Chapter Meeting Recordings 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!



The Challenge and Joy of Self-Editing, To Polish Your Work Like A Pro!

Kelly Oliver is the award-winning author of The Jessica James Cowgirl Philosopher Mysteries, including Wolf, which won the 2016 IPPY Award, Gold Medal, Best Mystery eBook and Forward Award Finalist, Best Mystery; and Coyote, winner of the 2016 Reader’s Choice Silver Falchion Award, along with F.O.X. a 2017 Finalist for Killer Nashville Claymore Award and 2018 Finalist Silver Falchion Award), and Jackal.

  • Why is excellent editing so critical to YOUR success—before you pitch or publish?
  • What is the “Layering Approach to Writing and Editing” and How does it improve your work?
  • When can editing be easier than you think?
  • Why will planting clues and “red herrings” at the editing phase work well?
  • How can authors develop theme through editing?
  • Learn to LOVE editing…or at least not hate it!


Understanding Scene Structure –
How to Master the Art of Writing Great Scenes

MELISSA BOURBON, national bestselling author of more than 30 Novels and four separate series. 

A Cutting-Edge Workshop from Melissa Bourbon!

  • Why is scene structure the backbone of a great story?
  • What are the critical elements every great scene must include?
  • Learn how focus impacts an effective scene.
  • Which type of scene is best, to get the results you need in a chapter?
  • How do you build scenes that effortlessly link to each other, moving the plotline forward?
  • When should a writer use transitions, and when should they be avoided?
  • How do writers balance action/reaction, goals/conflict to craft the best scenes—and story?

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona 
12:30 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Central Standard Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Mntn Standard Time
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona 
12:30 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Central Standard Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Mntn Standard Time
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time



Karen Odden is a multi award-winning novelist and popular speaker.

Her first novel, A Lady in the Smoke, was a USA Today bestseller and A Dangerous Duet and A Trace of Deceit have won awards for historical mystery and historical fiction. Under a Veiled Moon, her fifth mystery and the second book in the Inspector Corravan series, was released on October 11, 2022.



Tricks & Tips For Engaging
The Writing Muse!

Raquel V. Reyes, writes the award-winning Caribbean Kitchen Mystery series.

Her 2021 debut novel, MANGO, MAMBO, AND MURDER, won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery.  It was also nominated for an Agatha Award and optioned for film. 

Raquel’s short stories appear in various anthologies, including The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022.

Her second novel, CALYPSO, CORPSES, AND COOKING launched in October 2022.

Don’t miss this amazing presentation with a dynamic, breakout author, when she shares her tips for writing a great story and getting published!

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona 
12:30 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Central Standard Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Mntn Standard Time
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona 
12:30 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Central Standard Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Mntn Standard Time
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time



Dennis Palumbo, Licensed Psychotherapist, Award-winning Screenwriter and Bestselling Author

Authors often face creative challenges during their careers. Writer’s block…interruptions…confidence issues…distractions…negative feedback…productivity lulls…feeling isolated… stifled creativity…fear of failure or success…deadline anxiety…finding time to write…lack of support from friends or family…waning motivation and other common trials may impact writers at some time.

Internationally acclaimed author, Dennis Palumbo, is a licensed therapist who specializes in creative issues. Whether working with authors worldwide or Hollywood pros, Dennis’s insight consistently helps break down barriers to success. His work has been profiled in The New York Times, Premiere Magazine, Fade In, GQ, The Los Angeles Times and other esteemed publications, as well as on NPR and CNN.



Cheryl A. Head, Award-winning Author, Television Producer and Broadcast Executive

Great characters—protagonists, antagonists, secondary roles—are critical to the success of a book!
That means avoiding stereotypes and creating well-rounded, three-dimensional, diverse individuals that
readers relate to and love…or love to hate. Realistic characters come from all walks of life.

* How do writers develop cultural competence and why is it key to characterization?

* What does it mean to have cultural humility?

* Learn to develop personas on the page that fascinate readers and keep them reading, book after book.

Don’t miss Cheryl’s invaluable presentation on creating memorable and realistic characters!

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
12:30 AM to 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Mntn Daylight Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
12:30 AM to 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Mntn Daylight Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time


Outside the Box –
Innovative Avenues for Today’s Authors

Laurie Fagen, Author, Producer, Former News Anchor and Newspaper Publisher

How can “thinking outside the box,” increase your
success as an author?

Find out how to make and post a great video, simply using your smart phone.

How to appear as a guest on a podcast, and be invited back?

When should you create a podcast and why is it easier than you may think?

Discover how to adapt your books to audio and get higher royalties, too!

