August at MWAA: Working with a Publicist

(NOTE: For the August meeting, we will meet in room 117B of the Maryland Hall.)

You’ve written a great book, you’ve even figured out your path to publication; now you need to let the world know you’ve got something it wants. But how? Many new authors imagine that having a publisher means having a marketing budget, and are disappointed to find out this is rarely the case. Generally, authors need to shoulder the responsibility for getting themselves and their books known. This is where a publicist comes in. Join us on Wednesday, August 16 at 7:00 p.m. to learn from Jill Bernstein what a publicist does and how you as an author can work with one most effectively.

Jill BernsteinAbout the Speaker: Jill Bernstein has worked in book publicity and marketing in New York City and Washington, D.C. for more than 20 years. After working as a copywriter at Simon & Schuster, a writer-editor at American University, and marketing manager at the Brookings Institution Press, she started Jill Bernstein Communications in 2004, which specializes in PR and marketing for books and the arts. Jill has worked on campaigns for authors of all kinds, from first-time authors to best-selling authors and many in between. She has worked on fiction and nonfiction from small presses, large publishing houses, and occasionally self-published. She has also organized and promoted book series and literary festivals for venues such as The Hay-Adams and the DCJCC. Having worked both in-house and as a freelancer/consultant, Jill has a wealth of experience to share.


This and all meetings of the Annapolis chapter of the Maryland Writers Association is held the third Wednesday of the month starting at 7:00 p.m. in Room 205 (for August, Room 117B) of the Maryland Hall, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD. Meetings are free to MWA members and all first-time attendees; all others may pay $5. To find out more about MWA, visit the website at:


Videos for Lauren Silberman’s talk, 2016-08-17

These videos are of of Lauren Silberman’s MWA Annapolis talk. For more details, please see

part 1:

part 2:

The sound is a bit rough. It was hot and humid outside and the AC was blasting.

August at MWAA: Bringing Local History to Life with Lauren Silberman

lauren SilbermanJoin us on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 as local author Lauren Silberman takes us on a journey through her work to capture the quirky stories of local Maryland history. Lauren plans to share the research methods she uses, such as networking/crowdsourcing, databases, primary vs. secondary sources, bibliographies, googling, interviews, how much can be found for free, and determining the academic value of a source.

About the Speaker: Lauren R. Silberman is the author of local histories, including Wild Women of Maryland: Grit and Gumption in the Free State (History Press, 2015), Wicked Baltimore: Charm City Sin and Scandal (History Press, 2011), and The Jewish Community of Baltimore (Arcadia Publishing, 2008). She serves as the deputy director of Historic London Town and Gardens, a 23-acre museum and gardens just outside of Annapolis, MD. Previously, she was a program officer for the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, DC and the education and program coordinator for the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. She has served on the boards of the Small Museum Association and Friends of the Greenbelt Museum. She has a B.A. in painting and art history from George Washington University and has completed graduate work towards a MSM in Management with a specialization in Nonprofit and Association Management from University of Maryland, University College. Currently she lives in Greenbelt with her husband and a forthcoming son. Learn more about her at


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 6:30pm in room 205 at Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

August 2015 Open Mic Night was a Hit!

On Wednesday, August 19th, MWAA hosted its first-ever Open Mic Night. Not only was the room packed, but we all got to enjoy hearing the wonderful work–both published and still in progress–from the participants. We will definitely be repeating this event in 2016, so stay tuned for more details.

Here are some photos and summaries of the work that people shared. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Mac Bogert_thumbnailMac Bogert ( read from his upcoming book, Learning Chaos: How Disorder Can Save Education, coming out this fall. Mac has spent 40 years as a teacher, actor, musician, curriculum designer, mediator, professional sailor, and executive coach, and the central idea of his book is that learning is the default setting for the human brain. His work shines a light on what’s wrong with our education system and what we can do―must do―to change schools at every level.

Jane Elkin_thumbnailJane Elkin ( read from her chapbook, World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom, which was published last year by Apprentice House Press, as well as from her new collection on family history, which is a quarter-finalist in the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Competition.

Kristinva von Rosenvinge_thumbnailKristina von Rosenvinge read from Escaping the Russian Bear, a young Estonian girl’s memoir of loss and survival during World War II. The excerpt described the family’s flight from Estonia on one of the last remaining transports, just ahead of the invading Russian Army. The memoir is scheduled to be published this fall.

Deborah Keaser read from her work-in-progress Mama Left Me, and also read a poem in tribute to mothers. Now retired, Debbie had a long and varied career that included work as a civilian in Saigon in 1974-1975 (she left three weeks before the fall of Saigon), and for 21 years with ARC, a community-based organization that advocates for and supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Judy McCahill_thumbnailJudy McCahill read from one of the non-fiction stories collected in her chapbook, Sketches for a Weather Report. In the excerpt, a windstorm has downed a mature tulip poplar in the front yard of Helga and Fred Anderson. It grazes the porch roof and narrowly misses them where they sit in their front room. Helga tells a neighbor what it will take to restore order to the garden and the two cars, and about deaths in her childhood family. She is philosophical about her roles in their aftermath, saying, “My grandmother told me death was part of nature.”

