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Past 2015 Events


Events and Activities for Southern California Writers

GENERAL MEETING/ Panel Discussion
COLLABORATION: Taking the Mystery Out of Mysteries

Monday, March 30, 2015
7:30 to 9:15 p.m. (networking follows the program)

Looking for clues on how to get started writing mysteries? Have a who-dun-it in the trunk eager to escape? IWOSC's March panel assembles a cadre (i.e., a core group of trained personnel able to assume control and to train others) of mystery writers, and a mystery reader moderator who couldn't solve a crime if his life depended on it, even though he read “The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook” and mixed his own fingerprint powder with chemicals from his Gilbert Chemistry Set.

Topics for discussion:

  • How to create mystery characters.
  • How to weave plots.
  • How to create red herrings and obfuscate the solution without confusing yourself, the writer.
  • What to do once you've planted your clues and finished your book.
  • The state of the market today.

Our stellar panel will include:

DIANE VALLERE describes herself as a textbook Capricorn who writes mysteries, and fashion. She launched her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Diane spent over twenty years in the fashion industry, and was lucky enough to travel the world for runway shows, shoe markets, and lingerie fairs. Now she considers herself lucky enough to stay home and write!

A Pennsylvanian at heart, Diane currently lives in Southern California, where she has set her Material Witness Mystery Series. The first, “Suede to Rest,” came out in November 2014.

Diane’s other series include the “Style & Error Mysteries,” featuring crime-solving fashionista Samantha Kidd (set in Vallare’s childhood hometown of Reading, Pa.), and the “Mad for Mod Mysteries,” featuring Doris Day-loving interior decorator Madison Night (set in Dallas, Texas).

Diane is currently president of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles.

KIM FAY was born in Seattle and raised throughout the small towns of Washington State. After working as a bookseller for more than five years at the Elliott Bay Book Company, she moved to Vietnam in the mid-1990s. She lived in Saigon for four years and has been traveling regularly to Southeast Asia for more than twenty.

She is the author of the historical novel “The Map of Lost Memories,” a 2013 Edgar Award finalist for Best First Novel by an American Author, and the food memoir “Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam,” winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards’ Best Asian Cuisine Book in the United States.

Kim is also the creator/ editor of the “To Asia With Love” guidebook series.

PATRICIA SMILEY is a Los Angeles Times Bestselling author and writes a mystery series featuring business consultant and amateur sleuth Tucker Sinclair. Her short fiction has appeared in “Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine” and “Two of the Deadliest,” an anthology edited by Elizabeth George.

Born and raised in Yakima, Washington, Patricia learned a love of books from her mother, and she fell in love with mysteries during her first adventure with Trixie Belden. While in graduate school at Pepperdine University, where she earned an MBA with honors, she wanted to write a mystery set in L.A. “Almost every day it made me laugh, grimace, and shake my head in amazement,” she says. With her first novel, “False Profits,” Patty learned that sociology may be practical, but writing is definitely much more fun.

Smiley has served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and as president of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles.

MICHAEL MALLORY is the author of “X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe,” “Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror” and “The Science Fiction Universe and Beyond,” and has written over 500 articles. He received a degree in Speech from Drury College, and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He played roles in films such as “Frances,” “Staying Alive” and “Eleanor: First Lady of the World,” and on television in “Days of our Lives,” “Santa Barbara” and “General Hospital.” More recently he has appeared on “Mad Men,” “Vegas,” and “Mob City.” In the late 1980s Mallory made writing his primary pursuit. He was among the first recipients of a Derringer Award, winning in 1998 for Best Flash (short-short) Mystery Story. His story "The Beast of Guangming Peak" appeared in "The Best American Mystery Stories, 2005."

Mallory writes mysteries featuring "Amelia Watson," the second, unheralded wife of Sherlock Holmes’s Dr. Watson. Four volumes have appeared: “The Adventures of the Second Mrs. Watson (2000),” “Murder in the Bath (2004),” “The Exploits of the Second Mrs. Watson (2008),” and “The Stratford Conspiracy (2012).” “Kill the Mother!” his contemporary, comic mystery set in Hollywood, was published in 2013.

