Congratulations to Bob on His Recent Publications!

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017 in Group News

Bob Beach, longstanding member of the Toledo Writer’s Workshop, has recently set off on a campaign to get his short stories published. We are happy to announce his recent success of getting 4 of them being accepted (so far):

“Lesson Nine”
Dime Show Review

Saturday Evening Post/New Fiction Friday
Release date 4/29/17

Aphotic Realm

“The Reunion ”
Release date not known yet

Way to go, Bob!

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Kill Your Darlings

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Group News

ill Your Darlings

by Renee Shadel

This old writing advice has been passed down from teacher to student since the early 1900s, and by many authors such as William Faulkner, Agatha Christie, John Gardner, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman just to name a few, in some form or another. The definition or items covered under its umbrella have expanded over the centuries.

Most writers agree a “darling” is:

  • Purple prose (flowery, sentimental or cheesy writing)
  • Writing that gives an effect not intended by the writer (i.e. serious, but coming across humorous)
  • Incongruous diction

Across the web and other places writers have expanded the definition to include a chapter, scene, character or POV that obscures plot or flow but the writer doesn’t want to nix it because they are too fond or proud to rework it.

Really, only one thing matters. Is it boring or annoying to the reader? When you’re too close to the immaculate birth of your masterpiece you tend to protect it. Like a parent who thinks their child can do no wrong but like any real human being it may be riddled with flaws.


  • Read it out loud – if it trips you up it needs to go or be reworked
  • Step away and come back with a more critical unemotional approach.
  • Group Critique (come visit us!)

Remedies to ease the pain:

  • My favorite is to put the darling in a folder or document and label it Cannibalize, especially for poetry. Writers have named it the graveyard, R.I.P., recycling, tombstone 1, dumpster, etc.
  • Make it a footnote, use the strikethrough tool until you’re absolutely sure you want to delete it.
  • If your darling stands alone or is a character ready to retire from a story but you don’t want to give them up – start a new piece just for them!
  • Ask yourself, is there a way to make the darling more congruent with the plot, theme, or objective of the story?

Remember, writing is a craft; like whittling wood we cut and shape our stories or poems until they clearly express our objective without taking the reader out of the story.

Renee Shadel is a mom of one daughter and her lovable labrador. She has a Bachelor’s in English/Creative Writing from the University of Toledo and intermittently tells stories and rambles through her thoughts at

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Congratulations Mary!

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Group News

Mary Shipko, frequenter of the the Toledo Writers group and all around swell gal, has released her book: Aviatrix: First Woman Pilot for Hughes Airwest.


Here’s a brief description:

Aviatrix is the captivating story of one of the first women pilots to break into the all-male airline flight cockpit. Hired in 1976 at Hughes Airwest, Mary Bush made a herculean effort to overcome the resistance and harassment she faced in such a position, but it was to no avail.

Mary was introduced to flying at an early age. She started flying as a teenager, studying and training long hours until she painstakingly obtained her ratings one by one. Financial hardships hit the family hard, though, and Mary–desperate for both flying experience and money–headed down to the infamous Corrosion Corner in South Florida to be a “freight dog” for fly-by-night operators. However, she was frequently denied work because of her gender. She kept praying, working, and struggling, though, with the hope of one day becoming an airline pilot, a job in which she would have both steady work and steady pay.

Then, after her brother is lost at sea in one of the family airplanes, Mary is more determined than ever to become a pilot at an airline, just as her brother had planned to be. So, when she is offered the position at Hughes Airwest, Mary is thrilled. Going out west to fly jets was everything she had dreamed of and worked for. The discrimination and lewd remarks she had often faced in Florida, though, had not even come close to preparing her for the relentless harassment she would encounter as the first woman pilot at an airline.

A close-up and enthralling account of Mary’s struggles as an aviation pioneer, this book will astound, appall, and inspire you.

With her first promotion, she had over 40,000 downloads and over 60 reviews with more still rolling in. Mary has been with the Toledo Writers Group for 2 years, and has patiently waded through our critiques and comments to come out with her autobiography.

Congrats, Mary!

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Winter Wheat 2014

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Group News

Another Winter Wheat Festival has come and gone. Several fellow writers from the Toledo Writers Workshop and I attended, and, yes, even with the echoes of a hazed-filled night of karaoke, we left Bowling Green with a generally positive experience (you can read more details in my blog post).

Thanks to Mid-American Review for hosting the event. And thanks to the presenters who volunteered to teach us slacker writers what we thought we already knew.

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