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THE WRITER’S GUIDE FREE FREE

Summer Summer 2019 2019

First Novel Prize winner Kayla Rae Whitaker pg 5 100 new workshops & events pg 10 Review of Jona Colson’s Said Through Glass pg 34

writer.org


The Writer’s Center The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

writer.org

DEPARTMENTS

Executive Editor

EDITOR’S NOTE 4

INSTRUCTOR BIOS 25

EVENTS 10

Zach Powers

POET LORE 31

Editors

Schedule 12

BOOK TALK 38

Laura Spencer Emily Holland

Descriptions 16

REGISTRATION 39

WORKSHOPS:

Contributors

FEATURES 5 Meet First Novel Prize winner Kayla Rae Whitaker The author of The Animators shares insights into writing an acclaimed debut.

7 An excerpt from Tonic and Balm Read the opening pages of the celebrated new novel from local author Stephanie Allen.

Stephanie Allen Rachel Cain Jona Colson Rebecca Foust Emily Holland Julie Langsdorf Grace Mott Bill Raskin Corinna McClanahan Schroeder Kayla Rae Whitaker Graphic Design

Virtually Detailed, LLC

28 An interview with Julie Langsdorf Take a trip to a fictional suburb in debut novelist Langsdorf’s White Elephant.

Cover Image

LA Johnson I Spy #1

34 A review of Jona Colson’s new poetry collection Poet Lore Managing Editor Emily Holland takes a look inside Said Through Glass, Colson’s striking new book.

Contact Us

4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, MD 20815 301-654-8664 (p) Writer.org

36 A reflection by Bill Raskin Raskin, a member of The Writer’s Center family, shares what it takes to be a first-time novelist.

Board of Directors Chair: John M. Hill

Vice Chair: Kenneth D. Ackerman

Treasurer: Mark Cymrot

Secretary: Patricia A. Harris

Chair Emeritus: Sally Mott Freeman Margot Backas • Linna Barnes • Debbie L. Cohen • Naomi F. Collins • Patrick Corvington • William DeVinney • Lakshmi Grama Les Hatley • James T. Mathews • Jim McAndrew • Joram Piatigorsky • Bill Reynolds • Mier Wolf

Honorary Board Kate Blackwell • Timothy Crawford • Dana Gioia • Jim & Kate Lehrer • Alice McDermott Ellen McLaughlin • E. Ethelbert Miller • Howard Norman

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

3


A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR with me and give a pep talk as I enter into the daunting arena of publication.

Zach Powers

I

recently had an impromptu meeting with local literary citizen E. Ethelbert Miller. He’d stopped by The Writer’s Center to pick up a debut novel by a DC author (who we’ll introduce you to in the Fall issue of The Writer’s Guide), and asked if I had a moment to chat. What was on Ethelbert’s mind? My own forthcoming book. Ethelbert wanted to share his experience and wisdom

Ethelbert and Jody Bolz have served as co-Executive Editors of Poet Lore, published by The Writer’s Center, for the last 17 years, carrying on the magazine’s 130-year legacy of discovering and supporting poets. I’ve always appreciated the work they do as editors, creating not just a publication but a community of poets, and talking with Ethelbert brought home what it really means to be supportive. There’s deliberate effort involved, an effort fueled by love and passion. Most importantly, I realized all forms of support require a simple first step: reaching out. I reach out now to thank Jody and Ethelbert. The next issue of Poet Lore, released in April, will be their last as Executive Editors. The Writer’s Center, the DMV, and all

The Writer’s Center

We introduce you to debut novelist Julie Langsdorf as well as Karla Rae Whitaker, winner of The Writer’s Center’s First Novel Prize. Poet Lore shares insights from the magazine’s new Pushcart Prize nominees and reviews local poet Jona Colson’s new collection, Said Through Glass, published by Washington Writers Publishing House. We’re thrilled to feature an excerpt from Stephanie Allen’s brilliant new novel, Tonic and Balm. And, as always, turn to the middle for our complete list of new workshops and events.

Washington, DC, artist LA Johnson works as an in-house illustrator and Art Director at NPR, and you may have seen her work in the Warby Parker in Union Station, among many other places. She is the founder and curator of NeonCat, a local pop-up art gallery, and a co-founder of the DC Art Book Fair. Our cover features I Spy #1, displaying the energy and whimsy of LA’s dynamic style. Looking at the image, I like to think authors will spend these bright summer months stalking new projects and pouncing on fresh ideas. See more of LA’s work at thelajohnson.com. —Zach Powers

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The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

An Interview with First Novel Prize Winner Kayla Rae Whitaker By Grace Mott

IN THIS ISSUE

ABOUT THE COVER

Open Mic @ The Writer’s Center, March 2019

The Art of the Debut

of American literature owe you both a great debt. I can’t wait to see what you do next, and I can’t wait to see how Poet Lore continues your legacy. Here’s to many years ahead of supporting poets, authors, and lovers of the written word.

I loved your book, and I’ve read a lot of reviews and summaries, but how would you describe The Animators in your own words? The Animators is about a friendship. It’s about two women who make things for a living, but who also, in a sense, make their work for one another, lobbing their stories back and forth. The story of Sharon and Mel is one told through the lens of what they make. Not only do they occupy a shared work life, they occupy a shared creative life, which renders the friendship more a marriage than anything else. As the writer, I revel in their ability to choose that life for themselves, come what may. And a lot comes for them. As someone who watches a lot of cartoons, it was fascinating to read about Mel and Sharon’s creative processes while working in their studio. What was your inspiration for writing about cartoonists specifically? What influenced you?

Writing about a partnership was a pleasure, precisely because my own work life is often so isolated. And writing about an art form I love so much, in spite of my own lack of talent in that area, was a bit of a bitter pleasure. This whole book was, in essence, an elaborate fit of professional jealousy, written with my nose pressed up to the glass. I suppose it was largely informed by cable TV, which, in rural Kentucky in the late 80s/ early 90s, felt like a revelation, my first real brushes with art. MTV’s Liquid Television—not to mention those amazing bumpers that served as the transition between commercial blocks and scheduled programming—was a huge influence, as was Nickelodeon, as was The Simpsons, the first season of which aired when I was five.

than I did from actual school. I was happiest inside my own head. In this way, I was a writer from the very beginning, but I didn’t know that for many years. I did not believe that “being a writer” was something people did in real life, for an actual living. I certainly didn’t know any writers, growing up. But I wrote every day, keeping a journal, trying short stories, because it made me happy.

Can you give us some background on where you come from and how you became a writer? What was memorable about your journey?

What surprised you about the process of writing this novel? Did any scenes or chapters stand out to you as you wrote them?

I grew up in Eastern Kentucky, in a small town in the Bible Belt. I was terrible at school—hated school, in fact—and so threw myself into books, and television, and my imagination, at a young age. I learned more from The Simpsons

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to go to college, something a lot of people don’t get the chance to do, and I felt a bit of pressure to take a practical career route. I ended up applying for MFA programs on a whim, while miserably studying for the LSAT. I followed my gut. That decision could have turned out badly, I suppose, but it didn’t.

The Animators was actually the second novel I wrote. My first novel was my MFA thesis at NYU. That thesis taught me how to write a book. The Animators taught me how to revise a book. The Animators required five solid revisions,

5


What are you working on now?

in total. In retrospect, each edit was a craft lesson: cutting for plot momentum, staging and framing scenes, sharpening character through dialogue. At one point, I wrote an ending I scrapped completely. It was a great flub. The book became better for my failed ending. It required slogging through an overhaul, but the book, over the course of that overhaul, became itself. Good writing is really editing. Failure is a harsh teacher, but it’s one of the best teachers imaginable, particularly when it informs practice. I spend a lot of time with students attempting to redefine failure as a natural part of the creative process—not always pleasant, to be sure, but not an experience that should be feared, and certainly not an experience that should inspire shame. What was your writing routine while working on the novel? I was working forty hours a week in an office while writing this book, and so my routine took shape during whatever spare moments I could find. I would get up a half-hour to an hour early, meet my thousand-word daily standard, then catch the express train to go to work in Manhattan. I often read and revised on my commute. I even chose coats with pockets that would accommodate pens, so I could edit all the more easily while in transit. My weekends were claimed by the novel, as well. Having forty hours a week that essentially belonged to someone else made me possessive of my own time.

6

The plot moves at a fast pace but the novel also deals with several difficult and heavy themes. How did you strike a balance between forward motion and thoughtfulness? Intense revision. No one strikes that balance on the first draft. I try to love the editing process—if you don’t love it, you’ll come to dread it, and that’s no good for the health of your business, if your business is writing. I knew from the beginning what I wanted this reading experience to feel like. I love novels in which I can stay a while—something built like a house with a lot of little rooms— and I wanted to write something expansive, with a dynamic structure. Sloughing off all the layers I wrote to make the material fit the form I envisioned took time, and trouble, and excellent beta readers. That reader experience made all the difference. Criticism of that quality is a godsend, and it made my book better to accept it. The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

I’m revolving between three separate novels at the moment. I like to write complete drafts, and then set them aside and let them marinate, so to speak, while I work on something else. I’m between a big family saga centered around a chain of regional discount department stores, and a short horror novel involving a widow whose rural farmhouse is slowly being claimed by forces she does not understand. The last one involves copious amounts of cats. The more I learn about domesticated cats from my research, the more terrified I am of them. Finally, what advice do you have for writers who might be working on their first novel? Remember that writing—that making anything, really—is an act of faith. I don’t think I understood how much an act of faith it was, to commit to projects so large, that will necessitate so much editing and change, when I set out to write professionally. Having faith in your process means, on some level, accepting eventual failures. Failure, however, means you are working and learning. It’s a testament to your growth. It indicates that you had the guts to choose a difficult endeavor for yourself. That understanding with the self will ferry you through difficulty and, on good days, yield results that will surprise you.

Excerpt from Stephanie Allen’s Tonic and Balm

Come on Up Ephraim Travers

A

S EPHRAIM watches, the farmer lifts the hood of the old Ford motor truck and steam billows out, rising up into the black Pennsylvania sky. The engine emits a few hiccoughs and burps, noisier than a Tin Lizzie, and dies. The farmer draws thumb and index finger down hollow cheeks and spits a gob into the dirt road. It is the only sound, seemingly, in all the corn fields for miles around. Ephraim was asleep in the back, lying in a pile of onions, when the man pulled over and shook him awake. He hadn’t been dreaming. He didn’t dream. Wasn’t a dreamer, his older sister, Sophie, sometimes said, because she knew this about him somehow though he’d long since forgotten ever telling her such a thing. The way she said it, looking over at him from the table where she was pounding dough, was one of the hundred reasons why he ran off from her neat little house in Albany, New York. Only to get himself into a pickle here, as Sophie would have said, miles from home and not a wheel to carry him farther. Well, he doesn’t care. He’ll find another ride. Right now, though, the man who offered his last lift bends over the hissing engine. A kerosene lamp perched on the fender casts a weak glow across him, showing a threadbare cap and a shirt full of patches, a wiry neck and hands, molasses-dark skin that seems to absorb the night. Ephraim looks off down the deserted road. “Reckon we be here a while,” the man says. Then,

to Ephraim, as he rolls up his sleeves, “Fetch me that toolbox in back, boy.” “Yessir,” Ephraim says. Out behind the truck, there is a faint glow to the night sky, like from leftover daylight or far-off rain. In the truck’s bed, Ephraim can see the rising mound of onions, the faint shape of the burlap sack he’s slept on, but nothing like a toolbox. It must be buried under the onions. He’ll have to dig it out. He rubs his hands together, glances off down the road again, and this time sees it. The glow isn’t from rain. It is being cast up into the sky from a field a mile away. As Ephraim strains to see its source, sound touches his ears. Voices, music, thinned and tossed around by the faint breeze but still recognizable. He drops his hands into his pockets and walks toward the glow. He imagines a big farm, or maybe a mill. But when he gets closer, he can see that the light comes from torches arranged around several tents and an open-air stage down in a sloping field. There are dark shapes of people milling around and a larger crowd seated before the stage, all of them watching something Ephraim can’t quite make out. He hears the tinkling of a piano, laughter rising now and again from the audience. Closer, and he can see on the stage a man playing

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7


a banjo and his companion, a stout woman in a glittery dress who dances around him in a funny way that makes her keep bumping into him with her hips or bosoms, drawing laughter from the audience each time. After the woman chases the banjo player off the stage, two men, one big and one small, stride out in dark suits speckled like they’ve been splattered with whitewash. The little one climbs onto the shoulders of the big one, starts juggling balls and then appears to start dropping them, but the big man catches them and throws them back into the air, and soon there are so many balls flying between them that Ephraim loses count. Five? Seven? Ten? The little man teeters and falls off, drawing gasps from the audience, but he lands on his feet without losing a single ball. Ephraim creeps closer and watches a while longer as the singing and dancing and clowning and stunts are taken up by a succession of people, coloreds and whites more mixed up together than he’s ever seen. Across the top of the stage is hung a banner with ornate lettering at a jaunty angle that reads DOC BELL’S MIRACLES AND MIRTH MEDICINE SHOW.

After a while, tired and yawning, he turns his attention to the buggies, Tin Lizzies, trucks, wagons, and mule carts lining the roadway. He still needs a ride. If he can guess the right vehicle, he’ll be carried on his way by some unsuspecting farmer heading home after the show. He walks along, looking for a truck or wagon to his liking. In the two months since he left Albany, he has stuck with rides that would have put Sophie at ease, Negro farmers, jolly or taciturn or straight-arrow men like the onion farmer he left down the road. All of them gave a twelve-year-old Negro boy a ride and a bite to eat without a thought. Now, though, there is no telling who he’ll wind up with, what they’ll say if they catch him. Don’t give any of that white riffraff a chance to get their hands on you, he can hear his sister saying in his head. But Sophie isn’t here. He finds a big truck with a cloth canopy and a bed full of crates and boxes and climbs in. In a few minutes he’s made himself at home and fallen asleep.

Summer Solstice

WOMEN'S WRITING RETREAT with Melanie Figg

on your writing project with optional critiques and informal readings

in an inspiring setting with time to explore and play

with other women writers

Blue Mountain Retreat Center Knoxville, MD (65 miles from DC)

: More info at melaniefigg.net

STEPHANIE ALLEN is an NEA fellowship recipient and author of the story collection A Place between Stations, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist. Tonic and Balm is now available in bookstores and online.

