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the Newsletter of PeNNwrIters INc. MaY/JUNe 2019 • Vol. XXVII No. 3

Friday Evening Keynote

Saturday Luncheon Keynote

Jessica Strawser • What’s New in Author Marketing?

40+ hours of sessions to choose from. For full list and workshop descriptions, visit

• Build Your Story (or Calling All Plotters!) • Enrich Your Plot Using the Hero’s Journey

• Building Suspense by Acting

and Die Hard

Out of Character

• Brand, Branding, Branded: POV and Voice

• How to Become a Regular Contributor

• How To Be a Hybrid, and

to Any Publication

Why It’s the Way of the Future

• Writing Anthropologically

• Write Great Scenes

• A Fantastic Geography

• 13 Common First Draft Mistakes

• #QueryTips: Demystifying the

and How to Fix Them

Query Process

• Navigating the Author/Editor Relationship

• Using Short Fiction to Develop and Deepen Your Novel

• Rules and Realities of Self-Editing

• Writing What You Know

• Subsidiary Rights: what are they and

• I Walk the Line – Ethical Considerations

when does it make sense to retain?

• Where Does the Story Start? • Writing Poetry for Genre Markets:

Mystery, Horror, Fantasy, SF & More

• Getting the Craft into Your Paragraph

for Writers

Jason Jack Miller • New Pulp: The Modern Twist on Old Adventure Tales

• Sentimentality Might Just Make You a Bestseller

• Boost Your Bank Account with Short Non-Fiction

• Writing the Other – How to Make Your Cast of Characters Inclusive Without Offending

• Writing for Children • From Aspiring Writer to Incredible Author: Powerful Habits and Tools to Enhance Your Writing Success and Rock Your Life

• Writing as an Expert • Amazon AMS Ads and Kindle Promotions • Your Characters in Prison

• The Magic of Speech: Editing and Writing • Build a Better Monster: creating original With Speech Technology

and terrifying monsters

• Juggling Multiple Projects

• The Physiology of Fear

• Sex, Swearing & Violence: …in YA

• Writing Mindfully Meditation Practice

President’s Column This has been my busiest year at Pennwriters since joining in 2008, serving not only as president, but also as one of the coordinators for this year’s Pennwriters Conference. I knew being a coordinator was a mighty task, but it’s actually been humbling to see just how much goes into planning our event. And to think, we have been lucky enough to have had diligent, dedicated Pennwriters organizing and building up our annual conference for the past 32 years! My respect and gratitude know no limits.

hilary hauck, area 4 PresIDeNt

My immense thanks to my fellow coordinator, Pauline Drosezki. It’s been a wonderful experience to work so closely with Pauline. She is an enthusiastic, detail-oriented, hard-working colleague, who’s never afraid to keep me to task. Pauline has been on the board for several years as our Internet Activities and Online Courses Coordinator. We could not put on an event of this scope without help. Enormous thanks to this year’s Conference Chairs: Julia Baird & Danielle Ray, PR; Jennifer Birch, Conference Program; Sandy Bush, Bookseller Liaison; Malissa Close, Saturday Night After-Hours Social; Joy Givens, Read & Critiques; Ayleen Gontz, Registration Folders; Sandi Hahn, Registration Desk; Marianne Main, Treasurer; Heidi Ruby Miller, photography; Cathy Seckman, Online Registration; Leslie Tobin Smeltz, Agent/Editor Appointments; Susan Sofayov, Basket Raffle and In Other Words Contest; Moderators & Scripts, Mary Sutton. And we thank our past conference coordinators who’ve answered the 3,496 questions we’ve had. Huge thanks also to all of our volunteers who will make sure everything and everybody is in the right place at the right time, with the right equipment and information. There are too many to name here, but my gratitude extends to each and every one. Each year we are able to recognize one special volunteer with the Pennwriters Meritorious Service Award. Each year four candidates who have gone over and above for the good of the organization are selected by a committee, then the winner is selected by a membership vote. A special thank you to this year’s candidates. Pennwriters could not do it without you. Thanks also to Dave Freas for organizing our elections.

NotIce: Publication herein of articles, interviews, and news concerning markets, contests, seminars, classes, etc., does not imply an endorsement, recommendation or any warranty given by Pennwriters, Inc. readers are urged to determine for themselves the reliability, integrity, and financial responsibility of those with whom they deal. The contents of this newsletter are copyrighted ©2019 by Pennwriters, Inc. All rights are reserved. Permission to photocopy is expressly denied. All rights revert to individual authors immediately upon publication. any time you change your mailing address or email address, please notify Jackie shaffmaster at we thank you in advance for helping to keep our member roster current. 2

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to catching up with the many friends and fellow writers I’ve had the privilege of getting to know over the years, and to making new friends. I always have the best conversations about writing at Conference. If you are new to Pennwriters, welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us. I hope you find a warm welcome from fellow attendees, learn more than you’d thought possible about the craft and business of writing, and make new friends and connections. On Thursday, May 16, we will host one of our three annual board meetings. Regretfully, we will be saying farewell to one of our valued board members that evening. Mark Boerma has served as Area 2 Rep and Webmaster for the past three years. Mark has been available around the clock, every day of the next page

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Board of Directors year, to take care of technical issues. We are extremely grateful for all that he’s done, and for all the special technical expertise and knowledge he has shared with us. We wish Mark the best in all his future endeavors. For those wishing to continue learning over the summer, our June online course is Storytelling for Kids with Val Muller, author of the CORGI CAPERS middle grade mysteries series and other novels. This is a four-week course for writing stories for middle grade and young adult. The course includes handouts and video, as well as instructor feedback on weekly activities and editing of two chapters of a work-in-progress. Don’t forget to look out for Pennwriters Presents on our member-only Facebook group, where you can ask special guests questions on many areas of interest. For more information on this and other Pennwriters events, check regularly for Latest News on our website. Thank you for sharing your writing journey with Pennwriters. We hope to see you at the 32nd Annual Pennwriters Conference. Registration is open at May your summer be filled with writing accomplishments and good health. See you in Pittsburgh! Pennwrite on! -Hilary

President Hilary Hauck, 814-659-6191 Vice President Bobbi Carducci 540-338-5064 & 540-903-6831 Secretary Susan Gourley Treasurer Jackie Shaffmaster, 570-878-7056 Author Advocate Ayleen Gontz, 717-359-9279 Webmaster Mark Boerma, 570-578-1473 Newsletter Editor Heather Desuta, 412-337-6966 2019 Conference Coordinators Pauline Drozeski and Hilary Hauck Public Relations Chair Leslie Tobin Smeltz Bylaws Chair Jean Jenkins, 814-774-0557 Internet Activities Coordinator Pauline Drozeski Interim Online Courses Coordinator Donna Royston

Pennwriters Online website: Yahoo Group: facebook Groups: Pennwriters; Pennwriters annual conference You can also join the Pennwriters linkedIn group and follow us on twitter.

