Am I prepared?

Preparing for the Writing Conference

By Eileen Lettick


It’s the weekend of March 23rd – 24th and time for the annual Pamlico Writers’ Conference. You saved for it and looked forward to it all year, so you grab your favorite polka-dotted notebook and lucky red feather pen and set off for a day that is sure to jumpstart your writing —a day full of literary epiphanies and hobnobbing with high-powered agents and publishers who recognize that you are the obvious choice for the next Nobel Prize in Literature. Sounds like a dream? It probably is. As any veteran conference attendee knows, there is great value in preliminary planning and realistic expectations. When I attend a writers’ conference I want to get my money’s worth, so I take the following steps.

First, I study the presenters. What are their credentials? How many publications or successes do they have? What can I learn from them? Will a variety of genres be represented? Which ones will offer me something unique? I want to choose workshops that will nudge me out of my comfort zone.

Second, I look at the format of the workshops. Are there panels to promote discussions? Are there lectures that will spew out a lot of information that I can take home with me? Do the workshops offer interactive pen to paper offerings to get my creative juices flowing—something to ensure I use my writing skills? Since I’m a writer who likes to strut her stuff, I tend to gravitate toward the interactive ones.

Finally, I ponder whether or not there will be opportunities for networking. What is the ratio of writers to publishers and agents? What are my chances of pitching a publisher or having lunch with an agent who may be interested in looking at my work? It’s important that I have opportunities to put myself out there if I choose to.

Taking the time to prepare for the conference is the best way to ensure I will get the proper value for my investment.


Thank you Eileen, you’re right, having a clear idea and plan ahead of time helps us get the most out of the conference.

And for those of you who haven’t already registered for this year’s Pamlico Writer’s Conference, “Transforming Your Writing for Other Successful Markets,” I’d like to remind you to register now before you miss it. This years workshop presenters plan to bring those who attend their sessions a wealth of information. Don’t miss out, sign up now.

Our conference starts:

Friday, March 23rd at 6pm. 

Our Keynote Speaker this year is 
North Carolina's 2015-2017 Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson.


Saturday, March 24th at 8:30am begins registration and check-in.

After registration and check-in there will be a panel discussion on "Shape Shifting Your Writing." After that we'll break out into a variety of interesting workshops with some pretty amazing presenters lasting until 5pm. 
Our aim each year is to reach more and more writers from all genre's and levels of experience, novice to published authors.
For more information about our 2018 Writer's Conference or to register please go to our website:
our Facebook page: our Twitter page:

For more information about Pamlico Writer’s, our critique group, upcoming programs or workshops click on the above links.

We look forward to seeing and being able to network with each of you at this years writer’s conference.

See you there,

K Wilson



Writer’s workshop with Marni Graff and Access to Cpl. Sean Burk

Mini Writers Police Academy Workshop

Hosted by
Pamlico Writers Group

November 12, 2016, 10am to  2:45pm

George H. & Laura E Brown Library

122 Van Norden St, Washington, NC (library access is off 2nd Street)

Cost: $15.00 members/ $20.00 non-members

This will be a hands-on writing workshop featuring local award-winning mystery writer Marni Graff.

Even if you don’t write mystery or crime fiction, chances are most genres will at one time or another contain some kind of law enforcement issue.  (Let’s say your romance character is involved in a traffic stop, or maybe your young adult character gets arrested for something they didn’t do, you want to get the details right.)

Marni Graff

Grew up in Floral Park, Long Island, New York and lived there for most of her life before moving with her husband and youngest son to North Carolina. They settled on Montgomery Point on the Pungo River in rural Hyde County, where Marni enjoys writing on her screened porch overlooking the river while watching her dog frolick in the water.

Marni author of two mystery series, will give writers the benefit of her knowledge from attending Lee Lofland’s famed Writers Police Academy. She will cover topics such as separating the myths from the realities in several areas of criminal justice, and will explain search and seizure rules.