“Joram Piatigorsky audaciously weaves the fantastic with the familiar to show what love can do to those who yearn for it... Surprise and recognition are the hallmarks of these utterly original and delightful stories.” Kate Blackwell, author You Won't Remember This: Stories

The Open Door

and Other Tales of Love and Yearning

Available April on Amazon Published by Adelaide Books JoramP.com

“We all have our inner voice – private, teasing, often cruel – that taunts tunes so personal we dare not sing the words aloud.” – from ‘ Less Is Not Enough’ 8

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019


EVENTS

Events at The Writer’s Center EVENTS

Summer 2019 Friday, April 26, 6:30pm

Saturday, June 15, 2-4pm

Poetry Party! Celebrating 130 Years of Poet Lore

Extreme Novelist Participant Reunion Thursday, June 13, 7:30pm

Saturday, April 27, 4pm

Jeffrey Levine, Susan Sonde, and Brandon Johnson Poetry Reading Thursday, May 2, 7pm

High School Writing Contest Reading and Awards Ceremony Saturday, May 4, 2-4pm

Open Mic @ The Writer’s Center

LGBTQ Authors Panel Thursday, June 27, 7:30pm

The Writer’s Center LIVE! Featuring Stephanie Allen, Tyrese L. Coleman, Philip Dean Walker, Kayla Rae Whitaker, Vonetta Young, and more! Monday, July 1, 7pm

Café Muse featuring Luther Jett & Nomi Stone

Café Muse featuring Irene Fick & Kevin McLellan

Wednesday, May 8, 7:30pm

Saturday, July 13, 2-4pm

Novel Year Participant Reading

Open Mic @ The Writer’s Center

Monday, May 6, 7pm

Saturday, June 1, 2-4pm

Saturday, July 20, 4pm

Open Mic @ The Writer’s Center

Love Affairs at the Villa Nelle Poetry Reading

Monday, June 3, 7pm

Café Muse featuring Margaret Mackinnon and Lisa Lewis Saturday, June 8

Monday, August 5, 7pm

Café Muse: Poetry in Translation featuring Barbara Goldberg & Katherine E. Young

(date tentative—visit writer.org for final information)

Autism through a Literary Lens Workshops–1:30pm Panel Discussion–3:15pm

Saturday, August 10, 2-4pm

Open Mic @ The Writer’s Center

Unless otherwise indicated, all events are held at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St, Bethesda, MD 20815. Visit writer.org for additional information.

10

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

WORKSHOP GUIDELINES

The Writer’s Center 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 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 writing that need attention, and who become your community of working colleagues even after the 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 and read peers’ work, and • Help with addressing trouble areas and incorporating multiple, sometimes conflicting, ideas into a 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 them to fit your style.

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

refund policy • Full refunds are given only when TWC cancels a workshop. • Workshop participants will be notified via email when a class is cancelled, and recieve the option of a refund or credit. • 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 a full credit to their account that can be used within one year to pay for another workshop and/or a membership. Please email grace.mott@writer. org to request a credit.

Find Your Niche The Writer’s Center recognizes that all writers and styles are unique! Our staff can help you find the right course(s) for your level of experience, preferred genre and overall goals. Call us at (301) 654-8664.

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 for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

11


ADULTS WRITE FOR CHILDREN (PAGE 16)

SUMMER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

The Writer’s Center MIXED GENRE (Continued)

LEADER

DATES

DAY TIME

LEVEL

How to Write a Lot

Kathryn Johnson

5/18

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

Precision in Language

Virginia Hartman

5/18

S

1–4 p.m.

ALL

Writing for Radio

Katie Davis

5/18–7/6

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

B/I

ALL

Developing a Writing Practice

Melanie Figg

5/21–6/11

T

7–9 p.m.

ALL

1–3 p.m.

B/I

You Can Do Both: Writing Fiction and Nonfiction

Samantha Paige Rosen

5/28–7/16

T

6–8 p.m.

I

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Voice

Caroline Bock

5/30

Th

6:30–9:30 p.m.

ALL

5/14–6/4

T

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

ALL

Write Sparkling Prose

Pamela Toutant

6/1–6/29

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

John DeDakis

5/15

W

10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ALL

The Art of Revision

Alyce Miller

6/5–6/12

W

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

I/A

From Novice to Novelist

John DeDakis

5/18

S

10 a.m.–5 p.m.

B

100 Words or Less

Caroline Bock

6/7

F

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

ALL

Mystery and Suspense Writing

Con Lehane

5/21–7/9

T

7–9:30 p.m.

ALL

Point of View

Alyce Miller

6/8

S

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Revising Your First Draft

Brenda W. Clough

5/22

W

7:30–9:30 p.m.

B/I

Writing Like a Woman*

Annie Finch

6/12

W

1–4 p.m.

ALL

How to Craft A Short Story

Alyce Miller

5/23–5/30

Th

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Characters You Love to Hate

Alyce Miller

6/18

T

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Your Narrator’s Compelling Voice

John Weiskopf

5/28–6/25

T

7–9:30 p.m.

ALL

Poetic Elements in Prose Writing

Alyce Miller

6/27

Th

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Your First (or Next) Novel

Kathryn Johnson

6/1

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

B/I

Getting Started: Creative Writing*

Patricia Gray

7/6–7/13

S

1–4 p.m.

B

Troubleshoot Your Stories

Kathryn Johnson

6/29

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

7/8–7/12

M-F

11 a.m.–1 p.m.

ALL

Beginning Fantasy Fiction

Brenda W. Clough

7/3–7/10

W

7:30–9:30 p.m.

B

Character Development in Fiction and Marilyn Smith Memoir

The Extreme Novelist

Kathryn Johnson

7/10–8/28

W

7–9:30 p.m.

I/A

Small Mutinies: Prose Poem and Flash Alyce Miller Fiction Workshop

8/1

Th

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Creating Conflict & Tension

Kathryn Johnson

7/13

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

NONFICTION (PAGES 20–21)

LEADER

DATES

DAY TIME

LEVEL

How to Write a Novel*

John DeDakis

7/17

W

10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ALL

Crafting Your Personal Essay

Alyce Miller

5/1–5/22

W

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

B/I

From Novice to Novelist*

John DeDakis

7/20

S

10 a.m.–5 p.m.

B

Life Sentences: Your Journal and the Creative Life

Gregory Robison

5/14–6/18

T

7–9:30 p.m.

ALL

Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense! Oh, my!

Kathryn Johnson

7/27

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

Writing a Memoir

Chris Palmer

5/16–5/30

Th

6–8 p.m.

B

Great Beginnings

Kathryn Johnson

8/24

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

Perfect Pitch to National Publication

Ellen Ryan

5/22–5/29

W

7:30–9:30 p.m.

I/A

MIXED GENRE (PAGES 18–20)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Nature Writing

Sue Eisenfeld

6/10–7/29

M

6:30–8:30 p.m.

ALL

Unclogging the Brain through Improvisation

Lisa Jan Sherman

5/7

T

7–9 p.m.

ALL

Writing Heartfelt Letters to Family Members

Chris Palmer

6/10–6/24

M

6–8 p.m.

ALL

Writing What You’re Afraid to Write

Laura Di Franco

5/13

M

6:30–9 p.m.

ALL

Beginner’s Travel Writing*

Bijan C. Bayne

6/13–7/25

Th

6:30–8 p.m.

B

Engaging Stories

Hildie S. Block

5/14–6/18

T

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

ALL

Christine Koubek

6/13

Th

7–9:30 p.m.

B/I

First We Read, Then We Write

Gregory Robison

5/14–6/18

T

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

How to Submit Personal Essays to Newspapers, Magazines, and Literary Journals

Artists and Writers Unite!

Nina Budabin McQuown 5/18–5/26 and Laura Stinson

Sa/ Su

12–3 p.m.

ALL

Beginnings in Memoir

Janice Gary

6/15–6/22

S

2–4 p.m.

B

Life as Metaphor: Personal Essay Writing*

Willona Sloan

6/15

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Mary Quattlebaum and Joan Waites

5/16

Th

6:30–9:30 p.m.

I

Creating Your Book for Children: Shape it, Submit it, See it in Print

Peter Mandel

6/20

Th

7–9 p.m.

ALL

Submitting Your Children’s Book for Publication

Jonathan Roth

7/6–7/13

S

10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Writing for Children

Jacqueline Jules

7/9–7/23

T

FICTION (PAGES 16–18)

LEADER

DATES

4 Stories/4 Weeks

Caroline Bock

How to Write a Novel

Picture Books II: Revision

SCHEDULE

B—beginner

I—intermediate

A—advanced

M—master

ALL—all levels —online class

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

12

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

13

SCHEDULE

SUMMER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE


SUMMER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

The Writer’s Center

SCHEDULE

NONFICTION (Continued)

LEADER

DATES

DAY TIME

LEVEL

PUBLISHING (PAGES 23–24)

LEADER

DATES

DAY TIME

LEVEL

Write a Winning College Essay

Pamela Toutant

6/22

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

B

Launch Your Self-Published Book*

Ariel Mendez

5/18

S

10 a.m.–12 p.m.

B/I

Writing for Self-Discovery

GG Renee Hill

6/22

S

2–5 p.m.

ALL

How to Publish Now

Neal P. Gillen

6/8

S

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Parenting Blogs and Beyond

Hannah Grieco

7/6–7/27

S

10 a.m.–12 p.m.

B

Book Promo Strategies No One Tells You About

Meg Eden

6/22

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

ALL

Advanced Personal Essay

Alyce Miller

7/10–7/24

W

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

A

Publishing in Literary Magazines

Meg Eden

6/22

S

1–4 p.m.

ALL

Words That Move

GG Renee Hill

7/17–8/7

W

7–9 p.m.

B/I

Publishing 101

Aaron Hamburger

7/10

W

7–9 p.m.

ALL

Life Stories Intensive

Lynn Auld Schwartz

7/20

S

9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. B/I

Marketing Your Book!

Rob Jolles

8/3

S

10 a.m.–4 p.m.

ALL

Intro to Memoir

Marilyn Smith

7/22–7/26

M-F

11 a.m.–1 p.m.

B

Kathryn Johnson

8/10

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

I/A

Write a Winning College Essay

Pamela Toutant

8/24

S

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

B

Your Submission Package: How to Write a Killer Query and Synopsis

POETRY (PAGES 21–22)

LEADER

DATES

DAY TIME

LEVEL

STAGE AND SCREEN (PAGE 24)

LEADER

DATES

DAY TIME

LEVEL

5/11

S

10 a.m.–4 p.m.

ALL

Alyce Miller

5/4–5/11

S

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Writing For TV & Dialogue*

Khris Baxter

Writing the Prose Poem

Playwriting: Dialogue

Richard Washer

8/3

S

10 a.m.–1 p.m.

B/I

Preparing Your Poems for Publication

Jacqueline Jules

5/21–6/4

T

1–3 p.m.

I/A

Playwriting: Exposition and Process

Richard Washer

8/14

W

7:30–10 p.m.

B

Getting Your Poetry Published

Michele Wolf

6/1

S

2–5 p.m.

ALL

Playwriting: Character

Richard Washer

8/24

S

10 a.m.–1 p.m.

B

Poetry as Experience

Judith Harris

6/1–6/29

S

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

B

Poetry for Prose Writers

Alyce Miller

6/13–6/20

Th

10 a.m.–2 p.m.

ALL

Finding Your Poetic Voice

Ann Quinn

6/18–7/23

T

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

B

Meter Crash Course

Claudia Gary

6/22

S

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Introduction to the Craft and Beauty of Poetry

Melanie Figg

6/27–8/8

Th

Poetry Salon: Reading the US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

Melanie Figg

7/9–7/23

The Poem Comes Alive*

Sandra Beasley

The Personal Poem

ONLINE

LEADER

DATES

LEVEL

Intro to the Novel

T. Greenwood

4/26–6/14

B

Plotting Your Novel

T. Greenwood

4/26–5/17

ALL

I/A

Introduction to the Short Story

Christopher Linforth

5/13–7/1

B

7–9:30 p.m.

B/I

Writing Creative Nonfiction

Christopher Linforth

5/13–7/1

ALL

T

7–9 p.m.

ALL

Creating Novel Characters

T. Greenwood

5/24–6/14

ALL

7/10–8/14

W

7–9 p.m.

I/A

Flash Fiction: Generating New Stories

Tara Campbell

6/3–6/24

I/A

Judith Harris

7/13–8/17

S

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

ALL

Getting Started: Creative Writing

Mathangi Subramanian

6/3–6/24

B

Villanelle Crash Course

Claudia Gary

7/20

S

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

I/A

Exploring Video Poetry

Marianne Murphy

6/3–6/24

ALL

Sonnet Crash Course*

The Elements of Fiction

Alicia Oltuski

6/3–6/24

ALL

Claudia Gary

8/3

S

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

I/A

PROFESSIONAL WRITING (PAGES 22–23)

Crafting Short Stories

Christopher Linforth

6/10–7/29

ALL

LEADER

DATES

DAY TIME

LEVEL

Building an Unforgettable Tale!

Hildie S Block

7/1–7/29

ALL

Fundamentals of Persuasive Writing

James Alexander

5/16–6/20

Th

7–9:30 p.m.

B/I

Creating from the Subconscious

Marianne Murphy

7/1–7/29

ALL

Blogging to Build Your Author Platform

Laura Di Franco

6/5

W

6:30–8:30 p.m.

ALL

Publish Your Parenting Stories

Hannah Grieco

7/1–8/5

B/I

How to Write a Business Book

Rob Jolles

6/29

S

10 a.m.–4 p.m.

ALL

Intro to the Novel

T. Greenwood

7/5–8/23

B

How to Write Grant Proposals

Cara Seitchek

7/6–7/20

S

1:30–4 p.m.

ALL

Plotting Your Novel

T. Greenwood

7/5–7/26

ALL

Write Like the News

Hank Wallace

8/29

Th

7–9 p.m.

ALL

Narrative Nonfiction in Action

Gina Hagler

7/8–7/29

A

Creating Novel Characters

T. Greenwood

8/2–8/23

ALL

Bullet Journaling for the Writer

Marianne Murphy

8/5–8/26

ALL

B—beginner

I—intermediate

A—advanced

M—master

ALL—all levels —online class

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

14

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

15

SCHEDULE

SUMMER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE


WORKSHOPS

The Writer’s Center

For more detailed class descriptions, please visit writer.org

Adults Write for Children Creating Your Book for Children: Shape it, Submit it, See it in Print Peter Mandel

workshops

Having a children’s book published in today’s tough market may seem like an impossible dream. But, in reality, getting your book idea into shape and into print can hinge on just the right advice from a pro. Do you need an agent? Should you connect with an artist? What about self-publishing? In a DC-area exclusive one-session workshop, nationally-known author Peter Mandel will pass on the insider’s tips writers need to know in order to create a marketable first book and get it into the hands of exactly the right gatekeepers in the publishing world. 1 Thursday TWC

7–9 p.m. All Levels

6/20 $50

Writing for Children

Jacqueline Jules

Christopher Linforth

What makes a story engaging for young readers? How do you tell a captivating story in less than 800 words? Jacqueline Jules, author of forty books for young readers, including the Zapato Power series and the Sofia Martinez series, will share tips on writing stories for children with an eye toward publication. Workshop will cover elements important to a successful children’s book such as point of view, story arc, character development, and marketability. Participants will have the chance to share their own stories for group critique. Writing prompts and tips on how to break into the publishing world will be provided.

In this workshop, participants will examine the qualities of good writing and good storytelling. After a recap on the constituent elements of short fiction, participants will take a fresh look at contemporary and classic stories alike. Each week, writers will craft a new piece and offer feedback to fellow participants. By the course’s end, writers will have workshopped several stories each and revised them with an eye toward publication.

