Upcoming Events

   Feb. 6
SSA Santa Cruz Chapter @ 1—2:45pm
Joyner Library
Debora Lewis will give insight into book cover design and formatting the book
(see article here)

   Feb. 19
SSA Forum @ 11am—2pm
Hotel Tucson City Center
John Newport— "Heroes of the Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords..." & Salute to Penny Porter
(see article this page)

   Feb. 26
SSA Valley of the Sun Chapter @ 2:30—4:30pm
Tempe Public Library
James Sallis speaks about the influence of poetry on how he thinks and writes "Minimalism: When Less is More"
(see article here)

   Mar. 4
SSA's Tucson Self-Pubishing Expo @ 7:45am—6:30pm
Tucson Expo Center
Our 1st annual self-publishing expo. Get more info and tickets at TucsonSelfPublishingExpo.com

   Mar. 19
No SSA Forum pLease attend the Expo on March 4.

   Mar. 26
SSA Valley of the Sun Chapter @ 2:30—4:30pm
Tempe Public Library
Raleigh Pinsky reminds us it's a jungle out there, and tells us how to promote our way through it
(see article here)

To R.S.V.P. SSA Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 809-5008
or e-mail: ssabrunches@gmail.com WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$25 with reservation or
$30 paid at the door

   This past January 8 marked the sixth anniversary of the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, which claimed 6 lives and seriously injured 19 other innocent people. John Newport, author of The Tucson Tragedy: Lessons from the Senseless Shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, will share his observations of the heroic deeds of thousands of Tucsonans on the day of the shooting and over the months that followed, together with key lessons to be learned from this horrific event.

   John was relatively new to Tucson the day of the shooting and lived a few blocks south of the Safeway where the shooting took place. He slept in that morning and would have attended the Congresswoman's "Congress on Your Corner" event if he'd known it was taking place.

   He is a prolific author and socio-political commentator with four books under his belt and over 400 published articles and opinion pieces. Following release of The Tucson Tragedy he appeared on several local TV stations and initiated a column in The Tucson Citizen titled "Healing Tucson and Our Nation." He frequently contributes letters and columns addressing pressing social issues to the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Capitol Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other publications and is a regular guest on the John C. Scott Show on radio KEVT 1210 AM.

   John will sign copies of The Tucson Tragedy for interested attendees following his talk. He will make the book available at a special discounted price of $15.00 (including tax) and $12.50 for purchaser of two or more copies. PLEASE NOTE: John can accept cash or checks but is currently unable to accept payment by plastic.

Saluting Penny Porter, an Arizona Writer

Also, on February 19th the Society of Southwestern Authors will be honoring Penny Porter for her contributions to the Society and the writing community of Tucson. SSA was founded in 1972 to assist writers in Southern Arizona. It now has chapters in the Santa Cruz Valley, Tempe, Congress, and Tucson.

   Penny has served as a diplomat of the Old Pueblo in getting wonderful writers to come to our community with a writing conference called Wrangling With Writing. The writers who have come to Tucson include Ray Bradbury, Billy Collins (US Poet Laureate), Allan Dean Foster, William F Nolan, J. A. Jance, Chuck Sambuchino and many others. She has been a member of SSA for thirty-two of the organization's forty-four years and has served as the President seven times.

   She is the author of six children's books and has been published in numerous magazines including Reader's Digest, Arizona Highways, Woman's Day, American Heritage, and Guideposts. She has appeared in fourteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

   Penny is a mother of six, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of one. She is former teacher, school administrator, and a rancher's wife.

   Books by Penny Porter:
     Heartstrings and Tail-Tuggers — 2000 (Second edition 2009)
     Adobe Secrets — 2007 (Second edition 2009)
     The Biography of Eugene Gifford Grace (Second edition 2009)
     Howard's Monster — Children 4-6: 1989
     The Keymaker — Young Adult Fiction: 1994
     Green Eggs and Sam — Grades 3-6: 1998

   The meeting honoring Penny will be after the February 19 SSA Forum and will be held at the Hotel Tucson City Center from 1 pm to 2pm at 465 N. Granada (at Granada and St. Mary's). The regular SSA Forum will start at 11am and run to 1pm and there is a luncheon charge of $25. Please let us know if you are attending. Call in your reservations to Danette Young at 520-809-5008 (new number, leave a message) or e-mail ssabrunches@gmail.com.