Corporal Sean Burk of Plymouth’s Police Department will be on hand to discuss topics ranging from weapons to traffic stops; from crime scenes to types of handcuffs; from APB’s to BOLO’s. There will be several hands on opportunities for writers in terms of fingerprinting, handcuffs, and other areas.

**He has asked writers who plan to attend to list any specific areas or equipment they might like to see first hand on the sign-up form. So he can make sure to address those areas.**

Both Marni and Sean will be on hand to answer writers questions.

Time’s running out, click on the website link below to sign up today before you miss it!

Following this workshop attendees should come away with a greater sense of the realities of law enforcement and bring that sense to their scenes that contain any aspect we’ve discussed.

**Participants should bring a notebook along with any questions they have going into the day.

The Nora Tierney Mysteries – set in the UK

The Blue Virgin: A Nora Tierney Mystery (Oxford)

First place winner: Mystery and Mayhem award for British cozy, Chanticleer Book Media

Despite a planned move, the mysterious death of photographer Bryn Wallace keeps American writer Nora Tierney glued to Oxford in order to clear her close friend, artist Val Rogan, who has been wrongfully accused of Bryn’s murder. Or has she?

The Green Remains: Book 2 (Lake District)

Shortlisted for Mystery and Mayhem Awards

American writer Nora Tierney is living at Ramsey Lodge in England’s glorious Lake District, anticipating two life-changing events: the publication of her first children’s book and the birth of her first child. When Simon is implicated in the death, Nora dives headfirst into the murder investigation to discover the real killer.

The Scarlet Wench: Book 3 (Lake District)

Shortlisted, Best Mystery, Chanticleer Book Media

In the third Nora Tierney Mystery set in England, American writer Nora awaits the arrival of a traveling theatre troupe who will stage Noel Coward’s play “Blithe Spirit” at Ramsey Lodge in the Lake District. When a series of pranks and accidents escalate to murder during a flood that traps everyone, Nora realizes her child is in jeopardy and determines to help Detective Inspector Declan unmask a killer.


Death Unscripted: A Trudy Genova

Manhattan Mystery

Trudy Genova has the best job any nurse could want, working on set as a medical consultant for a movie studio. No more uniforms, bedpans or emergencies, until the actor whose overtures she’s refused dies suddenly while taping a hospital scene–but not before pointing his finger accusingly at Trudy. When detectives view Trudy as a suspect, she sets out on an investigation to clear her name. Then a second death occurs, and Trudy realizes she’s put herself in jeopardy. Marni is also a Managing Editor at Bridle Path Press and as Antie M., writes a weekly blog with book reviews ( ).

Mini-Workshop “The Dreaded Query Letter” & “Searching for an Agent in a World” 9-27-16 at the Turnage Theatre

Sherri Hollister 3

Pamlico Writers Group’s Tuesday, September 27th critique session at 7:00pm at The Turnage Theatre will begin with an hour mini-workshop presented by our Chair, Sherri Hollister. Her topic will be The Dreaded Query Letter & Searching for an Agent in a World. 

We understand that for the most part writers are a solitary bunch. We work/create alone with pencil or pen or sit in front of a computer. Most of us talk to the characters in our heads and write down the stories.

But personally, I’ve find value in being a part of a writers critique group. Each of our members has helped me grow and become a better writer. Our group is an eclectic mix of genres (fiction (romance, women’s fiction, suspense, mystery), non-fiction and poetry) (We have published authors as well as those still working toward it) but it works for us.

If you’re a writer here or in any of the surrounding areas and looking for a group that can help you grow as a writer, we could be what you’re looking for. Ours is an eclectic mix of published and unpublished authors. We write in a variety of genres (fiction (romantic/suspense, romance, women’s fiction, suspense, mystery) non-fiction and poetry) allowing members to hear and critique our works.


We look forward to meeting you at our next critique session.

Pamlico Writers Group meets each month on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, at 7:00pm in The Turnage Theatre.

