Find your readers!
Saturday, September 14, 2019
8:15am – 6pm
Register at the bottom of this page!
The Writer’s Center presents a one-day seminar dedicated to helping you take the next steps toward publication. Join more than twenty industry professionals as they share the ins and outs of publishing articles, essays, stories, books, and more. Panels will cover publishing with traditional and independent presses, marketing, self-publishing, pitching articles and essays, and taking advantage of Washington, DC’s vibrant literary community. Panelists will be available throughout the day for individual conversations, and socializing and networking are strongly encouraged.
Final panel lineup subject to change
WELCOME FROM TWC STAFF
Literary Community: Taking Advantage of Workshops, Writer’s Groups, and Events
One of the best ways to advance your writing career is by connecting with other writers and literary organizations. Five local organizers discuss how being a good literary citizen benefits not just the community but your own writing as well.
Panelists: Tara Campbell, Rachel Coonce, Hannah Grieco, Zach Powers (moderator), Courtney Sexton, Venus Thrash
1. Pitching to Magazines
Have an idea for something you want to write about? Learn how to get editors interested in your pitches for articles, essays, and features.
Panelists: Samuel Ashworth, Amy Freeman (moderator), Hanna Grieco, Holly Smith
2. Conversation with Debut Novelists
Four authors with recently published debut novels share what they learned during the publication process and beyond.
Panelists: Tope Folarin, Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes, Julie Langsdorf, Zach Powers
LUNCH & CONVERSATION
Join panelists, TWC staff, and your fellow attendees for food and mingling in The Writer’s Center Reading Room.
Marketing Your Writing
So you’ve published a book. What’s next? Experiences writers/marketers will discuss the various aspects of book promotion for both traditional and self-published authors.
Panelists: Carolyn Finney (moderator), Zach Powers, Cherrie Woods, TBD
1. Self Publishing
Put your work out into the world right now and on your own terms. Three veterans of self-publishing will share the ins and outs of the process as well as key insights.
Panelists: Ken Ackerman, Ariel Mendez, Cherrie Woods
2. Publishing in Literary Journals
Four editors from national literary journals headquartered in the DC area present the inside scoop on what it takes to get your short works published.
Panelists: Tara Campbell, Emily Holland (moderator), Venus Thrash, Wilson Wyatt
1. The Art of Editing
A final polish can make the different between your work being ignored or getting published. Veteran editors will offer advice on how to approach the editorial process and give tips on when and how to seek outside assistance.
Panelists: Susan Coll, Andrew Gifford, Zach Powers
2. Publishing with an Independent Press
Some of the best, most interesting, and most innovative books are being published by independent presses. Four authors with books published by the indies share the story of their publication and advice on how to find your manuscript a home.
Panelists: Stephanie Allen, Caroline Bock, Tyrese Coleman, Phil Walker
Stick around for drinks and socializing! Our first panel is on the importance of literary community, and this reception is your chance to grow your place in ours. Panelists will be available to answer any questions you may not have gotten to ask during panel sessions.
Meet the panelists
With a BA in English and an MA in German, Tara Campbell has a demonstrated aversion to money and power. Originally from Anchorage,Alaska, she has also lived in Oregon, Ohio, New York, Germany and Austria. She currently lives in Washington, DC. She is the recipient of the following awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities: the 2016 Larry Neal Writers’ Award in Adult Fiction, the 2016 Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding New Artist, and Arts and Humanities Fellowships for 2018 and 2019. She is also a 2017 Kimbilio Fellow and winner of the 2018 Robert Gover Story Prize. Tara earned her MFA from American University in 2019, and is a fiction editor at Barrelhouse. She appears at local reading series such as The Inner Loop and the lowercase, and as a panelist/moderator at conferences such as Barrelhouse’s Conversations and Connections and the Washington Writers Conference. She has served as a judge for The Writer’s Center award committees, and teaches fiction with American University’s Discover the World of Communication program, Home, Politics and Prose, and the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon.