3 Tuesdays TWC

1–3 p.m. 7/9–7/23 Beginner/Intermediate $135

Fiction

Picture Books II: Revision

4 Stories/4 Weeks

Mary Quattlebaum and Joan Waites

Caroline Bock

Learn to deeply revise and polish your picture book manuscript before submitting to an agent or publisher. A widely published author and an acclaimed illustrator will lead discussions in pacing, page turns, storyboarding, and visually dramatic storytelling. During this hands-on workshop, writers will be editing their own manuscripts and enhancing their skills as picture book creators. Bring your questions and two double-spaced copies of a picture-book manuscript that you’ve carefully revised. Workshop may most benefit those who have taken Mary Quattlebaum’s “Writing Picture Books,” but all writers ready for revision are welcome.

Start your summer writing! Start fast with microfiction and flash fiction based on in-class prompts. Be ready to move to full-length short stories in weeks two and three while developing your character, plot, and often the most elusive element: voice. In class workshops and discussion on craft will help you revise your work. Written critiques by the instructor will be offered. A special brown-bag class lunch will extend our last session to 2 p.m. and offer an informal discussion on publication and the writing life.

1 Thursday TWC

6:30–9:30 p.m. 5/16 Intermediate $50

Jonathan Roth What do Harry Potter, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and your children’s book all have in common? They all began as unpublished manuscripts searching for the right home. While you may have written the next great children’s book, you may also find the submission process daunting and confusing. In this workshop you will learn where to look for the most appropriate agents or editors as well as how to craft effective query letters that will make them want to read your work. The market may be competitive, but with the tools from these sessions you’ll gain confidence that your caterpillar can become a beautiful butterfly. Note: this workshop is open to anyone interested in the process but will most benefit those with projects underway. 10 a.m.–12 p.m. All Levels

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. All Levels

5/14–6/4 $195

7/6–7/13 $80

– All Levels

6/10–7/29 $360

Creating Conflict & Tension Kathryn Johnson It’s often said that without conflict there is no story. It also holds true that strengthening the conflict in any type of fiction will bump up the tension and turn limp, ordinary fiction into an extraordinary tale that will keep readers turning pages. Whether you choose to write literary fiction, mysteries, family sagas, thrillers, historical fiction, sci-fi, or fantasy— you can learn techniques for drawing readers into your tales through action, dialogue, setting details, and plot twists that make your work stand out from the crowd. Join us and leave with a handout chock full of ideas to apply to your stories. 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

7/13 $50

Creating Novel Characters

T. Greenwood

Vampires, zombies, and halflings with swords! Participants will build a world and write in it. The first session of this workshop will be devoted to the basics of fiction and story construction. In the second session, participants will do a start-up exercise to help get them started on a possibly longer work. 2 Wednesdays 7:30–9:30 p.m. 7/3–7/10 TWC Beginner $80

4 Weeks Online

Brenda W. Clough

Building an Unforgettable Tale!

Hildie S Block In this workshop, participants will learn about how to make first lines do the heavy lifting, how to build unforgettable worlds, and characters who will stay with your reader long after the story is done! In this five-week, online course, participants will be given writing prompts, outside reading, direct instruction, and peer review/workshop. 5 Weeks Online

16

8 Weeks Online

– All Levels

7/1–7/29 $225

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

4 Weeks Online

– All Levels – All Levels

for finding an agent and marketing the finished product.

4 Weeks Online

1 Wednesdays TWC

10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 5/15 All Levels $50

1 Wednesday Hill Center

10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 7/17 All Levels $65

– 6/3–6/24 Intermediate/Advanced $195

From Novice to Novelist

When writing a novel, we must know our primary characters inside and out. We need to understand their desires, motivations, and frustrations, their histories and their futures. This workshop will focus on the development of authentic characters. Participants will examine character as both autonomous and residing within the context of the other novelistic elements, and will discuss the challenge of creating and integrating these various elements into a cohesive and credible whole. Participants will explore the main character(s) in their novels-inprogress.

Beginning Fantasy Fiction

Submitting Your Children’s Book for Publication

2 Saturdays TWC

4 Tuesdays TWC

Crafting Short Stories

discuss revision strategies and submission opportunities they can utilize after the course.

5/24–6/14 $195 8/2–8/23 $195

Flash Fiction: Generating New Stories 

Tara Campbell If you’ve dabbled in flash fiction, but need a spark of inspiration for new stories, this four-week online course is for you. After a brief review of the techniques of flash, participants will spend the bulk of the time writing to prompts, generating new ideas, and workshopping their stories. Writers will also

John DeDakis This day-long workshop will deconstruct and demystify the novel-writing process for struggling and/or aspiring writers. Go all the way from getting the start of an idea to getting your book into the hands of expectant fans. Along the way you’ll learn how to stay organized, write in the voice of the opposite sex, the art of rewriting, and how to overcome your writing and marketing fears. By the end of the session you’ll be prepared to begin work on a novel and will be equipped with the skills to perfect it. The session will include time for writing.

Intro to the Novel

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. The workshop will focus on everything from generating ideas to developing characters to establishing point of view. Participants will discuss many elements of fiction (dialogue, scene, etc.) but the emphasis will be on discovering the writing process that works best for each writer.

1 Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 5/18 TWC Beginner $115

8 Weeks – 4/26–6/14 Online Beginner $360

1 Saturday Hill Center

8 Weeks – 7/5–8/23 Online Beginner $360

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Beginner

7/20 $135

Great Beginnings

Kathryn Johnson

Christopher Linforth

To capture a reader’s attention and hold it, an author needs a great first sentence, paragraph... chapter. How do we provide the hook that will draw readers into our stories, no matter the genre? This fun workshop will reveal tried-andtrue techniques for launching your novel, short story, or memoir that will make your story’s opening irresistible. If you like, bring the opening paragraph of your work-in-progress, and the instructor will provide a critique and personalized suggestions.

This workshop invites aspiring writers to consider what makes a good short story. After reading examples, participants will explore the craft of short fiction through a set of written exercises. They will gain a sound grasp of the essential building blocks: character, point of view, dialogue, setting, plot, structure, and theme. By the course’s end, participants will have written, workshopped, and revised a complete story and will have material for many more.

1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

8/24 $50

How to Craft A Short Story Alyce Miller What does it take to make a successful short story, and how do you write one? Using other writers as role models, participants will examine together the specific craft elements that contribute to making a story great, as they work on their own piece for a final workshop discussion. Participants will receive reading assignments via email before the class begins. 2 Thursdays TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

5/23–5/30 $135

How to Write a Novel John DeDakis This workshop offers a practical 16-point plan that takes you from the mere germ of an idea all the way through the creative process, with an eye on getting a finished book into the hands of potential fans. Participants will discuss how to transform the nub of an idea into a book-length project, populated with interesting characters, a twistyturny plot, snappy dialogue, and an interesting setting. Participants will also look at strategies

Introduction to the Short Story

8 Weeks – 5/13–7/1 Online Beginner $360

Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense! Kathryn Johnson There seems to be no limit to the sales potential for mystery-related fiction. But do you know the differences between traditional mysteries and cozies? Between Dan Brown-style thrillers and psychological suspense? If your aim is to write anywhere within the mystery genre, it pays to know what elements works (or don’t) for your audience…and therefore, for publishers. Discover the perfect niche for your kind of story and learn how to tweak your plot and characters to best suit today’s publishing market. 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

7/27 $50

Mystery and Suspense Writing Con Lehane Pretty much all fiction runs on mystery and suspense, often both. We read stories because we want to know what’s going to happen next—will Harry marry Sally?—or because we want to know why something happened: Why did Sally refuse to marry Harry, despite her undying love for him? This workshop will place a special emphasis on mystery and suspense, derived from compelling characters

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

involved in believable action. To this end, participants will concentrate on character, structure, pace, tension, plot, and the other elements of fiction writing that make stories and novels memorable. The basic format of the class will be a workshop in which participants submit and discuss their own writing. The workshop will also include writing exercises (these help isolate elements of good fiction writing, such as point of view, characterization, and so on), as well as a small amount of outside reading of exemplary mystery and suspense. 8 Tuesdays TWC

7–9:30 p.m. All Levels

5/21–7/9 $360

Plotting Your Novel

T. Greenwood Whether you are an organized planner or a writer who flies by the seats of their pants, a novel still needs structure. In this four week online workshop, participants will study the architecture of a novel and devise plans for plotting their novels. 4 Weeks Online

– All Levels

4/26–5/17 $195

4 Weeks Online

– All Levels

7/5–7/26 $195

Revising Your First Draft Brenda W. Clough You’ve finished the first draft of your story or novel, but now the real work begins! Make it the best it can be with this one day workshop. 1 Wednesday TWC

7:30–9:30 p.m. 5/22 Beginner/Intermediate $50

The Elements of Fiction

Alicia Oltuski This four-week workshop will focus on the vital fiction elements of dialogue and description through a series of fun and varied exercises geared toward cultivating inventive, thought-provoking, and narratively efficient writing. Together, we will look at what makes for successful dialogue and description and how they can be used to further plot, character development, and arc. This class is open to writers of all levels 4 Weeks Online

– All Levels

6/3–6/24 $195

The Extreme Novelist Kathryn Johnson Can’t find the time/energy/inspiration to get your novel written? This popular course, developed by the author of the book by the same name, will help you complete a rough draft in just eight weeks. Participants receive the encouraging guidance of professional writing coach Kathryn Johnson. Each author will commit to an aggressive writing schedule and learn the tricks pros use to create a productive working environment and meet their deadlines, despite life’s distractions. Classes will include troubleshooting discussions, a brief lecture and handouts from the instructor, in-class writing time, and the opportunity to submit portions of the work-in-progress to the instructor for individual

17

workshops

WORKSHOPS


feedback and guidance. (Note: This is not a workshopping course. Further information will be sent to registered participants, in advance of the first class.) 8 Wednesdays TWC

7–9:30 p.m. 7/10–8/28 Intermediate/Advanced $360

Troubleshoot Your Stories Kathryn Johnson Revision is a dirty word to some writers. But you needn’t fear the challenges of polishing a manuscript before submission and publication. This fast-paced, half-day class focuses on the ten most common mistakes and concerns, often overlooked by authors before they send their story out into the world. Everything you do to your manuscript after the first draft is what makes the difference between a ho-hum story and a tale that lingers in readers’ minds. Join us for a painless look at the major revision issues for fiction. 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

6/29 $50

workshops

Your First (or Next) Novel Kathryn Johnson Writing a novel takes commitment, but it doesn’t need to be daunting. Learn how to generate a handful of plots from which to choose, methods for effectively planning your story, and simple hacks for fine tuning your basic fiction skills. Participants will initiate a flexible writing plan that will keep their writing flowing. This is a great half-day session for the beginning long-form fiction writer, or for the more experienced author in need of a quick strategy brush-up. 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 6/1 Beginner/Intermediate $50

Your Narrator’s Compelling Voice John Weiskopf In this course, you will learn what ingredients give the main character in your novel a compelling voice. Writers will discuss how the protagonist’s voice drives other characters and the unfolding plot action. Each participant is expected to bring their own novel that is a “work in progress.” Together, the class will workshop each participant’s novel and assist each author in conceptualizing and improving critical scenes. For the first class, please bring your novel in progress. 5 Tuesdays TWC

7–9:30 p.m. All Levels

5/28–6/25 $225

Mixed Genre 100 Words or Less Caroline Bock Do you read the New York Times “Tiny Love Stories” and think: I have a big, tiny love story? Can you imagine writing your life story in 100 words, or less? This workshop will focus on the exploding writing genre of micro fiction and non-fiction. Through prompts, writing samples, and in-class discussion, participants will write several fiction or creative nonfiction stories—concise, vivid stories—in 100 words

18

WORKSHOPS

The Writer’s Center

or less. Writers will focus on characters, on plot, on metaphor, and ultimately, on voice in order to create micro-stories that expand writing. The workshop leader will offer to every participant a post-class critique via email to a story written in class.

do we create interest in and empathy for the least likable? What is the leap of imagination that’s required? There will be pre-class reading assignments and a writing assignment emailed ahead of time to jump-start our time together.

1 Friday TWC

1 Tuesday TWC

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. All Levels

6/7 $50

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

Artists and Writers Unite!

Nina Budabin McQuown and Laura Stinson

Marianne Murphy

Writers from The Writer’s Center will unite with visual artists at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center in Hyattsville, MD, to learn the ins and outs of collaborative partnerships and practice making work together. Participants will first create new work drawing on one another’s ideas, and outline important conversations. After that, the group will divide into pairs and create a zine that represents a collaboration between artists and writers. This workshop is designed to let your expertise determine the outcome—with artists and writers drawing from their respective skills and interests to develop a project. Participants will leave with a co-created zine, along with new skills in collaboration and new connections across the great media divide. This workshop will meet at The Writer’s Center (4508 Walsh St. Bethesda, MD 20815) on May 18th, and at Pyramid Atlantic (4318 Gallatin St, Hyattsville, MD 20781) on May 25th and 26th. 3 Sat/Sun TWC/Pyramid

12–3 p.m. All Levels

5/18–5/26 $200

Bullet Journaling for the Writer

Marianne Murphy Boost your writing and reading productivity through bullet journaling! In this workshop, we’ll use adapted forms of Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journaling process to create our own personalized systems of journaling and note-taking. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have a solid start on a beautiful writer’s journal and tons of pages ready to fill as you meet your goals. Although there will be plenty of lettering, doodling, and design tutorials included in this workshop, no previous art experience is required! 4 Weeks Online

– All Levels

8/5–8/26 $195

Character Development in Fiction and Memoir Marilyn Smith This five day (one week) workshop is for writers of fiction or memoir who want to focus on strengthening their characters. An emphasis will be placed on the use of dialogue (direct, indirect, and internal) as one means to develop characters. The workshop is interactive and lively, with opportunities for discussion, sharing, Q&A, reading, writing, and feedback. Monday-Friday TWC

11 a.m.–1 p.m. All Levels

7/8–7/12 $195

Characters You Love to Hate Alyce Miller Just as in life, difficult and complicated people inhabit both fiction and personal essays. But how

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

6/18 $80

Creating from the Subconscious

Do you ever find yourself filling pages with rambling, wandering, plotless nonsense? In this workshop, we’ll turn those pages to gold! For five weeks, participants will discover ways of relaxing their minds and writing from the subconscious, then explore methods of focusing and organizing the stream-of-consciousness into a variety of forms such as poetry, micro-fiction, short stories, visual art, and even whole novel outlines. 5 Weeks Online

– All Levels

7/1–7/29 $225

Developing a Writing Practice Melanie Figg Struggling to reach a writing goal, or want more creativity in your life? In this class, you’ll learn what’s needed to build a regular writing practice that works for you. As a group, participants will discuss obstacles to success, and begin to recognize and work with triggers and roadblocks. Participants will experiment with a variety of techniques and structures and leave class with a solid framework for maintaining a sustainable practice. Bring a notebook and a calendar to each session. 4 Tuesdays TWC

7–9 p.m. All Levels

5/21–6/11 $135

Engaging Stories Hildie S. Block Tell a story that takes the writer to a brand new place, highlighting inciting (exciting!) events, world building, and unforgettable characters! This workshop is for writers of fiction (story or novel), memoir, or essay. The course will include writing prompts, instruction on writerly topics and reading assignments as well as peer review/workshop. Please bring Best American Short Stories 2018 (editor Roxanne Gay) to class. 6 Tuesdays TWC

