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The Writer’s Center Appoints a New Executive Director, Ed Spitzberg

BETHESDA, MD (Dec. 5, 2016)—The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce Ed Spitzberg has been appointed its new Executive Director, with a start date of December 19, 2016. As an experienced nonprofit executive and arts educator, Spitzberg brings a broad set of skills and experience to The Writer's Center community. He joins TWC after six years as Vice President of Development at Afterschool Alliance, an organization working to ensure that all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to join The Writer's Center at such an exciting time in its history," Spitzberg said. "I grew up in—and am now raising my family in—Bethesda. As such, I deeply understand the vitality of The Writer’s Center and its impact on my community and beyond, and I look forward to helping the Center advance the literary arts locally, regionally and nationally in the future."

Previously, Spitzberg was Executive Director of Sitar Arts Center, which, during his tenure, won the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. At Sitar, Spitzberg forged new artistic partnerships and nurtured existing relationships with DC’s premiere arts organizations, while managing day-to-day operations of the multifaceted arts facility. Sitar Arts Center’s programing includes writing classes in its library, and, like The Writer's Center, a small theater. In fact, Spitzberg’s background is rich with theater. He began his nonprofit career as Development Director at Arena Stage, where he led the team that wrote the award-winning business plan for Camp Arena Stage, a continuously successful venture more than a decade later. 

“We are delighted that Ed is coming aboard to lead our strong staff and highly skilled team of writing instructors at The Writer’s Center,” said Sally Mott Freeman, four-term Board Chair of The Writer’s Center. “We have made great strides in recent years, and the Board of Directors believes that he is the best candidate to take our unique, 40-year old literary organization to the next level.”

In addition to running an arts education institution, Spitzberg also has produced and co-written a series of performance events, one winning the Audience Award for "Best Overall Show" at the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival. Prior to his nonprofit career, Spitzberg was successful in the corporate arena, working in product management for the Walt Disney Company and a digital entertainment startup as one of its first employees. Spitzberg earned an MBA in entertainment management from UCLA and a BA in ethics, politics and economics from Yale University.

E. Ethelbert Miller Wins George Garrett Award


Los Angeles, CA (April 2016)—In a ceremony held at the annual conference of The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), poet, activist and arts advocate E. Ethelbert Miller was honored with the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature.

In bestowing the annual award, AWP recognizes individuals who have made notable donations of care, time, labor and money to support writers and their literary accomplishments. The award is named for George Garrett (1929-2008), who made exceptional contributions to his fellow writers as a teacher, mentor, editor, friend, board member and good spirit. Miller joins the ranks of past winners Allison Joseph, Richard Jackson and Maria Mazziotti Gillan, among others.

In his acceptance speech, Miller talked about the power of activism to change lives for the better. “The greatest service an individual can make is to undertake the journey to reach another person’s heart,” he said. “Too often this path is filled with obstacles and there is a tendency to stop, turn away and turn back.”

Executive Director of The Writer’s Center Joe Callahan attended the ceremony. "Ethelbert is an amazing poet and champion of literature. He has impacted a wide swath of organizations through his literary citizenship. There are many organizations in the D.C. area and beyond that would not be who they are today without Ethelbert." 

As is typical of the poet, he used the opportunity to raise a call to action for attendees of the conference. “It is not enough to simply build – we must sustain institutions, we must cherish and protect them,” Miller said. “Today there is still much heavy lifting we need to undertake. There is still the ongoing task to fight against the erasing of culture in different parts of the world as well as the censorship of ideas.”

The author reads from his just-released collected poems at The Writer’s Center on Thursday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit

The Writer’s Center in Collaboration with the Corcoran College of Art and Design at George Washington University Presents "Ekphrasis"


BETHESDA, MD (February 2016) The Writer’s Center is proud to announce its next exhibition—Ekphrasis, on view through April 30.

In the classic practice of artists inspiring and responding to one another’s work, advanced painters from Corcoran College of Art and Design at George Washington University were paired with workshop leaders and participants from The Writer’s Center to create a series of poems and paintings in an exercise in ekphrasis. Meet the artists during an evening opening reception and poetry reading on February 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

What: Art Opening and Poetry Reading at The Writer’s Center
When: Thursday, February 18, 6:30 to 8:30  PM
Where: The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815
Admission: FREE
Details: Contact 301.654.8664 for details, or visit

“The painters and poets who have contributed to this project now join in the long and lofty ekphrastic tradition,” said Mira Hecht, Adjunct Faculty/Painting, Corcoran School of Art and Design at GW, and co-curator of the project. Ekphrasis, derived from Ancient Greek, simply means “expression” and is the oldest type of writing about visual art. Examples in literature abound. Homer’s epic poem “The Iliad,” “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by Keats, and Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” to name a few. Artists of famed mid-20th century New York participated enthusiastically in this practice. Painters Grace Hartigan, Jane Freilicher, Larry Rivers and others were well known for collaborations with the poets of the New York School. The poems written during this time, by poets such as Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch, were rooted in immediacy and present moment awareness. 

Writer’s Center board member Joram Piatigorsky, along with his wife, Lona, a painter, founded the art program at the Center in 2012 in an effort to not only enliven the walls of the reading room and classrooms, but also to encourage an exchange between the written and visual arts. “This ephrastic event—the first of its kind at The Writer’s Center—marks the beginning of a new era of active interactions between writers and artists, which was the ultimate goal for the art exhibitions,” Dr. Piatigorsky said. “It’s a dream come true.” A molecular biologist, fiction writer and avid art collector, Piatigorsky generously supports all aspects of the art program, including purchasing works from each exhibition to create a permanent collection for the Center. All proceeds from art sales go entirely to the artists.

Participating painters: Fran Beard, Cheryl Bearss, Terry Birkel, Page Carter, Arleen Cheston, Paul Cunningham, Jean Eckert, Anne C. Fisher, Aurie Hall, James Hambeuchen, Leslie Harris, Tatiane S. Hofstadler, Sabina Iqbal, Lois Kampinsky, Shaun Murphy, Denise Paolella, Lona Piatigorsky, and Yumiko Tatsubo.

Participating poets: Julie Bingham, Hank Dahlstrom, Rocky Delaplaine, Melanie Figg, Nan Fry, Sara Gama, Renee Gherity, E. Laura Golberg, Ian Golub, Paul Jolly, Ted Kowalsky, Pamela Murray Winters, Anton Piatigorsky, Ann Quinn, Martiza Rivera, Robin Talbert, and Elizabeth Vrenios. 


