August 17th Speaker: R. J. Lee

Navigating Today’s New York Publishing Market

R. J. Lee will discuss the current publishing market, what agents and editors are looking for, how to attract an agent, and how to work with editors.

R. J. Lee follows in the mystery writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, New York publishers of WINGS and other pulp fiction periodicals in the late ’40’s and early ’50’s. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee), where he studied creative writing under ‘Sewanee Review’ editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi. He is also currently under contract to Kensington Books in New York for a the four-novel cozy ‘Bridge To Death Mystery’ series. The debut novel–‘Grand Slam Murders’–was released in January 2019 and is already in its second printing after receiving rave reviews from KIRKUS, BOOKLIST, PUBLISHERS’ WEEKLY, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWS, MYSTERY SCENE MAGAZINE and SUSPENSE MAGAZINE. The second novel in the series–‘Playing The Devil’–will be released in January, 2020.

June 15th Speaker: Alexandrea Weis

Pitfalls and Perks to Hybrid Publishing

*Meeting will begin at 10:00 AM, and
the speaker presentation will commence at 11:00 AM.

From New Orleans and raised in the motion picture industry, Alexandrea Weis began writing at the age of eight. After finishing her Ph.D., she penned her first novel. With twenty-nine published novels to her credit, and over a dozen national writing awards, Weis continues to work tirelessly to hone her craft. The rich tapestry of her hometown ends up in many of her bestselling books where she creates vivid characters and memorable stories. Alexandrea Weis is a permitted wildlife rehabber and rescues orphaned and injured animals. She is married and lives in New Orleans.

May Meeting for Members Only

Writing Prompts & Brainstorming Activities

*Meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Come join fellow SOLA members for refreshments, conversation, and fun writing exercises to get our creative juices flowing! This meeting will focus on writing prompts. Last month, we passed out Easter eggs containing a prompt. Those of you who attended, please bring your Easter egg writing prompt. For those who didn’t, we’ll pass out more this Saturday. Let’s have a little fun flexing our writers’ wings!

Cup and Chaucer will also be available for those who want to group together to do writing sprints, brainstorming, and plotting.

April 20th Speaker: Marie Breaux

What You Don’t Clear Might Bite You:
The Author’s Warranty of Right to Publish

Every publication agreement requires the author to warrant that their work does not violate the rights of any third parties. This talk will touch briefly on what rights are protected by copyrights, trademarks, and the rights of publicity/privacy (including limitations such as fair use) and then focus on clearances for book publication and marketing activities. Many, if not most, publication agreements now require the author to do the clearance work for their books and, of course, the author is responsible for any errors. All authors should understand what they are warranting in their publication agreement and what they need to do for proper clearance of their work.


Marie practices exclusively in the area of intellectual property law – copyrights, trademarks, IP-related contracts, and select litigation. She helps businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals protect their valuable rights. She represents both authors and publishers in the highly specialized area of publication agreements.

Membership Dues Information

Dear SOLA members:

SOLA has extended the membership dues deadline until the April meeting, which is on April 20th. Due to confusion with the still non-active “pay online” option through RWA’s website, no late fee will be incurred.

The dues are $40. We ask that you pay directly to SOLA in one of the following ways:

1. By check, mailed to 9012 Camille Ct., New Orleans, LA 70123


2. By check or cash handed to Ann Cantrell at the next SOLA meeting (March 16th)

Thanks for your patience!

March 16th Speaker: Farrah Rochon

Using Psychology to Create Memorable Characters

Join USA Today Bestselling author Farrah Rochon for an interactive deep dive into creating characters using various methods rooted in psychology, including characterization with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey-Temperament Sorter, and how to apply them to fiction writing.


USA Today Bestselling author Farrah Rochon hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. She has garnered much acclaim for her Holmes Brothers, New York Sabers, Bayou Dreams and Moments in Maplesville series. The two-time RITA® Award finalist has also been nominated for an RT BOOKReviews Reviewers Choice Award and in 2015 received the Emma Award for Author of the Year.

When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Farrah spends most of her time reading, cooking, traveling the world, visiting Walt Disney World, and catching her favorite Broadway shows.

Important Membership Dues Information

Dear SOLA members:

We recently learned that the “pay online” option via RWA National’s website is not yet active. For now, please select either one of these options to pay your dues:

1. By check, mailed to 9012 Camille Ct., New Orleans, LA 70123


2. By check or cash handed to Ann Cantrell at the next SOLA meeting (Feb.16th)

Also, if you haven’t yet done so, please take a few minutes to explore the new RWA website and review your profile and email delivery options under the tab “My Community.” (–Please note you must login to view this link.)

We will begin using RWA’s forums platform to communicate with our members (and you can use it, too!) and alert you to specific updates pertaining to SOLA. You may change your email alert settings by clicking the gear icon marked “Settings” next to the community title. You may choose one of the following:

1) Receive email alerts of a post on the discussion board in “Real Time.”
2) Receive a Daily Digest of all posts to your email.
3) Opt out of all email alerts.

Thanks for your patience!

February 16th Speaker – Deanna Chase

From the First Word to Hitting Publish:
A Step-by-Step Plan on How to Indie Publish

Deanna is a native Californian. After spending five years traveling in an RV, she and her husband moved into an adorable cottage in a small  town outside of New Orleans. After about six months, Deanna was convinced their 1907 home was haunted. Late at night as she penned Haunted on Bourbon Street, she often heard footsteps throughout the old house. Luckily, the spirit appears to be harmless, as he/she has never done more than make a little noise and possibly smoke a few cigars. However, if the ghost ever shows up in a dream, you’ll be the first to hear of it. Smudge stick anyone?

When she isn’t writing, she is often goofing off with her husband in New Orleans, playing with her two shih tzu dogs, and making glass beads.