January 2012

Mobile Writers Guild

Minutes from January 3, 2013 Meeting

◦Carrie Cox, President, conducted the meeting and took notes.
Excused officers Stephanie Lawton and Lisa Denham due to sickness

· News:

We will now host a book display table next to the sign-in table each meeting for members to showcase a few copies of their books.

We’ll begin taking officer nominations for 2013-2014 at the March meeting—just two months away—and voting will take place in May.

· Listing of Upcoming Events:

The next MWG Open Mic is Thursday, January 17, at Serda’s Coffee on Royal Street. No pre-registration is required, but we suggest arriving between 5:30-5:50 to sign-up to read. We’ll do as many readings (ten minutes or less) as possible between 6-8pm. You do not need to be a member to read.

Our next monthly meeting will be Thursday, February 7th.

Saturday, February 9th, is our annual workshop day. From 10-noon we will host a book market. All local authors are welcome to personally sell their own books. We are asking for a $10 donation from each seller to help with a raffle prize—a free weekend at a condo in Gulf Shores coordinated by Michael Snow. For each book purchased, shoppers will earn a raffle ticket. The actual workshop time will at 1pm and we will hear from Kelly Stone and Brent Pope. The workshop fee is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers.

· Turned the time over special guest Lauren Clark, author of Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie who spoke about self-publishing.

Mobile Writers Guild

Minutes for Nov. 1, 2012

President Carrie Cox called the meeting to order and greeted all returning members as well as newcomers. She asked that those in attendance mention any professional achievements.

Secretary Stephanie Lawton announced that she signed a contract with Evernight Teen to publish her second book, Shrapnel, in January 2013.

Joyce Scarbrough will have a short story, “Hope Chest,” in ModMobilian’s anthology, which comes out in December 2012.

Dee Jordan reported that one of her short stories will also be published.

Vice President Angela Quarles’ short story, “Beer and Groping in Las Vegas,” will be published in December, and she finaled in yet another contest, bringing her total to twelve.


The treasury report was given by Lisa Denham.

Balance:  $539.47

Income: 75.00 (5 membership dues)

205.00 (scavenger hunt fees)

Expenses: 244.58 (food for scavenger hunt)

45.00 (tip for food for SH)

11.44 (meeting supplies)

11.95 (service charges)

Balance: (Compass Bank) -541.60

Cash: 20.00

Total Available in Treasury: $521.60


Sherie Carner and Carrie Cox gave a quick report on the annual scavenger hunt, which was a success.

Cox then announced upcoming events: The guild is accepting entries for the 2nd Annual Tracy Hurley Memorial Writing Contest from middle and high school students. Details are on the website and fliers.

MWG Open Mic is Nov. 15 at Serda’s Coffee on Royal Street. No pre-registration is required, but we suggest arriving about 5:30 to sign-up to read. We’ll do as many readings (ten minutes or less) as possible between 6-8 p.m.

The evening’s program consisted of speed critiquing.


Mobile Writers Guild

Agenda for October 4, 2012 Meeting

President Carrie Cox welcomes all new and returning members, and asked that we excuse treasurer Lisa Denham and Nice President Angela Quarles, who could not attend the meeting.

Cox asked if there were member achievements to be announced. Chris Cox mentioned his short story that was published in DreamSpell Nightmare II. Sherie Carner reported that she wrote a proposal for a kidney cancer survivor support group and it was accepted. Michael Reimer announced that he has formed a new book club at the West Regional branch. It meets the third Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. and generally focuses on pop fiction, new releases, and select nonfiction.

Although Angela Quarles was not present, she reported that her story MUST LOVE BREECHES is up to ten finals and her other piece, STEAM ME UP RAWLEY, finaled in its first.

Quarles also reported that she signed with agent Maura Kye-Casella of Don Congdon Associates!

Congratulations were also given to members whose ideas made it to the big screen for Mobile Bay Film Scramble 6—Steven Moore, MeLeesa Swann, Joyce Scarbrough, and Carrie Cox. Twenty teams signed up but only thirteen turned in finished films.