The Writer’s Center Appoints Joe Callahan to Top Spot

BETHESDA, MD (Dec. 2015) —The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce Joe Callahan has been appointed Executive Director of the organization, with a start date of January 4, 2016. Prior to coming to the Center, for more than five years Callahan served as the Executive Director of 826DC, the youngest chapter in the 826 national network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers. While there, he grew the organization to serve nearly 5,000 students per year, increased the organizational budget by nearly 800% and won the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Art Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education (2014).

"We are delighted that Joe Callahan will be taking the helm of The Writer's Center on the symbolic first day of its 40th anniversary year,” said Board of Directors Chair Sally Mott Freeman. “Joe is a fast-rising star in the Washington nonprofit community and has a strong background in and appreciation for world-class writing and literature. He is the ideal leader to shape the future of this unique and well-loved literary jewel."

Callahan previously worked as a writing professor at both American University and the George Washington University. Beyond teaching, he has worked and consulted for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, including public policy institutions, museums, and a renowned literary magazine. He earned a B.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University and an M.A. in writing with a focus in nonfiction from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, Callahan has a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership.  

“I am tremendously excited to be joining The Writer's Center at such a dynamic time in its history,” Callahan said. “I've long admired the work of the organization and am looking forward to leading such an important literary institution. I am excited about what we can accomplish in the coming months and years and how we can continue to grow, bringing great writing and writing opportunities to the DMV and beyond.” 

Callahan is coming aboard at an opportune time for the Center as it’s celebrating its 40th birthday in 2016. Special events and readings by such luminaries as Ethelbert Miller, Chris Matthews and M. Nzadi Keta are planned, as well as a tribute to Jim Lehrer, who will be honored with the Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism on March 24.

Publish Now! Find Your Path to Publication

BETHESDA, MD (May 11, 2015)—The Writer’s Center announces a day-long publishing seminar that offers insight from agents, editors, authors, publicists, and self-publishing experts, Publish Now! Find Your Path to Publication, taking place on June 13 at the Center in Bethesda.

“So many writers are uninformed or overwhelmed by the publishing process,” said The Writer’s Center’s Executive Director Stewart Moss. “We want to give them the tools to decide how best to distribute their writing.”

Among the many available activities (see full schedule below), attendees will learn about the pros and cons of self-publishing and the traditional route from author Robert Bausch, who has distributed his books both ways.  Keynote speaker Jane Friedman, who has more than 15 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, will discuss the current state of publishing. And breakout sessions will give attendees the opportunity to meet with an agent, learn about a self-publishing service available through Politics and Prose Bookstore, hear about the option of publishing through a small press, and more.

“In the name of sharing ideas, telling stories, or wielding influence, authoring a book is only one tool or method available to us today, and not always the best,” said Friedman in her blogpost for the Center, “Sharing Your Stories: Beyond the Book.”

As one of the premier centers of its kind in the country, The Writer’s Center is committed to providing writers with the community, support, education and information they need to advance their writing career. Publish Now presents information about a wide variety of possibilities for publication.


8:15 AM to 9:00 AM Registration and free breakfast (first come first serve)   

9:00 AM Welcome and introductory remarks

9:15 AM to 10:15 AM  Editors Panel Discussion
Editors with years of experience in well-established presses will discuss the current state of traditional publishing. Learn what are they looking for, what to avoid, and what the future may hold for authors and publishing companies.
Will Murphy (Random House)
Hilary Black (National Geographic)
Matthew McAdams (Johns Hopkins University Press)

10:15 AM to 11:15 AM You and the Future of Publishing
Keynote Speaker Jane Friedman will discuss the tremendous changes taking place in the publishing industry and what this means for authors, editors, agents, and booksellers.   

11:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Executive Director Stewart Moss will give introductory remarks about the upcoming Novel Year Program at The Writer's Center, taught by panelist and author Amin Ahmad.  

10-Minute Break

11:40 AM to 12:30 PM  Both Sides Now 
Novelist Robert Bausch has published with major publishers, but he has also self-published work that was later re-issued by traditional book publishers. This gives him a unique perspective on the options available to writers. Bausch will share his insights in an interview with author Jennifer Haupt.

12:30 PM to 1:45 PM Lunch
Bring your own lunch and socialize with panelists and participants. Enjoy 10% off at Vino Volo on Woodmont Avenue (20% for TWC members).

1:45 PM to 2:45 PM Publicity and Marketing in 2015
All authors need to know how to publicize and market their work. Publicists will share their tips and talk about the marketing process.
Becky Clark (Johns Hopkins University Press)
Mary McCarthy (Writer, Editor, and Workshop Leader)
Sheila O’Shea (Random House)
2:50 PM to 3:30 PM

Participants pick one of the following Breakout Sessions to attend:

  • Meet Literary Agents Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management) and Deborah Grosvenor (Grosvenor Literary Agency)
  • Meet Literary Agent Anna Sproul-Latimer (The Ross Yoon Agency)
  • Amin Ahmad Discusses the Novel Year, a new year-long program at the Center in which advanced authors will be able to workshop their entire novel, meet agents, and learn about publishing.
  • Self-publishing with Jenny Clines (Politics & Prose)

    3:35 PM to 4:15 PM Breakout Sessions Continue
  • Meet Literary Agents Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management) and Deborah Grosvenor (Grosvenor Literary Agency)
  • Meet Literary Agent Anna Sproul-Latimer (The Ross Yoon Agency)
  • Small press publishing has long been an option for poets and writers of short fiction. Sid Gold and Kathleen Wheaton have both published with Washington Writers’ Publishing House, a local small press now in its fourth decade. They’ll discuss the press and its longstanding connections with the local literary community.
  • An instructor from Pyramid Atlantic discusses options for authors who are interested in short-run fine printing, perfect for the self-publisher who wants to create broadsides or chapbooks.

4:15 PM Closing Reception



The Writer’s Center presents Sheryl Massaro: Earth & Spectrum


BETHESDA, MD (April 2015)—The Writer’s Center is proud to announce its summer exhibition— Sheryl Massaro: Earth & Spectrum.


Experience views of Maryland from the sensitive perspective of visual artist and writer Sheryl Massaro. Meet the artist during an evening opening reception on May 16, from 6 to 8 PM.

Sheryl Massaro is a Montgomery County native now thriving in Urbana in Frederick County. In addition to participating in numerous exhibits in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania galleries, and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, she has had solo exhibits locally of both art and photography. Her art, including oils, photography, and ceramics, is in private collections on the East and West Coasts.

