by Deb Kurilecz
Part of the 2015 Conference Faculty Series

Just recently a writer friend of mine said, “We always worry if our characters come alive on the page.”  What a great discussion point for my course at the Cape Cod Writers Center Conference, Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em: Create Great Characters.  Of course by great, I mean unforgettable characters such as Scarlett O’Hara or Hannibal Lecter.  I’ll bring lots of examples from literature but we’ll also examine your characters and provide tips for making them memorable.  Writers of all levels are welcome and will benefit from my many tips and techniques.

At last year’s conference, my class was fun and lively and I am so excited to be asked back and to be teaching one of my favorite topics.  I’m also teaching how to add the WOW factor to your writing.  Sign up for both classes.

Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Keep writing!


Deb KuriKurileczlecz is an international award-winning writer who teaches creative writing and is a book and story project consultant. Her fiction, memoirand poetry have been published in numerous literary journals, most recently Eleven Eleven, Willow Review, The MacGuffinAmerican Letters & Commentary, Blue Earth Review, Oyez Review, The Jabberwock Review, and North Atlantic Review.

Announcing David Litwack’s Latest Release

by web editor on June 24, 2015

Congratulations to David Litwack on the release of his latest novel!

The Children of Darkness is now available for purchase on Amazon. Winner of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in Fall 2014 in the Fantasy Category, this dystopian tale is the first book in The Seekers series. The next book in that series, The Stuff of Stars, is due out November 30th, 2015.children of darkness

Click here to buy your copy today!


Displaying the perfect pitch  –whether in baseball or writing —  is a crucial skill that wins games and book contracts.  That was the main subject for Writers Night Out on June 17, 2015 after cocktails and dinnerUnos Chicago Grill on Route 132 in Hyannis.

Following a brief welcome by Executive  Director Nancy Rubin Stuart 2015, board member, Dwight Ritter, spoke about the importance of critique groups run by the Cape Cod Writers Center. One example of success that comes from  meeting regularly with other writeers was illustrated by Dwight’s group which just published an anthology of short stories his group wrote,  Dancing Naked.

Dwight at June WNO

Afterwards, eight members of the Cape Cod Writers Center tried out their  pitches before  other members and our author- judges,  former board president Kevin Symmons and former board treasurer Arlene Kay. They were  Terri Arthur, Barbar Struna, Mary Newton Lima, Robin Kish, Susan Awaniswiw, Anita Caruso, Sheils Murry and Greg Jamison.

While each of them had an intriguing plot they pitched,  Kevin and Arlene reminded them of the importance of describing the book’s underlying theme, then briefly summarizing the plot. By doing so, writers are more likely to pitch a home run!


by Kate Klise
Part of the 2015 Conference Faculty Series

Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.

Sounds like one of those banal quips you hear at a high school graduation. In fact, it’s a quote from none other than Cher, who will not be teaching the Writing for Children’s course at this year’s Cape Cod Writers Center Conference (August 7-9). Nor will Cher be teaching the course on Young Adult Novels.

But I will. And I plan on asking all of my students to embrace any feelings of foolishness as we talk about the art and craft of telling a good story.

I’m working on my thirtieth book this summer. It never gets easier for me. But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that if I want to have a good idea, I have to generate a lot of ideas. Most are lousy, which is why I try not to fall in love with my first draft of anything. As Colette once said: “Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”

I wouldn’t dare destroy anyone’s work other than my own. But I do hope I can help other writers separate the gold from the straw in their working manuscripts. And for those writers who are just sitting down with a new project, that’s fine, too. We’ll spend a lot of time talking about beginnings and how important it is to hook the reader as early as possible.

Will we feel silly? Maybe. Will some of our ideas be slightly less than brilliant? Probably. But we won’t care because we know looking foolish is the price we pay for the possibility of being great writers—or rock stars.


Kate Klise 001croppedKate Klise is an award-winning author of books for young readers. She also spent 15 years reporting for People magazine. For more about Kate, visit

Riverhaven Books June 2015 Newsletter

by web editor on June 17, 2015

Riverhaven June 2015 Newsletter

Writers Night Out Tomorrow, June 17th

by web editor on June 16, 2015

Perfect Pitch Practice

At Uno’s Restaurant, Route 132, Hyannis
5:30 networking, 6:00 dinner, 7:00 presentation


Practice pitching your mapitchnuscript at this month’s Writers Night Out! You will have two minutes to convince our discerning membership – including fellow authors and editors – why they should be interested in your book. Critique and suggestions will be given by our audience along with a vote for the evening’s best pitch. Reserve your spot now to participate in this exciting opportunity!

The personal pitch is one of the most critical skills for all writers.  You’ll need it to sell your book or story idea to a time-pressed agent or editor, to promote your work to the media, and to place it on your website and/or social media accounts.

By popular demand, the CCWC’s June WNO again offers you the opportunity to practice your pitch before an audience, hear their reactions, and learn what works best. Even if you’re not ready to pitch or submit to an agent or editor now, come and enjoy the company of your friends and fellow writers and get a taste of what pitching is all about.

Presenting participants must be CCWC members. The maximum time allowed is 2 minutes (yes, you will be timed!). There are 10-15 slots available, on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure your place, please contact Sara Kass at


The cost of Writers Night Out is $25 for CCWC members and $30 for non-members. The price includes a buffet dinner and a non-alcoholic drink.

Please contact Sara at our office to sign up via email for what promises to be a fun and informative evening: or call 508-420-0200.


Maybe the 150th birthday of William Butler Yeats had something to do with it. Or the fact that it was a gorgeous morning on Cape Cod. More likely though, it was the three distinguished authors who  appeared at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis on Friday morning, June 12  for the Cape Cod Writers Center’s Breakfast with the Authors program who charmed the thirty-five members of the audience.

