Copyright May 2017 St. Louis Writers Guild – All rights reserved
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Cover design by Brad R. Cook
T. W. Fendley
Brad R. Cook
The Scribe is published monthly digitally by the Saint Louis Writers Guild with an annual print issue. The editorial staff invites Guild members to submit original submissions of poetry, short stories, or articles about writing (4,000 words or less) for publication in this magazine. The Scribe is promoted to more than 1,000 people on our mailing list. Submissions should be sent by the first of each month to -- put SCRIBE in the subject line.
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[In this issue
? by Peter Green
by Ryan P. Freeman
Why Bother With Writer’s Conferences?
By Peter Green
Hi fellow writers,
I got an e-mail the other day from Laurence O’Bryan, founder of the BooksGoSocial.com website, entitled, “Why bother with writer’s conferences?” Read on to find out why, see why we at St. Louis Writers Guild felt the same way and created the Gateway to Publishing Conference, June 16-18, RIGHT HERE IN ST. LOUIS.
SIGN UP TODAY at: http://www.stlwritersguild.org/g…/scheduleforgatewaycon.ht
Why bother with writer’s conferences?” he asked, and proceeded to answer his own question:
In 2006, I was writing away at home, keeping down a full-time job, two young children in the house. Mostly I was writing from 6 to 7 in the morning before work. I had very little free time. Often I felt crushed by the weight of responsibility and the tedium of life.
I read that a writer should get out and mix with other writers at writers conferences. I also knew that networking was important. I’d been writing a novel since 2000 and had recently been rejected by a series of agents. I knew I needed help.
I found a conference in New York and maxed out my credit card attending it. It was the most wonderful weekend of my life.
Waking early, walking up town, spending all day talking with writers. I was in heaven. If I’m lucky, when I die I will go back there. After I got published and started BooksGoSocial in Dublin, I knew that I wanted to bring that heavenly experience to more writers. I still want to share that magic with as many writers as possible.
I, too, would love to go to New York, to the Left Coast, or even to Dublin—someplace where the movers and shakers in the publishing world hang out and search for new talent. For the obvious reasons of paying conference fees, travel costs and hotel bills, and having more urgent priorities for spending $1,500 to $5,000 scarce dollars, it’s not going to happen this year, or anytime soon,
That’s why I’m placing my bets on the Gateway to Publishing Conference, June 16-18, right here in St. Louis. At least four New York agents will be available here or online for pitch sessions. Two publishers and three New York Times bestselling authors will come HERE to share their wisdom and meet and greet us. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.
To be sure you are included, SIGN UP today, at a fraction of those costs, a mere $250 ($210 for SLWG members), including all events—a genre-themed cocktail party and a gala dinner, three days of value-packed networking, craft workshops and author presentations.
I challenge you to think again before you pass up this very special opportunity right here in St. Louis to attend the Gateway to Publishing Conference.
I hope to see you there!
Peter Green, Author and Board Member
St. Louis Writers Guild
Gateway to Publishing Conference and Reader’s Book Fair
Last chance! Sign up now for the Gateway to Publishing Conference and Reader’s Book Fair at the Airport Renaissance Hotel, St. Louis, June 16-18
Writers: sign up now to ensure your top choices for literary agents’ pitch times, reserve seats in Master Classes, and purchase book-sales tables in the Author Hall. *] [*Readers may attend the FREE Reader’s Book Fair, hear marquee authors discuss their works and how their stories came to be written. A continuous program will provide informative news about their latest works and the publishing industry.
Readers’ programs, as well as writers’ craft workshops, will be headlined by New York Times best-selling authors: romance-mystery writer Eileen Dreyer, fantasy author Angie Fox, and multi-award-winning sci-fi author Ann Leckie. Panel discussions will include local mystery author Claire Applewhite, award-winning author Cynthia Graham, and many other authors and industry experts. Seven literary agents (representing their agencies), either present at the conference or online in New York, and publishers will interview potential author clients. They will include Margaret Bail (Fuse Agency), Kathleen Ortiz (New Leaf), Justin Wells (Corvisiero), Stephanie Hansen (Metamorphosis); Publisher-Editors Jennifer Geist (Brick Mantel Books), and Claire Applewhite (Smoking Gun Press). Free parking for attendees will be available at the hotel.
