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Great openers the subject of Writers of Kern discussion


Author and writing coach Lucy A. Snyder will be the guest speaker at this month's Writers of Kern meeting on Saturday.

Author Marc Laidlaw once tweeted, "The first line of almost any story can be improved by making sure the second line is, 'And then the murders began.'" While often true, most writers can’t actually use this technique.

For this month's Writers of Kern meeting, author Lucy A. Snyder will offer her own usable advice for how to begin with "And Then the Murders Began: Writing Great First Paragraphs."

In this module, attendees will examine the first paragraphs of recent award-winning short stories to show why (and how) they work to hook readers. Afterward, they'll work on improving paragraphs in progress.

Snyder is the Shirley Jackson Award-nominated and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of 15 books and over 100 published short stories. Her most recent books are the collection "Halloween Season" and the forthcoming novel "The Girl with the Star-Stained Soul."

She also wrote the novels "Spellbent," "Shotgun Sorceress" and "Switchblade Goddess," the nonfiction book "Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide," and the collections "Garden of Eldritch Delights," "While the Black Stars Burn," "Soft Apocalypses," "Orchid Carousals," "Sparks and Shadows," "Chimeric Machines" and "Installing Linux on a Dead Badger."

Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Czech, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons and Best Horror of the Year. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.

You can learn more about her at and you can follow her on Twitter at @LucyASnyder.

The online talk starts at 9:15 a.m. Saturday. Visit to register.

Cynthia Bermudez is a member of the Writers of Kern.