Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Jan. 4: Van Stockum discusses “The Writing Techniques of Jules Verne”

Scientist, sailor, trader. Playwright, poet, lawyer, dreamer. We are all familiar with the famous characters of Jules Verne and the places he took them in exploration. With Ronald R. Van Stockum Jr. as our guide, let us take a look at this innovative writer, the dreamer from Nantes.

“The Writing Techniques of Jules Verne” workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 4, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers

Verne kept 20,000 note cards of data in his old-fashioned desk drawer. And Verne put them to good use after he met his French publisher, but only after that man ⎯ Pierre-Jules Hetzel ⎯ rudely rejected his first novel, according to Dr. Van Stockum.

Here is what Hetzel said of Verne’s work; "In this piece, there is not a single issue concerning the real future that is properly resolved. No critique that hasn't already been made and remade before. I am surprised at you ... lackluster and lifeless." Into a drawer that manuscript went, only to be rediscovered more than 100 years later. Paris In the Twentieth Century was finally published in 1994.

Hetzel demanded ⎯ yes, demanded in the way that only editors can ⎯ something to educate and illuminate. Five Weeks in a Balloon set the form just fine. Until Hetzel’s death forty years later, he held Verne to that formula. Then Verne was free again.

Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. is a lawyer, teacher, biologist, writer, guitarist, and recently an actor living on his family's old farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He has published numerous books, articles, and short stories in the areas of law, science, and creative writing. Eighteen of his titles are available on Amazon in hardback, softback, and Kindle formats.

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

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

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Workshop Postponed

NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, James Young's workshop will be rescheduled to a future date. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Don’t miss James Young’s workshop on "Research for Writers” (or “How to End Up on A Watchlist in 20 Minutes or Less”), 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.

“I will use examples from my own and others' research to help all authors find quick and efficient ways to answer questions about areas outside of their expertise,” he said.Young will discuss common tools available for authors to conduct topical or historical research.

James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life by attending the United States Military Academy. After being set free from the Hudson River Valley, Young spent the next six years of his life in the Army repaying his education the proverbial “nickel at a time.” Along the way he collected a loving, patient, beautiful spouse…and various animals that did not fit that description. Leaving the Republic’s employ, he returned to the Midwest to pursue his doctorate—a process which took twice the time planned but is finally concluded. Having now concluded two of the prerequisites to be a super villain, Dr. Young spends his time waiting for the inevitable origin story, winning writing awards (2016 United States Naval Institute Cyber Essay Contest Winner, among others), and writing an alternate history (Usurper’s War) and military space opera (Vergassy Chronicles) series. His latest book is Aries Red Sky, the first in a new Vergassy Universe trilogy.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

SCBWI one-time critique: Sign up by 5/19


to participate in

Critique Across Kansas and Missouri,

Sponsored by the Kansas/Missouri region of the

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

May 31 – June 9, 2019

We have 16 free, one-time critique groups meeting across two states, for illustrators and fiction or non-fiction Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult writers. These will be organized and facilitated by SCBWI members. It’s a great opportunity for those just starting out to meet fellow writers/illustrators and get helpful feedback on their work, or for experienced writers and illustrators to get their work in front of fresh eyes.

You do NOT have to be a member of SCBWI to attend, and you are welcome to attend multiple groups. If you know others who might be interested in this opportunity, feel free to forward the information.

Registration ends Sunday, May 19 in order to give hosts time to organize their groups and exchange work. Hosts will be sharing helpful critique information once groups are formed.

If you are interested in attending a group, see options below and reserve a spot by contacting the host of that group. For groups that are meeting at a residence, complete addresses will be sent to attendees once registered. Note that “spots available” indicates that host’s original request—it may not be an accurate reflection of spots remaining in that group.

Below is the master list of critique groups that will meet May 31 – June 9. It’s a long list, but they’re arranged by area so you can scroll to the groups closest to you. If you have a question about a specific group, please email that volunteer host. If you have general questions about this event, contact Chris Schmidt at

All Best,

Chris Schmidt

2019 SCBWI Critique Across KS/MO Coordinator

*2019 SCBWI Critique Across Kansas & Missouri*


Location: Residence in Garden City, KS

Host: Marsha Elyn Wright

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 11:30-2:30 (light lunch & munch provided)

Type of group, genre: PB authors and author/illustrators, fiction & NF

Number of spots available: 7

Short description: Each person prepares a complete PB manuscript less than 600 words or a dummy. We email our manuscripts to one another one week before meeting. We each bring a printed copy of our manuscripts/dummies to the critique. Lunch is provided. We’ll eat first and then start at 11:30 and spend about 20 minutes per person, reading aloud, sharing our thoughts, and munching.