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. All Levels

5/14–6/18 $270

First We Read, Then We Write Gregory Robison Just as we learn to speak by hearing others speak around us, it’s our lifetime of reading that largely makes us who we are as writers. So, what are you reading, and how? In this workshop, you will experience seven techniques for becoming more conscious of yourself as a reader, deepening the experience of reading itself, and thereby grow and mature as a writer. 6 Tuesdays TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

5/14–6/18 $270

Getting Started: Creative Writing

Mathangi Subramanian Do you have a memoir, novel, or chapbook trapped inside of you? Set it free with this course about the basic elements of creative writing. Every week, participants will read creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, and apply their reading to exercises designed to generate pieces that effectively utilize character, setting, and plot. Participants will leave the workshop with a familiarity with multiple genres; initial drafts of fiction, poetry, and/or nonfiction pieces; and a set of writing exercises they can use to maintain their creative momentum. 4 Weeks – 6/3–6/24 Online Beginner $195

Getting Started: Creative Writing Patricia Gray Explore imaginative forms of writing in a supportive environment. Fun prompts will help circumvent the analytic brain and give creativity a chance to thrive. Free up memories and use them as inspiration for memoir, fiction, poems, creative nonfiction, journalwriting, scrap-booking, etc. Features of the workshop include in-class assignments, opportunity to read your writing—or not, as you choose—and receive positive, helpful feedback that will point the way toward your writing talents. Please bring digital or print writing implements to the first workshop meeting. 2 Saturdays Hill Center

1–4 p.m. Beginner

7/6–7/13 $135

How to Write a Lot Kathryn Johnson You may think you don’t have the time, energy, or inspiration to write because of your hectic lifestyle. Wrong! Learn what professional writers know about organizing their time, establishing a productive writing routine, and getting their stories written. The class will highlight methods that many professional writers use to complete their books in months instead of years, their short stories in mere weeks. Become the dedicated author you’ve always dreamed of being. (Ideal for writers who don’t have eight weeks to dedicate to the Extreme Novelist course.) 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

5/18 $50

Poetic Elements in Prose Writing Alyce Miller In this workshop, participants will look closely at the uses of metaphor, image, and concrete detail, as well as rhythm and inflection, in prose writing (both fiction and nonfiction). This will be an exercise-based class with mini-lectures from the instructor. Participants will receive reading assignments via email before the class begins. 1 Thursday TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

6/27 $80

Point of View Alyce Miller This class of mini-lectures and short exercises will take us through some of the following questions:

who sees (when, how, and where), who knows (what, when, and how), and who speaks? There will be assigned readings emailed before class (check your email), and short exercises in class. Come ready for a lively, interactive time. 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

6/8 $80

Precision in Language Virginia Hartman Learn the skills to identify precisely the right word to express your meaning, feeling, or subtext. Participants will look at examples in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and discuss what makes an expression fresh rather than expected, where and how to find the mot juste (the exact, appropriate word), and why precision can succeed in getting your work noticed. Mine your bookshelves and come to class with one or two brief passages in which the author uses language with an evocative precision. 1 Saturday TWC

1–4 p.m. All Levels

5/18 $50

Small Mutinies: Prose Poem and Flash Fiction Workshop Alyce Miller Both the prose poem and flash fiction/nonfiction have a long tradition, and are fun and engaging to read and write. Participants should bring 15 copies of either one original prose poem or one piece of flash fiction/nonfiction to the workshop to share with others. Participants will receive reading assignments via email before the class begins. 1 Thursday TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

8/1 $80

The Art of Revision Alyce Miller Revising is the most exciting part of writing. It’s the chance to shape and focus your work. This class is designed for participants who have a short story or a personal essay and want to polish it to a shine. Participants will receive reading assignments via email before the class begins. 2 Wednesdays TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. 6/5–6/12 Intermediate/Advanced $135

Unclogging the Brain through Improvisation Lisa Jan Sherman This workshop will allow writers of all genres to think and ‘write’ on their feet, using verbal and non-verbal warmups, and new original games to stimulate perspective, generate cognitive flexibility, and gain creative flow. Get rid of the negativity blocking your creativity in a judgement free zone. Gain a multifaceted perspective knowing that all answers are correct! 1 Tuesday TWC

7–9 p.m. All Levels

5/7 $50

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

Voice Caroline Bock How do you develop that most elusive of elements for a writer—your own voice? What are the elements of craft that go into voice? What creates vivid, distinctive narratives? Whether you are writing fiction or creative nonfiction, this one-day workshop will focus on several in-class prompts and writing samples designed to experiment with “voice” in our writing. The workshop leader will offer one post-class critique of work written in the class to every participant. 1 Thursday TWC

6:30–9:30 p.m. All Levels

5/30 $50

Write Sparkling Prose Pamela Toutant Whether you are a writer of fiction, memoir, or personal essay, this class will give you the tools to make your prose sparkle and draw-in readers beginning with the first sentence. Participants will learn the creative use of sensory detail, metaphor, word choice, and pacing, which will be discussed and applied through in-class exercises and short assignments. As inspiration, participants will use excerpts from works by Vladimir Nabokov, Jennifer Egan, Akhil Sharma, Joan Didion, and David Sedaris. Participants will also have an opportunity to receive feedback on the first five pages of a novel, memoir, or essay. Note: No meeting June 22nd. 4 Saturdays TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

6/1–6/29 $195

Writing for Radio Katie Davis Learn how to write for the ear and your writing will be sharper. A veteran broadcaster will introduce you to great radio, in-class writing, and editing. By the end of this workshop, participants will have a polished essay and it will be recorded by a professional engineer. 8 Saturdays TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 5/18–7/6 Beginner/Intermediate $360

Writing Like a Woman Annie Finch Explore the deep roots and traditions of women’s literature. The workshop will include discussion of some of the most important themes and techniques of women’s writing down the millennia; guided writing time to create your own poetry and prose in touch with these traditions; and the chance to share your work with our group. Suggested preparation: bring a published passage of poetry or prose that makes you feel good to be a woman writer when you read it! Open to women identifying writers of all genres and levels. 1 Wednesday Hill Center

1–4 p.m. All Levels

6/12 $65

Writing What You’re Afraid to Write Laura Di Franco Fear is just excitement without the breath! What if there was something you haven’t learned yet

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that could change everything? The mission in this workshop is to help you use your fear as a compass, instead of letting it paralyze you - to help you write and share the pieces of your soul aching to be set free. Participants will explore the topics of the inner critic and fear in a way that leaves you inspired and excited to write the thing you’re afraid to write! After completing this workshop participants will enjoy a level of awareness that will help make their writing come alive and help them write brave! 1 Monday TWC

6:30–9 p.m. All Levels

5/13 $50

You Can Do Both: Writing Fiction and Nonfiction Samantha Paige Rosen

workshops

Get out of your comfort zone and acquire tools for telling powerful stories across multiple genres. Over the course of this workshop, participants will be expected to write two short pieces: one fiction and one nonfiction. Each week, we will discuss an assigned story or essay followed by two or three participant pieces (to be read and commented on in advance). You’ll go home with new insights and tactics to use when crafting your work for this class and long after. Before the first class, the instructor will send out a story or two for participants to prepare to discuss. Bring your enthusiasm and creativity—we might be freewriting! 8 Tuesdays TWC

6–8 p.m. 5/28–7/16 Intermediate $290

Nonfiction Advanced Personal Essay Alyce Miller This class offers the chance to focus on a particular piece of writing that you are passionate about drafting and then revising over the course of three weeks. There will be pre-class readings and assignments explained in an email that will be sent out before class. 3 Wednesdays TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. 7/10–7/24 Advanced $215

Bijan C. Bayne The purpose of this course is to instruct aspiring magazine and newspaper freelancers in how to construct a destination or hotel article, pitch it, write effective query letters, and find appropriate outlets. Each week, participants will work on a feature of their choosing, with some classroom reading. They will be encouraged to bring in exemplary features with which they are impressed, also for reading or classroom analysis. At course completion, participants will have completed a query letter, and will own a draft of their tourism feature. Note: No meeting on July 4. 6:30–8 p.m. Beginner

Janice Gary Find the starting point for your memoir book or essay that will set the story in motion and reveal direction for you and the reader. In this two week immersion course participants will study the first pages of exemplary memoirs to see how—and why— writers chose the material they do to begin their work. Participants will then go on to write their own first pages, perhaps, many times. Come ready to not only begin, but find where you want your story to go. 2 Saturdays 2–4 p.m. 6/15–6/22 TWC Beginner $80

Crafting Your Personal Essay Alyce Miller Using outside readings as models, participants will draft two personal essays they’ve been wanting to write. Participants will have the choice to offer both, or the draft and then revision of one in the final workshop. Essays should run 5 double-spaced pages or 1250 words. Participants will receive reading assignments via email before the class begins. 4 Wednesdays TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. 5/1–5/22 Beginner/Intermediate $290

How to Submit Personal Essays to Newspapers, Magazines, and Literary Journals Christine Koubek Pitching personal essays is quite different from submitting travel stories, journalism, and many other types of writing. In this workshop, you’ll learn about hundreds of places to submit your work, how to discern which ones might best fit your essay, where to find the best writers’ guidelines, and what you should include (and omit) from an essay query letter. In addition, we’ll cover tips on how to increase your chances of being read and selected. While not required, feel free to bring a query letter draft to discuss in class. 1 Thursday TWC

7–9:30 p.m. 6/13 Beginner/Intermediate $50

Intro to Memoir Marilyn Smith

Beginner’s Travel Writing

6 Thursdays Hill Center

Beginnings in Memoir

6/13–7/25 $215

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This week-long workshop invites participants to draft one short memoir utilizing the elements of memoir presented in class. Class time will be spent on discussion, exercises, and sharing, following the arc of a story as a guide. Most writing will be completed at home and then shared during the last class. Monday-Friday 11 a.m.–1 p.m. 7/22–7/26 TWC Beginner $195

Life as Metaphor: Personal Essay Writing

WORKSHOPS

The Writer’s Center ness of real life for inspiration. Participants will practice drawing from experiences, asking hard questions, and diving in deep to reveal their true selves through their creative work. 1 Saturday Hill Center

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

6/15 $65

Life Sentences: Your Journal and the Creative Life Gregory Robison “There comes a time,” wrote the late American novelist and short-story writer James Salter, “when you realize that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real.” But here’s the problem: the great swirl of experience, observation, sensation, and imagination from which all our creative work emerges is itself fleeting. “Without a diary, almost everything we do or say or think or feel slips very quickly into oblivion,” warned English novelist Roland Blythe. In this workshop participants will examine the almost limitless ways in which writers, artists, and other creatives have used private writing to understand their own lives and to leverage their experiences into work. Whether you want to breathe new life into an established journal practice or hope to start a habit of private writing, this workshop will give you both tools and inspiration. 6 Tuesdays TWC

7–9:30 p.m. All Levels

5/14–6/18 $270

Life Stories Intensive Lynn Auld Schwartz Whether you want to write a memoir, blog, letter to your granddaughter, or use your own life as the basis for fiction, life story writing requires that we tell where we come from and who we are. Learn to identify your story’s essence and to engage the reader through fictional techniques. Participants will leave inspired to begin or improve a work-inprogress. 1 Saturday TWC

9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 7/20 Beginner/Intermediate $50

Narrative Nonfiction in Action

Gina Hagler In 1903, Ida Tarbell was “the most famous woman in America.” How did this journalist research and write her balanced and compelling series on Standard Oil? How did she decide the storyline for her narrative about the power of this trust? How did she verify the accuracy of her reporting? What did she do that you can do to make your own writing so compelling that it is still respected after one hundred + years? We’ll use her actual reporting as an example, along with her memoir and letters on her method. 4 Weeks – 7/8–7/29 Online Advanced $195

Nature Writing

Willona Sloan

Sue Eisenfeld

Life is beautiful. It’s also messy. In this personal essay writing workshop, writers will use the messi-

Connect with the natural world as a reader and a writer, from the species level to the larger land-

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

scape of place. Participants will read and discuss contemporary nature writing, engage in naturewriting exercises and activities in class and on their own, and share and discuss samples of participant writing. Participants will acquire tools and skills to continue their nature-writing practice and to work toward finished manuscripts. Some class sessions may be held in outdoor locations in the DC area.. 8 Mondays TWC

6:30–8:30 p.m. All Levels

6/10–7/29 $290

Parenting Blogs and Beyond Hannah Grieco Are you new to writing and interested in potentially publishing about your experiences as a parent? This class is an introduction to finding your story, distinguishing it from others, and avoiding clichés and stereotypes. Exercises and group critiques in a safe space, with a focus on digging in and writing bravely and honestly. Great for new bloggers and essayists, with a step-by-step introduction to authentic storytelling and publishing in parentingfocused outlets. 4 Saturdays 10 a.m.–12 p.m. 7/6–7/27 TWC Beginner $135

Perfect Pitch to National Publication Ellen Ryan How do you research and hone an idea well enough to get through the static to national publication? Successful writers share their queries and the negotiations that led to publication in Bloomberg Businessweek, AARP, Pacific Standard, NYT Sunday Business, etc. Participants will look at both the pitches and the resulting articles and learn how each writer approached the market and the writer’s experience with the editor. 2 Wednesdays TWC

7:30–9:30 p.m. 5/22–5/29 Intermediate/Advanced $80

Publish Your Parenting Stories

Hannah Grieco Are you ready to go beyond your blog and publish your work? Learn how to tell your parenting stories—from the funny to the heartbreaking—in a way that speaks to others and gets noticed by editors! This workshop will offer online exercises and discussions with group critiques and feedback by the instructor. Participants will have a completed story and list of potential publications to pitch by the end of the class. 6 Weeks Online

– 7/1–8/5 Beginner/Intermediate $270

creative material, refining your voice and delivery, and connecting with your ideal audience. Before each in-person session, participants will receive course content including a workbook with lessons and writing assignments as well as an audio lecture. You will come away with effective practices for building an online space that showcases your work, increases the opportunities that come your way and allows you to pave your own unique path as a writer and expressive voice. 4 Wednesdays TWC

7–9 p.m. 7/17–8/7 Beginner/Intermediate $135

Write a Winning College Essay Pamela Toutant Jumpstart a winning college essay that reflects your strengths and authentic voice. With guidance from seasoned college essay coach, Pamela Toutant, students will learn the attributes of successful essays, brainstorm essay topics, get feedback, and develop an essay outline. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 6/22 TWC Beginner $50 1 Saturday 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 8/24 TWC Beginner $50

Writing a Memoir This interactive workshop is for anyone who would like to create a memoir that values the struggles in their lives, makes sense of them, and explores their meaning. The focus will be practical and designed to help participants make rapid progress with their memoirs. Participants will discuss the reasons for writing a memoir, how to plan and structure it, how to collect ideas (including ones long forgotten), how to develop character, how to tell powerful and effective stories, how to deal with conflict, how to write scenes with dialogue, and how to deal with sensitive issues. 3 Thursdays 6–8 p.m. 5/16–5/30 TWC Beginner $115

Writing Creative Nonfiction

Christopher Linforth In this eight-week course, participants will be reading and writing in several sub-genres of creative nonfiction including memoir, essay, literary journalism, and the epistolary form. The class will focus on generating new material, offering feedback to peers, revising pieces, and researching markets for the placement of work. 8 Weeks Online

– All Levels

1 Saturday TWC

5/13–7/1 $360

Words That Move

Writing for Self-Discovery

GG Renee Hill

GG Renee Hill

This four-week course is for writers who want to expand their private writing practice and establish an online presence through blogging and social media. Creating a platform for the work you want to share with the world requires a combination of storytelling, style, and strategy. In this course, you will work on leveraging your life experiences as

This interactive workshop provides writers of all levels with techniques that reveal the patterns, themes, and stories that shape their lives. Participants will practice writing with beginner’s mind, thought labeling to identify hidden ideas and beliefs, and storytelling as a creative path to healing. In this threehour session, you will write, share, and discuss your

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

2–5 p.m. All Levels

6/22 $50

Writing Heartfelt Letters to Family Members Chris Palmer Sometimes it is easier to write than it is to talk, especially when dealing with sensitive issues involving family members. This workshop will explore when writing a letter might be appropriate and the best way to do it. Expressing love, concern, regret, compunction, gratitude, appreciation, or another highly charged feelings can be challenging. Participants will write drafts, share them with each other, discuss how to improve them and how to make them more effective and meaningful. Email, FaceTime, text messaging, and other communication technologies help families stay in touch, but they are no substitute for the longer, thoughtful, reflective letter between family members—letters which will be treasured by your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. 3 Mondays TWC

Chris Palmer

work with classmates as you discover new pathways to your own inner wisdom. You will come away with writing exercises that deepen your self-awareness and expand your creative perspective.

