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AWP24 came early

Madville author, Lee Zacharias poses in front of the AWP24 Conference & Bookfair banner in Kansas City.

We had a smaller showing at this year’s AWP conference. Kim didn’t attend, having begun her college career in Missouri, she could only think of the weather and the unpredictability of flights in early February in Kansas City. But of course, Madville has a number of authors who have no such aversion to the cold or fear of driving on icy roads, and they did attend and represented Madville happily.

Michael Simms, Madville author of Bicycles of the Gods, The Green Mage, and Windkeep, also edits the online journal, Vox Populi, and he invited us to share his table in the book fair. Our authors signed books and greeted potential readers all three of the afternoons at that table. In addition, we have friends at Hoot, who also shared Luanne Smith’s three anthologies (Muddy Backroads, Taboos & Transgressions, and Runaway) and Jodi Angel’s Biggest Little Girl.

Thanks to Lee Zacharias for sharing her wonderful photos! (Also Michael Simms and Cherise Pollard!)

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Perfection Paralysis in Ecuador

The view of Cuenca, Ecuador from my mother's balcony

I’m in Ecuador at the 2018 Cuenca International Writers Conference. I’m here as a speaker, but one of the perks of being a speaker is that you get to attend other speaker’s talks. Kate Kunkel offered a talk entitled “Turning Gobbledygook into Great Articles.” As part of the session, Kunkel assigned us the task of writing an article assembled from several blog posts, an interview, and a PowerPoint presentation. The topic of said article is to be “Perfection Paralysis.” Of course, it is a great blog topic, and useful for creatives of all stripes, so I decided to share it with readers of the Madville Publishing newsletter.

We have probably all heard the term “perfection paralysis,” and we may think we know what that means, but Patti Johnson, in her 2014 blog post for entitled “5 Ways Perfectionism Is Getting in Your Way” looks at our common misconceptions about perfectionism and explains that we often make the mistake of thinking perfectionist tendencies are a good thing. She explains that potential employers can see a perspective employee who identifies as a perfectionist as a liability because perfectionism often leads to reduced output. Employers would rather see more work accomplished, even if it isn’t absolutely perfect.

Mel Robbins, also writing for, offers some suggestions to beat this perfection problem in his blog post, “The Secret to Ending Perfection Paralysis.” He describes a book he was attempting to write and how his own idea of the need for everything about the project to be perfect kept him from getting it written. It wasn’t until he accepted the notion that it did not have to be perfect to be a good book that he managed to get it done.

I identified strongly with a 2017 interview that Kate Kunkel gave to Ty Nugent about perfection paralysis as it related to her training as a harpist. I experienced the same thing when I trained as a classical guitarist, but at that time, I called it performance anxiety. I couldn’t play in front of anyone because I knew that whatever piece I was trying to play would not be perfect. Kunkel explains that once she overcame this need to perfect her harp playing, she was able to start playing as a professional harpist. This also led her to teach other aspiring harpists that they could play without being perfect.

Finally, Tim Elmore, in a series of slides from a PowerPoint presentation explains how perfectionism can warp our children. He suggests that we would be wiser to encourage them to excellence rather than perfection. He says we’re better off looking for progress in our own lives and abilities than attempting to always compete, or be more perfect than, others. Improving upon our last project is much more rewarding in the long run. It offers us an attainable goal, and keeps us moving forward rather than sitting in a state of paralysis and dissatisfaction accomplishing nothing.

—Kim Davis, Cuenca Ecuador, May 30, 2018

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Other Words Literary Conference in Tampa 2018

Other Words Literary Conference logo

Madville\’s First Official Conference

The Other Words Conference was held at the University of Tampa, October 11-13, 2018, which turned out to be unfortunate as Hurricane Michael blew through the Florida Panhandle on October 10. This meant many writers who had planned to attend simply couldn\’t get there. Still, Tampa was unaffected, and the airplanes flew, so Kim and Jacqui attended and represented Madville.


These events are largely about networking, and we sat prominently with a table at the book fair, where we offered our first two titles, An Englishman in Texas and Gunshot, Peacock, Dog. Rick Campbell, author of Gunshot, Peacock, Dog, was on hand to sign copies. In addition, Kim spoke on the subject of publishing.


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Madville Attended AWP 2018–sort of

We were there… sort of

Madville Publishing, LLC, was not quite an entity when Kim attended AWP in Tampa in 2018. The conference for Creative Writing Programs is a huge annual event, that creative writers should all attend at least once. 2018 was no different, and Kim saw many of her writing friends in Tampa in 2018. She was either at the The Texas Review Press Booth, or the Goliad Review & Press table, both presses where she worked at one time.
Kim\’s schedule at AWP 2018:
\"\"Thursday 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Author signing–Curt Eriksen, A Place of Timeless Harmony
(Kim had the pleasure of editing this book and doing the layout and design for it.)
Thursday 4:30-5:45 PM
Kim moderated the panel, “The Places America Forgot”
(Michael Gills and Joseph D. Haske read their fiction.)
\"\"Friday 1:00-3:00 PM
Author signing–Theodora Bishop, On the Rocks

(Kim had the pleasure of editing this book and doing the layout and design for it.)
\"\"\"\"Friday 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Author signing–Michael Gills, The House Across from the Deaf School and The Death of Bonnie and Clyde and Other Stories 
(Kim had the pleasure of editing Michael\’s most recent book and doing the layout and design for it.)
\"\"Saturday 11:30-1:30 PM
Author signing–Lindsay Illich, Rile & Heave