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

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Guild “Editing Extravaganza” Offers Consultations with Experts

Sign up now for editing consultations at the St. Louis Writers Guild’s Editing Extravaganza! 

Submit the first five to ten pages of your manuscript to be reviewed by an editor and have a 20+ minute one-on-one consultation at the Sept. 14 event. That day’s workshops feature editing tips by local editor Catherine Rankovic (“Manuscript Preparation”) at 10 a.m. and author Andrew Jobling from Australia (“How to Write A Book Publishers Want”) at 11 a.m. at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO 63131. The workshops are free to Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.

Consultations are $40. To sign up, click the “editing consultation signup” button on the St. Louis Writers Guild website’s home page ( or 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 will be held between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Sept. 14, by the following: Catherine Rankovic (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry), Meghan Pinson (fiction and nonfiction), Kortney Price (picture books through middle grade and young adult), and Andrew Jobling (nonfiction). 

CATHERINE RANKOVIC is a deeply experienced professional editor of book-length novels, novellas, and nonfiction, and a mentor to new authors; her BookEval clients have 41 books in print. She doesn’t simply edit, but teaches you how to write like a pro. M.F.A., Washington University; M.A. Syracuse University, B.A., Marquette University; author of five books. Professional editor since 2000; member of St. Louis Writers Guild and St. Louis Publishers Association.

ANDREW JOBLING (of Australia) is an unlikely athlete and an accidental author. He somehow played senior-level professional football with the St Kilda FC for seven years, and has 30 years experience in the wellbeing industry, fifteen as a personal trainer. Then, with no time, no training, no experience and no clues, he ‘accidentally’ wrote his first bestselling book, Eat Chocolate, Drink Alcohol and be Lean & Healthy. To date he has written nine books, which have sold in excess of 200,000 copies. His latest book, The Wellness Puzzle, is helping him fulfill his purpose to empower people to take control of their wellbeing and create a wave of wellness all around the world. Andrew is an in-demand speaker and mentor in schools, for companies and for aspiring authors. He works with teams and groups, large and small. He spends his time sharing a perspective that is changing many lives.

MEGHAN PINSON of My Two Cents Editing provides expert editing, engaging critique, and fearless consulting to authors of novels and nonfiction manuscripts. She specializes in story development and author education. Current favorite genres: historical fiction, crime/mystery/suspense, middle grade adventure stories, and prescriptive nonfiction. Connect with her at  

KORTNEY PRICE is a Literary Agent with Corvisiero Literary. Having grown up in a small town, Kortney has always valued the stories that allow readers to escape into fantastic worlds and visit far away places. She loves reading about the things she loves so stories featuring an awesome sense of humor, art and artists, antiques and old buildings, and strong and quirky families are always welcome. Because of her 15+ years working in the special needs community, Kortney is always looking for stories featuring characters with special needs. Her preferences are picture books through middle grade, and young adult. She is not the best fit for books about cancer, suicide or school shootings.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

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.

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.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

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 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 or @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, tumblr, and more.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at