Publishing and marketing strategist Ingrid Ricks visits with EPIC at the
Edmonds Library on Monday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m., to talk about navigating the new
publishing world. Ricks is a Seattle-based journalist, author, marketing
consultant and teen mentor who leverages the new world of digital publishing to
give at-risk teens a voice. Using her award-winning debut memoir, “Hippie Boy: A
Girl’s Story,” as a teaching guide, she recently teamed with Scriber Lake
English Teacher Marjie Bowker to launch , a
nationally-recognized mentoring and publishing program that helps at-risk teens
find their voice by writing and publishing their personal stories.

Ricks’s essays and stories have been published in “,” “Ladies’ Home Journal,” “The Advocate,” and other publications. She writes emotionally-charged memoirs with vivid scenes and compelling story lines that are often mistaken for fiction. In addition to “Hippie Boy,” she is the author of “Focus,” a memoir
about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa, and a memoir story collection, “A Little Book of Mormon (and Not So Mormon) Stories.”  For more information, visit her .

(Story courtesy

On Mon., Feb. 4, all writers interested in being in critique groups are welcome to meet at 9 a.m. in the Edmonds Library. Here are your Critique Group rules:

Bring a highlighter and a chunk of your writing (1-3 pages) in as many copies as there are group members.
Exchange writing. Read. Highlight things you like.  
At all times be positive.
Find 3-5 things you like.
It’s okay to note, “I drifted off here….”
Or..., “I might change line X, by writing Y….”  
Banished: You SHOULDS.
Banished: “This didn’t work for me here….”
Banished: “I’m not really your reader.”
Banished: Long-winded discussions about another writer, or a brilliant book you bought in Korea….instead, you must get to the point about the work in front of you.
At the end of a critique, the writer will critique the commenting folks, by letting them know whether s/he is now excited to go back and revise. If s/he is excited, then the commenting folks did a great job.



Brand strategist Carol Pierson Holding visited EPIC’s Monday writing group today and laid out the steps to create a
writing brand. “Consistency,” “difference,” and “benefit” were three factors, according to Holding, that turned Hemingway’s ramblings into his brand of an “heroic artist, a macho man of few words, with great appetites.”

Holding led attendees through the branding process, starting with figuring out your “features and functions,” which could include a science background, tragic childhood, or journalism career. Then look for the “benefits” your readers will receive, add in your “personality and values,” and top with “vision and purpose.” Now boil it all down to the essentials, while
keeping in mind your ideal reader, and share it with others. “That’s when the magic happens,” said Holding, because it was a friendly conversation that shocked her into the realization she wasn’t just an environmental writer, but “an environmental muckraker.” And her resulting brand is this: “I am an environmental muckraker for Huffington Post.”

Now it’s your turn. Email us your “brand,” and let us help you build it. Let the magic strike. -Janette

Want to know how to separate your writing from the pack? Come to EPIC Monday morning writing group on Jan. 28, when Huffington Post writer Carol Pierson Holding speaks on brand strategy for writers. Here are the details:

Brand Strategy for Writers

Brand Strategy expert Carol Pierson Holding visits with EPIC writers at the Edmonds Library on Monday, January 28 at 11 a.m. (post-writing group) to talk about how to develop your brand as a writer. Applying tools she developed for some of our best-known brands to the work of  writers, Carol will speak about what we can do to get our names and our work out in the world.

Carol Pierson Holding writes on environmental issues and social responsibility for Huffington Post and has contributed to the Carnegie Council's Policy InnovationsHarvard Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, and many websites. Until 2010, she was a branding thought leader focused on the intersection of brand and social responsibility. Carol’s fiction appeared under the name Carol G. Pierson in Stratus, Journal of Arts and Writing, and she is currently working on a novel Swimming the Mississippi. Carol holds degrees from Smith College and Harvard University. (Image courtesy Huffington Post).




, editor of  the local , spoke today at EPIC's Monday morning writing group. She advised new writers to break into the regional newspapers and magazine freelancing business, which will help you "meet deadlines," "practice, practice, practice," "meet people in the industry," and "build a platform." 

Griffin encouraged EPIC's writers to  send her a query letter, offering to cover a relevant story in one of these categories: "H&G, H&F, Better After 50, and A&E." In other words, find a local story that concerns house and garden, health and fitness, aging well, or arts and entertainment. You can submit your query by email, but don't be casual. And if she has one piece of advice for folks interested in working for her, it is to find a way to make her job easier.

Let us know if you query Griffin and if you receive an assignment. We know a number of EPIC writers are ready for this gig.



Elizabeth Griffien, author of "Fragile X, Fragile Hope," will speak at EPIC's Monday morning writing group on Jan. 14, after the 10 a.m. writing session. The public is invited to attend this free event.
(Image courtesy My Edmonds News).