Pennwriters Presents Coordinator Denise Weaver, 814-442-4876 Election Chair Dave Freas Annual Writing Contest Coordinator D.J. Stevenson Coordinator of Area Reps (CAR) Annette Dashofy AREA 1 Rep: Todd Main, 814-459-8752 AREA 2 Rep: Mark Boerma AREA 3 Rep: Stephanie Claypool AREA 4 Rep: Denise Weaver AREA 5 Rep: Sandra Bush 717-891-6412

PW Areas Map

All areas outside of Pennsylvania are Area 7

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AREA 6 Rep: Suzanne Mattaboni AREA 7 Rep: Terry Friedman 610-331-2558 & 843-236-8189 3

Pennwriters Member News & Happenings to share YoUr News, email with “Pennwriter submission” in the subject line. Please include your Pennwriters area # in the message.

Area 7 Joe Crawford is now an agented author! After his mystery manuscript was chosen for the Pitchwars mentorship program and featured in the Pitchwars showcase, he accepted an offer of representation from Lucienne Diver of the knight Agency.

On May 14, Area 3 Annette Dashofy will celebrate the release of FAIR GAME, the 8th book in her Zoe Chambers series. Paramedic Zoe Chambers hoped a week at the Monongahela County Fair would provide a much-needed diversion from recent events that continue to haunt her. An old friend, a bossy nemesis, and a teenage crush from her 4-H days fail to offer the distraction she had in mind. Back in Vance Township, a missing woman turns up dead, leading Police Chief Pete Adams into a journey through her mysterious final hours. With each new clue, the tragic circumstances of her death grow increasingly muddied. A cryptic phone call leads them to a gruesome discovery and a new case that may or may not be connected to the first. Pete’s quest for the motive behind two homicides—and Zoe’s stubborn determination to reunite a family—thrust them both onto a collision course with a violent and desperate felon. In related news, Annette’s CRY WOLF is an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel of 2018. The winners will be announced on May 4 at the Malice Domestic Mystery Convention in Bethesda, Maryland. Good luck, Annette! 4

On May 1, Area 4 Jennifer Delozier (writing as J.L. Delozier) released BLOOD TYPE X, the third in her Persephone Smith series by WiDo Publishing. Criminal psychologist Persephone “Seph” Smith is back on the hunt for Dr. William Baine, a scientist who murdered half the world’s population with his Type O virus. Now, he plans to rebuild the world in his own image—starting with Seph. When the hunter becomes the hunted, Seph must rely on her genetic gift to outwit Baine—and his shadowy accomplice. The Persephone Smith series includes STORM SHELTER (“an unconventional mystery that’s smart and unpredictable” -kirkus Reviews) and the Thriller Award-nominated TYPE & CROSS. Visit Area 7 Terry Korth Fischer’s debut memoir, OMAHA TO OGALLALA, was published by S&H Publishing. Returning to Dad's home state on an idealistic seven-day trip dubbed The Wise Woman Summit, the Korth sisters trek across Nebraska with hopes of rekindling their childhood friendship. Independent, tenacious, and often outspoken, they differ at every turn. Plans go haywire, emotions explode and the family begins to unravel. LR Good calls it “a delightful story of sisters and nieces and cousins and a great definition as to the definition and meaning of Family, with a capital F.” OMAHA TO OGALLALA is available at and Amazon. Visit

Area 5 Susan Fobes had her short story, “Before the Sun Rises,” published in April by Pfeiffer University's literary journal, The Phoenix. Editors also invited her to read her story at the launch party on April 10, which was live-streamed to the university’s website and Youtube channel.

Area 7 Sandi Van’s debut verse novel, SECOND IN COMMAND, was released Feb. 1 by West 44 Books. Sixteen-year-old Leo dreams of becoming a police officer and is on his way to earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He makes sure to always do the right thing and be responsible. With his mom deployed and his dad constantly working, Leo is often left in charge of his two younger siblings. Then Leo’s brother, Jack, gets caught up in a dangerous plot that rocks the community. Can Leo keep his promise to stand by his brother no matter what, or will he stand on the side of justice? Visit for more information.

Area 3 D. J. Stevenson (writing as Azure Avians) recently released DEBUTING AT SHORE LEAVE: SORCERY & STEEL BOOk 3. Fresh from averting all-out war, twins Kele and Hana deal with the neighboring theocradoms challenging Kele for the Amulet of the Four. Worse, one of the most nefarious criminals has also set his sights on it. Then one of the gods herself appears with her own mission for the pair. Follow her on Twitter @BluetrixBooks.

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The Critic in the Mirror BY saNDra BUsh, area 5 rePreseNtatIVe

As writers, we have all faced the blank page and begged the gods of creativity to have mercy. And, sometimes, even after we found what we thought were the right words, we uncovered nothing but nagging self-doubt. From the time I was a young girl, I fantasized about living my life as a professional writer. But life intervened via a job in the Federal Government, and although I continued to write privately, it wouldn’t be until I was in my forties that I started writing my first novel, MONEY MAN. Conceived during an independent study project in a 2009 creative writing class, it took me eight years to complete. As a hobby, writing my novel served me well. But as time marched on, friends and family pestered me to finish the damn thing. In 2014, my husband, in a grown-up version of truth or dare, challenged me to do the unthinkable: quit my full-time job and get it done. Even then, faced with no other outside interference (i.e. a “real job”), I procrastinated. Fear held me in its grip. Months and years passed. I finally finished the book, found the courage to let other people read and edit it, and in January 2018 published through a small indie press. Success! But now that my creation could be purchased and liked or disliked by anyone, I discovered a whole new level of scary self-doubt. When people asked me to tell them about my book, I explained my main character was a financial advisor whose demanding, wacky clients threaten his sanity. He realizes he needs to find a new occupation before his job kills him. I hoped it was entertaining and fun, kind of a combination of Breaking Bad meets Seinfeld. Sometimes, this explanation produced a puzzled look, and the inevitable question, “How can a book about a financial advisor be funny?” Yet, others got it right away. “Sounds good,” these people said. Or, “Ha! That sounds funny.” And that’s what I wanted most—to entertain and to make people laugh. But humor proved to be a tricky thing. One of my friends who helped me edit early on cited a particular passage and asked, “Was this supposed to be funny?” I felt too distraught to respond. If you want to make a writer cry, one who’s trying to craft humor, ask that question. Deep down, I recognized that what I found amusing may offend someone else, particularly regarding language. My main character engaged in a fair amount of good oldfashioned cursing. I got nervous thinking about the people who’d read my book, like my mother-in-law or my next-door neighbor. Would they think I was a degenerate? Think less of me? I worked myself into a frenzy for quite a while after MONEY MAN was published. On top of all that, my husband is a financial advisor, and I didn’t want people to think it was biographical. It’s not. But, that’s another story altogether.

