Current Showcase

The Southern California Writer's Association anthology, All in the Story, gave many of us a rare glimpse of the deep stores of talent our members possess. The range of creativity was impressive, even as the parameters of the story in length and theme were limited.
We want to see more! For these crazy quarantine days, we are looking for ways to start new conversations and to keep us all connected until we can have a noisy room full of all of us again.
SCWA will now  be showcasing excerpts of our members' work that they'd like to share. This is your opportunity to show off your writings—short pieces of any genre, excerpts of your works-in-progress, essays, and poems will all be welcome. Whether it's your favorite paragraph, a page of rants from your journal on the day you fought your keyboard, the dazzling paragraph that spilled onto the screen, even just the first line of your book (it's got to be a grabber)—share whatever you want.
Here are the details:
  • Send the work you'd like to showcase, including, first lines, an excerpt or essay or a poem or something else (up to 1500 words) along with your byline (your name, the name of the book it is from, if applicable, and your website).
  • All current SCWA members are eligible.
  • You retain your copyright
  • Submit for free!
  • Send to

First Lines

“Nick King crouched on the top of the Benghazi Medical Center under a collage of stars peeking in behind wisps of reddish-brown dust with a sniper rifle in his right hand.”
--Steven G. Jackson, author of Zeus Payload. For more information, visit

“That bone of fear first hung in my throat when I was five. I couldn’t breathe.”
--Lamb Lambert, author of Badge of Color, Breaking the Silence: A Documented Memoir.  For more information, visit

“My eyes shot open. A cold, biting breeze brushed my cheek, and I shivered at the dampness seeping into my skin.”
--Darlene Quinn, author of Webs of Perception, Book 6. For more information, visit

“The rucksack of dynamite pulled on my shoulders with each step through the Alpen tunnel. Chilling panic shot up my neck each time I pumped the bomb against the icy rock wall."
--Michael Jarvis, author of French Roll: Misadventures in Love, Life, and Roller Skating Across the French Riviera. For more information, visit


Russ Thompson, No Place to Hide

ENGLISH. Period six. I know I'm not a good reader. But I know how to cover it up.

I smile at the teachers, keep my hand down, print neatly, and nod when they explain things.

I'm in the tenth grade now, so I've been doing it for a long time.

The teacher comes to the front of the classroom. We have a sub again.

Read more>>

Ron Singerton, A Blossom in the Ashes

The torpedo planes had failed; it was the SBD Dauntless dive bomber’s turn next. Again, Mitsubishi Zeros tore upward to challenge the Americans. Tad spotted a Zero targeting a Dauntless; he shoved the nose around and pulled hard as he rolled in on the Zero. Sensing danger, the Zero pilot turned toward Tad who managed to get off a burst. Smoke then flames bloomed from its fuel tanks, turning the Zero into a lethal orange-red-black flower as it plummeted toward the water.

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P.J. Colando, Jailbird’s Jackpot

I am free, released from the Pen early due to my uncommonly good behavior. Good behavior as an artifact of laser-like focus on a goal: to take Travis Castro down.

Does Castro sound like ‘castrate’ to you, too?

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Jeremiah Cobra, And Then He Shot His Cousin

One bullet into his chest. One glimpse of light into the darkness. One heart torn apart. What’s funny is though Justice Rooks lay in that darkness, bleeding onto the street that was already shimmering wet from the rain, it was I who could not move. He did plenty of moving—heaving and writhing from the pain and all that. But I stood perfectly still, watching his blood and the rain turn the asphalt into a black river beneath the street lamps. I might have walked on this river, walked away on its currents of light. Instead, I could only stare into the darkness as police sirens wailed in the distance. I did not even lower the hand that held the gun that fired into my cousin’s chest.

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Lillian Nader, For All the Times . . .

For all the times I wished for more time, I have it now.

For all the times I promised to slow down Now’s the time to enjoy each moment.

For all the times I said I would call, I joyfully reach out to loved ones.

For all the times I vowed to finish writing my play, The time is now.

For all the books I’ve wanted to read, It’s time to read them now.

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Leif Beiley, Voyage to Crusoe

Cliff Demont eased his silver Porsche off the two-lane blacktop road and onto the rutted gravel driveway. The car bounced along the ruts a hundred yards and came to a stop near the concrete foundation of an old farmhouse that had burned down long ago. It was mid-November and dappled morning sunlight filtered through the leaves of a magnificent oak tree that stood in the middle of what had once been the home’s front yard. Beyond the tree, the land sloped downward toward Highway 101, a quarter mile away.

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Don Westenhaver, Missing Star

“John Barrymore? You kissed the handsomest man in the world?”

Olivia, sweet and stout, was on Household Staff, so she was allowed more freedom than Customer Service ladies like Joyce. The six housekeepers cleaned the rooms of the main house, cooked meals, trimmed plants in the gardens, and washed the voluminous laundry. They slept in a guest house on the estate grounds and enjoyed heavily supervised outings in the real world.

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Sulan Dun, Double Bind Blind

Archeologist Barrghlim sat back on his tentacles and wheezed a long sigh out his blowhole. How was he supposed to document this whole society in only three days? He sifted through the remains of the data center he’d excavated beneath the stealth shield. This was the most significant find of his career but to his Commander archeology was just a lot of nuisance paperwork. The priority was to get on with exterminating the planet’s inhabitants in preparation for colonization.

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Amy Hollingsworth, The Descent

I’m not the kind of guy who likes to go on long hikes because I’m just not the kind of guy who likes to be in pain. And trust me, those  exist. You know, those guys who go to the gym and lift weights until they scream. Or those guys who give up hamburgers because their girlfriends said red meat is bad.

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Vivian Elaine Johnson, The Benediction

George raised his thin arms. In a whisper of a voice and while seated in a wheelchair, he prayed the benediction over those of us attending a seminar:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord’s face shine upon you.
May the Lord’s countenance be lifted upon you,
and give you peace.

The words, and the heart from which they came, brought moisture to my eyes and slipped down my cheeks. George, at 87 and in ill health, has been my husband and a pastor for sixty years.

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Fred Klein: Project MK Ultra, The Revenge

Moscow KGB headquarters November, 1970

Vladimir Molokov walked out to the training gym and looked for Agent FP now Frank Young.

“Comrade Young, good work again on your informants. They will be valuable to our efforts,” remarked Molokov.

“Thank you, sir,” replied Young.

“Have you kept up with your physical training and your martial arts?”

“Yes, I have been trained in karate, judo, boxing, and knife fighting.”

“Good you may need that on your next assignment. In any case we have a change of venue for you this time. Have you ever been to Paris?”

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A.E. Wasserman: “There Are Three of Us”

There are three of us leaning on the white board fence, watching the horses play in the pasture.

We are quiet, enjoying the moment.

There are three of us.

We watch as a yearling Trakehner colt breaks from his trot, digging in with his hind legs to take off at full gallop. He is lovely. His young muscles work hard under his bright chestnut coat. His eyes are shining, full of both joy and mischief. Equivalent to a teenage boy, he has energy, spirit and naughty written all over him.

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