Diamond Valley Writers' Guild

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Event Calendar

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The DVWG meets from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month from January – October, at the Hemet Public Library, 300 E Latham Ave, Hemet, CA 92543. We invite our audience to engage speakers during their presentations, to discuss and question the topic at hand for the greatest amount of feedback and interaction. Speakers will sign and sell books after the meeting.

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Do You Have a Memoir in You?

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April 22, 2017

Presented by Memoirists Melodie Earickson, Vicki Allen-Hitt, and Sandy Schuster-Hubbard

Are you thinking of writing a memoir—your life story? Whether your plan is to produce a private family account or a blockbuster hit, 2017 is a great year to start. It’s never been easier to publish a book.

Memoir can be instructional, entertaining, funny, serious, or wacky. Perhaps all of the above! It’s your life, so it’s your call.

At our April meeting, memoirists Vicki Allen-Hitt, Melodie Earickson, and Sandy Schuster-Hubbard will discuss various aspects of memoir writing, including character, plot, dialogue, point of view, setting, theme, pacing, and more! Please join us Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

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MARCH 25, 2017

Writing Children’s Books from A to Z

by Debby Johnson, profession author and speaker

Debby Johnson, author of Rock, Paper, Scissors and other children’s books, will share her expertise about writing, illustrating and publishing books for youngsters.

Children’s book writing is much more than channeling your inner child. Debby will help you understand your audience’s needs and desires in order to deliver an exciting adventure that will captivate younger readers. She’ll describe word usage using the genius of Dr. Seuss, and she’ll also talk about the power of illustration and how to obtain the right ones for your book.

If you’ve always wanted to write books for children, or if you simply want to visit with fellow writers while learning from a publishing pro, please join us!

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FEBRUARY 25, 2017


Writing the Short Story

by Jim Hitt, award winning author of Carny, A Novel in Stories

plus special add-on session

Using Short Works as a Sales Tool on Amazon

by CJ Hernley, author of eleven books

“I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short”
–Blaise Pascal, ‘Letters Provinciales’ (1657)

Have you always been intrigued by short stories? Do you want to write them but you’re not sure what goes into the making of a good short? In this meeting, award-winning author Jim Hitt tells us why short stories can be more challenging to write than a novel, and the essential elements to include. He’ll also share his favorite titles as examples of effective writing.

Once you’ve written a short story, can you sell it as a stand-alone? CJ Hernley has developed a strategy for giving away short works as a way to attract readers to her other books—the ones that cost more! She’ll share that strategy and others at our meeting.

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JANUARY 28, 2017


Getting Started on Your Novel in the New Year

featuring authors 

JoLynne Buehring, Marj Charlier,

George Gurney, and Gerald Prager

Moderated by Lynne Spreen

Happy New Year! We’re so excited about our first meeting of the year. We hope you are rested and ready to do great things with your writing in 2017. On Saturday, Jan. 28, a panel of authors will share their top tips on craft. Are you trying to figure out point of view? How do you write great dialogue? Where do great ideas come from, and how do you keep the creative well from running dry? Should you join a critique group, and how do you get the most out of it? These and other helpful topics will be on the table.

The discussion will be moderated, and as always the audience is encouraged to participate. Let’s make 2017 your most creative and successful yet! A short meeting of the board will be held toward the end of the program.♦ ♦ ♦


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OCTOBER 22, 2016

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Strategic Planning for Book Signing Events and Readings


Susan McBeth

The time to start planning for marketing your book is long before it’s finished. Are you baffled by book signings? Do you secretly dread your upcoming reading? Let book publicity expert Susan McBeth share tips and strategies to make your events a smashing success.

Official Brody High Res Photo.jpg

Susan McBeth, the name behind some of the most unique literary events locally and around the world, has worked as an events coordinator for over 25 years. She was the Director of Marketing and Events for one of the oldest independent bookstores in the United States. Disillusioned with the one-size-fits-all approach to bookstore signings, she launched Adventures by the Book to intimately connect readers with authors and their books through custom designed, interactive literary events and travels.  When agents and authors clamored for more, Susan started a second enterprise, AuthorPreneurs to serve that need. Which is all to say, what a way to close out our inaugural season!



