Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Get up to speed with the Publishing Evolution: Aug. 22 online conference

On Aug. 22, the St. Louis Writers Guild will host a variety of authors discussing the future of publishing at an online daylong conference. 

The event is free to SLWG Members, though registration is required, and $20 for nonmembers, including access to recordings of the four workshops. Sign up for the Publishing Evolution using Eventbrite on stlwritersguild.org

9-10:45 a.m. panel: “Write, Publish, Promote & Profit in the Digital Age”
with Nicole Evelina, Vivian Gibson, Esme Symes-Smith, and LaShaunda Hoffman, moderated by Marie Chewe-Elliott 
Learn tips, strategies and tools on writing and promoting your book from award-winning authors who are achieving success in the publishing evolution.

11a.m.-12p.m.: “Empowering Your Writing: Using Conscious Language for Inclusiveness and Representation” with Crystal Shelley 
Words have the power to do good: to uplift, to inspire, and to validate. Words also have the power to do harm: to hurt, to marginalize, and to erase. In this session, we'll discuss how we can wield words for good by using conscious language, balancing writer intent with reader impact, and incorporating diversity into our stories.  

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

1-2 p.m. “Art for Cause: Writing for Advocacy, Healing & CommUNITY Building” with Marie Chewe-Elliott
What role can writers and artists play during times of crisis, conflict and chaos in our community? Join this discussion on opportunities to use your work to make a difference and be the change you want to see. In cooperation with the North County Writing and Arts Network. 

2-3 p.m. “Locksmithing for Writers” with Arianne “Tex” Thompson
If you need that break-in scene to read just right - and if you'd like some first-hand experience to help you write it - then step right up! This introductory course includes essential vocabulary and hands-on lockpicking practice with a variety of antique and modern locks, along with little-known hints and facts guaranteed to inspire your next ingenious plot twist. Limber up your fingers and get ready to write some wrongs!

About the speakers:

Marie Chewe-Elliott is a writer, speaker, and poet in north St. Louis County. She is the author of four books and co-founder of North County Writing & Arts Network. Her poems have been published in The St. Louis Anthology, SO Magazine, UMSL's Litmag, and among winning selections in the 2019 Arts Rolla Writing Competition and Arts in Transit's 2019 Metro Lines Contest. Marie's love of words guided her to a career of more than 30 years in various facets of communications, including newspaper reporter, nonprofit and government communications, and adjunct lecturer. She earned degrees from the University of Mississippi and Webster University. Connect with Marie at myelliott61@gmail.com, https://www.mariecheweelliott.com/ on Facebook, or IG.

Esme Symes-Smith grew up in the South West of England, then earned their degree in Literature and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University in Wales. After graduating, they moved across the world to be with their wife in St. Louis. They have freelanced as a ghost-writer, managed a frozen-yogurt shop, and are now focused on writing the queer kidlit they craved as a kid. They are represented by Megan Manzano of D4EO Literary and can be found at @EsmeSymesSmith on Twitter.  http://esymessmith.com/




Vivian Gibson is a native St. Louisian who grew up in Mill Creek Valley, a neighborhood razed in 1959 to build a highway. Her family, friends, church community, and neighbors were all displaced by this act of “urban renewal.” In her moving memoir, Gibson recreates the everyday lived experiences of her large family, including her seven siblings, her crafty college-educated mother, who moved to St. Louis as part of the Great Migration, and her at-times forbidding father, who worked two jobs to keep them all warm and fed. With an eye for telling detail, she sketches scenes populated by her friends, shop owners, teachers, and others who made Mill Creek into a warm, tight-knit, African-American community, and reflects upon what it means that Mill Creek was destroyed in the name of racism disguised as “progress.” http://vivian-gibson.com

LaShaunda Hoffman turned her love for books into an award-winning online magazine for readers and writers of multi-cultural literature, Shades Of Romance – SORMAG. Her mission in life is to help promote writers by introducing them to readers. Born and raised in St. Louis, LaShaunda started her adventure in life by joining the United States Navy. She served her country for six years and returned to her hometown. She began to work for the U.S. government. LaShaunda is currently working on a Christian romance and is on the hunt for a literary agent. She hopes to one day introduce her books to readers.



Nicole Evelina is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction whose six books have won more than 40 awards, including four Book of the Year designations. Nicole was named Missouri’s Top Independent Author by Library Journal and Biblioboard as the winner of the Missouri Indie Author Project in 2018 and has been awarded the North Street Book Prize and the Sarton Women’s Book Award. One of her books, Madame Presidentess, was previously optioned for film. She is represented by Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary. http://nicoleevelina.com

Crystal Shelley is a freelance copy editor, proofreader, and sensitivity reader who works with self-publishing fiction authors. She also practices as a licensed clinical social worker. She unites her love of language and social justice by providing editorial services with a focus on representation and conscious language. Visit her website at Rabbit with a Red Pen to read more tips on writing and editing or to connect with her on social media.  




