September 30, 2009

September in Review

Well, Scribe-fans, we've made it through our first month of activity for the 2009-2010 school year. And what a busy month it's been!

Week 1 (9/14 - 9/18) - The Brainstorming Week
We spent our time talking about things we can do to raise the Independent Scribe's profile on campus. We have good working relationships with several writers, and want to attract and foster new talent. Some ideas so far:
  • Advertising in other URI media outlets.
  • T-shirts for the group - plus, a new, permanent logo!
  • New contest idea to highlight some of the stellar poets we've met.
  • We have several contacts in the English department - can we expand our communications into other departments? Art, Theater, Journalism, the honors program, etc.
Week 2 (9/21 - 9/25) - The Review Process Begins!
Now that we've made connections with students through First Night and the Student Organization Fair, the submissions have been coming in. We began our first round of reviews, with several prose pieces and a healthy dose of poetry.

Our prose submissions this week:
  • Obscurity
  • I Love God
  • da Vinci Mirror Tricks
  • The Crypt of Clive Owen/Necropolis
  • Terminating a Community and Society Ill
  • Bump in the Road
Our poetry submissions this week:
  • Dimensions of the Mind
  • Quiet Dreams
  • Crawl
  • Black Coffee
  • Rug Burn
  • Dream of Fantasy
  • What You Need
  • Paper Mache Plans
  • Four Loves
  • Be My Noose
  • Matza
Week 3 (9/28 - 10/2) - More Submissions!
After an excellent week of review, new Scribe members are well on their way to becoming proficient editors, thanks to our highly knowledgeable editor-in-chief, Kate.

Our Monday submissions were critical essays, an important part of our publication since we encourage engagement with texts not just as creators, but as readers. We learn about exciting new perspectives from the work we receive, and cannot wait to pass it on to our readers.

(We've also been celebrating Banned Book Week.)

Our critical essay queue for this week:
  • Thoreau's Sublime Wreckage in Cape Cod
  • Brown's Use of Volatile in The Coquette
  • Soul-Sickness, the Ocean, and All Things Remote in Melville's Moby-Dick and Jewitt's Country of the Pointed Firs
Today, our final meeting for the month of September, brings us back to poetry. On the menu for this afternoon:
  • House of Hosts
  • The Untitled Rehab One
  • The Untitled Prose
  • Death in Magneticism
  • The Untitled One about the Cemetery
If any of the above submissions are yours, you can expect our feedback in the near future. We will accept re-submitted, revised material for further consideration - we're always happy to work with writers to get a piece ready for print.

What's next for the Independent Scribe? October will certainly be busy, as our deadline for all submissions is Friday the 16th at 4 PM. That still gives you plenty of time to send us your material - and there's still time to enter our contest!

Special thanks to all of our returning members for, well, returning! And to our new members for checking us out (and liking us enough to stay).

Additional thanks to Marisa, our treasurer/secretary for her prompt minutes; to Kate, for her wealth of knowledge and ability to embrace our new, younger members; to Bryan, for teaching us what "surpirse" means (don't ask).

We hope to continue receiving submissions from everyone, and look forward to working with you for the remainder of the semester.

September 27, 2009

Happy Banned Books Week!

image via The American Library Association

September 26th through October 3rd is Banned Books Week, a celebration of the First Amendment and the importance of free access to reading materials. Founded in 1982, BBW is a response to the to the sudden uptick in challenges against books commonly found in schools, libraries, and stores. Criteria for banning ranges from displeasure over sexual or violent content to positive portrayals of minorities (most prominently the gay community) or negative portrayals of racial or religious groups.

These bans have taken place in hundreds of communities across the country. Books targeted for banning include contemporary fiction - including children's picture books! - and much-loved classics. To combat the rise in challenges on books, librarians and bookstore owners have taken it upon themselves to defy censorship by displaying these titles as legitimate, welcome works of literature.

What were the top 10 banned or challenged books of 2008? According to and the American Library Association, they were:

And Tango Makes Three (Richardson, Parnell) - banned for anti-ethnic/anti-family sentiments, religious viewpoint, portrayal of homosexuality; deemed unsuitable for age group.

His Dark Materials trilogy (Pullman) - banned for religious/political viewpoint, violence.

TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R series (Myracle) - banned for offensive language, sexually explicit content; deemed unsuitable for age group.

Scary Stories series (Schwartz) - banned for portrayal of the occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, violence.

Bless Me, Ultima (Anaya) - banned for portrayal of the occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit content, violence.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Chbosky) - banned for drugs, portrayal of homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit content, suicide; deemed unsuitable for age group.

Gossip Girl series (von Ziegesar) - banned for offensive language, sexually explicit content; deemed unsuitable for age group.

Uncle Bobby's Wedding (Brannen) - banned for portrayal of homosexuality; deemed unsuitable for age group.

The Kite Runner (Hosseini) - banned for offensive language, sexually explicit content; deemed unsuitable for age group.

Flashcards of My Life (Harper) - banned for sexually explicit content; deemed unsuitable for age group.

The American Library Association also has a list of the most frequently banned or challenged books of the 20th century - how many of these classics have you read?