Ken Ackerman, a writer and attorney in Washington, D.C. since the 1970s, is a long-time veteran of senior positions both in government and private law. As a writer, Ken has authored five major books, most recently TROTSKY IN NEW YORK, 1917: A RADICAL ON THE EVE OF REVOLUTION.
Stephanie Allen‘s first book, A PLACE BETWEEN STATIONS, was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award in Debut Fiction and the AWP Award Series in Short Fiction. She is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council. Her work has appeared in the anthology Enhanced Gravity: More Fiction by Washington Area Women and in literary journals. She has taken part in the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program in Washington, DC, and taught classes at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. She holds an MFA from the University of Maryland, where she also teaches. Her latest book is TONIC & BALM.
Samuel Ashworth is a novelist, journalist, and teacher. He is a regular contributor to the Washington Post Magazine and Eater.com, and his fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in Hazlitt, NYLON, Barrelhouse, Catapult, the Times Literary Supplement, and the Brooklyn Rail. He writes the semi-regular “Dispatches from the Swamp” column for The Rumpus, and his travel writing has appeared in Roads and Kingdoms. He is the recipient of a 2018 Artist Fellowship from the DC Council on the Arts and Humanities, and an assistant fiction editor at Barrelhouse Magazine. Born and raised in Manhattan, he attended Trinity College Dublin before receiving his BA from Columbia University. He holds an MFA in fiction from George Mason University, where he won the Dan Rudy, Shelley A. Marshall, and Mary Roberts Rinehart prizes for fiction, and Alan Cheuse prize for Nonfiction. The recipient of a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship from the DC Council on the Arts and Humanities, he also received the inaugural Travel Research Award from the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center, which sent him to France to work in restaurant kitchens in Summer 2017. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and son and is working on a novel about the life and death of an American chef, told in the form of an autopsy.
Caroline Bock’s debut short story collection, CARRY HER HOME, won the 2018 Fiction Award from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. She is also the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novels LIE and BEFORE MY EYES from St. Martin’s Press. More about her at carolinebockauthor.com.
Tyrese L. Coleman is a writer, wife, mother, and attorney. Her debut collection of stories and essays, HOW TO SIT, was published by Mason Jar Press in 2018 and nominated for a 2019 PEN Open Book Award. Her work has appeared as a notable in Best American Essays 2018 and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Because she isn’t busy enough, she is also the reviews editor for SmokeLong Quarterly, an online journal of flash fiction. Occasionally, she works as an instructor at The Writer’s Center and other ad hoc workshops. Tyrese often writes about issues relating to motherhood, family, and pregnancy. Her essays have appeared in Buzzfeed, Brain, Child Magazine and is an occasional contributor for Rewire News. She also writes memoir and personal essays. Her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, The Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Washingtonian Magazine, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She also conducts interview for Electric Literature and writes reviews for Atticus Review. A 2016 Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, Tyrese’s passion is writing fiction. Her stories have appeared in numerous journals, including The Offing, [PANK], Queen Mob’s Tea House, Tahoma Literary Review, Hobart, and recognized in Wigleaf’s Top 50 (very) short fictions 2016. Tyrese grew up on a dirt road in Ashland, Virginia, the self-proclaimed “center of the universe.” She received her masters in writing from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland in College Park. A member of the Maryland State Bar, she received her JD from the University of Baltimore. She lives in the Washington DC metro area but is a country girl at heart.
Susan Coll is the author of the novels THE STAGER, BEACH WEEK, ACCEPTANCE, ROCKVILLE PIKE, and KARLMARX.COM. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, NPR.org, theatlantic.com, The Millions, and a variety of other publications including The Asian Wall Street Journal and the International Herald Tribune. Her novel, ACCEPTANCE, was made into a television movie starring the hilarious Joan Cusack. Susan worked as the Events and Programs Director at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, for five years. She is currently teaching an intensive novel workshop at The Writer’s Center. Her work has been supported by a fellowship from Yaddo, and she is currently a board member of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.
