March 1, 2017

Jill Perkins Young Writers Contest Winners Announced

The entries are in and we have selected the winners of our 9th annual contest for the young writers from Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. The winners will receive a cash prize at the St. Joseph Writers Guild monthly meeting at 1 P.M.on March 18th at the Rolling Hills Library (1904 N Belt Hwy, St. Joseph, MO).

And the winners are:

1st place: Jo’Anna Harris with “Fourth of July” 
(Benton High School Senior)  

2nd place: Matthew Baig with “Paper Boy”
 (Benton High School Junior)

3rd place: Gracie Bradley with “Dance Competition” 
(Bode Middle School 7th grade)  

Short Story
1st place: Elizabeth Reynolds with “The Thing Under the Rug” 
(Benton High School Junior)

2nd place: Eli Embray with “The Diaries of The Lonely” 
(South Park Christian Academy Sophomore)

3rd place: Emma Rule with “Sirens on a Neighboring Street” 
(Chillicothe Middle School 8th grade)

1st place: Shaya Force with “Being an Introvert”
 (Benton High School Senior) 

2nd place: Braden Hensley with “Nativism and the Negative Effect It Has on Our Country” 
(Benton High School Senior)  

3rd place: Baileigh Castandeo with “Does Having a Negative Body Image Change Your Perspective on the World Around You?” (Benton High School Junior)

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