The treasury report was delivered by Cox in Denham’s absence. The beginning balance was $425.34. Thirteen membership fees were collected ($195.00) and one via PayPal ($14.26). Expenses included $83.08 to Cox for books and office supplies, and $11.95 in service charges. The total currently available in the treasury is $559.57.

Lauryn Poyner from the library contacted Cox to let us know that the books that were purchased from our donation were processed and ready to go to the shelves for checkout. Two of the books have already been requested and have gone out on hold. From our total funds there was an unspent amount of $4.21. Poyner asked whether we wanted the library to spend it on an additional low-priced book on a writing topic for this amount, or just add the leftover amount back into the regular book budget. Members present voted on the latter option.

Upcoming events were then announced. The Writers Guild is once again accepting entries for the 2nd Annual Tracy Hurley Memorial Writing Contest from middle and high school students. Details can be found on the website or on fliers that were available at the meeting.

MWG Open Mic is Oct. 18 at Serda’s Coffee on Royal Street. No pre-registration is required, but we suggest arriving about 5:30 to sign up to read. We’ll do as many readings (ten minutes or less) as possible between 6-8 p.m.

The annual Haunted Scavenger Hunt will be Oct. 27. Sherie Carner from Odd Normality gave an update, including the third location. We will be given a guided tour of the catacombs under Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Cathedral Square. The guild is looking for donations as prizes for the hunt.

The evening’s program was supposed to be VP Angela Quarles via Skype because she was at a conference, but the library’s Internet signal was too slow to support the program. She intended to talk about fast drafting and NaNoWriMo. Although the Skype didn’t happen, she provided handouts and wrote a blog post for the guild’s website.

There is also a local group of NaNoWriMo participants. Information can be found at http://www.meetup.com/Mobile-NaNoWriMo-Support-Group/.


The discussion then turned to blogging, and we were fortunate to have Kimberly Wright Knowles in attendance. She is an expert blogger and shared her knowledge with us.


—submitted by Stephanie Lawton, Oct. 7, 2012


Mobile Writers Guild Meeting

September 6, 2012

President Carrie Cox called the meeting to order and welcomed all new and returning members. She asked attendees to share their writing-related achievements and event news.

A number of members reported achievements over the summer break.

Cox then asked Treasurer Lisa Denham to give her financial report. The guild received dues for two new memberships over the summer totaling $29.26 through PayPal. The only expense was a check for $16.50 to Secretary Stephanie Lawton for renewal of the MWG website domain. Compass Bank charged $11.95 in service charges in June, July and August. Total expenses were $52.35. The total available in the treasury is $445.34.

Next, Vice President Angela Quarles gave an overview of the year’s monthly meeting topics.

They are as follows:

September: mixer

October: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) preparation

November: Speed critiquing

December: Taxes for writers

January: Self-publishing

February: Writing in different points of view

March: Screen writing

April: Poetry (National Poetry Month)

May: Speed critiquing

Cox then announced upcoming events:

The Pensters Writing Group starts its 2012-2013 meeting Sept. 8 in Room 11 at the University of South Alabama Fairhope campus at111 St. James Street. Their speaker will be Kelly L. Stone.

FILM MAKERS will sign up at SATORI COFFEE  Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. to make a short film for the next MOBILE BAY FILM SCRAMBLE.

Baldwin Writers Group’s next meeting is Sept. 15 at the Daphne Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be electing new officers.

MWG Open Mic is Sept. 20, at Serda’s Coffee on Royal Street. No pre-registration is required, but we suggest arriving about 5:30 to sign up to read. We’ll do as many readings (ten minutes or less) as possible from 6-8 p.m.

The annual Haunted Scavenger Hunt will Oct. 27. This year we are teaming up with the professionals at OddNormality.