Arianne "Tex" Thompson is a licensed locksmith, egregiously enthusiastic editor, and professional ruckus-raiser. She is the author of  Children of the Drought, an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris, as well as an instructor for Writing Workshops Dallas and ‘chief instigator’ of WORD – Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas. Now she’s blazing a trail through conferences, workshops, and conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, catastrophically cheerful one-woman stampede. Find her online at thetexfiles.com and wordwriters.org!



Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Workshop Aug. 1: How to write about encounters with the extraordinary

If you’ve been itching to write about a fictional character who has an encounter with something beyond the ordinary such as angels, extraterrestrials, UFOs, or ghosts, or if you’ve had an otherworldly experience you’d like to share, now is a great time to do so, said author Karen Cavalli.

At an online workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Aug. 1, she will offer some history on writing about these encounters and key decision points during the writing process. For the Zoom address, go to the St. Louis Writers Guild’s Virtual Events page (www.stlwritersguild.org/virtual-events), or click here:

Meeting ID: 702 890 3800
Password: SLWG2020
Call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

“The taboo against speaking openly about one-on-one encounters with beings and phenomena outside daily reality is loosening its hold, along with the attendant fear of ridicule,” she said. “It is possible to write about these kinds of encounters, whether they are yours or a fictional character’s, in such a way that transports both you and your readers.”

Karen will offer specific writing exercises, a bibliography, and a matrix of the most common encounter types and responses that apply to both fiction and nonfiction. Her talk will cover:
key differences between portrayals of encounters with the extraordinary vs. the paranormal in contemporary books, video and film
personal risks when writing about encounters with the extraordinary
that moment in history when the course was set
how consciousness research and quantum mechanics fit into writing about this topic
decision points during the writing and publishing process
key elements to include in your writing for success
gifts that await

Karen Cavalli has been exploring and publishing about encounters with anomalous beings and events since 2014. Her most recent book is Undercover Goddess, book one in the trilogy No Boundaries, a paranormal romance for adults. Her work has won awards including Outstanding Secondary Science Book. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama where she studied with Margaret Atwood. Karen can be contacted at kcgoodguide@gmail.com and at Contact Karen Cavalli

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

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New dystopian books free for limited time!




Searching for your next favorite story? Look no further!

I've teamed up with 18 other bestselling authors to offer you a selection of riveting new books for free, including my just-released young adult science fiction novel, Moonblood.

Don't delay! This offer ends soon.

Click here before July 21 to take advantage of this offer!


Moonblood book cover
Praise for Moonblood:

“Fans of dystopian fiction looking for something refreshingly original and truly different in the society-building/destruction theme will find Moonblood a standout….”
–D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

"In a dystopian future mired in traditions whose origins have been lost, can one woman's search for truth bring answers for her and for all of humanity? ... Moonblood is an imaginative story with complex characters set in a future landscape that is all too easy to extrapolate from today's world. It pulls you and will not let go."
--Al Gritten, Goodreads review

AND check out Brad's "Three Thoughts About Dystopia" to put it all in perspective!


Friday, July 3, 2020

Young writers invited to July 13-17 online summer writers camp

Young writers in 4th-12th grades are invited to an online Gateway Con Summer Writers Camp July 13-17 hosted by the St. Louis Writers Guild (SLWG).

The $20 fee includes a one-year SLWG Associate Membership. Space is limited, please register in advance on Eventbrite

Six authors will share their expertise from 9 to 11 a.m. in workshops on Monday and Wednesday and a panel discussion on Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, young writers will work independently on their own stories. More information is available on the Summer Writers Camp page.

St. Louis Writers Guild has aided writers for a century, and the Gateway Con Summer Writers Camp continues that tradition. Participating authors are:

Jody Feldman – Her middle-grade novels, The Seventh Level and The Gollywhopper Games series (all from Greenwillow/HarperCollins), have won a number of honors and have appeared on 26 state reading lists. Twitter & Instagram @jodyfeldman

Cole Gibsen – Because of the reprieve library books gave her as a homeless teenager, Cole vowed to become a writer so she could provide the same escape to readers who needed a break the reality of their own lives. Her titles include Risen, Seared on My Soul, Life Unaware and Written on My Heart. Twitter at www.twitter.com/colegibsen | Facebook at www.facebook.com/colegibsen

LaShaunda Hoffman – She turned her love for books into an award-winning online magazine for readers and writers of multi-cultural literature, Shades Of Romance – SORMAG. Her mission in life is to help promote writers by introducing them to readers. LaShaunda is currently working on a Christian romance and is on the hunt for a literary agent.

Meredith Tate – A New Hampshire girl at heart and a former Zurich expat, Meredith now lives in Houston and spends her days traveling the world and writing stories about characters much braver than she is. Her books include The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly, The Red Labyrinth, Freedom Trials, Missing Pieces, and a currently untitled romcom coming from Penguin Teen in summer 2021.

