Ghostwriting and Written With Collaborations

Monday, June 28, 2021

Ghostwriting books for the business, academic, self-help, and biographical/memoir markets can be a lucrative way for someone with a firm skill set as a writer to establish their writing business, or just add an extra stream of income to fall back on. And almost every emerging journalist or movie/TV critic hopes to get a job as a “written with” on a celebrity or politician’s memoirs or book of ideas. So how do you go about it and get started? What’s involved, and how do you make your best impression?

This IWOSC Panel of top experts will address all that and more, as some of America’s top “ghosts” come out into the open, and share some of their top trade secrets. Some of the topics we’ll be discussing include…

Moderator: Telly Davidson
Claudia Suzanne
Roberta Edgar
Michael Levin

[To read more, click the title!]

Ghostwriter Claudia Suzanne

Author Gerald Everett Jones

Getting Ready to Publish Your Book

Monday, May 19, 2021

Getting ready to take your book out to the world? Wonderful! Got questions about how to go about getting published? Such as whether to publish yourself or try for a traditional publisher, and what the steps are for each? Our experts will talk about these questions and more, and provide a number of handouts to help you take concrete steps to get your unique voice heard.

Specifics include…

Gerald Everett Jones
Ina Hillebrandt

[To read more, click the title!]

Writing Successfully For Children In Today’s Complex Time

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Are you working on a children’s book, play, TV or film project? Have you got questions about age appropriateness, for writing your story and developing characters? For marketing? About the form young people are choosing to read books, and is that different in this time of quarantine?

Our expert panelists will talk about these questions, and more.

Moderator: Ina Hillebrandt
Jennifer Murphy
Marilyn Scott-Waters
Laura Taylor Name
Mara Alpert
Elizabeth Martin
Gary Young

[To read more, click the title!]

Book Author Ina Hillebrandt

Marty Nemko

Write More in 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 

Have your creative juices and energies dried up this past year? This month, we bring you a special program, starring the eminent Oakland-based career and personal coach and bestselling author, Dr Marty Nemko.

Marty Nemko has written 13 books — half for major publishers and half self-published, plus over 4,000 well-published articles.

How does he do it? He’ll tell all, and try to answer all your questions.

Our goal is for each of you to leave with at least one new idea for becoming more productive.

[To read more, click the title!]

New Opportunities writing In Film & TV 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

For years, new writers of novels, biographies & memoirs, and nonfiction advice books have had to do a cost/benefit analysis — should we self-publish or partner with a small or specialty press to get our work out there — or should we try for an agent and a shot at the majors?

Now, with the rise of digital and streaming platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Vimeo, and the continued expansion of indie film and film festivals, aspiring filmmakers and TV content creators are faced with similar issues and opportunities:

• What are the pros and cons of going the independent, “self-published” route in indie film and digital TV?

• More

Moderator: Telly Davidson
Maggie Viale
Joel Eisenberg
Chris Redish
Matt Stoner
Jeff Porter

[To read more, click the title!]

Producer Matt Stoner

Our writers meeting panel for How to Write Funny, October 2020.

How to Write Funny 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

“Dying is easy; comedy is difficult,” especially these days. 

But we persist because we can. From the farces of Feydeau, Baudelaire, and Wilde, on to George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Larry Gelbart, Terry Southern, Paddy Chayefsky, and Norman Lear, right on through to Dave Chappelle, Mindy Kaling, and Stephen Colbert today, blistering social satire and, yes, even a few organic laughs are necessary for our sanity.

How do we incorporate humor and zest to spice up our memoirs, novels, and screenplays (especially if they AREN’T straight up comedies)?

And more

Moderator: Gary Young

[To read more, click the title!]

What Writers Must Know About Finding & Working with Representation Today

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

If you choose the route of traditional publishing, it’s more important than ever to have trustworthy, reliable, and knowledgeable representation to guide your book or screenplay (and you!).

We will be having a candid and thorough discussion of the factors (subtle and otherwise) that go into whether a book/screenplay (or an author) gets past the gatekeepers or not.  For instance, how important are one’s social media footprint, level of fame, and prestige college or educational credentials in determining a “yes” or a “no” — regardless of the quality of a book or movie? How does someone’s race, gender or sexual preference, or social/economic class affect their chances of getting a good book or TV/movie deal?

We will concentrate on books as well as film/TV. And through the magic of the webinar form, we will include NEW YORK AGENTS as well as LA and Southern California based agents on the program!

Topics will include:…

Moderator: Telly Davidson
Katie Shea Boutillier
Doug Grad
Jan L. Kardys
Mark Gottlieb
Miriam Altshuler
Michelle Zeitlin

[To read more, click the title!]

