October 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, 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.

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. 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.

 

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August at MWAA: Write off the Map

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.

Julie Wakeman-LinnAbout 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.

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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. 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.

July at MWAA: Get Creative with Nonfiction

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.

b-morrisonAbout 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.

Special Event, 12/16: Bullet Journaling

There will be no meeting on Wednesday, 20 December.

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 6.38.16 PM
Laura Shovan leads a “Bullet Journaling” workshop on 12/16.

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!”

Address: Eastport-Annapolis Neck Library, 269 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403
Phone: 410-222-1770

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

September at MWAA: The Energy of Poetry with Grace Cavalieri

NOTE: The September 21st meeting will be held in Room 308 of the Maryland Hall.

As the host of radio’s “The Poet and the Poem” for the last 39 years, poet and playwright Grace Cavalieri has the distinction of having interviewed the  largest number of sitting poets laureate. MWA Annapolis is proud to host Grace for a poetry workshop at the September 21st meeting. She describes the workshop this way:

The poem asks for intuition, sensuality, thinking, and feeling. But this is not on our minds when we write. We only wish to recall a moment in time where someone is the hero of his/her own story. Who are the characters worth writing about in our lives? We’ll see them in detail before entering the poem: where they’re going, what they want. Your poem will catch them in a tiny moment of this journey. In this workshop, we’ll try samples of the poem through circumstance and story. Discover the elements of poetry. In this session you’ll see that YOU ARE WRITING POETRY. And together, we will find the energy that allows this magnificent journey.

Be sure to bring your laptop, tablet, or pen and paper!

Grace Cavalieri, June, 2014. Photo by Dan Murano Adobe RGB converted to sRGB.
Grace Cavalieri, June, 2014. Photo by Dan Murano.

About the Speaker: Grace Cavalieri’s new book is WITH (Somondoco Press 2016.) She’s the author of several books and produced plays, the most recent of which is, “Anna Nicole: Blonde Glory.” (Theatre for the New City, NYC 2012.) She celebrates 39 years on public radio with “The Poet and The Poem” now recorded at The Library of Congress. Grace’s career includes a co-founder of WPFW-FM; after that, Associate Director for Children’s Programming, PBS; and then a Senior Media Program Officer, NEH. She’s the founder of two poetry presses in DC, still thriving, and is presently the poetry columnist for The Washington Independent Review of Books. Grace was awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from Washington Independent Review, and has also received the George Garrett Award from AWP for Service to Literature, the Allen Ginsberg, Paterson Award, Bordighera, and Columbia Poetry Awards, a Pen Fiction Award, and CPB’s Silver Medal.

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

MWAA Welcomes Austin Camacho in May

MWA Annapolis is thrilled to welcome the always-engaging Austin Camacho to our monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 18 at 6:30 pm. Austin plans to help us with some writing exercises, as he explains:

Every writer needs a little inspiration now and then, but how do we jumpstart our imaginations? I find writing exercises helpful for working those creative mental muscles. In this class, I’ll walk attendees through a few simple spontaneous writing exercises showing how you can create a story from random words, pictures, or situations to get the practice that sharpens both your wordcraft and your creativity.

Bring your writing instrument of choice and plan to have some fun!

Austin CamachoAbout the Speaker: Austin S. Camacho is the author of six novels about Washington, D.C.-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies, including Dying in a Winter Wonderland – an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008 – and he is featured in the Edgar-nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey.

Austin is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press, and is deeply involved with the writing community. He is a past president of the Maryland Writers Association, past Vice President of the Virginia Writers Club, and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.

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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.

February 2016 at MWAA: Katherine Pickett Talks Editors and Editing

Plan to join us on Wednesday, 17 February, when award-winning writer and editor Katherine Pickett explains what we need to know to make the very best use of crucial editing resources.

Editors: Who They Are, What They Do, and How They Can Help You

If you plan to publish your work, whether by publishing it yourself or by finding a publisher, you will most likely seek the help of an editor. But what can an editor really do for you? What makes an editor an editor, and how can you be sure you have found a good one?

In this presentation, veteran editor Katherine Pickett will give you the inside scoop on

  • The types of editors you may be working with
  • What qualifies someone to be an editor
  • How to find and hire the right editor for you
  • What your role is when working with an editor
  • How you can save time and money throughout the editing process
© 2013 | Kristina Sherk Photography | www.Kristinasherk.com
© 2013 | Kristina Sherk Photography | http://www.Kristinasherk.com

pickett-PerfectBound-cov1-600x900About the Speaker: Katherine Pickett is the owner of POP Editorial Services, LLC (www.POPediting.net), and the author of the award-winning book Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro. Through POP, Katherine offers copyediting, proofreading, and developmental editing to authors and publishers across the country. Since 1999, she has edited more than 300 books in a wide range of topics and genres. She is an active member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the St. Louis Publishers Association and is president of the Montgomery County chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association. You can find her blog at http://www.thePOPnewsletter.com. Twitter: @KPickett_Editor.

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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!

January 2016 at MWAA: Flash Your Fiction

To start the new year off right, at our 20th January meeting we’ll get our creative juices flowing with this interactive workshop from Izolda Trakhtenberg. Don’t miss it!

Flash Your Fiction!

What comes first–dialogue, characters, plot, or setting? Any of these can inspire us to create or present stumbling blocks to putting words on a page. What would happen if we removed the need for determining who, what, and where? What if someone handed them to us? Would our writing process change? How would we find creative ways to integrate potentially unrelated items into a cohesive tale? To achieve this, we must free our imaginations and think differently.

To access our creative fire, we will use prompts discussed during a brainstorming session to spark our creativity and blast through any obstacles during this writing workshop.

The brainstorming session will include:

  • Incorporating objects, locations, and characters into micro-stories or poems
  • Writing compelling dialogue
  • Focusing on characterization
  • Focusing on plot development and resolution

The writing workshop will include:

  • Attendees producing three short pieces
  • Presenting our pieces and processes in a supportive environment

Be sure to bring a pen and paper, laptop, tablet, or other favorite writing implement to this interactive workshop!

IzoldaDualColorHeadShot Bio: Former MWA–Montgomery County chapter Vice President and author Izolda Trakhtenberg has conducted workshops and presentations for over 20 years. She released her first book, Life Elements: Transform Your Life with Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, in 2008. Her first book in the Fairy Godmother Diaries series, The Fiddler’s Talisman, was released in 2011. She is currently editing the second book in the series, “The Piano’s Key.”

In 2011, Izolda completed a flash fiction project where she wrote a micro-story from a prompt word every day for a year. She challenged herself to complete every story within one minute. The Sixty Second Story project resulted in 365 stories, some of which have been turned into film shorts. Find more about Izolda at http://IzoldaTWriter.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 6:30pm in room 205 at Maryland Hall. Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.