In her poetry and art, Massaro endeavors to tap into life’s undertows. She is also a poet, Frederick County Master Gardener, and consultant on health communications related to drug abuse and addiction. She has an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from The American University and has studied with several key poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Stanley Kunitz, Howard Nemerov,and  Galway Kinnell. She has attended Bread Loaf Conferences and has had residencies at Yaddo (New York) and St. Peter’s (Canada) colonies. Several individual poems have been published in small literary journals as well as The New York Times. She teaches occasional small-group poetry writing classes and is a former instructor at The Writer’s Center.

 What: Art Opening at The Writer’s Center

When: Saturday, May 16, 6 to 8 PM

Where: The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815

Admission: FREE

Details: Contact 301.654.8664 for details, or visit

The Writer's Center hosts the work of artists to inspire an exchange between the visual and literary arts. Parties interested in purchasing a work on view may contact the artists directly. The Center does not make a profit on the art it exhibits.


The Writer’s Center presents Painters 12: Picture=Thousand Words

BETHESDA, MD (January 2015) The Writer’s Center is proud to announce its winter/spring exhibition—Painters 12: Picture=Thousand Words.


Experience the work of 12 abstract painters and meet the artists during an evening opening reception on January14 from 6 to 8 PM.

PAINTERS 12 is a group of experienced artists who paint together at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, which is now part of George Washington University. Each artist has developed a unique style, process and way of working with materials. 

“The artists in this group show have been painting for many years. During the past five years at the Corcoran, the group has developed into an ‘artistic home’ that provides community, critical inquiry and continued discussion of contemporary art,” said class leader Mira Hecht. “In this environment, each painter finds encouragement and inspiration to deepen his or her practice.” 

Participants are: Fran Beard, Cheryl Bearss, Arleen Cheston,  Jean Eckert,  Anne Fisher,  Aurie Hall,  Jim Hambuechen,  Lois Kampinsky,  Densie Paolella,  Suzanne Stack,  Kay Walsh and  David Yuravlivker.

 What: Art Opening at The Writer’s Center

When: Saturday, January 17, 6 to 8 PM

Where: The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815

Admission: FREE

Details: Contact 301.654.8664 for details, or visit


Emerging Writer Fellows Announced

BETHESDA, MD (December 18, 2014)—The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 Emerging Writer Fellowships: Karina Borowicz and Tanya Olson. This annual award is comprised of a reading at the Center and a cash honorarium. Fellows living within a 250-mile radius of the center will receive a $250 honorarium; all others will receive $500.

“We are so pleased to offer this opportunity to two such talented writers,” said Sunil Freeman, Assistant Director of the Center.

Karina Borowicz is the author of two poetry collections, Proof (Codhill Press, 2014) and The Bees Are Waiting (Marick Press, 2012), which won the Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry and was named a Must-Read by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.  Her poems have appeared widely in journals and have been featured on the web and in radio. Trained as an historian, Borowicz also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She makes her home in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts.  

Tanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a Lecturer in English at University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her first book, Boyishly, was published by YesYes Books in 2013 and received a 2014 American Book Award. In 2010, she won a Discovery/Boston Review prize and was named a 2011 Lambda Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation.

Requirements for the fellowship include the publication of one or two full-length single-author books in a single genre, and no more than three books published to their credit (including as editors of anthologies) in any genre.


Emerging Poet Wins The Writer’s Center’s 2014-15 Undiscovered Voices Scholarship

BETHESDA, MD (November 13, 2014)—The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce that poet Caitlin Reid is the recipient of its 2014-15 Undiscovered Voices Scholarship. In this initiative, The Writer’s Center provides a one-year-long scholarship to a promising writer earning less than $25,000 annually. At a time when economic challenges make it difficult for many writers to pursue their literary goals, The Writer’s Center’s Undiscovered Voices program aims to provide that extra professional boost for talented writers like Reid.

With her Undiscovered Voices Scholarship, Reid will receive complimentary writing workshops for a period of one year. During the course of the year, she plans to take workshops that will help her write a full-length poetry manuscript by her thirty-second birthday in May. “I have found both mentoring and community at The Writer’s Center, and I’d like to continue my education there,” Reid said.

Reid’s poetry has earned scholarships to The Gettysburg Review Writer’s Conference, Wesleyan’s Conference for Writers, and a Murphy Writing Seminar in Wales. She was a finalist for the 2014 Larry Neal Award, and the Millay Colony of Arts has her on a wait-list.


The Town of Chevy Chase Contributes $60,000 to The Writer’s Center Renovation

BETHESDA, MD (November 18, 2014)—The Writer’s Center is delighted to announce that The Town of Chevy Chase has contributed $60,000 toward the Center’s major renovation project, which includes construction that will help make the Center more ADA accessible. This award will be used as matching funds to a Montgomery County grant received earlier in the year.

"The Town of Chevy Chase is pleased to support the Writer's Center in this important construction project,” said Mayor Kathy Strom. “More than 400 the Center’s participants are from our town, and its many offerings are of great value to the community. Our support for this project will assist those who visit the Center by making it accessible to all who wish to participate in its offerings." 

This project includes adding a second story to the building, which will house The Green Zone, a space where current members of the military and veterans can take courses and share their work.

“The Writer’s Center has benefited town residents and the entire county for decades,” stated Maryland Senator Richard Madaleno. “The walkability to the facility has made it convenient for town residents to take highly respected writing courses from published authors, attend the theater, and participate in numerous free author readings and other literary events.”

This project comes on the heels of a $500,000 renovation to the lower level of the Center, which includes new classrooms and office space and a bright, airy studio where writers can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


First Novel Prize Winner Announced

BETHESDA, MD (November 6, 2014)—The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce that Raoul Wientzen  has been awarded the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize for his book, The Assembler of Parts (Arcade Publishing, 2013). Seventy writers applied from across the country and included a diverse pool of voices from a variety of backgrounds and traditions.

The Assembler of Parts is a remarkable modern fable of grief, redemption, and the durability of family love,” said Jessica Handler, author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir. “With humor, insight, and a touch of the bizarre, the narrator makes us think about the ways we are loved despite our imperfections, and the spark of the divine that makes us human. Raoul Wientzen is a heavenly writer.”

From the start of this extraordinary first novel, eight-year-old Jess finds herself in heaven reviewing her short life. She is guided in this by a being she calls the Assembler of Parts, and her task, as she understands it, is to glean her life’s meaning. From birth, it was obvious that she was unlike other children: she was born without thumbs. The Assembler left out other parts too, for she suffers from a syndrome of birth defects that leaves her flawed. But soon it becomes apparent that by her very imperfections she has a unique ability to draw love from—and heal—those around her, from the team of doctors who rally to her care, to the parents who come together over her, to the grandmother whose guilt she assuages, to the family friend whom she helps reconcile with an angry past. With a voice full of wisdom and humor, she tells their stories too. Yet, only when she dies suddenly and her parents are suspected of neglect, unleashing a chain of events beyond her healing, does the meaning of her life come into full focus. And only then does the Assembler’s purpose become clear.

