Wednesday, September 3, 2014

“Five in Five” workshop gives writers instant feedback

Get instant feedback on your writing at a “Five in Five” workshop sponsored by the St. Louis Writers Guild from 10 a.m. to noon, Sept. 6, at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 S. Geyer Rd. in Kirkwood.

Bring the first five pages of your work--fiction, nonfiction, or poetry—and sign up at the beginning of the free workshop to have it read aloud by another writer.

“Getting some distance from your work by having someone else read it often helps you pinpoint problem areas,” said Brad Cook, Guild president.

When the five-minute buzzer sounds, others attending the workshop will have five minutes to comment on what they like and offer suggestions on ways to improve the piece.

“This is similar to the slushpile read some writing conferences offer, but instead of having agents critique the work, it will be other writers,” Cook said. “We will discuss the importance of openings and hooks, as well as critique methods, so be ready to share what you’ve learned along the writing path.”

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Labyrinth of Time: coming Nov. 7!

I'm happy to announce The Labyrinth of Time, my young adult contemporary fantasy set in Peru, is coming Nov. 7 from Silent Partner Publishing and is NOW available for presale at:
If you'd like a review copy, please contact me at I'd love to hear from you!

Can Jade restore the Firestone's powers before the First Men return to judge humanity? 

Spending spring break in Peru with her grandmother isn't sixteen-year-old Jade's idea of fun. She'd much rather be with her friends at Lake of the Ozarks. Then she meets Felix, a museum director's son. Jade discovers only she and Felix can telepathically access messages left on engraved stones in the age of dinosaurs. 

Following the ancient stones' guidance, they enter the Labyrinth of Time and--with a shapeshifting dog's help--seek a red crystal called the Firestone. But time is running out before the First Men return on the night of the second blue moon.
Prophecy from the Peruvian Elders
Beware the second blue moon’s rising. Stones will speak to men, and the song of Pachamama and Inti will fill your hearts. Tremble at the dark moon, which heralds the Light’s return. Only those who tread the Path of Knowledge may rise among the First Men and quench the flames of doom.
My thanks to author/illustrator Jennifer Stolzer for her cover illustration, which gives readers their first glimpse into the Labyrinth!

T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults. She began writing fiction full-time in 2007 after working twenty-five years in journalism and corporate communications. 

She fell in love with ancient American cultures while researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Since then, she’s trekked to archeological sites in the Yucatan, Peru and American Southwest. 

When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. She currently lives in the Greater St. Louis area with her husband and his pet fish. 

Learn more about T.W. at

Pre-order your copy today!
Following from Jennifer Compton, St. Charles City-County Library District

Hi Local Author/Illustrator!

We have had an overwhelming response from local authors to the open house again this year even with the tighter restriction.  We would like to move up the deadline for contacting us to reserve your spot.  The new deadline to guarantee a booth at the local author open house is Friday, September 5th.  After that, anyone interested will be placed on a waiting list and should space become available we will contact you immediately.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Library hosts holiday open house; authors should apply by Oct. 17

Following from Jennifer Compton with St. Charles City-County Library

Dear Local Author:

You are invited to participate in the St. Charles City-County Library District’s Sixth Annual Local Author Open House!

This year’s Open House will be held on Thursday, November 13th, at the Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library, 2750 Highway K, O'Fallon, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Each holiday season, the Library District offers an opportunity for our local authors to connect with our customers. As an author participant, we will be able to provide you with a small "booth" or table. We will offer refreshments and a festive atmosphere and visitors can stroll through, chat, purchase your book and have it signed. We ask that you sell your own books, please. Our goal is to foster connections between the many authors in the area and our many readers. The open house is also a great way to network with other authors.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the growing success of this event (53 authors last year!) and limited floor space in the branch, this year we are are only able to make booths available to authors who have published a book in the past three years or who have not yet had the opportunity to participate in the Local Author Open House.

If you would like to participate, please email us with the following before Friday, October 17th:


Title of your book(s):

Phone Number:

Email address:

Publish Date:

If you are unable to confirm by October 17th we will not be able to guarantee that your name and book title will appear on the promotional material but we may still be able to reserve a booth for you.

If possible, please attach an image of your book cover for publicity purposes.

