Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Workshop June 2: The Seven Deadly First-page Sins

There's no one right way to begin your story – but there are plenty of wrong ones, as author Arianne "Tex" Thompson will discuss at her June 2 workshop entitled “The Seven Deadly First-page Sins.”
She will take you on a cautionary tour through the pits of page-one hell, complete with agent pet peeves, reader turn-offs, and "thanks but no thanks" editorial dealbreakers from 10 a.m. to noon at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, Mo., 63131. The workshop is free to St. Louis Writers Guild members and $5 for nonmembers.
“Don't let your manuscript suffer in form-rejection torment: let me guide you through the slush-pile inferno and lead your story toward the light!” she said.  
Tex will join the group via Zoom technology. Alternately, Guild members can view the workshop from their own computers. Check the Member’s Room at on June 2.
Tex is a rural fantasy author, egregiously enthusiastic speaker, and professional ruckus-raiser. She is the author of the Children of the Drought, an epic fantasy Western trilogy from Solaris, as well as an instructor for the Writers Path at SMU and chief instigator of WORD ñ Writers Organizations Round Dallas. Now she is blazing a trail through writers’ conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country as an endlessly energetic, catastrophically cheerful one-woman stampede. Find her online at and!
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

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
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