The Edit Sober Secret Society is a group of published local authors who meet over dinner periodically to swap stories, praise their agents and complain about their publishers. Local writer Rick Pullen, a former Free Lance–Star reporter and now author of three thrillers, started the group in 2017. The group includes three New York Times best-selling authors (Robert Gettlin, Howard Owen and Brian Jay Jones), and one author, Traci Abramson, who has sold more than 250,000 books. The prolific Abramson—the James Patterson of the group—has been writing two books annually for several years. The group also includes a poet, academics, thriller/mystery authors, historians, nonfiction writers and biographers. 

The group gets its name from a quote often attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “Write drunk. Edit sober.” But Hemingway actually never said it. In fact, he preached sobriety as he wrote, at least until about noon, when he would quit for the day and head to Sloppy Joe’s bar during his Key West years.

In all, there are 18 authors in the Edit Sober Secret Society, which meets at the Bavarian Chef in downtown Fredericksburg. The organization is open to authors published by New York or indie publishers. Anyone interested in membership should contact Pullen at

Several members had books published in 2018 and 2019. They include Traci Abramson, Jack Bales, Paige Edwards, Steven Farnsworth, Brian Jay Jones, Chris Kilmartin, Virginia Lyman Lucas, Howard Owen, Rick Pullen, David Sam and Linda J. White. All of their work can be purchased online or ordered through local bookstores. Here are brief summaries of their work. —Rick Pullen

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