Join Me on Tuesdays for Writing Outside the Fence

I know it’s been a while since I’ve last posted, but life happens.

Today, I started another volunteer teaching stint at the Writing Outside the Fence workshop at the Re-Entry Center in Mondawmin Mall. I’ll be there for the next three Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m., leading workshops on writing dialogue, free writing, among other things. The workshop is free and open to the public.

To learn more about the program and its community of fabulous and amazing writers, check out this feature article that ran on Examiner.com or this podcast from the Enoch Pratt Free Library:

Writing Outside the Fence Reading at the Pratt

If you are a writer in the Baltimore area, and are interested in sharing your love of writing, we’d love to have you join our dynamic team of volunteer instructors. Hit me up in the Comments section below.

16th Annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

Source: en.citizendium.org

This one‘s for you writers in the DMV…

Mark your calendars for 16th Annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference set take place on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD. The 2013 conference will feature sessions and workshops on internet tools for writers, editing, pitching, publishing, marketing along with workshops on genre writing (fiction, poetry, essay, non-fiction, etc.).

For those who wish to have their manuscripts reviewed, one-on-one sessions with published authors will be available.

The 2012 Bay to Ocean Writers Conference drew over 200 writers from five states and the District of Columbia. This event is sure to be a sellout, as it has been for the past six years. Registration is $99 for adutls and $55 for students (with valid ID). Register now at the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference website: http://www.baytoocean.com.

For more information, email btowriters@gmail.com.

Follow @baytoocean on Twitter.

Source: Bay to Ocean Writers Conference press release

Very Literary: A Night for Lunatics

Share you love of all things lunar with the Baltimore Chapter of the Maryland Writers Association! On Wednesday, October 17, bring your poems, essay and other literary masterpieces for an open mic event as a part of Free Fall Baltimore’s Literary Arts Week. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Village Learning Place located at 2521 St. Paul Street.

Read more about A Night for Lunatics, Lunarians & Luna Lovers here.

Follow @promoandarts and @MWABaltimore on Twitter.

“Great Rules of Writing”

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~ William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

Thank You, Urbanite

Last week I was among the countless people who were shocked and saddened to read David Zurawik’s article in the Baltimore Sun about the end of Urbanite magazine. If you’ve lived in Charm City long enough, you’ve definitely seen Urbanite magazine’s imprint around town. Whether you picked up a copy in your favorite eatery or watering hole, or if you curled up with the latest copy during an extended visit to Panera Bread or Starbucks. Urbanite is broad, ambitious and it symbolizes what is right and what is possible in Baltimore. Each month’s issue focused on a theme that celebrated and explored the potential for change in Baltimore.

I’ve been an avid reader of Urbanite since it first hit the stands almost 10 years ago. I have a stash of dog-eared Urbanite issues in my I-cannot-part-with-this-just-yet pile of magazines. Urbanite is Baltimore, and Baltimore is Urbanite. It wasn’t slick and pretentious, but rather gritty and real. Its vibrancy reflected that of its readership, and that’s what made Urbanite more accessible than other local publications. I could open an issue and see familiar names –those of fellow writers, faculty and classmates from Hopkins — in the bylines.

I took the plunge in 2008 and submitted a piece to Urbanite’s “What You’re Writing” feature (using my maiden name). You can read it below. (According to Zurawik’s article, Urbanite’s website will be shut down any day now, so I wanted to capture it for posterity.)

Sun columnist Lionel Foster wrote fitting tribute to Urbanite magazine and its staff in the paper last Friday. Reading his piece reminded me of how deep the connection was between the magazine and the city, and how much of a void that will be left in its wake.

Urbanite publisher Tracy Ward told the Sun that the possibility that Urbanite might return one day does exist. Perhaps we should not say goodbye just yet, so I think it’s more fitting to say thank you, Urbanite.

And without further adieu my piece “Saying Yes” as it appeared in the August 2008 issue of Urbanite magazine…

Continue reading “Thank You, Urbanite”

Free Fall Baltimore’s NEW Literary Arts Week!

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Free Fall Baltimore is back! Every fall, our awesome friends over at the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts present an exciting series of cultural events during the month of October. However, this year’s Free Fall Baltimore will be even more exciting with a new Literary Arts Week added to the festivities!

Literary Arts Week runs from October 13-20 and will feature author readings, writing workshops, open mic performances and other events to highlight Baltimore’s rich literary culture.

Beyond Literary Arts Week there are literally dozens of free museum tours, theater performances, concerts, kid-friendly events and much more! Check out the list of events on Free Fall Baltimore.

Follow @promoandarts on Twitter to get all the latest news on upcoming events throughout Baltimore.

October Writing Challenge: #30WriteNow

You’ve probably heard about the various 30-day writing challenges floating around the ‘net. These aren’t NaNoWriMo challenges, but like NaNoWriMo they get the creative juices flowing, help foster discipline and get you closer to your goal of a finished project.

I was delighted to read on Twitter this morning that @BasseyWorldLive is kicking off a #30WriteNow challenge for the month of October. I know what you’re going to say; but October has 31 days. ‘Tis true. Bassey says that 31st day is for eating candy and relaxing. But the point is to write something every day.

I haven’t done one of these yet, but following the writing adventures of my friend Yawatta Hosby on her blog, I’ve been inspired to take the plunge and do a 30-day writing challenge myself. Yawatta actually did a 90-day novel writing challenge…and that’s a major feat!

If you’re up for the challenge, why don’t you join me? Let’s spend the next 30 days writing every day, whether it’s for a new or current project, or if it’s just to get words on the page for the sake of release. Think about it. Spread the word. Write!

Somebody hold me accountable, will you?

Columbus Day Open House at the Library of Congress

Source: loc.gov

Looking for something fun and educational to do with the kids on Columbus Day? Well, if you live in the DMV, you’re in luck! The Library of Congress will host an open house event on Monday, October 8 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in their Main Reading Room. The Library of Congress is one of our national treasures, home to the world’s largest collection of books, manuscripts, photographs and recordings. It also supports Congress in its research aims.

The Library normally is open to the public who are at least 16 years of age and who possess a reader registration card. But on Columbus Day, the Library’s Main Reading Room will be open to everyone. This will be a perfect opportunity for your children to learn about the Library’s vast collections, including services and resources for genealogy research. Reference librarians will be on hand to demonstrate the Library’s online resources and to answer questions.

The Library’s Young Reader Center will be open and Miss Delaware Collegiate America 2013 will be conducting a read-a-loud to children at 11 a.m. in the Main Reading Room.

To learn more about the Main Reading Room Open House at the Library of Congress, read about it here.

Follow @librarycongress on Twitter. http://www.read.gov/

Baltimore Book Festival This Weekend!

If you live in the DMV and have never been to the Baltimore Book Festival, then you need to head to Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood this weekend to see what the fuss is all about.

From author appearances and book signings, to cooking demos, open mic opportunities, historical tours, storytelling, street performances, music and food, there is something for everyone at the Baltimore Book Festival.

This year’s author lineup includes “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice (Fabulicious: Fast & Fit); Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi (Better Than Alright: Finding Peace, Love & Power); bestselling author Ann Hood (The Knitting Circle); Laura Lippman (And When She Was Good) and Jessica Anya Blau (The Summer of Naked Swim Parties).

To check out the full lineup of authors, performances and events (including the City Paper’s super cool Book Swap), check out the Baltimore Book Festival’s website.

Check out these highlights from last year’s Baltimore Book Festival…

Follow @BmoreBookFest on Twitter, hashtag #2012BBF.