Brainstorming Session for Writers

Monday, April 24, 2017

If you have an issue that pertains to you specifically (need help editing, social media issues, internet issues, want suggestions for a cover illustrator, etc.) this is the place to discuss it.

Some of our Board members will be in attendance, plus many of your fellow writers.

We are confident that we can address your personal concerns.

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Writing Culture

Monday, March 27, 2017

Here’s a question that perplexes every writer, no matter their genre:
What Do Critics Want?

How does a book writer, novelist, screenwriter, or filmmaker get noticed by professional critics and bloggers – especially if the author is published by a small press, or is self-published, or is an “indie” filmmaker?

If a screenwriter or book author is lucky enough to make a film deal, there are further questions. With hundreds of film festivals around the globe and hundreds of channels of content on TV (let alone the internet), what determines whether a TV show or movie is one of the best – or one of the rest?

And we’ll throw in another angle: writing criticism yourself.

Justin Chang

Tim Cogshell

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn

Debra Levine


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Science Fiction and Fantasy: Writing the Future and Alternate Realities

Monday, February 27, 2017

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors discuss science fiction and fantasy writing.

Topics covered on this panel for writers include:
worldbuilding and constructing alternate realities
genre bias in publishing
the explosion of Young Adult fiction
women and diversity in speculative fiction
writing dystopian books in the age of Trumpism
how to translate books into film and TV

The panel will also cover practical tips for writing speculative fiction and an insider’s perspective on the state of the publishing industry, especially as it pertains to Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF) writing.

Moderator: Jennifer Brody
Tobie Easton
Elizabeth Briggs
Romina Russell
Nicole Maggi

[To read more, click the title!]

Writers and Websites in 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Does your website attract new readers?
Keep your fans happy?
Sell your books?
(Do you even have a website?)

With all this social media, does a writer really need their own website? And if you have one, what should you be doing with it nearly 20 years into the new millennium? So much has changed so fast; what should you be doing today?


Do you have any of these questions…

Moderator: Greg Miller
Deborah Shadovitz
Jennifer Brody
Steven Sanchez

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Ageism in Writing: How young do you really HAVE to be

Monday, November 21, 2016

Many professions have the burden of the issue of age, defined differently in every profession.

If you are of a “certain age,” you may be passed over because of the perception that your output is less dynamic, not speaking the language of the time, unable to put the time in due to family concerns.
Younger people often have the “Catch 22” needing to be young, but also needing to have experience in order to get noticed and validated.

We are going to deal with both sides of that coin, starting with this month’s panel.

Moderator: Telly Davidson
Jordan Oslin
Scott Kaiser, MD
David Gittins
Ray Richmond
Chuck N. Baker

[To read more, click the title!]

Building a Career as a Young Writer

Monday, October 24, 2016

It was never easy to begin a career in writing, journalism, or entertainment — but despite the advances made by women and people of color, it often seems like the barriers, obstacle courses, and glass ceilings getting past the “gatekeepers” has gotten harder for everyone over the past 15 or 20 years, not to mention since the 2008 meltdown.

This month we deal with the challenges faced by young, Millennial and Generation X writers, and first-time writers (of all ages) at the beginnings and the early mid-points of their careers.

Scheduled topics will include…

Josh Grapes
Mike Vainisi
Carole Kirschner
Jeff Porter

[To read more, click the title!]

Documentaries: The Writer’s Vision Illuminated

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rounding off our media triumvirate, our July panel will present some fascinating documentary filmmakers.

The journey from concept to production, distribution and sales presents quite the challenge. Documentarians possess the devotion to their subject and a certain single-mindedness that, if the fates allow, lead them to a worthy finished product.

Our panelists:
Tom Jennings
Stephanie Hubbard
Karla DiBenedetto
Susan Karlin, Moderator

[To read more, click the title!]

IWOSC Goes to the Movies: Feature Film Screenwriting 101

Monday, June 27, 2016

In Hollywood, nothing says success more than a sequel -– and following on the heels of our successful TV Writing Program last month, IWOSC is proud to present a trip from small-screen to big, with our Screenwriting Panel.

Just in time for this year’s summer blockbusters, we’re assembling a panel of proven screenwriters, critics/coaches, and literary agents to discuss how to break down the barriers to the box office, and bring our stories to life for the movies.

