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The Writer’s Center Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

www.writer.org

DEPARTMENTS

Editor

DIRECTOR’S NOTE 5

BOOK TALK 36

EVENTS 10

DONORS 44

WORKSHOPS: Schedule 17

REGISTRATION 46

LAST WORD 47

Descriptions 22

Mía R. Cortez

mia.cortez@writer.org

Graphic Design

Virtually Detailed, Inc. Ad Design Contributors

Travis Cebula Angela Swayze

FEATURES

Editorial Contributors

Joan Atchinson

6 RICHARD BLANCO RETURNS TO TWC

Photo courtesy of the author

Chrissy Boylan Travis Cebula

The Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, a former TWC workshop leader, will return to TWC for a reading of his most recent collection, Looking for the Gulf Motel, on May 18. Blanco became the fifth, the youngest, first Latino and first gay poet to read at a presidential inauguration this year.

Genevieve DeLeon Jill Leininger Angela Swayze Cover Image

Mark Neveu Photography

Maria Enns

8 FACT OR FICTION? ISMET PRCIC, 2012 FIRST NOVEL PRIZE RECIPIENT

Copyeditor

14 BETHESDA LIT FEST: BIG NAME AUTHORS IN OUR BACKYARD

Chrissy Boylan Contact Us

28 POET LORE’S SUZANNE ZWEIZIG ON THE ART OF TRANSLATION

4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, MD 20815

30 HITTING IT BIG: CHAD HARBACH, AUTHOR OF ART OF FIELDING

301-654-8664 (p) 240-223-0458 (f)

31 EN PLEIN AIR: CONSIDERING A WRITER’S RETREAT

Writer.org 34 THINK GLOBAL; STAY LOCAL: TWC’S WRITING STAYCATION

Join the conversation at facebook.com/writerscenter & twitter @writerscenter

43 PROFILES IN PHILANTHROPY: TWC’S ANN MC LAUGHLIN

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he riter’s enter cultivates the creation, publication, presentation and dissemination of literary work. We are an independent literary organization with a global reach, rooted in a dynamic community of writers. As one of the premier centers of its kind in the country, we believe the craft of writing is open to people of all backgrounds and ages. Writing is interdisciplinary and unique among the arts for its ability to touch on all aspects of the human experience. It enriches our lives and opens doors to knowledge and understanding. The Writer’s Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible. A copy of our current financial statement is available upon request. Contact The Writer’s Center at 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815. Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State for the cost of copying and postage. Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

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ABOUT US

The Writer’s Center

Other Locations Annapolis Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts 801 Chase Street Annapolis, MD 21404 marylandhall.org

Arlington Cultural Affairs Building 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive Arlington, VA 22206 arlingtonarts.org

Executive Director

Marketing & Publications Manager

Stewart Moss

Mía R. Cortez Managing Editor of Poet Lore

Associate Executive Director for Development

Genevieve DeLeon

Jill Leininger

Capitol Hill

Office Manager

Laura Spencer

Assistant Director

The Hill Center 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Washington, DC 20003 hillcenterdc.org

Business & Operations

Sunil Freeman

Kyra Corradin Sarah Allen John Hamilton

Program Manager

Zachary Fernebok

Glen Echo Glen Echo Park 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Glen Echo, MD 20812 glenechopark.org

Board of Directors Chair: Sally Mott Freeman Treasurer: Les Hatley

Leesburg Leesburg Town Hall 25 West Market Street Leesburg, VA 20176 leesburgva.com

Vice Chair: Neal P. Gillen Secretary: Ken Ackerman

Margot Backas • Sandra Beasley • Naomi Collins • Mark Cymrot Michael Febrey • Patricia Harris • John M. Hill • James Mathews C.M. Mayo • Jim McAndrew • Ann McLaughlin • E. Ethelbert Miller Joram Piatigorsky • Bill Reynolds Mier Wolf, chair emer.• Wilson W. Wyatt, Jr.

McLean McLean Community Center 1234 Ingleside Ave McLean, VA 22101 mcleancenter.org

Honorary Board

Poet Lore is the oldest continuously published poetry journal in the United States. We publish it semi-annually, and submissions are accepted year-round. Subscription and submission information is available at poetlore.com.

Kate Blackwell • Dana Gioia • Jim Lehrer • Kate Lehrer Alice McDermott • Ellen McLaughlin • Howard Norman

Supported in part by:

Book Gallery TWC’s book gallery carries an extensive collection of literary magazines and books on craft.

The Writer’s Center would also like to gratefully acknowledge the support we receive from: The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The Tau Omega Foundation, The Kiplinger Foundation, The Bydale Foundation & Radar Collective.

4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, MD 20815

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DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Kyle Semmel

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f you’ve ever written dialogue, you know how challenging it can be to do it well. Because it’s essential to revealing character, it has to create a distinctive voice. And when two characters speak to each other, the dialogue must show the nature of their relationship and push the action forward. As George Saunders, author of the recent short story collection Tenth of December, has noted, “I think of dialogue in a story as being a form of poetry – it should feel like conversation but be more compressed and hyper-efficient.” What Saunders suggests here is that the way we actually speak to one another is filled with ellipses that aren’t so easily expressed in dialogue, yet are central to the way we communicate. It’s as if we create a kind of aural space for others to enter, who aren’t merely responding to what we say but to what we leave unsaid. In fiction as in life, individuals grope toward understanding one another, engaging in a collective enterprise of what in gospel music is termed “call and response” and in jazz is improvisation. Somehow, out of our riffs and solos and occasional harmonies comes a music that achieves meaning and richness.

Dialogue, in fact, is central to all we do at The Writer’s Center. It’s not only an element of craft we teach in our workshops and the pedagogy by which a workshop leader elicits feedback when a piece of writing is critiqued, but also the underlying premise of our mission: To help people tell their stories and find the best ways to tell them. It’s what we try to achieve in the high school writing contests we sponsor, when we invite the winners to the Center to read what they’ve written to their friends, families and teachers. It’s also the task the teachers of the writing program at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center face when they try to coax out of soldiers who are struggling to overcome traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress the words that will help them take control of their own narratives, especially as they read what they’ve written to one another. It’s at the heart of our Open Door readings each Sunday, when a visiting author reads from a recently published book, then talks with the audience afterward. But dialogue doesn’t always occur between and among individuals, it also occurs within oneself. Think, for example, of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy, or the probing existential question Clarissa Dalloway poses to herself, “What does the brain matter compared with the heart?” Of all the genres we offer at the Center, poetry – with its frequent rhetorical questions and meditations on the hidden meanings of language – is where dialogue with oneself is perhaps the most intense. Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

On May 18th,, Richard Blanco (see page 6) a wonderful poet whose work often engages in a dialogue with his own past, will read at The Writer’s Center. If you heard Richard read his poem “One Today” at the presidential inauguration in January, you may remember that his image of “My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors” suggests an ongoing conversation that we have with one another in America each day. But in many of his other poems, such as “Papa’s Bridge,” Blanco crosses the bridge of memory to be in dialogue again with his late father. He recalls standing with his father in his hospital room, where he’s recovering from surgery: When he was ordered to walk, I took his hand, together we stepped to the window and he spoke --You’ll know how to build bridges like that someday-today, I cross this city, this bridge, still spanning the silent distance between us with the memory of a father and son holding hands, secretly in love. I look forward to seeing you at the Center for Blanco’s reading. I also invite you to engage in a continuing dialogue with us about language and craft so that the stories that lie hidden within you find a voice and are set free.

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Richard Blanco From TWC workshop leader to Inaugural Poet Mía R. Cortez

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hile doing the “adjunct shuffle” in the D.C. area in 2005-6, Richard Blanco split his time between Georgetown, American University, the Arlington Correctional Facility and The Writer’s Center. He has Richard Blanco led writing workshops at The Writer’s Center in 2005-2006. fond recollections of his first Photo by Mark Neveu immersion in the Greater-D.C. literary scene and refers to TWC To say that it was a rite of Blanco, who graduated from as the place where he was able Florida International University passage is an understatement. to catch his breath. with a degree in civil engineer- Knowing his would soon be “It was a great experience,” a household name - quite an ing in 1991 and in 1997 with he says. “The quality accomplishment for a of the students is high; poet - his first imI prefer the romantic vision they were really dedipulse, as a represencated and committed. of the Latino I have in my head of President tative It was the first place and gay communities, Obama and Michelle reading was to write a poem that gave me a break, so to speak. It gave me symbolizing those my poems in bed at night the room to get my aspects of his life. bearings. I’m looking and saying, ‘we should “At the end of the forward to revisiting day, I went with a invite him to read. what I consider my message of unity writing home in the the idea that each of area.” us is part of a larger an M.F.A., has worked as an en- community, an interconnected He’ll be back at 7:30 p.m. on gineer for the past 20 years, but piece of something larger,” he May 18 to read from his latest collection of poems, Looking for his writing career was launched says of his poem One Today. “I the Gulf Motel, in which he ex- to new heights last Decemsaw the assignment as a conber when, out of the blue, he plores his role as a gay man in tinuum, so to speak – a passwas asked to read at President Cuban-American culture. Joining of the baton, a symbol of Barack Obama’s second inaugu- where we are in the country at ing him is local poet Dan Vera, ration ceremony. author of Speaking Wiri Wiri. the moment.”

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It takes something uniquely personal, and at the same time universal. Something that is at once selfish...and selfless, because there’s a larger meaning to your view of the world. In composing the poem, Blanco considered his own message and vision, as well as that of inaugural poets of past, including Maya Angelou, Robert Frost and Elizabeth Alexander. “I realize that now, and I wish we could always write with that type of creative process. At that moment, it’s all in the breath.” Blanco says the selection process is shrouded in mystery. “It’s like winning the lotto without buying a ticket. Like with some fellowships, you just get a phone call, you never know who vetted you, and in some ways I don’t want to know,” he says. “I prefer the romantic vision I have in my head of President Obama and Michelle reading my poems in bed at night and saying ‘we should invite him to read’ instead of some cold committee (process). Then again, obviously President Obama had to have a saying; you can’t just show up without him knowing.” When in early December he got the call asking him to submit three poems, he did what any writer would do. “I got my laptop and just sat at the kitchen table for three weeks,” he says.

After the announcement came the onslaught of media requesting interviews. “Luckily, my partner Mark and other good friends stepped in to handle the logistics so I could finish the poem,” he says. The ceremony itself, he says, exceeded all expectations. “It was a very surprising experience; in a good way,” he says. “I thought I would be a complete nervous wreck, that I’d be so out of it that I wouldn’t get to experience it. Being on that platform was amazing; I was moved by the experience as a whole. Now I realize why so many thousands of people show up to stand on that cold lawn. Yes, I was nervous. A real artist will tell you that you get butterflies, then your name is called and your ego takes a backseat; it becomes all about the art and you do it like you rehearsed it.” Blanco’s primary advice to aspiring writers, he says, is to find a message, and the rest will come. “That helps so much from poem to poem, workshop to workshop - to have a sense of why you’re ultimately speaking to the world,” Blanco says. “It takes something uniquely perWorkshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

Blanco’s Looking for the Gulf Motel explores his role as a gay man in Cuban-American culture.

sonal, and at the same time universal. Something that is at once very selfish, that you need to find the answer to, and selfless, because there’s a larger meaning to your particular view of the world. Some want to write, but don’t know what it is. It’s more of a dance, really, a discovery process, that gets deeper and deeper. You can often go for years without hitting that mark, and once you do everything else starts falling into place.” It certainly has for Blanco. Richard Blanco & Dan Vera 7:30 pm Saturday, May 18 $15, $10 members, $5 students www.writer.org/blanco

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Fact or Fiction? Ismet Prcic on Winning the First Novel Prize Angela Swayze

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fter fleeing war in his homeland of Bosnia, a young man named Ismet Prcic became so wracked with guilt that his former life shattered and became nearly unrecognizable. But which Prcic are we talking about: the author and winner of this year’s First Novel Prize, or the namesake character in his debut novel, Shards? Prcic doesn’t want you to know. Some of it is true, he says, and some of it is not. “I want the reader to feel safe,” he says, reading it as fiction. Prcic is the second winner of TWC’s First Novel Prize, established in 2011 to honor three long-time TWC workshop leaders: Barbara Esstman, Ann McLaughlin and Lynn Stearns. TWC’s judges loved your novel! How does it feel to win the First Novel Prize? It’s a great privilege and honor. It feels really amazing because it

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took me so long to write the book. It takes a long time to write a book, especially for somebody who comes from another country and has to learn the language. It was the fall of 2000 when I started writing; it took seven years of writing, two years to cut all the fat and then two years to sell it. When someone says, “that decade of your life is not wasted,” it’s a wonderful validation. Some consider Shards autobiographical. Is it? I’m against looking at any writing humans generate and calling it ‘nonfiction.’ If you take regular life the way you experience it and try to explain it using the alphabetical symbols we all agree on, then put them in a particular order, there’s a lot of fantasy involved. You have a choice in the way you present life but life itself is not like that. Still, most people believe that if the character has the same name as the author, then it’s like a memoir, and therefore it’s going to be a safe book because they are writing about what’s happened. No matter what the main character encounters, they’re obviously still okay.

What was it like to transition from writing short fiction to a full-length novel? I took a ‘short fiction’ class with Eileen Myles, a poet and professor at University of California, who believes that newbies should not be forced to write something called a ‘short story.’ We wrote two pages every day for the duration of the class and by the end we had a portfolio of writing. There was no shape to it, just pieces of writing that we cared about. For me, it was really interesting to see that all of these pieces of writing had reoccurring motifs and it gave me an idea. That’s why the book is called Shards. How did you manage to capture the chaos of war and its effect on the human psyche? When I think about the writers who came before me who wrote about war, it’s rare to find a book that tries to capture what it’s like in an orderly way. Most books try to break out of the normal way of writing, like Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut or The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien. Aleksander Hemon, author of The Question of Bruno, really

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influenced me. After reading the book, I wrote to him and asked how to write sentences that seem so broken up but make sense and become unified. He told me you cannot take something as amorphous as life and shove it into a mold that exists already; you have to find a form that fits your experience. If you write about trauma and war, your psyche is kind of shattered. There’s no semblance or sense to it. So the writing needs to be broken up. It needs to appear shattered. Has generating new material been a challenge after completing your first novel? I experienced the ‘second book blues’ most people talk about. I was really depressed for two years after I sold it

and it was in the hands of the editor. I wouldn’t know what to call it but there’s this emptiness you feel after having written a book. Everything that was charged inside you is outside of you now. I tried to write short stories. I wrote half of a play and a screenplay with a friend but none helped the fact that I couldn’t write the next book. I’m not in the business of getting up and inventing a character I don’t really care about. I try to look at my own life and break it down in a way that might help me understand it. What’s your best advice for aspiring writers? One of the great things I learned from Ron Carlson at UC Irvine was to “stay in the room.” Most of the time, if you’ve written a paragraph that makes you

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

Ismet Prcic

Photo courtesy of the author

feel great and you think it’s wonderful, you start thinking, “maybe I can go to the fridge and get a beer.” He always advocated staying in your room. No matter how good you feel about your writing, staying in the room is the most important part.

