Front Row Center Newsletter from the Greater Columbus Arts Counsil
Do The Write Thing
By Maggie Willis

In a back room at the Whetstone Library, about 30 people sit in a circle on plastic chairs, cradling snacks and soda in their laps as they leaf through handouts. Anne Delekta, a smiling woman sporting fantastic socks, leads the group in introductions. In turn, the attendees introduce themselves and talk about their stories, their life-challenges, and what keeps them from achieving their goals. One visitor, Michael, confesses that this is his first time there—the group erupts with applause. “No, no, wait,” pipes up another attendee, “We should do it like this. Hi She raises her arms to encourage everyone to chime in: “Hi, Michael!” Everyone affects the cheery, simultaneous drawl that greets new members at a twelve-step program meeting and then bursts into laughter.

But this is no twelve-step program. It’s the Kick-Off Celebration for the upcoming National Novel Writing Month in November, and everyone is here to help sustain an addiction that people just keep quitting, no matter how hard they try not to: novel writing. National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is about baby steps—30 of them, to be exact—toward writing 50,000 words in one month, or 1667 words a day.

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Jim Arter's Life Within Art Artist Profile
Gretchen Hirsch Headshot writer, editor
Gretchen Hirsch

As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, with thousands of users per month. The Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free—and enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with them. Our monthly artist profile series features interviews with some of the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community.

This month’s profile features Columbus native Gretchen Hirsch.  Hirsch is a working writer and “chief surgeon” at Midwest Book Doctors, an editorial consulting service for those preparing manuscripts for submission to editors or agents or who wish to self-publish. She’s written nine books, two of them multiple award-winners and all but one nonfiction. She self-published a novel, Back Again to Me, and her latest book, Your Best Self-Published Book: How To Write It. How To Edit It

“Don’t be in such a hurry to publish that you rush through the writing process. Because self-publishing is so easy, too many people think writing is easy, too, and they produce very bad books. I think self-publishing will gain respect when there is a critical mass of excellent, well-researched, carefully crafted works published by their authors. We’re not there yet. Lots of bad books on the Web—and some good ones, too.”


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Sneak Peek

The Columbus International Film + Video Festival presented by the Columbus Film Council

The Columbus International Film + Video Festival is bigger and better than ever this year. Now in its 62nd year the Festival runs for 12 days on November 13-25.

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Ohio Craft Museum: Gifts of the Craftsmen

The 15th annual “Gifts of the Craftsmen,” a holiday exhibition and sale of fine craft, is the perfect place for shoppers to discover unique gifts this season, including handcrafted jewelry, pottery, art glass, baskets, clothing and more.

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Xclaim Dance Company Season Premiere: BLUE

Xclaim's seventh season premieres a collection of vibrant new work for stage and film, featuring choreography by Artistic Director Mariah Layne French and veteran company members.

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GCAC appreciates and acknowledges support from: City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Ohio Arts Council.

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Front Row Center provides an in-depth look into the creative individuals and organizations that make the Central Ohio arts and cultural community unique. Front Row Center features articles about local and national arts issues, profiles of creative professionals, previews of upcoming events and the inside scoop on what’s happening in the arts in Columbus. For complete submission guidelines please visit our Publications Page.