Mark Gottlieb

Rocky and Cheryl Detwiler, professional coaches

Monetizing Your Message – 5 Steps to Book-Selling Success

Monday, August 24, 2020

As seen on A&E, ABC, ESPN, FOX, and NBC, Reality TV stars and authors, Rocky & Cheryl Detwiler are professional coaches who teach authors how to land paid speaking engagements, create workshops, and sell their books in bulk.

This Zoom presentation with PowerPoint covers…

[To read more, click the title!]

Conversation with Distinguished Author T.C.Boyle

Monday, August 31, 2020

We have the honor of hearing from and speaking with T.C. Boyle one of the most prolific and decorated writers among us.

He is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California, so he has a world of sharable knowledge for you. T.C. is not the shy, retiring type, so fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a thrilling ride.

He will discuss his writing, his challenges, surprises, advice.

Moderator: Gary Young
T.C. Boyle

[To read more, click the title!]

T.C. Boyle

Marvin J. Wolf, Award Winning Author and Photojournalist

7 Steps to a Successful Book Proposal

Monday, June 29, 2020

Nearly all nonfiction books are sold with a query and proposal that enlists the aid of a literary agent in convincing an acquisitions editor at a publishing entity to advance funds to a writer with an idea.

Presented by Marvin J. Wolf

Moderator: Gary Young

[To read more, click the title!]

Research Techniques For Writers

Online Panel
Monday, May 18, 2020

Taking notes … doing homework … wading through reference books and endless websites … Research and fact-checking for writers has gotten a reputation for being the most boring and tedious part of writing  books and articles. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

This month we bring you and online panel about how to make “playing detective” interesting and exciting, and how to get the most useful information with the least wasted time.

Moderator and Panelist: Telly Davidson
Dr. Kelly Gardiner
Gerald Everett Jones

[To read more, click the title!]

A screenshot from our Research Panel: Gerald, Kelly, Gary, Telly


How to pay for this June 2020 Online Panel Thank you for your RSVP. If you’re a member, your reservation is complete. If you’re not a member please pay here to complete your registration. Because this is an online event, you must pay online. We’ll be emailing you the instructions closer to the date. NOTE: If you reserve and cannot attend, please email the IWOSC office (info at or (310) 773-8075 to let us know. Members attend for free. • Non-members pay $15. Pay online (for non-members only) When you click Add to Shopping Cart, your shopping cart appears at the top right, or below on […]

Conversation with Best-selling Author Lisa See

Monday, April 27, 2020

This month we present this online Webinar via Zoom as our monthly Seminar.

Best-selling author Lisa See has generously accepted our invitation to speak with us and answer our questions. She is a supremely gifted writer with a brilliant wealth of involving, enduring, and memorable stories.

Presented by: Lisa See

[To read more, click the title!]

Author Lisa See

IWOSC writer's group Podcast Revolution Panel

How to Join the Podcast Revolution

Monday, February 24, 2020

Podcasting is not new, but 2019 was the year this medium really took off! In 2020, the number of podcasts are expected to grow even faster. According to, January 2020 statistics show that there are over 820,000 podcasts and over 28 million episodes. 50% of American homes are podcast fans.

What is a podcast?
Basically it’s a series of audio files placed on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device. While this sounds simple, there are a lot of steps involved in creating a quality podcast, making it available, and getting people to listen.

This month, we will present a panel of podcasters who have taken this new path to content delivery. They’ll share their experiences, tips, missteps and the secrets to creating a killer podcast series.

Moderator: Robin Quinn
A.G. Billig
Desireé Duffy
Herbie J Pilato
Gerald Everett Jones

[To read more, click the title!]

The Business and Taxes of Writing

Monday, January 27, 2020

To kick off the new year of 2020, IWOSC/PALA is presenting a program to deal with taxes, starring a top Los Angeles area CPA and an attorney, to give advice on conducting our business as writers and publishers. And this year, California writers have a lot more on their plates than merely planning for their annual appointment with the IRS in April.

Moderator: Telly Davidson
Dmitriy Veli
Michael S. Klein

[To read more, click the title!]

Dmitriy Velin

Desiree Duffy

Publicity Panel — 2020 Book Publicity

Monday, November 4, 2019

It’s time to tell the world about your book. The writing and publishing are done, or nearly so, and now your thinking is shifting towards publicity. What should you start doing? Is your vision 2020 for the coming year?

Moderator: Steven Sanchez
Emanuela Cariolagian
Kathleen Kaiser
Lee Wind
Desireé Duffy

[To read more, click the title!]

Legal Issues for Publishers & Writers

Monday, September 23, 2019

Jonathan Kirsch, a publishing and intellectual property attorney based in Los Angeles, updates LA publishers on the profound changes that are taking place in the publishing industry and what they mean for your publishing business.

[To read more, click the title!]

