Join COFW March 16 for Real-Time Brainstorming, where you work on your novel in small-group sessions

DATE & TIME   |  UPDATED Time, second time we are trying this:

  • 12:00 pm, Networking
  • 12:15 pm, Introductions & Incentives
  • around 12:30-12:45 pm, Business meeting (we are not sure how long Intro & Incentives will take)
  • 1:30 pm, Let your novel brainstorming begin!

LOCATION   |   Zoom and Community Room at the Burkhardt Library, 4704 Burkhardt Ave., Dayton, OH 45403.

TOPIC   |   Real-Time Brainstorming
.

Real-Time Brainstorming Your Novel

This session

Come with your book ideas, and get ready to brainstorm in small-group sessions. Each person has a turn to share where they could use group help brainstorming anything. Are you stuck figuring out a beat in your romance arc? Trying to figure out your characters’ wound? Wondering what moment will drive our two lovers apart, and what will bring them together? Maybe trying to figure out something about their backstory, or situations to throw them into? Which tropes to use? Or maybe it’s the premise itself you’d like help on. What you talk about in your small group is up to you!

What’s said and done in brainstorming stays in brainstorming. This is a safe space to work yourself out of whatever plot hole has stalled you. Members have used these sessions to make great progress on their novels, some of which are currently published!

If you have ever joined us on one of the “Plotting Groups,” monthly sessions, this is the same concept. For those unfamiliar, read on.

To prepare your group to assist you:
  • Be prepared to give us background on your premise and the place you’re blocked.
  • Be prepared for us to ask additional questions to gain the context we might need to help you.
Bring what you need:
  • Whatever you use, bring it with you:
    • Pen and paper?
    • Laptop?
    • Posterboard for mind-mapping?
    • Post-it Notes?
    • Notecards?
  • An enquiring mind! Take the ideas in the spirit they are meant, to help unblock you.
Get to work!

Assuming we can break into groups of 4, each member will have approximately 15 minutes to work on the issue or issues they’d like to brainstorm.

Members who are on Zoom, you will be plotting in your own “room” that we will set up. If we have enough members, we will have more than one room. In person, we will break into small groups.

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

Brainstorming session is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this real-time brainstorming via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com.

DATE  | February 17th, 2025

UPDATED Time, first time we are trying this:
  • 12:00 pm, Networking
  • 12:15 pm, Introductions & Incentives
  • around 12:30-12:45 pm, Business meeting (we are not sure how long Intro & Incentives will take)
  • 1:30 pm, Speaker

LOCATION   |    Zoom and Hilliard Room of Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4500 Hickory Chase Way, Hilliard, OH 43026. See below for further instructions. Speaker will be via zoom.
TOPIC   | Libby Waterford: Self Publishing Basics

Self Publishing Basics

If you are considering self-publishing your book, join us!

Your self-publishing journey is as unique as your writing journey, and this workshop will help you understand what you need to consider as you start down the self-publishing path. We will cover:

  • Working with editors to get your book publication-ready
  • Packaging your book
  • Distributing the finished product
  • Marketing
  • Advertising

This comprehensive overview includes helpful resources so you can explore each area on your own after the workshop. You’ll get a clear picture of what self-publishing involves (including what it costs!) and can ask questions from a self-published author of twenty novels, novellas, collections, and anthologies.

 

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

This program is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the members-only Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com. Please note, the link spans from the moment we open the room to the social half hour through the business meeting and this program.

Per library policy, “Prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in meeting rooms.”

 

About Our Speaker

Libby Waterford is a white woman. Her brown hair is tied back behind her head, and she is wearing glasses and a lacy blue top.