   When NASA sends a rocket into space neither Mission Control nor the Flight Crew can sit back and enjoy the ride; they know that immediately preceding lift-off is the most critical time of the entire project. That's where we are now with SSA's inaugural Self-Publishing Expo.

   Like every new project, whether it's launching a rocket into space or sponsoring an expo, there are always things you could have done better, and you hope that you still have time to make the correction. We have had a good show of support from our members, but we have failed to bring our message to the general public.

   Billboards and an inclusive print advertising campaign were not financially possible, so we have relied on other means, the most effective being our network of writers. We have written and submitted articles to local magazines and have had some success in getting them published. We have sent over 100 press releases, contacted and presented the program to countless writers groups, and every Board Member has been given tickets to sell. We also will be placing event notices to all the January/February publications who have that free service.

   But, like the rocket that still sits on the launch pad, there is still time before lift-off. We once again are asking our network—you—to do one more thing. Bring a friend or at the very least be sure and spread the word. If you have a personal face book site post the information about the expo on that site. Just think, if every member who is attending the expo will bring a friend, our inaugural flight will be a whopping success.


Jan Cleere's latest book, Never Don't Pay Attention: The Life of Rodeo Photographer Louise L. Serpa, won the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for best Arizona biography as well as being selected best Arizona book of the year by the same organization. Jan nominated Louise to the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame and she will be inducted on March 23, 2017.

Molly McKinney had a great review about one of her mysteries:
Dear Mystery Fans—CRYSTAL SHADOWS is a romantic mystery by Molly McKinney, available gratis online at mystery-anthology.webnode.com. You may download separate chapters as needed to your phone, tablet, laptop or computer by clicking on the Serials page of the anthology. Reviews are also posted there. Crystal Shadows—a mystery novel—opens with a bang and, except for a few well-spaced breathers, the pace never lets up. The story successfully meshes romance and mystery, following a charming, but naive, art teacher in her struggle to believe in herself again after unwittingly ruining another person's life. But murder and self doubt lead her down unexpected avenues. Carefully planted clues reveal unexpected twists. Can she trust her friends? Most of all, can she trust the man who is arguably the most desirable bachelor in Tucson? Does she dare open her heart to him? The characters in Crystal Shadows are well drawn and the settings beautifully depicted so the reader is placed firmly in the action. A page-turner.
— Eleanor Whitney Nelson, Award-winning Author

The Write Word
published bi-monthly by the Board of Directors
of The Society of Southwestern Authors
P.O. Box 30355, Tucson, AZ 85751

Board of Dirctors

Chris Stern:

Vice President
Rajendra (Raj) Srivastava: rajendrasrivastava@outlook.com

Jay McCall: jmccall415@msn.com

Recording Secretary

Corresponding Secretary

Membership & Forum Programs & Reservations Chair
Sharon Lashinger: srlashinger@hotmail.com
Reservations: 546-9382 or
E-mail: ssabrunches@gmail.com

Members at Large
Dan Baldwin: baldco@msn.com

Bob Hunton: rlh10@cox.net

Debora Lewis: deboraklewis@yahoo.com

Penny Porter: wporter202@aol.com

Jim Snedden: jimsnedden@comcast.net

Danette Young: dmyoung3@gmail.com


Conference Co-Chair

Writing Contest
Bob Hunton: info@ssa-az.org
contest page

Speaker's Bureau Coordinator

Writing Group Coordinator
Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: writeword@ssa-az.org

SSA Home Page:


Mike Rom: writeword@ssa-az.org

NOTE: Deadline for next issue is the 15th day of March