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2018-2019 Calendar of Events


P S W G • A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M


A Brief History Ginger Rogers being inducted as honorary Guild member

Cobbling together the 40-plusyear history of the Palm Springs Writers Guild reveals information as vast, diverse and colorful as its Sonoran Desertbased home. Its rich and vivid heritage showcases a range of human behaviors and emotions: mystery, deception, corruption, dedication and kindness. These are interwoven to explain the intriguing mosaic of protagonists and antagonists involved, much like we find in the variety of works published by Guild members. One constant is the dedication of the volunteers who have helped with the presentations, workshops and “boot camps” aimed at improving our writing skills. Early membership in the Guild was limited to 24 individuals; today, membership has grown to over 200 members, but not all has been rosy. The group was unincorporated when founded in 1977, and its early years were informal and relaxed, with two membership categories: published and nonpublished. Nonpublished members were accepted only after they had “met criteria.” This small, nomadic group of writers met in Palm Springs and Palm Desert before settling in Rancho Mirage. Its Palm Springs venues included Imperial Savings

(1983, 1985), Pomona First Federal bank building (1985), Temple Isaiah and the Mizell Center (2005). The Palm Desert Library Community Room was also used until the meetings were relocated to the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. The late Shirley Hammer, a founding member, credited the Guild concept to Rex Nivens, who lived in the desert and was a Los Angeles Times reporter. Another charter member, the late Edna Margolis, also helped organize the new Guild. Kirk Douglas and Harold Robbins, both literary giants in their day, spoke at Guild meetings and became “honorary members.” Other such members included Ginger Rogers, Ray Bradbury, and Mike and Bob Pollock. Assumed to be a nonprofit association in the late 1990s, the informal Guild was found not to be a valid or legal entity in 2001, a situation that resulted in several Board member resignations. It would take another four years until not-for-profit status was discussed, but as in many of the novels being written by members, mystery, intrigue and alleged criminal activity took center stage at the beginning of the 21st century. In June 2000 then-president Hyacinthe Baron announced Guild plans to publish an

by: John G. Peters, Jr., Ph.D.

anthology. The Writing Experience 2001 appeared the following year and had 45 contributing authors, filling 328 pages. Shortly thereafter, Baron announce the anthology would be an annual publication, appointed her husband Guild treasurer, and charged a fee for each submission. It soon became apparent the project was “personalized” and was not a Guild activity. When some authors demanded back their money, she refused and was taken to smallclaims court, where she lost. Some members asserted that the Barons “stole” the name and the entity “Palm Springs Writers Guild,” making it their own. When they demanded that the pair leave the Guild, the group’s money disappeared, and it was rumored the Barons fled the Valley in a used car purchased with some of the “appropriated” money. As long-standing member Carol Mann wrote in February 2006, the Guild changed its name to “The Original Palm Springs Writers Guild” to distance itself from the debacle. It was also known as “The Palm Springs Writers Guild of the Coachella Valley.” Oh, by the way, the second anthology was never published. Imagine that! In December 2005 the Guild became a California nonprofit corporation and went on to implement a formal accounting system in 2006. It also built a website and stopped publishing its newsletter, “Guild Gram”, instead directing members to visit its website to learn about its upcoming activities and its community-oriented programs. Among its many projects, the Guild has awarded student scholarships to local high school and college students, receiving news coverage in the Desert Sun from the late Gloria Greer as early as 1986. This unique affiliation with schools continued A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M • P S W G



P S W G • A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M

in 2006 when three members—Kathy Nguyen, Judy Fabris and Mary Barer—spoke to 140 students at Salton City. In 2018, Board member Marly Bergerud coordinated with Rancho Mirage High School’s essay contest, with each grade’s winners attending a meeting of the Guild and receiving monetary prizes and a certificate. At the core of the Guild’s scholastic projects is the Barbara Seranella Scholarship, which is presented annually to students planning to become writers. The award is named in honor of Barbara Seranella, a mechanic, hippie, Guild member and (in later life) best-selling author who died at age 50. Another Guild activity is the Desert Writers Expo. Held in collaboration with the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory, this yearly book-signing event began in 2009 and has been held at the Library for several years. Forty Guild authors assemble their books on decorated tables and eagerly await visitors seeking autographed copies. Motivated people founded the Guild, and its members, volunteers and supporters keep it growing and prospering. A common thread among members is writing, but you shouldn’t believe that their only focus is on writing books and articles. Many are accomplished artists, sculptors, painters, songwriters and scriptwriters. At the core of every not-for-profit organization are volunteers, and the Guild Board members thank every volunteer. This includes our past presidents who have volunteered their time, energy and leadership: Diana Miller-Castells; James McFarlin (3 terms); Mark Anderson; Dolores Carruthers; Judy Weigle; Dawn Huntley Spitz (2 terms); Bill Clark; Grahame Smith; Hyacinthe Baron; Buddy Kaye; Sally Bowman; Sydney Phillips; Vern Murphy; Sylvia Milsted; Stan Reyburn; Jack Titus; Lois Hinkin; Walter Futterman; LaDonna Harrison; and Shirley

