June at MWAA: Chapter Elections, Open Mic Night, & Cake!

Please plan to attend MWA Annapolis on Wednesday, June 20th at 7 p.m. to participate in the annual chapter elections, in which members elect the chapter president, secretary, treasurer, and program director. In advance of that, please consider becoming a candidate for one of those positions; it’s a great way to participate in your writing community!

We’re also planning to have a small celebration to mark the Maryland Writers Association’s 30th anniversary! MWA’s first chapter was in Annapolis, so we are the founding chapter. That deserves cake!

After elections, stick around for our perennial favorite activity, Open Mic night. (Well, technically, we don’t have a microphone, so you’ll need to bring your big, room-filling speaking voice). This is your chance to read from your published or unpublished, finished or in-progress work in front of a friendly group of supportive people. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for you to bring a friend or two along for that extra measure of camaraderie.

 

How to prepare:
Pick a passage that you feel represents your work well.
— Make sure that your reading is no more than five minutes. You’ll be surprised at how short the passage is on the page!
— Plan to spend a little of your time putting the reading in context for your audience. Briefly explain what your listeners need to know to understand what you’re reading.
— Practice–with a timer! Get to the point where you can look up and make eye-contact with your audience, and make sure you’re reading clearly and with feeling.
— Let me know that you’d like to participate by sending email to jenny@jbyacovissi.com. You can change your mind later to join in or opt out. There will also be an opportunity to sign up at the meeting.

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This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. MWA meetings meet the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

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July at MWAA: Get Creative with Nonfiction

Our initial plan to have Barbara join us in March for this workshop was snowed out (on the first day of spring!), so we’ve rescheduled it for warmer weather–make plans to be there!

Some of the best writing today falls within the realm of creative nonfiction. Lee Gutkind defines this popular genre, which includes memoir and literary journalism, as “true stories well told.” Join us at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18th, when popular workshop leader Barbara Morrison will discuss what sets creative nonfiction apart from the familiar fiction and nonfiction categories, and cover the basics to get you started writing your own creative nonfiction piece.

b-morrisonAbout the speaker: Writing under the name B. Morrison, Barbara is the author of a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother, and two poetry collections, Terrarium and Here at Least. Barbara’s award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She provides editing services and conducts writing workshops. For more information, visit her website and blog at http://www.bmorrison.com.

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This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. MWAA meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

May at MWAA: Mack & McIntire on Mystery

Want to try your hand at writing a mystery, but the whole thing is just a little too mysterious? Mystery is one of the best-loved and most enduring genres in fiction, but it takes a deft touch to plot a good whodunit. If you’re looking for advice for how to lay out a great mystery, then you’ll absolutely want to join us at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16th to hear from two of our favorite local mystery authors, Millie Mack and Eileen McIntire.

About the speakers:

Millie Mack_BJ on hand (A)Millie Mack writes the Faraday Murder Series featuring amateur sleuths Carrie and Charles Faraday. She also just completed her first culinary mystery for her new Irish Bistro Murder Series. In addition to her books, Millie writes a blog all about mysteries at https://www.milliemack.com. The blog features mystery authors, detectives, and techniques. To challenge the reader’s mystery knowledge, there is an assortment of mystery puzzles. Millie lives in the Baltimore area where she is working on the next book for her mystery series.

McIntire FinalEileen Haavik McIntire writes the 90s Club mystery series–featuring the 90-year-olds at Whisperwood Retirement Village–as well as an historical mystery series. She is currently president of the Maryland Writers’ Association and enthusiastic member of Sisters in Crime. She travels for research and has ridden a camel in the Moroccan Sahara, fished for piranhas in the Amazon, sailed in a felucca on the Nile, and lived on a motorsailer for three years. She and her husband live in Columbia, MD, with their little dog José.

April at MWAA: Developing Believable Characters

We are looking forward to welcoming acclaimed author and writing instructor Barbara Esstman to MWA Annapolis on Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m., who will lead a workshop on character development. As Barbara describes, “The most important element of serious fiction and memoir is a true and believable protagonist surrounded by other true and believable characters. How to get that to happen in your writing is easier when you know how to create the optimum conditions for character development and what to avoid at all costs. I’ll give you tips on how to get good characters up and walking around and some simple exercises to use when you’re writing.”

About the presenter: Barbara Esstman is the author of The Other Anna and Night Ride HomeScreen Shot 2018-03-31 at 9.45.43 AM, both published in the United States by Harcourt Brace and Harper Perennial, as well as in numerous translations by Bertelsmann and twelve other foreign presses. Both novels were adapted for film by Hallmark Productions.

