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E VENTS

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W ORKSHOPS

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W or kshop & Ev e nt Gu id e

First Novel Prize Recipient Karen Thompson Walker

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First Novel Prize

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Win te r 2013-20 14


The Writer’s Center Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014 www.writer.org

dEPArTMENTS

Editor

dirECTOr’S NOTE

bOOK TALK

EVENTS

dONOrS

WOrKSHOPS:

Mía r. Cortez

mia.cortez@writer.org

Graphic Design

Virtually detailed, inc.

rEGiSTrATiON

Schedule

Ad Design Contributors

LAST WOrd

descriptions

Judson battaglia

FEATUrES

Editorial Contributors

Joan Atchinson

Self-publishing pros shared their expertise and experiences at the sold-out Publish Now! seminar.

Kim O’Connell Teresa burns Murphy Holly Saunders Helle Slutz

An interview with poet Tarfia Faizulah, who has been widely recognized as an emerging voice in the national poetry community.

Tarfia Faizullah

Ellyn Wexler Photography

Mía r. Cortez Austen Mathews Copyeditors Laura Spencer

Leesburg First Fridays events include winter warm-up exercises and more.

Ellyn Wexler Contact Us

Cultivating a Cuban-American Connection: Elizabeth Huergo and The Death of Fidel Perez

4508 Walsh Street bethesda, Md 20815

Good Company: Quotidian Theatre Company reflects on 16 years at The Writer’s Center.

301-654-8664 (p) 240-223-0458 (f) Writer.org

All about The Writer’s Center’s workshop leaders.

Join the conversation: Facebook.com/writerscenter Twitter: @writerscenter

Facing your Fears: Overcoming shyness in workshop settings. Cover Image Photo Credit: Ramin Talaie

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he riter’s enter cultivates the creation, publication, presentation and dissemination of literary work. We are an independent literary organization with a global reach, rooted in a dynamic community of writers. As one of the premier centers of its kind in the country, we believe the craft of writing is open to people of all backgrounds and ages. Writing is interdisciplinary and unique among the arts for its ability to touch on all aspects of the human experience. It enriches our lives and opens doors to knowledge and understanding. The Writer’s Center is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible. A copy of our current financial statement is available upon request. Contact The Writer’s Center at 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815. Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State for the cost of copying and postage. Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

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AbOUT US

The Writer’s Center

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

Arlington

Executive Director

Managing Editor of Poet Lore

Cultural Affairs building 3700 South Four Mile run drive Arlington, VA 22206 arlingtonarts.org

Stewart Moss

Genevieve deLeon

Assistant Director

Office Manager

Sunil Freeman

Laura Spencer

Capitol Hill

Program Manager

Business & Operations

Caitlin rizzo

rachel Cervarich John Hamilton Liz Maguire

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

Marketing & Publications Manager

Mía r. Cortez

Glen Echo Glen Echo Park 7300 MacArthur blvd. Glen Echo, Md 20812 glenechopark.org

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

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

Vice Chair: James Mathews Secretary: Patricia Harris

Ken Ackerman • Margot Backas • Linna Barnes • Naomi Collins Mark Cymrot • Michael Febrey • Neal Gillen • John M. Hill Jeff Kosseff • C.M. Mayo • Jim McAndrew • Ann McLaughlin E. Ethelbert Miller • Joram Piatigorsky • Bill Reynolds Mier Wolf, chair emer. • Wilson W. Wyatt, Jr.

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

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

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

Supported in part by:

Book Gallery TWC’s book gallery carries an extensive collection of literary magazines and books on craft. The Writer’s Center also gratefully acknowledges the support we receive from: The Tau Omega Foundation, The Kiplinger Foundation, The Bydale Foundation and Radar Collective.

4508 Walsh Street bethesda, Md 20815

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View online at www.writer.org/guide


director’s note

Photo by Kyle Semmel

“The little brig was close-hauled upon the wind, and lying over, as it then seemed to me, nearly upon her beam ends. The heavy head sea was beating against her bows with the noise and force almost of a sledgehammer, and flying over the deck, drenching us completely through.

Stewart Moss

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henever I’m asked to describe what we do at The Writer’s Center, I respond by saying, “For over 37 years, we’ve helped people tell their stories and find the best ways to write them.” As writers, but also as readers and listeners, we’re often transformed by the stories we tell, hear, and read. Growing up near Boston, not far from the Atlantic Ocean, I was an avid reader of all tales about life on the sea. Conrad, Melville, and London were among the authors I loved; they, along with The Odyssey and Two Years before the Mast by local author Richard Henry Dana, filled me with a yearning for adventure and exploration. How could I not be thrilled by the kind of vivid, energetic, and musical writing that flourished in the mid-nineteenth century as this passage from Dana’s memoir illustrates:

The topsail halyards had been let go, and the great sails were filling out and backing against the masts with a noise like thunder; the wind was whistling through the rigging; loose ropes were flying about; loud and, to me, unintelligible orders constantly given, and rapidly executed; and the sailors singing out at the ropes in their hoarse and peculiar strains.” In my early 20s, I set out on my own voyage of discovery that took me through some 35 countries and three continents, lasted five years, and forever changed my understanding of the world and my place in it. Please take a moment to ask yourself what the transformational power of stories has been in your own life and the role The Writer’s Center has played in this process. If, like me, you were helped to find your voice in one of our workshops or readings, I ask that you support the work we do at the Center by making a generous gift to the 2014 Annual

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

Fund before the calendar year ends in December. Workshop enrollment, memberships, rentals of the theatre, and other sources of earned revenue are simply not sufficient in themselves to keep the Center going. Nor are the grants we receive from government and private sources. We also depend on the generosity of our members and others in our community who have benefited from all the Center offers and appreciate the central role it has played in their lives. In the coming weeks, we’ll be featuring on our website and in our social media what our members, workshop leaders and others have told us about how specific stories have changed their lives. Our hope is that their accounts, which we’ve dubbed “Stories Transform Us,” will inspire you as writers and deepen your involvement in this wonderful and enduring literary community. With all best wishes for a terrific winter of writing,

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Changing Shape Walker uses short story as basis for debut novel By Mía R. Cortez

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hen the earth’s rotation slows and the days lengthen dramatically, one girl’s ordinary adolescent disasters are set against a backdrop of global catastrophe. Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel The Age of Miracles offers an intimate glimpse into a world - not unlike ours - changing faster than the blink of an eye. Born and raised in San Diego, California, where The Age of Miracles is set, Walker studied English and creative writing at UCLA. She received an MFA from Columbia University. While working as a book editor at Simon & Schuster in New York City, Walker often wrote while commuting to and from work. During a phone interview from Iowa, where she resides while her husband completes a residency at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Walker discussed her succesful first novel and its humble beginnings.

of scared me. I was in grad school, and I wrote a short story that tried to imagine what would happen. It was about 14 pages long, and ended up being the basis for the novel. How much of that story remains? Sometimes a short story ends up being the first or later chapter in the novel, but for me I used the same premise, the same setting and characters. So it was similar, but I ended up rewriting most of it. The first paragraphs were similar, as well as the voice, feeling and premise, but after that it’s very different. My original 14 pages contained months of action, whereas the first chapter is the first day. What other factual evidence did you use when envisioning ‘the slowing’?

How did your debut novel take shape?

I tried to do as much research as possible, and of course took some imaginative reach, but eventually I showed it to a natural physicist and I was relieved by how much of it he felt was realistic.

Shortly after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, I heard that the storm was so powerful that it affected the speed of the earth. It surprised and sort

There were a few small things that I had misunderstood - in my original draft gravity became weaker, but it would actually be ever so slightly

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stronger than it is now, so I was really grateful for him pointing that out. How long did it take to write? From the time I went back to the short story and realized it could be a novel, about four years. I had an agent to whom I sent the first couple of chapters and short stories. He really liked it and encouraged me to keep writing. What types of roadblocks did you encounter? There are lots of challenges; the biggest is that I didn’t know if I could figure out how to write it or keep it sustained,

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First Novel Prize

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he Writer’s Center is pleased to announce the winner and finalists of the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize, named after renowned local authors Ann McLaughlin, Barbara Esstman and Lynn Stearns. We accept submissions of titles published in the previous calendar year from debut novelists across the country. Visit writer.org/firstnovelprize for submission guidelines. Carol Rifka Brunt

Nichole Bernier

Jennifer DuBois

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

A Partial History of Lost Causes

Tell the Wolves I'm Home is a literary coming-ofage story about the strange and tense friendship that evolves between 14-year-old June Elbus, and her late uncle’s partner. www.carolrifkabrunt.com

especially when I was used to writing short stories. I was also working full time as a book editor, so finding the spare time was also a challenge. I often ended up writing in the mornings before work. What has most pleased you about the book’s success? It’s been exciting to hear from readers what they brought to it or took from it. One thing I like to hear from readers is that reading a book where so much

Nichole Bernier’s story of two women - their friendship, their marriages, private ambitions and fears - considers the aspects of ourselves we show and those we conceal, and the repercussions of our choices.

Spanning two continents and 30 years, and with uncommon perception and wit, A Partial History of Lost Causes explores the possibilities of courage, the endurance of memory, and the stubbornness and splendor of human will. www.jennifer-dubois.com

www.nicholebernier.com

has changed - when even the rising and setting of the sun can’t be counted on - it makes them momentarily grateful when the sun rises and sets. Even though I was hoping that I would sell my book, it was surprising still that it did. That it got a fair amount of attention was surprising in a really wonderful way. What is your best advice for writers working on their first novel?

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

It’s good to focus on the quality of writing before you try to get published. The better the work, the better chance you have on getting something published. Also, keep your writing career and publishing career separate, so you can focus on actual writing. Even when you get good, still focus on your writing. Obviously some days are harder than others, but it’s something you need to do every day.

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PUBLISH NOW

The Writer’s Center

Focus on Self-Publishing Sold-out Publish Now! a success By Holly Saunders

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his is the best time in history to be a writer,” said Writer’s Digest Publisher Phil Sexton, to an audience of more than 150 at Publish Now! on Oct. 26. “There’s no question that digital publishing has leveled the playing field.” Throughout the day at the Center’s second-annual, soldout seminar, participants heard from area authors who have

measure success, and what are you willing to risk to make it happen?” Sexton’s message seemed to resonate with the audience. “Now I have no excuses,” said one local writer in attendance. Naturally, having a solid manuscript in hand was one of the main lessons of the day. And while speakers offered valuable editing tips, the emphasis went beyond the storytelling to focus on the business of self-publishing in the digital age.

Ken Ackerman, who Presenters C.M. Mayo and Amy Abrams presented “Le Photo by Austen Mathews gal & Business Issues,” admits taken the leap to publishing. he was a ‘‘non-digital guy,’’ These seasoned self-publishing forced out of his comfort zone pros shared what they’ve when he got back the rights learned about digital platform to several of his commercially options, costs, legal issues, marpublished historical non-fiction keting and more. titles and became his own pub“There are more options and lisher. resources for writers than ever Although it took considerable before,” Sexton said. “So now time, effort, and financial inyou have to ask yourself the vestment to get his business up hard questions: why do you and running, it was worth it. want to publish, how will you

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“The beauty of self-publishing is that once you set up your operation, it practically runs itself,” said Ackerman, who now has full control over the revenue from his book sales. An attorney by day, Ackerman also offered pointers on contracts and copyrights. Neal Gillen, who presented “The Self-Publishing Experience: Options and Costs,” decided to self-publish when discussions with an interested agent stalled. He knew he had a good story and was ready to get it out there. Gillen explained how to transform your Word document to finished book form and provided a helpful cost/benefit analysis of four of the most popular digital platforms. Travel writer C.M. Mayo’s presentation, “Travel and Interactive,” focused on how she has been able to use her proficiency with digital media to take charge of her own content. Mayo talked about “transmedia” – the many creative ways your story can be sliced, diced, and served up to readers, from print to podcasts. She urged writers to think creatively about their content. The importance of providing well-written content was

View online at www.writer.org/guide


PUBLISH NOW reiterated by every speaker throughout the day. In Barbara Esstman’s presentation, “Preparing and Editing Your Manuscript for Publication,” she went into the specifics of editing and how to avoid the pitfalls of inexperience. “Let it marinate,” she advises. “Step away from it for awhile and then come back to it with fresh eyes.” Breakout sessions covered editorial tips from experts in specific genres: Wilson Wyatt and Amy Abrams talked about art and photography; Esstman focused on memoir writing; Baltimore-based author

Margaret Meacham discussed writing for the children’s and young adult market. Though the “Plenary Session: Your Marketing Plan and Proven Techniques” panel, alas, did not reveal the secret to topping the bestseller list, all of the panelists shared one tool that worked well for them. For Austin Camacho, writer of detective novels and adventure thrillers, it was developing a strong brand identity and building a community on Facebook and Twitter. For Jennifer Miller, awardwinning author of The Year of the Gadfly, it was cleverly

targeted book signings. For Laura Ambler, book trailers have helped promote her books as well as plays and screenplays. Overall, the panelists agreed that if you spend your time on promotional activities you enjoy, chances are you’ll have a better chance of success. Wyatt, who emceed the day’s events, left the audience with wise words to consider: “Good writing is what makes readers read and is, in the end, what sells.” The next Publish Now! is set for October 25, 2014.

PUBLISHING TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS

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Planning: Define what “success” means to you. Knowing your goals will drive many of your decisions.

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Business: Approach self-publishing as a real business and develop a sound business plan.

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Editing: William Faulkner said: “Don’t be afraid to slay your darlings …” meaning, don’t hold on to material you love if it’s not moving the story forward.

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Writing: Go with the flow and trust your characters to drive where the story goes.

Content: Consider other platforms and extensions for promotion and even the story itself: blogs, apps, podcasts, videos, online digital files, magazine articles, etc.

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Pre-editing: “Workshop” your manuscript with other writers. The Writer’s Center, for example, has groups that critique each other’s work.

Design: Covers matter. Cover design is a specialty. Invest in a designer who is an expert in book design.

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

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Financial: Keep all the financial activity related to your book project separate from your personal accounts.

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Legal: READ your contracts.

Social media: If you enjoy it, do it. The more platforms you’re on, the better.

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Marketing: Establish a strong brand identity and promote your brand, not your book.

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Work/life balance: Be a good boss to yourself … and don’t quit your day job!

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POET LORE

The Writer’s Center

A Clear-Eyed Vision The Poetics of Tarfia Faizullah By Helle Slutz

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. S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey chose a portfolio of Tarfia Faizullah’s work for publication in Poet Lore’s current fall/winter issue. Though Faizullah’s work is new to Poet Lore’s pages, she has been widely recognized as an emerging voice in the national poetry community. She is the author of Seam (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), which won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, and the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and other honors. Guest editor Brenda Shaughnessy chose her work for publication in this year’s Best New Poets anthology. In her introduction to Faizullah’s work, Poet Laureate Trethewey speaks of her “gift of a clear-eyed vision both familiar and strange, a vision tinged with the inevitability of loss.” Faizullah’s poems, which lead the issue, lend universal weight to songs of personal experience and set the tone for an issue devoted to exploring the “news”from the interior - that poetry best delivers. In a recent interview with Poet Lore’s editorial assistant Helle Slutz, Faizullah opened up about her work and community of support.

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Could you talk a little about your relationship with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and her work? My first encounter with Natasha’s work was in graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University, where I read Bellocq’s Ophelia for the first time. Since then, I continue to read everything I can get my hands on, from Domestic Work to Thrall, and many interviews in between. I’m drawn to her work for a number of reasons. Her work is as emotionally moving as it is intellectually ambitious, and I am in awe of how it both renders as well as interrogates the personal, the historic, and the political in poems that are as attentive to music as they are to craft. I first met Natasha personally a few years ago at the Lex Allen Literary Festival at Hollins University, where she was the writer-in-residence. One of the many reasons I am grateful to Natasha is the fact of her: she is a generous, brilliant, and successful woman of color who continues to motivate young writers like me to write the poems we want to write on our own terms.

Tarfia Faizullah

Photo by Arif Hafiz

Was there ever an extended period of time in which you didn’t write? What inspired you to start again? Lately I have been drawing a distinction between drafting and writing. Writing is a practice and a way of seeing the world and myself that I cultivate every day of my life, and drafting is the act of translating that seeing onto the page. In that way, I’m always writing, but not necessarily always drafting. That said, there have been times where I have felt without poetry, but in reading the work of others and trying to remain highly attuned to my own internal and external lives and the lives of others, I always find my way back.