Hammer. Today’s Guild is vibrant and energized; its membership is growing and its participation in community events and programs is increasing. I invite you to attend a Guild meeting (it’s free), a specialized writing workshop or a boot camp. Presenters and topics are listed on the Guild’s website at Get involved in the Guild’s anthology project, chaired by local College of the Desert writing professor Ruth Nolan. Please consider submitting an entry or making a financial contribution. You will find submission criteria on our website. Cheers,


John G. Peters, Jr., Ph.D. was appointed president in April 2016 and elected president in June 2016. He has been re-elected twice, most recently in June 2018. He resides in Palm Desert and holds a postdoctoral M.A. in Education from the California State University at San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus. Special thanks to Audrey Moe, Carol Mann, Jenny Gumpertz, James McFarlin, Bill Clark, Mark Anderson, Diana Miller-Castells and the late John Carrigan for sharing archival information and oral history.

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Palm Springs Writers Guild

photo by Nora D. Magnuson

by: Marly Bergerud PSWG Board Member The Palm Springs Writers Guild know that for high school students, there are some unique skills that are harder than others to capture on college applications. Students who excel at sports will often have a long list of tangible achievements. Students who produce fine arts or participate in student leadership programs will easily find ways to highlight their participation in these extracurriculars. But writers will often have a harder time drawing attention to the skills, time, and energy that they have put into perfecting the craft of writing. For over 40 years, the Palm Springs Writers Guild has helped Coachella Valley residents improve their writing skills and learn how to publish their work. In keeping with the Guild’s mission to develop local talent and create a community of writers within the Valley, I attended the Rancho Mirage High School grade-level awards assemblies where the school’s student essay finalists and winners were honored. Rancho Mirage teachers have found a perfect way for outstanding student writers to be heard and recognized. For the third consecutive year, the school held a contest that involved the entire student body (approximately 1568 students) writing essays. This year’s theme was “This I Believe,” with the contest being conducted by English 6

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2018 Overall Winner Willow Manes 2018 First Place Winning Essays 9th Grade: Willow Manes 10th Grade: Isaac Varela 11th Grade: Muriel Rodriguez 12th Grade: Asusena Munoz 2018 Second Place Winning Essays 9th Grade: Hailey Mathews 10th Grade: Qinglin Tian 11th Grade: Tierney Thornhill 12th Grade: Maya Tramel 2018 Third Place Winning Essays 9th Grade: Wilson Pinkstaff 10th Grade: Venice Gonzalez 11th Grade: Zane Huskey 12th Grade: Brandon Meyers

NEW PSWG STUDENT MEMBERSHIP At each of the Rancho Mirage High School four assemblies honoring the essay contest winners Ms. Hinchliffe-Lopez announced that in September 2018 the Palm Springs Writers Guild will be providing an annual reduced Student Membership for $25, visit:

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

Awards Students

Department Chairwoman Robin HinchliffeLopez and English teachers Athena O’Grady and Natascha Behrens. “Our students receive awards for their strength, developing understanding and courage,” Hinchliffe-Lopez explains. “We hope to empower the entirety of our community through this event.” Many of the students told her that the contest is their favorite writing activity of the school year and that they always look forward to it. The students’ essays were given to their English teachers, who then chose each grade level finalist. The Literary Society of the Desert provided two judges—Donna Martin and Cheryl Duryea—who reviewed the finalists’ work and selected four gradelevel winners and an overall winner. I found myself extremely impressed with the students’ excitement for their fellow writers as they cheered for each finalist and the winners. Both the Guild and the Society provided monetary awards and Certificates to the winners. Members of the Writers Guild congratulate all the students who participated in the essay contest and thank the Rancho Mirage faculty and staff for their help and encouragement. The Guild also recognized the following students at its May 2018 General Meeting:

