Archive | September, 2011

Avondale Writers Event

26 Sep



Avondale events aim to advise struggling writers

BY Frank Morris staff writer:

Aspiring authors looking to get their works published now have the chance to learn from “the prose.”From 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, the West Valley Wordsmiths is hosting a book presentation event at the Avondale Civic Center Library, 11350 W. Civic Center Drive, Avondale.The group of authors will present their recently published books and share some insider knowledge on the trials and tribulations of writing a book and getting it published. The event is free.

“You can be the greatest writer in the world, but if your book doesn’t fall within ninjas, vampires, blood, gore, your name doesn’t really get out there,” said Colin James, a published author and organizer of the event.

James, an Englishman by birth and Litchfield Park resident by choice, is a member of the West Valley Wordsmiths – a band of ink-stained veterans who put pen to paper and succeeded in getting published.

He’ll be accompanied at the event by fellow authors Eveline Horelle-Daily, Gale Leach and Vincent Alascia, who will share their experiences, as well.

“The process of writing can be a lonely business – the author obsessed with filling the page in the hope that somewhere somebody will recognize and understand what it is they are trying to say,” James said.

“Those who pursue the craft of writing understand all too well that it can be a thankless task, and due to the subjective nature of the business, there may not be an audience at the end of their manuscript,” the 44-year-old said.

“Writing for the market is one way of grasping a foothold, however many writers simply want to write what it is they want to write about,” he said.

Upcoming writers conference

The West Valley Wordsmiths Book Presentation won’t be the only chance for struggling scribes to learn more about the pains and possibilities of getting published.

Next month, on Oct. 29, Avondale will host its second annual Writers Conference at City Hall. The theme of the event is “Pen, Polish, Pitch and Publish: Find your voice, make it heard.”

The West Valley Writers Group – of which West Valley Wordsmiths is a part – is planning an entire day of workshops, networking and activities for anyone looking to publish his first novel or for those wishing to brush up on their writing skills.

“The aim of the conference is to bring writers and authors together so they can share in the experience of those who have been published and who have broken into the commercial market,” James said. “The conference also conducts workshops and seminars on aspects of the craft.”



Along with getting tips and insight from experienced authors and publishing professionals, attendees will have the chance to pitch their stories to one of seven agents.

The conference’s keynote speakers and special guests will be mystery writer Laura DiSilverio and award-winning Arizona author Stella Pop Durante.

A concurrent Youth Conference by the Young Writer’s Academy will also take place at the event.

Registration is required.

For the love of writing

“These events are important because they are community-driven,” said Ava Gutwein, Avondale library manager.
“From the very first writing workshop we held at the library in the spring of 2009, the community has shown great interest and participation,” she said. “The feedback we received encouraged us to offer more programming for those interested in writing.”

Both the Avondale Writers Conference and the upcoming West Valley Wordsmiths Book Presentation “provide support to those in the community who would like to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in writing, editing and publishing, and just as important, network with other writers who have been successful in their craft,” she said.

“I think the interest in writing and reading is as strong as ever,” Gutwein added. “New formats are opening up wonderful opportunities for writers to share their work and readers benefit by having access to a more diverse selection.”


14 Sep




 The West Valley Writers Workshop, founded by Kris and Laura Neely, has been a forum for local west-side writers for several years. Monthly meetings where aspiring writers and ink-slingers meet to instruct, learn, commiserate, and support. The one place where writers can take their scribblings and receive honest face-to-face feedback, a meeting where you don’t always get to hear what it was, you hoped you might! Writer’s therapy it isn’t however, honesty being the best policy when it comes to the written word, the literary nit-picking performed by the group ranges from minor medical surgery to major textual amputation.

Often the better for the intervention the group has spawned some exceptionally good writers and birthed countless works of memorable prose and even some outstanding novels. To date the West Valley Writers Workshop can count over twenty of its members as published authors.

The West Valley Wordsmiths is one such group; a band of ink-stained veterans who’ve managed to climb insurmountable paper peeks, found passage through the forest of pitfalls, and fought and defeated sharpened criticism. Brave indomitable souls who’ve achieved what it was they set out to do; to be published and to have found an audience.

On the 24th of September at the Avondale Library several graduates of the Neely Gladiator School will present their works. Wordsmiths one and all, they will be proud to discuss not only their recently published books but also to share some insider information on the trials and tribulations of getting book from mind, to pen, to paper, to press, and the secrets they’ve learned on the way. Each writer will deliver an insight into their own writing styles, present their books, discuss inspiration, offer a reading and answer any questions that may be posed.

If you, like us are, struggling to have you voice heard, or just simply wish to meet with likeminded individuals and share you work, then we would love to see you at the WEST VALLEY WORDSMITHS BOOK PRESENTATION EVENT.

The authors presenting will be.

Eveline Horelle-Daily

Gale Leach

Vincent A.  Alascia

Colin R. James

We look forward to seeing you there.

If there are any questions regarding the event then please feel free to contact;



Colin James at


12 Sep

2nd Annual Avondale Writers Conference

Saturday Oct 29th, 2011

Avondale, Arizona 

Conference Theme: Pen, Polish, Pitch & Publish!

Authors Speaking at the Conference

Author’s Panel: Just Published!

Colin James, an Englishman who emigrated to the U.S back in 2001, is a married man with two terrible children. 

After various junctures in New Mexico and New York he and his family are now settled in Arizona. 

The career path he has followed has taken him from the ranks of the British Army to the tops of Austrian mountains as a ski guide. 

He now works as a professional in the semi-conductor industry. As well as the regular job he runs a successful window cleaning company in sunny Phoenix.