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Upcoming events

    • 30 Jan 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Put simply, point of view is the perspective through which a story is told. The point of view that a writer chooses is important because it’s the lens through which your reader experiences the story. Understanding close point of view is one of the most important skills a writer must develop, and yet it is one of the most difficult to master. In this workshop, we’ll take a deep dive into point of view, look at common point of view mistakes, and engage in some fun writing exercises that will help us practice getting firmly in our characters’ heads, so that we are not observing our characters, but rather seeing the world through their eyes.

    Tara Gilboy is the author of two novels, Unwritten, which won the 2020 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for middle-grade fantasy, and its sequel, Rewritten. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and teaches for San Diego College of Continuing Education. You can find out more about her (and how to work with her on your novel!) on her website at

    • 22 Feb 2023
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM (PST)
    • Zoom

    Persuasive writing is the art and craft of convincing readers of your position or point of view on an issue. To accomplish this, you must grab the reader’s attention, state a clear thesis, and support your position with logical (logos), emotional (pathos), and character-based (ethos) arguments. Persuasive writing is a fundamental skill that is critical to many different fields and careers. If you write an article, narrative essay, book or movie review, nonfiction book, speech, op-ed, legal brief, business proposal, advertising copy, query letter or book proposal, you are using persuasive writing. In this presentation, we will learn how to write a clear, concise, and compelling persuasive essay as a guide to improve your skills for any form of writing.

    About James A. Stewart

    James A. Stewart is the author of the narrative nonfiction book Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage, A True Story of Murder in San Diego’s Jazz Age, which Kirkus Reviews selected as its best indie nonfiction book for March 2022. During a twenty-five-year career in the U.S. Navy, he drafted hundreds of position papers and ghost-wrote numerous articles, speeches, and prepared congressional statements for several three- and four-star officers. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the UC Riverside Palm Desert Low Residency program and a BA in English from National University.

    • 27 Feb 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (PST)
    • Zoom

    Do you have an answer to this question, "What is your book about?" Can you answer this question in 10 words or less, confidently? Does your answer intrigue your audience to want to know more? This presentation will help you respond, easily - every time!

    Writers often work in solitude. But when it’s time to do a reading or a book signing or to give a presentation or speech, or any other means of promoting your book in person, you’re no longer in your own environment, and the nerves can really kick in.

    As authors, if we want a viable income, we have to be out there in the world, sharing our knowledge and being visible to create awareness and exposure of our work. Public speaking can be an extra income stream or can form an integral part of your marketing. Public speaking can also be a necessary means of success and authors/creatives often have to speak when they become well-known, so it's best to start practicing earlier. When you are in front of an audience, you will need to present your book in a captivating way.

    Do you dread public speaking? Perhaps you are holding assumptions about whether you can speak publicly well. Public speaking skills can be learned which includes knowing your content well. This is good news for authors. This presentation will show you how to alleviate anxiety when you find yourself in the spotlight. It will show you how to capitalize on your knowledge of the topic - i.e., your book - to share confidently and authentically!

    About Lisa Kleiman

    Founder of and public speaking coach at Speaktopia, and author of multiple publications including the book, "You Got This: Everything You Need to Master Authentic Public Speaking" (2019) River Grove Books.

    A communication professional with a strong background in instruction, training, and management in academic and business settings. Lisa has coached individuals and facilitated hundreds of classes, workshops, and seminars on developing speaking and written skills for multiple audiences across the globe. She has held management and consulting positions at fortune 500 companies and taught undergraduate/graduate communication and writing courses at Boise State University and at various academic institutions. An academic scholar with an Education Specialist degree in Adult and Organizational Learning and Leadership, a Master of English concentration in Technical and Professional Communication, and a bachelor of science degree in marketing and management with academic and professional certificates in human resources and records management.

