IWOSC Annual Winter Party

Monday, December 5, 2006

Sugar Plum Fairies are already dancing in our heads! On Monday, December 5, we kicked off the holiday season by returning to the beautiful and historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles for IWOSC’s annual winter party. Drinking and dining at Smeraldi’s, the Biltmore’s main-floor restaurant just off the old lobby, with a lavish buffet.

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An Evening with Sandra Tsing Loh, in Conversation with Digby Diehl

Monday, November 21, 2006

Departing from our usual formula, we are excited to host Sandra Tsing Loh in conversation with Digby Diehl. Heard regularly on KPCC, writer-performer-musician Loh is a talented wordsmith who pens in-depth observances about everyday occurrences transfigured into delicious rants. Loh writes for many genres and has interesting experiences and advice to share. No stranger to controversy, Loh was fired from a radio commentator job over an un-bleeped obscenity, which triggered her transformation into a free-speech and First Amendment advocate.

Loh is currently appearing in her one-woman show, “Mother on Fire,” at the 24th St. Theatre (see item below). Previously, she was seen in solo performance at the Geffen Playhouse in “Sugar Plum Fairy.” Her other shows include “Aliens in America,” “Bad Sex With Bud Kemp,” and “I Worry.”

Her books include “A Year in Van Nuys,” “Aliens in America,” “Depth Takes a Holiday,” and a novel, “If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now,” which was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 100 best fiction books of 1998. Her story, “My Father’s Chinese Wives,” received a 1997 Pushcart Prize and was featured in the 1999 Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. She and her husband Mike Miller also composed the music for Jessica Yu’s documentary short, “Breathing Lessons,” which won an Oscar in 1998.

The evening will be hosted by acclaimed writer and critic Digby Diehl.

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Capturing the Stories of Family, Friends and Organizations

Monday, Nov 20, 2006

More Americans (and American companies) than ever are researching their roots, often making surprising discoveries — and sometimes they need the help of a professional writer. Please join IWOSC as a panel of history detectives get together to discuss the methods and marketplace for creating family and corporate histories. Learn about the methods and marketplace for family and corporate histories from oral historians, writers, and a genealogist who focus on our ancestry.

Moderator: Richard Sherer
Jean Chapman Snow
Ellie Kahn
Teresa Barnett

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The Profitable Pen: New Approaches to Making Money as a Writer

Saturday, November 19, 2006

IWOSC is pleased to present humorist and author Michael J. Herman’s workshop, “The Profitable Pen: New Approaches to Making Money as a Writer.” According to Herman, the reason writers are perpetually broke is because they don’t understand that writing is not just an art form or a craft, it is a business, plain and simple. Until you approach it as such, he says, you will never make any money!

In this dynamic, humorous, fast-paced, irreverent, and revolutionary program, Herman will show you…

Presented by: Michael J. Herman

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Grant Writing: Harvesting Generosity

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Grant writing is truly satisfying work for a writer, but it has a reputation for being a stodgy, bureaucratic form. But during the course of IWOSC’s November Saturday Seminar, Kim Zanti, who has spent two decades in the fundraising, business communications, corporate identity, and public relations sectors, hopes to dispel that notion!

In truth, your well-thought, persuasive and passionate words, sent to carefully-evaluated foundations and/or other funding sources, can result in children being educated, affordable housing being constructed, or an arts program being established. While you are earning money as a writer, you are also bringing hope to people and help to organizations in need.

This IWOSC-sponsored grant writing seminar offers writers…

Presented by: Kim Zanti

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The Marketplace for Ethnic Writers and Writing

Monday, Oct 30, 2006

Los Angeles is one of the world’s most culturally-diverse cities. But does that bode well for ethnic writers? Is the market for ethnic writing growing, or not? A multi-cultural panel of writers in a variety of genres will discuss their success stories and the most promising market segments, as well as exploring inter- and intra-cultural conflicts.

Moderator Julio Moran was part of the Los Angeles Times team of reporters, editors, and photographers who won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize For Public Service. The winning work was a 21-part series on Latinos in Southern California. Today, Moran is Executive Director of the non-profit Chicano News Media Association, and serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism teaching news writing and reporting.

Moderator: Julio Moran
Karen Grigsby Bates
James Lujan

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Perfect Pitch: Queries and Book Proposals that Sell

Saturday, Oct 21, 2006

So, you have a great idea for a book. Now you need to sell that idea to an editor and publisher! In this IWOSC seminar, Marvin J. Wolf, the author of a dozen books and hundreds of magazine articles, presents the art and science of writing successful book proposals.

A book proposal is a sales pitch, the information (both form and content) that publishers use to decide whether they want to publish your book and how much money they will devote to it. In this seminar, you’ll learn how…

Presented by: Marvin J. Wolf

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True Fiction: How to Write Creative and Literary Non-Fiction

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A key in nonfiction magazine and book writing of the past several decades is the increasing use of creative and literary writing techniques in the telling of a true tale.

