March Meeting Details

Please join us for lunch and guest speaker Jan Krulick-Belin, author of Love, Bill.

Saturday, March 18, 2017,12pm – 2pm
Bluewater Grill
1720 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

$20 members / $25 guests – all welcome! Please RSVP to Navissa by March 15 at with PWC in the subject.

Jan Krulick-Belin is a museum and art consultant, and art and jewelry historian with nearly forty years of experience at such institutions as the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Denver Art Museum, Beaumont (Texas) Art Museum, and Smithsonian Institution. Retired as Director of Education at the Phoenix Art Museum, she still works with museums, art organizations, and private collectors, and serves as guest curator at the Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum in Phoenix.

Jan has a bachelor’s degree in art history from the State University of New York, Binghamton, and a master’s degree in museum education from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She grew up in New York City, and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

She drew on her research skills to delve into her past, creating Love, Bill as a labor of love to fulfill her father’s dream as well as her own.


The Greatest Generation meets Love Letters meets Yentl.”

Long before she became a museum curator, Jan Krulick-Belin curated memories… photographs and mementos of her father, who died when she was just six. Her mother rarely spoke about him again, until a year before her own death, when she gave Jan a box of nearly one hundred love letters he had written her during World War II. What follows is the true story of the author’s emotional and life- changing pilgrimage of the heart to find and reclaim the father she thought she’d lost forever.

The letters lead Jan on an extraordinary journey following her father’s actual footsteps during the war years. Each letter brings a bygone era to life, while a series of amazing twists, turns, uncanny coincidences, and the kindness of strangers lead to unexpected discoveries from Morocco to Paris to upstate New York. The adventure comes full circle when Jan finds the Jewish-Moroccan family that provided the lonely soldier a feeling of home, fulfilling a wish unearthed in one of his letters. Along the way, she discovers details about her parents' great love story, and learns about the war in North Africa and the horrific fate of the Jews in Morocco, Germany, and France, bringing her even closer to her own Jewish roots. Most importantly, she discovers the man she thought she would never have the opportunity to know.

Love, Bill is a testament to the enduring power of determination, love, family, and the unbreakable bond between fathers and daughters.

PWC Third Annual Marge Elza 55 Word Contest


And the winners of The Phoenix Writers Club Third Annual Marge Elza* Fifty-five Word Story Contest are….

1st Place: “Breaking News” by Lois Kiely

Ann’s Father died in “The Great War.”  Her husband passed at 48.  Jason, her son, flies a helicopter in Iraq.  Suddenly Ann’s television cuts to breaking news. “Middle East update:  two Marine choppers down, all servicemen dead.  The phone rings.  “No,” she screams as she picks up the receiver.  She listens, “Mom, I’m okay.”

2nd Place: “Camping with Granny” by Elizabeth Sullivan

Granny took me camping.
She drew an imaginary line around us. “You’re safe in this magic circle.”
Exhausted, I quickly fell asleep.
A loud growl awakened me.
A drooling bear towered over us.
I didn’t dare move.
One blast from Granny’s keychain whistle frightened it away.
She hugged me close and whispered, “Goodnight.”

3rd Place: “Ronin” by Rachel Gianni

“I slaughtered an army to liberate a brother; murdered a friend to save my son. No more,” I cried, kneeling before my commander.
“You must.”
I envied the villain and his freedom to choose. Heroes must always serve justice. “Spare the boy,” I begged.
“I don’t want to be a monster.”
“Warriors never do.”

Honorable Mentions:

“A New Flame” by John Sullivan

Driving down the highway, I smelled smoke from the distant fire in my rearview mirror. My former girlfriend and I’d been fighting about whether to sell the house. I finally told Julie it was hers. But when her chain-smoking lawyer, Gary moved in with her, I accidentally left the gas on. He did the rest.

“Sundown” by Susan McNabb

He went up to the roof for privacy.
“You told your wife?” she texted.
“Not yet.” He replied.
Nor would he, he had decided.
The sun was settling behind the skyline. Time to take a stand.
“I’m sorry, it’s over,” he wrote. “And there’s no money.”
“I’m sorry too, Senator.”
He stepped off the ledge.

“55” by Mary LaMagna

I’m driving 55 in a 45 zone hurrying to meet a deadline for a 55-word story. Traffic jam, maybe 55 cars ahead, and though only age 55, feeling 95. Finally, to my home:

 55 West 55th Street. Exactly 55 seconds in the loo and… now at my reliable, cheap $55 computer.

Whew, made it!  55.