Of course, I wanted my family and friends to buy my book, but would they like it? Many in my inner-circle supported me and ordered MONEY MAN right away. When I had my book signing party (my husband’s idea), they came out in support and ordered lots of books, some of them buying three or four copies that they wanted inscribed. I felt jubilant but terrified. In full disclosure, many of the people whose opinions I valued gave me great reviews—some even posted them on Amazon. But the most troubling were the people who said nothing. Some went out of their way to say things like, “I read your book.” Then nothing. Crickets. This left me in a quandary. Should I ask if they liked it? Most of the time, I thanked them and tried to change the subject. As writers, we know not everyone will enjoy our work. I expected this. Any writer who has participated in critique groups or submitted work to a professional editor recognizes this comes with the territory. But to hear nothing—after sending unsolicited (free) books to old friends and not hear a peep? Devastated, I wrestled up the courage to ask several if they liked it, emphasizing it was okay to tell me if it wasn’t their cup of tea. And the others? I lacked the courage to ask. In the words of Samuel Johnson, quoted in James Boswell, LIFE OF JOHNSON, March 26, 1779: “I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.” I’ve interpreted the silent critics to infer they didn’t love my book, which is okay with me. Maybe they thought it best to say nothing. I’ve had readers tell me my book made them laugh out loud, while others made comments like, “Wow, your main character really went through some stuff.” Or, “How in the world did you think of such terrible scenarios to torture your main character?” I wondered if people might think I’m crazy. To be writers, we’ve all got to be a little crazy. For anyone who has written a book, we know it’s a lot harder than it looks. If we manage to free ourselves from the voices of nagging doubt in our heads, and let our courageous imaginations take us to places we might not otherwise travel, we should celebrate! As writers, we spend an awful lot of time immersed in our own heads, smothered by our characters, entwined in plots and points of view. The writer’s world we inhabit can feel small and isolated, particularly when digesting tough criticism. Listen to the critics when the advice resonates, but we can’t give anyone the power to squelch our vision. We write our best when we express ourselves without reservation, without worrying about approval or disapproval. Don’t listen to the negative naysayers. Don’t listen to the sound of the crickets. And keep writing. sandra (sandy) Bush is a graduate of the Pennsylvania state University. she is a freelance writer who published her first novel, MoNeY MaN, last year and is working on its sequel. she lives in York, Pa, and is the current area 5 rep for Pennwriters.

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Thursday Pre-Conference Intensives Full Day with with Timons Esaias The Crafts of Fiction: The Nuts, the Bolts, and Hoisting the Girders into Place Half Day (Morning) with Deb Riley-Magnus

Author Marketing Masterclass Half Day (Afternoon) with Lyell P. Cook

Coroners: Their history, What they do, What they see

Friday Evening Keynote

Saturday keynote



Kaitlyn Johnson, agent, corvisiero literary agency amy Bishop, agent, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret llc Bibi lewis, agent, ethan ellenberg literary agency Danielle Dieterich, editor, G. P. Putnam’s sons, a division of Penguin random house rhonda Penders, the wild rose Press Friday Evening Keynote JESSICA STRAwSER is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade and became known for her in-depth cover interviews with such luminaries as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She’s the author of the book club favorites ALMOST MISSED YOU, now new in paperback, and NOT THAT I COULD TELL, a Book of the Month selection and Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick for March 2018 (both from St. Martin’s Press). Her third novel, FORGET YOU kNOW ME, is forthcoming in 2019. She has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and other venues, and is a popular presenter at writing conferences and book festivals. She lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati. Website: Twitter: @jessicastrawser Facebook @jessicastrawserauthor

Saturday Luncheon Keynote JASON JACK MILLER knows it’s silly to hold onto the Bohemian ideals of literature, music, and love above all else. But he doesn’t care. His own adventures paddling wild mountain rivers and playing Pearl Jam covers for less-than-enthusiastic crowds inspired his Murder Ballads and Whiskey Series. He wrote HELLBENDER as a student in Seton Hill University’s prestigious Writing Popular Fiction program, where he is now a mentor and adjunct instructor. The novel won the Arthur J. Rooney Award for Fiction, the MacLaughlin Scholarship, and was a finalist for the Appalachian Writers Association Book of the Year Award. When Jason isn’t writing, he and Heidi are in Paris, perusing the bouquinistes, or in the Cinque Terre trying to taste all of the focaccia. And for the rest of the year he plays the role of Mr. Miller, mild-mannered science teacher at Uniontown Area High School. Twitter and Instagram @jasonjackmiller Website:

register online at 6

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Conference Volunteers Needed 2019 Pennwriters Conference Schedule If you plan to attend the 2019 Pennwriters Conference, please consider volunteering. We have a number of opportunities. Many jobs take only a few minutes, while others may take more. Positions are available prior to and during the conference. In addition to getting to see what happens behind the scenes, you can interact and network with many accomplished authors and speakers. Some jobs even pair you with agents or editors. MODERATORS introduce a session speaker by reading a short bio (already written and provided to you) and distribute handouts if necessary. TIMEKEEpERS for agent/editor pitch appointments keep the 10-minute sessions running smoothly. pENN pALS greet agents, editors and speakers, pass out materials and answer questions that arise throughout the event. We will also need a few people to work the REgISTRATION DESK on Friday and/or Saturday morning. To volunteer for any of these positions or offer help with other tasks, contact Pauline and Hilary at

Donations Needed for Basket Raffle The Pennwriters Conference is almost here! As always, our closing ceremony features the popular Annual Basket Raffle. I'm reaching out for your support. Please consider donating a basket on behalf of your Area, your critique group, or even in memory of your Great Aunt Edna who loved reading. In the past, members have donated baskets containing books written by Pennwriters, books about the craft of writing, coffee, writing tools, wine, and a plethora of other items. Baskets representing the donor’s region are a favorite, and donations of services are always appreciated. Please email me if you are considering this last option. The money raised by the basket raffle helps offset conference costs. So, please consider a donation. Baskets can be brought to the conference or delivered to me by the Monday before the conference. (Email me to make arrangements.) If you plan on donating or have questions, please email me at I'm looking forward to seeing you all!

thUrsDaY, MaY 16 8 a.m. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 9 a.m.-Noon 1-4 p.m.

registration opens the crafts of fiction with timons esaias author Marketing Master class with Deb riley-Magnus coroners: their history, what they do, what they see with coroner lyell cook

frIDaY, MaY 17 7:30 a.m. 8:30-8:45 a.m. 9-10 a.m. 10:15-11:15 a.m. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 1:15-2:15 p.m. 2:30-3:30 p.m. 3:45-4:45 p.m. 5:30-7:30 p.m. 8 p.m.-

registration opens opening remarks workshops workshops Networking luncheon and Published Penns luncheon workshops workshops workshops Keynote Dinner with Jessica strawser (5:30 p.m. drinks, 6-7:30 p.m. dinner) read & critique sessions

satUrDaY, MaY 18 7:45-9:15 a.m. 9 a.m. 9:30-10:30 a.m. 10:45-11:45 a.m. noon-1:30 p.m. 1:45-2:45 p.m. 3-4 p.m. 4:15-5:15 p.m. 8-10 p.m.

