Newsletter of the Society of Southwestern Authors           Vol. 36, No. 2 Apr./May '08


Upcoming Events

   March 30
Readers' Theatre @2-4PM
St. Frances Cabrini Church
3201 E. Presidio (Country Club & Ft. Lowell area) Showcasing SSA Playwrights,
$10 admission includes refreshments
  (see article)

   April 12
Arizona Mystery Writers @10-2PM
Hometown Buffet, 5101 N. Oracle
Amber Harrison-Forensic Anthropologist,
$12. E-mail Mary Bellin at

   April 20
Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Kaye Patchett, Bunny Baderstscher, and Al Petrillo,
"Magazine Writing For Writers By Writers"

   April 26
Saguaro Romance Writers @10-1:30PM
El Parador, 2744 E Broadway Blvd
Judy Duarte,
$15 members, $20 others. E-mail Suzanne Moore at

   April 27
Forum @11-3:30PM
Four Points Sheraton
Website Workshop,
"Website Creation by Non-Techies Who Have Done It"
$30 registration (by April 21) includes box lunch
  (see article)

   April 27
Readers' Theatre @2-4PM
St. Frances Cabrini Church
3201 E. Presidio (Country Club & Ft. Lowell area) Showcasing SSA Playwrights,
$10 admission includes refreshments
  (see article)

   May 18
Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Shannon Cain,
"O.Henry Prize winner shares what it takes to perservere with short stories"

   May 31
Writing Contest Deadline
  (see article)

   June 15
Forum @11:30-2PM
Four Points Sheraton
Richard DiRusso, Pima County Public Library,
"Banned! What They Don't Want You to Read or See"

To R.S.V.P. Forum
Leave Phone Message
at 546-9382
or e-mail: WEDNESDAY before the Forum
$20 paid at the door

Secrets of Successful Freelance Writing

by Bunny Badertscher
   What are the Secrets of Successful Freelance Writing? That is a bit like asking 'how do you get from Tucson to Maine?' There are as many routes as there are drivers and various modes of transportation as well. The three freelance writers on the SSA panel in April have come from different directions, followed different routes, and arrived at various destinations. But one thing you can be sure of they will have some ideas worth stealing.

   Kaye Patchett (www.geocities. com/kayepatchett) has worked both on staff and freelance as an editor and writer of articles, columns, and books on a wide variety of subjects including business, science, health, and profiles. Her new job as a staff writer at Canyon Ranch leaves time for freelance writing. Kaye has won numerous awards from National Press Women, Writers' Digest, SSA, and the 2004 Arizona Newspaper Association Best Writing award.

   Surely Alan M. Petrillo must write 23 hours a day in order to turn out all his fiction and non-fiction from short articles and short fiction to mystery novels and non-fiction books. His eclectic background as a journalist, editor, and firefighter prepared him to write for magazines aimed at a varied audience including Women's Day, Popular Science, American Profile, American Style, and Amtrak's Arrive. He won Best Short Story in 2006 for "Burn Unit" published in Writer's Post Journal.

   Writing is a "third-life" career for Vera Marie Badertscher, aka "Bunny" ( For 12 years, she has written articles, essays, and web articles for national (eg. National Geographic Traveler), local and regional (eg. Arizona Highways), various AAA magazines, specialty luxury magazines, and several web sites. While she specializes in travel, she also enjoys writing about anything that makes her curious which includes animals, people and inanimate objects. Articles have won her three first place awards from National Association of Press Women, as well as several state awards.

Keep It Short and Be Persistent

by Jude Johnson
   The Short Story is long-standing challenge for many writers. Shannon Cain is no stranger to the struggle. "The Necessity of Certain Behaviors" was rejected by twenty-one different literary magazines before it was finally published in The New England Review--after they'd rejected three other stories. It subsequently earned a 2008 O. Henry Award. On Sunday, May 18, Shannon will share her experience with SSA members and remind us all of how persistence is a vital requirement for writers. The Write Word Secrets of Successful Freelance Writing

   Shannon earned her MFA in 2005 from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and later that year was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is passionate about her craft. "You can't be a good writer without being a good reader," she says, and she credits scribes such as Janet Kauffman, Stacey Richter, and Alice Munro with consistently inspiring and influencing her work. Shannon was also a co-chair of the Authors Committee for the Tucson Festival of Books, which will be in March 2009 on the campus of the University of Arizona. She teaches at the Gotham Writers' Workshop, and has been the executive director of Kore (kor-ay) Press, an independent publisher of literature by women. In her spare time she is also a private writing coach.

   Join us at the Sheraton Four Points Conference Center on May 18th for an enlightening luncheon with Shannon Cain. As always, you can either call in your reservations to 546-9382 OR email by the Wednesday prior (in this case, May 14th).

