Each month in 2012, the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers welcomed a speaker to their Wednesday night meeting held at the Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. In September the group celebrated its seventh anniversary.
Since it began in September 2005, the group has grown from 15 members to 70 members, according to founder/president Patricia L. Brooks. “These women writers continue to amaze me with their loyalty to each other, the camaraderie they bring to the meetings and their enthusiasm for writing and sharing stories,” she said. “Their energy each month is infectious, and the exceptional speakers who share their expertise with us only add to that enthusiasm.”
Here is a recap of the year:
Wednesday, Jan. 25: Author of “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections,” Larry James has been a full-time professional speaker and author teaching success principles since 1987. He is the founder and president of CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com and CelebrateLove.com and served on staff with Dr. John Gray, Ph.D., author of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” for eight years. He was Dr. Gray’s personal choice to host the popular “Mars/Venus Chat Room” on America Online and served as host for nearly three years. James has also appeared on ABC TV’s “The View” with Barbara Walters and on more than 650 radio talk shows.
Wednesday, Feb. 29: Editor, author and speaker Jan Holmes Frost spoke on the topic “How Important Are Your First 100 Words?” She is the author of techno-thriller “Without Sanctions” and “Eight Things You Need to Know to Write a Novel.” Educated in Boston, Mass., Frost is a former acquisitions editor with Fireship Press, an Arizona-based international publisher. She does freelance editing and has taught workshops in Arizona, California and Texas.
Wednesday, March 28: Public relations expert Lynn Wiese Sneyd discussed ways of building an author platform via social media, what type of information to disseminate, and how to develop a following and sell books. Sneyd holds a bachelor of arts in English from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. As the owner of LWS Literary Services, she coordinates publicity campaigns for authors of both non-fiction and fiction books, as well as providing editing and ghostwriting services. Sneyd is the author of “Holistic Parenting: Raising Children to a New Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being” and co-author of “Healthy Solutions: A Guide to Simple Healing and Healthy Wisdom,” which received the Arizona Book Award for best health/nutrition/wellness book. She and her husband currently reside in Tucson, Ariz.
Wednesday, April 25: Scottsdale mystery author Betty Webb discussed how deep personal beliefs can enhance your writing, in fiction as well as nonfiction, and drew parallels between her experience as a journalist and the plots of her critically acclaimed mystery novels. A mystery writer with a social conscience, Webb is the author of seven books in the Lena Jones series, the latest of which is “Desert Wind.” She has also written three books in the Gunn Zoo series. The third, “The Llama of Death,” comes out Jan. 6, 2013. Her books have received top reviews from the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and others. In addition, Webb is a reviewer and columnist for Mystery Scene magazine.
Wednesday, May 30: Author, editor and writing coach Carol Elizabeth Test presented step-by-step techniques for fictionalizing factual events. Test earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona in 2005. Formerly editor-in-chief of the literary magazine Sonora Review, she currently teaches creative writing at Phoenix College and coaches Valley writers on fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. Her award-winning fiction has appeared in such publications as Swink, Night Train, The Normal School and Other Voices: Journal of the Literary and Visual Arts. “The West in You,” Test’s debut collection, was a finalist for The Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.
Wednesday, June 27: Award-winning author Melissa Pritchard spoke on “The Writer as Curator, Witness, Diviner.” Offering examples from contemporary American fiction, she explored three major areas writers address in their work: the past, the present and the future. Pritchard has taught creative writing at Arizona State University since 1992 and in 2011 received ASU’s prestigious Faculty Achievement Award in the category of Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities. She has published four short story collections, three novels, and “Devotedly, Virginia,” a biography of Arizona philanthropist Virginia Galvin Piper. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Howard Foundation at Brown University and the Illinois Arts Council.
