CWC logoNov..jpg

"This mark is like a mirror held up in front of the viewer. It reflects where inspiration, thoughts, ideas, and stories originate—

in the mind."

Designer, Gordon Smith

The CWC is a community of writers of all genres from the curious to the accomplished.

To Learn More & To Join: Click our logo above to go to the Membership Page.

November 1, 2022,

Volume 29 Issue 21

Word by Word ... 100 Years!

Our mission: to support local writers and promote their development through education, recognition, and community.

A Word From President

David Collins

Some years ago I spent a long and delightful day in one of those “perfect” apartments in Paris, this one midway between the Seine and the Café des Deux Magots. I was there to interview Diane Johnson for The Chronicle, the magazine of the Associated Writing Programs. Diane was at the time one of only two American writers living in and writing about Paris (the other being Jake Lamar), and I had fallen in love with Le Divorce, the first novel in her Paris trilogy, the one that had already become a Merchant-Ivory film.

   Given the audience, the interview focused on advice about writing and at one point I asked, “Once you’ve settled on the general sense of ‘aboutness’ that will lie at the center of a new work, what comes next?” What characteristically happens as you begin to work?”

   Her reply still has a place in my head years later. Might even say that it haunts me.

“I have to admit,” Diane said, “to having no imagination. For me, writing a novel is like doing needlepoint or working with a Ouija board. I draw from what’s around me, plugging in incidents and observations from different parts of real life.” She followed that up with examples from Le Divorce and a soon-to-be-published novel, Marrakech.

Diane’s admission, a characteristically quiet way of offering advice and direction, made great sense to me. The permission to do what I had already been doing – in fiction as well as nonfiction – was reassuring. And, by far the best part, who doesn’t have a zillion experiences a day to draw on!

   That good feeling came back a couple of days ago when, skimming short bits of advice from well-known writers in an online newsletter, the entry by Kimmery Martin caught my eye. As I liked Le Divorce, I like Kimmery Martin’s work, especially her first novel, The Queen of Hearts. Besides, she lives in Charlotte and, you may remember, spoke to the CWC about building suspense in fiction during the Covid Zoom-only period.

   Kimmery’s advice was a little different. She was urging writers to read. To read books in the genre in which they were working. And to read book in other genres. To read everything that came their way. And to learn from it.

   I have a large stash of unread books. I listen to the Charlotte Readers Podcast and buy books. I check the latest recommendations on Goodreads and buy books. I get books as gifts from friends who hand them to me, mail them to me.

   I used to keep my pile of books on a bedside table. Finish one book, pick up another. Seamless. But the pile grew too large, a danger to life and limb. I keep them now stacked on the floor next to the dresser, (pictured at the start of this message) where they are less likely to fall on me. I catch sight of them daily, morning and night. They call to me when I try to ignore them, remind me that I can learn a little something about writing no matter which one of them I pick up next.

   It’s that time of the year and I’ll just admit it. The unread books in my stash haunt me. And I hope the ones in your stash haunt you. Unlike that troublesome house on the hill, those books are one haunting that will do all of us a world of good.

A Recommendation From Dave's Stash

Members of the CWC who attended the opening session this year hit the proverbial jackpot with Kelly Mustian’s craft talk on the importance of the sentence as the fundamental building block in writing. Using examples from her own novel, The Girls in the Stilt House, and from Nial Williams’ This Is Happiness, Kelly spoke of her love for long, complicated, lyrical sentences—mouth-filing sentences that create an atmospheric sense of place or develop memorable characters through dialogue.

   Like Kelly, I like that kind of writing. And when I find a writer who brings that I’m willing to spend a little more time on each page, to read more slowly, sometimes half-aloud, to let the new cadences roll slowly off my tongue and into the world.    Another writer who gives me that kind of opportunity—I really should say, “that kind of pleasure”—is Maggie O’Farrell.

   If you haven’t read Hamnet, the story of one William Shakespeare, the eclectic woman he marries, and the son they lose to the plague, drop what you’re doing and find a copy now.

   The prose is rich, electric, mesmerizing. It takes you into the moment, into the head of the character who speaks, invites you to think, to feel what the speaker is experiencing. Just one example:

   He yanks and pulls at her shift, bunching its folds and lengths in his hand, swearing and blaspheming with the effort, until he has parted her from it, until she is laughing at him, then he covers her with himself and will not let her go; she feels herself as a separate being, a body apart, dissolve, until she has no idea, no sense of whose skin is whose, which limb belongs to whom, whose hair it is in her mouth, whose breath leaves and enters whose lips.

