Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Writers in the Park 2016 - The 7th Annual Festival for the Writer

Writers in the Park 2016
The 7th Annual Festival for the Writer
Saturday, August 6, 2016
10am - 2pm
Kirkwood Community Center, 2nd Floor
111 S. Geyer Rd.

Once again the event is indoors!
No more writers melting in the park!

The seventh annual Writers in the Park will once again be indoors, but is still at Kirkwood Park. We've taken over the second floor of the community center and expect an exciting day of events. Multiple writer tracks for adults, a workshop for young writers, and a book room filled with local authors. Best of all it remains free and open to all writers, no pre-registration needed.

St. Louis Writers Guild is proud present:
George Sirois, T.W. Fendley, Meredith Tate, Peggy Nehmen, Barry Cozaihr, Sarah Cozaihr, The Write Pack, Brad R. Cook, and David Lucas.

Local Authors who will be signing books in the Book Room:
Sir E.J. Drury II, Nicole Evelina, John Byrant, Brick Mantel Books & Open Book Press, Jessica Baumgartner, Ellen Parker, and SLPA (St. Louis Publishers Association)
Plus books by St. Louis Writers Guild Members, and the speakers! 

Food from 6th North Cafe' 

Find out about next year's exciting news - Gateway Con!

A Workshop for Young Writers in 4th-8th Grade starts at 10am! Learn about the Young Writers Awards a writing contest held by SLWG. 
(Parents or guardian please accompany minors)

A complete schedule is below, and bios are available on the website. 

There is always a Book Fair at Writers in the Park! With the returning promotion - "Buy a Book, Get a Sandwich." Come check out all the books!

For everything you need to know about Writers in the Park 2016 visit

The Schedule for Writers in the Park 2016!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Three Thoughts about Foreshadowing

Three Thoughts about Foreshadowing
Brad R. Cook

Foreshadowing… what could be coming in this article… we’ll have to find out.

Foreshadowing is defined as a warning or indication of a future event. A dramatic device used to inform the reader that an important plot-point will return later in the story, in a significant way.

In television it will be accompanied by rousing music like… dun, dun, duun

Foreshadowing is a wonderful way of teasing the reader. Arousing a sense of wonder, and making the reader ask questions, or develop their own theories of what is coming. Foreshadowing comes in two important parts, one scene or line that teases the future, and a scene or line later with the promised payoff. A false buildup can anger the reader, leaving them longing for a scene that will never come.  

Usually, foreshadowing will happen in the first act of a book, but it can happen in the second act, or even the beginning of a chapter. The important point is to leave the hints before the significant scene. On a personal note, I love when writers elude to something early on in a book and that gets paid off much later in the story, it builds a sense of having come full circle in the story.

Three thoughts about Foreshadowing:

1 – Elude to the Future:
The best foreshadowing drops hints as to what the important plot-point will be. Truly great writers will drop enough hints that the reader can’t figure out what is coming, but once the plot-point has happened the reader will remember the foreshadowing and all will become clear. A foreshadowing scene or line can come any time before the significant plot-point. From the beginning of the book all the way to right before the reveal.

2 – Don’t Give Too Many Details:
Tease the future to your audience. With too many details, the reader might figure out the plot-point before it arrives. Yes, most will continue reading to see if they are correct, but if the reader can figure out what is coming, if they figure out the big reveal before the writer unveils the scene, disappointment can ensue or worse, they could stop reading. A single line might be all it takes to foreshadow what is coming, maybe even something as simple as the weather. Keep the foreshadowing simple and the reader will appreciate not giving it away.

3 – Foreshadow the Big Moments:
Foreshadowing is a device that is best used sparingly. Overuse would be a tad ridiculous. Imagine a book where every little detail is foreshadowed. The writer would spend as much time eluding to what was coming, as they would be revealing the plot. Select the moments that create the most impact, like the climax, or a significant plot-point, but there is no need to foreshadow every event. You can even foreshadow the twist of the book. The important thing to remember is to not elude to every event in the book. Foreshadowing gives the important moments even more emphasis.

