Here in the Greater Miami Valley, there’s a not-well-kept secret among writers (as well as those who love to read and are fascinated by the writing life).
And here it is: you want to subscribe to Fred Marion’s email newsletter.
Now, that may seem a little odd. Who in the world wants *more* email, and why, of all things, a newsletter?
Because Fred’s weekly email newsletter is part poetic homage to the writing life, part insight into the creative process, part inspiration, and part events calendar. And it adds up to a whole that is a love letter to writing and the creative process. Not in a goopy, drippy way. Remember, being in love can include some angst.
His email newsletter—the one bit of email I eagerly and actively look for each week—covers everything from an ode to libraries, the “paradox in art” of needing to look both inward and outward, family life and art, the danger of fear leading us to live lives we never wanted, and oh so much more.
Fred grew up in the Dayton area, attended Wright State University, graduating with a degree in English with a focus in creative writing in 2002, spent seven years as a journalist, and now works as a freelance marketing writer and web designer.
He always loved creative writing, but says he became serious about it when his wife became pregnant
with their first child.
“Knowing we were going to have a kid was a huge wakeup call for me. I always wanted to write a book,” Fred says. “I thought, how can I say ‘follow your dreams!’ to our child, if I wasn’t doing it myself? Somehow, I managed to crank out a draft before our daughter was born. I shopped my book around, but didn’t get great results. I decided I needed a community.”
Fred, who lives in Bellbrook with his wife and children, says he started going to literary events in the area. At an Antioch Writers’ Workshop event, he met author Kristina McBride (www.kristinamcbride.com) and hired her to review his book through The Write Sisters (www.writesistersconsulting.com). (Disclosure: I am a member of The Write Sisters.)
“Her feedback helped me know how to revise my novel, a middle grade story about orphans with super powers,” Fred says. “That revision was good enough for me to land a good literary agent. I’m working on another round of revision with my agent.”
But based on Fred’s sentiments in his email newsletter, the journey is as important—if not more so—than the results.
“When I started going to literary events in the Dayton area, I found myself almost overwhelmed by the opportunities to meet other writers, whether as a writer or reader,” Fred says. “I started a website, DaytonLit.com, almost as a calendar for myself to keep track. Then, a few people wanted the information in an email newsletter. And I thought I’d add some of my experiences and thoughts about my writing journey.”
Fred’s email newsletter started with three subscribers two years ago. Through word of mouth, it now has 235 subscribers.
“My style as a writer is confessional and vulnerable,” Fred says. “I remember going to a talk by Richard Paul Evans and his book The Christmas Box at Books & Co. and someone commented his writing was too confessional, putting too much out there. But he said that’s what a writer does, and if a writer isn’t willing to do that, they should get a different job. I hear that in back of my mind a lot. I want my writing to be true and honest. I apply that to my life and turn that into a brief essay in my newsletter.”
“My dream,” Fred adds, “is that a someday, someone will say, ‘Fred, I’ve been a subscriber and your newsletter inspired me to take art class or write first book.’”
Read some of Fred’s work and subscribe to Fred’s email newsletter at his website, www.DaytonLit.com, or his website http://fredrickmarion.com.