Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are at the Edmond Community Center, 28 E Main St, Edmond, OK 73034 (When you enter the building, take the elevator on the right. When you exit the elevator, take the ramp to the meeting room. In the months of February, March, and June, we will meet in the small conference room. When you enter the building, go straight and it is to your right)
- Morning Program: 10:00-11:30 pm
- Lunch (location TBD each month. If you are interested in joining us for lunch, please contact Alicia@AliciaDean.com a week before the meeting to find out the arrangements): 11:30-1:00
- Afternoon Program: 1:00-2:15 pm
- Business Meeting: 2:15-2:45 pm
- Prospective members may attend two meetings before joining
January 18, 2020
Working a Murder Case with Oklahoma City Homicide Detective Cris Cunningham
Cris Cunningham is a Sergeant with the Oklahoma City Police Department. She is currently assigned as an Inspector in the Homicide Unit, where she has worked for the past twelve (14) years. She has been with the department for more than twenty- five (25) years.
Sergeant Cunningham holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law Enforcement Administration from the University of Oklahoma. She holds the Oklahoma Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) Advanced Certification.
She is an instructor for the Council on Law Enforcement and Education (CLEET), Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), Oklahoma City Police Academy/In-Service training, and the Oklahoma City Police Citizens/Student Academies.
Sergeant Cunningham believes her greatest accomplishment, while serving the Oklahoma City Community as a member of OCPD, is the implementation of the CARETRAK program. CARETRAK is a partnership between the Oklahoma City Police Department and Sunbeam Family Services. The program issues bracelets which emit a radio frequency to help officers locate at-risk individuals who have wandered off or gone missing.
February 15, 2020
Query to Launch: What a Literary Agent Does & How to Secure a Lasting Partnership
Amy Brewer from Metamorphosis Literary Agency will show attendees what a literary agent does. She will show how to query properly, how to write a synopsis and why they are important and she will share some truths about why literary agents can be so picky.
Bonus!! Amy will offer attendees the opportunity to query her and she will provide feedback on the query. PLUS, she will choose the best query and the author will receive a $50 Amazon Gift card!
March 21, 2020
Going Forward by Looking Backward—Seeing the Structure Behind Plotting with Liz Tyner
Learn to simplify the inner framework of a story. Using a fictional mystery novel of a bad toy’s demise, the workshop shows how the structure of a story unfolds. Plotting forward is covered, as is a look at plotting backward for pantsers who passionately dislike the idea of creating an outline in advance.
Liz Tyner once decided she never, ever wanted to write again. But when her husband bought her a laptop, and a few years later, a snowstorm kept her from going to work, it was too much of a coincidence for her not to believe she was destined to return to the keyboard. Since then, she has had 10 books published with Harlequin, a division of Harper Collins, and her novels have been distributed in several countries, including an audio book in Sweden.
April 18, 2020
Jennifer Barnes – Titles
May 16, 2020
Former crime scene investigator and current teacher at the UCO Forensic Science Institute, Keisha Jones, on solving a missing child cold case in Oklahoma
Kirsten Hatfield Case Presentation Overview:
In the early hours of May 14th, 1997, a mother discovered her 8-year-old daughter, Kirsten Hatfield, missing from her bedroom of their Midwest City home. Multiple agencies worked tirelessly to find the answers surrounding the disappearance of Kirsten. However, the case would remain cold for almost 20 years, until DNA evidence led investigators to a new suspect. The story of how Kirsten’s case was solved is a winding path and illustrates the complexities of a cold case investigation. The truth could only be found by starting from the beginning and letting the evidence speak for itself.
Keisha Jones is the former director of the Midwest City PD Crime Lab. She served as supervisor over the Technical Investigations Unit and has extensive experience in crime scene investigations and evidence processing. Keisha’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in forensic science from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). Her master thesis research focused on forensic chemistry, specifically, improving methods for the analysis of sexual assault evidence. Keisha is currently employed as the Program Coordinator for the UCO Forensic Science Institute, where she also instructs classes. She earned her certification as a crime scene investigator through the International Association for Identification (IAI). She is presently the vice president for the Oklahoma division of IAI and one of the founders of the National Society for Women in Forensic Science. Keisha remains active in cold case reviews.
June 20, 2020
Keeping a Reader Engaged
Readers pick up books because they have interesting characters and intriguing premises, but how does a writer keep building that interest and intrigue? A novel can have a great hook that gets the reader through the first chapter, and an excellent ending, but how does a writer make certain his or her audience makes it through to the end of the story?
Those answers lie in scene construction. Brick by brick, a writer has to build momentum, suspense, and weave a web of deception, trickery, and surprise. Once a writer has the overall framework of a longer fiction piece in mind (novella, novel, trilogy, or long-running series), he or she must engage the reader at every scene. Doing that requires challenging the character (and the reader) at every turn by raising the stakes, enhancing the mystery, and making certain the sense of adventure remains at the forefront.
Join us for a discussion regarding the intricacies of designing long-form fiction one scene at a time.
Mel Odom is an award-winning writer who has published over 200 book in several genres. He currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma in the Professional Writing department at Gaylord College.
July 18, 2020
A voyage from living in the UK and adjusting to being in Oklahoma with Deb Bayton-Fitzsimons
Immigrant – the word conjures up nostalgia. Founding fathers, Annie Moore’s arrival as the first documented immigrant through Ellis Island, illegals desperately seeking a better life. It is a monumental step, leaving the security and familiarity of home, saying goodbye to loved ones and friends. Yet so many take that massive step, one most people will never experience.
But what is it really like to be British in the USA? Living on both sides of the pond has given Deb a unique perspective as to the differences in the customs and colloquialisms. It’s likely you have written or will one day write a British character or setting. Deb’s insight will show you some little known facts that can give your portrayal of British characters an extra ring of accuracy.
Deb moved to Oklahoma back in the dark ages of 1981. Within five years, she was divorced, thinner, and struggling with why Americans called football ‘soccer’.
A relic of the Oil and Gas industry, and a graduate of the school of hard knocks, she has finally adapted to living in the USA, despite her many attempts to run away.
Deb is currently awaiting the launch of her first published novel and working on her second book.
August 15, 2020
September 18-20, 2020
Annual Weekend Retreat (Members Only – non-members may attend for a fee) Details to be announced
October 17, 2020
Romancing the Monster Contest!!!! (Members Only)
Write a 500 to 1,000 word story featuring a ‘Monster’ as a romantic lead.
Deadline September 25, 2020
- Prizes: 1st Place: $20 Amazon Gift Card, 2nd Place: $15 Amazon Gift Card, 3rd Place: $10 Amazon Gift card
(More details will be shared on the member loop)
November 21, 2020
Author Marketing and Navigating Microsoft Word
Learn some tips for marketing your book and discover features of Microsoft Word you may not know about that can make your life easier. Editor/Author Alicia Dean will conduct the presentation but everyone is encouraged to share ideas.
December 12, 2020