Writer in Residence

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Mesa Public Library is excited to continue our Writer in Residence program in partnership with the Arizona State Library.

From January through March, we will welcome Betty Webb as our Writer in Residence. Betty Webb

Betty Webb is the author of the nationally best-selling Lena Jones Mystery series (Desert Noir, Desert Wives, Desert Vengeance, etc.) and the humorous Gunn Zoo mysteries (The Llama of Death, The Puffin of Death, The Otter of Death, etc.). Before beginning to write full time, Betty worked as a journalist, interviewing everyone from U.S. presidents, astronauts who walked on the moon, Nobel Prize-winners, and polygamy runaways. She has taught creative writing classes and workshops at Arizona State University and Phoenix College, and has been a nationally-syndicated literary critic for 30 years. In addition to other organizations, Betty is a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

For more information about her work, visit her website or check out one of her books from our collection.

To schedule a one-on-one appointment, please visit the signup form

Writer in Residence Workshops:

Five Story Ideas a Day, Every Day
Sat | Jan 19 | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | MN
Get creative and jump-start your "idea factories" so you never run out of things to write about. This fun workshop includes in-class writing and idea-hunting.

Writing the Story Memoir
Sat | Jan 26 | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | MN
Having trouble writing that memoir? This workshop teaches you how to tell the story of your life in a more creative and innovative way than the standard chronological method. Webb, a former journalist and author of 17 novels and a family history, gives step-by-step instructions on how it's done, so come prepared to write. The "story" method is fun and easy! 

Five Story Ideas a Day, Every Day
Thurs | Jan 31 | 5:30pm – 7:30pm | RM 
Get creative and jump-start your "idea factories" so you never run out of things to write about. This fun workshop includes in-class writing and idea-hunting.

How to Write a Book
Sat | Feb 2 | 2:30pm – 4:30pm | TS@RM
Every famous author has had to slog their way through their first book. This workshop breaks down how they did it and how you can too. This workshop will also address the "I don't have time to write!" problem and how to deal with it. 

Writing the Contemporary Mystery or Thriller
Sat | Feb 9 | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | MN
If you want to write a mystery or thriller, this is the workshop for you. Join Betty as she teaches, among other things, how to maintain a strong "Arc of Action," the importance of plot, character, method, motive, and police procedure, and the differences between thrillers and mysteries. 

Developing Unforgettable Characters
Sat | Feb 16 | 2:30pm – 4:30pm | MN
It has been said that character is plot and plot is character. Recognizing that, this workshop stresses how you can develop fully-realized characters and steer clear of stereotypes. Attendees will also get tips on character
description and meaningful dialogue.

Writing the Contemporary Novel
Sat | Feb 23 | 11:00am – 1:00pm | DR
You have probably noticed how much novels have changed over the past twenty years. This workshop explains why those changes have come about and how to keep your own work from feeling dated.

Writing the Memoir and Family History
Sat | Mar 9 | 12:30pm - 2:30pm | MN
Sometimes you want to tell more than just your own story. This hands-on workshop shows you how to illuminate your ancestors and tell their stories while, at the same time, allowing your own light to shine.

Getting Published
Sat | Mar 16 | 12:30pm - 2:30pm | MN
Congratulations, you finished your book! Now here is everything you need to know about the publishing world. This workshop will cover manuscript preparation, how to find an agent, working with editors, and the pros and cons of self-publishing. 

Getting Published
Sat | Mar 30 | 12:30pm - 2:30pm | TS@RM
Congratulations, you finished your book! Now here is everything you need to know about the publishing world. This workshop will cover manuscript preparation, how to find an agent, working with editors, and the pros and cons of self-publishing. 

This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.