    • 6 Mar 2023
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Note: Event date and time subject to change

    You’ve finished your manuscript and had it critiqued and beta-read. You revised and edited and made it the best it could be. You researched agents and editors and crafted the perfect query letter. Holding your breath, you press the “Send” button. Then the rejections start coming in. That feeling of exhilaration of submitting your work has turned into mountains of disappointment. This workshop will guide you through the discouragement that comes from rejections, and how to turn those moments into opportunities you never anticipated. Learn what to expect after you hit the “Send” button and how to turn lemons into lemonade.


    Kathie McMahon is the author of the humorous, award-winning chapter book series, Mortimer and Me, about eight-year-old Jimmy and a moose named Mortimer. Kathie taught elementary school for 32 years, where she composed several school musicals. She also collaborated on many youth theater musicals, receiving four ariZoni awards for Original Music Composition. She is a member of SCBWI and hosts the East Valley KidLit Mingles. Kathie lives in Gilbert, Arizona, where you won’t find any moose, but plenty of snakes, gila monsters, and mountain lions. For the latest news involving the adventures with Jimmy and Mortimer, visit

    • 27 Mar 2023
    • 6:30 PM
    • Zoom

    In this presentation by Susie Schaefer of Finish the Book Publishing and Rogue Publishing Partners will do a deep dive into learning about the Trifecta of Publishing to bring together your story, brand, and community to support your mission and message.

    Next, we'll demonstrate The Sticky Note Method, and how to reverse-engineer your book to write a book by getting out of your head and into your heart. This proven method has helped countless authors avoid linear thinking and bring authenticity and clarity for writing the book their soul has intended.

    Come join us for an interactive, fun presentation that will leave you ready to write your story!

    Susie's Bio:

    Known as The Transformational Book Coach for “cause publishing,” Susie Schaefer believes that books are the gateway to creating a movement. Her love of books goes far beyond the feel of a fabric cover or the smell of a library. Whether writing a book helps an author heal past trauma or raise awareness for social change, Susie empowers storytellers to be part of the global conversation and create a ripple effect for humanity. Working with business owners brings her tremendous joy, particularly when an author shares their own personal story along with their mission and message.

    Susie comes to the table with an array of superpowers; her unique combination of business acumen, street smarts, and mystic intuitive gifts to help people see what’s truly possible with no limitations. Her corporate experience working with non-profits, teaching and training in human resources and as a marketing expert, and a stint in radio broadcasting and commercial acting allows Susie to skillfully guide authors through the independent publishing process to finish that dream book, launch a speaking career, or build a business by publishing a book that gets results and gives back. In addition to publishing inspirational books through Finish the Book Publishing, Susie is a Founding Partner of Rogue Publishing Partners, which offers custom solutions for nonfiction authors such as coaches and consultants, executives, and entrepreneurs. In her spare time, Susie writes and edits screenplay adaptations of books through her passion project, Movie Muse Productions.

    Susie’s understanding of social impact, through the integration of cause-based books enables her to offer a unique foundation for authors by building community, creating connections, and serving as a catalyst for change. When not reading, publishing books, or writing award-winning screenplays, Susie can be found practicing her downward dog (yoga), meditating on the beach, or planning her next travel adventure.

    • 20 Apr 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (PDT)
    • Zoom

    Matt Coyle will discuss the evolution of his bestselling Rick Cahill crime series. He will explain the correct way to write a successful series ... and how he does it. Also, he will discuss how to market your books by traditional and self-publishing routes.

    Matt Coyle Biography

    Matt Coyle is the author of the best-selling Rick Cahill crime novels. He knew he wanted to be a crime writer when he was fourteen and his father gave him the simple art of murder by Raymond Chandler. He graduated with a degree in English from University of California at Santa Barbara. His foray into crime fiction was delayed for thirty years as he spent time managing a restaurant, selling golf clubs for various golf companies, and in national sales for a sports licensing company.

    Writing at night for over a decade his debut novel, Yesterday’s Echo, was finally published in 2013. The wait was almost worth it as it won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the San Diego Book Award for Best Mystery, the Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction.

    Matt’s second book in the Rick Cahill series, Night Tremors, was a Reviewers’ Favorite Book of 2015 and was an Anthony, Shamus, and Lefty Award finalist.

