Meetings Calendar News SWM Who We Are History Resources Contacts

Saturday, Oct. 7 th Guest Speaker - at 2pm in the Community Room on the 3rd Floor of the Palos Verdes Library, 701 Silver Spur Road, in Rolling Hills Estates.
Michael Kurland
It's a Mystery to Me: the Art and Craft of Writing the Mystery Story
Michael Kurland Successful fiction writing, of mysteries or anything else, is one of the hardest forms of self-abuse ever devised. the ancient bards had years decades to devise one tale, and often it took several of them in succession, and perhaps a couple of hundred years, to perfect it. Today's fictioneers are expected to knock off a novel every year or so, and lard their output with short stories, essays, and commentary. But the passage of millennia has not made the task any easier. When someone asked Raymond Chandler how he wrote, he said, "I stick a fresh piece of paper in the typewriter and stare at it until blood forms on my forehead." Famed short story writer Jorge Luis Borges put it this way: "Every writer hates writing, but loves having written." And that indeed is the way it is with most of us no matter how long we've been writing or how successful we are. Writing remains the most difficult job we know, but having written, seeing that short story in the magazine or that novel on the bookstore shelf, is the most satisfying feeling in the world. And when you become professional enough to eke out a living through your pen (that's known as a metaphor, unless you still write with a pen, in which case it isn't), you wouldn't, as the song goes, trade it for a sack of gold.

It's A Mystery To Me      The author of over 30 novels and non-fiction books, Michael Kurland has been nominated for two Edgars and an American Book Award. His books have been translated into over a dozen different languages and have been selections in the History Book Club, the Science Fiction Book Club, the Young Adult Literary Guild, the Military Book Club, and a couple of others. His early novel, The Unicorn Girl, along with Chester Anderson's The Butterfly Kid and TA Waters' The Probability Pad have become fantasy cult classics known collectively as the Greenwich Village trilogy, or more informally as "The Buttercorn Pad." He lives in San Luis Obispo with his partner, attorney and novelist Linda Robertson, a dog, a cat, and an occasional raccoon.

Note: This meeting of the SOUTHWEST MANUSCRIPTERS, will be on: Saturday, Oct. 7th, 2-4:00pm, in the Community Room on the 3rd Floor of the PV Library, 701 Silver Spur Road, in Rolling Hills Estates. Try parking on the roof, as the 2nd floor parking is usually packed. Contact Carol at: (310) 676-7494 or for further information.


Don't forget! Short Story Contest Entries are due by the Oct. 7th Meeting! - See Below...

Barbra Simpson, Contest Chair

SWM Contest Rules
Betty Simmons Short Story Fiction Contest
Deadline: Oct. 7th, 2017 SWM meeting.
Contest Chair: Barbra Simpson
(310) 376-8234

1. Contest is limited to SWM members only.
2. Four dollars non-refundable fee for each entry. Cash or check OK. One check can cover multiple entries. Make check payable to Southwest Manuscripters and bring to the meeting or send to the SWM Contest, 872 - Fifth Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
3. Maximum three entries per person. In keeping with the purpose of the SWM to encourage writers, especially new writers, only previously unpublished material is allowed. That means not seen in any medium (book, newsletter, magazine, newspaper, internet) with circulation of more than 200 readers. Rule of Thumb: If a judge may already have seen your entry, it is ineligible.
4. Print four (4) copies of your entries, one per each judge. Article entries must be double-spaced... but single-sided, with an easy-to-read typeface, and legible. If the entry can't be read, it can't be judged. [Note: Times-Roman or Courier 12 is standard.]
5. Note word count on page one (max 2,000). Do NOT put personal info on the pages.
6. Entrant's name may not appear anywhere on the entry. Put NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE and TITLE of entry as you would like to see them on award on a 3x5 card. You may also indicate intended market (e.g., children's magazine, sci-fi magazine).
7. Although the contest has four judges, no judge is obliged to provide a written critique.
8. Awards will be presented at the SWM meeting in the month following the contest deadline. Winners of more than one top award will receive one certification for the highest scoring entry and honorable mention for any others. In case of a tie for a top award, each individual entrant will receive the same award.
9. Members who wish their entries to be published in The Write Stuff, may forward their entries, winning or not, after the contest, to Southwest Manuscripters, TWS Editor:

10. Entries that do not comply with the above rules will be rejected and the entry fee will be forfeit.
Give entries, checks and cards to the Contest Chair or mail them to: SWM Contest, 872 - Fifth Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 or bring to the June 3rd, 2017 SWM Meeting (or before). Do NOT mail entries to the Editor or to the SWM P.O. Box.

Basically what the above is saying:
A) Submit 4 (four) copies of your work, without any personal info on the sheets, just the title.
B) At the same time, include a card or paper with title and your personal info.
C) Send them to or give to Barbra at the above address or at the next meeting along with your check or cash.
D) Pick up your award at the following meeting.