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Mystery Writers Academy

A Message from Patricia Marcantonio:

Dear Mystery Academy Writers,

I hope you all have been using this time to write your mysteries. As you know, we haven’t been able to hold our presentations because of COVID-19 precautions.  While this may not make up for those, I do want to keep our conversation going with a review of a great book I have discovered.

FORENSIC SPEAK How to Write Realistic Crime Dramas was written by Jennifer Dornbush. I heard Jennifer speak at a conference and she is great. The daughter of a medical examiner, she completed more than 360 hours of CSI training at a forensic science academy. She is a screenwriter and the author of THE CORONER and the new SECRET REMAINS. She is a busy forensic consultant to TV writers on shows including Deception, Hawaii Five-O, Prison Break and Rectify, among many others.

FORENSIC SPEAK is a fantastic writer’s tool that covers, well, coroner’s tools. Jennifer writes about the major fields of study in forensic science, including toxicology, fingerprints, DNA, blood spatters, and firearms, as well as the workings of a coroner’s office, evidence collection and what happens during a trial. She also provides pages and pages of resources.

This is no dry text book on forensic science.

Instead, expect a vibrant comprehensive book with cool examples from film and TV.  She makes difficult subjects very understandable. With each topic, she also adds a “How can I use it?” section that encourages writers to use what they have learned, as well as exercises.

Your understanding of forensics will benefit, as will your writing. No doubt you will want to keep this book on your desk. This book is fantastic for both beginning and veteran writers.

You can find her book at Amazon.com. I encourage you to sign up for Jennifer’s newsletter which is always filled with lots of information. She also hosts a YouTube channel on forensics and crime writing. Check out her website at www.jenniferdornbush.com.

Upcoming events

    • 03/11/2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (MST)
    • Zoom Meeting

    If you can plot faster, you can write faster. If you write faster, you can publish more. If you publish more, you can earn more. This will be a brief overview of how to plot swiftly, write faster, and earn more.

    Thurs., Mar. 11, 2021, 6:30 PM

    • 03/13/2021
    • 11:00 AM (MST)

    Sherry Briscoe presents:

    7 Steps to Highly Effective Short Story Writing

    Saturday, March 13 at the Nampa Public Library starting at 10 AM

    • 03/13/2021
    • 11:30 AM (MST)

    To rank well on Amazon, optimize ads, and even to rank well on Google, you need to understand SEO and keywords.

    What are they?

    Why do they matter? and how do you discover the right ones for your book?
    We'll talk about that and more in this live discussion.

    Presented by Troy Lambert. For more about Troy, check out his website!

    • 03/16/2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (MDT)
    • Zoom Meeting

    Jeanne Huff will talk about: how to make a pitch, how to write a press release that will get noticed, how much can you make freelancing at Idaho Press and why is it a good thing to get published even if the pay ain't great. She will also talk more specifically about feature writing and about what she looks for in regards to content for her sections (Life Health, Outdoors, BoiseDev/Money).

    Jeanne is a journalist, writer and poet. She has written business, technology and, most recently, feature stories and has done stints at Idaho Statesman and Idaho Business Review before coming on board at the Idaho Press. She loves to hear about people, places and things in the Treasure Valley and can't wait to see what happens next.

    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

    • 03/20/2021
    • 1:00 PM (MDT)

    Writers at Harriman is a summer camp for gifted writers of high school age. It takes place every year at Harriman State Park of Idaho. During the week-long camp students will learn writing techniques from experienced teaching writers. They will create stories, poems, and essays--whatever they like to write. The best student material appears in the annual Henrys Fork Journal.

    Much of the writing is done in the outdoors where students will probably see trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, elk, moose, pelicans, bats, and other critters. The camp naturalist will be available to answer questions, help them explore, and give them photography tips.

    Horseback riding is available and each student will have a selection of optional writing, storytelling, and art classes.

    This informal presentation will be led by Camp Director Rick Just. You'll learn all about the camp and have an opportunity to ask Rick questions.

    Register for free tickets.

    • 04/07/2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (MDT)
    • Zoom Meeting

    An interactive discussion on ten of the most common and effective practices of successful writers

    Wed., April 7, 2021, 12:00 noon

    • 04/08/2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (MDT)
    • Zoom Meeting

    I’m a discovery writer. I don’t plot! Yes, you do. You just do it at a different time than a pure plotter. Learning how to do plot, when to do it, and how it impacts your second draft might just change your writing process forever

    Thurs., April 8, 2021, 6:30 PM

    • 05/05/2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (MDT)
    • Zoom Meeting

    Spring clean with the ancient Chinese wisdom that can help you enhance your office space, magnify your success and maximize your career potential

    Wed., May 5, 2021, 6:30 PM

    • 05/15/2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (MDT)
    • Zoom Meeting

    Don’t be discouraged. You can reach your novel-writing goals

    Sat., May 15, 2021, 6:30 PM

    • 06/08/2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (MDT)
    • Zoom Meeting

    • 06/24/2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (MDT)
    • Zoom Meeting

    How to utilize verbs more effectively in your writing.