Please feel free to spread the word to any others who may want to participate, we would love to have them.

Jennifer & Sara

Monday, August 18, 2014

Free writers’ conference Aug. 23 offers tips for kids & adults

If you’ve never been to a writers’ conference, St. Louis Writers Guild’s fifth annual writers’ festival in Kirkwood Park is the perfect way to start. The free mini-conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23, at Lions Amphitheater in Kirkwood Park, 111 S. Geyer Rd. No pre-registration is required.

Created to honor the Guild’s 90th Anniversary, the day includes free workshops led by industry professionals, books from local authors, and food for all to enjoy. 

This year the Guild is proud to present: 
  •       New York Times bestselling author Heather Brewer 
  •       New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox 
  •     Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson 
  •     STL Books owner Robin Theiss 
  •     Writer, illustrator and cover artist Jennifer Stolzer

Presenters for the Young Writers workshops will be:
  • YA/MG author Margo L Dill—for 4th-8th grade students 
  • YA authors Cole Gibsen and Sarah Bromley--for high school students 
  • Carol McAdams Moore, who writes for tweens and beginning readers, will host a Make-A-Book table
The popular “Buy a book, get a sandwich” promotion will return, featuring sandwiches from 6 North CafĂ©.

Writers in the Park 2014 is sponsored by a generous gift from Commerce Bank. 

In case of extreme heat or rain, the conference will move indoors at the Kirkwood Community Center. Click Here for the Kirkwood Parks website. View the full event schedule on

Saturday, August 2, 2014

An Interview with Linsey A. Daman

One of the great marvels of modern technology is the ability to meet and learn about people you may never have had a chance to. Sometimes they are across the globe. Sometimes they are in your own backyard. I got to meet--online anyway--Linsey A. Daman. She is an entrepreneur, dancer, and fellow writer. I don't know many people who do not overcome obstacles. But, oddly not everyone chases their dreams. Linsey has not allowed her obstacles to stop her from chasing her dreams--something we all should learn to do. 

Writers' Lens: When you started working on Bridging St. Louis: One Cultural Step at a Time St. Louis' Dyslexic Entrepreneur, what was the focus of the book?

Linsey A. Daman: Encouraging all women to achieve their professional objectives and personal aspirations was my prime focus of my first book, Bridging St. Louis.  As a woman entrepreneur, the odds aren’t always in our favor so this book demonstrates several examples of how to turn the tables on gender stereotypes in the workplace, while providing tips on overcoming the “glass ceiling” often placed on women in the office.    

WL: What kind of obstacles did dyslexia throw into your way growing up? How did you overcome them?

LD: Repeating a grade based on my reading scores was threatened; luckily this never came to pass.  A special reading instructor was assigned to me for the year and after proving my capability all moved on without further ado. 

WL: How do you encourage others to overcome the barriers in their lives?

LD: Eventually I could see myself serving on a board for fellow dyslexics but for now hopefully the examples mentioned in Bridging St. Louis would serve as motivation. 

WL: What attracted you to writing?

LD: Enrolled in both French composition and French literature at Webster University, St. Louis is when it became clear that I enjoy composing my own literary work.  I’ve always known I enjoyed creative writing but these two courses solidified my desire to be an author in any language.     

WL: What kind of writing do you like to write?

LD: Poetry would be my favorite being relatively short, crisp and most often directly to the point or alluding to the point.  Prose and short stories would then follow, again being fairly condensed and easy to read when pressed for time management.    

WL: What do you like to read or watch for entertainment?

LD: LOST TV Series is my all-time favorite television show!  Anything island-themed or tropical is fair game in my opinion.  Historical documentaries are also top of my list therefore Channel 9 is often found playing on my set.   

On occasion, I’ll listen to audio books regarding business management, social networking and financial planning.  I’ve also been known to listen to short stories while walking hence two birds, one stone.   

WL: You are a professional dancer? What is your favorite kind of dance? What draws you to dancing and art

LD: Bollywood dancing (Indian-themed dances) is my new favorite form of dance but I also incorporate ballet into my workout as well.  Periodically, I’ll include some Flamenco Spanish dance into my routine, but typically I float between the first two mentioned.  I’ve been dancing before I could practically even walk so clearly dancing is in my blood.  Regarding Bollywood, I’m drawn to the musical, performing and cultural elements that are found in this style.  It is one of the most artistic dances that I’ve seen to date.   

