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"Beyond The First Draft: Editing Your MS for Success"

Every professional writer knows that the first draft of anything from an epic novel to a short story is going to need considerable revision and polishing. To get your prose in shape for submission and publication may take several additional drafts. While some writers consider this process part luck and part voodoo, there are definite paths to success.

Join us as a panel of editors discuss the right way to hone a masterpiece (i.e.: worthy of publishing) by knowing what to look for and share tips on how to fix it yourself. Then, we'll discuss when is the right time to bring in a professional editor, and what it might cost.

No matter what you are writing, you must attend this special speaker event to further your career as a writer. Guest panelists include:Lisa Marguerite Mora, Barbara Ardinger, Mike Robinson, Deanna Brady and Tony N Todaro (M)

Saturday, September 17th, 2:30 pm
Palms-Rancho Park Library
Ray Bradbury Room, Second Floor. 
FREE. Come early for best seating.

Steve Fisch at GLAWSIn his comedy, The Clouds, Aristophanes sends a young Athenian man to school at the Thinkery, which is run by Socrates. I wouldn’t even begin to compare myself to Socrates, but I have a pretty good idea what it’s like to live in a Thinkery. I live a wonderful life working and playing with words. I’m blessed to have edited something over 250 books, which—counting the people who have come back to me with their second or third or fourth project—means I’ve helped maybe a couple hundred people make their dreams of holding in their own hands a published book they wrote come true. If holding your published book in your hands is your dream, I can help you.

Send me an email at, and we can start talking about what you want to write. Read more.

Ph.D. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
Major: English Renaissance literature (emphasis on the drama)
Minors: Restoration/18th century drama, modern continental drama M.A.

Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Major: English
Minor: Psychology Extensive study of history and comparative religion

Ms. Ardinger has been a freelance manuscript editor since 2003. Editing manuscripts for published authors, would-be and wannabe authors, graduate students, and professionals in many fields. “Go-to” editor for two small on-demand publishers for several years. On-going editor for the American Holistic Health Association. Projects include fiction, nonfiction, and academic discourse, all on a wide variety of topics by diverse authors around the U.S. and in Europe, Africa, and Australia. Also screenplays and poetry. More than 250 manuscripts edited to date. Freelance writer/editor and owner of I Can Write It For You (a consulting service), 1983–2003. Primary clients: small and mid-size businesses, corporate communications departments, and entrepreneurs. Projects: articles, proposals, user and procedures manuals, reports, collateral marketing literature, and other efforts.

Freelance book editor Barbara Ardinger’s newest book is Secret Lives (CreateSpace, 2011), which is a novel of magical realism set in Long Beach in 1989-90.

See for her comments about working with on-demand and vanity presses.

As an author whose books have been published by both traditional and POD publishers, Barbara is able to guide smart people with good ideas through the maze of writing a book—dialogue, punctuation, spelling, logical and narrative flow, subject-verb agreement, adverbs, and other matters of gooder English, plus some basic fact-checking—without running into quite all the dead ends. Her aim is to help authors not embarrass themselves in print.

cvrSet in Long Beach’s historic Rose Park neighborhood, Secret Lives tells the adventures in a year in the lives of a circle of crones, mothers, and a maiden. Among the other characters are the Green Man, an ageless Neolithic shaman, a ghostly inquisitor, the Norns gone mad in the modern world, and a lost goddess who reminds us of Red Riding Hood. And then there’s Madame Blavatsky, the talking cat that is the circle’s too-familiar familiar. There are both earthly love and cosmic war in Secret Lives, which is a big novel about big issues—aging and death, the way our society treats its senior citizens, women’s friendships, the powers of love, the theory and practice of magic, the rebirth of the Goddess and Her ancient religion. It’s about the untidy mysteries of human life.

As the baby boom generation ages, the issues addressed in Secret Lives become more significant to readers. Also more recognizable. Issues that used to matter only to their parents are now starting to pop up in the boomers’ own lives. This novel will thus appeal not only to the large audience that reads pagan fiction, but also to mainstream readers who love a good, complicated story and may be curious about pagans and gods and goddesses. As they read, they will learn a great deal.


Deanna Brady at GLAWSDeanna Brady is a highly versatile freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience. She ghostwrites, rewrites, and edits novels, literary and genre fiction, creative nonfiction, biographies, scripts, self-help and how-to books, articles, essays, proposals, cover and query letters, business communications, and Web content. In addition to writing several children’s textbooks, she has been an award-winning author of short fiction and poetry. She taught in the Continuing Education department at California State University for a dozen years. She also has an extensive background in the film and television industry and is a voting member of Film Independent and SAG.

Known as an “editor’s editor,” Deanna is adept with ESL, dialects, and translated text. In addition to fantasy, romance, historical, and young adult fiction, she specializes in projects concerning spirituality, ecology, Native American Indian and other indigenous cultures, psychology, and complementary medicine. For ten years, she was editor of an internationally published inspirational magazine. She has volunteered her services on behalf of several charitable organizations, and her grant proposals have garnered nearly half a million dollars for nonprofit groups.

