December 16, 2016

Christmas Party Lunch Cancelation

Hello everyone,
Sadly, we have cancelled our monthly meeting and the Christmas lunch party for Saturday, December 17th. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

October 22, 2016

Member Highlight: Marylin and Nshan Erganian

Marylin and Nshan Erganian live in St. Joseph, Missouri. Each held professional positions before retiring to enjoy life with their two children, seven grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Marylin Erganian served sixteen years as the Administrative Assistant to a United States Congressman before joining her husband in operating two commercial orchards located in northwest Missouri. She is an active member of the Piecemakers. As of the year 2016, the organization has created and donated over 11,000 blankets to shut-ins, women’s shelters, cancer patients, and others in need.

Dr. Nshan Erganian’s professional career included service as a dedicated educator, public school superintendent, healthcare administrator, and professional consultant. He is a member of the St. Joseph Writer’s Guild. In addition to Desperate Reunion…the Promise, he is the author of the novel Keeper of the Mountain. His other published works include Mom Was a Baseball Legend and Grandpa’s Guide to Caring for Twin Toddlers.

All of their books can be found on Amazon. For more information on Marylin and Nshan Erganian, please visit their website at

October 13, 2016

Member Highlight: Samantha Fidler-Newby

Samantha Fidler-Newby was born in California but has lived in St. Joseph, MO for much of her life. After graduating from Central High School, she attended Truman State University where she pursued a degree in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism. She wanted to write for a living but was unable to find any positions in her hometown at that time. So, she decided to continue her studies at Northwest Missouri State University and earned a Master’s degree in English.

While working in several different fields, she wrote the first book of her fantasy adventure trilogy called The Thornless Rose: Fire Blush. Samantha decided to pursue self-publishing but found the process difficult with her busy schedule. Luckily, she was able to find Amazing Things Press, a small local publishing company, and they helped her release her novel in September 2016. 

Samantha, a city girl at heart, lives out in the country with her husband, Tom. They have a brood of animals that keep them company, including three cats (Dewlanna, Calista, and Jessie) and one dog (Munchkin). When she is not writing, Samantha loves to read, knit and is working on completing her M.A.A. in Written Communication with an emphasis in Technical Communication. In the future, she hopes to start a freelance career and provide non-profit organizations and small businesses assistance with all their communication needs.   

If you would like to learn more about Samantha and her writing, please visit her website at, like her Facebook page at, and follow her on Twitter at

September 21, 2016

Member Highlight: Melody Schaefer

Melody Schaefer has been married since birth. (Not really, but that's what she likes to tell everyone.) She has a married son with 3 beautiful children. Also, she has a daughter who is married with 2 adorable boys.  They both live close by and she delights in having them over for sleepovers once a month. Sometimes, they sleep out on the deck where they stargaze until the sandman visits us.

Currently, Melody is working in a bank as a customer service representative. If she has downtime there, she draws characters and color them. Also, she labels herself as an amateur gardener, a wine enthusiast, a world traveler, and now, children's book author and illustrator. Life is certainly fun for her and has taught her that you are never too old to dream a new dream!

For more information about Melody and her works, please visit her website at

September 12, 2016

Member Highlight: Julie Casey

Julie Casey lives in a rural area near St. Joseph, Missouri, with her husband, Jonn Casey, a science teacher, and their three youngest sons. After teaching preschool for fifteen years, she has been homeschooling her sons for fifteen years. Julie has Bachelor of Science degrees in education and computer programming and has written five books.

She enjoys historical reenacting, wildlife rehabilitation, teaching her children, and writing books that capture the imaginations of young people. She is the current president of the St. Joseph Writers Guild. 

You can find out more about Julie and her books on her website at Follow her on Facebook at or Twitter @JulieLCasey. 

August 19, 2016

Author Showcase

Along with Member Highlights, we want to give our readers the chance to get to know other midwest authors we meet from time to time. Here is Connie's story. 

Connie Condron Dow is the author of her first children’s book, Mary Rose and the Secret Horses. The setting of the book is the area around Blue Mound, Missouri and takes place during the Civil War.  

She grew up in a large family on a farm near Blue Mound, which has been in the family for six generations. She spent many years as a teacher and is currently retired, but continues to substitute teach on many days.

Getting a teaching degree from Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph was a goal she set for herself as she was raising children and working as a teacher’s aide and secretary at Southwest School, Ludlow, Missouri. With that accomplished, she began her teaching career at Cameron School and then at Chillicothe R-I Schools in the Early Childhood Program, while completing her master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State University.  The next goal was to obtain certification in Gifted Education in order to teach the WINGS Program in Chillicothe. 

Connie has four children, Eric, Shane, Jill, and Caitlin and she has six grandchildren. She is married to Al Dow, who is a math teacher and a technology consultant.  Besides writing fiction, she enjoys reading mysteries, photography, sewing quilts, painting, and of course, spending time with her family.

Her book can be found on Amazon. She is currently working on an additional book for the Blue Mound Series. To find out more about her and her books, you can visit her website at 

August 8, 2016

Member Highlight: Vashti Daise

Vashti Daise is a high school math and science teacher and has been blessed to live a life full of adventure! One of the best compliments she has ever received is when several of my students recently agreed that they "want to be Mrs. Daise when they grow up!" Her students get to hear of her many fun adventures living on a sailboat, swimming with whale sharks, studying sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica, and traveling to various countries, and they see that at the age of 53, she has published her first books. She always tells them, "See, being 'old' can still be exciting!" 