OddNormality co-founder Sherie Carner explained the past years’ scavenger hunts, and highlighted the ways this year’s will be different, including the age limit which has been lowered from 18 to 16. She also announced two of the three locations: the Richards DAR House and the Battle House downtown.

Cox then explained the contest rules for the Mobile Bay Film Scramble: Mobile Writers Guild members will contribute one (or more) synopsis and logline for a short film (9 minutes or less.) Filmmakers will choose a synopsis based solely on the logline, and adapt their chosen synopsis into an entry for the 6th Mobile Bay Film Scramble.

Logline: a brief summary (1-3 sentences,) often providing both a synopsis of the plot, and an emotional hook to stimulate interest.

Synopsis: a summary of each major scene and descriptions of the significant characters; may even include snippets of dialogue.

Film Scramble teams don’t have huge budgets (and often have no budget whatsoever) so such limitations should be considered when writing.

Writers may submit as many synopses/loglines as they wish; with the understanding that only as many stories as we have teams will actually get made.

Stories may be rated G, PG, PG-13 or (lightly) R.


FILM MAKERS WILL SIGN UP at SATORI COFFEE Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. to make a short film for the next MOBILE BAY FILMSCRAMBLE.

These films will be screened at the CRESCENT THEATER Sept 28 and 29.

Some of these films may be used at the South Alabama Film Festival in November.

The meeting ended with a mixer conducted by Vice President Angela Quarles.

—Submitted by Stephanie Lawton, Sept. 12, 2012

May 23, 2012 board meeting

MWG Board Meeting Agenda May 23, 2012

Members in attendance and position were: Carrie Cox (president), Angela Quarles (vice president), Lisa Denham (treasurer), and Stephanie Lawton (secretary.) The meeting was conducted by Carrie Cox. Minutes were taken by Stephanie Lawton.

Cox went over each member’s responsibilities to make sure everyone understood and was in agreement. Lawton suggested that the secretary also act as a corresponding secretary by sending thank-you notes to all guests. The board agreed that it wasn’t necessary to change the by-laws of the organization, but Lawton was encouraged to perform this duty.

The MWG’s account at BBVA Compass was then discussed. Cox and Lisa Denham made tentative arrangements to have Denham’s name added to the account as the new treasurer, and April Higgenbotham’s removed. Vice President Angela Quarles declined to have her name added to the account.

Cox then named all of the guild’s committees, and—with one exception—a chairperson was named for each:

Refreshments: There will be no head. Cox will ask for volunteers at each meeting for the next one.
Scavenger Hunt: Stephanie Lawton
Workshop: Angela Quarles
Young Authors: Carrie Cox
IT (social media): Stephanie Lawton
Newsletter: Carrie
Blog, etc.: Angela Quarles—Cox will provide content for the first and third Tuesdays of the month (newsletter and member spotlights); Quarles will provide content for the second and fourth weeks of the month (guest blogs and meeting previews).

Ideas for meetings were then discussed. It was suggested that the first meeting of the season include a “mixer” of sorts to encourage membership camaraderie. Subsequent ones may include special guests, instructive “workshop-type” presentations, etc. Board members brainstormed a number of ideas and potential guests for Quarles to consider.

—submitted by Stephanie Lawton, May 27, 2012

Nov. 3, 2011

submitted by Stephanie Lawton

President Carrie Cox called the meeting to order, welcomed all members and guests and thanked those who helped set up and brought refreshments.

She then shared announcements:

  • Open Mic was changed to Thursday Nov. 17 this month only. The time
    is still 6-8 p.m. at Satori Coffee House. E-mail Dee Jordan at [email protected] to register to read. (NOTE: this is a new email address for Dee.)
    There are 10 ten minute time slots each month. As of the meeting, there were three of ten spots remaining for November.
  • The deadline for the First Annual Tracy Hurley Memorial Young Writer’s Contest is Nov. 19. Check the website for details. Winners will be announced at the Dec. 1 meeting.
  • The MWG will be helping the Young Author’s events through the Metro Mobile Reading Council in February and March. Let Carrie know if you are interested in helping.
  • The Dec. 1 meeting will also include a mini holiday market. See Carrie or Stephanie Lawton or send an e-mail to the MWG account to participate.

