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Past 2016 Events

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Events and Activities for Southern California Writers

GENERAL MEETING/Panel Discussion
TRICKS OF THE TRADE – Writing Advice from the Experts

Monday, February 29, 2016
7:30 to 9:15 p.m. (networking follows the program)

There's no one formula for writing – there are a thousand!

Aside from raw talent and a tip or two from the Muse, we have principles, rules, devices, guidelines, categories, strategies, tools, tactics and techniques.

Our expert panel will offer help for all writers, whether writing fiction, screenplay, or even nonfiction.

We will discuss (as time allows):
- Brainstorming ideas
- Pitching formulas
- Story structures
- Plot lines
- Scene dynamics
- Narrative devices
- Character development
- Strategies for reader feedback
- And more!

Our panel of writing veterans:

BRENT FORRESTER got his start as a writer for the Ben Stiller Show where he won his first writing Emmy.

Forrester has written for 6 Emmy Award winning shows including The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Late Night With Conan and Mr. Show With Bob and Dave.

Brent spent 7 seasons as a writer and director at The Office, and was Co-Showrunner in its final season.

He is currently the Showrunner on "Love" a Netflix show produced by Judd Apatow (debuts February 19th, 2016).

Photo by Jay Falke


Ellen SandlerELLEN SANDLER was nominated for an Emmy for her work as a Co-Executive Producer of the CBS hit series, Everybody Loves Raymond.

Sandler has written for many other prime time network television comedies, including ABC's Coach, and has created original television pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox Family, Oxygen Network, and the Disney Channel.

Ellen is the author of The TV Writer's Workbook (Bantam/Dell), which is used as a text by both UCLA and USC film schools.

She teaches Comedy Writing for the UCLA Extension Writer's Program, and Television Writing for Playwrights at The Herbert Berghof Playwrights Foundation in New York.

She has been a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities, including New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, The New School, and the University of Southern California.

Photo by Molly Johnson


Robert RamseyROBERT RAMSEY's feature film credits include Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995); Life (1999); Big Trouble (2002); Intolerable Cruelty (2003); Man of the House (2005); and Soul Men (2008).

Ramsey was a Fellow at the Sundance Screenwriters Workshop in 1992. He received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and has been a member of the WGA since 1988.

Robert has been teaching screenwriting at USC School of Cinematic Arts since 2012.

Photo by Greg Miller


Our Moderator
Greg MillerGREG MILLER is a writer, producer and writing coach. He is the author of "How To Be A Writer Who Writes" and the new mega reference e-book "Miller's Compendium".

Miller has written and produced feature film and tv projects for Fox, Disney, Dino De Laurentiis, Oxygen, MTV, HBO and Comedy Central. He has also written articles for Writer’s Digest, Premiere, LA Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and news for the CBC.

As a teacher and writing coach, Greg has helped NY Times best-selling authors, TV showrunners, studio screenwriters and absolute beginning writers to write and perform for 20 years.

He has taught classes and workshops at UCLA Extension, LA Times Festival of Books, LA Gay & Lesbian Center, Humber College, Kripalu Center, Media Bistro, Teen Canteen and Story Expo.

As co-creator and producer of Uncabaret he worked with a who's who of alternative comedians including Julia Sweeney, Margaret Cho, Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, Taylor Negron, Michael Patrick King, Larry Charles, Judd Apatow and many others to develop personal story-based comedy.

Photo by Allan Miller

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, 5:00 p.m. Sunday, the day before 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 2016 IWOSC General Meeting/Panel Discussions for Writers

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

Monday, March 21
Monday, April 18
Monday, May 23
Monday, June 27
Monday, July 25
Monday, September 26
Monday, October 24
Monday, November 21

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WORD PROCESSING PROWESS Easy tricks and hints
presented by Deborah Shadovitz, who wrote the book!

Saturday, February 20, 2016
10:30 am to 1:00 p.m.

Have you ever felt that Word Processing is actually harder than writing by hand or type writing? Do you use Word or another word processor and love it — except when you end up with weird page breaks or make one tiny change and end up with rivers of white instead of columns? Are you frustrated when you edit a word and actually lose the word. Do you “get by” in Word or your writing app, but know you could be more efficient?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions or possibly have other frustrations or questions, please do yourself the favor of coming to this seminar and learning how word processing can make you a superhero-strength writer. 

But there’s more to the power of word processing than knowing the mechanics. The word processing app you use on your computer is not just typewriter on a computer. It can actually help you formulate and organize your ideas. 

No matter how well you get by in your computer’s writing program, chances are great that you’ll leave this seminar with more word processing power and time-saving efficiency. 

Our presenter:
Deborah ShadovitzDEBORAH SHADOVITZ has been teaching and writing about using a computer efficiently since the dawn of the 90’s.

She penned many a book including Clarisworks Office for Dummies, Appleworks for Dummies, the Macworld Office 98 Bible and the Adobe GoLive Bible and contributed key chapters to many other Mac, writing, and web books. She was a Contributing Editor at MacAddict magazine and was called upon to write for Macworld and PC World magazines as well as every other major Mac or design magazine.

As a speaker at Macworld Expo, Internet World and other trade shows and events she was always well-received as a dynamic speaker.

