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.
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 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.
Be 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!
14 November 2018: The Importance of Character Names, Andrew McDowell [note this is the second Wednesday]
19 December 2018: Open Mic Night!
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.
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.
About 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.
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.
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.
About 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.
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.
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.
About 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.
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.
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 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.
Eileen 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.
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.
There will be no meeting on Wednesday, 20 December.
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!”
MWA 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.
Rafael 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.
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