Leaving the Castle -- critiqued by the group ages ago -- has been accepted for publication by a small house, Tanglewood Press. (****)

  • FROM DON SWAIM: DaRK PaRTY ReVIEW, a Boston-based online literary magazine, queries Ambrose Bierce Site and BCWW webmaster Don Swaim about the life and disappearance of the legendary curmudgeon. Go to: DaRK PaRTY ReVIEW. Another Bierce interview with Don appears in the November issue of the nationally published Outside Magazine, on the newsstands October 2006.

  • FROM GRACE MARCUS on her novel in progress: Visible Signs was a semi-finalist in the annual William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition sponsored by the New Orleans Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society. Had it made the finals, I would have been invited to the black tie gala to hobnob with agents & editors. [we're proud of you, Grace -- BCWW]

  • JOHN SCIOLI wrote a nostalgic essay on growing up with music for the July 2006 issue of In Your Prime.

  • AL SIROIS won first place in the 2006 Kittie Friend West short story contest sponsored by the Writers Corner.


    These published or hopeful writers, all past or current members of the BCWW, formed their own club.

  • JULES WINISTORFER has a nostalgic essay in the March 2006 issue of In Your Prime.

  • EX-BCWW MEMBER MARIE LAMBA SIGNS TWO-BOOK DEAL WITH RANDOM HOUSE. A young adult novel by Doylestown Borough resident Marie Lamba has just been accepted for publication as part of a two-book deal with Random House Publishers. What I Meant, (a novel for ages 12 through adult) is about 15-year-old Sangeet Jumnal and her coming-of-age tribulations made even worse by her Indian father, who won't let her date until she's 16; an American mom who usually sticks up for Sang, but now suddenly thinks her daughter is a liar, a thief, and a bulimic; and her aunt who has been living with the family for three months and has been stealing money and food and setting up Sang to take the blame. The novel, which is scheduled to appear in summer 2007, takes place in Doylestown, and includes scenes at many Doylestown landmarks and businesses, such as CB West High School, the County Theater, and Fonthill.

    Lamba, a freelance writer for the past 15 years, has published more than 100 articles, including pieces in national publications such as Writer's Digest, Garden Design and Sports International. What I Meant is her first novel.

    ("Hi to all my writer friends. Wanted to pass along my good news. Thanks so much for all the encouragement and guidance you've each provided me with over the years." -- Marie)

  • CAROLYN MERLINI WINS TOP INTELLIGENCER AWARD. Carolyn's story, "A Christmas Time," won first place in the Intelligencer-Record's annual Christmas story contest. It was published on Christmas Day, 2005, with a nice photo and mini-bio. A $100 prize went with the honor. The BCWW critiqued the story last year.

  • ALAN SHILS SPOTLIGHTED ON PHOTO WEB SITE. In addition to Alan's detailed essay on his photographic background and techniques, the Churchville Photography Club posted samples of his work.

  • JULES WINISTORFER, author of The Attic Trunk, is profiled in a full-page article in The Trend, Nov. 30, 2005, issue, No. 11, Vol. 15.

  • CONNIE WRZESNIEWSKI has a story under the headline "Remembering" in the December 2005 issue of In Your Prime.

  • DON SWAIM INTERVIEWS TO BE PUBLISHED. The University Press of Mississippi will publish Conversations with Larry Brown, which includes an interview by Don. The same series will include an interview conducted by Don in Conversations with Kazua Ishiguro.

  • CHRIS BAUER WINS TOP PRIZE IN HORROR WRITING CONTEST. Veteran BCWW member Bauer's novel, Scars on the Face of God, won top honors in the novel category in a contest sponsored by the Writers Room of Bucks County. Congrats, Chris. Note: the BCWW is not affiliated with the Writers Room.

  • NEW WALTER TEVIS PROJECT ON DVD MARKET -- WITH DON SWAIM CONTRIBUTION. A new two-DVD package of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (starring David Bowie) is on the market. You might recall this 1976 film, which was based on the novel by Walter Tevis, who also wrote THE HUSTLER (starring Paul Newman) and it's sequel THE COLOR OF MONEY (also with Paul Newman). The package by Criterion includes a reissue of the book (published by Ballantine/Del Ray) plus: a re-mastered DVD of the film AND a second DVD with many extras including a composite of two radio interviews (running close to an hour) Don Swaim did with Walter Tevis at CBS shortly before his death. Don's interviews with Tevis explore his development as a writer, his dissent into alcoholism, and how he emerged creatively only to die prematurely of cancer. You can hear Don's original interviews with Tevis online at WIRED FOR BOOKS. The new Criterion Collection DVD package can be ordered online at CRITERION.


