NAIWE Inducts New Executive Director

April Michelle Davis

Director’s Note:

I am very excited to be the new executive director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors!

I would like to thank Janice Campbell for her hard work and devotion in helping develop and grow NAIWE over the last 10 years. I value our friendship, and I wish her much success in her new adventures.

My love for the writing industry can be seen in my work and personal life. I have written and published two technical books and one young adult chapter book. I have devoted many years to serving on the board of experts for NAIWE as the social media marketing expert, and I was a NAIWE member prior to that. The alignment of the association’s integrity and ethics with my own makes for a natural fit. My knowledge and background of the publishing industry, as well as my skills and practical experience first working in-house and then as a freelance editor will be invaluable to helping NAIWE members reach their marketing goals by expanding the member benefits and further diversifying the resources available for various learning styles.

It has been a joy and a blessing to work for nearly 20 years in an industry so rewarding and to help freelancers grow through one-on-one assistance and through my presentations and workshops. And now I welcome this opportunity as a leader and as the executive director to work harder for you and to make significant contributions to NAIWE. But I cannot do this alone, your support and involvement is what has and will make NAIWE a front runner in the writing and editing industry.

I look forward to hearing from you anytime you have a question, concern, or suggestion, or just to say hello.

Thank you.

April Michelle Davis
Executive Director
National Association of Independent Writers and Editors

Freelance Writer and Editor Conference Registration Open

Make Your Own Luck

The 13th annual Be a Better Freelancer® conference, will be held September 21–22, 2018, in Rochester, NY. There’s also an option for adding an additional workshop on September 23. For details, go to program, speakers and registration.

This outstanding freelancer conference is organized by our own Ruth Thaler Carter of Communication Central, and it features some of the most interesting freelance speakers, writers, and editors. It’s a great place to go for networking, updates on the latest software and methods, and plenty of good marketing advice.

Download the 2018 Communcation Central conference brochure (PDF)—you’re going to love this!


Writer’s Block Survey

Professional writers invited to participate in a new survey of writer’s block

Members and friends of NAIWE have been invited to participate in a survey about writer’s block.

You don't need a #2 pencil to take this survey!Dr. C. Dominik Güss, a Psychology professor at the University of North Florida, along with two professional writers and a student, has developed a survey to better understand writer’s block. They would like to learn about professional writers’ experiences with writer’s block.

As a token of appreciation for completing the survey, which has 45 questions and should take between 15 and 30 minutes, you will be eligible for one of 6 Amazon $50 gift cards that will be presented to 6 participants chosen at random from a raffle. You may also request a copy of the results from the survey creators.


You will find more information and a link to the survey at the survey website

— Image: © Webking | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Writer’s Conferences and Events

There are always writing contests, conferences, and other events for aspiring writers. Here are a few interesting events that have recently arrived in NAIWE’s inbox.

Malice Domestic conference 2018

Malice Domestic Conference

Malice Domestic™ is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan DC area that celebrates the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely identified as mysteries which contain no explicit sex, or excessive gore, or violence.

Be sure to register for Malice Domestic 30 before midnight on 12.31.17 in order to be eligible to nominate your favorite books and stories for the 2017 Agatha Awards! Everyone who is either a Registered Attendee/Author or a Friend of Malice 30 will receive an Agatha Nomination Ballot via email in January 2018.

Virginia Festival of the Book

Virginia Festival of the Book 2018The 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book will feature more than 300 authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals that span all genres. The Festival is a signature program of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) and the Virginia Center for the Book. It brings readers and writers together for a five-day program of mostly free events including author readings, book signings, panel discussions, programs for children, and more. The 24th annual Festival will be held March 21-25, 2018, in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia.

Jackson Hole Writers Conference

At the Jackson Hole Writers’ Conference, writers “with a passion for words and stories have been coming to Wyoming and to Grand Teton National Park’s backyard for the Jackson Hole Writers Conference for almost three decades. Our distinguished speakers, editors and agents join a resident faculty which includes award-winning fiction writers, like Nina McConigley and Susan Marsh at Jackson Hole Center for the Arts. You’ll find agents and editors who are young and hungry for new voices, new stories. We promise three days of engaging dialogue, collaboration and the opportunity for all of us to raise the stakes on our work.”