Libby Waterford is the author of the Sawyer’s Cove: The Reboot and the Never a Bride series. She’s obsessed with her pollinator garden, DIY fermentation, and writing swoony first kisses and hopeful happily ever afters. Her steamy contemporary romances mix witty banter and all the feels with a solid dollop of good old-fashioned sexual tension. Libby wrangles her two ever-growing sons and a husband in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

The former President of the Connecticut Chapter of Romance Writers of America®, Libby is also an instructor at the Westport Writers’ Workshop where she teaches classes on romance and genre fiction. She has participated in National Novel Writing Month every year since 2008 and is an eight-time “winner.”
Learn more about Libby at her website.

Announcement for January 13, 2024 program by Jules Bennett. Jules is in a pink dress and high heels. She has moderate-length dark hair

DATE & TIME   |   January 13th, 2024 – Social at 12:00 PM, Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes.
LOCATION   |   Meeting will be Hybrid via Zoom and Community Room at the Burkhardt Library, 4704 Burkhardt Ave., Dayton, OH 45403. This is a newer location for us, in the Dayton Metro Library System. See below for further instructions.
TOPIC   | Jules Bennett & Breathing Life Into Your Work. Presenting in person, so long as weather permits travel, otherwise, via Zoom.

Breathing Life Into Your Work

Make your characters and even your settings come to life with realistic descriptions. Fun concepts to make your manuscript stand out!

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

Presentation is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com.

 

About Our SpeakerJules Bennett is a white woman with brunette hair well past her shoulders, wearing a green blouse.

USA Today Bestselling Author Jules Bennett has penned more than 100 contemporary romance novels since the start of her career. She knows a thing or two about love considering she met her husband when she was 14, dated him all through high school, and they have been married nearly 25 years. They have 2 teen girls and live in the Midwest with their rescue pup, Maggie. Jules loves to travel and spend time with her family. In her spare time, she’s a true crime junkie.

Contact Jules: julesbennett.com

 


DATE & TIME   | October 14th, 2023 – Social at 12:00 PM, Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes.
LOCATION   |    Zoom and Hilliard Room of Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4500 Hickory Chase Way, Hilliard, OH 43026. See below for further instructions. Speaker will be in person.
TOPIC   | Lisa Thompson: High Crimes and Misdemeanors, with a Dash of Divorce. Presenting in person.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors, with a Dash of Divorce

If you want a legal professional in your book, join us!

During this session, Magistrate Lisa Thompson will teach us about :

  • Overview of the criminal justice system, specifically how a crime ends up being charged and the process in Ohio.
  • The process one would go through for a divorce.
  • What it takes to be a lawyer, and
  • The different types of things someone with a law degree can do.

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

This program is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the members-only Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com. Please note, the link spans from the moment we open the room to the social half hour through the business meeting and this program.

Per library policy, “Prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in meeting rooms.”

 

About Our Speaker

Lisa Thompson is a black woman with short, tightly curled golden-brown hair.

Lisa Thompson passed the Ohio Bar in 1997.  She spent twenty-three years practicing primarily in the areas of criminal and juvenile law.  She has worked as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, and spent time as counsel to the Democratic Caucus of the Ohio House of Representatives.  In 2020, she became a Franklin County Juvenile Court Magistrate.  In her role as magistrate she conducts hearings on juvenile delinquency matters, and hears cases in which Franklin County Children’s Services has to remove children from the home.

 

Mrs. Thompson in not yet published, but is working on many projects.  She hopes to publish book one of a romantic trilogy soon under the pen name Elise Brasfield.  She enjoys international travel, spending time with her family, and creating imaginative back stories on everyone she meets.  She and her husband, Alfred, are empty nesters and reside in Berwick.

Katherine Smits is a white woman with blond hair below her shoulders. This image is for the Veterans in Fiction program she leads on 9/16/23

DATE & TIME   |   September 16th, 2023 – Social at 12:00 PM, Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes
LOCATION   |   Meeting will be Hybrid via Zoom and Community Room at the Burkhardt Library, 4704 Burkhardt Ave., Dayton, OH 45403. See below for further instructions. This is a new location for us, in the Dayton Metro Library System.
TOPIC   | Katherine Smits & Veterans in Fiction. Presenting via Zoom.

