Skill Sessions

Skill Sessions are presented as part of our regular IFWA meetings. They typically last a half hour including time for questions. It’s a great opportunity for writers to share their skills and knowledge with others who are passionate about the craft. Presenters are responsible for preparing all handouts and content for their sessions.


Jan 2018: Philip Vernon – Pitching manuscripts via Twitter Pitch Parties & Contests
Feb 2018: Ed Wilson – Writing and Volcanoes and Super Volcanoes *UPDATE*
March 2018: Susan Forest – translating Dan Harmon’s story wheel to a scene-by-scene novel plan
April 2018: Ron Friedman — Astronomy and Rocket Science, Not Just for SF Writers
May 2018: Michael Gillett – reading aloud skills – bring a page and get feedback on your presentation skills
June 2018: John Paul Cooper – Writing Process for Screen Writing
July 2018: Susan Forest – Grant Proposals
August 2018: Rex Leniczek – Assertiveness
September 2018: Randy McCharles – Productivity *UPDATE*
October 2018: Ann Cooney – Theme
November 2018: Richard Pearman – Human Genetics
December 2018: Suzy Vadori – Creating Magic Systems


January 2019: Katie Harse – First Person Narration
February 2019: Sandy Fitzpatrick – Business Plans for Writers
March 2019: Liz Grotkowski – Online Critiquing Groups
April 2019: Calvin Jim – Enneagrams and Character Creation



Dec 2014: Gary RenShaw – Survival Skills for Writer’s


Jan 2015: Michael Gillett
Feb 2015: Kevin Weir
Mar 2015 Tommy – Archeology
Apr 2015: Justin Acton – Submitting your Work
May 2015: Shannon Allen – Mind Mapping
June 2015: Craig DiLoue – Writing Horror
July 2015: Jeff Campbell – History of Publishing
August 2015: Les Kuzyk – Strategic Self Publishing
Sep 2015: Swati Chavda – Streams of Consciousness
Oct 2015: Rick Overwater – Comic Book Publishing
Nov 2015: Brent Nichols – Amazon Serials
Dec 2015: Jodi McIsaac – Historical License


Jan 2016: Susan Forest – How to write a good Short Story.
Feb 2016: Sandy Fitzpatrick – Tax Tips for Writers
Mar 2016: Randy McCharles – Aurora Awards & Constructive Criticism (40 min session)
Apr 2016: Michael Gillett – The Importance of Character.
May 2016: Chris Jessop – Why should you have a website or online presence?
Jun 2016: Craig DiLoue – Plot Structure
Jul 2016: Renee Bennett – What is a Genre?
Aug 2016: Jeff Campbell – Short Stories vs. Novels. What should I write?
Sept 2016: Jodi McIsaac – How do you get online reviews?
Oct 2016: Clare Marshall – Website Content
Nov 2016: Chris Wagenstein-Marrs – Character
Dec 2016: Shannon Allen – Critique Sessions, The Round Table, how to contribute.


Jan 2017: Justin Acton – The Publishing Process
Feb 2017: Swati Chavda – Map Making for Science Fiction and Fantasy
Mar 2017: Renee Bennett – Breaking all the Write-in Rules.
Apr 2017: Craig DiLouie – Dialogue
May 2017: Michael Gillett – Editing your work – So you have feedback, now what?
Jun 2017: Lesley Sackett Winfield – Read like a Writer
July 2017: Ron Friedman – Villains and Conflict
Aug 2017: Steve Swanson – Creating your Elevator Pitch
Sept 2017: Michael Gillett – Reading Aloud
Oct 2017: Joshua Pantalleresco – Marketing Yourself
Nov 2017: Lise Brassard – Character Test Arc
Dec 2017: Craig Delouie – Building Character Arcs

Skill Session Participation

If you are an IFWA member and would like to share your knowledge, interests, and ideas with the group, please email Lesley Winfield, Skills Coordinator at


Sharing Knowledge Quote