Podcaster Blake Murphy will teach tonight!

Redlands College student and Iron Tree barista Blake Murphy is also a famous podcaster!  He is going to be teaching our authors at CVTech how to make a movie on their phones! img_07541     img_07561

Here’s (from L to R) Carol & Woody Gimbel, Judy Bishop, Chuck Baker, Chloe Janning, Johnna McCarthy, Tanner Milgrim, Blaze Nowlin, and Jo Azzarello–waiting on Blake!  Bernadette Lowe is missing from the picture, but Blake is here!!   We are going to learn how to be YouTube stars! img_07571


Tonight we write query letters…

Tonight we write query letters…

Tonight, in our CVTech class, we will finish our bios and include them in our query letters.  Last week, we read good queries and some bad ones.  I’ve posted this info before, but you might like to see it again, so here it is:

Query Letter Tips

  1. Personalize the address. Make sure everything, especially the agent’s name, is spelled correctly.
  2. Know something about the agent or editor. Do your homework.  Find out what they like, and see if you can gear your query letter in that way.
  3. Mention if you have queried this person before.
  4. Read some good and bad samples queries online or in writer’s books and magazines.
  5. Have a great book or article title.
  6. Have a great first line for your query.
  7. Use your voice or the voice of the book’s subject. Be unique.
  8. Have a good lone liner about the book, and use it.
  9. Use the title, genre, and word count in first paragraph or one-liner about your piece.
  10. Summarize your work clearly, hitting on main themes, especially those you know to be of interest to the agent or editor.
  11. Do not give too much plot, too many character names, too many details. This is not Game of Thrones or even Dickens, even if, in the end, the book is!
  12. If you do mention characters, mention the really intriguing or unique ones.
  13. Mention comparable books.
  14. Mention how yours is different.
  15. Don’t tell them how wonderful your book is. If it’s wonderful, they will call you!  This is not the time or place for hubris!
  16. Give your short bio.
  17. Include publicity concepts with which you have had personal experience. No, “I’m going to do this.” Instead, “I am a regular speaker at this event, place, club. I have been a featured radio guest in the NYC area.”
  18. After reading your own query, ask yourself, pretending you are the agent/editor, “Do I want to know more?” (Or, am I a bore? You need a re-write, if it’s the latter!)
  19. Proofread, and make it perfect! Errors and misspellings will put you in the “Forget it!” pile.  Do your due diligence as a writer!
  20. Remember, shorter is better. As I said, this is not the place for War and Peace.

Hope you enjoy!CVTechAug2016

Sending a shout out and thanks to our”patrons”!

img_07421    img_07401

I just want to send a thank you to all the folks who have supported our Creative Quills Writing Group, including former library director Amy Brandley, friend & musician Colin Forsey, current library director Penny Beals, and all the library staff at El Reno Carnegie Library!  We are on a roll and intend to help many more scribes reach their publishing goals!  …while having a ball, of course!  Book can be purchased on Createspace at https://www.createspace.com/6429927 or on Amazon Kindle.  I also want to thank CVTech for allowing me to share my knowledge with the many great folks who have come through the publishing classes there!  Many converted over to Creative Quills, and so the publishing group was born!  Many many thanks to all!


CVTech Workshop helps Writers Edit, Create Websites & Blogs

Our Wednesday Workshop at http://www.cvtech.edu is for writers who have already taken my Write Publish & Edit Your Book class and now want to figure out all the technical details of perfecting books for querying and creating social media marketing, like websites, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. (and more!)  In this class, we get to WORK. Oh, boy!  But it’s fun!

Here, we are getting ready to do blogs and websites! IMG_0720

Busy busy busy!  http://www.okwriters.com http://www.creativequills.com

New Crew at CVTech Write Publish Market Class starts tonight!

We have 11 new writers and publishers at the CVTech class!  Can’t wait to hear their genres and what they have to share!  More to come!  By the way, we are currently editing the ALTERNATE PERSPECTIVES book!  Hope to have it perfected and on Amazon by September 1!!!

