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  • 12 Mar 2022 3:05 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

    We invite you to use the SDWEG forums to find your next Read and Critique group.

    To learn all the most important critique group rules, connect with others looking for groups, and find groups looking for members, join the thread on the SDWEG Forums Page.

    A few choice rules

    Here are a few things to consider when looking to grow your own group or find one to join:

    1. You are there to support your fellow writers and help others improve their craft. Start at a place of respect.
    2. Submit your work on time, arrive on time, and stick to your allotted time. Your critique should go to plot, character, pacing, and other important structural elements. Your minor line edits are not worthy of everyone's time, so leave them on the page.
    3. Start and end your feedback on a positive note. Sandwich your negative comments so they go down a little easier. No one loves to find out that their work of genius has imperfections. If you have nothing good to say, decline to comment.
    4. Critique the work and not the writer. If you want to avoid your comments being perceived as destructive, watch your language. When you say something like, "I did not like your," you are calling out the writer. If you say, "I did not like the," you are focusing on the words.
    5. Accept critiques without defending your work. It is a waste of everyone's time and, if you are honest with yourself, you know a reader can only critique the words on the page. Your intentions are irrelevant once the work is submitted. Remember, when that book is opened by a reader, you are not there to tell them what to make of it. Those words stand or fall on their own.
    6. Make sure you are getting what you need from the group. If not, ask. If the group does not oblige, find another group. Don't look for fans and adulation. You want writers who consistently write, and who offer fair, unvarnished feedback.
    7. If the other writers in your group are not better than you, leave. You want a group that will challenge you and make you grow into your craft. You can all still stay friends, but your writing may improve with a different group.

  • 11 Mar 2022 4:07 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

    What can you say about someone who gives a decade of her busy life in service to a nonprofit? “Thank you” is a good place to start. That’s where I’ll begin with Marcia Buompensiero. Since 2012 she has served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, giving her time, energy and creative thinking to that position. 

    Marcia has also filled the role of Treasurer. Based on my experience in nonprofit service, there is no position more important. Without a competent (and honest) treasurer, a nonprofit can lose its recognition by the state or federal government by which it is recognized. It can run adrift financially, spending more than it’s taking in. None of those fears have come close to being a reality during her leadership of our 501(c)(3).

    Longtime members know her service to the Guild doesn’t end there, however. For years she has made possible the signature production of the Guild, the annual Guilded Pen anthology. It’s fair to say that collection of inspiring fiction, nonfiction and poetry might not still be in publication without the dedication of Marcia and her co-editor Rivkah Sleeth.

    Why am I writing this (much-deserved) tribute to Marcia? Due to life circumstances, she is scaling back her volunteer work with the Board. Marcia remains a co-editor of the anthology this year. She has stepped down from her role as Board member and Treasurer, however. True to her dedication to the Guild, she did not do so in a way that left the organization adrift. She has recruited her friend and longtime companion, Rivkah, to step in and assume both roles through the end of 2022.

    Rivkah is another longtime giver to the Guild in so many ways, including past service on the Board. It’s hard to imagine a more capable replacement. I’m grateful to be part of a nonprofit with such dedicated volunteers willing to take on challenging and time-consuming roles.

    The next time you see Marcia, please thank her for her past and continued service. And the next time you cross paths with Rivkah, please extend gratitude to her for stepping in on short notice to ensure the Guild continues to operate in a financially sound and responsible manner.

    Patrick Ross

  • 11 Mar 2022 7:04 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)

    The 2022 in-person Kauai Writers Conference is ON! The dates will be November 7 to 10 for master classes and November 11 to 13 for the conference and one-on-one agent sessions.

    For the last two years, the pandemic forced the postponement of their in-person event. Now at last, the conference will take place.

    Almost all of the classes and faculty scheduled for 2020 and 2021 will be held in November. In addition, they have added several new master classes and some outstanding new authors.

    They have also launched a new version of their website with all the details about the new expanded program. 

    Learn about the in-person 2022 Kauai Writers Conference

    Our devoted faculty pitched in to create a virtual conference experience. This proved so popular that it will continue along with, rather than instead of, the in-person event. You can learn about these weekly online sessions here:

    Learn about the virtual Kauai Writers Conference

  • 4 Mar 2022 1:55 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

    The San Diego Writers Festival is gearing up for their 4th Annual event starting  October 8.

    This year the festival  will be held both online and in-person. Most of the sessions will be in person at the beautiful Coronado Public Library Performing Arts Campus

    If you would like to present or be on a panel, you can submit for consideration right now. The earlier you submit, the better - but the deadline to submit this year is May 1, 2022.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The 2022 Festival will only be offering 12 sessions this year so space is extremely limited. Programming announcements will be made by mid-June 2022. If your event is not selected for the 2022 festival, we encourage you to consider submitting again next year or showcasing your work as a sponsor. As a 100% volunteer-run organization, we also hope that you will consider serving as a volunteer.

    Fill out the submission forms here.

  • 25 Feb 2022 4:53 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

    Reviewed by Penny Paugh

    Written by the award-winning freelance journalist, Mark Stephen Clifton, “The Mayor of O.B.,” taps the author’s personal experience as a surfer, martial arts instructor, and resident of San Diego. The novel gives the reader an in-depth look at the late 1960s surfing and drug culture in northern California and Ocean Beach.

    Clifton brings his journalistic strengths to play and steeps us in the lingo, attitudes, and lifestyles of that time. We are immersed in the drug culture, following Paul and Angelina to San Francisco and back on LSD buying trips, and Captain Alfonso (Al) Marutas with his Mexican cocaine and “crank”. Along the way, we are introduced to cultural icons like Timothy Leary and the Hells Angels. We are also witness to the harm done by LSD.

