November at MWAA: Debut Authors Panel

3 debut authorsMost aspiring authors have a ton of questions about what it takes to get a book-length project published. Now is your chance to ask all those questions of three debut authors whose books have come out in the last year. Join MWA members Lisa Hillman, Ted Weber, and Sally Whitney, along with moderator Jenny Yacovissi, to talk about their various paths to publication, experiences with the process, and all the many lessons they’ve learned of what worked well and what they would do differently if they had it to do over again.

About the Panelists:

red jacket head shotLisa Hillman is the former President of the Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation and a former broadcast journalist. She is a board member of Pathways and Samaritan House, programs that serve addicts. A frequent contributor to area magazines, Lisa lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband Richard and greyhound Harry. She is the proud mother of two children, Heidi and Jacob. Secret No More, her first book, was published in 2017. Learn more about Lisa, her blogs and speaking engagements at www.lisahillmanauthor.com

Ted and macaw 2Ted Weber has pursued writing and music since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics. His first published novel, a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt, was nominated as a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook Award. Mr. Weber is working on two sequels and several other books. By day, Mr. Weber works as an ecologist for a non-profit organization and has had a number of scientific papers and book chapters published. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen. He enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents. Find out more about the book at savethereefs.wixsite.com/sleepstateinterrupt.

Sally Whitney color photo for webAlthough Sally Whitney has spent most of her adult life in northern and midwestern states, her imagination lives in the South, the homeland of her childhood. Her debut novel Surface and Shadow, released in 2016, tells the story of a young wife and mother who risks her marriage and her husband’s career to find out what really happened in the suspicious death of a mill owner in a small North Carolina town. Sally’s short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from the Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017. She blogs at her website, SallyWhitney.com, and at LateLastNightBooks.com, a blog for readers of fiction.

Jenny YacovissiPanel moderator Jenny Yacovissi is the President of MWAA and the chair of the 2017/2018 Washington Writers Conference. She writes a monthly column for the Washington Independent Review of Books (WIRoB) and is a frequent reviewer for both WIRoB and the Historical Novels Review of the Historical Novel Society. Her debut novel, Up the Hill to Home, published in 2015, follows four generations of a family in Washington, DC between the Civil War and the Great Depression. You can find her blog at jbyacovissi.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. 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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October 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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Andrew McDowell reads from his upcoming novel, Mystical Greenwood, at the 2016 MWA Annapolis Open Mic Night.

Join us on Wednesday, 18 October 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/.

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.

 

 

July at MWAA: The Interrupted Writer

**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 19th at 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.EllenCampbell-Headshots-0032

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

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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 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

Also in June: MWA Annapolis 2017-2018 Chapter Elections

(NOTE that June’s meeting will be held in Room 211 at Maryland Hall.)

At the start of our monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 21st, we will hold annual elections for officers of the Annapolis chapter of the Maryland Writers Association. MWA state president Eileen McIntire will be joining us for the occasion. Voting is open to all current members of MWA, but you must be present to vote.

Here is the slate of candidates, all of whom are current officers of MWAA:

Candidate for President: Jennifer Bort Yacovissi served as MWAA secretary for two years, and has now served as president for two years. Her debut novel, Up the Hill to Home, tells the story of four generations of a family in Washington, DC, between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Jenny is a member of PEN/America and the National Book Critics’ Circle, and reviews regularly for both the Washington Independent Review of Books and the Historical Novels Review of the Historical Novel Society. She is serving as chair of the 2017 and 2018 Washington Writers Conference.

Candidate for Secretary: Victoria Clarkson has served as MWAA secretary for one year. She has been writing for newspapers and magazines for over 20 years. Her blog is “Confessions of a Prepper Gal” and she is currently writing a novel, Cheap French Bubble Bath, about an historical house and slapstick characters.  Her website address is victoriaclarkson.com.

Candidate for Treasurer: Linda Wood has served as MWAA treasurer for one year. Linda retired as a senior financial analyst from the Illinois Institute of Technology and currently helps manage a CPA firm part time with the owner.  Her latest writing project is The Crabtown Chronicles, a collection of short stories with recurring characters all set in Annapolis. Linda says she’s been married for more years than she can count, has “two sons who married lovely girls, and has five perfect grandchildren. Well sometimes they are.”

May at MWAA: Put Your Traveling Pen to Paper

Peat_O'NeilMore of us are traveling more frequently these days, heading to exotic locales and experiencing other countries and cultures, often in surprising and unplanned ways. Those adventures are ripe for use in freelance travel articles and other stories.

Long-time D.C. journalist, author, and freelance writer L. Peat O’Neil joins MWAA on Wednesday, May 17th to lead us in a hands-on writing workshop to move “From Journal Entry to Travel Article”. Peat will have us work from a 400-word raw text to shape an engaging and appealing travel story. Along the way, she’ll give us some hints about what it takes to establish a travel-writing brand.

