Upcoming Meetings & Important Dates
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2023 Upcoming Meetings &    Events

May 20

Council Chambers

Writing a Series

Denise Grover-Swank is a NYT and USA Today Best Selling author. She writes romance, urban fantasy, mystery, paranormal and women’s fiction under various pen names.


Denise Grover-Swank


June 24

Multi-Purpose Room

This video program will be presented by Carly Watters, a SVP and Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary and the sitting VP of PACLA, the Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents.


Carly Watters

Literary Agent

July 22

Council Chambers

The presentation will include deciphering submission guidelines, how to keep track of query submissions, and what to include in queries. She will share examples of a query letter and two preferred styles of detailed synopsis. Please be sure to bring your questions and have your elevator pitch and author bio handy to follow along with as Morena shares how to create an awesome query.

Morena will be taking pitches (members only) after the meeting for those who register with Darlene Deluca in advance. See the loop emails for details or email Darlena at


Morena Stamm, Editor

The Wild Rose Press

August 26

Multi Purpose Room


Personalized Tools for Your Writer’s Toolbox: Words to Watch and Beloved Materials Lists
Author Amber A. Logan will guide attendees in generating two lists that will be useful in the writing process—a “Words to Watch” and “Beloved Materials” list. Participants will build their own “Words to Watch” list of commonly over-used words (actually, some, very, etc.) to be aware of as they are drafting or editing. Logan will also lead participants through exercises to create their own list of “Beloved Materials” (such as places, foods, and abstract concepts we love to write or read about), to utilize while brainstorming story ideas or getting past roadblocks in a current work-in-progress.



Amber A. Logan is a university professor, freelance editor, and author of speculative fiction living in Kansas with her husband and two children—Fox and Willow. In addition to her degrees in Psychology, Liberal Arts, and International Relations, Amber holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

When she’s not writing, Amber enjoys trips to Japan, exploring unusual vegetarian foods, and reading Haruki Murakami.

Amber’s debut novel, THE SECRET GARDEN OF YANAGI INN, was published by CamCat Books in Nov. 2022.


September 23

Council Chambers

Burnout, Overwhelm, and Sustainability for Long Term Success

The gold rush is over. And that’s good news and bad news. Bad news because a lot of us are still operating in gold rush mentality. But good news because the industry is going to last for a long time, and it’s still open to new success. It’s just not open in the way it was. This workshop is designed to help you set yourself up for long-term career success.


Becca Syme
October 28

Multi Purpose Room

Writing Great Character Arcs 

Being an editor and working at a network taught me how crucial character arcs are. I saw so many ideas die in pitch meetings because someone said, “I don’t understand his arc,” and when I reviewed submissions, this was often a deciding factor. I’ll talk about how to develop great character arcs and how to use them in your product description or your synopsis.


Bryn Donovan
No Monthly Meeting



December 9

Council Chambers

Members Only Holiday Party



Important Contest Dates

April 1
The Carla Contest 2023 Opens

The Carla Crown Jewel of Books Contest is for any traditionally or self-published author with an original copyright date of 2022


The Carla Contest
July 1
The Carla Crown Closes for Entries

Registration and contest fee must be submitted by 11:59pm CT


The Carla Contest
Books Due

3 copies of each entry must be mailed to Carla Bracale and received by July 15

The Carla Contest
October 31
Finalists Announced

Finalists will be notified by the last week of October and will be announced on the MARA Website and social media sites

The Carla Contest
November 15
Winner Announced

Winner of the Carla Contest will be announced on or about November 15

The Carla Contest
Learn More About MARA
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