Saturday, July 13, 2019

Workshop Aug. 3: Audiobook Production for Authors

Jennifer Jill Araya and George Sirois will jointly present "From Your Words to Their Ears: Audiobook Production for Authors" from 10 a.m. to noon, Aug. 3, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO., 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.

They will discuss such things as how to choose a narrator, distribution options, financing ideas, audiobook production process, marketing strategies, and the role of audiobooks in today's publishing marketplace.

Jennifer Jill Araya, who will present via live video conferencing, has been listening to audiobooks since she was a young child, and the fact that she now gets to narrate audiobooks for a living is a dream come true. Jennifer’s training as an opera singer and orchestral cellist lend a musicality and depth of understanding to her narration that help bring her authors’ stories to life. She loves nothing more than giving life and breath to the printed word. When she’s not narrating, Jennifer can be found hiking, biking, running, or generally exploring her home city of Cincinnati with her husband Arturo (aka “Partner in Crime”) and their two children. http://www.jenniferjillaraya.com

George Sirois has yearned to be a storyteller all his life, no matter the medium. That drive first led him to drawing his own characters while in grade school, and then writing about them in various short stories and screenplays before moving on to novels such as "Excelsior" and the five-part serial "From Parts Unknown." After living in New York City and Richmond, Va., George, his wife, daughter, and their two dogs now happily call St. Louis their home. In his spare time, George is an avid cinephile, a collector of film scores, and a lifelong fan of the New York Giants. He enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, and is currently pursuing work as a voice actor and audiobook narrator. He served as President of the Missouri Writers Guild in 2017. http://www.hesgotit.com

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



Thursday, July 4, 2019

Workshop July 13: “Bad Book Covers”

Yes, readers do judge a book by its cover! Join Jennifer Stolzer, illustrator and book cover artist, and Brad R. Cook, book cover designer, as they discuss a fictional author’s journey from having truly horrific book covers to ones that make her novels fly off the shelf. The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, July 13, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO, 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.

While discussing the fictional publishing career of Destinee Amore, Jennifer and Brad will present a number of book covers in various genres, demonstrating why some are bad and why others shine. Learn how to craft a book cover and what tools are needed to construct one of your own.

Jennifer Stolzer is an author/illustrator living in the St. Louis area. She graduated from Webster University with a degree in interactive digital media and animation. She uses these skills to create bright and engaging characters both in words and images. In 2017, St. Louis Post Dispatch readers voted her one of the Top 5 Local Children's Book Authors. Jennifer’s first picture book, Dog Park (2014), is based on her award-winning animation by the same name. She released her debut YA Fantasy, Threadcaster, in 2017. See samples of her work at www.jenniferstolzer.com and on facebook at Jennifer Stolzer Illustration.

Brad R. Cook is author of The Iron Chronicles (treehouse publishing group) and Steamtree: The Airdrainium Adventure (Broadsword Books). As owner of Broadsword Books, he offers book covers, marketing materials, and website design for authors and small businesses. A former 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. Brad learned to fence at thirteen and never set down his sword, but prefers to curl up with a centuries’ old classic. Find more at BradRCook.com or @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, tumblr, and more.

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

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Workshop Postponed

NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, James Young's workshop will be rescheduled to a future date. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Don’t miss James Young’s workshop on "Research for Writers” (or “How to End Up on A Watchlist in 20 Minutes or Less”), 10 a.m. to noon, July 13, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO, 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.

“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,” he said.Young will discuss common tools available for authors to conduct topical or historical research.

James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life by attending the United States Military Academy. After being set free from the Hudson River Valley, Young spent the next six years of his life in the Army repaying his education the proverbial “nickel at a time.” Along the way he collected a loving, patient, beautiful spouse…and various animals that did not fit that description. Leaving the Republic’s employ, he returned to the Midwest to pursue his doctorate—a process which 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 writing an alternate history (Usurper’s War) and military space opera (Vergassy Chronicles) series. His latest book is Aries Red Sky, the first in a new Vergassy Universe trilogy. https://vergassy.com/

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

SCBWI one-time critique: Sign up by 5/19

LAST CALL

to participate in

Critique Across Kansas and Missouri,

Sponsored by the Kansas/Missouri region of the

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

May 31 – June 9, 2019

We have 16 free, one-time critique groups meeting across two states, for illustrators and fiction or non-fiction Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult writers. These will be organized and facilitated by SCBWI members. It’s a great opportunity for those just starting out to meet fellow writers/illustrators and get helpful feedback on their work, or for experienced writers and illustrators to get their work in front of fresh eyes.

You do NOT have to be a member of SCBWI to attend, and you are welcome to attend multiple groups. If you know others who might be interested in this opportunity, feel free to forward the information.

Registration ends Sunday, May 19 in order to give hosts time to organize their groups and exchange work. Hosts will be sharing helpful critique information once groups are formed.