    The story turns ugly with the death of a surfer, Angela’s disappearance, treachery,  murder accusations, and arrests.

    Can Al forgive his old friend Pops and find inner peace? And might Al intend Pops additional harm? Read Clifton's book to find out, and deeply experience the late 60s culture with its many repercussions.

  • 18 Feb 2022 6:18 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

    East County Magazine, an award-winning, nonpartisan community news agency, covers San Diego’s inland region. They are looking to hire freelance reporters and also accept volunteers. Reporters are needed to cover East County news including actions by County Supervisors and other public boards, investigative reporting, events, and features.

    In addition, the magazine seeks reviews of books by San Diego area authors who have recently published via a traditional publishing house. They accept reviews of all genres.

    Occasionally, East County Magazine reviews a book by a non-local author if it meets one of these other criteria: the novel is set in San Diego County (such as a mystery in Ramona’s wine country), the topic is of strong local interest (such as border issues, wildfires, etc.), appeals to a large population here (such as our Iraqi Chaldean population or military veterans), a prominent author is stopping in our region on a book tour, or the topic is a high-level topic of national interest such as a presidential election.

    Contact Miriam Raftery at or call (619)698-7617.

  • 18 Feb 2022 2:41 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

    Here are some points you need to hit in order for your story to WOW the Reviewers and Editors of the SDWEG Anthology.

    1. There is a difference between written and verbal dialogue. Know which to use.
    2. Be sure you understand what POV (point of view) means. Know how to use it.
    3. Can you write a great opening HOOK?
    4. Ensure your main character (protagonist) has a specific need or want that conflicts with their goals or circumstances.
    5. Do not be nice to your protagonist. Make it really hard for them.
    6. Make sure there is growth in your main character(s). Otherwise, it is a boring story.
    7. What is the theme of your story? Try using symbols, motifs, etc. to remind the reader of it.
    8. Don’t spend a lot of time in description unless it furthers the story.
    9. Don’t forget your grammar and formatting skills. These are the foundational elements that could get your piece eliminated immediately.
    10. Make an emotional connection with the reader. What do you want them to feel when they finish reading your story?
  • 17 Feb 2022 8:11 AM | Rick Lakin, Webmaster (Administrator)


    Join the Writers' Workshop for in-person and online classes for beginning and experienced writers. Classes meet on Saturdays, 10-3:30 pm, with a lunch break. Registration is in advance only at www.twwoa  Classes are $80 each, and financial assistance is available for low-income writers in exchange for volunteering. (For in-person, the limit is 6 participants, vaccinated.

    FEB. 19:  FICTION WRITING & REVISING with Karen Ackerson  

    Writers of fiction and creative non-fiction books and stories will learn how to revise and polish their works before submitting to an agent or publisher. Techniques will be taught on how to grab the reader's interest by eliminating unnecessary details, building tension, and fine-tuning dialogue and descriptions. Participants may bring five pages (double-spaced) to the class for discussion. Ackerson is Senior Editor at The Renbourne Editorial Agency (, and has edited hundreds of novels, memoirs and creative non-fiction stories.  

    You can learn more at The Writers' Workshop /
  • 11 Feb 2022 2:07 PM | Leon Lazarus (Administrator)

    As you start thinking about your submission to the 2022 Guilded Pen Anthology, it is worth considering the essential elements that will make your story brilliant and a standout piece. 

    Enjoy the article by Sarah Gribble linked below, and happy writing.

  • 27 Jan 2022 11:21 AM | Andrea Glass (Administrator)

    Like many creatives, I love to create and write and I don’t love to market myself. I’ve written dozens of books as a ghostwriter and didn’t have to be concerned about marketing or building a platform. That was up to my clients, and most were as clueless as me.

    Yet with the books I’ve written and those I still want to write as I build a career as an author, I know I am the one to sell these books. So I had to bite the bullet and study up on marketing, primarily building a platform from scratch. I knew I had to build a fan base, because few of who I consider my ideal readers know who I am, and won’t know about my books unless I find a way to let them know.

    Build a platform

    So to build a following–a platform—I purchased Build Your Author Platform With a Purpose. I “met” Mimika Cooney on a few webinars and was impressed by her energy and knowledge. She was helpful in teaching in a way that even the beginning author would understand what was needed to create a presence before publishing a book.

    Mimika covers a lot of ground from the what and why of building a platform and author branding to the significance of building a mailing list and the value of social media. “In today’s society, the term platform simply means how you stand out in a crowded marketplace.” She stresses that anyone can stand out and create a presence online. She says, “Many people think that you have to be a celebrity or a big name to have influence.” She explains that it’s a myth, and with the ease of reaching people through social media, anyone can build a following. 

    She places a lot of emphasis on building an email list of raving fans. One of the best ways to do that is to create a “freebie” or as some call it a “lead magnet.” She also stressed how important it is to automate as much of your marketing as you can, such as an automated email marketing sequence.

    Additionally, Mimika touches on the value of social media, video, publicity, guest blogging, podcasts, and paid advertising. Indeed as authors, we have myriad opportunities to market our books.

    Be discoverable

    She stresses that because every author feels what he/she has to say is valuable, it’s vital to find a way to “show up in the right places and be present. You need to put the effort into being discoverable.” Mimika outlines strategies any authors can follow so they can implement the right actions at the right time to the right audience.  

    With Mimika’s guidance through her book and valuable handouts, I’ve stepped into the journey of authorship with more confidence. I see this book as an essential guide for first-time authors to get over their fears and build their confidence in marketing their books so they can realize their writing dreams.

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