The International Women's Writing Guild


October 2015


   In this Issue

Mark your calendars ... Save the Dates for 2016!

New Board of Directors & Advisory Circle members announced

Want to join or start a local writing circle? Here's how we can help!

Member Jan Lisa Huttner breaks down what it means to be an "authorpreneur"

Latest Page News


Save the Dates for 2016

Mark these dates down on your calendar, and stay tuned for more details! 

February 27-28, 2016

California Dreaming

Antioch University, Los Angeles, CA

April 16-17, 2016

Spring Big Apple

Scandinavia House, New York, NY

July 15-22, 2016

39th Annual Summer Conference

Location to be announced in the coming weeks 

Have news to share? 

Book publications to announce?

Tell us at iwwgmembernews@gmail.comMust be a current member to submit. Deadline for Winter Network is December 20th.

Format for submitting book publications for "Hot off the Presses" section of Network:

    • Author name
    • Title
    • Genre
    • Short blurb (50 words or less)
    • Publisher and pub date (must be within last year)
    • Link to cover art
    • Author website                      

New Board & Advisory Circle Members Announced

We are thrilled to welcome these women to our Board and Circle!

New members to Board of Directors

KELLY DUMAR is a poet and playwright whose chapbook “All These Cures,” won the 2014 Lit House Press poetry contest. Her poems are published in dozens of literary journals, and her award winning monologues and plays have been produced around the US and Canada, and are published by dramatic publishers. Kelly founded and produces the Our Voices Festival of Boston Women Playwrights & Poets held at Wellesley College, now in its 9th year. Kelly’s certification in Psychodrama and passion for Playback Theatre inspire her creative writing workshops with transformative energy. Her Writing Truth & Beauty Essay & Writing Prompt are sent weekly to subscribers at

DOROTHY RANDALL GRAY is a popular speaker, writing coach and bestselling author of the acclaimed Soul Between The Lines: Freeing Your Creative Spirit Through Writing (Avon/HarperCollins). Her publications include Muse Blues, Woman, Fierce With Reality, Family, The Passion Collection, A Taste of Tamarinda, and her latest book of poetry, Sharing The Same Sky. She has been a contributor to Personal Journaling, Heart&Soul, the NY Times, Drum Voices, SisterFire, HealthQuest, Conditions and many other publications. A former Poet-in-Residence at Hunter College, NYU faculty member, NiaOnline columnist, and commentator for National Public Radio, Dorothy is founder of the Heartland Institute for Transformation. In her activist commitment to global healing she has served as a UNESCO delegate, conducted educational supply campaigns for schools and villages in Africa, and shared the dais with the Dalai Lama. 

KATHLEEN A. O'SHEA, a former nun and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, is an independent social worker who does research on women prisoners. For the past 15 years her emphasis has been on women on death row. Her current focus is women aging in prison. She is on the Board of the National Prisons Foundation in Washington, D.C. and describes herself as a teacher, writer, activist, and lecturer. Ms. Magazine has called her the leading authority on the subject of women on death row. O'Shea publishedFemale Offenders: An Annotated Bibliography in 1997, Women and the Death Penalty in the United States: 1900-1998, in 1999, and Women on the Row: Revelations From Both Sides of the Bars, in 2000. Her work with Women on Death Row was profiled in a documentary on Women's Television Network in February 2007 and again in the form of a play presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in Fall 2009. Her recently finished manuscript, Faithful Companions: Nuns and Death Row Inmates is a collection of stories of 30 nuns who befriended death row inmates. She is actively involved translating (from Spanish to English) the stories of women who were tortured, murdered or disappeared in Chile during the Pinochet regime and is working on a novel,Adios Compaňera: A Chilean Memoir, loosely based on her years in Chile (1965-1973). 

Click here for a full listing of the IWWG Board of Directors

New members to Advisory Circle

Marj Hahne - Instructor, Member since 1999

Pam Varkony - Member since 2011

Join or start a local writing circle

Looking for a local IWWG writing circle to join? Are you an IWWG member and interested in facilitating a writing circle in your area?   

We will now be including submissions in Network for those looking to join and those looking to facilitate writing groups (a.k.a. Kitchen Tables). You must be a member to facilitate.  

Please send your requests to (subject: Kitchen Table) with: 

  • whether you want to join or facilitate
  • preferred contact information 
  • location (city, state, country if other than US, and zip) 
  • any other specifics (e.g., genre) 15

Author Wisdom: Avoiding the Trap of "Authorpreneurship"

by Jan Lisa Huttner

At the Spring Big Apple, Jan Lisa Huttner participated in the Author’s Panel. The questions posed by panel moderator Judy Huge led to reflections and a blog by Jan on the price—in time, money, and distraction—that can strip self-publishing authors of their precious writing time.

From roughly 1983 to 2002, I worked as a Healthcare Computer Consultant. So basically this was from the dawn of hospital information systems (when people first started getting computer-generated bills) up until the dot-com/dot bomb era.

At the tail end of my Healthcare Computer Consulting career in 2001--when everyone was wondering what would come after the big Y2K push--the buzz around me was this: “Bandwidth is really cheap, so all the money will be going to go into content.”

I believed this; why wouldn't I? And that assumption--call it "Conventional Wisdom"--definitely influenced me when I decided to give up my road-warrior life and make the switch to freelance writing.

It made sense to me. I was living in metropolitan Chicago back then, and every time I turned around, I saw a new Borders bookstore popping up. All these new Borders! All these new Barnes & Nobles! And they all had "content" in them: They were filled with books, magazines, and DVDs with "extras." I didn't question it. I just thought: “Well, someone must get paid something for creating all this content..." Right? Of course right!

So even though I knew for sure that I wouldn't get paid as much as a writer as I had made as a Healthcare Computer Consultant, I still thought: “There must be an income path here.”

So how do I answer Question #1: What surprised you?

What surprised me--what continues to surprise me--is how fast the publishing world has changed in the past decade. The market is forcing people en masse from staff positions into freelance roles. As a result, all these people are now pitching their own areas of expertise.

Here are some of the services I have purchased as a self-publishing author in the past few years: cover design, photo clearance, writing coach, text editor, text uploader, press kit preparation, press kit pitching (after learning the hard way that press kit preparation and press kit pitching are different areas of expertise), logo design, the development of graphic and collateral materials, etc., etc.

People are pitching their own areas of expertise, meaning they are looking for new ways to use the same skills that they used to provide to publishing companies, newspapers and/or magazines before they were "downsized." But now all these services have been farmed out, and they are offered "freelance."

The problem is that nobody overlaps. You—the writer—must be the "command and control" center for all these different areas of expertise... And nobody really has a clue what is going to happen tomorrow.                 

Question #2: What do you wish you had known starting out?

I wish I had known that I was not becoming a writer; I wish I had known that I was becoming an “authorpreneur.”

What is an authorpreneur? "An author who creates a written product, participates in creating their own brand and actively promotes that brand through a variety of outlets." 

Question #3: What advice would you give?                        

My advice is to stay skeptical when people pitch their "solutions," and continue to follow your own star. Nobody--nobody!--really has a clue what is going to happen tomorrow, so don't let anyone convince you otherwise on your own dime.

But most important, do not let all your time be sucked up in authorpreneurship. If you want to be a writer, then you must make sure you keep making time to write!

Jan Lisa Huttner is an award-winning Chicago film critic. Managing editor of Films for Two: The Online Guide for Busy Couples (, Jan writes regular monthly columns for Chicago’s JUF News and the WomenArts website, and freelances for additional print and internet editors.

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