If there was one unifying request from the thirty people who attended the Cape Cod Writers Center’s Pathways to Publications workshops on Saturday, March 19 at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis, it was that each of the presenters should return “and present a day-long workshop.”

The morning presenter was Christine Merser of Blue Shoe Strategy, a specialist in non-tradition marketing methodology who explained how to use social media to target audiences and sell books efficiently to niche audiences. Later Christine emailed that information to those who attended her workshop.

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Here’s a sampling of comments from Christine’s exit surveys: 

” Insights into what works and doesn’t — all very useful!”

” Extremely helpful. I want more!”

” Great speaker — very charismatic!”

“Christine’s honest thrust was awesome — I was intrigued by the social  media and how to market it.”


After lunch, Peter Drummey, the Stephen T. Riley Librarin of the Massachusetts Historical Society,  presented on how to delve into historical research. To do so, he spoke about the  value of historical and library archives in Massachusetts and on Cape Cod, explained collections of historical directories, bibliographic collections and other tools useful to the writer, and provided handouts about them.


Here are examples of what Peter’s audience wrote in their exit surveys:

“Please have it again and expand it!”

“Absolutely helpful!”

” Very informal ad accessible.”

” Absolutely helpful, extremely knowledgeable and his passion was certainly imparted to the audience.”



Audience I      

Click here to download the brochure!

Register for the conference here! 


Our Distinguished Faculty Include: 

Keynote Speaker:  Peter B. Abrahams, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Barbara Blatner, Award-Winning Playwright

Leslie Fishlock, “The Geek Girl,” prominent social media expert

Phoebe  Baker Hyde, Author of New York Times 2013 “Book of the Year”

Jacqueline Kolosov, award-winning author, poet, and memoirist

Mindy Lewis, author, editor, acclaimed essayist

Ron MacLean, prize-winning fiction /mystery writer, Grub Street instructor

Colin McEnroe, humor writer and radio personality

Olivia Miller, editor, creativity expert

Lauren Mills, award-winning author of children’s books

Leigh Montville, biographer and former sports columnist for Boston Globe

Jonathan  Papernick, short story author and Writer-in-Residence, Emerson College

Adam Sexton, author and professor of creative writing at Yale University

Deborah Swiss, award-winning author of nonfiction

John Walsh, prominent graphic novelist

William Wenthe, poet and fellow, National Endowment for the Arts


Katie Shea Boutillier, Donald Maass Literary Agency

Michael Carr, Veritas Literary Agency

Alia Hanna Habib, McCormick Literary Agency

Ammi-Joan Paquette,  Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Amaryah Orenstein, Go-Literary Agency

Do you have a novel submission ready, but you’re not sure if your query letter does the job? Register for an Agent Quick Query meeting to get professional, face-to-face advice from an agent on the spot.

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COST: $25 for CCWC 2016 Conference Registrants.

You must be registered for at least one course at the CCWC annual conference to schedule  an AQQ critique.

WHEN: Thursday, August 4, 6:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Each critique lasts ten (10) minutes.

WHAT: An on-the-spot critique of your query letter or presentation to an agent.

Please note that there are a limited number of slots for each agent. gents will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis once registration opens in late April/early May.

Our agents are:

  • Katie Shea Boutillier, Donald Maass Literary Agency
  • Michael Carr, Veritas Literary Agency
  • Alia Hanna Habib, McCormick Literary Agency
  • Amaryah Orenstein, Go Literary Agency
  • Ammi-Jaon Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency


A Sampling of CCWC 2016 Conference Courses, August 4-7, 2016

by Artistic Director on March 18, 2016

While August seems many months away, it’s never too early to start thinking about courses and workshops for the 2016 Cape Cod Writers Conference, August 4-7 at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis.

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Here’s a preview of some ( but not all) of our exciting offerings this summer 

Creating Compelling Voice

Sports Writing

Promotion on Social Media

Writing for Change

Plotting Your Story

Recharge Your Creativity

Narrative Tension

Writing Fiction with the Masters

Omniscient Narrator

Graphic Novels


Chapter Book Writing

Creative Nonfiction

Pitches and Queries

The Art of the Sentence


Flash Fiction

Your Book’s First Page

Using Magical Characters

Latest News from Kevin Symmons

by web editor on March 18, 2016

Former four-term CCWC President Kevin Symmons is having a successful 2016. Since the New Year dawned he’s had some exciting publicity! A great review on his 2015 novel Chrysalis and a piece on his writing bio in the flagship publication of the thriller genre (International Thrillers Writers Monthly) in December by David Healey seemed to set the stage!  After Kevin’s enjoyable presentation on the “Lost Art of Writing a Love Letter” at the spectacular Thomas P. Crane Library, Lane Lambert of the Quincy The Patriot Ledger wrote an impressive feature which appeared on the front page of the Arts section on Valentine’s Day. He was also featured in the Living Arts section South Shore Living Magazine for February, thanks to editor Maria Allen. His graduate Alma Mater also featured him in the Babson Alumni Magazine for February with two other graduates. The article, written by John Crawford, was titled “Second Acts…” and it explored the second careers of former grad students who have gone on to success in fields unrelated to business. Finally, he has appeared in a Christi Enright blog post, again about his writing and literary success. But this one should prove very exciting since Christi also writes for none other than The Huffington Post and will be sharing her article with them in the near future!

