Chapter Meetings Archive

The primary objective of the Sisters in Crime Grand Canyon Writers is emphasized in the chapter’s slogan: “Write ~ Publish ~ Sell”.  We’re dedicated to helping our members achieve those three goals and develop their careers as published authors, to reach the highest possible levels of success.

An exclusive benefit for current chapter members is access to past chapter meeting videos. Since this is password protected and meant only for our current chapter members, please do not share these links with anyone who is not a member of Grand Canyon Writers. This is a valuable benefit and meant as an exclusive benefit for our members. Enjoy!



Hallie Ephron,
New York Times bestselling author Hallie Ephron, Edgar Award finalist and five-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award

How do you create a main character with a goal the reader will care about?
Learn to structure a novel and its scenes for forward momentum.
What and Why—your genre and subgenre considerations.
Where should you begin your book? (And, where NOT to begin it!)
Why you must always know and understand your audience.
Learn how to analyze your own work for these key issues!
Discover the Secrets to writing a novel that captivates readers, keeps them turning pages until the very end, and catapults your future book sales!

Saturday, January 8, 2022


Power Writing:
Using Layered, Resonant and Potent Language to Craft Compelling Stories!  

Jessica Page Morrell,
top tier developmental editor and author

Which writer’s habits lead to potent writing?
What does resonance mean for writers and how do you use it?
How does “show, don’t tell” begin with word choices?
Why do forceful, precise words make stories of all types immersive?
What are the 10 mistakes of writing style and how do you identify yours?
Why are high-energy verbs the V-8 engines for our sentences?
How do you create provocative openings and endings that linger?
Why is tension propulsive and how does it start with language?
When should word grenades, sound bursts, and wake-up images be used for punchier prose? Discover how to add music, imagery, and nuance!
Learn how to weight endings of sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and chapters with emphasis and so much more!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Settings & Descriptions That Transport Readers!

Delia C. Pitts Acclaimed Noir Author, Named “A Fresh New Voice in American Literature”

*How do successful authors craft vivid and captivating settings for their stories?
*Why is the setting considered an additional (and vital) “character” in a story?
*Which elements are critical to create a wonderful setting?
*When does setting establish the mood or tone of a story?
*Why are both the geographical location and immediate surroundings important?
*What is the difference between an integral setting and a backdrop setting?
*How does setting provide context for your main characters’ actions?
*Why is “time” so important in setting and how can it trigger ‘life or death’ stakes, explain a character’s conduct, or foreshadow key events?
*How much description is powerful…and where does description detract from the story?

Settings reveal the world as your characters see it and build intriguing storylines. Learn how to weave settings and descriptions that transport readers!

SATURDAY, November 13, 2021

Great Beginnings: Writing a Great First Line, First Paragraph and First Page

Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today Bestselling
and award-winning author, winner of five
Agatha Awards and Mary Higgins Clark Award winner

Why is the first line of your book critical to it’s success?
What are the keys to writing a great first line?
How does the first paragraph make or break a reader’s first impression of your book?
Which first lines “hook” readers and why do others fall flat? 
Should an author write the first line before or after finishing the first draft of a book?
Learn why few novels survive a bad first chapter and fewer survive a bad first page.    
What should the first page of every book accomplish?
How do you know if you’ve written a compelling first line, paragraph and page?

Great first lines have the power to entice readers. Great first paragraphs intrigue them. Great first pages trigger book sales! Find out How and Why! 


Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask a Literary Agent (and more!)

Paula Munier, writer, editor, teacher and agent. Paula is a Senior Agent and Content Strategist with Talcott Notch Literary Services.

How does an author find the right agent?
What are the keys to creating an intriquing “elevator” pitch
Which query letters “hook” an agent (or publisher) immediately, and why?
How do successful writers jumpstart a storyline that has stalled?
What are the critical steps to writing a mesmerizing plot?
Learn what bestselling authors do to keep a book series fresh and exciting.
Why would an agent reject your query or your book—immediately?
What should every author know before pitching a book?

Don’t miss agent, editor and bestselling author, Paula Munier, and her tips on writing a great story, finding an agent and building a long-term career!

Visit Paula’s Website

Join Paula for this extraordinary and essential workshop!

