Meetings

Our meetings are held the third Saturday of the month, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Felix & Oscars, 4050 Merle Hay Road. We feature a writing program or guest speaker at each meeting. Networking and lunch afterwards.

Our programs are varied and cover everything from fiction writing basics and getting published to the business side of your writing career, and everything in-between. Members attend free.  Guests are allowed to attend one meeting free.

What’s Ahead for 2017:

This year, we’ve built a program that will take you “From the Basement to the Penthouse!”  We start out the year down in the basement of being a writer and we work our way up to living in the penthouse.  On the writing track, we start you out with how to grab your reader in those first few pages and finish up with getting your novel published.  On the business side, we start with giving you insight in to how to create your business plan and finish up with what to do once your book is published.

January – “Everything We Learned at RWA National Convention and More” by Authors Maggie Rivers and EmmaLee Saunders.
February -“When Your Editor Says… Show, don’t tell. We’ve all heard it from our editors, but how necessary is it, really? How do you know whether you’re telling or showing? Better still, if you suspect that maybe you haven’t done enough showing, how the heck do you do it? Join author Mica Rossi as she guides you through the show-don’t tell labyrinth with concrete examples that will help you take your writing from “telling it all” to “showing with style.”
March – “Back to the Basics and Grabbing Your Reader in the First 10 Pages” by Maggie Rivers.
April – “Short Fiction” by Bob Dunnbar.
May – “Making History Come Alive” by Robert Dunbar.
June – “The Importance of Dialogue” by EmmaLee Saunders.
July -.”Marketing 101:  Intro to Indie Marketing.”  E.J. Whitmer, of EJ Whitmer Design, will outline several beginner-level marketing tactics and will walk members through set-up and analysis. Tactics range from traditional grassroots campaigns to utilization of social media and digital marketing.  Prerequisites: All pupils should obtain a Facebook account (personal or professional) and at least skim through Goodreads.com.  Please bring paper and a number 2 pencil.  Slide handouts will be provided.
August – “Book Publishing” by Publisher Ashley Holter of WriteBraindsm.  She will be speaking about new outlets for your talents and will share information about their book publishing model, custom publishing projects and how they are working with clients to develop content for their various needs.
Sep – Open House – “KCCI’s Eric Hanson” will be our guest speaker.  Eric Hanson anchors KCCI 8 News this Morning and tells the stories of Iowa characters in his weekly “This is Iowa” segments. Eric’s worked at KCCI since May 2000. He grew up on a farm between Roland and Story City and has lived in Iowa nearly all of his life. That Iowa background and Iowa’s characters are the cornerstone of Eric’s stories. His writing has been honored with four national Edward R. Murrow awards, three national Society for Professional Journalists awards, five Emmys and dozens of regional and statewide honors. After attending Roland-Story High School, Eric graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly with a double major in Electronic Media and Public Relations. Internships took him to Minneapolis and Waterloo before his first reporting job at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He also reported for KWWL-TV in Waterloo, pulling double-duty for a year as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Wartburg. In 2000, he joined the KCCI team. He was named morning anchor in August 2014. Stories have taken Eric to every corner of the country and even to England, Haiti and South Africa. His favorite assignments focus on the characters who make Iowa such a great place to live. From fraternity brothers who show up unannounced at high school football games to elderly musicians who strum their fiddles in an auto garage, Iowans are the centerpiece of Eric’s stories. Away from work, Eric has completed a quest to visit every Major League Baseball stadium in the nation, often cheering for the Chicago Cubs. Eric is active at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, singing in a gospel quintet. Eric lives in West Des Moines with his wife, daughter and son. Come enjoy meeting him along with the authors of IWC.  Find out what we’re all about.  Everyone welcome.  Light snacks provided.

Eric Hanson anchors KCCI 8 News this Morning and tells the stories of Iowa characters in his weekly “This is Iowa” segments. Eric’s worked at KCCI since May 2000.

Eric grew up on a farm between Roland and Story City and has lived in Iowa nearly all of his life. That Iowa background and Iowa’s characters are the cornerstone of Eric’s stories. His writing has been honored with four national Edward R. Murrow awards, three national Society for Professional Journalists awards, five Emmys and dozens of regional and statewide honors.

After attending Roland-Story High School, Eric graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly with a double major in Electronic Media and Public Relations. Internships took him to Minneapolis and Waterloo before his first reporting job at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He also reported for KWWL-TV in Waterloo, pulling double-duty for a year as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Wartburg. In 2000, he joined the KCCI team. He was named morning anchor in August 2014.

Stories have taken Eric to every corner of the country and even to England, Haiti and South Africa. His favorite assignments focus on the characters who make Iowa such a great place to live. From fraternity brothers who show up unannounced at high school football games to elderly musicians who strum their fiddles in an auto garage, Iowans are the centerpiece of Eric’s stories.

Away from work, Eric has completed a quest to visit every Major League Baseball stadium in the nation, often cheering for the Chicago Cubs. Eric is active at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, singing in a gospel quintet. Eric lives in West Des Moines with his wife, daughter and son.

Oct – “The Art of Backstory” by Mica Rossi
Nov – “Science Fiction” by Caleb Mowrer.
Dec – Awards Banquet (members only) – no meeting.

What’s Ahead for 2018:

January – “The Business Side of Writing” by Author Maggie Rivers.  Maggie will delve into the business side of writing including how to form a company, taxes, and slogging through the paperwork.
February –  “Setting the Crime Scene” by Jesse Whitmer.  Jesse has spent over twenty years in law enforcement, several of which have been undercover, infiltrating drug rings. He will discuss some of his experiences to help us comprehend the thought process behind a law enforcement officer and help us “set the scene” for crime scenes in our books.
March –
April – “Character Building 101:  Building Your Character from the Ground Up” by Mica Rossi.  Mica will walk through the process of fleshing out your characters and making them real.
May – “How to Write a Series and Keep It Straight” by Author Maggie Rivers.  How DO you keep track of all those series characters?  Maggie explains how to write your series and what to do with all those wonderful, quirky characters you have in mind.
June –
July –
Aug – Marie Force.
Sep – Open House – Find out what we’re all about.  Everyone welcome.  Light snacks provided.
Oct – “Scene Building 101:  Building a Scene from the Ground Up” by Mica Rossi .  Mica will discuss scenes and how you write them.
Nov –
Dec – Awards Banquet (members only) – no meeting.