    Thurs., June 24, 2021, 6:30 PM

    Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82755240364?pwd=NnV1bjRwNStsQklRZm1rc3dhMG5QQT09

    • 07/15/2021
    • 6:30 PM (MDT)

    Blogging, with Troy Lambert

    Do you want to keep up your blog, but you have no idea what to talk about? How are blog posts structured and written? What can they do for me and my website? And what about freelance blogging? In this quick lesson, we'll give you and overview of blogging: the what, why, where, and how. Join us!

    Here's the Zoom link.

Past events

02/25/2021 Mystery Writers Academy: Murder, Mayhem and Mental Illness, with Forensic Psychiatrist Camille LaCroix
02/18/2021 Writers' Corner: The Quick and Dirty Launch of a Pen Name, with Kate Baray
02/16/2021 Literary Lunch with Dr. Flores
02/09/2021 Writers' Corner: Make Your Story Epic! with Stacey Smekofske
01/28/2021 Mystery Writers Academy, with Shandee Votaw and Melonie Wilson, Ada County 911 Dispatchers
01/27/2021 Writers' Corner: Writing and Book Awards, with Cristen Iris
01/19/2021 Vardis Fisher's Boise
01/05/2021 Writers' Corner: Writing and Marketing a Series, with Sherry Briscoe
01/02/2021 Write Track: Setting Your Writing Schedule & Business Planning, a 12-Month Rolling Schedule
12/12/2020 Write Track: NaNo...Now What? Published NaNo Winners Tell All
11/19/2020 Writers' Corner--Writing Prompts to Stir Up Imagination, with Patricia Marcantonio
11/14/2020 Write Track. Top Five Tips for Meeting Writing Goals: Staying Motivated!
10/22/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: Carolina Ramos, Ada County Coroners Office. The difference between TV forensics and Real Life
10/15/2020 Writers' Corner--Your Novel From Started to Done
10/03/2020 Write Track: Tools for Fiction Writers, with Kate Baray and MG Herron
09/26/2020 Writers' Corner--Writing the Cozy Mystery, with Sherry Briscoe
09/24/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: Danny Smith, mystery writer, Los Angeles Sheriff's Homicide (retired)
09/19/2020 Write Track Extra! Planning a Series with Bella Falls
09/17/2020 Writers' Corner--Bestseller in Progress, with Stacey Smekofske
09/12/2020 Write Track: Painless NaNo Planning for Plotters and Pantsters, with Troy Lambert
08/08/2020 Write Track: Hiring: Coach or Developmental Editor? with Dana Long
07/16/2020 Writers' Corner--Meeting Genre Requirements & Exceeding Reader Expectations, with Stacey Smekofske
07/11/2020 TENTATIVE: Writers' Corner--Infuse Tension into Your Writing
07/11/2020 Write Track: Worldbuilding in Fantasy, with Lani Forbes
06/25/2020 CANCELED: Mystery Writers Academy: Anthony Geddes, Ada County Public Defenders Office
06/20/2020 Writers' Corner: Newsletters for Newbies!
06/18/2020 Writer's Corner: Self-editing--make your manuscript shine
06/13/2020 Write Track: Creating Annual Marketing Plans for Independent Publishing
05/23/2020 CANCELED: Writers' Corner--How to Write Your Story
05/21/2020 CANCELED: Writers' Corner--Poetry Comics
04/23/2020 Canceled: Mystery Writers Academy: Alan Perry, Idaho State Fire Marshal's office
04/14/2020 Virtual Lunch with Lani Forbes
03/26/2020 Canceled: Mystery Writers Academy: Lt. Bret Kimmel, Idaho Dept. of Corrections
03/14/2020 Writer Track: Annual Marketing Plans for Independent Publishing
02/27/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: Dr. Kathryn Turner, Deputy State Epidemiologist, Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
02/22/2020 Writers' Corner--Intro to Self-Publishing
02/20/2020 Writers' Corner--Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
02/18/2020 Literary Lunch with Mitch Wieland
02/08/2020 Write Track--Character Development
01/23/2020 Mystery Writers Academy: "Armor" by Karl Henwood
01/21/2020 Literary Lunch with Elaine Ambrose
01/16/2020 Writers's Corner--NaNo, Now What?
01/11/2020 Write Track--Social Media for Digital Hermits
12/19/2019 Writers' Corner, 4 Author Panel
11/21/2019 Writers' Corner, Write on the Road
11/09/2019 Write Track--Writing as a Business