Raoul Wientzen is a pediatrician and teacher. He taught pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases at Georgetown University for more than 30 years, and he is currently the Medical Director of The Rostropovich Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization that promotes large-scale programs for children in the developing world.

Each year, The Writer's Center awards $500 to the author of the best first novel published in the previous calendar year. Conceived and funded by board member Neal P. Gillen, the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns Prize honors three dedicated writers and members of The Writer’s Center faculty—Ann McLaughlin, Barbara Esstman, and Lynn Stearns—each of whom unselfishly nourish and inspire students and fellow writers.


The Writer’s Center presents Representing: New Paintings by Mark Giaimo and Eric Westbrook

BETHESDA, MD (October 2014)—The Writer’s Center is proud to announce its fall exhibition—Representing: New Paintings by Mark Giaimo and Eric Westbrook.


Experience the work of two representational painters who explore the world around them with great sensitivity. Meet Mark Giaimo and Eric Westbrook during an evening opening reception on October 18 at 6 PM.

“’Representing’ implies painting that which you know, which in my case means my own life,” says Mark Giaimo. “I prefer working from direct observation (although some of the paintings here employed photo references out of necessity), and throwing every ounce of energy, passion—one’s entire being, basically—into the painting, much like a method actor pours him or herself into a character.” Eric Westbrook explains “The paintings are set in places that are suffused with the presence of both man and nature. I seek to explore the margins where these two forces meet, with the result that suddenly these little-noticed corners of the landscape assume a new significance.”

What: Art Opening at The Writer’s Center

When: Saturday, October 18, 6 to 8 PM

Where: The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815

Admission: FREE

Details: Contact 301.654.8664 for details, or visit

Mark Giaimo: Largely self-taught in a number of creative disciplines: an award-winning political cartoonist, an illustrator and a alt-rock recording artist, Mark Giaimo enrolled in his first oil painting class in 2004 upon moving to DC, and within two years was accepted into the Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where he finished a semester before striking out on his own. Whether painting still lifes of cheap plastic toys, portraits of friends or melodramatic narratives, Giaimo mixes the mundane with the sacred, 19th century academic techniques with contemporary pulp and graphic illustration—both an homage and satire to the past and present.

Eric Westbrook: Westbrook is a professional artist, illustrator, and instructor living and working in Washington, DC. His paintings have been shown extensively in solo and group shows in and around the Washington DC area. Recent exhibitions of his paintings have been held at Dumbarton Concert Gallery, Gallery Plan B, and the Arts Club of Washington. Paintings are held in private collections as well as in the permanent collection of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Recent work has focused on a series of portrait/figure paintings, featuring female subjects posed in dreamlike landscape settings. His illustrations have been published by magazine, corporate, and government clients nationwide and internationally. Clients include Apple, National Public Radio, NASDAQ, Ernst & Young, the White House, Habitat for Humanity, and the Washington Opera.



WASHINGTON, DC (September 15, 2014)Poet Loremagazine celebrates its milestone 125th anniversary at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, September 15, 2014, 7:30 PM, with readings by four generations of Poet Lore poets—Linda Pastan, Cornelius Eady, Terrance Hayes, and Traci Brimhall.  The event, Poet Lore Celebrates 125 Years of Literary Discovery,” will be followed by a birthday-cake-and-wine reception and book signing.

The event also marks the launch of Poet Lore’s 125th Anniversary Issue. On its opening page, the present editors, poets Jody Bolz and E. Ethelbert Miller, reaffirm the mission of literary discovery put forth by Poet Lore’s founding editors, Charlotte Porter and Helen Clarke, at the journal’s inception in 1889. The cover, a portrait of 19th-century African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, refers readers to an essay by scholar Melissa Girard, who describes Poet Lore’s editors’ prescient treatment of Dunbar’s work and their involvement in foundational debates on race and modern poetry.  

The poetry section leads with a chorus of poems on race—from reportage to meditations on labor, marriage, and folklore—and includes work by both established and emerging poets (Marge Piercy, Alice Notley, Chana Bloch, Leslie Ullman, Joseph Zaccardi, Joseph Ross, Fred Shaw, and Franke Varca among them). The prose section, a collection of historic and personal perspectives on Poet Lore, presents an investigation by Joan Hua of Poet Lore’s historic interest in translation and a moving tribute by Megan Foley to the founding editors’ shared life of letters. Finally, the issue contains work by the four poets who will read at Poet Lore’s anniversary event at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, on the evening of September 15.

This issue contains the work of more than sixty poets and five scholars and nonfiction writers and represents the editorial work of executive editors Jody Bolz and E. Ethelbert Miller, review editor Jean Nordhaus, translation editor Suzanne Zweizig, and managing editor Genevieve DeLeon. The 125th anniversary issue of Poet Lore will be available online in September at Purchase the issue for $9.00 plus shipping or a two-year subscription for $25.00.  To purchase tickets to the Poet Lore anniversary reading (available in late August), visit the Folger Shakespeare Library online here. For press inquiries, email Genevieve DeLeon at or call 301-654-8664 ext. 207.


Poet Lore was established in 1889 and is the oldest continuously published poetry journal in the United States.  Now in its second century of publication, Poet Lore presents well-crafted poems from established poets alongside the work of emerging writers.  In recent decades, Poet Lore has published early poems by poets who now receive national recognition—Carolyn Forché, Carl Phillips, Dana Gioia, D. Nurkse, Kim Addonizio, and Reginald Dwayne Betts, to name a few. The journal is published semi-annually by The Writer’s Center in Bethesda and edited by E. Ethelbert Miller and Jody Bolz. Submissions for the magazine are accepted year-round. For more on our history and submission guidelines, please visit:  Also, visit us on Facebook.

 POET LORE does what poetry journals are

supposed to do: it gives new voices a place

   to sing and old voices a place to harmonize.

                                       —A.B. Spellman


The Writer's Center Opens a Studio for Writers

BETHESDA, MD (August 2014)— The Writer’s Center is proud to offer studio space for writers in its newly renovated Walsh Street building, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The lower level of the Center has been completely rebuilt, offering workshop participants beautiful meeting spaces that will inspire. Designed by local architect Mark McInturff, the once-dark basement is now bright and welcoming.