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POET LORE Who was an early advocate of your work? I’ve been fortunate to have a number of advocates along the way. In high school in west Texas, a woman named Lynda Webb sought me out after reading some work I had posted on a wall where many of us shared poems we loved or had written ourselves. She encouraged me to read more contemporary poets and generously spent time going over my poems and offering suggestions for improvement. In college, I took classes with the astounding Jennifer Tonge and visionary Khaled Mattawa. Their encouragement to keep writing culminated in a body of work with which I applied to Virginia Commonwealth University, where I worked with brilliant and generous faculty members such as David Wojahn, Claudia Emerson, Gregory Donovan and Kathleen Graber. Was there a guiding impulse in the body of work you submitted to PL? What do you hope for these poems to do? I think just as in a full-length collection, a grouping of poems has the potential to create a collage of a glimpse of a life. The particular poems I chose to submit to Poet Lore felt like they did that in that the manifestations of the concerns within them are both distinct but also overlap. I love the first few sentences of Annie Dillard’s

The Writing Life in which she says, “When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a woodcarver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow.” In this way, the instinct to write these poems and gather them together was a path that I followed. What “role” do you think poetry plays in society? Why is poetry important to you? Poetry belongs to the illiterate, to the highly educated, to the young and the old. Poems can provide solace or enrage, relate or alienate. It takes the shape of the vessel from which and into which it is poured, and thankfully, is never consistent. It manifests differently within individuals and across cultures. Bengali culture, for example, and the language itself, is deeply attuned to and invested in poetry. Telling someone there I write poetry for a living is usually greeted with puzzlement. “But we all write poetry! What is it that you DO?” is not an uncommon response. Similarly, poets in other cultures have had to face the fear of dire consequences for writing. Osip Mandelstam asked his wife and his friends to memo-

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

rize his poems to transcribe later because the possibility of imprisonment was so great, and I was fascinated recently to read of the landay, an oral folk couplet revitalized by Pashtun women who live in the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. A landay is no more than 20 syllables, and yet it is enough to give these women the format within which to speak complexly, concisely, and expansively about their lives. What I love most about poetry is its flexibility: it doesn’t have to be important for one reason or belong to only one group of people. Congratulations on your book, Seam, coming out in 2014! Are you working on another book-length collection? Thank you so much! I just recently finished the first iteration of a second manuscript, but I’ve put it away for the time being so as to be able to look at it in the future with fresh eyes. In the meantime, I’m working on nonfiction and translations of Bengali poetry. For a portfolio of Faizullah’s new work, introduced by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, buy Poet Lore at The Writer’s Center or online at poetlore.com.

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EVENTS

The Writer’s Center

EVENTS

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

OPEN dOOr rEAdiNGS - WiNTEr 2013-2014 deceMBer 12-5 p.m.

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Holiday Book Fair

JanUary

Meet board members, staff members and workshop leaders at our second-annual holiday book fair. We’ll have readings by several workshop leaders, and small presses and journals will have books and journals for sale.

deceMBer 7:30 p.m.

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2 p.m.

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Resonant Air: A Holiday Concert to Benefit The Writer’s Center

Frank Tavares reads from The Man Who Built Boxes and Other Stories. He is joined by Travis Nichols, who reads from his recent novel, The More You Ignore Me.

Featuring cellist Evan Drachman and pianist Richard Dowling Works by Beethoven, Fauré, and Saint-Saëns $35

JanUary 2 p.m.

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Poet Cynthia Atkins reads from In the Event of Full Disclosure. She is joined by Nathan Leslie, author of The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice.

Cynthia Atkins

FeBrUary 2 p.m.

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FeBrUary 2 p.m.

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David Stewart reads from The Lincoln Deception. He is joined by novelist Manil Suri, author of The City of Devi.

Nathan Leslie David Stewart

Poet Sara Arvio reads from Night Thoughts. She is joined by poet Elizabeth Arnold, whose most recent collection is Effacement.

Sara Arvio

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Manil Suri

POETRY & PROSE OPEN MIC Sign-up begins at 1:30 p.m. Readings begin at 2 p.m. decemBer 15

FeBrUarY 23

JanUarY 5

marcH 30

View online at www.writer.org/guide


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MarcH 2 p.m.

Raoul Wientzen

MarcH

Reading by novelists Raoul Wientzen, author of The Assembler of Parts, and Virginia Pye, author of River of Dust.

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Novelist Amy Abrams reads from The Cage and 2 p.m. the Key. She is joined by Elisavietta Ritchie, who reads from her new collection of poems, Tiger Upstairs on Connecticut Avenue.

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Virginia Pye

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The Writer’s Center and Washington Independent Review of Books present a panel discussion on writing historical fiction with panelists Kent Wascom, Daniel Stashower, and David O. Stewart.

2 p.m.

Amy Abrams

aPril

2 p.m.

MarcH 2 p.m.

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Christopher Bakken reads from Honey, Olives, Octopus. He is joined by poet Derrick Weston Brown, author of Wisdom Teeth.

Anton Piatigorsky will read from The Iron Bridge, his collection of short stories. He is joined by poet Indran Amirthanayagam, who reads from Uncivil War. Christopher Bakken

Indran Amirthanayagam

2 p.m

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Selby McPhee

Derrick Weston Brown

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aPril

Anton Piatigorsky

APril

Elisavietta Ritchie

Selby McPhee reads from Love Crazy and Natasha Saje reads from Vivarium, her recent collection of poems.

Natasha Saje

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

Poet Shirley Brewer reads from After 2 p.m. Words. She is joined by memoirist Barbara Morrison, who reads from Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother.

Shirley Brewer

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EVENTS

eVents


LEESBURG EVENTS

EVENTS Leesburg Town Hall

leesburg first fridays 7:30 p.m. Leesburg Town Hall (Lower Level Meeting Room) 25 W. Market Street Leesburg, VA 20176 $4 T  WC members & residents of Leesburg $6 General admission More info at writer.org

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The Writer’s Center

February 7: Winter Warm-Up Exercises

April 4: Editor at LittleBrown: Laura Tisdel

It’s time to take advantage of the colder weather to warm up your pens and paper, or keyboard. We’ll have some fun and inspiring writing exercises to get you started on your next project or move you along in a current one. Come with your writing materials and an open mind!

Details to be announced.

March 7: Mastering the Mystery in 60 Minutes: Alan Orloff Alan Orloff is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers, and The Writer’s Center. He has degrees in engineering and business and worked on nuclear submarines, for a market research company and for The Washington Post. Orloff is the author of several mystery novels including Deadly Routine and Diamonds for the Dead, for which he was an Agatha Award finalist.

May 2: Amin Ahmad Amin Ahmad has studied fiction at Grub Street, The New School, and New York University. His short stories have been published in Narrative, Harvard Review, The Missouri Review, and New England Review. He is particularly interested in genre fiction. His first novel, The Caretaker, was published in 2013, and will be followed by Bollywood Taxi in 2014.

June 6: Literary Agent: Berta Treitl   Berta Treitl is an attorney and literary agent. Before joining the Grosvenor Literary Agency, Treitl worked at a respected New York agency and in private legal practice. She is a member of the New York Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, and Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts.

View online at www.writer.org/guide


EVENTS

By Ellyn Wexler

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to Thousand Oaks, Calif., in 1996.

smet Prcic’s debut novel Shards (2012) was chosen as the winner of last year’s McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize. Prcic, who now lives in Portland, Ore., visited the Center on Sept. 28 to accept his award, and read and sign copies of his book.

His book is a hybrid of memoir and novel, featuring a protagonist that shares his name as well as many of his experiences. “The reason I wrote a novel and not a memoir is a simple fact that human apparatus for gathering reality - our fallible sense, imperfect memories and imperfect ways of capturing what we thought we experienced - cannot do it justice,” he explained. “So all we humans can have are stories. And stories are fanciful, to say the least.”

The annual award, named for Ann McLaughlin, Barbara Esstman and Lynn Stearns, all authors and Center faculty members, involves three rounds of judging and a $500 honorarium.

Ismet Prcic

Photo by Mia Cortez

Prcic escaped from war-torn Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina at age 18, emigrating via Croatia

This is an excerpt of an article published by The Gazette.

The Delmarva Review Volume 6 – 2013 – ISSN 1945-0532

Compelling literary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from 23 authors in nine states and the District of Columbia: RON CAPPS • MARGARET ADAMS • JUDITH BOWLES ANNE COLWELL • LIZ DOLAN • NANCY FORD DUGAN JULIA VELASCO ESPEJO • SHIDEH ETAAT • RU FREEMAN E. LAURA GOLBERG • ROBERTA PUDNEY GRAY ETHAN JOELLA • HOLLY KARAPETKOVA • LINDA MASTRO MARGOT MILLER • DEVON MILLER-DUGGAN PAUL OTREMBA • WILLIAM PEAK • J.P. SMITH JERRY SWEENEY • KATHRINE VARNES ABIGAIL WARREN • HELEN WICKES The Delmarva Review is published annually in print and digital editions (Amazon.com) by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. Orders and submission guidelines are available from the website: www.delmarvareview.com.

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

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EVENTS

Ismet Prcic Reads at TWC


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

BEGINNER LEVEL We strongly suggest that newcomers start with a beginner level workshop. They are structured to help you discover the fundamentals of creative writing, such as:

• Getting your ideas on the page; • Choosing a genre and the shape your material should take; • Learning the elements of poetry, playwriting, fiction, memoir, etc.; • Identifying your writing strengths and areas of opportunity and • Gaining beginning mastery of the basic tools of all writing, such as concise, accurate language, and learning how to tailor 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 that they want to develop further.

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

MASTER LEVEL Master classes are designed for writers who have taken several advanced workshops and have reworked their manuscript into what they believe is its final form. Master classes are unique opportunities to work in smaller groups with distinguished writers on a specific project or manuscript.

The Writer’s Center Workshop leaders select participants from the pool of applicants; selection is competitive.

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

refund policy To receive a credit, you must notify TWC by e-mail (laura.spencer@ writer.org) within the drop period. • Full refunds are given when TWC cancels a workshop. Participants who have already enrolled and paid for their class will receive a full 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 full credit that can be used within one year to pay for another workshop and/or a membership.

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 16

View online at www.writer.org/guide


FICTION (PAGES 22-25)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Short Story I

Jim Beane

1/8-2/12

W

12:30-3:30 p.m.

B

Short Story II

Con Lehane

1/8-2/26

W

7-9:30 p.m.

I

The Extreme Novelist

Kathryn Johnson

1/8-2/26

W

7-9:30 p.m.

I/A

Mystery and Suspense Writing

Con Lehane

1/14-3/4

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

ALL

Fiction I: For the Middle Grade and Young Adult Reader

Judith Tabler

1/14-2/25

Tu

10:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.

ALL

Writing Short Stories

John Morris

1/15-3/5

W

7-9:30 p.m.

I/A

Writing and Healing

Ann McLaughlin

1/18-3/8

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Perspective

Kathryn Johnson

1/18

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Starting Fantasy Fiction

Brenda W. Clough

1/23-1/30

Th

7:30-9 p.m.

B

Fiction I

Alan Orloff

2/1-3/22

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

B

How to Get Published

Kathryn Johnson

2/1

Sa

1-3:30 p.m.

ALL

Fiction III

Virginia Hartman

2/1-3/15

Sa

1-3:30 p.m.

A

6 Stories, 6 Weeks

Mark Cugini

2/3-3/10

M

7-10 p.m.

ALL

*Fiction II

Aaron Hamburger

2/4-3/25

Tu

6:30-8:30 p.m.

I

6 Stories, 6 Weeks

Sinta Jimenez

2/5-3/12

W

6-8 p.m.

I

8 Stories, 8 Weeks

Sinta Jimenez

2/6-3/27

Th

6-8 p.m.

I

Master Novel I: Developing Your Novel

Amin Ahmad

2/11-4/15

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

M

The Action-Adventure Novel

Kathryn Johnson

2/15

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Fiction II: Writing for Middle Grade and Judith Tabler Young Adult Readers

3/4-4/8

Tu

10:30 a.m.1 p.m.

I

Short Story I

Jim Beane

3/5-4/9

W

12:30-3:30 p.m.

B

Marketing for Novelists

Kathryn Johnson

3/5-3/26

W

7-9:30 p.m.

ALL

Short Story II

Jennifer Buxton

3/6-5/1

Th

7-9:30 p.m.

I

Young Adult Novels

Kathryn Johnson

3/8

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Fiction I

Jim Mathews

3/11-4/29

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

B

Advanced Novel and Memoir

Barbara Esstman

3/12-4/30

W

7-9:30 p.m.

A

Writing About Animals: Sit, Stay, Write!

Judith Tabler

3/15-3/22

Sa

1:30-4 p.m.

ALL

Ten Steps to a Great Tale*

Lynn Schwartz

3/15

Sa

9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

ALL

Point of View

John Morris

3/15

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

How to Write a Lot

Kathryn Johnson

3/22

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Short Story II

Mark Cugini

3/22-4/26

Sa

1-4 p.m.

ALL

Nail the Short Story to Write First-Rate Fiction

Amy Abrams

3/29

Sa

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

ALL

writing Short Stories

John Morris

3/31-5/19

M

7-9:30 p.m.

I/A

B—beginner I—intermediate

A—advanced

M—master

ALL—all levels

* Indicates workshops held at one of our satellite locations. Please see descriptions for more information. Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

17

SCHEDULE

WINTER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE


WINTER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

The Writer’s Center

SCHEDULE

FICTION (PAGES 22-25)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

First Draft Hell: Edits Make Heaven

Amy Abrams

4/5

Sa

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

ALL

Plot Intensive

Lynn Schwartz

4/5

Sa

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ALL

4 Stories, 4 Weeks

Sinta Jimenez

4/7-4/28

M

6-8 p.m.

I

The Short Story: Point of View

Jennifer Buxton

4/7-5/5

M

7-9:30 p.m.

ALL

Flash Fiction

Sinta Jimenez

4/9-4/30

W

6-8 p.m.

I

Fiction Master Class

Kathryn Johnson

4/9-4/30

W

7-9:30 p.m.

M

Tighten Up Your Prose!

Kathryn Johnson

4/12

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Historical Fiction

Kathryn Johnson

4/26

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

MIXED GENRE (PAGES 25-26)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Getting Started: Creative Writing

Elizabeth Rees

1/11-3/8

Sa

1-3:30 p.m.

ALL

Imagery in Prose & Poetry

Nan Fry

1/11

Sa

10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. I

Memoir and Literary Fiction

Lynn Stearns

1/15-3/5

W

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

B/I

Get Your Work Read and Noticed

Dave Singleton

1/25

Sa

2-4 p.m.

ALL

QueerLit Workshop

Sinta Jimenez

2/3-3/24

M

6-8 p.m.

ALL

Feature Writing Workshop

Ellyn Wexler

2/26-4/16

W

7-9 p.m.

ALL

Truth or “Truthiness”

Christine Koubek

3/1

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Pitch Your Ideas and Get Published

Dave Singleton

3/1

Sa

2-4:30 p.m.

ALL

Getting Started: Creative Writing

Elizabeth Rees

3/5-4/30

W

7- 9:30 p.m.

ALL

Writing About S-E-X

Mary McCarthy

3/8-3/15

Sa

1-4 p.m.

ALL

*Getting Started: Creative Writing

Patricia Gray

3/8-3/15

Sa

1-3:30 p.m.

ALL

Write What You Don’t Know

Christopher Goodrich 4/19-5/24

Sa

10 a.m.-12 p.m.

I

Subject and Voice: New Tips

Laura Oliver

4/26

Sa

1:30-4 p.m.

ALL

NONFICTION (PAGES 26-27)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

My Life in Stories

Danuta Hinc

1/7-1/30

Tu/Th 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

ALL

My Life, One Story at a Time

Pat McNees

1/8-2/12

W

7:15-9:45 p.m.

I

Creative Nonfiction II

Dave Singleton

1/14-3/4

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

I

The Writer’s Toolbox

Sara Taber

1/14-3/4

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

ALL

Narrative Nonfiction History and Biography

Ken Ackerman

2/4-3/11

Tu

7:30-10 p.m.

I/A

4 Essays/Memoirs, 4 Weeks

Dave Singleton

2/27-3/20

Th

7-9 p.m.

B

Getting Started with Memoir*

Solveig Eggerz

3/3-3/7

M-F

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

B/i

writing from Life

Ellen Herbert

3/26-5/14

W

10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

ALL

Creative Nonfiction III: Advanced Personal Essay

William O’Sullivan

3/29-5/17

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

A

Nonfiction for the Military Experience

Ron Capps

3/31-5/5

M

6:30-9 p.m.

ALL

8 Essays, 8 Memoirs, 8 Weeks

Sara Taber

4/1-5/27

Tu

1-3:30 p.m.

ALL

The Writer’s Toolbox

Sara Taber

4/29-6/10

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

ALL

Nuts & Bolts of Publishing Nonfiction Articles

Ellen Ryan

4/8-5/13

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

B/I

18

View online at www.writer.org/guide


POETRY (PAGES 27-30)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Master Poetry Class

Stanley Plumly

1/6-1/27

M

7-9:30 p.m.

M

*Poetry I

Claudia Gary

1/9-1/30

Th

7-9 p.m.

B

The Force of Poetry

Elizabeth Rees

1/11-3/8

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

*Turning Points: The Role of the Volta in Poetry

Sue Ellen Thompson

1/18

Sa

1-4 p.m.

ALL

4 Poems, 4 Weeks

Melanie Figg

1/23-2/13

Th

7-9:30 p.m.

I/A

From Page to Stage: The Art of the Poetry Reading

Yvette Neisser Moreno

1/25

Sa

1-4:30 p.m.

ALL

All About Tone

Sue Ellen Thompson

2/9

Su

1-4 p.m.

ALL

6 Poems, 6 Weeks

Marie Pavlicek-Wehrli

2/20-3/27

Th

10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

I

Sound in Poetry

Nan Fry

2/22

Sa

1-4 p.m.

I

The Organic Forms of Free Verse

Nan Fry

3/6-4/3

Th

10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

I

Why Write in Forms? And How?

Claudia Gary

3/7-3/28

F

7-9:30 p.m.

ALL

*How Poems Begin

Sue Ellen Thompson

3/8

Sa

1-4 p.m.

ALL

The Poetry of Things

Hailey Leithauser

3/12-4/16

W

7-9 p.m.

