Author Archives: Charli Mac

2014 Pennwriters Conference


I am pleased to announce that registration for the 27th Annual Pennwriters Conference is now open. Kami Garcia, NYT Bestselling Author of Beautiful Creatures and the Bram Stoker nominated Legion Series, is the Friday Evening Keynote. Meredith Mileti, Author of Aftertaste, is the Saturday Luncheon Keynote. Phil Sexton from Writer’s Digest is the Keynote for the Friday Networking Lunch. Jason Pinter, Editor In Chief of Polis Books, is the Friday Published Penns Luncheon Keynote.

Meet with 13 literary agents and editors and pitch. Choose from over 50 + workshops. Pre-conference writing intensives Story Structure using SAVE THE CAT with Jessica Brody , Revision using The Book Architecture Method with Stuart Horowitz, and Building Your Author Brand with Lisa Kastner.

Space is limited. Register soon!

Charli Mac


hny14Another year has gone by. Many a writing promise fulfilled and ignored. Here’s to another year of writing. Here’s to another year of getting it done.

2014 is shaping up to be an amazing year for Pennwriters. We will have a new website in the coming months, so look for that Area 6 members. It will have a forum and the blog will be interactive for all of Pennwriters.

The Pennwriters Annual Conference is May 16-18th at the Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA. Kami Garcia is our Keynote Speaker and we have many others coming to speak and present. Hope to see you there!

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Apiary 6 Launch Party!



People, it’s Issue 6.

6 is considered the most harmonious of single-digit numbers. In the words of the Internet numerologists, “people are drawn to the loving, magnetic energy of the 6 vibration.”

This launch party is all about LOVE. Of our city, of our writers, of one another, of the better world you’re writing into being every day.

And who better to headline than Sonia Sanchez, Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, renowned peaceful warrior, and artistic mother to generations of young Philly poets?

7:30 – 10 p.m.: Readings by Sonia Sanchez, Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureates, and APIARY 6 Contributors (with funk/jazz dance breaks from The Signifying Monks)

10 p.m. – 2 a.m.: LOVE HEX DANCE PARTY The DJ spins til 2.

Admission: Sliding scale $7-10.

Underground Arts, 12th and Callowhill

About APIARY: APIARY Magazine is an all-volunteer literary organization dedicated to nurturing and celebrating the literary arts in Philadelphia, and to fostering cross-cultural understanding among Philadelphians through literary expression and collaboration.


Pennwriters 2013 Conference- Register Now!

2013Conferenceflyer_001 (612x792)The 26th Annual Pennwriters Conference Registration is open and filling up fast. Registration for the Pre-Conference Writing Intensives is open as well:





Check out the Pennwriters site and register while there is still space available. Don’t miss a great conference filled with workshops, industry professionals, and fellow writers.

It’s Pennwriters Annual Writing Contest Time Again! Deadline January 31st!

From: Colette Garmer, Area 3, Contest Coordinator

The 2013 Pennwriters Annual Writing Contest is underway.  As I prepare myself for another round of entries, I can’t help but feel excited all over again. I’m eager to see what this year’s contest will bring.

I’m proud to announce that our second-round team of judges will include Hank Phillippi Ryan, Hallie Ephron, Mary Pickard, Marcus Sakey, Scott Paulsen and Bruce DeSilva.

If you are a Published Penn and would like to volunteer for first-round judging, please email me, and I will send you the link to apply. Judges come and go for various reasons. We are always looking for good judges.

Here are the categories of our contest. Multiple entries are allowed with the proper entry fees:

• Novel Beginning—Submit no more than 10 pages.

Include your genre so we can match your entry with a suitable judge. $15 entry fee per piece.

• Short Story—Submit no more than 10 pages.

Include your genre so we can match your entry with a suitable judge. $15 entry fee per story.

• Non-Fiction—This includes Creative Non-Fiction or Narrative Non-Fiction. Submit no more than

10 pages. $15 entry fee per piece.

• Article—Submit no more than 10 pages. $15 entry fee per article.

• Poetry—up to 40 lines per poem. $15 entry fee for up to three poems (3 poems/$15; 6 poems/$30)

This year, we are pleased to offer the option to submit entries electronically. Digital entries sent via email will save you the expense of copying and mailing your submissions and save postage and supplies fees for Pennwriters. Digital and paper entries will receive the same detailed score sheet and comments. Well, mostly the same… writers who opt for digital won’t have to decipher any cryptic handwritten comments from judges! Paper entries will still be accepted, but I encourage everyone to try the electronic submission option. The money currently being spent to mail entries to judges, print scoring sheets, and purchase office supplies could then be used to provide additional benefits to members.