Breakfast and Pennwriters annual Meeting registration opens workshops workshops Keynote luncheon with Jason Jack Miller workshops workshops Book signing saturday Night social: a Mad hatter’s tea Party

sUNDaY, MaY 19 9-10 a.m. 10:15-11:15 a.m. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 12:40 p.m.

workshops workshops workshops closing ceremonies and Basket Drawings

(Schedule is subject to change.)

Conference Location and Lodging PIttsBUrGh aIrPort MarrIott, 777 aten road, coraopolis, Pa 15108 for reservations, call the hotel at 800-228-9290 or 412-788-8800. conference pricing does not include lodging.

Conference Registration register online at If you need registration assistance, contact cathy seckman at

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Pre-Conference Intensives


Full Day with with Timons Esaias  /  Half Day with Deb Riley-Magnus  /  Half Day with Coroner Lyell P. Cook Author Marketing Masterclass with Deb Riley-Magnus 9 a.m. - Noon / COST: $85 Time to learn real marketing. This new, intense, informative Author Marketing Masterclass tops anything you’ve tried before. It not only teaches proven Author Marketing techniques, but makes sure you master those techniques BEFORE you leave. Timons Esaias

Deb Riley-Magnus

Coroner Lyell P. Cook

The Crafts of Fiction: the Nuts, the Bolts, and Hoisting the girders into place with Timons Esaias 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. / COST: $175 (includes lunch) This instructor thinks vague writing advice doesn't help you put words on the page, and he knows that what folks really need are Tools That They Can Use. This workshop will emphasize a wide variety of specific procedures to get the story on the page, and then rewrite it into a publishable product. There will be exercises, examples, tricks, and warnings. The plan is to touch on ALL the major crafts that go into fiction, and to take actual steps toward mastery. Subjects to include: • A variety of approaches to the First Draft, because there is no single path • Finding a Plot [using Orson Scott Card's MICE Quotient, and elements of my "Muddle in the Middle" workshop] • Characterization [with very specific devices] • Description [again, with specific devices] • Point of View [which is the whole shooting match, for crying out loud] & Tim's POV Voice Chart • Non-neutrality [which includes injecting Conflict, because the life of a fictional character must be hard] • Diction [Using the right word doesn't mean using a word from the Thesaurus that you don't actually understand] & Dialogue • Those pesky final edits • Exercises on most or all of the above Workshop benefits include an Esaias critique of 10 manuscript pages for each registered participant (submitted either before or after the workshop), and access to a number of Esaias’s written lecturelets. Also malt balls, for participation. It is suggested that participants bring some of their own text to work on. Instructor Timons Esaias is a satirist, poet, essayist and short fictionabulator. His works have appeared in twenty languages. A finalist for the BSFA, and winner of the Asimov’s Readers Award for poetry, his story “Norbert and the System” has appeared in a textbook, and in college curricula. He teaches in the Seton Hill University MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. 8

Standing Apart and Above • What makes your book different? • Unique Hook guidance (©SuperGenres) and powerful ©StimulusPosts • Who to market to, and why • The difference between Selling, and Allowing People to Buy platforms world Tour & Best practices • Unique Hook social media marketing • Interlock the RIGHT social networks for best results • Simple Author Social Network Marketing Time Management Living it up with Live Events • It’s more than a launch. Why author events work and which work best. • Unique locations for live and online events • Locating the decision maker and crafting the perfect query/proposal Instructor Deborah Riley-Magnus is an author and an author success coach with 30+ years of marketing and publicity experience. Her book, WRITE BRAIN/LEFT BRAIN, bridges the gap between creative writer and marketing author. Her approach to author marketing is creative, unique, and teaches the difference between selling, and allowing readers to buy.

Coroners: Their history, what they do, what they see with Erie County Coroner Lyell P. Cook 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. / COST: $85 Topics include: • The History of Coroners – where it all began and why • Difference between a coroner and a medical examiner • Determining the circumstances, manner, and cause of death • Unusual ways some people died • Slide presentation of different causes of deaths, (entry/exit bullet wounds, knife wounds, etc.) and statistics on causes of death • When/how an autopsy is performed and how to estimate time of death • Procedures for collecting evidence at the scene Mr. Cook encourages attendees to ask lots of questions, general and specific, related to whatever book he/she might be working on. His presentation is packed with his extensive knowledge of the duties of a coroner, interesting cases he has worked on, and his good sense of humor. Instructor Lyell P. Cook is the Coroner for Erie County, PA. He has overseen 6,000+ death investigations and autopsies for Erie and 13 other counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. His office investigates all sudden and suspicious deaths and all deaths due to violence, which includes suicide. Past president of Pennsylvania State Coroner’s Association, Lyell has given more than 100 interviews, including Primetime with Diane Sawyer, BBC, Japanese National Media, and the New York Times.

register online at

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Friday Evening Keynote

Jessica Strawser three-DaY coNfereNce, frIDaY throUGh sUNDaY $329 for Pennwriters / $384 for nonmembers •40+ hours of workshops and sessions to choose from •Buffet breakfast (saturday) •Keynote lunch with Jason Jack Miller (saturday) •agent pitch sessions (first come, first scheduled) •friday evening read-&-critiques (first come, first scheduled) •Book signing (saturday)

frIDaY oNlY (no meals included) $165 for Pennwriters / $185 for nonmembers •agent pitch sessions (first come, first scheduled) •friday evening read-&-critiques (first come, first scheduled)

satUrDaY oNlY (includes breakfast & keynote lunch) $165 for Pennwriters / $185 for nonmembers •Buffet breakfast •Keynote lunch with Jason Jack Miller •agent pitch sessions (first come, first scheduled) •Book signing

sUNDaY oNlY (no meals) $60 for Pennwriters / $75 for nonmembers

Optional Add-Ons NoN-wrIter GUests: Meals-only options for companions •friday meals only: $85 (includes lunch and keynote dinner) •saturday meals only: $70 (includes breakfast and lunch) •the saturday after-hours social: $20

frIDaY NetworKING lUNcheoN “listen for the lyrics” with JD Dunbar JD is a wordsmith by profession and a speaker/educator by trade. A Penn state employee for three-decades, she is the director of the transformative state leadership program, the Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program (RULE). She is an international public speaker on leadership & communication topics. A member of the National Speakers Association, she has been featured in keynotes in five countries and 20 states. JD is a leadership grower. She views her job as an opportunity to help others find their voice. $35 for Pennwriters / $38 for nonmembers

