We all have in common a love of writing and a desire to further our career and learn the latest as the world rapidly changes. Given the COVID situation we have moved our meetings online. Here’s what we offer writers and aspiring writers:
Panels & Seminars for Writers and Publishers
Ten months of the year, as long as nothing comes up to prevent us, IWOSC presents a writing-related seminar and a writing-related panel discussion. We vary the topics and speakers, finding answers for all kinds of questions. We have parties in August and December to round out the twelve months.
Our lively panels cover a variety of writing genres, from ghostwriting to mysteries, magazine articles, comedy, screenwriting, and more. Some panels focus on topics such as social media or marketing, subjects of vital interest to all writers.
As a rule, our panels are on the fourth Monday of each month although this may change once in a while. Members attend these panels for free.
Our seminars are tailored for smaller audiences so there’s more workshopping of the fine points of writing: creating characters and dialogue, doing research, etc.
Seminars tackle marketing and technical issues as well, like using Twitter or teaching writers how to speak and read before a live audience. These seminars or workshops feature comprehensive, often interactive, presentations.
As a rule, IWOSC seminars for writers are held on the third Saturday of each month, although this may change at times.
At times we substitute our on-location Seminar or Panel for an online event. Since 2016 we have also held a special-priced all-day Intensive rather than our usual seminar. Members receive a substantial discount for the seminars.
IWOSC members attend for free!
Non-members pay $15
IWOSC members attend for just $15
Non-members pay $35
Here’s what writers have questions about:
- Social networking
- Fiction writing
- Nonfiction writing
- How do I promote my work?
… to name a few!
“Quick note to say thank you for stoking the promotional flames for us authors by keeping the tweets rolling out. I really appreciate the coverage.”— Craig Leener, author of This Was Never About Basketball and All Roads Lead to Lawrence
IWOSC Satellites meet in restaurants, bookstores, and other venues. You don’t have to be a member to drop by and mix with other writers in your area!
Satellite meetings bring writers together to ask questions, share work, and vent. Some groups invite guest speakers. Our Satellites are informal and social. They give writers the chance to network and find support. Ideas can be sparked and partnerships formed. Writing can be a lonely art, so meeting others in the field is invaluable.
Social Events/ Parties
Twice a year — in August and in December— we have a party open to members and guests. We often hold the parties at unusual or historic venues.
Want to get notified of future events?
Twice a year — in February and August — we have a party open to members and guests. We often hold the parties at unusual or historic venues.
Members Only Special-Events
From time to time we hold members-only get-togethers. For example, we had a special evening with a long-time member and past president who was moving out of state. We handed Marvin Wolf the microphone and listened as he told his wonderful stories: the bicycle tale from his childhood (that earned him $4000 when he sold it to Readers Digest); the years in Viet Nam as a US Army photographer, which led to the first of his 20-plus books; some behind-the-scenes dirt on the celebrities he’s written about. We laughed, we cried, we ate cake.
The Green Room
The Green Room is a free, once-a-month members-only Brainstorming session in which you can discuss issues that pertain to writing–perhaps about marketing your latest book, a question about your writing, a gesture toward collaboration with another writer or publisher, or share a great book that you are reading or another event that people might enjoy. We will concentrate mostly on anything having to do with writing. Whether in person or online, attendance is limited in order for all participants to have their writing issues addressed. To protect member’s ideas, these meetings are not recorded. Green Room meetings are not typically announced on the website. Instead, we notify members via email.
Volunteer your skills with IWOSC
Volunteers are IWOSC’s lifeblood. They suggest panels and use their connections to get great speakers. Volunteers check guests in at events. As Satellite leaders, volunteers send emails and keep the Satellites running each month. Those savvy with social media keep our Facebook page and Twitter feeds hopping. They even get to plan parties!
No matter what your skill set, IWOSC has a place for you to put those skills to work. We welcome your participation.
Our Facebook page offers you another way to get the word out about what you’re doing. Anyone may post there, although you must ask to be approved as a member first. (IWOSC membership is not required.)
IWOSC Panel Recordings
Our recorded programs can give you helpful ideas, tips, and strategies.
