South Bay Writers General Meeting

May 31, 2014

Author & (former) Publisher Charlotte Cook
“8 Ways to Make All That Craft Work for You”

South Bay Writers will host its final workshop of the 2013-2014 season on May 31, marking the culmination of the writing club’s focus on “Craft”.

early-bird-may-150“Throughout the year we have delved into craft, sharpened the tools in our kit and, now, in the May Writers Workshop, we will learn how to use them in a winnable way,” said Dave LaRoche, Vice President of South Bay Writers’ Board of Directors, who spearheaded this season’s successful roster of speaker acquisitions.

“With these tools, we will craft superior stories that will build our confidence as writers and win us peer recognition as accomplished authors”.

photo_charlotte-cook-may-150Author and publishing expert Charlotte Cook will present “8 Ways to Make All That Craft Work for You” in a full-day workshop on Saturday, May 31. She returns by popular demand following her successful November presentation on building story arc. Cook will share her expertise on how to weave the elements of craft into a story. Writers will learn how to bring character, dialog, viewpoint, scene, tension, and conflict to their plot in ways that will elevate their yarn to a magical brilliance, make it the compelling piece it deserves.

“I give Charlotte the best of accolades. She is very good at what she does,” LaRoche said.

Cook, MFA, co-founded KOMENAR Publishing and served as its publisher and story editor for five years. Her insight as a writer and as a businessperson in big box retail, high tech, book selling, marketing, teaching, and consulting contributed to KOMENAR’s quick success. Today her reputation within the publishing industry and her keen eye for story editing contribute to the promising careers of writers and screenwriters-turned-novelist. Cook has brought more than 60 writers to publication. In addition, she is a final judge for the annual international Indie Awards.


8:30 am      Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00 am      Workshop Presentation
10:45 am     Break (10 min)
Noon            Lunch
1:00 pm       Workshop Presentation
2:15 pm       Break (10 min)
3:30 pm      Meet Charlotte Cook & Book Signing
4:00 pm      Close

May 12, 2014

Author Tanya Egan Gibson

TanyaEganGibson_jacketphoto150Good dialogue brings your characters to life. Bad dialogue turns them into zombies. (And really, aren’t we all kind of bored with zombies?) Effective dialogue reveals things about characters that they, themselves, might not know. It also shows—rather than tells—how characters feel about and relate to each other. Good dialogue feels “real” to the reader—but, in fact, is usually quite different than “real” speech, as it is compressed, with a few lines of speech standing in for what might be a long conversation. (A literal transcription of the way people really speak, word-for-word is usually boring enough to zombify even the most enthusiastic reader!) This presentation will explore ways to use dialogue to strengthen characterization, reveal your character’s emotional truths, and help define their relationships. We’ll also cover how to balance dialogue and summary. And, most importantly, we’ll discuss how to keep your dialogue from being boring. (Because you don’t want to turn your readers into zombies, either, do you?)

Tanya Egan Gibson is the author of the novel How to Buy a Love of Reading (Dutton, 2009) as well as a freelance editor and writing teacher. Her most recent article for Writer’s Digest, “Fiction in Focus: Learn to Use the Lens of POV to Frame Stronger Scenes,” appeared in the January 2014 issue. Her articles have also appeared in Parents magazine and The Writer. Her short fiction for young adults has appeared in Cicada, and her short fiction for adults has appeared in literary magazines such as Carve, where it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently at work on her second novel, These Hidden Seas.

Handout: 10 Ways to Use Dialogue to Bring Your Characters to Life

COST: $15 (includes $10 for dinner)

LOCATION: Harry’s Hofbrau, 390 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose

6:00 pm Dinner
6:30 pm General Meeting
7:00 pm Break
7:30 pm Speaker Presentation: Margaret Lucke
8:30 pm Networking & Dessert
9:00 pm Close