Michael co-edited the anthology “Murder on Sunset Boulevard,” published through the auspices of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles, and its follow-up, “Landmarked for Murder.” He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes three times, for both fiction and nonfiction. In 2012, “The Mural,” his first horror novel for adults, was published by Borgo Press.

BOB BIRCHARD Robert S. Birchard is the Editor of the American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films and a former award-winning film editor who brings an insider’s perspective and a great affection for the people who work in the picture business to his chronicles of the movies.

He is the author of “Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood,” “Silent-era Filmmaking in Santa Barbara,” “Early Universal City” and “King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies” and is a contributing writer to the omnibus volumes “M-G-M When the Lion Roars,” “Don Miller’s Hollywood Corral,” “The Encyclopedia of Early Film” and “Hollywood: The Movie Factory.” His articles on Hollywood filmmakers have appeared in American Cinematographer, Statement, Film History, The Moving Image, Griffithiana, Daily Variety and Los Angeles Times Calendar.

He is a past president and current board member of the preservation organization Hollywood Heritage, Inc. and is current president of The Society for Cinephiles/Cinecon, which presents the annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival, and contributes to film preservation projects. Bob recently launched his first independent publishing venture, Pop Twenty, a journal devoted to 20th Century popular culture with emphasis on movies, TV, fadio and music.


Veterans Memorial Building
4117 Overland Avenue
Culver City, California
Parking entrance on Culver 
Corner of Culver Boulevard.
Map of location.
Parking is free.

Note: Wear layered clothing as the temperature in the room can vary.

IWOSC members - free

Non-members - $15

Reservations by email only.
Reservation deadline: space permitting, 12:00 noon on Monday, the day of the meeting.

To reserve:
Email the IWOSC office with "IWOSC Reservation" and the date or meeting month in the subject line.
Be sure to tell us your first name, your last name, a phone number, and whether you are a member or not.

Your name will be on a list at the check-in table.
For proof of your reservation, bring a printout of your email or show a smartphone version of your “sent” email or confirmation. Please arrive before 7:20 pm to be seated. Doors open to everyone at 7:20 p.m. and people will be admitted as space permits.

If you have a blocker such as Boxbe, be sure to add info(at-sign)iwosc.org to your OK list or you will never see your confirmation.

If you reserve and can not attend, please email our office to let us know.
For information call 310-773-8075.

Future IWOSC General Meeting/Panel Discussion

As a rule, IWOSC meetings are the 4th Monday of the month.
We don't hold meetings in August or December, opting for parties those months.

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Seminar: READING YOUR OWN WRITING: How to make it count
With presenters Lisa-Catherine Cohen and Annie Korzen

Saturday, March 21, 2015
10:30 am to 1:00 p.m.

Reading your work aloud is a powerful marketing tool for the writer, if done right. If you lack performance skills, however, a great piece of writing can sound like sour mud. Many writers are reclusive, but sometimes you just have to get out there and present your work by reading to an audience. Some people are inherently gifted in this discipline, but most of us need the simple tips, tricks, and pointers that are offered in this workshop — which include microphone technique, dealing with stage fright, vocal strength, and communicating the emotional meaning of language. We will aim to give individual time to each student.

In keeping with this year’s theme of exploring the writing process, this seminar will tell you what to expect and how to make it happen.

Our Presenters:
: As a lyricist, Lisa-Catherine has garnered two entire platinum CDs, three number-one hit songs, several Top 5s and 10s, and many film and TV song placements, worldwide. She performs her work as spoken word with live music all around Los Angeles.

Currently, Lisa-Catherine is polishing her forthcoming book, “The Loaded Cufflink.” An oft-published editor, with clients across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, she writes and/or edits everything to do with words.

