Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sargent focuses on “Book Descriptions that Sell” at Jan. 5 workshop

Award-winning author Karen Sargent will share her expertise on how to write “Book Descriptions that Sell” from 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 5, in the Dogwood Room at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.

“Many authors don't realize how important writing irresistible back cover copy is. Instead, they see it as a dreaded struggle,” she said. “Before a book description can entice readers to buy a book, it must first win over agents and publishers.”

Whether your book is a work in progress or a complete manuscript, Karen will share a few simple steps to help you write book descriptions agents, publishers, and readers won't be able to resist.

Award-winning author of Waiting for Butterflies, Karen Sargent is on a mission to use her experience to help other writers on their journey. Whether presenting at conferences, teaching at writing groups, or mentoring individuals, Karen enjoys meeting writers where they are and helping them take their next step. She is a member of the Womens Fiction Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, the Missouri Writers Guild, and the SEMO Writers Guild. To learn more about her writing or to receive help with yours, visit Karen at

To learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild, go to

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Guild honors young writers at Dec. 1 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. 1, 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: “The lunchbox began to move….” or “The book had no words….” 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 9, 2018

NaNoWriMo Workshop Nov. 3: “Surviving the Hike and Planning the Aftermath”

Writing a novel in a month seems like an impossible journey! Learn how you can “Survive the Hike and Plan the Aftermath” from Amanda Wells at a NaNoWriMo workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 3, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO  63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers

The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Amanda comes ready with a full rucksack of strategies and maneuvers for getting on, keeping up, and just writing the darn thing already. 

She’ll then discuss post-writing critique and what you might do with that monster tome once complete. Bring any notes, questions, or trail wounds you’d like show for all your trekking into the woods of NaNoWriMo.

Amanda Wells is a writer, scholar, and community builder. She was awarded the first ever stARTup grant from the Arts & Education Council of St. Louis, and is joyously busy building FLOW, a community-based literary arts center, at Centene Center for the Arts. Wells is a member of the traveling poetry collective Liminal Women, who claim the vocation of "aiding and abetting women on the threshold." She has a Masters in English Composition from the University of Missouri - St. Louis and has featured on various stages around the country, including Kranzberg Center for the Arts, The Focal Point, The Stage at KDHX, Prohibition Hall, and even a rundown truck stop in Tennessee. Her work has been printed in The 2River View, Bellerive, UMSL’s Litmag, Flood Stage: An Anthology of Saint Louis Poets (which she also edited), and elsewhere. She plans to put more miles on her Nissan in pursuit of liberation and magic, however those may find her.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Monday, September 10, 2018

Writer Beware: Workshop Oct. 6 on “How NOT to Get Published”

Richard C White

Richard C. White of the publishing watchdog group, Writer Beware, will hold a workshop on “How NOT to Get Published” from 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 6, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO 63131. This special event is free for St. Louis Writers Guild members, $15 for nonmembers.

“Our goal is to share the latest information on literary schemes, scams, and pitfalls, and the most current information on what writers can do to protect themselves,” Rich said. Writer Beware hosts a popular blog, website, and facebook page.

Writer Beware’s mission is to track, expose and raise awareness of the prevalence of fraud and other questionable activities in and around the publishing industry. Founded in 1998, Writer Beware is concerned not just with issues that affect professional authors, but also with the problems and pitfalls that face aspiring writers. Writer Beware is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from the Mystery Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors

Rich is the author of tie-in fiction for a number of media franchises, including Star Trek and Doctor Who, as well as an original works such as Gauntlet Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil and Harbinger of Darkness. Among other interesting jobs, he has worked as a journalist, a substitute teacher, an independent comics publisher, an analyst for the military, and, currently, as a technical writer. Find him at or on Twitter @nightwolfwriter.