Mastering Pace—A Critical Key to Captivating Readers

Robin Burcell, Internationally Bestselling Author
Two Time Anthony-Award Winner, Barry-Award Winner and Macavity-Award Nominee                 

Do you want to keep readers enthralled and turning pages late into the night?
When does a fast pace improve a story, and how will a slow pace enrich it?
Why does pace impact every element of a story?
How can balanced pacing help develop ideas and themes?
What effect does pace have on the mood of a book?
Why will skillful pacing spark a reader’s connection to characters—and the events that surround them?
Learn how to analyze your own novel for proper pacing!
Pace is more than non-stop action, cliffhangers or a wild, rollercoaster ride.
Discover the Secrets  to pacing that draw readers into the story and keep them mesmerized!

THEN, the next email you receive just might say: “I finished your novel at 3 AM this morning, and now I have to go to work. When’s your next book coming out?” 

Join Robin for this dynamic and essential workshop!     

Saturday, August 14, 2021
Don’t Miss an Outstanding Seminar on a Challenging Topic!

The Inside Outline ~ Keys to Exceptional Story Development that “Pantsers” and “Plotters” Love!

Mia P. Manansala, Award-Winning Author, “Pitch Wars” Mentor and
Certified Book Coach

What makes one novel stand apart from thousands of others that agents receive?
Why do readers eagerly recommend a book to their friends and family?
How can you intertwine character and plot, so readers are captivated by both?
When is cause-and-effect important?
Why is knowing your theme and your audience crucial?
How does the quote “Art is fire plus algebra,” relate to the Inside Outline…and your success?
Learn to create the ideal balance of fascinating plot and emotional depth in stories—to attract agents, publishers and devoted fans.
Whether you are a “pantser” or a “plotter”, a published or an aspiring author, don’t miss this extraordinary morning with Mia! 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Secret to Writing Great Dialogue

Susan Pohlman, Award-winning Author, Editor and Writing Coach

Great dialogue captures the reader’s attention and holds it. It must be dynamic, realistic and reflect the character speaking. Join Susan when she shares how to illuminate characters and bring them to life through dialogue, and how to avoid the pitfalls that weaken the story. Effective dialogue controls pacing and moves the plot forward. Character voice is key to unforgettable protagonists, villains and secondary personalities—and must be fully developed. Learn the secret to writing dialogue that rings true, transfixes the reader and enhances the entire story.  An Exceptional Workshop!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

What is the Why: Building A Backstory for Nuanced Characters and Authentic Conflict

Karen Odden, USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning Author

A riveting character is shaped by a meaningful, substantial past. Developing your character’s backstory takes time, but it pays huge dividends. Backstory provides the quirky, unique elements of personalities that make them come alive on the page, and the events that cause characters trouble—with others and for themselves. Don’t miss this dynamic and essential workshop!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Elevating Your Work: The Art of Active Writing and the Key to Showing, Not Telling

Sally J. Smith, USA Today Bestselling Author and Editor

How do stories burst to life for readers? Active writing is crucial for any book, regardless of genre, but how do we consistently craft it? Why does passive writing weaken the plot? What are the keys to an engrossing tale? Join Sally for a publishing industry pro’s tips to writing engaging stories, “showing-not-telling” made simple and seducing your readers’ imaginations for their ultimate reading experience!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Creating Captivating Characters

Susan Pohlman, Award-winning Author, Editor and Writing Coach

What makes a character jump off the page and keep an agent, publisher or reader hooked all the way to the end of the book? Understanding characterization is crucial to effective storytelling. In this workshop Susan will share the most important techniques for creating characters that your readers won’t forget!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

How to Plot a Crime

Dianne Freeman, Agatha Award and Lefty Award-winning Author

Why are some novels intriguing page-turners? A mesmerizing mystery revolves around a cleverly calculated crime. Add plot twists and red herrings, skillfully weave in clues and conflict for a fascinating tale. How do you interlace all of these, offer evidence of the real solution and still obscure it? Join Dianne as she shares her secrets to plotting a crime (and its solution) so effectively that readers can’t wait for your next book!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Please Note: Chapter meetings will take place via Zoom for the first few months of 2021. We will monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and make plans accordingly after that.

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