Meet Jane Cleland

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Jane Cleland

We are excited to have Jane Cleland participate at our GLVWG Write Stuff Conference ™, where she will share her knowledge on topics such as:

·         Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot

·         The Art of Distraction: Using Red Herrings to Create Suspense

·         Using Metaphors to Add Richness and Texture to Your Work

 

Jane K. Cleland was born in Boston and reared in Newton, Massachusetts, graduating from Newton High School. She then attended the University of Denver, graduating with a B.A. in English and Theatre. She obtained an M.B.A in Marketing and Management from Babson College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting and Speechwriting from Western Connecticut State University.

She chairs the Black Orchid Novella Award, one of the Wolfe Pack’s literary awards, granted in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She is a past chapter president of the Mystery Writers of America/New York Chapter and served on the national board as well. Additionally, Jane is the host of the Writer’s Room, a series of interviews with today’s bestselling crime fiction authors that appear on cable television and online, and she speaks frequently at writing conferences, association meetings, and universities.

Jane is the author of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, which includes eleven novels published. The first Josie Prescott book was an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller and nominated for the Agatha Award, Macavity,  and David Awards for Best First Novel.

Her non-fiction publications include “Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot,” which is the winner 2017 Agatha Award: Best Nonfiction.

To read more on Jane, click on the following links:

 

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Article by Dawn Sooy: Conference Chair 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™

Dawn Sooy

Dawn is a multitasker with the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, fulfilling the duties of Secretary when needed and Conference Chair for the 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™.

A native of Eastern Pennsylvania, Dawn has plenty of experience with the best and worst four seasons have to offer. Armed with a Computer Science degree, she worked in the tech industry until 2012. She’s married to a great guy and between them, have four children, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. As an animal lover, she volunteers at the local animal shelter, sneaking in treats for the four-legged residents.

Too full of energy to even consider a rocking chair, with an insatiable itch to write, Dawn published six short stories, the most recent, “Love Knows No Boundaries,” featured in the GLVWG anthology, Write Here – Write Now. She is currently working on a full-length novel titled, “From The Darkness,” scheduled for publication in early 2018, with plans to publish a horror anthology later in the year.

You can find Dawn on:

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DawnMSooyAuthor/?pnref=lhc

Website: http://dwstrange.com/dawns%20world/

 

Meet Matt Betts

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Matt Betts

Matt Betts will be at the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ on Saturday, March 24, 2018, where he’ll talk to attendees about:  What is a Media Kit and Why Do I Need One, Make History with Your Writing, The Rhyming Dead (Horror Poetry), and Steampunk – Where Everything Old is New Again.

Matt Betts was born and raised in Lima, Ohio and went to college in Toledo to study communications, specializing in broadcasting. He signed on with the campus radio station as a news anchor and reporter not long after he arrived at college – before he took his first communications class, in fact. After graduation, he worked for some radio stations as a DJ, a reporter, and anchor. More than any other format, Matt worked at Oldies stations, which fed his love of Elvis, the Beatles, and other great early rock icons.

Matt met and interviewed comedian and actor Larry Miller one night at the club. Larry gave some advice that stuck with Matt long after. Larry was a classically trained musician who still played regularly, and when asked if it was all too much, Larry suggested that creativity is creativity. You don’t have to do just one thing. Whether you’re writing a poem or a script, that creativity feeds the other things you do. It helps you be a better actor, musician, etc. It is advice Matt has applied to his writing career from the beginning, allowing his love of pop culture to infuse and inform all of his work, including poetry, short fiction, and his longer works.

Matt’s short and flash fiction has focused a lot on humor and horror. His work appears in Arkham Tales, Ethereal Tales, the Triangulation: Taking Flight anthology, Bizarro Fiction! The Journal of Experimental Fiction 37, A Thousand Faces and Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy.

Matt’s poem “Godzilla’s Better Half” was nominated for a Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. His poetry has appeared in Star*Line, Escape Clause, The Book of Tentacles, Illumen, the 2010 Rhysling Anthology, Kaleidotrope, and others.

Matt’s book Odd Men Out is a steampunk-horror-historical-thriller crossbreed where giant lizards and zombies roam a desolate United Nations of America received acclaims from David Pitt, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal.

 He currently lives in Columbus with his wife Mackenzie, and their two wonderful boys.

To read more on Matt:

 

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Article by Dawn Sooy: Conference Chair for the 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™

Meet Bob Mayer – Keynote Speaker GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ 2018

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Bob Mayer

At the 2018 Write Stuff Writers Conference™, GLVWG is proud to present Bob Mayer as our keynote speaker. On Thursday, March 22nd, he will guide attendees through A ONE DAY NOVEL WRITING SEMINAR. The presentation begins with the original idea and heart of a story, developing plat and character, working with point of view and, in conclusion, pulling everything together to sell your book and the business of writing.