If you are interested in attending a group, see options below and reserve a spot by contacting the host of that group. For groups that are meeting at a residence, complete addresses will be sent to attendees once registered. Note that “spots available” indicates that host’s original request—it may not be an accurate reflection of spots remaining in that group.

Below is the master list of critique groups that will meet May 31 – June 9. It’s a long list, but they’re arranged by area so you can scroll to the groups closest to you. If you have a question about a specific group, please email that volunteer host. If you have general questions about this event, contact Chris Schmidt at cschmidtSCBWI@gmail.com.

All Best,

Chris Schmidt

2019 SCBWI Critique Across KS/MO Coordinator

cschmidtSCBWI@gmail.com



*2019 SCBWI Critique Across Kansas & Missouri*



KANSAS GROUPS



Location: Residence in Garden City, KS

Host: Marsha Elyn Wright

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: marsha.elyn.wright@gmail.com

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 11:30-2:30 (light lunch & munch provided)

Type of group, genre: PB authors and author/illustrators, fiction & NF

Number of spots available: 7

Short description: Each person prepares a complete PB manuscript less than 600 words or a dummy. We email our manuscripts to one another one week before meeting. We each bring a printed copy of our manuscripts/dummies to the critique. Lunch is provided. We’ll eat first and then start at 11:30 and spend about 20 minutes per person, reading aloud, sharing our thoughts, and munching.



Location: Watermark Book Store and Café, 4701 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67218

Host: Ken Locke

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: escritor2@sbcglobal.net

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: noon to 3-4

Type of group, genre: Novels – any genre

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: Watermark has a great café where we can all order food individually. They will provide a semi-private space for us to eat and then critique. Submit in the email chain (coming soon) 5-10 pages of your work. Read the other submissions and come with constructive/supportive feedback for each author.





KANSAS CITY AREA GROUPS



**NOTE: This group is FULL**

Location: Main branch Johnson County Library (9875 W 87th St), room #1, Overland Park, KS 66212

Host: Michelle Meade

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: meade.michelle@gmail.com

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors and author/illustrators

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: I reserved a six person study room under the name Michelle M SCBWI. We will just have a casual positive read and critique session. Hope you can come!



Location: Monticello Library, Study Room #7, 22435 W. 66th St, Shawnee, KS 66226

Host: Jennifer Lane Wilson

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: wilsonfamily@everestkc.net

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. (optional lunch following, at nearby Twisted Fresh restaurant)

Type of group, genre: PB authors (fiction or NF)

Number of spots available: 5

Short description: Each writer brings six copies of a PB manuscript, fiction or nonfiction, 800 words or less. We’ll read each manuscript aloud, followed by a short discussion.



Location: Residence in Lee’s Summit, MO

Host: Alice Walters

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: avwalters55@gmail.com

Date of Event: Thursday, June 6

Time of Event: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: Middle Grade fiction

Number of spots available: 4

Short description: An opportunity to connect with other writers of MG fiction, to share what works, what’s not, and what can be our next steps. Please bring a 3-5 page passage to share that falls into one of those categories. I look forward to hearing from you!



**NOTE: This group is FULL**

Location: Liberty Caribou Coffee (Hyvee gas station), 300 N, MO-291, Liberty, MO 64068

Host: Brian Gehrlein

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: gehrleinb@gmail.com

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors (500 word max)

Number of spots available: 4

Short description: In our picture book critique group we will chat for 15 min (get to know you, shop talk, etc) then jump into critiques (2:15-3:30). Each person will get 15 min for critique. We will read each manuscript in advance to prepare our thoughts, but we will also read each manuscript out loud at the beginning of each session. Manuscripts will be emailed to me no later than Saturday, May 25 to allow each person a full week to prep. Each person is responsible for bringing 5 copies of their manuscript to the event.



Location: DesignWerx, 1313 Atlantic Street North, Kansas City, MO 64116

Host: Polly Alice McCann

Reserve a spot by contacting host with fb message or email: pollyamccann@gmail.com

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 10 to 12

Type of group, genre: any genre, poetry, nonfiction, biography, illustrators, short story, folk tale, YA, PB, MG —

Number of spots available: 6 to 10

Short description: This is the everything Bagel group.  DesignWerx is where my art studio is located. We can meet in the break room and everyone can bring snacks or drinks if they like. We can each share one PB, or 5 to 10 pages of a manuscript or five illustrations. We will read and share our work with the group. Work must be emailed 7 days in advance to hostess so she can share with group. Come with encouraging, supportive feedback about what is working well for each writer’s manuscript or illustration.



MISSOURI GROUPS



Location: Rolla Public Library, 900 N Pine St, Rolla, MO 65401

Host: Luce Myers

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: lucemyers@gmail.com

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors, illustrators, and author/illustrators

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: Light refreshments provided; participants may consider going to lunch after our meeting?