    Dark Fissures (Cahill #3) was a finalist for the Macavity and Lefty awards and was a 2016 Top Pick for

    Blood Truth (Cahill #4) was a Shamus finalist, Lefty Award finalist, a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Silver Award winner for Thriller/Suspense, and a top pick by for Best Mysteries of 2017.

    Wrong Light (Cahill #5) was a Lefty Award finalist, a San Diego Book Award finalist and was nominated for a Shamus Award. It was also a top pick by for Best Mysteries of 2018.

    Lost Tomorrows (Cahill #6) was a winner of the Shamus Award and the Lefty Award for Best Mystery.

    Blind Vigil (Cahill #7) has been nominated for the Lefty, Barry, Macavity, and Shamus awards.

    Last Redemption (Cahill #8) is now available.

    His short story, The #2 Pencil, was a finalist for a Derringer and Macavity Award.

    Matt lives in San Diego with his yellow Lab, Angus, where he is writing his ninth crime novel, How to Write a Successful Series

    • 24 Apr 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Getting your book published—whether traditionally or as an indie—is a fantastic accomplishment.

    And then comes the marketing! What works and what doesn’t? 

    Those are questions that authors need to answer for themselves based on their goals, genre, and audience. In this presentation, Margo will help you define your marketing goals, present some best practices, and provide you with at least one next step you can start implementing today. This talk is for writers of any genre and for any audience, including children’s writers. Come with questions and something to write on!  

    Margo L. Dill is a writer, editor, instructor, and publisher living in St. Louis, MO. She has 5 books published for children and teens and currently is the owner of the independent publishing company, Editor-911 Books, which publishes books for children and adults. She also works as a managing editor with WOW! Women On Writing, a website that connects women writers and offers contests, classes, and information for writers. To find out more about Margo, please check out  or When she is not writing, she works in a B2B marketing firm and is the mom to a 12-year-old daughter and 4-year-old dog.  

    • 15 May 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (PDT)
    • Zoom

    Your book is done. You have an idea you want to look for an agent, that the agent will find a publisher, that the publisher will publish the book. But what are all the steps between? Who does what in publishing? What are my roles and responsibilities? What are first serial rights? Right of first refusal? What's a style sheet? In this candid conversation about the book biz, and using my own experience publishing with Lake Union Publishing, Viking, and HarperCollins, I will walk you through what you might expect from "The End" to your book's release day. My goal? Make sure you walk in with eyes wide open - and a crystal-clear idea of what you want for your book's path in the world.

    About Kim taylor blakemore

    Kim writes historical novels that feature fierce, audacious, and often dangerous women. She writes about the thieves and servants, murderesses and mediums, grifters and frauds - the women with darker stories, tangled lies and hidden motives.

    She is the author of the upcoming historical thriller THE DECEPTION, bestselling historical thriller AFTER ALICE FELL, and THE COMPANION, lauded by Publisher’s Weekly as “a captivating tale of psychological suspense.” She is also the author of YA novels BOWERY GIRL and CISSY FUNK, a WILLA Literary Award winner for Best Young Adult novel.

    She is founder of Novelitics, which provides workshops, developmental editing, and community to writers in the United States and Canada. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest, on the Isle of Misfit Rescue Animals.

    Visit her at:

    • 22 May 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Zoom

    “Poetry is language at its most distilled and powerful,” writes Rita Dove. “Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air,” suggests Carl Sandburg. And Marianne Moore quips, “Poetry is the art of creating imaginary toads in real gardens.” These are just three of countless definitions of poetry. When did you fall in love with poetry? Which poem (by another poet) ignited your passion to write poetry? Please bring that poem to class. Is there a new poem (by either that same poet or another poet) you’ve since discovered that inspires you today? Bring that poem to class too; we will use both poems in a writing exercise. We will also discuss and try out other devices poets frequently use to craft poetry. This is a show up, write, and share workshop held over zoom. Course comes with a PDF, “Deepening Your Relationship to Poetry.”