Deborah has been solving people’s ”why does my page do this” queries since 1989 and has often helped exasperated people who felt the computer was not a time-saver at all. We are happy to have finally landed her to teach her fellow LA writers. She will teach us how to save time and end frustration. What you learn can be used on any version of Microsoft Word and with other word processing apps as well.

You can learn more about Deborah at Shadovitz.com or TalesOfTravelAndTech.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 2016 IWOSC Seminar/Workshops for writers

As a rule, IWOSC seminars for writers 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.

Saturday, March 19
Saturday, April 16
Saturday, May 21
Saturday, June 18
Saturday, July 16
Saturday, September 17
Saturday, October 22
Saturday, November 19


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.

Los Angeles Westside Satellite

Our Westside Satellite in Santa Monica serves writers from the Palisades south to LAX, and those in Culver City, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, Westwood--even Beverly Hills.

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

Hosted by: Lisa-Catherine Cohen and Arleen Jacobius

Next meetings:
Thursday, February 11, 2016 — Speaker Amy Friedman
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Thursday, July 14, 2016

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: Parking is available in the city lot next door; the first 90 minutes are free.
You can no longer park for free in the small lot south of the Woman's Club; they now want $10.

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

For questions or information about our meetings, send an email to either:
Lisa-Catherine Cohen: LCC at Lisa-Catherine dot com
Arleen Jacobius: ajacobius at rocketmail dot com

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Los Angeles Pasadena/Altadena Satellite

IWOSC's Altadena/Pasadena Satellite includes writers from the San Gabriel Valley (Arcadia, Monrovia, and points East); Glendale, Montrose, Eagle Rock and points South; and La Canada, La Crescenta, Tujunga, Sunland, and points West; but we welcome anyone who is willing to face Friday morning traffic to get to the Coffee Gallery in Altadena.

We meet the 2nd Friday of the month at Coffee Gallery.

Hosted by: Jane Neff Rollins

Next meetings:
Friday, February 12, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016

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. If the email link doesn't work for you, Jane's email is JaneNRollins at gmail dot com

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Los Angeles 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, February 10, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Time: 10:15 to noon

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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Los Angeles South Bay Satellite

IWOSC's South Bay Satellite is for writers from LAX south to the Palos Verdes Peninsula and even Long Beach, and from Torrance, Gardena and Carson west to Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan Beach. If you are a writer who lives or works anywhere in California's South Bay area — or would like to make the trip to attend — we welcome you to this independent writers satellite group.

We meet on the third Tuesday of each month.

Hosted by: Barbie Herrera (with thanks to Joan Rodman for her years of greatleadership and coordinaion)

Next meetings:
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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: Barbie Herrera, BarbsArt at RoadRunner.com

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Orange County Satellite

Centrally located in Tustin, IWOSC’s Orange County Satellite serves writers from as far south as San Clemente and Mission Viejo, west to Newport and Huntington Beach, north to Fullerton and Brea, and Orange, Yorba Linda, and Anaheim Hills to the east. We invite you to come meet and share wtih fellow scribes.

This group meets the first Wednesday of every month in the evening, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m at Zito’s Bar and Grill.

Hosted by: Andrea Ring

Next meetings:
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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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Ventura County Satellite (Thousand Oaks)

IWOSC's Ventura County satellite enables writers to meet monthly. It has been meeting every 2nd Thursday of the month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Linda Parks, County of Ventura Board of Supervisor, Second District Office at 625 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360. However, any of these details may change.

Next meetings:
This satellite will be on hiatus. In the interim, and always, you are welcome to attend the Woodland Hills satellite or any others.

Free to both IWOSC members and non-members.


Biltmore lobbyOn December 10, 2015 we enjoyed the largest turnout of LA writers we've ever had at this party!

We met for cocktails in the gorgeous Rendezvous Court while some took an escorted tour of this historic hotel, including its elegant ballrooms and indoor pool.

Then we dined in Smeraldi’s Restaurant. As always, it was a dinner with all the trimmings – soup or salad, entrée and sides, dessert selection, and beverages.

Awards and drawings followed.

Biltmore Hotel
506 South Grand Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90071

About the Biltmore

Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the historic, elegant, architecturally striking Millennium Biltmore has hosted presidents, celebrities, dignitaries, the Academy Awards, and IWOSC writers!

Join us to celebrate history, architectural splendor, and the holidays at the beautiful downtown Millennium Biltmore Hotel!

You can learn more at the official Biltmore Hotel website.


IWOSC Reads Its Own — Open to the public, everyone is invited!

Twice a year IWOSC holds a special FREE event — “IWOSC Reads its Own” — a spellbinding afternoon of eclectic, eccentric, and exemplary works – from poems to true stores to hilarious monologues and beyond, read aloud by distinguished IWOSC scribes.

Fifteen of IWOSC’s talented member writers will read short excepts from their work. Their selections may be published, unpublished, or works in progress. We’ll be regaled with their wit, have our emotions stirred, or be plunged into deep thought, at Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena.

Sunday, January 24, 2016
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Join us and bring friends and family. In fact, why not make a day of it? There’s so much to do and see in Pasadena!

IWOSC members who read:
Susan Lindau, Jennifer Gay Summers, Zoracious D. Cree, Paolina Milana, Shirley Strickland, Sylvia Cary, Wanda Maureen Miller, Carol Gallant, Jack Tangle, Lila Lee Silvern, Barbara Schiffman, Erana Leiken, Erika Fabian, Patrick DeVuono, Pamela Lane

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