I/A

6 Poems, 6 Weeks

Jessica Garratt

3/25-4/29

Tu

6:30-8:30 p.m.

I

Reading Rich: A Salon of Poetry and Essays

Melanie Figg

4/3-4/24

Th

7-9 p.m.

I/A

Elements of Poetry: Imagery

Nan Fry

4/5

Sa

10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ALL

Poetic Closure: How to End a Poem

Sue Ellen Thompson

4/6

Su

1-4 p.m.

ALL

Elements of Poetry: Speaker and Voice

Ellen Cole

4/12

Sa

1-4 p.m.

ALL

Elements of Poetry: Line and Stanza

Nan Fry

4/19

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

ALL

Elements of Poetry: Music and Sound

Claudia Gary

4/19

Sa

1-5 p.m.

ALL

Elements of Poetry: Metaphor

Yvette Neisser Moreno 4/26

Sa

1-4 p.m.

ALL

How to Get Published: Chapbooks

Melanie Figg

4/26-5/3

Sa

1-3:30 p.m.

I/A

PROFESSIONAL (PAGE 30)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

How to Break into Travel Writing with a Story that Sells

Christine Koubek

1/18-2/1

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

B/I

Writing the Dreaded Query Letter

Alan Orloff

3/1

Sa

2-4 p.m.

ALL

*Travel Writing: Get Paid to See the World

Aaron Hamburger

3/29-4/5

Sa

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

ALL

So You Want to Be a Blogger?

Mary McCarthy

4/2

W

6:30-9 p.m.

I

How to Write a Grant Proposal

Cara Seitchek

4/5-4/19

Sa

1:30-4 p.m.

B

STAGE & SCREEN (PAGES 30-31)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Songwriting: Digging Deeper

Cathy Fink

3/4-3/25

Tu

7:30-9:30 p.m.

I/A

*Screenwriting I

Jeffrey Rubin

1/7-2/25

Tu

7-9:30 p.m.

B

Elements of Playwriting: Character

Richard Washer

1/18

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

B

Elements of Playwriting: Process

Richard Washer

1/25

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

B

Elements of Playwriting: Dialogue

Richard Washer

1/30

Th

7:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

B

B—beginner I—intermediate

A—advanced

M—master

ALL—all levels

* Indicates workshops held at one of our satellite locations. Please see descriptions for more information. Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

19

SCHEDULE

WINTER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE


WINTER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

The Writer’s Center

STAGE & SCREEN (cont.)

LEADER

DATES

DAY

TIME

LEVEL

Screenwriting II

Lyn Vaus

2/6-3/27

Th

7:30-10 p.m.

I/A

Playwriting II

Richard Washer

2/8-3/29

Sa

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

I

Elements of Playwriting: Theatricality

Richard Washer

3/19

W

7:30-10 p.m.

B

Elements of Playwriting: Expostion

Richard Washer

4/17

Th

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

B

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

ONLINE

LEADER

DATES

LEVEL

Introduction to the Short Story

Christopher Linforth

1/6-2/24

B

Fiction I

T. Greenwood

1/11-3/1

B

4 Nonfiction Stories, 4 Weeks

Dave Singleton

2/1-2/22

B/I

The Elements of Fiction: Plot

T. Greenwood

2/1-2/22

ALL

Characterization in the Novel

T. Greenwood

3/1-4/19

ALL

Creative Nonfiction I

Brook Wilensky-Lanford

1/7-2/11

B

Creative Nonfiction II

Brook Wilensky-Lanford

2/18-3/25

I

Submission Survival Guide

Lisa Fay Coutley

1/6-1/27

B

Poetry-Comics: Poetry and the Visual Image

Bianca Stone

1/6-2/24

ALL

Online Poetry Workshop I

Bernadette Geyer

1/13-2/3

ALL

A Giant Hand and a Pledge to Make You Someone Hannah Gamble A Poetry Workshop

2/3-3/24

ALL

Re-Seeing the Pieces: Strategies for Revision

Lisa Fay Coutley

2/3-3/10

B

Online Poetry Workshop II

Bernadette Geyer

2/17-3/10

ALL

The Art of Revision

Bernadette Geyer

3/24-4/14

ALL

Write from the Comfort of Home With a growing selection of online workshops in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, our online courses are ideal for busy writers of all genres. Online workshops offer 24-hour access to lectures, assignments & critique via Moodle, an online course management platform with customizable classrooms. Browse a free sample online workshops to get a feel for how they run.

onlinetwc.org/workshop 20

View online at www.writer.org/guide


local serVices

Advertise here! Rates starting at $40. writer.org/adrates

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

21


WORKSHOPS

The Writer’s Center

For more detailed class descriptions, please visit writer.org Note: TWC will be closed December 25th and January 1st

Fiction

a productive working environment and meet their deadlines despite distractions.

Introduction to the Short Story

8 Wednesdays 7-9:30 p.m. 1/8-2/26 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $360

Christopher Linforth In this class, we will read classic and contemporary short stories and develop our own theories and opinions on the constituent elements of the genre. That is: what makes a short story and what makes it good. Through a set of writing exercises, we will explore the craft of short fiction and establish a sound grasp of the essential building blocks: character, point of view, dialogue, setting, plot, structure, theme. Students will leave with a written, workshopped and revised story and have plenty of material for many others.

workshops

8 Mondays 1/6-2/24 Online Beginner $360

Short Story I

Fiction I T. Greenwood If you have always wanted to write a novel but didn’t know where to start, this workshop will help you understand the process of writing a novel so you can get started putting pen to paper. We will focus on everything from generating ideas to developing characters to establishing point of view. We will touch on many elements of fiction (dialogue, scene, etc...), but the emphasis will be on discovering the writing process that works best for you. 8 Saturdays 1/11-3/1 Online Beginner $360

Jim Beane

Mystery and Suspense Writing

An engaging workshop incorporating writing exercises, reading contemporary and classic short stories, roundtable discussions on craft and workshopping completed short stories by participants who volunteer their work for review. The focus is to develop an understanding of the unifying elements that make a modern short story successful.

Con Lehane

6 Wednesdays 12:30-3:30 p.m. Bethesda Beginner

1/8-2/12 $315

Short Story II Con Lehane In this course, we’ll concentrate on writing stories - those things with beginnings, middles and ends that delve into the human spirit and attempt to reveal to us who we are. No matter your genre, certain elements of fiction are universal. We’ll examine such craft elements as character, plot, point of view, description, dialogue, setting, pacing, and voice as well as the importance of substance and structure to a story. The basic format of the class will be a workshop, but we’ll also include exercises and an occasional reading. 8 Wednesdays 7-9:30 p.m. 1/8-2/26 Bethesda Intermediate $360

The Extreme Novelist Kathryn Johnson Can’t find the time/energy/inspiration to get your novel written? This popular course will help you complete a rough draft in just 8 weeks, with the encouraging guidance of professional writing coach Kathryn Johnson (author of more than 40 published books). You will commit to an aggressive writing schedule and learn the tricks professionals use to create

22

This course will cover the essential aspects of mystery and suspense fiction writingcompelling openings, characters readers care about, exciting action, suspenseful situations, seamless plots, stories that endure-with an emphasis on creating suspense and mystery, the elements of fiction that keep readers turning pages. The basic format of the class will be a workshop in which participants discuss each other’s writing. I’ll also assign exercises and some reading. The workshop is open to both beginning and seasoned fiction writers, whether of stories or novels. 8 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

1/14-3/4 $360

Fiction I: For the Middle Grade and Young Adult Reader

Writing Short Stories John Morris Are you ready to take your short story draft to the next level? Need help completing the draft: longing for motivation to begin? This workshop is designed to meet those needs, creating a helpful, supportive atmosphere for all participants. The goal is for each writer to present a successful draft, with emphasis on encouragement, hard work and practical suggestions. The workshop leader will provide detailed written comments on all manuscripts. 8 Wednesdays 7-9:30 p.m. 1/15-3/5 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $360

Writing and Healing Ann McLaughlin By writing about experiences we can objectify them and help to heal. Workshop members may write about personal experiences or ones they have heard about with a view toward beginning or continuing work on a novel or a short story. We will emphasize character development, plot and the telling detail. 8 Saturdays 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

Perspective Kathryn Johnson Acquiring editors name lack of control of point of view as one of the most frequent reasons for rejection of fiction manuscripts. Yet many authors don’t even consider perspective while writing their stories. Learn how to create a solid point-of-view plan for your novel or short story and with it a crisp focus for your story. A Saturday morning coffee-and-pastries workshop. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

Judith Tabler

Starting Fantasy Fiction

Middle graders (children ages 8-12) and young adults (children ages 12-18) can be a terrific audience for your creative skills. These age groups devour both nonfiction and fiction. We will look at classic and current literature, but most class time will be spent discussing participants’ writings. We will explore protagonists, plot, conflict, action, humor, dialogue, villains, secondary characters, good beginnings, strong middles and great endings. Writers of all levels are welcome. Come to the first class with a copy of a middle grade or young adult book you wish you had written and discuss its strengths with the group. Class schedule will alternate between Bethesda and online workshops.

Brenda W. Clough

7 Tuesdays 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Bethesda/Online All

1/14-2/25 $315

1/18-3/8 $360

1/18 $50

The first session will be devoted to the basics of fiction and story construction. In the second session, we’ll do a start-up exercise to help you get going. 2 Thursdays 7:30-9 p.m. Bethesda Beginner

1/23-1/30 $100

Fiction I Alan Orloff Have you started a novel - or have a great idea for one - but need some direction and feedback? In this workshop, we’ll talk about the building blocks-plot, characters, setting, dialogue, conflict - and how they all fit together to create a solid foundation for page-turning

View online at www.writer.org/guide


WORKSHOPS

8 Saturdays 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda Beginner

2/1-3/22 $360

How to Get Published

6 Stories, 6 Weeks Sinta Jimenez For the intermediate short story writer, work on six short stories in a guided process that covers the elements of fiction and short story writing. 6 Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. 2/5-3/12 Bethesda Intermediate $215

Kathryn Johnson

8 Saturdays Online All

We can’t revise a novel in a single Saturday morning (more’s the pity!), but we can create a check-list of things to avoid that often cause rejection. We’ll also discuss elements that entice literary agents and editors to ask for a story. Come for a relaxed Saturday morning session with your fellow authors.

8 Stories, 8 Weeks

1 Saturday 1-3:30 p.m. Bethesda All

8 Thursdays 6-8 p.m. 2/6-3/27 Bethesda Intermediate $290

2/1 $50

Fiction III What does any fiction writer need more than a community, a few extra sets of eyes and a couple of new techniques? That’s what we’ll provide in this class. Skillful and supportive reading and critiquing will be encouraged, as will revision with a focus on dramatic tension and characters who demand to be heard. Please bring 15 copies of a work in progress (short story or novel excerpt) to the first class. Note: No class on 2/22. 6 Saturdays 1-3:30 p.m. Bethesda Advanced

2/1-3/15 $270

The Elements of Fiction: Plot T. Greenwood Whether you are an outliner or a writer who flies by the seats of your pants when it comes to plot, your novel still needs structure. In this workshop, we will study the architecture of a novel and devise a plan for plotting your novel. 4 Saturdays Online All

Sinta Jimenez For the intermediate short story writer, work on eight short stories in a guided process that covers the elements of fiction and short story writing.

Master Novel I: Developing Your Novel

Virginia Hartman

2/1-2/22 $195

Amin Ahmad Through a combination of in-class writing prompts, lecture, and workshop, we will focus on deepening each writer’s work in three areas. Craft issues: We will investigate beginnings, endings, effective plotting, and novel structure. We also will discuss character development, point of view, dialogue and setting. Novel writing process: Discover a process that works for you to write regularly, power through writer’s block and to edit/revise your work effectively. Critique: Learn to read other students’ work like a writer, identifying what is working well and what needs to be developed further. The goal is to create a cohort of writers who support each other. Admission: By permission of instructor: email up to a 10-page writing sample by Jan 1 to caitlin.rizzo@writer.org. Students will be notified of the instructor’s decision by Jan 8. Limited to 10 students. 10 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda Master

frustrations, their histories and their futures. This workshop will focus on the development of authentic characters. We will examine character as both autonomous and residing within the context of the other novelistic elements and we will discuss the challenge of creating and integrating these various elements into a cohesive and credible whole.

2/11-4/15 $430

3/1-4/19 $360

Fiction II: Writing for Middle Grade and Young Adult Readers Judith Tabler This workshop is for writers who have already completed the fiction one workshop in this genre or who are experienced fiction writers. In workshop sessions, we will focus on how your manuscript accomplishes its goals. Workshop participants should have a completed, or almost completed, manuscript in hand. Participants will be critiquing each other’s long manuscripts in order to understand the writer’s full story. Workshop sessions will alternate between Bethesda and online. Weeks one, three, and six will be in Bethesda. Weeks two, four, and five will be online only. 6 Tuesdays 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Bethesda/Online Intermediate

3/4-4/8 $270

Short Story I Jim Beane An engaging workshop incorporating writing exercises, reading contemporary and classic short stories, roundtable discussions on craft and workshopping completed short stories by participants who volunteer their work for review. The focus is to develop an understanding of the unifying elements that make a modern short story successful. 6 Wednesdays 12:30-3:30 p.m. Bethesda Beginner

3/5-4/9 $315

6 Stories, 6 Weeks

The Action-Adventure Novel

Marketing for Novelists

Mark Cugini

Kathryn Johnson

Kathryn Johnson

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

Some of the most popular novels in a wide range of genres - suspense, mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, historical fiction and more - fall into this category. When you portray dramatic, vivid scenes that involve the characters in physically challenging situations, you capture readers’ minds and take them along on the adventure. See how authors of these best-sellers do it and learn to use their techniques in your own novels.

Here’s your chance to experiment with marketing materials in preparation for submission to literary agents and publishers. Avoid the mistakes that most new authors make when sending a query or samples of their work. Your workshop leader has sold more than 40 books, and advised others who have found agents and/or publishers, using her tips. We also will address self-promotion techniques to encourage discoverability by readers once your book has been published.

6 Mondays 7-10 p.m. Bethesda All

2/3-3/10 $315

Fiction II

1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

Aaron Hamburger This workshop is designed for fiction writers at intermediate to advanced levels who have a short story or novel in progress. 8 Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. Capitol Hill Intermediate

2/4-3/25 $290

2/15 $50

Characterization in the Novel

4 Wednesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

3/5-3/26 $195

T. Greenwood

Short Story II

When writing a novel, we must know our primary characters inside and out. We need to understand their desires, motivations and

For the writer who feels comfortable with the basic terms of fiction and has some works in

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

Jennifer Buxton

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workshops

fiction. Sessions will include instruction and writing exercises, with an emphasis on critiques of participants’ work. Oh, and it will be fun, too!


WORKSHOPS progress. We will focus on developing each story to its fullest, assessing whether each scene or section contributes to the whole and asking what, if anything, the story needs to become fully developed and engaging. Optional outside readings of published stories to supplement our discussions and fuel our ambitions. Note: No class on 4/17. 8 Thursdays 7-9:30 p.m. 3/6-5/1 Bethesda Intermediate $360

Young Adult Novels

2 Saturdays 1:30-4 p.m. Bethesda All

Kathryn Johnson

workshops

Authors will learn how to slant their fiction for two of the most popular fiction genres today: young-adult (teen) and new-adult (for and about 20-somethings). This half-day class is for adult authors who are considering writing for young readers and will demonstrate why these books appeal not only to their intended audience but attract crossover readers of any age. A Saturday morning coffee klatch session. Come hungry! 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

area that attracts many serious writers. Annie Dillard, John Grogan, James Herriot, Laura Hillenbrand, John Steinbeck and James Thurber are just some who are enchanted with the lives of animals. In our first session, we will look at excerpts from leading works in the field (fiction or nonfiction) and participants will workshop their own manuscripts in the second session. We will be looking at some elements that make great animal essays and stories: research, objectivity, characterization, style, tone and structure.

3/8 $50

Ten Steps to a Great Tale Lynn Schwartz Let’s discuss the necessary elements to make your story compelling, resonant and accessible. Learn to identify where to begin, how to end and the skills needed to traverse the murky middle. Appropriate for those writing short stories, novels and those who wish to incorporate fictional techniques in memoir. 1 Saturday 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Annapolis All

Fiction I Jim Mathews This workshop is designed for fiction writers at the beginner to intermediate levels who have a short story or novel-in-progress. The class will include discussions of basic elements of fiction and demonstrate how those elements can be used to infuse tension and forward movement in character and plot development. Each writer will be asked to submit up to 30 double-spaced pages for group critique. In addition, participants will complete writing exercises designed to emphasize story-telling through dynamic dialogue and action.

John Morris To write good fiction, you must be able to create and sustain a convincing point of view. Sadly, what you learned about “point of view” back in English class isn’t enough and may even hurt your style. This intensive workshop introduces the simple but crucial skill set that successful writers need and gives participants a chance to practice the techniques in a lively, supportive workshop environment. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

Advanced Novel and Memoir

How to Write a Lot

For serious writers with a book-length project and hopes for publication. Learn technical skills: character and scene development, dialogue, conflict and plot. Discuss psychological aspects: how to find and stay with the emotional core of the story and how to keep going to the end. We’ll also touch on rewriting and the directions for getting an agent. Each writer will submit up to 25 double-spaced pages. Permission of the instructor or previous completed workshop required. 8 Wednesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda Advanced

3/12-4/30 $360

Writing About Animals: Sit, Stay, Write!