Veterans in Fiction

Including veteran characters in your fiction will add depth, emotion, and realism to your work.

Discover how to incorporate veterans in your books to address challenges faced by these heroes and their families and relate these issues to larger societal themes.

Katherine Smits, MSW is an award-winning author of five romance books. For 20 years, she worked as an independent clinical social worker with veterans and their families in VA Medical Centers in Ohio, Florida, and West Virginia before retiring to write paranormal romance novels which address real life problems of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, fears, and phobias. Her stories of fantasy and romance include mages, mermaids, and magical creatures. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her books.

Learn how including veterans in your novels can enhance your:

  • Concept
  • Characters
  • Theme
  • Plot
  • And More

Don’t miss this brand-new workshop with innovative ways to freshen up your fiction by including veterans!

 

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

Presentation is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com.

 

About Our Speaker

Katherine Smits is a white woman with long, blonde hair

Katherine Eddinger Smits holds a master’s degree in social work and is a retired Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). In her 20 year career, she worked at four VA medical centers in Ohio, Florida, and West Virginia and assisted veterans and their families in almost every program in the VA including primary care, medical/surgical inpatient, nursing home, psychiatry, substance abuse, outpatient mental health, Spinal Cord Injury, Visual Impairment, and OEF/OIF (Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom). She has worked with veterans in individual, group, marital, and family therapy and has done home visits, managed programs for veterans, and has supervised and trained MSW students.

 

Since retiring from social work, Katherine has focused on her love of writing. She has published five paranormal romance and romantic suspense novels. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America and currently serves as the Chair of the RWA Unpublished Member Benefits Committee and Program Manager for the RWA Pen to Paper program. 

Contact Katherine: http://katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com/

 


Graphic for program, showing Louise Pachella as a white woman with long brown curly hair. The program is Aug. 19th, 2023, at approx. 1:30 PM EST.

DATE & TIME   |  August 19th, 2023 – Social at 12:00 PM, Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes.
LOCATION   |    Zoom and Gahanna Public Library Meeting Room 3, 310 Granville St., Gahanna, OH 43230. See below for further instructions.
TOPIC   | Louise Pachella: Do Dead Bodies Sit Up? Accurately Portraying Death and Funerals. Presenting via zoom.

Do Dead Bodies Sit Up?

Accurately Portraying Death and Funerals

Louise Pachella will provide fundamental knowledge about dead bodies and mortuary procedures to help authors portray death accurately in their work. Attendees will learn about death processes and funeral preparation, including:

  • autopsies
  • embalming
  • methods of getting rid of a body
  • ways to create problems for characters.

After taking this class, attendees will know:

  • proper postmortem terminology
  • stages of decomposition
  • how to avoid myths and misinformation.

Note: the conversation may be graphic to some, but there are no gruesome images on the slides.

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

This program is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the members-only Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com. Please note, the link spans from the moment we open the room to the social half hour through the business meeting and this program.

Per library policy, “Prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in meeting rooms.”

 

About Our Speaker

Louise Pachella is a white woman with long, wavy, brunette hairVeteran funeral director, embalmer, and lifelong bookworm, Louise is fairly new to the writing and blogging scene. She had a passion for writing in her youth, which lay dormant during her busy career. She could no longer resist the urge to write during her hiatus as a stay at home mother. Louise finally found her purpose, educating and entertaining strangers on the internet about dead bodies and funerals.

Her blog, Read In Peace, combines her passion to educate with fun and humor. Full of tips and useful information about death and funerals, Louise balances the solemn subject with lighthearted “dissections” of related books and movies.

Louise is the author of Last Words: A Glossary for Death and Funerals and is currently working on her first book, a nonfiction guide called Embalming For Amateurs. Written with the layperson in mind, she details the embalming and funeral process in a clear and fascinating way. She reveals the mysterious things that happen behind closed doors, with equal parts humor and respect for the dead.

