Sandra de Helen, Scriptwriter, Presents in June

What are the major elements of playwriting? Once a play is written, how does it get produced?

Join Sandra de Helen, courtesy of The Scripteasers, as she presents an overview of character, dialogue, and conflict — the elements that go into creating a script.

She will also briefly discuss the challenges and joys of getting a play produced. Get tips to help you decide whether to write for the stage, and how to get a play on its feet once you’ve written it.

Sandra de Helen’s dramas and comedies have been performed all over the United States as well as internationally. Audiences in NYC, Chicago, Ireland, London, and the Philippines have been entertained and challenged by Sandra’s provocative writing. In 2017, her work was staged at Athena Cats Theatre of Santa Monica, Women’s Theatre Festival of NC, Samuel French in LA, and read by Scripteasers in San Diego. In the past five years, her work has been staged in NYC, LA, Portland, and Canada.

Sandra’s writings are archived in the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Collection at Ohio State University. She studied with Maria Irene Fornés, and with Matt Zrebski. With Kate Kasten, she cofounded Actors’ Sorority in Kansas City. Later Sandra founded the Portland Women’s Theatre Company as well as Penplay. She is a member of Scripteasers of San Diego, International Centre for Women Playwrights, and the Dramatists Guild.

We meet Monday, June 25, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at the San Diego County Health Services Center, 3851 Rosecrans, San Diego, CA 92110.

Note: The Marketing Support Group will meet at 5:30 p.m., before the regular meeting. Anyone interested in sharing or learning about marketing tips is welcome to attend.

One Book, One San Diego Events

Clare Pister, KPBS Community Engagement Manager, has shared the following One Book, One San Diego-related events this summer.

book club bingo 250p.pngSunday, June 109 am – 4 pm: Book Club Bingo @ the Central Library. Join One Book partner The Library Shop and Adventures by the Book for Book Club Bingo. Featuring 21 authors, this all-day book club adventure is filled with food, panel Fredrik-Backman.gifdiscussions, book signings, and the opportunity to interact with participating authors. Tickets are $60 and include food and a signed copy of New York Times bestselling author Jenna Blum’s new book! Just select “KPBS Member” from the drop-down menu as you check out.

Wednesday, June 13; 7:30 pm: Gail Honeyman @ Warwick’s Books. Warwick’s will host author Gail Honeyman to discuss and sign her novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which was short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. Free.

Sunday, June 244 pm: Fredrik Backman  @ La Jolla Riford Branch Library. Warwick’s and the La Jolla Riford Library will host New York Times bestselling writer Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove, in conversation with Seth Lerer, Distinguished Professor of Literature at UC San Diego. Backman will discuss and sign his newest book, Us Against You.

DID YOU KNOW? Many university libraries, including One Book partners the San Diego State University Love LibraryUniversity of San Diego Copley LibraryUC San Diego Geisel Library and Point Loma Nazarene Ryan Library, are open to the public. These wonderful community resources are available to you in the following ways:

  • Use books and materials in open collections within the library
  • Use designated guest computers
  • Access (free) campus Wi-Fi
  • Most allow access to electronic resources within the library
  • Access federal and state publications within the library
  • Obtain assistance from the research services desk

Furthermore, each library has special collections that you are invited to peruse and enjoy. Here are just a few to note:

  • SDSU Love Library has archives of the San Diego Union (from 1871) and the Union Tribune online for those interested in local history.
  • UC San Diego Geisel Library is home of the Dr. Seuss Collection, a modest selection of original drawings by beloved children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel. A more extensive showcase of his whimsical and fantastical creatures, “Boids & Beasties,” can be viewed every summer along with a special “Happy Birthday to You!” exhibition to celebrate his birthday in March.
  • USD Copley Library’s special collections materials are located in the beautiful Mother Rosalie Hill Reading Room and may be viewed by appointment.

Until next time, happy reading!