Readers Theater for Plays and Other Scripts

   SSA's Readers Theater is an opportunity for writers to have their characters come to life and speak the lines written for them. It allows the audience to respond to the essentials of the writer's story and characters. Full-length scripts (up to 120 min.), one-act pieces (20-60 min.) and 10 minute plays will make up a monthly performance (approx. 2 hrs.). SSA members may submit any of the above to be considered for the Readers TheaterÐthey will be paid a modest honorarium based on the length of the script and have an opportunity to receive audience feedback.

   The Readers Theater will take place from 2-4pm on the last Sunday of every month at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 3201 E. Presidio. $10 admission for the performances and complimentary refreshments. Proceeds benefit SSA and the church's work with families in need.

   All genres welcome, but scripts must be appropriate for a general audienc--scripts with obscene language, overt sexual content, or violence will not be accepted.

   To have your script considered for the Readers Theater, please send one copy to: SSA, Readers Theater, P.O. Box 30355, Tucson, AZ 85751. Scripts will not be returned unless a return envelope with sufficient postage is include--electronic submissions will not be accepted. For further info phone Carol Costa at 326-4146 or e-mail:

   This is an opportunity for SSA members to learn more about plotting, character development, and dialogue. We hope that members will attend performances and bring their friends.

Website Creation by Non-Techies
by Jude Johnson
   Have you wanted to have a website to promote your writing but felt intimidated? Do you feel too confused by Websites For Dummies? You aren't alone. So bring your laptop Sunday, April 27, from 11AM to no later than 3:30 PM at the Four Points Sheraton Conference Center - SSA is sponsoring a one-day workshop!

   Practical information for non-tech-savvy writers will be shared by authors who aren't computer whizzes yet maintain their own websites. The program will include:

  • Two hours of practical information WITH HANDOUTS explaining domain names, where to host, available software, to hire or not to hire a web designer, getting your site into search engines, setting up Paypal, etc.
  • 30 minute break with box lunches.
  • Two hours of very basic practice making a webpage using:
    • HTML layout,
    • how to put pictures or slide shows onto your page,
    • linking to other pages and/or websites.

   The cost: $30 per person for the 4.5 hour workshop. (Considering many web designers charge at least $50 per hour, this is a real GONGA, neighbor.)

   Registration forms can be obtained from Jude Johnson:

It's That Time Again!
   No, we don't mean tax time (although that's just around the corner). It's WRITING CONTEST time. The 2008 entry forms and requirements are ready and waiting for you on SSA's contest page.
or available by sending a SASE to:
  Entry Forms Department, PO Box 35484, Tucson, Arizona, 85740.
  TAKE NOTE: this is the new address for contest entries ONLY.

   A $10.00 entry fee per submission could earn you as much as $300, or $150, or $75, or $25, depending on where your entry places, as well as publication in The Story Teller, and appreciative applause at the Awards' Luncheon in October.

   So open those file drawers and dust off those stories or poems, or put ink to paper and dream up something brand new. We're ready and waiting for you!
                                                                 Mary Ann Hutchison & Jude Johnson,
                                                                 the Writing Contest Team


Duval Edwards' Short Horn Hobo has all three of his books in it: Runaway Teenager's fight to survive in the Great Depression and its sequel The Senator and the Runaway Teenager in the Great Depression [revised], and Spy Catchers in the War with Japan [greatly revised], plus an Epilogue of Duval's sixty years with his second wife, kay Kohara a Ninei, that is a small book in itself. "Several people think it should be made into a movie." Duval's Jungle and Other Tales is a collection of his writings starting in 1948 and extending through nine years as editor of the NCICA's Golden Sphinx publication; "this is mostly about the operations of counter intelligence in which I played a part." Both books are available at Amazon and through bookstores.

Christina (Birchfield) Farnsworth's article, "Time to Shine," about the Solar Decathlon held on Washington DC's National Mall appears on page 32 of the November 2007 Green Builder magazine can now be accessed at

Matt Freese has won the 2008 Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award for Down to a Sunless Sea, a collection of short stories. He won last year for The i Tetralogy, historical fiction on the Holocaust.

Elizabeth Gunn sends word she just signed on for two more books for Severn House-one each of her Minnesota and Tucson series. "So both Jake Hines and Sarah Burke have legs," Gunn says. "This is my dream career, to alternate between two protagonists I like and believe in, in two locations I love."
"The second part of this good news is, another Minnesota novel requires a trip home, where I am way behind on hugging old friends and kissing new babies. Oh, and I have to visit the crime lab in St. Paul, that too."