Jimmy Z Johnston
Rich will have books to sell at the workshop, as well as at a joint signing from 4-6 p.m. at 6 North Café, 14438 Clayton Rd. in Ballwin. Joining him to offer tips on “Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox” will be Jimmy Z Johnston, comic book writer of The Tick, Micronauts, and Warlock 5, and owner of Little Shop of Comics in Cuba, MO. Friend him @JimmyZJohnston and @comicsincuba on Twitter and JimmyZJohnston on Facebook.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Guild workshop Sept. 8 delves into differences between fiction genres

Jo Hiestand
Camille Faye
Mia Silverton
If you’re puzzled by the differences between fiction genres, don’t miss the St. Louis Writers Guild’s workshop featuring authors Jo Hiestand (mystery), Camille Faye (speculative) and Mia Silverton (romance) from 10 a.m. to noon, Sept. 8, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO  63131. Free to Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.
The panelists will delve into the genres and subgenres, including word counts and reader expectations.
JO HIESTAND is the founding president of the Greater St Louis chapter of Sisters in Crime. She graduated with a BA degree in English and departmental honors from Webster University. She writes three mystery series -- two British and one local. She’s been a secretary and a graphic designer. Her hobbies include photography, music and researching the Scottish branch of her family.
CAMILLE FAYE lives in Missouri, loves on her family, and writes while her kiddos are in school. Her writing is inspired by her experiences growing up in a haunted house and her travels to 28 countries and counting! “Like” her Camille Faye Author page on Facebook where you can give your feedback for upcoming books. And visit to sign up for her newsletter, download book discussion questions, and get the latest on Camille’s writing.
MIA SILVERTON is a St. Louis-born, contemporary women's fiction and romance author. As a writer, she feels called to help change lives in a different way -- by crafting dynamic stories. She promises to bring worlds full of strong characters, witty fun dialogue filled with heroes and heat. She strongly believes that we can all find happiness, sanctuary and even healing in a beautifully written book. Many times in the past, a well crafted phrase, word or story created a shift in her when the time was needed and she feels called to pay that forward. Mia loves to interact with her readers and you can connect with her on FBInstagramTwitter or visit at Make sure to stay up to date with the latest and greatest news by joining Mia's Silver Pen Tribe on her website.
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Workshop Aug. 4: “Resources for Indie Authors at St. Louis County Library”

Discover the many resources the St. Louis County Library (SLCL) offers to support authors from the idea phase all the way through getting their books on physical and digital shelves during a workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Aug. 4, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO., 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.
The presenter of “Resources for Indie Authors at St. Louis County Library,” Sarah Steele, is an SLCL Reference Specialist for Reader’s Advisory. 
“Find out about SLCL’s free eCourses, learn all about Self-e (the digital lending format for self-published and independent authors), and get tips about marketing your books to libraries,” she said.
In non-jargon terms, Sarah’s a matchmaker for readers and books. This includes helping patrons who contact the library via phone, email, through their Personalized Reading Service, and in person at the Headquarters location. 
She facilitates two book groups that meet at the library, one that focuses on Fantasy and Science Fiction and one that discusses all types of literature.  She co-administers the book discussion kit program, in which library patrons can reserve sets of books and a guide for their own books groups. She also organizes fun book-themed programs and helps patrons learn about and use library resources. Her favorite book she’s read this year so far is Lincoln in the Bardoby George Saunders.
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Monday, June 25, 2018

Writers Guild’s July 14 Workshop focuses on “Working with an Illustrator”

Illustrators Craig Skaggs and Jennifer Stolzer will share their perspectives on the benefits of developing a relationship with an illustrator at the St. Louis Writers Guild workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, July 14, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO, 63131. Free to Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.
Craig and Jennifer will provide tips on how to get the best results from your partnership with an illustrator. They will share examples of their work and describe how the images proceed from rough concept to final art.
“I want to dispel the misconception that every affordable artist with experience lives in another country,” said Craig, who has more than thirty years’ experience in illustration. He recently became an official fine artist for Lucasfilms, but still does covers for self-published authors.
Jennifer Stolzer Illustration has served both independent authors and publishing houses for over eight years. She graduated from Webster University with a degree in digital media and animation, and uses this skill set to create bright and engaging characters in both pictures and words. She will discuss strategies available to both writers and illustrators to best utilize visual storytelling for all markets and age groups. Find samples of her work at or on Facebook under Jennifer Stolzer Illustration. She is also the author of Threadcaster and other books for children and young adults.
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

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