Monthly Archives: January 2014

Spoiler Alert! Book Club Discussion – The Face of a Stranger

NightWriters and friends,

We hope you enjoyed the first book of our online book club The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry. Don’t forget that she will be a keynote speaker at the 30th Central Coast Writers Conference at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo this September! Below is a list of questions to get us started – you can respond to those, but please feel free to add your own questions, sentiments and observations in the comment section.

1. Which characters did you think committed the crime? Did you guess the culprit before the end?

2.  The story takes place in 1856 in London. Did the author do a good job of transporting you into that period? How did the time period influence the characters’ actions and beliefs?

3. Anne Perry created William Monk’s character to explore how much of a person’s identity is bound up in memory. Monk does not remember what kind of a person he was and he does not like what he is discovering about himself. How much control do you think we have over who we are and who we become?

4. Besides the main character, what stood out in the story for you? The descriptions? The secondary characters? The dialogue? Did you have a favorite character?

5. This was the first book in a series. Are you inspired to read more of them?

PS: Our next read will be announced tomorrow (February 1st) – make sure to check back! You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.


Contest Info has all the information you need!

contest 2014

Two For The Show Debuts

Local writers Charlotte Alexander and David Congalton have developed a new weekly blog, Two for the Show {Central Coast}. A new edition, devoted exclusively to the arts and leisure, is posted online every Monday morning at

Charlotte and Dave try to cover a broad spectrum, both local and regional, involving everything from Writing to Theatre & Dance to Movies to Visual Arts. NightWriters are welcome to submit photographs for consideration to be featured in Photo of the Week, as well as books to be considered for review.

The web site is evolving weekly, so general feedback is also welcome. Contact us at

The Face of a Stranger – SLO NightWriters Online Book Club


His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective. But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life; his memory and his entire past have vanished. As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work. He is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of an aristocratic Crimean war hero and in the process finds out more of his own past – and is terrified of what he sees.

Anne Perry’s The Face of a Stranger is the first book in her Monk series, introducing us to William Monk, a detective with the police in London of 1856. Anne says: “I began the Monk series in order to explore a different, darker character, and to raise questions about responsibility, particularly that of a person for acts he cannot remember. How much of a person’s identity is bound up in memory? All our reactions, decisions, etc. spring from what we know, have experienced. We are in so many ways the sum of all we have been!”

We will be discussing The Face of a Stranger on this blog at the end of the month, so hurry up and pick up a copy!

PS: Anne Perry will be a keynote speaker at the 2014 Central Coast Writers Conference at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.

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A Night of Critique!

Bring 250-500 words to read for critique.

Tuesday, February 11th  –  7:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Social Hall  – 2201 Lawton St. in SLO

There’s a special treat planned for February: A Critique Extravaganza! If you’re not in a critique group, do you wonder what it’s like, what kind of feedback a NightWriters group would give? If you are you in a group, do you sometimes wonder if another group of writers would give different feedback? Well, wonder no more. 

How to give them, how to receive them, anything you want to know. We’ll cover the basics of effective critique process and discuss the variations that have evolved in our existing groups. This is an interactive, hands-on meeting. Members and guests are encouraged to bring 250-500 words to read for critique. We’ll hear and critique as many pieces as time allows. Our experienced panel will give feedback to the reader, and we’ll take comments from the general NW membership as well. And, don’t forget to also bring paper and pen for taking critique notes. One of the greatest values of participating in a critique process is that you get to hear a variety of perspectives and learn by what other writers do right—and not so right.  It’s a fabulous way to improve your skills! Don’t be shy! It will be encouraging, informative and fun!  

SLO NightWriters Online Book Club – Are You In?

Have you joined our book club yet? No? Then what are you waiting for?

Here is how it works:

1.) Each month we will select a book. We will focus on 2014 Central Coast Writers Conference presenters and on local authors.

2.) At the end of each month we will discuss the book on this blog.

3.) Blog post discussing the book will have a “SPOILER ALERT” warning in its title, so you can avoid reading the comments if you are not ready yet.

4.) In order to participate, follow this blog. You will also find notifications and reminders on our Facebook page.

5.) In the (near) future, we will have fun contests with prizes for you. Stay tuned for more!

6.) Help us to spread the word. You don’t have to be a SLO NightWriter member to participate. Invite your bookworm friends from all over the world!

For the month of January we have selected a book by Anne Perry (Central Coast Writers Conference 2014 keynote speaker) – The Face of a Stranger. There is plenty of time to read it before the end of the month.

Welcome to the club!

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Flash Fiction – January Meeting

Tuesday, January 14th,  7 pm ~ come early!

Unitarian Universalist Social Hall
2201 Lawton St. (near Corner of South & Broad)
San Luis Obispo, CA

Five for Flash  ~ Flash Fiction

Short is not equal to easy. Because you use fewer words, you must make every word count.  In thisFive for Flash session of hands-on and handouts, you’ll find that flash fiction can be challenging and also a lot of fun.

You’ll be shown:

  •  simple rules for flash that can transfer to writing of any kind
  • what flash fiction is . . .and what it isn’t
  • what to leave in and what to leave out
  • where to get ideas for stories of any length
  • how to find good submission sites, and where and how to submit
  • how to create a good basic story in only five minutes

Diane Smith and Anna Unkovich are both award-winning teachers and award-winning writers.  Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, long or short, these presenters will lead you in a fun-filled evening and send you out the door with tools to improve all of your writing.