PSWG Anthology: Desert Writing by: Judith Magee PSWG Board Member

The PSWG plans to publish an anthology of literary and visual art about the Coachella Valley desert in September 2019. (Go to to find out when submissions will open.) This anthology seeks stories and visual pieces about the Coachella Valley, incorporating pieces selected from or written about the region from the Salton Sea to the Mojave Desert transition. Artists who collaborate for the anthology recognize and celebrate the regional consciousness taking shape here. Regionalism art forms recognize that areas of the country have distinct geographical, cultural, and economic differences. This style of writing emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including specific features of a region such as customs, history, and landscape. In the post-Civil War era, this genre of writing became dominant as national concerns emerged at the forefront of political discourse. Southern writing, for example, considered southern characteristics over national ones by authors like Frederick Douglas, Kate Chopin, and William Simms. New England and the Midwest also produced noted regional writers such as Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau. What all these writers shared was the infusion of story-telling about unfamiliar customs and peoples of a particular region. That is a primary goal of the anthology project: to raise awareness about the Coachella Valley’s burgeoning arts community. The landscape’s intersection with the cultures of Latino/a, Native Americans, immigrants, transplants, and locals have a hold on our national imagination, providing rich soil for a colorful cast of characters. The literary and visual works in the anthology are firmly rooted in the desert landscape, but also express universal concerns. The anthology presents the best art of the region, but also transcends it.

Meet the Board tUSCHI WILSON, Executive Vice President, was born

in Salzburg, Austria, and worked in the music industry as a promoter, singer and tour manager in Europe before coming to Los Angeles in 1981. She began a career in entertainment events at a major Hollywood studio in 1992, a position that would span nearly 20 years. Uschi has published 5 books and has written over 80 articles for various publications. Now a full-time artist and author, she also serves on the Palm Springs Artists Council and exhibits her work in various galleries and art shows. tJIM MISKO, Vice President of Programs, is a teacher, journalist, real estate entrepreneur and award-winning author of 10 books. Born and raised in Ord, Nebraska, he graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland,OR. He and his family have also raised horses and canoed the waters of rivers and lakes throughout the Northwest. In 1974 Jim and his wife moved to Alaska, where they reside in the summer, but they return to California in the winter.

A weight-loss miracle … a dashing gay architect … a talking cat.

What could possibly go wrong?

Introducing a new series of mystery novels from Michael Craft, featuring architect Brody Norris, who gets a bit of sleuthing help—or so it seems— from a chatty Abyssinian named Mister Puss.

tSTEVEN A. SCHULLO, Ph.D., Treasurer, taught in

the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for 24 years and UCLA Extension, retiring in 2008. Steve and his late husband Dan appeared in “The Retirement Gamble,” an episode on the nationally broadcast PBS investigative program Frontline. He has self-published two personal finance books, Late Bloomer Millionaires and Fighting Powerful Interests, and has written some 6,500 posts in three investment forums since 1997. Steve joined the Guild in 2010 and facilitates a nonfiction critique group. tMARK EDWARD ANDERSON, Vice President

Membership, was born in Peoria, Illinois, and moved to Palm Springs in 2002. He established AquaZebra Web, Book and Print Design in 2007 and quickly began designing communications for authors, retail stores and service companies. Mark joined the Palm Springs Writers Guild in 2009, and as past president during the 20102011 season redesigned the PSWG website and worked with the Board to create a successful Desert Writers Expo. tJUDITH MAGEE, Secretary, serves also on the

program committee. She has taught history, women’s studies and ethnic studies at UCLA, the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Antioch University, Los Angeles. Judith published a series of poems in 2013. She is currently working on a memoir about belonging. tMARLY BERGERUD, Vice President Education &

Training, was born and raised in North Dakota. She moved to California in her twenties and now resides in Palm Desert. During a career of 30-plus years in higher education and management, she has written and published 25 computer textbooks. Later she worked in the high-tech industry for several years, building a U.S. education market in the use of visualization and simulation technologies. Today she is a contributor to the magazine Locale and is working on a memoir. tGORDON DAVIS, Vice President Critique Groups,

was born and raised in Ludington, Michigan. He attended the University of Notre Dame and is an alumnus of the Art Center School in LA. During his career, Gordon has designed cars, construction equipment, motorcycle and automobile accessories, and recreational vehicles. Now retired, he occupies his time writing—one of his early passions. Since then he has completed six works of genre fiction and a collection of short stories.

“Crisp, lively prose … an exuberant murder mystery … delightfully offbeat.” — Kirkus Reviews Available now in hardcover, paperback, and e-book from Questover Press.

tLYNN DETURK, Vice President Contests, is a retired

Nurse Practitioner who began writing poetry in 2011. She is a member of the National Academy of Poets, the Writers’ Workshop of Asheville and the Palm Springs Writers Guild. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Lynn resides in La Quinta as well as Tors Cove, Newfoundland.