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EVENTS

The Writer’s Center

EVENTS

We host more than 50 events annually, including free Sunday Open-Door readings and theatre productions in our historic black box theatre. For more information about these events, please visit our website www.writer.org/events or our blog, First Person Plural.

open-door readings - spring 2013 April

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Join Poet Lore editors, visiting poet Dennis Nurkse, author of A Night in Brooklyn, and Teri Ellen Cross Davis in celebration of Poet Lore’s 124th birthday. 2 PM

April

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April

April

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2 PM

Bethesda Literary Festival

April

7 PM Journalist/Editor Rachel S. Cox, author of Into Dust and Fire, and award-winning author

and The George Washington University director of creative writing, Thomas Mallon, author of Watergate: A Novel, discuss their recent books.

8:30 PM Bloomberg News Executive Editor Amanda Bennett shares her story of love and

devotion from her book, The Cost of Hope. Writer Ken Budd shares his story of travel, love and loss from his book, The Voluntourist.

April

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Reading by Caitlin April Horrocks, author 2 PM of This Is Not Your erging City and The Writer’s Center’s Em isUnd Writer fellow. She is joined by r. covered Voices fellow Nicole Ida

2 PM

May

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Emily Miller 2 PM reads from her debut novel, Brand New Human Being. She is joined by her former Writer’s Center workshop leader, novelist Robert Bausch.

Nicole Idar

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Meet workshop leaders, staff, and board members, and learn about upcoming workshops and programs. We’ll have light refreshments and a raffle with a chance to win a free workshop, membership, or Poet Lore subscription.

Laura van den Berg

Mike White

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Former poetry workshop leader and Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco will read 7:30 PM from his most recent collection, Looking for the Gulf Motel. He is joined by local poet Dan Vera, who will read from Speaking Wiri Wiri. A reception and book signing will follow the reading.

May

May

12 PM

Poetry reading with Zara Raab, author of Swimming the Eel and Davi Walders, who reads from Women Against Tyranny: Poems of Resistance During the Holocaust.

Poetry and Prose reading by Laura van den Berg, 2 PM Emerging Writer fellow and author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us. She is joined by poet Mike White, author of How to Make a Bird With Two Hands.

Caitlin Horrocks

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Poetry reading with Judith Harris, author of Night Garden, and visiting poet Philip Memmer, author of The Storehouses of the Snow: Psalms, Parables, and Dreams.

Visiting Irish poets Siobhan Campbell, 7:30 PM Iggy McGovern and Anne-Marie Fyfe.

Admission: $15, $10 members, $5 military/students. Dan Vera

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View online at www.writer.org/guide


EVENTS

2

Clarence Brown reads from his novella Needs. He is joined by 2 PM novelist Elizabeth Huergo, who reads from The Death of Fidel Perez.

June

June 2 PM

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EVENTS

open-door readings - summer 2013

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Poetry and Prose reading by Emerging Writer Fellow Suzanne Cleary and Karen 2 PM Sagstetter. Cleary’s most recent collection of poems is Trick Pear. Karen Sagstetter will read from The Thing with Willie: Stories of Two Families.

June

Suzanne Cleary

Poetry reading with Sean Enright, author of My People. He is joined by Bernadette Geyer, who reads from The Scabbard of Her Throat.

Karen Sagstetter

June

June

Sean Enright

Bernadette Geyer

2 PM

TWC staff Stewart Moss, Jill Leininger, Laura Spencer, Zachary Fernebok, Genevieve Deleon & Sunil Freeman will read from their work.

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Three cultures – Chinese, German and American - are highlighted in Trialogue, Goethe-Institut’s annual celebration of poetry and voice. Featuring readings by local poets Sarah Browning and Joseph Ross, and selected renowned German and Chinese poets via telephone bridge. The afternoon includes a discussion of the challenges and rewards of poetry translation. For more info: www.goethe.de/usa/trialogue

2 PM

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Three authors read in “Tales from Africa.” Novelist Julie 2 PM Wakeman-Linn is author of Chasing the Leopard; Finding the Lion; Susi Wyss reads from The Civilized World, and Glen Retief reads from his memoir, The Jack Bank.

July

July 2 PM

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Poetry & 23 Staff Prose

4 PM

Opening Art Reception

The Yellow Barn Studio & The Writer’s Center open a new art exhibit. Details TBA.

Join Free State Review editors J. Wesley Clark and Barrett Warner and recently published authors, including Barbara DeCesare, Edgar, Gabriel Silex, Julianna Spallholz & Rachel Adams. Barbara DeCesare

Susi Wyss

Rachel Adams

July

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A reading by members of The Federal Poets - Dean Blehert, Lee Giesecke & Don Illich 2 PM

Glen Retief

Julianna Spallholz

August

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Join Maritza Rivera in a reunion of poets associated with the Mariposa Poetry Series and Poetry Retreat. Readers will include Nancy Naomi Carlson, Sid Gold, Richard Epstein, “Sistah Joy” and Cyd Charisse Fulton. 2 PM

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

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EVENTS

EVENTS EVENTS

leesburg first fridays 7:30 p.m. Leesburg Town Hall (Lower Level Meeting Room) 25 W. Market Street Leesburg, VA 20176 $4 TWC members, residents Leesburg Town Hall

How to Write a Scene April 5: Barbara Esstman Trying to write creatively without knowing how to construct a scene is like trying to build your house without bricks or wood. Scenes allow your characters to interact with immediacy and bring your readers into the world of your story.  They give your writing life through action, dialogue and description working in harmony.  Learn what elements make a strong scene and how to tell when to create full, condensed or  summarized scenes.  Bring your questions for problem solving. Barbara Esstman, M.F.A., is a National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts fellow, and a Redbook fiction award winner, among other distinctions. Her two novels, The Other Anna and Night Ride Home, are in numerous foreign editions; both were adapted for television by Hallmark Productions. She co-edited an anthology, A More Perfect Union: Poems and Stories About the Modern Wedding, and has taught extensively in universities.

The Power & Purpose of Setting May 3: Laura Oliver “Nothing happens nowhere,” says writer Elizabeth Bowen, and we learn in this setting-intensive that setting is perhaps the most underutilized, versatile and influential element a writer can use in crafting both fiction and memoir. Learn the secrets of setting: how to deepen, enrich and empower everything you write.   Laura Oliver, MFA is the award -winning author of The Story Within, New Insights and Inspira-

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$6 General admission tion for Writers (Alpha/Penguin, Nov. 2011.)  Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous regional and national publications including The Washington Post, Country Living Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories, The Writer Magazine, the Baltimore Review and others. She is a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize among numerous other awards and distinctions. Oliver has taught writing at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and currently teaches writing workshops at St. John’s College in Annapolis.

The Writer’s Center

Advertise in the Workshop & Event Guide! Reach an eclectic audience of writers, students, teachers & hobbyists. Our guide is published triquarterly & has a distribution of 17,000 throughout the D.C. Metro area.

Writing Unbound June 7: Brad Holzwart and Joe Budzinski The proliferation of online publishing and e-books in recent years has revolutionized the publishing industry. In this panel session, marathon runner and writer Brad Holzwart, author of the blog “On the Bus … Running” and Joe Budzinski, a publishing and marketing consultant specializing in e-books, will explore alternate routes to publishing and using a blog to market your writing, producing and selling e-books, and pitfalls to avoid. Brad Holzwart is a marketing and social media specialist in the real world. In his other life, Brad is a freelance writer who contributes to Runner’s World online and blogs for the Ragnar Relay, a 200 mile relay race. His blog, “On the Bus … Running,” has been featured in Runner’s World, and takes readers on the journey to life’s many start (and finish) lines. Joe Budzinski is senior team leader at Integrated Books International, a new print-on-demand publishing and distribution company in Dulles, Virginia, and is a publishing and marketing consultant who has produced, marketed and edited dozens of e-books and developed e-book strategies for individual authors and large organizations. View online at www.writer.org/guide

To reserve ad space, contact Mia Cortez at mia.cortez@writer.org Members receive an additional 10% discount!

Ad Rates (4-color included) Ad Size

1 Issue

2 Issues

3 Issues

Full page

$475

$460

$445

Half Page

$225

$210

$195

Quarter Page

$120

$105

$90

Eighth Page

$55

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$45

Business Card

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POETRY & PROSE OPEN MIC

The Quotidian Theatre presents Conor McPherson’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s “The Birds.” This is an area premiere, directed by Jack Sbarbori. July 12 through August 11 at The Writer’s Center.

Our third-Sunday Open Mics offer a space to read your work and enjoy the writings of others. All shows start at 2 p.m. Sign-up for readers begins at 1:30 p.m.

$15 tickets for Writer’s Center members

Summer schedule MAY 19 July 7 August 4

Visit the website or call 301-816-1023 for details and reservations.

All performances held at The Writer’s Center 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda MD 20815

quotidiantheatre.org

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

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EVENTS

EVENTS


Words Come to Life at Bethesda’s Annual Literary Festival Joan Atchinson

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ach year, thousands attend the Bethesda Literary Festival to celebrate the achievements of writers of all genres. This year’s festival will be held Friday, April 19 through Sunday April 21. Now in its 14th year, the event will feature an array of local and national authors, journalists and poets appearing throughout downtown Bethesda. Alice McDermott “The Bethesda

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Literary Festival attracts readers of all ages and has grown to include writing contests, well-known authors, journalists and poets as well as events for children and families,” says Stephanie Coppula, director of marketing and communications at Bethesda Urban Partnership. “We provide free literary events that engage the community, introduce them to new authors and more.” Last year’s festival drew 4,0005,000 attendees to literary events in downtown Bethesda, including appearances by Wal-

ter Isaacson, author of the blockbuster, Steve Jobs, and Tom Friedman, internationally renowned author of The World is Flat. David Maraniss This year’s three-day festival will feature approximately 35 authors at 20 events at a variety of locations including The Writer’s Center, Barnes & Noble, the Bethesda Library and the Hyatt Regency. Several local art

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galleries, including Gallery B and Studio Neptune, will also host events. All events are free. In addition to the big name authors, offerings include a meet-and-greet with favorite local authors, book signings, and events for children and teens. All events will provide an opportunity for question and answer sessions, book signings and mingling with the authors. Prior to 2000, The Writer’s Center hosted the Mid-Atlantic Small Press Book Fair. That year, in collaboration with the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP), the larger Bethesda Literary Festival was organized, and has since hosted more than 500 authors. The event has grown in scope and popularity each year, welcoming such noted guests as R.L. Stine, Bob Schieffer, Cokie and

Steve Roberts, Alice Hoffman, Walter Isaacson, Alice McDermott and Stanley Plumly. In collaboration with The Writer’s Center and Bethesda Magazine, the festival also celebrates local writers. “The Writer’s Center has supported the festival since it began and continues to host events throughout the weekend, as well as award 40 local essay and poetry contest winners,” says Coppula. A reading and awards ceremony will honor the winners of its annual essay and short story contests, Bethesda poetry contest, and youth writing contest. Winners will be published on the Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Magazine websites. The first place winner of the poetry contest will be published

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

on The Writer’s Center’s First Person Plural blog, and receive a free class and membership. TWC will also host an open house with refreshments and a raffle on Saturday, April 20 from noon to 3 p.m. Workshop leaders, staff and board members will be on hand to discuss upcoming workshops and programs. This year’s featured authors include National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Alice McDermott, who has taught and served on the board at TWC. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author David Maraniss, Barack Obama: The Story will also participate in the festival. Visit www.bethesda.org for a full schedule of readings and events.

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WORKSHOP GUIDELINES WORKSHOP GUIDELINES Learning to write is an ongoing process that requires time and practice. Our writing workshops are for everyone, from novices to seasoned writers looking to improve their skills, to published authors seeking refinement and feedback, to professionals with an eye on the competition. Group settings encourage the writing process by teaching writers to prioritize and to help each other using many skills at once. From our workshops, participants can expect: • Guidance and encouragement from a published, working writer; • Instruction on technical aspects such as structure, diction and form; • Kind, honest, constructive feedback directed at individual work; • Peer readers/editors who act as “spotters” for sections of your writing that need attention, and who become your community of working colleagues even after your workshop is completed; • Tips on how to keep writing and integrate this “habit of being” into your life; • Tactics for getting published; • Time to share work with other writers & read peers’ work; and • Help with addressing trouble areas & incorporating multiple, sometimes conflicting ideas into the revision.

BEGINNER LEVEL We strongly suggest that newcomers start with a beginner level workshop. They are structured to help you

discover the fundamentals of creative writing, such as: • Getting your ideas on the page; • Choosing a genre and the shape your material should take; • Learning the elements of poetry, playwriting, fiction, memoir, etc.; • Identifying your writing strengths and areas of opportunity; and • Gaining beginning mastery of the basic tools of all writing, such as concise, accurate language, and learning how to tailor their particular use in your work.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL These workshops will build on skills you developed in the beginner level, and are designed for writers who have: • Read and discuss some published works. • Taken a beginner-level workshop; • Achieved some grace in using the tools of language and form and • Have projects in progress that they want to develop further.

ADVANCED LEVEL Participants should have manuscripts that have been critiqued in workshops at the intermediate level and have been revised substantially. This level offers: • Focus on the final revision and completion of a specific work; • Fast-paced setting with higher expectations of participation, and • Deep insight and feedback.

MASTER LEVEL Master classes are designed for writers who have taken several advanced

The Writer’s Center workshops and have reworked their manuscript into what they believe is its final form. Master classes are unique opportunities to work in smaller groups with distinguished writers on a specific project or manuscript. Workshop leaders select participants from the pool of applicants; selection is competitive.

REGISTRATION Workshop registration is available online at www.writer.org, in person at The Writer’s Center via mail, online or by phone at (301) 654-8664.

refund policy To receive a credit, you must notify TWC by e-mail (post.master@writer. org) within the drop period. • Full refunds are given when TWC cancels a workshop. Participants who have already signed up and made payment will receive a full refund, or they can use their payment as a credit toward another workshop and/or membership. • Workshop participants who have enrolled in and paid for a workshop and choose to withdraw from it within the drop period (see below) will receive full credit that can be used within one year to pay for another workshop and/or a membership. The Writer’s Center recognizes that individual writers of all experience levels need to find their own place in our program. If you’d like advice on which courses will be right for you, please call and speak with a member of our staff.