See you soon,

Kay Wilson

Speakers Luncheon Great Success!


Today’s PWG Speakers Luncheon


Diane Taylor

Taylor Made Publishing, Inc.

TMP profile(1)




Taylor Made Publishing logo-1


With 16 in attendance Mrs. Taylor’s wealth of knowledge on writing and publishing was impressive. Her presentation included the many facets involved in getting a book ready and published. She also shared things authors should be aware of and look for during this process. The personal stories she shared were very inspiring and helpful. She freely shared with all in attendance the wealth of information and knowledge she’s acquired over the years. From beginning to end, her presentation held each of us rapt in attention. When her program ended she opened the floor for questions and was met with many thought provoking discussions. For more information on Taylor Made Publishing, Inc. go to:

Today’s audience of 16 total was made up of Pamlico Writers Group members, guests, as well as new comers to our luncheons.

I have a couple thank you’s.

First – PWG would like to thank you Diane Taylor for carving out time from your day to come and share your expertise with each of us. We appreciated all of it.

Second – PWG would like to thank each of you who helped, attended and participated in todays event.

If you’d like information about Pamlico Writers Group check out our website at:

Kay Wilson

August 16th, Diane Taylor – Taylor Made Publishing to speak at Speakers Luncheon

On February 3, 2016 The Daily Reflector ran an interesting article on Diane Taylor and Taylor Made Publishing located in Greenville, NC, entitled “A Story of Success, Pursuing Dreams.” The article covered the company’s inception as well as a few stories about some of their first clients. Pamlico Writers Group contacted Ms.Taylor and are pleased to announce that she will be our August 16th Luncheon Speaker. A few of the topics she’ll be covering are: What are publishers looking for? What should authors look for and be aware of before submitting their work? How does the overall publishing process work?

TMP profile(1)

Diane Taylor, Publisher/CEO

Taylor Made Publishing


Diane N. Taylor is a wife, a mother and an entrepreneur. Originally from upstate New York, Mrs. Taylor has over seven years’ experience in broadcast journalism in television, radio and newspaper mediums. Mrs. Taylor was also a Communications Instructor at Pitt Community College for two years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast/Journalism from Morgan State University and a Master’s in Technical and Professional Communications from East Carolina University.
Mrs. Taylor moved to North Carolina to pursue a career in Public Relations and Public Health in 2002 and met her husband Garrett. After years as a certified Substance Abuse Prevention Professional Mrs. Taylor authored A Game of Faith – The Story of Negro League Baseball Player Carl Long. Self-publishing her book was the beginning of her latest business venture as the Founder and CEO of Taylor Made Publishing. Taylor Made Publishing is a full service book publishing company that specializes in helping steer authors from manuscript to print. TMP offers everything from cover design, to copyright to ISBNs. Their job is to help everyday people tell extraordinary stories. In addition to Taylor Made Publishing she is also a blogger. Mrs. Taylor currently resides in Greenville, NC with her husband Garrett and their two children, Morgan and Garrett M. Her Chocolate Mother blog can be found at  For more information about her publishing company visit

Taylor Made Publishing logo-1As a multifaceted publishing house offering various services to authors, Diane will share with us what’s involved (from start to finish) in finding a publisher and getting your book published. She’ll also be sharing what publishers are looking for in the artists/writers/authors they choose to contract with. And in this day of vanity presses she’ll also be giving us her frank assessment of what authors should look for before submitting their work.

August 16th Luncheon Speaker

Diane Taylor, CEO, Taylor Made Publishing

The China Bay Buffet, 2871 US Hgwy 17S, Chocowinity, NC 27817

11:45am to 1:00pm

Mark your calendars and join us for this event.

 Our free Luncheon Meetings are open to the public.

Attendees should go through the normal buffet line and assemble in the private meeting room. Please be sure and leave a tip for your server so that we may reduce our facility costs.

Our public Luncheon Meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month except the following months: January, March, July, November and December.


