This category contains 19 posts

Site will no longer be updated

Hi Everyone,

As the writing community in the Phoenix area has grown and flourished, I have personally moved in another direction.  I have stepped away from my other responsibilities in the community, and placed them in other capable hands.  This site is no longer a necessary tool to connect the disparate groups and projects together as I am no longer a community leader.  I do not have as easy access to the information that was so readily available to me before, and will no longer update the site.

I hope you found this a useful resource in the past, and wish the best in the future.

Best Regards.


Writing the Breakout Novel with Literary Agent Donald Maass – Saturday, May 14, 2016

Location: Stonecreek Golf Club, Phoenix, Az
Price: $99-$135
Website: http://desertsleuths.com/events/donald-maass-workshop

This full-day, hands-on workshop will help you hone your writing skills, regardless of your writing experience.

Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share—regardless of genre—and presents writing techniques that make books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace.

Learn to captivate readers, publishers, and editors, so that your work can break out of the pack and hit the bestseller’s list!

Hosted by Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter, this event is open to the public. Writers of all genres and levels are welcome.

Write that Novel Seminar with Dave Farland- May 20th and 21st

Name of the Event: Write that Novel Seminar
Location: Homewood Suites by Hilton Phoenix-Metro Center  2536 West Beryl Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, 85021
Price: $199

David Farland is a New York Times bestselling author and a writing mentor. He will be holding a writing workshop in Phoenix, May 20th and 21st. You can find the info here: https://mystorydoctor.com/live-workshops-2/

He has taught many writers who have gone on to be New York Times bestsellers also, like Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, Wheel of Time), James Dasher (The Maze Runner), Shannon Hale (Austenland), and Brandon Mull (Fablehaven).

The seminar will include:

  • How to Make a Great Living as a Top Fiction Writer—Find Out Why Some Authors Are Always Broke While Others Live Out Their Dreams
  • Secrets to Writing a Best Seller Through Wide Audience Appeal
  • Personal Insights Into “Why Your Readers Read” that Will Almost Magically Sell More Books
  • A Simple Diagram which Reveals Exactly Why and When to Step on the Gas in Your Plot
  • Dozens of Other Amazing Plot Power Tools You’ll Find Nowhere Else
  • How to Avoid the Deadly Opening Flaws which Prevent Most Authors From Getting Published
  • Virtually Unrevealed Techniques for Guiding Your Readers “Into the Rabbit Hole” as You Explore Your Story’s Mysteries
  • Of All the Ways Your Story Could End, Learn Which Grand Finales Are the Most Powerful, Satisfying and will Keep Your Readers Coming Back For More
  • Why Publishers Don’t Have Time to Edit Books Anymore and How to Make Sure Your Manuscript Shows Up at the Publisher Virtually Flawless
  • Having Worked as a Hollywood Producer, David will Walk You Through Secrets to Selling Your Film Rights and How to Maximize Your Income on Any Movie
  • Tips for Eliminating Writer’s Block and Other Obstacles so You Can Keep Turning Out those Golden Eggs
  • Nearly a Dozen Inner Circle Secrets to Make Sure Your Books Hit on Best Sellers’ Lists
  • How to Make Sure that Every Book Comes Out Better than the One Before
  • The Four Most Vital Keys to Writing a Bestselling Book or Movie
  • Five Techniques to Exploit an Intellectual Property in Hollywood and Around the World
  • The Right Way to Introduce Yourself to Editors, Agents, and Movie Producers and How to Get Yourself in Front of Them
  • Is Writing Really Your Easy Path to Wealth and Fame? The Truth About the T.V. Image of the Lavish Lifestyle of a Successful Author—Here’s How Success Can Be Achieved, But Don’t Buy Into Some Pipe Dream. It’s Real Work
  • Writing Tricks that have Turned Struggling New Writers Like J.K. Rowling Into Global Sensations
  • Why 98% of Wanna-Be Authors Fail . . . and much more!

August 14 and 15 – WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference – Invitation from Denise Ganley

The Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter is hosting the WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference. (You do not need to be a member of the organization to attend.)

LOCKED AND LOADED: Set Your Sights on Writing Success

August 14-15

Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale

Featuring authors Sara Paretsky, Simon Woods, Hilary Davidson, Deborah J Ledford, plus actress/screenwriter Christina Cox, and acquiring editor Terri Bischoff.

You can use this link to directly access the WriteNow! Conference website with all the details: http://desertsleuths.com/conference

I saw Sara Paretsky (creator of VI Warshawski) speak at Bouchercon last year and she is a great writer activist and speaker, and I also saw Simon Wood there too, and he was hilarious and very entertaining. I expect this to be a very good conference. The authors mostly write in the crime/mystery/thriller genres, but the topics for the conference are broader and would benefit writers of all genres. And certainly all writers are welcome!