Drop Period for Credit 5 or more sessions: 48 hours notice required before the second meeting 4 or fewer sessions: 48 hours notice required before the first meeting 16

View online at www.writer.org/guide


CREATIVE NONFICTION

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Creative Nonfiction III

William O’Sullivan

5/4-6/29

S

10-12:30

A

22

Crafting Your Identity

Willona Sloan

5/4

S

10-2

ALL

22

Creative Nonfiction II*

Sue Eisenfeld

5/16-7/11

Th

7-9:30 PM

I

22

Creative Nonfiction II

Dave Singleton

6/4 - 7/23

T

7-9:30 PM

I

22

My Life, One Story at a Time

Pat McNees

6/5-6/26

W

7:15-9:45 PM

I

22

8 Essays/Memoirs, 8 Weeks

Sara Taber

6/11-7/30

T

1-3:30 PM

A

22

Creative Nonfiction I

Sara Taber

6/11-7/30

T

7-9:30 PM

B/I

22

FICTION

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Short Story II

John Morris

4/1- 5/20

M

7-9:30 PM

I

22

Fiction I

Kathryn Johnson

5/6-5/20

M

7-9:30 PM

B

22

Fiction I

Sinta Jimenez

5/7-6/25

T

7-9:30 PM

B

22

Flash Fiction

Sinta Jimenez

5/7-5/28

T

10 AM-12 PM

ALL

22

Short Story II

Dana Cann

5/7-6/25

T

7:30-10 PM

I

23

Story Writing*

Con Lehane

5/7-6/25

T

7-9:30 PM

ALL

23

Revision

Con Lehane

5/7-6/25

W

7-9:30 PM

ALL

23

Fiction II

Sinta Jimenez

5/8-6/26

W

7-9:30 PM

I

24

Whodunit? Writing the Mystery

Alan Orloff

5/11

S

1-3 PM

ALL

23

Advanced Novel

Ann McLaughlin

5/25-7/13

S

10 AM-12:30 PM A

23

Short Story II

Mark Cugini

5/25-6/29

S

10-12:30 PM

A

23

Fiction I

Alan Orloff

6/1-7/20

S

10-12:30 PM

I

23

Short Story I

Jim Beane

6/5-7/10

W

12:30-3:30 PM B

23

Starting to Write Fantasy Fiction

Brenda Clough

6/5-6/12

W

7-9:30 PM

B

23

The Extreme Novelist

Kathryn Johnson

6/5-7/24

W

7-9:30 PM

I/A

23

Plot

Kathryn Johnson

6/15

S

10 AM-12:30 PM ALL

23

Fiction II

Liz Poliner

6/19-7/31

W

7-9:30 PM

23

Dialogue

Lynn Schwartz

6/22

S

10 AM-12:30 PM ALL

23

4 Stories, 4 Weeks

Sinta Jimenez

7/2-7/23

T

10 AM-12 PM

B

24

Plot*

Lynn Schwartz

7/10

W

6:30-9 PM

ALL

24

Conceptual Writing

Mark Cugini

7/22-8/26

M

7-9:30 PM

I

24

6 Stories, 6 Weeks

Mark Cugini

7/24-8/28

W

7-9:30 PM

A

24

4 Stories, 4 Weeks

Sinta Jimenez

7/2-7/30

T

Day

B

24

MIXED GENRE

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Poetic Prose & Prose Poetry

Susan Tiberghien

4/27

S

1:30-4:30 PM

ALL

24

Getting Started: Creative Writing

Nancy Naomi Carlson 5/4

S

12-5 PM

B

24

Getting Started: Creative Writing

Liz Rees

5/29-7/24

W

7-9:30 PM

B

24

Mythology in the Mix

Carolyn Clark

6/8-6/9

S/SU

1-4 PM

ALL

24

Getting Started: Creative Writing

Liz Poliner

6/17-7/29

M

7-9:30 PM

B

24

B—beginner

I—intermediate

A—advanced

M—master

ALL—all levels

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

17

A

schedule

SUMMER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE


SUMMER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

The Writer’s Center

schedule

MIXED GENRE (continued)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Between the Lines: Writing & Publishing Literary Translations

Nancy Naomi Carlson & Yvette Neisser Moreno

6/20-8/1

Th

7-9:30 PM

ALL

24

Transitions

Mary Carpenter

6/25-7/30

T

10:30 AM -1 PM

ALL

24

Creating Conflict

Kathryn Johnson

6/29

S

10 AM-12:30 PM ALL

25

Creating Conflict

Brenda Clough

7/25-8/1

Th

7:30-9:30 PM

ALL

25

Developing the Characters in Your Life Stories

Solveig Eggerz

8/19-8/23

M-F

10:30-1:30 PM ALL

25

Writing in the Margins of Life

Sarah Pekkanen

6/8

S

9 AM - 5 PM

ALL

25

Writing Staycation

Zahara Heckscher

6/24-6/28

S

9 AM-5 PM

ALL

26

PLAYWRITING

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Playwriting: About Process

Richard Washer

8/3

S

1-3:30 PM

ALL

25

Elements of Playwriting: Dialogue

Richard Washer

8/10

S

1-3:30 PM

ALL

25

POETRY

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Poetry III

Melanie Figg

4/30-6/4

T

7-9 PM

A

25

6 Poems, 6 weeks

Marie Pavlicek-Wehrli

5/1-6/5

W

7-9:30 PM

I

25

Poetry I

Chris Goodrich

5/4-6/8

S

10 AM-12:30 PM B

25

From Page to Stage: The Art of the Poetry Reading

Yvette Neisser Moreno

5/8-5/29

W

7-9:30 PM

25

8 Poems, 8 Weeks

Liz Rees

6/1-7/27

S

10 AM-12:30 PM I/A

25

8 Poems, 8 Weeks

Liz Rees

6/3-7/29

M

7-9:30 PM

B

25

How to Revise a Poem

Sue Ellen Thompson

6/15

S

1-4 PM

ALL

25

Poetry Master Class

Melanie Figg

6/26-7/17

W

7-9 PM

M

26

Poetry of Unknowing

Jessica Garratt

7/9-8/13

T

7-9:30 PM

A

26

Poetry I

Nan Fry

7/23-8/27

T

10:30 AM -1 PM

B

26

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Introduction to Marketing Platforms

Angela Render

5/11

S

12-2 PM

B

26

Blogging for Beginners

Angela Render

5/11

S

3-5 PM

B

26

Speechwriting 101: Concepts and Techniques

James Alexander

5/22-6/26

W

7-9:30 PM

ALL

26

Stalking the Literary Agent

Kathryn Johnson

5/25

S

10 AM-12:30 PM ALL

26

Blogging Tips and Tricks

Angela Render

6/8

S

12-2 PM

I

26

Introduction to Social Networking

Angela Render

6/8

S

3-5 PM

B/I

26

How to Write a Grant Proposal

Cara Seitchek

7/13-7/27

S

1:30-4 PM

B

27

Query, Synopsis, Pitch

Kathryn Johnson

8/7-8/21

W

7-9:30 PM

ALL

27

SCREENWRITING

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

The Art & Craft of Screenwriting*

Khris Baxter

4/13

S

10 AM -4 PM

ALL

27

Screenwriting II

Lyn Vaus

5/2-6/20

Th

7-10 PM

I/A

27

The Art & Craft of Screenwriting*

Khris Baxter

5/4

S

10 AM-4 PM

ALL

27

Screenwriting I

Jeffrey Rubin

5/28-7/16

T

7:30-9 PM

B

27

The Art & Craft of Screenwriting *

Khris Baxter

7/20

S

10 AM-4 PM

ALL

27

18

View online at www.writer.org/guide

ALL


YOUTH & TEEN WORKSHOPS

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

PAGE

Weekend Playwriting

Zachary Fernebok

6/8-6/9

S-Su

10 AM -2 PM

Teens

27

Natural, Magical Writing

Adele Brown

7/8-7/19

M-F

10 AM -12 PM

8-11 yo

27

Young Writer’s Circle

Adele Brown

7/9-7/19

T-F

1-3 PM

8-12 yo 27

Weekend Fiction

Kathryn Johnson

7/20-7/27

S

10 AM-2 PM

Teens

27

Rhythms & Riffs: The Music of Poetry

Jill Leininger

7/10-7/17

W

1-3:30 PM

Teens

27

Write a Winning Admissions Essay

Pamela Toutant

7/20

S

10 AM-12:30 PM

Teens

27

Write a Winning Admissions Essay

Pamela Toutant

8/17

S

10 AM-12:30 PM

Teens

27

View sample online workshops @ www.onlinetwc.org/workshops ONLINE

LEADER

DATES

SESSIONS

LEVEL

PAGE

Fiction I

T. Greenwood

5/4-6/22

8

B/I

22

Fiction Master Class

T. Greenwood

5/4-6/22

8

A

22

The Elements of Fiction: Plot

T. Greenwood

6/29-7/20

4

ALL

24

Narrative Arc

Alicia Oltuski

7/8-7/29

4

ALL

24

Scene Study

Alicia Oltuski

7/8-7/29

4

ALL

24

Poetry I

Carrie Murphy

6/3-7/22

8

B

26

B—beginner

I—intermediate

A—advanced

M—master

ALL—all levels

* Indicates workshops held at one of our satellite locations. Please see descriptions for more information.

onlinetwc.org/ workshop

Virtual Writers’ Workshops

You don’t have to be in the D.C. area to join our creative community! With a growing selection of online workshops in fiction, poetry & creative nonfiction, online courses at TWC are ideal for busy writers of all genres, with 24-hour access to lectures, assignments & critique. TWC uses Moodle, an online course management platform similar to the Blackboard system, but with more customization options, so each class becomes a unique virtual classroom. Browse our free sample online workshops to get a feel for how they run. Contact: Zach Fernebok, program manager zach@writer.org Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

19

schedule

SUMMER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE


TWC in Action

t Instructor Yellow Barn Studio Ar ening of Glen Kessler at the op b. 10. Fe on Life’s Impressions

Life’s Impressions is on exhibit at TWC through June 7. (Right) “Picking Oranges, après Berthe Morisot” by Kathy Lindert, is one of more than 100 pieces on display. (Above) Yellow Barn artists at the opening.

the TWC staff at ir Fa ok Holiday Bo on Dec. 1, 2012

20

View online at www.writer.org/guide


Isabelle Dunn, Andie Berry & Blessed Sherriff were selected as finalists in the 2013 Poetry Out Loud competition held Jan. 10 at TWC.

rke Linda Joy Bu uces (below) introd ol the high scho of competitors ud Poetry Out Lo (above).

Peter Brown reads his work at a Poetry & Prose Open Mic on Feb. 24

reading Louise Farmer Smith at a .6 for Delmarva Review on Jan Photos by Maria Enns

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

21


WORKSHOPS

The Writer’s Center

For more detailed class descriptions, please visit writer.org Note: TWC will be closed May 27 for Memorial Day & July 4 for Independence Day.

Creative Nonfiction

who have some writing experience (e.g., have already taken at least one writing class).

Creative Nonfiction III

8 Thursdays 7-9:30 PM 5/16-7/11 Arlington Intermediate $360

William O’Sullivan

workshops

This workshop is for writers who have a good understanding of what a personal essay is, are open to exploring further the many forms a personal essay can take, and are already working seriously in the genre. Our focus will be participants’ writing, supplemented with assigned readings. The workshop is designed for self-contained essays, not book-length memoirs. To be considered for admission, please submit to The Writer’s Center an essay or excerpt of no more than five double-spaced pages by April 27 to zach@writer.org. Note that there is no class on June 1. 8 Saturdays 10 AM-12:30 PM Bethesda Advanced

5/4-6/29 $360

Crafting Your Identity Willona Sloan This non-fiction writing class is designed for writers who want to express issues related to their cultural identities. The class will include reading and discussion of essays and selections of memoirs by writers who both celebrate their cultural, racial and ethnic identity and also raise issues related to discrimination, assimilation, confusion, and frustration in expressing themselves in relation to their particular identities. The class is designed to give writers a chance to think about stereotypes and cultural and racial pride and create a larger context for their stories, as they address questions such as Why does your identity matter in your writing, What is the larger global discussion to which your essay or memoir is contributing, and What do you want readers to learn or understand by reading your work? Participants will bring essays to be workshopped and will also create in-class writing. 1 Saturday Bethesda

10 AM-2 PM All Levels

5/4 $80

Creative Nonfiction II Dave Singleton This mid-level course will focus on producing key types of nonfiction, such as short and long form personal essays, topical news articles, literary journalism, Q&A’s (practicing the art of skillful interviewing), and more. Writers will prepare six finished pieces for constructive critique from teacher and class. 8 Tuesdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM Intermediate

6/4-7/30 $360

My Life, One Story at a Time Pat McNees The goal in this workshop is to capture your legacy in short personal writing (especially stories) for those who will survive you. Knowing that you are writing not for publication but to set the record straight (in your own mind, if nothing else) may liberate you, allowing you to frankly explore your life choices and experiences, achievements and mistakes, beliefs and convictions. 4 Wednesdays 7:15-9:45 PM 6/5-6/26 Bethesda Intermediate $195

8 Essays/Memoirs, 8 Weeks Sara Taber Each week students will write to a prompt designed to elicit rich material for memoirs and personal essays, and have the chance to share their work with the class. Join and keep your writing coming over the summer! 8 Tuesdays Bethesda

1-3:30 PM Advanced

6/11-7/30 $360

Examine published memoirs and essays and practice aspects of the writer’s craft such as scene, characterization, and concrete detail.

Sue Eisenfeld This workshop is for writers who want to create personal essays or first-person narrative nonfiction articles about experiences related to health, medicine, illness, disease, treatment, healing, and related topics. Share and workshop your writing with a group of similarly-interested peer readers and writers, and discover what makes personal essays and articles sing. Students should be prepared to submit two manuscripts for critique during this workshop. This is an intermediate-level class geared toward those

22

8 Tuesdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM Beg/Int

8 Mondays Bethesda

7-9:30PM 4/1-5/20 Intermediate $360

Fiction I T. Greenwood If you have always wanted to write a novel but didn’t know where to start, this workshop will help you understand the process of writing a novel so you can get started putting pen to paper. We will focus on everything from generating ideas to developing characters to establishing point of view. We will touch on many elements of fiction (dialogue, scene, etc...), but the emphasis will be on discovering the writing process that works best for you. 8 Saturdays Online

N/A Beg/Int

6/11-7/30 $360

Fiction Short Story II John Morris Are you ready to take your short story draft to the next level? Need help completing the draft? Longing for motivation to begin? This workshop is designed to meet those needs, creating a

View online at www.writer.org/guide

5/4-6/22 $270

Fiction Master Class T. Greenwood In this online workshop you will provide and receive feedback on your short stories or novelsin-progress.

8 Saturdays Online

N/A Advanced

5/4-6/22 $270

Fiction I Kathryn Johnson If you’ve never written fiction and would love to try your hand at creating characters, a plot, and an exciting story. Join novelist Kathryn Johnson for a fun introduction to the basics of fiction writing. 3 Mondays Bethesda

Creative Nonfiction I Sara Taber

Creative Nonfiction II

helpful, supportive workshop atmosphere for all participants. The goal is for each writer to present a successful draft, with emphasis on encouragement, hard work, and practical suggestions. The workshop leader will provide detailed written comments on all manuscripts.