11/02/2019 Writers' Corner, Making Money Writing for Magazines
10/24/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: David Frazier, crime reporter
10/19/2019 Writers' Corner, Traditional Publishing 101
10/17/2019 Writers' Block, Is Blogging Dead?
10/15/2019 Screenwriter to Novelist:What I learned Along the Way
10/12/2019 Write Track--"Save the Cat"
10/05/2019 Writers' Corner, Don’t Fear the Paper
09/26/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Tim Brady, Boise Police Department
09/21/2019 Writers' Corner, Romancing the Plot
09/19/2019 Writers' Corner, Branding for Authors
08/15/2019 Writers' Corner, Fantasy and Poetry
08/01/2019 Writers' Corner, Creating an Artist’s Statement & Writer’s Resume
07/20/2019 Writers' Corner, Researching the Novel
07/18/2019 Writers' Corner, The Editing Process
07/16/2019 Literary Lunch
07/13/2019 Write Track--Is indie publishing right for you?
06/20/2019 Writers' Corner, Journaling
06/15/2019 Writers' Corner, Publish it Yourself
06/08/2019 Write Track, The Reader as Participant
06/01/2019 Writers' Corner, From Started to a Finished Novel
05/25/2019 Writers' Corner, Branding for Authors
05/23/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Chuck Ambrose-Clinical vs. Forensic Psychology
05/21/2019 Literary Lunch, Kim Cross presenting
05/18/2019 Writers' Corner, Critiquing for Authors
05/16/2019 Writers' Corner, Creating a Successful Book Launch
05/11/2019 Write Track, Using your hobby as a springboard
05/04/2019 Writers' Corner, Imagery & Poetry
04/25/2019 No April meeting of the Mystery Writers Academy
04/18/2019 Writers' Corner, Write, Illustrate, & Publish a Children's Book
04/13/2019 Writers' Corner, Outlining Your Story
03/30/2019 Writers' Corner, MMA for Authors
03/28/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Gunshot Wounds & Stabbings, Dr. Glen Groben, forensic pathologist
03/21/2019 Writers' Corner, Author Critiques
03/19/2019 Literary Lunch, with Bruce Reichert
03/11/2019 Writers' Corner, How to Write Place
03/09/2019 Write Track, Tips, Tricks, and Tools
03/02/2019 Writers' Corner, Travel Writing
02/28/2019 Writers' Corner, Memoirs
02/28/2019 Mystery Writers Academy: Idaho State Police Crime Lab tour
02/23/2019 Local Author Panel
02/21/2019 Writers' Corner, Read Like a Writer
02/19/2019 February Literary Lunch
02/16/2019 Writers' Corner, 12-Step Writing Process
02/09/2019 Write Track, Creative Nonfiction
02/07/2019 Writers' Corner, Publish it Yourself
01/24/2019 REOPENED! Mystery Writers Academy: Det. Victoria Gooch, Idaho State Police
01/15/2019 January Literary Lunch
01/12/2019 Write Track, Why Blog?
12/20/2018 Author Panel
12/18/2018 No Literary Lunch This Month
12/08/2018 Write Track, Finding the Right Editor
11/20/2018 No Literary Lunch This Month
11/15/2018 Mystery Writers Academy: Clark Harshbarger, FBI Cyber Crimes
11/10/2018 Write Track, Bite Me!
11/10/2018 IWG Rakes Up Boise!
10/27/2018 Putting the Thrill in Thriller
10/27/2018 Fall Master Class
10/18/2018 Writer's Corner, Historical Fiction
10/16/2018 October Literary Lunch, A Writer's Guide to Grantsmanship
10/13/2018 Write Track, Marketing 101
09/20/2018 Writer's Corner, Romancing the Plot
09/20/2018 Mystery Writers Academy Introduction and Overview
09/18/2018 September Literary Lunch
09/13/2018 IWG Book Club, A Gentleman in Moscow
05/04/2018 Idaho Writers Conference
04/17/2018 Literary Lunch - April 2018
04/14/2018 Write Track - April 2018
02/20/2018 Literary Lunch

Thanks to the sponsors of the Idaho Writers Guild

 Rediscovered BookshopMill Park Publishing



Idaho Writers Guild

PO Box 8862

Boise ID 83707


Idaho Writers Guild is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization committed to providing a safe environment for all its members and guests. The IWG has a zero tolerance policy for any form of discrimination on any ground, and from harassment of any type. This includes all members, presenters, and attendees at any and all IWG functions. 

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