Location: Daniel Boone Regional Library, 100 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203

Host: Aaron Fox

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: aaronfoxwrites@gmail.com

Date of Event: Sunday, June 9

Time of Event: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors, illustrators, and author/illustrators, fiction or NF

Number of spots available: 10

Short description: Full PB manuscript or dummy is suggested, but partial will be allowed. 15 to 20 min per person. Snacks provided and encouraged.



Location: The Library Center, Springfield, MO

Host: Heather Martinez

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: heathermartinez@earthlink.net

Date of Event: Friday, June 7

Time of Event: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors and/or illustrators

Number of spots available: 8

Short description:



**NOTE: This group is FULL**

Location: Hy-Vee, 1215 S Main St, Maryville, MO 64468

Host: Amy Houts

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: amysase@gmail.com

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Type of group, genre: PB writers and/or illustrators, fiction or NF

Number of spots available: 5

Short description: Each person brings a complete PB manuscript less than 750 words or a dummy for critique; 15 min per person



Location: Residence in Jackson, MO (southeast MO, close to Cape Girardeau)

Host: Amanda Flinn

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: aflinn79@gmail.com

Date of Event: Monday, June 3

Time of Event: 6:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: I am a PB writer. Last year I hosted only PB writers, but I am willing to host MG and YA as well, if there is a need.

Number of spots available: 4-6

Short description: We will read and critique the manuscripts prior to attending the event and discuss them that evening. Each person will have 30 min of feedback and discussion regarding their manuscript. Snacks and drinks will be provided by host.



ST. CHARLES COUNTY AREA GROUPS



Location: Residence in St.Charles, MO 63304

Host: Donna Mork Reed

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: donnamorkreed@gmail.com

Date of Event: Sunday, June 2

Time of Event: 5:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB writers

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: We’ll have a small meal (TBD), attendees can bring sides and desserts (email any food allergies prior). Must love dogs (dogs on premises). We will eat and then critique. Email full manuscript prior and come prepared to share your thoughts and ideas.



Location: Residence in O’Fallon, MO 63366

Host: Stephanie Bearce

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: smbearce@gmail.com

Date of Event: Friday, May 31

Time of Event: 7:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: Middle Grade, fiction or nonfiction

Number of spots available: 7

Short description: Come meet your fellow middle grade writers! I will provide dessert and light snacks. We will talk all things KidLit and writing. You may submit the first 10 pages of your novel or a proposal package for MG nonfiction. We will exchange manuscripts via email BEFORE the meeting. That way we will all be familiar with each other’s projects and we can spend quality time on critiques.



Location: Spencer Road Library (room 210), 427 Spencer Rd, St. Peters, MO 63376

Hosts: Chris Schmidt and Jess Townes

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: cschmidtSCBWI@gmail.com

Date of Event: Wednesday, June 5

Time of Event: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: Query, Synopsis, or Pitch for picture books and novels

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: Oh the dreaded query and synopsis! Let’s commiserate and work through them together. Bring any one or combination that are relevant for your project. We’ll work to get them in tip-top shape for submission. Please limit query and/or synopsis to ONE page. For pitches, keep them to the length of an elevator pitch or what you’d post for a Twitter contest (you may bring up to 5 short pitches if you’d like help deciding on the best ones). We will exchange work at least a week prior to meeting. New to querying/synopsis writing/pitching? Join us to learn the process. Everyone bring a snack/appetizer to share.





ST. LOUIS AREA GROUPS


**NOTE: This group is FULL but accepting participants for a waiting list**

Location: U-City Library, Room 2, 6701 Delmar, University City, MO 63130

Host: Katie Gast (author/illustrator) and Dayne Sislen (author/illustrator)

Reserve a spot by contacting host at: dayne.sislen@gmail.com

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB dummy critique for illustrators and non-illustrators

Number of spots available: 8 total

Short description: We will be critiquing picture book dummies. Please bring your dummy and manuscript. If you can save your dummy as a PDF file, send it to me at dayne.sislen@gmail.com at least three days before we meet and I will post it on our group’s password-protected web page*. If you are unable to make a multi-page PDF, don’t worry, just bring your dummy and manuscript.

Author/Illustrators: Bring your pencil dummy and two finished illustrations from your story. You can bring your dummy in flat spreads or an actual 3-D booklet form, your choice. Send me a multi-page PDF three days ahead if possible. Also, bring your physical dummy to show.

Authors/non-illustrators: Bring your manuscript and a rough pencil breakdown of the pages (32). Just indicate illustrations with stick figures (we promise we won’t critique your art). Making a dummy like this will help you revise your manuscript. You will be able to see where more action is needed, where to place surprise/reveal pages breaks to create tension, and where to slow down the action. Even if you never show your dummy to anyone else, making it will make your manuscript stronger. Use the templates on our group’s web page to plan your pages. Website address and the password will be sent after you sign up.