Carrie called for notable writing news from members: Member Joyce Scarbrough talked about an event she attended at the new library in Mount Vernon.

Bryan Whatley from Ghost Hunters of the South gave a brief recap of the 2nd Annual GHOTS/MWG Scavenger Hunt. Grand prize winners in the writing contest were announced:

For poetry: April Higgenbotham

For prose: Jan Jennings

They win a place with GHOTS on a real ghost hunters investigation and paid admission to the March 3 “Mining Your Life for Your Fiction” workshop with NY author Lena Roy.

Carrie then introduced Mobile musician Gregg Fells, who talked about the role music has played in his life, as well as his inspirations, writing poetry as a child and how that carried over into writing song lyrics. He observed, “We’re all storytellers.” He also played several pieces.

There were seventeen people present.

The financial report was accidentally omitted. According to Treasurer April Higgenbotham’s report, our October balance was $771.11. We received eleven new memberships for a total of $165.00. We took in $55.00 at the scavenger hunt. Total income was $220.00.

Expenses included $75 to Dee Jordan for a projector; a stop-payment fee on a check ($25.00); and $218.55 on the scavenger hunt. Compass Bank service charge was $11.95. Total expenses were $330.50. Total available in the treasury is $660.61.

April 7, 2011

by Carrie Cox

Members/Guests Present:

Bill W.
CeCe R.
Ted P.
Ross H.
Stephanie L.
Mavis J.
Carrie C.
Joyce S.
Aleta D.
Dawn S.
Catherine R.
April H.
Pam C.
Michael H.
Ryan J.

Conducting the meeting: CeCe Redmond, MWG President

  • Elections next month for 2011-2012 Board Members
    · Calling out of nominations and seconding them.
    · Those accepted and seconded are: President-Carrie Cox, Vice President- Stephanie Lawton, Secretary- Elizabeth Pate, Dawn Steadham, Treasurer- Aleta Davis, April Higgenbotham.

Voted on names for the MWG and the winner is The Write Stuff by Ryan James. He won a MWG mug.

  • Drink and Scrawl dates for the summer:· June 18 (possibly at Oakliegh)
    · July 23 at MellowMushroom
    · August 20 at Blue Gill
  • Membership and budget:· 41 paid members
    · $1,368 in the budget

Overview of the Mike Garrett workshop by CeCe

  • Tracey Hurley Young Fiction Writers Contest:
    · Open to 12-18 year olds
    · 250-2500 words
    · two prize groups for middle and high school grades
    · Submissions accepted September 18-November 18, 2011
    · Page and Pallet Bookstore willing to donate gift certificates to the winners and we will need to provide cash award and certificates

Open Mic: Next is April 15th at 6-7:30 PM
· Satori Coffee Shop
· On internet radio, again
· 3 spots open

Need volunteers to help on food committee:
·MWG willing to reimburse up to $25 each meeting for foods purchased

  • Mobicon:
    · May 20-22, 2011
    · MWG will have a table/booth
    · MMWG will host a paranormal writer’s contest for 12 years and up
    · Winners will receive an embroidered tote bag
    · Have Tracey Hurley Contest fliers available to hand out


by Christopher Cox

March 3, 2011

The Mobile Writers Guild Meeting was held at the West Regional Library at 6 o’clock on March 3, 2011. Cece Redmond president, William Cannon vice-president, Mavis Jarrell , treasurer and Chris Cox, secretary. Polly Pope provided refreshments.  There were 19 other members in attendance.

The major announcement and reminder is for the Michael Garrett workshop to be held at the West Regional library on Saturday, April 2nd at 9 and 1. Reservations must be paid for in advance. Workshops are $49 apiece or $89 for both.  More information on the conference can be found at the Writers Guild website at www.mobilewritersguild.com.

