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February 2021

Literary Lunch (Virtual)

Join Amanda Turner's interview with Dr. Suzana Flores
February 16, 11:30 AM, on Zoom
As a psychological expert and commentator, Dr. Flores has appeared on national and international newscasts, podcasts, radio, and talk shows, including: The Howard Stern Network, PBS, Al Jazeera, The U (WCIU Chicago),​ National Public Radio, Just Jenny​ (Sirius XM), WGN Radio Chicago, The ManCow Show, Univision Television News, Mundo FOX, Charlotte News WSOC-TV, and radio broadcasts out of Germany, U.K., and Canada.

Dr. Flores has been quoted in The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post,,,,,, Men's Health Magazine, Everyday Health Magazine,, Dame Magazine, The Nation Magazine,, New Parent Magazine, Hispanic Health & Beauty Magazine, La Raza Newspaper,,, and

In her hometown of Chicago, Dr. Flores has earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University and a Doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
The IWG Literary Lunches are free and open to the public.
Use the following link and passcode to join the meeting:
Zoom Link
Passcode: 686672
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Story Mastery Workshop

This exciting workshop is open to all IWG members. You haven't joined yet? No problem. Join IWG now and then register to attend Michael Hauge's workshop. 
February 6
IWG Members: $60

To elevate your novels to the highest possible level, this event is a must!

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

Keep It Short! The Challenges of Creating Flash Fiction 
February 13, 11:30 AM
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA fiction program. His stories, Soon, How To Be A Good Episcopalian, and Tales From A Communion Line have been nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City
, and Ariel Chart, among others.

Yash will be giving us six tips on writing good flash fiction, as well as discussing where and how to submit your flash fiction work. We appreciate RSVPs on our Facebook event if you plan to attend: But if you're not on Facebook, we'd still love to have you on Zoom

Writers Corner

Make Your Story Epic!
February 9, 6:30 PM
Join Stacey Smekofske for an online workshop: Organizing multiple characters and subplots
Meeting ID: 868 9250 1891
Passcode: 719850
The Quick and Dirty Launch of a Pen Name
February 18, 6:30 PM

Join Kate Baray as she takes you through the checklist for her recent launch of a pen name!

Mystery Writers Academy

Murder, Mayhem, and Mental Illness
February 25, 6:30 PM 

Meeting ID: 856 9483 2619
Passcode: 498812

Dr. La Croix is an Idaho native and completed her medical and psychiatric training at University of Washington in Seattle. She then served as a psychiatrist in the United States Navy, where her duties included being a staff psychiatrist on the acute psychiatric unit that served the entire western hemisphere of military members, residency training and being a Director of Psychiatric Services at a military prison. Dr. La Croix subsequently worked briefly in the California Department of Corrections before completing her Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at University of California, Davis, in Sacramento.

La Croix speaks locally and nationally on various topics including competency, private forensic practice, suicidality, borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy, and management of difficult inmates in correctional settings.

Critique Groups

One of the big benefits of belonging to the Idaho Writer's Guild is the opportunity to join a Critique Group. Fresh sets of eyes on your work makes this an invaluable resource. 

We currently have two groups: one focuses on commercial, full-length novels; the other is open to all genres (although the latter group does not have expertise in all genres). Currently both groups have openings and meet virtually. If you have a specialty that is not currently served by either choice, you're welcome to start a new group.

For more information, scroll right through the menus on the IWG website to "Critique Group" or contact Connie Weidel at 970-481-9850 or

Writers Prompt

Is this cat frustrated or fascinated? How would you feel if you had a butterfly on your nose?

If this photo moves you to grab your pen, pencil, keyboard, or tattoo gun, please send a short story, essay, poem, or word salad in 200 words or less to the IWG at by February 20. Please put IWG WRITERS PROMPT in the subject line. 

January's winners


Dog Love
by Julia Robinson
Bumper, a black and white springer spaniel, was a pound dog, relinquished by an angry parent punishing a child. “That boy doesn’t take care of his dog,” the man shouted angrily. Their loss, our gain.

Bumper became our toothsome, fluffy, four-legged kin. She walked with my dad each morning to his shoe store. There she nestled under his desk until a child arrived. Greeting each child with tail wagging and tongue lolling. Even the most churlish youngster patted her soft black curls when Bumper shook paws. Bumper always flashed a silly dog grin as she won another’un.  

My father trained Bumper to carry the deposit bag to our community bank. Mid-day, the two of them would head out like clockwork. A predictable pair sentimentalizing a small western town’s, decaying main street. Bumper would trot into the bank, stand up at the teller’s counter and drop the bag. Tellers secreted treats to reward her. At 5:30 each day, my father and Bumper strolled home.

When my mom died, my father hastily remarried and moved in with a dog-hater. My father kept the family home for Bumper and arranged a caretaker until Bumper passed. Isn’t that what you do for family? 