We have captured some of the region’s best and brightest editors, writers, publishers, and agents during their appearances at our monthly meetings, seminars, and special events. May the bright ideas and savvy suggestions they offer light your way!
To order, visit our IWOSC Recordings page.
Want to become a member?
When you have questions and things seem unclear, it can be nice to call out and have someone answer back with what you need.
If you’d like to become a member of IWOSC, please visit the Membership application page to join online or by mail.
Meet the people behind IWOSC
Learn about our Board of Directors and the other important volunteers who help make IWOSC great.
IWOSC is a non-profit organization of volunteers who take on various tasks. Filling our booth with writers at a festival, or greeting and checking people in at our meetings, and helping to plan parties are some of the occasional jobs that volunteers do, and we are grateful to them.
If you’d like to jump in and join us, just say the word.
Board of Directors
As Director of Professional Development for many years, Gary’s hard work and energy have brought you nearly every seminar and panel for all these years. He did much more as well.
Gary is an author/actor/playwright. He is co-author of the book, Loss and Found, and the soon to be released ghost story, Glimmer the Bright Moonlight.
Gary’s been a member of IWOSC since 1999. He was the president of the Publishers Association of Los Angeles (now a Special Interest Group of IWOSC), a former coordinator for the National Very Special Arts Festival at the Kennedy Center in DC, Executive Director of the Lifetime Achievement Foundation, and former board member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.
Contact: Gary.Young at iwosc.org
Steven Sanchez—Vice President
You may recognize Steven as one of our popular Seminar instructors. In 2016 he collaborated with Gary Young to create our first full-day Marketing Intensive. Today he orchestrates most of our Zoom meetings and co-leads our Green Room events with President Gary Young, which they started together to keep our writing community connected.
For over 20 years Steven’s Los Angeles-based Internet Agency worked with leading companies in primarily the travel, health, and racing industries to build their online platforms. Steven has helped companies large and small strategize and start their web businesses, publish and promote online, and create solutions to serve the needs of both those companies and their customers.
He has also served as technical editor on bestsellers such as Homepage Usability, Web Design on a Shoestring, and The Unusually Useful Web Book. He enjoys the cutting edge of technology, from publishing to social media, and has several publishing projects in development.
Steven is a frequent IWOSC workshop leader and panelist on marketing, social media, and website development, and behind the scenes with most of IWOSC’s Zoom events. A father of four, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 30+ years.
Contact: Steven.Sanchez at iwosc.org
Roberta Edgar—Vice President
Roberta is a ghostwriter, development editor, and story analyst for fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and autobiography. She has co-authored several titles, including Million Dollar Miracle: How to Make a Million Dollars in One Day and Never Have to Work Again with Michael E. Bash, Jade Mountain with Greg Alsbury, Think Yourself Smokeless with Dr. Marvin Berenson, The Twice-Divorced Dad’s Survival Handbook with Dr. James Fabe, and The Perfect Play: The Day We Broke the Bank in Atlantic City with Kathleen Whitman.
Editing credits include Keeper of the Souls by Patricia Reynolds, A Scattering of Crows by Patricia Reynolds, Mommy Move the Sun by Jeanie Gould, The Journey of a Healer by Paolo Ficara, Changed by Ronald J. Winston, Under the Influence by Claudia Roth, Shrapnel of the Soul and Redemption by Pepper Martin and Penny Lane, The Mating Challenge by Anthony Alcock, and Terriers in the Jungle by Georja Umano.
After graduating from UCLA, Roberta wrote editorial promotion for Mademoiselle magazine in New York before returning to Los Angeles to work with documentary filmmaker David L. Wolper and, later, the producers of the original Star Trek. She also cowrote episodes for Norman Lear’s situation comedy All That Glitters as well as a dozen or more screenplays.
Aside from her IWOSC vice presidency, Roberta chairs the organization’s official booth at the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. She is also a longtime member of the Writers Guild of America West.
Visit Roberta’s professional website at: wordsalamode.com.