In addition to his success in the area of publicity, Kevin has also had two of his novels that were selected by Amazon for their Encore Program reach the top ten in their respective sub-genres. Out of the Storm hit #2 in Techno-thrillers late January while another of his earlier novels, Rite of Passage reached #10 at the same time in Occult Thrillers. “Admittedly, it’s a heady feeling and great fun to have two of your novels reach the rarified air of Amazon’s top ten… even more so when they do it in the same week,” Kevin admits.

Finally, he spent an hour in February on The Jordan Rich show. Jordan is one of Greater Boston’s premier radio hosts and known for specializing in interviewing writers. “As always Jordan was gracious, supportive, and well-prepared. When Jordan is your host there’s never a question as to whether he’s read your book or not. Plus, working with him–it’s my 4th or 5the time now– is just plain fun!” Kevin volunteered.

Thirty writers turned out on Wednesday night, March 16, 2016 at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis for the Cape Cod Writers Center’s March Writers Night Out to hear acclaimed author Devon Ellington (who has half a dozen bylines) speak about the power of point of view in story telling.

During her talk, Devon described the uses of various points of view as well as their  strengths and weaknesses:

  • The first person, or ” I” voice may instantly attract the reader but limits  the amount of information the writer may convey.
  • Second person, the “you” voice, may be used by the writer as an invisible narrator, but is tricky and seldom used.
  • Close third person, the use of “he” or “she’ in the narration is frequently chosen by authors because it allows a slightly wider perspective while giving the reader an intimacy with the writer.

Devon’s talk was followed by handouts and a lively question and answer session. What is truth?  In literary matters that seems to depend upon the point of view.





by web editor on March 17, 2016

The Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Committee is announcing that nominations will now be accepted for the 2016 year.

This prestigious award is given annually to the Cape Cod woman who most demonstrates leadership in the Cape Cod Community, who has made a significant contribution to the arts, education, business, community and/or volunteerism, while embracing the ideals of patriotism.

Nomination forms can be found in local Town Halls, Libraries and Branches of The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank.  Deadline for nominations will be Patriots Day, April 18, 2016.

The award will be presented Monday, June 6th, at the meeting of Tales of Cape Cod, and the recipient will be asked to participate in the 4th of July parade in Barnstable Village.


Mercy Otis Warren, born in West Barnstable in 1728, was a playwright, a historian, a pioneer in women’s rights, a champion of liberty, an advocate of the Bill of Rights and a patriot. In an era where it was unusual for women to be educated, much less to emerge as a leader, her advocacy for the cause of patriotism and a central role for women in society was remarkable.

“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me,” Ray Bradbury once said. So it must have been for the sixteen talented students who appeared at the Cape Cod Writer’s Center’s Tomorrow’s Writers Today program at the Sturgis East Charter School on Saturday morning, March 11th, to learn how to more effectively put their ideas in print.

The students, ages 12-17, were divided into age-appropriate groups and received instruction, advice and suggestions from author-teachers, Arlene Kay and Steven Manchester.  Almost unanimously, the students praised the program which was funded by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.



Below are some of their comments from the exit surveys:

“Everything went perfectly. I wish we could do this more frequently.”

“They (the teachers) helped by showing us different strategies to format our thoughts and our writing.”

” I enjoyed the relaxed and warm atmosphere created by the students and teachers. I would definitely  come again.”

“Each instructor was experienced and accomplished. they both gave tips to avoid common writing pitfalls and addressed specific personal concerns.”

“They gave amazing advice!”

“They helped me better understand the pieces of a story and how to work on them.”

” I love the people I met and all the types of writing styles I saw.”

They gave me a lot of insight on how the process of writing comes along and how to get creative with your work.”

” I was glad to have had this day.”





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Point of View: The Key to Successful Prose

The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis, 35 Scudder Ave.
5:30 Networking
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Presentation
6 vs 9
Focused.  Specific.  Immediate.  POV can make or break a book.  Skilled authors use POV to guide the reader into an intimate relationship with the characters and plot.   Author and editor Devon Ellington shares tips and techniques to help you choose the strongest POV to tell your story.
Devon Ellington publishes under half a dozen names in fiction and non-fiction.  She writes the Jain Lazarus urban fantasies and the Gwen Finnegan paranormal archaeological mysteries. She’s worked as an editor, marketing writer, and this is her third year as a judge for the Indie Next Generation Book Awards.  She is also an internationally produced playwright and radio writer.
Please note the change in prices! Dinner is 
$25 for CCWC members and $30 for non-members. However, there is 
NO COST to attend the presentation at 7:00 only; non-members may give a $5 donation if they wish.
Please contact Sara at our office to sign up via email for what promises to be an inspiring and instructive eveningwriters@capecodwriterscenter.org or call 508-420-0200.
See you on the 16th!