Topics Include:

Writing an Exceptional Novel or Short Story – So It Will Sell; How to Stand Apart and Attract an Agent or Publisher; Effectively Promoting Your Work for Maximum Sales; Writing and Adapting Screenplays; Building a Career as a Successful Author; & Many more timely subject designed to help writers in all facets of their careers

There’s a discounted youth program too, for 14-20 year olds. The youths get to attend the main conference with the adults, but they also gain a writing mentor for a longer time frame to assist on their writing projects.

I will be volunteering at the event as a member of the Sisters in Crime, Desert Sleuths Chapter. I hope you will join us! And please share this with anyone you think might be interested.

Happy Writing!

~Denise Ganley

Organizational Background:

Desert Sleuths, the Phoenix Chapter of Sisters in Crime, is an international organization that exists to promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry, and raise professionalism and equity among crime writers. Today there are nearly 50 chapters across the country and there are thousands of members, both female and male. The Desert Sleuths Chapter is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization of published and unpublished authors, retired law enforcement, academics and fans of crime fiction. Desert Sleuths is committed to expanding and fostering young writers through a new youth program.

Press Publish – WordPress blogging conference

(We use WordPress for this site.  How meta 🙂  From Andrea Middleton Below:

Hi there! I’m Andrea Middleton, and I work for WordPress.com.

I’d like to invite you and the members of your group to the blogging conference we’re organizing — it’s called Press Publish, and it will be held in Phoenix on April 18: http://presspublish.events/

We have an amazing, diverse lineup of speakers that includes bloggers who have published books, including one who got his book deals through blogging. We’ll also have a host of WordPress.com and Jetpack experts teaching tutorials and workshops, including a couple of writing workshops. All the sessions and workshops are listed on the schedule: http://presspublish.events/events/phoenix/

Tickets are $150 and come with a one-year WordPress.com Premium upgrade that you can apply to your site, or a 1-year subscription to the VaultPress Backup Bundle after you register — either plan is worth $99 — and we’d love to offer your writing group (we love writers!) a special 40% discount to the conference, if you’d be willing to let them know about it. They can get the discount with this coupon code: PHXWRITERS40

Register here: http://presspublish.events/register/

We’d love to see you on April 18 at Press Publish!

Andrea Middleton
Co-organizer of Press Publish at WordPress.com
Location: Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Price: $90 with the use of coupon code PHXWRITERS40

Countdown to ‘Draft a Novel in 30 Days’

Dear writers: Are you up for the thrill of a lifetime, powered by your imagination? That’s what you can expect from this audacious course that begins August 23; early registration ends Aug. 13. If you can devote at least two hours a day, every day, you will receive from Quill Studios all the structure, instruction, and support you’ll need to find your novel story and ride it to “THE END.”

If you long to get that novel out of your mind and onto the page, this is an amazing process to achieve that. It’s short-term immersion for long-term gain. I created this course modeled after NaNoWriMo.org, and taught it with Phoenix College and in Laguna Beach. All students say it helped them discover their authentic voice and personality on the page. PLUS you end the course on Oct 6 with a rough-draft of your book-length manuscript and an editing plan. Not a bad use of 45 days total (Aug 23 – Oct 6, with time to gear-up and wind-down after 30-days of production in September)!

www.QuillStudios.com. Check out the many benefits of this proven method. I’d be honored to help you thrive through this course. Regardless, write on!

Trina Belanger, MFA

Quill Studios

Enrich your life through writing

Courses/Workshops/Editing/Personal Coaching

6499 S. Kings Ranch Road, # 6 – 44

Gold Canyon, Arizona 85118

  1. QuillStudios.com

La Phoenikera Writers’ Guild

La Phoenikera Writers’ Guild offers programming that promotes intergenerational and intercultural dialogue outside of the university setting. LaPWG strives to offer a safe space for all individuals in order to improve written, oral, and visual literacies in the Phoenix area. All classes, special events, and workshops are designed to engage participants in a larger dialogue about current events through the examination of classic and contemporary literature. Instructors introduce critical thought for novice and professional writers of all ages, creating a forum for participants to develop and expand their work beyond the walls of laPWG.

Through these endeavors, laPWG seeks to help local writers master various levels of craft, become contributing voices in the community, engage in social activism, publish their work, and develop teaching and writing partnerships within the greater Phoenix area.

Fall classes include: Into The Mystic: Poems of Devotion & Ecstasy, Intro to Prose Writing, Teen Writing, Fairy Tales & Their Modern Re-workings, Appalachian Poetry, & a 1-week Revision Workshop (Poetry).
Group Name: La Phoenikera Writers’ Guild
Group type or focus: Creative Writing Classes


Draft a Novel in 30 Days! (Classes from August 23rd to October 6)

Dream of writing a novel? Make it a dream with a deadline, and fulfill your dream with the toughest course you’ll ever love. If you can devote at least two hours a day, every day, for just over six weeks, this dream will come true.