SD/PEN Invites SDWEG to Networking Event: June 21, 6:30 PM

Mark your calendar! The San Diego Professional Editors Network annual networking event is scheduled for June 21, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the San Diego County Health Services Complex.

They have once again invited members of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild (SDWEG) to join them for another fun evening of noshing and networking! Enjoy snacking on tasty hors d’oeuvres and desserts while chatting with your fellow SD/PEN members and meeting some writers from SDWEG. There will be drawings and games for prizes!

Don’t forget to bring your business cards!


Event Details

Thursday, June 21, 2018
6:30–8:30 p.m.
San Diego Room
County Health Services Complex
3851 Rosecrans Street
San Diego 92110

Image credit: Burst

Elise Capron of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency Presents in May

What does an agent do, and do you need one? How can you find your perfect agent match? What is it like working with an agent? How has the agent’s role changed in today’s publishing world? Join Elise Capron of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency as she addresses big questions for writers exploring the wide range of publishing options available in today’s literary world. Get tips on how to make yourself marketable to agents, and insight on what publishing path really is best for you.

Elise Capron has been an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency for 14 years. Established over 35 years ago, SDLA represents a wide range of bestselling fiction and non-fiction authors, including Amy Tan, Lisa See, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chitra Divakaruni, Diane Mott Davidson, Eric Foner, Donald Norman, Gary Small, and many more. Elise primarily represents adult literary fiction (with an emphasis on multi-cultural work) as well as narrative non-fiction, particularly by journalists and historians. The SDLA team handles nearly every genre, and you can learn more about the agency and other agents’ interests at

Note that our May meeting will be on the third Monday in May, May 21, since the fourth Monday in May is Memorial Day.

What You Missed at the April Meeting

Guest speaker Henry Herz has become a well-established writer of children’s illustrated books, with nine published books and five under contract for publication in 2018 and 2019. He earned this success by traveling down the hard road of the independent (indie) writer/publisher and the even harder road of traditional book publishing.

Having taken both paths, he had some excellent advice for our members. He emphasized that to choose between indie and traditional publishing, you must answer some fundamental questions. He posed more than half a dozen questions, such as “Are you willing to work hard?” “What is your reason for publishing?” “Do you want to publish right away?” And perhaps most importantly, “Can you handle criticism and rejection?”

As you come to grips with your honest answers, you will be able to decide whether indie or traditional publishing suits you. Henry also delineated the pros and cons of indie vs. traditional paths. In a nutshell, the indie path is quicker and easier but you end up tackling many costs, chores, and obstacles that traditional publishers typically shoulder for you. But again, the choice is up to you.

In closing, Henry offered his professional services for those who need help on the indie path. You can contact him at

Expired: For All Memoirists From Marni Freedman

SDWEG honorary member Marni Freedman sends this invitation to all accomplished and novice memoirists. See the full message below. Note that the events mentioned in Marni’s message will take place at San Diego Writers, Ink, in Liberty Station.

Just a quick invite to our goings on this Saturday [May 5, 2018, at San Diego Writers, Ink].

If you are interested in submitting to the Memoir Showcase this year, we would love to see you at our FREE CLASS this Saturday from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

TO SUBMIT to the showcase: CLICK HERE.

And if you want to spend even more time with us, come to the Memoir Association meeting at 2:45(ish) for the Yes, You Can Publish Panel where two authors will be talking about how to look for and acquire a small pub and how to submit to books like Chicken Soup for the Soul.

To learn about the panel, CLICK HERE.

Really hope to see you – and hope you all submit!
Photo credit: Igor Ovsyannykov

April Presenter Will Be Children’s Book Author Henry Herz

Henry Herz writes fantasy and science fiction for children. He will discuss the process of writing for children in general and writing picture books in particular. He will compare the advantages of indie and traditional publishing. Henry will also address process questions, such as establishing an author brand, obtaining an agent, and submitting to publishers.