6–8 p.m. All Levels

6/10–6/24 $115

Poetry 

Exploring Video Poetry

Marianne Murphy It’s poetry in motion! In this workshop, participants will explore the history and techniques of video poetry, develop poems and storyboards through a series of easy and meditative exercises, and transform ideas into short experimental video poems and animations. By the end of the workshop, you will have an inspiring portfolio and a solid platform for continuing to produce video poems in your unique style. No previous film or poetry experience required! 4 Weeks Online

– All Levels

6/3–6/24 $195

Finding Your Poetic Voice Ann Quinn Writing poems is discovery on paper, and good poems surprise and delight the poet as much as anyone. In this workshop, designed for new friends of poetry, you will try on a variety of styles and forms on the way to finding your own poetic voice. Participants will read poems together and use them as starting points for their own work, both in and out of class. The goal is for you to come away from the class with a portfolio of favorite poems—poems discovered in reading, and discovered in writing. 6 Tuesdays 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. 6/18–7/23 TWC Beginner $270

Getting Your Poetry Published Michele Wolf This intensive one-day workshop will offer all poets—whether they have yet to submit their first

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The Writer’s Center

poem to a literary journal or are ready to present a publisher with a book-length manuscript—handson advice on how to achieve their publishing goals. Participants will learn how to place poems in print and online journals, why anthologies are such an appealing platform, how to publish chapbooks and books, the pros and cons of contests, the etiquette of poetry submission, ways to develop a poetry network, and how to keep morale high while facing rejection in a highly competitive field.

Poetry for Prose Writers

The Personal Poem

Alyce Miller

Judith Harris

So you’ve always thought of yourself as a prose writer, but maybe, just maybe, there’s a poet inside, too? This class is designed to show you how reading and writing poetry can help strengthen your work as a prose writer. Participants will receive reading assignments via email before the class begins.

1 Saturday TWC

2 Thursdays TWC

This workshop will focus on how autobiography mediates and revivifies past events that surface in some perfected, universalized form. Through writing prompts, and mini-lectures on poetic craft and history of the genre, participants will learn how the very construction of the poem is a means to contain—and often transform—subjective material so that self-revelation can take place. Participants of all levels are invited—no previous poetry experience required.

2–5 p.m. All Levels

6/1 $50

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

6/13–6/20 $135

workshops

Introduction to the Craft and Beauty of Poetry

Poetry Salon: Reading the US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

6 Saturdays TWC

Melanie Figg

Melanie Figg

The Poem Comes Alive

“I am amazed by the amount I learned!” is what participants say about this popular class. This workshop is for writers looking to begin, or deepen, their exploration of poetry with a focus on craft. Each session is devoted to one aspect of craft (imagery, line, form, revision, etc.) and begins with a chance to share your work aloud. Participants learn by discussing great poems, reading short, engaging chapters, and doing fun weekly assignments. The instructor will give helpful and encouraging feedback on all poems created during the course. Please bring The Poet’s Companion by Addonizio and Laux to the first class. Note: No meeting on July 4.

Looking for interesting discussions about poetry to inspire your own writing? Join us as we explore and enjoy Tracy K. Smith’s Wade in the Water. We’ll discuss the book as a whole, as well as spend more concentrated time on individual poems. Participants will receive weekly writing prompts based on the book’s poems and themes and the instructor will give helpful feedback on your work. When class is over, you will have a good sense of how a poetry book work, a solid sense of Smith’s particular style, and some new work of your own. Bring a copy of Wade in the Water to the first class.

Sandra Beasley

6 Thursdays TWC

3 Tuesdays TWC

7–9:30 p.m. 6/27–8/8 Beginner/Intermediate $270

7/9–7/23 $115

Preparing Your Poems for Publication

Meter Crash Course Claudia Gary Improve your ear for meter, and fine-tune your understanding of how meter works in poetry. Have you ever wondered how scanning the lines of your first draft can make for a better poem? Do you know why listening for the natural rhythms of speech can strengthen your writing? Guided by an internationally published author of sonnets, villanelles, and other metrical poems, this one-day workshop includes scansion of well-known poems, writing exercises, and, if you like, close examination of a poem you’ve drafted prior to class. You’ll leave with new insights about improving the auditory qualities of all your poems and prose. 1 Saturday TWC

7–9 p.m. All Levels

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. 6/22 Intermediate/Advanced $50

Jacqueline Jules Is your poem ready to meet the world? Or would a little feedback help you craft something more powerful? Revise your poems and learn submission tips with an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in over 100 journals and three chapbooks. Class members will bring poems to share in a safe environment designed to help each poet strengthen their work. Writing models and prompts will be provided for participants wishing to jump start their creativity. 3 Tuesdays TWC

1–3 p.m. 5/21–6/4 Intermediate/Advanced $115

Sonnet Crash Course Claudia Gary

Poetry as Experience Poetry is, in part, high emotion in language. Cultures throughout the world use poetry to share their histories, shape their stories, and express ideas in lyric form. In this workshop, participants will look at inner language and life experiences to explore writing from personal and cultural memory. Through writing prompts and mini-lectures on craft, formal elements of poetry as well as the history of the poetry genre will be emphasized. No previous poetry experience required.

Improve your sonnet skills, or write your first one. Guided by an internationally published author of sonnets, villanelles, and other metrical poems, you’ll first read classic and contemporary sonnets to see how and why they work. Then—with or without shortcuts—you’ll write one or more of your own. Next you’ll see how a new poem can be improved by revision. You’ll leave with at least one new or improved sonnet, as well as insights about how writing poems in form can unlock deeper meaning and enhance everything you write.

5 Saturdays 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. 6/1–6/29 TWC Beginner $225

1 Saturday Hill Center

Judith Harris

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10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. 8/3 Intermediate/Advanced $65

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. All Levels

7/13–8/17 $270

In this workshop, participants learn how to write bright, specific, ambitious poems that electrify the page. Each workshop leads off with a guided close reading of contemporary poets. Bring in drafts of 1-2 pages for three of the six sessions, each of which will receive written feedback from the instructor. Missing sessions is fine; advance notice is appreciated. Bring fifteen copies of a draft to the first class. 6 Wednesdays Hill Center

7–9 p.m. 7/10–8/14 Intermediate/Advanced $270

Villanelle Crash Course

readers and build your author platform. You’ll learn the components of a good blog, including how to write a headline that’ll attract readers, techniques that’ll keep them reading down the page, and tools that will have them clicking on your email opt-in and other offers. Blogging can be one of the best ways to sell your books! 1 Wednesday TWC

6:30–8:30 p.m. All Levels

6/5 $50

Fundamentals of Persuasive Writing James Alexander Learn how to pack a powerful punch when writing persuasively! This six-week workshop teaches the processes involved in crafting newspaper op-eds and written speeches: Think. Plan. Write. Participants will learn the techniques of audience analysis, message development, targeted research, organization, using persuasive language, and effective use of social media in planning/strategizing. The workshop also covers how to apply persuasive writing principles to lower-profile writing products, such as memos, letters, and emails. This class features hands-on writing, engaging discussions, a recommended reading list, and a blog for amplification. 6 Thursdays TWC

7–9:30 p.m. 5/16–6/20 Beginner/Intermediate $270

Claudia Gary

How to Write a Business Book

Improve your villanelle skills, or write your first one. Guided by an internationally published author of villanelles, sonnets, and other metrical poems, you’ll first read classic and contemporary villanelles to see why they work. Then, with or without shortcuts, you’ll write one of your own. Next you’ll see how your new poem can be improved by revision. You’ll leave with at least one new or improved villanelle, as well as insights about how writing poems in form can unlock deeper meaning and enhance everything you write.

Rob Jolles

1 Saturday TWC

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. 7/20 Intermediate/Advanced $50

Writing the Prose Poem Alyce Miller Prose poems are non-lineated poems that employ strong elements from both fiction and poetry. Participants will have a lot of fun reading and writing prose poems, while focusing on elements of prosody, craft, and storytelling. Participants will receive reading assignments via email before the class begins. 2 Saturdays TWC

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

5/4–5/11 $135

Professional Writing Blogging to Build Your Author Platform Laura Di Franco Blogging is an easy yet powerful platform-building tool! Come learn how to use your blogs to find

Write Like the News

Launch Your Self-Published Book

Hank Wallace

Ariel Mendez

Lead with the future—not background. That’s the most important of eight journalism skills that will transform your writing. The others: write your readers’ language, be positive (to be both clear and upbeat), lay out logically, be consistent, be precise, be brief, and choose strong verbs. Highlights: communicate in a crisis, correct errors the correct way, choose between raw numbers and a ratio, and write around generic “he.” (Plus a Speak Like the News skill: avoid “uptalk?”) Emulate the vivid news examples you’ll see in this workshop, and you’ll strengthen your writing voice with lively, engaging news style. At 7 sharp, we’ll critique TheWallStreetJournal.com homepage, seeing how to communicate your main point in just a few words. Then we’ll talk our way through the workshop booklet, emphasizing reasons, not just rules, for your writing choices. To cover as much ground as possible, we’ll have just a few writing exercises and most of them will take less than a minute each.

Have you considered self-publishing your book? This two hour workshop is for writers interested in sharing their work through self-publishing. Learn about self-publishing best practices, from writing your first draft to getting your book in to the hands of readers. In this workshop you will learn how to organize your project, edit your manuscript, and marketing for book sales. By the end of the session, writers will have an understanding if selfpublishing is right for them, and how to successfully do it. Following the workshop, participants will receive classroom notes, FAQs, recommended reading, and resources via email.

1 Thursday TWC

7–9 p.m. All Levels

8/29 $50

Publishing Book Promo Strategies No One Tells You About Meg Eden

Maybe you’ve toyed with the idea of writing a business book and sharing what you’ve learned with others around you. The fact is, anyone can write a book. The problem is, most people are stopped before they even start by the size of the project, and more importantly, the lack of a clear process. With the right information, the right process, and the right teacher, you can and will write your book. This workshop will focus on all aspects of writing business books including outlining the manuscript, creating a writing routine, marketing options, proposal writing, publishing options, and more. What’s more, it WILL be fun!

Writing a book and getting it published is hard enough—however the work doesn’t end there. Both traditionally and self-published authors are expected to do their own promotion, and it can be hard to know which ones are most effective, let alone which ones are out there before publication. Author and Assistant Director of Publicity and Marketing at California Coldblood Books Meg Eden will share what she has learned from promoting her own books, as well as the resources to get connected with larger networks of authors writing in your genre. This workshop is best for authors with a forthcoming book (ideally six months to a year out), but is also helpful for those with a completed book on submission, or an author who has already published work.

1 Saturday TWC

1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–4 p.m. All Levels

6/29 $115

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. All Levels

6/22 $50

How to Write Grant Proposals

How to Publish Now

Cara Seitchek

Neal P. Gillen

Learn how to write proposals to request grants from funders. This workshop will cover how to research prospective funders, the elements of a good proposal, and how to approach funders. Proposal writing is a practical skill that applies to those who work or volunteer for non-profit organizations and can be a good source of freelance writing income. Please come to class with a non-profit or project in mind to use as the focus of your research and proposal. This class meets in person for the first and third sessions (July 6 and 20), and online via email for the second class (July 13).

This one-day presentation will educate writers on the world of self-publishing. Specifically, it will examine and compare the leading digital or print-on-demand publishers, reveal the costs and benefits to writers in the printing packages offered, recommends how to select a publisher, and warn writers to stay away from the costly and unproven marketing packages – some costing upwards of $14,000. Workshop participants will learn how to publish their novel, poetry, family history, photography, how-to, or nonfiction book by a reputable print-on-demand publisher and have it listed on Amazon at minimal cost.

3 Saturdays TWC

1 Saturday TWC

1:30–4 p.m. All Levels

7/6–7/20 $135

10 a.m.–2 p.m. All Levels

6/8 $80

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

1 Saturday Hill Center

10 a.m.–12 p.m. 5/18 Beginner/Intermediate $65

Marketing Your Book! Rob Jolles Maybe you have toyed with the dream of increasing your book sales and generating additional revenue by building a speaking business, perhaps you have just thought about addressing occasional requests to speak that have come your way, or maybe you just want to find better ways to market your book. Participants in this workshop will focus on all aspects of book marketing including negotiating larger book orders, working with distributors, professional speaking, engaging speaker’s bureaus, creating dynamic keynote presentations, proposal writing, program pricing, and basic delivery skills. If you think writing a book is exciting, wait until you feel the thrill of stepping in front of a room, and speaking on behalf of that book! 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–4 p.m. All Levels

8/3 $115

Publishing 101 Aaron Hamburger Getting your fiction, non-fiction, and poetry out into the world can be a daunting and difficult business, whether you’re trying to land a book contract or get your work into the literary journal of your dreams. However, there are things you can do to increase your odds and make the process more efficient. This workshop will cover the basics of how to find appropriate venues for your work, how to think outside the box and increase possible markets for what you’re writing about, what a query letter looks like, whether you need an agent, and what you need an agent for. Come prepared to take notes and ask questions from an author who’s also worked in the publishing industry! 1 Wednesday TWC

7–9 p.m. All Levels

7/10 $50

Publishing in Literary Magazines Meg Eden Want to submit your work to magazines but don’t know how? This one day workshop will explore what literary magazines are, what editors are looking for in submissions, have a “translation” exercise, tips on how to get the most out of a lit

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mag, and the secrets to writing a great cover letter to get an editor’s attention. The skills you learn in this session can easily apply to other publication realms, including writing to agents and editors of small book presses. All participants will receive a complimentary magazine of their choice.

consider various strategies for managing exposition in the context of process in writing a play (getting started, exploring a first draft, analysis, and revisions). We will look at examples to better understand how to handle exposition and discuss strategies to employ at various stages of the process.

