Winning Entries – Flash Literature Contest


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The Conference over, the votes tallied, it’s only fitting we honor the first place winners from the Write Stuff Writers Conference™ Flash Literature Contest, held on March 25, 2017.

Bernadette Sukley, who’s been chairing the Flash Literature Contest for seven years, gives us a quick rundown on how the process worked.

  1. Contest is open to Conference Attendees Only.
  2. Participants provide 100 words of poetry, fiction or non-fiction (or all three genres).
  3. Entries submitted via email or in person at the Write Stuff Writers Conference™.
  4. Entries are posted for reviewing and voting by all attendees.
  5. Tally of votes and announcement of winners (first, second, third prizes awarded for each of the three genres) at the end of conference.



For the Fiction Category:

1st Place: Christopher Ochs

2nd Place: Elizabeth Thomas

3rd Place: Judy England McCarthy


Winning Entry – “I Glimpsed Them“, by Christopher Ochs.

Poe saw the Monsters. Lovecraft saw Them. Campbell saw Them as well. They all saw Them, then they wrote about Them.

Last year, I glimpsed Them — and They saw me. Of course, I was stupid enough to write a story about it.

Poe died from opium, or so the legend goes. Lovecraft succumbed to syphilis, which I find curious since the poor slob was a virgin. Campbell died of esophageal cancer — yet he was an avid non-smoker.

When they decide to tear me from this life, what fate shall They choose I wonder, to fool this unwitting world?



For the Non-Fiction Category:

1st Place: Rita Citivella

2nd Place: Ralph Burns

3rd Place: Terry Ingalsby


Winning Entry – “The Line“, by Rita Citivella.

I feel their judgment. I don’t belong here. I haven’t mastered the language. I long to fit in, to be a part of this nation. I’ve gone over the answers a hundred times. Still, my heart beats faster as the line moves forward. Soon they will question me.

Don’t let them intimidate you. You have a right to be here. Don’t say anything to arouse suspicion.

My turn now. I tremble under their steely glare.

Take a deep breath. Answer confidently.

“Tall Vanilla Latte.”



For the Poetry Category:

1st Place: Beverly Botelho

2nd Place: Rita Civitella

3rd Place: Sharon Boudreaux


Winning Entry – “Song of Solace“, by Beverly Botelho.

Your pigments paint me happy, calm, and serene

My pea green turns to blush and

I feel the rush a drug might provide

A balm that Solomon would be proud to claim, bless, and seal Under your brush


I spread red and peach mixed with pine I am proud to say

I am your creation

Under cerulean sky and a cover of violet white

I am jealous of this day, a day filled with laughs and a smattering of night


Paint me again a gallery of todays

Tomorrow may turn black



Bio Bernadette Sukley

Bernadette Sukley, Write Stuff Writers Conference™ Flash Literature Contest Organizer and Chairman of the GLVWG Anthology, ‘The Write Connections’, has been researching, writing and editing for over 25 years. Her work has been featured in national and international publications. Her focus is human interest, health and lifestyle. She’s also written and edited guides, pamphlets, columns, stories, and novels. She’s published two novels (A Saving Hurricane, Find Me a Woman) and a nonfiction book (Made in Pennsylvania) within the last eight years.


Remembering the 2017 Write Stuff™ Writers Conference



The GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference had probably one of its best years ever.  Headlined by Hollywood’s go-to story master, Michael Hauge, it was three days of learning and fun.

Joan Zachery, GLVWG’s photographer at large, shared highlights of the conference in pictures. She posted them on the GLVWG Facebook Page, but I’ll share a few here on the blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2017 – with Michael Hauge

Friday March 24, 2017

Friday Night Cocktails with Mark Twain

Samual Clemmens 2

Saturday March 25, 2017

Saturday Flash Fiction

The Book Fair

Keynote Luncheon

Thank you, Joan, for sharing great memories. 


And finally, our thanks to Conference Chairman, Charles “Samuel Clemons” Kiernan, for his guidance and leadership in coordinating the event.

Samual Clemmens

Join us next year for the 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference, and don’t forget to like our GLVWG Facebook Page, and visit the GLVWG Group Site, where we’ll keep you up to date on all our  events throughout the year.

GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference Schedule – Thursday, March 23


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Includes “Lunch with the Experts,” and Writers Café

Thursday Overview


Full day Michael Hauge seminar
“Story Mastery”


Lunch with the Experts (included)

1:00 – 

Michael Hauge: Continuation of
“Story Mastery”


 Writers Cafe: Informal Read and Critique (Included with ALL registrations)



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The GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference – The Fun Starts Thursday, March 23


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Confrencees at Desk

It’s Here!

Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group –  Write Stuff™ Conference

Starts Thursday, March 23.

Here’s the lineup of seminars for three days of awesome writer knowledge. Come early to learn, stay late to rub elbows with the presenters, agents, authors, and fellow writers.


