Come learn more about the craft of writing from the wonderfully talented Cindy Holby.

Cindy Holby

How do you make your characters real? How do you make sure their dialogue is natural and unstilted? How do you produce a plot that has sufficient obstacles for the characters to overcome?

Cindy Holby knows. Since she published her first book in 2002 she’s written eleven historicals, three sci/fi romances, one time travel, and four young adult novels. Obviously, she has learned a great deal about our craft, and she’s going to share it with us in a special program.

Whether you’re a beginning or advanced writer (or if you’re thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo – see below), this is a can’t-miss program. It’s going to be held Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. at Reynolda Manor Library Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

We’re gearing up for National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it’s usually called (because it’s more fun to say), is November. Those who take up the pencil, pen, or laptop commit themselves to write a 50,000-word novel by November 30.

Once again Winston-Salem Writers is ready to encourage all who are interested in participating. We’re going to hold a rally at the end of October to get everyone in the mood to write, we’ll hold weekly “write-ins” during November, and we’ll have a party at the end of the month to celebrate your accomplishments.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Look for all the details in the next issue of this newsletter, and start sharpening those pencils!

Are you writing a script? We have a group for you!

The Winston-Salem Writers Script Group is beginning its second year.  This is a very informal group, and anyone is welcome to visit—either to have a script read out loud or to take part in reading scripts or to hear what others are doing.

The group generally meets the first Saturday of the month at 2 p.m. at the Reynolda Branch Library. Our November meeting, however, will be the on the second Saturday (November 8) at 2 p.m. at the Community Arts Café in downtown Winston-Salem. This will be an excellent opportunity for positive feedback for anyone considering entering the upcoming WSW 10-minute play contest. If you wish to be added to the mailing list for the Script Group, contact Grace Ellis,

Congratulations to the poets selected for Poetry in Plain Sight in October.

Look for the posters featuring these poems in store windows throughout downtown Winston-Salem.

“Leaves” by Joan Leotta
“Deer Crossing” by Beth Copeland
“Legacy (for Maya)” by Abrea Armstrong
“Animal Power” by Ricky Garni

Writing with Anne

(WSW Board Member Anne Civitano has long been curating all sorts of writing tips, websites, and ideas. In this feature, Anne shares some of her “finds” with us.)

Author Kiki Sullivan blogs the whys and hows of outlining at Fiction University.

Art Holcomb guest blogs about the eight essential steps it takes to become a professional writer at the Storyfix blog.

I wouldn’t be WSW’s critique group coordinator if I didn’t add every reference to taking or making useful critique in this column.

And of course, an infographic. This one, from Pinterest via Flickr, is about how societies form. It was suggested as appropriate to consider for world-building novelists.

Writing opportunity of the week.


Deadline: October 31…Prizes: Publication …Entry fee: None

Under the Gum Tree celebrates its 3-year anniversary by accepting OPEN (no fee) submissions. The editors are looking to publish creative nonfiction: true stories about human interactions—with each other, with food, with music, with film, which are told in original and beautiful ways.” Submission guidelines are here.


Sam Barbee had two poems, “Backscatter” and “Seven Colors”, accepted by the new online literary journal What the Fiction. Also, his poem “Jury Nullification” was selected by the Asheville Poetry Review for its 20th Anniversary Edition.

During the past month, Grace Ellis has had short plays read at Outta-the-Bag, the regional Dramatists Guild meeting in Raleigh, the Evening of Short Plays in Greensboro, and a play slam in Carrboro.  Her play “Last Call” has been accepted for Paper Lantern’s “Get Your Fright On” evening of short plays at Summit School in Winston-Salem at 8 PM on Friday, October 24 and at the Cabaret Theater above Triad Stage on Saturday, October 25.

Dan O’Sullivan has several ekfrastic poems hanging with photography at the GreenTree Peer Center Artist’s Fair this month.

Chris Roerden will lead a 2-hour workshop and interactive discussion of dialogue techniques to enliven your plots and make your characters memorable. It’s called “Watch What You Put in Your Characters’ Mouths!” It’s Sunday Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. in the High Point Library.

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