WL: What kind of books are you working on now?

LD: A Belizean-themed action and murder mystery is what is cooking for my next book.  Based loosely on my travels to Altun Ha, the ancient Mayan ruins found just outside of Belize City is the enigmatic setting for my twelfth publication.  

WL: What are your current projects?

LD: Expanding my company to the east coast is my prime objective.  Continuing with higher education is essential for me so this seems like the most logical transition while actively perusing my academic career.  

WL: What is your writing schedule like?

LD: Honestly it’s hit and miss due to being an entrepreneur.  Basically, I try to write when I can which basically goes for all current projects, tasks, etc.    

WL: If you could have coffee with an author from any time period, who would you choose and why?

LD: Canadian Author, Gordon Korman author of “Son of the Mob” written in 2002 would be my first choice for a coffee date.  Residing in New York, he has sold more than 17 million copies of his 85 books in a career spanning three decades.  Clearly he knows a thing or two about book sales!  Perhaps we could discuss over a cup of joe his background and motivation for composing such a story. 

WL: How could my readers learn more about you?

LD: As most entrepreneurs, I have a professional site which can be found at  LinkedIn is another great way to connect with me; feel free to add me to your professional network.   

Personally speaking, I’ve launched a specialized site titled “Single Successful CEO” which doubles as a single’s site.  Accompanied by a blog containing additional photos, interviews, etc.  

Please visit and You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens.  You can also find me on Facebook

Also, check out Write Pack Radio at or on Facebook at or on twitter @WritePackRadio. Write Pack Radio brings Pop Culture, Writing, and Publishing together and throws them into a crucible of humor, clarity, and passion.

Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Whoa vs Woah

Whoa vs Woah

Is it Whoa, Woah, or Whoah?

They all come from Woa or Whoo.

I have to admit I was unaware of the controversy until recently when someone pointed out that I was spelling Whoa wrong. You can imagine what I said… “Whoa,” or was it Woah?

I’ll admit I’ve used Woah for years. Now before you jump down my throat, I do it because I thought it was a correct spelling. I don’t remember where I first saw Woah but I know I’ve seen it before – and I had. It is misspelled so often that it is now listed as an alternative spelling in many dictionaries. Personally, I like the look of Woah vs. Whoa. I like the H at the end. To me Whoa looks like a misspelled who. I'm not even going to touch Whoah. 

I’m not entirely wrong either. Woah is an acceptable variant in some countries and is preferred in others. Britain is said to use Woah over Whoa. Woah was also used in the past over Whoa, but here in America the acceptable form of the word is Whoa. Even as I type, spell-check flags every Woah and suggests Whoa to replace it.

I never really learned how to spell the sounds, reactions, and vocalizations that we make. As a writer I mostly fall on the books I’ve read, how other authors describe something, but technically that’s how I got stuck on Woah. It’s not like any of my English teachers ever put these words on a test.

Whoa isn’t the only one – which one do you use – Yeah, Yay, or Yah?

There needs to be a book that contains all these strange words – there is it’s called a dictionary plus a metric ton of grammar books – obviously I haven’t read them… yet… but maybe I should.

Does Woah really mean the same thing? Whoa is what a cowboy says to a horse, but is that the same Whoa I say in astonishment? If they’re different then shouldn’t there be a different word? These are the things that keep me up at night.

Besides, if Woah is really Wo-ah then why isn’t Whoa who-a (hoo-ah). It’s enough to make a writer go crazy, and yet, I know the grammar hounds out there have cringed through this whole article.

Can we just start using Wo? I didn’t think so.

Looks like I have hours of Find and Replace ahead. 
Woe is me.

I had fun exploring Whoa.
I wrote this because of how much fun it was (read this aloud and you’ll see what I mean) but in truth write what you want and fix it in revisions.
Know any more crazy sound words? Share them in the comment section.

Brad R. Cook, author, publisher at Blank Slate Press, and President of St. Louis Writers Guild. Please visit or for more information. Hear more on the Write Pack Radio Follow me on Twitter @bradrcook, @blankslatepress, @stlwritersguild, or my tumblr page Thoughts from Midnight