Most exciting, for $100 per month, writers will have access to one of 18 carrels with a port for their laptop and internet access, a lounge with a coffee maker, and the comradery of other writers. Rent three months in advance and pay just $250. Members of The Writer’s Center receive a 15% discount.  Lockers are also available to rent for a modest fee.

“We at The Writer’s Center are delighted to add the Studio to the many other services— workshops, free author readings, a wide selection of literary journals —we already offer to the local literary community,” said Executive Director Stewart Moss. “We believe that writers like solitude but not isolation, and now they’ll have a quiet, comfortable sanctuary where they’ll also be in the company of other writers.” 

Coffee shops are noisy. A home office presents too many distractions. The Studio gives writers a secure dedicated space to work any time of day or night and the opportunity to become more involved in the Washington area’s preeminent literary community.

This project was made possible by a generous grant from The Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County; Ike Leggett, County Executive; The MD legislature; Senator Rich Madaleno; Sally Mott Freeman,  Board Chair; Mier Wolf, Chair emeritus; Pat Harris, Board Secretary; and Les Hatley, Board Treasurer.


The Writer’s Center Announces “Publish Now” Seminar

NEWS RELEASE – August 21, 2013

The Writer’s Center Announces “Publish Now” Seminar

How To Publish Your Book in the Digital Age

Writer’s Digest publisher Phil Sexton will be one of 12 speakers at the annual "Publish Now" seminar, to be held on Oct. 26, 2013 at The Writer’s Center, a nonprofit literary center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The annual seminar is designed to give all writers the latest information they need to publish their work in print or e-book format in the digital age. Registration is open to the public on a first-come basis.

“Self-publishing stands on its own feet and competes head-to-head with traditional publishing,” says Wilson Wyatt, a conference organizer and presenter. “Writers can now take control of their own publishing experience.”

Seasoned and budding writers alike will learn, from an independent source, how to get on the right track and avoid many of the common pitfalls of self-publishing. 

Phil Sexton, the opening speaker, will address the most current trends in publishing, from the writer’s perspective. Sexton has worked with Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million and many other major book retailers and wholesalers in the country. He is also the author of A Picture is Worth 1000 Words, Legends of Literature and The Writer’s Lab.

Sessions at the all-day seminar will cover: preparing and editing your manuscript, alternative publishing techniques, self-publishing choices and costs, business and legal issues and proven marketing strategies.

In addition to novels and nonfiction, specialized breakout sessions will be devoted to publishing children’s and young adult, memoir, art and photography, travel and interactive books.

Presenters include award-winning authors Barbara Esstman, C.M. Mayo, Jennifer Miller, Margaret Meacham, novelist and publisher Amy Abrams, writer and attorney Ken Ackerman, detective novelist Austin Camacho, and attorney and author Neal Gillen.

Space is limited and early registration is recommended. Tickets are $100, $85 for TWC members and $50 for students. Lunch and refreshments are included. A $25 fee increase will apply after Oct. 1. The seminar will be held at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, in Bethesda. Registration is at 8 a.m. Visit  For more information, contact Mia Cortez at or (301) 654-8664, ext. 201.

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AMY ABRAMS, Co-Fiction editor, is a novelist and journalist, as well as former publishing executive at national art magazines including Art & Antiques and more recently, in Washington, D.C., associate publisher of Museum & Arts Washington magazine. Her short stories have been published in Denver Quarterly and Hobart. She is fiction co-editor of The Delmarva Review. Her book about a nationally renowned Pop artist, Bill Schenck, was published in 2013. Her first novel, The Cage and the Key, was published in June.

KEN ACKERMAN, a writer and attorney in Washington, D.C., is the author of four books and dozens of articles. His titles include: The Gold Ring: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould and Black Friday, 1869; Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield; Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York and Young J. Edgar: Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault on Civil Liberties.

LAURA AMBLER is an international award winning author, published illustrator, produced playwright, and multiply optioned (Warner Bros. and Village Road Show) and produced screenwriter. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Dramatists Guild. Ambler is also president of the Telly Award winning marketing, design and creative services agency, The Ambler Company, Inc.

AUSTIN S. CAMACHO has written five detective novels about private eye Hannibal Jones and four international adventure thrillers.  He is also a co-founder of Intrigue Publishing.  He’s been active in several writers’ organizations and teaches writing at Anne Arundel Community College. By day he answers media queries for the Defense Department. Camacho lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.

BARBARA ESSTMAN, M.F.A., is a National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Virginia Commission for the Arts fellow, and a Redbook fiction award winner, among other distinctions. Her two novels, The Other Anna and Night Ride Home, are in numerous foreign editions; both were adapted for television by Hallmark Productions. She co-edited an anthology, A More Perfect Union: Poems and Stories about the Modern Wedding, and has taught extensively in universities.

NEAL GILLEN has self-published eight novels and a memoir. Born and raised in New York City, Gillen received his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University. Gillen serves on the board of The Writer’s Center and the American Independent Writers. His titles include Kitty’s Rules, The Night Clerks, Altar Boy and Lonely No More.

C.M. MAYO is the author of the novel The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, which was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2009. She is also the author of Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles Through Baja California, the Other Mexico, a travel memoir of Mexico's Baja California peninsula; and Sky over El Nido, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is the editor of a collection of Mexican literature in translation, Mexico: A Traveler's Literary

MARGARET MEACHAM is the award-winning author of 14 novels for children and young adults, with two new titles: The Ghosts of Laurelford, a historical mystery for young adults, and The Survival of Sarah Landing, her first novel for “grown-ups.” Meacham teaches writing and children’s literature at Goucher College and Gotham Writer’s Workshops in New York City. She holds degrees from Trinity College and University of Maryland.

JENNIFER MILLER is the author of The Year of the Gadfly, chosen as a 2012 Best Book by Kirkus Reviews and Self Magazine. Her first book, Inheriting the Holy Land, won Moment Magazine's Non-Fiction Award for Young Writers. Miller’s journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Fast Company and The Daily Beast. A native of Washington, D.C., she now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with all the other writers.

PHIL SEXTON is the publisher of Writer’s Digest, overseeing the production of Writer’s Digest magazine, as well as the WD book line, conferences, online education and competitions. For nearly 25 years, he’s worked in the book business, serving in numerous capacities, including vice president of sales for F+W Media, sales director of Adams Media, and – most proudly – independent bookseller. He has worked with Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million and most every other major book retailer and wholesaler in the country. He is also the author of A Picture is Worth 1000 Words, Legends of Literature and The Writer’s Lab.

WILSON WYATT is a writer and photographer who leads several writing initiatives on the Delmarva Peninsula. He is executive editor and a founder of The Delmarva Review and was president of the Eastern Shore Writers Association. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He has published two books of photography, Yosemite-Catching the Light, in 2011, and Chesapeake Views-Catching the Light, in 2013.




