Cheryl Somers Aubin has been writing and publishing for almost 25 years, and her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Foundation Magazine and other newspapers, magazines, and online journals. She has a Master of Arts degree in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Cheryl teaches memoir writing and is a featured speaker at personal history writing symposia, writing conferences and workshops. Her book, The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story, is available at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She presents about her book at book festivals, elementary and high schools, senior citizen group meetings and book clubs. The website for the book is www.thesurvivortree.com. Her non-fiction and fiction work can be seen on her website at http://www.cherylaubin.com.

More at: cherylaubin.com

Khris Baxter is a screenwriter, producer, and co-founder of Boundary Stone Films ("BSF"). BSF develops, finances, and produces a wide range of projects for Film and TV. Baxter has been a screenwriter for two decades and has taught screenwriting since 2004, most recently at The MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University, and American University. He’s been a judge for the annual Virginia Screenwriting Competition since 2004.

Bijan C. Bayne is an award-winning Washington-based freelance columnist and critic whose work has appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times. He is also the author of the first biography of basketball hero Elgin Baylor, which was named a "Book That Inspires" by the Christian Science Monitor. Bijan C. Bayne is a contributor to JustLuxe, and AFAR online.

Teaching Style: The workshop is hands on, with Bijan reviewing participants' works-in-progress, providing feedback, sharing published work & query letters, and encouraging participants to bring in articles which they find effective.

Hildie Block has been a writing instructor for 20 years at places like American University and GW, and The Writer's Center. She's published many essays and articles as well as over 50 short stories. In the past year, her work has appeared in 0-Dark-Thirty, Gargoyle, and Redux, as well as in anthologies by Queer Sci Fi and Literary Taxidermy. Her book, Not What I Expected, debuted back in 2007. She leads the Write Your Book Workshop in Northern Virginia where she's journeyed with many writers from idea to published book! More about her at: www.hildieblockworkshop.com.

Teaching Style: Hildie believes if you feel called to page, then you are a writer. She helps you get those amazing stories out of your head and into the world through writing prompts, outside readings, direct instruction, and the workshop/peer review model.

Tara Campbell is a Kimbilio Fellow, a fiction editor at Barrelhouse, and an M.F.A. candidate at American University. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Jellyfish Review, Booth, and Strange Horizons. Her novel TreeVolution was published in 2016, followed in 2018 by her hybrid fiction/poetry collection Circe's Bicycle. Her third book, a short story collection called Midnight at the Organporium, will be released by Aqueduct Press in 2019. More about her at: www.taracampbell.com.

Teaching Style: Tara's approach is open and discussion-based. Writing and reading are subjective, and everyone has different tastes. The point is to be able to clarify why you react a certain way to a work--what techniques are effective, or conversely, where are the opportunities to make the piece even stronger?

Brenda W. Clough is a novelist, short story, and nonfiction writer. Her recent e-books are Revise the World and Speak to Our Desires. Her novels include How Like a God, The Doors of Death and Life, and Revise the World. She has been a finalist for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards. She has been teaching science fiction & fantasy workshops at The Writer’s Center for over 10 years. Keep up-to-date on her activities and publications on her website.
More at: http://www.sff.net/people/brenda/

Katie Davis is a writer and broadcaster in Washington D.C. She has worked at NPR, contributing essays for All Things Considered and This American Life. Her last project was Anacostia Unmapped where she worked with three residents to learn and broadcast radio.

Teaching Style: Hands on. The class will dive into radio and edit participant stories.

Novelist and writing coach John DeDakis is a former editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." DeDakis is the author of four mystery-suspense novels. His most recent novel, Bullet in the Chamber, is the winner of Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards. His fifth novel, Fake, will be released September 1, 2019. In Fake, protagonist Lark Chadwick is a White House correspondent trying to walk the line between personal feelings and dispassionate objectivity in the era of “fake news” and #MeToo.  Website: www.johndedakis.com.

Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland. She has four poetry chapbooks, and her novel Post-High School Reality Quest is forthcoming from California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Lit.

Teaching style: Meg is relaxed and conversational as a workshop leader. Her goal is to cover the material most important to her students, so there are plenty of opportunities for questions, and focusing on questions and material students care most about.
More at: megedenbooks.com

Melanie Figg is a 2017-2019 NEA Fellow; her collection, Trace, is forthcoming from New Rivers Press. As a certified professional coach, she has helped hundreds of writers to publish, tame their inner critics, and add more creativity, balance, and intentionality to their lives. She also leads annual writing retreats. More about her at: www.melaniefigg.net.