Aside from reading and writing, Louise enjoys napping, welding, racing demolition derby cars, and decorating her 8 foot tall pet T.rex for holidays. She lives in Southern California with her husband and three fierce daughters.

 

Connect with Louise

Please visit Susan’s website to learn more about her writing.

 

DATE & TIME   |   July 15th, 2023 – Social at 12:00 PM, Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes
LOCATION   |   Meeting will be Hybrid via Zoom and Community Room at the Woodbourne Library, 6060 Far Hills Avenue, Centerville, Ohio 45459. See below for further instructions.
TOPIC   | Tobi Doyle & Be Your Own Developmental Editor – Revisions with Book Maps. Presenting in person.

Be Your Own Developmental Editor – Revisions with Book Maps

A book map is a visual guide to your book. It breaks your story down, chapter by chapter, scene by scene, so you can see exactly what you have—AND what you don’t. It allows you to be your own developmental editor.

What Attendees Will Learn: how to create a book map to visually track the plot, characters, conflict, and more, find pacing issues and unnecessary scenes, follow plotlines and discover plot holes, and track character growth throughout the story.

Pantsers LOVE this workshop, and plotters do, too. It’s best for pantsers with a completed first draft, and intermediate plotters. (New plotters will need to know something about story structures.)

 

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

Presentation is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com.

 

About Our Speaker

Tobi Doyle is a white woman with long, wavy brunette hair, and she wears glasses.
 

A hybrid romance author, Tobi Doyle has published over a dozen romance books. She writes HEAs with heat and humor, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. She is the recipient of the 2022 Romance Writer of America PRO Mentor of the Year, and a Service Award for her work on RWA’s Pen to Paper, a guide to romance writing. She’s also the past President of RWA’s romantic suspense chapter, Kiss of Death, a member of Central Ohio Fiction Writers, West Virginia Writers and other local writing groups.

Contact Tobi: https://tobidoyle.com/

 


Join COFW 6/17/23 for "Cut Out the Middle, Man!" by Susan Gee Heino

DATE & TIME   |  June 17th, 2023 – Social at 12:00 PM, Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes.
LOCATION   |    Zoom and Meeting Room 2A of Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4500 Hickory Chase Way, Hilliard, OH 43026. See below for further instructions. Speaker will be in person.
TOPIC   | Susan Gee Heino: Cut Out the Middle, Man! Presenting in person.

Cut Out the Middle, Man!

Does your synopsis include the phrase: Then other stuff happens?

We all know that every good book needs an attention-grabbing opening, and of course there will be the triumphant happily-ever-after at the end, but what about all that stuff in the middle? Sometimes the stuffing goes flat and the middle starts to sag. How on earth can we avoid that?

Well, say good-bye to that muddling middle! In this interactive workshop, we’ll sort out the muddle and tighten the sag as we look at:

  • Plot points
  • Goals
  • Conflicts, and
  • How to keep those pages turning.

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

This program is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the members-only Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com. Please note, the link spans from the moment we open the room to the social half hour through the business meeting and this program.

Per library policy, “Prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in meeting rooms.”

 

About Our Speaker

Susan Gee Heino is a white woman with long brown hair with gentle waves. She's sitting in front of some orange daylilies.

Susan Gee Heino writes lighthearted Regencies, quirky Contemporaries, heartwarming Inspirationals, and sexy magical Fantasies. She has a background in theatre as a playwright, actress, and director. In 2008 she won the RWA Golden Heart® Award for Best Regency Historical. Since then, she has published more than 20 titles with several New York houses as well as independently. Her most recent release, Buried Threat, a Cold Case File, comes out in July, 2023, through Harlequin Love Inspired.

 

Ms. Heino is a not-so-typical preacher’s wife who shares an empty nest in rural Ohio with her heroic husband and a small barnyard full of collected critters. She loves to get to know readers and fellow writers through social media or her blog.