Pamlico Writers Group is affiliated with Arts of the Pamlico and meets as small critique groups on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. at the Turnage Theater. Novice through published authors are encouraged and invited to join our meetings.
Pamlico Writers Group and Arts of the Pamlico co-sponsor the annual Pamlico Writers Conference and Competition. 2017’s Conference information is not available at this time.  Look for this and other events on our web site at where you may also join our group.

Pamlico Writers Group – Fourth Tuesday Format Change


Pamlico Writers Group is trying a new format the fourth Tuesday of selected months. We’ll be offering mini-workshops with speakers giving instruction on topics of interest to writers.  Each workshop will consume approximately an hour and leave time for normal business and allow a few critiques.

This Tuesday, July 26,m 2016 will be our first mini-workshop with Doris Schneider.

Her topic will be “Book Reviews”: writing them for others, getting others to write them for you, how to use them, their significance in marketing your book, and reviews through professional companies or not. Come out and join us.

  • When:             Tuesday, 26 July 2016

  • Time:               7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

  • Location:        The Turnage Theater, 150 W. Main St., Washington, NC 27889

Doris SchneiderDoris was the original spark for our annual conference and has chaired the Conference Steering Committee for the past five years.

She was born in Rosenburg, Texas, but moved all over the United States and Canada as a child. She moved to North Carolina in 1971 where she has spent most of her adult life.

She taught Theatre Arts at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. She has written numerous articles for professional journals, a theater textbook (The Art and Craft of Stage Management), and two novels (Borrowed Things and By Way of Water). She is currently working on another novel, The Little Drummer Girl, and a collection of short stories.

Doris is one of five artist/owners of the Lemonade Art Gallery in Washington where she displays her masks and jewelry.

Our Critique Groups meet year-round, the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7pm, at the Turnage Theater in downtown Washington, NC. Our meetings begin with a brief session of the General Critique Group, from there we separate into various genre sessions as attendance permits.

To become a member of Pamlico Writers Group, participate in our critique groups and share  your manuscripts (click here).

The Pamlico Writer’s Group and the Arts Of The Pamlico team up for a bigger and brighter future.

 Debra Torrence, Director, Arts of the Pamlico

 Arts of the Pamlico

Debra Torrence joined the Arts of the Pamlico in June 2016 as the incoming director. She took the reins in July bringing her passion for community work seeded in her youth growing up in a small, rural farming town.  She left her hometown to earn three undergraduate and graduate degrees in marketing, business administration and education. She has first hand knowledge of the requirements, the ropes and the realities of being self-employed as a small business owner and watercolor artist over the years. For the past 30 years her career path has led her from New York to North Carolina and other countries. At every junction she has strived to connect and ground her work in the passions of the people who will benefit from her efforts. For the past 10 years she has successfully supported the missions, Boards, members, fund development, volunteers and strategies of two non-profit organizations focused on based in North Carolina.  Previously, she operated her own education consulting business after nine years of securing funding for and managing UNC-Chapel Hill college access and teacher quality research projects and associated budgets and staff.  In her work in North Carolina state government and with county-based non-profit organizations, she successfully managed both small and large budgets, guiding the efforts of numerous non-profit organizations and partners around collective goals and common causes.

          We had the pleasure of meeting Debra and discussing the future of the Pamlico Writers group and the Arts of The Pamlico. She expressed a love for the arts and artisans alike and how both groups working together could benefit socially and financially. Plans are underway for media blitz, joint events and much more. The Pamlico Writers Group is honored to have Debra Torrence aboard as the new director of the Arts of The Pamlico. We look forward to working together in promoting a greater Washington and Tri-state council for the arts.

by Louis Edwards

Check out their website ( ) to see a list of their programs as well as a calendar of upcoming events. And if you’re in town why not drop by,  (150 W. Main Streeet, Washington, NC 27889) to see their fine arts exhibit in the gallery and say high. See you soon.

Kay Wilson