3/15 $50

Point of View

8 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. 3/11-4/29 Bethesda Beginner/Intermediate $360

Barbara Esstman

3/15-3/22 $100

3/15 $50

Kathryn Johnson You may think you don’t have the time or energy to write because of a hectic schedule. But come and learn what Kathryn Johnson’s “Extreme Novelists” know about organizing their time. We’ll share the methods published writers use to finish their books in months instead of years, their short stories in mere weeks. Join us for coffee and pastries and find out how it’s done. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

3/22 $50

Short Story II Mark Cugini

Judith Tabler Interested in crafting a story about an animal? It’s not all fluff, fuzz and feathers. This is an

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This workshop will put a strong emphasis on sentence-level writing and revision. Students in this class will revise their stories, discuss contemporary authors and critique each other’s work. The goal of this course is to complete a

The Writer’s Center polished draft of one short story and learn a variety of revision strategies. 6 Saturdays 1-4 p.m. Bethesda All

3/22-4/26 $315

Nail the Short Story to Write First-Rate Fiction Amy Abrams Most novelists master the art of fiction by writing short stories. In this seminar, we explore creating the arc of your protagonist, choosing the best point of view, writing authentic dialog, enhancing story through setting and determining tone. Moreover, we see that these components work together creating a cohesive whole. This powerful dynamic is the essence of a winning short story and the essential tool you need for a successful novel. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bethesda All

3/29 $115

Writing Short Stories John Morris Are you ready to take your short story draft to the next level? Need help completing the draft? Longing for motivation to begin? This workshop is designed to meet those needs, creating a helpful, supportive workshop atmosphere for all participants. The goal is for each writer to present a successful draft, with emphasis on encouragement, hard work and practical suggestions. The workshop leader will provide detailed written comments on all manuscripts. 8 Mondays 7-9:30 p.m. 3/31-5/19 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $360

First Draft Hell: Edits Make Heaven Amy Abrams In this fiction seminar, you learn to write powerful first drafts, then delete and tweak for publishable narratives. By allowing abandon on initial manuscripts, you protect the raw potency of your work. It’s tricky editing; no wonder you want to beeline for the fridge and surf the web. You’ll learn tools to sift your story down to size. The seminar also shows you how to clarify and refine key components including dialog, setting and character while maintaining tone. Point of view is a whole planet onto itself - and we will go there, too. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bethesda All

4/5 $115

Plot Intensive Lynn Schwartz Plot cannot stand alone. Plot is the organizing force that makes stories progress and insists that something happen. It is essential to support plot with other elements of craft such as character, theme, suspense and conflict. Participants learn to avoid formulaic plot and

View online at www.writer.org/guide


WORKSHOPS

1 Saturday 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 4/5 Bethesda All $50

4 Stories, 4 Weeks For the intermediate short story writer: work on four short stories in a guided process that covers the elements of fiction and short story writing. 4 Mondays 6-8 p.m. 4/7-4/28 Bethesda Intermediate $135

The Short Story: Point of View Jennifer Buxton Why do some writers claim that point of view is the single most important decision a writer makes? This workshop will explore the powers and limitations of various points of view. We will workshop student stories with emphasis on how each writer’s choice of perspective helps or hinders the tale being told and whether the story is fully developed. Weekly discussion of outside stories demonstrating the wide range of choices facing the fiction writer. Note: No class on 4/14. 4/7-5/5 $195

4/12 $50

Historical Fiction Do you have a story set in ancient Rome, during the American Civil War or in more recent history? (The 1960s, for instance.) Are you using history in a fantasy, adventure or the Western? The rebirth of historical fiction has opened up exciting opportunities for fiction writers. Learn how to weave historical details into your stories and bring the past to life for your readers. Come join us for coffee, pastries and a dynamic discussion! 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

4/26 $50

Mixed Genre Getting Started: Creative Writing Elizabeth Rees If you have always wanted to write but haven’t known how to begin, this is the workshop for you! We will explore journals, short stories, poems and memoirs in order to “jump start” your writing. Exercises done in the workshop will focus on transforming a creative idea into actual words on a page. Note: No Class 2/15.

Flash Fiction Sinta Jimenez In this workshop, participants will learn how to craft compelling flash fiction, or fiction consisting of 1,000 words or fewer. In this concise form, students will learn how to compress their fiction and create stories with an emphasis on the importance of each individual word. 4 Wednesdays 6-8 p.m. 4/9-4/30 Bethesda Intermediate $135

Fiction Master Class Kathryn Johnson Scenes...scenes...scenes! They are the building blocks of all fiction. This advanced workshop series is all about creating powerful scenes that propel your plot forward, develop characters, bond readers to your characters and produce vivid imagery. Students will have the opportunity to submit written scenes for feedback from classmates and instructor. 4 Wednesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda Master

1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

Kathryn Johnson

Sinta Jimenez

4 Mondays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

sider for publication. Find out how to bring your writing style into the 21st century and increase your chances of publication. A lively discussion with loads of tips guaranteed.

4/9-4/30 $195

Tighten Up Your Prose! Kathryn Johnson Writing styles have changed drastically over the years. We can no longer afford to write like Melville. Publishers look for vivid, sharp, clean prose in the novels and short stories they con-

8 Saturdays 1-3:30 p.m. Bethesda All

1/11-3/8 $360

Imagery in Prose and Poetry Nan Fry Everything we know, think or feel comes to us first through the senses. As a result, imagery, the representation of sense experience in language, provides a way for prose writers and poets to create a world on the page that the reader can enter imaginatively. In this workshop, we’ll see how a few modern and contemporary authors use imagery to activate the senses and participants will have an opportunity to practice creating images that will deepen and enliven their work.

Get Your Work Read and Noticed Dave Singleton Getting published is hard, so how can make sure your writing finds an audience and gets noticed? This workshop will lay it all out for you. You’ll learn basic skills such as how to brand yourself and promote your work. You’ll also get an overview of the many inexpensive and free resources available to writers on the web. This includes introductions to promoting on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other emerging social media. This workshop will explore what a platform is and how you can create one for yourself. 1 Saturday 2-4 p.m. Bethesda All

1/25 $40

QueerLit Workshop Sinta Jimenez The queer literature workshop will focus on gay, lesbian, transgender and queer issues and themes in fiction and poetry. While working to improve finesse in form, poetics and content, this class also will analyze the work through the sensibilities and culture of the LGBT community. 8 Mondays 6-8 p.m. Bethesda All

2/3-3/24 $290

Feature Writing Workshop Ellyn Wexler Learn to craft nonfiction feature stories for newspapers, magazines and websites. Career writer and editor will offer tips, tools and techniques for identifying a good subject, interviewing, using research and multiple sources, writing headlines and lead sentences, using quotations and structuring story, from outline through rough draft to polished professional product. The goal is for students to produce four stories during the eight weeks. 8 Wednesdays 7-9 p.m. Bethesda All

2/26-4/16 $290

Truth or “Truthiness” Christine Koubek

We will use writing prompts, published work and truthful but tactful critiques, as well as discussions about the various components of writing (point of view, language, setting, etc.) to learn how to tell the story you really want to tell, the way you want to tell it. Each participant may have up to 15 pages critiqued.

What do Stephen Colbert and John Lennon have in common with writers? They believe - as John Lennon once said - ”Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” Whether we write fiction or nonfiction, we work with a varying mix of the real and the imagined. What is the role of imagination in fiction? What is its role in essays and memoirs? Using examples that straddle the line between genres, we’ll look at strategies employed by fiction writers to create illusions of reality and memoirist techniques to shape lived experience. We’ll also play with some of the techniques in our own work.

8 Wednesdays 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 1/15-3/5 Bethesda Beg/Intermediate $360

1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

1 Saturday 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 1/11 Bethesda Intermediate $50

Memoir and Literary Fiction Lynn Stearns

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

25

3/1 $50

workshops

understand how characters drive organic narratives. In-class exercises and reading examples will illustrate ways to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your story’s development and direction.


WORKSHOPS Pitch Your Ideas and Get Published Dave Singleton How to pitch and who to pitch to: a primer on how to get your work in front of the people who can publish it. Come prepared to share your ideas and learn tips on how to package and present them so you can get them published. 1 Saturday 2-4:30 p.m. Bethesda All

Elizabeth Rees

workshops

If you have always wanted to write but haven’t known how to begin, this is the workshop for you! We will explore journals, short stories, poems and memoirs in order to “jump start” your writing. Exercises done in the workshop will focus on transforming a creative idea into actual words on a page. Note: No Class on 4/16. 3/5-4/30 $360

Writing About S-E-X Mary McCarthy What are the correct body part terms to use in writing a sex scene? Is it okay to use humor? How can you be sure not to objectify women in romance? What’s the difference between romance and erotica? What’s the best way to write a sexually arousing scene? Join us as we explore all these issues and write and edit a sample sex scene. 2 Saturdays 1-4 p.m. Bethesda All

3/8-3/15 $115

Getting Started: Creative Writing Patricia Gray Intrigued by fiction, journals, memoir and poetry - or just interested in new ways to get it down on paper? This workshop lets you find the types of writing that suit you best. Receive tips on how to free up your personal experiences for retelling, speak in a character’s voice, or learn how to write a poem. You’ll find ways to begin that memoir or autobiography you’ve been planning. In-class assignments will allow you to read your writing aloud (but only if you choose) and positive, helpful feedback. 2 Saturdays Capitol Hill

1-3:30 p.m. All

6 Saturdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 4/19-5/24 Bethesda Intermediate $215

Subject and Voice: New Tips Laura Oliver

3/1 $50

Getting Started: Creative Writing

8 Wednesdays 7- 9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

bravado to open our writing to the 99% of the world that isn’t in our knowledge base and see what happens. By exploring who you are not, and experiencing what is foreign to you, you may end up learning something about yourself.

3/8-3/15 $115

(Tip One: Bad choices make great stories.) Are you at heart an essayist? Novelist? Memoirist? Not sure? Exploring genre, subject and voice is the exciting, on-going work of new and experienced writers. Using published examples, writing exercises and lively discussion, this dynamic one-day workshop will inspire from memory and imagination, the story you want to tell and provide techniques for finding the authorial voice in which to tell it. Perfect for new writers wishing to experiment and for more advanced writers seeking fresh inspiration to energize new and existing work. For more information lauraoliver2@yahoo.com. 1 Saturday 1:30-4 p.m. Bethesda All

4/26 $50

Christopher Goodrich Together, let’s destroy that static tenet: write what you know. Workshops will focus on freeing the imagination, leaving the self, creating empathy in our work and lives and exploring personas that, at first, seem to stray from who we are. Let’s have the courage, patience and

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6 Wednesdays 7:15-9:45 p.m. 1/8-2/12 Bethesda Intermediate $270

Creative Nonfiction II Dave Singleton Get creative this fall with creative nonfiction! Simply put: creative nonfiction is writing that tells a story. It’s a hybrid genre that pulls in elements of fiction (literary techniques), the writer’s perspective and factual information. It allows you to be poetic and journalistic simultaneously. You’ll get plenty of personal attention as you work on assignments such as profiles, short and long form personal essays, topical columns and literary journalism. The class will read and discuss pieces by some of the greats: Joan Didion, Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, Jon Krakauer, Susan Orlean and Gay Talese, to name a few. Writers will prepare six finished pieces for constructive critique from teacher and class. Don’t miss this chance to get creative with nonfiction.

The Writer’s Toolbox

My Life in Stories

Sara Taber

Danuta Hinc If you ever wanted to use your own life experience to create compelling stories, this workshop is for you. In the course of eight classes in four weeks you will learn how to generate ideas, build compelling characters, construct convincing plots and develop engaging dialog. We will focus on the individual writitng process to discover your unique strengths. 1/7-1/30 $430

Creative Nonfiction I Brook Wilensky-Lanford Everyone has a story to tell. This class will give writers a chance to test out and refine your nonfiction writing, whether it is a personal memoir or an exotic travel history or anywhere in between. We will discuss basic storytelling, how to grab readers’ attention and keep it, how to describe something you know very well to someone who doesn’t, and what it means to be “creative” without making things up. Great for beginning writers new to the workshop experience. 6 Tuesdays 1/7-2/11 Online Beginner $270

Write What You Don’t Know

cord straight (in your own mind, if nothing else) may liberate you, allowing you to frankly explore your life choices and experiences, achievements and mistakes, beliefs and convictions.

8 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. 1/14-3/4 Bethesda Intermediate $360

Nonfiction

4 Tues/Thurs 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Bethesda All

The Writer’s Center

My Life, One Story at a Time Pat McNees The goal in this workshop is to capture your legacy in short personal writing (especially stories) for those who will survive you. Knowing that you are writing not for publication, but to set the re-

Writing is “a careful act of construction,” William Zinsser notes. “You must know what the essential tools are and what job they are designed to do.” This is a workshop for those who wish to sharpen the tools in their writer’s toolbox to create fine literary nonfiction. We examine published essays and memoirs and practice aspects of the writer’s craft such as: concrete detail, use of the senses, figurative language, characterization, dialogue and scene, summary and musing. Time for the sharing of work and a free-write are included each week. 8 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

1/14-3/4 $360

4 Nonfiction Stories, 4 Weeks Dave Singleton In this class, students will get to be poetic and journalistic simulataneously. You will write, workshop and evaluate four new personal essays and creative nonfiction stories. There will be in class writing exercises and prompts to jumpstart the creative process and supportive teacher/peer critiques. 4 Saturdays . 2/1-2/22 Online Beg/Intermediate $195

Narrative Nonfiction: History and Biography Ken Ackerman Focuses on non-fiction works, primarily book length, in history and biography. We discuss

View online at www.writer.org/guide


WORKSHOPS

6 Tuesdays 7:30-10 p.m. 2/4-3/11 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $270

Creative Nonfiction II Brook Wilensky-Lanford In this workshop we will build on the skills of true-story-telling developed in Creative Nonfiction I, including characterization, dialogue, description and criticism. You will create at least two complete essays, involving many of these elements. Great for those with some experience in nonfiction writing and workshopping, will include class discussion of each other’s work. 6 Tuesdays 2/18-3/25 Online Intermediate $270

techniques such as recreated dialogue, time compression and “stimulus and response.” 8 Wednesdays 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Bethesda All

3/26-5/14 $360

Creative Nonfiction III: Advanced Personal Essay

Note: No Class on 5/13

William O’Sullivan This workshop is for writers who have a good understanding of what a personal essay is, are open to exploring further the many forms a personal essay can take and are already working seriously in the genre. Our focus will be participants’ writing, supplemented with assigned readings. The workshop is designed for self-contained essays, not book-length memoirs. To be considered for admission, please submit an essay or excerpt of no more than five double-spaced pages by March 22 to caitlin. rizzo@writer.org. 8 Saturdays 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda Advanced

3/29-5/17 $360

4 Essays/Memoirs, 4 Weeks

Nonfiction for the Military Experience

Dave Singleton

Ron Capps

What’s your story? What are the tales that you’ve been dying to tell but haven’t had the time or structure to put pen to paper? Get started and write about your life in this hands-on, practical course in which you’ll write four pieces in four weeks. Whether you have family stories you’d like to record for posterity or different moments of your life you want to capture, you’ll learn new strategies every week to help you write effectively about your life. The class will focus on exercises that will help you develop disparate memories and thoughts into a meaningful and organized form. Take advantage of practical tools and get supportive feedback from teacher and classmates.

War is a life-changing experience for those who experience it first hand and for those who wait at home for loved ones to return. This seminar is designed to help veterans, service members and military families develop the skills and confidence to tell their stories. Participants will learn what’s different about writing the military experience and study elements of craft like scene, setting, dialogue and plot. Led by a combat veteran, this program is provided free of charge thanks to a generous grant by the National Endowment for the Arts.

4 Thursdays 7-9 p.m. Bethesda Beginner

2/27-3/20 $135

Getting Started with Memoir Solveig Eggerz This workshop will focus on generating your life stories as you discover and explore your memories. Memoir is character-driven writing that combines showing and telling. In this class, you’ll experiment with both aspects of creating a successful memoir. Monday - Friday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Capitol Hill Beg/Intermediate

3/3-3/7 $225

6 Mondays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

3/31-5/5 N/A

8 Essays, 8 Memoirs, 8 Weeks Sara Taber

How trustworthy is memory? How do we cull the stories we need to tell from the complicated tangle of memory? This workshop will explore “true writing,” creative nonfiction in the form of personal narratives, employing literary

4/29-6/10 $360

Nuts and Bolts of Publishing Nonfiction Articles Ellen Ryan Learn how professionals get their magazine and newspaper nonfiction articles published. At completion of the six weeks, you should have learned how to generate ideas, how to research properly, how to structure a story, how to outline easily, ways to write about people and places with life and color, where to market your ideas, how to propose them to editors, how to package your work professionally, how to handle contracts and negotiations, how to reuse your material for endless prestige and profit, how to organize your office - files and records and what to keep in mind for tax time what to save and how to present it. 6 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. 4/8-5/13 Bethesda Beg/Intermediate $270

Poetry Master Poetry Class Stanley Plumly To apply for this workshop, submit five poems to caitlin.rizzo@writer.org with the subject line: Poetry Master Class. These poems are not necessarily the same poems that will be workshopped. Submission deadline: December 15. Please do not register for the workshop without approval from the workshop leader. 4 Mondays 6:30-9:p.m. Bethesda Master

Note: No class on 5/13.