You don’t need prior creative writing experience, or even a ready story idea. The course will provide all the guidance and instruction you’ll need. Many veterans of this course had no prior related experience, yet the process made them writers. The success rate for students with this instructor and process is 81% (over four offerings: two with Phoenix College and two through Laguna Beach Community Services).

If you are excited about this idea and can take the time, please don’t be intimidated by the audacity of the goal. Your imagination will be primed to literally run wild, and your job will be to type fast enough to keep up! And through that heady production you will find freedom, fun, and the heart of your story. Get the most from your limited free time, by accomplishing a lofty goal in this time-efficient manner.

Participants will immerse in high-octane writing and end the course with a rough draft of a novel and a plan for revising it. This ambitious effort requires a commitment of at least two hours a day, every day, for the duration of the course.

Saturday August 23 – Monday October 6, 2014

Instruction will be delivered via daily e-mails and weekly class sessions. Students must have an active e-mail account and daily Internet access.

CLASS SESSIONS* in Scottsdale, Arizona:
Saturday August 23, 1-4 pm; Saturday August 30, 1-4 pm; Mondays 6-8 pm on September 8, 15, 22, 29 & October 6.

*Class sessions are intended to be video-conferenced. If any out-of-area student cannot participate virtually, he/she will be offered weekly one-on-one time with the instructor. Attendance in September is encouraged but optional.

REGISTER BY MAIL OR ONLINE at http://www.QuillStudios.com.

Class size is limited. Completed registrations received in excess of the course cap will be held on a Waitlist. See details online.

WHAT QUILL STUDIOS WILL PROVIDE:  all the structure, instruction, and motivational support you’ll need to find your story and ride it to ‘THE END.’

If you’ve ever said, “One of these days I’m going to write a novel,” make this the day you take the first step by registering for this course. Look on our website to learn more and read about the many benefits you’ll gain through this experience.

Instructor:  Trina Belanger, MFA

August 15-16 WriteNow! conference ($100 – $125)

Meet internationally known writers at the WriteNow! 2014 Conference, to be held 6-9 p.m. Fri., Aug. 15, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., Aug. 16, at Embassy Suites Phoenix – North, 2577 W. Greenway Rd., Phoenix, sponsored by Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter, a group of local mystery writers.

Entitled “Mastering Crime Fiction: A Whodunnit How-To,” the conference features guest speakers including authors Catriona McPherson, Timothy Hallinan, Mark Sullivan and Graham Brown, who will discuss various aspects of writing crime fiction.

The nonprofit organization will also honor writer Jenn McKinley as Guest of Honor during the Saturday luncheon. McKinley is the author of a variety of cozy series, such as Sugar and Iced in her Cupcake Mysteries, and in her London Hat Shop Mysteries, her latest Death Of A Mad Hatter.

Also available for a $20 additional fee this year is a one-on-one critique of the first 15 pages and a synopsis by a Desert Sleuths published member. Participants will meet the Desert Sleuths member on Aug. 15, where writers will have the opportunity to bring their work for a personalized critique, which will be sent to the writer within two weeks following the conference.

Registration, which includes appetizers on Friday evening, a continental breakfast and plated lunch on Saturday, is $100 for members; nonmember registration is $125.

Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter is part of an international organization that promotes professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry.

More about the conference, including registration, at http://www.desertsleuths.com/conference.

Margaret Morse
Vice President Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths
Location: Embassy Suites North, 2577 W. Greenway, Phoenix 85023
Price: $100 Desert Sleuths members; $125 non-members

Class: Jungle Survival Marketing for Authors 2014 – Module 1

2014 Jungle Survival Marketing for Authors-Module 1

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (MST)

Wildflower Bread Company
7001 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

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Attend Event


THIS IS THE CLASS MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN ASKING ME FOR, so get your seat while you can. This is a hands-on jungle guided tour, navigating the world of book publishing and marketing. Sip at the font of information offered by Patti Hultstrand, a Survival Book Specialist and an author of four books of her own, with an additional 64 published for other authors. Whether this is your first adventure with your first book or if you have had a book on the market for years and are not happy with its sales results. Patti will help you…

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We hope you can make it!


Patti Hultstrand

Patti Hultstrand is your SURVIVAL BOOK SPECIALIST. She has helped to publish over 60 books. She has also been a graphic designer for 23 years, 14 of those years in a Phoenix-based print shop, so she really knows how to successfully publish your books in print and in eBook format.

Patti has also been teaching writers and authors the ins and outs of marketing the book in Meet-up Publishing and Marketing for local writers for almost two years. She can be found interviewing guests on KWOD Radio, working with authors in her publishing services business since 2008, and working on the niche pop culture newspaper, The WOD.