Under the umbrella of Write Now!, she helps people, especially seniors, write their books and memoirs. Her book on Media Training is called “On Camera, On Stage, On Mic.” Lisa-Catherine is a dynamic speaker, teacher/coach, and performer.

You can learn more about her at her own website, Lisa-Catherine.com.

ANNIE KORZEN is proud to be a Moth Mainstage storyteller. She was the recurring Doris Klompus on “Seinfeld,” and has performed her solo shows on three continents. Annie has now created a full evening of her stories called “Tales from the Mouth: Comedies of Errors,” and has been commissioned to create a solo show for Jewish Women’s Theater of Los Angeles.

Annie is the author of “Bargain Junkie: Living the Good Life on the Cheap,” which was covered by Tavis Smiley, Morning Edition, Patt Morrison, CBS Moneywatch, and others. She has done humorous essays for NPR’s Morning Edition, The NY Times, LA Times, and many more. Annie offers private coaching and group classes on writing and performing the personal essay.

For more info and videos, go to AnnieKorzen.com.

Veterans Memorial Building
4117 Overland Avenue
Culver City, California
Corner of Culver Boulevard.
Parking entrance on Culver. Parking is free.

Wear layered clothing; the room is usually comfortable, but the temperature can vary.

IWOSC members: $15
Non-members: $35
If you pay for the meeting and decide to join that day, you will be credited for the member rate.

Reservations Required — Space is limited.
Reservation deadline: 5 p.m. the Friday before the seminar.

For further information you may phone 310-773-8075 or email the office.

Reservations are by email only.
Send your reservation email to the IWOSC office, info(at-sign)iwosc.org
When reserving:
Please write “IWOSC Reservation – [the date] seminar” in the subject line.
Provide your first name, your last name, a phone number, and let us know whether you are a member or not so we can accurately list you on our check-in sheet.

You will receive a confirming email from IWOSC, and your name will be on a list at check-in. For proof of your reservation, bring a printout of your email or show a Smartphone version of your “sent” email or confirmation. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. Please arrive by 10:20 a.m. to be assured a seat.

People without reservations will be admitted as space permits starting at 10:20 a.m.

If you have a blocker such as Boxbe, please add info(at-sign)iwosc.org to your OK list or you will never see your confirmations.

NOTE: If you reserve and can not attend, please email the IWOSC office (info(at-sign)iwosc.org) or (310) 773-8075 to let us know.


Future IWOSC Seminar/Workshops

As a rule, IWOSC seminars are held on the 3rd Saturday of each month.
We don't hold a seminar in August or December as those are our party months.


IWOSC's monthly drop-in satellite sessions are free and open to all writers — both members and non-members.
Bring your writing, your ideas, problems, questions, and complaints. Receive support, laughs, juicy controversy, and plenty of networking. And please support our hosts by purchasing snacks and other products.

You may notice the Orange County Satellite has di

Westside Satellite

IWOSC's Westside Satellite meets the 2nd Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club in Santa Monica.

Hosted by: Vickey Kalambakal

Next meetings:
Thursday, March 12
Thursday, April 9
Thursday, May 14

Time: 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club
1210 4th Street
Santa Monica, California 90401

We alternate between reading our own work, listening to a speaker, or just going around the table asking questions, sharing gripes and discussing insights.

Parking: You can park for free in the small lot south of the Woman's Club, but due to other events, you may have to wait 10 minutes or so to retrieve your car afterward. Parking is also available in the city lot next door; the first 90 minutes are free.

Admission: There is a fee of $3 per meeting. This fee is donated to a charity.

RSVPs are appreciated, but not necessary.
Please email Vickey with your RSVPs or questions.

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Ventura County Satellite (Thousand Oaks)

IWOSC's Ventura County satellite meets the 2nd Thursday at 10 a.m. at Linda Parks, County of Ventura Board of Supervisor, Second District Office at 625 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, 91360

Hosted by: Sharon Schnell.