Location: Watermark Book Store and Café, 4701 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67218

Host: Ken Locke

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: noon to 3-4

Type of group, genre: Novels – any genre

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: Watermark has a great café where we can all order food individually. They will provide a semi-private space for us to eat and then critique. Submit in the email chain (coming soon) 5-10 pages of your work. Read the other submissions and come with constructive/supportive feedback for each author.


**NOTE: This group is FULL**

Location: Main branch Johnson County Library (9875 W 87th St), room #1, Overland Park, KS 66212

Host: Michelle Meade

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors and author/illustrators

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: I reserved a six person study room under the name Michelle M SCBWI. We will just have a casual positive read and critique session. Hope you can come!

Location: Monticello Library, Study Room #7, 22435 W. 66th St, Shawnee, KS 66226

Host: Jennifer Lane Wilson

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. (optional lunch following, at nearby Twisted Fresh restaurant)

Type of group, genre: PB authors (fiction or NF)

Number of spots available: 5

Short description: Each writer brings six copies of a PB manuscript, fiction or nonfiction, 800 words or less. We’ll read each manuscript aloud, followed by a short discussion.

Location: Residence in Lee’s Summit, MO

Host: Alice Walters

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Thursday, June 6

Time of Event: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: Middle Grade fiction

Number of spots available: 4

Short description: An opportunity to connect with other writers of MG fiction, to share what works, what’s not, and what can be our next steps. Please bring a 3-5 page passage to share that falls into one of those categories. I look forward to hearing from you!

**NOTE: This group is FULL**

Location: Liberty Caribou Coffee (Hyvee gas station), 300 N, MO-291, Liberty, MO 64068

Host: Brian Gehrlein

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors (500 word max)

Number of spots available: 4

Short description: In our picture book critique group we will chat for 15 min (get to know you, shop talk, etc) then jump into critiques (2:15-3:30). Each person will get 15 min for critique. We will read each manuscript in advance to prepare our thoughts, but we will also read each manuscript out loud at the beginning of each session. Manuscripts will be emailed to me no later than Saturday, May 25 to allow each person a full week to prep. Each person is responsible for bringing 5 copies of their manuscript to the event.

Location: DesignWerx, 1313 Atlantic Street North, Kansas City, MO 64116

Host: Polly Alice McCann

Reserve a spot by contacting host with fb message or email:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 10 to 12

Type of group, genre: any genre, poetry, nonfiction, biography, illustrators, short story, folk tale, YA, PB, MG —

Number of spots available: 6 to 10

Short description: This is the everything Bagel group.  DesignWerx is where my art studio is located. We can meet in the break room and everyone can bring snacks or drinks if they like. We can each share one PB, or 5 to 10 pages of a manuscript or five illustrations. We will read and share our work with the group. Work must be emailed 7 days in advance to hostess so she can share with group. Come with encouraging, supportive feedback about what is working well for each writer’s manuscript or illustration.


Location: Rolla Public Library, 900 N Pine St, Rolla, MO 65401

Host: Luce Myers

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors, illustrators, and author/illustrators

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: Light refreshments provided; participants may consider going to lunch after our meeting?

Location: Daniel Boone Regional Library, 100 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203

Host: Aaron Fox

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Sunday, June 9

Time of Event: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors, illustrators, and author/illustrators, fiction or NF

Number of spots available: 10

Short description: Full PB manuscript or dummy is suggested, but partial will be allowed. 15 to 20 min per person. Snacks provided and encouraged.