Deanna works with a broad spectrum of clients, from individuals to major corporations, in widely varied fields. She has written and edited nearly every type of literature, including advertising and marketing copy, prospectuses, and training materials for such diverse clients as IBM, AT&T, Omnicom Group Worldwide, George Marciano/Guess, Learning Tree International, Crabtree Publishing Company, Canon Communications, and the RAND Corporation.

Writer, editor, ghostwriter, book doctor, script doctor Copywriter: marketing, advertising, Web sites Topics: business, health, medical, technical, legal, and science editor Submission services: book proposals and query letters Fiction and nonfiction categories include: fantasy/speculative fiction, historical, romance, adventure, young adult and children’s literature, creative nonfiction, memoir/biography, self-help, how-to, indigenous cultures, psychology, spirituality, complementary/alternative and allopathic medicine, fitness and health, entertainment, fashion, ecology, and political/social issues.

Office:(310) 826-2770


Lisa Mora at GLAWS

Lisa Marguerite Mora of Barrington Editorial Services and Hidden Wisdom Writing Workshops offers editing, as well as manuscript critiques and a writing environment in which to create new work. While she is an excellent line editor, she specializes in the broader problems of content and structure. Lisa can help the writer discover their direction and their unique voice, and the manuscript’s shape and purpose. Her clients include traditionally published authors and award winning independents.

She has published and forthcoming poetry and prose in (Rattle, ONTHEBUS, Literary Mama, Common Ties, California Quarterly among others; 2008 Second Place Poetry Prize Blue Mountain Arts); freelance editor at Barrington Editorial; 2007-2008 Assistant Fiction Editor at 42opus a Magazine of the Literary Arts; UCLA Bachelors English-Creative Writing Emphasis. She was a featured reader at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center and for West Hollywood Book Fair, She has been a panelist many times for GLAWS and also for IWOSC. Lisa has conducted workshops for independent bookstores, the Los Angeles Public Library, West Los Angeles College Creative Writers Club, and California State University Los Angeles. She is on staff at Santa Monica College Community Services, and GLAWS Critique Group Leader for Poetry.

Her novel-in-progress has generated agent interest for its historical and literary themes..

Finding the wisdom,magic, and communicative spark in each client's writing. Literary fiction, poetry, YA, memoir, self-help. Workshops & Manuscript Critiques, Editing.


Mike Robinson at GLAWS

Having written since age seven, Mike sold his first short story at nineteen. Now twenty-eight, he has sold fiction to a dozen print and electronic magazines, anthologies and podcasts. Taking in Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000-hour rule", he has rigorously dedicated the past decade to writing and revising some nine novels and nearly fifty short stories. One of his novels is slated to debut later this year from Solstice Publishing. As a freelance editor, he has worked on short stories, poetry, essays, dissertations, novels and screenplays, all in a line, developmental or copyediting vein. He is also managing editor of GLAWS' forthcoming literary publication.

In terms of artistic philosophy, he falls somewhere between a postmodernist and a romantic, perhaps with an emphasis on the latter (can you be a romantic postmodernist?!). The former side of him believes there are innumerable paths to the transcendent qualities of "Art"; the latter side uses (and believes in) words like  "transcendent". As an editor, these two halves work side by side, ensuring the original ideal of the work is preserved while taking every opportunity for polish. I don't work to the winds of the market, or even to what I in particular would like to see, but aim to help you realize what is, primarily for you, the most satisfactory version of your vision. 



Steve Fisch at GLAWSTony N. Todaro is Co-founder and President of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society. As he considers this one of the more important subjects for every writer of every discipline, he will personally serve as moderator.

Mr. Todaro has earned his living as a writer, brand strategist and creative director for over thirty years, consulting and writing for a wide range of organizations, from Fortune 1000 companies to non-profits, and more recently, Hollywood unions and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center / Department of Defense.

He is also a consultant to conventions and workshops on their writers program. He is a regular speaker at the Los Angeles Regional Science Fiction Convention, the San Diego Science Fiction Conventions, Baycon, the regional Westercons, and other events, where he has appeared on countless writer panels. He also programmed the writers stream for Loscon in 2009 and 2010 with more than 15 panels, 75 speakers and industry experts over three days.

He was awarded a grant to strategize and author the branding and website for Los Angeles Valley College’s Media Arts, which includes Cinema, Screenplay and Broadcasting. He is also a professional consultant to the Media Arts department, the Entertainment Industry Training Collaboration (EITC) with Hollywood unions and the IDEAS group.

Writing as T.N.Todaro, his previous novels include "True Light" and "Nexus of Swords" in the Lightriders Saga series, and the forthcoming "What Comes Around" and “Eyes of God” his new gritty futuristic Xander Hunt series. He is a perennial author of novels. short stories, and articles on the craft of writing. He also critiques and edits the work of others.


The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for writers of all disciplines to meet and discuss the craft and the business of writing. GLAWS accomplishes this through monthly meetings, discussion forums, critique groups, special writer appearances, conferences, and other events conducted for the purpose of educating and mentoring writers of all levels of expertise. GLAWS Special Speaker Events are open to the public, and a great venue to meet other writers and expand your expertise.

  Special Speaker Event!
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