Wednesday, July 25: Author, speaker and wellness guru Syd Hoffman spoke on the “Seven Secrets of Successful Self-Published Authors … How to Get Publicity Inexpensively.” In her talk Hoffman shared insightful ways to gain publicity for your self-published book. Described as having “boundless energy,” Hoffman reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at age 50 and tackled the Swiss Alps in September of 2012 at age 55. She has inspired people on five continents to create a healthy style of living, one step at a time. Her self-published book, “All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy…Now!” was honored at the San Francisco Book Festival.
Wednesday, Aug. 29: Carlette Lewis Patterson spoke about her book, “I Thought We Had Forever.” The book is a collection of love letters penned by Patterson’s husband, Steve, a retired NBA player, plus emails and journal entries that reveal the pain a family went through when their forever ended on July 28, 2004. Patterson tells of holding the family together as her five-year-old daughter is forced to understand grief, her young adult daughter fights her way out of drug addiction, and her oldest daughter navigates life with Asperger’s. An internationally recognized sports life coach, a professional speaker, and the CEO of Patterson Sports Ventures, Patterson lives in Phoenix.
Wednesday, Sept. 26: Award-winning author Stella Pope Duarte spoke to SSWW for the second time. Duarte was inspired to become a writer in 1995 by a dream in which her deceased father made it clear to her that her destiny was to become a writer. Her latest book, “Writing Through Revelations, Visions and Dreams,” takes readers on a journey through the internal landscape of self, using Duarte’s own soul’s journey as a starting point. “Fragile Night,” Duarte’s first collection of short stories, won a creative writing fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. “Let Their Spirits Dance” was awarded the Arizona Highways Fiction Award for 2003, and “If I Die in Juarez” won an American Book Award in 2009 and also received a Pulitzer Price nomination. Born and raised in the Sonorita Barrio in South Phoenix, Duarte often speaks on topics such as women’s rights, diversity, Chicano/Latino history, writing and storytelling. She holds a bachelor’s in education and master’s in counseling from Arizona State University.
Wednesday, Oct. 24: Novelist Virginia Nosky spoke on “Fifty Shades of Hot,” taking a look at different directions the writer can go to satisfy the reader’s expectations, as well as those of the characters in the story, when it comes to love and sex scenes. Born in Houston, Texas, Nosky grew up in Ohio, majored in communications at Ohio State University, and has worked in advertising and radio and television. Nosky published her first book, “Kachina,” in 2005. In addition to “Kachina,” she has published six novels: “The Fall From Paradise Valley,” “Ring of Fire,” “Blue Turquoise, White Shell,” “Pima Road,” “Chance Encounters” and “To A Certain Degree.” A 25-year resident of Arizona, Nosky lives in Paradise Valley.
Wednesday, Nov. 28: Author and researcher Heidi J. Osselaer discussed women who held office in Arizona prior to 1950, such as state suffrage leader Frances Willard Munds, state legislator Nellie Trent Bush, Congresswoman Isabella Greenway and Justice Lorna Lockwood. Osselaer is the author of “Winning Their Place: Arizona Women in Politics, 1883-1950,” which traces the roots of Arizona women’s participation in politics from the territorial period until after World War II. Osselaer holds an undergraduate degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree and a doctorate in U.S. history from Arizona State University.
Wednesday, Dec. 19: Poet and author Holly Parsons explored female authors’ potential impact for personal and social transformation. Born in Syracuse, N.Y., of Irish, English and Middle Eastern descent, Parsons studied journalism at San Diego State University. She subsequently worked as a subeditor and feature writer for the Fiji Sun and edited a quarterly journal at the University of the South Pacific. Her poem about Irish-American actress and singer Deirdre O’Connell hangs in Dublin’s Focus Theatre, which was founded by O’Connell. Parsons is the author of “Soul of a Woman,” an inspiring collection of poems, and currently resides in Arizona’s high desert.
That’s it for 2012, but Brooks has speakers lined up for the first six months of 2013 and looks forward to another terrific year for the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers.
Enjoy this article? Receive email alerts when new articles are available. Just click on Subscribe above.
Follow me on Twitter @DorisNehrbass.