7-9:30 PM Beginner

5/6-5/20 $150

Fiction I Sinta Jimenez Focus will be on developing the elements of stories. Emphasis on workshop and critique. 8 Tuesdays 7-9:30 PM Bethesda Beginner

5/7-6/25 $360

Flash Fiction Sinta Jimenez Learn how to write interesting and compelling flash fiction. 4 Tuesdays Bethesda

10 AM-12 PM All Levels

5/7-5/28 $195


WORKSHOPS Dana Cann This workshop is for short story writers with some experience in prior workshops (either at The Writer’s Center or elsewhere). The focus of this workshop is your stories. Each writer will submit up to two stories for constructive critique. In addition, we’ll examine short story elements and techniques, using the latest Best American Short Stories (2012). 8 Tuesdays Bethesda

7:30-10 PM Intermediate

5/7-6/25 $360

Story Writing Con Lehane In this course, we’ll concentrate on writing stories—those things with beginnings, middles, and ends that delve into the human spirit and attempt to reveal to us who we are. Whether your bent is the short story or the novel, comedy or tragedy, mystery, suspense, adventure, or something else, certain elements of story writing are universal. We’ll examine such craft elements as character, plot, point of view, description, dialogue, setting, pacing, and voice, as well as the importance of substance and structure to a story. The basic format of the class will be a workshop, but we’ll also include exercises and an occasional reading. As long as you’re willing to write, it doesn’t matter where you are on the writer’s path. 8 Tuesdays Capital Hill

7-9:30 PM All Levels

5/7-6/25 $360

Starting to Write Fantasy Fiction

1 Saturday Bethesda

2 Wednesdays Bethesda

Con Lehane When you finally finish your first draft, put it aside, and after a suitable time read it over, if you’re like me, you come across passages where the story flows and you’re thrilled by what you’ve created. But you also find lots of things that make you cringe: boring passages of description, scenes of dialogue that make no sense, characters who reemerge in Chapter 17 and you don’t even remember who they are. For better or worse, this is how it should be (or at least how it is) for most writers. This is where the work of revision begins. Stories don’t often fully reveal themselves the first time around. Revision isn’t an exercise in proofreading or copyediting, it’s an integral part of the storytelling process. Roll up your sleeves. 7-9:30 PM All LevelS

5/7-6/25 $360

Whodunit? Writing the Mystery Alan Orloff If you’ve always wanted to write a mystery novel but didn’t know where to start, this workshop is for you. We’ll discuss writing fundamentals as they apply to the mystery. We’ll examine characteristics of the many subgenres (thrillers, too!)

1-3 PM All Levels

5/11 $40

If you have a full or partial draft of your novel and need suggestions for revision, consider this workshop in which we will focus on the authenticity of characters, the smooth workings of plot and the telling detail. Each workshop participant will have a chance to submit work two or more times for discussion. We’ll also discuss a short, published novel. This workshop will be a safe place in which to analyze the work you’ve done and see its possibilities. 10 AM-12:30 PM Advanced

5/25-7/13 $360

Mark Cugini This advanced-level workshop will put a strong emphasis on sentence-level writing and revision. Students in this class will revise their stories, discuss contemporary authors, and critique each other’s work. The goal of this course is to complete a polished draft of one short story, and learn a variety of revision strategies. 5/25-6/29 $270

Fiction I Alan Orloff Have you started a novel (or have a great idea for one) but need some direction and feedback? In this workshop, we’ll talk about the building blocks (plot, characters, setting, dialogue, conflict) and how they all fit together to create a solid foundation for page-turning fiction. Sessions will include instruction and writing exercises, with an emphasis on giving and receiving critiques of participants’ work. Oh, and it will be fun, too! 8 Saturdays Bethesda

10 AM-12:30 PM Intermediate

6/1-7/20 $360

Short Story I Jim Beane A workshop that combines reading modern short story writers, writing exercises, roundtable discussion and workshopping participants stories with a focus on understanding and unifying the fundamental elements of the modern short story into a fully realized short story. 6 Wednesdays Bethesda

12:30-3:30 PM Beginner

7:30-9:30 PM Beginning

6/5-6/12 $80

Can’t find the time/energy/inspiration to get your novel written? This popular course will help you complete a rough draft in just 8 weeks, with the encouraging guidance of professional writing coach Kathryn Johnson (author of over 40 published books). You will commit to an aggressive writing schedule and learn the tricks pros use to create a productive working environment and meet their deadlines despite distractions. 8 Wednesdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM Int/Adv

6/5-7/24 $360

Plot Kathryn Johnson

Short Story II

10 AM-12:30 PM Advanced

Vampires, zombies, halflings with swords! Build your world and write in it.

Kathryn Johnson

Ann McLaughlin

8 Saturdays Bethesda

Brenda Clough

The Extreme Novelist

Advanced Novel

6 Saturdays Bethesda

Revision

8 Wednesdays Bethesda

and learn about mystery-specific conventions and pitfalls such as TSTL syndrome, macguffins, red herrings, killer twists, wacky sidekicks, and smooth clue-dropping, among others. Fun, educational, and… mysterious!

6/5-7/10 $270

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

Learn to plot, even if you think you can’t. Stories without plot sag. Stories that start out with a strong plot are easier to write, require less revision, and are more likely to interest a publisher. A fast-paced learning adventure for writers of any genre of fiction. One of Kathryn Johnson’s coffee-and-pastry Saturday seminars. 1 Saturday Bethesda

10 AM-12:30PM All Levels

6/15 $50

Fiction II Liz Poliner In this workshop students will read and discuss each others’ draft stories or novel excerpts. Discussions will focus on developing this work further and on elements of craft: point of view, character, plot, conflict and setting.  Prerequisites: At least two previous workshops and/or journal publication. 7 Wednesdays 7-9:30 PM Bethesda Advanced

6/19-7/31 $315

Dialogue Lynn Schwartz Let’s demystify dialogue. We’ll explore “real talk” versus written conversation, analyze what characters should say and how they should say it, and identify how speech creates action and propels story forward. The appropriate use of tags, dialects, and direct and indirect dialogue will also be examined. 1 Saturday Bethesda

10 AM-12:30PM All Levels

6/22 $50

The Elements of Fiction: Plot T. Greenwood Whether you are an outliner or a writer who flies by the seats of your pants when it comes to plot,

23

workshops

Short Story II


WORKSHOPS your novel still needs structure. In this workshop we will study the architecture of a novel and devise a plan for plotting your novel. 4 Saturdays Online

N/A All Levels

6/29-7/20 $150

Scene Study Alicia Oltuski Good fiction and narrative nonfiction shines at the scene level, in addition to the global. This course will focus on the crafting of scenes. Through a series of short assignments and readings, we will consider how to build tension and character in a scene, and how best to infuse information and plot in a dynamic way that moves the story forward. 4 Mondays Online

7/8-7/29 All Levels

6 Stories, 6 Weeks

Mythology in the Mix

Mark Cugini

Carolyn Clark

In this class, students will write, workshop, and critique six new stories. In class discussions will focus on the various elements of fiction, and writers will be given weekly prompts to “jumpstart” their writing. The goal of this course is to complete new work, and to receive specific feedback for revisions.

Learn, read, and write about Mythology (mostly Classical) and its use in writing (various genres).

6 Wednesdays 7-9:30 PM Bethesda Advanced

Sinta Jimenez Intermediate fiction workshop 7-9:30 PM Intermediate

workshops

Write 4 Stories in 4 weeks

In fiction and nonfiction, one of the most crucial elements of any piece is the degree to which it accomplishes forward motion over time. Depending on the subject and style, this mobility may be subtle or stark; gradual or sudden, yet it represents a component that virtually every successful piece of writing comprises. This class is open to writers working on (or hoping to work on) fiction or nonfiction and will hone narrative change, character development, and storylines, important to all genres.

4 Tuesdays Bethesda

7/8-7/29 $150

Plot Lynn Schwartz Plot is the organizing force that makes our stories progress and insists that something happen. Participants will learn to avoid formulaic plots and understand how characters drive an organic narrative from beginning to end. 1 Wednesday Annapolis

6:30-9 PM All Levels

7/10 $50

Conceptual Writing Mark Cugini This intermediate-level workshop will allow writers to experiment with a variety of nontraditional writing aesthetics, including (but not limited to) spectulative fiction, postmodernism, surrealism, and magical realism. Students in this class will revise their stories, learn new literary styles, and critique each other’s work. The goal of this course is to explore a variety of writing modes and styles, and to complete a polished draft of one short story or novel chapter. 6 Mondays 7-9:30 PM 7/22-8/26 Bethesda Intermediate $270

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10 AM-12 PM Beginner

7/2-7/30 $175

Mixed Genre Poetic Prose and Prose Poetry Susan Tiberghien In this workshop we will first look at the poetic elements of good prose: rhythm and sound, imagery, compression. We will see how they are used in examples from contemporary fiction and nonfiction. Then we will look at the prosaic elements of prose poetry: narrative arc, scenes, revelation. And we will try our hand at writing a prose poem. 1 Saturday Bethesda

1:30-4:30 PM All Levels

4/27 $60

Getting Started: Creative Writing Nancy Naomi Carlson If you have always wanted to write but haven’t known how to begin, this is the workshop for you! We will explore short stories, poems, and prose poems that walk the thin line between flash fiction & poetry. In addition, we will meander through memoir. Exercises done in the workshop will “jump start” your writing, transforming a creative idea into actual words on a page. Goals: loosening up, generating new material, and enjoying the thrill of writing. 1 Saturday 12-5 PM Bethesda Beginner

Saturday/Sunday 1-4 PM Bethesda All Levels

6/8-6/9 $50

Getting Started: Creative Writing Liz Poliner If you have always wanted to write but haven’t known how to begin, this is the workshop for you! We will explore journals, short stories, poems, and short essays in order to jump start your writing.  Exercises done in the workshop will focus on transforming a creative idea into actual words on a page.  Goals: loosening up, generating new material, and enjoying the excitement of writing. 7 Mondays 7-9:30 PM 6/17-7/29 Bethesda Beginner $315

Sinta Jimenez

Alicia Oltuski

N/A All Levels

5/8-6/26 $270

4 Stories, 4 Weeks

Narrative Arc

4 Mondays Online

7/24-8/28 $270

Fiction II 6 Wednesdays Bethesda

N/A $150

The Writer’s Center

5/4 $100

Getting Started: Creative Writing Liz Rees

Between the Lines: Writing & Publishing Literary Translations Nancy Naomi Carlson & Yvette Neisser Moreno In this unique workshop co-taught by two widely published literary translators, we will workshop students’ translations, discuss translation techniques/approaches, and demystify the process of publishing and winning grants. Weekly readings will be provided. All genres, languages, and levels are welcome. If you can read another language with the help of a dictionary, you can translate literature! To accommodate summer schedules, individual critiques will be offered for any missed classes. No class 7/4. 6 Thursdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM All Levels

6/20-8/1 $270

Transitions Mary Carpenter For writers who are beginning, those who want to move beyond a professional style, those who are stuck and anyone else, this workshop will focus on the process of writing: on how to free up personal experiences, discover voices and personas, choose the best words, etc. In each class, we will write on assigned subjects, listen to these pieces and comment on what we like and why. In addition, participants may bring in work written or rewritten at home for us to critique. The goal of the class is to create a greater awareness of what it takes to turn life into stories, and a familiarity with creating and working with writing groups. 6 Tuesdays Bethesda

10:30 AM-1 PM All Levels

6/25-7/30 $270

A getting started in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction workshop. No class on June 12.

Creating Conflict

8 Wednesdays 7-9:30 PM Bethesda Beginner

Conflict is the backbone of fiction. Strengthening the conflict in a story can turn a limp story

5/29-7/24 $360

View online at www.writer.org/guide

Kathryn Johnson


WORKSHOPS

1 Saturday Bethesda

10 AM-12:30 PM All Levels

6/29 $50

Creating Conflict Brenda Clough If your story has a plot, then it has conflict. How can you add it convincingly? 2 Thursdays Bethesda

7:30-9:30 PM All Levels

7/25-8/1 $80

Developing the Characters in Your Life Stories Solveig Eggerz Discover your stories with a special emphasis on developing characters. Using in-class writing, we will focus on a different aspect of story each day in this week-long class. Each session will connect to the next session, so that by the end of the week, you will have a good start on a longer work. M-F Bethesda

10:30 AM-1:30 PM All Levels

8/19-8/23 $270

Writing in the Margins of Life Sarah Pekkanen You’re busy. We hear you. As you sit in your car, fighting traffic and thinking about the dinner making/laundry folding/dog walking/homework supervising snarl you’ll face when you walk in your front door, you remember the dream you’ve kept tucked in mothballs for years: You want to write a book. But who has the time? Well, forget about needing a retreat to a seaside writer’s colony. Shelve the idea of waiting until you retire to pick up a pen. J.K. Rowling wrote her first book in a coffee shop while her baby napped. Jodi Picoult wrote hers in carpool lines. Now it’s your turn. Bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen will teach you everything you need to become a published author in one information-packed, inspirational day. From structuring and plotting a commercial novel, to strategies for stealing snatches of time to write, to building a social media brand that will attract the attention of publishers, to writing a query letter and landing an agent. This workshop is the soup to nuts of the publishing process. 1 Saturday Bethesda

9 AM-5 PM All Levels

6/8 $120

Playwriting Playwriting: About Process

can help us overcome the inevitable challenges that arise in the course of any writing project. Although my focus in this session will be on playwriting, writers of all genres are welcome. 1 Saturday Bethesda

1-3:30 PM All Levels

8/3 $50

rich, muscular language and learn to write what others may be reading during such major life events. You want to learn the basics? I guarantee you, you already know them. You will prove it to yourself. This course is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. Be prepared to sweat blood, to fail often and brilliantly.

Elements of Playwriting: Dialogue

6 Saturdays Bethesda

Richard Washer

From Page to Stage: The Art of the Poetry Reading

Among the tools available to the playwright dialogue is the most obvious and possibly least understood element of craft. In this session we will identify some of the many uses of dialogue and discuss how the writer uses this tool to explore, discover and build a play. We will also discuss how actors and other theatre artists approach the play on the page and consider how this can inform us in the way that we approach using dialogue. 1 Saturday Bethesda

1-3:30 PM All Levels

8/10 $50

10 AM-12:30 PM Beginner

Yvette Neisser Moreno Eager to start giving poetry readings? Want to gain confidence and improve your presentation style? This workshop will take you through all the steps of giving a successful poetry reading: giving practice readings; revising poems with an eye toward performance; selecting which poems to read; “revising” the presentation; and submitting your work to reading venues. 4 Wednesdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM All Levels

Poetry

8 Poems, 8 Weeks

Poetry III

Liz Rees

Melanie Figg Ideal for poets who wants to explore a topic over a series of poems. This class works best for poets who have already completed/drafted a few poems for a larger sequence. Through discussion, fun small group work, and student workshops, instructor Melanie Figg will teach students how to order a series, tell a story over a series of poems, and build a narrative that spans 4-7 poems. Students will share their work with each other and provide feedback; instructor will provide substantial feedback. 6 Tuesdays Bethesda

7-9 PM Advanced

4/30-6/4 $270

6 Poems, 6 weeks Marie Pavlicek-Wehrli Honoring William Stafford’s dictum: “Writer’s block? Lower your standards!”, in this workshop we’ll put together a toolbox of exercises and strategies for jumping into the poem’s first draft without hesitancy or over-thinking. Revising these drafts toward finished poems to be shared in workshop will open up discussion on matters of craft and the often mysterious and unpredictable ways that language itself works to lead the making of the poem forward. 6 Wednesdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM Intermediate

5/1-6/5 $270

Richard Washer

Poetry I

In this session we will discuss, explore and attempt to demystify one of the more personal and varied aspects of a creative writer’s craft: process. Process can vary by writer as well as by project, but knowing about some strategies

Do you turn to poetry often? After a death? During a marriage? While giving birth? After a great meal? Before your estranged father visits? Want to find out why? Come explore the essence of

Chris Goodrich

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

5/4-6/8 $270

5/8-5/29 $195

This class will focus on workshopping poems, in-class writing, and discussion of contemporary poems. Specific exercises will be given to free the imagination, and quiet the inner censor. We will explore formal considerations, stylistic choices, and those moments when the poem catches its own voice. Bring 15 copies of a poem you love (not your own) to the first session, as well as 15 copies of one of your own. No class on June 8. 8 Saturdays 10 AM-12:30 PM Bethesda Int/Adv

6/1-7/27 $360

8 Poems, 8 Weeks Liz Rees This class will focus on workshopping poems, in-class writing, and discussion of contemporary poems. Specific exercises will be given to free the imagination, and quiet the inner censor. We will explore formal considerations, stylistic choices, and those moments when the poem catches its own voice. Bring 15 copies of a poem you love (not your own) to the first session, as well as 15 copies of one of your own. No class on June 10. 8 Mondays 7-9:30 PM Bethesda Beginner

6/3-7/29 $360

How to Revise a Poem Sue Ellen Thompson This workshop will focus on how to distance yourself from your poem so that you can identify its weaknesses. We will examine the strategies other poets have used to get “unstuck” and take a look at various approaches to the revision process. 1 Saturday Annapolis

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1-4 PM All Levels

6/15 $60

workshops

into one that grips the reader and sells. Learn how in this challenging 1-day workshop, with Extreme Novelist instructor, Kathryn Johnson.


