The Wax Bullet War

One of the assignments I was given in Ooligan Press lab was to read one of our backlist books and post the review on two review sites, like Amazon and Goodreads. I did just that, but I also wanted to share it here, too, since the book is a powerful one indeed. The book I read is called The Wax Bullet War, written by Sean Davis and published in April of 2014.

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The Wax Bullet War

Wax Bullet War is a compelling narrative, one that speaks to the horrors a soldier faces in war and to the struggles he faces at home. It is a powerful read, an emotional rollercoaster through death of comrades in arms and friends, to lost lovers, to ethics of war and the world, and beyond. Sean’s voice is perfect, crisp, clear, and straight to the point, filled with a dark humor that keeps the momentum of the story moving forward. His tale of PTSD when he returns home is a chilling reminder of how powerful war is and how it affects our soldiers on the ground and at home. If you’ve never been to war (or had friends or family who’ve been to war), read this book. It’s true description of what goes over there and how the men and women deal with it is an insightful read. I would highly recommend this book to my friends and family.

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So why, since I posted this review to Amazon and Goodreads, am I sharing it on here, too?

Because it’s important. Because this book is one of the select non-fiction books I’ve read that struck me as something deeper. And because I’m recommending it to all of you. It’s a one-of-a-kind read, and I’m proud that I work for the press that published it.

Have a great Halloween, folks! Keep it spooky (and safe) out there!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Grad School Class Presentations

So, it’s currently the end of Week Three here at PSU, which means everything is gearing up to be busy for the rest of the term. It means we have big assignments due for class pretty soon. What’s up next for my classes? Presentations.

Yup. Presentations.

*shudders*

I’m still not used to getting up and talking in front of a class. I don’t know why. I participated in toastmasters, did drama, and co-created a reading event back in my hometown which I MCed every now and then. And I’ve also had previous classes have me to present. I also was a moderator for the Willamette Writers conference over the summer! So I don’t know why this freaks me out so much, it just does.

To combat that freak out, I prepare.

There are many different ways of preparing for a presentation. Some people go over the material once or twice. Some people look at bullet points. Some people just simply know everything and are perfectly find rambling for a few minutes. Some people don’t prepare at all.

I am none of those people.

In order to prepare for my presentations, I memorize. And by memorize, I do mean the whole entire thing.

Now, it might be a catch from my drama days when standing in front an audience forced you to memorize all your lines and spout them out perfectly each time. It might be something from my toastmasters group that had a “no notes at all” policy. Or it could just be a weird little quirk of mine.

I dunno.

Either way, that’s what I’m doing this weekend. Memorizing a presentation. And what am I doing next weekend? Memorizing another one.

Yup, that’s my life nowadays. (And, by the way, this persistent cough is really not making this process any easier.)

How do you prepare for a presentation? Any tips and tricks you can give me?

Warm regards,
Kellie

Postscript – I have a new goal for this school year. I’m not going to memorize a presentation. Not these upcoming ones…or the Write to Publish 2016 stuff…but by the end of the school year in June I’ll try it out. See what happens. Maybe I’ll burst into flames of endless embarrassment. But maybe I won’t. You never really do know, do you?

PublishingHack: Transmedia Marketing

So one of the classes I’m in this fall is Transmedia Marketing for Book Publishers. It’s taught by Kathi Inman Berens, the newest faculty member in PSU’s book publishing program.

The class is pretty cool. While I have to admit I am struggling a little because I’m also taking her Concepts in Digital Publishing and there’s a bit of an overlap, the Transmedia Marketing class is pretty fascinating.

So what the heck is transmedia marketing?

Well, let me tell you. Basically it’s a form of marketing that uses social media and digital publishing to allow multiple entry points for a work and expand the story. It’s a type of worldbuilding across different platforms, where the content is specific to that type of platform. It also cultivates a participatory culture, where fans actively share, create, and play with their content.