We’ll be discussing things like:…

Our panelists:
Robert Ramsey
Alton Glass
Marilyn Anderson

[To read more, click the title!]

Behind The Screen: Writing for TV Today – and Tomorrow

Monday, May 23, 2016

TV is a booming business for writers with one-hour dramas and dramedies, half hour semi-comedic series and animation. Even reality TV relies on writers to come up with hours of new, different and compelling material.

This panel will discuss what it takes to get into TV writing – and what it takes to stay there.

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Tricks Of The Trade – Writing Advice from the Experts

Monday, February 29, 2016

There’s no one formula for writing – there are a thousand!

Aside from raw talent and a tip or two from the Muse, we have principles, rules, devices, guidelines, categories, strategies, tools, tactics, and techniques.

Our expert panel will offer help for all writers whether writing fiction, screenplay, or even nonfiction.

We will discuss (as time allows)…

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Magazines and Ezines: What you need to know

Monday, March 21, 2016

Magazines are everywhere. It seems as if they must be starving for content, but they don’t make it easy to for writers to contribute. In fact, they can be downright secretive about the process.

Not all magazines pay well; some do not all pay at all. But sometimes the article practically writes itself, and other times the resume credit is worth the effort, even if the money does not fit. And sometimes there are other valuable perks that you might not have considered.

Our expert panel will discuss…

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Trends in Publishing

Monday, January 25, 2016


As the greatest writer of them all once said, “That IS the question.” We all know that writing an interesting, involving, and top-quality book is a must, if you want to attract a good agent or a mainstream publisher — and especially if you want to publish it yourself.

But what happens after you write “The End”?

What goes on “behind the scenes” at publishers and agencies that determine if they say Yes or No? What do publishers and agents need from authors themselves, with regard to pre-existing fame and media profile, platform, credibility, education/credentials, and the like, besides writing a good book on a worthwhile topic?

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The Essay: Art and Attitude

Monday, November 17, 2014

Written essays have always been a creative way to express views and test the waters for larger pieces. Many have become the framework for much of social communication. Now, with the advent of the digital age, essays have taken on a new and in some ways bolder life. Not only are they published in magazines and compilations, but the essay also lives in blogs and other social media.

Essays can be literary criticism, political manifestos, technical explanations, recollections, and more.

As Aldous Huxley once said, “Like the novel, the (written) essay is a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything.”

We will take a lively look at how it has evolved recently and what several very accomplished writers have done with the form.

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Writing Nostalgia: When the Past Sings, Make it Zing

Monday, November 16, 2015

Who doesn’t like nostalgia?

But nostalgia for one person might be ancient history for another. But good nostalgia can strike a chord with many people.

Nostalgia can liven fiction and stand on its own. If given the proper treatment, it can become an “evergreen.”

We will look at the writings and the process of several notable writers, veterans in the field of nostalgia. They have preserved a world and within those words are inspiration, fascination, humor, and pathos, and since it is all based on real events, often from known names, we can relate to the universals.

The many horror stories, success stores, emotional upheavals and poignant aftermath of events past, take on a personal meaning in the world of nostalgia.

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Everybody’s a Critic! How To Get Your Projects Noticed By Top Critics — And How To Become One Yourself!

Monday, October 26, 2015

How does a book writer, artist, performer/musician, or filmmaker get noticed by professional critics and bloggers, in today’s cacophony of 500 channels, Netflix, and YouTube — especially if they’re small-press, self-published, or an “indie” filmmaker or performer? And just as important, what qualities do critics want to see (and avoid!) in what they’re reviewing? What sets paid/professional film, TV, book, and arts criticism apart in today’s world of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Blogspot “film critics” and “political commentators?” What is the ROLE of the professional critic in today’s society — and can you become one yourself?

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Writing Captivating Memoirs —Tips and Tools

Monday, September 28, 2015

Thinking about writing the stories of your life? Wondering where to start? Or have you started but feel unclear about how to organize your writing? Looking for ideas to make your tales a better read? Are you a published author looking for help writing in memoir form?

We will discuss techniques that help enliven and enrich books of memoir, and tools to sharpen your writing and organization skills. We’ll help you move to the next level of your work.

We will discuss…

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The Lucrative Speaking Business: The Power of Your Personal Story

Monday, July 27, 2015

WOSC is pleased to present an exciting program with international speaker, coach, author and comedian JUDY CARTER.