Elecronic submissions – Enter Electronically

Submissions open January 1, 2013.Paper Entries:

Rules and submission address click here: paper entries

Mailing address for paper entries is toward the bottom after clicking on above link.

All entries must be postmarked by Jan 31, 2013.

All entries must be submitted by Jan 31, 2013.

Electronic submissionsEnter Electronically

Judging Criteria now available for review here!

Paper submissions to Colette Garmer. Go to Paper Rules and address link – top right of  Writing Contest – Open.

Helpful Formatting Tips

To Save an Entry if RTF (Rich Text Format)

Choose “File” then “Save As” then look down to the “Format” box in the center of your pop up box that shows you how you currently have the entry saved, and look to the right where there are arrows (carets) pointing in opposite directions.  Click on  the arrows (carets) so a box drops down with common formats.  Choose “Rich Text Format” rtf, then go down to the bottom right hand corner and click “Save.”

Help saving an Entry created on Mac Pages as RTF

If using a Mac and you created the entry in “Pages” go to “File” then “Export” then choose “Word.  Then “Next”.  Then save it to your desktop and hit “Export.”

Now open the new Word Doc you just made and go to “File” and choose “Save As” then choose “RTF.”

To Make 25 :Lines per page in Word

Choose “Format” on the tool bar at the top, then choose “Paragraph” from the menu.  On this pop up menu item choose the “Line Spacing” box and look to the right where there are arrows (caret) pointing in the opposite directions.  Click on the arrows (caret) so a box drops down with spacing choices.  Choose “Exactly” and to the right where it says “At” and choose 26 pt, then click “OK” at the bottom right corner.

To Change your Font Color to Black

Hold down your left button on your mouse and drag it across the text you want to highlight.  Release your finger and click the “A” over a colored bar in the upper tool bars, usually on the right hand side.  Click on the arrow (caret) pointing downward, choose the black box on the color chart shown and click on it.

Fantastical Exercises to Strengthen Your Fiction (whether or not you write fantasy!) with Carolyn Turgeon- A Pennwriters Online Course

Is your writing flat? Is it dull? Does it fail to excite all five senses?

Writers often neglect the detailed emotional and sensory descriptions that keep their readers fully engaged. Submerging readers in palpable scenes populated with vivid characters requires skilled communication of evocative sensations. Without such detail, stories fade to black and white and leave readers feeling unmoved.

In Pennwriters’ February 2013 Online Course, Fantastical Exercises to Strengthen Your Fiction, students will immerse themselves in their imaginary worlds to sharpen their focus on attention-grabbing detail and share that detail with force.

Instructor Carolyn Turgeon will lead students through guided writing prompts that will help students build vivid, imaginative, descriptive, sensual and emotional environments and characters. Students will learn:

• Writing with all five senses.

• Making a setting so  real your readers will feel they’ve been there.

• Putting the reader in your characters heart and mind.

And as a free bonus, students will receive their own copies of Carolyn Turgeon’s book, Mermaid!

DATE: February 1 – February 28, 2013

Early Bird Fee: $79 ($89 non-Pennwriters members)

Regular Fee: $89 ($99 non-Pennwriters members)

Register over at Pennwriters.

About the Instructor

Carolyn Turgeon

Carolyn Turgeon is the author of Rain Village (Unbridled Books, 2006), Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (Crown, 2009), Mermaid (Crown 2011), The Next Full Moon (Downtown Bookworks, 2012), and upcoming The Fairest of Them All (Simon & Schuster, 2013). Carolyn’s books have also been published in the UK, Korea, China, Brazil, Portugal, and the Spanish-speaking world, and optioned for film by Focus Features, Gaumont Film Company, and Sony Pictures. She graduated from Penn State, has a Masters in Literature from UCLA, and is currently professor in the University of Alaska at Anchorage’s low-residency MFA program.

Workshops from The Word Studio

Real Writing, Real Writers
writers in workshop at The Word Studio

The Word Studio’s mission is to enrich writers’ works and lives. Our small workshops and private mentoring attract people who aim to grow as writers, to gain support and community, to complete projects, and to publish, whether via traditional means or by self-publishing. Opened by Janet Benton in fall 2010, The Word Studio is in a lovely second-story space at 86 Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, a short walk from the Chestnut Hill East and West train stations, with plenty of parking.
Query and Pitch Clinic
with Agent Marie Lamba
Are you working on a fiction or memoir manuscript that you’d like to sell? Spend four Marie Lamba hours with an agent who’s also a novelist, and get ready to present your work to agents at this year’s writers’ conferences!  Class limited to eight participants.
Class 1: How to write a query and create a pitch. The ins and outs, do’s and don’ts, based on Marie’s working knowledge of today’s market.