WORKSHOPS Professional Development

Poetry Master Class Melanie Figg For advanced poets working to build a collection of 12-20 poems for a chapbook. This class works best for poets who have already completed/ polished at least 8 poems for their project. Instructor Melanie Figg will guide insightful and informative discussions of issues like theme, narrative arc, voice, titles, and different strategies for building a story. Class will include resources for publication and learn how to present and submit their work for Chapbook contests. To be considered for admission, please submit no more than a ten page poetry sample to zach@ writer.org by 6/19. 4 Wednesdays Bethesda

7-9 PM Master

6/26-7/17 $180

Introduction to Marketing Platforms Angela Render Getting published is hard, especially for a firsttime author. Publishers want you to come with a platform and this workshop will discuss what a platform is and when to start building it. It will also give a brief overview of the tools available to writers for building a platform on the web, and discuss internet privacy and copyright. Participants will brainstorm what types of internet media might be right for them to use. 1 Saturday Bethesda

12-2 PM Beginner

5/11 $40

workshops

Poetry of Unknowing

Blogging for Beginners

Jessica Garratt

Angela Render

Getting at the essence of an experience, feeling, or idea in the fewest words possible, and arriving at a concluding moment of illumination or wisdom: these are a couple of highly-valued feats a poem can accomplish. But in this course, we will read and write poems that pursue a different path—a meditative route that embraces unknowing through a spirit of amplification and leisurely unfolding, rather than condensation or closure. We will discuss collections by poets writing in this vein, considering them at the level of form, line and syntax, as well as content, and we will write and workshop poems that try out this approach of unknowing.

This introductory class explains what a blog is and what it can do for a writer. It will cover several blogging software options, the basics on how to set up a blog and choose a domain name, how to post, and how to insert images. Participants will get a feel for what sort of content should be included in a post, how to organize their content, how to invite comment, and how to promote themselves on other people’s blogs. Participants will brainstorm topic ideas for participants’ own blogs.

6 Tuesdays 7-9:30 PM Bethesda Advanced

7/9-8/13 $270

Poetry I Through close readings of a few classic and contemporary poems, we’ll investigate what makes a poem work, and through in-class experiments, at-home assignments, and feedback from the instructor, participants will acquaint themselves with the elements of poetry and explore what works for them as they develop their own strategies and voices. 10:30 AM-1 PM Beginner

7/23-8/27 $270

Poetry I Carrie Murphy This beginners workshop will help those new to poetry learn to make and shape their own poems through serious yet compassionate critique. Participants will learn about different styles and forms of poetry, including odes, elegies, free verse and more. Information on revision and submission of work to literary journals will also be included; students will have at least two polished poems by workshop’s end. 8 Mondays Online

5/11 $40

Speechwriting 101: Concepts and Techniques James Alexander

Nan Fry

6 Tuesdays Bethesda

1 Saturday 3-5 PM Bethesda Beginner

N/A Beginner

6/3-7/22 $270

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What’s tougher than getting up in front of a large audience and delivering a powerful, moving “stem-winder” speech? Well, maybe writing the speech. In fact, very few writing assignments are tougher than speechwriting. It’s a life of multiple drafts and trying to capture something that can be rather elusive called “voice.” Much more than just poetic words, a speech is a story that builds a case and carries a message. Learn in a fun and interesting way about this very personal form of ghostwriting that can be exciting once you learn the concepts and the techniques. Participants will get hands-on experience and everyone will write a complete speech by the time the workshop ends. 6 Wednesdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM All Levels

5/22-6/26 $270

Stalking the Literary Agent Kathryn Johnson So you’ve finished writing and revising your novel. Now what do you do? Major publishers today won’t read unagented submissions. If your goal is to reach them, you need an agent to represent you. Learn the do’s and don’t’s of finding literary agents and choosing the right

View online at www.writer.org/guide

The Writer’s Center one for you. Instructor Kathryn Johnson has hired (and fired) several agents during her own career. 1 Saturday Bethesda

10 AM-12:30 PM All Levels

5/25 $50

Blogging Tips and Tricks Angela Render An intermediate level workshop that is best suited for people who are already blogging and want to take their blogs to the next level. Students will learn techniques to improve their posts and their exposure. Basic graphics editing, search engine optimization (SEO), and ways to come up with sustainable topics to write about will be discussed. 1 Saturday 12-2 PM 6/8 Bethesda Intermediate $40

Introduction to Social Networking Angela Render Does the world of social media make you want to head for a cave? Do you think the world’s all gone to Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks? Learn to navigate the social surf online and in person as you learn how to approach social networking online and off. Recommended, but not mandatory: Familiarity with blogging or having taken Introduction to Blogging. 1 Saturday Bethesda

3-5 PM Beg/Int

6/8 $40

How to Write a Grant Proposal Cara Seitchek Learn how to write proposals requesting grants from funders. Part in-person and part-online, this class offers practical training for writers to expand their skill base. 3 Saturdays Bethesda

1:30 PM-4 PM Beginning

7/13-7/27 $135

Query, Synopsis, Pitch Kathryn Johnson Many novels are turned down by agents and editors on the basis of poorly written, confusing, or ineffective marketing tools. Learn how to create a query, synopsis, and verbal pitch that will make the pros take notice and ask to read your novel. 3 Wednesdays Bethesda

7-9:30 PM All Levels

8/7-8/21 $135

Screenwriting The Art & Craft of Screenwriting Khris Baxter This intensive one–day workshop will guide the beginning or intermediate screenwriter through the entire screenwriting process: idea, story, plot, structure, character development,


WORKSHOPS

1 Saturday Glen Echo

10 AM-4 PM All Levels

4/13 $100

Screenwriting II A concentration on the art of rewriting your screenplay. A completed or near completed script is required. 7-10 PM Int/Adv

5/2-6/20 $360

The Art & Craft of Screenwriting Khris Baxter This intensive one–day workshop will guide the beginning or intermediate screenwriter through the entire screenwriting process: idea, story, plot, structure, character development, scene construction, and dialogue. In short, the necessary tools to begin writing a feature–length screenplay. Participants should arrive with a short synopsis (no more than a page) of their screenplay idea. 1 hour lunch break. Minimum age 18. 1 Saturday Hill Center

10 AM-4 PM All Levels

5/4 $100

Screenwriting I Jeffrey Rubin This workshop will focus on all the basics, including screenplay structure, character development, and writing scenes. 8 Tuesdays Bethesda

7:30 PM-9 PM Beginner

5/28-7/16 $360

The Art & Craft of Screenwriting Khris Baxter This intensive one–day workshop will guide the beginning or intermediate screenwriter through the entire screenwriting process: idea, story, plot, structure, character development, scene construction, and dialogue. In short, the necessary tools to begin writing a feature–length screenplay. Participants should arrive with a short synopsis (no more than a page) of their screenplay idea. 1 hour lunch break. Minimum age 18. 1 Saturday Glen Echo

10 AM-4 PM All Levels

S-Su 10 AM-2 PM Bethesda Teens

6/8-6/9 $150

Natural, Magical Writing Workshop

7/20 $100

Younger Writers Weekend Playwriting Workshop for Teens Zachary Fernebok Young writers will learn the basics of playwriting, and use them in writing a first draft of a

Using Hogwart’s style, we’ll research and journal our experiences with folklore, myth, and magic. Our observations, character sketches, and interesting happenings with magic, folk, animals and their homes will be the inspiration for our collections of stories, essays, and poems.  Bring a notebook and pens/pencils for your imaginings, and we’ll have a fair feast and goblin gobbling complete with reading for family and friends during our last workshop together. 8 sessions. 2 Weeks M-F Glen Echo

10 AM-12 PM Ages 8-11

of rhythm and repetition in creating memorable lines in your writing. 2 Wednesdays Bethesda

1-3:30 PM Teens

7/10-7/17 $80

Write a Winning College Admissions Essay Pamela Toutant

Adele Steiner Brown

Lyn Vaus

8 Thursdays Bethesda

ten-minute play. The next day, the plays will be workshopped, and then read to friends, families, and peers by local actors.

7/8-7/19 $200

A workshop for rising high school seniors with seasoned college essay tutor Pamela Toutant. 1 Saturday Bethesda

10 AM-12:30 PM Teens

7/20 $50

Write a Winning College Admissions Essay Pamela Toutant A workshop for rising high school seniors with seasoned college essay tutor Pamela Toutant. 1 Saturday Bethesda

10 AM-12:30 PM Teens

8/17 $50

Young Writer’s Circle Adele Brown Participants will explore the forms and techniques of other writers and experiment with them to write their own poetry, prose, and drama. The workshop is an opportunity for young writers to deepen their understanding of the power of language in a variety of genres. Participants will share finished work for appreciation and helpful comments from their peers, and share their work at a reading for family and friends at the conclusion of the workshop. There are no texts required for the workshops, but students will need paper and pencils. 2 weeks (T-F) Bethesda

1-3 PM 8-12 years old

Looking for the perfect gift? Give a WRITER’S CENTER Gift Certificate

7/9-7/19 $200

Weekend Fiction Workshop for Teens

Can be purchased in any denomination and used forworkshops, events and membership.

Kathryn Johnson Young writers will learn the fiction skills used by popular authors like J.K. Rowling then try their own hand at developing an original story. The instructor has over twenty years in publishing novels for all ages. Each session will include a BYO lunch break. 2 Saturdays Bethesda

10 AM-2 PM All Levels

CALL NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION!

7/20-7/27 $160

301-654-8664

Rhythms and Riffs: The Music of Poetry for Teens Jill Leininger Language is musical, and a big part of telling what is true in our poems is finding the way it sounds most true, both to our voices and intention. This interactive workshop will use your favorite lyrics, and a few new poems from younger contemporary poets, to explore the idea

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

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workshops

scene construction, and dialogue. In short, the necessary tools to begin writing a feature–length screenplay. Participants should arrive with a short synopsis (no more than a page) of their screenplay idea. 1 hour lunch break. Minimum age 18.


POET LORE

The Writer’s Center

No Longer Lost in Translation Poet Lore’s Suzanne Zweizig Genevieve DeLeon

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riters such as Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg, D’Annunzio, Mistral, and Tagore found some of their earliest American readers through Poet Lore, The Writer’s Center’s semiannual literary journal. From the magazine’s beginnings in 1889, founding editors Charlotte Porter and Helen A. Clarke read avidly across national boundaries and opened their pages to voices whose immediacy overcame distance. Undeterred by the perils of translation, they featured entire plays by foreign writers in their earliest volumes – some pieces spanning over 80 pages – alongside essays and poetry. Since then, Poet Lore has given careful attention to world writing in otherwise xenophobic cultural moments; far from a political posture, its presentation of diverse work in long-form follows naturally from the journal’s guiding editorial principle – to “relate aesthetic expression to evolving life.” Last spring, executive editors Jody Bolz and Ethelbert Miller honored Poet Lore’s long-standing commitment to translation by establishing a yearly feature, “World Poets in Translation,” to

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showcase the work of a significant poet from beyond our borders. This season’s portfolio, the feature’s second installment, transports readers to Turkey with the work of poet Melih Cevdet Anday, whose rich literary career spanned six-and-ahalf decades. The poems were translated from the Turkish by Sidney Wade and Efe Murad. Anday’s poetry appears on Poet Lore’s pages by way of the newest addition to its editorial team, Suzanne Zweizig. A poet and translator herself, Suzanne has explored far corners of the world, living at length in Israel and Switzerland. She studied with Sidney Wade, an important contemporary poet, during graduate school at the University of Florida. On the eve of Poet Lore’s new release, I sat down with Suzanne in a noisy cafe to have a conversation about translation and the spring feature. Tell me about yourself and your translator’s ear. What are you looking for in a translation? I became interested in translation when I lived overseas and had to learn other languages in order to function. I was fascinated with the gaps between languages – what you could and couldn’t say in one language

versus another, the different rhythms of language, the way different words it acquired certain weight or gravitas in different languages, and how languages allow in new ways of thinking that are culturally based – they make your world bigger. It was actually in Sidney Wade’s class that I first studied literary translation. Sidney offered the inaugural translation seminar at the University of Florida. Much of what we circled around in class discussion was what one can and can’t capture from another language – and how to make the poem in the new language beautiful and of value in itself. It has to offer something to the reader other than just a literal rendering of what the words mean. As for my translator’s ear, there has to be something unique in the sound of a translated poem. I don’t want it to sound exactly like something I read in English because I know it’s not. I don’t want it to sound stilted or too exotic, either, but it has to offer a different rhythm, a different music. Sidney’s translations achieve that.

View online at www.writer.org/guide

Surprisingly, these particular translations have a masculine tone. The voice is convincing as Anday’s.


POET LORE Right. These poems are not in Sidney Wade’s voice. They have a profound depth and quality to them. Her writing does too – but this is not what she comes up with herself. The rhythms of her poems are fluttery, as if they want to take off. There’s a real lively aspect about them. The Anday poems have more solidness, more gravity. Sidney’s poetry deals with sound, often in playful ways, even if it deals with heavy topics. These translations are different from her poems – that to me is convincing. There are a lot of competent translations out there that sound solid but don’t take me to someplace else. It’s that level of transcendence that a transla-

tion achieves when it taps into its own kind of music. It’s a mix of the original voice and what the translator brings. You can tell when it’s successful: it lifts you. Anday’s poems sit alongside poems written in English. Let’s talk about that pairing. What I like about the translation portfolio is how it works in the context of Poet Lore’s mission. Poet Lore is about introducing readers to new poets – the commitment is to discovery, to

expanding the world of poetry – and this feature offers a way to double the expansion. It’s not just new poetry; it’s a new world, a new way of approaching language. The portfolio also allows us to present one person’s voice very strongly – it gives insights that you can’t get from one or two poems. It’s a way to see what’s going on in the rest of the world and touch base with the important vision of the founders. Our own language becomes richer as we bring in the translations of others.