Next meetings:
Thursday, March 12
Thursday, April 9
Thursday, May 14

Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Free to both IWOSC members and non-members.

Linda Parks, County of Ventura Board of Supervisor, Second District Office
625 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, California 91360

Pasadena/Altadena Satellite

IWOSC's Pasadena/Altadena Satellite meets the 2nd Friday of the month at Coffee Gallery. This is a joint meeting of our IWOSC Pasadena Satellite and the Alameda Writers Group Special Interest Group (SIG).

Hosted by: Jane Neff Rollins

Next meetings:
Friday, Mar 13
Friday, Apr 10
Friday, May 8

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Coffee Gallery
2029 N. Lake Avenue
Altadena, California 91001

Free to both IWOSC members and non-members.
However, we'd like you to purchase coffee or a snack in support of our host.

For more information about this satellite,
write to Jane Neff Rollins or call her at (818) 957-3405.

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West San Fernando Valley (Woodland Hills/SFV) Satellite

IWOSC's San Fernando Valley Satellite meets in Sherman Oaks (pretty much) each 2nd Wednesday. If you live in the area or just happen to be around at meeting time, come join Sylvia and fellow scribes in a free-flowing exchange of ideas about their work and the writing business.

Hosted by: Sylvia Cary

Next meetings:
Wednesday, March 11
Wednesday, April 8
Wednesday, May 13

Time: 10:15 to 11:30 a.m.

Crown Books at the Promenade
6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd Suite 1340
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Free parking in the shopping center

Free to both IWOSC members and non-members.

For any questions write to Sylvia Cary.

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South Bay Satellite

IWOSC's new South Bay Satellite is for writers who live or work south of Culver City. This South Bay area extends from the Pacific to Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, and the book loving towns of Torrance, Gardena and Lomita. Gutsy travelers from San Pedro and Long Beach are more than welcome.

The South Bay Satellite of IWOSC will meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 10a.m. at the Marmalade Cafe in El Segundo: 2014 Park Place. (just east of PCH, a block north of Rosecrans)

Hosted by: Joan Rodman

Next meetings:
Tuesday, March 17
Tuesday, April 21
Tuesday, May 19

10:00 a.m.

Marmalade Cafe in El Segundo
2014 Park Place (just east of PCH, a block north of Rosecrans)
El Segundo, California

Free to both IWOSC members and non-members.

If you have any questions/suggestions about this satellite, please write to: Joan Rodman, writeratwork@yahoo.com

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Orange County Satellite

IWOSC's Orange County Satellite is back, thanks to our wonderful new OC satellite host, Andrea Ring. Attendees of the inaugural meeting on February 4 are all looking forward to the next meetings and are spreading the word.

If you are used to attending the previous meetings, please note that there is now a new meeting pattern, the first Wednesday of every month, and a new location, Zito’s Bar and Grill, stated below.

Hosted by: Andrea Ring

Next meetings:
Wednesday, March 4
Wednesday, April 1
Wednesday, May 6

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Location — new:
Zito’s Bar and Grill
17320 17th St.
Tustin, CA 92780

Free to both IWOSC members and non-members. Food/beverage purchase is not required, but in appreciation of our restaurant host, it is suggested. If you’re going to order food, please arrive early so you can order and get your food before the meeting starts.

Reservations are not required, but a quick email to Andrea letting her know you’re coming would be appreciated. Contact her at aring633 at gmail.com.

The group aslo has its own web page at IWOSCOC.weebly.com.

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IWOSC Reads Its Own — Everyone is invited!

Sunday, August 2
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.


Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, California 91101

There is plenty of parking on Colorado and neighboring streets.

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Some of Our Past Events

Wondering what other events and types of events we've had?

Past 2006 events ~ Past 2007 events ~ Past 2008 events ~ Past 2009 events ~ Past 2010 events
Past 2011 events ~ Past 2012 events ~ Past 2013 events ~ Past 2014 events ~ Past 2015 events