For more information on Banned Books Week in the US, visit:

The American Library Association - get free downloads of BBW posters, webpage badges, and lists of banned books from previous years.

Banned Books Week - see a map of all the communities in the US with registered book challenges from 2007 to 2009; find a list of things you can do to promote reading controversial books.

UPenn's Online Books Page - find general information on banned books throughout history, and why people today are so concerned with children's literature.

"Why Banned Books Week Matters" - Library scientist John Mark Ockerbloom's essay on the importance of BBW and the twin freedoms endorsed by celebrating it - the freedom to read AND the freedom to write.

For an international perspective on censoring writers, visit:

Amnesty USA - learn about the far-reaching impact of literary censorship; read cases in which authors and members of the foreign media have been harrassed or imprisoned for their artistic or critical expression.

Happy (dangerous) reading, everyone!

September 17, 2009

Wear Your Favorite Word!

Scriber Derek enjoys the word "gadget."

Is there a word or phrase you really love? Let the Scribe know! Send us a photo of yourself wearing your favorite word and we'll include it in our Facebook album.

Photos can be sent to theindependentscribe [at] gmail [dot] com with "Wear Your Favorite Word" in the subject line. Make sure your name and your word are in the body of the email so we can properly credit you for your submission. And please, no profanity or nudity.

All approved images will become property of The Independent Scribe*, but you're more than welcome to use your picture as a profile image on Facebook. If you want to use your photo outside of Facebook, we ask that you credit The Independent Scribe.

Have fun with this one, and we look forward to seeing your photos!

* - our album is a friends-only feature on our Facebook page to protect the privacy of those whose pictures have been posted.

September 11, 2009

Fall 2009 Meeting Schedule

Thanks to the efforts of the wonderful Marisa, we are pleased to announce that we have our meeting schedule for the semester, starting this Monday, September 14!

On Mondays, we will meet in 308 of the Memorial Union. This room holds about 35 people, so be sure to come early for a good seat.

On Wednesdays, we will meet in 318 of the Memorial Union (except for the 16th, when we will meet in 360 - don't worry if you can't find us, someone at the Info Desk will be able to help you out). This room holds about 50 people, but again, be sure to be early for a good seat.

Our schedule is also available on the Memorial Union website in case you forget where we are.

And you can always check any of our web pages for up-to-date info on meetings and other goings-on:


And don't forget to bone up on our submissions guidelines in time to enter our first-ever contest.

We're looking forward to seeing you on Monday!

September 6, 2009

Fall 2009 Contest - The Secret Society of Demolition Scribers

In the spirit of Marc Parent's short story collection, The Secret Society of Demolition Writers, the Independent Scribe is giving you, our beloved writers, a chance to explore the deepest corners of your imagination - and be featured in our upcoming Fall 2009 edition!

The Challenge "What would you write if no one knew who you were? In the spirit of the demolition derby, where drivers heedlessly take risks with reckless abandon, welcome to the first convocation of the Secret Society of Demolition Writers. Here is a one-of-a-kind collection of famous authors writing anonymously - and dangerously."

So says Marc Parent in the introduction to the book. He rounded up 12 famous contemporary authors and asked them to write something daring, something spectacular, something their editors and agents would never let see the light of day.

How it Works Write. Whatever you want it to be, no matter how dark or silly or sexy or painfully honest. Send it our way with "FALL 2009 CONTEST" in the subject line (and as always, make sure your name does not appear in the body of the text).

We'll choose a small, select group of winners and feature them together. Your name will appear in the table of contents, but will not be associated with your piece. We want to publicly thank you for submitting and congratulate you for winning, and we will guarantee your anonymity by never sharing who wrote which piece.

Remember, all entries must be received by Friday, October 16 at 4 PM. Any contest entries received after this point will not be considered.

For more information on Marc Parent's book, visit your favorite online retailer.

Best of luck to you all, and happy writing!

September 5, 2009

The Independent Scribe Does First Night 2009

If you're one of URI's incoming freshman, be sure to visit us tomorrow at First Night! We've got lots of copies of to give out, plus information and a fun activity.
Hope to see you there!

September 3, 2009

The Perks of Being Our Friend

The Independent Scribe loves making friends.

On Facebook? So are we!

As much as we love our blog readers (and we do love you, oh-so-much), there are some decidedly awesome things about being our Facebook friend as well:
  • Be among the first to know about our events.
  • Have early access to fun surprises - incidentally, watch this space for a terrific surprise this weekend!
  • See what our friends love. Scribers share tons of great links on our wall, from movie trailers to off-campus event information, all kinds of things they think we'd like. And we're pretty sure you'd like it, too.
  • Take a peek at photos from our events.
  • Get to know our members. Scribers are a friendly bunch, and are more than happy to get to know folks who are interested in joining.

And if you're on Twitter, be our friend there, too! Get the latest on Scribe events and appearances, meetings, and other news in 140 characters or less.

So join us, and get your daily dose of Scribe goodness on your favorite social networks.

PS: Don't forget that we can always be reached at theindependentscribe [at] gmail [dot] com for all your questions and comments about meetings, events, and submissions.