The Spring/Summer 2013 issue of Poet Lore is NOW AVAILABLE. FOR INFORMATION, VISIT POETLORE.COM

Author’s Coach/ Writing Mentor Writing your first novel or in need of professional support to further your writing career? Kathryn Johnson, popular author of over 40 published books (with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Silhouette, Avon, Macmillan and others), developer of The Extreme Novelist course for The Writer’s Center, is now accepting new clients. Services designed to fit the individual author’s needs. Including: • • • • • •

Partial or Full Content Editing Critical Reads and Brainstorming Sessions Publish-ready Analysis and Tips Help with Queries/Synopses/Pitches Private Consultation and Instruction at all levels Specializing in all fiction genres & the creative memoir

Reasonable rates, no contracts/retainers, privacy guaranteed. Free 20-minute phone consultation: 301-439-7567 For more information, check out: www.WriteByYou.com or email Kathryn@WriteByYou.com Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

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Hitting it out of the park A conversation with Author Chad Harbach Chrissy Boylan

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ost writers, whether they admit it or not, dream of someday making it big. But for Chad Harbach, co-founder of n+1 and author of Art of Fielding, his highly-publicized 2011 fictional debut, it really happened. Harbach’s is a Cinderella story in so many ways. Raised in the post-industrial town of Racine, Wisconsin, Harbach attended both Harvard University and University of Virginia before going for broke on his first novel in New York City. Along the way, he scraped together a new literary magazine with friends, amid cries that print was dead, and more than eight years later, n+1 is going strong. But the real fairy tale ending came when he sold his manuscript, nine years in the works, for a stunning $650,000 in a heated bidding war. Harbach, who just finished his book tour for Art of Fielding a few short months ago, visited Washington, D.C. in February to participate in the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series. The Writer’s Center caught up with him during his stay.

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How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer? I think I wanted to be a writer when I was very young. I read incessantly. Then I stopped because none of my friends read, and there wasn’t a culture of that sort of thing where I grew up. So when I really started writing fiction, and thinking about it in a somewhat serious way, was when I graduated college. It’s the Year of the Novel at The Writer’s Center. Why are novels important to you? It’s a hard question, but so important. Fiction is important in the deepest possible way because everything that every single person in the world ever does is based on some type of story that they’re telling themselves. Novels are often time’s sophisticated stories. They can teach you how sophisticated a story can be, how sophisticated stories work, and how there are always competing story lines. I think that reading a lot of novels is a great tool for dealing with the real world, which View online at www.writer.org/guide

operates along similar principles of people making stuff up, and making decisions based on the stories they’ve made up. Are you working on anything new? I’m working on a follow-up but only since October. I didn’t write that whole year. I had just finished Art of Fielding and for the first half of the year had zero desire to write. Then as it got later in the year, I began to feel the urge. Is it easier this time around? I don’t want to jinx myself but it feels so much easier. Because I have a vague sense that I know what I’m doing. I certainly did not with Art of Fielding, which is why it took me 9 years. I had no conception of how to write a novel. Some of the things you learn aren’t going to go away, no matter how difficult it becomes. What is your best advice to beginning and aspiring writers? The only real key is to do a bit of it every day, to keep what Continued on page 32


En Plein Air Considering a Writer’s Retreat Travis Cebula

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t one point or another, all writers face a similar challenge: how to find time for writing? The days fill up with a myriad of activities that vary between mundane and spectacular, but which ultimately don’t lead to writing. Is it any wonder that the mind wanders to faraway places where one is allowed the freedom to practice one’s art? The tradition of a writer’s retreat has evolved over time, but the idea is the same: seek a place away from distractions. In our increasingly hectic lives, retreats have become a common tool for wordsmiths who seek such opportunities. Then there’s the allure of education, inspiration and comradeship. Some programs offer a structured workshop

experience to compliment free writing time, while others provide a protected space in which to work. While they vary in areas of emphasis, most retreats bring together writers from all walks of life, but with similar interests, to mingle and seek inspiration in places that are peaceful, historic, exclusive or all of the above. Primary factors to consider include time and cost. Retreats cover a range of interests, from non-tuition-based competitive programs based on merit to programs based on a spectrum of spectacular settings, academic rigor and community. If funds are limited, various established programs such as the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, N.Y., offer fellowships. Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

Programs like the Naropa Summer Writing Program in Boulder, Colo., have a strong workshop element sense of community. Others offer more exotic surroundings, such as The Prague Summer Program, the SLS Kenya Program or the Dzanc Books/CNC DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. The Left Bank Writer’s Retreat in Paris offers both amassed literary history and romantic, artistic environs. All of these programs have been around for years, and have proven track records of giving writers at all stages of their careers profound creative experiences. Consider a writer’s retreat a gift to yourself. Ask yourself where you’d like to go and why, Continued on page 32

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RETREATS

The Writer’s Center Hitting the Big League . . . continued from page 30

Writing Retreats . . . continued from page 31

as well as the type of literary history in which you’d like to immerse yourself. Once you identify your goals, a choice will be clear. Then all

that’s left is to pack a bag and get ready to make new friends, find new vistas and write what you want, where you want, until you forget to eat… it’s your retreat.

you’re working on in the front of your mind. If you keep it in the front, it’s also kind of working in the back of your mind. You have to do it every day to get better at it. It’s like any other discipline - yoga, basketball, or even learning Russian. You have to be honest with yourself: am I practicing enough to get better at it? I do a lot of my writing in diary form. It’s not a diary but I write down the date so that if I take a day off, or a couple of days, I have to justify to myself why. Once you get in the habit of policing yourself, it’s a lot easier.

anwc

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Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

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Think Global; Write Local TWC’s Writing Staycation Angela Swayze

A

fter researching writer’s retreats a few years ago, workshop leader Zahara Heckscher came to an inspired conclusion: there should be an affordable writing retreat in the D.C. area for busy people who can’t afford the time or cost of leaving their family and responsibilities. Thus was born Writing Staycation, The Writer’s Center’s week-long retreat for writers who need to get away and write. Heckscher’s workshop seeks to transport busy D.C. area residents to a place where “their

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souls and bodies are being nurtured so that their minds can focus on writing.” Bringing in paintings, flowers, healthy foods, and in part guided by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Heckscher leads participants through five consecutive days of structured writing. “We start on time and end on time,” she says. “Within the structure comes the freedom.” But it’s the space, and nurturing energy of that space, she likes to emphasize, that matters most. Her participants agree. A selfproclaimed “staycation junkie,”

Sheila Walker wrote on a recent First Person Plural blog that “The continuity and intensity of five consecutive days of Staycationing, rather than the usual once a week for several weeks, was exactly what I needed.” Andrea Solarz shares that the Staycation helped her jump start her writing and gave her a lot of motivation that “continued long after the week ended.” So how does it work? The day starts with a reading, Heckscher explains, often from such names as Pablo Neruda or Thich Nhat Hanh.

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There may also be a writing prompt, however both take as little as 30 minutes. Then, it’s time to write. Lunch involves guest speakers, like writer Danuta Hinc or acclaimed poet E. Ethelbert Miller, all of whom are open to one-on-one sessions afterwards. Lunch is followed by more time to write. Another break is offered later in the day, such as an outdoor walk. “It’s good for the body to take a break from writing and gets creative juices going,” Heckscher says. The day typically closes with a brief check-in to help participants become more selfaware of their process, such as identifying at what point they felt most productive during that day.

Outside the daily structure, participants also have the option to work on technique or talk nuts-and-bolts of writing with Heckscher or one of the lunch speakers. They also have the option of retreating to their own private space. “Some need to be in a room alone,” says Heckscher. Either way, Heckscher makes a conscious decision to stay away from workshopping students’ material, emphasizing that the purpose of the class is to focus on writing. “Critiquing is another class,” she says. Born in part from “desperation and poverty,” the Writing Staycation has hit its mark. Over time, the workshop has seen its share of repeat attendees as well as new participants of varying stripes. Heckscher

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

describes participants as “early 20s to their 70s and everyone in-between novice writers and already published authors.” She goes on to say that she has a “radical faith in everyone that comes to Staycation, whatever their stage in the writing process.” Seeing her role more as a facilitator than a leader, her goal is to create the space for people to be at their creative best. “If you want mint tea, I make sure you have mint tea. I know everyone who has walked in the door has made a huge commitment. I honor them all for making that commitment to writing.” The next Writing Staycation is set for 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. April 22–26 in Bethesda. Check our website for more information.

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BOOK TALK Devil Dancer

The Story Within

William R. Heath

Laura Oliver

ISBN: 978-0985389840

ISBN: 978-1615641147

Of Devil Dancer, James W. Hall writes, “Mingling wry humor and tough guy dialogue that Elmore Leonard would be proud of, Devil Dancer is brimming over with haunting characters who are never exactly who they first appear. This is a first-rate novel of suspense that also accomplishes all the things we expect from our best works of literature.” All Alone: Washington to Rome Patricia Daly-Lipe ISBN: 978-1450054591

Experience life in the 1960s in All Alone: Washington to Rome. Beginning with the death of her mother at age 18 and continuing to age 23, Daly-Lipe takes us from Washington to Rome, Paris, London, and even Belgium. Follow along as she meets royalty, priests, diplomats and students on her personal journey. www.literarylady.com

“One of the best writing books published!” (The Writer and Poets & Writers magazines.) Endorsed by Pulitzer Prize winners and writers around the world, all 5-star reviews. For prompts, inspiration and guidance from an award-winning author of fiction and essays. www.thestorywithin.com

The Writer’s Center Los Visitantes Traducción de Bertha Ruiz de la Concha C.M. Mayo ISBN: 978-0967409320

Una visita a Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, un pueblo único y mágico en la costa del pacifico-- y en la antesala de una gran transformación. Libro digital (iBook) Dancing Chiva, 2012 www.cmmayo.com Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico

X and other poems from A to Z Worth Bateman ISBN: 978-1466926189

This remarkable collection of new poems by a new poet has received an enthusiastic reception by readers everywhere. The US Review of Books described X and other poems from A to Z as “a literary gem…elegantly written…enjoyable and enriching, a sure-fire must read.” www.xandotherpoemsfromatoz.com There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes

C.M. Mayo ISBN: 978-1571313041

Of Miraculous Air, Library Journal wrote, “With elegant prose and an artist’s eye for detail, C.M. Mayo may just have written one of the best books ever about Baja California. Highly recommended.” In paperback from Milkweed Editions and now in Kindle. www.cmmayo.com El Último Príncipe del Imperio Mexicano

Robert Jacoby

A Cruel Calm: Paris Between the Wars

ISBN: 978-0983969709

Patricia Daly-Lipe ISBN: 978-1450044707

Visit the era of idealism and innovation in A Cruel Calm, a story of a young Catholic socialite from Washington, DC whose fate weighs in the balance as she tries to find love again after great sorrow. This is a story replete with historical detail, universal conflict, and sensational romance. www.literarylady.com

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Of There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes, Kirkus Reviews wrote, “Despair and salvation mix to powerful effect in Jacoby’s debut novel that follows a young man’s confrontation with suicide....A confident, strongly voiced portrait of despair and the flickering light at the end of the tunnel.” B. Morrison also wrote, “...the power of Jacoby’s prose and the emotional truth of Richard’s journey are irresistible.” www.robert-jacoby.com

C.M. Mayo Traducción de Agustín Cadena ISBN: 978-0985278144

Novela histórica basada le increíble y verdadera historia del desconocido nieto de Agustín de Iturbide, a quien Maximiliano de Habsburgo “adopto´”, convirtiéndolo en el presunto heredero de su imperio. Publicado en México por Random House Mondadori-Grijalbo, y ahora disponsible en Kindle. www.cmmayo.com

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BOOK TALK My Recollections of Maximilian Marie de la Fère

Sun in an Empty Room: New and Selected Poems [Paperback]

Edited and introduced by C.M. Mayo

Maryhelen Snyder

A free (yes, free) PDF download ebook from Dancing Chiva, this previously very rare English language eyewitness memoir of 1860s Mexico has been published by permission of the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. www.dancingchiva.com Training Wheels for Beginning Psychotherapists / A Personal Memoir John Breeskin

Experienced psychotherapist, Dr. John “Sparky” Breeskin, intersperses advice for new psychotherapists in setting up an office with relevant reflections on his own life. A follow-up from his popular blog. www.johnbreeskin.com The Invented Child Margaret Mackinnon ISBN: 978-1878851628

Margaret Mackinnon’s The Invented Child won the 2011 Gerald Cable Book Award. Kelly Cherry writes, “These are splendid poems of feeling that look far beyond the self to the miraculous other.” Gregory Orr says the poems are “alert to history and family.” Available through Silverfish Review Press, spdbooks.org, and Amazon.com.

ISBN: 978-0985415396

Maryhelen Snyder’s most recent book is a collection of new and selected poems. “What anyone who is slow enough may hear in this poetry are the sounds a human being makes when she is awake to life, fully awake. . . it bears witness to what it means to be human” (from the Foreword). The book includes a poem entitled “Lesson” for Stanley Plumly (published in 2011 in The Gettysburg Review). The Fallen Snow John J. Kelley ISBN  978-0988414808

An extraordinary coming of age in the shadow of the First World War. TWC member John J Kelley’s debut novel, The Fallen Snow, explores a soldier’s difficult return to rural Virginia after experiencing trauma, and unspeakable love, in war-torn France. Available at Amazon.com and at Politics & Prose. www.thefallensnow.com. A Trial In Summer / Amy and George—A Novel Ann L. McLaughlin ISBN: 978-1564745064 / 978-1564745460

McLaughlin’s seventh and eighth novels both center around complicated father/daughter relationships in the late 1930s. Set in San FranWorkshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

cisco, A Trial In Summer, an idealistic college freshman must reconcile the involvement of her father, a judge, in the deportation trial of a longshoreman and labor leader. In Amy and George, to be released in September, an eight-year old daughter struggles to win her father’s approval who is too busy as new Dean of Harvard Law School. www.annmclaughlinwriting.com Last Flight Out: Living, Loving & Leaving Phyllis A. Langton ISBN: 978-0982726228

Phyllis Langton’s memoir, Last Flight Out: Living, Loving & Leaving, is a passionate love story that deepens as she and her husband George Thomas live their way into the experience of ALS, its unremitting losses and its surprising gifts, with dignity, keen humor, a fighter pilot’s courage and a nurse’s unsentimental pragmatism. http://www.phyllisalangton.com/ Gods & Heroes Gerard Marconi ISBN: 978-1614347125

In the tradition of Barry Levinson and John Waters, Gods & Heroes is a coming of age story set in Baltimore during the 1960’s. Filled with quirky characters and local settings, this novel in stories follows two unforgettable characters from adolescence into adulthood with a provocative look at love, sex, death, and religion. www.baltimorewriter.com.

