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January 2021

A Letter from the Incoming IWG President
Sherry Briscoe


Happy New Year, fellow writers. 2021 brings new ideas, hope and inspiration. This year we look forward to the time when we’ll be able to meet in person again. In the meantime, we will continue to provide quality training and discussions on-line.

We have a schedule of virtual presentations for the first six months of this year, and we’re planning to put on our Writers Conference in October of 2021.

Miss the monthly Literary Lunch? So do we! So until we can have them in person again, we’re going to do virtual Literary Lunches (eat at your desk) with some great topics and discussions. Please join us!

The Idaho Writers Guild is here to support and help you in your writing career. We want to hear from you with ideas you’d like to see happen in the IWG. If you are interested in working on a committee for one of the following areas, please let us know. We welcome members’ involvement and feedback.

Your Board of Directors:
Sherry Briscoe – President / Writers Corner workshops / Contest Chair
Bonnie Schroeder – Vice President
Leigh Robbins – Treasurer
Pamela Thompson  – Secretary
Laura Jenski – Membership
Amanda Turner – Conference Chair / Title One donations / Rake Up Boise
Bob McAndrew – Writer’s Prompt
Gretchen Mullins – Eventbrite and conference registrations
Kate Baray – Write Track
Merilee Marsh – Newsletter Chair
Patricia Marcantonio – Mystery Writers Academy Chair
Rick Just – Website and social media
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IWG Monthly Event Calendar

IWG hosts a variety of groups and clubs like these each month to support Idaho writers. See the complete schedule and links to register on the IWG website.

Write Track

January 2nd at 11:30 AM 
Setting Your Writing Schedule & Business Planning, a 12-Month Rolling Schedule
Think ahead for the next 12 months. All author businesses face the same challenges each year:
  1. Creating new content,
  2. Gaining visibility for (aka selling) new and backlist content, and
  3. Keeping up with the glue that holds your business together (the nooks and crannies of running a business).
What projects will you prioritize and why? Is your catalog ready for more eyes? Evaluate your covers, blurbs, and samples, and look at your read through rate. What marketing are you planning? Are you optimizing your time and money for the highest ROI? Do you have time in your schedule for the "small" stuff? Evaluate bookkeeping, web updates, professional development, networking, project polishing and production.

Join us to get your 2021 author business rolling! RSVPs on Facebook are greatly appreciated: 

But if you're not on Facebook, we'd still love to have you! Here's the direct link: 

Writers Corner

January 5, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Writing and Marketing a Series: A deep look at types of series, how to put them together, and best marketing practices.
Presented by Sherry Briscoe
Zoom link:

Literary Lunch (Virtual)

January 19, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Presented by Rick Just with Alessandro Meregaglia
Join Rick Just in an interview with Alessandro Meregaglia. Meregaglia is an archivist, assistant professor, and librarian at Boise State University. He discovered an unpublished manuscript by Vardis Fisher, written for the Federal Writers' Project in 1936. It was a guide to Boise that, because of political reasons, was never published. Meregaglia spearheaded the effort to publish this unknown book by arguably Idaho's most famous native author. Rick Just will talk with Meregaglia about how he found the book, and why it was important to publish it more than 80 years after the fact.

Registration page with Zoom link:

The IWG Virtual Literary Lunches are free and open to the public.

Writers Corner

January 27, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Writing and Book Awards: The why, which, and when (to help you sell more books)
Presented by Cristen Iris
Zoom link:

Mystery Writers Academy

January 28, 6:30 PM 
Shandee Votaw and Melonie Wilson, Ada County 911 Public Safety Communications Dispatchers, will speak at the next virtual meeting of the Mystery Writers Academy. This is an exciting opportunity to hear from front line people.

Zoom link:

Forensic Psychiatrist Camille LaCroix will talk about Murder, Mayhem and Mental Illness at the Feb. 25 meeting.

Critique Groups

Are you interested in starting a critique group? Would you like to join one open to IWG members? Find more information on the IWG website at

Writers Prompt


What is this dog trying to say? What do you want to say to this dog?

If this photo moves you to grab your pen and ink or sit at your keyboard, please send a short story, essay, poem or word salad in 200 words or less to by January 20.

The chosen response will appear in the February 2021 newsletter. Please put IWG WRITERS PROMPT in the subject line. 

IWG Member Nominated for a Pushcart Prize

Tomás Baiza was recently nominated for 2020 Pushcart Prize by Peatsmoke Journal for his short story Adelante

Free Writing Retreat on January 30 from ICAN

2021 Write On Writing Retreat 

This year, we’re gathering online—each at our own desk. COVID is not an excuse. Neither is the cost, because this year, the retreat is free!
You’ll sign up ahead of time to participate on January 30, 2021. That will provide accountability for you and encourage you to prepare for what you want to accomplish that day (such as stocking up on your favorite caffeine and deciding which PJs you’ll wear). But don’t let not signing up keep you from the retreat. You can simply show up on January 30 and join the fun.
On January 30, we’ll welcome you at 9:00 am on Facebook, meet back at noon to check our progress, have a mid-afternoon Facebook break and then conclude at 5:00 pm on Facebook to report our mutual success.
Watch the ICAN Facebook page for more details, but put January 30 on your brand-new 2021 calendar today.
Join us for the 2021 ICAN Write On Writing Retreat!

The Cabin is Accepting Submissions

The Cabin is now accepting submissions for the tenth annual Writers in the Attic writing competition. Idaho poets, fiction, and nonfiction writers are encouraged to send their work on the one-word theme, "Rupture."  

Deadline for submissions: midnight Monday, February 8, 2021.

About the Theme
Some may hear it when a pipe bursts in the night. Some may feel it in their long-neglected hearts, some in their Achilles tendons. Many experience it well after they say goodbye to a friend for the last time, long beyond when the excavator made the first cracks in the dirt. What an old sycamore may do to a foundation, linoleum to an egg, microwave to a marshmallow. At the end of many gas lines, arteries, and eardrums, some speculate it could happen to the fabric of spacetime and collapse the known universe. The Cabin is celebrating its first decade of Writers in the Attic with its latest theme RUPTURE. 

For submission guidelines and additional details, go to

SCBWI Chapter Meeting

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators meets once a month—currently via Zoom—usually on the third Tuesday of the month.

The next meeting is Tuesday, January 19, at 6:30 PM. To submit your work for feedback and to attend meetings please contact Mary Ann Fraser at or learn more about her at

Lunch for Literacy 2021

Lunch for Literacy Learning Lab’s signature fundraiser and one of the Treasure Valley’s most beloved philanthropic events, will be a virtual “luncheon” in 2021, to ensure the health and well-being of the supporters. Please mark your calendars for February 5, 2021!

Pulitzer Prize winning author Tony Doerr will interview a very special guest, author and actor, Jamie Lee Curtis! What a way to kick off another successful 30 years! Stay tuned for more details. 

If you'd like to donate books or other auction items, contact Cassie Angelos at or call 208-344-1335 ext. 100.

IWG Membership


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You can join the IWG or renew your membership online with an option to pay your $50 dues online or by check. If you pay by check, make it payable to the Idaho Writers Guild and mail it to PO Box 8862, Boise, ID 83707.

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