July 31, 2017 News

August 10, 2017 3:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Last Two OCWW Summer Sessions August 3 and August 10!

       Free for OCWW Members

In August Bobbie Ruby will lead one more summer critique and one more prompt sessions.

Email Bobbie at rubybard@earthlink.net if you wish to attend.

What is a Prompt Session?

Bring something to write with (pencil, quill pen,) and something to write on (paper, laptop).

The leader gives a word or a phrase, usually something that can be taken many ways. 

You start writing whatever the subconscious presents.

You don’t think, you just write. Spelling and grammar don’t count.

At the end of the writing time, we each read what we wrote to the group.

Then we go around quickly and tell the author the words or phrases or images

that were strong or vivid or resonated.

Resonance calls up in the reader a feeling that says the writing rings true.

Prompts help you get past your internal editor or critic.

It is a great way to discover back story.  Also a sneaky way to break writer’s block.

You can explore a prompt in your own voice as memoir or nonfiction,

or in the voice of a character in your fiction writing


Critique Group       Thursday  9:30  August 3

Prompt Session     Thursday  9:30  August 10

You can come to any or all of these programs.

Please email Bobbie each time if you are coming to be sure we have enough chairs.


At Bobbie Ruby’s home near Golf and McCormick (TJ Maxx) in Skokie.

Email her at rubybard@earthlink.net for directions

COST    FREE, but you must be a member of OCWW for either 2016-17 or 2017-18.

You can join OCWW and pay your membership at the meeting.

WHO IS BOBBIE RUBY? Bobbie is a former OCWW Board Member.

She has published a YA biography of Sir Francis Drake for Scholastic, short stories in Cobblestone, Woman’s World, and Twilight Tales. Her hymn lyrics won a national prize.

She has led critique groups and prompt sessions in several venues.

Email  rubybard@earthlink.net  if you are interested in attending and for directions.


Barbara Barnett at 

Chicago Writers Association

OCWW member, Barbara Barnett is speaking at the Chicago Writers Association’s third education/networking event on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 900 am to noon at Columbia College. The general topic is building your writer's confidence. Barbara's talk will be: Build Your Confidence as a Writer: The 3 Rs: Research, Revisit, Rebound

Research…to sound like an expert (even if you’re not) 

Revisit…your manuscript by hearing it aloud to remember why you love it

Rebound…from rejection by finding your real writing community for support and sharing

Whether you're a newbie or have been at it for years, confidence may be the most elusive arrow in your writing quiver. Join Bram Stoker Award-nominated novelist and executive editor of Blogcritics Magazine for tips and tricks to building your writer's confidence in this interactive session.


  • Conquering the fear of sharing your work by listening to your own voice (literally)
  • Learning how great research (and how to do it) will make you (at least sound like) the expert, whether you're writing non-fiction or the next bestselling novel
  • Finding your "peeps" whether online or in the local coffee shop to commiserate over rejections, cheer your successes and be your writing support.

Tom Benz Wins Serena McDonald Kennedy Award

Tom Benz, OCWW Board Secretary, recently won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award sponsored by Snake Nation Press for his short story collection titled Home and Castle. The book, which contains a few stories considered in Fred Shafer's workshops, is expected to be published some time in the fall.

Could your book be the CWA Book of the Year?

Time is running out to enter the Chicago Writers Association's 7th Annual Book of The Year Awards.

All entries must be received or postmarked by Tuesday, August 1, 2017. CLICK HERE for the requirements, and a downloadable entry form.

Books will be awarded in each of four categories:

  • 1.     Traditional Fiction
  • 2.     Indie Fiction
  • 3.     Traditional Nonfiction
  • 4.     Indie Nonfiction

Winners will be recognized at a ceremony on January 13, 2018.

Member entry fee: $15. Non-member entry fee: $25.

Submit your book today!!  You may join CWA prior to entering the contest for only $25 per year and receive the member submission rate. CLICK HERE to join.


OCWW September Workshops

Fred Shafer will kick off our 2017-2018 season with workshops September 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th. We apologize for the mistake of scheduling on September 21. Our speakers were already booked by the time we realized it was a high holiday. Please let Susan Levi know at one of Fred’s earlier sessions or by emailing2012susanlevi@gmail.com  if you will be missing the 21st to observe Rosh Hashanah. Fred Shafer has generously agreed to tape his session as an accommodation for our members affected by our oversight.    

We will be celebrating Fred Shafer’s amazing contribution to OCWW over the last thirty years. Please spread the word! More details to follow.

DePaul Offering Open Enrollment Creative Non-Fiction Class this Fall

OCWW Speaker and DePaul Associate Professor, Rebecca Johns shared news that DePaul is now offering an open-enrollment graduate creative writing course. This fall's topic is Creative Nonfiction, taught by Francesca Royster. We anticipate offering the course for students interested in fiction and poetry, too, in future terms.

The course, ENG 480 Introduction to Creative Writing, is open to anyone with permission of the MAWP director--which is Rebecca. If you are interested, please contact her. rebeccajohns1971@yahoo.com 

Course Description:http://www.english-exlibris.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Graduate-Autumn-Quarter-2017-Course-Descriptions.phttp://www.english-exlibris.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Graduate-Autumn-Quarter-2017-Course-Descriptions.pdf

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