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 ( 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,

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 ( 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 (accounting) or  (writing). 

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at and about the VLAA at

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

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

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

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 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

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."

Thursday, August 27, 2020

100+ sci/fi & fantasy books free for limited time!

Summer's not over yet!  

I've teamed up with more than 100 other bestselling authors to offer you an amazing selection of new books for free, including my young adult science fiction novel, Moonblood. 

Don't delay! This offer ends Sept. 15.


Praise for Moonblood:

“A fantastic book from beginning to end, well worth the time reading."

–M. Mackey, Amazon Review

"I really enjoyed this book a lot! It was very hard for me to put down. I definitely have not read any other book like this one and I’m impressed!"

--T. Marie, Amazon Review

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Guild “Editing Extravaganza” Sept. 12 Offers Publicity Workshop, Consultations with Experts

Sign up now for online editing consultations at the St. Louis Writers Guild’s Sept. 12 Editing Extravaganza! Submit the first five to ten pages of your manuscript or your query letter to be reviewed by an editor and have a 20+ minute one-on-one consultation. 

Starting the day will be a free, online workshop from 10 a.m. to noon featuring international speaker and four-time bestselling author Jill Lublin. She will focus on how to “Get Known Everywhere Using Publicity.” 

Discover how to be the #1 Influencer in your industry by boosting your credibility and amplifying your media visibility. Based on her international bestseller, Guerrilla Publicity, Jill Lublin shares simple strategies and provides cost-effective short‐term, doable tactics. Helping you understand what the media is looking for, so you and your brand can stand out, get noticed and go from unknown to newsworthy. 

Jill shares her proven secrets to understanding what the media wants and provides cost effective short‐term, doable tactics that boost credibility and increase visibility for you and your brand. You will:

1) Understand the real purpose of publicity- To boost your credibility and amplify your visibility.  

2) Uncover your "Oooooo, Ahhhhhh!" factor. Find the Wow! that sets you apart from the crowd.  

3) You are the news! Craft a riveting message that lets others know who you are and what you do.

4) Simplify! Learn how the pros mesmerize the masses by tailoring their message to the level of a five-year-old.  

5) Write a four-sentence announcement that ignites a local media frenzy.

6) Pass the all-important "Who cares?" test by showcasing your expertise in a way that commands attention. 

Consultations with editors are $40. Sign up by clicking the button on the website’s Event page. The form asks for your editor preference. If you sign up before all the editors have been announced, you will be contacted for your first choice. Pages are requested by Sept. 1 to allow editors time to review them. Editing consultations with Meghan Pinson and Andrew Doty and query letter critiques with Catherine Bakewell will be held between 1-3 p.m., Sept. 12.


JILL LUBLIN is an international speaker on the topics of Radical Influence, Publicity, Networking, Kindness and Referrals. She is the author of four bestselling books including Get Noticed...Get Referrals (McGraw Hill) and co-author of Guerrilla Publicity and Networking Magic.  Her latest book, Profit of Kindness, went #1 in four categories. Jill is a master strategist on how to position your business for more profitability and more visibility in the marketplace. She is CEO of a strategic consulting firm and has over 25 years’ experience working with over 100,000 people plus national and international media. Jill teaches a virtual Publicity Crash Course and consults and speaks all over the world. She also helps authors to create book deals with major publishers and agents, as well as obtain foreign rights deals. Visit and 

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

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. To contact Andrew, visit

CATHERINE BAKEWELL is a fantasy writer, history fan, and opera enthusiast. She 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  

Learn more about St. Louis Writers Guild virtual events at

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

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, Antoinette Crayton and Kate Moore-Freeman
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, 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.

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.”

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.

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 and!