San Diego Writers Guild event May 12 at La Jolla Library

The San Diego Writers and Editors Guild will present a free, special event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 12 at the La Jolla Riford Library where 17 San Diego authors will be on hand to tell their stories and present their books.

Each author will talk about how they started writing and what their books are about. Guests will also be able to purchase signed copies of books. This is the first time the Guild has held this event at the La Jolla Library.

One of the participating authors is La Jolla resident Peggy Hinaekian, who will discuss her novel, “Of Julia and Men,” a steamy romance with a European flair. “This authors’ event at the La Jolla Library is especially important because my writing career started after I participated in the ‘pen and paper’ writing program there every week,” Hinaekian commented. “It’s the birth place of my writing passion. Passion is everything in life (aside from health, of course). Without passion, life is dull and meaningless.”

Other authors attending include Robert Boze, Marya Brunson, M. Lee Buompensiero, Laurence Carleton, Marie DiMercurio, J.Elke Ertle, Dave Feldman, Gregory A. Fournier, Dora Klinova, Janet Hafner, Margaret Harmon, Tom Leech, Mardie Schroeder, Charlotte E. Thompson, Ruth Leyse Wallace and Wanjiru Warama.

The San Diego Writers and Editors Guild has been around since 1979 and meets the fourth Monday of each month to support one another and improve their writing skills. Professionals and novices alike come together from every genre — poets and playwrights, novelists and storytellers, and journalists and biographers.

Members can get their manuscripts reviewed by other authors. Each meeting has a guest speaker who talks about some aspect of writing, editing, marketing or getting published. The group also publishes an edited anthology every year called “The Guilded Pen,” where members’ works are featured.

The Guild was started by Rhoda Riddell, who returned to San Diego from New York looking to find a group of writers willing to come together to share the experiences of a freelance writer’s life, much like the “Word Guild” she had established in New York. She took out an ad in the newspaper and a dozen or so women responded.

The Guild’s early meetings took place at La Jolla resident Prudy Wood’s home. Local editors and agents attended those meetings as well, and many contacts leading to writing assignments were made. The vision was to allow anyone to join, published or not, to form a support network for writers.

In September of 1980, the Guild held its first conference on the subject of “Successfully Cracking the Writing Market.” Speakers included editors from San Diego Magazine and The Reader, as well as Don Freeman from The San Diego Union (before it became The San Diego Union-Tribune).

In 1982, the group began having writers’ retreats in such places as Rancho La Puerta, the Rosarito Beach Hotel, and Murrieta Hot Springs and membership started growing. Today, the Guild has 150 members.

— The La Jolla Library is at 7444 Draper Ave. (858) 552-1657.