Writers Group logo









Past 2016 Events

Past 2015 Events

Past 2014 Events

Past 2013 Events


Events and Activities for Southern California Writers

If you're looking for IWOSC's Ventura County satellite, you'll be happy to know that it's starting up again.


DOCUMENTARIES: the writer’s vision illuminated

Monday, July 25, 2016
7:30 to 9:15 p.m. (networking follows the program)

Rounding off our media triumvirate, our July panel will present some fascinating documentary filmmakers.

The journey from concept to production, distribution and sales presents quite the challenge. Documentarians possess the devotion to their subject and a certain single-mindedness that, if the fates allow, lead them to a worthy finished product.

Documentaries can inform, misinform, soothe, infuriate, stimulate, or they can be a yawn. Our panel of experts will address these issues, of course with a decidedly strong focus on the writing.

If you look at the list of documentaries in the past several years, you will find almost every subject, from the political, to health, to the obscure, and more. A unique collaboration is enjoyed with this form.

We will cover, as time permits:
- Concept
- Writing, rewriting
- Collaboration
- Finding information sources
- Permissions and legal hurdles, ownership
- Getting it noticed, promotion
- Why did you do this documentary
- Budget, number of staff needed, money raising
- Distribution
- How ideas morph during the process
- What makes the documentary successful, and how do you define this success? …and more
- plus your questions!

Our panelists:

Tom JenningsTOM JENNINGS is an award-winning television and documentary movie producer with more than 400 hours of programming to his credit.

Tom started his career as a journalist, writing for newspapers including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

After covering the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, he began making non-fiction films as a writer for the Discovery Networks. Writing led to producing, which led to directing for several production companies.

In 2004 Tom founded Tom Jennings Productions and began producing his own television shows and documentary films.

Tom has won and been nominated for many awards including a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative journalism, the News and Documentary Emmy Awards and several New York Festival Awards. In 2013, his new company – 1895 Films – won the prestigious Peabody Award for his documentary about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. In 2015, The Fidel Castro Tapes was nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy.

StephanieSTEPHANIE HUBBARD has been in the non-fictional trenches making documentaries since she moved to Los Angeles with her Masters in Film and Television writing and Production from The Newhouse School of Communications in 1996.

Moving from editing and writing to producing, directing and story consulting as well as coaching other documentary directors she has been closely involved with over 30 documentary projects, nearly all of which have been won extensive festival awards.

The most recent film she consulted on was sold to Netflix for doc figures, the previous project was named one of the top 25 documentaries on Netflix. The latest documentary she directed is "Improv Death Ice Age" (you can find it at Vimeo on demand) and the doc she directed previously is currently available on time warner, video on demand as "Ride to Heaven: an existential theme park mystery". Hubbard consults and teaches documentary and dos memoir consulting world-wide from her base in Los Angeles. You can find her at TheDocumentaryInsider.com where she blogs about documentary making.

KarlaKARLA DiBENEDETTOis an award-winning writer, producer, and director who strives to create socially relevant and commercially viable entertainment.

Her short films: “Running Home,” “On the Grind” and “Trophy” have screened in countless film festivals worldwide.

Trophy was an official selection of Outfest, Frameline, Reeling, Philadelphia QFest, Provincetown International Film Festival and the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. “Trophy” aired in 2009 on the MTV Network’s Logo Channel. “Trophy” won several awards including the HBO Shout GLBT Short Film Competition and the MTVN/Logo Best in Shorts.

Karla’s documentary short, “On the Grind,” was an official selection of the Starz Denver Film Festival, San Francisco International Festival of Short Films and the Arizona Black Film Showcase. “On the Grind” won the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, which honors documentarians that take risks in covering social issues.


Susan KarlinSUSAN KARLIN is an award-winning science and technology journalist based in Los Angeles, covering the nexus of science and arts, with a fondness for sci-fi and comics.

Susan's a regular contributor to Fast Company and IEEE Spectrum, and has written for Newsweek, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, Discover, The New York Times, NPR, and BBC Radio.

She has also traveled to every continent, reporting from such diverse areas as Vietnam, the Arctic, and the West Bank.

Follow her @SueKarlin.

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 may 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.

SAVE THE DATES — Future 2016 IWOSC Panel Discussions for Writers

As a rule, IWOSC's meetings for those who wish to write are on the 4th Monday of each month although this may change once in a while. At this time, these are our intended upcoming dates for 2016.
We don't hold meetings in August or December, opting for parties those months.

Monday, September 26, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016

Back to top

THE PITCH with Pilar Alessandra

Saturday, July 16, 2016
10:30 am to 1:00 p.m.
Doors open at 10:00 am. Please arrive by 10:20 to be assured a seat.

Pitch quickly and pitch well! Whether you’re pitching your book idea to a publisher or your screenplay idea to a producer, this class will help you stay on point and avoid listener tune-out. Proven pitching tools and a written template help writers define the key elements of their stories. Writers learn to pitch their ideas in a concise, focused and entertaining manner that emphasizes the hook and eliminates "writer-babble.”




PILAR ALESSANDRA is the director of the writing program On the Page®, host of the popular On the Page Podcast and author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter.” Pilar started her career as Senior Story Analyst at DreamWorks SKG and in 2001 opened the On the Page Writers’ Studio in Los Angeles. Her students and clients have written for The Walking Dead, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and Family Guy. They’ve sold features and pitches to Warner Bros, DreamWorks, Disney and Sony and have won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Screenwriting Competition and Warner Bros. TV Writing Workshop. Pilar has trained writers at ABC/Disney and CBS and traveled the world teaching in London, Beijing, Warsaw, Lisbon and Cape Town.