Conference Registration: $375
Accompanying Teen Writer: $160
Regular Manuscript Submissions: (Three 15-minute critiques): $50
Extended Critiques: $125
Day Passes Available For Conference: $150 June 28, $175 June 29, $200 June 30

San Francisco Writers Conference

San Francisco Writers Conference The 15th San Francisco Writers Conference is on President’s Day Weekend — February 15-18, 2018. This Celebration of Craft, Commerce and Community is for all writers. Attendees will join with 100+ presenters and fellow writers from across the country and around the world. Our goal is to help writers become published authors as we help them become better at the craft and business of writing. Come learn with us.

Writing and Illustrating for Kids 2018 (wik’18)

The Southern Breeze Chapter (Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle) of SCBWI announces WIK’18, noting that it offers “something for everyone, including Two Terrific Editors, Four Awesome Agents, & an Early Bird Discount, as well as critiques, intensives, one-on-one slots, mentorships, and quickfire portfolio reviews.”

Don’t wait until it is too late — We want to see you in Birmingham in March! $25 Off – Early Bird Registration.

 The Disquiet Prize

Disquiet, an International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal announces that “Submissions are now open for The Disquiet Prize for writing in any genre. Three winners will be published on (fiction), (non-fiction) or The Common (poetry). One grand prize winner will receive a full scholarship, accommodations, and travel stipend to attend the eighth annual DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon taking place July 1-13, 2018. Runners-up and other outstanding entrants will also be considered for financial aid. Deadline: January 31, 2018. Reading fee: $15.
Read the contest guidelines or apply at Submittable.

Ventura County Writers Club 17th Annual Poetry Contest

Ventura County Writers Club Poetry ContestAll genres and subjects of poetry are welcome. The organizer writes, “Our not for profit organization was established in 1933. We have about 100-125 members who write in all genres. We offer writing opportunities, publishing opportunities, speakers and workshop critique groups. Contest winners are eligible to be published in our beautiful hardbound anthology, newsletter and website. Please consider entering! You may contact our poetry chair with questions or go to our website.”

“Authors Helping Healthcare” Interview Series Begins

Writers’ Interview Series

February marks the launch of the Authors Helping Healthcare interview series. Part conversation, part writers’ workshop, Authors Helping Healthcare is designed for communicators working in healthcare, although will be of interest to anyone in healthcare who appreciates quality writing, fiction and new insights.

Through Authors Helping Healthcare, respected authors talk about their books and work, plus offer a dose of advice and inspiration to communicators and writers working in hospitals and healthcare.

About the Authors

Carol Cassella, M.D.

Kicking off the series is novelist Carol Cassella, M.D. Dr. Cassella is a practicing physician and the national bestselling author of three novels, Gemini (2014), Healer (2010) and Oxygen (2008), each published by Simon & Schuster and translated into multiple foreign languages. All of her novels draw from her personal experience as a physician, her role as a mother, and her interest in medical ethics and the complexities of contemporary healthcare. Read the interview.

Lisa See

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, China Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. She is also the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. She was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001 and was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in fall 2003. Read the interview.

Coming Soon

Mary Beth Keane is author of The Walking People and Fever. In 2015, Ms. Keane was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction.

“Although the type of journalistic writing practiced in healthcare and fiction writing are quite different — one presents facts and the other an artistic interpretation of facts — there is so much knowledge writers can gain from these successful authors,” says Maren Dale, a healthcare consultant and copywriter who manages the program. “In the interviews, authors talk about their path to success and offer inspiration.

They discuss the topics they tackle in their books and offer fresh insights. Plus, authors reveal advice and useful tips that writers in healthcare can use to improve their skills.”

For More Information

To access the latest Authors Helping Healthcare interviews:

Go to LinkedIn. Select “Posts” from the drop-down menu in the Search window. Next, type in “Authors Helping Healthcare” for the latest interviews, or

Visit Maren Dale’s profile page on LinkedIn to see posts. Interviews are conducted by Maren Dale of M.J. Dale Communications, LLC. Contact Maren Dale at for more information about Authors Helping Healthcare.

