February 16th KWA Meeting

The program for the February 16th KWA meeting was arranged by Wes Brummer. He invited a film crew from WSU Shocker Studios to come talk about their programs, and making trailers. WSU Shocker Studios website https://www.wichita.edu/about/wsunews/archive/index.php?si=3853

This should be a great learning experience. Come with questions for our guests.

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February 16th Writing Prompts

We are going to try something a little different for writing challenges this month. These are things I do in the writing classes I teach. Do whatever interests you.

WORDS: angel – queen – mouse – gun – thrill (Use at least three of the unrelated words in a sentence, a paragraph, a poem, a short story. The words can be used in different forms, such as gun – gunshot, gunner, guns.)

PROMPTS: For an additional challenge, incorporate any or all of the Words in your prompt exercise.

  1. She/he studied her/his face in the mirror.
  2. Finish the thought: If I were invisible, I would…
  3. Write about a train journey.
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Learning from the Masters

Program presented by Louise Pelzl

Having worked in marketing and sales for years, there is one vital bit of knowledge I gained. It’s okay to borrow ideas that work well instead of reinventing them. We can’t use other authors’ exact words in our writing, that is plagiarism, but we can use the concept of how their work is put together – hence Learning from the Masters.

At the January meeting, I will present the first paragraphs from three or four books written by bestselling authors. Over the years it has been pointed out to me in magazine articles and numerous writing classes that the first paragraph in many books should make the potential reader want to discover more. Entice the reader to wonder where the story is going. It can set the tone of the book or it can supply a mystery clue. It can intrigue the reader enough to purchase the novel. We will explore this as a means to improving our writing. It might just take our writing to a new level.

Later in the year, we will discuss covers, back cover blurbs, red herrings (no it is not a fish), and finally the synopsis.

For the January meeting, please bring your first paragraph from any of your written works to share with the members. The members will offer a critique, if you would like.

See you January 19th, usual place, usual time.

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January 19th Writing Prompts

Happy New Year, everyone! Best wishes for your writing success in 2019 and beyond.

These are the writing prompts for January:

  • A tire blows out as you’re in the car with someone on the verge of his/her own breakdown. Stuck in a small town, you’re about to do something you haven’t done in years.
  • Describe the best concert you ever attended.
  • Imagine that you are an animal in the zoo. What type of animal are you? How do you feel about being caged? How do you feel about people that visit and watch you?
  • Write about something minor that turned into a big deal

As always, you use one of these prompts or come up with one of your own.

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2019 Writing Goals

Are any of you up for setting writing goals for 2019? Years ago we used to do this in January of each year, and then see who had met (or come close to) their goals in December. It was fun and challenging.

It is good to just plan to write when you get a chance. But that is too wishy-washy, too easily ignored. If you are serious about working on your writing career, or even just improving your writing, it is better to think about making personal writing goals.

Here are a few websites with good information about setting writing goals:

Goal Setting 101: Setting Writing Goals the S.M.A.R.T. Way

7 Tips for Creating Writing Goals that Actually Work

3 Writing Goals You Should Set




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December 15th Writing Prompts

Yes, we’re going to party at the December 15th KWA meeting. Yes, we’ll have fun visiting and networking. But you can still try you hand at one of the writing prompts for December.

  1. Grandmother pulled the last tray of gingerbread men from the oven. Suddenly…
  2. “Ho-Ho-help me!” came the voice from the chimney…
  3. All the elves were hard at work in Santa’s workshop. All but one that is…
  4. Three children are sitting on a log near a stream. One of them looks up at the sky and say…

If you would rather use a different prompt, please do so.

Remember to bring a snack to share with everyone. If you forget, I’m sure there will be plenty to share anyway.

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2019 Officers Elected

At the November meeting the 2019 officers were elected.

President – Wes Brummer

Vice President – Rae Cuda

Secretary – Ernestine Frame

Treasurer – Chris Davies

Member-at-Large – Wendell Skinner

Member-at-Large – Clystia Skinner

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November 17th Writing Prompts

Once again it is time to offer you some opportunities to challenge your writing skills. The writing prompts for the November 17th meeting are as follows:

  • “Hello,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is _______. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me _______. Write a story that follows this line.
  • Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you’ve put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain’s resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.
  • You’ve scheduled a root canal and the dentist finishes up. You pay and head to your car. Once in your car you hear a voice (from the tooth) that informs you that the dentist inserted a government device in your mouth and you’re needed for a secret mission. What happens next?
  • I have never done anything unpredictable, but that changed today when I woke up, packed a bag, went to the airport and randomly bought a ticket to _______. Write a story that follows this line.

As always, you don’t have to take part in this writing challenge. But you’ll have fun if you do.

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Taking Turns Telling Tales – released

The 2018 story collection from Kansas Writers Association has just been released.

Taking Turns Telling Tales is a collection of varied stories in different styles and genres from 17 authors. There is something for everyone.

The collection is available from Amazon KindleLulu

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October 20th Meeting & Writing Prompts

The October 20th meeting will focus on writing dialogue and more. Gloria Zachgo and David Heffelfinger will present the double program.

The Writing Prompts for October are:

  • You’re at your favorite department store buying a birthday present for a friend. As the cashier gives you change, you notice a message with specific instructions scribbled on one of the bills. What do the instructions say? Do you carry them out and, if so, how?
  • You’re walking home from work one night and taking shortcuts through a labyrinth of dark city alleyways to meet someone on time. Suddenly a stranger parts the shadows in front of you, comes close, and asks you to hold out your palm. You oblige.
  • Describe an event that changed your life forever, or make up and describe an event that would change your life forever.
  • How do you know someone loves you, even if he or she doesn’t say it?

If you don’t like any of these prompts, please feel free to make up one of your own.

Critiquing Opportunity:

If you would like the group at the meeting to critique your story prompt, please bring copies. It is much easier to critique if they can follow you on paper and make comments rather than try and remember. Bringing copies is not a requirement to do a prompt – THIS IS ONLY AN OPTION.

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