Friday and Saturday, he will present topics on Write It Forward: From Writer To Successful Author, E-Pub, POD and the Future of Publishing for the Writer, and The Military for Writers. Saturday, he will speak at our luncheon I Will Make it Work.

Bob Mayer is a New York Times bestselling author of over sixty books and the CEO of Cool Gus Publishing  www.coolgus.com. He holds the distinction of being the only male author on the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll.

Bob Mayer resides in Tennessee with his wife and their two English Yellow Labs, Cool Gus and Sassy Becca.

To read more on Bob, click on the following links:

 

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Article by Dawn Sooy –  Conference Chair 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™

Dawn Sooy Bio

Dawn is a multitasker with the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, fulfilling the duties of Secretary when needed and Conference Chair for the 2018 GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™.

A native of Eastern Pennsylvania, Dawn has plenty of experience with the best and worst four seasons have to offer. Armed with a Computer Science degree, she worked in the tech industry until 2012. She’s married to a great guy and between them, have four children, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. As an animal lover, she volunteers at the local animal shelter, sneaking in treats for the four-legged residents.

Too full of energy to even consider a rocking chair, with an insatiable itch to write, Dawn published six short stories, the most recent, “Love Knows No Boundaries,” featured in the GLVWG anthology, Write Here – Write Now. She is currently working on a full-length novel titled, “From The Darkness,” scheduled for publication in early 2018, with plans to publish a horror anthology later in the year.

You can find Dawn on:

Write Stuff Writer’s Conference™ Celebrates GLVWG’s 25th Year

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Write Stuff Conference brochure 2018-2

The annual Write Stuff Writer’s Conference, hosted by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, will be held at Best Western Lehigh Valley on March 22nd to 24th. The conference offers a full day workshop, half-day workshops, a day full of hour long sessions, pitching sessions to literary agents and editors, critique sessions, a flash writing contest, book fair, and a chance to rub elbows with fellow authors along with agents and editors.

The keynote speaker for 2018 is New York Times bestselling author and the CEO of Cool Gus Publishing, Bob Mayer. Bob is a West Point graduate and former Green Beret. Mayer has authored over 70 novels in multiple genres, selling more than 4 million books, including the #1 series Area 51, Atlantis, and The Green Berets.

In his Thursday all-day workshop/seminar, he will guide attendees through all the steps to develop an original idea, create characters, establish point of view, create setting, manage dialog, and how to go about selling our works in today’s market. In other presentations he will focus on the challenges in the business of writing; researching military issues for writers; and Pubs, PODs and the future of publishing.

Sessions by our six other presenters bear the following titles:

Jane K. Cleland

  • Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot (half-day workshop/seminar)
  • The Art of Distraction: Using Red Herrings to Create Suspense
  • Using Metaphors to Add Richness and Texture to Your Work

Benjamin Sobieck

  • Weapons in Fiction
  • Using Wattpad to Build a Writing Career
  • Writing Inside a Franchise

Matt Betts

  • What is a Media Kit and Why do I Need One?
  • Make History with Your Writing! (Alternate history)
  • The Rhyming Dead (Horror poetry)
  • Steampunk – Everything Old is New Again

Richard C. White

  • Enter the Hobbit (Writing realistic fight scenes)
  • World Building 101
  • Writer Beware (Publishing pitfalls)

Tabitha Jorgensen

  • Editing: Soup to Nuts
  • So You Want to Be an Indie Author?
  • It’s a Marathon not a Sprint: Long-Range Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors
  • Balancing the Busy: A Crash Course on Time Management for Indie Authors

Dan Krippene

  • Pinterest Anyone? (Friday evening)

 

As part of the Friday evening events, attendees can sign-up ahead of time to have their work’s first page critiqued by a panel of authors, agents, or editors. Authors will listen to the comments of the panel incognito. All submissions are anonymous.

In addition, during the Saturday events, attendees can pre-arrange to meet with an agent or editor for a ten minute one-on-one, giving authors a chance to pitch their work. However, authors need to sign up as there are limited slots available. There will also be market coaching appointments.

Also on Saturday is the flash literature contest for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, one hundred words or less, the works to be submitted Saturday morning. Published authors, who attend, can arrange to have their works sold at the book fair.

For information and online registration, search for Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group for GLVWG.org.

Keep checking our blog right here at glvwgwritestuffblog.wordpress.com/ for presenter details and schedule.

Contact:  Dawn Sooy at glvwg.writestuffchair@gmail.com

And don’t forget to like our Facebook page.

What to Look for in a Writer’s Conference

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By Donna Brennan – Vice President of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group

 

Maybe you’ve just started out on your writing journey, or maybe you’ve been diligently working on it for years. Wherever you are in the process, there are many benefits to be had from attending a writer’s conference. But not just any writer’s conference will do – you should look for a conference that fits your needs and where you are at the moment. Cost and location, although important, are not the most crucial issues to consider.