Poetry Out Loud Round 2 Competition




High school students in Montgomery County compete in national poetry recitation contest

The Writer’s Center of Montgomery County announces the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. The competition, presented in partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. From 4-6 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2013, nine high school students from three area high schools will participate in the Poetry Out Loud County competition at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD.

Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to county, then regional then state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington, DC. More than 365,000 students from 2,255 high schools took part in the 2010–2011 Poetry Out Loud program.

At The Writer’s Center, contestants will recite works they selected from an anthology of more than 680 classic and contemporary poems. Students participating in the Poetry Out Loud program have benefited from educational materials created by the Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation. These materials include a standards-based Teacher’s Guide, a comprehensive website, a Learning Recitation DVD, and a CD featuring poetry recitations by well-known actors and writers such as Anthony Hopkins and Rita Dove.

Poetry Out Loud Awards

The winner of the Poetry Out Loud Maryland finals will receive $200, and the winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up will receive id="mce_marker"00, with $200 for his or her school library. Additional awards for state contenders include [ANY AWARDS FROM LOCAL SPONSORS]. The state champion of the Poetry Out Loud [STATE] final will receive an all-expenses-paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Finals in Washington, DC, on May 14-15, 2012. The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will bestow a total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends, with a $20,000 award for the Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Montgomery County Poetry Out Loud finals at [LOCATION]

The Poetry Out Loud 1 winner from each county will compete in the Regional competition at 1 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Calvert Marine Museum in Calvert County, MD. Third stage state finals will be held on March 9 at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

For more information on the state finals, visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit



The Writer's Center & Yellow Barn Studio Present "Drawing From Life" Art Exhibit




Bethesda, MD

Drawing from Life, part of a series of seasonal art openings at The Writer’s Center featuring new paintings from the Yellow Barn Art Studio & Gallery of Glen Echo Park, will be on display at the center from Oct. 28, 2012 to Jan. 31, 2013.

Just as writers draw from life experiences to create their oeuvre, this group of visual artists inject their own story and personality into each drawing or painting accomplished in the intensive five-hour weekly class led by artist Lida Stifel. Stifel encourages experimental drawing exercises using live models to let the artists move from traditional ways of seeing to more abstract or conceptual visualizations. Drawing from Life features the work of Nancy Abeles, Deborah Burk, Lee Casey, Patsy Fleming, Elizabeth Harris, Elaine Lozier, Leslie Oberdorfer, Don Srull & Lida Stifel.

Opening Reception

3:30 –5:30 p.m.

October 28, 2012

The Writer’s Center

4508 Walsh St. Bethesda, MD


The Emerging Writer and Undiscovered Voices fellowships, funded by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, have become a popular tradition at The Writer’s Center.
The chosen Undiscovered Voices fellow is provided complimentary writing workshops to make progress toward a completed manuscript of publishable work. The selected Emerging Writer fellows will be featured as part of special readings at the Center and awarded $500 for their work.
“Through the Emerging Writer fellowships we have been able to host readings by writers from across the country,” says Assistant Director Sunil Freeman. “The level of submissions from applicants to both fellowships, has been extraordinary; there is a very high level of writing being produced in the community we’re fortunate to serve at The Writer’s Center.”
For more information on reading dates and fellowships, visit our website.

Emerging Writers
Suzanne Cleary won the 2012 John Ciardi Prize for Poetry for her book manuscript Beauty Mark, to be published in September 2013 by BkMk Press of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Carnegie Mellon published her previous books, Keeping Time (2002) and Trick Pear (2007). Her awards include a Pushcart Prize, the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, and the Julia A. Peterkin Award of Converse College. Her poems have appeared in anthologies including Poetry 180, Don’t Leave Hungry: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review, and many others. She has an M.A. in Writing from Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is a professor of English at SUNY Rockland and a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Caitlin Horrocks is author of the story collection This Is Not Your City, which was named a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and one of the best books of 2011 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories appear in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, The Paris Review, Tin House and One Story, among others. Her work has won awards including the Plimpton Prize, and fellowships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. She is the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review, and teaches at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Laura van den Berg’s stories have or will soon appear in American Short Fiction, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, Best New American Voices 2010 and The Pushcart Prize XXIV. Her debut collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, among other awards. She is also the author of the chapbook There Will Be No More Good Nights Without Good Nights (Origami Zoo Press, 2012). She currently teaches creative writing at George Washington University and lives in Baltimore.

Undiscovered Voices
Nicole Idar grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her stories have appeared in World Literature Today, Rattapallax, and The New Ohio Review, where she was a finalist for the 2009 Fiction Prize. Her first published essay won a 2012 Bethesda Magazine award. She holds an MFA in Fiction from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard University. In the spring she was an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, and this fall, with the support of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, she will be in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


Contact: Mia Cortez, Marketing & Publications Manager         
Tel: 301-654-8664, ext. 201

Writers, publishers, agents, editors & more to converge at digital publishing seminar, June 23

Write Poetry Workshop May 5-6 in honor of Ann Knox


HANCOCK, MD - The Hancock Arts Council is sponsoring a Write Poetry Workshop on May 5 and 6, 2012, in honor of poet Ann Knox, a long-time member of the Arts Council and Writer’s Center workshop leader who died last spring. Funds have been contributed in her honor to support the workshop, and participants will pay only $15 for both afternoons. 

The workshop, which meets from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. May 5-6 at the Hancock Community Center, will be led by Writer’s Center workshop leader Nan Fry.

Dr. Fry, who received her Ph.D from Yale University, is the author of two books of poetry: Relearning the Dark and Say What I Am Called. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and textbooks. She received an EdPress Award for excellence in educational journalism and taught at the Corcoran College of Art + Design for over 20 years.

Participants can expect lively sessions in which Dr. Fry guides them in exercises in which their imaginations can be loosened to shape words into poems.  On Sunday afternoon, at the end of the workshop, participants will read their poetry and Dr. Fry will share a few of her poems. Several of Ann Knox’s poems will also be shared.

To register, call Jeanne Ward at 717-294-3912  or email her at

Write Poetry Workshop
1-4:30 p.m. May 5-6
Hancock Community Center
126 W. High Street
Hancock, MD 21750-1138 


The Writer's Center has been an invaluable resource for writers from all over the Washington metropolitan area since 1976. Through workshops, open-door readings and exclusive literary events, The Writer’s Center cultivates the creation, publication, presentation and dissemination of literary work. As an independent organization rooted in a dynamic community of writers, it is one of the premier writing centers in the country. The Writer’s Center is also home to Poet Lore, the oldest continuously published poetry journal in the U.S. The Writer’s Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Visit us on Facebook at

Applications open for "To Think, To Write, To Publish" through June 12, 2012

To Think, To Write, To Publish:

Communicating Science and Innovation Policy through Narrative

A rare opportunity for writers and science policy scholars to learn literary techniques and publish their work in a collection of creative nonfiction essays.