    Tania Pryputniewicz is the author of the full-length poetry collection November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014), Heart’s Compass Tarot: Discover Tarot Journaling and Create Your Own Cards (Two Fine Crows Books, 2021), and a forthcoming memoir-in-poems, The Fool in the Corn (Saddle Road Press, 2022). A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Tania lives in Coronado and teaches poetry and tarot-inspired writing classes for San Diego Writers, Ink and Antioch University’s Continuing Education program. She lives in Coronado with her husband, three children, Siberian Husky and formerly feral feline cat named Luna.
    • 17 Jun 2023
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Zoom

    Do you get your manuscript ready to send, then skid to a halt when it comes time to submit? Is it difficult talking about your writing with agents, editors, and authors? Do pitch sessions leave you in a cold sweat? In this workshop you’ll learn proven methods from psychology research to help you push through self-doubt, increase productivity, and flourish.


    Dr. Gina Simmons Schneider is the author of Frazzlebrain: Break Free from Anxiety, Anger, and Stress Using Advanced Discoveries in Neuropsychology (Central Recovery Press, April 2022). She is a licensed psychotherapist, executive coach, and corporate trainer. She serves as codirector of Schneider Counseling and Corporate Solutions. Dr. Schneider is a coping skills expert with more than 25 years of experience helping people regulate difficult emotions and conflicts. Dr. Schneider is certified in Neuroscience for Clinicians through PESI and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing through National Trauma Services. She has been quoted in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Laurence Knight interviewed her for the BBC World Service program, “How to Be Angry.” Dr. Schneider blogs for Psychology Today and writes the award-winning Manage Anger Daily blog. She has blogged for Forbes and Women in Crime Ink which the Wall Street Journal named a “blog worth reading.” Dr. Schneider provides training for Fortune 500 companies and other organizations online and throughout San Diego County.

    RECORDING NOTICE: This online event enables an attendee to participate through a personal device's microphone and/or camera. An attendee may elect not to participate through use of a microphone and/or camera. The election of an attendee to use a microphone and/or camera constitutes a release and waiver of rights in the capture of the attendee's image, likeness, and/or voice for the exclusive use by the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild.

    • 26 Jun 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Zoom

    You have taken writing classes, attended critique groups, revised your work over and over, and finally you have completed the perfect novel or short story—or you’re still in the planning stages. Now what? 

    You want to publish your work and you want the public to read it. Whether you want to pursue a traditional, hybrid, or self-publishing option, you need to get your work ready for submission.  

    This presentation lays out twelve steps to publishing. Participants will learn about developing a timeline, a short summary, editing, basic marketing strategies, find out about on-demand printing options, and how and where to submit their work. 

    About the presenter:

    Cornelia Feye arrived in New York City from Germany thirty years ago with two suitcases and a typewriter. Since then, she has tried to combine her background as an art historian – she holds a M.A. in Art History and Anthropology from the University of Tübingen, Germany – with her experiences travelling around the world for seven years, and her love for writing.

    In 2016 she founded Konstellation Press, an indie publishing company for genre fiction, to give a voice to independent writers and create a supportive community for local authors. Feye’s first novel, Spring of Tears, an art mystery set in France won the San Diego Book Award. During the pandemic she finished her fourth novel Death of a Zen Master, a mystery set in a remote Zen Monastery. The short story anthology Magic, Mystery & Murder, co-edited by Cornelia Feye and Tamara Merrill won the San Diego Book Award in 2019.

    Cornelia lives in Ocean Beach, where she finds inspiration in her garden and always looks for the green flash.

    • 8 Jul 2023
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PDT)
    • Zoom

    Pitching your book should be fun…not terrifying.

    Whether you’re crafting a killer query or pitching directly to agents in person or via Zoom, there are easy ways to make the process enjoyable, engaging, and savvy. NY Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry has pitched and sold more that 50 novels, two dozen graphic novels, a dozen nonfiction books, 1200 feature articles, 140 short stories, a board game, and a Netflix show. This lively workshop gives you key insider tips, shows you how it’s done, and provides exercise for you and your writer friends to get ready to knock ‘em dead.


    Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author, 5-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, 3-time Scribe Award winner, Inkpot Award winner, and comic book writer. His vampire apocalypse book series, V-WARS, was a Netflix original series. He writes in multiple genres including suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and action; for adults, teens and middle grade. His novels include the Joe Ledger thriller series, the Kagen the Damned novels, Bewilderness, Ink, the Pine Deep Trilogy, the Rot & Ruin series, the Dead of Night series, Mars One, Ghostwalkers: A Deadlands Novel. etcHe’s the editor of many anthologies including The X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Don’t Turn Out the Lights, Aliens vs Predator, Nights of the Living Dead (co-edited with George A. Romero), and others. His comics include Black Panther: DoomWar, Captain America, Pandemica, The Punisher and Bad Blood. He’s the president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, and the editor of Weird Tales Magazine. He was a featured expert on the History Channel’s Zombies: A Living History and True Monsters.

    • 19 Aug 2023
    • 10:00 AM
    • Zoom


    August 19, 2023, 10 AM

    Start with a strong loveable heroine and a swoon-worthy hero boyfriend. Add chemistry, connection, and quirky secondary characters. Mix in conflict, adhesion, and repulsion. Bake at 50,000 words. Frost with a tear-jerking tear apart. Ice with HFA or HFN. Plate your perfect romance that will have your readers leaving rave reviews and craving the next serving of your sweet romance. 

    Lisa Swinton’s book, On the Corner of Heartache & Love took second-runner up for a RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) award, Silver Star was a Whitney Finalist and Vocal Crush was her RONE award novel. Lisa has four series and several stand-alone books, all strictly in sweet contemporary romance, that range from short stories to full length novels, and also publishes on Kindle Vella. She's been publishing since 2014. Lisa Swinton loves romance, travel, Disney, Jane Austen, and tidying up, not necessarily in that order. When she's not writing and being a mom, you might find her singing on stage.

    • 19 Sep 2023
    • 6:30 PM
    • Zoom

    A decade ago, as a new entrepreneur, Sarah Madelin invested a huge chunk of her startup funds in hiring a designer to create an e-commerce website. It was beautiful, on-brand, and full of vulnerabilities. When it was hacked and she couldn't afford to fix it, she cut her losses and designed a new website herself. Over the years, she’s channeled those self-taught skills into creating stylish web and e-commerce sites for authors, artists, and small businesses.

    This workshop will explore the easiest ways authors can design their own beautifully branded home on the web, no coding knowledge or design training needed! Topics include branding for authors, the important pages authors need to include on their sites, a review of easy-to-use hosted website builders, and how to source low-cost images that make it all come together. Authors should come away with a plan for how to brainstorm, design, and manage their own on-brand, low-hassle, inexpensive website.


    Sarah Madelin writes contemporary women's fiction and romantic comedy novels that blend humor, heart, and romance. Her characters are learning to own their journeys and embrace love—for their families, their communities, their partners, and themselves. Sarah also devoted a decade to running a bespoke stationery boutique, so she's also enthusiastic about entrepreneurship and design, and is deeply committed to helping people on all paths achieve their dreams. Sarah lives in Colorado with her husband, twin kiddos, and too many pets.

    • 25 Sep 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Has this ever happened to you?

    You've started to write a novel or narrative nonfiction book and then discovered that you don’t know enough about your subject, setting, or characters to allow you to write compelling and realistic scenes?

    Research is almost always required.

    Writing about unfamiliar subjects or historical events will likely require extensive research if you want your story to feel realistic and authentic to the time and place. Some writers find such research daunting. In this presentation we’ll explore practical techniques, learned through experience, that will facilitate your research no matter what you want to write.  


