location of the Disney lot where they first began meeting in 1991.
About six years ago, the group began meeting at the Glendale Central
Library, where they host speakers and discuss their experiences in
every possible genre of writing and give writers a chance to network
and get advice.
"We serve all writers," said Brian McCarthy, who is serving as the
group's president this year. "Our goal is to give writers a venue
where they can rub shoulders with one another."
The group's monthly speaker series has brought several successful
writers, mostly from the local entertainment industry. Past speakers
have included Steve Kaplan, a comedy consultant and creator of HBO
Workspace, and David Rambo, a writer from the popular crime series
"CSI," along with an investigator from the Los Angeles County
Coroner's Office. October's featured speaker is Glendale resident
Denise Hamilton, author of "The Jasmine Trade" and the recently
released "Savage Garden."
"It's Hollywood, and we have a lot of people interested in
screenwriting," McCarthy said. "Our members include children's book
writers, travel writers, fiction and nonfiction writers, but I
suppose there is a bias to the business."
The group meets 12 times a month, in workshops they call "SIGs" --
special interest groups. Workshops cover a range of writing mediums,
from novels and fiction to screenplays to what the group calls the
"Zoom-Out SIG" -- a workshop that helps writers find structure and
flesh-out writing ideas, McCarthy said.
The group is not just for aspiring writers. Several of the members
are working screenwriters, directors and published authors, such as
Lance Laspina, director of "Frazetta: Painting with Fire," a
documentary about illustrator and comic artist Frank Frazetta.
Michael Lent, director of the special interest groups, told
Laspina about the Alameda Writers Group after he saw the group
mentioned in a screenwriter's newsletter called "Done Deal."
"I'm interested because I haven't found a support group for
writers," Laspina said. "Creative people always need other creative