1 Saturday TWC

1 Wednesday 7:30–10 p.m. 8/14 TWC Beginner $50

1–4 p.m. All Levels

6/22 $50

Your Submission Package: How to Write a Killer Query and Synopsis Kathryn Johnson

workshops

Sooner or later, you will need to write a query letter and plot synopsis of your story, if you want to be traditionally published. But synopses also help the author stay confident and on track while writing, while still allowing for creative changes. Learn how to write an effective query letter for literary agents, and encapsulate your plot for your own use and as a showcase for your story when you submit. The instructor has sold dozens of novels to major publishers using these same techniques. 1 Saturday TWC

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 8/10 Intermediate/Advanced $50

Writing For TV & Dialogue Khris Baxter These are exciting times to be a screenwriter. With more shows and television channels than ever, the opportunities for inventive ways of storytelling increase daily. This hands-on workshop will guide beginning and intermediate screenwriters through the process of crafting a professional-grade screenplay and/or TV pilot. Participants will examine proven methods for adapting fiction and narrative nonfiction to the big screen, discuss strategies for promoting and marketing their screenplays or pilots, and work on advancing their careers as screenwriters. This workshop is open to all levels and genres. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Glen Echo Park All Levels

Stage and Screen

5/11 $115

Playwriting: Character Richard Washer

1 Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. 8/24 TWC Beginner $50

Playwriting: Dialogue

Khris Baxter is a screenwriter, producer, and co-founder of Boundary Stone Films (“BSF”). BSF develops, finances, and produces a wide range of projects for Film and TV. Baxter has been a screenwriter for two decades and has taught screenwriting since 2004, most recently at The MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University, and American University. He’s been a judge for the annual Virginia Screenwriting Competition since 2004. Bijan C. Bayne is an award-winning freelance columnist and critic whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Herald, AAA Horizons, AFAR online, Ohio, Baltimore Sun, JustLuxe, and Pathfinders Travel.

Hildie Block has been a writing instructor for 20 years at places like American University and GW. She’s published many essays and articles as well as over 50 short stories. In the past year, her work has appeared in 0-Dark-Thirty, Gargoyle, and Redux, as well as in anthologies by Queer Sci Fi and Literary Taxidermy. Her book, Not What I Expected, debuted back in 2007. More about her at: www.hildieblockworkshop.com.

Richard Washer Dialogue is the playwright’s primary tool for conveying a story that ultimately becomes a visual, aural, and emotional experience for an audience. In this workshop, we will look at various functions of dialogue and we will discuss how actors, designers, and directors use dialogue as a basis for transforming words on the page to life on stage. Although the focus in this session will be on playwriting, writers of all genres are welcome. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. 8/3 Beginner/Intermediate $50

Caroline Bock’s debut short story collection, Carry Her Home, won the 2018 Fiction Award from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. She is also the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novels: Lie and Before My Eyes from St. Martin’s Press. More about her at: www.carolinebockauthor. com.

Playwriting: Exposition and Process Richard Washer What does your audience need to know and when do they need to know it? In this workshop we will

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James Alexander has worked more than 30 years in communications first in the newspaper industry as a bylined reporter and later in public relations/public affairs for both the private sector and government as a speechwriter and as a media specialist. He has written numerous political and policy speeches and ghostwritten op-eds for major newspapers. He currently works in Media Relations interacting daily with the press.

Sandra Beasley is the author of three poetry collections—Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox (winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize), and Theories of Falling—as well as a memoir, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. In 2018, she edited Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA fellowship and four D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities fellowships. She lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches with the University of Tampa low-residency M.F.A. program.

Characters set in motion a series of events and actions that become the engine of your play. In this workshop we will look at strategies for exploring and developing characters in the early stages of writing your play and discuss ways to assess the potential of the characters to drive action in your story. In addition, in order to better understand the instrument we are writing for, we will also look at character through the eyes of actors and directors seeking to interpret and portray a character to see how this informs our process of building a play.

1 Saturday TWC

WORKSHOP LEADERS

The Writer’s Center

The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

Tara Campbell is a Kimbilio Fellow, a fiction editor at Barrelhouse, and an M.F.A. candidate at American University. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Jellyfish Review, Booth, and Strange Horizons. Her novel TreeVolution was published in 2016, followed in 2018 by her hybrid fiction/poetry collection Circe’s Bicycle. Her third book, a short story collection called Midnight at the Organporium, will be released by Aqueduct Press in 2019. More about her at: www.taracampbell.com. Brenda W. Clough is a novelist, short story, and nonfiction writer. 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. More about her at: http:// www.brendaclough.net/. Katie Davis is a writer and broadcaster in Washington, D.C. She has worked at NPR, contributing essays for All Things Considered and This American Life. Her last project was Anacostia Unmapped where she worked with three residents to learn and broadcast radio. Novelist and writing coach John DeDakis is a former editor on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” DeDakis is the author of four mystery-suspense novels. His most recent novel, Bullet in the Chamber, is the winner of Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards. His fifth novel, Fake, will be released September 1, 2019. More about him at: www.johndedakis.com. Laura Di Franco, MPT won’t let you settle for a mediocre life. Your health, wealth, and happiness is one Brave Healing book, poem, workshop, strategy session, or moment away. With almost three decades of expertise in holistic physical therapy, six books, and a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Laura’s energy and method are contagious and unlike anything you’re experienced. More about her at: www.BraveHealer.com. Meg Eden’s work is published or forthcoming in magazines including Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, and CV2. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Maryland College Park, and teaches creative writing courses at Anne Arundel Community College. She has five poetry chapbooks, and her novel Post-High School Reality Quest is published with California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. More about her at:

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ ConfusedNarwhal. Sue Eisenfeld is the author of Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal. She writes about history and place/nature/ travel/adventure; writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gettysburg Review, Potomac Review, and many other publications; essays have been listed five times among the Notable Essays of the Year in The Best American Essays. More about her at: www.sueeisenfeld.com. Melanie Figg is a 2017-2019 NEA Fellow; her collection, Trace, is forthcoming from New Rivers Press. As a certified professional coach, she has helped hundreds of writers to publish, tame their inner critics, and add more creativity, balance, and intentionality to their lives. She also leads annual writing retreats. More about her at: www. melaniefigg.net. Annie Finch’s many books include A Poet’s Craft, The Body of Poetry, and Spells. Her writing has appeared in Paris Review, Poetry, New York Times, and the Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Educated at Yale and Stanford (Ph.D), she has taught creative writing and women’s empowerment for 25 years. Claudia Gary is author of Humor Me (2006) and chapbooks including “Bikini Buyer’s Remorse.” Internationally published, she is a three-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her work is anthologized in “Villanelles” (2012) and “Love Affairs at the Villa Nelle” (2018). More about her at: pw.org/content/claudia_gary, and on twitter @claudiagary. Janice Gary, M.F.A., is the author of the award-winning book Short Leash: a Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance. She is a passionate advocate for the power of personal story and has been published in many nonfiction journals including River Teeth, Slag Glass City, The Baltimore Review, Brevity, and others. More about her at: www.janicegary.com. Neal P. Gillen is the author of nine novels, three memoirs, and How to Publish Now, which reviews the essentials of print-ondemand (POD) publishers, including the do’s and don’ts and the expensive pitfalls to avoid in its review of over 25 publishers. More about him at: www.nealpgillenbooks.com. Patricia Gray, author of Rupture from Red Hen Press, formerly headed the Library of Congress’s Poetry and Literature Center. An award-winning poet, Gray’s most recent pub-

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LEADERS

WORKSHOPS


lications appeared in Oberon, Salamander, Challenges for the Delusional II, and as brief writing tips for The Writer’s Center Blogspot. T. Greenwood is the author of 12 awardwinning novels including Rust & Stardust, Where I Lost Her, and Bodies of Water. Bodies of Water was a finalist for a 2013 Lambda Award. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer’s Ink, Grossmont College, and online for The Writer’s Center. Hannah Grieco is a parent advocate and writer in Arlington, VA. She has published work in Washington Post’s “On Parenting,” Huffington Post, First for Women, Motherwell, Parenting Pod, and many other publications. She loves story-telling, particularly when it comes to exploring families and relationships. Gina Hagler writes narrative nonfiction for children and adults. Topics covered include Ada Lovelace, quantum physics, aliens, and STEM. She also writes about biotech, healthtech, and agtech for a variety of publications. More about her at: www.ginahagler.com.

the literary anthology A More Perfect Union: Poems and Stories about the Modern Wedding (St. Martin’s Press). She holds an M.F.A. from American University and is on the creative writing faculty at George Washington University. GG Renee Hill is an author and advocate for self-discovery through writing. She has published a free verse memoir about heartbreak and healing, a book of short essays for quiet women who want to be heard, and a mindfulness workbook for self-reflection and personal growth. More about her at: allthemanylayers.com. Kathryn Johnson’s 40+ published novels (finalist for the Agatha Award, winner of Heart of Excellence and Bookseller’s Best Awards), include historical fiction (e.g., The Gentleman Poet, wherein Shakespeare escapes to the New World aboard a ship bound for disaster) and contemporary suspense. The Extreme Novelist (nonfiction) is the text based on her courses at The Smithsonian Associates and The Writer’s Center. Kathryn’s premium mentoring services can be found at: www. KathrynJohnsonLLC.com.

LEADERS

Aaron Hamburger is the author of the novels Nirvana is Here and Faith for Beginners, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. He was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his story collection The View from Stalin’s Head. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Poets & Writers, and Tin House among others. He received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.

A 30-year professional speaker, and threetime Bestselling author with books translated in over a dozen languages, Rob Jolles coaches and mentors business authors from around the country. His designed approach and manuscript development process have been successful in the production of numerous conventionally published business books. Now in it’s 4th edition, his bestselling book, How to Run Seminars & Workshops has now been on the shelves for over 25 years. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. More about him at: www.jolles.com.

Judith Harris is the author of three books of poetry, Night Garden, The Bad Secret, Atonement, and the acclaimed critical book, Signifying Pain: Constructing and Healing the Self Through Writing. Her poetry has appeared in The Nation, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Slate, The New York Times blog, Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, and the syndicated column “American Life in Poetry,” among many other anthologies and journals. She has taught at several universities in the D.C. area and has been a resident seminar leader at Frost Place and the University of North Iowa.

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum, (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including The Literary Nest, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Glass, Beltway Poetry, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, and Connecticut River Review. She is also the author of forty books for young readers. More about her at: www. jacquelinejules.com.

2019 Pushcart Prize nominee Virginia Hartman has published work in the Hudson Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Potomac Review, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly, among others. She is the co-editor of

Christine Koubek’s award-winning essays and stories have appeared in The Washington Post; Poets & Writers; Brain, Child; Bethesda; Chautauqua literary journal, and more. She received an M.F.A. in Creative

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The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

WORKSHOP LEADERS

The Writer’s Center Writing from Fairfield University, as well as residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and The Ragdale Foundation. Con Lehane has published five novels and a number of short stories. His next book, Murder Off the Page will appear in November 2019. Others in the series are Murder at the 42nd Street Library and Murder in the Manuscript Room. Recent stories are in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Christopher Linforth has published work in The Millions, Fiction International, Notre Dame Review, Gargoyle, Day One, and Descant, among other magazines. He has been awarded fellowships and scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Peter Mandel is the author of eleven books for children including Jackhammer Sam (Macmillan), Zoo Ah-Choooo (Holiday House), Bun, Onion, Burger (Simon & Schuster), Planes at the Airport (Scholastic), and Say Hey! A Song of Willie Mays (Hyperion). He’s a regular contributor to the travel sections of The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Huffington Post. More about him at: www.petermandel.net. Nina Budabin McQuown is a poet, zine-maker, teacher, and editor from Washington, D.C. Ariel mendez is an author/illustrator with a background in public policy and international studies. Her debut picture book, Fear and a Friend, was launched on Kickstarter and selected as a Kickstarter “Project We Love.” Upcoming titles include Hair Like Me (Heather Burris/Ariel Mendez) and Dear God (Reina Dovelier/Ariel Mendez). Ariel is a member of the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators, where she has presented on self-publishing and book marketing. More about her at: arielmendez.com. Alyce Miller is the award-winning author of four books of fiction and one book of nonfiction, as well as more than 250 essays, short stories, poems, articles, and book reviews. She is Professor Emerita from the English Department and Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Indiana University-Bloomington. More about her at: www.alycemillerwriter. com. Marianne Murphy is a Boston-based poet, animator, performer, and teaching art-

ist. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Highlights for Children, LADYBUG, and CICADA. She holds an M.F.A in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA, where she studied visual poetry. Alicia Oltuski’s work has appeared on NPR’s Berlin Stories, Tin House magazine, Glimmer Train magazine, W magazine, and other publications. She has been included in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers series and received a David Berg Foundation Fellowship at Columbia University, where she received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Chris Palmer is an author, speaker, film producer, and retired professor who has written six books, including a 700-page book of letters to his daughters. More about him at: www.ChrisPalmerOnline.com.

his path to publication and strives to help others on the journey. He also teaches elementary art and lives with his wife in Rockville, MD. Ellen ryan has been published in AARP, Outside, Good Housekeeping, USNews.com, Washingtonian, ForbesLife Executive Woman, Sister2Sister, and many other regional/ national publications and published a book based in part on years of specialized articles. Lynn Schwartz is a story development editor and ghostwriter. Her plays have been performed in New York City, including Lincoln Center. She founded the Temple Bar Literary Reading Series in NYC, has received two Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council, and taught fiction at St. John’s College.

Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 27 award-winning children’s books (Brother, Sister, Me and You; Pirate vs. Pirate; Jo MacDonald Hiked in the Woods). She teaches in the M.F.A. program in writing for children at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a popular school and conference speaker. More about her at: www.maryquattlebaum.com.

Cara Seitchek has written grant proposals for local, state, and national nonprofit organizations. She has also evaluated proposals for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History program, American Association of Museums, and the Maryland State Arts Council. She has an M.A. in writing from The Johns Hopkins University.

Ann Quinn’s poetry was selected by Stanley Plumly as first place winner in the 2015 Bethesda Literary Arts Festival poetry contest, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work is published in Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, and other journals and is included in the anthology Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women. Her chapbook, “Final Deployment,” is published by Finishing Line Press. More about her at: www.annquinn.net.

Lisa Jan Sherman is an actor and improvisational acting and cognitive skills coach. She has been a member of AFTRA, and SAG for over 35 years. Lisa received a B.A. in Theatre and Speech at University of Maryland. She is a founding member of ‘NOW THIS!, the totally improvised, musical comedy troupe. Lisa co-developed the ‘Act As If’ program and with Laura McAlpine co-wrote ‘ACT AS IF’ (improvisational activities for better social communication).

Gregory Robison (B.A. Yale University; MBA, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France) was Executive Director at The Writer’s Center for four years, and has offered versions of “Life Sentences” at Georgetown University and elsewhere. His began his illustrated journal, now at 108 manuscript volumes, almost 50 years ago, in the winter of 1969.

