a weblog for readers and writers

Friday, September 28, 2007

Featured Author at Baltmore Book Fest

I’m once again a featured author at the Baltimore Book Festival — the Mid-Atlantic’s premier celebration of the literary arts.

The Baltimore Book Festival runs from Friday, September 28 to Sunday, September 30. Featured authors include Stephen Hunter, Rafael Alvarez, and Stephen Dixon.

On Sunday, September 30 at 11 a.m., I’ll read an abridged version of “The Silences,” a story from TRACKS, a novel in stories.

I’ll be joined by nine other writers from Baltimore: Edith Goldman, Michael M. Hughes, Barbara Friedland, Jen Michalski, Mat Gill, Lalita Noronha, Lauren Eisenberg Davis, Kimberly Williams, and Christine Stewart.

C-SPAN will be on hand to cover the event.

For times, directions, and a calendar of events, visit the BBF website.

http://www.baltimorebookfestival.org/ .

Thursday, September 27, 2007

National Book Festival Draws Nation's Top Authors

This Saturday, September 29, the National Book Festival takes place on the national mall lawn between the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument in Washington DC.

The event will include craft lectures, readings, and book signings by some of the nation’s top authors, including Edward P. Jones, Joyce Carol Oats, David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult, Terry Pratchett, Harry Turtledove, Stephen L. Carter, Lisa Scottoline, and Ken Burns.

Visit the nation’s Capitol for the nation’s largest literary event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 29. Then, follow it up with a Sunday visit to the Baltimore Book Festival where you can meet authors Paul Lagasse, Christine Stewart, Mat Gill, Lalita Noronha, Jen Michalski, and Eric D. Goodman at the 11 a.m. “Works in Progress” event.

A weekend full of fiction — what could be better?

To learn more about the National Book Festival, visit the Library of Congress website.


For more on the Baltimore Book Festival, visit the city’s website.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Works in Progress at Baltimore Book Festival

Be the first to hear the “works in progress” of ten local authors at the Baltimore Book Festival – the biggest celebration of the literary arts in the Mid-Atlantic region.

This Sunday, September 30, ten members of the Maryland Writers’ Association Baltimore Chapter (MWAB) will read from their work at the Baltimore Book Festivals’s CityLit Tent. The reading takes place at 11 a.m. and features readings by the following local authors:

Edith Goldman;

Michael M. Hughes;

Barbara Friedland;

Jen Michalski;

Mat Gill;

Lalita Noronha;

Lauren Eisenberg Davis;

Kimberly Williams;

Christine Stewart; and

Eric D. Goodman.

After the reading, hang around for the Festival's many other literary, musical, and culinary treats. Check out authors Rafael Alvarez (on Saturday) and Stephen Hunter (on Sunday). The CityLit Tent has a smashing lineup all weekend long, and there are used book dealers, authors signing their works (including Mat Gill and Paul Lagasse), poetry readings, activities for the kids, and more.

C-SPAN usually sends a camera crew to cover the event, so who knows, youmight even have your big break too!

The Maryland Writers Association will have a booth across from the CityLit tent where you can get information on the MWA. You can even register as a member on site.

Many thanks to Gregg Wilhelm of the CityLit Project and Paul Lagasse of the MWAB for organizing this and other events at the Baltimore Book Festival.

For times, directions, and a calendar of events, visit the BBF website.

http://www.baltimorebookfestival.org/ .

Friday, September 21, 2007

Writers, Mark Your Calendars!

The date is set, the speakers are aligned, and all that’s left is for writers to join the Maryland Writers’ Association for a day full of literary events designed to boost your writing goals.

The Maryland Writers’ Association 20th Anniversary Conference is set for Saturday, May 3, 2008, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum.

Join local experts and successful writers at the 20th annual Maryland Writers' Association's conference. You’ll have the opportunity to hone your craft in sessions led by established authors, instructors, and experts. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s plenty for you at the conference. Come explore the many worlds of writing.

Register now to take advantage of our EARLY BIRD SPECIAL — now through December 31!
To register, or for more information, visit the conference website.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Premier Celebration of the Literary Arts

Lovers of Literature won't want to miss next weekend's Baltimore Book Festival, the mid-Atlantic's premier celebration of the literary arts.

Featured authors include Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter (47th Samurai, Point of Impact), Raphael Alvarez (Storyteller, The Fountain of Highlandtown), children’s’ author Kevin O’Malley, and even an appearance by … Mark Twain!*

Not to mention the great events at the CityLit Stage, including a happening happy hour with Narrowhouse readers on Friday night, and a different sort of Sunday morning reading featuring local authors Chris Stewart, Kimberly Williams, Jen Michalski, Mat Gill, Lalita Noronha, Lauren, Eisenberg Davis, Michael M. Hughes, Barbara Friedland, and Eric D. Goodman.**

Literary agents and first-time authors will offer advice to writers. If you enjoy reading or writing of any kind, there’s something for you at the Baltimore Book Festival.

The festival runs all weekend, Friday, September 29 to Sunday, October 1.For more info, and the complete schedule, see the Book Fest's website.


*Mark Twain may be an imposter.