Jonathan Kirsch Q&A at our writer's group

Los Angeles Public Library logo

Kidlit: Writing & Publishing Literature for Kids

Monday, July 29, 2019

Public radio veteran Kitty Felde will moderate and join a panel of professionals talk about writing for young audiences — picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and Young Adult (YA)

Moderator: Kitty Felde
Sherri L. Smith

[To read more, click the title!]

What Writers & Publishers Should Know About Audiobooks

Monday, June 24, 2019

What to know about creating an audiobook version of your book?

Have you wondered about the viability or value of creating an audio version of your book? Does your book lend itself to an audio version? Could it?

Whether you’ve already written and published your book or are still writing it, whether your words are fiction or nonfiction, the insights from our panel of professional voice actors can be of great benefit as you contemplate the possibility of turning it into an audio book.

Our panel, composed of professional and experienced voice actors and producers, will discuss

  • The economics of producing an audio book
  • How adding sound, music and studio tricks can make your audiobook pop
  • If the voice in your mind is the voice heard on your audiobook

And, top voice actors will read some of your words so you can hear how gender, age and style can affect your written words

Bring your books and your questions so our great panel can provide information and answers that you need to know.

Moderator: Andre Stojka
Diane Michelle
Brenny Bravos
Marc Graue

[To read more, click the title!]

Carson Beck

Literary Agent Holly Root

Annual Agents Panel for writers – 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

In today’s lighting-paced marketplace, it’s more important than ever to have an advocate to fight for you if you choose the route of traditional publishing.

The Independent Writers of Southern California — that’s us — is again presenting a panel of stellar Southern California agents (for both books and film/TV) that will tell you what you need to know…

Moderator: Telly Davidson
WordWise Media Services
Ken Sherman
Holly Root
Sherry Robb  
Steve Hutson

[To read more, click the title!]

Books to Film — for novelists, memoir and biography authors, and journalists

Monday, April 29, 2019

For writers who wonder how to write a book that can be adapted to film, we bring you a panel of four experienced women to help you out.

What storytelling qualities help make a novel, biography/memoir, or news article a must-see for the screen, and how do you “boil down” your book to something movie-appropriate?

How a writer can best position his or her work for a screen option and get it read by Hollywood gatekeepers and decision makers?

Do self-published and small press authors carry professional credibility —  and if not, how do they establish it?

Our panel:
Nancy Ellen DoddWendy Kram
Wendy Kram

Sam Shaw
Tinker Lindsay

[To read more, click the title!]

Tinker Lindsay

Thriller writer David Putnam

Solving the Mystery of Writing Good Mysteries

Monday, March 25, 2019

Everybody loves a mystery — but NOT everybody knows how to write one. That’s not a surprise since there are almost as many kinds of mystery novels as there are novels themselves.

From plot pacing to story structure to the eternal choice between plot-driven and character-driven fiction, our next panel for writers will address mystery novels.

Looking for clues on how to get started writing mysteries? Have a who-done-it in the trunk eager to escape?

Some of the topics our psychological autopsy will be focusing on…

Moderator: For now we’ll leave that as a mystery for you
April Smith
Patricia Smiley
David Putnam
Betty Hechtman

[To read more, click the title!]

Writing Health & Wellness

Monday, February 25, 2019 

Health & Wellness titles, like Come as You Are, Chris Beat Cancer and The Fast Metabolism Diet, continue to be among the top sellers in books on and off line.

What can you do to make your book stand out among all the competition?

How can you get your book done?
Do you have to be a health expert to publish in this arena?
How do you find gigs to write books for the experts in this field?
What are the latest and greatest marketing strategies?
How can you best manage your time as an author, whether you went the traditional route or self-published?

Moderator: Robin Quinn
Jerri Sher
Emily Dwass
Derek Doepker
Steve Hutson

[To read more, click the title!]

What Kind of Publishing is Right for Me?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Our writers’ group kicks off 2019 with a program designed specifically to help writers determine which path is the best (and the most profitable) for them in today’s world of traditional publishing, self-publishing, small presses, and online and E-books.

There will be plenty of lively discussion, questions taken from the audience, and a chance to network and connect after the program.

Moderator: Ina Hillebrandt
Colleen Dunn Bates
Sharon Goldinger

[To read more, click the title!]

Writing Memoirs & Biographies — Every Life Has a Story

Monday, October 29, 2018 

Would you love to write the stories of your life and see them published?

Or is there a person you want to write about? A celebrity (famous or infamous) for whom you have a special insight or secret passion? A biography that only you can write?

IWOSC’s panel of experienced authors, memoirists, biographers, and occasional ghosts is here to help!

Where do you start?

Moderator: Telly Davidson
Douglas Segal
Ray Richmond
Herbie J Pilato
Ina Hillebrandt

[To read more, click the title!]