Location: The Library Center, Springfield, MO

Host: Heather Martinez

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Friday, June 7

Time of Event: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB authors and/or illustrators

Number of spots available: 8

Short description:

**NOTE: This group is FULL**

Location: Hy-Vee, 1215 S Main St, Maryville, MO 64468

Host: Amy Houts

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 1

Time of Event: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Type of group, genre: PB writers and/or illustrators, fiction or NF

Number of spots available: 5

Short description: Each person brings a complete PB manuscript less than 750 words or a dummy for critique; 15 min per person

Location: Residence in Jackson, MO (southeast MO, close to Cape Girardeau)

Host: Amanda Flinn

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Monday, June 3

Time of Event: 6:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: I am a PB writer. Last year I hosted only PB writers, but I am willing to host MG and YA as well, if there is a need.

Number of spots available: 4-6

Short description: We will read and critique the manuscripts prior to attending the event and discuss them that evening. Each person will have 30 min of feedback and discussion regarding their manuscript. Snacks and drinks will be provided by host.


Location: Residence in St.Charles, MO 63304

Host: Donna Mork Reed

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Sunday, June 2

Time of Event: 5:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB writers

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: We’ll have a small meal (TBD), attendees can bring sides and desserts (email any food allergies prior). Must love dogs (dogs on premises). We will eat and then critique. Email full manuscript prior and come prepared to share your thoughts and ideas.

Location: Residence in O’Fallon, MO 63366

Host: Stephanie Bearce

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Friday, May 31

Time of Event: 7:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: Middle Grade, fiction or nonfiction

Number of spots available: 7

Short description: Come meet your fellow middle grade writers! I will provide dessert and light snacks. We will talk all things KidLit and writing. You may submit the first 10 pages of your novel or a proposal package for MG nonfiction. We will exchange manuscripts via email BEFORE the meeting. That way we will all be familiar with each other’s projects and we can spend quality time on critiques.

Location: Spencer Road Library (room 210), 427 Spencer Rd, St. Peters, MO 63376

Hosts: Chris Schmidt and Jess Townes

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Wednesday, June 5

Time of Event: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Type of group, genre: Query, Synopsis, or Pitch for picture books and novels

Number of spots available: 6

Short description: Oh the dreaded query and synopsis! Let’s commiserate and work through them together. Bring any one or combination that are relevant for your project. We’ll work to get them in tip-top shape for submission. Please limit query and/or synopsis to ONE page. For pitches, keep them to the length of an elevator pitch or what you’d post for a Twitter contest (you may bring up to 5 short pitches if you’d like help deciding on the best ones). We will exchange work at least a week prior to meeting. New to querying/synopsis writing/pitching? Join us to learn the process. Everyone bring a snack/appetizer to share.


**NOTE: This group is FULL but accepting participants for a waiting list**

Location: U-City Library, Room 2, 6701 Delmar, University City, MO 63130

Host: Katie Gast (author/illustrator) and Dayne Sislen (author/illustrator)

Reserve a spot by contacting host at:

Date of Event: Saturday, June 8

Time of Event: 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Type of group, genre: PB dummy critique for illustrators and non-illustrators

Number of spots available: 8 total

Short description: We will be critiquing picture book dummies. Please bring your dummy and manuscript. If you can save your dummy as a PDF file, send it to me at at least three days before we meet and I will post it on our group’s password-protected web page*. If you are unable to make a multi-page PDF, don’t worry, just bring your dummy and manuscript.

Author/Illustrators: Bring your pencil dummy and two finished illustrations from your story. You can bring your dummy in flat spreads or an actual 3-D booklet form, your choice. Send me a multi-page PDF three days ahead if possible. Also, bring your physical dummy to show.

Authors/non-illustrators: Bring your manuscript and a rough pencil breakdown of the pages (32). Just indicate illustrations with stick figures (we promise we won’t critique your art). Making a dummy like this will help you revise your manuscript. You will be able to see where more action is needed, where to place surprise/reveal pages breaks to create tension, and where to slow down the action. Even if you never show your dummy to anyone else, making it will make your manuscript stronger. Use the templates on our group’s web page to plan your pages. Website address and the password will be sent after you sign up.

*If you know how to make a multi-page PDF from your dummy and are able to email it to me, please do. ( I will post it on our private, password-protected web page for everyone in our group to read. It will give us all more time to look it over before our meeting. Also bring your actual dummy to our meeting. The URL to our group’s password-protected web page will be sent to all members with your confirmation.