Instructor Deanne Stillman is a widely published writer whose book of literary nonfiction, Twentynine Palms: A True Story of Murder, Marines, and the Mojave, was an L.A. Times Book Review “best book of 2001.”

Presented by: Deanne Stillman

Magazine Top Editors Talk Trends

Monday, Sept 25, 2006

Los Angeles has become a hotbed for magazine publishing. Top editors will share the secrets of breaking into their publications. The editors will tell you how to get their attention, what department is most actively looking for fresh ideas, how to contact them, and each will provide a calendar of upcoming topics. This year’s guests TBA, but in the past IWOSC has hosted editors from such prestigious publications as Angeleno, Ms., Los Angeles Times Magazine, Bon Appetit, and People, among others.

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Legally Speaking – The Law and the Writer

Saturday, August 19, 2006

If you are an author, writer or publisher of any sort, whether of books, via the Internet, games, or any other kind of publisher, intellectual property laws affect you very directly.

This seminar is designed to give an overview of the laws of copyright, trademark, contracts, and other issues related to publishing and writing. It includes information on how those laws and issues have been impacted and modified by the Internet, as well as the business and entrepreneurship issues related to writing and publishing.

Presented by: Ivan Hoffman

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Annual Summer Party — Farnsworth Park

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Spend a leisurely summer afternoon mingling with fellow writers, feasting on Mediterranean food, sipping wine and sangria, and taking in a panoramic view of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond.

We’ll be at the Depression-era William O. Davies Memorial community building at Farnsworth Park. The historic stone building reveals the influence of the naturalistic trend of the California Arts and Crafts period and the handmade, careful construction of local artisans. If it’s a clear day, we’ll be able to see the downtown Los Angeles skyline and the Pacific Ocean. The building is both cooland cooled. It’s historic, beautiful, easy to locate, and the parking is free.

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Collaborations: Writing It Right Together

Monday, July 31, 2006

What are the elements that make two (or more) pens better than one? In this IWOSC Monday night program, our speakers will share their insights and experiences related to the collaborative writing experience. We’ll explore why the writers chose collaboration, how writing partners and projects are found, tips for having a productive relationship, the ways collaboration differs from going solo, how the dynamics change when more than two people are pounding out words together, and more. The legal aspects of team efforts will also be reviewed.

Moderator: Robin Quinn
Irma Kalish and Naomi Gurian
Susan Golant
Patricia Alexander
Matt Stephens
Jonathan Kirsch

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Rewriting Secrets For Screenwriters

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Get me rewrite! Screen scribe Tom Lazarus, author of Secrets of Film Writing and former IWOSC panelist, is back with a new book, Rewriting Secrets for Screenwriters: Seven Strategies to Improve and Sell Your Work.

One of the important, if not the most important, parts of screenwriting is rewriting.

Presented by: Tom Lazarus

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Chick Lit

Monday, June 26, 2006

No, it’s not a chewing gum. And for IWOSC, it’s not just fiction for young women, though we certainly appreciate those gals who have gotten their stilettos through the door and published breezy, candy-coated romps.

This panel will discuss the many avenues of writing for the women’s market, both fiction and non-fiction, young and old, romantic and erotic, service-oriented and just plain fun. (Men, come find out how you can write for the women’s marketplace.)

Moderator: Anne Mosbergen
Produced by Anne Mosbergen, with assistance from Laura Meyers.

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How to Tell a Poem and Other Solo Acts: A performance workshop

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Poets and writers take such care with words; you edit, massage and repeat them until a plain collection of letters and spaces embodies a place, a time, a person on the page. But all too often, when you read the piece aloud, something goes flat. The writer speaks the words but never draws the listener into the poem or story.

How to Tell a Poem will teach you how to release the piece from the page. This workshop is not about memorizing and microphones; it is about using your words, your voice and your imagination to enter the world of the work. It is about getting out of the way so that the poem or story can speak for itself.

Presented by: Deborah Edler Brown

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Success Secrets of the Super Successful

Saturday, May 19, 2006

Whether you’re opening a pizza parlor in Peoria or trying to forge a successful career penning powerful prose (or poetry), successful people have traits in common. Is there something in their DNA? Can it be learned? Or is it a combination of both — the nature vs. nurture argument.

You will get information and inspiration here that you can’t get anyplace else. Plus, expect an extensive Q&A session.

Presented by: Michael Levine

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An Insider’s View of Agenting: Everything You Need to Know About Agents But Didn’t Know Whom to Ask

Monday, May 1, 2006

Ever think of getting an agent? Considering changing your representation? If so, this specially scheduled May agents panel is just right for you!

Our agent speakers will reveal what impresses them, as well as what turns them off. What are the winning qualities of those crucial query letters? What should you say during early conversations with agencies? How do you determine which agent is right for you in the first place? What are agents looking for today? We’ll also consider other aspects of the changing marketplace as well as cutting-edge parts of contracts.