Thursday March 23 : 


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Literary Agent – Mohamed Shalabi


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Mohamed Shalabi

Mohamed Shalabi, of the Talcott Notch Literary Agency, will be attending the GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference on March 25, 2017. Mohamed took a few minutes to describe what he’ll be looking for during Saturday’s agent pitch sessions.

Interview by GLVWG’s Charles Kiernan.



CK: Can you share with us a bit about your journey to all things literary?

MS: As a schoolteacher, my mother encouraged me to be inquisitive and curious all the time even if it meant I would be the annoying kid in class, which I was. She used to say in accented English that “There are millions of answers to a single question, and millions of questions to a single answer” and she was right.

After ten years in Palestine, I returned to the United States to start college. I earned my B.S. and M.S. from the University of Texas at Dallas and was on a Pre-med track before realizing that medicine was not my calling. So, I taught science for three years while interning at three fine literary agencies, Veritas, Folio, and Talcott Notch where I picked up the skills to become an efficient literary agent.

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Interview with Amy Deardon – Award Winning Author and Publisher


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Amy Deardon 2

GLVWG’s Donna Sooy recently interviewed Amy Deardon, who will be at the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™, Friday and Saturday, March 24 & 25, 2017.

On Friday, Amy will give conferees tips on Insider Self-Publishing: Separating the Amateurs from the Pros. Saturday, she’ll conduct two sessions, What’s the Right Type of Publishing for My Book?, and Does My Book Have What it Takes?



DS:  I read you are an award-winning author, publisher, and budding online entrepreneur. Congratulations. What is a budding online entrepreneur? 

AD: Writing/Publishing is a wide-open field, with more options now for people to create and sell information than ever before. I am constantly looking for methods to deliver helpful products that will allow others to reach their goals… and hopefully allow me to help support our family in the process. A win-win!

DS: There are times when people relax at home, they read, crochet and color in the Mandela pattern books. What is your favorite pastime when relaxing?

AD: I tend toward the crafty side with sewing and needlework, although don’t do nearly as much as I used to. It seems I’m always working on a writing project and the computer is never too far away.

I’m fortunate enough to be able to do a lot of work from home, and since it’s not healthy to be too closed in I get out to exercise, or to meet with friends for coffee, or go to Bible study. Evenings are nice when my husband and kids and I cook dinner together as we talk.

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Meet Literary Agent – Megan Close Zavala


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Charles Kiernan spoke with Megan Close Zavala, literary agent at Keller Media. Megan will be at the the Write Stuff Conference™ on Saturday, March 25, to take pitches from conference attendees (advance registration is required).  Her passion lies not only in getting great books published, but in working closely with the authors who write them. Nothing is more exciting than a great new idea or story!

Megan is interested in working with both debut and previously published authors and enjoys forming long-lasting collaborations with them.

She looks forward to meeting talented writers who are offering something new and exciting and/or fresh takes on pre-existing subject matter.  While she represents books in all genres, she is currently most interested in the following genres: Self-Help, Relationships, Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, Parenting, Management, Career, Entrepreneurship, Business, Personal Finance, and Fiction (especially Crime, Mystery/Suspense, and Literary).


CK: As an agent, you work with writers, hopefully long-term, but who are strangers to you at first. Do you look at more than the work submitted to determine that relationship?

MCZ:  Yes.  Obviously a great book projects gets us the most excited, but we want to be able to have positive working relationships with our authors as well.  Hopefully we will have gotten to know them a little via their query letters or book proposals, but it’s important that we work with people who are ready to do as much work for their book as we are.  If it seems that an author is not ready to go the extra mile with their book (be open to revisions, continue to grow their platform, etc.), that may make us reconsider whether or not we take them on as clients.  I think authors forget sometimes (or perhaps are not aware) that when we sell their books we are also selling them.  Just as agents want to have successful long-term relationships with the authors they represent, so do editors.

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Award Winning Poet – Therése Halscheid


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Once again, GLVWG’s intrepid Dawn Sooy took the time to interview award winning poet, writer, teacher, and photographer, Therése Halscheid, who will present Writing From The Inside Out, at The Write Stuff Conference™ on Saturday, March 25, 2017.


DS –  It sounds like you have a busy schedule and have traveled extensively. Do you have a family? If so, what kind of reaction do you get when you are ready to leave home?”

Therése – I do not have a traditional family. My comings and goings reflect my writing process, which is to say that I am nomadic. I live on the road to write — largely by way of house-sitting or artist colonies or teaching opportunities. It is a contemplative lifestyle though I often feel those I house-sit for are my extended family. There is a sense of oneness when our lives join for periods of time. Over the years there have been occasions where a partner has joined me, which made the house-sit very enjoyable. It is a lifestyle that requires no home though, for me, home is wherever I am on Earth.

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