Group News

Fall 2021

We are back meeting on a weekly basis, but the time we meet has changed. We now meet at 4:30 PM, same place and same room. We had a nice sized group on the 16th of November and Meleesa gave a great presentation and showed a video from her trip to Las Vegas for the 20Booksto50K conference. We plan to continue our meetings as we have in the past. News from the group, followed by a prompt and then a presentation about either writing, publishing or marketing. And with advance notice critique of a members work limited to no more than three pages.

I am sure we will see more members as people get back to a more normal lifestyle.

Spring 2021

Our group is surviving the past year of lockdown. The covid virus has kept us from meeting in person, but we have held ZOOM meetings and kept in touch with e-mail and on our Facbook group. Although attendance at the meetings has been sparse and our meetings times impacted by Meleesa taking a full time job the group still goes forward. I wanted to share an e-mail from one of our Winter Writers that shows how a group inspires each of us and shows our creativity. Hopefully by year’s end we will be having in person meetings.


It often seems that people are reluctant to spend time or effort in writing prompts in a Writers Group venue.  Many of these people are successful and well published authors.  Others may be left uncomfortable by the pressure of writing on a designated topic within strict time constraints.    Allow me to make a case for why I feel that prompts should be included in every meeting.

We each bring different experiences into the meeting .  Was our day rushed?  Did the dishwasher break or have we been confronted with health issues of a parent, a child or even ourselves? When we hear the “PROMPT” of the day it brings us into the present and at least for a moment puts those other issues aside.  The prompt also works to forge a unity uncommon in writers.  As writers we are independent thinkers and creators.  We each have our own projects.  A prompt on the other hand at least for a moment, joins the group in a commonality of purpose. 

Yes, we have a common purpose but the way we address the project and the different paths we follow is a true testament to the gift of creativity with which the human spirit has been endowed.  The same prompt can elicit beautiful poetry from one writer or dark suspense from another.  These prompts often conjure up childhood memories or first loves or things we could have or should have done better.  It doesn’t matter.  It is “our” story and for ten minutes we get to build it exactly the way that we want.

Write On The Edge group was the first prompt that I ever did.  I still remember the terror I felt as Chris said “Take out a piece of paper”!  I set pen and blank paper on the table and stared at it for three or four minutes.  Finally I put some words on the paper.  I don’t remember exactly what they were but they probably sounded a lot like “The day was….” Or some other banal and generic phrase. 

Somehow I survived the experience.  I wrote for ten minutes and my finished product had the essential qualities of a story.  It had a beginning, a body and an ending that didn’t actually say “The End”!  I was happy with a feeling of accomplishment and the knowledge that I had survived my first PROMPT.

Bob Kelly


Group News Fall/Winter 2015/16

Our group continues to thrive and the presentations
Chris and Meleesa did leading up to National Novel writing month were very successful. 56 people committed to the challenge and 28 completed the 50,000 words. Nine members of our group did it and one Nancy has already published the book she wrote; others are editing their books.

We also gained some new members from the NaNo participants. We are happy to see so many of our winter writers back with us. They bring a breath of fresh air.

We had a great outside speaker in Laurie Boone. She told us about her new position with the Yuma Historical Society and what had been done to preserve Yuma’s historical data. She also gave us an insight into the people seeking information from the Historical Society. We now know it is an important asset for Yuma and it is there for us to use if we have a need.

The group is looking forward to the Third Annual Author Presentation and signings in February. It’s all about the story is our theme and we are hoping we attract a good sized audience.

Winner certificates

Winner’s Certificates for NaNo at the TGIO party

A few of the poets in our group are also participating in the library’s Poetry and Art project. Poems were submitted and now artists are doing their interpretation of them. There will be a presentation at the end of February in which the poems and art will be paired. Some of the poets may read their poems and the public will vote for their favorite of the pairings

Summer/Fall 2015

The group has come through summer and now looks to fall and winter. We know our winter writers will soon be back and the numbers at our meetings will increase.

We have decided on some changes in our schedule. We will now take the first two Tuesdays in August off and will extend the time between in the Christmas season to three weeks. The choice in August is too give the moderators a break and is always the time when we have the lowest attendance. Adding to the Christmas break is also to give the moderators time to enjoy their families and take a break from the work required to keep the group dynamic.

Our relationship with the library has grown. This October Chris and Meleesa proposed a group of four classes to help aspiring writers prepare to take on the challenge of National Novel Writing Month. The library agreed to host the classes and to help publicize them. Four classes were planned: They will be presented in both the Foothills Library and the Main library. Chris and Meleesa also took the post of municipal liaisons for NaNOWriMo. They are encouraging writers to commit to the 50,000 word challenge and will be helping writers sign up and answering questions and offering inspiration throughout the 30 day period.

Writers are committing and attendance at the classes has been good. Information is being disseminated via  the Yuma NaNo page. It is also where inspiration will be offered in November. It can be found at YumaNaNoWriMo.

The members of the group have been indispensable in helping us with the classes. They are previewed at the weekly meeting before the formal presentations later in the week, Their input has helped polish the presentations and offered other information that could be used.

We have also gained new members from those attending the classes. In preparation for the classes topics for discussion in our regular meetings have occurred. Also some guest speakers will be on the agenda.

In addition a critique group is forming. They are meeting on Wednesdays in the study room at Foothills Library 10:00. In its early stages the group is still formulating it guidelines.

