Writers Guild Begins 2019 Season

The Pearl S. Buck Writers Guild invites authors and poets to our 2019 season on the lovely grounds of Green Hills Farm, Pearl’s historic Bucks County residence, on Sunday, March 17th.

The Guild meets 1 to 3pm on the third Sunday monthly, March through October. Writers of fiction, non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry and short stories are encouraged to join us to share and critique their writing.

Members may bring 15 copies of their excerpts for comments. This provides a forum to gain support and feedback from other writers and editors.

The first 2019 meeting is Sunday, March 17th at the Cultural Center [Red Barn building], 520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA 18944. Season membership is $50 for eight meetings. Single meetings are $10.

Click here to register.

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Writing Center Announces Evening Classes

The Writing Center is pleased to offer two evening courses, ideal for writers who are unavailable to take day classes. Both courses feature three classes held Tuesday through Thursday from 6:30 to 8:00pm in the Cultural Center (Red Barn) at Green Hills Farm, 520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, PA 18944.

The instructor for both is the celebrated writer, speaker and women’s advocate, Pam Varkony. Read a brief biography at the end of this post, and visit her website to learn more about her.

Be Your Own Writing Carpenter:
Building Your Audience and Your Platform
May 28, 29, and 30, 2019
(recommended for beginning writers)
$75 for three classes     Click here to register

Course Description:
You are a writer; you are a crafter of beautiful words you want to send in to the universe. First you have to get published. In today’s world, most agents and publishers will insist you have a platform before they consider representing you. Even if you plan to self-publish, people have to know about you to buy your work.

In this three day course we will guide you through the steps you need to take to start building that platform in advance of contacting an agent or self-publishing your book.

The framework of building a successful author’s platform begins with a website and a blog. In today’s crowded online world, if you don’t have an online presence, you don’t exist. Next, don’t overlook the obvious: Write! Write! Write! Publish! Publish! Publish! There are thousands of outlets for guest blog posts, journals, both in print and online, and e-zines covering every topic under the sun.

At the core of all author platforms is your ability to build a following…a presence on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can make or break a book launch.

This class will provide you with action items and resources designed to build your reputation and name recognition.

How to get readers to listen to your story is Pam Varkony’s strength. Her leadership has inspired people all over the world toward better understanding of their lives and the lives of others. Let her show you how to construct a better way to get your ideas over, using her organizational skills and management concepts.

The Truth Makes a Good Story:
Writing Literary Journalism
June 11, 12, and 13, 2019
(recommended for all writers)
$75 for three classes   Click here to register

Course Description:
Truth is a powerful storyline when writing to motivate others to care about some aspect of the human condition. Non-fiction writing is about good story-telling; story-telling that reflects the stark drama, spontaneous humor, or the often hidden minutiae of real life.

During this three-day course we will discuss the importance of doing thorough research and of being a good interviewer. We will talk about the writing style through which you weave a golden thread of understated hyperbole designed to catch the reader in your net.

In this class you will have the chance to put your experience and passions to paper, read it aloud, and have your work critiqued by your fellow writers.

Whether you are interested in editorials, commentaries, persuasive essays, grant writing, or creative non-fiction/memoir, learn to tell a “can’t put it down – can’t turn it down” story. Enlighten the reader to the world around them; persuade them to care.

Pam Varkony will show you how to make your personal stories into memorable prose. Let her show you how to construct a way to get your ideas over, using her organizational skills management and superior writing techniques.


Pamela Varkony is a non-fiction writer and a former columnist for Tribune Publishing. Her work appears in newspapers, magazines and in PBS and NPR on-air commentaries. Her poetry has been published in the New York Times.

Recognized by the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association with an “Excellence in Journalism” award, Pamela often uses her communication skills to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment both at home and abroad. She has twice traveled to Afghanistan on a fact-finding mission and as an embedded journalist.

Pamela was named the 2017 Pearl S. Buck International Woman of Influence for her humanitarian work. She is also a recipient of the Business Council for Peace, VERA Award for her work in Afghanistan, the Chamber of Commerce Athena Award for business achievement; the American Association of University Women’s “Gateway Award” for leadership in women’s issues; a “Woman of Distinction” award from the Girl Scouts, and the Nike Award for championing women’s causes presented to her by Business & Professional Women.

Pamela was born and raised in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she and her husband, Zsolt, maintain a summer home, along with two very spoiled cats.

Read more about Pam on her website .

Goldilocks and the Impossible Bed

By Anne K. Kaler

My favorite childhood story of Goldilocks seeking the “just right” bed must have impressed me more deeply than I ever imagined

Only recently did I realize that the blond-headed child was guilty of trespassing, breaking-and-entering, and theft in her search for a comfortable night’s sleep. Look at the facts. Probably homeless, possibly a runaway, certainly an unwelcomed intruder, the blond female perpetrator broke into the Bear house with the intent to use it as a shelter for the night. Why she was wandering in the woods in the first place is another story involving parental neglect.

A recent trip to the Midwest reminded me of Goldilocks’ homeless story. After twelve hours of driving, I was ready for a good night’s sleep. My reservation at my favorite roadside national chain was for three nights’ stay.  I should have been warned when the attendant proudly announced, “We’re completely renovated now. Enjoy your stay.” Continue reading “Goldilocks and the Impossible Bed”

Hope for the Disorganized

By Bob McCrillis

As you may have gathered from some of my earlier posts, I am organization-impaired. I’m sure that must be a recognized affliction since there appear to be so many sufferers in the world.