Moderator: Robin Quinn
Sharlene Martin, Martin Literary Management
Attorney Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D.
Mark Pavlovich, Marian Berzon Talent Agency
Jenoyne Adams, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency
Paul Levine, Paul S. Levine Literary Agency

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SoCal Magazines in Focus: Top Editors Talk Trends

Monday, April 24, 2006

Los Angeles has become a new hotbed for magazine publishing, with new arrivals every month. The top editors from several of these new arrivals – including Ms., V Life, Angeleno and Create – will talk about the Los Angeles magazine scene and opportunities for writers in the pages of their publications. Each editor will describe what the magazine is broadly about, and what kinds of things it does cover and does NOT cover. The editors will tell you how to get their attention, what department is most actively looking for fresh ideas, how to contact them, and will provide a calendar of upcoming topics.

John Alan Schwartz, editor of The Big Picture
Alexandria Abramian-Mott, Editor-in-Chief of Angeleno Magazine
Ted Johnson, Deputy Editor of V Life
PJ Cannon, a contributor to Create Magazine
Michele Kort, senior editor of Ms. Magazine

Life’s A Pitch: Preparing to Pitch Your Ideas to TV and Film Producers

Saturday, April 15, 2006

In addition to writing well, today’s screenwriters, novelists, playwrights and journalists must also be able to convince editors, producers, and publishers to read their work. Pitching your writing — and yourself — is an art that all professional writers must master.

In this interactive, fun workshop, you’ll learn how to pitch yourself and your writing with ease, and you’ll learn this art from an expert: independent film producer Suzanne Lyons. You’re also invited to bring a “raw” pitch for your screenplay, stage-play, novel, non-fiction book or article to the seminar and get personal feedback from our seminar leaders on how to polish and improve your approach.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to prepare yourself for the upcoming 2006 PitchFest and other career networking opportunities.

Presented by: SUZANNE LYONS

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Living for Words: Poets and Poetry in Southern California

Monday, March 27, 2006

On the eve of National Poetry Month, the Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC) hosts a panel of poets discussing the poetic life in Los Angeles.

Please join Keven Bellows, a Los Angeles teacher, and author of the poetry collection, “Taking Your Own True Name,” Sarah Maclay, the prize-winning author of three limited-edition chapbooks and the book “Whore,” Deborah Edler Brown, an award-winning poet and journalist, performer and storyteller, author and teacher, 1997 Head-to-Head Haiku champion, member of the 1998 Los Angeles Poetry Slam team and the 2005 recipient of the Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Prize, and Catherine Daly, the author of two books of poetry, the trilogy “DaDaDa” (part of a long project entitled “CONFITEOR”) and the collection “Locket.”

The poets on the panel will share their work and shed some light on the life of a poet in Southern California. They will discuss the poetry (and readings) scene here, the business and publishing side of poetry (as in, can a poet earn a living at writing?), and how the discipline of writing poetry can improve other forms of writing.

Moderator: Jim Natal, curator and co-host of the long-running Poem.X monthly poetry series in Santa Monica.

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Self-Publishing for Profit

Monday, February 27, 2006

Today, self-publishing has become a legitimate and professional method of getting your book out into the marketplace. Whether you are establishing yourself as an expert to enhance a speaking career, to otherwise extend your credentials, or to simply sell books, self-publishing can be a smart choice.

Done right, self-publishing is cost-effective, quick compared to publishing houses’ normal timeframes, pays much better than standard royalty contracts, and lets you maintain control over the publishing process. Conversely, there are production costs, technical and software requirements that can take time to master, and distribution deals to strike. And, self-publishing also requires extensive self-marketing and promotion.

Our panel of experts will compare the pros and cons, risks and rewards, of mainstream publishing versus self-publishing, and reveal how self-publishing has worked for several authors.

Moderator: Gary Young
Joel Eisenberg
Rennie Gabriel
David Samson
John Seeley
Rob Schmidt

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Spiders and Bugs: Web Writing and Management

Saturday, February 17, 2006

Today’s effective professional writers use the Internet as both a tool and a marketplace. Learn how at IWOSC’s January Saturday Seminar, when iMedia Editor in Chief Brad Berens discusses writing for the Internet, and Internet marketing expert Cliff Allen speaks about webmastering.

The workshop will cover the differences between writing online and off; site metrics and how they inform editorial decisions; how to design, implement and manage a website; tips on creating a good website; and personalization, e-mail marketing, and data mining. In addition, Berens will talk about iMedia’s current needs and its marketplace for freelancers, including his freelance budget.

Presented by: Cliff Allen and Brad Berens

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Where Do I Put The Apostrophe?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Even seasoned writing pros sometimes need to brush up on basic grammar and usage – as evidenced by the often-comical mistakes we sometimes see in newspapers and magazines.

Has the lazy language of e-mail made your professional communications sloppy? Do you agonize every time you prepare an article or a query letter because you’re afraid it contains grammar and punctuation errors? Some of this you may not have learned in school, or you may have forgotten.

Participants will gain grammar confidence in a review of few simple rules that can correct dozens of the most commonly made errors in written and spoken communication. Topics to be covered include…

Presented by: Flo Selfman

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