Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blogging About Blogging, Westside Writers Schmooze-Style

Waaaaay back on March 12th, the SCBWI Westside Writers Schmooze transformed the SMPL Fairview Branch community room into a Blogster’s Paradise.

The topic was blogging and social media – specifically how we, as writers, can use the internet to improve our craft, share ideas, promote ourselves and generally feel less alone in the world.

We assembled a crack panel of experts featuring Lee Wind, Nutschell Windsor and representatives from The Pen & Ink Blog.

Lee treats blogging like a job (which, technically, it is, as he heads up the official SCBWI Team Blog).  “Blogging made me feel more like a writer,” Lee said.  He tries to post 5 times a week on his personal blog ( and twice a week for the SCBWI.

Sue Berger from The Pen & Ink Blog, who’s a published e-book author said, “If you’re published by an e-publisher, you’d better have an online presence.”  The Pen & Ink Blog began with a critique group.  They each toyed with the idea of doing a blog, and decided it’d be easier and more fun to do it together.

We learned that Nutschell’s blog, The Writing Nut, is a veritable treasure trove of interviews, writing tools and info on events for writers.

Charlie attempts to "fill in" as Greg,
naturally using a chicken as a stand-in.

In addition to the wisdom of the panel, co-coordinator Charlie Cohen had interviewed social media consultants, Greg Pincus and Laura Wallis, and chipped in their thoughts in absentia.

Read and or print the full interview HERE.

We also handed out a brief Social Media Survey.  10 Schmoozers responded and here are some of the details that came to light:

Three people blog; the others don’t – or haven’t yet.

Schmooze regular Joshua Hauke is the creator of online comic, Tales of the Brothers 3 (, and he posts weekly. 

Another anonymous Schmoozer blogs about “writing, on the way to being published” but admits she doesn’t post regularly.

Sarah Harroff was just starting a blog ( about the process of being a writer and said she hoped to post weekly.

Your very own Schmooze co-coordinator, Karol Ruth Silverstein, blogs about your very own Schmooze with her very own co-coordinator partner Charlie.  But lord knows they aren’t very regular about it.

The main reasons given for not blogging were not enough time, not enough technical know how and not having much to say or a unique enough focus. 

Nearly all respondents used Facebook daily.  Other social media sites, like Twitter and Google+, were used less.

Karol and writing partner, Boo
Overall, the evening was fun and informative, and as it turned out – very advantageous for Karol.  In her preparation leading up to this Schmooze, she decided to start trying to put her woefully neglected Twitter account to good use.  She stumbled onto a Twitter pitch event and wound up getting an agent out of it, proving just how valuable using social media can be for your writing career!

Keep an eye out for another blog post very soon (really!) and detailed info on our next Schmooze and the exciting Schmooze year ahead.

Until then, keep passing the open windows,

Charlie & Karol


  1. Sounds like an amazing evening. Congrats, Karol, on getting your agent through Twitter, prompted by this topic!! Proving once again that leading a Schmooze does wonders for one's own writing craft and career. It's amazing.

    Brava! Wish I could have been there, especially to see Charlie stand in for Greg using a chicken. :D

    AND--thanks for posting the fantastic interview, too! Love the frank questions, getting right to the heart of the matter. Bravo!!

  2. We had a lot of fun attending. Lupe chimed in from Sue's iPhone. The chicken was very well spoken.
    Susan started a new blog (sigh) in addition to Pen and Ink for her adult book. She has recipes and guest authors. This week multi best seller, Jayne Ann Krentz.