April 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, 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.

 

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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.

photo/video from “An Evening with Rafael Alvarez”

Many thanks to Rafael Alvarez for the great talk!

Some photos:

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Video, part 1/3:

Rafael Alvarez, MWA talk, part 1/3 from fablestofilm on Vimeo.

Video, part 2/3:

Rafael Alvarez, MWA talk, part 2/3 from fablestofilm on Vimeo.

Video, part 3/3:

Rafael Alvarez, MWA talk, part 3/3 from fablestofilm on Vimeo.

 

 

September at MWAA: Rafael Alvarez Returns!

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 10.14.40 PMMWA Annapolis is honored once again to welcome acclaimed storyteller Rafael Alvarez, who’ll be visiting us at the Maryland Hall on Wednesday, September 20th, at 7:00 p.m. This Baltimore legend — veteran Baltimore Sun City Desk reporter, author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, screenwriter on the acclaimed HBO series The Wire — will be joining us just two days after the release of his most recent book, Basilio Boullosa Stars in the Fountain of Highlandtown. This also marks twenty years since the release of his debut story collection, The Fountain of Highlandtown.

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 10.13.53 PMRafael will be talking with us about why we write, what we write, and how we need to keep writing. He’ll read from Boullosa to illustrate idea development and execution. Rafael’s visits with MWA are always a crowd favorite–come ready to think and discuss.

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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: http://marylandwriters.org/index.php?bypassCookie=1

October at MWAA: Hometown Boy Rafael Alvarez Talks About His Writing Life

MWAA is proud to welcome Rafael Alvarez on Wednesday, October 19th at 6:30 p.m.

rafael-alvarezJournalist, author, screenwriter, member of the Seafarers International Union of North America: Rafael Alvarez has done it all, and he’ll be sharing some of those experiences with us.

Alvarez is a tireless chronicler of the under-represented, roving the streets of Baltimore with a disposable camera to collect faces and stories that emerge unpredictably throughout his work.

Come hear one of Baltimore’s favorite sons talk about working the city desk for the Baltimore Sun back in its heyday; writing his memoirs (Hometown Boy and Storyteller), short story collections (The Fountain of Highlandtown, Orlo and Leini, Tales from the Holy Land), and essays (Crabtown); and dealing with the unique–and often maddening–demands placed on Hollywood’s writers for large and small screens.

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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 6:30 p.m. in Room 205 of the Maryland Hall, located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

March 2016 at MWAA: James Gossard discusses his graphic novel MOBTOWN

In 1817, German Romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffman (1776 – 1822) wrote the short story “The Sandman”. Hoffman was in the vanguard of the short story movement. He did not anticipate that nearly two hundred years later his work would be the inspiration for a 1959 mobster graphic novel, Mobtown. On the eve of the release of Issue One, James will discuss the journey of his short story “The Enchantress” as it transformed from a pastiche into the graphic novel Mobtown, which also paused briefly in an adaptation as a screenplay. James will peel away the layers of the creative process and venture (the good, the bad, and the ug… er, beautiful). He’ll share the business model that has wrapped itself around what can loosely be labeled as a collaborative, creative franchise property. If you’ve ever wanted to create a graphic novel or wondered just what that beast is, James offers a lively presentation. And he’ll take all questions!

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 5.15.29 PMAbout the Speaker: James Gossard was just on location in the Central Valley of California working as the Script and Continuity Supervisor for the indie film The Drama Club, which wrapped principal photography in September 2015. More recently, he’s co-authored a sci-fi short film, Apocalypse in 9-8, which will be produced in 2016.

Besides penning graphic novels and screenplays, James owns a company that consults and writes for businesses and provides business advice to artists. He created and hosts the web series Writer, write thyself!, which explores topics of interest in the writer’s life. He regularly leads screenwriting workshops that focus on building a screenwriter’s toolbox and understanding the elements that create a rich story in film. His workshops have been held locally at Balticon and for Women in Film & Video in Washington DC. He has also served as a screenplay judge.

Other projects include a rewrite of his Cory McCabe young adult novels, beginning with Grizzly Heart. He is also developing a volume of poetry, James Leslie on James Leslie. James also writes for stage. As a playwright, his plays have been produced and have received multiple awards, including the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award.

James studied creative writing at the University of Montana and received his M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of Women in Film & Video, Maryland Film Festival, and The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. James lives with his wife Ann in Ellicott City, 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. The MWA Annapolis chapter meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Video and slides from Izolda Trakhtenberg’s talk

Part 1:

Part 2 (note: for copyright reasons, several minutes were cut from part 2, but the corresponding topic can be found in the slides linked to below):

Part 3:

Follow along yourself with these slides: trakhtenberg_FlashYourFiction_slides2016

Many thanks to Izolda for the great presentation!

December 2015 at MWAA: Polishing Your Work for Publication

Be sure to mark Wednesday, December 16th on your busy calendar! For MWAA’s last meeting of the year, we’ll be joined again by always-popular speaker Ally Machate, whose humorous, practical, and realistic writing advice helps us all to up our game.

Polishing Your Work for Publication

Each year, more than a million new titles are published by traditional and self-publishers. Every writer knows—or soon learns—that it takes multiple revisions to create a piece ready to compete for book buyers’ attention. This talk will introduce you to the most common problems that plague written works and offer simple ways to identify and resolve them in your own novel, short story, or memoir. You’ll receive tips on improving your work to keep readers’ attention, polishing your manuscript at the technical level, and getting objective feedback before you submit or go to press.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.39.57 PMAbout 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 help others reach their publishing goals, whether it’s 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 assisted, guided, and supported would-be 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. The MWA Annapolis chapter meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

October 2015 at MWAA: Publishers, Publicists, and a Reading Public

casual_photo_smallJenny Yacovissi, local writer and current president of the Annapolis MWA chapter, will share her ongoing experiences as a debut novelist at the chapter’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 21st. Her talk, “Publishers, Publicists, and a Reading Public,” focuses on many of the lessons she’s learned the hard way leading up to and following the April 2015 publication of her first novel, Up the Hill to Home, including the concept of direct submissions to publishers (that is, traditional publishing without an agent), what to expect when working with a publicist, and the many challenges associated with building readership.
About the Speaker: Jenny grew up in Bethesda, Maryland just a bit farther up the hill from Washington, D.C., the setting of her literary historical novel about four generations of a D.C. family between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Foreword Reviews magazine selected Jenny’s book as one of eight debut novels of note in its Summer 2015 issue, and Readers’ Favorite reviews recently awarded the novel a 2015 gold medal. In addition to writing and reading contemporary and historical fiction, and serving as MWA Annapolis chapter president, Jenny is also a regular reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books and the Historical Novels Review of the Historical Novel Society. She owns a small project management and engineering consulting company, YES, Inc. Read more about the book at jbyacovissi.com.
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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: www.marylandwriters.org.