Jamie Krakover –After her day job as an Aerospace Engineer, Jamie writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy. Her debut novel is Tracker220 (October 2020). Jamie’s work appears in the Brave New Girls anthologies and in Writer’s Digest’s Putting the Science in Fiction.
https://twitter.com/Rockets2Writing | https://www.instagram.com/jamiekrakover/

C.L. Postill – Her debut novel, CORY SUMMERS-A New Beginning, was born out of a story she has been creating and telling her boys and their friends before bedtime, around campfires, and at sleep-over parties for over 25 years. www.clpostill.com | @postillc on Twitter.






Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Workshop July 11: “Research for Writers” (or “How to End up On A Watchlist in 20 Minutes or Less”)

Don’t miss James Young’s free online workshop on "Research for Writers” (or “How to End Up on A Watchlist in 20 Minutes or Less”), from 10 a.m. to noon, July 11.

Click here to join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/7028903800?pwd=bHp3cWhpWHBQSW9wMXgzM3N4cE5qZz09
Meeting ID: 702 890 3800
Password: SLWG2020
To call in: +1-312-626-6799

“I will use examples from my own and others' research to help all authors find quick and efficient ways to answer questions about areas outside of their expertise,” Dr. Young said. He will discuss common tools available for authors to conduct topical or historical research.

Dr. James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life by attending the United States Military Academy. After leaving the Army, Dr. Young returned to the Midwest to pursue his doctorate—a process that took twice the time planned but is finally concluded.

Having now concluded two of the prerequisites to be a super villain, Dr. Young spends his time waiting for the inevitable origin story, winning writing awards (2016 United States Naval Institute Cyber Essay Contest Winner, among others), and penning novels. His next alternate history book, Against the Tide Imperial, will be out this summer on Amazon (e-book) and other outlets (hard copy). Against the Tide Imperial is the third in his Usurper's War series.  You can also find Dr. Young's blog at https://vergassy.com/ or follow him on Twitter (@youngblai) or on Facebook (Colfax Den).

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

Saturday, May 16, 2020

What Not To Do: Book Marketing Experiments

Join author Warren Martin at a free, interactive online workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, June 6, and learn about his personal book marketing experiences, as well as those of other participants.

The St. Louis Writers Guild, in cooperation with the St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA), hosts the event.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81366509311
Meeting ID: 813 6650 9311
Or call in: +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

The intent of the workshop is to share methods that work, don’t work, and what it entails to pursue different levels of book marketing. Participants will meet in breakout groups to discuss success and failures related their individual book marketing experiences. The groups will then share their discoveries with the entire workshop. The era of COVID-19 has also provided some unique challenges to book marketing and sales, and will also be a topic of discussion.

Warren Martin is the current SLPA president. He often jokes and tells people that he doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up, and hence dived into writing late in life. After a 21-year career in the Army, Warren transitioned into business operations and later business ownership. During recent years he focused on academic pursuits, writing, and supporting various organizations. Warren has earned an MBA, and a PhD. in business and organizational leadership. He currently teaches business and leadership-related courses for Norwich University and Bryan University.

As a grandparent of two boys, ages seven and three, Warren makes grandparenting his primary focus. It has also developed into his latest project, a children’s book series called “Adventures with Pop Pop” based on actual adventures. Warren’s debut novel was a Cold War prisoner-of-war historical fiction, Forgotten Soldiers: What Happened to Jacob Walden. The first installment of his mystery/thriller short story series is “Till the Cows Come Home.” http://www.warrenmartinbooks.com/

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org and about the St. Louis Publishers Association at www.stlouispublishers.org.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Attorney to share insights about contracts at May 2 writers’ online workshop

Michael A. Kahn, attorney and award-winning novelist, will discuss “Contract Clauses: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” from 10 a.m. to noon, May 2, at a free online workshop hosted by the St. Louis Writers Guild, in cooperation with St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA).

Mike will review several sample author contracts, provide negotiation tips, and answer your questions.

To attend, go to Webex at:
https://meetingsamer4.webex.com/meetingsamer4/j.php?MTID=m43e8998f7f33b7dda6a4aa25b230663e
Meeting number:
297 837 983
Password:
u7G5hbUKc49

Or you can join by phone at:
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll
Access code: 297 837 983

Michael Kahn concentrates his practice in copyright, trademark, First Amendment and media law, including libel and privacy rights. He is a widely recognized trial lawyer in the area of general commercial litigation, and regularly advises clients on a range of intellectual property matters.

A veteran of numerous jury trials, Mike has handled lawsuits and arbitrations in various venues across the nation. He has served as a court-appointed mediator in a variety of intellectual property lawsuits, including copyright, trademark, patent and libel cases. 

In addition to his active practice, Mike is an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law, where he teaches an upper level course on Censorship and Free Expression. He is also the award-winning author of numerous novels and short stories.

Mike serves on the Board of Advisers of the Gateway Journalism Review and is active in the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.

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