Henry is one of the two backups for Jonathan Maberry‘s Writers Coffeehouse held the first Sunday of each month from noon until 3:00 p.m. at Mysterious Galaxy. He is represented by Deborah Warren of East/West Literary Agency. He and his sons wrote the following:


Coming up in 2018 and 2019:

  • Good Egg & Bad Apple (Schiffer, 2018),
  • How The Squid Got Two Long Arms (Pelican, 2018),
  • Alice’s Magic Garden (Familius, 2018),
  • Two Pirates + One Robot (Kane Miller, 2019), and
  • Sherlock Chick & Bunny Watson (Pelican, 2019).


Henry and his sons have also indie-published four children’s books. Nimpentoad reached #1 in Kindle Best Sellers large print sci-fi & fantasy, and was featured in Young Entrepreneur, Wired GeekDad, and CNN. Beyond The Pale featured short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed, Peter S. Beagle, Heather Brewer, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Gillian Philip & Jane Yolen, and reached #2 in Amazon Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies.

Henry is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). He participates in literature panels at a variety of conventions, including San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon. Henry reviews children’s books for the San Francisco Book Review and the San Diego Book Review.

In April, Henry began offering indie publishing services (details here).

What You Missed in March

Three board members of the San Diego Book Awards (SDBA) spoke to us about their efforts to expand awareness and participation in SDBA by writers in San Diego County. SDBA has operated for 23 years but, said President Jean Forsythe, SBDA is “the best kept secret” within the San Diego writers community.

Evidence of their lack of visibility is that they had relatively few entries for this year’s book awards. As a result, SDBA this year will only be giving awards for “unpublished works.” They had to suspend their “published works” competition due to a dearth of submissions.

To illustrate the impact and value of the SBDA awards, board member Aida Dennehy described how her life as a writer dramatically changed when she won last year’s “Best Unpublished Novel.” Before, her writing was shared only with her family; but now she realizes she has a voice and a message to share as a writer and a Syrian. She is an active SDBA board member and, to her own amazement, leads a writers group in North County.

Board member Tiffany Vakilian, a poet, emphasized that SDBA is deeply committed to strengthening and promoting awareness of the group’s annual book awards. A key right now, she explained, is reaching out directly to other writer organizations (like SDWEG) to educate local writers, enhance their appreciation of these book awards, and solicit their participation in the coming years.

Jean, Aida and Tiffany concluded their presentations by actively encouraging advice and involvement from SDWEG members. They were hopeful that groups like SDWEG would help spread the word about the annual San Diego Book Awards; that our members would submit entries in future competitions; and that some even become active members of SDBA. If you are interested, you are encouraged to go to their website:

What You Missed in February

by Mardie Schroeder

Lee Wind, Director of Marketing for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) began his presentation saying, “Access to the marketplace has never been easier, but never has there been as much competition either.”

IBPA started out in marketing and now is into education. They want to be able to get to the point where the books that you publish, and the books published in New York, are indistinguishable. Everything must be professional from the editing to the book cover.

IBPA has a Benjamin Franklin award and it has the Publishing Standard Checklist.

Lee prefers the term “author published” instead of “self-published.”

The difference between marketing and PR: marketing is when you build your own audience. PR is when you get into someone else’s audience.

The worse thing you can do is hard sell on line. You want to be the type of person who gives instead of gets. So whatever world you are writing about you can become involved with other people and have an ongoing conversation with them. Connect them to other authors and other people in their area of interests.

Lee suggests getting on a Face Book Live Event and someone else’s podcasts. Also set up a Google Alert.

Want Search Engine Optimization? You need three things:
1. Authority
2. Indexability
3. Relevancy

Was that it? No! We were given three pages of ways to personalize our own marketing plan and spent 15 minutes to complete it. Plus we each received a copy of the IBPA publication on marketing and public relations.

A limited number of Lee’s handouts will be available at the March meeting, for those who ask.