Tax Help for Writers

Writers: Prepare Your Taxes Properly

NAIWE’s CPA in residence, Carol Topp, is offering a free webinar Thursday, January 19, 2017. Carol claims she can explain federal income tax in clear English. Come hear her try!
Get the link to the webinar on Carol’s Facebook page

  • Tax deductions
  • Special tax rules for authors and publishers
  • Record keeping tips

This webinar is loaded with examples to make your writing business less taxing.

Here’s the announcement for “Writers: Prepare Your Taxes Properly.”

Join me for a free webinar for writers on Prepare Your Taxes Properly.

Thursday Jan 19, 

6 pm ET.

This webinar will be recorded and a link to the recording will be sent to all who register. 

Robert Hartley: January’s Featured Member

Robert Hartley is the NAIWE Featured Member for January 2016.For the beginning of the new year, we wanted to feature a member whose personal story is as interesting as his writing. Robert Hartley has been a NAIWE member since January 2012. During his membership he has continued to write steadily, publishing novels and memoirs, as well as blogging and maintaining a social media presence. Doing, in other words, all the things recommended by experts for writing success.

The No-Excuses Writer

Robert Hartley, author of Mossback Dragon and other works.I call him the “no excuses” writer. When we selected him to be the featured member for January, we asked that he share a bit about his writing journey. The resulting article, Beyond the Words, turned out to be a fascinating mini-memoir that not only introduces this versatile wordsmith and artist, but with a kick of humor, manages to blow up just about any excuse for not writing. Don’t miss it!

If you are hoping to get a writing career jump-started in the new year and feel that you are facing insurmountable obstacles, read Robert’s mini-memoir. Maybe even print it out and post it on the wall next to your writing space. It can be a reminder that steady movement — a few words a day, if that is all you can manage — can short-circuit just about any obstacle. Even death, so far.

Since 2009, Robert has written, designed, formatted, and published seven books, which are available in both print and Kindle formats. You can read more about them at his NAIWE member site,, as well as at, and purchase copies at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


November Teleclass: How Do You Do It All? Balancing Family Life and Home Business in the Real World

Mary Jo TateJoin us Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. EDT for an
hour-long member teleclass with NAIWE Expert Mary Jo Tate:
How Do You Do It All? Balancing Family Life and Home
Business in the Real World. We hope you’ll join us!

Having a home business provides a wonderful opportunity for freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment; but it can also create frustration, exhaustion, and chaos. You may be paralyzed by an overwhelming to-do list and become trapped in a crisis-management approach to life. As a single homeschooling mom with four sons and a home business, Mary Jo Tate knows just how hard the challenges can be! She shares powerful strategies to help you move past the juggling act and find balance so you, your family, and your business can flourish.

Mary Jo Tate, an international editor and book coach for 30 years, specializes in helping entrepreneurs, speakers, and other experts author a book whether or not they can write. She also teaches moms how to balance family life and home business and how to find peace in the space between the ideal and reality. Mary Jo is the author of How Do You Do It All? Proven Strategies for Balancing Family Life and Home Business in the Real World, Get Started as a Freelance Editor, Critical Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald; and Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms. Visit her blog at for a free e-book, From Frazzled to Focused: 7 Planning Tools for Busy Moms.

Instructions for Joining the Teleclass

Members will find call-in information for teleclasses in the member area of the website. NAIWE teleclasses are totally free for members ($12 each for non-members).

If you’re not a member and you’d like to join in time for the teleclass, you may click on this “Join NAIWE” link to do so. If you would like to register for the teleclass only, you may do so by visiting the Teleclass Registration page. We hope you’ll join us!
Download the handout to print or follow along below.
 How Do You Do It All?

Balancing Family Life and Home Business in the Real World

by Mary Jo Tate, author of How Do You Do It All?