Willona Sloan is a writer, editor, and literary host. She has led writing workshops and hosted literary events in the US, Canada, and Iceland. In 2019, she curated the international art project Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture.

Samantha Paige Rosen earned her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Bylines include The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, The Week, Bustle, Hypertext Magazine, Beautiful Minds Magazine, Necessary Fiction, LUMINA, and My Body, My Words: A Collection of Bodies (Big Table Publishing, 2018). More about her at: samanthapaigerosen.com. Jonathan Roth is the author-illustrator of the chapter book series Beep and Bob. He credits The Writer’s Center courses as part of

Marilyn Smith has a PhD in Education Policy/Higher Education and an M.A. in Reading Education. She has taken numerous writing classes from The Writer’s Center, and has taught a wide variety of courses/workshops/seminars in the area since 1969. Marilyn retired a few years ago and has recently published two books—her memoir and an anthology of medical memoirs. Laura Stinson is a printmaker and puppeteer from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mathangi Subramanian, Ed.D., is a writer, educator, and the author of A People’s

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

History of Heaven In 2016, her novel, Dear Mrs. Naidu, won the South Asia Book Award and was shortlisted for the Hindu-Goodbooks Prize. Pamela Toutant is a creative writing teacher and a widely published creative non-fiction writer. Her work has appeared in numerous national and local publications, including, Salon, Ms. Magazine, Slate, The Washington Post, Redbook, The Washingtonian Magazine, Applause Magazine, and Bethesda Magazine. Joan Waites has illustrated more than 40 children’s books and most recently has written and illustrated A Colorful Tail: Finding Monet at Giverny and An Artist’s Night Before Christmas. She teaches arts classes for children at her private studio and speaks frequently at schools and conferences. Hank Wallace, a Columbia Law School graduate, was a government reporter for New Jersey’s Middletown Courier and Red Bank Daily Register, and the assistant director of law-school publishing for Matthew Bender. He wrote the FCC’s plain-language newsletter and newswriting tips for the Radio Television Digital News Association. More about him at: www.wsln.com. Richard Washer, M.F.A., serves as Associate Artistic Director and First Draft Resident Playwright at The Rose Theatre Company. His produced full-length plays include Missa, Of a Sunday Morning, Monkeyboy (co-written with Keith Bridges and Chris Stezin), The Fetish, Getting It, and Quartet. Most recently, his new play, The Migrant received a reading at First Draft in March 2019. More about him at: www.richardwasher.com. John Weiskopf is an adjunct professor at American University. He received his M.F.A. from UCLA Graduate Film School. He has written eleven scripts for feature films, and one novel The Ascendancy from which he wrote the adapted script. He wrote the episodic television series for the novel which is in development in Hollywood. Michele Wolf is the author of Immersion, Conversations During Sleep (Anhinga Prize for Poetry), and The Keeper of Light. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Hudson Review, North American Review, The Southern Review, and numerous other literary journals and anthologies, as well as on Poets.org, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. Wolf serves as a contributing editor for Poet Lore. More about her at: michelewolf.com.

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LEADERS

WORKSHOP LEADERS


An interview with novelist Julie Langsdorf By Rachel Cain

J

ulie Langsdorf has spent much of her life in the Washington, DC area—granting her first-hand knowledge of the social dynamics within communities in the surrounding area. This insider knowledge is clearly evident in White Elephant (HarperCollins, 2019), her debut novel. White Elephant, which was named one of the 12 new books to watch out for in March by The New York Times, features a fictionalized DC suburb embroiled in a debate about development. Julie kindly took the time to speak with me about her writing life and growing up in DC. I understand you drew inspiration for your novel from a series of articles you read about disputes in DC neighborhoods. To what extent did you draw on these stories while writing the book? The stories were a jumping-off point for me. The situations fascinated me because they were such

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a far cry from the way people feel when someone initially moves into a neighborhood. Neighbors usually invite them to town with cookies—but in the situations I was reading about, they wanted to kill each other. It was interesting to imagine how people might go from here to there. Human behavior is so fascinating.

Fires Everywhere was selling like crazy, so there was a hunger for neighborhood dramas. We also had a new president and the country was very divided, just as the town is in the fictional Willard Park.

You completed White Elephant around 2008, and faced challenges finding a publisher. In 2018, you easily located a publisher. How has timing affected this book’s publication? How, if at all, did that waiting period affect the book, and how did it affect you as a writer?

I wanted to encourage a conversation about the reality of human behavior and frailty, and the best way to do that, for me, was to think about the comic and tragic aspects of life. I hope readers will reflect on the underlying issues, the way humans can be kind of ridiculous, but also sweet and vulnerable: we all feel fear and shame and all of the other emotions even if we claim otherwise. We are all so similar, though we may appear to be quite different. I felt I needed both the comic and the serious to accomplish that.

It’s so hard to know exactly why something happens when it does. In large part, I think the book finally got into the right hands. Suzanne Gluck, my amazing agent whom I started working with in October 2017, picked it up out of the slush pile, and she quickly got it to my equally amazing editor, Megan Lynch, at Ecco. Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies had had such success on HBO not long before I sent it out, and Celeste Ng’s Little The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

Your novel broaches serious topics and situations while maintaining an air of wit and comedy. How do you balance this tension between the serious and the comedic in your writing?

Throughout the text, you switch between various characters’ voices. This technique offers a rich texture to the storyline in which many people feel

misunderstood and/or harbor secrets. What creative opportunities did writing from various viewpoints offer you? What challenges did you face in writing from so many perspectives? I love writing from multiple perspectives. I’ve tried to write from just one, but I can’t seem to manage more than a short story. I mean, why restrict yourself to one point of view when you can see inside all of your characters’ heads? I’m interested in the difference between what goes on within a person and what they choose to present to the world, and the ways we struggle to communicate. Sometimes working with so many characters is a little like a three-ring circus. Actually, there are many more rings than that in this book. As the author, it’s my job to keep track of them all, even if I can’t keep them all in line. Some days they are more cooperative than others. When reading the book, I found myself forming judgements and opinions about certain characters that were upended once I read a section from that character’s point of view. In what ways is the reader complicit in the assumptions that cause such fierce disputes in the neighborhood? I’m so glad to hear that your opinion changed once you read from the perspectives of different characters! That’s one of my goals.

We can’t read each others’ minds, but we try to, and usually we read them wrong, misunderstanding why others do what they do, and guessing incorrectly about what they are feeling. I don’t know that the reader is complicit, but I hope they will have a better understanding of how seemingly small issues can take on greater import. Several main characters are mothers and fathers. It seems motherhood has particularly affected the women’s lives and livelihoods— especially in terms of added responsibility and a sense of disconnect from their envisioned ideal lives—that is not immediately evident for the men. Why did you choose to emphasize this element of the women’s lives? I think it still tends to be harder for women to create a work-family balance that satisfies them. This is changing, certainly, but for so many years women were responsible for the home and children, even when they had other work they had to do, and men, for the most part, were encouraged to focus on bringing an income home. This struggle, to be there for your young children as much as you’d like to be, but also to fulfill the other needs and wants in your life is something that I think many women continue to struggle with. Certainly it’s true for the women in my book. Much of the conflict in this book centers on the tension between different people’s

for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

concepts of what a “community” should be, both in terms of relationships and aesthetics. These are dynamics neighborhoods still face today. What do you hope readers take away from the novel? What sort of conversations do you hope it sparks? It’s so easy to vilify the people we think of as ‘other,’ and we seem to be doing it more and more these days. As humans we share so many of the same feelings, and we all want to feel connected and loved; but we’re not very good at expressing these feelings. In the book I hope to convey the idea that people, even those we disagree with, are not all that different from us. I’d love for White Elephant to contribute to the conversation about getting along in this very divided world. Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring writers? For me, it helps to work every day, even if it’s just for a little while. It’s best to sit down at the same time each day, if you can, to get into the habit. Read a lot. Deconstruct passages and even entire books to figure out what the writer is doing, if you like doing that sort of thing. Eavesdrop wherever you go. Take out your earbuds and be present or you’ll miss all the good stuff. Most importantly, keep at it. It took me thirty years to get my first novel published. You read that right: thirty! Be the little engine that could.

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POET LORE

Kensington’s 14th annual  

Day​ ​of the ​Book Festival  

Rain or Shine

Live Music ​*​ Poetry Readings  

*​ ​Special Guest Speakers ​*

Children’s Program & Activities ​*

*​ Chess *​ ​Cooking Demos *​ ​ ​Food Trucks *​ ​and much more! Family friendly ... something for everyone!   

www.dayofthebook.com

kensingtonbookfestival19@gmail.com * 301-949-9416   Co-hosted by the Town of Kensington and the Pauli Bellet Catalan Library 

N a d i a A n j u m a n D i a n a A r t e r i a n N a o m i Ay a l a Tr a c i Brimhall Lauren Camp Susan Cohen Michael Collier Barbara Crooker Cornelius Eady Ke r r y Ja m e s E va n s M a t t h ew G e l l m a n To ny G l o e g g l e r Sonia Greenfield Myronn Hardy Judith Harris L is a Beec h H a r t z Ho l ly K a r a p etkova Dav i d Lehm a n Carol Lisc hau Rebecca Macijeski David McAleavey Alysse McCanna Carol McMahon Marina Omar Linda Pastan Matt Prater Anne Pr ice Zara Raab J a m e s R a g a n L e e R o s s i H ay d e n S a u n i e r J a n e S h o r e R . T. S m i t h S u e S o n g R i c h a r d S p i l m a n K u r t Steinwand Kathleen Sullivan Carolyn Supinka J a s o n Ta n d o n A d a m Ta v e l Brian Swann R o d n e y To r r e s o n L e s l e y W h e e l e r M i k e W h i t e M a r y - S h e r m a n W i l l i s Te r e n c e W i n c h

It is often said that poets write poems because they are struck by inspiration. From typing full drafts and editing by hand $10.00 to writing notes on their phones or scraps of napkins, our Pushcart Prize nominees found different ways to channel that inspiration. Rebecca Foust, whose poem “The Dream of the Rood” was nominated this year, was inspired by an Old English dream poem of the same title, which she read as a freshman at Smith College. “I had not before felt that kind of intimate connection with the author of a piece of writing,” she says. “I’ve come to associate that experience with a number of things: a door opening to literature and to the world, and a door opening to show me the way out of a place that had its beauties but also sometimes felt dysfunc-

Schroeder says that even something as small as changing the tense of a single word in the poem can change the way the poem reads. “These revisions made the poem more fully itself. It’s wonderful as a writer to find editors who understand your vision for a piece and can help you achieve it,” she says.

Volume 114 Number 1/2

Howard Avenue Old Town Kensington, MD    Over 80 authors!  Plus book vendors, artists,  groups, and publishers    

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ach year, Poet Lore nominates six poems for the annual Pushcart Prize, an award that honors “the best of the small presses” and compiles an annual anthology of the selected winners. This year, we interviewed three of our nominated poets to discuss their poems, writing habits, and the impact of editing their work with executive editors Jody Bolz and E. Ethelbert Miller.

POET LORE

STREET FESTIVAL 

By Emily Holland, Managing Editor, Poet Lore

Spring/Summer 2019

Sunday, April 28 11-4pm 

Poet Lore’s Pushcart nominees on Craft, Inspiration, and Editing

A 2nd Century of New Writing

tional, moribund, and without opportunities.” Corinna McClanahan Schroeder, nominated for “A Brief History of the Train,” says her poem arrived in her head nearly fully formed before she actually typed it out. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t editing required. As editors, Bolz and Miller have always built relationships with the poets they select for each issue. This goes beyond an acceptance letter and contract, with the editors and poets often communicating back and forth multiple times about line edits for each poem.

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And while Bolz and Miller made their suggestions, the poets always had an opportunity to weigh in with their own decisions and intentions. Gregory Orfalea, whose nominated piece “Poem for the Unspeakable” is one of the longest published in Poet Lore, says that while he didn’t always take all of their suggestions, he appreciated the careful attention to detail. “Jody was terrific. She went line by line, sometimes word by word. She loved the poem right off and paid it the respect of strong attention,” he says. “I wanted to be bold.” “Poem for the Unspeakable,” a fourteen-part piece written as an address to the speaker’s sons, came in the wake of personal tragedy and despair.

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POET LORE “For many years—decades really—after the family tragedy I stopped sending poems out and in fact wrote far fewer,” Orfalea says. “I think my emotional breath was taken away. So to have this very long poem slowly construct itself was very different and perhaps an indicator I was coming back to life.” Orfalea wasn’t the only one to try something new. Foust, who wrote her nominated poem shortly after completing her book of sonnets, Paradise Drive (Press 53, 2015), was attempting to break away from the sonnet form. The end result was a poem with long-lined couplets, each flowing together with pulsing rhythm and strong enjambments. Schroeder also chose couplets

for her poem. Though she says she feels she over-uses the form in the early drafts of her poems, the form with this poem mirrors the subject matter. “I think that the couplets in this poem work because they participate in the doubleness at the heart of the poem: the two bodies of the speaker and the ‘you,’ the two rails of the train tracks held always just apart,” she says. For now, these poets are continuing with their writing and waiting to hear back from Pushcart Press regarding their nominations. In the meantime, their work can be read this spring in publications including Crab Orchard Review, Presence, and North American Review.

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Rebecca Foust

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TRAIN Corinna McClanahan Schroeder

The mines were abandoned, silk mills closed, the railroad reduced to one line, one long low wail at 2 am. The town’s reason, gone. Stripper pit/strawberries/stripper pit/corn. Coke-caked smokestacks, brick pink in morning sun. Hollow train barns, canals silted in. Stores boarded up, stained-glass fan windows still parsing light, the dance pavilion’s million small panes chalked white. Sick rivers and orchards, stick thickets in ground gummed with tar. Each corner’s bar facing a church, the horizon’s broad band of blue mountains gashed by gravel where the power went in. Or where, the tale tells, a giant was crushed by the burst sack of his own greed: each stolen child replaced by a stone and the sack re-sewn by the last one to leave, a girl with sharp shears who knew when not to knot the thread. I wanted to be the girl with the small sharp shears who could balance a child with a stone, who knelt in a glade and laid sticks at right angles to build her own house where the violets, her friends, had tender faces and leaves.

Before the train, there was no station, no stroke of rising steam. No black engine waiting. No conductor’s orb of lamplight. Before the train, there was no parting, your face not yet framed in the carriage window and my hand longing across. No whistle, no jolt of the journey beginning, no cars sliding past, my figure platform-bound and small. Before the train, no iron miles stretched ahead, no steeple or reaped field marking your distance from this city, soot falling above no station’s glass roof. Before the train, you were here, and we wandered the rain-slick streets, your body like a rail— hot and bound to mine with cross-ties.