One of my favorite moments of foreshadowing came in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke sees his face in Vader’s mask on Dagobah and later finds out Vader is his father. Though as Anna Kendrick points out in Pitch Perfect, Vader means father.

What are you favorite foreshadowed moments in books or movies? Let us know in the comments.

Brad R. Cook, author of the YA steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles. Iron Horsemen - and Iron Zulu -  A member of SCBWI, he currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as its President. Learn more at, on Twitter @bradrcook, or on his blog Thoughts from Midnight on tumblr

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Free writers’ conference Aug. 6 offers tips for kids & adults

Learn the why’s and how to’s of audiobooks from authors George Sirois and T.W. Fendley, who will share their different paths to creating audio versions of their novels as keynote speakers at the seventh annual Writers in the Park.

The free festival for writers will be held indoors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 6, at Kirkwood Community Center, 111 S. Geyer Rd. It will feature multiple writer tracks for adults, a workshop for young writers (4th-8th grades), and a bookroom filled with local authors. The popular “Buy a book, get a sandwich” promotion will return, featuring sandwiches from 6 North Café. Best of all, the conference remains free and open to all writers, no registration needed.

Workshops each hour will focus on topics such as social media marketing, using social media for writers, Young Adult vs. New Adult, publishing for Kindle, and the craft of writing. Authors and publishing professionals scheduled to appear include, George Sirois, T.W. Fendley, Meredith Tate, Barry and Sarah Coziahr, and Peggy Nehmen, with more to be announced soon.

Plus, stop by the local author book fair and learn about the Gateway to Publishing Conference and Convention hosted next June by the St. Louis Writers Guild.

In the keynote presentation entitled “Audiobooks: ACX, DIY, and Everything in Between,” George Sirois will share his step-by-step journey to create a digital audiobook. Sirois is the author of the science fiction novels EXCELSIOR and FROM PARTS UNKNOWN.

T.W. Fendley will focus on services such as the Audiobook Creation Exchange. Fendley’s published works include fantasy novels ZERO TIME and THE LABYRINTH OF TIME, and several short stories.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild and Writers in the Park at

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Penned Con, Bringing Authors and Readers Together for Charity

Penned Con, Bringing Authors and Readers Together for Charity
Brad R. Cook

In the writing world there are many different types of conferences. Starting with the giant mega-writer’s conferences and going all the way down to a single day workshop. Penned Con set out to do something a little different. This is the third year for this unique book event. Set in St. Louis, Missouri, Penned Con looks to bring authors and readers together in a two-day book event packed with authors.

Best of all the entire event centers around raising money for charities.

The main event is a two-day book fair, where authors from around the country will descend on the St. Louis City Center Hotel and Suites at 400 S. 14th St. St. Louis, MO 63103. A beautiful hotel sitting right beside Busch Stadium. Over 150 authors will be selling their books, one of the largest gathering of authors selling books that you will find in St. Louis and the greater region.

For a line-up of all the authors attending Penned Con visit -

Penned Con also offers writing workshops, panels, and keynotes speakers throughout the two-day event, and the whole event culminates in an exciting tradition, the Penned Con Luau. A charity dinner held as the last event of the weekend.

Penned Con raises money for Action for Autism a St. Louis based charity. For more information about their charity endeavors visit –

Tickets to Penned Con start at $15 for an all-day Friday pass, and run up to $130 for the full package with full attendance for the weekend, access to all the workshops, panels, keynote speakers, a t-shirt, lunch and the luau dinner. A two-day pass which gets you into the book fair, the workshops, panels, and keynote speakers will run $35.

Find out about all the ticket options here –

Order your tickets from Eventbrite here –

To learn more about Penned Con visit

To get an idea of what Penned Con is, watch this video produced at last year’s event.

In St. Louis, check out this great event that bring a premier literary event to our city. Outside St. Louis, consider planning a visit around Penned Con.

Penned Con
September 23 & 24, 2016
St. Louis City Center Hotel and Suites
400 S. 14th St.
St. Louis, MO