**I won't be an imposter; I'll be reading from TRACKS, my novel in stories.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

How to Navigate the Publishing Matrix

Every month, the Baltimore Chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association hosts a meeting for local writers. The speakers over the past several months have been exceptional. I know September’s speaker will like up to that standard.

Now that school's back in session, it’s a perfect time to be schooled in how to get published.

This month's guest speaker is Gregg Wilhelm, President and CEO of the CityLit Project.

He'll be speaking about how to navigate "The Publishing Matrix" and find the best avenues for getting your work before a deserving audience.

The event takes place on Monday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m. at The Waterfront Hotel, located at 1710 Thames Street in Fells Point. It's upstairs, so people should either follow the signs for theupstairs dining room or ask a bartender for directions.Their website is www.waterfronthotel.us .

The event is free for members and first-time visitors or $5 for returning guests.

Gregg is a highly in-demand speaker and he has a wealth of experience with the literary and publishing scenes. This is your opportunity to gain some valuable information about how to get published.

For more information, visit the MWAB website at the following link.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Musical Treasure (To Write To)

Earlier this year, I got a copy of the album Celtic Treasure, the latest from musician Hayley Westenra. My first thought, when I saw the song title “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,” was anyone who covers Paul Simon can’t be bad.

It was around St. Patrick’s Day, as I remember it, and I first put the disk in my car while I was taking my daughter to fencing lessons. The rain pelted the windshield. Then Hayley’s voice flooded my ears.

Hayley Westenra has a beautiful voice with a good range. At times she sounds angelic. The first song on the disk sounds a bit like Enya in her early years. Another song sounds like an old Christian hymn. And on songs like “Who’s Your Partner,” she really lets go.

This will be unique to my experience, but when I listen to Hayley’s disk today, it usually conjures up memories of the Gather First Chapters Writing Competition. I was in the throes of that competition when I first listened to the album. I celebrated my victory as a semi-finalist in the contest with Hayley’s music in the background. I dreamed of winning the prize and getting published by Simon & Shcuster with Hayley serenading me.

But it’s not a completely unique experience. For me and for many people, the music that touches us reminds us of the times when we listened to it. Nirvana and Pearl Jam take me back to college. R.E.M. transports me all the way back to high school. The unearthly sounds of Radiohead’s Kid A reminds me of writing WOMB, a novel I’m currently revising. And songs like “Train in the Distance” and “Mystery Train” make me think of TRACKS, my novel in stories.

For me, Hayley Westenra’s Celtic Treasure will always remind me of my experience making it as a semi-finalist in the first Gather First Chapters Writing Competition.

If you haven’t heard her album yet, give it a listen. Just go to her website for more information.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Creative Writing Teacher Tells All

Each month, the Maryland Writers Association has a state-wide meeting at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Baltimore. This month’s meeting takes place this Wednesday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. and features creative writing teacher Susan Rosen.

The theme is "Aliens at the Window and Cliches Under the Rug: A Creative Writing Teacher Tells All." Susan Rosen, a published author who teaches Creative Writing, Literary Nonfiction and Environmental Literature at Anne Arundel Community College, bases her writing advice on practical experience.

The event is free for MWA members and first-time visitors. Only $5 for returning visitors. To learn more, visit the MWA website at the link below.


Friday, September 07, 2007

A Fine Day for Freedom

Freedom, at last. Coloquio has published the final installment of “Freedom” in their latest issue. In the final episode of this 12-part story, Joe makes his choice between love and war. But it’s a decision that haunts him as he rides the train from Baltimore to Chicago.

“Freedom” is a story from TRACKS, a novel in stories. Freedom was accepted for publication by Coloquio last year, an online magazine with 7 million hits each year. “Freedom” was serialized in 12 monthly episodes.

Read the final installment at the link below! There, you can also follow the links back to previous episodes, all the way to the beginning.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

In the Mood for Romance?

Are you in the mood for a little romance? You couldn’t have picked a better time. Spring may not be in the air, but you wouldn’t know it judging by the number of romantic writings collected at Gather.com right now.

That’s because the Gather First Chapters Romance Writing Competition is in full swing.

Romance authors have posted their first chapters and are waiting for you to read, rate, and comment on their work. Some improvements have been made since the last First Chapters contest. To deter the effects of drive-by ones, the only votes that count are the 10s. In other words, you either think the chapter is worthy of moving on (a rating of 10) or you don’t (a rating of 1-9).

There are plenty of romantic beginnings in the contest. Far too many to wade through, unless you’re making this a full-time job. But here are a few first chapters to get you started. Some of them need a little help. Others seem to be drowning in votes already. But they’re all worth reading, so give them a go.

In fact, everyone brave enough to bare their creative talents and enter this contest deserves a look. So, time allowing, move beyond these entries and explore your own favorites as well. And be sure to share them – your favorite first chapters and their links – in the comments below.

To read, rate, and comment on these first chapters, you must be a registered Gather user. If you’re not, registering is free and easy—just go to Gather at the following link to set up your profile.


While you’re there, check out my articles, including my weekly literary column, Lit Bit.


And here are a few romantic chapters to get you started …

Safe Haven by Judy T.


Dancing With My Dream by Dena S.


Courage of Fear by Barbara B.


Badeaux Knights by Stacy C.


In Over Her Head by Judi F.


Here's to a happy ending for these romance writers!