Class 2: Share your query letter with the group and get feedback. Deliver your pitch and query and get an immediate response from Marie and class members.

Dates: Sunday, April 7 and Sunday, April 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Fee is $225.

Marie Lamba is associate literary agent at the Jennifer DeChiara  Literary Agency in NYC (, where she represents young-adult and middle-grade fiction, along with general and women’s fiction and some memoir. Marie is also the author of the young adult novels What I Meant . . . (Random House, 2008), Over My Head, and Drawn. Her articles have appeared in over a hundred publications, including Writer’s Digest. See

Navigating the Maze of Your Fiction
with Nomi Eve
 Writing novels or stories can be like entering a maze. Writers are often unsure of what paths to follow, and blind alleys and false corridors beckon. Whether you are a veteran writer or new at the craft, this short course will provide you with some highly effective “navigation” tools. This will be a skills-based, roll-up-your-sleeves experience. All writing will be done in class, and at each of our six sessions, we’ll explore an essential and often overlooked quality of good writing. Topics include these:

  • What the heck should I write about?
  • Sensory writing
  • Scenic writing
  • The stop-motion technique
  • The effective use of timelines

You’ll leave the course with concrete and effective tools to help you navigate your own creative maze. Class is limited to seven members.

DATES: Meets six Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. , on April 7, April 14, April 21, April 28, May 5, and May 12.

Fee is $300.

Nomi Eve is a graduate of Penn State University Nomi Eve photo and of Brown University’s MFA program. Her first novel, The Family Orchard (Random House, 2000), was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and an L. A. Times bestseller and has been translated into ten languages and published in twelve countries.  Her next novel, Henna, is forthcoming from Scribner’s in 2014. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train and other journals. Nomi teaches creative writing and literature at Penn State Abington.

Writing from Life with Ilene Raymond Rush
This course will teach you how to shape your experiences into meaningful first-person essays and articles using the techniques of fiction writing. We’ll cover how to generate ideas, how to employ narrative techniques, and how to expand personal (and sometimes minor) experiences to achieve a more universal meaning that readers and editors can appreciate. We’ll look at some eIlene Raymond Rushxamples of published essays to see how they succeed. Students will write in-class and out-of-class writing assignments and will end up with one finished 750-word piece and ideas for five personal essays. Ilene’s intention is to help each writer create publishable work. To learn about Ilene, see column to left. Class is limited to seven members.Dates: Meets five consecutive Mondays, 7 to 9 p.m., January 28 and February 4, 11, 18, and 25.Fee is $250.
Writing Intensive with Janet Benton
Now in its 14th year! Looking for a supportive, engaging community of writers? This private workshop offers one, along with structure, feedback, guidance on craft and process, and concrete goals to enable you to make real headway. Of seven published area novelists profiled in a 2010 Inquirer article, two spent years in this workshop.At each meeting, we critique the work of two writers; Janet also leads a discussion of techniques related to those works and supplies writing prompts to sharpen skills and awareness. Each submission receives written critiques from Janet and members. Each writer can submit up to 20 pages of a novel, a short story, or a work of creative nonfiction (such as a memoir) twice. See info. on Janet to left. Class is limited to seven members

Dates: Meets eight times, every other Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. (but first class will be on a Wednesday). Wednesday, January 23, then February 7 and 21, March 7, April 4 and 18, and May 2 and 16.

Fee is $480.

Private Mentoring with
Janet Benton
Would you like someone to help carry your book? Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but working with an editor will ease the isolation and bring an invaluable outside perspective to your efforts. Whether you’re on your first book or your fifth, drafting the first chapter or holding a heavy manuscript in your hands, this work will sharpen your writing, your awareness, and your skills. Doing this work with someone you can trust will also increase your chances of publication. Here is some of what you’ll get from working privately with Janet:Due dates The writer’s best friendEncouragement What keeps writers going

Input Detailed, useful suggestions that will move the work along and fuel the fire

Technical know-how  Up-close information to help you become more aware of your methods and to increase quality and power

Meaningful and effective, this work gets books written and strengthens writers! Email