Chapter News

June 15: MWA-Montgomery Hosts Writers, Editors, and Publishers for Networking Happy Hour

It’s back! MWA-Montgomery will host a networking happy hour Thursday, June 15, with members of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and the Mid-Atlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA).

This event brings together people from all sides of the publishing industry to meet, mingle, exchange business cards, and have fun!

Please join us Thursday, June 15, 2017, at Azucar Restaurant, 14418 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906, from 6 to 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Cash bar. Door prizes!

We will be in the private room next to the bar. Please enter through the side door (not the main restaurant entrance). Parking is plentiful and free.

RSVPs are appreciated but not required. Admittance is $10 cash or check at the door (to cover food costs). RSVP to Katherine Pickett at katherine [at] popediting [dot] net.

Last year’s event was a great success and so much fun. We hope you’ll join us!

logo_2010 MBPA logo

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Meetings

April 2 Chapter Meeting: Working with Editors with Kathryn Johnson

Saturday, April 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

What type of editor acquires books for a publisher? How does the work of an in-house line or copy editor differ from prepublication and developmental editors? In this new and exciting age of publishing, writers of all ages, experience levels, and genres have many more sources for support during the process of writing and publishing their work. All of which improve the chance of successful publication.

Join MWA-Montgomery on April 2, 2016, when local author, creative writing teacher, and private editor/mentor Kathryn Johnson unravels the mysteries of what editors do (or don’t do) for their authors. She’ll discuss the reasons many veteran authors now employ a private editor to fine-tune a story before showing the manuscript to their agent and publisher.

The session will also cover ways in which any author can find and hire a developmental or prepublication editor whose style and ability matches their personality and needs, while avoiding scams and inferior editing services.

About the Speaker

Kathryn Johnson photoKathryn Johnson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The author of over 40 novels with major U.S. and foreign publishers, she writes under her own name and a variety of pennames. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious Agatha Christie Award and won the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller’s Best Awards.

Kathryn’s recent novels include a trilogy of Victorian thrillers (writing as Mary Hart Perry) inspired by the lives of Queen Victoria’s daughters, and a new contemporary romantic-suspense series, Affairs of State, published under her own name. The first two titles, Mercy Killing and Hot Mercy, launched in 2014. A third title, No Mercy, will appear this fall.

In 2008, Kathryn founded WriteByYou.com a writer’s mentoring service, to aid individual authors in reaching their publication goals. She also teaches for The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Her popular course, The Extreme Novelist, inspired the book by the same name, which is now available everywhere in both paper and digital formats. Currently, she is Vice-President of the Mystery Writers of America/Mid-Atlantic region.

Location and Directions

Date/Time:     Saturday, April 2, 2016, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Location:       Mid-County Community Recreation Center / 2004 Queensguard Road / Silver Spring MD 20906

Directions:     ICC Exit 182 Layhill Rd (at Exit, turn Right/South) to (Left) Queensguard and immediate Right into parking lot

Norbeck Rd N/W or Connecticut Ave N/W to (Right) Bel Pre Rd to (Right) Layhill to (Left) Queensguard and Immediate Right into Parking lot

Chapter News

February 25: Networking Happy Hour at Azucar

MWA-Montgomery is pleased to announce we will be hosting a networking happy hour February 25 with members of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and the Mid-Atlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA).

This event brings together people from all sides of the publishing industry to meet, mingle, exchange business cards, and have fun!

Please join us Thursday, February 25, at Azucar Restaurant, 14418 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906, from 6 to 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Cash bar.

We will be in the private room next to the bar. Please enter through the side door (not the main restaurant entrance). Parking is plentiful and free.

RSVPs are appreciated but not required. Admittance is free for MWA and MBPA members. All others, $5 cash or check at the door.

Email Katherine Pickett at mwamc@marylandwriters.org with questions or to RSVP.

We hope to see you there!