What should every author have, to maximize your appeal and your sales?

Learn the easy way to make Facebook, Booktok, YouTube, Reels and your website work in sync, to boost your sales and profile with less time and effort.

Why you need to promote your books and yourself, regardless who publishes your work.

An Innovative and Informative Presentation for ALL Writers!



Patricia Sargeant, national best-selling, award-winning author. Author of more than 20 novels!

Which  25 things have to happen” in a manuscript?

How do you write an attention-grabbing “logline” and why is it critical?

Learn guidelines for plotting the best possible story.

Discover how the publishing business changed in recent years.

Get tips on finding an agent.

What should writers know about publishers’ contracts?

Find out what Patricia does to “stay in the chair and finish a great manuscript”.

How do authors successfully write multiple genres?

Don’t miss this eye-opening event with Patricia Sargeant, author of more than twenty (20) novels in multiple genres. Whether writing suspense, contemporary romance, cozies, humor, or classic mysteries—including those under her pen names, Olivia Matthews and Regina Hart—Patricia consistently delivers a “great read”. Find out how she writes multiple genres, earns critical praise, and captivates readers!

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
12:30 AM to 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Mntn Daylight Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
12:30 AM to 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Mntn Daylight Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time



John Copenhaver, Macavity Award-Winning Author, Columnist and Nominee for the Anthony, Strand Critics, Barry, Left Coast Crime, and Lambda Literary Awards

What are the essential qualities any winning manuscript must have?

How does a dynamic voice make a book stand apart?

Learn the best way to approach characters to avoid rehashing well-trod territory.

Find out how to “energize voice” through vivid detail.

Why will a fresh perspective springboard a story to the forefront?

How can you give texture to a narrative voice?

Discover the concrete methods writers can use to escape cliches.

Join John Copenhaver, judge of national award competitions—including the Edgars and the Sisters in Crime Pride Award—for eye-opening information!

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
12:30 AM to 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Mntn Daylight Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2022


Stephanie Gayle, Pushcart Nominated Author and 2022 President of Sisters in Crime Inc.

Why is the element of suspense a critical tool, regardless of the genre?

Without tension and suspense, most stories are stale and lifeless—how do writers know how much suspense a plot needs?

Learn to holdback the right information and raise key questions to intrigue readers.

When will adding “unstable allies” to the storyline ramp up suspense?

How can authors use “time” to imperil a protagonist?

Discover multiple methods for building suspense, and the tips to weave those into a mesmerizing story.

Which old tricks for suspense should authors avoid?
Suspense keeps your readers enthralled far into the night!

Don’t miss this amazing presentation when Stephanie explains how and why!



Connie Berry, IPPY Gold Medal Award-Winning Author, Finalist for the Agatha Award and the Silver Falchion Award

Why do award-winning authors make Setting one of the stars of their stories?

Is Setting a Backdrop or Integral? Visual or Visceral?

How will integrating Setting and Plot ramp up conflict?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each category of Setting?

Why and When will Setting trigger emotional responses in readers? 

Discover how to use Setting to foreshadow, reveal clues and unveil red herrings!

How can you avoid the most common mistakes made with Setting?

Learn how to Unleash the Power of Setting!

Don’t Miss This Informative and Eye-Opening Presentation!

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
12:30 AM to 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Mntn Daylight Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

10:30 AM to 12 Noon in Arizona 
12:30 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Central Standard Time
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Mntn Standard Time
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time


Think Like a Journalist to Write Powerful Fiction!

Amber Royer, Multi-Series Author, Instructor and Writing Coach

Why does breaking down “who, what, why, where, when, and how” help you craft a memorable novel?

How will a journalistic approach make your novel’s theme resonate? 

Which steps ensure that your story has the kind of momentum agents and editors are looking for?

How can you use journalistic techniques to connect with readers and develop multiple plot layers?

Why will looking at a story through a journalistic lens create a more complete world and a more profound, logical storyline? 

Discover which details you should include or eliminate—whether your setting is real or imaginary? 

How do you craft absorbing descriptions that draw readers in?

Learn new keys to captivating readers.


Simon Wood
The USA Today bestselling author and Anthony Award winning novelist

How do you decide which character is the best choice to tell your story?
Learn to identify the worst mistakes authors make with point of view—and avoid them.
When should an author pen a story with multiple points of view?
How do you create the best hierarchy for point of view characters?
Why would the omniscient point of view be the right choice in some narratives?
Find out which point of view elements are critical for a stronger, tighter story—and a much more enjoyable experience for the reader.
Mastering point of view is strategic to building your writing career as a successful, published author!

Saturday, February 12, 2022


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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