Teaching Style: With over 25 years of teaching expertise, Melanie is a skilled and generous instructor. Her classes are well-organized and rigorous, but flexible—and include an effective combination of discussion, lecture, and in-class exercises/workshops. She also offers detailed, helpful feedback on student work with clear ideas of how to proceed with revision. Melanie is determined that students leave her classes with new skills, a deeper understanding of craft, and a lasting excitement for writing and reading.
More at: melaniefigg.net

Laura Di Franco, MPT won’t let you settle for a mediocre life. Your health, wealth and happiness is one Brave Healing book, poem, workshop, strategy session or moment away. With almost three decades of expertise in holistic physical therapy, six books, and a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Laura’s energy and method are contagious and unlike anything you’re experienced. She’s the owner of Brave Healer Productions at www.BraveHealer.com.

Teaching Style: Laura guides students with practical body awareness and writing exercises as well as focused discussion intended to inspire and support their writing.

Claudia Gary is author of Humor Me (2006) and chapbooks including "Bikini Buyer's Remorse." Internationally published, she is a three-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Claudia's poems have recently appeared in American Arts Quarterly, Amsterdam Quarterly, Antiphon, Chronicles, First Things, Light, Loch Raven Review, Mezzo Cammin, Poet Lore, The Rotary Dial, String Poet and Trinacria. Her articles on health appear in The VVA Veteran, VFW Magazine and elsewhere. Her work is anthologized in "Villanelles" (2012) and “Love Affairs at the Villa Nelle” (2018). More about her at: pw.org/content/claudia_gary, and on twitter @claudiagary.

 

 

 

Janice Gary is and award-winning author and creative nonfiction writing teacher. She specializes in helping writers sort through the vast archives of their life experiences to find the heart of the story. She is the author of Short Leash: A Memoir of Dog Walking and Deliverance, winner of two Silver 2014 Nautilus Awards and a finalist for the Sarton Award for Memoir.

Teaching style: Janice's goal is to create a supportive environment in which students learn how to find the stories that matter the most to them and develop the skills to artfully render them on the page. 

More at: janicegary.com

Patricia Gray lives and works on Capitol Hill, where she formerly headed the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. In 2016 she received an Artist Fellowship in literature from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She is author of Ruptureand a limited edition chapbook, Rich with Desire. She is at work on a novel and her next poetry collection.

Teaching Style: Interactive. Patricia likes to talk a bit about craft and then let participants experience it firsthand. Most people can write creatively when given a prompt to help them get into the creative, sometimes latent, parts of themselves.

T. Greenwood is the author of 12 award-winning novels including Rust & Stardust, Where I Lost Her, and Bodies of Water. Bodies of Water was a finalist for a 2013 Lambda Award. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer's Ink, Grossmont College, and online for The Writer's Center.

Teaching style: Tammy's online workshops combine weekly "lessons" (along with exercises and supplemental readings/resources). Exercises are posted and will receive instructor feedback.

Aaron Hamburger is the author of the novels Nirvana is Here and Faith for Beginners, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. He was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his story collection The View from Stalin’s Head. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Poets & Writers, and Tin House among others. He received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.

Teaching style: As a writing student once himself, one of the things Aaron has learned over the years is that a writing career is a lifelong process that transcends any particular work. When he reads student writing, he's not only looking at how to improve the work at hand, but also trying to figure out which tendencies of word choice, characterization, detail, etc. need encouragement and which ones need sharpening.

Judith Harris, Ph.D., is the author of two books of poetry, Night Garden (Tiger Bark, 2013), Atonement (LSU, 2000) and The Bad Secret (LSU, 2006) and a critical book, Signifying Pain: Constructing and Healing the Self Through Writing, a study of psychoanalytic processes underlying literary perception. Her poetry has appeared recently in The Nation, The Hudson Review, The New Republic, Slate, Ploughshares, American Life in Poetry, and the Atlantic.

2019 Pushcart Prize nominee Virginia Hartman has published work in the Hudson Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Potomac Review, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly, among others. She is the co-editor of the literary anthology A More Perfect Union: Poems and Stories about the Modern Wedding (St. Martin’s Press). She holds an M.F.A. from American University and is on the creative writing faculty at George Washington University.

Teaching Style: Virginia works toward creating a fun atmosphere while personalizing the session to the participants. In this session we get to express our love for language and to work toward getting the most from what we put on the page.