Rancho Mirage novelist Michael Craft proudly supports the Palm Springs Writers Guild.

Follow the author on Facebook or visit his website at A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M • P S W G


On Becoming A Sagacious Wordsmith By John G. Peters, Jr., Ph.D., CTC, CLS Writing is usually a one-way conversation between author and reader. When writers are unclear about their purpose, explanations, or instructions, the reader gets frustrated, asking, “What does that mean?” or takes action: “I quit. These computer software instructions make no sense.” Sometimes readers (you and I) are at fault for not carefully reading the text; other times the cause is the writer who didn’t take care to be clear, concise, or know the subject matter—all key requirements for being a good wordsmith. So, what is a wordsmith? A wordsmith is a person who works with words and is considered to be a skilled user of them. Regardless of the genre (kind) of writing, wordsmiths who have keen insight, good judgement, a sense of practicality and discernment are considered sagacious. Wordsmithing requires dedication to task, subject matter knowledge and a lot of practice. A Thesaurus, a dictionary, and honest and insightful critical reviewers are required companions to help guarantee clarity in these unidirectional conversations. I have been a technical writer and video production scriptwriter for much of my career. First introduced to technical writing as a graduate student at Boston University, I have written lesson plans on a variety of public safety and legal topics, instructional books and manuals, newsletters, and several articles on “how to” procedures and practices. The

adoption of these publications by users across the globe has enabled me to travel and do consulting with governmental agencies in North America, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. I have also traveled extensively as an expert witness specializing in police and correctional practices, Title VII, and disability issues, where the clear expression of opinions and the bases for them are required in a written expert report. Effecting positive social change is an important personal goal. An important wordsmithing highlight came in 2004 when I was given the privilege and honor of writing a video production script on my hometown’s 250th anniversary. The two-hour historical documentary explained the origin of the Village of Intercourse, Pennsylvania, its colorful name and history, and showcased the many dedicated civic and business leaders who helped to “grow” the Village. Located in the heart of Lancaster County Amish country, the impact of these stillpracticing Anabaptists in the community and local areas was also explained. As president of the Palm Springs Writers Guild, please consider joining so you can improve your wordsmithing. Admittedly, writing takes a lot of hard word, dedication to task and subject, and an interest in lifelong learning, so why go it alone. In the end, it is highly rewarding and personally satisfying. 8

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Member Story


Once upon a time as a transplant from Orange County who was interested in fiction writing, I was invited to sample a Palm Springs Writers Guild critique group. I liked what I experienced and immediately joined the organization, reaping its benefits ever since. In my first critique group, I found a mentor, received constructive input, and, after many encouraging words, submitted my work to several literary journals. The result? One of my short stories appear in print for the first time. The benefits of joining the Guild, however, extend beyond my personal scenario. Monthly general meetings and special workshops and classes, some of them at master class level, provide ongoing education. The Guild showcases its authors and their work at its meetings and in special venues, providing networking opportunities. Members with particular skills in writing, design, editing, publishing and marketing offer their professional services. Scholarships are awarded to local students, benefitting the entire community. Serving on the board, on a committee, or as a mentor affords personal growth and a way to give back. The ultimate benefit attracting and holding an individual to a writers’ organization is its people, from their like minds, talent and generous spirits to their ideas, creative stimulation and friendships. As Guild members, all these benefits are ours.

In Memory of John Carrigan PSWG VP Membership A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M • P S W G


Calendar of Events

Andrew Kaplan About the Author

Ruth Nolan “The Palm Springs Writing Project”

Join author and College of the Desert (COD) creative writing professor Ruth Nolan, M.F.A., M.A., for productive and enjoyable community-inclusive writing workshop sessions open to the public -- residents and visitors alike-- for all levels of writers (16+) in this relaxed, informal, and productive workshop series. We’ll use prompts from our vibrant local desert culture and landscape as the basis for generating written pieces in various genres. Workshop participants will be encouraged to submit writing (but not required) to submit writing for the forthcoming PSWG anthology.

About the Author

Award-winning author and California desert scholar Ruth Nolan has taught creative writing and literature classes at COD for nearly 20 years, and in the past decade has facilitated many highly-productive, community-inclusive writing workshops throughout Inland Southern California. Her published works include Ruby Mountain (Finishing Line Press); fiction in LA Anthology: Southland Writing by Southland Authors (Red Hen Press) No Place for a Puritan: The Literature of California’s Deserts (editor, Heyday Books): and Fire and Rain: Eco-Poetry of California (co-editor, Scarlet Tanager Books). Her essays and poetry have been widely published.