Barbara’s short stories and essays have appeared in both mainstream and literary publications, from Lear’s Magazine to Confrontation, and have earned the Redbook Fiction Award and two honorable mentions from the Pushcart Prize. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and she writes travel copy for Biotrek Adventure Travels. She has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Maryland Commission for the Arts. She does private editing for clients writing fiction and memoir, and teaches creative writing at universities in the Washington, DC area, as well as at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

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This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. MWA Annapolis meets the third Wednesday of every month at 7 pm in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Later this year at MWAA: Develop Driving Dialogue

Stay tuned to find out when Mary Kay will be joining us in Annapolis!

Good dialogue is the key to so much in fiction: it drives action, it reveals character, it makes a story live and breathe with immediacy and intimacy. For many writers, though, capturing realistic dialogue–the cadence, the word-choice, the tone that distinguishes each character–presents a significant challenge. Join us at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18th when award-winning author and writing teacher/coach Mary Kay Zuravleff discusses these challenges and helps us to exercise our dialogue chops through writing prompts and exercises. Bring your preferred writing materials: laptop, tablet, or pencil and paper. This is sure to be a fun and engaging session.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 10.15.10 PMAbout the Speaker: Mary Kay Zuravleff is the author of Man Alive!, a Washington Post Notable Book, as well as The Bowl Is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls. She is a founder of NoveltyDC, which offers manuscript consultations and private coaching. Among the honors she has received are numerous Artist Grants from the DC Commission on the Arts, American Academy’s Rosenthal Award, and the James Jones First Novel Award. Mary Kay has taught writing at American University, Johns Hopkins University, and George Mason University, and she has written and edited extensively for the Smithsonian Institution. She is a cofounder of the DMV Women Writers and lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

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This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. We meet the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. For more information, visit: www.marylandwriters.org.

 

February at MWAA: Ghostwriting — Secret and Not-so-secret Collaborations

Thinking about other ways to make an income from your writing? Interested in being a part of book projects that can change lives? Join us at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 21 to meet a nationally bestselling ghostwriter and learn a little more about this “under the radar” writing field, including what exactly ghostwriting is and isn’t, how ghostwriters find and work with clients, what’s involved in this kind of working relationship, and what writers can do to get started.

allyemachate pro 300DPIAbout the Speaker: Ally E. Machate is a bestselling book collaborator, award-winning editor, and expert publishing consultant who loves using her insider knowledge of the publishing industry and wealth of experience to lead serious authors toward publishing success, whether that means showing a writer how to improve a manuscript, get an agent, or self-publish, or ghostwriting a book to help an entrepreneur skyrocket her business platform to new levels. Since 1999, she has supported authors on their publishing journey and takes pride in serving as their books’ best ally. Grab Ally’s free gifts and learn more at www.thewritersally.com and www.allymachate.com.

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This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. We meet the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. For more information visit: www.marylandwriters.org, and annapolismwa.wordpress.com/.

January at MWAA: Mauled Men, Drowned Dames, and Crispy Critters: A Body Disposal Primer for Writers

Got an inconvenient corpse in your book that someone needs to dispose of? What about one that has turned up and needs to be investigated? Or perhaps a character that just begs to be offed in an interesting way? Whether you are writing mystery, thriller, suspense, crime procedural, or a host of other genres–or even if you’re just writing straight-up fiction–chances are good this interactive workshop will come in handy. Join us on Wednesday, January 17th at 7:00 p.m. to hear from workshop leader Jeanne Adams, who has spent 13 years in the funeral and cemetery business. She can give you all the facts about death, disposal, morgues, coroners, and funeral homes that make your plot points believable.

Jeanne P Adams professional shotAbout the Speaker: Jeanne Adams is an award-winning suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal suspense author who really knows how to get rid of the evidence! She’s written for traditional publishers, while concurrently stepping into independent publishing. Find her books on all major digital outlets. Featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Jeanne’s books are consistently hailed as “Best Suspense Books of the Year!” by Romantic Times. Follow Jeanne at www.JeanneAdams.com, on Twitter @JeanneAdams, or http://www.Facebook.com/JeanneAdamsAuthor.

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This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. MWA meetings meet the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. For more information visit: http://www.marylandwriters.org, annapolismwa.wordpress.com/.

Special Event, 12/16: Bullet Journaling

There will be no meeting on Wednesday, 20 December.

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 6.38.16 PM
Laura Shovan leads a “Bullet Journaling” workshop on 12/16.