WHAT IS IT? A two-part, multi-day workshop that will bring together emerging writers and early career science and innovation policy scholars—along with creative writing and journalism professors, museum professionals, and editors of mainstream publications—to immerse themselves in the art and business of nonfiction storytelling.


Participants will attend workshops in Washington, DC and Tempe, Arizona, and will be guided for an entire year. Travel expenses to attend the workshops will be paid, along with an honorarium.




  • WRITERS: Fiction and nonfiction writers, journalists, poets, documentary filmmakers, bloggers and other writers involved in alternative media, and museum communicators at the beginning stages of their careers.


  •   SCIENCE & INNOVATION POLICY SCHOLARS: Researchers from academic, public or private organizations who are at the beginning stages of their careers.


Workshop Dates: October 3 - 7, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) & (tentatively) May 16 – 20, 2013 (Tempe, AZ)


HOW DO I APPLY? See complete instructions and details at or Application is due June 15, 2012.

Sponsored by the Consortium of Science Policy and Outcomes, Arizona State University and supported by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation.  Co-sponsored by The Creative Nonfiction Foundation and The Writer’s Center

The Writer’s Center & Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery present Playing with Abstraction: Exhibition of Artists Working with Natasha Karpinskaia


Contact: Mia Cortez, Marketing & Publications Manager

Tel: 301-654-8664, ext. 201



The Writer’s Center & Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery present Playing with Abstraction: Exhibition of Artists Working with Natasha Karpinskaia

Bethesda, MD – The Writer’s Center is hosting an opening reception for “Playing with Abstraction: Exhibition of Artists Working with Natasha Karpinskaia.”

The exhibit is the first in a series of seasonal art openings at The Writer’s Center,  in collaboration with Yellow Barn Art Studio & Gallery of Glen Echo Park.

Opening Reception

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

May 6, 2012

The Writer’s Center

4508 Walsh St. Bethesda, MD

Playing with Abstraction is the first in a series of seasonal art openings at The Writer’s Center, featuring new paintings from the Yellow Barn Art Studio & Gallery of Glen Echo Park. The exhibit will be on display at the center through summer.

Open Door Reading:

Amy Stolls (The Ninth Wife) & Carolyn Parkhurst (The Nobodies Album)

2-4 p.m. May 6

Come early to enjoy a Writer’s Center Open Door Reading! Amy and Carolyn will host a lively discussion on the craft of writing while trying to avoid phrases as dull as “the craft of writing,” and grill each other on issues ranging from the value of writers’ groups to the challenges of writing during childbirth.  


The Writer's Center has been an invaluable resource for writers from all over the Washington metropolitan area since 1976. Through workshops, open-door readings and exclusive literary events, The Writer’s Center cultivates the creation, publication, presentation and dissemination of literary work. As an independent organization rooted in a dynamic community of writers, it is one of the premier writing centers in the country. The Writer’s Center is also home to Poet Lore, the oldest continuously published poetry journal in the U.S. The Writer’s Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Visit us on Facebook at



TWC presents Publish Now!

The Writer's Center Provides Program Support To National Endowment for the Arts' Operation Homecoming Writing Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Expressive writing will be part of healing protocol for returning troops
“Trauma comes through the senses, and art can heal through the senses,” said an audience member at the recent National Summit: Arts in Healing for Warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

For the first time, the National Endowment for the Arts’ critically acclaimed Operation Homecoming writing program will take place in a clinical setting as part of a formal medical protocol to help heal service members at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The NICoE is a new facility that provides an interdisciplinary team assessment in a holistic, patient- and family-centered environment, and is dedicated to providing care to service members and their families dealing with the signature wounds from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Psychological Health (PH) conditions.

Over a year-long pilot phase, Operation Homecoming at the NICoE will consist of two elements: an expressive writing workshop for troops as part of their clinical rehabilitation, and a more informal four-week creative writing and storytelling series for service members and their families at the Fisher House, the residence for families and patients at Walter Reed. These creative writing sessions will be led by writers with military experience or previous experience working with the military community. After the pilot phase, Operation Homecoming at the NICoE will be evaluated for possible replication at other rehabilitation centers around the country.

Operation Homecoming is a landmark partnership between the NEA and the Department of Defense.  The program is being conducted with programmatic support from The Writer’s Center. Operation Homecoming has been sponsored by a partnership with NEA and The Boeing Company since its inception in 2004. The Boeing Company will support Operation Homecoming programs at Fisher House.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to partner with the Department of Defense to incorporate Operation Homecoming creative writing workshops into sessions with patients and families at this state-of-the-art healing center,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.  “There are strong indications that expressive writing and other forms of arts engagement can play an important role in improving the health and well-being of service men and women. Now it’s our duty to test and advance those practices that prove to be most effective, and a world class treatment and research institute like the NICoE is exactly the place to do just that.”  
“Art makes a difference in the quality of life for our wounded warriors and those around them,” said Rear Admiral Alton L. Stocks, Commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “Operation Homecoming will be a welcome addition to NICoE’s innovative treatments for returning troops and a positive expressive outlet for their families.”

Operation Homecoming writing workshops will be integrated into the NICoE’s groundbreaking, interdisciplinary approach to working with patients and their families. This holistic approach ranges from physical and neurological exams, to family evaluation, nutrition, alternative medicine, and art therapy. The NICoE’s Healing Arts program uses art therapies such as visual arts, mask making, and other art forms to give troops a creative outlet for their experiences.  

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience was created in 2004 by the NEA to help U.S. troops and their families write about their wartime experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, and stateside. Between 2004 and 2009, Operation Homecoming conducted more than 60 writing workshops for troops and veterans at military installations, writers centers, and military medical centers. A global call for submissions from troops and families resulted in an anthology and an archive housed at the Library of Congress. The program produced educational resources on creative writing, and inspired two award-winning documentaries.

For more information, visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

About The Writer’s Center

The Writer's Center cultivates the creation, publication, presentation, and dissemination of literary work.  We are an independent literary organization with a global reach, rooted in a dynamic community of writers. As one of the premier centers of our kind in the country, we believe the craft of writing is open to people of all backgrounds and ages.  Writing is interdisciplinary and unique among the arts for its ability to touch on all aspects of the human experience.  It enriches our lives and opens doors to knowledge and understanding. Visit our Web site at The Writer's Center is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cafritz Foundation, The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Writer's Center gratefully acknowledges assistance received from the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington's Business Volunteers for the Arts Program.

