All posts by Anna Marie Gire

September 9, 2017 Schedule of Workshops

TAZ Writer’s Conference

Saturday, September 9, 2017

8:00am – 4:30pm

CCAC – Allegheny Campus


8:00am – 9:00am     Registration/Continental breakfast

9:00am – 9:15am       Introduction – Anna Marie Gire/Ann Howley/Rachel Sweet-Boring


9:15am – 10:10am           Panel discussion #1: How to Make a Living Writing= Panelists: Diana Fletcher Katherine Heart, Tiffany Huff

  • Magazine writing, blog writing, grant writing


10:15am – 11:10am       Breakout Session #1 –  Michael Monyok (legal considerations

Breakout Session #2 –  Denise LaRosa (children’s books)

Breakout Session #3 – Ellen Roth (fantasy/science fiction)


11:15am – 12:10pm         Panel discussion #2: Self vs Traditional vs Hybrid Publishing- Panelists: Gina Mazza, Joyce Faulkner, Sandra Gould Ford

What do editors and publishers really want?

  • Current trends in publishing
  • Book proposal or query?

12:15pm – 1:15pm           Lunch

  • Boxed lunches available (vegetarian choices )
  • Browse vendors and sponsors

1:20pm – 2:15pm

Breakout Session #4 – Paula Reed Ward (forensics)

Breakout Session #5 – Wendy Duchene (memoir)


Breakout Session #6 – Joyce Faulkner (research)

Breakout Session #7 – Dalel Kahlil (diversity)

3:15pm – 3:30pm             Break – snack provided

3:30pm – 4:20pm             Panel discussion #3: Marketing Your Book

 Panelists: Donna Baxter, Dede Rittman, Deb Riley Magnus

4:30pm      Adjourn

Breakout workshop topics:

  1. Research Joyce Faulkner
  2. Mom Said It Was All in my Head (writing fantasy and science fiction), Ellen Roth
  3. Get Your Crime Right (forensic science) Paula Reed Ward
  4. How to Write and Not Get in Trouble (legal considerations) Michael Monyok
  5. Making it Real (importance of diversity in writing) Dalel Kahlil
  6. Mapping Your Memories (memoir) Wendy Duchene

  7. Children’s books Denise LaRosa



Talk to the Editor Gina Mazza, Joyce Faulkner

Benefits of Submitting Your Book For A TAZ Award

Benefits of Entering the TAZ Awards


In addition to the honor of being selected as a Winner in the TAZ Book Awards, there are also many practical benefits. Here are some of the many benefits of participating:
Honors and Distinction
Winners and category winners earn:
• The distinction of being honored as a winner. This leads to recognition from fans, the industry, your peers and, indeed, the world. It also impresses publishers.
• A gold digital winner seal for your book
• A special award for 1st place winners
• The right to display winner stickers or digital winner emblems on your book covers, websites and promotional materials. This distinction helps sell books!
• The right to printed award Certificates that reveal your award to family, colleagues and friends – as proof that your hard work has paid off.

All those nominated earn the right to use the verbiage “Nominated for the TAZ book award.” Badges saying “Nominated” will be available to all nominees.
More than just being an Awards (as terrific as that is!), you also get publicity and visibility including:
• Publicity: Winners and category winners get listed in press releases and the official announcement on The Authors’ Zone website, now under construction. It’s a perfect hook to convince the press in your local community to do a news story.
• Social media exposure: TAZ Book Awards last year generated nearly 50,000 social mentions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere. The TAZ Book Awards amps up the online conversation around a book.

9 Feng Shui Tips for Writers

Try these 9 tips to get you in the mood!

Yvonne Phillips FSII

Do you need inspiration for that next writing project?

Do you need to write more content for your blog or to work on your first book? Follow these 8 Feng Shui

Tips to get you in the mood to write more creatively.

Here are 4 areas of the map of Feng Shui that are most important to a writer according to the principles of Feng Shui:

The Knowledge Area that is located in the South West area of your office or writing space.

The Career Areas that is located in the South area of your office or writing space.

The Creativity Area that is located in the East area of your office or writing space.

The Fame Area that is located in the North area of your office or writing space.

1. Yes, you must Declutter the area! If you like piles of papers around you, use horizontal containers or cabinets and if you like to file, choose vertical files.

Your goal here is to create a space that doesn’t overwhelm you with lots of clutter and you want a space that helps you focus on your writing projects.

2. Your Desk placement must be correct; never have your back to the door. If you must settle for your back to the door, there is a remedy. Place a mirror or reflective artwork on your wall so you can see who is approaching you from behind your chair.

3. If you have a window, try to be able to look out every so often to give you the depth of view and in turn you are exercising your eyes. Your space is all about you, it must match how you feel and how you operate.

4. Choose a water element that is moving like a fountain or flowing water with sound effects, very softly in the background.

5. Electronics use sudden bursts of energy and draw our energy, try and sit farther away from them.

Electromagnetic fields can go as far as 30”. Use plants to block this negative energy where it makes sense.

6. Hang a wooden chime in your window. It activates the chi energy to bring in wealth to you. Place your certificates or awards in the North part of the room, it is your fame and reputation area.

7. Bring in the 5 elements of fire, water, earth, metal and wood. They all interact with each other and work for you in creating a balanced writing space.

8. Here are some examples of items you can use in the different areas of your space. Keep everything simple and small. These items don’t have to be out, they can be placed inside a drawer or cabinet or all placed on a shelf.

Earth-Center-yellow-can be rocks, stones, pottery or any square object.

Fire-North-red/dark oranges-lamps, computers or artwork with red in it or an object shaped like a pyramid.

Water -South-dark blue or black and a wavy shaped object.

Wood-West-green and add plants or books in this space or an object in a rectangle shape.

Metal-East silver or grey and add any coins, or items with metallic finishes and a round object If you don’t have a routine or a ritual to start your writing, now is the time to create one. You can use music to get you inspired or light a candle. You can also create your ultimate writing space in another part of your office area. Happy Writing!

Yvonne can be reached at
or check out for more Feng Shui information.

About Pittsburgh

According to the US Census bureau-In 2012  the Population of Pittsburgh was  estimated at  306,211

Trolley for TAZ


Find out more about Southwestern PA. –

1. Pittsburgh & Allegheny County
2. Kittanning & Armstrong County
3. Beaver Falls, Ambridge & Beaver County
4. Cranberry, Butler & Butler County
5. Johnstown & Cambria County
6. Uniontown, Perryopolis & Fayette County
7. Waynesburg & Greene County
8. Indiana & Indiana County
9. New Castle & Lawrence County
10. Somerset & Somerset County
11. Washington, Canonsburg & Washington County
12. Greensburg, Latrobe & Westmoreland County