Writers signed up for the conference can attend multiple workshop tracks for writers, meet noted authors, pitch their work to agents, and sell their books at the FREE Reader’s Book Fair, attend a genre-themed cocktail mixer, and an included gala book dinner on Saturday night.
St. Louis Writers Guild’s new annual writer’s conference and reader’s convention will take place at the Airport Renaissance Hotel. All participants qualify for a special discount rate at the hotel, which includes free parking and wi-fi.
For registration and hotel information, go to the St. Louis Writers Guild’s website:
HOSTED BY ST. LOUIS WRITERS GUILD, ST. LOUIS PRESS CLUB, ST. LOUIS PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION AND LOCAL CHAPTERS OF SISTERS IN CRIME AND MISSOURI ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA
A Conference for Writers and a FREE Convention for Readers!
June 16, 17 and 18, 2017
At the Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis, MO
Across from Lambert International Airport
Workshops for Writers: “Poisons You Personally Know” with Fedora Amis
By Ryan P. Freeman
Fedora Amis always cuts the charming figure, suave in her usual namesake hat. A regular at St. Louis Writers Guild meetings, the President of the St. Louis Sisters in Crime seemed sassy and confident as she took the podium at May’s meeting. Her topic? Nothing less than toxins and poisons from right here in the Midwest!
“If you’re going to write knowledgeably, you need to get it right, and besides,” Amis says, “being a writer means you get a free pass to get all up in other people’s business.”
As a mystery writer, she’s often been tasked with asking everyday people rather odd questions involving the gruesome, mysterious, and down-right lethal. So long as she explains she’s a writer, the confused looks generally fade into helpful local gossip. One never knows where the next big story inspiration will come from, so wherever she goes, Fedora comes ready with an inquisitive mind.
Fedora recounted tales of folk-remedies for spider bites (dancing) to bizarre deaths, all of which are prime writing material. Even right here in St Louis and the state of Missouri, all sorts of everyday critters and plants are not what they appear. Sure, someone could die from enough bee stings or the right kind of snakebite, but who knew just how many seemingly random local plants and herbs, if properly selected and administered, could very well be the last thing one is exposed to?
Through myriad examples, Fedora explained how three things determine toxicity: amount, concentration, and absorbability. Take apples,for instance, Amis said. Sure, your average garden-variety Gala isn’t going to hurt anyone, but eat enough seeds and one could very well die of cyanide poisoning. Many plants are not terribly toxic in their raw form, but once concentrated they’re often bad news.
People have the same kind of possibility in their own systems. If you wanted to get big muscles, you would work out with weights. This tears muscle so the muscle has room to grow when it heals: the same thing is true with poisons. A little bit of it will marshal the poisons in your body and create antibodies to resist it. So, little by little, your body develops an immunity, as long as you don’t get the poison all at once.
From water hemlock to tobacco, Fedora Amis illuminated (with perhaps a shade too much familiarity) a full room of eager writers from all walks of life and genres with wit and humor. For more on poisons, she recommended Serena Stevens’ Book of Poisons, a Guide for Writers.
About the Speaker:
Fedora Amis won the Mayhaven Fiction Prize for her Victorian whodunit, Jack the Ripper in St. Louis. She dons corset and hoop skirts to perform as real historical people and imagined characters from the 1800s. Fedora loves live theater, travel, plants and cooking. She has one son, Skimmer, who partners Fedora in writing science fiction and fantasy. “Why do I write? I love words—always have—reading them, writing them. I even like looking them up in the dictionary. So call me eccentric. Call me crazy—but call me a writer.”
To find out more about Fedora, visit her author page, ; and her books can be found on Amazon.
For the latest information on poetry events in the St. Louis, MO area, visit the .
Second Friday Notes, second Friday of each month, 7 p.m., at Whole Foods Town & Country, Clayton Road just west of Highway 141
RIVER STYX. Third Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Tavern of Fire Arts, 313 Belt Ave. riverstyx.org/events.
POETRY AT THE POINT, 4th Tuesday of the month, at Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Ave. Read their ezine at
Sheila Nolan Whalen Reading Series at SLU, 221 N. Grand Ave., Dubourg 409.