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SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

Selling Your Work via Social Media

LMS headshot 2016

presented by

Lynne M. Spreen
Award-Winning Author of Dakota Blues

You can craft the most compelling book ever, but if people don’t know about it, who will buy it? In this discussion, Lynne Spreen will describe the strategies she uses to market her books. A fanatic about time management, she’ll suggest the most effective ways to reach the most people in the least time. She’ll help authors avoid burnout and enjoy networking—yes, really, even if you are the kind of person who hates to sell.

As with all of our meetings, we encourage questions from the audience, and handouts will be provided.

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AUGUST 27, 2016 

An Appreciation of Poetry, with Discussion and Readings

Howard Feigenbaum photo

presented by

Howard Feigenbaum
Author, Poet, and Photographer

Does poetry still matter? In this busy, fast-changing world, what is the role of poetry for the average person? How are we supposed to understand it? Can anybody write it?

At this gathering, Howard Feigenbaum, poet, photographer, and author of the Benny Goldfarb Private “I” series, will lead a discussion about the beauty, history, and importance of poetry in modern life. Audience members are invited to read* a poem or two, written by themselves or others, and share why the selection is meaningful to them. The audience is encouraged to ask questions, make their own observations, or simply relax and enjoy the experience of hearing poetry read with the enthusiasm and emotion intended by the writer.

*Please contact Howard by email to let him know if you’d like to read:


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JULY 23, 2016 

How to Decide on a Publisher:
Avoiding the Pitfalls and Achieving Success on Your Journey to Book Publication


Edward Lopatin, Professional Speaker and Author of the How To Survive series, tells us how to get our work published without making a costly mistake.

Whether going the DIY route or paying a full-assist publisher to do everything for you, it’s smart to have an idea of the individual elements of the process and their related costs. On one extreme, the DIY author can publish POD and ebooks for free. On the other extreme, some authors tell of publishing nightmares costing them tens of thousands of dollars. Don’t be fooled! Know what to look for in a publisher, what to expect, what to ask, and what each side brings to the table. Handouts will be provided.  See you there!

How to Survive Your Promotion    How to Survive Your Vacation    Manage Your Chronic Illness

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JUNE 25, 2016 

Your Critique Group: Will It Help You Succeed or Hold You Back? Plus: How to Start Your Own Group

June 25 2016 promo picture

A good critique group can help you succeed. A bad one can hold you back. How do you know the difference? What can you expect from a great group? Maybe you’d like to start your own group. If that’s the case, where do you begin?

At this meeting, panelists Ray Strait, Jim Hitt, Vicky Allen-Hitt, and moderator CJ Hernley will answer these questions and many more. Our goal is to support the formation of many new writing critique groups throughout the Valley. Handouts will be provided.


MAY 28, 2016

Judy and Sportster

Judy Howard and Sportster

“Getting Started on Your Bestseller”
with Bestselling Author Judy Howard

“I should write a book!” How many times have you said that? Here’s your chance to answer that yearning – to check it off your bucket list! On Saturday, May 28, 2016, 9:15-11 a.m. at the Hemet Public Library, Judy Howard, author of Coast to Coast with a Cat and A Ghost, Going Home with a Cat and a Ghost, and Masada’s Marine, will reveal the secrets of writing a book you can’t put down.

Judy will cover the critical elements of plot, structure and character development. Informative handouts will be provided. If you’d like to see more about Judy and her commitment to writing,

click here for the video.

APRIL 23, 2016

Tammy and Jonathan

Sci-Fi / Fantasy Authors’ Panel

“Creating Your Own World” with bestselling authors Tammy Salyer and Jonathan Yanez.

Learn how to invent other-worldly characters, scenes, and situations with these prolific and successful practitioners of the art! Tammy, Jonathan, and moderator George Gurney will also be available to sign books and answer questions after the panel.

Tammy Salyer is an author, editor, and ex-paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Her military science fiction novel Contract of Defiance is the first book in the Spectras Arise trilogy and debuted to acclaim in 2012. Contract of Betrayal is the second in the trilogy, and the final book, Contract of War, completes it.

Jonathan Yanez is the author of over a dozen fantasy and science fiction novels. His works include The Elite Series, The Nephilim Chronicles, Thrive, Bad Land and The DeCadia Code. His work has been optioned for film.


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