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 9/8/18, 2 - 4 pm The Power of Place Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory

WORKSHOP: SUNDAY 09/09/18, 10 am - 3 pm

The Power of Place: Using Setting to Bring Your Stories/Poems to Life This workshop will be a very dynamic, writing-generative experience filled with tips on how to use the crucial literary element of “setting” to maximum effect in your writing. We’ll study how to make your settings function as literary agents, and even characters, in your writing, by examining short samples of fiction, essays and poetry that utilize “setting” to maximum effect,. Then you’ll dig in to build and write your own settings to life, using prompts provided by the workshop instructor. Come ready to generate lots of writing during this action-packed day! Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs Lunch served at 11:30 am $50 per member and $65 per non-member (includes lunch) 10

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Andrew Kaplan is the author of two bestselling spy thriller book series: “Scorpion” and “Homeland,” including the international bestselling phenomenon, Homeland: Carrie’s Run, a tie-in prequel novel to the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning Homeland television series. His last Homeland novel, Homeland: Saul’s Game, won the 2015 Scribe Best Novel of the Year award. A former journalist, war correspondent and consultant, he covered events around the world and served in both the U.S. Army and the Israeli Army during the Six Day War. His books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into 22 languages. In addition to his Homeland and Scorpion novels, each of which has been Number 1 on the Amazon Mystery and Thriller bestseller lists (at one time, 3 of the top 10 Amazon mystery/thrillers were Scorpion books), his standalone novels include the NY Times bestseller and Main Selection of the Book of the Month Club, Dragonfire, which Kirkus Reviews called “Electrifying! Andrew Kaplan at his dazzling best! “Hour of the Assassins,” (“Possibly the best action adventure book ever written!”) and War of the Raven, which Publishers Weekly hailed as “a smashing, sexy and unforgettable read,” and which was cited by the American Library Association as one of the “100 Best Books ever written about World War Two.” Of his Scorpion series, Suspense Magazine declared: “It matches the best work of the late Robert Ludlum and then surpasses it.” In addition to Homeland, his television and screenwriting career includes the James Bond classic, Goldeneye. A fact not widely known is that shortly before Robert Ludlum died, Ludlum and his agent Henry Morrison reached out to Andrew to take over the Bourne series and to initiate the Covert One series. He turned them down.

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 10/6/18, 2 - 4 pm How I Ran Away to the French Riviera and Wrote a NY Times Bestseller Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory

WORKSHOP: MONDAY 10/08/18, 10 am - 3 pm

Part 1: Seven Elements That Can Turn Your Book into a New York Times Bestseller Andrew Kaplan breaks down seven key elements, any one of which has the potential of turning a writer’s book into a New York Times blockbuster. Using examples from well-known authors, Andrew breaks down these elements and demonstrates how any one of them can transform your work into the kind of book that sells, the kind of book that reminds you why you became a writer in the first place. Bestseller Part 2: How to Create Instantly Compelling Characters Creating characters that arouse interest in the reader is critical for any type of writing, be it fiction, memoir, or non-fiction. In Part Two of the Workshop, Andrew will show how to create Instantly Compelling Characters; characters who leap off the page, grab a reader and say, “Pay attention to me!” Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs Lunch served at 11:30 am $130 per member and $145 per non-member (includes lunch)

Writer’s Boot Camps Ariella Moon 2018 Boot Camps

Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory, from 2pm to 4pm

The Art of Writing a Series 10/12/18

Elizabeth Sims About the Author

Elizabeth Sims is the author of the Rita Farmer Mysteries, the Lambda and GCLS Goldie Award-winning Lillian Byrd Crime Series, and other fiction, including the standalone novel Crimes in a Second Language, which won the 2017 Florida Book Awards silver medal. Her work has been published by a major press (Macmillan) as well as several smaller houses, and she’s written short works for numerous collections and magazines. She publishes independently under her personal imprint, Spruce Park Press.

Writing a series is a proven way to build an author fan base and boost book sales. In this workshop, writers will learn the importance of mapping a series arc, character arcs vs. series arcs, how to honor reader expectations, and how to compel readers from one book to the next.

Edit for Success Part 1: Micro Edits 11/9/18

You have one chance to impress an editor, agent, or writing contest judge. Ariella Moon helps writers discover their personal writing patterns, strengths, and challenges. “Micro edits” is not a grammar check. It focuses instead on creating more dynamic sentences and paragraphs. Attendees should bring a printed copy of their first chapter or the first ten pages of their manuscript to receive constructive, personalized help in correcting problems areas.