Meetings

February 6 Chapter Meeting with Lynn Schwartz

Saturday, February 6, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Wouldn’t Touch It with a Ten-Foot Pole – How to Avoid Cliché

Hackneyed? Trite? Tired? We all fear that the cliché will sneak into our plot, characters, and descriptions. It is a matter of approaching the page with a fresh view—mastering the discipline to put words together that evoke and provoke rather than relying on overused shorthand.

In this presentation by Lynn Schwartz, you’ll learn how to avoid the cliché and how to recognize when those familiar phrases are “worth their weight in gold.”

About the Speaker

Schwartz_PhotoLynn Auld Schwartz is a writer and story development editor and has ghostwritten three books (a novel, mystery, and self-help book). Her plays have been performed in Atlanta and NYC, including the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. She founded the Temple Bar Literary Reading Series in New York City, which hosted renowned authors including Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award recipients, and which The Village Voice reviewed as “Lively lineups…. Always smart, never predictable.”

Lynn has received two Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a 2014 Annie Award from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County for literary arts.  Her short stories have appeared in literary journals, she has published numerous nonfiction lifestyle articles, and has produced and directed six Page To Stage performances, which put writers and their stories on stage. A graduate of The City College of New York, Columbia University, and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater, Schwartz teaches fiction and memoir at St. John’s College and The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. www.writerswordhouse.com

Location and Directions

Date/Time:     Saturday, February 6, 2016, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Location:       Mid-County Community Recreation Center / 2004 Queensguard Road / Silver Spring MD 20906

Directions:     ICC Exit 182 Layhill Rd (at Exit, turn Right/South) to (Left) Queensguard and immediate Right into parking lot

Norbeck Rd N/W or Connecticut Ave N/W to (Right) Bel Pre Rd to (Right) Layhill to (Left) Queensguard and Immediate Right into Parking lot

Chapter News

Critique and Critique Group Resources

At the December meeting of the MWA-Montgomery, Carolee Noury presented tips and best practices for giving and receiving critique. She also provided some very helpful resources for finding critique partners and forming critique groups.

Here are the resources from Carolee’s handout. You can also find them located permanently on our Resources page.

How to Give Helpful Critique

https://beckylevine.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/troubleshootingdynamicspdf1.pdf

http://www.scribophile.com/academy/how-to-write-a-great-critique

http://www.writingforward.com/writing-tips/tips-for-critiquing-other-writers-work

http://jamigold.com/tag/beta-reading-and-critiquing/ (ßmany helpful articles and her critique sheet are linked there)

 

How to Make the Most of Critique on Your Work

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/guest-post/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-critique-group

https://beckylevine.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/expectfromcritique1.pdf

 

How to Form/Run/Find a Critique Group

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/5-techniques-for-managing-group-critiques

https://beckylevine.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/rightfitpdf5.pdf

 

Online Critique Groups and Resources

critiquecircle.com

“Critique Circle is an online writing workshop for all authors, whether they write literary fiction, genre fiction, articles or short stories.”

critters.org

“The ultimate goal of Critters is to help improve your craft, not only by having your work dissected by other members, but also by learning to dissect your own work (by, of course, dissecting others).”

(Compiled by Carolee Noury, caroleenoury [at] gmail [dot] com, December 2015)

Julie Wakeman-Linn
Meetings

January 13 Chapter Meeting: Making the Most of Writing Conferences, with Julie Wakeman-Linn

Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Writers! Come out of your attic garret, your den, or wherever it is you write! The season of writing conferences is about to begin.

Even if you’ve been having wonderfully productive solo time, you still need to talk to other writers, editors, and literary agents. Writing conferences are great places to do all of that and more.

At the January MWA-Montgomery meeting, we’ll learn how to maximize the benefits of all types of writing conferences. Potomac Review editor Julie Wakeman-Linn will discuss:

  • one-day events (like Conversations and Connections)
  • two-to-four day regional conferences (like Yale or Gettysburg)
  • exotic location conference options (such as Florence, Italy, Sicily, Prague, or on cruises)
  • prestigious but competitive marathon conferences (examples include Breadloaf, Sewanee, and Tin House)

Each type has different strengths and weaknesses but all provide opportunities to learn about craft and to network with editors, agents, and other writers.