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BOOK TALK Night Garden Judith Harris

Of Night Garden, Judith Harris’ third poetry collection (April 2013),poet Edward Hirsch writes “Judith Harris … shines a keen light on the particulars of the natural world in these poignant, carefully observed, and scrupulously written poems that ache with mortality.” Recent publications in The Nation, The New Republic, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review are featured. www.judithharrispoet.com

The Writer’s Center

The Discreet Charms of a Bourgeois Beach Town: Rehoboth Beach Stories

The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story

Rich Barnett

ISBN: 978-0983833406

ISBN: 978-0984999408

Local writer and columnist Rich Barnett’s first book is a humorous and gently satiric portrait of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, one of the East Coast’s most unique beach towns. This fun beach read is available at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth and on Amazon.com. www.rehobothbook.com

Cheryl Somers Aubin

Cheryl Somers Aubin’s book, The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story, takes the reader on a journey of hope and healing by imaginatively describing the experiences, memories, and feelings of the 9/11 Survivor Tree. Illustrations by Sheila Harrington. Available on Amazon.com. All profits go to charity. www.thesurvivortree.com

Advertise Your Book in Book Talk! $45 ($40 Members) editor@writer.org

DO YOU LOVE TO WRITE? The Writer’s Center is looking for contributors for our Workshop & Event Guide, which features literary news, features, profiles, writing insights & more! Email editor@writer.org

The Delmarva Review A literary journal of compelling prose and poetry, open to all writers

www.delmarvareview.com 38

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WORKSHOP LEADERS

Jim Beane is a native Washingtonian who resides in Hyattsville, Md. with his wife of 33 years. Jim’s stories have appeared in a number of journals and his story Jeanette was included in the anthology, DC Noir. In 2010, he was selected as a finalist for the Cappon Fiction Award given by New Letters literary magazine. The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts has twice awarded him a fellowship

to work on his fiction. Currently, he’s working on his second collection of short stories and putting the final touches on his first novel. Adele Steiner Brown, M.F.A, studied English literature and creative writing/ poetry at University of Maryland and is an instructor with Montgomery College and Maryland State Arts Council. She is also the host of Café Muse and author of Refracted Love, Freshwater Pearls, The Moon Lighting and Look Ma, “Hands” on Poetry. Her work has appeared in WordWrights!, Maryland Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Lucid Stone, Smartish Pace and So To Speak. Dana Cann has stories appearing in The Sun, The Gettysburg Review, Bethesda Magazine, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Florida Review and Blackbird, among other journals. He’s received a Pushcart nomination and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Nancy Naomi Carlson, Ph.D., is an associate editor for Tupelo Press. Nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize, she has published two award-winning chapbooks,

as well as Kings Highway and a book of translations, Stone Lyre: Poems of Rene Char. Her work has appeared in print over 200 times, including such journals as AGNI, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Phoebe, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah and forthcoming in The Georgia Review. She is a recipient of a Maryland Arts Council grant for poetry. Mary Carpenter has a bachelor’s of arts in English from Wellesley College, a graduate degree in journalism from Boston University and 30 years’ experience as a published journalist. She has written two nonfiction books for young adults and is currently working on a series of personal essays. Brenda W. Clough is a novelist, short story and nonfiction writer. Her most recent e-books are Revise the World and Speak to Our Desires. Her novels include How Like a God, The Doors of Death and Life and Revise the World. She has been a finalist for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards. She has been teaching science fiction & fantasy workshops at The Writer’s Center for over 10 years.

Maria Enns Photography & Art Portraits, Fashion, Events, Pets, Nature & Art

Alison Pruitt, Ph.D. Editor * Writing Coach * Instructor

For help with Business/ Technical Writing, Books, Dissertations, Plays

mia.enns@gmail.com

http://mariaennsartdesign.weebly.com/photography.html

ALPruitt @ Verizon.net 703-448-0209 www.AlisonPruitt.com

More than 20 years of experience as a freelance writer/editor and instructor in business writing, composition, and playwriting.

Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

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leaders

James Alexander has been writing professionally for over 30 years, including several as a speechwriter. After earning a bachelor’s of arts in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he worked as a newspaper reporter for The Charlotte Observer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and interned for The Washington Post. Alexander went on to serve in the House and Senate as a U.S. Congressional Fellow before working on Capitol Hill as a press secretary and op-ed writer. As an op-ed ghostwriter, he has published more than 50 op-eds for key government and political figures on a variety of topics in various newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.


WORKSHOP LEADERS Mark Cugini, M.F.A., received a master’s of fine arts from American University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Melville House, NOÖ, Stymie and Everyday Genius, among others. In 2011, he was a recipient of a Scholarship Grant to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is founding editor of Big Lucks, a regular contributor to HTMLGiant and a curator of the Three Tents Reading Series in Washington, D.C.  Sue Eisenfeld’s essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Gettysburg Review, Potomac Review, The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, Under the Sun, Ars Medica, Virginia Living and other publications. Her essays have been twice listed as notable essays of the year in the Best American Essays (2009) and 2010). She was awarded the 2010 Goldfarb Family Fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and she holds a master’s of arts in writing from The Johns Hopkins University.

Leaders

Sean enright has taught writing workshops at University of Maryland and The Writer’s Center. His poems have appeared in TriQuarterly, The Threepenny Review, Sewanee Review and The Kenyon Review, among others. In 2001, he published a novel, Goof and Other Stories. In 2007, his play about the day of the Lincoln assassination, The Third Walking Gentleman, was a semifinalist in the National Playwright’s Contest at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. Zachary Fernebok is a playwright, actor and company member of Flying V. His plays have most recently been produced by American Ensemble Theatre, Mutineer Theatre Company and Infinite Stage. The Pirate Laureate of Port Town was recently performed, and was read as part of The Kennedy Center’s 2012 Page-to-Stage Festival. He is program manager of The Writer’s Center, and playwright-in-residence at American Ensemble Theatre. His next comedy, Zack Danger and the Mummy Maker, will have a reading at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in June 2013. Melanie Figg has taught poetry to adult learners, children, college students and prisoners for over 20 years. She loves sharing her enthusiasm for reading and writing poetry with her students. She has won many awards and fellowships for her

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The Writer’s Center

poetry and has been published in The Iowa Review, LIT, MARGIE, Colorado Review and other journals. Her first poetry manuscript has been a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, the Tupelo Prize and three other national competitions. She lives in Silver Spring with her new husband and his two young boys and works as a nonprofit fundraiser for arts organizations in Washington, D.C.

STELLAR SUMMER LEADERS Of TWC’S 44 summer workshop leaders, • Several teach or have taught at the university level, including Harvard, St. Johns College, and New York University;

Nan Fry, Ph.D. is the author of two books of poetry: Relearning the Dark and Say What I Am Called. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies and textbooks. She received an EdPress Award for excellence in educational journalism and taught at the Corcoran College of Art + Design for over 20 years.

• Several have been nominated and/or won awards for their work, including the Pushcart Prize, the Walt Whitman Award for Poetry, and the National Playwright’s Contest;

Jessica Garrett, M.F.A. & Ph.D., is the author Fire Pond, winner of the Agha Shahid Prize in Poetry and published by the University of Utah Press in 2009. She is working on her second collection, poems from which appear or are forthcoming in the Southwest Review, Colorado Review, Western Humanities Review and Literary Imagination.

• More than half have advanced degrees in the arts, including Ph.D.s, M.F.A.s and M.A.s;

Chris Goodrich teaches English and Play Directing at the Academy of Musical Theatre, Northwood High School, in Silver Spring, MD. He has also taught at New York University and Frostburg State University. His poems have appeared in Margie, Hotel Amerika, Rattle, The New York Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Cimarron Review, Cider Press Review and The Worcester Review, among others. He has been featured on Verse Daily and NPR. He is the recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and holds an M.F.A. from New England College. A chapbook, By Reaching, was published in 2007. His first book, Nevertheless, Hello, was published in 2009. T. Greenwood is the author of six novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. Two Rivers was named Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards last year. Four of her novels have been BookSense76/ IndieBound picks; This Glittering World is a January 2011 selection. She teaches creative writing at the Extension Program at the University of California, San Diego’s and at The Ink Spot. She and her husband,

• All have been published in major print and online publications, including the New York Times, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Salon, and The Best American Essays; • All have ties to the D.C. area, and a strong desire to teach!

Patrick, live in San Diego, Calif., with their two daughters. She is also an aspiring photographer. sinta jimenez, M.F.A, is a writer, fine artist and fashion journalist. Her short stories, paintings and poetry have been published in several literary magazines including Underground Voices, Otis Nebula and The Black Boot. She contributes regularly to national and international fashion and lifestyle magazines such as Asian Fusion, Wearever the Weather and Vigore!.

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WORKSHOP LEADERS

Solveig Eggerz, Ph.D., is the author of the award-winning novel Seal Woman. Her writing has appeared in The Northern Virginia Review, Palo Alto Review, Lincoln Review, Midstream, Issues, The Journal of the Baltimore Writers’ Alliance, The Christian Century and Open Windows: An Anthology. She holds a doctorate in comparative literature with a focus on medieval English, German and Scandinavian works. ZAHARA HECKSCHER is co-author of the book How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas. She has also written numerous articles that have appeared in books and the online travel magazine www. TransitionsAbroad.com, where she serves as contributing editor. Heckscher teaches professional writing at University of Maryland at College Park. Kathryn Johnson has published 41 novels with major U.S. and international publishers. She is an inspiring speaker at national writers’ conferences and the founder of Write by You, a professional mentoring service for fiction writers who seek support in reaching their publication goals. Her most recent critically acclaimed novel is The Gentleman Poet: A Novel of Love, Danger, and Shakespeare’s The “Tempest.” Con Lehane, m.F.A., a former bartender, union organizer, college professor and labor journalist, holds a master’s of fine arts in fiction writing from Columbia University. He is the author of the forthcoming Murder at the 42nd Street Library, as well as three detective novels featuring New York City bartender Brian McNulty: Beware the Solitary Drinker, What Goes Around Comes Around and Death at the Old Hotel. Jill Leininger, M.F.A., earned her master’s in fine arts in poetry in 1999 from the University of Oregon, where she was also an instructor of poetry and an associate editor of the Northwest Review. Her recent writing can be found in Harvard Review Online, Poetry International and cream city review. A second poetry chapbook, Sky

Never Sleeps, was selected by Mark Doty in the Bloom Chapbook Contest. Ann McLaughlin, Ph.D., has given workshops in novel, short story and journal writing at The Writer’s Center for the past 25 years and is a member of the board of directors. She has published six novels: Lightning in July, The Balancing Pole, Sunset at Rosalie, Maiden Voyage, The House on Q Street and Leaving Bayberry House. She has completed 11 fellowships at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, one at Yaddo and one at Laverny, Switzerland. Pat McNees was an editor in book publishing (Harper & Row, Fawcett) and a freelance journalist before she began writing other people’s life stories and organizational histories and helping others write their memoirs. She is president of the Association of Personal Historians, and editor of the anthologies My Words Are Gonna Linger: The Art of Personal History, Contemporary Latin American Short Stories and Dying: A Book of Comfort. She is also the author of several nonfiction books. Yvette Neisser Moreno’s first book of poetry, Grip, won the 2011 Gival Press Poetry Award and will be released in fall 2012. She is co-translator of South Pole/ Polo Sur by María Teresa Ogliastri and editor of Difficult Beauty: Selected Poems by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. She has recently taught at The George Washington University, Catholic University and the University of Maryland University College. Yvette is the founder of the DC-Area Literary Translators Network (DC-ALT) and serves on the programming committee of Split This Rock Poetry Festival. John Morris has taught at The Writer’s Center since 1995. He has published fiction and poetry in more than 80 literary magazines in the United States and Great Britain. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and reprinted in Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. A chapbook, The Musician Approaching Sleep, appeared in 2006 from Dos Madres Press, Inc. His musical project, Mulberry Coach, in collaboration with singer and lyricist Katie Fisher, released its fifth CD in 2009. Carrie Murphy’s, M.F.A., first collection of poems, Pretty Tilt, was released by Keyhole Press in 2012. She received her bachelor’s of arts from the University of Maryland and her master’s of fine arts Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

from New Mexico State University. Her chapbook, Meet the Lavenders, appeared in 2011 from Birds of Lace. She works as a teacher, freelance writer and doula.  Alicia Oltuski, M.F.A., is the author of Precious Objects (Scribner 2011), which was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her one-act plays were included in Ensemble Studio Theatre’s festival. She’s also had her work featured on NPR’s Berlin Stories, in W Magazine, The Faster Times and other publications. She holds a master’s in fine arts in creative writing from Columbia University, where she received a David Berg Foundation Fellowship. She has taught at the University of the Arts, Politics & Prose and The Writers Center, and was a reader at The Paris Review. Interviews with her have appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Marketplace Radio, Ireland’s Newstalk Radio, Vox Tablet and several newspapers. Alan Orloff is the author of Diamonds for the Dead (2010), an Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel. He also writes the Last Laff Mystery series, Killer Routine (2011) and Deadly Campaign (2012). He has served as treasurer for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (M.W.A.) and is a member of International Thriller Writers (I.T.W.). William O’Sullivan, M.F.A., is an essayist, editor and fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His personal essays have appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, National Geographic Traveler, The Washingtonian and North American Review, among others. He has received two Artist Fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and his work has been listed three times among the notable essays of the year in The Best American Essays. Marie Pavlicek-Wehrli, M.F.A., is a poet, painter and printmaker. Her poems have appeared in various publications including Ekphrasis, About Place, Anon, Blast Furnace, Poet Lore, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal and various other journals and anthologies. She’s been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (Painting) and Ragdale (Poetry), and is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. She holds a master’s of fine arts in creative writing/poetry from Warren Wilson College and an undergraduate degree in Studio Arts from Seton Hill University.

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leaders

She is currently a managing editor for Meets Obsession magazine. In 2000, she was a recipient of a National Association for the Advancement of the Arts Award in Short Story. Born in Manila and raised in Washington, D.C., she received her master’s in fine arts from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Calif.


WORKSHOP LEADERS Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of four novels and is under contract with Atria/Simon & Schuster to write a book a year through 2015. She is also the back-page columnist for Bethesda Magazine. She has three kids and writes her books in moving cars, at Chuck E. Cheese’s, in orthodontists’ waiting rooms and other bizarre places. Elizabeth Rees has taught at several leading colleges, including Harvard University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Howard University and in The Johns Hopkins University’s graduate program. She works as a “poet-in-the-Schools” for Maryland State Arts Council. She has published over 250 poems in journals such as Partisan Review, The Kenyon Review, AGNI and North American Review, among others. She has four award-winning chapbooks, most recently, Tilting Gravity, winner of Codhill Press’ 2009 contest.

Leaders

Angela Render designed and maintained websites since 1994 and is the founder and owner of Thunderpaw Internet Presence Management. Her published work includes: Forged By Lightning: A Novel of Hannibal and Scipio, Marketing for Writers: A Practical Workbook, a Writers’ Journal column and ghost blogging. In addition to her classes through The Writer’s Center, she teaches at-risk middle-school girls and has been a guest speaker at numerous local conferences. jeffrey rubin is a Virginia-based screenwriter/producer whose scripts and films have won top prizes at Worldfest Houston, the Vail Film Festival and elsewhere. His children’s/family script The Soccer Momster, is currently in preproduction with Glory Road Productions in Los Angeles. Lynn Schwartz’s plays have been performed in Atlanta and New York City, including the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. Her stories have appeared in literary journals, and she has authored numerous lifestyle features. She founded the Temple Bar Literary Reading Series in New York City and received an Individual Artist Award in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council. She is a graduate of The City College of New York, Columbia University and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. She teaches fiction at St. John’s College.

