Day of the Dead Jazz Concert – Jersey City Tonight!

Day of the Dead Jazz Concert flyer

Day of the Dead Jazz Concert flyer

 

For the last two summers, Jersey City has had the RiverView Jazz Festival (RiverviewJazz.org) for everyone to enjoy in the Jersey City Heights.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2014/05/riverview_jazz_festival_back_f.html

One of the co-founders of the festival is Bryan Beninghove, whose Beninghove’s Hangmen brought the house down at this summer’s festival (not in small part to the talented saxophone playing from Bryan!)

So how lucky are we, the denizens of Jersey City, to have the opportunity to support the upcoming THIRD annual RiverView Jazz Festival and enjoy a night of spectacular jazz in the Fall at the same time?

Well, now is your chance!

Beninghove’s Hangmen are playing TONIGHT at Grace Van Vorst Church, 39 Erie Street, in a fund raiser for the Riverview Jazz Festival. The church is right downtown, just a few blocks from Newark Avenue.

Tickets are $20 at the door, and the concert runs from 8-11pm.

Hope to see you there!

And if you missed it – here is some of what you missed. There were over 100 people who attended, and lots of fun was had by all!

Day of the Dead puppets on parade!

Day of the Dead puppets on parade!

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The Hangmen perform, with their leader Bryan (sax) in full dead mask make-up

The Hangmen perform, with their leader Bryan (sax) in full dead mask make-up

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People dancing, puppets flying and everyone having a blast!

People dancing, puppets flying and everyone having a blast!

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Jersey City This Weekend – Art Studio Tour and Film Fest

If you are a Jersey City resident, or live nearby, and if you are interested in Art and Film, you’ll want to hang around town this weekend!

The 24th Annual Jersey City Artist Studio Tour is taking place. This is a highly anticipated event, where hundreds of artists show their work by opening their studios to the public, or through group exhibitions at selected locations. The art event runs from 12N to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Simultaneously, there will also be the first inaugural Jersey City Film Festival going on at several locations in downtown JC. For just $25 you can get an all access pass to see any of the film selections, and there is a full slate of offerings available.

So stick around downtown Jersey City and enjoy!

Short Stories – Submit It or Quit It Presentation and Press Coverage

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at the Jersey City Writers group titled Submit It or Quit It: Short Stories, followed by a panel discussion with two other writers, Nancy Mendez-Booth and Meg Merriet. The panel was hosted by Adriana Rambay Fernandez.

L - R, panelists include: Meg Merriet, Nancy Mendez-Booth and me

L – R, panelists include: Meg Merriet, Nancy Mendez-Booth and me

Our panel moderator, Adriana Rambay Fernandez

Our panel moderator, Adriana Rambay Fernandez

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We were lucky enough to get press coverage for the event, and The Hudson Reporter published us on the front page yesterday under the article title A Gathering of Scribes.

http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/25085939/article-A-gathering-of-scribes–Jersey-City-Writers-talk-about-how-to-get-published–?instance=latest_story

To begin my presentation, I did a reading from Etgar Keret’s Suddenly A Knock On the Door; specifically I chose to read The Story Victorious, which was well received and got the laughs it deserved.

Making a funny face while reading The Story Victorious by Etgar Keret

Me making a funny face while reading The Story Victorious by Etgar Keret

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Me hugging Rachel Poy, the co-organizer of Jersey City Writers for all her help on setting up the event

Me hugging Rachel Poy, the co-organizer of Jersey City Writers for all her help on setting up the event

Then we had an excellent panel discussion facilitated by Adriana, followed by questions from the audience.

My message on submitting short stories was simple … if you work at your craft and are persistent and put in the time to submit to journals, you will be rewarded by getting published eventually.

I offered suggestions on how to stay organized by maintaining a spreadsheet / submission tracker. I mentioned Duotrope and Poets & Writers as places people can go to search for potential journals where work can be submitted. And I also told folks that many journals use Submittable, and that setting up a Submittable account is easy and free for writer-submitters.

None of this is rocket science, but it does take time and effort to cultivate a pipeline of finished pieces you want to submit, then select multiple markets, read submission guidelines and send your work around… then track all the results.

I’d been meaning to put up a posting covering the event, and now that we’ve gotten local press coverage I realized the time is now to post a few photos and to say thank you again to Rachel, Jim, Adriana, Nancy and Meg for all of their support in getting this event together and participating.

Jersey City Writers – An Inspiring MeetUp!

I want to give a shameless plug to the Jersey City Writers MeetUp, that I joined this evening for a “writing prompts” session. It was my first time sitting in with the group and it was a great experience.

The Thursday group meets at a cool space called IndieGrove on Newark Avenue. There is a Tuesday night group that meets at Tachair Bookshoppe, also on Newark Avenue, which I plan to visit in the future.

Tonight, fourteen writers got together for this session, which as far as I’m concerned, is phenomenal turn out. It was an eclectic mix of people with a variety of literary interests, which kept things lively and fun.

We cycled through three different writing prompts, with ten minutes to write on each prompt and then we went around the table and everyone read their work.

Jim, the host of the Thursday group, brought yummy snacks and a welcoming approach to me as a newcomer, for which I’m grateful. As it so happens, Rachel, the lovely hostess of the Tuesday group also attended this evening, so I got to meet both facilitators my first time out.

Clearly it was my lucky night.

Actually, tonight was the first time I’ve written something “new” from a short story perspective in many months.

I’m so excited to have a group of local writers I can rub shoulders with to push me to keep creating!