    Members of the BCWW wrote stories in the style of Raymond Carver. Novelist Christian Bauman judged the main contest in which cash prizes were awarded to John Wirebach, first place; Carolyn Merlini, second place; and Linda Wisniewski, third place. In a separate contest, cordinated by John Scioli, members of the workshop voted for their favorite story among the submissions. Taking the top prize was Chris Bauer. Three members tied for second place: Mary Jane Aklonis, Don Swaim, and David Jarret. Pictures of the event at the Freight House Restaurant, Doylestown, are posted at 2005 DINNER. Read the newspaper account in the BUCKS COUNTY HERALD. Christian Bauman is a novelist, songwriter, musician, and commentator on National Public Radio. He's the author of The Ice Beneath You (Simon & Schuster Touchstone) and the new Voodoo Lounge (Simon & Schuster Touchstone). His web site is: christianbauman.com.

    Christian Bauman
    at BCWW dinner

  • NEW WORK BY LINDA. Linda Wisniewski has an article in the July/August 2005 issue of Massage magazine called "Massage for the Soul," about the practice of harp therapy in health care settings. Another article written by Linda, "Forget fight or flight -- it's all about friendship," appeared in the February/March 2005 issue of PhillyFit magazine, a local bimonthly found in exercise clubs and fitness centers. .

  • CHRIS BAUER WINS MARYLAND WRITERS ASSOCIATION AWARD. Chris' novel, Scars on the Face of God, won the 2005 top prize in the Action/Adventure/Horror category. In addition to cash prizes, the winners in each category receive two professional critiques. For info about the Annapolis-based group go to Maryland Writers Association.

    Col 1


    Jules' latest book is a collection of nineteen short stories, all originally submitted to the workshop for vetting. "A potpourri of short fiction running the gamut of human experience: horror, deception, greed, love, kindness, and irony. The book includes satire, sci-fi, adventure, supernatural, and war stories." For complete details about the book as well as how to obtain it, go to THE ATTIC TRUNK.

  • LINDA WISNIEWSKI PUBLISHES IN CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. To read Linda's essay, "Reaching Out, I Found the Heart of Compassion," in the February 17, 2005, edition, go to The Christian Science Monitor.

  • ORIGINAL DESIGNER OF BCWW WEB SITE IS DEAD. Web designer and long-time broadcaster Jim "Doc" Tuverson died on February 8, 2005, in Los Angeles. From Don: Jim and I were college classmates and kept in touch over the years. Late in life, when he left broadcasting to go into web design, he came up with the idea of a BCWW web site, rather than the simple email newsletter I'd been sending to members. Jim did the design at no cost. While I eventually moved the site to my own server, its design is faithful to the one Jim created. There are photographs and recollections of Jim on my RADIO DAYS page, and Jim's family has maintained a web site in his honor at tuverson.com

    Col 1


    Marsha, one of the original members of the BCWW, has written a book of poems, Modeling with Miss America, published by Finishing Line Press, PO Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40324. $12 check or money order. Or order ON LINE.

  • RECENT PUBLICATION. From Connie Wrzesniewski: "Just a note to let you know Dave Jarret's book, Tales of a Township, is in the Doylestown Federal Savings and Loan on Route 61l, Doylestown. Nice going, Dave. [Dave is a BCWW member]Also, I have an article, 'Remembering,' in the January issue of In Your Prime, an over fifty-five publication."

  • BCWW MAKES TRANSITION TO LENAPE MIDDLE SCHOOL. In January 2005 the BCWW moved to Lenape Middle School, Doylestown. The workshop will, however, meet at the Bucks County Free Library over the summer when the school is closed. The BCWW is grateful to both the library and the Central Bucks School District for allowing us meeting space. As the Central Bucks School District requires liability insurance, the BCWW asks members for a modest annual fee to cover the cost.

  • AND THE WINNER IS ... Thirty-four members and guests crowded into a private dining room at B. Maxwell's Victorian Pub in Doylestown, PA, for drinks and dinner to celebrate the conclusion of the BCWW's 2004 Summer Writing Project. Each member wrote his or her variation of the romantic O. Henry story "The Marry Month of May." Foster Winans of the Writers Room of Bucks County, not affiliated with the BCWW, told the members about some of the programs his group holds for writers in the area. Damian McNicholl, author of the new novel A Son Called Gabriel, discussed the writing process and took questions from the group.