Contact: Roberta at WordsalaMode.com
Monika has been our treasurer since 2014, stepping in when we lost Pam Leven. It was a difficult task and she has never let us down. If you attend a meeting or seminar, chances are you know her face, smile, and the credit card machine she introduced.
If you need help with an IWOSC financial issue, please contact Vickey, our office manager via the official IWOSC email address, info at iwosc.org.
Telly L. Davidson—Director of Programs
Many Monday night panel attendees have seen Telly in action as the creator of some of our fantastic panels over the years. In 2017 he consented to officially direct our programs and has been hard at work on that ever since.
Telly Davidson’s newest book, Culture War has attracted rave reviews from critics.
Telly was senior film and TV reviewer for best-selling pundit David Frum’s FrumForum from 2009-12, has written about movies, TV, and music for FilmStew, 213 Magazine, iF Monthly, Entertainment Today, Guitar Player, AllAboutJazz, The American Conservative, and Attn.com.
He also wrote the Emmy-cited media tie-in TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows, works alongside top indie film producer’s rep Jeff Porter of Porter Pictures on the placement of independent films, and in the past worked on TV specials for NBC and PBS, including the Emmy-nominated Pioneers of Television.
Contact: Telly.Davidson at iwosc.org
James F. Mills—Director of Meeting Logistics
James F. Mills writes manuscripts and screenplays in between freelance journalism assignments for various local magazines and websites. He has personally broken more than one news story of great importance to locals in LA.
He is a North Carolina native who relocated to Southern California after receiving his MA in communications studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He resides in West Adams.
Contact: JFMills777 at gmail.com
Sharon Goldinger, owner of PeopleSpeak, is a book shepherd, editor, and publishing and marketing consultant specializing in nonfiction books. With an eye for details, she leads authors and publishers through the often-complicated publishing process (writing, editing, design, printing, marketing, distribution) and uses her business, marketing, and editorial experience to help produce exceptional, award-winning books. She also consults with authors and publishers on business strategies, marketing plans, and author platforms and coordinates many facets of marketing (including public relations, advertising, speaking, social media, networking, partnering with organizations). She was “The Answer Lady” for Joel Friedlander’s TheBookDesigner.com blog.
For more information, visit DetailsPlease.com/peoplespeak.
Contact: pplspeak at att.net
Robin is a book coach, editor, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant with over 25 years in the book biz. Her clients’ self-help books include I Heard Your Dog Died, Diets Don’t Work, and the best-seller The Detox Solution.
Robin’s website is: WritingAndEditing.biz.
Contact: robinkayquinn2 at gmail.com
Mark Miller has held positions as a nationally syndicated humor columnist for the Los Angeles Times, an interviewer and humor blogger for The Huffington Post (along with a wealth of other publications and websites such as a column in Jewlarious.com) a TV sitcom and TV variety show staff writer/producer for eight series including Diff’rent Strokes and The Carol Burnett Show (1991 version), a movie scriptwriter, a stand-up comic in nightclubs and on TV, and a writer for comedians such as Jay Leno, Dana Carvey, Roseanne Barr, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jim Carrey.
His first book, 500 Dates: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Online Dating Wars, is a collection of his humor essays on dating and romance.
And when show biz work slowed down, he developed a whole new career as a marketing copywriter for consumer businesses and professional service firms, where he managed to sneak in some humor as well.
But he says he’d trade all his success away in a minute for immortality, inner peace, and limitless wealth.
Follow his website/blog at: MarkMillerhumorist.com.
Reach him at: mark.writer at gmail.com.
Ina joined our Board of Directors in 2016 and, having produced panels for us and taught as well, is now part of our Programming Committee.
Ina is a bestselling author and publisher, writing coach, editor, and speaker/trainer. Author of Pawprints and the original guide How To Write Your Memoirs she specializes in memoir, fiction and humor. Her articles, books, and clients, appear on TV, radio, print, and online media. Her latest project is You Are Who You Eat.
You can learn more about her at InasPawprints.com/about_ina.htm and InaTheMemoirCoach.com.
