Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Pitch to publishers and hear from writing experts at March 6 online conference

 At the March 6 “Writers on Zoom” online conference, experts will offer “how-to” tips on research, characterization, poetry, memoirs and humor, as well as advice for portraying the Deaf culture and community. 

The daylong event is free to St. Louis Writers Guild members, though registration is required. The $20 fee for nonmembers includes access to recordings of the six workshops. Sign up using Eventbrite on stlwritersguild.org 

If you have questions you’d like the speakers to address, post them at least a week in advance to the St. Louis Writers Guild Facebook page or email SLWGInfo@gmail.com with MARCH 6 in the subject line.

Concurrently, the Guild will host pitching to publishers on March 6. Register in advance on Eventbrite for up to two five-minute pitch sessions with publishers, including North Star Editions, Owl Hollow Press, The Wild Rose Press and Coffee House Press. Pitches are $10 for SLWG members, $20 for nonmembers.

The online conference is part of our yearlong celebration of the Guild’s 100th Anniversary. Learn more about the speakers and their talks, as well as what genres the publishers are seeking at www.stlwritersguild.org under the Special Events tab, Writers on Zoom.



10 a.m. – BEYOND NAME, AGE, AND SIBLING NUMBER: Turning Your Pinocchios into Real Characters, Jody Feldman 

11 a.m. – TRUE-BIZ: Best approaches to portraying Deaf culture and community, Zack Jodlowski


1 p.m. – TIPS FOR MEMOIRISTS—Craft, Family, and How to Get Your Book in the World, Linda Joy Myers

2 p.m. –  WRITING LIKE MY HAND IS ON FIRE, Jane Ellen Ibur


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Learn How to Write Query Letters and Pitch Your Book to Literary Agents

Learn how to write query letters and pitch your book to literary agents and publishers during a free online workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Feb. 6, featuring authors Catherine Bakewell and Brad R. Cook.

You can find the Zoom address on the St. Louis Writers Guild’s Events page (www.stlwritersguild.org/events) or click here on Feb. 6 to join the meeting:


Meeting ID: 702 890 3800

Password: SLWG2021

Call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago

Catherine Bakewell
will discuss the  “Five Steps to Having a Strong Query.”  

“Whether it's your first time sending a query or if you're tearing your hair out re-writing and re-querying for the thousandth time, this lesson is for you,” Catherine said. “I'll be going over the basic elements of a query and how to make them stand out. This talk is primarily for fiction writers querying literary agents, and especially for those authors querying YA or MG books.”

Brad R. Cook will share the “New Rules for Pitching.”

“The publishing world changed over the last year, and pitching was one of the biggest areas affected,” he said. “We'll discuss how to pitch your book online in 2021. Tips on where to find the agents and publishers, plus how to act and what to say when you get in front of them.” 

Catherine Bakewell is the author of We are the Song, a middle-grade fantasy novel to be released in Spring of 2022 by Holiday House. Catherine has lived in France and Spain, where she romped through gardens, ate pastries, and worked on her novels. She is represented by Jordan Hamessley of New Leaf Literary & Media. You can check out Catherine's blog about querying and find out about her editorial services at catherinebakewell.com.   

Brad R. Cook is the author of historical fantasy novels and award-winning short stories. He began as a playwright, dipped into the corporate writing world, and served as co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press. He currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. He learned to fence at thirteen, and never set down his sword, but prefers to curl up with a centuries’ old classic. https://www.bradrcook.com/

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Jan. 9 workshop: What authors need to know about Amazon

If you’re a self-published author, understanding Amazon is crucial. Join Matt Davids from 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 9, for a free online workshop and learn about “The Amazon Mindset: What Self-Publishing Authors Need to Know About the World’s Largest Bookseller.”

You can find the Zoom address on the St. Louis Writers Guild’s Virtual Events page (www.stlwritersguild.org/virtual-events) or click here on Jan. 9 to join the meeting: 


Meeting ID: 702 890 3800

Password: SLWG2020

Call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Matt’s presentation will cover strategies and tactics for optimizing your books so they sell.

“We must learn how to make our books stand out from the millions of other books on Amazon,” he said. “We'll start with several key elements that are needed to understand Amazon and then dive into practical tips you can apply today.” 

Matt Davids is a full-time creator of tabletop role-playing game books, including the Amazon bestsellers, The Book of Random Tables and The Book of Random Tables: Quests. All his books can be found at dicegeeks.com. Matt is also the host of the Dicegeeks.com Tabletop RPG Show, a podcast featuring interviews with game designers, writers, and filmmakers. He is happily married to his beautiful wife, Erin, and is the father of three boys

To learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild, go to www.stlwritersguild.org

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Guild honors young writers at Dec. 5 holiday gathering

Join a celebration honoring award-winning young writers at the St. Louis Writers Guild’s annual holiday gathering from 10 a.m. to noon, Dec. 5. 