Rachel Coonce is a graduate of the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College, and she is co-founder of The Inner Loop, a literary reading series in Washington, DC. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Missouri Review and The Avenue. She is currently working on her first book, BOUNCE, a collection of memoir short stories.
Carolyn Finney is the founder of Eloquential, providing individual presentation coaching and editing services. She is a conflict resolution professional, a DC Moth winner and Grand Slam finalist, and a Keats Literary Essay Competition First Place Winner.
Tope Folarin is a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington, DC. He won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013 and was shortlisted once again in 2016. He was also recently named to the Africa39 list of the most promising African writers under 40. He was educated at Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Masters degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of the novel A PARTICULAR KIND OF BLACK MAN.
Amy Freeman divides her time between her role as Development Director for The Writer’s Center and freelance writing. Bylines include The Washington Post, HuffPost, and GoodHousekeeping.com, among others, collected at AmyLFreeman.com.
Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes is a writer and teacher. She is the author of THE SLEEPING WORLD (Touchstone-Simon & Schuster, 2016). She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Willapa Bay Artists in Residency, Yaddo, the Millay Colony, and the Blue Mountain Center and was a Bernard O’Keefe Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf. Her work has appeared or in One Story, Cosmonauts Avenue, Slice, Pank, The Collagist, NANO Fiction, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Her story “The Elephant’s Foot” was a Distinguished Story in Best American Short Stories 2016. Gabrielle grew up in a Cuban-Irish-American family in Wisconsin. She holds a BA from Brown University, an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a PHD from the University of Georgia. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maryland.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Andrew Gifford is the founder and director of the Santa Fe Writers Project. Over the years, he’s worked as a caterer, a bookseller, a groundskeeper, in call centers, as the wire editor for an Associated Press company, as a business writer for Oxford Intelligence, and as a development editor for the American Psychological Association books department. He is the author of the memoir WE ALL SCREAM: THE FALL OF THE GIFFORD’S ICE CREAM EMPIRE and the grandson of the founder of Gifford’s Ice Cream.
Hannah Grieco is an advocate, writer, and the organizer of the monthly local series Readings on the Pike. Her work can be found in Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Huffington Post, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Motherwell, Today’s Parent, Your Teen, Hobart, Lunch Ticket, Barren Magazine, and many other publications. Find her online at hgrieco.com and on Twitter at @writesloud.
Emily Holland is the Managing Editor of Poet Lore. Her debut chapbook of poems, LINEAGE, is slated for release this August from dancing girl press. She’s previously worked as the culture editor for The GW Hatchet, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of a startup literary magazine, and a contributing writer for Brightest Young Things.
Julie Langsdorf has received four fiction grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, and her short stories and essays have appeared in magazines including Lit Hub and Electric Literature. She lives in Washington, DC. Her debut novel, WHITE ELEPHANT, was released this year.
Ariel Mendez is an author/illustrator with a background in public policy and international studies. Her debut picture book, FEAR AND A FRIEND, was launched on Kickstarter and selected as a Kickstarter “Project We Love.” Upcoming titles include HAIR LIKE ME (Heather Burris/Ariel Mendez) and DEAR GOD (Reina Dovelier/Ariel Mendez). Ariel is a member of the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators, where she has presented on self-publishing and book marketing. More about her at arielmendez.com.
Zach Powers is a native of Savannah, Georgia, and lives and writes in Arlington, Virginia. His novel, FIRST COSMIC VELOCITY, will be published in August 2019, and his debut story collection, GRAVITY CHANGES, won the BOA Short Fiction Prize. His work has been featured by American Short Fiction, Tin House, and elsewhere. He co-founded the literary arts nonprofit Seersucker Live and led the writers’ workshop at the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home for eight years. His writing for television won an Emmy, and he was a columnist for Savannah Morning News. He is Director of Communications for The Writer’s Center.