Bennie Herron recieved his B.A. in psychology at San Diego State University, and went on to obtain his masters in social work from San Diego State. He has practiced school-based social work for the last eight years. Herecently received his M.F.A. in creative writing with an emphasis in contemporary poetry from National University.

GG Renee Hill is an author and advocate for self-discovery through writing. She has published a free verse memoir about heartbreak and healing, a book of short essays for quiet women who want to be heard, and a mindfulness workbook for self-reflection and personal growth. Find her work at allthemanylayers.com.

Kathryn Johnson's 40+ popular novels (nominated for the Agatha Award, winner of the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller's Best Awards), include historical fiction (e.g., The Gentleman Poet, wherein Shakespeare escapes to the New World aboard a ship bound for disaster) and contemporary suspense. The Extreme Novelist (nonfiction) is the text based on her courses at The Smithsonian Associates and The Writer's Center. More about her at: https://KathrynJohnsonLLC.com.

Teaching style: Kathryn Johnson’s classes are lecture-based, information rich. Her courses are not of the workshopping variety (in which, participants critique one another) but, rather, offer practical advice on writing and publishing in the 21st century, based upon her ongoing experiences in the publishing world. Handouts on talking points provide an outline for each class. Kathryn enjoys answering students’ individual questions and concerns, and offering career guidance whenever possible. Her mentoring service is available to supplement course work.

A 30-year professional speaker, and three-time bestselling author with books translated in over a dozen languages, Rob Jolles coaches and mentors business authors from around the country. His designed approach and manuscript development process have been successful in the production of numerous conventionally published business books. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. More about him at: www.jolles.com.

Teaching Style: Rob mixes information, facilitation, motivation, and most important, fun.
More at: jolles.com

Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of forty books for young readers including the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, Feathers for Peacock, and Duck for Turkey Day. She is also the author of three chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum, (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press.

Teaching Style: Jacqueline Jules is a former school librarian and frequent presenter at schools, conferences, and teacher workshops. Her presentations always involve discussion, writing models, and writing prompts.

Beth Kanter is the author of numerous books including Great Food Finds DC, Washington, DC Chef's Table, and the soon-to-be-released No Access Washington DC. Beth’s essays and articles have appeared in a range of national newspapers, magazines, and online publications. She earned her MSJ from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and has been leading Boot Camp for Writers for almost ten years.

Teaching style: Beth likes to create an environment where participants feel comfortable taking chances with their writing as well as a space where participants can share their work with a community of writers.

Christopher Linforth holds an M.F.A. from Virginia Tech. His debut short-story collection--When You Find Us We Will Be Gone--was released in 2014. He has published fiction and nonfiction in dozens of literary magazines, including The Millions, Gargoyle, Southern Humanities Review, The Rumpus, Notre Dame Review, Denver Quarterly, and many others. He has been awarded fellowships and scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

John Lingan has written for The Oxford American, BuzzFeed, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Baffler, and many other magazines and websites. His first book, a narrative nonfiction account of the last honky-tonk in the Virginias, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Summer 2018. He lives in Rockville.

Teaching Style: John believes in the motto "read more than you write," so each week of his workshop will include an assigned reading and a few optional suggested ones. John also believes that writers can learn a lot from genres other than their own, so his classes will encourage writers to find inspiration outside their usual reading routines.

Pat McNees is a writer and editor who for 25 years has helped individuals tell their life story. A former editor in book publishing (at Harper & Row and at Fawcett), she is also past president of the Association of Personal Historians, and manager-scribe of the local Washington Biography Group. She received training in Guided Autobiography and has taught life writing at The Writer’s Center for several years.
More at: writersandeditors.com

Alyce Miller is the award-winning author of four books of fiction and one book of nonfiction, as well as more than 250 essays, short stories, poems, articles, and book reviews. She is Professor Emerita from the English Department and Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she also received awards for her teaching. More about her at: www.alycemillerwriter.com.

Teaching Style: Alyce encourages a relaxed and energetic environment where participants are actively engaged in a mutual process of critical reading, learning, and sharing work.
More at: alycemillerwriter.com

Marianne Murphy is a Philadelphia-based poet, animator, performer, and teaching artist. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Highlights for Children, LADYBUG, and CICADA. She holds an M.F.A in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA, where she studied visual poetry.