Tonight’s class has Tanner, who writes Sci-Fi, Blaze has a fantasy book completed,Jo wants to write a murder mystery after writing science stuff, Chloe writes about ghost towns!  She has other projects too!  Bea has a gift book, plus is in our short story book!CVTechAug2016

Johnna has a romance/fantasy/sci fi that is already printed, called TOKEN, the Casdan Chronicles on Amazon. Carol has finished a mystery/romance that she finished since May!!! Judy is new here to OK from Hawaii and is starting her writing journey with us!  Chuck is about to publish a book of humorous short stories all his own!  We also have Carol Gimbel (absent tonight) who has written Raven’s Song, a novel of forgiveness and redemption that revolves around a young girl trying to escape the sex trafficking trade.  Her husband Woody says he’s not a writer, but I have heard his funny short stories in our creative writing class, so I know he is! 😉

Stay tuned for more of our adventures and exploits as we grow and learn in the writing, publishing, & marketing biz!


Our new book, pass-alongs, & new classes! Soon soon soon!


Here’s our new book, which should be out on Amazon, Kindle, and Createspace by September!  This book is filled with short stories by our Creative Quills writing group, and all the stories are told from a non-human perspective!  So much fun to write!

Our Creative Quills group at the El Reno Carnegie Library has swelled to more than twenty people!  We need a bigger room!  We’re currently writing Westerns for our next book, childhood memories, and a pass-along story about a robber/spy that will have numerous endings!  Remember those “Choose Your own Adventure” books?  Well, this is of that ilk. only the grown up version!

Then August 17th, our workshop group starts at CVTech where we will be tackling people’s individual needs.  Need a website or blog?  We’ll make it.  Need a query letter?  We’ll write one.  Need editing?  We’ll edit.  This class might have a few more spots open, but this is only for people who have already taken Class One–or if you have a completed book you’re wanting to market.

So, guess what, Class One (Write, Publish & Market Your Book I) for the August to October session is already full.  That’s the bad news! 😦  But the good news is: there is another session that runs October-December!  So if you haven’t signed up, you’ll have plenty of time to get into that one!

Our library group meeting for more creative writing highjinks on Tuesday at 10 am.  That’s a freebie, so if you’re near El Reno, come on out for some writing camaraderie, some laughter, and yes, we do write too!  All are so enjoyable!  We’d love to meet you and hear about your project!

http://www,creativequills.com  http://www.okwriters.com  http://www.writeok.com

http://www.meetup.com/CreativeQuills/  http://www.thebooklady.info


We’re writing Westerns!

cowboys I was re-reading Lonesome Dove a week ago, and that inspired me to ask my writing group if they thought they could each write some western short stories so we could then publish a book!  I love all the amazing ideas they come up with, so I posited the question, and they were enthusiastic, and we’re going to try it.

The story has to take place prior to 1910, at least.  Other than that, there are no requirements.  Lonesome Dove reminded me of a Western (and shorter) version of Game of Thrones, with lots of killing, raping and pillaging, (or at least “sportin'” and “thievin'”) and great characters.  So I’m putting this out there…how about it?

We have already put together one group of short stories that we are turning into a book.  This book is comprised of stories from the points of view of non-humans.  This will be called Alternate Perspectives, and we have some great stories in that genre!  Fun to write and to read!

We have had nearly ten people showing to each meeting, and we are going to move to a larger room!  Lately, we have been doing pass-along stories.  This is where one person writes a scenario, and a second person continues the story, and then a third continues it further.  We’ve had some wild dips and turns with those stories too, so if they’re good enough, we may just publish them somewhere as well.

Check out http://www.writeok.com for writer’s prompts and http://www.okwriters.com to see what happened after using some of those prompts.

Last week, we also did one liners.  Practice writing a smashing first line and/or first paragraph, because remember, if you don’t grab your reader by the throat right away, he or she might put you aside.  This is especially true of editors and agents.

Put together your own writers group, and use each other for Beta readers.  Find some people who will be kind but honest.  This has really worked out well for us.  We have learned a lot!

As always, have fun with writing!  There’s no reason for stress: we have Spellchecker and Grammarcheck and editors for the fine-tuning.  You can do it!  Now, write on!

P.S. My CVTech classes on How to Write, Publish & Market Your Book will be coming again on Mondays in mid-April.  This is an 8 week crash course on everything you need to do to get published and SELL SELL SELL, for only $69 for the whole shebang.  This semester, we’ll also be offering Wednesday Workshop class where we MAKE STUFF HAPPEN: websites, blogs, self-publishing, query letters, the works.  If you live in the greater Oklahoma City area, check it out!  Call Http://www.cvtech.edu or me at http://www.meetup.com/CreativeQuills/.  My goal is help you make your writing dream a reality!