2015 Meetings

With few exceptions our meetings will be held on the fourth Saturday of each month.

Please double-check the dates listed below to verify the next meeting date.


January Meeting

When: Saturday, January 24, 2015

Where: Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic Roundtable Discussion: The Road to Publishing

The road to publication can be varied, and we each have to find our own path. Join us for a discussion with three different writers who have each taken a separate path to publication. Madeline Hunter will represent those published by the Big Five, Danielle Price will talk about dealing with a small press, and Casey Clipper will discuss the ins and outs of self publication in an informal, question and answer type setting. Let our published authors help you find your way, and figure out the best path for your own book.


February Meeting

When: Saturday, February 28, 2015 @ 10:00

Where: Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic:  In A Word

Guest Speaker: Candace Banks

Shakespeare says, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Pixar’s Story Rules no. 22 tells writers to figure out the most economical telling of their story: “If you  know that, you can build out from there.”

IN A WORD is an interactive workshop that explores the vitures of economy and brevity as techniques you can use to help make the most of your every word, whether you’re depicting characters, character interaction and relationships, thickening your plot, describing a setting or creating a “gotcha” moment that will grab your readers.

In the first part of the workshop we’ll look at a few common patterns that sabotage word power. In the second part we’ll have some fun matching wits with accomplished wordsmiths to learn from them some ways we can increase word power in our own writing.

BONUS FEATURE:  Candace will read and critique up to two pages of attendees’ writing. There’s a catch: permission to use excerpts from your submission—anonymously of course—for any examples that lend themselves to the interests of our workshop.

BONUS CRITIQUE LIMITED TO 10 REGISTRANTS. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION, FEBRUARY 10. Critiqued work will be returned at the workshop. Send to ckb1@consolidated.net.

Bring a notebook and a couple pages of your own writing and, if you like, an example or two of economy and brevity at work in your own favorite writers.



March Meeting


When: Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 11:30-5

Where: Women Read/Women Write

Andrew Carnegie Library in Carnegie, PA



April Meeting

When: Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic: The Golden Rules of Promotion

Guest Speaker: Pat DiCesare

One of the most famous music promoters in the country, Pat DiCesare of DiCesare Engler Productions became a household name in the Pittsburgh area. When he wrote his first book (“Hard Days, Hard Nights”), he realized the skills he used to promote bands could also be used to promote books. In this presentation, Pat will share the most important lessons he’s learned, the Golden Rules of Promotion.


May Meeting


When: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 6 pm

Where:  Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic: Writing What Sells and the Current Trends in Romance

Guest Speaker: Katherine Ernst of Jasper Ridge Press

Katherine will discuss current trends in romance including the burgeoning category of New Adult. She will also discuss the differences between Big 5 Publishing Houses, Small Presses, and Self-Publishing, and which are right for you. Finally, she will present what she sees as the “key” to writing a bestselling romance novel of any type for any publisher. After her presentation, Katherine will take pitches. Please contact Wende Dikec (wendedikec@comcast.net) to schedule your slot.


May Meeting

When: Saturday, May 23,2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Where:  Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic: Great Beginnings: Critiquing the First Few Pages of Your Work In Progress

Moderators: Wendy Kelly and Colleen Laughlin

Join us for a critiquing session to work on the all important first scene of your book. We’ll divide into groups, led by our our critiquing masters Wendy Kelly and Colleen Laughlin. During this hands-on session you’ll learn valuable critiquing skills and get important feedback on your book. The hook is arguably the most important thing you’ll ever write, so make it the best hook possible. For people looking for that perfect critique partner, this could be a great place to start. Please bring around five copies of the first five pages of your manuscript and be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work!


June Meeting

When: Saturday, June 27, 2015, 10 am – 12pm

Where: Bridgeville Public Library (505 McMillen St., Bridgeville, PA 15017)

Topic: What Makes a Good Review?

As authors, we know that reviews can make or break our books. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to approach bloggers and reviewers with review requests, if paid reviews are worth it, and the ethics of reciprocal reviews. What are the elements that make a good review? We’ll end with a discussion about those dreaded one-star reviews – and what is actually worse. Yes, something is.

Guest Speaker: Susan Helene Gottfried


July Meeting

When: July 22-25

Where: New York City

Topic: The Annual RWA Conference


August Meeting

When: August 22, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Bridgeville Public Library (505 McMillen St., Bridgeville, PA 15017)

Topic: Creating the Perfect Settings

Guest Speaker: Victoria Roberts

Struggling to determine how much description is needed to make your stories come alive? Learn how to take your readers on an epic journey by developing your setting and capturing the moment. Award-winning author Victoria Roberts will give you tips and tricks for making your settings believable.


September Meeting

When: September 26, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Where:  Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic: Mindful Writing and Meditation

Guest Speaker: Madhu Bazazz Wangu

Madhu is an author, artist and founder of the Mindful Writers Group. She has a doctorate in the phenomenology of Religion from the University of Pittsburgh (1988) and a post-doctoral Fellowship from Harvard University (1989-1991).

Incorporating mindfulness into your life will help you focus, bringing clarity and organization to your writing, and it worlds. Member of the Mindful Writers Group have described it as “life altering” and “the most productive day of my week.”

Come and see what all the fuss is about. You won’t want to miss it.


October Meeting

When: October 31, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic: Down the Marketing Rabbit Hole

Guest Speaker: Deborah Riley-Magnus


November Meeting

When: November 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Sewickley Public Library (500 Thorn Street Sewickley, PA 15143)

Topic: Writing About Time in Prison

Guest Speaker: Deborah Kitay


December Meeting

When: December 12, 2015

Where: TBA

Topic: Christmas Luncheon


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