February at MWAA: Between the Sheets- by Mary Bargteil

mary professional headshot
Join Us February 20, 2019 at 7 pm for Professor Mary Bargteil and her presentation of “Between the Sheets”.  Whether the scene calls for a young, first-time, sexual encounter between two lovers or the familiar gestures and deep knowledge of a couple who has been together for decades, the critical element is to address the intimacy of the relationship. We will begin by examining successful and disastrous examples, identifying effective techniques and pitfalls. Mary will lead the participants in exercises starting with the first brush of fingertips and escalating through complete consummation. We will address:  What do we call the body parts? When do we cut-away to waves landing on the beach? Assessing the reader’s sensibilities (and whether it matters).
Writers are encouraged to bring scenes with which they are struggling for sharing and critique. Whether you just want to dip your toes in the ocean or dive headlong into the surf, you will develop tools to take the reader into the scene.
Mary Bargteil, a finance and communications director for Consortiq, a drone company by day and an adjunct writing professor at night, is published in short story, novella, and poetry. Graduated summa cum laude with a M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Publication Arts, her poetry has appeared in Gargoyle,The Light Ekphrastic, Scribble, Welter, Brown Bag Literary Magazine, Scorched Earth, and Octopus Dreams. She also taught creative writing and memoir courses at Anne Arundel Community College and at other private institutions for over a decade.
Most recently, she has been writing social media postings, press releases, and blog entries for Consortiq. She hopes to move to Colorado someday and establish a non-profit called The Madhatter School of Writing and Book Design. Till then, she resides in Arnold, Maryland, with her dog and kayak. She writes about writing, teaching, social media, and her adventures on two blogs: www.gypsyforhire.blogspot.com and http://demetersden.blogspot.com/  .
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/.
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December at MWAA: Open Mic Night!

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

 

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Cliff Lynn reads at the June 2018 Open Mic Night.

Join us on Wednesday, 19 December 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.

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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/.

Getting Your Foot in the Door: Publishing in Literary Magazines

Want to submit your work to magazines but don’t know how? Then join us on Wednesday, January 16 when Meg Eden will visit MWA to teach us all the secrets to getting published in literary magazines. In this workshop, we’ll talk about what literary magazines are, what editors are looking for in submissions, have a “translation” exercise, tips on how to get the most out of a lit mag, and the secrets to writing a great cover letter to get an editor’s attention. The skills you learn in this session can easily apply to other publication realms, including writing to agents and editors of small book presses. All participants will receive a complimentary magazine of their choice.

meg_edenAbout the Speaker: Meg Eden’s work is published or forthcoming in magazines including Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO and CV2. She teaches creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She has five poetry chapbooks, and her novel “Post-High School Reality Quest” is published with California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Find her online at www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal.

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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. Unless otherwise noted, 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.

MWAA Calendar of Events

Annapolis MWA logoBe sure to mark your calendar with all the great presentations and writing workshops that MWA Annapolis has lined up in the coming months. We meet the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, unless otherwise noted. Get out and mingle with your fellow writers to listen, learn, and discuss all things writing-related!

19 December 2018: Open Mic Night!

16 January 2019: Getting Your Foot in the Door: Publishing in Literary Magazines

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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. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

November at MWAA: The Importance of Names — *Note Non-Standard Meeting Day*

PLEASE NOTE: This meeting is one week earlier than normal.

How much thought do you give the names of your fictional characters? Names of characters and places evoke feelings and images, and help to set time period, locale,  ethnicity, even genre.

Make plans to join us on Wednesday, November 14th at 7 p.m. — note this is the second Wednesday of November — when debut author Andrew McDowell discusses the importance of selecting (or creating) names for characters, as well as fictional settings and and other elements of your stories. He’ll walk through key factors to consider, including genre, setting, and character profiling such as ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as ways to make sure names are easy to pronounce and easily distinguishable from one another to avoid character confusion.

Andrew 2About the Speaker: Andrew McDowell is the author of the YA fantasy novel Mystical Greenwood. He also writes poetry and creative nonfiction. He won second place in the 2014 MWA literary contest for his essay on his experiences with Asperger syndrome, and is an associate nonfiction editor for the literary magazine JMWW. To learn more about Andrew and his writing, visit his website and blog at andrewmcdowellauthor.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 typically meets the third Wednesday of every month–though we’re meeting on the second Wednesday in November–at 6:30pm in Room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

October at MWAA: Develop Driving Dialogue

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, October 17th 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. Unless otherwise noted, 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.

 

September at MWAA: Writing for Social Awareness, *Note Meeting Day*

Please note that this meeting is on Tuesday, September 18th, the day before our normal meeting day.

The And I Thought Ladies are responsible for bringing us a series of collected works from women using writing to heal from abuse: And I Thought Divorce was Bad, And I Thought Being a Grown-up was Easy, And I Thought I Could Juggle it All, and And I Thought I Did My Journey Alone. Their message, which they have taken both nationally and internationally, is that there is a support system for all women who need it.

 

Join us on Tuesday, September 18th starting at 7 p.m. as we welcome Wilnona Marie and Jade Dee of the And I Thought Ladies, to discuss what it means to write for social awareness, and how to get attention for your message.

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. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

August at MWAA: Write off the Map

Where will your writing go if you let it go off the map? Join us Wednesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. for this generative workshop, in which participants will write from a timed prompt and then share for positive constructive feedback. This session allows writers to shake off bad habits and let the images and characters flow without barriers. If you are feeling stuck, trapped in an overworked plot, this is a chance to open your heart. Find new ideas, and new approaches to your writing. Prompts will be drawn from classic sorts including What if, Three AM Epiphanies, and other sources. Participants will have generated three new story ideas by the end of the session.

Julie Wakeman-LinnAbout the Speaker: Julie Wakeman-Linn edited the Potomac Review for a dozen years. Her short stories have appeared in over twenty literary magazines. Her novel, Chasing the Leopard, Finding the Lion, a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize, was published by Mkuki Na Nyota in 2012. Her short story collection was a finalist for the WWPH 2014 Fiction prize.

Julie created the “speed dating with an editor” feature of the popular “Conversations and Connections: Practical advice on getting published” conference, co-sponsored by Barrelhouse Mag and Potomac Review. She has given panel presentations at the national AWP conference multiple times and at The Yale Conference for Writers. She regularly consults with local MWA chapters and also the New Directions Writing program.

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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. Unless otherwise noted, 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.

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.

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.

****

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.