If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ll know that each year one of our writers hosts our annual DargonZine Writers’ Summit, where our contributors get together to talk about writing, conduct project business, get to know one another, and have fun. This year’s Summit was held a couple weeks ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was hosted by Dargon veteran Mark Murray.
This year, the working sessions were run by Jon Evans, and he did a fabulous job moving us through a number of topics and activities, which included discussion about how and why we write, incorporation, our ongoing revision to the Dargon town map, our mentoring system for new writers, a spontaneous writing exercise, and some great improvisational storytelling.
Once the working sessions were over, the fun was only beginning. Our weekend included excursions to the Andy Warhol Museum, Church Brew Works (an old church which had been converted to a brewpub), the Duquesne Incline (a scenic overlook of downtown Pittsburgh at night), Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Ohiopyle State Park (featuring an amazing natural water slide), and an entertainment center where we supplemented Summit traditions of go-karting and miniature golf with a new activity: bumper boats.
Kudos go to Mark and Jon for putting together a very productive and wonderfully enjoyable weekend. Photos and more detailed writeups of all our Summits can be found on the Web at our Dargon Writers’ Summit page, <http://www.dargonzine.org/summit.shtml>.
In other news, people seem to be responding well to the ability to “rate” each story, which we premiered in the Web version of our last issue. We have included the rating sidebars in the stories in this issue as well, and if the response continues to be favorable, we’ll shortly be adding those side bars to all our stories, both in our back issues as well as future issues. Please try it out, and let us know what you think!
In this issue Mark Murray, our recent Summit host and the owner of DargonZine’s mentoring program for new writers, begins a new series that resumes his lengthy saga featuring Raphael and Megan. Similarly, our one-time editor Dafydd begins another chapter in his extended Talisman series, which has been slowly advancing from Dargon’s ancient history to the present. While the Talisman epic still has a ways to go, the events of “Talisman Five” will start bringing the story together to its eventual climax.