Edit for Success Part 2: Macro Edits 12/7/18

In addition, Elizabeth is an internationally recognized authority on writing. She’s written dozens of feature articles on the craft of writing for Writer’s Digest magazine, where she’s a contributing editor. Her instructional title, You’ve

Prerequisite: Edit for Success Part 1: Micro Edits In this workshop, attendees bring a printed copy of their first chapter or the first ten pages of their manuscript for hands-on help with scene writing. Ariella Moon examines the elements of great scenes, including the use of hooks, conflict, and character goals and motivation. Writers will test their opening scene(s) and discover how to embed theme, engage the reader and propel the story forward.

(esimsauthor.blogspot) has been included in top-100 blog lists.

Ariella Moon 2019 Boot Camps

Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams (Writer’s Digest Books) has been specially recognized by NaNoWriMo and hundreds of other web sites and bloggers. Her weekly blog, Zestful Writing

Elizabeth earned degrees in English from Michigan State University and Wayne State University, where she won the Tompkins Award for graduate fiction. She’s worked as a reporter, photographer, technical writer, bookseller, street busker, ranch hand, corporate executive, certified lifeguard, college writing instructor and symphonic percussionist. She is represented by the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Elizabeth belongs to several literary societies as well as American Mensa.

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 11/3/18, 2 - 4 pm

Perils and Payoffs: The Risky Business of Researching for Fiction Prizewinning author Elizabeth Sims will give you an insider’s look at techniques that make today’s fiction jump off the page! She’ll share the keys to finding out just about anything, from real people who know what they’re talking about. Also, she’ll discuss how to gain firsthand experience, having tagged along on movie auditions, attended class at Harvard Law School, played music on the street for money, used a firearm, talked with cops, opened and walked through countless scary doors, and much more. Her tales—often hilarious, always truthful—will give you a real taste of how professional writers bring authenticity to their work. Join Elizabeth for this unforgettable talk, with Q & A afterward. Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory

WORKSHOP: SUNDAY 11/04/18, 10 am - 3 pm

Short Story Writing for Publication and Profit The short story is not only the gateway to writing compelling longer fiction, it’s a legitimate and exciting literary form in itself. This workshop, taught by prizewinning author Elizabeth Sims, gets deep into the craft of story construction. Her goal is to help you approach the art and craft of writing short stories as a professional does, with ingenuity and verve. Moreover, you’ll learn how to become a better writer on your own, going forward. Emphasis will be on story craft elements such as structure, character development, dialogue, image and conflict. Together with Elizabeth, you’ll do a bit of analytical reading, then move into techniques to help you create new material freely and without anxiety. You’ll learn foolproof ways to map out a story, and you’ll get some writing done, with an eye to producing publishable work. Elizabeth will briefly discuss the habits of professional writers as well as the business of writing. Join her for this brisk, inspiring workshop! Miramonte Hotel, Indian Wells Lunch served at 11:30 am $85 per member and $100 per non-member (includes lunch)

Create Compelling Characters

(Dates to be determined) In this workshop, writers will discover the art of character arcs, how to create reader empathy, and how your protagonist’s goals, motivation, and conflicts propel the story. Writers will learn various ways to reveal character, and how to use Deep Point of View to create compelling characters.

Transmedia: Storytelling Across Multiple Platforms

(Dates to be determined) With Transmedia, an author creates cross-platform stories, each new, related, and often with interactive content. In this workshop, Ariella Moon helps authors imagine ways they can create a mixed media franchise to expand their author brand, assets and fan base.

John G. Peters, Jr., Ph.D., CTC, CLS 2019 Boot Camps Technical Writing (Dates to be determined)

This boot camp will focus on clarity, brevity, and process. In-class writing exercises will be used to demonstrate the writing process and need for clarity.

Video Script Writing (Dates to be determined)

This boot camp will focus on the writing and thought process for video script writing, including legal requirements for close caption.

More boot camps will be scheduled during the season on a need basis.