Information about her classes, consultations, books and podcast can be found on her website: OnThePage.tv

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 may 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.


SAVE THE DATES — Future 2016 IWOSC Seminar/Workshops for writers

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

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Saturday, November 19, 2016

The IWOSC Marketing Intensive
Prepare, Plan & Produce The Perfect Book Marketing Campaign

Saturday, June 18, 2016
10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. including breaks and snacks and lunch (bring your own)

In the past years, IWOSC had produced a Marketing panel every spring.  This year we are presenting an intense (but friendly) experience with three of the very top people in the field.  We will take breaks, time for lunch, and plenty of time for questions.  The syllabus is very comprehensive and the session has been priced at a fraction of its value with a big Early Bird discount and also an IWOSC member discount.  This program will include several free actionable take-aways.

We hope that you will be impressed, but more to the point, we hope this will energize you and give you new tools, a new outlook, and the comfort of the counsel of three top people.

Our Presenters:

  • Steven Sanchez, best-selling author and internet expert for over 20 years
  • David Wogahn, president of Sellbox, an award-winning publishing services company
  • Julia Drake, co-founder of the California based literary publicity company, Wildbound PR.


With every session comes an action guide (PDF) – a short summary with key-takeaways from each session to make learning easier and implementation quicker by giving you the top actionable tactics.

The room will be set up classroom style to facilitate note-taking. Lunch and snacks will be permitted for this event.

You'll find the Syllabus on this page.

If you have questions, please email our usual address — info at iwosc.org — or call us at 310-773-8075.



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

IWOSC's Westside Satellite is currently on hiatus.

Westsiders, we invite you to the South Bay Satellite, meeting in El Segundo, just south of LAX, on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Info below.


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, August 16, 2016
Tuesday, Sept 20, 2016
Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016
Tuesday, Nov 15, 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

Back to top

Los Angeles Pasadena/Altadena Satellite

Be among like-minded people who love words! The Pasadena/Altadena satellite is a sub-group within IWOSC that meets for socialization, advice sharing, pats-on-the-back, and fun. Our group includes magazine writers, poets, screenwriters, marketing writers, medical writers, memoirists, playwrights, and writers of all stripes. We meet in a cavernous room at the back of the Coffee Gallery in Altadena (no fee, but it is only polite to at least buy a cup of java, tea, or juice – and maybe a nosh).

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

Hosted by: Jane Neff Rollins

Next meetings:
Friday, August 12, 2016
Friday, September 9, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Friday, November 11, 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

 Back to top

Los Angeles West San Fernando Valley (Woodland Hills/SFV) Satellite

IWOSC's San Fernando Valley Satellite meets in Woodland Hills (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, August 10, 2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Wednesday, November 9, 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.

Back to top

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, August 3, 2016
Wednesday, Sept 7, 2016
Wednesday, Oct 5, 2016
Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

17th Street Bar & Grill
(formerly called Zito’s)
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.

Back to top

Ventura County Satellite (Thousand Oaks)
IWOSC/SPAWN Ventura County Satellite

IWOSC's Ventura County satellite, joined by SPAWN, Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network, starts meeting monthly in Thousand Oaks area starting in July.

New location! Mimi’s Café on Moorpark Roard provides more sitting space, a private room for our speakers, and space to sell books.

Next meetings:
Thursday, July 28, 2016

7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Mimi's Cafe
400 N. Moorpark Rd.
Thousand Oaks, California
Phone: 805.373.5922

The restaurant is donating the room so if you do come, consider ordering desert or a drink.

Contact Kate@spawn.org for more details.

IWOSC WRITERS GROUP Summer Party — Save the Date!

MaGriffe view of Korean BellJoin us for an afternoon/evening in the fresh ocean air as we mingle in the garden of MaGriffe, across from the Korean Friendship Bell and feast on the always-excellent Italian cuisine of chef Mike Cacavalla.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

3624 South Gaffey Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

Free! Yes, there is plenty of free parking!

There is also an art gallery to walk through at your leisure, if you’d like.

About MaGriffe

Mike Cacavalla and his Italian cuisine is well known to the people San Pedro. Mike is the official chef for Shakespeare By The Sea. He also did Music by the Sea for the past 20 years. Of course there is much more to Mike and MaGriffe. We're working on sharing that with you. Meanwhile, we didn't want to keep you waiting and wondering about our annual summer get-together. So please save the date and check back soon.

You can learn more at the MaGriffe website

Make a day of it — enjoy San Pedro!

While you're heading up, dow, or across to San Pedro for our party, why not make a day of this beautiful area? Check out SanPedro.com for ideas.

  • Visit the Korean Friendship Bell in Angel's Gate Park. It’s just 500’ (1/10 mile) from our party!
  • Enjoy Ports O' Call Village
  • Visit the USS Iowa at First St. & Harbor Blvd
  • Los Angeles Maritime Museum
  • The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  • The SS Lane Victory
  • The Warner Grand Theatre
  • The Mueller House
  • The San Pedro Bay Historical Society

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

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

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.

An assortmentof 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.

Our readers include:

  • Mike Walters
  • Anna Nicholas
  • Herbie J Pilato
  • Lee Wilson
  • Linda Neal
  • George Wassil
  • Lisa-Catherine Cohen
  • Stephanie Balikos
  • Patrick DeVuono
  • Wanda Maureen Miller
  • Vibiana Chamberlain
  • Flo Selfman
  • G.L. Helm
  • Bo Kim
  • Barri Clark

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!

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

There is plenty of parking on Colorado and neighboring streets.

Back to top

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