The Premier Writing Organization On
California's Central Coast
Welcome to SLO NightWriters


SLO NightWriters General Meeting

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Art of Description


Using the Five Senses to Add Dimension to Your Writing

Judythe Guarnera

Critique Group Round Table, 5:15 pm

Presentation, 6:30 pm

Click HERE to join the Zoom meeting




Judythe Guarnera

Most writers know that description—of setting, characters, action, can make or break a story. 

In this presentation, Judythe will cover general information on description, including show vs tell and then go into detail about a tool which can convert ordinary, prosaic, non-memorable writing to exciting writing that readers won’t want to put down.

Writers and readers take in information through the five senses: sight, taste, sound, smell, and touch, but approximately 83% of our knowledge comes to us visually. What about the other 17%? What about audial learners; those who need tactile stimuli to learn? Prepare to be surprised about which of the five senses leaves the deepest memories.

Yet, despite our different ways of learning, we often expect our readers to respond to just visual descriptions. Check your own writing to see if most of your description isn’t visual.

Judythe confesses that her desire to learn more about how to use the other senses to enliven her writing is what inspired her to research this topic and share it with you. Her goal is to inspire you and herself to enliven our writing by using all five senses in whatever genre we are writing.


Now 82, Judythe Guarnera declares herself too old to die young, which she considers a benefit to her writing. She’s happy with her one published novel and now focusses on short stories, memoir, and essays because they provide instant gratification when her time might be limited.

Judythe, the former editor of the NightWriter column in Tolosa Press and editor of four anthologies, has been published in nine anthologies, including four in Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her novel, Twenty-Nine Sneezes, is available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Round Tables Critique Sessions begin at 5:15 pm

Terry Sanville  will be here to critique your work

To have your work critiqued, send your submission to Terry Sanville at by the Saturday before the meeting. Then log in to the meeting a few minutes before 5:15 pm.

Please keep your submission to two pages, typed, 12-point font, double spaced. This is a great—and safe—way to see what the critiquing process is all about, to get valuable feedback from an established writer, and to practice reading your work to a small audience

This is an opportunity to get feedback on your work in progress and practice your constructive critiquing skills. It is also a great way to get to know other writers in our group.

Visitors are welcome; you do not have to provide a submission to participate. 

I hope to see you there.

Steven Mintz, PhD

Program Director SLO NightWriters.

Professor Emeritus

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

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