Tuesdays at 4 p.m.
CHANCE OPERATIONS on the last Monday of each month at Tavern of the Arts, 313 Belt Ave., just off Pershing, between Union and DeBaliviere. 7:30 p.m. Open mic follows featured poets.
EVERY WEDNESDAY open mic for poetry and music at Stone Spiral Coffee & Curios, 2500 Sutton in Maplewood (2 blocks N. of Manchester). Great food and beverages. Open mic, 8 until around 11 p.m.
GOODY HOUSE, 7 p.m., fourth Thursdays at Art Marketplace, 2028 S. 12th Street. Featured poets.
R_SPACE. Last Saturday of the month, Lenny Smith and friends at 2 p.m.
ST. LOUIS WRITERS GUILD open mic for prose and poetry, second Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., Kirkwood Train Station, Argonne Drive, just west of Kirkwood Road. Allow time to find parking.
ADDITIONAL OPEN MICS at The Wolf, (every Tuesday), Legacy Books & Café (every Friday), The Historical Crossings (every other Tuesday), Shameless Grounds (Wednesdays at 7), Venice Café (Mondays at 9)
A Quick Guide to St. Louis Writers Guild Events
It’s as easy as
Workshops for Writers
First Saturday of every month (except holiday weekends)
10 a.m. to Noon at the Kirkwood Community Center
Station Open Mic
Second Tuesday of every month
7-9 p.m. at the Kirkwood Amtrak Station
SLWG Authors Series
Third Thursday of every month
Query for “SLWG Authors Series” on YouTube or check the Members’ Room on our website, .
Brad R. Cook, author of the young adult steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles (Treehouse Publishing Group). A former co-publisher and acquisitions editor for Blank Slate Press, he is a member of SCBWI, and currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as President. A founding contributor to , a resource blog for writers, he can be heard weekly as a panelist on Write Pack Radio. A cover designer since 2013, he also creates posters, bookmarks, and other marketing materials. Find more @bradrcook on Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr.
T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults, including Zero Time (2011) and The Labyrinth of Time (2014). She’s a founding contributor to , a resource blog for writers. Her short stories are available on Kindle and Audible. When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through and shamanism. twfendley.com
Steven W. Langhorst is a life-long resident of St. Louis with an insatiable hunger for the facts and trivia of St. Louis history. He is a retired elementary school principal who still serves education as a mentor and consultant focusing on leadership. Steven has dabbled in poetry and photography since his youth and still plans to publish a book of poems and photographs as well as a memoir of his years at principal. Besides holding membership in the St. Louis Writers Guild he also proudly holds a membership in the Professional Tour Guides Association of St. Louis. Steven also contributed to the design of the new St. Louis Writers Guild logo.
David Lucas is the President of St. Louis Writers Guild, a published fiction short story author and poet. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. For two years, David has been the host and producer of Write Pack Radio (WPR), a podcast with a panel of authors exploring the changing writing industry. In 2016, David decided to take his experience in podcasting and his love for radio dramas and start Winding Trails Media, which will produce podcast audio dramas beginning in the fall of 2016 as well as continuing WPR podcast.
Lauren Miller is the Director of Communications for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and she reviews books quarterly for the Historical Novels Review. She has a fifteen-year background in library science and has over fifty nonfiction reviews and articles in print. Lauren likes to spend her free time discovering new reads, games, period films, and be surrounded by dogs. To read more about Lauren, visit her blog at
Jennifer Stolzer is an author and illustrator living and working in St. Louis, MO. 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 addition to illustrating books for clients, Jennifer writes and illustrates original work, serves as secretary for the St. Louis Writers Guild, and commentates on the weekly writing podcast Write Pack Radio. See more of Jennifer’s work at , as well as Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook.
For more than a decade, The Scribe has been the mainstay for communicating with members of the St. Louis Writers Guild. It began as a way to showcase the organization and share insights into the publishing world. Back issues give a wonderful record of the Guild. The Scribe is now available to everyone, not just members. It features stories, poems, and essays from our members, as well as information about our events, most of which are open to the public. The June 2017 edition features an article on Gateway Con and coverage of our May workshop, written by Ryan P. Freeman.