Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Guild hosts March 7 “Writers in the Lodge” mini-conference

Sign up now for pitch sessions with agents and consultations with editors at the St. Louis Writers Guild’s (SLWG)“Writers in the Lodge” mini-conference from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., March 7, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131. The event is sponsored by the St. Louis Publisher's Association (SLPA).

Additionally, young writers from the fourth through eighth grades are invited to attend a free “Show Don’t Tell” workshop in the Maple Room from 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. “Lead your readers on a journey, don’t take them on a tour,” said C.L. Postill, who will share techniques on how to engage readers. Space is limited; please pre-register at

In the Dogwood Room, three presentations for teens and adults are free to SLWG and SLPA members; $5 for nonmembers:
9:30 a.m. – literary agent Kortney Price on "Working With an Agent,"
10:30 a.m. – speculative fiction author and graphic novelist Guy Anthony De Marco on “Writing In Someone Else's Sandbox,” and
11:30 a.m. – editor and project manager Andrew Doty on "Book Editing for Self-Publishing Authors."

Find out about more about the speakers and presentations, and sign up for your one-on-one sessions with editors or agents on the “Writers in the Lodge” page under the SLWG tab at

Consultations with editors are $40. Submit the first five to ten pages of your work in standard manuscript format no later than February 22 to allow editors time to review it. Pitch sessions with agents are $20.

Advance reservation is required for the twenty-minute editorial consultations and five-minute pitch sessions, which will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. The Eventbrite form asks for your editor and/or agent preference. If you sign up before all have been announced, you will be contacted for your first choice.

Working With an Agent -- This session, taught by literary agent Kortney Price, explains how to best work with a literary agent once you have found representation. How do you deal with long wait times when your work is on submission? How to communicate effectively with an agent when you’re not on the same page? What happens when you want to write in a different genre, but the agent doesn’t rep that category? These questions, and more, will be addressed

Writing In Someone Else's Sandbox -- This general talk by speculative fiction author and graphic novelist Guy Anthony De Marco focuses on how to get started with writing for properties that are owned by other entities (such as Star Wars/Star Trek/Games).

Book Editing for Self-Publishing Authors -- How do you find the right person to edit your book? What will a good edit look like? How do you meet an editor? How do you work with an editor? How many editors do you need? These can be some of the most frustrating and confusing questions for a self-publishing author to answer. Learn how to do it right in this workshop with experienced editor and project manager Andrew Doty, who will explain the many nuances of researching, vetting, hiring, and working with editors.

Lauren Miller is a Junior Agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. She is a University College graduate at Washington University in St. Louis with a B.S. in Anthropology. After interning with Metamorphosis, she joined their team in 2019. Previously, she served as the Director of Communications for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and is an ongoing reviewer for the Historical Novel Society. She is seeking:
YA and MG-centric fiction
Picture books
Adult low fantasy
Adult clean romances (especially historical and inspirational)
Lighthearted women's fiction

Bob Shuman created Marit Literary Agency after many years as an editor in mainstream publishing. Marit Literary Agency as a total spectrum editorial company: it affords fiction and nonfiction authors management and product placement. It also offers publishers editing, ghostwriting, copywriting, copy editing, and proofreading services. Bob’s agented works include six drama titles for Applause Books. In 2009, Bob edited Mass Casualties (Adams Media) by Michael Anthony, which received a starred rave from Publishers Weekly. In 2016, he edited Anthony’s second memoir, Civilianized (Zest Books), which Booklist said “has the introspection of a literary memoir and the narrative momentum of a novel.” He specializes in narrative nonfiction, concentrating on politics, military, history, some sports, entertainment, and science, but will consider some fiction (mystery, thrillers, science fiction, or military). Bob does not represent plays or children's books.

Andrew Doty is an experienced editor and project manager who currently serves as the lead project coordinator at Editwright, a publishing services agency whose team serves authors and nonprofits; the Vice President of the St. Louis Publishers Association; and the founder of the budding nonprofit Write for a Change. Andrew is a published poet and a practicing musician.