In place of our normal monthly meeting, we’ll instead be visiting the Eastport-Annapolis Neck library on Saturday, 16 December from 2:00-4:00 p.m. to participate in a Bullet Journaling workshop with Laura Shovan. Laura is the Maryland State Arts Council Artist-in-Residence in Poetry, the author of The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House), and the host of the popular Howard County-based Wilde Readings reading series.

Here’s how she describes the workshop: “First draft finished but struggling to stay on track with revisions? Heard about bullet journaling but a little overwhelmed? Come learn how to use bullet journal techniques to help organize your revision notebook. I’ll share different methods I’ve used to organize my revisions and give you the tools to set up your own revision journal for your work in progress. This is a free hands-on workshop. Please bring a notebook and pens/pencils/markers. Be ready to brainstorm!”

Address: Eastport-Annapolis Neck Library, 269 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403
Phone: 410-222-1770

November at MWAA: Debut Authors Panel

3 debut authorsMost aspiring authors have a ton of questions about what it takes to get a book-length project published. Now is your chance to ask all those questions of three debut authors whose books have come out in the last year. Join MWA members Lisa Hillman, Ted Weber, and Sally Whitney, along with moderator Jenny Yacovissi, to talk about their various paths to publication, experiences with the process, and all the many lessons they’ve learned of what worked well and what they would do differently if they had it to do over again.

About the Panelists:

red jacket head shotLisa Hillman is the former President of the Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation and a former broadcast journalist. She is a board member of Pathways and Samaritan House, programs that serve addicts. A frequent contributor to area magazines, Lisa lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband Richard and greyhound Harry. She is the proud mother of two children, Heidi and Jacob. Secret No More, her first book, was published in 2017. Learn more about Lisa, her blogs and speaking engagements at www.lisahillmanauthor.com

Ted and macaw 2Ted Weber has pursued writing and music since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics. His first published novel, a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt, was nominated as a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook Award. Mr. Weber is working on two sequels and several other books. By day, Mr. Weber works as an ecologist for a non-profit organization and has had a number of scientific papers and book chapters published. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen. He enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents. Find out more about the book at savethereefs.wixsite.com/sleepstateinterrupt.

Sally Whitney color photo for webAlthough Sally Whitney has spent most of her adult life in northern and midwestern states, her imagination lives in the South, the homeland of her childhood. Her debut novel Surface and Shadow, released in 2016, tells the story of a young wife and mother who risks her marriage and her husband’s career to find out what really happened in the suspicious death of a mill owner in a small North Carolina town. Sally’s short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from the Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017. She blogs at her website, SallyWhitney.com, and at LateLastNightBooks.com, a blog for readers of fiction.

Jenny YacovissiPanel moderator Jenny Yacovissi is the President of MWAA and the chair of the 2017/2018 Washington Writers Conference. She writes a monthly column for the Washington Independent Review of Books (WIRoB) and is a frequent reviewer for both WIRoB and the Historical Novels Review of the Historical Novel Society. Her debut novel, Up the Hill to Home, published in 2015, follows four generations of a family in Washington, DC between the Civil War and the Great Depression. You can find her blog at jbyacovissi.com

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This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. MWA meetings meet the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. For more information visit: http://www.marylandwriters.org, annapolismwa.wordpress.com/.

October at MWAA: Open Mic Night!

This is always a crowd favorite, so be a part of the fun and excitement — start practicing now!

IMG_1495

Andrew McDowell reads from his upcoming novel, Mystical Greenwood, at the 2016 MWA Annapolis Open Mic Night.

Join us on Wednesday, 18 October at 7:00 p.m. for open mic night. (Well, technically, we don’t have a microphone, so you’ll need to bring your big, room-filling speaking voice). This is your chance to read from your published or unpublished, finished or in-progress work in front of a friendly group of supportive people. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for you to bring a friend or two along for that extra measure of camaraderie.

How to prepare:
Pick a passage that you feel represents your work well.
— Make sure that your reading is no more than five minutes. You’ll be surprised at how short the passage is on the page!
— Plan to spend a little of your time putting the reading in context for your audience. Briefly explain what your listeners need to know to understand what you’re reading.
— Practice–with a timer! Get to the point where you can look up and make eye-contact with your audience, and make sure you’re reading clearly and with feeling.
— Let me know that you’d like to participate by sending email to jenny@jbyacovissi.com. You can change your mind later to join in or opt out. There will also be an opportunity to sign up at the meeting.

****

This and all meetings are open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. All others may pay $5.00. Annual dues to MWA are $40.00 and include other benefits on top of monthly attendance. MWA meetings meet the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. For more information visit: http://www.marylandwriters.org, annapolismwa.wordpress.com/.