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!


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

August 22

Overcoming Procrastination: Creative Strategies for Creative Avoiders with Anne Bartolucci, Ph.D., aka Cecilia Dominic

About to start a tough scene? Oh, hey, let's check out Facebook. Need to write those query letters? I really need to look up something on Pinterest right now, and the pantry has really needed to be organized for years...

Procrastination is one of the biggest challenges writers struggle with, and when it comes to avoidance, our own creativity can be our downfall. Come join a clinical psychologist and multipublished author as she combines scientific knowledge and her own experiences with clients and her own writing to discuss why we procrastinate, how to get around it, and even ways to prevent it. Don't wait – put it on your schedule now!

Anne Bartolucci, Ph.D., C.B.S.M., became a clinical psychologist because she's fascinated by people and their stories. By day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication and also sees clients with depression and anxiety disorders. By night, she writes fiction she hopes will keep her readers turning the pages all night. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under the pen name Cecilia Dominic. She currently writes urban fantasy, new adult contemporary, and steampunk for Samhain Publishing. Her Lycanthropy Files series has been described as medical thriller meets urban fantasy, and her most recent novel, A Perfect Man, was one of's top ten not to miss novels in May. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which she's been told, is a good number of each. You can find her at


Copyright 2015 Southern Magic, Inc., RWA Chapter 178