    Damian McNicholl

    Damian's novel can be ordered directly from AMAZON.COM. Damian was also the juror in the writing contest, in which cash prizes were awarded to the top three entries, all submitted only by number. Here are Damian's picks:

    Honorable mention: Alan Shils #19
    Second runner up: Jackie Callin #9
    First runner up: Carmen Ferreiro #11
    Grand prize: Chris Bauer #5

    In addition, Bill O'Toole presented Starbucks gift certificates to the members who came closest to picking which writers wrote which stories. The winners: Carmen Ferreiro, Don Swaim, Jules Winistorfer. Alan Shils took many pictures of the party -- and they're posted on line and suitable for framing. Go to: Maxwell's Party. A special thanks to MARY JANE AKLONIS, who coordinated the event! Oh, and appreciation from Don for the Farley's gift certificate. To read many of the entries go to Errata.

  • FUNERAL SERVICES HELD JULY 6, 2004, FOR LINDA BANKS. Former BCWW member Linda Banks died July 1 after a two-year struggle with lymphoma. She was 61. Linda was a superb writer who published her short stories in several major publications. At least one of her prose pieces is posted on our web site: banks.fear.html, as well as a poem on the occasion of 9/11: WTC.html. And still more by Linda: poetrypage02.html. poetrypage03.html. Linda was a gentle, ethereal person. She and Al and Sylvia Honig joined to host a Sunday brunch on the occasion of the BCWW's third anniversary. Pictures from the gathering are posted at the following address, and Linda's image is in many of them: writers/brunch

    Linda listens as Don pontificates, 2001

    It's devastating Linda had to go through her painful and deadly cancerous ordeal, but we celebrate her literary accomplishments as well as her basic decentness. Life isn't fair, and Linda's death is proof of that. Here's one of Linda's poems, "The Woman in Love with Sleep":

    There once was a woman in love with sleep,
    And this was her song:

    I pay to see my darling
    With a tablet amazingly small.
    Smaller than the Widow's Mite,
    Smaller than a hole punched from paper,
    Smaller, even, than
    A drop of my blood.

    And then, and then, it's down, down deep
    In the sweet, dark arms of sleep,
    Where the soft, ferny weeds
    Sway their slow, silent dance,
    And the light loses its way,
    And forgets.

    In dreams I breathe the dark water
    And do not drown.

    Lovely to be
    One of the swaying weeds,
    A willowy stem,
    In the deep Sargasso Sea,
    Dim light slanting down, dimmer and dimmer,
    Slight movement, like a sleeper's breath,
    Down, down,
    Where no one can find me,
    Not even myself.

  • From Don: I've posted on line several photos, the work of Alan Shils, of the musical bandwagon at John Scioli's on Mar 23, 2004. Wish more of you had been there to hear John's beautiful original music and his often touching lyrics to Alan's hard-boiled (at times silly) story -- not to mention Bob Finkel's Yiddish-accented narration (with Mary Jane Aklonis and Elaine Shils picking up credits as cast members). For writers like us, opportunities such as the one at John's come rarely. Go to the main page and scroll down to Photo Gallery.

  • Alan Shils took pictures at our working-social meeting of January 6, 2004, and I've posted them on line. Go back to the main page, scroll down to "Picture Gallery" on the index side, and click.

  • Kurt Krumpholz. who is studying for his MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College, published a short story in the summer 2003 issue of The Bucks County Writer. Some of you may remember the tale, "The Devil in Me," which made its first appearance to acclaim in our very own workshop. The Bucks County Writer is readily available in book stores throughout Central Bucks or at the Writers Room, 4. W. Oakland Ave., Doylestown

  • From Mary Jane Aklonis: I did get a poem accepted by Artsbridge, an organization that supports any artist, mostly of the visual kind, though. They publish a literary magazine once a year for Bucks County, Hunterdon County, called The Writers Gallery. The new edition is due to come out in September, and there will be a party/reading. They have a party for every event, even non-events. The poem is called Henry Kissinger on Late Night TV. It has to do with remembering his role in the so called peace negotiations in Paris that went on for years, as I recall.

  • Pick up the spring 2003 issue of THE BUCKS COUNTY WRITER, Vol. 4, No. 3. It contains two of Don Swaim's stories, one a piece of fiction he wrote for the BCWW (some of you may recall it, although it's been expanded and refined) and part two of a two-part article he wrote about John Steinbeck in Bucks County (this makes the third separate magazine publication for the Steinbeck article).

  • From Don: I've updated the FORMAT RULES and the TOM SWIFTIES page, both of which can be accessed from the index side of this page. And we all need refeshers from time to time.

  • A search function for ths site only is in the index column which will allow you to find BCWW stories and articles without having to dig through the archives. If you're looking for a full name it's best to put it into quotes; i.e., "Chris Bauer."