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, December 19th at 7 p.m. 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.
About 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.
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.
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 This is your chance to read from your published or unpublished, finished or in-progress work in front of a friendly group of supportive people.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 email@example.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.
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 Home, 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.
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.
**NEW TIME** Starting in July, meetings will now be held from 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Many of us these days are coming back to writing seriously after gaps of many years, or are attempting to fit our writing into the spaces left by full-time jobs, family commitments, and the general busyness of daily life. How do you carve out the focused time to develop and hone your writing skills? How do you even find the story that you want to tell?
Join us on Wednesday, July 19that 7:00 p.m. at the Maryland Hall to hear National Book Award finalist Ellen Prentiss Campbell discuss making art when there are more reasons to stop than to keep going. She’ll discuss her path to successful publication as she navigated through job and family.
About the Speaker: Ellen Prentiss Campbell’s (www.ellencampbell.net) debut novel The Bowl with Gold Seams (Apprentice House Press) was inspired by the detainment of Japanese diplomats at a Pennsylvania hotel in 1945. Her story collection Contents Under Pressure (Broadkill River Press) was nominated for The National Book Award. Ellen is a contributing editor to The Fiction Writers Review. She lives in Washington, D.C. and is a practicing psychotherapist. Her website is http://www.ellencampbell.net. The novel trailer is at http://bit.ly/1S814g0
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 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
MWAA is proud to welcome Rafael Alvarez on Wednesday, October 19th at 6:30 p.m.
Journalist, 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.
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.
Local writer and educator Fred Tutman will speak on September 16, 2015 on “Finding a Riverkeeper Voice, My personal journey into the heart and soul of community based watershed protection”. Years ago, the Annapolis Capital newspaper had a list of the most important people in Maryland. Whether by coincidence or not, Fred Tutman was listed first. He is a frequent blogger and writes columns for the EPA, Daily KOS, and the Bay Journal.
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.
Bio: Fred Tutman is a grassroots community advocate for clean water in Maryland’s longest and deepest intrastate waterway and holds the title of Patuxent Riverkeeper and organization that he founded in 2004. He also lives and works on an active farm located near the Patuxent that has been his family’s ancestral home for nearly a century. Prior to Riverkeeping, Fred spent nearly 30 years working as a media producer and consultant on telecommunications assignments all over the globe, including a long stint working with and advising traditional healers in West Africa and coverage of the Falkands conflict in Argentina on assignment by the BBC. After late life sojourn into law school, Fred now teaches an adjunct course in Environmental Law and Policy at Historic St. Mary’s College of MD. In his spare time he does trail maintenance on the Appalachian Trail when not exploring the Patuxent River by kayak. Fred is the recipient of numerous regional and state awards for his various environmental works on behalf of communities He is among the longest serving Waterkeepers in the Chesapeake region and the only African-American Waterkeeper in the nation. For more information on his writings, see fredtutman.com.