   You can’t read that sentence quickly. All those commas, all the pauses they signal, the richness of the physical detail O’Farrell packs in—we’re there in an intimate moment, sharing the intimacy, feeling a kind of other-worldly ecstasy, a kind of magic made possible by an intricate sentence structure that carries us unconsciously where she wants us to go.

   Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is one of the books from Dave’s stash that he has actually read in the past few months. You should read it too.


Our Next Meeting is on Tuesday, November15th

Join Us at the Tyvola Senior Center,

2225 Tyvola Road, Charlotte 28210

6:15-Doors Open

The meeting time is 6:30 pm-8:00 pm

on site & via Zoom. Contact the CWC Membership Guru if you want the Zoom link.

The Speaker is: 

Landis Wade


All the Book Marketing I Did Not Know & Other Tips

for Launching and Marketing Your Novel


Landis Wade shares the differences between author platform building and book selling, discusses techniques and strategies important to both. He shares what he did prior to and following the release of his novel Deadly Declarations, (cover is below) to reach more readers.

   He discusses the book marketing he did not know & shares examples

of how to make book marketing fun.

   Learn more about CWC member, creator and host of Charlotte Readers Podcast /author and recovering trial lawyer online and about Landis's presentation at the CWC Events page.

Club Information

CWC Nonfiction Contest OPEN!

Click the image for guideline & to submit your pieces. Nancy McCabe will serve as the judge. Submit your work through Submittable.


Members: Are you looking for a Critique Group?

Here is a list of the current groups OPEN to additional voices. NEW groups are forming with writers looking for support with specific needs like genre, meeting location (in person or online) or time (day or evening)

  • Dilworth: Mixed genre group

  • Plaza Midwood: Non genre specific. Newcomers to the club are welcome.

  • Gaston County: (leader is wiiling to travel). Prose/Fiction group

**Member writing YA looking to

connect with others writing for young adult readers.

**Member looking for support from an online fiction group.

**First time member looking for a fiction group that meets during the day.

**Members looking to connect with a group whose genre is children's picture books.

Contact Dave Collins to learn more.


In Huntersville

Sunday, Nov. 13, 3 pm

@ Waterbean Coffee, in the Northcross Shopping Center

9705 Sam Furr Road, Suite A.

Lisa Kline & Tamra Wilson on crafting humorous essays. Free!

Click the flyer above for more on this Sunday afternoon presentation & the essay collections, written by Wilson & Kline. CWC North is sponsoring this event.

"The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair."

- Mary Heaton Vorse

Virtual Writing Salon & Social Time

On November 14th, Tiffany Grantham will be back online for this free online monthly write and share session with

prompts to spark writings that will amaze you.

At 7:00 p.m. take 75 minutes, drop in and check it out. You'll be inspired to make this Zoom event a habit when you meet other writers who have discovered the zen of this monthly write and social time.

No pressure, no angst, just writing fun! Hope to see you there!

*Please Register Here

Check out the details and how to register at Calendar of Events page.

"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn."

Anne Frank

Donate $25 & Get

a Cool Centennial T-shirt as our Thank You!

Click the T-shirt (above) to contribute. Then tell us what size you need and where to mail your t-shirt. Thank you for helping us keep supporting, educating, and celebrating writers like you!

My T-Shirt

Cotton, polyester, short or long

so comfy that you are.

Daily wear or dressy too, matters not how many or how few

I wear my favorite one until the threads come undone.

Pictures maybe-colors galore

on the street or by the shore

I wear my t-shirt with grace and pride, my CWC logo -I will not hide.


November Open Mic Night is Wednesday November 23rd

Take a break from your thanksgiving dinner prep to celebrate the season. Debra will meet you at Mugs Coffee for the monthly event.

Ruth Moose Flash Fiction Contest UPDATE:

The CWC's last contest of our centennial year is closed. Thank you for sharing your best flash with us Your entries are in the hands of our judge Ashley Memory. Top finishers will be invited to read their stories at our December 13th meeting and we will unveil the winners.


Hi, I am Ellen Lopez. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I spent my "growing up" years practicing ballet, playing neighborhood sports, and dreaming about faraway places.

I enjoyed going to school and graduated from Southern Methodist University (MA Liberal Arts) and from the University of Texas at Austin (BA Mathematics). UT is my family legacy university with my parents and grandfather also graduates.

When I was ten, I had a unique opportunity to go to Guadalajara for a summer. My family and I spent weeks on the road to and from all points Mexico. I kept a daily journal and still have it to this day. "Chronicles of an American Schoolgirl Mexico 1965” is my first self-published, personal story written in 2017.

I completed a 30-year career in Information Technology at Bank of America, first as a systems developer, then as a project manager. During this time, I had the opportunity to travel to all my favorite places which I use as settings in my books. I currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina.