Meleesa was invited to participate in a special anthology with twenty other writers. It is now being offered on Amazon as an e-book for $.99 with all profits going to the Epilepsy Foundation. It has hit 13 of the New York Times Best Selling e-book list.  For 99 cents you get twenty full books.

wicked after

Meet the authors of the Wicked After Dark Box

Winter 2014/Spring 2015

As time marches on, so does our group. We have added six new members in the past months. Two are Winter Writers so they have already gone back to their summer homes. They have added to the group and one member from Idaho has taken some of our ideas back to her group.

With four new members that are year-rounders’ that group has expanded. It bodes well for our summer meetings. With those new members we should have larger presence at our meeting this summer.

We have said goodbye to some members Wayne McDonald found a new love in his like and moved to another part of Arizona. Lorraine Wait, a winter writer and member for several years, said they would not be back to Yuma next winter.

Both Melissa and Ellynore have new books coming out this year. Melissa is available for pre order now.

Coming very soon

available for preorder 4/22//2-15

Some members attended the Tucson Festival of Books in March and came back with valuable information and shared it with the group. It’s a wonderful event and a chance to see and hear some of the best known authors in the country. Best of all it’s free.

we have been fortunate this spring with all the authors who have come to Yuma. Beginning with our OneBookYuma author Ann Kirschner telling us about her experiences writing Lady of the O.K. Corral. Then it was J.A. Jance a much loved mystery writer who lives here six months out of the year and the other six in Washington state. Her mysteries are set here and in Seattle. A large group came to hear her speak and she didn’t disappoint.

Next our own Foothills library had Monica Vickers the author of My Extraordinary Life. She inspired us as she was born with only one functioning arm. She spent her life as a medical transcriptionist and with just the one arm she could type faster than me and most people 120 words per minute.

Then our library had a presentation by Sandra Pesman an award-winning Chicago journalist and author. She amazed the audience with the news that the day after talking to us would be her 84th birthday. She certainly neither looked or acted 84. She told us stories about the celebrities she had interviewed.

Last on April 24th at 2:30 our group member JoAnne Mowczko will give a presentation of the Achuar tribe of Ecuador. JoAnne has written a book about the tribe and all proceeds from its sale go to an Achuar School.


News Fall 2014/ Winter 2015

It has been a productive fall. After a summer that saw some of our meetings with limited attendance, we are back to a full complement of people every week. At one point in December I counted 18 year–round members and 15 Winter Writers and we have had an increase in membership since then.

In November four of our members participated in National Novel Writing Month and completed the 50,000 word challenge. One of the members has already completed and edited hers and submitted it for publication.

In December we had our second annual Presentation at the Foothills Library with ten members participating. Although attendance was light it was a success in that everyone did a great job of telling what inspires and motivates them. We learned some things and will schedule next year’s presentation for a later time.

Our authors have continued publishing more books and some who haven’t in the past are now doing so.

We have lost some members who have moved away, but we have added even more new authors. Meleesa is happy she isn’t the youngest any more since Kristen Young joined. I am happy for Pam Drapala another avid poet.

The group seems to be energetic, enthusiastic and growing in their understanding of being a writer.

Christine Howard

News Winter 2013/2014
The group continues to grow and become more diverse. We have welcomed more men to the group. We are happy to see so many of our Winter Writers still returning.
This year four of the group participated in NaNoWriMo. All four met the 50,000 words challenge and are looking to publishing.
Our association with the library continues to benefit us and we grow as our meetings are posted in the calendar, on their website and on the flat screens. We were asked to present an e-book class at Main which we did. We  worked  with the library to have our published authors do a presentation and signing. We did and it went well with ten of the group participating. The plan is to make it an annual event.
In March several in the group traveled to Tuscon for their book festival. We had our books for sale as well as attending workshops and seminars. Although sales weren’t great we got our names out and the workshops were well worth the trip.
We continue to maintain our website. The prompt of the week has become popular with all of us and even brought a comment from outside.
It’s wonderful that as we start our eighth year the group is still growing and maintaining its vibrancy and helping us in our writing goals

News Fall 2013

From a small group with writing aspirations Write On The Edge has grown into a large group with several published authors. Our intrepid members have, gone out, and joined the digital revolution and self-published. Unwilling to wait years to get a book on the market they have done it themselves.

Much credit goes to Melissa Stevens she has now self-published four full length novels and one short work. Her knowledge of the technical side on computers and the programs available has been invaluable. She doesn’t guard this knowledge either but shares it readily. She gives information to the group as a whole and to individuals when they ask.

The group has also now acquired more male members an asset for all of us writing from a male POV. It’s always a challenge for a woman to get that right as the opposite is true for men writing female POV.

We are looking forward to our Winter Writers returning. Our size always mushrooms when they return. We year-rounders are happy to see them back and learn how their writing has gone over the summer.

Also with November fast approaching many are poised ready again to take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo. In preparation we will be devoting October to preparing for the 50,000 word writing goal .We will be looking at character, plot, outlining/time lining/other organizational methods, world building and back-story.

Our group has also become an integral part of the library. Members took part in Banned Book Week by sitting in the cell for thirty minutes and the whole group participated in the pre and post-interviews. Also Chris and Melissa agreed to take part in a library program on digital publishing.

Our main goals still remain the same to help writers reach their dreams of writing and publishing. Our meetings are still centered around a prompt, presentation focused on some area of writing and critique.

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