    James A. Stewart was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up in a nearby small town called Zachary. After graduating from Louisiana State University with a BS in Industrial Technology, he spent twenty-five years on active duty with the U.S. Navy, including a tour as commanding officer of USS MOUNT VERNON (LSD-39). He also holds a BA in English from National University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the UC Riverside Palm Desert Low-Residency program. He lives with his family in San Diego, CA. Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage is his first book. 

    • 23 Oct 2023
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Over the last four years, Henry has traditionally published dozens of middle-grade, young adult, and adult short stories and drabbles in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. We'll discuss how to discover markets that could buy your short stories. We'll also cover tips to improve your chances of acceptance.


    Henry Herz's speciulative fiction short stories include "Out, Damned Virus" (Daily Science Fiction), "Bar Mitzvah on Planet Latke" (Coming of Age, Albert Whitman & Co.), "The Magic Backpack" (Metastellar), "Cheating Death" (The Hiteherto Secret Experiments of Marie Curie, Blackstone Publishing), "Unbreakable" (Musings of the Muses Brigid’s Gate Press), “A Vampire, an Astrophysicist, and a Mother Superior Walk Into a Basilica” (Three Time Travelers Walk Into…, Fantastic Books), “The Case of the Murderous Alien” (Spirit Machine, Air and Nothingness Press), “The Crowe Family” (>Castle of Horror V, Castle Bridge Media), “Maria & Maslow” (Highlights for Children), and “A Proper Party” (Ladybug Magazine). He’s edited four anthologies and written twelve picture books, including the Kirkus starred, ALA Notable Children's Book, I Am Smoke

Past events

23 Jan 2023 Perpetual Metamorphosis: Transforming Trauma into (Healing) Poetry
19 Dec 2022 December Holiday Celebration
28 Nov 2022 The Challenges of English Grammar
24 Oct 2022 Let’s Make a Scene! Showing vs. Telling
8 Oct 2022 Workshop: Standing at the Intersection of Poetry and Prose: Writing Micro
26 Sep 2022 Marketing Your Book Before It’s Published
10 Sep 2022 Workshop: Protecting Your Artistic Rights
22 Aug 2022 Get Your Story Unstuck with the Secrets of the Story Types
25 Jul 2022 Cover, Cover - What Should My Cover Do?
23 Jul 2022 Workshop: Psychology Tips to Boost Creativity and Productivity
27 Jun 2022 Writers Read: Excerpts from the Power of Ten
20 Jun 2022 Workshop: What Your Characters Want and Why
23 May 2022 Screenwriting's two most important principles--a shock-proof, guaranteed strategy for screenwriting success.
25 Apr 2022 First Page Slam
28 Mar 2022 Strategies for Writing About Trauma and Coping with the Fallout
28 Feb 2022 Writing Demystified
24 Jan 2022 The History, Purpose, and Future of the Guild Anthology
20 Dec 2021 Holiday Party 2021
22 Nov 2021 Constructing Concrete Characters
25 Oct 2021 Anthology Book Launch
27 Sep 2021 Who’s On Your Team?
23 Aug 2021 Open Mic Night
26 Jul 2021 Are You a Plotter or a Pantster? Patrick Ross
17 Jul 2021 Book Launch Workshop
28 Jun 2021 Add Sizzle to Your Non-Romantic Work, by Theresa Halvorsen
24 May 2021 Penn Wallace - First Page Slam
21 May 2021 For the Love of Writing - Coffee & Writing #2
15 May 2021 Workshop on Creating Book Covers w/ Karl Keating
26 Apr 2021 Jared Kuritz - Websites, Social Media & More: Online Presence, Components & Functionalities for Effective Book Marketing
23 Apr 2021 For the Love of Writing - Coffee & Writing
22 Mar 2021 General Meeting March 22 - Authors Read from Anthology
22 Feb 2021 Successful Authors Have These Things in Common, Guest Speaker Amy Collins
13 Feb 2021 Point of View Workshop
25 Jan 2021 Monthly Meeting - Lisa Kastner of Running Wild Publishing
21 Dec 2020 Virtual Holiday Party & Open Mic Night
14 Dec 2020 Marketing Committee Meeting (members only)

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