My books are on Amazon Author Page: Ellen Ward Lopez: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

To start a conversation with Ellen!

Send her a message through the Member Directory.

Login first, then go to Member Directory.

Keep Going

Kate Summers

When failures come-keep going.

When you feel like giving up-keep going.

When people mock your idea-keep going.

When challenges you face-keep going.

When mistakes are made, leaern but-keep going.

Because perseverance just keeps going!

"The beauty of literature is you allow readers to see things through other peoples eyes. All good books do this."

Sandra Cisneros

"Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic."

J.K. Rowling

Let fall a word of Hope and Love,

Unstudied from the heart;

A whisper on the tumult thrown,

A transitory breath—

It raised a brother from the dust,

It saved a soul from death.

– Anonymous

"Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going."

Chantal Sutherland

  Ellen Says:

When and Where Do I Write?

 I write at my desk in the den.

My Favorite Writing Tool?  

Microsoft Word and Photoshop elements.

My Favorite Writing Resource?

Travel Guides, Maps and Internet.

Best Writing Advice I've Received and Actually Taken?

Just keep writing, do not stop, can go back later and fix.

One Thing I Would Like More Help With?

Editing and quality covers.

Send your JPG headshot.

Send a bio of your choice.

Answer five simple questions.

Send the info by the 10th of the month to Newsletter Editor Teresa Taylor

"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

Brene Brown

To Join

Click on JOIN US

We're waiting for you!

Indie Author Success Story to Encourage You

Perhaps you've gotten your 100th rejection email from your dream literary agent or magazine that your story was perfect for. You've written novel after novel and they haven't gotten anywhere. You ask yourself, what's the point, perhaps writing isn't for me; maybe  accounting or som such thing is a better business for me.

Well don't despair--many have uttered those very thoughts, but the point is, if you want to write then write, and don't give up.

If you've not heard of her, I'd like to introduce you to Rachel Abbott a British psychological thriller author who self-published through Amazon and has sold over 3 million copies of her books. She's hailed as being the first indie author to ever reach #1 on Amazon, so she's somewhat of a trailblazer in the idie publishing community. her advice and mine is...

Don't Give Up!

A few of her titles are:

-Only the Innocent

-And So It Begins

-Murder Game

-Kill Me Again

-Stranger Child

-The Black Road

Christopher Paolini has another enviable self-publishing success story. Having written his first children’s fantasy novel, Eragon, at the age of 15, he self-published at 19 with his parents’ help and went on to promote it all over America. It sold so well that he was approached by Random House and offered a book deal for the rest of the series with a hefty advance. Paolini won a Guinness world record for being the “youngest author of a bestselling book series” in 2011.

What's the Good Word?

Share your publishing news at MEMBERS' KUDOS

so we can celebrate too.


Stay Tuned for new information forthcoming.

Contact Axel Dahlberg


We Asked, You Answered...

The 2022-2023

 Leadership Team:

Executive Board:

David Collins,President

Axel Dahlberg,V.P. Membership

Lisa Otter Rose,Treasurer

John McGillicuddy, Secretary

VP/President-Elect OPEN

Advisory Board

Elizabeth Gaines,

co-workshop coordinator

with Anshu Gupta;

Elizabeth Ouzts,tech squad

with Blair Peery

Judy Hovis,co-program chair

Tara Marshall, CWC North

co-liaison with Sandra Phillips

Teresa Taylor,Newsletter Editor

Caroline Kane Kenna,

Immediate Past President

Debra S.Wallin,

Tech Squad Consultant

"There is no I in team, but we're sure glad there is U in our volunteers"

"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it."

H.E. Luccock

Answer the Call for Volunteers:

Serve the Club on the Leadership Team

We need you, your ideas, your enthusiasm, your time, talents and expertise to sustain and to grow this writing community. See the job descriptions in our Policies and Procedures document and think about donating a year or more to serve our club.

Executive Board seats are open: are: President Elect and Secretary.

Contact President Dave to learn more about the opportunities to serve the club

Several positions on the Advisory Board are currently open.

Contests(a co-position or a team)

Co-program Chair

Critique Groups Coordinator


Social media/marketing/publicity, a co-position or a team



Dave for more information.

"No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burdens of another."

Author Unknown

We've Got You Covered!

Let us celebrate you! Please snap a picture and submit your book jacket. We feature a few each month--It's first come first serve-

the next submission deadline is November  10th.


Submit your cover to Caroline Kenna

or Teresa Taylor

Support Our Members & Community Partners

visit our Member Resources page

Click the image above to learn more about the judges, submission guidelines & more. Hurry!

Beyond 300...