Ted Weber_thumbnailTed Weber read from his cyberpunk novel The Freedom Thorn. A conglomerate called MediaCorp has reconfigured the Internet and controls all content. Waylee Freid is an unemployed journalist and musician in a decaying near-future Baltimore, fighting an ever-worsening bipolar disorder. Frustrated by the injustice of a system that benefits only a few, and the apathy of a population content to lose themselves in a virtual reality called Better World, Waylee and her countercultural friends bust a notorious teenage hacker out of jail and sneak into a closed election fundraiser at the Smithsonian castle, where they record incriminating admissions by a corrupt president and the power-mad MediaCorp CEO. Hunted by Homeland Security, Waylee and her friends must reach a substantial audience by broadcasting their video during the Super Bowl. But to do so, they will have to break into one of the most secure facilities ever built.

Sally Whitney_thumbnailSally Whitney ( read from her forthcoming novel Surface and Shadow, which is scheduled to be released this year. Her short stories have appeared in literary and commercial magazines including The Main Street Rag, Kansas City Voices, and Pearl, and anthologies, including Uncertain Promise, Voices from the Porch, New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers and Grow Old Along With Me—The Best Is Yet to Be, among others. Sally’s stories were also finalists in The Ledge Fiction Competition and semi-finalists in the Syndicated Fiction Project and the Salem College National Literary Awards competition. She is a contributing editor to the Late Last Night Books blog.

Bob Arias, who has several published works under his belt, read from a work-in-progress about a local police force investigating a murder.

videos from Craig Schenning’s August 2014 talk

With profuse apologizes for the audio problems, here are the videos :

part 1:

Craig Schenning’s August 2014 talk to the Annapolis MWA, part 1 from wdj on Vimeo.

part 2:

Craig Schenning’s August 2014 talk to the Annapolis MWA, part 2 from wdj on Vimeo.

part 3:

(to be posted)

August 2014 meeting with Craig Schenning

The August 20 2014 meeting of the Annapolis chapter of the MWA will feature author, editor and book publisher Craig Schenning. His talk is entitled “How to Self-Publish and Market Your Book” and is geared towards authors who have some level of desire to have their book published. It is an informational session designed to provide authors with the necessary material they need to make sound decisions about how to publish their book.

The meeting is 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. The Annapolis MWA chapter typically meets the third Wednesday of every month in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. For more information visit:
About the author: Before beginning his publishing business in 2006, Craig spent 25 years working as an environmental chemist. His last project focused on the destruction and neutralization of over 1,600 tons of mustard agent that was stored at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Edgewood, MD. When he’s not helping authors he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. For more information, see his website

August speaker at the Annapolis MWA

Vonnie Crist, author of YA fantasy, “The Enchanted Skean” has agreed to be the August speaker at the Annapolis chapter meeting of the MWA. She will talk about writing for the Young Adult audience and share her journey as a writer and poet. Her talk will be on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in room 205 at Maryland Hall.

Vonnie Crist picture

The meeting is open to the public and free to MWA members and first-time guests. The Annapolis MWA chapter typically meets the third Wednesday of every month in room 205 at Maryland Hall. For more information visit:

Vonnie Crist's book cover

About the author: Vonnie’s newest book, a YA fantasy, “The Enchanted Skean,” was published by Mockingbird Lane Press (Arkansas). She’s also the author of 2 story collections, “The Greener Forest” and “Owl Light” from Cold Moon Press; a children’s book, “Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales” from VRGroup, and 2 books of poetry, “River of Stars” and “Essential Fables” from Lite Circle Books. She won a MSAC award in writing, two L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Honorable Mentions, and has been nominated for a Pushcart. She taught for the MSAC’s AiE Program as a poet for over 10 years and has also taught various creative writing courses at Harford Community College. Always interested in learning, Vonnie earned a MS in Professional Writing from Towson University after age 50. You can find more
information about the speaker at

Susan Reimer will be the August 2012 speaker

Baltimore Sun columnist Susan Reimer has agreed to speak at the Maryland Writers’ Association – Annapolis Chapter meeting on Wednesday August 15, 201. The title of her talk is “Life of a Newspaper Journalist”.

The meeting is 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 6:30pm in room 205 at Maryland Hall. For more information visit: and

Note: Susan Reimer was scheduled to speak on January 18, 2012 (as announced here) but had to cancel due to a health issue. This is her rescheduled talk.