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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Donation to Sojourn

Donation to Sojourn

The Pam Leven Book Nook
at Sojourn Services For Battered Women And Their Children.

This little library is room where Sojourn clients can select from donated books including many self-help and domestic violence books.

As a tribute to our longtime treasurer, Pam Leven, a supporter of battered women’s shelters, IWOSC donated $2,500 to Sojourn Services For Battered Women And Their Children. Sojourn is a domestic violence program within Santa Monica’s OPCC (Ocean Park Community Center).

We lost Pam when she died from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident December 2013. We love that Pam is now honored by a spot in which women in need can be comfortable as they read and empower themselves.

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IWOSC Annual Holiday Bash Goes Back to the Biltmore!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We met for no-host cocktails in the gorgeous Rendezvous Court and some of us took an optional escorted tour of this historic hotel that included seeing the elegant ballrooms and indoor pool.

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Stacey Aaronson’s Become a Self-Published Author with Excellence

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The self-publishing model has changed a great deal over the last three years, creating a wonderful open door for writers to see their name on a published book.

Unfortunately, most aspiring authors make detrimental mistakes in bringing their books to fruition and publishing them, ultimately diminishing—rather than solidifying—their credibility.

Stacey Aaronson will not only share the missteps most people make when embarking on self-publishing so that you can avoid them, but she will impart the essentials you must know to become a self-published author with excellence and marketability, such as…

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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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Tiffany Bradshaw’s “Branding for the Writer” Workshop

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Brand: A unique and identifiable symbol, association, name or trademark which serves to differentiate competing products or services. Both a physical and emotional trigger to create a relationship between consumers and the product or service. A simple way to recall it is to consider a brand as a promise or an expectation.

Personal branding is the most important thing that you can do for your career.

This seminar will discuss Personal Branding and why it is important for writers. Tiffany will discuss Branding in terms of…

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IWOSC Reads Its Own – October 2014

IWOSC Reads Its Own
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Twice a year IWOSC holds a special FREE event — “IWOSC Reads Its Own” — a spellbinding afternoon of eclectic, eccentric, and exemplary works — from poems to true stories to hilarious monologues and beyond, read aloud by distinguished IWOSC scribes.

Thirteen of IWOSC’s talented member writers will read short excerpts from their work.

Their selections may be published, unpublished, or works in progress. We’ll be regaled with their wit, have our emotions stirred, or be plunged into deep thought, at Barnes & Noble in the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade.

Everyone is invited!

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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.

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Alison Gee’s “The First Ten Pages”

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The first ten pages of a creative nonfiction book can make or break you as a writer. You have to establish your story, determine your tone, introduce your core characters, develop the drama and major conflict, and hint at a narrative arc and main themes.

Sound like a tall order? It is and there’s a reason for that…

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IWOSC Reads Its Own – August 2014

IWOSC Reads Its Own
Sunday, August 3, 2014

On August 3rd we were regaled with wit, had our emotions stirred, and plunged into deep thought, at the beautiful independent bookstore, Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, California.

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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…

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Stacie Chaiken’s “What’s the Story?” Workshop

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stacie Chaiken’s What’s the Story? workshop is for artists who are wrestling with personal (not necessarily autobiographical) story, for any genre.

It’s not about “what happened”; it’s about what you want to say, and why

What’s the Story? is an exercise in empathy, an innovative group-process approach to selecting into the morass of information that is our lives.

Please bring…

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The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages with Nancy Ellen Dodd

Nancy Ellen Dodd

Saturday, June 28, 2014

How do you write the story you want to tell and capture your audience’s heart? Regardless of genre or format, to tell an effective story you must first sort through all the ideas you’ve been toying with—organize them, whip them into shape, and turn them into great writing.

In “The Writer’s Compass” Seminar you will learn how to do just that.

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POETRY – Creative, Illusive, Challenging – encompassing a staggeringly wide range of styles and themes

Monday, May 19, 2014

There was a poet from Los Angeles
Whose limericks never would scangeles.
When asked just why so
He replied, “I really don’t know –
“Maybe it’s because I always try to cram as many syllables into the last line as I possibly cangeles.”

Well, poets do take license.

Our panel of established and credentialed poets will discuss the poetic form as they use it, their
marketing ideas, and the aesthetic and public opportunities for poets.

Impressive energy is employed as a poem is created, and a similar level of energy and creativity is required to really get the poem seen and marketed.

