Hey songwriters,

Amber Cook ( had a good reason for missing the Feb. 5 meeting of Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle. It’s a long drive from Erie, Pa., to Hambone’s and back, and she had to work early the next morning. So Amber emailed her new song via .mp3. It was played through a cell phone to start the meeting. The group discussed the song and comments were emailed back to Amber. 

It was the start of a very productive meeting that included one new member. Most of the songs that were showcased followed the February songwriting assignment, which was to write a song in a single sitting. The exercise wasn’t so much about the time invested in writing, it was intended to train your brain to finish. The assignment sparked some relevant conversations, and several members said their song turned out better than expected, so let’s call that a successful assignment.

I sense there is a new song in your future. For the songwriting assignment due at the March meeting, the Sproulls ( and Janice Jankowski Sproullpassed around a box of fortune cookies. The suggested assignment is to write a song inspired by your fortune. If you missed the meeting, visit and open a cookie.

2021 CD project

At the next meeting, 7 p.m. Wed., March 4 at Hambone’s (4207 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201, 412-681-4318), we’ll launch the Songwriters Circle’s 16th annual compilation CD. Producer Mike Hickman ( will be there to kick around ideas and talk with newcomers to the project.

Featured set 

Turn out to support Donna O ( when she plays the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle featured set at the AcoustiCafe open stage at Mr. Small’s Funhouse (400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale, 2nd floor. 412-821-4447). She’ll probably get on stage sometime between 8-ish and 9-ish p.m. Mon., Feb. 17.