Contact: CoachIna at InaTheMemoirCoach.com
Desireé Duffy is the Founder of Black Château, a marketing and public relations agency and Books that Make You, a multi-media brand that promotes books and authors through its award-winning website, podcast, and radio show.
Desireé’s early days in radio gave her the foundation to create, produce, and host the Books That Make You Show as well as her keen understanding of podcasting.
In the 1990s to early 2000s Duffy was a radio host, program director, producer, and marketing professional with companies including The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, iHeart Media’s KFI-AM, and ABC’s and Disney’s ESPN Radio/Radio Disney/KABC-AM/KLOS-FM.
Beginning as a music journalist turned publicist, Kathleen Kaiser’s career spans over 50 years of involvement in the most exciting industries of her generation. From rock and roll in the ’60s and ’70s to the digital/internet revolution of the late ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s, she has been a marketing professional for Fortune 100 companies, small startups, and conferences/tradeshows around the world. She turned her focus to the literary community in 2008 when she released her first novel.
Named Publicist of the Year in 2016 by the Book Publicists of Southern California for her contributions to the literary community, Kathleen maintains a small list of clients that allow her to continue her volunteerism. She is president of the national literary nonprofit the Writers & Publishers Network, producer of the 805 Writers Conference, and organizer of monthly literary meetings co-sponsored by IWOSC. She produces webinars and launched a new podcast –Talking Book Publishing with Kathleen Kaiser – in April 2021.
A consulting urban planner, Craig researches and writes planning documents. Drawing upon his studies in anthropology, geography, and linguistics, he explores fundamental oral traditions of Native America, which he is currently documenting in a nonfiction book.
Contact: c.oconnor3wtech at roadrunner.com
Lisa de Vincent
Lisa moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of working and writing in the entertainment industry. She believes IWOSC has been instrumental in advancing her career and connections. Besides writing freelance articles, she is fine-tuning a treatment for a TV series and finishing a horror novel/screenplay. Lisa resides in Brentwood.
Contact: divadevincent at me.com
Gerald E. Jones
Gerald Everett Jones is a freelance writer and the host of GetPublished! Radio. He has been an IWOSC member since 1985 and is a past director-at-large. He is also a member of FIND, WGA, DG, and WNBA.
Contact: superscribbler at hotmail.com
A versatile writer/photographer, Erika Fabian has had twenty-three books and nearly two hundred photo-illustrated articles published. Her varied career includes many years of travel on assignment for National Geographic Magazine and other publishers.
When not on the road, Erika Fabian spends her time writing books at home, ghostwriting, or editing someone else’s work.
Contact: eriakoassociates at gmail.com
Flo Selfman—Ex Officio / Immediate Past President
Entertainment/literary/arts public relations consultant and copy editor/proofreader, Flo was IWOSC president from 2003-2006 and 2007-2016. She has been an IWOSC member since 1990 and has served on the board since 1991, holding many board positions including vice president, director of membership, and director of marketing.
She is a resident of Los Angeles’s Westside.
Contact: Flo at WordsalaMode.com
Vickey Kalambakal—IWOSC Office Administrator
Vickey Kalambakal started as our office administrator in 2015. Prior to taking on the job of keeping us going, Vickey was fantastic as satellite coordinator for years and actually ran one of our satellites for some time. She was also a member of the board of directors for several years.
Contact: info at iwosc.org
We robustly applaud those who bring IWOSC writer’s meetings to the various parts of greater Los Angeles.
- Los Angeles West Side — Robin Quinn
- Orange County — We applaud the next person who continues this terrific group.
(Thank you to Andrea Ring who did such a great job for area writers until we lost her to another state. Thanks also to Kurt Bensworth for starting this group and running it for so long.)
- Pasadena/Altadena Satellite — Jane Neff Rollins
- South Bay Satellite — on hiatus
Thank you to Joan Rodman for starting this group.
- Ventura County Satellite (Thousand Oaks) — Kathleen Kaiser
(Also, thanks to Sharon Schnell and Dawn Wood for all their work too.)
- San Fernando Valley — Sylvia Cary
We encourage the creation of new satellites. If you can find a meeting location in your area and would like to create one, please let our office know.