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Cara Seitchek has written grant proposals for local, state and national nonprofit organizations. In addition, she evaluates proposals for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, American Association of Museums and the Maryland State Arts Council. She has a master’s of arts in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. Lyn Vaus, a longtime screenwriter and industry professional, is best known for his award winning Miramax romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland. He began his career as a story editor for a production company in Hollywood, where he oversaw the script for New Line’s hit science fiction film The Lawnmower Man. He has had numerous screenplays of his own optioned, and in some cases produced by, among others, Imax, Fine Line, SenArt and Miramax. Dave Singleton is an award-winning writer/producer and multimedia communications creator, author, teacher and consultant. He currently writes for numerous publications and websites on a variety of topics, including pop culture, food, travel, social trends, dating & relationships and diversity. He’s the author of two books. Since 2003, he’s written regular nonfiction columns for Match.com, Yahoo, AOL and MSN on dating and relationships for all audiences. He resides in Washington, D.C. Willona Sloan has taught writing classes in some unusual places - a bar, an art gallery and a girls’ rock camp. She has published articles about art, culture and education in magazines including Publishers Weekly, Northern Virginia and the University of Virginia. She received a 2013 Artist Fellowship award from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and was awarded a 2012 residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.  Sara Mansfield Taber received a Bergeron Fellowship to teach writing in London, and was a William B. Sloane fellow in nonfiction at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. She is the author of Dusk on the Campo: A Journey in Patagonia, Of Many Lands: Journal of a Traveling Childhood and Bread of Three Rivers: The Story of a French Loaf. Her short pieces have appeared in anthologies, such as Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global, in literary magazines and on public radio. Her memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter, was recently published.

The Writer’s Center Susan Tiberghien, an American writer living in Switzerland, has published three memoirs: Looking for Gold, A Year in Jungian Analysis, Circling to the Center: One Woman’s Encounter With Silent Prayer and Footsteps, A European Album, in addition to a book on writing, One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer’s Art and Craft. She has been teaching creative writing for close to 20 years at the International Women’s Writing Guild, at C.G. Jung Centers, writer’s conferences, graduate programs and at the monthly Geneva Writers’ Workshops. She directs the Geneva Writers’ Group and Conferences. Sue Ellen Thompson is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Golden Hour (2006) and editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, read on NPR by Garrison Keillor and featured in U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s nationally-syndicated newspaper column. She taught at Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, State University of New York at Binghamton and Central Connecticut State University before moving to the Eastern Shore in 2006. She was awarded the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association. Pamela Toutant is a personal essayist and feature writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, Redbook, Ms., The Washington Post Magazine, Washingtonian, Applause, Overture and Bethesda Magazine, among others. She was selected as a 2004 finalist for the Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award, was a 2006 Pushcart Prize nominee, and is a three-time Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellow. Richard Washer, M.F.A., is a playwright, director and educator. He has worked as a playwright, director and dramaturge at Charter Theater since the company started in 1998. Recent productions include Quartet at Hamner Theater in Nelson County, Va. and two commissioned comedies produced at the National Conservatory for Dramatic Arts: The Fetish and Getting It. Richard currently works with First Draft as a playwright.

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PROFILES IN PHILANTHROPY

Ann McLaughlin Jill Leininger

S

ince the late 70s, and into her 80’s, Ann McLaughlin has been a stalwart advocate for the work and mission of The Writer’s Center. From attending the first meetings of what would become the founding membership of TWC to becoming the first member of its Next Chapter Society, Ann has long been a keeper of the vision for what the Center could be. Over the years, she has also rolled up her sleeves and worked hard to help it all take shape. Her upcoming novel, Amy and George, will be released in September. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down to talk with Ann about her eight novels, two children, and 30 years at TWC. We discussed her families, both real and imagined, and the ways in which the major events of her life have reemerged in her fiction. Tell me about your upcoming novel. “The novel is titled Amy and George, and Amy is an autobiographical figure, but she’s much brighter and nicer than I was,” Ann laughs. “I was a little whiny as a kid.” Amy’s relationship with her father is in part Ann’s effort to better understand her own father, who was dean of the Harvard Law School and largely oversees during wartime. In

the story, Amy struggles to get closer to her father, George, but a horrifying event in the household actually makes them friends. Ann mines her own experience for her fiction, beginning with her first novel about a couple who contract polio. She and her husband came down with polio on July 14, 1955. The characters from her novel-in-progress, a brilliant, workaholic father and a quiet, devoted scholar, are an attempt to contrast the different energies of her father and her late husband, Charlie. Would you say you inherited some of your father’s drive? Is that what has helped you finish 8 books? “Maybe some of his discipline, but I’m very old to be writing you know. I’m 84, not very far behind the pope! I sometimes wonder whether I should retire from the Vatican myself…” Your relationship to your parents has inspired so much of your work; do you feel you’ve inspired the creative pursuits of your own children? “Oh, I think they’ve been influenced,” she says of her playwrighting-actor and painting-psychotherapist children. “They always felt free to do their own creative thing.” Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

Board member Ann McLaughlin’s long service to TWC includes washing walls and teaching workshops. She is also a loyal contributor to the annual fund. Photo by Maria Enns

Lightheartedly, she adds, “And I’ve given them a lot of material.” Tell me about the early days of The Writer’s Center. “Barbara Lefcowicz invited me to a meeting with Al Lefcowicz, Meryl Lefler and Myra Sklarew. Al talked about how we needed a place where we could talk about writing. He thought we might offer some classes and maybe invite some established writers to come speak. He found a space at Glen Echo, which was good, except for the presence of a few rats. So it was a welcome move to Walsh Street then? “Oh yes,” says Ann, who remembers coming in to Continued on page 45

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THANKS TO OUR DONORS Other Contributors Leslie Allen • Jill C. Alt • Charlotte Anker • Nancy P. Arbuthnot • Barri J. Armitage • Joan Atchinson • Javy Awan • Lynn W. Bailets • Carol B. Baker • Jim Ball • Jane Barton • Martin Bernstein • Anita Bigger • Sanford L. Billet • Sandra Blake • Dillard Boland • Diane Booth • Dale Hanson Bourke • William Brockschmidt • Heidi Brodsky • Ralph and Coralie Bryant • Tom Burke • Harold and Sally Burman • Jamie Burnett • Garry L. Bush • Ellen Callahan • Dana Cann • Douglas Canter • Doritt Carroll • Anne C. Carson • Grace Cavalieri • Ira Chaleff • John Clark • Alexandra Coburn • Leslie Cohen • Michael Collier • Thomas Connelly • Carol Creed • Sylvia Csiffary • Keri Culver • Josephine Darner • Kimberly Davidson • Andrew Dayton • Linda Defendeifer • Joanne Delaplaine • Genevieve DeLeon • Laurie E. Dieterich • Anne Dougherty • Dennis Drabelle • Jeannette P. Dubrow • Jonathan Eig • Howard Eisner • Elaine English • Teresa CochranEnglish • Herta B. Feely • Kimball Firestone • Ben Firschein • Lynne Fitzhugh • Allan S. Freedman • Ann Gannon and Thomas Gannon • Jason Gebhardt • Claire Gesalman • Bernadette Geyer • Robert Gibson • Paul E. Gleason • Clare Gnecco • Lois J. Godel • Barbara Goldberg • Sherry Goldstein-Askwith • Martha Goodwin • John Grady • Mrs. Grace Gray and Mr. Benjamin White • Rachel Gur-Arie • Betty Hafner • Julie L. Haifley • Randy Hamas • Regina Harrison • Virginia Hartman • Dorothy Hassan • Gwen B. Hayden • Emily Hershenson • Carol Lee Hilewick • Reva Hill • Maureen Hinkle • Helen Hooper • Daniel Horner • Anne Hornsby • Murray Horwitz • Jane Hudiburg • Paul Hyman • Eileen Ivey • Graziella Jackson • Christopher James • Ann Jensen • Abiola Johnson • Michael Johnson • Richard Johnson • Susan S. Jonsberg • Caroline H. Keith • Shelley Kirilenko • Agnes Kiss • Adrienne Kitts • Alicia Klaffky • Aphrodite Knoop • Christine W. Koubek • Mollee C. Kruger • Mindy Kursban • Jeffrey LaPointe • Elaine Laube • Leonard Lapidus • Linda LaPrade • Merrill Leffler • Aaron Lemire • Angela Leone • Jonathan and Judith Levin • Louis Levy • Chris Llewellyn • Cindy Lollar • Janice Lower • Talbot C. MackBrian Madden • Fernando Manibog • Linda Murphy M. Marshall • David L. Martin • Kathryn Masterson • Luis Mateus • Catherine Mathews • Patricia McBride • Diane McConkey • Gardner McFall • Suzanne McIntire • Carole McShane • Margaret Miller • KeeKee Minor • Joan M. Mitric • Larry and Laurence Moffi • Angie Montgomery Hasson • Jean Moore • Sara Moss • Christine Muth • Jennifer Nelson • C. W. Neuhauser • Jill Neuman • Xuan-Lan Nguyen • Leslie Norton • John O’Donnell • Susan Okie • Teel Oliver • Bikem Ozturk • Sandra Parshall • Patricia Pengra • Vinnie Perrone • Emil Polak • Riggin Waugh and Meredith Pond • Frances F. Porter • Christine Pulfrey • Ted Pulliam and Edward Pulliam • Carol M. Purcell • Theresa Queen • Henry Rappaport • Ann W. Rayburn • David G. Reese • Leon Reiter • Elisavietta Ritchie • Margaret Rodenberg • Larry Roszman • Ludwig Rudel • Henry B. Ryan • Anthony Rylands • Lisa Schamess • Barbara Scheiber • Nancy Schnog • William Schofield • Robert Seay • Jessica Seigel • Richard Seldin • Martin Shapiro • Cathryn Shea • Maggie Silberstein • Myra Sklarew • Larry F. Smucker • Donna Sokol • Michael Solow • Laura Spencer • Patricia Spranger • Denise Stablein • Sherry Stanley • Eric Stone • Julie Stuckey • Deborah T. Smith • Marilyn Smith • Mary J. Smith • Herman Taube • Dennis R. Thomas • Norma S. Tucker • Rajka Ungerer • Susan L. Urofsky • Wanda Van Goor • Ronald Vardiman • Davi Walders • Richard C. Washer • Mary E. Weinmann • Renee L. Weitzner • James F. Whalen • Mary Willy • David and Jane Winer • Anita Winters • Elizabeth Yoon • Jacqueline R. Zakrewsky • Judith Zimmerman

Endowment Gifts

Designated Gifts

For investment in TWC’s future

For capital and restricted projects at TWC

Mark Cymrot

Neal Gillen

John Freeman & Sally Mott Freeman

The Samuel & Grace Gorlitz Foundation

John & Barbara Ann Hill

Ann McLaughlin

The Tau Omega Foundation Inc.

McLaughlin . . . continued from p. 43

wash the walls of the county building when it was first being re-inhabited. “At some point, someone contributed a little blue couch and a table and I remember coming in and saying, ‘We could have Madeleine Albright in here!’”

Joram P. Piatigorsky

You’ve also contributed generously to TWC over the years. Can you say a bit about why? “Writing is such a lonely business. Just to have people you know - and like - who are struggling too is wonderful. Workshop & Event Guide 2013

I’ve been in situations where when you say you’re writing a novel people [squirm] and don’t know what to say. Here, people get it. They get that you’re worried about whether you can really write or whether you will ever finish your book.”

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The Writer’s Center


THE LAST WORD The Support I Found at TWC Nichole Bernier

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n 2004, when my family was relocated from Boston to Chevy Chase, I found a second home in the Washington, D.C. literary community. Bookstores have always been a way I connect to a community, and I would spend mornings in the basement café of Politics & Prose working on my freelance magazine assignments - and slowly, uncertainly, cheating on my work time with the beginnings my own first novel. At that time I was somewhat adrift, still affected by the loss of a friend on the first plane to have hit the Twin Towers, and enormously pregnant with my third child in a city where we didn’t have family or close friends. It was another kind of uncertainty to be finding my bearings as a writer of fiction when I had only ever written nonfiction. Sitting in that café, surrounded by the inspiration of all those books overhead, I was drawn to express in fiction what I couldn’t in nonfiction: the sense of loss and anxiety of the year following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mornings passed in a blur, creating an unexpected portrait of a woman discovered after she is gone, and in building the mystery of where she might have been headed when she died. One day a flyer arrived from The Writer’s Center announcing its spring courses, including an introduction to novel writing with Susan Coll. I held a master’s degree in journalism, but it had little or nothing in common with this sort of writing. That course gave me not only the push to turn out chapters regularly, but others to critique them. There at TWC, in a windowless room filled with strangers

in my adopted city, I finally felt as if I were among my people. I followed Coll’s class with a Barbara Esstman workshop, and when that ended, I roped in classmates to continue meeting. But before we could begin our group, my family was called back to Boston. If this essay were a movie, there’d be a montage here set to manic cello, showing a woman struggling to revise, make new writer friends, having another baby, finding an agent, having a fifth baby, and revising some more. It’s a heartbreaking, energizing and insane business, the writing of novels. Last June, The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D was published by Crown/ Random House. On book tour and in classrooms, I’m frequently asked: How did you make the transition to fiction? What’s the magic formula for writing a book with five young children? And my answer is always the same: Persistence, and a strong writing community. www.nicholebernier.com

Being a Poet Makes Me a Better Copy Editor Bernadette Geyer

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think it’s safe to say the company I work for didn’t hire me because I’m a poet, but instead because of my knowledge of social media and my prior experience with converting technical jargon into something the general public could understand. I’m a senior copy editor, and I spend most of my days testing iPhone and iPad apps, and providing text suggestions for error messages, tutorials, infographics and even occasionally for an app mascot. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that my 15 years of working at the craft of poetry increasingly seems as important as my resume’s 20 years of experience in editing and proofreading. As a social marketer for my own websites, I had grown used to the 140-character limit on Twitter and the need to be as succinct as possible in that medium. However, when it came Workshop & Event Guide Summer 2013

to writing the instructive welcome text for a penguin mascot on an iPhone app, I soon realized that 140 characters was a luxury. My modus operandi for drafting text became very similar to the method I use for crafting a line of poetry. I would begin by writing down a variety of ways of saying the same thing – each time tightening the text to cut a word here, two words there. I would find one word that could substitute for three. I switched sentence parts around. Each version was saved as an option, with my ultimate goal being the most concise and precise phrasing possible. While brevity was one of the objectives, I had to include all of the message points desired by the project managers while also ensuring that the average user would understand them all. In a process that was actually very similar to that of a poetry workshop, the project managers would reply to me with their preferred phrasing, but sometimes pointing out a word that didn’t quite work for them, or asking me to add what they thought would be important for the app user. Often, a word mentioned in their notes would spark in my mind an association with another word or phrase and – bingo! – the text would quickly coalesce. I am sure that when he wrote about poetry being “the best words in their best order,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge never imagined his definition being applied to the crafting of error messages for smartphone applications. However, I have found this literary space - where the realms of poetry and app text intersect - to be a very comfortable one in which to work. Bernadette Geyer leads the workshop ‘How to Make a Living as a Copy Editor’ at The Writer’s Center, and blogs at http://bernadettegeyer. blogspot.com. we want to hear your story! submit a letter to the editor EDITOR@writer.org

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Spring 2013 WEG Sneak Peek  

A sneak peek at The Writer's Center's 2013 Workshop and Eveng Guide