Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Workshop May 5: Learn how to bring history to life through fiction

Award-winning authors P.A. De Voe and Ed Protzel will share their perspectives on how to bring history to life through fiction at a St. Louis Writers Guild workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, May 5, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131. Free for Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.
“In the battle between accuracy and creativity in your novel, it’s important to discern what historical elements are important to your writing and how to find them in the rich treasure troves available to us,” De Voe said.
She will focus on how to research information concerning:
1) What you may choose to write about: Large sweeping movements or the intimacy of daily life. Real historical figures or the almost invisible common folks.
2) Where you can find reliable and useable information to create unique characters, settings, and plots.
For Protzel, the basic principles that make your historical novel compelling are the same ones that give emotional dynamism and believability to any other work of fiction.
“Researching a historical novel can seem daunting, but when you apply the special needs of this genre directly to good writing practices, your task becomes much simpler, quicker, and more effective,” he said. “Making your story the meal, and using your research for spice, will produce fiction worth consuming.”
P.A. De Voe is an anthropologist and Asian specialist who writes historical mysteries and crime stories immersed in the life and times of Ancient China. She’s published short stories, From Judge Lu’s Ming Dynasty Case Files, in anthologies and online. Warned, second in her Chinese YA Mei-hua Trilogy (Hidden, Warned, and Trapped) received a 2016 Silver Falchion award in the Best International category. Trapped was a 2017 Agatha and Silver Falchion finalist. Her most recent novel Deadly Relations, A Ming Dynasty Mystery, came out in 2018. For more information and a free short story go to padevoe.com.
Ed Protzel has completed five original screenplays for feature film. His published novels include his Civil War-era DarkHorse TrilogyThe Lies That Bind, Honor Among Outcasts, and soon, Something in Madness. His futuristic mystery/thriller, The Antiquities Dealer, will be released later this year. Protzel lives in University City and has a master’s in English literature/creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

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

Querying a publisher or literary agent is almost harder than writing a book. The St. Louis Writers Guild’s April 7 workshop will explore the process from start to finish--how to find agents and publishers, how to contact them, how to pitch to them…and just what is a log line? 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, blogger, and lecturer Brad R. Cook. Participants will learn what goes in a query letter and a face-to-face pitch, as well as explore tools to find agents and publishers online and at conferences. Upcoming conferences include the Missouri Writers Guild conference in Columbia (May 19), and the St. Louis Writers Guild’s Gateway Con (June 15-17) and Penned Con (Sept. 20-22) in St. Louis. 
“I can’t guarantee you’ll find an agent, but you’ll have the tools to do so!” Brad said. For those who attended last year’s workshop, Brad said this talk is all new, incorporating tips he learned at last year’s Gateway Con.

Author of historical fantasies, The Iron Chronicles, The Airdrainium Adventures, and Tales of the Gearblade, Brad is a former co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press. He is a SCBWI member and currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. A founding contributor to The Writers’ Lens and The Sword Writers Academy, he can be heard weekly as a panelist on Write Pack Radio. He learned to fence at thirteen, and never set down his sword, but prefers to curl up with his cat and a centuries’ old classic. Find more @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr. BradRCook.com
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“Finish that book!” workshop March 3 hones time-management skills

Do you feel like you can never find the time to write? Have you been chipping away at the same manuscript forever without much progress? Do you need a system that can get you to typing “The End” with success and satisfaction?

Wrangling a fickle muse to meet a deadline—or just to get rid of that looming blank page—is a life-skill for everyone who wants to get serious about their writing. Allie Pleiter, the bestselling author of over thirty books, shares the nuts and bolts of how to manage your muse at the St. Louis Writers Guild’s March 3 workshop from 10 a.m. to noon at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131. Free to Guild members; $5 for non-members.

“You'll learn how to set goals and deadlines that reflect your personal writing style and speed--and smart ways to get faster when you need it,” Allie said. Join the thousands of other writers who have tackled the process of professional creativity using Pleiter's popular Chunky Method. With a useful mix of the practical, the inspirational, and the nitty-gritty real life of it all, this workshop gives aspiring or working writers the tools they need to make the magic happen.

An avid knitter, coffee junkie and unreformed chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction, working on as many as four novels at a time. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy bestselling author of over thirty books, Allie spends her days writing, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the Midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced a seventeen-year career with over 1.4 million books sold. In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on faith, the creative process, women’s issues, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management for writers. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com to learn more.

Find out about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org.