Unless otherwise noted on the schedule below, we meet the fourth Saturday of each month at 12 p.m. at the Homewood Public Library, 1721 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209. For directions, click here.

  • 12:00-12:30. Lunch and business meeting. Bring your own lunch!
  • 12:45-1:00. Q & A. A reading or question-and-answer session with a published author, or a question-and-answer session with a professional from an industry of interest for our writing.
  • 1:00-3:00. Program.

Visitors are welcome! Visitors must be 18 or older. You may attend two general meetings in a 12-month period without joining. Visitors who wish to attend more often must join Romance Writers of America and Southern Magic.

Meetings are subject to change, so check back here before you come!


May 23

Program: Forensic Anthropology and You

Have you ever wondered how much of the great thrillers are real? Do anthropologists really dig for bones? Does the FBI have a team that digs up remains? How do they know what they’ve found? Is there a way to tell whether the bones belong to a male or a female, how tall the person was, how old the person was, or even what ancestry the person had? What goes on behind the scenes? This workshop will cover all of that and more.

Brina Cary has a bachelors in anthropology and history with a minor in criminal justice. She concentrated on courses in legal history, Celtic history, Egyptology, and Forensic Anthropology/Osteology. Once of her favorite projects was based off of the uses of Forensic Anthropology in Ancient Egypt. This paper caused the FBI to extend a day invitation to provide training for their field officers in Birmingham, Alabama. They taught her about explosions and arson investigations and she taught them how to locate, identify, and remove remains from wooded burial sites. She has also participated in archaeological digs in Alabama, Georgia, and Maine.

June 27

Program: Debra Dixon’s Book in a Day Workshop (All Day)

Friday Night, June 26, Bonus Workshop: The Slippery Slope

Click here to register. The link will take you to a registration page at

July 25

Program: Believably Craft Your Characters with Sheila Stephens

Learn to Write about Childhood Disorders, Cognitive, Anxiety, Eating, and Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, and Psychotic Disorders. Learn what PTSD is and is not, and the new developments on the horizon. Learn how a narcissist may behave differently than someone with paranoid, schizotypal, dependent, histrionic, antisocial, avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, or borderline personality disorders and how some diagnoses may be shared by the same character. Learn how personality disorders differ from psychotic disorders. Discover the age of onset, background and cluster of life events associated with disorders. Also, discover tools used by forensic psychologists to diagnose, determine future dangerousness, and make recommendations to the courts. All this, and more, will help you create consistent behaviors in your characters.

Everyone has flaws, and even your main characters may have issues that fall within some of the personality disorders to be discussed here. Learn to characterize them believably! Handouts available from my website.

Sheila L. Stephens is a Retired Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent, the author of The Everything Private Investigation Book, a Private Investigator with, an Adjunct Professor for Criminal Justice at Jefferson State College, Facilitates classes for the Boston University’s online Masters in Criminal Justice Program. View her complete bio at

Copyright 2015 Southern Magic, Inc., RWA Chapter 178