Category: Monthly Meetings

November Library Meetings

As you may have noticed, this month we aren’t having a normal meeting. Instead, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on helping YOU focus. Throughout the month, in homage to NaNoWriMo, we have times set aside at the Columbus Library/Northern Lights Branch, 4093 Cleveland Avenue. Our first reserved time is tomorrow, November 3rd from 1-5 pm (please note the time change from 9 pm to 5 pm). We will be providing a Keuring with coffee and tea and some sort of light snack.

Our other meeting times:

  • Wednesday, November 9, 1-9 pm
  • Saturday, November 19, 11-6 pm

Although we know the 19th is a Saturday during football season, we scheduled the time so that people could, hopefully, come either before or after the game, since the time has yet to be announced. On that day we are also going to be doing some more in-depth activities such as reading helpful hints from our favorite craft books, having a “word challenge” from 2 pm-4 pm with Prizes of Dubious Value being awarded by our President Patrick Stuart and anything else that may come into our heads between now and then. Drinks and snacks will be provided on this day as well

You don’t have to be participating in NaNoWriMo to join us at the library! Bring any work in progress and a desire to write…that’s all you need

If you have any questions, please contact us either through our Facebook page or our e-mail, We look forward to seeing you at one or all of our scheduled library dates for all or part of the day. Come and go as you please.

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An Afternoon With New York Literary Agent Victoria Selvaggio

Writers, are you ready to spend an afternoon getting advice from a literary agent? Most agents live in NYC, making it a RARE opportunity that you can sit and chat with such a professional in a relaxed setting–not in the hussle-bussle of an expensive conference. So come hang out with us, and Ms. Vicki, for this unique event.

AND, for those who are interested, she will be reading and reviewing your query letters. There is a fee of $10 per query letter you wish to submit. Payment and query letters are required in advance of the meeting.
You can pay through Eventbrite, there is a link on our web site or you can go to Eventbrite and pay directly.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We’ll also be enjoying lunch afterward, so plan on joining us!

Eventbrite - Get Your Book Idea In Front of New York Literary Agent Victoria Selvaggio!

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March Meeting Re-Cap: Nita Sweeney

0We enjoyed  a great time with local writing guru Nita Sweeney. Not only did she share about her vast life experiences, from living in New Mexico and being discipled by author Natalie Goldberg to working as a lawyer for ten years, but she also passed along various tips for the writing life. One way Nita manages to be productive is by committing to writing intervals. She started by setting a timer for ten minutes, a length that wasn’t intimidating or too demanding. She found that once she started, the writing flowed well beyond the ding of the egg timer. One concern that writers often grumble over is having enough time to write in the go-rush-run style of everyday life. When Nita talked about taking care of her ailing mother, Nita said she forced herself to learn how to write during all the hours she spent at the hospital and in doctor’s offices, waiting on appointments. With sound-blocking headphones, and her mother peeking at her laptop screen to keep her accountable, Nita was able to use that time for writing and even looked forward to having that dedicated time. Meditation, mind mapping, and setting writing goals with fellow writing pals have also been instrumental for her. Having completed NaNo over the last several years, Nita has plenty of memoirs and manuscripts she plans to polish and shop in the near future. We can’t thank Nita enough for coming and encouraging us to “continue under all circumstances”.

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An Afternoon with John Kachuba, Teacher, Writer, Ghosthunter


John Kachuba is the author of GHOSTHUNTING OHIO and other books relating to the paranormal. He teaches Creative Writing at Ohio University and at Antioch University. John is also known for his humor writing and for teaching through the Gotham Writers Workshop.

Some of John’s other works include:

“Dark Entry”
“Ghost Stories”
“Women of the Way”
“There Comes a Season: Stories of War and Peace – Volume 1”
“There Comes a Season: Stories of War and Peace – Volume 2”
“SHANTOK: A Murder Mystery”

Meet up with us at the Upper Arlington Library, 1945 Lane Road, on February 20th from 12:30 – 2:30 as he shares stories of his various experiences and teaches us a thing or two about writing.


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Holiday Luncheon -Contest results

SICCO_christmas revised

Thank you for joining us at our annual Holiday Luncheon on Saturday, December 12th at the Rusty Bucket in New Albany.  It was great to see old friends and meet wonderful new ones!

Along with great food and fabulous company, we were a part of the “Wright Family Book Exchange”.  Then came the our story contest.

The contest consisted of writing a story of 100 words or less using the following (5) words:  elf, hoof, pen, froze and blood.  EVERYBODY WHO SUBMITS AN ENTRY WILL RECEIVE A PRIZE OF DUBIOUS VALUE (and the better the writing, the dubious-er the prize).

Here are the entries of the brave souls:

Submission #1:

Not a Creature was Stirring

By: Connie Campbell Berry

“Watch your step, “Sgt. Rudolf said unnecessarily. He’d arrived at the crime scene at dawn. Now, at nine, Lt. Donner breezed in like a man who had places to go. He probably did. Christmas morning.