How to pick the best writer’s conference for you depends on your current needs and goals. Do you need to learn the basics? Do you need to understand how to market your book? Are you looking for a publisher, or do you prefer information on how to self-publish your work?

Some conferences are geared for a specific genre, which is great if you write in that genre. Some conferences cover a broader spectrum of genres and may include topics like marketing, pitching to an agent or editor, or self-publishing. Before you can choose the best conference on which to spend your time and money, you must determine what it is you need right now.

First, what do you write (or want to write)? Novels? Nonfiction books? Articles? Short stories? Poetry? Then narrow that down. What types of novels? Thriller? Romance? Or something else? What types of articles? Features? Self-help? Amusing anecdotes?

Next, where are you in your writing journey? Do you need to work on your craft? This includes things like pacing, dialogue, point-of-view, plotting, story arc, and self-editing. Do you think you have a pretty good grasp on the craft, but have no idea how to approach editors and agents, or how to compose a query letter? Maybe you want to learn the best ways to use social media to market your books or position yourself as an expert on a particular topic. Maybe you need help figuring out what kinds of book promotions work, and what kinds don’t.

Another important thing to consider, if you’re writing a book, is whether you want to self-publish it or go the traditional route. Or maybe you haven’t decided that yet.

Finally, what is the most important thing you want to get out of the conference? Is it to learn the skills necessary to get started or to improve your writing? Is it to learn how to market that book you’ve worked so hard on? Is it to meet with an agent, book editor, or magazine publisher? Is it to learn what you can about self-publishing? Or maybe you just want to network with other writers?

Once you know what you’re looking for, you can view conference listings with an eye as to how their offerings meet your needs. Read the titles and descriptions of the workshops and sessions thoroughly. Will the workshops provide you with the skills or knowledge you want? Go online and research the presenters to see what they write; maybe search for their books on Amazon and read the first few pages to see what you think of their work.

Are you writing a thriller, suspense novel, or mystery? Then maybe you should see if the conference offers any workshops on fight scenes, use of weapons, pacing, plotting. Do you write historical fiction? See if the conference offers workshops on how to conduct research for your story. Do you write romance? Beneficial workshops could cover topics such as dialogue, characters, or scenes.

Some workshops are geared for beginners. Others may expect a certain skill level or understanding. This applies to craft types of skills as well as technical types of skills. Read the descriptions carefully to see if it’s basic or advanced. You don’t want to waste your time covering material you already know or be lost in a complex topic your barely understand.

If your goal is to meet with an agent or editor, look to see if the conference offers appointments for pitch sessions. If they do, research those editors or agents to see if they handle the types of work you write. Go to their websites and blogs to get a better idea of what they’re looking for or what they might be like to work with. Go to sites like QueryTracker.net for more information about agents.

Other things to look for in a conference include opportunities to socialize with fellow writers, the presenters, and agents and editors. Are the meals included or do they cost more? Are critique services available, and if so, is there a cost involved? Can you make an appointment for advice with a marketing expert or book coach, and do these appointments cost anything?

A writer’s conference can be beneficial in so many ways. Do your research before you sign up, get plenty of rest in the days leading up to the conference, and have a great time once you’re there.

 

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Go West Writers

Dianna Sinovic Article Pic

GLVWG will conduct its first Café West on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 2:00pm at the Wanamakers General Store, 8888 Kings Hwy, Kempton 19529.

 The event is free and will be held rain or shine. It attempts to mirror the format of the monthly Writers Café already in place on the third Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m.

 Interested participants are encouraged, but not required, to bring a summary and single page of their current work for gentle critique and guidance.

 Once participants sign in, the readings will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is open to all, but especially those GLVWG members who are unable to make it to the Thursday evening time slot and/or those who live south and west of the regular meeting place (Palmer Township Library).

 Café West is more than just a critique meeting. It’s an opportunity to meet with other writers, share and compare notes about the writing process. It can give you the boost you need to get going and finish your work as well as provide a circle of like-minded enthusiasts who share your passion for the written word.

 With enough literary passion and support Café West could be a regular event. We can certainly look around for even larger venues.

 Coffee, beverages and sandwiches will be available for purchase.

 Bio Bernadette Sukley Wanamakers

Questions: Bernadette Sukley – bsukley@ptd.net

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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.

 

The Number Twenty-Five

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Quarter 25 cent piece

Article by Dawn Sooy

Does 25 have special meaning? For mathematicians, it is the sum of the first five odd numbers. If you are a baseball fan, 25 is typically reserved for the best slugger on the team. In England, it is two-bits which equal about 25 cents. If you have noticed, every instance of 25, whether written or in number format is in the color silver.