Courtney Sexton is a New Jersey native who grew up between the Delaware River and the sandy Pine Barrens. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, has been awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center, was a 2015 Our City Festival curator and is the co-founder of Washington, DC’s The Inner Loop. She is also the recipient of a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship. Water and her dog (or manifestations thereof) are recurrent characters in her writing, and her life, for that matter.
Holly Smith is editor-in-chief of the Washington Independent Review of Books, as well as a college lecturer, award-winning freelance writer/editor, and co-author of SEAFOOD LOVER’S CHESAPEAKE BAY. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, CNBC.com, USA Today Travel’s 10Best, More Mirth of a Nation, Salon, Not What I Expected, Washington Flyer, Brain, Child, and many other publications. She earned a master’s degree in creative nonfiction from Johns Hopkins and often wonders what the university would pay her not to put an “alumni” sticker on her 1999 Dodge Neon.
Venus Thrash is a co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She is the author of the poetry collection, THE FATEFUL APPLE (Hawkins Publishing, 2014), nominated for the 2015 Pen America Open Book Award. Her poetry has been published in Public Pool, Torch, The Arkansas Review, and in the anthology Resisting Arrest: Poems That Stretch the Sky. Thrash is the recipient of a 2016 writer’s residency at The Vermont Studio Center. She’s a co-director of the Joaquin Miller Poetry Series, a Cave Canem graduate fellow, and a Summer Seminar in Kenya and Fire and Ink scholar. She is a full-time writer and mom.
Philip Dean Walker holds a BA in American Literature from Middlebury College and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from American University. His fiction has previously appeared in Big Lucks, Collective Fallout, Jonathan, Callisto, Glitterwolf Magazine, theNewerYork, Anak Sastra, Carbon Culture Review, Lunch Review, and Driftwood Press. His personal essay, “The Other Side of the Game,” was anthologized in the 2013 Rainbow Award-winning nonfiction anthology The Other Man: Twenty-One Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity and Moving On (JMS Books, LLC). His story “Three-Sink Sink” was named as a finalist for the 2013 Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction from The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review and appears in the anthology Pay for Play (Bold Strokes Books, LLC). He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. His debut collection of short stories, AT DANCETERIA AND OTHER STORIES, was published by Squares & Rebels in November 2016 and was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2017 and received a *starred review. His second collection of stories, READ BY STRANGERS, was published by Lethe Press in April 2018. Kirkus Reviews said, in their *starred review of the book that, “Walker’s scintillating stories crackle with frank sexuality and deadpan comedy. There’s a satirical edge to many of them, but they are always grounded in prose that’s realistic but extraordinarily vivid and even nightmarish.” He is currently working on both a novel and another collection of stories. He lives in Washington, DC.
Cherrie Woods is a 16-year plus public relations veteran who has a client list that includes self-published and traditionally published authors, visual and performing artists, arts festivals, clothing boutiqes, and more. She has held public relations staff and management positions at Baltimore City Dept. of Public Works, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Toronto Social Services and Public Health and Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. Woods has served as membership chair on the board of Baltimore Public Relations Society and is an active member of Maryland Writers Association and the Black Writers Guild of Maryland. As well as facilitating customized workshops for authors and creative entrepreneurs, Woods is an adjunct faculty at Maryland College Institute of Arts and is the author of WHERE DO I START? 10 PR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS TO GUIDE SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS and an award-winning author of FREE TO BE ME: POEMS ON LOVE, LIFE AND RELATIONSHIPS under the pseudonym Cherrie Amour.
A founder of Delmarva Review, Wilson Wyatt was a journalist at The Courier-Journal after college at Sewanee (University of the South). He was the head of communications for several corporations. He participated on The Writer’s Center board and has led several writing initiatives across the Delmarva and Chesapeake regions. His published writing includes nonfiction, fiction, and two books of photography.