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Melodie Johnson Howe

Writing is Rewriting: Discovering Your Inner Editor

Exploration through the process of editing how the writer can develop his or her own critical monitor. Fiction and nonfiction writers welcome

9:00-11:30 AM

It is important that a new writer send in a polished manuscript.With that in mind, students will learn what is important to their work: what keeps pace, suspense, and plot moving and what doesn’t.The writing of novels and nonfiction rely on the same techniques: developing character, using dialogue as action, and creating human tension. Raymond Chandler once said,“When in doubt (as a writer) have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.” Join this workshop and find out how to make that man and that gun real.


Melodie Johnson Howe always wanted to be a writer. But born in Los Angeles, she was “discovered” at a cocktail party, and put under contract to Universal Studios as an actress. In her first acting job she was shot dead in the titles of a TV movie. They covered her with a sheet and carted her off to an ambulance, with only her blonde hair showing. Over the next few years she acted in such movies as The Ride To Hangman’s Tree co-starring with James Farentino; Coogan’s Bluff with Clint Eastwood; Gaily, Gaily, directed by Norman Jewison; Rabbit Run with James Caan; and The Moonshine War, co-starring with Alan Alda. During this period she also went to UCLA Extension at night to learn the craft of writing. After quitting acting she wrote her first mystery novel, The Mother Shadow, which was nominated for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Award. The second mystery novel, Beauty Dies, soon followed. Turning to the short story form she created a new character, Diana Poole, an actress verging on middle age. The stories were published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Two have been nominated for the Barry Award. They are now collected into one book, Shooting Hollywood: The Diana Poole Stories. Howe’s latest novel is City of Mirrors, also featuring Diana Poole, and brings her acting life and writing life together. According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, City of Mirrors is slick and smart with a ‘Chinatown’ vibe, only funnier and with an insider’s view of Hollywood….”