Kortney Price is an agent with Raven Quill Literary Agency. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Greenville University in 2014. Since then Kortney has interned with Andrea Hurst & Associates, Amphorae Publishing Group, and Inklings Literary Agency. She was an associate agent for two years before finding her home with Raven Quill Literary Agency. Kortney specializes in books for children from picture books through young adult. Her belief in these stories' ability to change lives and the world drives her to always look for a way to introduce young readers to new people, cultures, and adventures much like her favorite childhood stories did for her. Whether a story changes the reader's world view, tells them they aren't alone or just offers an escape, every book in this field has the potential to make a difference in a child's life and Kortney is honored to play a part in getting those stories into the hands of readers. To connect and learn more about Kortney, check out her TwitterPinterest, or MSWL page

Meghan Pinson is ringleader of My Two Cents Editing, a small band of specialists who provide expert editing, engaging critique, and fearless consulting to authors of novels and nonfiction manuscripts. She specializes in story development and author education and is the author of My Two Cents Editing's Indie-Publishing Workbook: A Guide to the Industry's Best Practices. Her current favorite genres: historical fiction, crime/mystery/suspense, middle grade adventure stories, and prescriptive nonfiction. Connect with her at

Guy Anthony De Marco is a speculative fiction author; a Graphic Novel Bram Stoker® and Scribe Award finalist; winner of the HWA Silver Hammer Award; a prolific short story and flash fiction crafter; a novelist; a poet; an invisible man with superhero powers; a game writer; and a coffee addict. One of these is false. A writer since 1977, Guy is or was a member of the following organizations: SFWA, IAMTW, ITW, RWA-PRO, WWA, SFPA, ASCAP, MWG, SWG, HWA, IBPA. He hopes to collect the rest of the letters of the alphabet one day. Additional information can be found at Wikipedia.

C.L. Postill currently makes her home in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, just far enough away from the big city to satisfy her love of the outdoors. Three sons, a rescue cat and dog, and her husband serve as her daily support system and cheerleaders for her writing. Her debut novel, CORY SUMMERS-Lost on the Planet Terrapin, 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. Cherie is on the board of the St. Louis Writers Guild and a member of the St. Louis Publishers Association. or visit @postillc on Twitter

Thursday, January 9, 2020

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 at the St. Louis Writers Guild’s workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Feb. 1, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131.

Leading this free 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. He’ll touch on query letters, using your time, what to include, and just what is an elevator pitch! Plus, he’ll explore tools to find agents and publishers online and at conferences.

Upcoming conferences include the Guild’s half-day conference – Writers in the Lodge (March 7) – and Penned Con (Sept. 17-19), both in St. Louis; Archon (Oct. 2-4) in Collinsville, IL; and the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators’ Middle of the Map conference (Nov. 6-8) in Kansas City.

“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

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Jan. 4: Van Stockum discusses “The Writing Techniques of Jules Verne”

Scientist, sailor, trader. Playwright, poet, lawyer, dreamer. We are all familiar with the famous characters of Jules Verne and the places he took them in exploration. With Ronald R. Van Stockum Jr. as our guide, let us take a look at this innovative writer, the dreamer from Nantes.

“The Writing Techniques of Jules Verne” workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 4, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers

Verne kept 20,000 note cards of data in his old-fashioned desk drawer. And Verne put them to good use after he met his French publisher, but only after that man ⎯ Pierre-Jules Hetzel ⎯ rudely rejected his first novel, according to Dr. Van Stockum.

Here is what Hetzel said of Verne’s work; "In this piece, there is not a single issue concerning the real future that is properly resolved. No critique that hasn't already been made and remade before. I am surprised at you ... lackluster and lifeless." Into a drawer that manuscript went, only to be rediscovered more than 100 years later. Paris In the Twentieth Century was finally published in 1994.

Hetzel demanded ⎯ yes, demanded in the way that only editors can ⎯ something to educate and illuminate. Five Weeks in a Balloon set the form just fine. Until Hetzel’s death forty years later, he held Verne to that formula. Then Verne was free again.

Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. is a lawyer, teacher, biologist, writer, guitarist, and recently an actor living on his family's old farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He has published numerous books, articles, and short stories in the areas of law, science, and creative writing. Eighteen of his titles are available on Amazon in hardback, softback, and Kindle formats.

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

Monday, November 11, 2019

Guild honors award-winning young writers at Dec. 7 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. 7, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, Mo. 63131.