You can find the Zoom address on the Guild’s Virtual Events page (www.stlwritersguild.org/virtual-events) or click here to join the meeting: 


Meeting ID: 702 890 3800

Password: SLWG2020

Call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

At this free online event, learn how fourth- through eighth-graders created stories that all began with the words: “Beneath the mask…” 

Winners of the first Young Writers Awards (High School Edition) for ninth- to twelfth-grade students will also be invited to read their stories centered on the 2020 theme: Beneath the Mask. 

Judging was based on originality, cohesiveness, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Award-winning author Jody Feldman judged entries in the 4th – 5th grade and 6th – 8th grade levels. Anna Ojascastro Guzon and Michelle M. Haberberger of Your Words STL judged contest entries for the Young Writers Awards (High School Edition). Your Words STL is a non-profit that uses creative writing workshops, tutoring, and collaborative projects to help amplify the voices of those who are marginalized. 

The Young Writers Collection, an anthology of winning entries in both contests, will be published and available on Amazon by mid-December.

SLWG offers an associate membership is for young writers who are currently enrolled in middle school, high school, or an equivalent alternative. Associate members have access to special areas on the website and special events hosted by St. Louis Writers Guild. Associate members are welcome to attend age-appropriate SLWG Events. Associate Membership is $5 per year, which is applied to the young writers programming. Go to the YWSTL tab (Young Writers of St. Louis) on the Guild’s website, www.stlwritersguild.org

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Workshop Nov. 7: Tax tips for writers and other creative professionals

Tax time is coming up before you know it. If you’re like many writers and other creative professionals, you may find it challenging to keep track of what business expenses and sales the law requires you to report. 

Certified Public Accountant Dan Connor will offer tax tips and answer your questions from 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 7, in a free online workshop hosted by the St. Louis Writers Guild, in cooperation with the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA).

You can find the Zoom address on the Guild’s Virtual Events page (www.stlwritersguild.org/virtual-events) or click here to join the meeting: 


Meeting ID: 702 890 3800

Password: SLWG2020

Call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Dan will address questions such as:

Do I need to pay taxes ahead of time?  

Can I deduct losses if I spent more than I made?  

When is writing a business or a hobby?

How will the election affect my taxes? 

Dan Connors, with  Buenger Accounting in Granite City, IL, is an Enrolled Agent under the IRS and a CPA under the state of Illinois. He has been preparing taxes for more than fifteen years for individuals, nonprofits, and businesses. Dan is also an aspiring writer and has been published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch several times. He can be reached at dan@buengeraccounting.com (accounting) or dan@authordanconnors.com  (writing). 

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org and about the VLAA at www.vlaa.org.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Workshop Oct. 24: Everything You Know About Screenwriting is Wrong

In this informative and brutally honest two-plus hours, Paul Guyot, who has worked in Hollywood for 30 years -- the last 20 as a full-time screenwriter -- shares the reasons why nearly every book on screenwriting is wrong.

Join Guyot from 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 24, at this free online workshop, and stay on afterward to celebrate the St. Louis Writers Guild 100th Anniversary. We're limited to 100 participants, so sign up now on Eventbrite to reserve your spot. The Zoom link will also be posted in the Members Room on www.stlwritersguild.org.

Guyot’s self-proclaimed cause in the screenwriting world is to put all the gurus and charlatans who charge money for “how-to” secrets out of business.  

“Nine out of ten aspiring screenwriters I meet have completely wrong concepts about the job, the craft, and the business. I do what I can to tell THE TRUTH of what it takes to be a working screenwriter. Sometimes it’s not fun to hear, but as my grandmother used to say, ‘I’d rather be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.’”  

“I’ll discuss how to avoid the myriad of conmen out there proclaiming to sell the secrets of screenwriting; the difference between simply selling a screenplay and actually creating a career as a screenwriter; the truth about screenwriting contests; and why less is always, always more.” 

Guyot spent ten years working in Hollywood before his first paid writing job on the WB series FELICITY. From there, he worked on multiple shows, including writing and producing the Emmy-winning CBS series JUDGING AMY. He was the Supervising Producer on the hit TNT series LEVERAGE, and the Co-Executive Producer and showrunner for THE LIBRARIANS, starring Rebecca Romijn and Noah Wyle. 

Most recently, Guyot served as Co-Executive Producer on NCIS: NEW ORLEANS, one of the top 10 television shows in the world. 

Guyot co-wrote the 2017 film GEOSTORM, which was the number one movie in Indonesia for two weeks, but don’t hold that against the lovely Indonesian people. 