About the Speaker: Most recently, L. Peat O’Neil is the author of Pyrenees Pilgrimage, Walking Across France, published in 2010, an account of her solo walk on the Camino Frances from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea along the Pyrenees Mountains. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Other books include Travel Writing, A Guide to Research, Writing and Selling and Travel Writing, See the World. Sell the Story, and her short fiction has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She wrote for the Washington Post for almost 20 years, and has taught writing seminars at a number of universities, including current writing seminars at the Writer’s Center.

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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 6:30 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

April at MWAA: Is YA Fiction Your Genre?

Young adult (YA) fiction is one of the hottest segments of the publishing market these days, but writing effectively for this audience demands an approach that in many ways makes writing YA more challenging that writing for either adults or children.

headshot-2015-caroline-bockJoin us on Wednesday, April 19th to learn more about what it takes to write successfully for a growing audience of increasingly discerning and sophisticated YA readers. Noted DC author Caroline Bock discusses what it is that draws her to YA fiction, the challenges inherent in the genre and what she does to overcome them, the path to publication, and some of what she’s learned as a successful YA author.

About the speaker: Caroline Bock is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels Lie and Before My Eyes from St. Martin’s Press. Her short fiction is included in the 2017 District Lines IV and in the 2016 Abundant Grace anthologies. Read more about Caroline on her website, http://www.carolinebock.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.

March at MWAA: Inside a Book Review Site

What does it take to get a review from a well-respected review site? How do you get that killer blurb for your bookcover? Join us March 15th when Senior Editor of the Washington Independent Review of Books (WIRoB) Carrie Callahan joins MWAA to give us the skinny on how the operation works, how they select books for review, and what you can do to improve your chances of getting that coveted review. (HINT: Understand the calendar for pre-publication reviews!)

carrie-headshots-2016-21About the Speaker: Carrie Callaghan is the senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She is also a historical fiction writer, and her short stories have been published in Silk Road, The MacGuffin, and multiple other literary journals around the country. She lives in Maryland with her family.  Follow her on Twitter @carriecallaghan, and you can find her blog at http://www.carriecallaghan.com/blog.

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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.

February at MWAA: In the Recording Studio (your prep needed!)

We don’t normally ask that people tell us ahead of time whether they plan to come to a meeting, but this one is special, because on 15 February 2017, we’ll be recording!

“Your Words, Your Voice”: In the Recording Studio with Izolda Trakhtenberg

You asked for it, and we’re making it happen! Participants in Izolda’s “Speak Your Words” workshop said they’d love the opportunity to record a brief snippet of their work. To make this happen for the 15 February session, Izolda needs you to send her your selection in advance, so she can put it onto the teleprompter. All the instructions are in the attached PDF below, with a summary of instructions below that.

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Instructions for providing your selection:

To prepare, please select five key lines out of your story (or a short poem) that you
want to record. Please limit your selection to five lines. It will take longer than you believe to record just these few lines.

You will want a pivotal moment but one that doesn’t give away any spoilers. When choosing your material, try for a scene with a couple of characters talking. Practice the lines of your possible choices a few times before you make your final selection. You want to be excited about what you read so it sounds fresh in your recording.

Once you choose your lines:
1. Please copy and paste them into a Word (or other word processing)
document.
2. Make sure you put the title of your work at the top of the Word document.
3. Select Save As: and save the document as a text file (with a .TXT extension).
a. Save the document as “[YourFullName].TXT
4. Send the file to Izolda@gmail.com so I can load it on my teleprompter for you to
use when we record.

IzoldaDualColorHeadShotAbout Izolda: With over twenty years of experience working with clients like NASA, the National Geographic Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Izolda Trakhtenberg specializes in narration, audiobooks, foreign languages (Russian and Spanish), characters, and accents. She just completed her most recent audiobook project, “The Ghost Next Door: A Love Story” for best-selling author Ginny Baird. Her next audiobook projects will be her own two books, “The Fiddler’s Talisman” and “Life Elements: Transform Your Life with Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.”

She recently narrated online coursework for Project Head Start and the NASA movie, “Breathable: NASA Monitors Our Changing Air Quality.” She is also a music teacher and has a great deal of experience teaching people how to sing and how to speak in public. She presents her “Work in Harmony” team building and creativity workshops to corporations all over the country. She helps participants develop the confidence to communicate, build community, and share their work in a meaningful and masterful way. Visit her website at http://IzoldaT.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.

January at MWAA: The Art of Memoir

b-morrisonBecause we know your resolution for 2017 is to write more, you’ll absolutely want to join us on 18 January for this  inspirational discussion with award-winning writer Barbara Morrison, a pillar of the Baltimore writing community.

Memoir is perhaps the most popular genre for emerging writers, and many of our members are either in the midst of, or plan to undertake, memoir projects. Barbara will discuss some of the critical elements of effective memoir, and help us to look for the larger story that allows us to connect with a wide reading community.

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.

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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.