Symptoms include spending an hour searching for the yellow piece of paper with the title and premise for the story about the Grizzly bear who learned sign language, or the certainty that you’ve already re-written the scene you’re working on, and drawing a complete blank when you try to remember the clever password you came up with for Writers’ Market.

I’m convinced that, somewhere in the compost heap of information on my desk, there’s a best seller. All I have to do is dig it out, then try to read my handwriting. Continue reading “Hope for the Disorganized”

How Much Research?

By Bob McCrillis

In a talk she gave, Anna Quindlen claimed that she only does as much research as is convenient. That’s quite a statement.

My first thought was, “Sure, if you’re already a best-selling author.” A reader told her that getting from Miami to Tampa in three hours by car was impossible, she replied, “Not in my Florida.”

Yay! I don’t have to bother with inconsistencies and impossibilities. Well, maybe not so fast. I remember a person complaining that the book he was reading wasn’t accurate. It seems that he was familiar with Paris, where the story took place, and the places and street names were all wrong. “It ruined the whole book for me,” he grumbled. Continue reading “How Much Research?”

What Is Your Passion?

By Susan WagnerSue Wagner New

When I was in fourth grade, the economic problems of Appalachia were in the news. I had seen it myself when I watched the news with my mother. We talked about it in school because our school planned to raise funds to aid children there. It was a penny collection. Over a period of a month, we were all asked to collect and donate as many pennies as we could. Continue reading “What Is Your Passion?”

Spring Writer’s Conference ~ ‘Ready! Set! WRITE!’

By Cynthia L. Louden

Come WRITE!

at our Spring Writer’s Conference

Saturday, April 8, 2017         9 – 3 pm

at the Pearl S. Buck
National Historic Landmark House

At 9:15, Orlando R. Barone, noted op-ed writer, script writer, poet, and author of well-regarded college texts will open the Writers Conference. Lonnie’s op-ed pieces appear regularly in The Philadelphia Inquirer. He wrote the best-selling text, Your Voice Is Your Business. Lonnie is also the author of two novels, one published online and two additional books awaiting publication with the Pearl S. Buck Writing Center Press.IMG_lonnie barone

Lonnie’s original script, and lyrics to the original musical play A Musing Tale, were performed in 2016 by the Performing Arts Training Academy in Dallas, PA.  His articles have also appeared in such publications as Momentum Magazine, The Bible Today, and Human Resources.  On the graduate faculty of the Fox School of Business, Lonnie teaches effective writing in his course on business skills. He is also a leadership coach at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Lonnie wrote, developed, produced, and is featured in video-assisted training packages used by such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Exxon Mobil. He is a sought-after lecturer who has conducted creative writing seminars for executive groups and community leaders throughout the USA and abroad and has appeared on radio and TV talk shows. Orlando Barone received his BA from Villanova University and his master’s degree was awarded at the University of Delaware.

After a break for lunch and an Author’s House Tour, at 12:30 our second presenter, Jennifer Lin, will discuss her recent book writing and publishing process.  Famed TV journalist, Connie Chung says, “Only an experienced and dogged journalist like Jennifer could possibly investigate and write such a thoroughly gripping historical personal narrative.  I was with her every step of the way — not just because my parents were born in the Shanghai area but because I shared with her so very much.  You must join her for this worthwhile journey!”jennifer-lin

Jennifer Lin was an investigative reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, including stints as a correspondent in China, New York and Washington, D.C. She left the paper in 2014 to finish writing her family memoir, Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family. Her father, Dr. Paul Lin, a Philadelphia neurosurgeon, left Shanghai in 1949 and took Jennifer and two sisters back to China for a family reunion thirty years later in June 1979. Hours after arriving, an uncle pulled Dr. Lin aside and whispered, “Do you have any idea what happened to us after you left?” This memoir is Jennifer’s attempt to answer that question and more. She weaves oral history with archival research to tell the complicated history of the Lin family going back 150 years. Jennifer will share with writers how she took interviews, letters, diaries, archival materials, newspaper accounts, church reports, diplomatic dispatches, genealogical records, and other primary source materials and turned them into a story about her Chinese family. Shanghai Faithful is a multigenerational saga of the Lin family, serving as a brisk history of Christianity in China. From 19th-century missions to the churches of war-torn Shanghai and today’s thriving house churches, Lin’s book vividly brings to life a country’s turbulent history and a family’s poignant struggles. When the Cultural Revolution appears to tear the family apart, forgiveness and understanding prevail, setting the stage for a new beginning. A native of Philadelphia, Jennifer lives in Doylestown with her husband, Bill Stieg, an editor at Men’s Health magazine. Her children are bicoastal with Karl Stieg working on documentary films in Los Angeles and Cory Stieg writing for the New York-based Refinery 29 women’s lifestyle website.

From 2 – 3pm, the Pearl Buck Writing Center staff will offer a Q&A panel which will offer additional writing suggestions to interested participants.

Register for the Spring Writing Conference at www.pearlsbuck.org/writingworkshops  Handicap accessible – ample free parking. includes an abbreviated Writers Tour of the Pearl S. Buck’s National Historic Landmark House. Presenters will also read from their works, and have books to sell. Bring a bag lunch. Coffee, tea, water will be provided. A 10% Discount on Gift Shop purchases is also included.

Sponsored by the Pearl S. Buck Volunteer Association, all proceeds benefit Pearl S. Buck International, 520 Dublin Rd, Perkasie 18944.

Directions: (from Doylestown) Route 313 & Maple Ave, Dublin; (from Montgomeryville) Route 309 North to Hilltown Pike and Dublin Road.

For more information, contact Cynthia L. Louden, Chr., Pearl S. Buck Writing Center, 267-421-6203 – clouden@pearlsbuck.org