Wakeman-Linn will provide handouts and examples of conference programs and schedules. She will also share information about scholarships and fellowships offered to defray costs.

About the Speaker

Julie Wakeman-LinnJulie Wakeman-Linn has edited the Potomac Review since 2005, teaches at Montgomery College, and was a judge for this year’s Montgomery Writes contest. Her short stories have appeared in Rosebud, Gargoyle, JMWW, and MacGuffin, among others. Wakeman-Linn’s novel Chasing the Leopard, Finding the Lion was a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize. Her short story “Challenges of Non-Native Species” was a finalist for The Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize.

Wakeman-Linn was the creative force behind the Speed Dating with Editors feature of the popular Conversations and Connections one-day conference, organized by Barrelhouse Magazine and Potomac Review. She has presented at the national Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference and at the Yale Conference for Writers. In addition, Wakeman-Linn regularly consults with local MWA chapters and the New Directions Writing program.

Location and Directions

Date/Time:     Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 7:00-9:00PM

Location:       Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906

Directions:     ICC Exit 182 Layhill Rd (at Exit, turn Right/South) to (Left) Queensguard and immediate Right into parking lot

Norbeck Rd N/W or Connecticut Ave N/W to (Right) Bel Pre Rd to (Right) Layhill to (Left) Queensguard and Immediate Right into Parking lot

Meetings

December 9 Chapter Meeting: Critique Session & Social, facilitated by Carolee Noury

Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

In-Session Critique & Refreshments

If you’ve been looking for a critique group, this is the perfect meeting for you! In December we will be critiquing each other’s work and learning how to set up our own critique groups, all while enjoying some light refreshments with our fellow writers.

To start the meeting, chapter programs chair Carolee Noury will give a brief presentation on helpful feedback, with handouts about critique and finding critique partners. We will then split into small critique groups.

If you would like to have your work critiqued, please bring 5 copies of a selection that is approximately 500 words. (Please make sure the sample ends at the end of a paragraph.) If you prefer not to have your work critiqued, please come out to offer your feedback to writers who do.

We will also be collecting contact information for any attendees looking for critique partners. Once that information is compiled, it will be shared with everyone interested so you may form your own critique partnerships and/or groups. If critique finishes early, we’ll have a chance for folks to share writing resources and questions in small groups.

We look forward to seeing you there!

About the Facilitator

Carolee NouryCarolee Noury serves as programs chair for the MWA-Montgomery chapter. She is a freelance writer in Rockville, Maryland, and has provided critique for writers at all levels—from first-time writers to New York Times bestselling authors—and thoroughly enjoys the process of helping fellow writers develop their talents. Find out more about her at caroleenoury.com.

 

Location and Directions

Date/Time:     Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Location:       Mid-County Community Recreation Center / 2004 Queensguard Road / Silver Spring MD 20906

Directions:     ICC Exit 182 Layhill Rd (at Exit, turn Right/South) to (Left) Queensguard and immediate Right into parking lot

Norbeck Rd N/W or Connecticut Ave N/W to (Right) Bel Pre Rd to (Right) Layhill to (Left) Queensguard and Immediate Right into Parking lot

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Chapter News

Volunteering Opportunities: Secretary of the Board and the Greenbelt Festival of Lights

As an all-volunteer organization, MWA-Montgomery relies on you, our members, to make our chapter meetings and special events possible. We have volunteer opportunities of all sizes throughout the year, and we always welcome new faces and fresh voices to help us become stronger.

We are currently looking for a new Secretary of the Board as well as volunteers to work the table at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights.

Secretary of the Board

Have you thought about joining the board? This is a great time to find out what it’s all about! We are looking for someone to step in for the remainder of the 2015-2016 board term, ending June 2016. Are you up to the challenge?