Marilyn Haight has successfully launched "Worded Write Publishing" and released its first book, Kissing the Corporate Frog: An Enlightening Story about Leadership Traits 21st Century Employees Admire and Respect. In this fictionalized account, you eavesdrop on seven young managers at Omnipotent Digital Corporation as they discuss their bosses, who have doomed the Ubiquitous Project to failure. The employees identify the four leadership traits they secretly use to evaluate their bosses. They also reveal their generation's leadership role model. The book is written entirely in dialogue with no narrationÐa new style for this business-nonfiction author. It's available at and would be a great gift for anyone you know who is trying to survive and thrive in cubicle-ville.

Cindy Hayostek recently began publishing "Borderland Chronicles," a quarterly series of booklets about the fascinating people and history of Douglas, Ariz. and Agua Prieta, Son. and the surrounding region. Titles already in print are: Alice Gatliff, Forgotten Woman of the Mexican Revolution and Born in Douglas, Stan Jones and "Ghost Riders in the Sky." Subscriptions are available from: Haystack Publications, PO Box 72, Douglas, AZ 85607.

Patricia R. Herring has published about ten 'glimpses' of various aspects of life on the SW frontier in the newsletters of Los Descendientes del Presidio de Tucson, El Eco de Tucson. Subjects included education, books owned and passed around, religious activities, food, strong caste system, customs, and the interesting social life between the villages in the Sonora River Valley and los Tucsonenses. She stresses that this is not 'local' history but a large picture uniting Tucson with Mexico City, Spain, and Europe. The ties over seas and land were very stong and reflected in the life and society of the Tucson Presidio. Her new manuscript is "Life and Society in the Presidio of San August’n de Tucson; the Spanish Mexican periods, 1775-1856."

Dr. Kenneth V. Iserson's Makeshift Medicine has been contracted and will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. It will show how skilled medical providers deliver care when they don't have their normal equipment, such as after disasters, in Third-World countries, on battlefields, in the wilderness, and in other situations of scarcity. Parts of his book are designed for immediate use in sudden critical situations; others are for more long-term situations when equipment and facilities will be lacking for some time. It is designed to help with the frustration of knowing what can be done and how to do it, but not having the tools. Extensive referenced material for the book is being drawn from authoritative sources for across the world from the past century, as well as personal interviews with medical practitioners who have used these techniques. In some cases, the methods are being tested for usability, and some well-known (but rarely tested) methods will be shown to be bogus.

Patrick Lavin's New Mexico: An Illustrated History, with more than 50 illustrations, photographs, and maps, provides a thorough and lively historical overview that reveals the heart and soul of this fascinating southwestern state. Known as the "Land of Enchantment," New Mexico is living witness to the coexistence of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo civilizations. Patrick takes an all-inclusive approach to New Mexico's past by vividly reconstructing the state's key historical events in a concise and accessible format.
Citing fascinating material from newspapers, journals, and personal accounts of pioneers and explorers, this compelling volume relates the arrival of the Paleo-Indians, Spanish exploration and colonization, the Mexican-American War and subsequent territorial period, as well as New Mexico's early statehood and the post-World War II era. Today, New Mexico continues to inspire visitors and artists who come to pay tribute to the state's magnificent natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Ashleen O'Gaea noted a mistake in our last "Successes" column--her book, tentatively titled Spells on the Sly, will come out sometime in the first half of 2009, not 2008.

Sylvia Smart sold her short story "Buster" to Chicken Soup for The Adopted Soul. It will be available in bookstores in March 2008. It is a story about the power of love between a boy and a dog.
She also sold her non-fiction book: Dog Breeders' Professional Secrets (Ethical Dog Breeding) to Dogwise Publications Inc. It is scheduled for release this Summer and we anticipate that it will be the hottest new title in the Dog Book genre. There is a strong possibility that it will be endorsed by the AKC. This is the only book of its kind ever to be published about ethics and integrity in the dog world, and to cover the practical business of dog breeding from A to Z and from pets to nationally ranked show champions.
Her DVD, Whelping Healthy Puppies, has been nominated for Dog Owner Choice Awards Category, 2007 by MDBA (Master Dog Breeders & Associates). Last but not least, Sylvia won 1st place in the Personal Essay/Memoirs category of the SSA Writing Contest for her short story "Jerusalem."

Jennifer J. Stewart's children's novel, Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind, has received its third state award nomination, this time for Connecticut's 2009 Nutmeg Book Award ( It has just been released in paperback by Holiday House, which also published the hardcover edition.

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

Mark Sneller:

Penny Porter:

Carol Costa:

Recording Secretary
Carroll Rinehart:

Member Chair
Penny Porter:

Corresponding Secretary
Ruth Beach:

Conference Co-Chair
Penny Porter:
Barbara Stahura:

Writer's Contest
Mary Ann Hutchison:

Forum Program Chair
Jude Johnson:

Members at Large
Dewanne Hopson:
Jane Eppinga:

Mentoring Groups
Sam Turner:

Write Word Editor
Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)

SSA Home Page:

Mike Rom: (520) 410-1294 (beep)

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