The Challenges of “Doing It All”

  1. Grow, Know, and Go
  2. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
  3. Stop Struggling with Juggling
  4. Balance Is Not a Myth
  5. Three Kinds of Circumstances
  6. Find Peace in the Space between the Ideal and Reality
  7. Life Management, Not Time Management
  8. Setting Goals
  9. Seven Essential Planning Tools

The How Do You Do It All home study course includes:

  • 7 hours of audio
  • transcripts of every class session
  • customizable planning forms
  • bonuses on finding clients and using testimonials to market your business

Use coupon code 7tools20 for a $20 discount at


Member April Michelle Davis on IndieGoGo

April Michelle Davis, NAIWE Social Media Marketing ExpertNAIWE member April Michelle Davis has opened a crowdfunding campaign to support the publishing costs of her latest book, A Princess in Disguise. Originally written almost 20 years ago, A Princess in Disguise is a coming-of-age story about a princess being forced to marry a complete stranger whom her father has chosen. She is on a mental journey, which she decides to turn into a physical odyssey as well. She is searching for who she is, who she wants to become, and for her absent mother.

Like many young girls, April Michelle wanted to be a princess when she was growing up. While watching TV shows and movies, she noticed that the princesses often had no mothers present. April Michelle wrote this book to answer the question of where the mothers are and show the struggles that princesses can face.

April Michelle wrote this book in the height of her fascination with princesses. Since then, she has become a queen, married a king, and bore a prince. This book was her first literary love, and now she is ready to share it with the world. Davis is the coordinator for the Virginia chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Social Media Marketing Expert for the National Association for Independent Writers and Editors and a lifetime member of the American Copy Editors Society.

Beginning this month, April Michelle and Iguana Books (her publisher) are running a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the book publishing costs. Awards for donating to the campaign include a signed print of the book’s cover art, a ebook version of the book, and a signed copy of the limited-edition printing of the book.

Visit the IndieGoGo campaign for A Princess in Disguise to contribute to April Michelle’s campaign or to learn more about the book and read an excerpt.

Shel Horowitz: Multiple Streams of Income for Writers

NAIWE Expert Shel Horowitz will be joining us Wednesday, April 22 at 3:00 p.m. EDT for an hour-long member teleclass on how to leverage your knowledge and skills to create a diversified income. We hope you’ll join us!

Shel Horowitz: Writer, speaker, NAIWE Expert

Shel Horowitz: Writer, speaker, NAIWE Expert

With eight nonfiction books under his belt, including the long-running bestseller Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green and award-winners Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers and Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World, you’d think Shel Horowitz might be one of those people who makes a living selling books.

But actually, book sales are only small pieces of a diversified income, all of it involving the same analytical and communication skills he uses to write his books.

This call will explore several income streams writers can pursue. Examples will include some or all of (depending on how the call evolves):

  • Speaking
  • Consulting on the publishing process
  • Consulting on your field of expertise (in Shel’s case, profitability and marketing for green/socially conscious businesses as well as authors and publishers–and with companies that want to turn hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change into sufficiency, peace, and planetary balance)
  • Commercial writing for business: marketing and informational copywriting, correspondence, company histories, executive biographies, speeches, social media feeds, etc.
  • Commercial writing for individuals (from resumes to thank-you notes to social media profiles)
  • Foreign and subsidiary rights sales
  • Product sales other than books
  • Ads on your website
  • Teaching and training
  • Event organizing and facilitation
  • Article, blog, and newsletter writing
  • Radio and TV work as on-air personality, pundit, analyst, etc.

So here’s the good news: you can be a writer and make a living, even if the obvious ways aren’t working for you. Shel started his writing and consulting business back in 1981 as a typing service, “to hold me over until my freelance magazine and newspaper career took off.” The business kept evolving and is now an international copywriting, consulting, and speaking enterprise with clients on five continents. (He hasn’t typed a term paper in 25 years, and hasn’t had an outside employer since 1981.)

Join us for the teleclass

Members will find call-in information for teleclasses in the member area of the website. NAIWE teleclasses are totally free for members ($12 each for non-members).

If you’re not a member and you’d like to join in time for the teleclass, you may click on this “Join NAIWE” link to do so. If you would like to register for the teleclass only, you may do so by visiting the Teleclass Registration page. We hope you’ll join us!

Bring your questions and concerns, and be ready to boost your career with your very own blog!