Currently, he is developing the comedy film “49” for Netflix; about a husband and father who turns his family’s life upside down when he sells everything to chase his dream of becoming a professional golfer. Greg Kinnear and Lauren Graham are attached to star. 

Guyot has taught screenwriting at the university level, and guest lectured at multiple conferences. He splits his time between Los Angeles and St. Louis. He believes that social media is neither -- and thus, his only presence is Instagram where you can find him at @p.guyot.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Guild’s Oct. 10 online conference features “Ask the Experts” and Pitchfest

On Oct. 10, the St. Louis Writers Guild (SLWG) will provide a forum for writers to “Ask the Experts” about their professions. The daylong online conference is free to SLWG Members, though registration is required, and $20 for nonmembers, including access to recordings of the five workshops. Sign up using Eventbrite on stlwritersguild.org

Writers may submit questions at the conference or in advance through the SLWG Facebook page for Regional Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Case, bestselling crime novelist Scott Phillips, registered nurse Jessica Patton, microbiologist Christine Hood, and aerospace engineer manager Jamie Krakover. They can also ask Anna Ojascastro Guzon and Michelle M. Haberberger for tips about writing realistic teen characters.

Concurrently, the Guild will host a Pitchfest on Oct. 10. Register in advance on Eventbrite for a five-minute pitch session with publishers including North Star Editions, Owl Hollow Press, Blue Fortune Enterprises LLC, The Wild Rose Press and Manniversary Media/Entercom Communications. Pitches are $10 for SLWG members, $20 for nonmembers.

The event is part of the Gateway to Publishing Conference Series, in celebration of the Guild’s 100th Anniversary. Learn more about the experts and publishers at www.stlwritersguild.org under the Special Events tab, Pitchfest.

ASK THE EXPERTS workshop agenda

9-9:50 a.m.: Bestselling Author Scott Phillips

10-10:50 a.m. Registered Nurse Jessica Patton 

11-11:50 a.m.: “Ask the YWSTL Community” with Anna Ojascastro Guzon and Michelle M. Haberberger

12-1 p.m. break – Grab lunch and get back to your computer! 

1-1:50 p.m. Microbiologist Christine Hood

2-2:50 p.m. Aerospace Engineering Manager Jamie Krakover

3-3:50 p.m. Regional Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Case

PITCHFEST publishers -- Check the Pitchfest page for more information 

Mari Kesselring - Managing Editor of Fiction - North Star Editions, Inc. (Flux & Jolly Fish Press)



Mari Kesselring serves as managing editor of fiction for North StarEditions and directs acquisitions and editorial work for its imprints Flux (young adult fiction) and Jolly Fish Press (middle grade fiction). She is seeking young adult fiction and middle grade fiction only. In young adult, she’s looking for thrillers, contemporary, SciFi, fantasy, and historical fiction. In middle grade, she’s seeking contemporary, action/adventure, humor, mystery, SciFi, and historical fiction. She’s especially interested in unique concepts, strong narrative voices, fast-paced storytelling, and #ownvoices stories.

Narielle Living, President, Blue Fortune Enterprises LLC 


Narielle Living is the president and founder of Blue Fortune Enterprises, a publishing company who believes that books have the power to change lives. She is taking pitches for mysteries and is also actively seeking work for their imprint Wildflower Press, which publishes LGBTQ+ work (fiction and nonfiction). For information about the books offered by Blue Fortune Enterprises, visit blue-fortune.com.

Hannah Smith - Acquisitions Director - Owl Hollow Press


Hannah Smith is the Acquisition Director at Owl Hollow Press, responsible for discovering new talent and acquiring manuscripts. Hannah specializes in children’s fiction, but she is interested in anything that tells a unique and interesting story. Her preferences include YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, strong female protagonists, MG with a mystery, and anything that is surprising and well written. 

Ally Robertson - Editor - Wild Rose Press


Ally Robertson has been an editor with The Wild Rose Press since they opened in 2006. She edits mainly for the suspense line but is open to other genres. Ally is open to all fiction genres, other than children and middle-grade. She is particularly looking for suspense, with or without romance, but can take pitches for all genres. She loves stories about murder and mayhem and is especially fond of the intense, scary, creepy kind.  

Ryan Wiggins - Content Development - Manniversary Media/Entercom Communications

Several Entercom radio markets are venturing into publishing and St. Louis will be the first test market in 2021. Ryan Wiggins’ company is tasked with handling this project as a third-party accompaniment. The company is Manniversary Media but the LLC authors will sign with is The Last Publisher on Earth LLC.  

"There is no particular genre we are seeking. In fact, we are looking for the widest breadth of genres possible for the round of books we're looking to publish in Q1 and Q2 of 2021.  We are generally looking for fiction or non-fiction that would appeal to a wide array of people in the age group 35-54."