Announcing the Phoenix Writers Club

Third Annual Marge Elza* Fifty-five Word Story Contest!

Flash writing at its finest!


This story needs to be 55 words or less, excluding the title words, and it must be a story (fiction or non-fiction). The story submitted must have a beginning, middle and an end.

PWC has a 3-judge panel: Eileen Birin, Judith Humbert, and Lark LaTroy.

All three judges have met at least 2 of the 3 following criteria:

  • Current or past board member
  • Has written and published (self or traditional) at least one article, poem, short story, and/or book.
  • Has experience with writing, editing, and/or publishing.

For the contest PWC is looking for the following:

  1. Interesting story
  2. Good conflict
  3. Satisfying resolution

We’ll be accepting both electronic and mail-in submissions. For mail in entries, please forward to: Rodney Cobb, 8180 E. Highpoint Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85266, for email submission, please send them to:

Only two submissions per contestant.

Contestants by way of entry, grant permission for PWC to use the submission(s) in any reasonable fashion without claiming any copyright infringements against PWC, its Board, and/or PWC members.

Please mail two copies of your submission, one with your personal information and one without. Rodney Cobb, who’s the individual coordinating the event (and will not be a judge in the contest) will circulate entries without personal information.

Contest will run August 1 – August 31 with last submission date Wednesday, August 31. All entries must be received by August 31, snail mail or otherwise.  PWC is not responsible for delay in any delivery method.  Any questions, please direct them to:

Entries will be judged between September 1 – September 10. Winners will be announced at the PWC 9/17 meeting. Although all entrants are encouraged to attend, one need not be present to win.

1st Prize $100 and a paid membership to PWC until June 1, 2017;

2nd prize $70 and a paid membership to PWC until June 1, 2017;

3rd prize $50 and a paid membership to PWC until June 1, 2017;

Three honorable mentions for $10 gift cards.

Note: If winners (1st/2nd/3rd place) are not PWC members he/she will NOT receive the equivalent of the PWC membership in cash. PWC membership will be granted to winners who live within commutable distance of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The PWC Fifty-five Word Story Contest Judges:

Eileen Birin
Eileen is a writer, editor, independent publisher, and consultant for new writers and self-publishers, teacher and frequent speaker at writer’s groups, schools, libraries, and organizations on topics related to writing, alternative publishing, and memoir writing.

Eileen holds a Master’s Degree in Education-English from Loyola University and is an honored member in the Cambridge Who’s Who. Eileen has ten published books.

Judith Humbert 
Judith Humbert, now known and feared as “Judge Judith” among her friends, began her career teaching English Composition and Literature to students at the University of Kansas at Lawrence and later at Mackenzie University in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“JJ.” then progressed to a serious career of editing the scholarly publication The Luso-Brazilian Review at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then writing and/or editing General Accountability Office reports and Federal Aviation Administration reports in Washington, DC.

Here in Phoenix she served as the first Membership Secretary of the Phoenix Writers Club.

Lark LaTroy
Lark is an author/photographer, and member of the Phoenix Writers Club.

He has had two of his NeoDruids book series published originally with Silver Publishing, and is now wholly independent.

Married to the club historian, Sharon Taylor, Lark works as a computer systems engineer by day, and novella writer by night.

*Who is Marge Elza?

Marge Elza is a long time member of Phoenix Writers Club (so long we’re not counting anymore!). She’s been an important part of the club throughout the years, having held the position of president multiple times.

During her most recent stint as our formidable commander-in-chief, Marge proposed the 55 word contest, and we’ve stuck to this annual event since.

After stepping down in May, Marge remains active in the club as our president emeritus. Feeling grateful for all she’s done for the club, we wanted to thank her by officially naming the contest after her.

Thank you, Marge, for everything!

Be a Writer

What’s Involved?
Got an urge to write, but don’t know how to begin?

First, say these words, I am a writer! Out loud, I AM A WRITER!

Now go tell everyone you know and even strangers that you are a writer.

Once your writing muse hears you, there’s no turning back you’re hooked.

So roll up your sleeves, sharpen some pencils or turn on the computer, your job is to make those words come true so start writing and keep it going! Ah, now that’s the hard part. Writing takes courage, perseverance, determination, discipline, creativity and boldness.

We are here to help. Writers need writers.

DON’T delete this Web site, bookmark it when your first book is published, you’ll be glad you did!

Submitted by
Eileen Birin
Neelie Publishing

Please contact us at:
The Phoenix Writers Club
P.O. Box 17413
Phoenix, AZ 85011-0413

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~Eleanor Roosevelt