Writing and Publishing on the Colorado Plateau

and the 
a showcase of local authors of the Colorado Plateau from a variety of different genres who will share their writing and publishing experiences:

Samantha Burton, Publications & Bookstore Manager

Samantha Burton works as a Bookstore and Publications Department Manager at the Museum of Northern Arizona. She holds a BA in English with an emphasis in Native American Literature. She has contributed to museum exhibits as a freelance Indigenous Consultant and has presented on the representation of Indigenous people in literature, media, and popular culture.

Jean Rukkila, author & illustrator 

Jean Rukkila fills blank pages with words and drawings. She's taught Arizona teachers and students how to make one-of-a-kind books. Her essays, poems, and stories have appeared in Mountain Gazette, Sonora Review, FlagLive and The Sun.

Don Lago, author 

Don Lago has published a dozen books, half of them from university presses, and writes creative non-fiction and history. As well as essays in national magazines and literary reviews, he's published three books about the history of the Grand Canyon and has lived in Flagstaff for 30 years. 
Gwen Waring, author, illustrator, ecologist

Gwen Waring is an ecologist and writer who is based in Flagstaff. Her love of the region is expressed through landscape painting and the writing of natural history. She's conducted research in most ecosystems in Arizona. Her new book, The Natural History of the San Francisco Peaks (2018) tells the story of this fabulous mountain based on research conducted over the last 130 years. 

Location and Time:

May 4th, 2019 2-4 p.m.

Branigar Hall @ Museum of Northern Arizona 
Free with admission to museum (Adults/$12 Seniors/$10)

Book Signing:

Presentations will be followed by a Question and Answer session which will be moderated by Flagstaff author, Margaret Erhart. The authors will be selling and signing their works following the presentation.

More Information, Contact:


Barbara Shovers, Co-Coordinator, Flagstaff Writers Connection

Nancy Brehm, Co-Coordinator, Flagstaff Writers Connection

Margaret Erhart, Flagstaff Writers Connection Member

Arizona Authors Literary Contest

AZ Authors Association Literary Contest and Awards

Flyer and Entry Form

Unpublished Categories                                             Published Book Categories

Poems                                                                                          Fiction
Short Stories                                                                                Nonfiction
Essays, Articles, True Stories                                                      Children's Literature
Novels, Novellas

First Prize All Categories
$100 & Publication or feature in Arizona Literary Magazine
Second Prize All Categories
$50 & publication or feature in Arizona Literary Magazine
Third Prize All Categories
$25 & publication or feature in Arizona Literary Magazine

First & Second Prize Winners
In Poetry, Essay, Short Story 
Nomination for the Pushcart Prize

Since it began in 1978, the Arizona Literary Magazine has launched the careers of many authors.

Contest Rules & Submission Guidelines

  • Winners in unpublished categories automatically consign first serial rights to Arizona Authors Association (right to print an excerpt in Arizona Literary Magazine first). If an entry is published after the deadline, the author must withdraw that entry.
  • Winning entries will be published or featured in the 2020 Arizona Literary Magazine.
  • Entries will be accepted now until postmark no later than July 1, 2019.
  • Unpublished categories: Three copies of each entry must be provided. No author name anywhere other than on entry forms.
  • Published categories: Two copies of each entry. Published E-books must be submitted in print & bound
  • form like a gallery or ARC.
  • All published books including E-books must include ISBN, copyright dates, and publisher information.
  • Except for poems, all unpublished manuscripts must be double-spaced, with 12-point font and 1-inch margins, stapled or paper clipped.
  • Page numbers & titles on header—all pages.
  • For multiple entries fill out a separate entry form for each entry. You may copy form from our website or photocopy from an original.
  • Unpublished novels & novellas must be completed and available upon the judge’s request.
  • Manuscripts will not be returned except with critiques. Published books will be donated.
  • All finalists will be notified in advance of awards.
  • The judges reserve the right to switch the category for an entry, to cancel a category if the number of entries is insufficient, or to decide not to have a winner if the level of the best entries is not up to publishing industry standards.
  • Any entry not following guidelines will be disqualified without notifying the author. No refunds to disqualified


To request a detailed critique of all aspects of your work with suggestions:
* Mark your choice of critique on the entry form.
* Critiques cost extra and available only for unpublished works.

>>>DEADLINE: July 1, 2019<<< 
AWARDS: November 2. 2019 

Deep Dive into Self Editing

Announcing a Deep Self-Editing Workshop Series

Did you completed your NaNoWriMo challenge of a 50,000 word manuscript?


You're Amazing

No, really. Only 12-18% of participants in NaNoWriMo manage to win the challenge. You are among the persistent few and I, for one, salute you.


Maybe you didn't take on the NaNoWriMo challenge but you have a manuscript that is a complete first draft ...


nearly complete first draft.

That's still amazing. It takes persistence, and you are among the minority of the 81% of people who say they want to write a book or script someday.

The first draft tells you, the writer, the story. The next few drafts are about making the story palatable for a reader. That process is called Revision.