Teaching Style: Marianne always strives to create an encouraging, safe environment for students to experiment with new forms, methods, mediums, and genres. She values communicating with students individually so she can personalize the curriculum based on their interests and goals. In her workshops, Marianne likes to focus on process, openness, and self-expression through journaling, meditative writing, and visual art.
More at: flamingoboots.com

Laura Oliver is the author of The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers (Penguin Random House,) named by "The Writer Magazine" as one of the best writing books of the year, and additionally selected by "Poets and Writers Magazine" as one of the best writing books ever published. Now in eighth printing, the book is in Barnes and Noble and sold in 20 countries around the world. In addition to having taught both essay and fiction writing at the University of Maryland and St. John's College, Oliver is currently an award-winning writer, writing mentor, writing workshop instructor and co-creator of The Writing Intensive at St. John's College. Oliver's fiction and essays are published in national newspapers, magazines and top-tier literary reviews (The Washington Post, Country Living Magazine, The Writer Magazine, The Sun Magazine, Glimmer Train Stories, Charleston Magazine, Portland Magazine, The Baltimore Review, Rosebud, Redux, Loose Change and Annapolis Lifestyle to name a few.) Among other distinctions, she is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction, an Anne Arundel County Arts Council Literary Arts Award winner, a two-time Glimmer Train Short Fiction finalist, and her work has been nominated for inclusion in the Pushcart Prize Collection. Oliver holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing and Literature from Bennington College, a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington College, and has completed writing seminars in creative non-fiction at the University of Iowa.

Alan Orloff is the author of Diamonds for the Dead (2010), an Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel. His seventh novel, Running From The Past, was an Amazon Kindle Scout winner. His short fiction has appeared in Jewish Noir, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Storm Warning, and Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016. More about him at: www.alanorloff.com.

Teaching style: Alan strives to be supportive and instructive, while maintaining an informal and interactive teaching atmosphere.

Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 25 award-winning children's books including Pirate vs. Pirate, Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns, The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans, and Jo MacDonald Hiked in the Woods, and a popular presenter at schools and conferences. Mary also writes nonfiction for adults and children, including chapter books on amazing animal friendships and heroic dogs for National Geographic, and she teaches in the graduate program in writing for children and young adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  Mary's work has appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Cricket, Spider, Ladybug, and Boys’ Life.

More at: maryquattlebaum.com

Elizabeth Rees, M.A. is the author of the poetry collection Every Root a Branch (2014). Three of her four poetry chapbooks are award winners, most recently Tilting Gravity (2009). Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her poems have been widely published in journals, including Partisan Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, and Agni. She has taught at Harvard University, Boston University, Macalester College, Howard University, the U.S. Naval Academy, and in the graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, among other schools. A workshop leader at The Writer’s Center since 1989, she has also been a poet-in-the-schools for the Maryland State Arts Council since 1994. She has served as a consulting writer and editor to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museums’ Traveling Exhibitions, and PBS.

Teaching style: Liz is relaxed and interactive. She believes students learn best when they are actively involved and when the atmosphere is fun yet rigorous.

Maritza Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet and Army veteran who has lived in Rockville, MD since 1994. She founded the weekly Mariposa Poetry Series, which ran from September 1999 to October 2002 in College Park, MD and hosts the annual Mariposa Poetry Retreat at the Capital Retreat Center in Waynesboro, PA . Maritza is the author of About You, a collection of poetry “for women and the men they love”; A Mother’s War, written during her son’s two tours in Iraq; Baker’s Dozen, a limited edition in the Brazilian Cordel tradition created for the 2013 Seeing Food art exhibit in Silver Spring, MD and Twenty-One: Blackjack Poems. Maritza is also a supporter of the Memorial Day Writers Project (MDWP); participated in the Warrior Poetry Project at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD; and served on the Board of Directors of Split This Rock. She was the recipient of a 2012 BID International Writing Fellowship in Bahia, Brazil, and FY 2016 grant recipient of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Maritza Rivera is also the publisher of Casa Mariposa Press.

Teaching style: Maritza has a collaborative spirit. Participants of her class will read and share their own experiences and work. Discussions about selected themes are intended to spark new work.

Lynn Auld Schwartz is a writer, story development editor, and has ghostwritten three books. Her plays and staged readings have been performed in Atlanta and NYC, including Lincoln Center. She founded the Temple Bar Literary Reading Series in NYC, has received two Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council, and an Annie Literary Arts Award from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County.  Her stories have appeared in literary journals and she produces and directs the Page To Stage series, which offers regional writers the opportunity to perform their life stories. A graduate of The City College of New York, Columbia University, and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater, Schwartz teaches fiction and memoir at St. John’s College and The Writer’s Center.

