Insight into the behind the scenes of my writing, exciting news, project updates, and release information.
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Time to catch up on your reading list.


While autumn is not officially here, the nights are getting cooler and colours are beginning to dot the trees. The smell of wood smoke occasionally wafts through the air and we think of creature comforts. This a great time of year to slow down, to add more relaxation to your life. As the season changes, schedule some evening reading time. Try to catch up on your reading list and to yourself.

Test Readers Needed... 

... As you many have seen on social media, there was call made for applications to become a test reader for my new book of short stories. The application window closes at 23:59 tonight for the general public, but as a Calm Scribe Insider, you have another 5 days to decide and apply. Fair warning, this book is a thriller/horror collection.

Contests (Results!)

As always, Summer is a hotly contested time of year, causing pens to start scratching on pads all over. My pen is no different than the others, here is a list of competitions I am waiting or will be waiting to hear back from. Of course I will share any results as they come in.
  • Flash Fiction Challenge 2017 - Entry, The World's Doorstep (4pts.)
  • Pitch Wars - Entry, Project Persyphious (DNQ)
  • Asthetica Magazine Short Story Challenge - Entry, TBD (To be determined).
  • Vallum Magazine Poetry Competition, Entry, 2 poems Falling and From Above (TBD)
  • Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction, (Entry in progress)
  • American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest, (Under consideration)
Round one of the Flash Fiction Contest has come to a close and my story was awarded 4 points (only the top 15 of 30 stories get points.) Round two starts this weekend and the top 15 scores of both rounds move into round three. It will be another busy weekend.

While Project Persyphious was well received at Pitch Wars, the query letter was not what it could have been, leading to it not being chosen. Which in the end is not a bad thing, my schedule picked up and I would not have had the proper time to dedicate to it. It also allows me to enter the Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction competition. Look for more details to come.

Halloween Contest

While out for a walk, I came up with a wonderfully, horrible idea for a short story for Halloween. As I was running around in this new world, another idea came to me, create a contest to become the main characters. From now until October 1st, you are able to enter to become on of the two main characters in the story. Full details are on my website, head over to see how you can enter, if you dare.
A cover has been designed! Are you brave enough to test read?
Projects On The Go

The Great Outdoor Adventure of Tiny Teddy is getting closer and closer to being illustrated. I am currently working with an illustrator in Costa Rica, to come up with right design. It has been a fun process and we are almost there. Sketches will be coming soon.

Being a writer allows for all kinds of wonderful opportunities, often times they cannot be discussed for days, weeks, months, or even years. As is the current situation. Just knw there are some very fun projects coming up...
Recommendations of the month:

The Little Book of Hygge:

If you are unfamiliar with the term Hygge, now is the time to learn. It is a Danish term to describe a certain feeling, there is no direct English translation. The closet word is cozy, but it is more than that. It is the feeling you get on a cool fall day, curled up by a fire, under a warm blanket, with a hot drink. This book takes you into the meaning of the term and teaches you how and why to lead your life a little more Hygge.

Book Challenge 2017:

Each year I set a goal for how many books I will read. Last year I did not hit my goal, yet this year I am already deep into my challenge. In 2017 my goal is to read 26 books. I have found a fun list which makes this goal easier to attain. Each book is a challenge, for example, a book you can read in a day or a book with over 500 pages. So far I am into my seventh book and will keep track of them here so they may serve as suggestions. Follow me on Litsy or Goodreads to read my reviews of each book.

4 of 26: A book you read in school.
Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck

5 of 26: A book that will improve a specific area of your life.
Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite- Paul Arden

6 of 26: A book written by someone who is not a writer.
Rest in Power - Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin

7 of 26: A non-fiction book.
Born a Crime - Trevor Noah

8 of 26: A book someone else recommended to you.
The Te of Piglet - Benjamin Hoff

Tip of the month:

Many of us have been heartbroken by the loss and devastation we have seen in the Caribbean and the USA. While the urge to help is strong, for many of us, it is financially beyond reach, but there are other ways to help. A good example of this is Over the past week I have been volunteering my time to assist in the relief efforts. Through this site, I, along with many others, have been viewing satellite images from before the storms and after the storms. We then mark on the images where there is damage, temporary shelters, floods, and blocked roads. This data is then sent to the team that sorts it all and sends it further along to help identify need. It is free and can be done at home in your spare time.

Other projects on Zooniverse...
  • Help measure astronomical data
  • Help conserve wildlife
  • Transcribe historical documents (Civil War journals, Shakespeare journals, etc.
  • Count bees and help protect them
  • Track animal migrations
  • Many other fun and fascinating tasks
What to share the Calm Scribe Newsletter? Go ahead! Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested.
Don't forget, your local library can be a great resource. When was the last time you visited?

That is it for this month's newsletter, thank you for your continued support.

Travis J. Croken

Have a suggestion for the recommendation of the month? Email me at
Autumn reminds us that cooler days are coming and we need to search out warmth and comfort. Now is a good time to think of your winter reading space.
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