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

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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

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

Meetings

October 14 Meeting: The Many Paths to Publication, with Katherine Pickett

Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 7:00-9:00 PM.

Today, writers have more ways than ever to get their books published. The broad categories of traditional and self-publishing—the most common routes—are each full of possibilities. Big 5 publishers, midsize and academic publishers, and small presses all fall under the traditional model.

Self-publishers, on the other hand, can choose to do it all themselves, hire professionals to help them, or work with a self-publishing company. And those aren’t the only options. You may also wish to collaborate with a business or nonprofit or investigate the newest trend, hybrid publishing.

At the October 14 meeting, we will explore:

  • What you get with a traditional publisher
  • What you need to do to self-publish successfully
  • How hybrid publishing fits in
  • The work-for-hire model
  • E-book publishing
  • The financial side of publishing

We’ll also engage in a self-assessment for choosing the path that’s right for you and your book.

Many writers want to see their books published. After this presentation, you will know what your options are and be on your way to determining which one will lead to your success.

About the Speaker

© 2013 | Kristina Sherk Photography | www.Kristinasherk.com

Katherine Pickett is the owner of POP Editorial Services, LLC, and the author of the award-winning book Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro. In her 15 years in the publishing industry, she has gained experience in nearly every type of publishing. She worked in-house for McGraw-Hill Professional and Elsevier Inc. for a combined seven years before launching POP in 2006. Through POP she offers copyediting, proofreading, and developmental editing to authors and publishers across the country. Her clients include Wisconsin Historical Society, McGraw-Hill Education, and Texas Tech University Press, as well as self-publishers and authors under contract with traditional presses. For insight and advice about writing, editing, and publishing, visit her blog at http://www.thePOPnewsletter.com.

Location and Directions

Date/Time:     Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 7:00-9:00 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

Meetings

September 12 Meeting: The Answers You Need: MCPL Resources for Writers, with Eric Horwitz

Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Has it been a while since you dusted off your library card? Or maybe you use it so often the bar code is wearing away. Either way Eric Horwitz, Outreach Associate for Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL), has the information you need to make the most of your tax-dollar-supported MCPL system.

Beyond borrowing books (electronic and good old paper), your library offers many tools without the often expensive subscriptions. For writers this means access to

  • writing resources
  • research
  • journals
  • articles
  • foreign language education
  • e-magazines
  • and more

Need to find out more about your character’s career? Or maybe you need to know more about personality disorders. Discover resources you’ve been missing, what services are offered, and related programming at this informative meeting.

About the Speaker

E HorwitzEric Horwitz is an Outreach Associate for Montgomery County Public Libraries. He divides his time between assisting library patrons at the Bethesda branch and promoting lesser-known public library resources in various community settings.

Location and Directions

Date/Time:   Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 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

Meetings

July Meeting: Lit Mags Aren’t Dead with Meg Eden

Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Part of building your marketing platform as a writer is growing your list of publications. Yet many publishers won’t publish you without previous publications under your belt. How do you get around this catch-22? By leveraging lit mags!

Continue reading “July Meeting: Lit Mags Aren’t Dead with Meg Eden”

Meetings

June Chapter Meeting: Open-Mic Night for Writers!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Read to us, Please!

Reading your work to a receptive audience can be exhilarating—and we promise to behave! Join us for the Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) Montgomery County Chapter’s Open-Mic Night, and enjoy plenty of literary fun, fellowship, and food. Our chapter program chair Karen Valentine, published poet and writer, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Come to read, or come to be riveted to your seats by the creative writing talents at this event. Our host will close out the event with a reading of her poetry. Continue reading “June Chapter Meeting: Open-Mic Night for Writers!”

Meetings

May Chapter Meeting: Amy Hansen presents Writing for Children

Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Writing for Children: The Myths and the Magic!

Children’s stories can be crafted to spark imagination and encourage reading. From adventure series to board books, to science and history for kids, the children’s book market reaches far and wide. So how do you break into this popular field? And what can you expect once you dive in? Continue reading “May Chapter Meeting: Amy Hansen presents Writing for Children”

Meetings

April Chapter Meeting: Flash Your Fiction with Izolda Trakhtenberg

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Let’s Ignite Our Creative Fire and Sharpen Our Skills!

What comes first, dialogue, characters, plot, or setting? Any of these can inspire us to create or present stumbling blocks to putting words on a page. What would happen if we removed the need for determining who, what, and where? What if someone handed them to us? Would our writing process change? How would we find creative ways to integrate potentially unrelated items into a cohesive tale? To achieve this, we must free our imaginations and think differently. To access this part of ourselves, we will use prompts to spark our creativity and blast through any obstacles. Continue reading “April Chapter Meeting: Flash Your Fiction with Izolda Trakhtenberg”