Teaching style: Lynn packs her workshops with relevant content — sharing specific techniques and illustrations designed to improve a participant’s writing. There is also ample time for questions, discussion, and in-class writing exercises that put technique into practice. Lynn feels it is important to create an inspiring, supportive, and fun environment.

More at: writerswordhouse.com

Marilyn Smith has a PhD in Education Policy/Higher Education and a M.A. in Reading Education. She has taken numerous writing classes from The Writer’s Center, and has taught a wide variety of courses/workshops/seminars since 1969. Marilyn retired a few years ago and has recently published two books—her memoir and an anthology of medical memoirs. She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Sue Ellen Thompson the author of five books of poetry, including This Body of SilkTheyThe Golden Hour, and The Leaving: New and Selected Poems, as well as other publications. She is also the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, read on NPR by Garrison Keillor, and featured in U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s nationally-syndicated newspaper column. She taught at Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, State University of New York at Binghamton, and Central Connecticut State University before moving to the Eastern Shore in 2006. She was awarded the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association. More about her at: sueellenthompson.com.

Teaching style: Sue Ellen is serious about craft. As a result, she tends to be very organized in her approach to teaching a workshop and averse to letting the discussion wander off-target. I am very serious about craft--what I can teach adult students that will help them write better poems. As a result, I tend to be very organized in my approach to teaching a workshop and averse to letting the discussion wander off-target. Many poets, even those with graduate degrees, lack formal education in areas such as metaphor, line breaks, revision, tone, syntax, and organizing a manuscript. Her goal is to fill in the gaps and give poets the tools they need to writing moving, well-crafted poems.

More at: sueellenthompson.com

Alexandra Viets is a screenwriter and journalist who received her M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her first feature-length screenplay, Cotton Mary, was produced by Merchant Ivory. Her most recent screenplay, Ask Me No Questions, won Best Screenplay for 2018 at the Auckland International Film Festival. She teaches at Johns Hopkins University. More about her at: https://alexandraviets.com/.

Hank Wallace, a Columbia Law School graduate, was a government reporter for New Jersey's Middletown Courier and Red Bank Daily Register, and the assistant director of law-school publishing for Matthew Bender. He wrote the FCC's plain-language newsletter and newswriting tips for the Radio Television Digital News Association. For more information about Hank Wallace, visit his website at: hankwallace.com.

Teaching style: "'Concise as news, precise as law' is the goal, building on the many values of conventional business writing. We'll focus on reasons, not just rules. I call on volunteers solely and, minus the stereotypical Paper Chase bullying, I train with law school's Socratic method and case method. The cases here are news excerpts from the Web, print, and TV. I ask questions and encourage rigorous reasoning. Yield: Beyond our Writer's Center workshop's eight journalism skills, you'll reason your way, around writer's block if necessary, to an effective writing strategy whatever the situation." Preview more about how you'll learn: hankwallace.com/PDF/TrainLiketheNews.pdf
More at: http://hankwallace.com

Richard Washer, M.F.A., playwright and director, serves as Associate Artistic Director and First Draft Resident Playwright at The Rose Theatre Company. He holds a B.A. (University of Virginia) and an M.F.A. (American University). His produced full-length plays include Missa, Of a Sunday Morning, Monkeyboy (co-written with Keith Bridges and Chris Stezin), The Fetish, Getting It, and Quartet. His musical (music by Mark Haag) Persephone: A Burlesque received a development and workshop reading at First Draft at the Rose Theatre in March, 2018. Most recently, his new play, The Migrant received a reading at First Draft in March 2019. More about him at: www.richardwasher.com.

Teaching style: Richard's goal every workshop is to create a community for writers where everyone involved can explore, develop and stretch their writing skills. This involves not only providing an opportunity to practice writing but to learn how to give and receive feedback in a way that is meaningful to the writer. His hope is that writers find the workshop environment a safe place to learn and explore the craft of writing and that they acquire tools and skills they can apply to the development of their work after the workshop ends.
More at: richardwasher.com

John Weiskopf is an adjunct professor at American University. He received his M.F.A. from UCLA Graduate Film School. He has written eleven scripts for feature films, and one novel The Ascendancy from which he wrote the adapted script. He wrote the episodic television series for the novel which is in development in Hollywood.

Teaching style: John uses feature films clips, and selected screenplay samples to have interactive discussions. He believes is important to workshop during the course, so participants will have an opportunity to get feedback on their own writing. John expects students to participate and share their work. He creates a nurturing, non-threatening, creative environment in his courses.
More at: johnweiskopf.com