Pocatello Writers Meeting
Marshall Public Library
January 20, 2018 3:30pm-5:30pm

You don’t want to miss this meeting. JUSTIN CALL has agreed to talk to the group about the hero’s journey, plotting and dramatic structure in the EPIC FANTASY genre, and the series he is writing that will launch in September.

Even if you don’t read or write fantasy, the plotting for a fantasy novel is a good model to study and discuss because its themes are usually more concrete and less abstract.

Justin said he is happy to share his insights on writing and his experience thus far with a traditional publishing company. As an academic, his primary focus was on plotting and themes in narrative traditions, which he wrote about for his master’s thesis and has carried over into his writing.

A good way to start the New Year! See you all there.

(No time for critiques this meeting.)  Keep in touch by joining our Facebook Open Forum at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pocatellowriters/.


Marshall Public Library
December 16, 2017 3:30pm-5:30pm

We don’t have a study topic, so our December mid-month writers’ meeting will be used for critiques. If you need feedback on your back cover copy, your first page appeal, or a scene or chapter from your work in progress, reply to this email to reserve a reading spot. To give everyone a chance, keep readings as short as possible, maximum 10 pages double-spaced.

If you plan to attend, whether to read or just offer your friendly company and expertise, please REPLY TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT EMAIL by 8pm Thursday 12/14, so we can tell readers how many copies they have to make.

In the meantime, keep in touch by joining our Facebook Open Forum at http://www.facebook.com/groups/pocatellowriters/.

Happy Holidays!


Marshall Public Library
November 18, 2017 3:30pm-5:30pm

If you are struggling to hone a good Back Cover for your book, or a Book Description for your e-publisher, or a brief description for Amazon, or a writeup to put on your website, come and run it by colleagues at Pocatello Writers. We can read with fresh eyes, give you our honest reactions, offer any suggestions for improvement, or maybe just confirm that you are spot on.

Everyone, please bring to the meeting a one-page writeup (about 12 copies) of what you envision using on your book(s), and we can go around the room expressing our reactions as casual readers, as well as knowledgeable writers. If you have nothing to read right now, no problem; just attend and offer your friendly company and valuable feedback to others.

Consider that these are the most important two paragraphs (150–200 words) of your entire novel. When we are charmed by a book title or cover picture, most of us turn the book over to glance at the back. If the cover copy is well written, we may buy the book outright. If the description disappoints in any way, most of us will set it back on the shelf, especially if we live on a budget. If we are still intrigued, but the cover doesn’t give enough information, some of us might open the book and read the first page before deciding, but don’t count on it. That is how important cover copy really is.

Think of the Cover Copy as a movie trailer or commercial— provide highlights, tease your audience, but don’t get bogged down in plot details, and don’t give away the ending. End your description on an intriguing question or a point of tension, something that will hook the reader on the premise or the character’s central dilemma. Does it promise a rousing good tale and make you want to take the book home?

More tips: Break up the copy into paragraphs; one long paragraph is very difficult to read. Write in present tense. If you mention your book’s title, set it in italics. If you have advance praise, you can include a blurb excerpt from the person who gave you the endorsement. If you need examples or ideas, look up books that compare with yours and read the descriptions online or in your local bookstore.

The Author Bio is an additional 50 words that accompany your photo and consist of three key elements: First, tell why you are qualified to write the book. (Are you an expert in this field? What unique insights or experience do you have that give your book credibility?) Second, write a sentence that moves from qualifications to something personal that relates to the book (your hobby, interest, or vast collection of something). Last, add the state or country where you live and a word about your personal life.

If you don’t already have yours done, write up a couple paragraphs by meeting time, and let us help you polish it. See you in a couple of weeks.

Pocatello Writers Meeting
Marshall Public Library
October 21, 2017 3:30pm-5:30pm

We don’t have a study topic, so our October mid-month writers’ meeting will be used for critiques only. If you need feedback on your WIP, respond to this email to reserve a reading spot.

We ask attendees to RSVP this time, so that we can tell the readers how many copies they have to make.

Reply to this email/post by Thursday noon if you plan to attend, and let us know if you will bring something to read.

To give everyone a chance, keep readings as short as possible, maximum 10 pages double-spaced.  Happy writing!

In the meantime, keep in touch by joining our Facebook OPEN FORUM at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pocatellowriters/

Pocatello Writers Meeting
Marshall Public Library
September 16, 2017   3:30pm-5:30pm

Next Saturday, Bret Wilson (aka Russell Pike) will lead our study group in a discussion called the “Character Cake”, about how to present a character in a meaningful way in prose.

We have time for one or two critique sessions in second hour.
Happy writing until we see you next weekend.

In the meantime, keep in touch by joining our Facebook Open Forum at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pocatellowriters/

The Idaho Writers League annual conference will be held in Pocatello this year at the Travel Lodge, 133 Burnside, September 22 and 23.  This is a great learning experience sponsored by the league’s local chapter, a chance to meet publishers, agents and other Idaho writers right here in town.

Presenters and workshops will cover a wide variety of topics, including travel writing, outdoor articles, book art/design, self-publishing, marketing, screen writing, and fantasy writing, among others.

If you register by September 1st, the fee for both days, including lunch and the banquet, is $95 for league members or $105 for non-members. Send fees and your contact info to LaDean Messenger, 828 Callie Street, Chubbuck, ID 83202.

You may also register at the door for a fee of $125. If you want to come only on Friday,  the fee is $50.  If you can attend only on Saturday, the fee is $60.   Bring a guest to any meal for $15.

Don’t miss this one.



Sorry, but the Saturday writers meeting has been cancelled due to low attendance.

It looks like everybody is busy, busy this weekend. Part of it may be due to family stuff and the Riverfest, the Ice Cream Zoofari, and preparations for eclipse viewing on Monday.

The critique group on Sept 2nd may not be a go either, Labor Day being a long holiday weekend.

We will definitely get together September 16th. I think Russell Pike has something interesting for that meeting, and Chris Cole wants to share some of his work in progress.

Keep in touch via our Facebook group forum at https://facebook.com/groups/pocatello writers/.