Saturday Luncheon Keynote

Jason Jack Miller

frIDaY PUBlIsheD PeNNs lUNcheoN “Your Next Big Idea: Developing and heightening the Book You have Yet to write” with siobhan Vivian Is your next “big” idea worthy of exploration, or should it find its way to the paper shredder? Join Pittsburgh author Siobhan Vivian for her presentation on developing and heightening your next book idea. Siobhan will be focusing on her latest book of STAY SWEET, a young adult novel published by Simon & Shuster, and sharing her experience as a former editor at Alloy Entertainment, one of the most successful commercial book packagers in the United States (SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS, GOSSIP GIRL, etc.). While there, she evaluated and then pitched new, high-concept ideas for teen and adult fiction each week. Learn more about Siobhan and her books at $28 for Published Pennwriters Please note: This luncheon is open to Pennwriters who have received Published Pennwriter status from Pennwriters. For more information on becoming a Published Penn, please visit or contact Author Advocate Ayleen Gontz at

frIDaY KeYNote DINNer with Jessica strawser “the all-time Best writing lessons learned from a Decade of Interviewing the all-time Best writers” Jessica Strawser is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade and became known for her in-depth cover interviews with such luminaries as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She’s the author of the book club favorites ALmOST mISSED YOU, NOT THAT I COULD TELL (a Book of the month selection and Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick for march 2018); and FORGET YOU KNOW mE. She has written for The New York Times modern Love, Publishers Weekly and other fine venues, and is a popular presenter at writing conferences and book festivals. $50 for Pennwriters / $65 for nonmembers

satUrDaY socIal: “a Mad hatter’s tea Party” You mustn’t be late! You have a very important date! Saturday, 18th of may, about the time of eight, Be sure to wear your “maddest” hat, and you may catch a glimpse of the Cheshire Cat! An open bar for hour one, for the outlandish cost of 19, plus 1! Cost: $20, includes open bar for first hour; cash bar thereafter

register online at

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GUEST AGENTS, EDITOR, PUBLISHER Kaitlyn Johnson, agent, corvisiero literary agency -

One-on-one pitch appointments are available at no additional fee.

Danielle Dieterich, editor, G. P. Putnam’s sons, a division of Penguin random house -

After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. As well as being a junior agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, k. Johnson Editorial, and has worked as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, and a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston. She has written various articles for Writer's Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A BOX OF STARS BENEATH THE BED.

Danielle Dieterich is an associate editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Random House. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in English, she began her career in publishing in the publicity department of Dutton Books, and joined Putnam in 2015. She is interested in suspense and psychological thrillers, as well as book club fiction and smart women’s fiction, both contemporary and historical. She is drawn to stories with distinct voices, dark themes, and a strong sense of place, and enjoys high-concept or speculative twists. She has worked with Interested in upper MG, YA, and Adult Accepting: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, bestselling and award-winning authors such as Clive Cussler, Jan karon, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, C.J. Box, Chloe Benjamin, LGBTQ+ narratives, and select Romance and Paranormal and Jeffery Deaver. She lives in Manhattan with her husband. Not Accepting: Thriller, Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Novellas/poetry/ short story collections, Heavily Religious Themes, Chapter/Picture Accepting: Psychological Suspense, Thrillers, Literary and book club fiction, Books, Erotica Historical Fiction, Literary novels with a speculative or magical twist, —————————————————————————— Pop Culture, Narrative Nonfiction, Smart, unique memoir Not accepting: Romance, Genre Fiction (SciFi/Fantasy), Serious nonfiction amy Bishop, agent, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret llc & biography, YA/Children’s, Self-Help/Prescriptive, Cookbooks —————————————————————————— - Amy Elizabeth Bishop joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2015 after interning for them in 2014. After a short stint as the financial & subrights assistant, she started assisting Jane Dystel, and in addition to managing her own list, now also oversees the office and the interns. Her list is wide-ranging, encompassing both adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as YA. She’s always on the lookout for fiction from diverse authors, stories with a darker edge, and smart narrative nonfiction that’s historical in bent or addresses issues of politics and feminism. You can find her on Twitter at @amylizbishop. Accepting: Fiction: family saga, general fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, multicultural, mystery/crime, women’s fiction, offbeat/quirky, young adult, thriller/suspense, speculative Accepting: Nonfiction: Biography, business/finance, current affairs/politics, general nonfiction, history, how-to/self help, multicultural, pop culture, science & technology, social issues, sports, women’s issues Not Accepting: Fiction: action/adventure, children’s/picture book, commercial fiction, erotica, fantasy, new adult, romance, science fiction Not Accepting: Nonfiction: adventure/true stories, arts/photography, cooking/food/drinks, humor/gift, memoir, true crime, travel ——————————————————————————

rhonda Penders, the wild rose Press

Rhonda is President and Editor-in-Chief of The Wild Rose Press. She and her business partner, RJ Morris, opened the company back in 2006 and continue to be the sole owners today. TWRP, as it is affectionately known, is home to authors worldwide and currently has over 3000 active titles. Although started as a romance only publisher, they opened their garden gate to adult mainstream fiction (including historical fiction, science fiction, erotica, thrillers, etc.) in 2013. They also publish YA but do not work with children’s books, cookbooks, memoirs, or poetry. They publish in ebook format as well as print and audio. In January 2018 TWRP was named Best Publisher of the Year by an independent study for the 9th year. Rhonda lives in Upstate New York in a picturesque hamlet nestled along the Erie Canal. She and her husband, Scott, have been married 33 years and have three adult sons, a cat and an annoying spoiled Siberian Husky. She enjoys writing, boating, cooking and baking and is never happier then when all her sons are home and around her table. Accepting: All genres of adult fiction and YA. Not accepting: Children’s books, poetry, memoir, nonfiction.