Cline Library and Flagstaff Writers Connection are teaming up to help you with the Revision process.

Join other local writers in a 6 month journey to systematically scrub your manuscript or script and get it ready for critique and then agent review. Workshops will be held about every 2 weeks on the weekends. The sessions will include a lecture, question and answer session, step wise exercises to buff your manuscript, and buddy exercises so you can meet other writers and form writer/critique alliances. All lectures and handouts will be published to the internet afterwards, so if you miss a lecture you won't miss out on any of the steps.

Let Your Manuscript Cool

Now that you completed this monumental amount of work, what do you do?

Nothing. Well, nothing with this first draft manuscript. Let is sit and cool off for 2-4 weeks. I mean it! Lock it up if you have to. Don't touch your manuscript or look at it for at least 2 weeks (4 weeks is better.) If you do that, I'll show you something magical at our first workshop.

Well maybe doing nothing is a too hard after kicking butt in word count for days on end. You don't have to completely sit on your hands. Brainstorm your NEXT manuscript. Have you seen our Brainstorming tab above? Or just start writing a new manuscript. Pantsers, you know who you are, I'm talking to you. Don't let those good writing habits you just developed go to waste.


1/26/19: Pre-Editing: The Cloud, Story Drivers, Story Structures, First Read Through, Series/Motiff
Attend this lecture from the internet through Google Hangouts. You will need high speed internet, a mic and a camera. The mic and camera on a smartphone work fine. Download the Google Hangout app before the meeting.

Downloads                                Cloud Apps
How to Use Google Slides             Scrivener                   
Presentation                               Google Drive
Presentation Script                    MS One Note
Plot Meets Character                 Amazon Drive
Book Report                              iCloud
Print MS                                    Carbonite
Plot Points                                 Sync.com
Plot Points by Driver                Sugar Sync
Mercer Sequences Wksht         Dropbox
Star Wars Comparison              EverNote
5 Way Plot Structure
(A Work in progress)
Plot Points Comparison
Story Eq Plot Worksht
Story Grid Worksheet

Books for Narrative Arc
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Structuring Your Story by William C. Martell
Blockbuster Plots by Martha Alderson
Writing the Blockbuster by Albert Zuckerman
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
My Screenplay can Beat Up Your Screenplay by Jeffrey Schechter
The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams
 Worksheet for Dan O’Bannon’s Conflict analysis
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (The original)
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
Perfecting Plot by William Bernhardt (Briefer and more to the point.)
From Girl to Goddess by Valerie Estelle Frankel (If you’re working with a female lead character)

Books for Character Arc
The Plot Whisperer by Martha Anderson--This is a great book for beginners.
Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell--I really like this one. I recommend if for everyone.
The Story Equation by Susan May Warren--Really helped me to see Character Arc structure.
The Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson--Easy way tof plot your novel before you write.
The Midpoint by Mary Lynn Mercer--Uses Sequences instead of Acts.

Books for Thematic Arc
Story by Robert McKee--Useful information about Value Progression.
Story Grid by Shawn Coyne
Blueprint Your Bestseller and  Book Architecture by Stuart Horowitz--My Favorite.
Dramatica by Melanie Anne Phillips--This is NOT a beginner’s book.
The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams

Handout comparing some of the structural elements

2/9/19: "Series": Working with Series, Series Grid, Key Scenes, Theme, Story as a Whole, Scrivener

2/16/19: Cutting: Word Count, Timekeeper, Values, Acts, Scenes, Beat Sheet, Synopsis,
Nail Down you Premise
Major Series on Grid
Timekeeper Series
Cut Scenes
Cut Characters
Cut Locations
Grid Scenes in order to make a Beat Sheet

3/2/19: Scenes: Scene vs. Sequel, Scene Eval, Character Driven, Plot Points, First and Last Page.

Scene Rewrite Worksheet for all Scenes
Analyze 3 Published Openings
Analyze the Opening of your Fav 5
Analyze your Opening
Worst Ending Worksheet
Foreshadowing of Fav 5 Endings
Exchange you Opener with a partner
Exchange Teaser and Logline with partner

Color Analysis of 3 Openers: Blue=Dialogue
Pink=Body Reaction
Yellow=Exposition, Thought, Backstory

4/20/19: Point of View and Causality

5/18/19: Tension, Conflict, Emotion, Visceral Response

6/15/19: Dialogue and Setting

TBA: Action and Body Language

TBA: Thought, Exposition, Backstory, Color Analysis

Week 10 TBA: Voice: Rhetorical Devices, Backloading, Simile, Metaphor, Cliche
Week 11 TBA: Final Buffing: Word Searches, Grammar,  Critique Exchange
Week 12 TBA: The Publishing Process, Left Overs, Troubleshooting, Last Chance Critique Exchange

All sessions will be 10 am to 12 pm at the NAU Cline Library, 2nd floor Learning Studio. Parking is free on weekends in the back of the library off of Riordan Rd, behind Dunkin Donuts.
Cline Library and Parking