a weblog for readers and writers

Friday, September 30, 2005

Write Here, Write Now

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
Jack London

CityLit and the Creative Alliance have aligned to bring a writing workshop to Baltimore. Finally, a place to share brilliant bits of writing and to create new ones. Local writers will learn the tricks, the trade, the talk. Explore and experiment. Praise and be praised. Struggle. Triumph. Guest instructors will show writers how to read their work, how to find an agent and how to publish. Any level, any genre. This is a great opportunity to have fun and meet other area writers. Join us for exercises, critiques, feedback and food!

Let's get literary!

Instructor Chris Stewart is a poet, fiction writer and a Creative Alliance Resident Artist. Gregg Wilhelm has been an editor and publisher for more than 12 years and is founder of the CityLit Project. For more information -- or to register -- visit the link.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tom Wolfe & Me

The book-signing line for Tom Wolfe was so long that I had to leave it before getting anywhere close to the man in white (in order to make John Irving's presentation).

Later in the day, it was Tom Wolf's turn to speak. Again, it was so crowded that the closest I could get was five rows away.

It was some minutes later, as I walked along the green, that I just happened to run into him. Wolf was hard to miss in his white suit and shoes. He began a live interview on C-Span's Book TV. I stood and watched, snapping a few photographs. A crowd collected, but I remained in front.

In fact, if you go to the story on the book fest in The Washington Post you'll find a picture of the interview. I was right behind the interviewer. In fact, several times Tom looked at me as he spoke.

After the interview, my A Man in Full was in full view. Before the "guards" could stop him, he had my book and pen.

I now have a pen Tom Wolfe used to write with. And a signed book to boot.

I asked him, "Are you and John Irving going out for drinks after this?"

He looked at me with a big smile. "The literary world we live in ..."


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Writeteous Weekend

Between the National Book Festival in DC and the Baltimore Book Festival next door, there was a lot for writers and readers to do this weekend!

In DC, I managed to meet three living literary legends: John Irving, Tom Wolfe and E.L. Doctorow! They gave presentations, along with more than 80 other successful writers, including David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, John Sanford, Neil Gaiman, Sue Monk Kidd and David McCullough. They all had worthwhile advice and commentary about the art of writing and the pleasure of reading. Check WRITEFUL in the days and weeks to come for gems garnered from these writers.

Back in Baltimore, the 10th annual Book Festival was perfect for local writers and book-lovers. The highlight was the CityLit Stage (formerly the Next Big Thing Stage). CityLit's mission is "to nurture the culture of literature in the Baltimore metropolitan area." Allowing a venue for writers to meet one another, get in touch with one another and share their work is one way CityLit succeeds in fulfilling the mission.

Coming next: TOM WOLFE & ME -- a (very short) account of my relationship with Tom Wolfe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Literary Festivities

Hello! This is a notable weekend for Literary folks.

First and foremost, the National Book Festival is this Saturday, September 24. It's from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the National Mall, right in the heart of Washington DC. More than 80 renowned American writers will participate on the green right next to the National Museums of American History and Natural History. The festival features readings, interviews, presentations on writing, and book-signings. Some of the participating authors include John Irving, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, David Baldacci, David McCullough, Robert MacNeil, Dana Gioia, R.L. Stine, Gish Jen, Sue Monk Kidd, Sandra Brown, John Sandford, Tony Hillerman, Laura Lippman and Laura Numeroff. There also will be a Walt Whitman Celebration. Here's a link for more information:


If that doens't quench your literary longings, this weekend also boasts the Baltimore Book Festival, the mid-Atlantic's premire celebration of the literary arts. This year looks to be grand, being the 10th anniversary. It runs Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Writers, be sure to check out City Lit's Agents and Editors panel Sunday afternoon at 3:15 p.m. For more information on the Baltimore Book Festival, see the link below:


Close those books, power down those word processors and get ready for a festive weekend.