Bibi lewis, agent, ethan ellenberg literary agency -

Bibi Lewis is an associate agent and subsidiary rights manager at the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. She is actively building her list in Children’s Fiction and Nonfiction and Adult Fiction. When she isn’t working, she is probably knitting.

register online at

Accepting: Children’s books (PB through YA) both fiction and non. Especially interested in mysteries, contemporary MG or YA, magical realism, select SFF. Adult: Women’s fiction, Mystery, Thrillers and Suspense, Contemporary Romance. Not accepting: Talking animal books. —————————————————————————— 10

the PeNN wrIter • May/June 2019 •

Pennwriters Online Courses aUGUst 5-30 a freelancer Prepares: Publication workshop

JUNe 3-28: storytelling for Kids Instructor: Val Muller $49

Instructor: timons esaias $49

students will examine techniques for writing stories for middle grade and young adult, receive feedback on weekly activities, and get editing help on two chapters of a workin-progress. the course will include a combination of handouts and videos, as well as instructor feedback.

format: three lessons per week, most involving microassignments that help you get your act together; optional submissions for instructor critique and feedback. this will be a boiled-down version of esaias’s highly successful one-semester course for seton hill University undergrads: Publication workshop. the plan is to give you all the elements that a freelancer uses to become a successful submission machine. the idea of submission can be intimidating, and our goal is to get you through the first steps. the approach is very nuts-and-bolts. we hope to have participants actually submitting work for publication during the month or soon thereafter. remember, submission is the key to publication.

week 1: Point of View and Perspective We’ll analyze sample chapters from middle grade/young adult works to see what “makes them tick.” Then, we’ll tackle writing a chapter or scene of our own. week 2: Keep Up with the times Activities and resources for staying up-to-date with current language trends/slang/technology use in an effort to keep writing fresh and relevant, yet still able to stand the test of time. week 3: coming of age We’ll take a brief look at Joseph Campbell’s monomyth and the way the “one story” contained in all stories can be applied to MG and YA, especially in terms of coming-of-age tales/moments. An examination of the role of adults and “adultly” advice in MG/YA. week 4: the seasoning It’s not just “show, don’t tell.” The goal is for the reader to live the story along with the characters. We’ll examine the use of techniques such as imagery, figurative language, and setting to develop plot and character and help the reader better experience the story. About the Instructor: Val Muller is the author of the corgi capers middle grade mystery series and the novels the scarreD letter (a Ya modernization of hawthorne’s masterpiece), the coming of age the GIrl who flew awaY, and the supernatural mystery the MaN wIth the crYstal aNKh. Visit and

Visit for details and to register for courses. For additional information or suggestions about upcoming courses, email Donna Royston, Interim Online Courses Coordinator, at

octoBer 3-31 what is Plot? with Instructor Bill Johnson

week 1: The basics: The basic fiction template (for short or long fiction), cover letters, and the submission logs you’ll need to keep track of where everything is. We’ll try our three-line bios. The essential writer’s tool—the notebook—will be praised and honored. We will mention the SASE, despite its near-extinction. A flash fiction may be submitted for critique. week 2: Building your market lists, while also handling poetry templates and cover letters. (I’ll make a case for at least trying poetry, if only for language practice. Whether or not you want to publish is up to you.) We’ll take a whack at the 50-word bio. A poem may be submitted for critique. week 3: Focus on non-fiction: the essay or article. Query letters will be discussed, as will the 12-word pitch. We’ll discuss and practice evaluating a market. We’ll also face down the 100-word bio. An essay or short article may be submitted for critique. week 4: the fourth and final and end-of-everything-that-wentbefore week we’ll set up your Submittable® account, and discuss the book proposal and the one-page, single-spaced selling synopsis. We’ll take up the important topic of Learning to Say NO. Post-apocalypse, we’ll discuss some other forms of publication like bumper stickers, buttons and T-shirts. We’ll set your rates for the various freelancing jobs. We’ll answer questions, and discuss “Hunting where your game lurks.” Along the way we’ll share favorite first lines, first paragraphs, and favorite poems (which includes song lyrics, for they are poems). About the Instructor: see bio on page 8.

the PeNN wrIter • May/June 2019 •


Area 1

Area 4

todd Main • area 1 representative 814-459-8752 •

Denise weaver • area 4 representative

Meadville Vicinity Pennwriters (MVP) Meets 1st saturday, 1-4 p.m. at tarot Bean roasting co. at 252 chestnut st. contact Janet wells at

the Inkwell (altoona area) Meets 1st thursdays from 6-8:30 p.m. in the altoona area. contact Denise weaver at

Presque Isle group Meets 2nd saturday, 1-4 p.m. at tom ridge environmental center on Presque Isle. contact todd Main at shenango Valley Pennwriters (sVP) Meets 3rd saturday, 1-4 p.m. at the shenango Valley library in sharon. contact catherine Mclean at

the southern alleghenies writers Guild (Johnstown, Pa) Meets 3rd saturdays from noon-3 p.m. contact Jim lee at 814-442-1241 or Additional groups meeting in State College:

erie group Meets 4th saturday, 1-4 p.m. at Barnes & Noble near the Millcreek Mall in erie. contact Dave szymanowski at

ollI writer's Group meets monthly at the schlow library (211 s. allen st.). contact rita lumpkins at

fellowship of the Quill (fotQ) Meets every thursday, 7-10 p.m. at eat ‘n Park in erie. contact todd Main at

Nittany Valley writers Network meets 2nd tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. at schlow library (211 s. allen st.).

corry writers group Meets 1st Mondays, 6:30-9 p.m. at tim horton’s, 7 e. columbus ave., corry. contact Kathy otten at

Area 6 suzanne Mattaboni • area 6 representative • twin rivers writers Group let’s welcome the twin rivers writers Group as an official Pennwriters critique group. the group meets at 7 p.m. on the third wednesday of every month at the springtown fire company Building, 3010 Pa route 212, hellertown, Pa. check out their facebook page or website: they’re looking to expand membership in their core group. Please contact area 6 rep suzanne Mattaboni at if you’re in the lehigh Valley/Quakertown/hellertown/upper Bucks county area and would like to join them. If you are interested in forming a group, contact suzanne.

Area 7

Nittany Valley writers Network: the early risers meets 3rd wednesday from 7-8 a.m. at the waffle shop on w. college avenue. Nittany Valley writers Network: social meets 4th tuesdays from 5:30-7 p.m. at Mad Mex restaurant (240 s. Pugh st.).