This month’s Open Mic will be held at Satori coffee at 6 on Friday, March 18th. Bryan Whatley from Ghost Hunters of Mobile will be your MC and for the first time this event will be broadcast on Internet Radio. The lineup for readers of this event is currently full and is listed at the Mobilian Writes page on Facebook.Mavis Jarrell, treasurer, announced that there are 9 new members as of February.  There is 43 paid members overall. 1,767. 78 is currently in the Treasury.

At next month’s meeting, the Writing Contest under the name of Writer’s Guild co-founder Tracy Hurley will be discussed.

The majority of the meeting was dedicated to all judging the Celebrate Your Heritage Young Writers Contest between ages 12-18. There were 53 entries. The winners were: Kenndar D Patton 1st place, Raven McShan 2nd place and Paris Coleman 3rd place.

Christopher Cox, MWG

February 3, 2011

Introduction to the new members
Cece Remond president, Mavis Jarrell vice-president, Chris Cox, secretary. William Cannon has been appointed as interim president as Dee Jordan has resigned.

Stephanie Lawton is a new assistant on keeping up with Writer’s Guild information on Facebook and the Web Page.

“Celebrate Your Heritage” Young Voices Contest for students 12 – 18 years-old starts January 10 – March 1, 2011. Free to enter and cash prizes totalling
$250.00. For more information go to mobilewritersguild.co.nr or https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jpR7ybzpOXkKsiHAGa7gRW1fkL_aJOX8fRI0tEuzDJM/edit?authkey=COWGt88K&hl=en&pli=1#

Stephen King’s former editor Michael Garrett will be doing a workshop on April 2, 2011.
Registration fee is-
for both presentations: 9:00 – 4:00 – How To Become a Published Author & Short Story and Novel Feedback $89.00 BEST VALUE .
9:00 – 12:00 – How To Become a Published Author $49.00 .
1:00 – 4:00 – Short Story and Novel Feedback $49.00
The Writer’s Guild encourages for you to sign up for these workshops and to have the first five pages of your work critiqued.

The Baldwin Writer’s Group has announced they are holding a writing contest.

MWG Cece Redmond announced that she is teaching a writing class at the VOA center.

Pay Pal is now set up for the Writer’s Guild. Through the end of January there are three new members and over $1200 in the account. For those who don’t want to use Pay Pal for the upcoming conference, you may send a check to the Writer’s Guild new PO Box, which is 851851 and 36685 as the zip code.

Please email the writer’s guild if you are interested in a board position for next year.

Also, visit the website at www.mobilewritersguild.com. Also, encouraged is to check out the Writer’s Guild sites on Facebook and Twitter.

There is a contest for naming the new Writer’s Guild newsletter. We are also looking for contributors.

The Writer’s Guild next open mic is Feburary 18th at Satori Coffee at 6 o’clock. The readers lineup is filled up. We will be having another reading on March 18th, and those that haven’t read before are encouraged to do so. Posts for this event will be put on Facebook and the MWG webpage has a signup sheet. Note: each reader must limit the reading time to 8 minutes and 2 minutes of feedback.

Phil Brady, author of “Dredge Days” and member of multiple Baldwin County critque groups is the tonight’s guest speaker.

His three points of critiquing. I don’t know how to do it. You don’t know how to do it. And neither does anyone else. It is very subjective. People do want there money’s worth when they are critiquing.
He says it is ok to be succinct in critiquing as in “I want to know more” or “You lost me in the third paragraph,” or “You haven’t put me there.” Even a no comment is acceptable.
Beware of what he calls author lawyers, who are a third party that tries to defend the person being critiqued from the main critiquer.

The example that he gave us of his writing, someone in the critique group said to add dialogue and that it was too much of a data dump. The added small amount of dialogue did make the scene better according to Mr. Brady.

The Writer’s Guild had a signup for people interesed in the critique group and 10 people signed up.

Christopher Cox, Secretary, Mobile Writer’s Guild