*If you know how to make a multi-page PDF from your dummy and are able to email it to me, please do. (dayne.sislen@gmail.com) I will post it on our private, password-protected web page for everyone in our group to read. It will give us all more time to look it over before our meeting. Also bring your actual dummy to our meeting. The URL to our group’s password-protected web page will be sent to all members with your confirmation.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Workshop June 1: Fundamentals of Book Marketing

Learn the “Fundamentals of Book Marketing” from Tabitha Caplinger and LaShaunda C. Hoffman from 10 a.m. to noon, June 1, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., Des Peres, Mo., 63131. Free to members of the St. Louis Writers Guild; $5 for nonmembers

LaShaunda will discuss:
seven steps to create your promotion plan, 
scheduling, and
the results of promotion.

Tabitha will focus on:
identifying your ideal readers and where to connect with them,
branding, and
using social media to connect, not sell.

“The way I approach marketing is more about connecting and engaging, building a platform and a reader tribe, so to speak,” Tabitha said.

Tabitha Caplinger is a wife, mom, youth pastor, and professed TV addict. It's seriously a problem but she doesn't plan on getting help anytime soon. Mostly because she loves the stories. She can't help but get lost in the worlds created and invested in the lives of the characters. She brings that same passion for the story to her own writing, whether it's slaying demons or dragons. Aside from writing and watching TV, Tabitha can be found singing off key and dancing in the kitchen or car with her two adorably sassy daughters and awesome husband who she thinks is kind of cute.

LaShaunda C. 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. At her 10-year class reunion she reconnected with the man who would become her husband. They are blessed with three children. LaShaunda is currently working on a Christian romance and on the hunt for a literary agent. She hopes to one day introduce her books to readers.

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

Friday, April 12, 2019

What to Expect When You're Expecting (a Book): From Acceptance to Book Launch and Beyond

Jennifer Geist
The journey to a finished book can be a long, tedious, sometimes painful process, ultimately resulting in a little bundle of pride and joy. However, like having a child, your work is not complete upon publication!

Set yourself and your next book up for success by getting a behind-the-scenes peek at what happens after the publishing contract is signed at the St. Louis Writers Guild workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, May 4, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO  63131. Free to members; $5 for nonmembers.

Author Cynthia Graham and publisher Jennifer Geist will discuss how authors and publishers collaborate on bringing a book to publication, including editing, the design process, the book launch, and the marketing that follows.
Cynthia Graham

Cynthia A. Graham is the winner of several writing awards, including a Gold IPPY, two Midwest Book Awards, and was named a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. Her short stories have appeared in both university and national literary publications. She attained a B.A. in English from the Pierre Laclede Honors College at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Cynthia is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the St. Louis Writers Guild, and the Missouri Writers Guild.

Jennifer Geist is the publisher of Pen & Publish, Inc. With a decade of experience in editing, book compositing, photography, graphic and web design, marketing, writing, and more, she is able to see any book from acquisitions to publication and beyond. Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing with a focus in small press publishing through Southeast Missouri State University. She has worked with numerous small presses and her stories and photos are published in a variety of literary magazines. In addition to heading Pen & Publish, Open Books Press, and Transformation Media Books, she added a literary fiction and poetry imprint in 2015: Brick Mantel Books. Jennifer is a member of the St. Louis Publishers Association and the St. Louis Writers Guild."

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


Friday, March 15, 2019

Get Conference-Ready: Perfecting Your Pitch to Literary Agents & Publishers

Pitching a book to literary agents and publishers shouldn’t be more stressful than writing the original manuscript. Learn tips and tricks on how to write and prepare a pitch for your novel. The St. Louis Writers Guild’s April 6 workshop will explore the conference pitch-session process from start to finish. This free workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131.

Leading the workshop is someone who has sat on both sides of the pitching table—author and lecturer, Brad R. Cook. Participants will learn what goes in a face-to-face pitch, as well as what to expect from a remote pitch session. We’ll touch on query letters, using your time, what to include, and just what is an elevator pitch! Plus, we’ll explore tools to find agents and publishers online and at conferences.

Upcoming conferences include the Missouri Writers Guild conference in Cape Girardeau (May 19), and the St. Louis Writers Guild’s Gateway Con (June 14-16) and Penned Con (Sept. 12-14), both in St. Louis.

“I can’t guarantee you’ll find an agent, but you’ll have the tools to do so!” Brad said.

Brad R. Cook, is the author of The Iron Chronicles (treehouse publishing group) and Steamtree: The Airdrainium Adventure (Broadsword Books). A former 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. Find more at BradRCook.com

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