A great example of this from class that we’ve read about but haven’t yet talked about is The Hunger Games and how they marketed the movies. We all know the currently released movies were huge, and we have the ability to look back in the past and analyze why that is so. So why was it so successful? Well, of course it’s because THG had a huge fanbase to support it to begin with, but a main reason, perhaps, is because the transmedia marketing for it was strong as hell. For the Catching Fire movie, specifically, it was a great mixture of social media and fan participation, as well as the creativity of the ad agency Ignition Creative.

Note: I got most of this information from the Transmedia Marketing Case Study: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire blogpost, written by Christine Weitbrecht on Thoughts on the T, if you’d like to read it.

So what did IC actually do? They had IRL high-fashion billboards with “Capitol Couture” written on them and if the people googled capitol couture they would be taken to a Tumblr, Twitter, Youtube, and website specifically for the Capitol. (This could also demonstrate additive culture, because the fans would know instantly that it was from THG but new people would just be intrigued by it. Don’t quote me on that, though, as I’m still learning what that term means.)

The various social media accounts reflected different aspects of THG. For example, the Tumblr was fashioned like a magazine—with IRL fashion brands and writers—people from the Capitol would read, with updates on events in the Capitol, what it was like in the Capitol, and updates on the various characters in THG world. They also had IRL fan challenges, where the fans could upload fashion statements of their own.

The website was the Citizen Control Center of Panem (where viewers had to get ID cards and had the ability to unlock new content), the Facebook and Twitter accounts were the Capitol/Panem Government center (where they had ideologic messaging one would find in the Capitol like “Respect Boundaries” as well as Facebook pages for each district), and the YouTube was the Capitol TV (where they uploaded official trailers and fan-made videos).

Aside from the fan-made content, the information isn’t new, it just amps up the original world by reflecting the life of the Capitol and allows the fans to be immersed into THG world, like they’re really there living it with these characters.

Now, the official website has changed to reflect the upcoming movie—Mockingjay, Part 2—but there are still pretty cool features. For example, it looks and sounds like a governmental-issued website, but if you hover over a certain part, it changes and you can join the “Revolution.” Seriously, go do the thing, and you’ll be amazed.

From a fan perspective, it’s just freaking cool.

Under the lens of this transmedia class, it’s quite the interesting idea in the storybuilding aspect of THG world. It was an amazing transmedia marketing campaign ,and something that is aspiring to look at. (Also it’s freaking cool.)

So, what do you think? Is this the future of marketing? Is this what authors and publishers should consider doing?

I certainly think so.

Warm regards,
Kellie

Write to Publish 2016 Writing Contests!

I can’t believe it’s already October!

Submissions for the Write to Publish 2016 writing contests close on the 30th of this month, so if you have any marvelous Flash Fiction or PNW Poetry pieces, be sure to submit them! I’ve included some of the basic information below, but you can find the rest of the submission guidelines here.


Write to Publish, Ooligan Press’s annual publishing conference, in partnership with the Timberline Review, a literary journal from the Willamette Writers publishing a wide variety of content, and Cirque, a literary journal publishing Alaskan and Pacific Northwest writing, are excited to offer a flash fiction contest and a Pacific Northwest poetry contest this year. Submission for both contests open September 8 and close October 30, 2015.

Entries for the Pacific Northwest poetry contest may be original, unpublished works in any style of poetry up to 40 lines and should be centered on a Pacific Northwest theme. The winning poet will be notified in the first week of December and will win a cash prize of $100, a reading at the conference, and publication in the Timberline Review

Entries for the flash fiction contest must be 700 words or fewer, original, unpublished, and double spaced. The winning writer will be notified the first week of December and will win a cash prize of $100, a reading at the conference, and publication with Cirque.

The contest fee is $10, and only one story or poem may be submitted per person, per contest. Please send submissions via email to w2p@ooliganpress.pdx.edu with “Flash Fiction Contest Submission” or “PNW Poetry Contest Submission” as the subject line.


We’ve been getting some wonderful submissions thus far, but we want more! I’d love to read some from my writing friends here in the blogosphere. And, if you know of any writers, pass the word onto them, too!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Warm regards,
Kellie