After a continental breakfast, the first speaker, C. L. Fornari, a nationally known garden expert, author of five books and host of two radio shows, spoke about her career, the common mistakes people make in the garden and her most recent book, Coffee for Roses.



She was followed by Hank Phillippi Ryan, an investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate, the winner of 13 Emmys, 13 Edward R. Murrow Awards and two-time Agatha Award for her best-selling mysteries, the most recent being Truth Be Told.

Hank Phillippi Ryan BWTA June 12, 2015

The third speaker was John Hough, Jr., a former speech writer for Senator Charles Mathias of Maryland, assistant to James Reston at the Washington Bureau of the New York Times, and the author of five novels, including his latest, Little Bighorn. 


John Hough Jr. BWTa June 12, 2015

Their presentations were followed by a lively Question and Answer session after which the authors signed books for members of the audience, many of whom praised the program as “one of our best!”


3 BWTA authors IMG_3440

With our appreciation to C.L. Fornari, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and John Hough, Jr. for a wonderful morning!

All the Classes at the Conference

by web admin on June 11, 2015

Curious about the classes at the conference but haven’t downloaded the brochure? Here’s an easy-to-read list organized by length of class.

Three-Day Classes

A Primer on Self-Publishing, Stephanie Blackman
No Nonsense Nonfiction, Charles Salzberg
Writing for Young Adults, Kate Klise
Writing Love Stories and Romance, Judith Arnold
Children’s Book Writing, Kate Klise
Edit Yourself Into Print, Michael Carr
Thrillers: On the Edge of Your Seat, Jerry Amernic
Writing Publishable Poetry, Charles Coe
The Craft of Fiction, Indira Ganesan
Literary Tension and Suspense, Charles Salzberg
Fantasy Fiction, C. E. Lawrence
Writing for Television and Film, Jan Worthington

Two-Day Classes

50 Shades of Publishing, April Eberhardt
Historical Fiction, C. E. Lawrence
How to Hook an Agent, Michael Carr
Internet e-Book Promotion, Steve Manchester
Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em, Deb Kurilecz
Setting: The Sense of Place, Indira Ganesan
Social Media for Writers, Chantelle Osman

One-Day Classes

Choosing Partner Publishing, Eberhardt/Harnisch
Perfecting Your Pitch and Query, Chantelle Osman
Realistic Dialogue, Jan Worthington
Research Skills for Writers, Jerry Amernic
Panel on Self-Publishing, Bishop/Eberhardt/Richter
Changes in Book Publishing Markets, Richter/Fairbank
Presentation Skills for Writers, Charles Coe
How to Write with the Wow Factor, Deb Kurilecz
Poetic Techniques for Prose Writers, Charles Coe


Memoir, Piercy/Wood
50 Editing Mistakes Authors Make, Chantelle Osman
Marketing from the Heart, Claire Cook

We’re happy to be supporting the Vermont College of Fine Arts auction by offering two classes to our conference in August. Hop on over and see all of the other amazing items up for bid including writing retreats, editorial one-on-ones, and once in a life time opportunities like tea with Katherine Patterson. Here are links to the different categories:

Critiques and Consultations

Getting Down to Business – headshots, book schwag, marketing consultations, etc…

Luxe Deluxe – this is the AMAZING stuff

Once in a Lifetime

Take a look and spread the word.

Nantucket Book Festival, June 19-21

by web admin on June 9, 2015


JUNE 19-21, 2015


Scott Turow, Anita Diamant, Azar Nafisi, Ishmael Beah, Alice Hoffman,
Bret Anthony Johnston, Paul Muldoon & Nathaniel Philbrick headline
28 presenters and 60+ local authors to participate

New England debut of The Typewriter Rodeo – custom poems on vintage typewriters

The Nantucket Book Festival kicks off summer with a stellar roster of authors who will appear June 19-21, 2015, at the annual event, now in its fourth year. For three days, booklovers will gather in historic Nantucket venues for a series of author readings, panel discussions, and social events that provide opportunities for casual conversations between writers and readers. Most events are free.

Among the 28 participating authors for this year’s Festival are Scott Turow, master of the legal thriller; Anita Diamant (The Red Tent, The Boston Girl); Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books); Ishmael Beah (A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier); Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon; Bret Anthony Johnston (Corpus Christi, Remember Me Like This); Alice Hoffman (The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Nightbird), and Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea, Bunker Hill). Literary genres represented include fiction, memoirs, biography, poetry, and a strong contingent of authors in the children’s and young adult categories.

The Typewriter Rodeo, a group of poets based in Austin, Texas, will be on hand to type custom poems on any subject in the Festival tent on Friday and Saturday. Founded in 2013, The Typewriter Rodeo, a group of writers with performance backgrounds, has made appearances at over 40 events nationwide. This is their first appearance in New England. Attendees will have the opportunity to give the Typewriter Rodeo poets a topic, and they will create and type on a vintage typewriter a personalized, original poem in minutes.

In addition to author readings and interviews, the Festival will host an outdoor exhibit of 60+ local authors selling and signing their books on Friday and Saturday under a tent outside the Nantucket Atheneum; ‘Authors in Bars’ on Saturday night; and optional ticketed hospitality events including author brunches; and a pig roast at Cisco Brewery that wraps up the Festival on Sunday.

Nantucket Book Festival


The Nantucket Book Festival is a 501(c)(3) organization. For a complete listing of participating authors, as well as up-to-date details on all weekend events, please visit

Photo Credit: Joshua Gray