Have you ever received a standard rejection from a journal or contest and wondered why? Why not these poems, this book, me? Perhaps there’s a simple answer. In this four-week workshop (which will function as an informative Q&A), we will cover submission dos and don’ts. I’ll share ten years of editorial experience to help your submission make it into the right hands and you’ll bring your most pressing questions.

8 Tuesdays 1-3:30 p.m. Bethesda All

4/1-5/27 $360

Sara Taber

Ellen Herbert

8 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

Sandwiches, truth, the day you wanted to kick your brother…receive stimulating prompts each week - or come with your own idea. Workshop time will be spent writing, sharing work, and discussing craft. By the end of eight weeks, eight pieces on their way to completion!

The Writer’s Toolbox

Writing from Life

examine published essays and memoirs, and practice aspects of the writer’s craft such as: concrete detail, use of the senses, figurative language, characterization, dialogue and scene, summary, and musing. Time for the sharing of work and a free-write are included each week.

Writing is “a careful act of construction,” William Zinsser notes. “You must know what the essential tools are and what job they are designed to do.” This is a workshop for those who wish to sharpen the tools in their writer’s toolbox to create fine literary nonfiction. We

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

1/6-1/27 $195

Submission Survival Guide Lisa Fay Coutley

4 Mondays 1/6-1/27 Online Beginner $195

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workshops

how to structure a story, avoid tangents, enhance theme, shape a “narrative arc,” evoke times, places and personalities, do research, sustain a narrative and understand the publishing cycle. The goal is tangible progress toward a quality product and a viable work plan. Participants are invited to present a brief outline and/ or sample chapter.


WORKSHOPS Poetry-Comics: Poetry and the Visual Image

Turning Points: The Role of the Volta in Poetry

Bianca Stone

Sue Ellen Thompson

In this class we will explore poetry through the lens of other mediums. Based around the idea of the poem lending itself to the comic book form, the class will look at poets and artists who have crossed genres using poetry and the visual image. We will create our own work based on those weekly findings. This will generate new poetry, as well as expand our understanding of inspiration, revision, and presentation. Students will comment on each other’s work, as well as collaborate one-onone.

Although we associate the term volta with the traditional sonnet form, it has been used with great success by many contemporary poets. Marking a shift in the poem’s tone, subject or logic, the volta has been compared to a change of key in music. In this workshop, we will explore how turning your attention in a new direction can open up a poem, allowing it to leap to another level of significance or meaning.

8 Mondays Online All

1/6-2/24 $360

workshops

Claudia Gary Whether or not you’ve written poetry before, if you have something to say and would like to craft it more powerfully, in formal or free verse, this workshop can help. The instructor, an internationally published poet and former poetry editor, will read aloud and discuss some famous poems, lead a few brief writing exercises and look at participants’ poems with an eye to bringing out their strengths. 1/9-1/30 $195

The Force of Poetry Elizabeth Rees Open to poets of all levels, we will focus on workshopping poems, in-class writing and discussion of contemporary poems. Specific exercises will be given to free the imagination and quiet the inner censor. We will explore formal considerations, stylistic choices and those moments when the poem catches its own voice. Bring 15 copies of a poem you love (not your own) to the first session, as well as 15 copies of one of your own. Note: No Class on 2/15. 8 Saturdays 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

1/11-3/8 $360

Online Poetry Workshop I Bernadette Geyer Don’t just sit around waiting for the muse. For four weeks, this workshop will provide inspiration for generating new poems. Lessons will be posted weekly, featuring example poems and links to additional reading. Participants will share and comment on each other’s work and will receive individual feedback from the workshop leader. 4 Mondays Online All

1/18 $50

4 Poems, 4 Weeks Melanie Figg

Poetry I

4 Thursdays 7-9 p.m. Leesburg Beginner

1 Saturday 1-4 p.m. Annapolis All

1/13-2/3 $195

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Painters and poets have a special bond. In this class, we’ll close read poems by William Carlos Williams, Jorie Graham, Charles Wright, Louise Erdrich and others - and discuss issues like voice, perspective and imagery. No special knowledge of art is required, just an interest in paintings and a willingness to explore new territories of poems and paint. Students will generate at least 6 new poems, have the chance to share their work with the group and learn solid, effective revision strategies to strengthen their work. The instructor will give extensive feedback on poems written during the course. 4 Thursdays 7-9:30 p.m. 1/23-2/13 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $195

From Page to Stage: The Art of the Poetry Reading Yvette Neisser Moreno Eager to start giving poetry readings? Want to gain confidence and improve your presentation style? This hands-on workshop will take you through the steps of giving a successful reading: selecting poems, using a mic, developing a presentation style, revising and audience interaction, as well as “open mic do’s and don’ts” and tips for finding reading opportunities in the DC area. All participants will practice a poem on the mic and receive feedback. 1 Saturday 1-4:30 p.m. Bethesda All

1/25 $60

A Giant Hand and a Pledge to Make You Someone: A Poetry Workshop Hannah Gamble This course will provide an intense familiarity with poems and poets, with a heavy focus on poems written within the last 100 years. Students will read selections of poetry and the occasional short essay pertaining to the craft and purpose of poetry. Students will complete weekly assignments in the form of journal

The Writer’s Center entries (responding to recent readings) and will, each week, write poems which imitate recent readings in order to better understand the multiple ways in which poets can make meaning. 8 Mondays Online All

2/3-3/24 $360

Re-Seeing the Pieces: Strategies for Revision Lisa Fay Coutley Come prepared with a handful of standstill pieces (i.e. those you have taken as far as you can but can’t seem to finish). Each week we will re-see each poem in various ways based on an ongoing list of strategies we will create as a group. I’ll bring methods from canonized poets and my own tried and trues. You bring yours. We’ll brainstorm processes, drafts and completion versus abandonment. 6 Mondays 2/3-3/10 Online Beginner $270

All About Tone Sue Ellen Thompson Robert Frost said, “It’s tone I’m in love with; that’s what poetry is, tone.” The ability to control tone in a poem is what makes the poet credible and his or her intention clear. But tone has not always been easy to define, let alone control. In this workshop, we will attempt to distinguish tone from voice, style, and mood. We will explore what contributes to a poem’s tone and how these elements can be used to convey attitude and emotion. 1 Sunday 1-4 p.m. Bethesda All

2/9 $50

Online Poetry Workshop II Bernadette Geyer For participants who have already completed Online Poetry Workshop I, this workshop will provide additional topics for generating new poems, along with ideas for resuscitating old drafts. Lessons will be posted weekly, featuring example poems and links to additional reading. Participants will share and comment on each other’s work and will receive individual feedback from the workshop leader. 4 Mondays Online All

2/17-3/10 $195

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

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WORKSHOPS

6 Thursdays 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 2/20-3/27 Bethesda Intermediate $270

Sound in Poetry Nan Fry

The Poetry of Things Hailey Leithauser This workshop will focus on the Dinggedicht or “thing poem,” veering away from the first person to examine what shimmers beneath the surface in the objects around us, from the everyday and mundane to the celestial and bizarre. Participants will experiment with a variety of styles and forms, such as short poems and poems of praise or dispraise, reading work by both old masters such as Williams, Hopkins and Moore and contemporary writers such as Doty, Kooser and Ryan.

The artful use of sound in poetry is no mere decoration. It can contribute to the music and the meaning of the poem and evoke emotion. We’ll consider strategies such as alliteration, assonance, internal rhyme and onomatopoeia to see how they function in sample poems. Participants will have an opportunity to experiment with the use of sound.

6 Wednesdays 7-9 p.m. 3/12-4/16 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $215

1 Saturday 1-4 p.m. 2/22 Bethesda Intermediate $50

The Art of Revision Bernadette Geyer

The Organic Forms of Free Verse Nan Fry Though free verse submits to no external form, it is not shapeless. As Edward Hirsch said, “It is a poetry of organic rhythms, of deliberate irregularity, and improvisatory delight.” But how to find and organize those delights? We’ll explore patterns of imagery and metaphor, of sound and rhythm, and of line and stanza breaks in some sample poems. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with these elements on their own. 5 Thursdays 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 3/6-4/3 Bethesda Intermediate $225

Why Write in Forms? And How? Claudia Gary An author of award-winning and anthologized sonnets, villanelles and free verse will show how form can unlock deeper meaning and enhance everything you write. We’ll read and discuss famous villanelles and sonnets, try our hand at writing one or more of each, and see how they can be improved by revision. We also may try other forms if there is time and interest. 4 Fridays 7-9:30 p.m. Bethesda All

3/7-3/28 $195

How Poems Begin Sue Ellen Thompson “Let us go then, you and I, Where the evening is spread out against the sky, Like a patient etherized upon a table...” Poets and poems are often remembered for their opening lines, but is there a “right” or at least a “better” way to begin a poem? In this workshop, we will explore some of the ways in which poets have traditionally chosen to open their poems and then look at some poems that break with tradition and still draw the reader in. 1 Saturday 1-4 p.m. Annapolis All

3/8 $50

Poets often have folders full of poem drafts they’ve abandoned because, while they believe the draft has promise, they can’t seem to figure out how to move the draft in the right direction. In this workshop, we will explore ways to “rethink” stubborn drafts in order to breathe new life into them and ultimately – as Samuel Taylor Coleridge said – put “the best words in the best order.” 4 Mondays Online All

3/24-4/14 $195

6 Poems, 6 Weeks Jessica Garratt In this class, students will read a number of (primarily) contemporary poets, mining their work for helpful strategies and writing a new poem each week in response to boundarypressing assignments. 6 Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. 3/25-4/29 Bethesda Intermediate $215

Reading Rich: A Salon of Poetry and Essays Melanie Figg When Adrienne Rich passed away last year, the world lost an amazing thinker, writer and social activist. In this class, we’ll read and explore some of her most pivotal early writings as well as later work. Join us for this fun “salon”: a time to focus on one author and examine the trajectory of her imagination with a group of like-minded readers. We also will use what we read as prompts to inspire our own writing. Instructor will give extensive feedback on all work written during class. 4 Thursdays 7-9 p.m. 4/3-4/24 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $135

Elements of Poetry: Imagery Nan Fry Everything we know, think or feel comes to us first through the senses. As a result, imagery, the representation of sense experience in lan-

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

guage, provides a way for and poets to create a world on the page that the reader can enter imaginatively. In this workshop, we’ll see how a few modern and contemporary poets use imagery to activate the senses, and participants will have an opportunity to practice creating images that will deepen and enliven their work. 1 Saturday 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 4/5 Bethesda All $50

Poetic Closure: How to End a Poem Sue Ellen Thompson Is there a right or wrong way to end a poem? A better way? This workshop will focus on closure - the strategies that poets have traditionally used to bring their poems to a clear, resonant conclusion. We will also discuss anti-closure - the resistance that so many contemporary poets feel toward poems that “click shut.” Bring a poem of your own and get feedback on your approach. 1 Sunday 1-4 p.m. Bethesda All

4/6 $50

Elements of Poetry: Speaker and Voice Ellen Cole Speaker and voice, so essential to a poem’s success, are hard to put your finger on - so much so that editors have been known to say, “I’ll know it when I see it.” In this workshop we’ll look at how word choice, affect and point of view come together to create a poem’s voice, and how the poet creates a distinctive picture in the reader’s mind of who is speaking the poem. We’ll do some exercises, look at published work for examples and critique work the participants bring to class. Please bring one poem of your own to workshop and one poem by a favorite poet to share, that you think has a particularly effective voice. 1 Saturday 1-4 p.m. Bethesda All

4/12 $50

Elements of Poetry: Line and Stanza Nan Fry Without traditional forms and meters to guide them, how do free verse poets know how to break their lines and stanzas? We don’t - we have to discover the organic form of each poem as we write and revise it. In this workshop we’ll explore the effects of long and short lines, run-on and end-stopped lines, poems that spill down the page in one long stanza and stanzas of varying lengths. By the end of the session, participants will have new ways to think about and play with their own line and stanza breaks. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda All

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4/19 $50

workshops

language itself works to lead the making of the poem forward.


WORKSHOPS Elements of Poetry: Music and Sound

use that information to write a pitch letter that best sells your story. 3 Saturdays 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 1/18-2/1 Bethesda Beg/Intermediate $135

Claudia Gary A number of early words for “poem” and “poet” were interchangeable with words for “song” and “singer.” If a song elicits both emotion and thought, so can a poem that contains musical elements; rhyme, meter and other devices that echo or emphasize the sound of a line. The instructor, who is both a poet and a composer, will present auditory examples in poetry and music, guide an ekphrastic writing exercise, discuss participants’ poems and more. 1 Saturday 1-5 p.m. Bethesda All

4/19 $80

Elements of Poetry: Metaphor Yvette Neisser Moreno

workshops

Poems can rise or fall depending on the choice of metaphor. In this intensive workshop, we will examine the use of metaphor in sample poems and then “workshop” participants’ poems with a focus on metaphor. 1 Saturday 1-4 p.m. Bethesda All

4/26 $50

How to Get Published: Chapbooks Melanie Figg This workshop is for poets working to build a collection of poems for a chapbook. Join us for informative discussions about both content and logistics. You’ll learn about how to order your poems to build a cohesive and compelling collection and also get tips about options for publication and how to present and submit manuscripts to chapbook contests. 2 Saturdays 1-3:30 p.m. 4/26-5/3 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $85

Professional How to Break into Travel Writing with a Story that Sells Christine Koubek Learn about the various forms of travel writing, from news items to round-ups, reviews and personal essays. We’ll begin by examining work in major newspaper and magazine travel sections, as well as travel publications and websites - all with an eye on each outlet’s specialized formats. Workshop participants will then be asked to research an outlet that fits his or her particular geographic niche or interest and draft a travel piece that adheres to the targeted publication’s format and style. We’ll workshop those assignments in the following two classes. In addition, we’ll look at where to find the best writer’s guidelines and how to

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Writing the Dreaded Query Letter

How to Write a Grant Proposal Cara Seitchek Learn how to write proposals requesting grants from funders. Part in-person and part-online, this class offers practical training for writers to expand their skill base. 3 Saturdays 1:30-4 p.m. Bethesda/Online Beginner

Alan Orloff You’ve spent months (or years) of your life - not to mention copious amounts of blood, sweat and tears - writing a dynamite novel. Don’t simply spend five minutes slapping together a weak query letter; you owe it to yourself to write a great one that will break through the slush-clutter at top literary agencies. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to entice your dream agent into reading your masterpiece by writing a tight query that really sings (while avoiding those pitfalls that will land your query in the trash). Bring four copies of a draft query and a red pen with a lot of ink! 1 Saturday 2-4 p.m. Bethesda All

The Writer’s Center

3/1 $40

4/5-4/19 $135

Stage & Screen Songwriting: Digging Deeper Cathy Fink The class is designed either for those who took the fall Songwriting 101 class or experienced songwriters looking to dig deeper in to their writing. A portion of each class will be spent reading/hearing each other’s songs and critiquing them for an eye on where they work and what needs improvement. We will explore songwriting techniques and devices that help move the process forward. We will explore writing to various grooves and work with writing “assignments” that give inspiration to spend time writing. Instruments welcome.

Travel Writing: Get Paid to See the World

4 Tuesdays 7:30-9:30 p.m. 3/4-3/25 Bethesda Intermed/Advanced $135

Aaron Hamburger

Screenwriting I

In this two-session class, we’ll explore the wide range of creative possibilities available to practitioners of the much-misunderstood genre of travel writing. We’ll consider the various types of travel writing projects, ranging from service-oriented “ten best” or “thirty-six hours in...” pieces to more literary memoir style travel pieces. In addition to developing practical skills of research and crafting sentences, we’ll examine how the struggle to capture settings with words reveals larger truths about not only the places we visit, but also the people who move through them (including ourselves). Other issues will include the ethical dilemmas of travel writing, the relationship of place of origin to destination and the thorny question of the “authentic” travel experience. We will also go on a twenty-minute field trip. Students also will generate their own work, which we’ll critique in a “lightning-round” workshop. 2 Saturdays Capitol Hill

10 a.m.-1 p.m. All

3/29-4/5 $115

So You Want to Be a Blogger? Mary McCarthy Join nationally recognized humor blogger Mary McCarthy for a workshop on the ins and outs of blogging: which platform to use, how to best engage the various social media outlets, how to build readership and the elements of a good blog post. 1 Wednesday 6:30-9 p.m. 4/2 Bethesda Intermediate $50

Jeffrey Rubin Want to know how to turn your idea for a movie into a full-fledged screenplay or your finished script into a better one? Then this workshop is for you. All the basics are covered: plot, character, dialogue, formatting and more. Students will be able to get feedback on their own ideas and how to take the next steps to develop their scripts. 8 Tuesdays 7-9:30 p.m. Arlington Beginner

1/7-2/25 $360

Elements of Playwriting: Character Richard Washer Characters set in motion a series of events and actions that become the engine of your play. In this workshop we will also 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 creating characters. 1 Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bethesda Beginner

1/18 $50

Elements of Playwriting: Process Richard Washer In this session we will discuss, explore and attempt to demystify one of the more personal

View online at www.writer.org/guide


WorKsHoPs

1 Saturday bethesda

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. beginner

Screenwriting II

Elements of Playwriting: Theatricality

Lyn Vaus The workshop will concentrate on the art of rewriting your screenplay. A completed or nearly completed screenplay is required. 8 Thursdays bethesda

7:30-10 p.m. 2/6-3/27 intermed/Advanced $360

1/25 $50

Playwriting II

Elements of Playwriting: Dialogue

Richard Washer

Among the tools available to the playwright dialogue is the most obvious and possibly least understood element of craft. in this session we will identify some of the many uses of dialogue and discuss how the writer uses this tool to explore, discover and build a play. We will also discuss how actors and other theatre artists approach the play on the page and consider how this can inform us in the way that we approach using dialogue. Although my focus in this session will be on playwriting, writers of all genres are welcome.

in this workshop we will review the basic elements of playwriting in the context of developing longer works (one-act and full-length plays). We will use exercises to jump-start the imagination, consider various approaches to the writing process and define a feedback method designed to facilitate continued discovery through writing. in addition we will begin to consider some of the structural implications in writing for the stage. by workshop end, the goal is to empower writers with sufficient understanding of their process so as to be able to continue forward towards completing a first draft.

