Plotting issues?

Are you a visual thinker? Do you have an outlining process, but you just don’t enjoy it? Are you disorganized or a repentant panster? Join us as author, editor, book coach, and the education lead for Plottr, Troy Lambert, shares how using this software can help you craft better stories faster, avoid plot holes before they happen, and even create a robust and powerful series bible.

Join the Coeur du Bois (local RWA chapter) as their guests for this free online presentation on Saturday, 5 Feb., at 1 p.m. MT.

Register beforehand at

Troy Lambert is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs. Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.

Too many newsletters?

It happens to all of us: something or someone looks interesting, you subscribe to their newsletter, and then . . . your inbox explodes. (An aside: we do earnestly hope that you’re subscribing to the IWU newsletter — always short and sweet.)

That being said, your IWU editor has found a few newsletters here and there that seem to have earned their place in one’s inbox. Check them out. You decide.

  • Virtual Author & Writer Events, a Substack by Sarah Nicholas, lists both free and paid online events, neatly organized into: For Readers – Free, For Readers – Paid, For Writers – Free, and (you guessed it) For Writers – Paid. There have been some real gems in here. Once a week. You can submit an event. No cost, though there is a Tip Jar available if you find it useful.
  • Authors Publish is a very succinct newsletter that comes out a couple of times a week. Again: no fee. For those interested in submitting to traditional publishers (periodicals and houses), they can keep you abreast of who’s open to receiving submissions on what topic. They’re very strict on their criteria, and vet everyone they list.

Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

Prose & Poetry on Pollinators

The Ada Soil & Water Conservation District is accepting entries through midnight 15 February for their 2022 Treasure Valley Pollinator Project Zine on “pollinators, flowers, or native plants told through the lens of conservation”.

Entries can be:

  • Short stories (max. 700 words)
  • Essays (max. 700 words)
  • Poems (max. 20 lines)

Full details and submission formatting requirements can be found on their website. (Click the “Submit Here!” button for even more information.)

Time Travel to the Frontier

Glida Bothwell’s debut novel is a sumptuous journey, following Abbey from contemporary Seattle, where her life can’t seem to get much worse, to — initially — an extended stay with a widowed mother suffering mental decline.

Sorting through an attic of forgotten keepsakes, she finds herself transported to a westward-traveling wagon train in 1852.

How did she get there? How will a young woman from the twenty-first century survive the hardships and tragedies — and will she eventually find a long trail home?

Available on Amazon in ebook and print.

POV Puzzle You?

The USA Today bestselling novelist and winner of the Anthony Award, Simon Wood, will speak on “Understanding the All-Important and Sometimes Elusive POV” courtesy of the Grand Canyon chapter of Sisters In Crime (SinC).

This free presentation, via Zoom, will begin at 10:30 a.m. (MT) on Saturday, February 12, 2022. Registration is required.

Topics Simon will cover include:

  • How to decide which character is the best to tell your story
  • Identifying the worst mistakes authors make with POV, and how to avoid them
  • When you should use multiple POVs
  • Creating a hierarchy for POV characters

Again, this is a free presentation courtesy of the Grand Canyon Writers (SinC).

Photo by Judith Prins on Unsplash

Write for Video Games

22 January. Registration required. You love to write. You love to play games. Find out how to write for games — both video and tabletop — in this overview from author Lucy A. Snyder, whose science fiction, fantasy, and horror books and gaming experience led her into writing for games and media tie-ins.

Participants will learn about the special concerns of game writing and about how to get started in the industry. You’ll come away with useful resources and practical writing tips.

Learn more and register for this free virtual event.

Photo by Branden Skeli on Unsplash