It’s the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group  25th silver anniversary, celebrating a quarter century of excellence in writing partnerships. As part of that excellence, GLVWG has hosted one of the regions best writing conferences for twenty-three of those years.

What amazing events do we have at the conference?

  • Presentations to help budding writers and published authors create and strengthen their skills
  • You aren’t alone. Attendees mingle with agents, other writer’s, other attendees all of whom share a similar passion
  • Opened and challenged the minds of the attendees with a plethora of sessions, keynote speakers, and learning by listening to on-the-spot feedback
  • Don’t be a starving artist. Scrumptious lunches and snacks as part of admission including our Saturday lunch with words of wisdom and encouragement from our Keynote speaker
  • Our stories are more than just words on paper. Authors have a vast and glorious history that have shaped the world around us. We celebrate this by the past mingling with the future by appearances from our very own “Samuel Clemens.”
  • Flash Literature contests featuring stories of fiction and non-fiction developed in 100 words of less; and lines of poetry written from the author’s heart and soul
  • Book Fair authors who present a variety of topics sharing resources that cover guides to develop your writing skills, walk you through the steps to publish, and ways to focus the marketing effort. Books containing stories to send shivers down your spine, couples entranced in romance, poetry, and so many other genres expanding your imagination.

In 2018, The Write Stuff Writer’s Conference™ will continue its excellence in presentations, marketing interviews, critique sessions, and of course the included lunch. The only thing our conference needs to be exceptional is YOU! Be a part of a GLVWG historical tradition and make your plans now to attend. Registration begins December 1, 2017. A link will be provided in future postings as this time draws near.

So mark your calendars.

The Write Stuff Writer’s Conference ™

   March 22, 23, 24, 2018

Stay current with updated information on the 2018 Conference by following this blog.

Meanwhile, have a look at pictures from March 2017’s GLVWG Write Stuff Writer’s Conference™.

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Dawn Sooy

Dawn Sooy is the Conference Chair for the 2018 The Write Stuff Writer’s Conference™.  She hails from Eastern Pennsylvania and all four seasons the state offers. She received a degree in Computer Science and worked in the field until retiring in 2013.

Dawn lives with her husband, Bob, in a house that is much too big for them since their four children have grown and established lives elsewhere. She is the proud grandmother of four children and a great-grandchild.

Dawn’s love of animals involves volunteering at the local animal shelter. During the years as the children grew, her home hosted a sanctuary for hermit crabs, anoles, Chinese water dragons, a rose-haired tarantula, frogs, and mice. Though the tarantula did like sitting on her shoulder, she prefers the cuddly critters.

Her published accomplishments include two poems, one essay, and eight short stories, the latest anthology “Incarceration” which features her story, “The Black Hole.” Dawn’s works in progress include:

  • From the Darkness – A novel based on a true story about bipolar depression.
  • A horror anthology – short stories about creatures who use people as their hunting grounds

Last but not least, her favorite quote from Albert Einstein, “Learn from Yesterday, Live for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”

 

 

 

The Archeology of a Story

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ChazK

In a recent craft discussion at the GLVWG monthly meeting, professional storyteller Charles Kiernan discussed the evolvement of literary storytelling.  Before the invention of the Guttenberg Press, or handwritten accounts by trained scribes, legends, folktales, and mythology were passed down through generations by word of mouth. The following are notes from Charles’ seminar.

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 Mythology, legends, folktales, and fairytales can be lumped together as pre-literary.

Mythology: Myths are the creation stories of a given culture, replete with characters representing fundamental aspects of that culture. And yet those characters have personality traits that appear to be individual. These gods and goddesses are both universal and unique. We, as individuals, tend to identify with one or another of these divine beings. Each of us has our primary myth.

Legend: This form of storytelling deals with maybe/historical heroes and heroines, again associated with a given culture. King Arthur, Sigurd, and Roland come to mind. They touch on and converse with mythological figures. The distinction between the two is not always clear.

Folktales: More often stories of the common people, although not always. Legendary figures like the indomitable Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill can appear as Fin McCool, a downgraded, buffoonish giant in the folktale.

Fairy Tales: These are a sub-category of folktales. The distinction between the two is that fairy tales have the element of magic. It hurts me to say “sub-category.” Fairy tales are superior to folktales and perhaps the origins of myth.

There is the argument among folklorist about whether fairy tales come out of myths, or if myths come out of fairy tales. I suggest the answer is “yes.”

 Literary Fairy Tales: These are, of course, fairy tales written down with an eye on the literate reader, one use to literary conventions. His name is Hans Christian Andersen.

Ok, maybe that is not fair, but he does exemplify the literary treatment of fairy tales.

Continue reading

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.

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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?

 

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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.”

 

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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

 

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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

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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. 

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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.