Read Local Challenge
to May 24

Read Local Challenge

The Read Local Challenge is a reading incentive program featuring traditionally-published books by authors and illustrators who live in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Schools, classes, book clubs, and even individuals can win autographed books and free Skype visits from authors by reading picture books, middle grade, or young adult books by local authors between October 2017-May 2018. This fall, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is also offering schools the opportunity to host a FREE Read Local kickoff party with one or more of the authors featured in the challenge. For more information and a full list of the challenge books, please visit or email

Relevant links: 

Read Local Website -
Sign-up for a FREE Kick-off Party -

Downloadable activities and resources for Read Local -

Read Local Challenge Book List -

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to Oct 2

Workshop: Poetry Chapbook Workshop

Workshop: Poetry Chapbook Workshop Number of Sessions: 4 Weeks Start Date: 9/11/2017 End Date: 10/2/2017 Start Time: N/A End Time: N/A Location: Online Level(s): Intermediate/Advanced Price: 195 Description: This workshop provides participants with the tools for forming and submitting poetry chapbooks. Lessons will focus on identifying what makes a chapbook, exploring your voice in the chapbook medium, choosing and ordering poems within your chapbook and research publishers. By the end of the four week course, participants will have a chapbook manuscript that can be sent out to publishers.

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I'm happy to share that I'll be a featured author at HallowRead this year, signing books and speaking at the panel: Writers As Fans!


Saturday, October 21, 2017 Events

Panels 10:00-4:00

Steampunk Tea- Enjoy a Victorian tea at Tea On the Tiber complete with readings from Steampunk authors Tee Morris and Philippa Ballentine, and Katherine McIntyre

Integrating Horror– Presented by Uncommon Universes Press, Janeen Ippolito, Julia Busko and Sarah Delena White – Adding that extra thrill and chill to your story can make them more memorable, even if you’re not typically a horror writer.

Let’s Get Graphic– Dabel Brothers have created graphic novels for Sherrilyn Kenyon, Patricia Briggs and even Mr. Bean. Masters at giving some of your favorite characters a physical form, hear what it takes to bring those graphic novels to life.

Writers as Fans: How Fandoms Influence Our Writing– Kathy MacMillan, Meg Eden and F.M. Boughan- a panel of writers discuss their favorite fandoms and how their passions have inspired and influenced their writing.

Topic To Be Announced- Featuring Alys Arden, Theresa Kay and Rysa Walker

Culture Incorporated- What makes a multicultural book, in fact multicultural? Bringing cultural genre books to market and finding your audience with Heather Elizabeth King, L.M. Pruitt and Jason Edwards

Indie Uprising- The crest and subsequent ebbs and flows of the Indie market. Best practices, tips and techniques for an ever changing industry. Moderated by Bryan Nowak, with Meg Eden, C.J. Ellisson, Jill Archer and Cat Miller

Come to the Dark Side- The anti-hero, dark hero and complex villain with K.L. Bone, Jean Murray, F.M Boughan, Dea Schofield, Melissa Annen and L.M. Pruitt

Nevertheless, She Persisted- Writing kickass heroines and wise women in the age after Buffy, Bella and Hermione. Moderated by Rebecca Rivard. With Jill Archer, Katherine McIntyre, Kathy MacMillan, Heather Elizabeth King, and R.A. Boyd

You Might Be an Alpha If…- Heroes who fall in the alpha, beta spectrum and what makes them so much fun to read and write with Jean Murray, Rebecca York, R.A. Boyd, Amelia Hutchins and Karina Espinosa

Coming of Age- Young Adult, New Adult, and the readers of every age that enjoy them with Jason Edwards, Leigh Goff, Rysa Walker, Alys Arden, Elizabeth Kirke, Leigh Goff, H.L. Brooks and Toni Decker.

Keynote Speech– NY Times, USA Today and International Bestselling author Darynda Jones!


Be sure to visit the AUTHORS PAGE for photos and links to those listed. What amazing talent!

Grab your swag bags when you check in!


Book Signing 4:00-6:00 pm

Wine and Dine down Main Street


Outdoor Movie


Ghost Tour with Maryland History Tours


Monster Mash Bash After Party at the Historical Society Museum
Come dressed as your favorite monster, creature or other Halloween favorite!


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2:00pm 2:00pm

Roundtable: A Conversation with Authors of Teen Fiction

unday, October 22, 2017 at 2 PM
Catonsville Library

Join 6 writers of fiction for teens for a lively, interactive panel discussion about their inspirations, writing process, and the value of stories in the modern world. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the program.  This panel is co-sponsored by Baltimore County Public Library and the MD/DE/WV Region of the Society for Book Writers and Illustrators.  Please RSVP at

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to Nov 27

Online Workshop: Foundations of Poetry

Number of Sessions: 4 Weeks Start Date: 11/6/2017 End Date: 11/27/2017 Start Time: N/A End Time: N/A Location: Online Level(s): Beginner Price: $195 Description: Over the course of four weeks, we’ll discuss four key elements of poems: image, sound, form and realization. Participants will produce a variety of poems and learn tips for maintaining the practice of writing. Participants will have the opportunity to workshop and revise four poems and will receive personalized feedback on their work.