Area 5 sandra Bush • area 5 representative York area Group the York area Group is no longer meeting. If you are interested in starting a group in the York area, or any other region of area 5, contact sandy Bush at harrisburg area Group critique structure: Bring 10 copies of up to 5 pages, double-spaced. all genres welcome. Meets 4th wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. at the New cumberland library’s back annex (1 Benjamin Plaza, New cumberland). contact carrie Jacobs at or

terry friedman • area 7 representative 610-331-2558 • Blue ridge Group (Virginia) Meetings include critique on request, sharing resources, writing exercises and discussion. Beginning to multi-published writers welcome. Meets 2nd & 4th wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. at the Purcellville library in Purcellville, Virginia. contact Bobbi carducci at Northern Delaware Group Meetings will be held monthly. all levels of experience are welcome. for details, email cindy callaghan at


Area 2 Mark Boerma • area 2 representative • Danville Group Meets 1st and 3rd wednesdays, 7 p.m. at the episcopal church on Market street. contact Dave freas at

the PeNN wrIter • May/June 20198 •

Area 3 stephanie claypool • area 3 representative area 3 MeetINGs: Please note: If you are a Pennwriter outside of Area 3, but would like to come to Area 3 meetings, you are most welcome. Prospective new Pennwriters members are welcome to check us out. second tuesday of the Month Meet-to-chat 7-9 pm at Panera in ross town center, 7217 McKnight road. enjoy the company and conversation of other local writers. come meet other writers and talk about writerly things in a relaxed environment. we’ve been having a great time. Make some new friends. learn. find out about stuff. area 3 crItIQUe GroUPs: the Pittsburgh east writer's Group small, friendly critique group focusing on fiction. all genres welcome. Meets on the third saturday of each month, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the upstairs conference room at the Monroeville Public library. contact chuck rakiecz critique Group North eight members writing shorts, flashes, novels. Meets on the second thursday of the month at Perkins restaurant on route 19 in cranberry township from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including time for lunch. the group is now at full capacity of eight and is accepting candidates for a wait list. contact Maryalice Meli at the Bridgeville critique Group Meets the fourth wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at Panera Bread in the chartiers Valley shopping center, 1025 washington Pike, Bridgeville, Pa. fiction or nonfiction wIP are accepted and any level of writer is welcome. we review one person's work each month. work to be critiqued is sent to all group members at least a week in advance so everyone has ample time to review it before the meeting. the group is currently full but is keeping a wait list. we welcome anyone, published or not. anyone who would like to join the group, get additional information, or come to a session to try us out and see how we work, please contact Barb D'souza at cranberry township critique Group a small group focused on fiction, mainly novels, meeting at the cranberry library every three weeks on saturdays at 9:30 am. this group is now at capacity. to get on a wait list or for more information contact amy wagner at south hills critique Group a small group meeting one saturday per month at 10 am in the Galleria of Mt. lebanon. work to be critiqued is emailed one week ahead of the meeting. there is space available. rosemary ray: JoIN the area 3 Yahoo GroUP Pennwriters who wish to stay informed of area 3 news and last-minute updates, may join the area 3 Yahoo Group. Joining allows you to post news of sales and new markets, ask questions, suggest discussion topics, or announce area events of interest to Pennwriters. to join, email

OPEN BOARD POSITION: Webmaster needed If you have website development skills and want to get more involved with Pennwriters year-round, we would love to hear from you. we are looking for an enthusiastic webmaster to join the Pennwriters Board. Knowledge of the wordpress development environment is a must, experience with PhP programming is preferred. Please email hilary at (Note froM hIlarY: If you have already emailed me but received no reply, please resend your message. we’ve had some technical issues. thank you!).

WRITER’S TOOLBOX INFLUENCERS BUyER TypE Influencers are driven by inspiration and excitement, and they like to hear stories about people—you and your product included. Hence, writers naturally have an easier time selling to them. In addition, they’re often the ones who generate the most word-of-mouth advertising since they’re connected and concerned with other people. Befriend them. Shower them with promotional items to keep or give away. You’ll be surprised what doors Influencers can open. They serve as great cogs in your networking. Having your product’s testimonials and charge polished will help you capture an Influencer’s attention. How to spot them? If they stop and smile at your story spiel, volunteer one of their own, or invite you to something, they’re probably Influencers. -from the book Strategic Marketing Made Easy For Writers: Optimize Your Promotions for Bestseller Results by Dr. Nate hardy, area 6, available at

the PeNN wrIter • May/June 2019 •


Market News

colUMN #131

BY JIM lee, area 4, assocIate eDItor, MarKet rePorts

woods reader is a magazine focused on the woodlands of the Usa and/or canada. they use nonfiction, fiction and poetry and like personal experiences, educational articles, DIY articles involving woodland materials, and book reviews. (Query about the latter before sending). woods-oriented fiction can include sf/f elements. length limits range from 500 to 5,000 wds. Pay is up to $150/article or story. Poetry earns $25.

ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is one of the top markets for short mystery fiction. editor Janet hutchings prefers 2,500-8,000 wd stories but will occasionally use outstanding material up to 12,000 wds. Pay range is 5-8 cents/wd. for details, visit Please note that their submission system works for .Doc only.

an imprint of Penguin Books, Daw is also one of the few major sf/f novel markets that are willing to take submissions from unagented writers. they pay competitive rates with advances as well as royalties and tend to like books of 80,000 wds and up. they’ve recently gone to digital-only submissions. Visit their guides at and click on the submittable icon to submit work.

a leading sf/f/h webzine and podcast, strange horizons has a new editor-in-chief in Vanessa rose Phin. they still pay 8 cents/wd for genre fiction and nonfiction to 10,000 wds max, and $40 per poem (no length limits provided). a weekly publication, they have a broad definition of speculative fiction. Be aware that their online submission manager fills up quickly at the start of each month and then stops accepting subs until the first of the next month.

free spirit Books produces mostly curriculum-based nonfiction for students, concentrating on several specific niches, but they also do fiction for young readers, in age ranges from infants up to 8. agents not required, but you’ll need to send a proposal before submitting. their guides discuss what should be in that, so visit as a first step.

Grain Magazine is a canadian lit mag that uses material from all over the world. their annual reading period runs from september to May, so check whether they’re still open after reading this. they pay $50 per page (up to $250 max for prose to 3,500 wds) and will consider up to 6 pgs of poetry per submission.

headquartered in Philadelphia, Quirk Books releases about 25 books a year and has very good distribution for a small press. they do kids books, sf and nonfiction, and, true to their name, focus on quirky material. editor Blair thornburg likes ‘high-concept’ work for teens and the Ya market. humorous, geeky and/or feminist bents very welcome. she also enjoys strong yet comical work and fresh premises. Not interested in dystopias. their books for older audiences include chick lit, genre f that’s light and accessible to mainstream readers, again playful and high-concept. their nonfiction titles are woman-focused. includes email addresses for various editors to contact.

hotNewhiphop is a website all about hip hop news, songs, mixtapes and videos. they pay 10 cents/wd but lack formal guidelines. for bare-bones info:

Editor’s Note: You may remember Blair Thornburg. She was a guest agent at our 2015 Pennwriters Conference.