Do you shy away from public speaking even though it can help you promote your writing career and earn you extra money?

All writers need to know how to do something that’s scary: speak in front of others.

[To read more, click the title!]

An Evening with Ted Lange: Actor – Director – Screenwriter – Playwright – Producer

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ted Lange personifies the Renaissance Man Award he received from the NAACP. A graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Lange gained worldwide recognition as a gifted actor of stage and screen, revered director, and prolific writer.

Join us as he is our guest for an interview and Q&A about his career as an actor, screenwriter, director and playwright…

[To read more, click the title!]

Collaboration: Taking the Mystery Out of Mysteries

Monday, March 30, 2015

Looking for clues on how to get started writing mysteries? Have a who-dun-it in the trunk eager to escape? IWOSC’s March panel assembles a cadre (i.e., a core group of trained personnel able to assume control and to train others) of mystery writers, and a mystery reader-moderator who couldn’t solve a crime if his life depended on it, even though he read “The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook” and mixed his own fingerprint powder with chemicals from his Gilbert Chemistry Set.

Topics for discussion:

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COLLABORATION: Writing it Right, Together

COLLABORATION: Writing it Right, Together

Monday, February 23, 2015

What are the elements that make two (or more) pens better than one?

There are many horror stories and success stores about collaboration. We will take a look at the elements that can make two (or more) pens better than one, and how to spot the poison pens ahead of time. Even Rodgers and Hammerstein had their issues.

Several writers and an attorney will chat about their insights and stories related to collaborative writing.

We will explore…

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Don’t Get Scammed: A “Self Defense” Legal Clinic For Writers

Monday, January 26, 2015

Contracts! Intellectual Property! Collaborations! (Oh my!) As that past California attorney Richard Nixon might have said, “What do writers need to know — and when do they need to know it?” How can we avoid the pitfalls of intellectual property theft, frivolous libel and plagiarism lawsuits, scam literary agents, too-good-to-be-true offers, contract loopholes, and avoid being cheated out of OUR money when we write a book, screenplay/play, or TV format? What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks that writers fall over — in both traditional and agented mainstream publishing, and in self-publishing and small-press publishing? And what new traps are out there in cyberspace and online writing that we need to be aware of?

These questions — and MANY more — will be answered by a small group of top LA and Orange County area experts, who bring decades of experience in their fields to our stage…

[To read more, click the title!]

The LATEST About Social Networks: What You Need to Know NOW!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Social Networking becomes both easier and more difficult all the time. As soon as you get the hang of it, the rules change. But we are not always privy to the subtle changes that may not be well-publicized. Some changes are obvious, and even then, the way to implement these new rules may not be user-friendly. Algorithms and layout can affect all aspects of the experience.

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Actress-Author Adrienne Barbeau in Conversation: From Broadway to Bookseller with ‘Maude’ in Between

Monday, September 29, 2014

“All my life I’ve been a performer – an actress, a singer, a dancer, even a talk show host – but never in the wildest dreams of my first 50 years did I ever imagine I would write something that other people would read. I still can’t quite get over it.”

So writes ADRIENNE BARBEAU on her website, Best known as Bea Arthur’s daughter, Carol, in Norman Lear’s TV series “Maude,” starring in the John Carpenter films “The Fog” and “Escape from New York,” Wes Craven’s “Swamp Thing,” and her creation of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of “Grease,” she has created a versatile career encompassing diverse facets of entertainment and has found success and acclaim as the author of three books.

She has become a best-selling author, a recording artist, and the star of numerous features, films for television, concert performances, musicals and plays. She’s even been a radio show book reviewer and narrates audio books. She’s also written books.

Join us for a lively and unforgettable evening with this multi-talented actress and author.

[To read more, click the title!]

Writing Fiction: The Process and The Business

Monday, July 28, 2014

Many of us have short stories or novels either inside us, in the works, or already published. The world of fiction can be confusing with all of the needed time, artistic, and mechanical decisions.

We have assembled a panel of veterans who have successfully navigated the fiction wars. They will share the ups, downs, secrets, and machinations of writing and selling fiction.

What makes good fiction? How do you create meaningful characters and situations? How do you create fiction out of nonfiction and protecting yourself from real people recognizing themselves. How do you keep track of it all?

We will discuss…

[To read more, click the title!]