Vashti owes her adventurous spirit to her parents who were always taking us off on some fun adventure. Some of those adventures included: moving to Nigeria to teach for two years, fossil hunting, camping, finding edible wild plants and creating homemade radio shows. She  had a wonderful time growing up with her family, who were full of creative pursuits. She also contributes her spirit to her husband, Larry, who is always up for something new! He also recently wrote a great sailing novel, "Seeking the Green Flash", which is LOOSELY based on our life aboard the "Lazy Daise" (good name, huh?)

To find out more about Vashti or about her writing, please visit her website at or visit her Facebook page at

August 2, 2016

Member Highlight: David Noe

When David was younger, he never knew if he would ever be a published writer. He did, however, know he was going to be a writer. No matter what else he was, he would be a writer. But life, being what it is, often got in the way, and writing was difficult to commit to, even with a burning desire to do so. So, in January of 1996, he started up his own small press magazine called, TYPO Magazine. It was just eight pages of stories and poems, but it gave him and other an outlet. More importantly, it gave him a deadline. If he was to publish this magazine, he would need enough content to fill it every single month. Happily, he has been producing Typos for all these years, never missing a single month in all this time. After some near misses in the early 2000’s, wherein he had two books published before the company nearly went bankrupt and had to change formats, he finally found a competent and valuable and local editor and publisher, Amazing Things Press.

To date, he has had several books published in varying genres, often thanks to the years of toiling in the wilderness with Typo. Dave grew up on a small farm in Helena, Missouri, a non-incorporated village in Andrew County. After some college at Missouri Western State College, he moved to Gower, Missouri, a slightly larger small town located between St. Joseph and Kansas City. He is married and has two grown daughters. He rents property and apartments and mobile homes and works part time at a local convalescence center in order to pay the bills. David was born on Valentine’s Day, and he puts his heart into everything that he writes.

For more information on David and his portfolio of work, visit his website at or check out his Facebook page at

July 26, 2016

Member Highlight: Debra Butterfield

Debra L. Butterfield is a freelance editor, writer, and writer coach. She is the author of Carried by Grace: A Guide for Mothers of Victims of Sexual Abuse, and the e-book Mystery on Maple Hill. She blogs about the craft of writing at

You can find out more about her on Facebook page at

July 21, 2016

Memeber Highlight: James Fly

James Fly grew up in Denver, Colorado and joined the U.S. Coast Guard at the age 19. After the service, James earned a B.A. in Journalism from Pacific Union College in Angwin, CA. Once he was done with school, he edited various church and college publications, plus two weekly newspapers.

For two decades, James co-owned and managed a health food store in downtown St. Joseph, MO. He has since transitioned to part-time health coach and gets to relax full-time. James lives with his wife, Connie, in St. Joseph. He has published three books of poetry through Amazing Things Press.

You can find out more about James and work on his website at or connect with him on Facebook at

July 15, 2016

Member Highlight: Marilyn Weimer

Marilyn Weimer completed a three-year Famous Artist Course. She studied art at the Kansas University and completed her Associate of Arts with a degree in design at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA. in 1987.  Marilyn has attended numerous workshops across the Western states that were conducted by artists such as Consuela Gamboa and Barbara Nechis and Diane Maxey. 

A past gallery owner, Marilyn is now working independently in Missouri. She has exhibited her work in Kansas, Arizona, California and Missouri.  She was a juried artist for the 1995 Temecula Art Under the Arbor and Taste of The Valley Festival.  She was also juried in the Excelsior Spring Gallery 105 in 2010. One woman exhibit held at Powell Gardens, Kingsville, MO March through April 2012.

She has been a two-year board member of a California artists’ society.  Has been a member of the Plattsburg Artists Coalition and displayed her watercolor paintings in the local Plattsburg Bank and restaurant. 

 Marilyn won an honorable mention award for a watercolor landscape in the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in the 2002 membership art show.  She was juried in two Albrecht-Kemper Museum exhibits in 2015. Her watercolor landscape won first place in the 2010 Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri, Inc. People’s Choice Award held in St. Louis, MO.

She is a member of the gallery and presently teaches watercolor once a month at The Glass Eye Gallery in St Joseph, MO. Her first fiction novel MariKay’s Rainbow and the sequel Rawnie’s Mirage both will be available at the Gallery;; or through Amazing Things Rawnie’s Mirage was launched December 5th, 2015 

You can learn more about Marilyn and see her work on her website or connect with her on Facebook at

January 11, 2016

January 2016 Meeting


The St. Joseph Writers Guild will meet this Saturday, January 16th at 1:00 at the Joyce Raye Patterson building in St. Joseph.

Our speaker is Rochelle, Book Manager from Hastings in St. Joseph. She will be speaking about market trends in books, a fascinating and important subject for everyone who has written or is thinking about writing a book.

Hosts for the meeting are Patti Bennett and Marianne Brachman.

Hope to see you there!