The position entails:

  1. Attending a monthly 1.5-hour board meeting. This is usually by phone, with an in-person meeting once a quarter.
  2. Taking minutes at the board meeting.
  3. Attending as many chapter meetings as you can.
  4. Filling out a one-page chapter report that lists how many people were at the meeting, who the speaker was, and a few other points.
  5. Helping out for a couple of hours at the three book festivals that we do each year.
All board members help plan events and contribute to our mission of building a community of writers.
For more information, email Katherine Pickett at mwamc@marylandwriters.org.

 

Greenbelt Festival of Lights

This two-day event takes place December 5 and 6 at the Greenbelt Community Center. MWA-Montgomery is looking for volunteers to staff the table. You can mingle with other MWA members, spread the word about MWA and what it offers writers, and sell your book if you have one.

Volunteers who will be selling a book are asked to donate 3-4 hours. Those who do not have a book are invited to donate 2 or more hours. Help with setup and breakdown is always appreciated!

Please visit our sign-up form on SignUp Genius at  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f48a5af29aafa7-greenbelt1 to learn more and to sign up. I hope you’ll join us!

 

Meetings

November 7 chapter meeting: Perfecting Your Author Platform, with Ally Machate

Saturday, Nov 7, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Perfecting Your Author Platform: Why Background Matters, and How to Get the Right One

In today’s highly saturated book market, a strong publicity and marketing campaign requires that authors have a solid platform to get the kind of attention necessary for sales. But what is a platform, what is it used for, and how do you build one? How does it affect your book deal, or whether you get one at all? How does it help you sell more books, whether you self-publish or have a publisher?

In this workshop with award-winning editor Ally Machate, you’ll learn how to evaluate the “planks” you already have and how to design a blueprint for building a bigger, stronger platform—the most critical tool in your toolbox after the book itself.

About the Speaker

Ally MachateAlly E. Machate is a bestselling book collaborator, award-winning editor, and expert publishing consultant who loves using her insider knowledge of the publishing industry and wealth of experience to help others reach their publishing goals, whether it’s showing a writer how to improve a manuscript, get an agent, or self-publish, or ghostwriting a book to help an entrepreneur skyrocket her business platform to new levels. Since 1999, she has assisted, guided, and supported would-be authors on their publishing journey and takes pride in serving as their books’ best ally. Grab Ally’s free gifts and learn more at http://www.thewritersally.com and www.allymachate.com.

 

Location and Directions

Date/Time:     Saturday, November 7, 2015, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Location:       Mid-County Community Recreation Center / 2004 Queensguard Road / Silver Spring MD 20906

Directions:     ICC Exit 182 Layhill Rd (at Exit, turn Right/South) to (Left) Queensguard and immediate Right into parking lot

Norbeck Rd N/W or Connecticut Ave N/W to (Right) Bel Pre Rd to (Right) Layhill to (Left) Queensguard and Immediate Right into Parking lot

Chapter News

October 14 Meeting Follow-Up: Publishing Paths

Wednesday, October 14, chapter president Katherine Pickett presented on the many paths to publication. We had a great turnout, but that meant we were short on handouts! To rectify the problem, we are posting them here.

The first is the Publishing Paths Personal Assessment. The questions offer a starting point for assessing your strengths, weaknesses, and goals, which is essential in choosing the publishing path that’s right for you and your book.

Click the link below to view the Publishing Paths Personal Assessment. Note that you will need Adobe Acrobat in order to access the document and may be asked to save it to your computer.

Publishing Paths Personal Assessment

The second is the Publishing Paths Cheat Sheet. If you couldn’t catch all of the tips and tidbits, this sheet will give you the highlights. For each path, Katherine has noted who this path would be ideal for and what the finances are for that path.

Click the link below to view the Publishing Paths Cheat Sheet. Note that you will need Adobe Acrobat in order to access the document and may be asked to save it to your computer.

Publishing Paths Cheat Sheet

Thank you to everyone who turned out for this meeting. It was wonderful to see all of the new and returning faces. Hope to see you again next month!