Goodbye 2016

2016 held a lot of awesomeness for our writing group. Here are some of the highlights:


  • Jarod joined the group. He is our youngest writer yet with his creative house specializing in fantasy, including urban fantasy.
  • MK’s dead mermaid knows something about a stolen weapon. If only we could figure out what that is.
  • Those of us who freelanced through Elance gnashed our way through the transition to Upwork.
  • We found a better way to organize our pieces in need of critiquing with a tracking spreadsheet.
  • MK suggested we watch the Jim Butcher author talk at Kiama Library video.


  • We got 40+ inches of snow!
  • Tracy joined the group.
  • We learned that disgruntled is the opposite of gruntled.
  • Jamie’s really honed her editing skills!
  • Did we mention it snowed?



“Writers are cannibals,” Nora Ephron told Charlie Rose in a long-ago interview. “They really are. They are predators, and if you are friends with them, and if you say anything funny at dinner, or if anything good happens to you, you are in big trouble.”


This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s not the moral Olympics, and it’s not church. But it’s writing, damn it, not washing the car or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else. Wash the car, maybe.― from “On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft”


  • Some of us tried Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • We explored potential new meeting venues.
  • Audrey showed us a way to outline using scene titles.
  • Anthony was maybe the first person in 2016 to catch up on critiques!
  • Julie challenged us to use the word “psithurism” into our WIPs.



  • One of Anthony’s short stories appeared in the magazine Devolution Z!
  • We spent a lot of time at Panera (our default location).
  • MK discovered Alicia has a really cool Tumblr.
  • Julie freaked Alicia out with a story about a copperhead snake in a tree who bit a Lowe’s employee.
  • Jarod shared a YouTube channel that has awesome tips for writers.


  • Summer got off to a slow start.
  • We shared info about the MAFWI conference on our social media pages.
  • Audrey created a marketing group for writers called Sprints and Spirits.
  • We did plenty of parking at Panera to write.
  • Julie reminded us that Ernest Hemingway said, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.”
  • Becky discovered a living demonic doorknocker in her funeral home story.



  • Our cover photo reminded us that we should be writing.
  • Becky was quoted in the SleuthSayers blog.
  • We wrote at Panera and Martins.
  • We were sad to learn the MAWFI conference was canceled.
  • Becky and Laura entered Pitch Wars.


  • We had “Visitor Day” at a meeting.
  • Our WordPress site was born.
  • Anthony introduced us to Phantaxis, a sci-fi and fantasy literature magazine.
  • Alicia was asked to speak at a writing conference next spring.
  • Becky was rejected in the nicest possible way by a horror anthology.
  • We worked on perfecting our bios.
  • Laura, Joyce, and Zack joined the group!






  • Julie used Tess Gerritsen‘s “what if” scenario (discussed at MAFWI’s 2015 conference) to develop her plot and pulled an all-nighter to write it on Scrivener.
  • Becky won the Leon B. Burstein/Mystery Writers of America New York Scholarship for Mystery Writing, which she will use to attend Bouchercon 2017.
  • Alicia wrote a poem.
  • Steven joined the group!
  • Becky, Mary, Laura, and Anthony won at NaNoWriMo.


  • Did you know you can purchase djinn/personal spirit assistants via eBay?
  • We found a new venue which we’re excited to explore in 2017.
  • We pushed our holiday party to the week after Christmas, where we set some goals for 2017 (coming later).
  • Anthony was published in Phantaxis magazine December Issue #2!
  • Mary joined the group!
  • We’re really looking forward to 2017!




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