Find out how these fourth- through eighth-graders created stories that all began with the words: “When the cup turned over…” Judging was based on originality, cohesiveness, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

It’s free to attend. All are encouraged to bring a dessert dish for sharing.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Enter short story contest by Dec. 1!
Since its founding in 1920, St. Louis Writers Guild has sponsored an annual short story contest. The contest is one of the oldest in the country, and is certainly one of the most prestigious. Tennessee Williams won first place in 1935 for his story, "Stella for Star."
Annual Short Story Contest opens for submissions every October, the deadline is in December, and prizes are awarded in January. Historically, entries have come from all across the nation and Canada. Stories are blind-judged by an expert in the fields of writing and literature.
Deadline Dec. 1
Entries can be submitted via email or mail.
  • Email: SLWGSubmissions (@) gmail (dot) com
  • Mail:
St. Louis Writers Guild
Attn: Short Story Contest
P.O. Box 411757
St. Louis, MO 63141
Prizes for 2019!
First Prize $50
Second Prize $30
Third Prize $20

Honorable Mention $10  

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Workshop Nov. 2: Navigating the Wild, Wild West of Publishing

If you’ve been thinking about publishing your book but might not be sure where to begin, start by joining us for the “Navigating the Wild, Wild West of Publishing” workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 2, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.

Cathy Davis explains the myriad of publishing options available to authors today — from DIY and self-publishing to traditional publishing (with several buyer-beware options in-between). In today’s publishing world, it’s not about how well your book sells, it’s all about how well your book sells YOU. Join us to find out just exactly what this means, and walk away with a better understanding of how to become a published author. 

You’ll also learn more about how to:
·              Develop a brand and start marketing your book BEFORE it is published
·              Minimize your financial investment
·              Maximize your return on author compensation
·              Retain 100% of your profits
·              Secure ownership of your copyright
·              Access global distribution
·              Avoid self-publishing pitfalls

Cathy Davis founded Davis Creative, LLC in January of 2004, after her second corporate downsizing within a span of three years. The bulk of her professional career was spent as Creative Director at a Bank of America (nee Boatmen’s) and TIAA Cref, marketing Trust Services to high-net-worth clients. Cathy’s husband, Jack Davis, joined her in August of 2008, after almost 20 years as an Art Director at Fleishman-Hillard Public Relations. 

What started out as a full-service branding services agency soon took a pivot towards the publishing industry, with Davis Creative helping one of their clients publish a book in 2005. Several hundred books later, Davis Creative now specializes in helping their clients use the power of publishing to build their brand, grow their business, and make a difference in the lives of the people they reach

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Monday, September 16, 2019

Workshop Oct. 5: Kickstart Your Writing Career with Wattpad and Social Platforms

Learn how to use Wattpad and social platforms to kickstart your writing career at a workshop featuring Shelly X. Leonn and L.L. Montez from 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 5, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Free for St. Louis Writers Guild members, $5 for nonmembers.

The writing and podcasting pair will discuss community-building through Wattpad, an online social platform that connects stories with millions of readers. They will also provide tips and strategies for using other social media platforms—including Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—to their fullest potential. The session will close with crafting a personalized plan for kickstarting your social media presence on the platform of your choice.

Shelly X. Leonn: Dr. Michelle M. Oyola is the author of The Broken Series under her pen name—Shelly X. Leonn. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Shelly worked at her hometown newspaper in Washington, MO, as the web and youth editor. During her time advising the youth staff, Shelly realized her true calling was to teaching. She applied and was accepted to Teach For America St. Louis as a member of the 2008 corps. Her twelve years in St. Louis City education have been spent in middle school and high school language arts classrooms as well as in mid-level administration. She is also an adjunct professor and a member of the St. Louis Writers Guild. Stephanie Hansen at Metamorphosis Literary Agency represents Shelly, whose debut novel will be published through Owl Hollow Press. Her other publishing credits include anthology short stories and education articles. She is currently writing her fifth manuscript. She and her two boys reside in Affton, and she enjoys reading, writing, outdoor activities, anime, video games, and other dorky pastimes.

LL Montez: LL Montez is a writer, reader, hereditary bruja, stargazer, teacher, and mediator living in the bones of Chicago's historic printing district. She writes science fiction on Wattpad and has work published an anthology through Dark Ink Press. ARC10, her first manuscript, won the 2017 Watty award under the Storysmith category for "mastery of plot and character development" from among 280,000 entries and was accepted into Pitch Wars 2018. With co-host Shelly X Leonn, she discusses the trials and joys of her publishing journey on her podcast, The Writers XL. LL Montez dreams of becoming a pilot and shares her life (and love of aliens) with her husband and dog.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at