TWC Highlighted as a Place for Adults to "Head Back to School and Learn."

Click here to read The Washington Post article.

The Writer’s Center Announces 2011-12 Emerging Writer Fellows

BETHESDA, MD (July 7, 2011)—The Writer's Center is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2011-12 Emerging Writer Fellowships. The Emerging Writer Fellowships are awarded to writers who have published up to 2 book-length works of prose and up to three book-length works of poetry. We received 80 submissions for this round of awards. Writers applied from across the country and included a diverse pool of voices from a variety of backgrounds and traditions. Twenty-three writers in three genres were selected as finalists, and from those, six writers were recommended by our committee to receive funding. This coming year, as in 2010-11, the Emerging Writer Fellowships will receive funding by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Our selection committee included members from our community: Margot Backas represented our Board of Directors; Deborah Ager, Bernadette Geyer, Laura Fargas, and Peter Brown represented our workshop leaders; and our membership was represented by Serena Agusto-Cox, Bettina Lanyi, and Mary Westcott.

The finalists are listed here (final recipients are in bold). The recipients will receive a cash prize and will appear in our fall & spring event series at The Writer’s Center. Details on those events to be announced in the forthcoming Workshop & Event Guide.



























Julie Marie






Borges Accardi
























Local Brothers Changing the World One Documentary Film at a Time

Filmmakers to lead two youth workshops at The Writer’s Center

BETHESDA, MD (June 15, 2011)—Ever since their days long ago as tykes at Bethesda Elementary, Lance and Brandon Kramer always they knew they wanted to make films. Now grown up, the brothers Kramer have become wunderkinds on the local film scene, producing new documentaries and teaching filmmaking through an innovative production company they started in 2010 called Meridian Hill Pictures.

After graduating from Boston University, Brandon worked as a media teaching artist for the Kennedy Center and the Brooklyn-based Story Pirates. After graduation from Dartmouth College, Lance worked as a journalist and published an award-winning children’s book. In mid-2010, the brothers joined forces in DC to create Meridian Hill Pictures, “a company dedicated to producing, teaching and sharing documentary films that inspire, educate and build stronger communities.” The brothers envision the company as a way to leverage the power of documentary film to create social change.

The brother duo—fourth generation entrepreneurs—now bring their passion for filmmaking to students of all ages, teaching critical thinking, problem solving and communications skills in schools, non-profits and community groups across the area.

“What we do at Meridian Hill,” creative director Lance says, “is empower people to express their voice, needs and hopes through community video storytelling.”

This spring, Meridian Hill Pictures completed a range of new projects, including a Kennedy Center residency with the Arts & Technology Academy in Northeast DC; a documentary produced by students aged 8-15 at the Sitar Arts Center about an art teacher who was dying of cancer; and a comprehensive project with a group of adults participating in a green job training program, helping them to create four new documentaries about how urban forestry and green spaces are meeting critical needs in their communities. The films have all been screened at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre in May and June.

One of the brothers’ feature-length documentaries currently in development was also just selected last week as a finalist in the prestigious Roy W. Dean grant competition (

The brothers will lead two ten-session workshops at The Writer’s Center this summer. At the Mclean Community Center in Mclean, VA (with author David Taylor, Soul of a People) and at The Writer’s Center’s new Rockville location on the campus of John’s Hopkins University/Rockville, the Kramer Brothers will walk Montgomery and Fairfax County students through the creative process of making a documentary: from research to visual treatment, production, editing, and distribution. Students will learn how to write for a visual medium, structure a story, interview subjects, use digital video equipment, and work with a crew. They will also complete a short documentary that, the brothers hope, will allow them to explore stories important to their community—which they can later share with that community as a film.

To learn more about the brothers and Meridian Hill Pictures, as well as to view some of their short films, visit their Web site (

The Writer’s Center Launches New Annapolis Workshops in Partnership with Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

BETHESDA, MD (June 14, 2011)—When former U.S. Naval Academy English Professor Allan Lefcowitz founded The Writer’s Center in Bethesda in 1976, he probably didn’t envision Annapolitans would one day be able to take workshops right in Annapolis. But thanks to a special partnership recently formed between The Writer’s Center and Maryland Hall, aspiring writers in Annapolis can now reap the benefits of writing workshops from the emeritus professor’s organization, which has now grown to become one of the leading independent literary centers in the nation.

The Writer’s Center’s new director, Annapolis resident Stewart Moss, was instrumental in recognizing Annapolis’ growing literary community—and seeing in it a hunger for writing workshops. The partnership will also benefit the active literary community from the Eastern Shore and Delmarva, and will serve to make Annapolis, according to Writer’s Center board member and Bay to Ocean Conference director Wilson Wyatt, a “literary hub between Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Eastern Shore.”

The Writer’s Center has a long and rich tradition in the DC area. Over the years, thousands of writers have learned how to craft solid stories, poems, and essays by participating in our workshops. A very short list of “alumni” includes Carolyn Parkhurst, Allison Leotta, A. Van Jordan, Manil Suri, Julia Slavin, and this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winner Patricia McArdle. The Writer’s Center is so well known nationally that, in 2009, Poets & Writers Magazine—the leading trade magazine in creative writing—named it one of the top 8 places to go nationwide “outside academia” for writing workshops.

The Writer’s Center’s fall faculty in Annapolis includes the following list of authors and teachers:

Laura Oliver is the author of The Story Within, New Insights and Inspiration for Writers. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous regional and national publications including The Washington Post, Country Living Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories, The Baltimore Review, Portland Magazine, and Charleston Magazine.

L. Peat O’Neil wrote for the Washington Post for seventeen years. She is the author of Travel Writing: See the World-Sell the Story, published in five languages and Pyrenees Pilgrimage about her solo walk across France.

Lynn Schwartz’s plays have been performed in Atlanta and NYC, including the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. She is a graduate of The City College of New York, Columbia University, and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. She teaches fiction at St. John’s College.

Sue Ellen Thompson is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Golden Hour (2006), and the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. She was awarded the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association.

Marcela Valdes is a freelance writer and a contributing editor at Publishers Weekly. She writes features, profiles, essays, and reviews for The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, The Nation, Bookforum, and other publications.

Teri Winslow has over 20 years’ experience as a journalist, and has covered subjects ranging from court and politics to crime and the environment. She's currently the Feature Writer at The Capital, writing stories for the Family Living and Lifestyle sections, as well as the front page.