Our panelists have been through it all, and have won many of the battles in a field that has been described as a minefield.

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Pitching For Film and TV – with Pilar Alessandra, The ‘Script Whisperer’

Pilar Alessandra

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pitch quickly and avoid producer tune-out. Returning presenter Pilar Alessandra offers written templates that help writers define the key elements of their screenplay or television series. Writers learn to pitch their ideas in a brief, concise and entertaining manner that emphasizes the hook and eliminates “writer-babble.”

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1st Annual California Bookstore Day

Outside event
Saturday, May 3, 2014

More than 90 independent bookstores across California will celebrate books, readers and indie bookselling.

There will be famous authors and books you cannot get on any other day, in any other place.

There will be reads, and prizes, and things to eat and drink.

IWSOC reminds you that in So Cal you’re welcome at Vroman’s. The writers of IWOSC always enjoy their visits to Vroman’s when it hosts our writers as well as when they come in on any day.

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Annual Literary Agents Panel: What Writers Must Know About Working With Representation Today — and Tomorrow

Monday, April 28, 2014

In a fast-changing marketplace, it’s more important than ever to have an advocate to fight for you when going the route of traditional publishing.

This annual program again presents writers with a panel of stellar Southern California agents who will provide a look at their world today.

We’ll cover what you need to know to find the right representative, how to get their attention, “do’s and don’ts,” what kind of feedback you can expect to receive, and the steps you should take to create the strongest and longest-lasting relationships with writers and editors — as well as touch on what the future of the author/agent relationship will be in our new era of publishing, film/cable, and technology.

We will also have a top Hollywood motion picture and TV agent who specializes in working with newer writers, for those who are pursuing screenwriting rather than (or in addition to) book writing. And we’ll be examining the E-book factor, transitioning from self-publishing to traditional publishing, book-to-film deals, and more. Come join us!

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Magazines and Periodicals — Digital and Print: How to Get Editors’ Attention

Monday, March 31, 2014

As with all phase of publishing, the magazine is in flux, switching from print to online and back to both. It’s almost a brand-new field.

Magazines are plentiful. It always seems as if they are starving for content but not eager to receive content, or are secretive about the process. We will draw back the curtain a bit and offer insight into the sometimes mystical but actually very practical art of magazine and newspaper submission.

Not all magazines and papers 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.

Several magazine and newspaper editors and representatives will tell you…

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IWOSC Reads Its Own – March 2014

IWOSC Reads Its Own
Sunday, March 16, 2014

Everyone is invited!

A great group joined us for a afternoon of eclectic, eccentric, and exemplary works — from poems to true stories to hilarious monologues and beyond — read aloud by the following distinguished IWOSC scribes.

The writing was varied — poetry, fiction, memoir, nonfiction.

Location: Vroman’s Bookstore

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Method Writing: An Organic Approach to Writing” with Presenter Jack Grapes

Saturday, March 15, 2014

“Method Writing” is an organic approach to writing, much as method acting is an organic approach to acting, stressing inner process and deep voice. “Method Writing” consists of various concepts that take the writer through techniques designed to make the writing more compelling and more effective, publishable and productive.

Back by popular demand, Jack Grapes…

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Behind the Screen: Writing for TV Today – and Tomorrow

Monday, February 24, 2014

In the past decade, primetime TV has transformed itself from what critics once derided as a “vast wasteland” to the long-form equivalent of Oscar-winning movies and indie films.

There’s the edgy stylishness of “CSI,” “ER,” and “Game of Thrones”; the nuance and subtext of “Mad Men,” “Downton Abbey,” and “The Good Wife”; and the machine-gun dialogue of “24,” “Homeland,” and “House of Cards.”

There were decade-definers like “Lost” and “The Sopranos,” and anti-heroes like “House,” “Dexter,” and “The Mentalist.”

But what does it all mean for the people who actually write and create these shows?

How does a writer get a chance to write for today’s TV shows, anyway?

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Grammar for Grownups: Painless Grammar and Punctuation Review for Writers

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Has the lazy language of email made your professional communications sloppy?
Do you agonize over articles and query letters?
Do you fear grammatical errors?
Have you forgotten the rules you learned in school?
And do they still apply?

Presenter Flo Selfman calls herself a “professional nitpicker.” Participants will gain grammar confidence with a review of simple rules to correct dozens of commonly made errors.

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