Connect with Susan

Please visit Susan’s website to learn more about her writing.

 

Join COFW May 13th for "Secondary but Effective: Creating and Using Secondary Characters to Strengthen Your Plot" with Alyssa Alexander.

DATE & TIME   |  May 13th 2023 – Social at 12:00 PM, Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes.
LOCATION   |    Zoom and Activity Room at the Woodbourne Library, 6060 Far Hills Avenue, Centerville, Ohio 45459. See below for further instructions. Speaker will be in person.
TOPIC   | Alyssa Alexander, Secondary But Effective: Creating and Using Secondary Characters to Strengthen Your Plot

Secondary But Effective: Creating and Using Secondary Characters to Strengthen Your Plot

Learn About Writing Craft

You don’t live in a vacuum, and neither does your protagonist. Every scene involves the protagonist’s relationship to the world and people around them. Every scene involves the protagonist’s relationship to the world and people around them. Learn tips and tricks from Alyssa Alexander, a USA Today Bestselling author. She’ll teach us how to create secondary characters to effectively deepen characterization, plot, and emotion–without letting them walk off with a scene.

During this session, Alyssa will hit all these topics:

  • Character Types
  • Character Levels
  • Focus on Effective
  • TIPS
  • Character Development
  • Relationships
  • Spaghetti Method–but there aren’t any meatballs here!

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

This program is free for members and prospective members who have not yet visited for two complimentary meetings. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the members-only Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com. Please note, the link spans from the moment we open the room to the social half hour through the business meeting and this program.

Per library policy, “Prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in meeting rooms.”

The Activity Room will be tight quarters and does not have a built-in room microphone.

 

About Our Speaker

Alyssa Alexander is a white woman with short blond hair. She is sitting cross-legged on the floor with a brick wall behind her.
Photo courtesy of Tina Esch Photography

Alyssa Alexander is a USA Today Bestselling author who survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. Her books have been translated into multiple languages, received Top Picks from RT, Publisher Weekly Starred Reviews, and were nominated for RT Best First Historical and the Best First Book RITA®.

When not working at her day job, writing, designing websites, cleaning house, scaling Mount Laundry, or doing any of the other tasks a wife, mother and writer must do, she can usually be found with a book in her hand. And maybe a drink with a paper umbrella.

 

Connect with Alyssa

Please visit Alyssa’s website to learn more about her writing.

 

DATE & TIME   |   April 15th, 2023 – Networking at 12:00 pm.  Business meeting at 12:30 pm, Speaker at 1:30 pm or later–after the business meeting concludes.
LOCATION   |   Meeting will be Hybrid:  Zoom and Hilliard Room of Hilliard Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4500 Hickory Chase Way, Hilliard, OH 43026. See below for further instructions.
TOPIC   | Beverly Jenkins: Ask Me Anything! Presenting via Zoom.

Ask USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins Your Questions

Our Program

Join Beverly Jenkins as she fields all your questions.  Can’t attend?  No problem.  Email your question to Programs@COFWEvents.org by Friday, April 14, 7 PM EST. Ms. Jenkins will present via Zoom.

 

Attending Our Hybrid Meeting

Presentation is free for members. For those members who cannot join us in person, join us via Zoom. The password will be posted in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Google Group, and on the members-only Central Ohio Fiction Writers Facebook page. When authors allow us to record, we make that available for later viewing.

If you are not a COFW member and wish to attend this presentation via Zoom, email cofwpresident@gmail.com. Our other members are not permitted to share the link. The link is typically created mid-week of the meeting week.

Per library policy, “Prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in meeting rooms.”

 

About Our Speaker

Beverly Jenkins is a black woman with short black hair, and she wears glasses.

Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance.

She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning.

Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street JournalPeople Magazine, and NPR.

Visit Beverly at her website