March Member News

by web editor on March 8, 2016

Take a look at the latest success stories of our hardworking members:

Sharon D. Anderson, Ph.D., has published a short guide for writers who want to make money with their books as a “real” business, titled Writing as a Retail Business: A Guide. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-as-Retail-Business-Guide-ebook/dp/B0010KV5SA.

Sandra Bolton sold a short screenplay to a production company to be produced and entered in Film Festivals 2016-2017 across the country. She also created and self-published the book Explore Contemporary Marstons Mills, Cape Cod.

Anita A. Caruso will be selling her books– memoir As Ever, Pudd and her children’s books Brayden’s Magical Jungle and Brayden’s Magical Carousel Horse— on April 8th at the Cape Cod Cultural Center from 5-7:30pm, in a program sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women, Cape Cod Branch, titled “How to Sell Yourself and Your Art.” She will also be interviewed on “Books and the World,” Cape Cod Writers Center’s cable TV show, on April 22nd at 1pm on her two children’s books.

Donna Walo Clancy just released a new NA book on February 27th. The Big Mistake Club is available on Kindle Unlimited and in print.

Jim Coogan and Jack Sheedy of Harvest Home Books were notified on February 20th that their 2015 Summerscape issue received 2nd place from the New England Newspaper and Press Association for the category of general interest supplements.  Summerscape, which annually focuses on aspects of Cape Cod History, is jointly sponsored by the Barnstable Patriot and Cape Cod Times newspapers and reaches over 60,000 readers.

Debi Graham-Leard was interviewed for the CCWC local cable program “Books and the World” on Friday, Feb 27, regarding her new book The Uninvited Guest

On March 17th, Arlene Kay will join Sisters-in-Crime authors at a panel in Chelmsford, addressing “Methods of Murder” (oh no!).

Christine Lajewski’s horror flash fiction, “Tight Squeeze,” will be featured online by the Flash Fiction Press on April 10. (Sign up for a free subscription and get a free story every day.)

Carolyn LeComte will be participating in a Fiction Writers’ Workshop on March 12, from 10-12 at the Sandwich Library. After a panel discussion by four published authors, there will be a fun writing exercise for the attendees, who are encouraged to bring a one-page piece they are working on to read for short comments from the panel and audience. The public is invited – there is a ten-dollar charge. More info on the Sandwich Arts Alliance website.

Diane McDonough’s poem “A Prompting in Winter (Prince’s Cove)” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by National League of American Pen Women poetry editor, Treanor Baring.

Death at the Paris Exposition by Frances McNamara, the 6th book in the Emily Cabot Mystery series, has been accepted by Allium Press of Chicago and will be published in the summer. Other titles in the series include Death at Woods Hole.

Maxim D. Shrayer’s recent memoir Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story was reviewed by the Boston Bibliophile: http://www.bostonbibliophile.com/2016/02/review-leaving-russia-jewish-story-by.html. Shrayer’s essay “A Purim Shpil in Soviet Moscow” was featured in Mosaic Magazine: http://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2016/02/a-purim-shpil-in-soviet-moscow/.

The South Chatham Writers’ Workshop is pleased to announce its summer 2016 sessions. 18–22 July 2016: Nonfiction & Memoir Writing;
25–29 July 2016: Fiction Writing. For more information, visit: http://shrayer.com/scww-index.html.

Barbara Eppich Struna, author of The Old Cape House, The Old Cape Teapot, and the upcoming release of The Old Cape’s Hollywood Secret, will be hosting the Sisters In Crime, New England booth at the WZID Women’s Expo at the Center of NH/Radison Hotel on Saturday, March 12 from Noon until 2PM. Stop by to say Hi and then enjoy the rest of the expo, where adventure and fun await you with over 140 exhibitors. New Hampshire Womens Expo


Current CCWC members are invited to submit their news to the next Member News Roundup, which will be posted to our blog and Facebook page on the first Tuesday in April. To have your news included, please email a one or two sentence announcement to writers@capecodwriterscenter.org no later than Friday, April 1st. (If you submit an item as an April Fools’ joke, we WILL post it, so beware!) Write “Member News” in the subject line, and be sure the announcement includes your name exactly as you would like it to appear. We do not have room for longer articles or reviews, but you may include an email or website link so readers may contact you or find further information. If you have multiple events, signings, etc. coming up, the best way to publicize these is with a link to a calendar on your own blog or website. (Please note that we reserve the right to edit any announcement for length or for potentially offensive or controversial content.)CCWC Logo Quill only