1 Thursday bethesda

8 Saturdays bethesda

Richard Washer

7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. beginner

1/30 $50

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. intermediate

2/8-3/29 $360

Richard Washer Writing for the stage offers opportunities for writers to explore and be inspired by theatrical tools that can make a play unique and exciting for an audience to attend. in this workshop, we will look at the various components that go into stage production and how they can be used to not only inspire our writing, but also to help communicate our story in powerful ways. in this context we also will discuss stage directions and other methods we can use to convey our vision. 1 Wednesday bethesda

3/19 $50

Elements of Playwriting: Exposition Richard Washer What does your audience need to know and when do they need to know it? you only have a couple of hours (often less) to tell a story onstage, so there isn’t much time for providing back stories. in this workshop we will consider various strategies for managing exposition and look at examples in their historical contexts to better understand how to handle this in our own writing. 1 Thursday bethesda

Author’s Coach/ Writing Mentor Writing your first novel or in need of professional support to further your writing career? Kathryn Johnson, developer of The Extreme Novelist course for The Writer’s Center, is now accepting new clients. Services designed to fit the individual author’s needs. Including: • Partial or Full Content Editing • Critical Reads & Brainstorming Sessions • Publish-ready Analysis & Tips • Help with Queries/Synopses/Pitches • Private Consultation & Instruction at all levels • Specializing in all fiction genres & the creative memoir Reasonable rates, no contracts/retainers, privacy guaranteed. Free 20-minute phone consultation: 301-439-7567 For more information, check out: www.WriteByYou.com or email Kathryn@WriteByYou.com

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

7:30-10 p.m. beginner

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10 a.m.-1 p.m. beginner

4/17 $50

WOrKSHOPS

and varied aspects of a creative writer’s craft: process. Process can vary by writer as well as by project, but knowing about some strategies can help us overcome the inevitable challenges that arise in the course of any writing project. Although my focus in this session will be on playwriting, writers of all genres are welcome.


SUCCESS STORIES

The Writer’s Center

Cultivating a CubanAmerican Connection Elizabeth Huergo and The Death of Fidel Pérez By Teresa Burns Murphy

E

lizabeth Huergo says she found great solace at The Writer’s Center at various points in her process. “Writing is a solitary activity, and I often found camaraderie among my classmates and instructors, which was just lovely and nurturing,” the debut novelist says. Huergo’s prowess as a poet and a scholar is evident in her dazzling first novel, The Death of Fidel Pérez. Recently published by Unbridled Books, a highly regarded independent publisher of literary fiction, The Death of Fidel Pérez transports the reader to modern-day Cuba, where the decades-long embargo imposed by the United States has led to severe economic deprivation and emotional desolation. Huergo holds an msater of arts in 19th-century American Literature as well as a doctorate in British Romanticism from Brown University. She is an English professor at Montgomery College, and teaches in the Women and Gender Studies program at George Mason University. In addition to being a novelist, Huergo is a published poet, essayist and story

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writer. A resident of suburban Washington, DC, Huergo has in recent years been connected to The Writer’s Center, both as a workshop participant and as a teacher. Her “absolute favorite workshop” at the Center was Kathryn Johnson’s boot-camp for novelists.” She describes Johnson as “a wonderful teacher because her Photo by Stephanie Long teaching is rooted in Elizabeth Huergo her writing pracof Fidel Castro as dictator. tice.” The novel opens with a case Packaged in lyrical language and populated with captivating of mistaken identity when two brothers fall to their deaths characters, The Death of Fidel Pérez is at once a lesson in Cu- from a dilapidated balcony in Havana. When neighbors witban history and a heartbreakness the titular Fidel Pérez’s ing rendering of the impact a nation’s politics can have on its fall, they cry out, “Fidel has fallen!” A rumor rapidly people. The novel takes place spreads through the streets of on July 26, 2003, the 50th Havana that Fidel Castro and anniversary of the Moncada his brother, Raúl, are dead. Army Barracks raid, an event Identity and how it can be that ultimately triggered a shaped by politics is a recurrevolution that brought down the regime of Fulgencio Batista rent theme in the novel. Having been forced to flee her and resulted in the installation View online at www.writer.org/guide


sUccess stories native Cuba at an early age and live as a political exile, Huergo has had to confront identity issues in her own life. Speaking of her experience in that thorny mediation process, Huergo states that she has had “to learn how to negotiate that hyphenated space between Cuban-American,” adding that she is “not completely one or the other, but both.” She says “it is from that very difficult space that [her] work as a writer is situated.” As an adult in the late 1990s, Huergo returned to Cuba for

the first time since her exile. There, the seed that blossomed into The Death of Fidel Pérez was sown. She says that had she not visited Cuba, The Death of Fidel Pérez “might have been a very different story.” Her return allowed her to experience Havana “not through the stories of others, but directly,” enabling her “to understand the city as a distinct character.” She views the role of a writer as a means to “mediate and reconcile.” Huergo is currently at work on her second novel, Between Ana and Ella, a contemporary,

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

Latina version of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Set in Washington, D.C., the novel is about two women, one Cuban and the other Mexican, whose lives intersect in response to a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid that led to the detention of a Guatemalan worker. To read more, visit www. elizabethhuergo.com.

Share your Story! if your path to success began at The Writer’s Center, submit it an idea to our Success Stories Series.

editor@writer.org

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Good Company Quotidian celebrates 16 years in residence By Joan K. Atchinson

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and tested, first as a set designer and later as a director. The couple soon realized that in order to stage the plays most important to them, they needed to start their own company, says Sbarbori. They had a particular fondness for the works of Horton Foote, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, and chose his “Talking Pictures” as their first production. “At that time,” says Sbarbori, “the stands were made of two-byfours. It was rough at first, but the Center has been really good to us over the years.” QTC’s productions in recent years have been packing the house, which holds 120 for theatre performances. QTC’s summer production of The Birds packed the “It’s both rewarding house. Photos by St. Johnn Blondell and surprising,” says Sbarbori. “We have also than a decade’s involvement been very lucky in attracting in community theater in extraordinarily talented actors.” the Washington, DC region. He credits QTC’s board Mumford, an actress, “dragged member Michael Avolio for me into the world of theater,” promoting QTC through Sbarbori chuckles. Facebook, Twitter and other A self-described “lapsed artist” social media outlets. and student of the fine arts, it And he believes that audiences wasn’t long before Sbarbori’s like seeing plays that are not artistic talents were identified being staged anywhere else. alling The Writer’s Center home for the past 16 years has been a “simply wonderful experience,” for Quotidian Theatre Company (QTC), says Co-Founder and Artistic Director Jack Sbarbori. The company stages three productions per season in The Center’s Allan B. Lefcowitz Theatre. Sbarbori and his wife Stephanie Mumford founded QTC in 1997, after more

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In the fall of 2012, their production of James Joyce’s “The Dead” broke all their box office records, and went a long way in highlighting the company’s daring repertoire. Sbarbori describes the show as a “very Quotidian” musical, a James Joyce story that “happens to have music.” The company’s mission is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, Sbarbori says. When the company was founded, Sbarbori and Mumford harkened back to their shared love of Russian literature and, specifically, the works of Anton Chekhov, where readers see the word “quotidian” a great deal. By providing realistic situations and dialogue, QTC lives up to its name, letting audiences witness events as if over a backyard fence or through an open window, thus illuminating the depth and dignity of ordinary human experience. In planning each season, Sbarbori feels fortunate to be able to choose works based on the talent he has to work with and the works he wants to do. “I don’t choose for box office magic. I choose what we can be passionate about, and our audiences go along with us,” he says.

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Having exhausted most of Horton Foote’s plays over the years, Sbarbori has moved on to his passion - plays by Conor McPherson (The Birds, Shining City, The Seafarer, Port Authority, Dublin Carol). He has produced six of McPherson’s plays since 2004. The most recent, The Birds, ran this summer. The play is set in a dark post-apocalyptic world, where three strangers are forced to take refuge in an abandoned house after their town has been attacked by birds. As the play unfolds, the three characters react to horrendous conditions with humor, anger, despair, jealousy and tenderness. Jenny Donovan played the role of Julia, a self-absorbed young woman who tips the emotional balance of the tense household. It was her first time acting with QTC. Before auditioning, she had seen a QTC production and was drawn to the company for its innovative repertoire. Donovan enjoyed the experience immensely. “Rehearsals for ‘The Birds’ employed a different technique than I was used to,” she says. “We were on our feet, refining our characters and getting it all into our bodies right away. Everyone was very committed.” She is active in other local theater companies including Olney Theatre Center and Imagination Stage, and says she would welcome an opportunity to work with QTC again. The current season features three ambitious plays: “The

A scene from Quotidian Theatre Company’s recent production of The Birds.

The Quotidian Theatre presents Faith Healer, based on Brian Friel’s landmark play. Directed by Laura Giannerelli

April 25 - May 25 Allan B. Lefcowitz Theatre The Writer’s Center

quotidiantheatre.org Iceman Cometh,” an 18-actor masterwork by award-winning American author Eugene O’Neill (Long Day’s Journey into Night, Hughie) was directed by Michael Avolio and ran through Nov. 24. “Faith Healer,” an intimate and visceral three-person narrative by influential Irish dramatist Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa, Afterplay), directed by Laura Giannarelli, will run April 25-May 25. And the U.S. premiere of “The Veil,” a gothic thriller by McPherson, directed by

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

Sbarbori, will run July 18-Aug. 17. QTC is grateful for the critical and financial response to its productions over the years. “I hate the expression ‘we’re in a good place,’ but, in fact, we are,” says Sbarbori. In addition to increasing subscription sales, QTC patrons make generous donations that keep the company afloat. And above all, Sparbori is grateful to The Writer’s Center. “It’s been our home for 16 years,” he says.

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bOOK TALK

The Writer’s Center

Shadow Play

Friendly Casualties

Faith beyond belief

Jody Bolz

Tom Glenn

Margaret Placentra Jonston

iSbN: 978-0988348608

iSbN: 978-0835609050

Hypnotic and provocative, Shadow Play retraces a journey across Asia in search of the marriage that faltered in its wake. Part love poem, part elegy, the book enacts the conflict between memory and estrangement. Vikram Chandra writes: “the verse narration shifts into and out of imaginary dialogue, a conversation among the many selves that were once bound up in love. . . .” www.turningpointbooks.com/bolz

The Vietnam novelin-stories, Friendly Casualties, tells of Earl, the dying colonel and his sons, Jamey, a captain, whose wife kills herself, and Chris, a lieutenant who can’t meet his father’s expectations. Stories of connected others, all friendly casualties, complete the tapestry of brutal war gone wrong. Available on Amazon.com. The Calligrapher’s daughter

“i, Universe”: The Great Time-Heart Speaks

Eugenia Kim iSbN: 978-0805089127

Q.R. Quasar iSbN-978-1592671106

“I, Universe”: The Great Time Heart Speaks is a book about the universe suddenly coming to consciousness and realizing itself to be a single, total, comprehensive entity. In this book of poetry, Quasar gives us poems describing the entire cosmos’ self-conscious. www.gsp-online.org Ocean of Suns and Light First, Light Last Q.R. Quasar iSbN-978-1592671151

Containing two books in one, Ocean of Suns and Light First, Light Last, Quasar brings us poems on the predominance of light as the transcendent force of the consciousness of the universe and writes poetically about the active propagation of light. www.gsp-online.org

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Winner of the Borders Original Voices Award and a Washington Post Critic’s Pick, this sweeping debut novel - inspired by the life of the author’s mother - is about a young woman who dares to fight for a brighter future in occupied Korea. www.thecalligraphersdaughter.com Myth, Magic & Metaphor, A Journey into the Heart of Creativity

GOLD WINNER - 2013 Nautilus Book Award. Faith Beyond Belief offers an overarching explanation for the religious believer/ nonbeliever controversy and suggests a heartwarming path beyond current divisiveness. Ten true stories from real life people illustrate the works of twelve spiritual development theorists. ForeWord Reviews calls it “a staggering achievement from a profoundly perceptive thinker.” www.FaithBeyondBelief-book.com Amy & George Ann McLaughlin iSbN: 978-1564745460

Nine-year-old Amy longs to be friends with her workaholic father, George, who has little time for his family, since he is a new dean at Harvard University and is also involved with Roosevelt’s New Deal. Amy hates her new school, Europe is close to war and this family is headed for a crisis. www.annmclaughlinwriting.com Lucid Waking

Patricia Daly-Lipe

David B. Churchill

iSbN: 097641-156x

iSbN: 978-0975309506

This little tome attempts to awaken the aesthetic sense, the creative muse that lurks within us all, to enhance the creative spirit through myth and metaphor and restore the sense of wonder adults experienced as children. The book is available on Amazon.com, or directly from Daly-Lipe for an autographed copy. www.literarylady.com

Lucid Waking is a historic first collection of non-academic, non-MFA poetry in the “Poetry is Mindfulness” movement, and includes the essay, An Introduction to Poetry. The book is recommended for aspiring or established poets searching for ways to make their work relevant in today’s fast-paced world. Available from Amazon.com or your local bookseller.

View online at www.writer.org/guide


BOOK TALK Annie’s Special Day

The Invented Child

Clara Bowman-Jahn

The Gift: How My Horse Taught Me to Teach the Toughest Children

ISBN: 978-1937809218

Alix Moore

ISBN: 978-1878851628

In this children’s picture book, Annie celebrates her birthday with an adventure every hour. Annie’s Special Day is Bowman-Jahn’s first book, and is helpful in learning how to tell both analog and digital time for the children of today where their attention is torn between TV and activities. The Assembler of Parts Raoul Wientzen ISBN: 978-1611458916

This stunning debut, like The Lovely Bones, is a child’s story narrated from the afterlife, and an emotional fable about love, forgiveness and what most makes us human. Follow along as 8-year-old Jess examines her brief life on a deeper level and interacts with the “assembler of parts.” www.raoulwientzen.com About Face: World War I Facial Injury and Reconstruction Ann Gerike  ISBN: 978-1930446335

In compassionate and powerful poetry and prose, About Face describes some of the thousands of forgotten facial reconstructions, many of them remarkably successful, performed at the Queen’s Hospital in England between 1917 and 1925, and the stalemated four-year trench warfare on the Western Front that produced most of the facial damage. www.aboutfacegerike.com

ISBN: 978-1934074886

What does it take to learn to teach the toughest children? Twenty-four struggling six-year-olds, one angry young horse and a teacher who wouldn’t give up. In this powerful book, part memoir and part how-to, master teacher Alix Moore shares with us how she learned to teach the unteachables. www.alixmoore.net Tapping the Well Within: Writing from Your Source of Effortless Creativity, Deep Wisdom, and Utter Joy Alix Moore ISBN: 978-1452533681

Spiritual teacher Alix Moore invites you to step into your creative genius and learn to write from the deepest, most sacred part of your being: your higher self. Learn to quiet your mind, connect to your spirit and let your words fly free! www.alixmoore.net

Margaret Mackinnon

Margaret Mackinnon’s The Invented Child won the 2011 Gerald Cable Book Award. Kelly Cherry writes, “these are splendid poems of feeling that look far beyond the self to the miraculous other.” Gregory Orr says the poems are “alert to history and family.” Available through Silverfish Review Press and Amazon.com www.spdbooks.org Chesapeake Views – Catching the Light Wilson Wyatt, Jr. ISBN: 978-0988345607

A collector’s edition of original Chesapeake Bay photography captures the changing light of the seasons and our neighbors in nature, on and off the water. The author gives details of how the images were taken for photography enthusiasts. www.wilsonsyattjr.com The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story

Nowhere to Run

Cheryl Somers Aubin

Claire J. Griffin

ISBN: 978-0983833406

ISBN: 978-1608981441

From teen author, Claire J. Griffin, Nowhere to Run is about Calvin, a high school sprinter whose dream of winning the D.C. track championship is threatened when his best friend gets them both involved with a local criminal. Nominated to the American Library Association’s 2014 list of Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Available on Amazon.com. www.clairejgriffin.com

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

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

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bOOK TALK How the Light Gets in: Writing as a Spiritual Practice

Of Mouse and Magic

Pat Schneider

iSbN: 978-1936401789

Allan R. Gall

iSbN: 978-0199933983

From Library Journal’s review: “[Schneider] admirably fulfills her goal of making her book address current struggles involving writing and growth, rather than reporting on her own past growth, and confronts many paradoxes, e.g., the need to share personal experience countered with the need to be selfprotective, and the encompassing of both light and dark in one’s writing… Highly Recommended.”