A Poem
by Diane Fiello
Why have you put this thing on me?
I've told you before it's not necessary.
When I try to run
And have some fun
You pull the thing tight
And I put up a fight.
You yell, "Heel, boy! Heel!"
But I want to feel
Free, unrestrained to bound
I am, remember, a hound.
It's the same day after day
But I'm not gonna obey.
I don't like this thing on me
When are you going to see?  Gee!
I don't want to stay on the sidewalk
This shouldn't come as a shock
Take me to a field
Where it will be revealed
That I can run, jump, sniff and play
Fetch, sit, roll over and stay.
Then you can sit or use your cell
Whatever you want; I won't tell
I need to run!
I need to have fun!
I especially like the snow
I like to romp even though
It makes me wet and often muddy
But you love me anyway, don't you, buddy?
You can clean me up
Call me your "pup"
Dry me off and brush me out
Give me a hug and kiss my snout.
And after I roam
Once we get home
You can throw on a log
And I'll sleep like a dog.

Alexa Rose Foundation 2021 Grant Cycle is Open

Start your year off right by investing in your creative practice. 

Alexa Rose is proud to offer awards of $500-$5,000 to artists in Ada and Canyon County. The grants can be used toward travel, education, workshops, artistic tools, and more. Applications are FREE, and will be accepted online through March 8, at 10:00 AM (MT). Winners announced in early June. Apply now.

Charity Writing Competition

With so many people still in isolation, Bibliophone thought it would be a nice time to get some creative juices flowing again, offer a great prize, and to do something for a good cause at the same time.
The competition is another fantastic opportunity for aspiring writers. The winner will have their 1000-word story narrated by Scottish-Chinese actress Katie Leung, who’s featured in five Harry Potter films as Cho Chang, as well as in the streaming series Roadkill, Chimerica, White Dragon, and BBC's The Nest. The published audio story will remain at the top of Bibliophone's homepage for at least a month and they'll tweet it to followers every day for at least as long.
As before, authors are encouraged to submit their bio with the story, which can include links to their social media, blog, website etc., so it's great publicity for their author platform. Not to mention Katie has over 200,000 Twitter followers and 355,000 Instagram followers!
Contestants can write about anything that inspires their imagination. There is a suggested $6 entry donation which goes to The Scottish Refugee Council, a charity close to Katie's heart, whose aim is to help refugees build better lives for themselves. Although they are based in Scotland, they support refugees arriving from all over the world, so this is very much a global cause.
Bibliophone doesn't take any of the entry donation. The donation must be received by March 31, 2021, and stories received by April, 14, 2021.

Call for Submissions


Hindsight is a collection of stories about 2020, written by people just like you. They are seeking stories from around the world that capture what it was like to wake up every day to a new normal — whether that means navigating emergencies as a first responder or tying the knot over Zoom. They are particularly interested in material that gets up close and personal with the struggles of 2020, rather than headlines or commentary on current events.

Hindsight is an independent, one-time publication. Content will be made available in two forms: Some stories will be shared on their website; the very best submissions will be compiled into a print anthology, which will be published in 2021. To learn more, please visit their website

Ada County Conservation District

The Ada County Conservation District is seeking stories/poems/essays about pollinators and/or native plants. Go to their site for submissions info

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

SCBWI meets once a month—currently via Zoom. The next meeting is February 16,  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 Mary Ann will send you a link to upload your work for critique and also a zoom link to attend the meeting.

Winners of the Book Blurb Contest

A few months ago, announced that it would be awarding a $500 cash prize to the person who could give the best blurb for a made-up book. Participants were asked to write a back cover blurb of 100 words or fewer for their made-up book. They received a total of 3,847 submissions.

After reading thousands of blurbs across a variety of genres, they're excited to announce that the winner of Writing Contest 2020 is Julia Kiger from the United States. Read the winning entries.

Luxury Writing Retreat in Todos Santos, Mexico

Writers Camp takes place just outside of the small coastal town of Todos Santos on the Baja Peninsula, nestled at the base of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. You’ll stay at Pachamama, the most unique, boutique, luxury glamping resort in Mexico. 

Engage in writing exercises with a New York Times bestselling author, learn about the craft of writing and publishing avenues, and share your work with your fellow campers around a nightly bonfire. 

Writers Camp is not all about work. This immersive, all-inclusive experience includes everything from gourmet meals and margaritas to massages on the beach. Simply arrive at the San Jose del Cabo airport on June 16, 2021. They’ll meet you at the airport and take care of the rest. Writers Camp is for both aspiring writers and established authors alike, though space is extremely limited. Learn more

IWG Membership

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.

Current members will receive email reminders when their renewals are due (be sure to check your spam folder).
Copyright © 2021 Idaho Writers Guild, All rights reserved.

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