Woodland paths ferned and footed with teaberry and mayapple, supplicant moss raising small ochre cups to catch rain, and always the rain, or clouds sodden with the idea of it, pressing down. Home was where I went to be alone. Fourteen elbows at table, seven faces in one mirror, a babble and blur in which each tended his or her bright bubble of silence alone—my mother deep in her book, my father in his sweated bottle, my brother’s visions of splintered dry ice, my sisters tranced and speaking in tongues—I lived in a world traced by the footprints of sparrows on snow but narrated myself an English orphan with imaginary and very small friends. “Honey, I’m worried for you,” my mother said. “People like us just get knocked down.” My brother and I ran in the hot dark to hide, hoping not to be found; we played Statues; we played games that taught us, when touched, to freeze. The first poet I understood had been dead for twelve centuries when I read what was written in stone, in the language of tree and pain, and a voice with no name called out to me, called me alive across time; he or she called me, and I began to remember it all.

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The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

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POET LORE

POET LORE

The Writer’s Center

The Art of Observation

Job Interview Jona Colson, from Said Through Glass

A review of Jona Colson’s debut poetry collection

Thank you for coming. Did you have a hard time finding our office? If I close my eyes, I can turn into a dove—star-crossed and searching in the sun.

By Emily Holland

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inner of the 2018 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize, Jona Colson’s Said Through Glass is a window through which we, as readers, peek into a world of grief, conversations, and daily investigations. His conversational poems weave together themes of loss and perception, taking the personal and making it public. Dialogue poems like the “Doctor to Patient” series and “Passport Control” take a surrealist approach to human interaction and give readers the sense of eavesdropping on an intimate discussion. Questions like “What are your plans?” and “How did you sleep?” are accompanied by answers that delve into the speakers’ psyche and subvert readers’ expectations. Often, the responses appear to avoid the questions altogether. The answer to “How long will you be here?” is not a length of time, but rather “It depends on what you consider love? It could be days, or something brief / said through glass . . .” These conversations can only exist in the world of Colson’s collection, where readers are always looking (or listening) in.

Said Through Glass is marked by poems like “From the Wrist and Reaches,” a peaceful reflection of a father. Colson’s speaker is full of grief, but also conveys an over-

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Why are you interested in this position? They say the man who invented the steam engine was inspired by watching a tea kettle.

whelming sense of calm, allowing readers to step into the narrative world of his poems. He writes “It is hard to remember him, / but I can see my father in his quiet August: / a young man, handsome and blue-eyed . . .” The tone is somber, but the measured reflection is tranquil. The poem “Honey” acts as a microscope with which we investigate the familiar. Colson’s descriptions turn an ordinary drop of honey into something “too thick to understand.” Later, in an imaginative poem “The Orange Speaks,” Colson’s speaker is an orange on a branch, ruminating on being plucked from the tree. In the third section of the book, Colson offers a poetic re-imagination of Diego Velázquez’ famous painting “Las Meninas,” bringing to life the various “characters” of the painting. Just as the painting itself has been subject to pages of “spectator” commentary from the likes of cultural theorists Michel Foucault and Anne Carson, readers are turned into spectators as they move through this section. Point of view is the crux of the painting, and as each poem introduces a new speaker, we see how these various perspectives are animated outside the world of the art: one The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

Describe the best boss you’ve ever had. Patience and happiness—like discovering a new species. Best qualities? I’ve been told that I blush easily in the afternoon. Weaknesses? There is something pith-edged and bitter about infidelity.

child plays hopscotch outside to entertain the princess, another comforts her at night. Each poem is like a new painting unto itself— the language of watching, looking, and observation occupy the foreground of these vignettes. This “spectacle-as-observation,” to borrow a phrase from Foucault, is a defining factor of Colson’s collection. As he writes in “VI. Don Diego Velázquez,” the sixth poem in this series, “Every point in space is crucial, the relationships / between the subject and the sound . . .” Colson’s lively ekphrastic poems tie the entire collection together. Poem after poem, the reader is charged with the active role of looking—just as the title suggests these poems can be something “said through glass,” it also invokes the act of observing through glass, be it a window or a microscope or even the frame of a painting.

There are gaps in your resume. It wasn’t my intention to mislead you. Why are you planning to leave your current position? My mother taught me that meat is cooked when bone is removed easily from flesh. What do you do in your spare time? Kisses often fall and stain like pollen in a breeze. Tell me one thing about yourself that is not on your resume. I once looked into the heart of an artichoke—its core was thistle and stem. No temptation and so far from its purple blossom. What will you do if the position is not offered to you? A cold bud shivers inside—not a breath or bee in sight. If our roles were reversed, what questions would you ask? Could we start again? I know now what requires a light touch. May we contact your references? In late August, the heat no longer wins and September means new shoes. Any questions for me? These bones are not bones of an animal—there is no marrow, only tamed fruit in a glass bowl.

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From Inner Critic to Publication A first-time novelist’s journey By Bill Raskin In those quiet times, reading offered a prime mental outlet. A good story gave an escape to somewhere entirely different from the moment. Depending on the book, reading offered relaxation, inspiration, or education. I’ve never lost appreciation for the ability of writing to take us into a new world, shown through the author’s eyes.

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ate February saw the publication of my first novel, Cardiac Gap. It’s a mixed-genre story that starts with an America facing amplified versions of today’s strife, adds the intrigue of a corrupt power broker, and turns up the heat until dystopian-like fractures emerge. As a retired Army Special Forces officer, I “wrote what I knew” by following several special operations characters who fight to reverse the country’s downward slide. During twenty years of active military service, I often looked to creative writing and writing for publication as aspirational future goals. It seemed a natural evolution. Deployments to Africa, the Middle East, and other locales brought frenetic operational tempo punctuated with long periods of downtime.

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When active duty ended several years ago, I began thinking more and more about taking the leap into writing. In late 2015, I announced to our family that I would begin seriously working on this goal. Armed with enthusiasm, determination, a laptop, and supplies, I began exploratory forays in our basement. Here I met the enemy, and he was the inner critic. For the next two years, effort remained stuck in the first three thousand words. Topic after topic, story after story, the inner critic took over and shut things right down. It got pretty demoralizing after a time. Like many DC-area professionals, I wrote thousands and thousands of words throughout my career. Why was creative writing so hard? Watching this at play, my everloving wife had a suggestion. Why The Writer’s Guide Summer 2019

not check out The Writer’s Center? As a fairly recent transplant to Bethesda, I’d never heard of it. In the fall of 2017, I began researching the website in earnest. In December of that year, a consult session with Kathryn Johnson convinced me that the Center’s resources and her coaching were exactly what I needed. The 2018 writing year opened with participation in Kathryn’s “Extreme Novelist” workshop. She gave our cohort the guidance and confidence to “write forward” toward completion of a manuscript. In this approach, writers must keep moving through their first draft and not go back to edit. While writing forward, we also received lessons to improve our efforts with dialogue, scene setting, and other necessary tools. I could hear the inner critic in the shadows, ready to pounce at first opportunity. But Kathryn’s coaching kept him at bay long enough to get through each day’s work. Continuing to write forward in the story, there was always one more scene to craft, the next plot point to reach. By the end of March, I had 55,000 words of a perfectly beautiful – i.e. perfectly ugly – first draft for Cardiac Gap. The ugly first draft baby gave momentum to keep pressing forward. Late

spring and summer saw several more drafts under Kathryn’s tutelage. She had also encouraged our cohort to attend industry conferences, to learn more about the dynamics of modern-day publishing. My wife and I attended Thrillerfest New York in July. It offered an amazing education and cemented my decision to publish independently (i.e. self-publish). As summer transitioned to fall, the effort progressed to building a wonderful team of freelance support. Copy editors, graphic designers, and formatters all provided expertise and were gracious enough to educate along the

way. Friends helped beta-read the middle drafts, and more friends showed up to advance read the final draft. At final count, nine professionals and dozens of volunteer readers helped carry the book across the finish line. Of course, only readers can determine the merit of this first novel. I am a new writer with much more to learn. I am motivated in the knowledge that there is no end to honing and improving this craft. And I am extremely grateful for the resource that The Writer’s Center provides to our community. As of this writing, I have returned to Kathryn’s

winter/spring Extreme Novelist seminar. I am working through ugly first drafts of new short form material. These drafts serve as reconnaissance patrols, searching for the next full-length book project. It is terrifying once more, and that feels great. Bill Raskin served as a career Army Special Forces officer, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years on active duty. A native of Dallas, Texas, he now lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his loving wife, a wonderful teen, and an awesome dog. For more information about Cardiac Gap, visit billraskin.com.

House for Sale Jona Colson, from Said Through Glass Thank you for coming to the open house. Outside I saw the flagstones moving like heads in a Picasso painting—black beetles for eyes. The house was built in 1885. The space unpeopled yet so alive. The sky torn off but still dusted with clouds. There are three bedrooms and two full baths. My father died in his bed, silent and cooling like the steel kettle my mother used for tea. There is a new heating and cooling system. I can’t translate summers and winters into another language. You have views of downtown. I sometimes see my life as a wolf—galloping toward an open window, listening to the moon move. Only a ten-minute walk to the metro. The moon makes a soft hissing sound. You can hear through the doors. No way out or in. The day will come when my feet leave this floor. Take them with softness in your hands. Feel free to make an offer. When I was five, I ran through a glass door. It cut me before I had a chance to cry. The owners are willing to negotiate. I feel like an oyster building a pearl around a grain of sand. There are some truths I don’t own. for the most up-to-date news and information, visit www.writer.org

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BOOK TALK Glorious Times: Adventures of the Craighead Naturalists

Six AM in LA: A Yoga Journey Patricia Gavin

Tom Benjey farcountrypress.com/details.php?id=708

On Newbery-winner Jean Craighead George’s 100th anniversary, Glorious Times is of particular interest to Washingtonians. Jean and her twin brothers’ youths in DC, already famous as teenagers, receive emphasis. “What the Kennedys are to politics, the lessfamous Craigheads are to nature—a prolific and accomplished clan.” -Kirkus Reviews

Ghost Riders of Cumberland Gap Ron Chandler

If you ever wanted to gain more balance, strength, flexibility or greater concentration, then Six AM in LA offers motivation to start and maintain a yoga practice and encourages focus and personal self-realization. Gavin takes the reader on a journey through Bikram hot yoga teacher training from the East to the West Coast and beyond and fills the pages with more than breathing exercises and postures in a personal account of the power of developing a yoga practice. Gavin is a studio owner of Bikram Yoga Middleburg, Virginia.

Beowulf: Fragments

Mark Cymrot MarkCymrot.com

“A fascinating view inside what was perhaps our first modern financial meltdown. Cymrot’s meticulous account reads like a legal thriller—complete with larger-than-life characters, secret liaisons, and all the machinations we have come to expect from powerful defendants…Could this still happen today?” (Simon H. Johnson, former chief economist, International Monetary Fund) Buy on Amazon.

Fatal Amendment Rick Farrell

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a

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t

Translated by Stephen O. Glosecki, edited by John M. Hill, with a foreword by Marijane Osborn.

Thrym & Ellen

This is a new translation of sections of the poem, accompanied by alliterative prose links from section to section. The passages of half-line by half-line translation are uniquely faithful to the ancient diction, stress, and ongoing, phrasal rhythm of the Old English epic.

The Art of Singing Onstage and in the Studio Jennifer Hamady FindingYourVoice.com

Commanding a stage, captivating an audience, overcoming performance anxiety, and working with microphones are all addressed in Hamady’s third book. A must read for professional speakers and singers, as well as anyone interested in enhancing their communication confidence, comfort, and effectiveness on or off the stage.

The Dance Man Stephen Hayes ROMANCE

Long-time bachelor, Mortimer Boozer has been drifting comfortably––perhaps too comfortably––through his aimless life in south Alabama. His time is spent working as little as possible, fishing and drinking. Mort needs a purpose in life, a loving wife and a relationship with the Almighty, whom he alternatively fears and ridicules.

He and his sister, divorcee Weenie Boozer, move in with their elderly Aunt Magnolia Boozer Paxton. The oddly matched trio rumble around her antebellum home, sparring and spatting. While the dementia-laden aunt grows to dislike her oddball nephew, Weenie, the only responsible adult in the old home, struggles to care for the crusty aunt and hold things together.

The riveting story of two sisters, one raised in America, the other in South Korea, and the family that bound them together even as the Korean War kept them apart. Inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.

Karen Levi Born into a middle class Jewish family in 1927, Eva, my mother, was safe in Berlin until the Nazis took power. She and her family fled Berlin, on a slow boat to China, months before war broke out. They lived in dangerous circumstances, for 8 1/2 years, in Shanghai. Mother and grandmother, survivors of the ordeal, emigrated to the U.S. in 1948. The memoir is written from a daughter’s perspective, enabling the reader to appreciate the lasting effects of trauma from World War 2. LOVE AND LUCK

A Young Woman’s Journey from Berlin to Shanghai to San Francisco

Karen Levi

50 After 50 Maria Leonard Olsen MariaLeonardOlsen.com

At age 50, lawyer/journalist Olsen decided to try 50 new things. As a woman in recovery, she values the time she has left, and urges readers to do the same via spiritual endeavors, thrill-seeking ventures, lifestyle changes and more. Her message of embracing life to the fullest is an inspiring read, especially for those in middle age.

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Love and Luck: A young woman’s journey from Berlin to Shanghai to San Francisco

Thrym & Ellen Press, 2018

A delightful, funny Southern novel. Mort Boozer and his divorcee sister move in with their aging, addled aunt. The oddly matched threesome rumble around the Alabama antebellum house, sparring and

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While fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, a terrifying storm, seemingly brought on by the punishing Hand of the Almighty, motivates Mort to attend the Ladies’ Bible Study. From Mort’s perspective, God was a no-show at the meeting, but someone else was present who would change his life. Further calamitous events, including two deaths and three unpredicted marriages, totally upend and rearrange the Boozer clan. Through it all, there is the ephemeral, mysterious presence of the Dance Man.

STEPHEN HAYES is the author of two previous novels, Light on Dark Water, and Missing Letters. He lives with his wife in Alexandria, Virginia and Lewes, Delaware.

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Beowulf

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Two violent deaths, a brazen corporate scheme to protect profits, and an unwitting young couple drawn into a search for answers, collide in a story of Washington. A compelling mystery and richly informed portrayal of life in the nation’s capital. Available at Politics and Prose, in stores, and online.

The Kinship of Secrets

Karen Levi

Squeezing Silver

Translated by Stephen O. Glosecki, edited by John M. Hill, with a forward by Marijane Osborn

spatting. The tale unfolds with the discovery of unknown progeny, wild fishing ventures and other twists and turns. Through it all, lurk nagging questions about the Almighty. Who is He? Where is He? And what is He up to really?

LOVE AND LUCK

Colter, a teenage boy with cancer, becomes an actionadventure hero in this novel about a Native American Indian tribe known as the Monacans. After crossing through a time portal, he shares many adventures with them including hunting, fishing, horseback riding, exploring the wilderness, and protecting the land from marauding settlers. Available at Amazon.com

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The Writer's Guide - Summer 2019  

Featuring interviews with Kayla Rae Whitaker and Julie Langsdorf, an excerpt from Stephanie Allen’s new novel, a review of Jona Colson’s deb...

The Writer's Guide - Summer 2019  

Featuring interviews with Kayla Rae Whitaker and Julie Langsdorf, an excerpt from Stephanie Allen’s new novel, a review of Jona Colson’s deb...

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