An adventure-laden literary yarn for young readers. A family of field mice lives in a dangerous environment, mindful of the predators. The children grow up with practical skills, stay alive by supplementing self-reliance with partnerships and learn to love and be loved. Available on Amazon.com and bn.com. Short Leashed: A Memoir of dog Walking and deliverance Janice Gary

Patriot Priest

iSbN: 978-1611860726

Patricia Daly-Lipe iSbN: 978-1939521064

Patriot Priest tells the story of the author’s great uncle, Msgr. William A. Hemmick. When the First World War broke out, he felt committed to help the troops. After the war, he was proclaimed the ‘Patriot Priest of Picardy’ by the Army and Navy and eventually made his way to Rome by invitation from the Vatican. My Glasses Are A Friend To Me Edward S. Lathan

When Janice Gary risks taking her aggressive dog Barney to a public park, she begins a remarkable journey that releases them both from the leash of their traumatic past. “Luminously spiritual, unflinchingly honest, the words in Short Leash leap off the page, remaking its genre into a profound meditation.” www.janicegary.com devil dancer William Heath iSbN: 978-0985389840

A first reader and picture book that encourages children to wear their glasses while simultaneously promotes the benefits of reading. This book also can be beneficial to the first reader who enjoys rhymes. Available on Barnes&Noble. com and Amazon.com.

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James W. Hall writes, “Mingling wry humor and tough guy dialogue that Elmore Leonard would be proud of, Devil Dancer is brimming over with haunting characters... This is a first-rate novel of suspense that accomplishes all that we expect from our best works of literature.”

The Writer’s Center Los Visitantes Traducción de bertha ruiz de la Concha C.M. Mayo iSbN: 978-0967409320

Una visita a Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, un pueblo único y mágico en la costa del pacifico - y en la antesala de una gran transformación. Libro digital (iBook) Dancing Chiva, 2012 www.cmmayo.com Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through baja California, the Other Mexico C.M. Mayo iSbN: 978-1571313041

Of Miraculous Air, Library Journal wrote, “With elegant prose and an artist’s eye for detail, C.M. Mayo may just have written one of the best books ever about Baja California. Highly recommended.” In paperback from Milkweed Editions and now in Kindle. www.cmmayo.com El Último Príncipe del imperio Mexicano C.M. Mayo Traducción de Agustín Cadena iSbN: 978-0985278144

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

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BooK talK Wolf Trap Alan Simon iSbN: 978-1456516345

Wolf Trap is another espionage thriller from Alan Simon, who first introduced Sean Brogan in the novel, To Live Among Wolves. This follow-up pits the efforts of CIA ‘terminator,’ Sean Brogan, and Mossad operations officer, Rachel Allon, against al Qaeda’s efforts to foment a bloodbath in the Middle East. The Fallen Snow by John J Kelley iSbN 978-0988414808

A wounded soldier returns from WWI. But the story of one youth soon grows into a timeless tale about the innumerable ways people cope, and find love,

in even the most trying of circumstances.”A gripping tale of selfexploration and atonement . . . emotionally complex and brimming with grit.” -Publishers Weekly. www.thefallensnow.com.

ing relationships only to be let down when they don’t. Anyone struggling to break this cycle will find in these pages a warm and ready approach to finding love and fulfillment. www.drjillweber.com

Advertise your book in Book Talk!

Having Sex, Wanting intimacy Why Women Settle For One-Sided relationships Jill P. Weber, Ph.D. iSbN: 978-1442220201

Finding lasting love and intimacy can be difficult for many women. Some end up agreeing to sexual relationships hoping that they will lead to fulfill-

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

$45 ($40 Members) Summer issue deadline: Feb. 17, 2014

editor@writer.org

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WORKSHOP LEADERS AMY ABRAMS is the author of The Cage and the Key and Schenck in the 21st Century. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Art in America and Village Voice Media. Abrams has appeared on National Public Radio and lectured at universities, museums and writing conferences across America. Ken Ackerman is the author of four published works, including most recently The Gold Ring: Jim Fask, Jay Gould and Black Friday, 1869. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications. Currently, Ackerman works as a writer and attorney in Washington, DC. Amin Ahmad is the author of The Caretaker and The Last Tax Ride forthcoming in 2014. Ahmad’s stories have appeared in the New York Times and Harvard Review, among others. Ahmad currently lives in Washington DC, and has been teaching novel writing at The Writer’s Center since 2012.

LEADERS

randy baker is a playwright, director and the co-artistic director of Rorschach Theatre. His plays have appeared at Rorschach Theatre and Source Theatre, among others. He is a member of The Playwright’s Arena and is currently developing a play as a part of Theater J’s Locally Grown series. Jim Beane is a fiction author whose stories have appeared in a number of journals. His story “Jeanette” is included in the anthology DC Noir. His honors include two fellowships from The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Beane is currently working on his second collection of short stories and first novel. Jennifer Buxton has an MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia. Her fiction has appeared in Epoch, Puerto del Sol and Blue Penny Quarterly, among others. She has published nonfiction in periodicals such as Seventeen and Scholastic magazines. She has taught at the University of Virginia and the Young Writer’s Workshop. ron capps is he founder and director of the Veterans Writing Project. He served 25 years in the Army and Army Reserve and is a combat veteran of Afghanistan. He has been a contributor to Time Magazine’s Battleland blog and to Foreign Policy; his literary writing has been featured in

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JMWW, The New York Times, The Delmarva Review, The Little Patuxent Review, Prime Number, and Riverlit. Brenda W. Clough is the author of the novels How Like a God, The Doors of Death and Revise the World, as well as the e-book Speak to Our Desires. She has been a finalist for the Hugo award and has been teaching at The Writer’s Center for more than10 years. ellen cole is a poet and teaching artist. Her poems have appeared in The Washington Post, The Potomac Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal and The Takoma Voice, among others. Cole has served on the faculty for Round House Theatre, Passion for Learning’s Young Writer’s Institute and Interact Story Theatre. lisa fay coutley is the author of In the Carnival of Breathing and Back Talk. Her honors include the Academy of American Poets Levis Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has appeared in Seneca Review, among others. She holds an MFA from Northern Michigan University and is a doctoral candidate at University of Utah. Mark Cugini is the author of a chapbook forthcoming from Ink Press, as well as the founding editor of Big Lucks and curator of the Three Tents Reading Series. He is a regular contributor to HTMLGiant, and his work has appeared in Melville House, among others. He holds an MFA from American University. Solveig Eggerz is the author of Seal Woman. Her writing has appeared in The Northern Virginia Review, Palo Alto Review, Lincoln Review, Midstream, Issues and Open Windows: An Anthology. She holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature with a focus on Medieval English, German and Scandinavian works. Barbara Esstman is the author of two novels The Other Anna and Night Ride Home, which were both adapted by Hallmark Productions. She is co-editor of the anthology A More Perfect Union. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The Writer’s Center Melanie Figg teaches poetry to adults, children, college students and prisoners. Her work has been featured in The Iowa Review, among others. In addition to The Writer’s Center, she teaches at Politics & Prose, DC Arts and other local venues. She also curates Literary Art Tours in Washington, DC galleries. CATHY FINK is a prolific songwriter whose honors include two Grammy awards, and several awards from the Washington Area Music Association. She maintains an active tour schedule along with creative partner Marcy Marxer. Cathy’s song “Names,” about the AIDS Memorial Quilt, has been recorded by more than 20 artists in several countries. Nan Fry is the author of two books of poetry: Relearning the Dark and Say What I Am Called. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Spillway and the Delmarva Review. Her honors include an EdPress Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism. Hannah Gamble is the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in Poetry and jubilat, among others. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston and her honors include fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation. She has written for the Poetry Society of America and the Poetry Foundation. Claudia gary is the author of Humor Me published in 2006 by David Robert Books. She’s been a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a poetry editor. Gary’s poems have recently appeared in American Arts Quarterly, Antiphon and Poet Lore, among others. Her articles on health appear in The VVA Veteran and VFW Magazine. Jessica Garratt is the author of Fire Pond, winner of the Agha Shahid Prize in Poetry, and a forthcoming second collection. Her work has appeared in the Colorado Review, among others. Garratt holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.

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WORKSHOP LEADERS ellen herbert is the author of the short story collection Falling Women and Other Stories. Her short fiction has been awarded a PEN Fiction and a Virginia Fiction Fellowship. Her creative nonfiction has been published in women’s magazines and literary magazines. She is the recipient The Flint Hills Review Prize for Creative Nonfiction.

Chris Goodrich is the author of Nevertheless, Hello and the chapbook By Reaching. His poems have appeared in Margie and Hotel Amerika, among others. He is the recipient of the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. He currently teaches English and Play Directing at the Academy of Musical Theatre, Northwood High School.

DANUTA HINC is the author of the novel To Kill the Other. Hinc’s work, including short fiction and essays, has been featured in the Little Patuxent Review, among others. Hinc holds an MA in Philology. She currently teaches at The Writer’s Center and the University of Maryland, College Park.

patricia gray is the author of Rupture: Poems and Rich with Desire. She is the former head of the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, and a three time judge for the National Endowment of the Art’s “Poetry Out Loud.” She holds an MFA from the University of Virginia. T. Greenwood is the author of six novels. Her honors include grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. She teaches at both the University of California, San Diego’s Extension Program and at The Ink Spot. Aaron hamburger is the author of Faith for Beginners and The View from Stalin’s Head, which was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His writing has appeared in the New York Times and Poets & Writers, among others. He received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.   Virginia Hartman is co-editor, with Barbara Esstman, of A More Perfect Union. Her stories have appeared in The Hudson Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Iowa Woman and Gravity Dancers. She holds a MFA from American University and has taught at American University, George Washington University and the Smithsonian.

sinta jimenez is a writer and journalist. Her work has appeared in Underground Voices, Otis Nebula and The Black Boot. She contributes regularly to Asian Fusion, Wearever the Weather and Vigore! and serves as Managing Editor of Meets Obsession. Her honors include a National Association for the Advancement of the Arts award. She holds an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Kathryn Johnson is the founder of WriteByYou.com, an author’s mentoring service. Over 40 of her novels have sold to major U.S. and foreign publishers. Her recent series of Victorian thrillers includes The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Defiant Daughter and Seducing the Princess. Kathryn is vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Mystery Writers Association. Christine Koubek is a travel writer, essayist and author. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, Coastal Living, Washingtonian, Bethesda and Budget Travel, among others. She is a regular contributor to Cruisecritic. com and Familyvactioncritic.com. Susan Land has taught for both Bethesda Elementary and the FBI. She holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Her fiction has won three Maryland Council for the Arts awards, and her work has appeared in Bethesda Magazine, Potomac Review and the anthology He Said, She Wrote.

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

Con Lehane is the author of three detective novels, including Beware the Solitary Drinker, What Goes Around Comes Around and Death at the Old Hotel. His newest novel Murder at the 42nd Street Library is forthcoming. Lehane earned his M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University. Hailey LeitHauser is the author of Swoop, winner of the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award. Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies, including The Antioch Review, Gettysburg Review, Pleiades, Poetry, The Virginia Quarterly Review and Best American Poetry. Christopher Linforth is a graduate of Virginia Tech’s MFA program and editor of The Anthem Guide to Short Fiction. His fiction has appeared in Gargoyle, Denver Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Whiskey Island, Harpur Palate and many other literary magazines. jim mathews is the author of the short story collection Last Known Position. His honors include the 2008 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, as well as three grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. Mathews holds an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University. mary mccarthy is the author of the forthcoming novel The Scarlet Letter Society and the Senior Editor at Splice Today. McCarthy’s work has appeared in publications including The Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. She founded the humor site pajamasandcoffee.com, and has appeared on The Today Show and Huffington Post Live. Ann McLaughlin is the author of six novels, including most recently Amy and George. Her honors include eleven fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts as well as fellowships from Yaddo and Laverny. She studied literature at Radcliffe College and received her doctorate from American University. Pat McNees is the author of several works of nonfiction and editor of the anthologies My Words Are Gonna Linger and Dying: A Book of Comfort. She served for many years as an editor and a freelance journalist before she began writing other

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LEADERS

bernadette geyer is the author of the poetry chapbook What Remains as well as a freelance writer and copy editor. Her work has appeared in WRITER’S Journal, Freelance Writer’s Report, The Montserrat Review and The Los Angeles Review, among others. Her honors include a 2010 Strauss Fellowship from the Arts Council of Fairfax County.


WORKSHOP LEADERS people’s life stories and organizational histories. She currently serves as president of the Association of Personal Historians. Yvette Neisser Moreno is the author of Grip, which won the 2011 Gival Press Poetry Award. She is co-translator of South Pole/Polo Sur and editor of Difficult Beauty: Selected Poems by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. She has taught at The George Washington University and Catholic University, among others. Moreno is the founder of DC-Area Literary Translators Network. John Morris is the author of the chapbook The Musician Approaching Sleep. Morris has published fiction and poetry in more than 80 literary magazines. His work has been reprinted in Twentieth Century Literary Criticism and Anatomy of a Short Story. His musical project, Mulberry Coach, released its sixth CD in 2011.

LEADERS

Laura Oliver is the author of The Story Within. Her honors include a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction and the Anne Arundel County Arts Council Annie Award for Literary Achievement. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post and Glimmer Train Stories, among others. Oliver holds an MFA from Bennington College. Alan Orloff is the author of Diamonds for the Dead. He writes the Last Laff Mystery series for Midnight Ink, including Killer Routine and Deadly Campaign. Under the pseudonym “Zak Allen,” he has published three e-book originals: The Taste, First Time Killer and Ride Along. William O’SULLIVAN is an essayist and editor. His personal essays have appeared in The Washington Post and New York Times, among others. He is the recipient of fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His work has been included in The Best American Essays. MARIE PAVLICEK-WEHRLI is a poet, painter and printmaker. Her poems have appeared in various publications including Ekphrasis and Poet Lore. Her honors include fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale and the Maryland State Arts Council. She holds an

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MFA from Warren Wilson College and a BA from Seton Hill University. stanley plumly is the author most recently of Orphan Hours and Old Heart, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and The Paterson Poetry Prize. Plumly is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland. In 2009, he was appointed Poet Laureate of Maryland and in 2010, he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Writer’s Center and Library Services, American Association of Museums and the Maryland State Arts Council. She holds an MA in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. lynn stearns is an author and associate fiction editor for Potomac Review. Her work has appeared in The Baltimore Review and The Bitter Oleander, Gravity Dancers, In Good Company, New Lines From the Old Line State and Not What I Expected, among others.

Elizabeth Rees is the author of four chapbooks, including most recently Tilting Gravity. Her work has been featured in The Kenyon Review and North American Review, among others. Rees has taught at Harvard University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Howard University and Johns Hopkins University. She works as a “Poetin-the-Schools” for the Maryland State Arts Council.

Bianca Stone is the author of several poetry chapbooks, and a poetry-comic series from Factory Hollow Press. She is the illustrator of Antigonick, and her poems have appeared in Tin House and American Poetry Review. Stone’s first collection Someone Else’s Wedding Vows is forthcoming. She lives in Brooklyn where she directs Monk Books with Ben Pease and chairs the Ruth Stone Foundation. 

jeffrey rubin is screenwriter and producer. He has won top prizes at Worldfest Houston and the Vail Film Festival, among others and been nominated for a Writer’s Guild of America Award. He is a graduate of Harvard and Juilliard (Drama Division) and received an MA from New York City’s Hunter College.

Sara Mansfield Taber is the author of four books, including most recently Born Under an Assumed Name. Her work has appeared in Southwest Review and The Washington Post, among others. She has taught at Johns Hopkins University and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her honors include a William Sloane Fellow in Nonfiction from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. 

ellen ryan has been an editor in Washington for two decades, including nearly 13 years as managing editor of The Washingtonian. Her freelance articles have appeared in Good Housekeeping, the Washington Post and ForbesLife Executive Woman, among others. Ryan is author of Innkeeping Unlimited: Practical, Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your B&B and Win Repeat Business. Lynn Schwartz is a story development editor and ghostwriter. She founded the Temple Bar Literary Reading and is the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council. Schwartz holds degrees from The City College of New York, Columbia University and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. Cara Seitchek has written grant proposals for local, state and national nonprofit organizations. In addition, she evaluates proposals for the Institute of Museum

Judith Tabler is the author of several books, including The New Puppy which was awarded Best Children’s Book by the Dog Writer’s Association of America. Her work has appeared in Appleseeds, Calliope and Cobblestone. She also has written for the National Geographic Society. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing for Young People. Dave Singleton is the author of The Mandates and Behind Every Great Woman. His honors include the Media Industry Award for Outstanding Exclusive Coverage and GLAAD Award for Outstanding Multimedia Journalism, among others. His work has appeared in the New York Times and The Washington Post. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia and New York University. Sue Ellen Thompson is the author of four books of poetry, most recently

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WorKsHoP leaders The Golden Hour, and editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Her fifth book They is forthcoming in 2014. She has taught at Wesleyan University and State University of New York, among others, and has received an Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association. LyN VAUS is a screenwriter best known for his Next Stop Wonderland. He began his career as a story editor for a production company in Hollywood, where he oversaw the script for New Line’s The Lawnmower Man. He has had numerous screenplays of his own optioned and in some cases produced by Imax and Miramax, among others.

ELLyN WExLEr spent 25 years at The Gazette, the Washington Post’s chain of suburban newspapers in Maryland, predominantly as features editor, covering arts and entertainment in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Frederick counties, online and in print. She serves as a regular freelance writer for The Gazette and Montgomery Magazine. brOOK WiLENSKy-LANFOrd is the author of Paradise Lust, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Huffington Post and others. Brook received her M.F.A. from Columbia University, where she won the Arthur J. Harris Memorial Prize. She also received a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts.