family circle is one of the leading home magazines for women. they use nonfiction on a range of topics, including family life, home, health, food, trends and personal style. they pay up to $1.33 per wd. there is no formal guidelines page, but the editorial staff list with email addresses for queries, etc, is available at founded in 2012 as an imprint of Prometheus Books, seventh street Books was recently sold to start Media. as of this writing, their webpage info has not been updated to reflect that. a cautious approach to this market may be wise. In any case, they’ve been focused on mystery/crime thrillers in the past.


the artist’s Magazine reportedly pays $400-600 for feature articles that showcase the best work in all media and art styles. editors here welcome pitches of stories emphasizing the creative process and how individual artists work with varied mediums and how they solve problems and conduct business. for details, visit liguorian Magazine is a christian-oriented publication that uses fiction (2,000 wds max), nonfiction (2,200 wds), and personal essays (1,000 wds). No reprints, though. Pay is 12-15 cents/wd. You can either attach a Ms word document and email it to or send it on cD to Managing editor, one liguori Drive, liguori, Mo 63057. a new online poetry magazine, Gintmoon wants very short poems (10 lines max). they plan to be quarterly and are paying $5/poem for new poems only. submit a max of 5 poems at a time (each no more than 10 lines long), with a brief bio note. send subs to Visit

the PeNN wrIter • May/June 2019 •

Not far from roswell is an anthology being put together by Pole to Pole Publishing. they want dark stories of aliens, abductions and other paranormal doings related in some way to roswell. length: 3,000-5,000 wds. Pay is 2 cents/wd, plus copies of the book. sub deadline is aug. 30, but they may close early if they fill up sooner. southwest: the Magazine is the in-flight mag of southwest airlines. they typically use 2 freelance articles per issue; 3,000-3,500 wds. Pay is $1/wd. Pitch profiles, narrative essays on interesting topics, and travel pieces with uplifting and positive tones. learn more at

specializing in life-changing travel stories, world Nomads looks for articles in five categories: love, fear, discovery, connection, and transformation. they pay 50 cents/wd for pure text and $350-600 for photo essays. their guides page includes links to sample articles. thrilling words is an interesting new market for short-short speculative fiction. they want 2 stories per submission that total 2,000 wds or less, and the stories need to be related somehow (separate stories in a series, perhaps?). seeking new material only, and they’ll take both stories or none. Pay is $160 for the 2-story set. en world delivers news about tabletop role Playing Games on the games traIlseeker, eN5ider, and eoNs. New writers start at 3 cents/wd, which breaks down to $60 for a 2,000 wd article, $150 for a 5,000 wd adventure script, and $210 for a 7,000 wd adventure. the guides include stylebooks on these games. for details, visit across the Universe is an anthology of stories of alternate universe fiction about the Beatles. coming in paperback, hardcover and kindle editions from fantastic Books, this book is paying a $200 flat fee for sf/f about the fab four. length: 4,000 wds max, and sub deadline is June 14, with publication planned for November. editors are Michael a. Ventrella and randee Dawn. New material preferred, query about reprints. for info, including instructions on what can and cannot be used to avoid copyright problems, visit Bead & Button is a bimonthly magazine devoted to techniques, projects, and designs of beaded jewelry and accessories. their readers are hobbyists, bead & button makers, and other enthusiasts. Pay amounts are not specified. how-to and profile articles are needed. Query for assignments. Download info from

helios Quarterly and selene Quarterly are sister publications now both edited by Zelda Knight. Pay at both for new work has been upgraded to 6 cents/wd for fiction (100-7,500 wds) and $50 each for genre poetry (no length limit); reprints earn 1 cents/wd for fiction and $15/poem. Both have one-month-long reading periods per year. helios uses sf/f/h and reads subs in June only; selene is interested in speculative romance, mystery and alternate history topics, but only reads in May—so get cracking to submit there. Both plan to respond in 2-3 weeks of submission and only when they want to buy the work. and a weekly online journal, the forge publishes one prose piece per week in a wide range of fiction and nonfiction styles and forms. they prefer works of 3,000 wds or less but will sometimes use exceptional material of up to 5,000. they pay $50 per piece, buying three months of exclusive rights, after which all rights revert to the author. submissions must be sent blind, as outlined in their guidelines: the link to their online submission manager is located at the bottom of those guidelines. taproot Magazine focuses on farm life, food, family, and crafts (both traditional and modern). they use recipes and essays on techniques for the kitchen, the garden, the pasture, the urban homestead, and the rural farm. Pay varies for nonfiction 8004,000 wds. each issue has a theme. Deadline to submit to their “wear” issue is aug. 1. Dr. cicero Books is a small press publisher of literary fiction and poetry. they seem to do specific types of books, and it’s a good idea to check their catalog of published books at for an idea of the sorts of titles they’re interested in. they want writing samples from your book as part of your proposal, sent to If you contact them, you might also want to ask about the literary journal they’re reportedly planning and any guides available for that market. “Publishing Quality Books for the contemporary woman,” s&h Publishing is accepting short story submissions for strife & harmony an International anthology until July 31, 2019. find details and submission guidelines at

Information this time came from,, Facebook’s Open Calls pages, and As always, tips and leads are more than welcome.

the PeNN wrIter • May/June 2019 •



PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PA I D Pittsburgh, PA Permit No. 2516

911 W. PARK RD. S L I P P E R Y R O C K , PA 1 6 0 5 7

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Friday Evening Keynote

Jessica Strawser

Saturday Luncheon Keynote

Jason Jack Miller

register online at

About Pennwriters


The Mission of Pennwriters Inc. is to help writers of all levels, from the novice to the award-winning and multipublished, improve and succeed in their craft. Pennwriters, a not-for-profit organization of more than 400 members from Pennsylvania and beyond, was established in 1988 as a networking organization for published and aspiring writers of all genres. The group offers an annual three-day writers conference and area events and has a strong internet presence, with email groups, online classes and social networks. Authors who meet set criteria are granted Published Author status. For more information about Pennwriters and its members, visit or contact Hilary Hauck at

NeXt DeaDlINe: JUNe 1 JULY/AUG IS OUR E-ONLY NEWSLEttER. PRINtED/MAILED NEWSLEttERS WILL RESUME WIth thE SEPt/OCt ISSUE. The Penn Writer is published bimonthly. Contact Heather Desuta, newsletter editor, at Please share your news, accomplishments, tips, great quotes, book recommendations, etc. Include relevant artwork, photos and book cover images. Word counts—articles: 800 words (1-pg), 1,600 (2-pg). For articles exceeding 1,600 words, contact the editor in advance. Blurb submissions of any length are welcome. Type “PENN WRITER SUBMISSION” in the subject line of your email message, and please include your Area number. (See the map on page 3.)

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2019 Pennwriters newsletter - The Penn Writer May/June 2019  

2019 Pennwriters newsletter - The Penn Writer May/June 2019