Skill Sessions

Skill Sessions are a regular part of our monthly IFWA meetings. They typically last 30 minutes, 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 and bringing any presentation materials (handouts, slides, etc.) that they may require for their sessions.

If you wish to make a Presentation, please contact our Skills Guru, Glen Brown at



Jun 2021: Michael GillettReading Aloud Skills
July 2021: Sandy FitzpatrickThree Pipelines for a Successful Author.
Aug 2021: David Worsick – Military History for Fiction
Sept 2021: Michael Gillett – Second Thoughts About Internal Dialogue 
Oct 2021: Ron Friedman – Chaos Theory
Nov 2021: Rick Overwater – Simple Tricks for Tightening Sentences and Better Prose
Dec 2021: Craig DiLouie – Engaging Readers with Theme, Symbolism, and Figurative Language



Feb 2021: John Paul CooperHow Far is Your Reach?
Mar 2021: Susan ForestPolitical-Economic Geography and Map Making
Apr 2021: Swati Chavda – Emotion in writing
May 2021: Ron FriedmanGame Theory to Help Your Writing.


Jan 2020: Ann Cooney – The Proverbial ‘First Page’
Feb 2020: Craig DiLuoie – Writing and Editing by Algorithm 
Mar 2020: Karl Buchner – The “Near-Future” Genre
Apr 2020: Suzy Vadori – How to Pitch Your Novel
Jun 2020: Dale McShannock – Anatomy of Violence
July 2020: Susan Forest – Contract & Copyright
Aug 2020: Kevin Weir – Live Book Reading
Sep 2020: Michael Gillett – Speaking Online
Oct 2020: Michael Gillett – The Importance of Story
Nov 2020: Randy McCharlesProductivity
Dec 2020: Brent NicholsResonance in World Building


Jan 2019: Katie Harse – First Person Narration
Feb 2019: Suzy Vadori – Creating Magic Systems
Mar 2019: Renee Bennett – Rachel Aaron’s ‘How to Write 10K Words a Day’
Apr 2019: Ann Cooney – Theme
May 2019: Michael Gillett – Managing Alpha & Beta Readers
Jun 2019: Calvin Jim – Deep Point of View
Jul 2019: Josh Pantalleresco – Patreon and Crowd Funding
Aug 2019: Leslie Scrimshaw – Marketing Skills Session
Sep 2019: Renee Bennett – Rachel Aaron’s ‘How to Write 10K Words a Day’
Oct 2019: Shannon Allen – IFWA Critique Presentation
Nov 2019: Rex Lenczyk – Sensory Immersion
Dec 2019: Calvin Jim – Scrivener Basics


Jan 2018: Philip Vernon – Pitching Manuscripts Via Twitter Pitch Parties & Contests
Feb 2018: Ed Wilson – Writing and Volcanoes and Super Volcanoes
Mar 2018: Susan Forest – Translating Dan Harmon’s Story Wheel to a Scene-by-Scene Novel Plan
Apr 2018: Ron Friedman – Astronomy and Rocket Science, Not Just for SF Writers
May 2018: Michael Gillett – Reading Aloud (Exercise)
Jun 2018: John Paul Cooper – Writing Process for Screen Writing
Jul 2018: Susan Forest – Grant Proposals
Aug 2018: Rex Lenczyk – Assertiveness for Fiction Writers
Sep 2018: Randy McCharles – Productivity
Oct 2018: Michael Gillett – Reading Aloud (Exercise)
Nov 2018: Richard Pearman – Human Genetics
Dec 2018: Sandy Fitzpatrick – Business Plans for Writers


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
Jul 2017: Ron Friedman – Villains and Conflict
Aug 2017: Steve Swanson – Creating Your Elevator Pitch

Sep 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


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?
Sep 2016: Jodi McIsaac – How to Get Online Reviews?
Oct 2016: Clare Marshall – Website Content
Nov 2016: Chris Wagenstein-Marrs – Character
Dec 2016: Shannon Allen – Critique Sessions, The Round Table, and How to Contribute


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
Jun 2015: Craig DiLoue – Writing Horror
Jul 2015: Jeff Campbell – History of Publishing
Aug 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

Skill Session Participation

If you are an IFWA member and would like to share your writing-related knowledge, interests, and ideas with the group, please contact either our Skills Guru, Glen Brown at or our President, Michael Gillett at