LEAdErS

riCHArd WASHEr is a playwright, composer and director. His plays have appeared at Source Theatre and The Earl Hamner Jr. Theatre as well as many others. Washer served as Playwright in Residence for First Draft, and has taught at Clemson University and

Charter Theater. Richard holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from American University.

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

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THANKS TO OUr dONOrS

For all annual gifts made between Jan. 1, 2012 - October 30, 2013 Langston Hughes Circle - $2,500+

Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County • Christian Mixter & Linna Barnes Mark Cymrot • John Freeman & Sally Mott Freeman • Maryland State Arts Council National Endowment for the Arts • Joram & Lona Piatigorsky • William Reynolds The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region • The Kiplinger Foundation The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation • The Tau Omega Foundation, Inc.

Zora Neale Hurston Circle - $1,000+

Army Officers’ Wives’ Club • Kenneth D. Ackerman • Margot Backas • Bliss Family Trust Timothy Crawford • Mark Cymrot • Eagle Bank • Virginia M. Grandison • Ann McLaughlin Sandor Slager & Patricia Harris • John & Barbara Ann Hill • Kathryn Kolar James Mathews • C.M. Mayo • Teresa B. Murphy • Pamela Peabody • Claudia C. Smith The Bydale Foundation • Ira Wagner • Wilson Wyatt

Anton Chekhov Circle - $500+

Anonymous (2) • Peter Ackerman • Laura Berol • Robert Blair • Neal & Mary Margaret Gillen Shelby Harper • Felix Jakob & Kate Blackwell • Judith L. Jones • Eugenia Kim Jeffery Kosseff & Crystal Zeh • The Koubek Family • Perry Maiden Steven & Janice Marcom • Scott F. McCarthy • Teresa B. Murphy • Network for Good The Michael & Eleanor A. Pinkert Family Foundation • Ernst Volgenau

Emily dickinson Circle - $250+

Anonymous (2) • Linda Adcock • Robert Albrecht • Beacon Hotel • Rebecca Beauman Catherine C. Beckley • Michelle Berberet • Sandra Bracken • Malve S. Burns • Florence D. Burt Robert A. Carpenter • Alice Cave • Randy Cepuch • Patricia E. Chapla • Naomi F. Collins Valentine Craig • Deborah Darr • Kathleen Emmet • Elisha C. Freedman • Nan Fry Carol Gallant • John J. Gaudet • Maria Gimenez • Patricia Glowacki Michael Hamilton & E. Laura Golberg • Theodore Groll • Melinda Halpert Phil D. Harvey • Les Hatley • Deborah Hefferon • Tim & Sharle Hussion Cheryl Jacobson • Edward & Victoria Jaycox • Frank S. Joseph • James Klimaski • Barbara Kline James & Kate Lehrer • Lisa Lipinski • Dan Logan • Tarpley M. Long • Patrick Madden Kristie Miller • Phillip G. Nelson • Elizabeth North • Howard E. O’Leary • Carol F. Peck William Reynolds •Shelly Rockwell • Ann Satterthwaite • Maryhelen Snyder Jonathan C. Stillerman • Craig Tregillus • Ann Varnon • Bruce Willard • Robert Wise

Founder’s Circle - $100+ Anonymous (2) • Elizabeth Abell • Josephine W. Alexander • Jill C. Alt • Beth Anderson • Frederick Anderson • Nancy P. Arbuthnot • B. K. Atrostic John & Doris Babcock • Lynn W. Bailets • Ann Barnet • James Beane • Sandra Beasley • Mel Belin • Barbara Belmont • Elizabeth S. Bennett Carmelinda Blagg • Mickey Bolmer • Jody Bolz • Jean Bower • Judith Bowles • Ellen R. Braaf • Barbara B. Brown • Rebecca Browning LauraBrylawski-Miller • Jamie Burnett • DominiqueCahn • Ellen Callahan • NancyN.Carlson • WilliamCarrington • DorittCarroll • AnneC.Carson Catharine Campbell Blackwell • Revocable Trust • David Churchill • Clarity Claims Etcetera, Inc. • Agt for Thomas R. Paxton JenniferCockburn • DianneCogan • NaomiCollins• DeniseConner • WilliamCook • LisaCrye • CaitlinCushman • AndrewDayton • JoeDellinger Jane DeMouy • Donna Denize • Mary Dragoo • Linda Dreeben • Dianne Driessen • Mary E. Eccles • Solveig Eggerz • Debra Ekman Neil Ellis • Elaine English • Fannie Mae • Linda Fannin • Charles Fickey • Glen Finland • Ed Finn • Kimball Firestone • Patricia Fisher Candida M. Fraze • Flora Freeman • Sunil K. Freeman • Allan Gall • Martin Galvin • Patricia Garfinkel • Gerald Giesecke • Jean Gilbert Chris & Jean Gilson • Robert L. Giron • Howard Glassroth • Lois J. Godel • Saul Goldberg • Jorge Goldstein • Sherry Goldstein-Askwith John Grady • Robert Granader • Karen Gray • Peter Gray • Thomas Greving • James Griffin • Patricia B. Griffith • Lynne Grossman • Betty Hafner Janet Hahn • Ann Haman • Randy Hamas • Cynthia Hamilton • Jennifer L. Handford • Harold P. Hanson • Mary Haragan Phillip Harris • Frederick C. Harrison • Ellen Herbert • Jay & Linda Herson • Jamie Holland • Betsy Holleman • Thomas L. Holzman Paul T. Hopper • Dennis Horn • Joanna Howard • Nicole Idar • Lorna Irvine • Llenda Jackson - Leslie • Christopher James Andrea Jarrell • Jim & Carol Trawick Foundation • Richard E. Jorgensen • Rochelle G. Kainer • Arthur Karlin • Therese Keane • John E. Kelley Michael Kirkland • Peter Kissel • Rita Koch • Susan Korytkowski • Rhys & Sue Kuklewicz • Mindy Kursban • Ellen Kwatnoski Phyllis A. Langton • Raima Larter • Eulonda Lea • Robert Leddy • Jill Leininger • Steven A. Lerman • Mr. Alan H. & Priscilla Levine Helen S. Lowe • John Lubetkin • Robert Lubic • Desiree Magney • Nancy Malin Frank & Elizabeth Malone • Linda M. Marshall Ronald & Mary Martin • Kathryn Masterson • Greg & Lois McBride • Joe McCain • Judith McCombs

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THANKS TO OUR DONORS Ellen McLaughlin • Dominique Meekers • Caroline V. Meirs • Cassandra Metzger • Angela Miller • John & Ann Montgomery • Velda Moog Jenepher W. Moseley • Stewart Moss • Mary L. Muromcew • Linda Nee • William & Louisa Newlin • Howard O’Leary • Joe Oppenheimer Ray Palmer • Diana Parsell • Peter & Amy Pastan • Arne & Sara Paulson • Lorine Kritzer Pergament • Debra W. Pettit • Kim Pierce Jeffrey D. Porro • Annette Jo Procter • Christine Pulfrey • Ann W. Rayburn • Marilyn Regier • Heddy Reid • William Rivera • James Robertson MargaretRodenberg • GayleRoehm • BarbaraP.Rosing • LeeRossi • PhyllisRozman • RobertSanabria • StephanieSarwal • MarySasser • BenjiSatloff S M. Scadron • Donald R. Schlief • George Schor • Joyce Schwartz • Jessica Seigel • Martin Shapiro • Susan Sharpe • Barbara Shaw Daniel B. Silver • Jeffrey Smith • Larry & Louise Smith • Lucie Snodgrass • George Spicer • Michael & Lynn Springer Denise Stablein • Sheron Stanley • Stanley Stern • David O. Stewart • Kathy Strom • Karla Taylor • Judith A. Thorn • Frances Toler Norma S. Tucker • Jane T. Udelson • Kathryn Veal • Verizon Foundation • Clinton A. Vince • Andrea Vojtko • Davi Walders Barry J. Wepman • James White • Katherine J. Williams • Claire Willis • David & Jane Winer • Mier & Cathy Wolf • Fred Woodworth

Other Contributors Anonymous (3) • Leslie Allen • Charlotte Anker • Barri J. Armitage • Stephen N. Ashman • Joan Atchinson • Jawaid Awan • Carol B. Baker • Jim Ball Philip Baridon • Rebecca Barnhart • Jane Barton • Debra Basilis • Martin Bernstein • Stephanie Berry • Janna Bialek • Anita Bigger Sanford L. Billet • Sandra Blake • Larry Blossom • Dillard Boland • Diane Booth • Dale Hanson Bourke • Charlotte Brewer • Franca Brilliant William Brockschmidt • Heidi Brodsky • Anthony Brown • Ralph & Coralie Bryant • Tom Burke • Harold & Sally Burman • Garry L. Bush Jo A. Buxton • Gene Calvert • Dana Cann • Douglas Canter • Grace Cavalieri • Ira Chaleff • John Clark • Alexandra Coburn • Ann Cochran Teresa Cochran English • Leslie Cohen • Michael Collier • Thomas Connelly • Mia R. Cortez • Carey Creed • Sylvia Csiffary • Keri Culver Josephine Darner • Kimberly Davidson • Nancy R. Davis • Andrew Dayton • Linda Defendeifer • Joanne Delaplaine • Laurie E. Dieterich Therese Doucet • Anne Dougherty • Dennis Drabelle • Jeannette P. Dubrow • Jonathan Eig • Howard Eisner • Bea Epstein • Siobhan Farey Michael S. Febrey • Herta B. Feely • Ben Firschein • Lynne Fitzhugh • Allan S. Freedman • Thomas and Ann Gannon • Jason Gebhardt Claire Gesalman • Bernadette Geyer • Robert Gibson • Paul E. Gleason • Barbara Goldberg • Martha Goodwin • Melanie Griffin • Rachel Gur-Arie Christine L. Haggard • Julie L. Haifley • Regina Harrison • Virginia Hartman • Dorothy S. Hassan • Gwen B. Hayden • Emily Hershenson Carol Lee Hilewick • Reva Hill • Maureen Hinkle • Helen Hooper • Jad Hopper • Daniel Horner • Anne Hornsby • Murray Horwitz Jane Hudiburg • Paul Hyman • Eileen Ivey • Graziella Jackson • Ann Jensen • Abiola Johnson • Michael Johnson • Richard Johnson Susan S. Jonsberg • Caroline H. Keith • Beth Kevles • Shelley Kirilenko • Adrienne Kitts • Alicia Klaffky • Aphrodite Knoop • Mollee C. Kruger Susan Landgraf • Leonard Lapidus • Jeffrey LaPointe • Linda LaPrade • Raima Larter • Elaine Laube • Merrill Leffler • Aaron Lemire Angela Leone • Jonathan & Judith Levin • Louis Levy • Chris Llewellyn • Cindy Lollar • Janice Lower • Talbot C. Mack • Brian Madden Fernando Manibog • Caroline Marshall • David L. Martin • Luis Mateus • Catherine Mathews • Patricia McBride • Julia McCahill Diane McConkey • Gardner McFall • Suzanne McIntire • Selby McPhee • Carole McShane • Margaret Miller • KeeKee Minor • Joan M. Mitric Larry & Laurence Moffi • Angie Montgomery Hasson • Jean Moore • Christine Muth • Jennifer Nelson • C. W. Neuhauser • Jill Neuman Xuan-Lan Nguyen • Leslie Norton • John O’Donnell • Susan Okie • Teel Oliver • Bikem Ozturk • Sandra Parshall • Matea Pender Patricia Pengra • Elliott Perlin • Vinnie Perrone • Emil Polak • Patricia Polak • Riggin Waugh & Meredith Pond • Frances F. Porter Susan Press • Ted Pulliam & Edward Pulliam • Carol M. Purcell • Theresa Queen • Henry Rappaport • David G. Reese • Karen Reichert Leon Reiter • Elisavietta Ritchie • Larry Roszman • Ludwig Rudel • Carol-Ann Rudy • Henry B. Ryan • Anthony Rylands • Lisa Schamess Barbara Scheiber • Nancy Schnog • William Schofield • Phyllis Schottenstein • Robert Seay • Richard Seldin • Nancy Sellar • Cathy Shea Laura Shovan • Maggie Silberstein • Myra Sklarew • Deborah T. Smith • Marilyn Smith • Mary J. Smith • Larry F. Smucker • Donna Sokol Michael Solow • Cheryl Somers Aubin • Laura Spencer • Eric Stone • Julie Stuckey • Manil Suri • Herman Taube • Dennis R. Thomas Tim Tormoen • Zeynep Tunc • Jan F. Umhau • Rajka Ungerer • Susan L. Urofsky • Wanda Van Goor • Ronald Vardiman • Richard C. Washer Mary E. Weinmann • Renee L. Weitzner • Thomas Wetterer • James F. Whalen • Kathleen Wheaton • Paula Whyman • Mary Willy Anita Winters • Elizabeth Yoon • Jacqueline R. Zakrewsky • Boris Zemtzov • Judith Zimmerman

Endowment Gifts For investment in The Writer’s Center’s future Mark Cymrot • John Freeman & Sally Mott Freeman • John & Barbara Ann Hill • The Tau Omega Foundation, Inc. Joram & Lona Piatigorsky Designated Gifts For capital and restricted projects at The Writer’s Center Kenneth D. Ackerman • Margot Backas • Sandra Beasley • Francesca Bell • Don Berger • Molly N. Bloom • Diane Bolz Naomi F. Collins • Mark Cymrot • Phebe Davidson • Genevieve DeLeon • John Freeman & Sally Mott Freeman • Neal Gillen Gail Gorlitzz • Sandor Slager & Patricia Harris • Les Hatley • Marvin R. Hiemstra • John & Barbara Ann Hill Robert Jacobs • Lori Katz • Ted Lardner • Margaret MacKinnon • Kerry Malawista • Katherine Mansell James Mathews • C.M. Mayo • Leslie McGrath • Ann McLaughlin • Lisa L. Moore • Annilee Oppenheimer Kathleen Ossip • Joram & Lona Piatigorsky • Mark Rubin • Joanne A. Samraney • Joan Siegel • Christopher Sten The Samuel & Grace Gorlitz Foundation • Barbara B.Torrey • Ira Wagner • Lesley Wheeler • Wilson Wyatt, Jr.

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

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REGISTRATION

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The Writer’s Center


THE LAST WORD

Facing Your Fears Overcoming Shyness in Workshop Settings By Kim O’Connell

T

he year is 1992. I’m sitting in a senior-level creative writing seminar at the University of Maryland, wishing I was invisible. Students have been taking turns reading their personal essays aloud, which I’ve done my to avoid being. I love to write, but the thought of reading my work in front of others - and getting critiqued - fills me with dread. Finally, the moment of truth - with a tremulous voice and shaking hands, I start to read my essay. Little rivulets of sweat roll down the backs of my legs. When I somehow make it to the end, I hear people saying things about my writing, but I can’t focus on them. I'm having a full-blown anxiety attack. For the next several years, as I built my career as a journalist, I did everything I could to avoid repeating this experience. I would stare wistfully at writing courses offered by The Writer’s Center or local universities - and then never sign up. I’m just too shy, I thought. And this thought came too: What if my work stinks? Eventually, as I grew older and more confident, I realized that the most successful writers were those who shared their work in workshops, critique groups, MFA programs, etc., and more importantly, learned from their mistakes. To get better at my craft, I realized, I would have to do the same.

Little by little, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I joined a critique group in my neighborhood and started sharing my work. I still felt shy, but the more I was critiqued, the more I believed in myself. Eventually, I took a workshop at The Writer’s Center and then another, and then another. I grew more accustomed to the sound of my own voice in a workshop setting. But it's not easy. Writers can be a solitary, introverted lot, usually working alone with little more than a coffee pot for company. Sure, they may daydream about going on a book tour and speaking at literary events, but the reality of sharing their work might feel very different. TWC instructor Kathryn Johnson, author of more than 40 novels, knows this feeling all too well. More than 25 years ago, when her writing career was beginning, she joined a group and opened her writing up to critique for the first time. “I literally drove home in tears,” Johnson says. “It seemed so monumental a task to make this something worth reading. But I soon realized that there was good with the bad, and that I could be selective in what advice I would take.” Now, as an instructor, Johnson brings a special sensitivity to those who are more reticent about speaking up in class. Many famous authors are notoriously shy, including Harper Lee, Anne

Workshop & Event Guide Winter 2013-2014

Tyler and Cormac McCarthy, she adds. “It’s not a bad thing to hold back until you feel you are in a protected environment,” Johnson says. “We work to create that at The Writer's Center. We talk about how we go about critiquing in class, so we always let people know what is good about their writing.” Author and instructor Barbara Esstman agrees. “Getting critiqued for the first time is like going on your first date,” she says. “It sounds scary at first but you get used to it.” Writers need to think of their work as something separate from them, Esstman adds, so they are not personally wounded when they get critiqued. “Trust your workshop instructor. A good one will make sure that there is no damage done.” Like Johnson, Esstman draws the quiet ones out slowly over the course of a workshop. She is gratified to see her students reap the benefits of sharing and growing as writers before her eyes. In the end, all writers would do well to follow Esstman's most essential piece of advice: “Be brave.” we want to hear your story! submit a letter to the editor EDITOR@writer.org

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