Donner froze.

Five bodies lay sprawled in front of the still-lit tree. Blood and glitter were everywhere.

“Nicolas family,” Rudolf said, “Mom, Dad, kiddies. No weapons. Doors and windows locked from the inside.”

“Outside?” Donner pulled a notebook and pen from his pocket.

“Not even a hoof print.” Rudolf barked a laugh. “We checked the roof.”

The elf on the shelf chuckled behind his plastic smile and slid the knife up his red felt sleeve.

Submission #2:

By: Gwynyth Lozier Mislin

My uncles, Nikki and Fred, were both obsessed with preparations for Christmas. Uncle Fred’s masterpiece was his pork blood sausage, but it was understood that, if necessary, he would appropriate any mammal on hoof or paw.

“Blood is blood, “ he liked to say.

Onions, sauerkraut, potatoes, and think dangerous-looking mustard were on tables set in the barn for his Christmas Eve dinner. Uncle Nikki ate quickly, for too soon we would hear steps crunching the frozen ground outside. Opening the door, an elf would call in; “Time to go!” and Uncle Nikki would lumber off while we ate on.

Both of whom won the dubious award.  Gwynyth won the Edgar Allen Poe Air Freshener scented with “Poe-pourri.” and Connie received the Shakespeare Air Freshener.   How sweet smelling they are!








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Prepping for NaNo








By Kandy Williams

Meeting Recap: October 2015
Don’t know NaNo? No problem. Thanks to our guest, Anne Delekta, local liaison for National Novel Writing Month, you don’t have to stay in the NaNo-unknown. Anne shared with us how NaNo began, as a writing challenge between friends in San Francisco. That endeavor–to write 50, 000 words in 30 days (originally July)–gained a fan base and momentum, and now attracts writers from around the world. Each year during the month of November (because no one was writing much during that first July), people sign up through NaNo’s web site and by so doing commit to hashing out a rough draft of a never-before-written-novel in one month. In order to cross that 50k mark, NaNo encourages participants to write approximately 1, 667 words a day. Daily emails are sent to cheer and prod writers along the way, and various in-person events (such as write-ins) are held throughout the month.
Chris Baty, NaNo’s founder, also utilized the format of NaNo to write No Plot? No Problem. [From Amazon] “Chris Baty, founder of the wildly successful literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month, has completely revised and expanded his definitive handbook for extreme noveling. Chris pulls from over 15 years of results-oriented writing experience to pack this compendium with new tips and tricks, ranging from week-by-week quick reference guides to encouraging advice from authors, and much more. His motivating mix of fearless optimism and practical solutions to common excuses gives both first-time novelists and results-oriented writers the kick-start they need to embark on an exhilarating creative adventure.”  For more info on the book / kit, visit here.
His primary advice? “Hush your inner editor and get it out.” Basically, give yourself permission to do nothing but WRITE for 30 days. Let it be as awful as possible, especially if that means you’ll have a (crappy) draft to work with later on.
Anne, our speaker and 12 year NaNo-participant, realizes (both from personal experience and from talking to other writers) that following that advice is challenging. Many people start off strong and often peter out 2 weeks in. But here are a few methods and pieces of helpful advice she’s picked up over the years:
*It’s best to start with a brand new concept. Your LOVE for the new characters and story can be powerful and help propel that word count, especially early on. This can even give you a little padding with that daily word count requirement. Meaning, if you have several days of strong writing and find yourself ahead, then you’re better able to handle stressful days, writer’s block, and so forth, because you’ll have a chance to regroup.
*Leave notes for yourself each day on what you’re going to write. Having an idea about the next chapter or scene keeps those creative juices flowing and might make you eager to get your butt in the chair.
*Stop writing mid-scene or even mid-sentence. Forget leaving the reader hanging; leave the author hanging. Of course you won’t be able to leave it like that, and in fact, you may zoom to your desk each day in anticipation what typing what you’ve got planned next.
*Try Beat Sheets. These are used by screenwriters. Since screenwriting is a bare-bone type of writing, this might be just the prompt you need to keep your story moving without getting bogged down into details.
*Try the Snowflake Method. Crafted by Randy Ingermanson, his book, How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method, outlines “ten battle-tested steps that jump-start your creativity and help you quickly map out your story.” [Amazon] Having read and applied this myself, I also give it a thumbs-ups!
*Mindmapping. Like Post-It notes and seeing bullet points of each of your scenes laid out? This could be a method that works for you, keeps you on track, and motivated.
*Group brainstorming. Gather together your writing buddies and discuss plot points where you’re stuck. Fresh ideas are their own muse.
These are only a sample of the techniques and methods anyone can try to keep them focused and writing for the month of NaNo. Here at SiCCO, we’re discussing ideas for helping you make the most of your writing time, whether it’s November or anytime of year.
Learn more about NaNo by visiting their site:
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