Charlotte Readers Podcast

Click the image to see what podcast creator, host and CWC member Landis Wade, and his co-hosts Sarah Archer (also a CWC member) and Hannah Larrew are cooking for November.

This just in! Coming on November 29th: CWC President David Collins joins Landis and Sarah as "Podcaster for a Day"--Don't miss your chance to listen to this epidsode. He's bringing a couple of book recommendations and talking up CWC.

Spring 2023 Personal Story Publishing Project

Open through Dec. 15 for stories of 750-800 words on the theme of “Lost and Found.” Losing it. Finding it. Losing out. Finding out. Being found out. Stories about personal effort, serendipity, regret, and celebration of loss and good fortune, by grace and ill will.

Continuing the successes of seven previous anthologies showcasing the skills of writers across the country but emphasizing the work of North Carolina writers, Click the flyer for more information.

Thank you for being a partner!

Charlotte Writers Club is supported, in part, by the Infusion Fund and its generous donors*. 

*To see the complete list of donors, go to the Foundations for the Carolinas website.

Scroll down below “Contributors to the fund include”

News You Can Use

Verse & Vino is Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation's "celebration of reading, writing and the joys of libraries."

The 9th annual fundraiser is on Thursday, November 10th, click the logo to see the authors who will be featured and to purchase your tickets.

Poets--Students--middle school,high school and college and adults are invited to apply for the Gilbert-Chappell Mentor Series

The deadline for Your application is Tuesday, November 15th!


 Take your poetry to the next level.

Apply for the opportunity to be mentored by Grace C. Ocasio the Central North Carolina 2022 Distinguished Poet.

She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her second full-length volume of poetry, Family Reunion (Broadstone Books), received honorable mention in the Quercus Review Press Fall 2017 contest. 

Grace was a finalist in the 2016 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award in Poetry and received the 2014 North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artist Project Grant. She is a member of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective.

5 monologues will be selected to be performed at “SHINE: ILLUMINATING BLACK STORIES” during Barter’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (Feb, 2023—DATE TBD). The 5 winning playwrights will each receive a stipend of $300 plus housing to attend the performances. Playwrights unable to attend will receive a video link to the evening’s performance.
Deadline for submission: December 1, 2022

For Submission Guidelines, Click Here.

The Ekphrastic form is a pairing of the written word and visual art. It is a written-word description, or a vision inspired, by a work of art.

Click the logo above to learn more & to submit your work.

Submissions are Open for:

The Evolution of Words & Art

An Ekphrastic Exhibition

Deadline to enter your words is: December 1, 2022.

With this exhibit, a juror committee will pair selected writers with selected visual artists to examine the state of change that is constant in our world – how we evolve within ourselves, our cultures, our society, even nature itself.

  • All writers are invited to participate. 
  • There is no entry fee.
  • All written-word genres are acceptable.

15 writers will be selected by an ad hoc ekphrastic committee. All entries will be considered, but not all will be selected.

The exhibit opens with a reception on March 10, 2023 (6-9pm).

Exhibit Dates: March 10, 2023 - April 7, 2023.

Click the logo above to find out more about what the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has on the calendar to benefit writers.


Join four authors from Edible North Carolina at an in-person event on Saturday, November 12, 2022, as they discuss North Carolina's food landscape.Panelists are Charlotte's Tom Hanchett and Kathleen Purvis along with Marcie Cohen Ferris and Keia Mastrianni.

For additional information and events go to ParkRoadBooks

Mark De Castrique:

Secret Lives, a mystery Saturday Nov 26 2022 10:00am - 12:00pm.

CLICK the MSBs logo to learn more about Small Biz Saturday author signing with this local writer & to RSVP.

Jackie Robinson: A Game Apart

Producing Partners:

LendingTree, National Endowment for the Arts, and South Arts

November 12-19

For ages 9+

Click the logo above to purchase tickets.

Fall Conference 2022

Friday November 18-Sunday November 20

Holiday Inn Resort

1706 North Lumina Avenue

Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480


For more information and events go to 



Open Mic Night at Mugs Coffee

Where members practice reading their work

Click the image to learn more and see who read at open mic the previous month. The Open Mic is Every fourth Friday of the month

(Only Members can register to read - all others welcome to hear great stories!)

7:00-9:00 p.m.

Click the Open Mic Image to register to read on Wednesday November 23,


Membership in the Charlotte Writers Club entitles you to participate in workshops, critique groups, contests, and guest speaker programs. The cost is a modest $35 per year for individuals and $20 for students.

We welcome all writers in all genres and forms to join our Charlotte-area literary community. Your membership in the Charlotte Writers' Club helps support writers, readers, and literacy at a critical time in our nation's and our city's history.

To Join or Renew click this Membership Link and follow the instructions.

Visit our Website