Become a member of the Palm Springs Writers Guild! We have many exciting programs and speakers lined up for this season. Sign up at A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M • P S W G


Malaga Baldi About the Author

Malaga Baldi has worked as an independent literary agent since 1986. The Baldi Agency is an eclectic agency specializing in literary fiction, memoir and cultural history with over forty clients. Malaga worked as a cashier at Gotham Book Mart, in the Ballantine Books Publicity Department, as an associate at Candida Donadio & Associates and the Elaine Markson Agency before going out on her own. She graduated from Hampshire College and lives in NYC with her spouse, daughter and an aged black standard poodle. Malaga works with large and small houses alike -- from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Knopf, Harper Collins, Simon Schuster to Skyhorse, Cleis Press, Bellevue Literary Books and the University of Wisconsin Press.  Award-winning William J. Mann’s biography of Marlon Brando, The Contendor, is due out in 2019  from Harper Collins.  Mann’s Wisecracker and Kate are currently in development for the screen. Mann’s Tinsletown received an Edgar Best Fact Crime Award and is optioned for television.  Kia Corthron’s The Castel Cross and The Magnet Carter won the Center for Fiction First Novel Award, Blanche Boyd’s Tomb Of The Unknown was selected as an Amazon best May 2018 novel and Malaga received the Publishing Triangle Leadership Award earlier this spring.

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 12/1/18, 2 - 4 pm What is Voice? Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory

WORKSHOP: SUNDAY 12/02/18, 10 am - 3 pm No More Tears! Query Letter Writing Who reads the query letter? What goes into a query letter? When do you write a query letter? How do you write a query letter? Why is it so important?

This workshop is a nuts & bolts informal and general discussion covering many publishing topics. Participants are asked to bring in their blind query letters, omitting their names, addresses, and anything that might compromise their identity..... I will mix participant’s queries with some of my examples and ask volunteers

to read letters aloud. We’ll review and critique each one, and after participants share their thoughts and opinions, I will offer helpful criticism and pointers on how each letter could be improved. The goal is to improve each query, so a future agent will want to read/review & consider the entire manuscript. . . Every agency has its own guidelines, and you should always read them carefully. Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs Lunch served at 11:30 am $85 per member and $100 per non-member (includes lunch) 12

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Lynn Price About the Author

Since 2003, Behler Publications ( ) has been publishing best selling and critically acclaimed memoir/nonfiction about everyday people who end up doing extraordinary things due to a pivotal event that alters their perspective about life. Acquisitions Director Lynn Price looks for books where readers say, “I’m a better/more thoughtful/smarter person for having read this book.” Behler bestsellers include Jan’s Story, by CBS journalist Barry Petersen; Finding Dad, by Emmy Awarding winning and Better Connecticut TV host Kara Sundlun; Fancy Feet, by Heidi Cave; and IPPY Gold Medal winner

The Chicken Who Saved Us: The Remarkable Story of Andrew and Frightful, by Kristin Adams. Lynn employs two unreliable rescue beagles to

serve as her secretaries.

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 1/5/19, 2 - 4 pm “I’ve Written The End – Pass Me the Maalox” Preparing Your Manuscript for Publication Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory

WORKSHOP: MONDAY 1/07/19, 10 am - 3 pm

Publishing Options - Making the Right Decision The workshop will provide information on the different publishing options available to writers--commercial trade press versus self-publication--and what each can and can’t do for authors. She will also cover questions that every writer should ask a publisher and themselves before deciding on a publishing option. By attending the seminar, writers will understand the myths and realities of all publishing options, understand how to capture the marketplace, and understand the business/financial aspect of self-publishing. Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs Lunch served at 11:30 am $85 per member and $100 per non-member (includes lunch)

Let Ruthie take you on an adventure in learning!

Gary Fisketjon About the Author

Gary Fisketjon is widely known in the literary world both for his hand in revolutionizing the modern book publishing industry in the US and for his reputation as a meticulous and comprehensive editor. After graduating from Williams College with a BA in history and literature, he entered the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University and went on to join Random House Publishing in the late 1970s. As a young editor with many contacts among emerging writers, Fisketjon saw that the literary market lacked a proper format in which they could be published, and in 1984 he founded Vintage Contemporaries, “a line of high-quality trade paperbacks” that created a new forum with much better distribution through independent booksellers. Its immediate success transformed how contemporary fiction was published in the country. It also helped authors including Jay McInerney and Richard Russo to become well-known with their first books, and brought new readers to established but underappreciated writers such as Raymond Carver and Richard Ford. Gary joined the Atlantic Monthly Press as editorial director in 1986 but returned to Random House in 1990, where he settled at Knopf. As Knopf’s vice president and editor-at-large, he has worked with a number of acclaimed writers, including Donna Tartt, Bret Easton Ellis, Kent Haruf, Patricia Highsmith, Tobias Wolff, Julian Barnes, Cormac McCarthy and Haruki Murakami, while also picking out and fostering new talent. Since 1986, he has also become one of the few regular American editorial presences at the Frankfurt Book Fair.


Gary divides his time between New York and Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee.

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 2/9/19, 2 - 4 pm Topic to be announced

WORKSHOP: SUNDAY 2/10/19, 10 am - 3 pm

Topic to be announced Miramonte Hotel, Indian Wells Lunch served at 11:30 am $130 per member and $155 per non-member (includes lunch) A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M • P S W G


ULRIKE Artist and Author ULRIKE is fulfilling her lifelong dream of being a fulltime artist. She moved to Palm Springs in 2015 where she pursues a career in acrylic painting and exhibits regularly in Galleries and Art Shows in the Coachella Valley and beyond. “Writing Inspirational Books and teaching Metaphysics, has helped me keep balance in my life” says ULRIKE, who still teaches a Life Style class and promotes a healthy and happy life. “But painting brought my life experience to an even more blissful level, being creative soothes the soul!” ULRIKE serves on the board of the Artists Council and is very active in the community. She loves Idyllwild’s AAI and painted the below pictured fawn, “Opal, Princess of the Magical Idyllwild Forrest”, for a community project this summer. Opal will be placed next to Buck Jazzy outside Café Aroma permanently.

John Smelcer About the Author

John Smelcer is the award-winning author of more than 55 books in a wide range of genres, including fiction, poetry, memoir, linguistics and mythology. His poems, articles, essays and interviews have been published in over 500 magazines and journals worldwide. For almost a quarter of a century, he was poetry editor and association publisher of Rosebud Magazine, which the Boston Globe once called “the best literary journal in America.” One of the last speakers on earth of two severely endangered Alaska Native languages, John wrote dictionaries of both languages, for which Noam Chomsky and Stephen Pinker provided Forewords.

John studied literature and world religions at Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard. He is a blog writer for The Charter for Compassion, a global nonprofit founded by Karen Armstrong (A History of God) after she received the TED Talk Award in 2008. John has also judged dozens of literary awards around the world, one as far away as Israel, and co-authored a poem on compassion with the Dali Lama, who also provided a Foreward for his Alaska Native dictionaries and wrote a blurb for John’s acclaimed novel, The Gospel of Simon. In the spring of 2015, John “discovered” the lost worldly possessions of Thomas Merton. Learn more at

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 3/2/19, 2:00 - 4 pm What’s YA Anyway Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory

WORKSHOP: SUNDAY 3/03/19, 10 am - 3 pm

How to Tell a Story Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs Lunch served at 1:00 pm $85 per member and $100 per non-member (includes lunch)

APRIL is Poetry Month! ULRIKE’s work can be seen at: or email 14

P S W G • A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M

You can find contest entry rules and Guest Speaker at

MAY is Short Story Month! You can find contest entry rules on our website The winning Story will be read by Michael Craft at our General Meeting!

Brian Jud About the Author

Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, speaker, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission basis. He is also the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, and the creator of Book Selling University. Brian is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns), the ultimate do-it-yourself guide to selling your books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He also wrote Beyond the Bookstore (a Publishers Weekly® book) and primer on non-bookstore marketing. Brian has also written and published five titles on career transition that are distributed internationally and is a prolific writer of articles about book publishing and marketing. He is the author of the eight e-booklets and the contributing editor to the monthly newsletters Book Marketing Matters, The Sales Informer, The Authority and Bound to Sell. He was the host of the television show, “The Book Authority” that aired for 13 years.

PUBLIC MEETING: SATURDAY 6/1/19, 2 - 4 pm Seven Secrets of Successfully Selling Books Rancho Mirage Public Library and Observatory

WORKSHOP: SUNDAY 6/02/19, 10 am - 3 pm

The Buck Starts Here: How to Write and Sell Books in Large Quantities Every year, more books are sold to buyers in market segments outside of bookstores than are sold through bookstores – bricks or clicks. And they can be sold more profitably, in large quantities and on a non-returnable basis. These include buyers for discount stores, warehouse clubs, corporations, associations, schools, the military and many more. Much can be done in the writing stage to get your share of these sales and discover a new world of opportunity. Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs Lunch served at 11:30 am $50 per member and $65 per non-member (includes lunch) A R T PAT R O N M A G A Z I N E . C O M • P S W G


Palm Springs Writer's Guild 2018-2019 Calendar  

The 2018-2019 PSWG Calendar focuses on the Guild, its activities, meetings and program calendar, its participating authors, and local suppor...

Palm Springs Writer's Guild 2018-2019 Calendar  

The 2018-2019 PSWG Calendar focuses on the Guild, its activities, meetings and program calendar, its participating authors, and local suppor...