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to Dec 18

Online Workshop: Poetic Forms

Workshop: Poetic Forms Number of Sessions: 6 Weeks Start Date: 11/13/2017 End Date: 12/18/2017 Start Time: N/A End Time: N/A Location: Online Level(s): All Levels Price: 270 Description: In this workshop, we’ll explore why form is relevant for contemporary poets, and how we can take advantage of form to strengthen both traditional and free-verse poems. Poetic form isn’t just meter and rhyme--it encompasses a diverse range of vessels that poems can inhabit. Form can help focus our poems, and reinforce a tone beyond our written words. When we have writer’s block, form can give us direction on how to keep writing. Over the six weeks of this workshop, we’ll write in several forms, and explore what content works well with different types of forms.

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to Nov 19

Retro Game Con

Vince Kuyatt and I will be speaking at RetroGameCon and will have a table for PHSRQ!

Our panels are: Storytelling in Gaming and Lit and The Retro Aesthetic

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Workshop: Publishing in Literary Magazine

Workshop: Publishing in Literary Magazine Number of Sessions: 1 Saturday Start Date: 12/2/2017 End Date: 12/2/2017 Start Time: 10:30 AM End Time: 1:30 PM Location: Bethesda Level(s): All Levels Price: 50 Description: Want to submit your work to magazines but don't know how? In this workshop, we'll talk about what literary magazines are, what editors are looking for in submissions, have a “translation” exercise, tips on how to get the most out of a lit mag, and the secrets to writing a great cover letter to get an editor’s attention. The skills you learn in this session can easily apply to other publication realms, including writing to agents and editors of small book presses. All participants will receive a complimentary magazine of their choice.

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Workshop: Hooking Your Reader: Writing A Killer First Line

Workshop: Hooking Your Reader: Writing A Killer First Line Number of Sessions: 1 Saturday Start Date: 12/16/2017 End Date: 12/16/2017 Start Time: 10:30 AM End Time: 12:30 PM Location: Bethesda Level(s): All Levels Price: 50 Description: Most editors of both magazines and presses will say that they read the first, last, and middle page of a story before deciding if they want to read more. Potential readers are even less forgiving. So how do we snag our readers and make them want to read more? In this workshop, we’ll look at examples of powerful first lines and discuss strategies for selecting a powerful first line. Feel free to bring the first line of your story or novel for a mini first-line “workshop.”

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to Sep 16

Hampton Roads Writer's Conference

September 14 - 16, 2017 -- HRW's 9th Annual Writers Conference @ Holiday Inn Virginia Beach - Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center, 5655 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. WATCH FOR DETAILS

For a full schedule and details on how to register, visit:

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to Sep 3


I'm thrilled to announce I'll be a FEATURED PANELIST (!!) at Maglabs this year! Come participate in my environmental storytelling workshops; some fantastic discussions with Luke Johnston, Lynn Almengor, Oliver Surpless, and Vince Kuyatt about retro game aesthetics, nostalgia, writing craft and game design; and also my husband and I arguing about walking simulators.

I will be sharing a table at MAGLabs with the amazing Lynn Almengor, author of "Now that We're Adults". I've also applied for panels so stay tuned!

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7:00pm 7:00pm

Artomatic reading

6:30-7:00 - cocktail (half)hour

7:00-7:15 - introduction by Diana Smith Bolton and Leslie Pietrzyk

7:15-7:30 - Katherine E. Young

7:30-7:45 - Kim Roberts

7:45-8:00 - Meg Eden

8:00-8:15 - Marlena Chertock

8:15-8:30 - J. D. Smith

8:30-8:45 - CL Bledsoe

8:45-9:00 - intermission

9:00-10:00 - open mic


1800 South Bell Street, Crystal City, VA 22202

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Cecil Con - confirmed!

Environmental Storytelling: Learning to Write through Playing Video Games

The popular saying goes: “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” With the rapid developments in technology, our storytelling is changing to not just be on the page, but through movies, television, and video games--highly visual mediums. Through the power of images, we can convey a whole narrative in a short space. Think about how games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Gone Home use environmental storytelling to give us pieces of characters’ lives. In this workshop, we’ll discuss examples of games that tell stories through objects, and go into our own writing exercises inspired by video games.

For more info, visit:

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to Apr 24

(Online) Poetry Chapbook Workshop

This workshop provides participants with the tools for forming and submitting poetry chapbooks. Lessons will focus on identifying what makes a chapbook, exploring your voice in the chapbook medium, choosing and ordering poems within your chapbook and research publishers. By the end of the four-week course, participants will have a chapbook manuscript that can be sent out to publishers.

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1:00pm 1:00pm

Build Your Own Author Website

Days: 1 Saturday
Time: 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
Dates: 12/3
Location: Bethesda
Level: All Levels
Genre(s): Professional Writing

Workshop Leader: Meg Eden
In this workshop, we will discuss the importance and function of having an author website, and will walk through the process of getting a custom domain, as well as actually building the website through Squarespace. Participants will be able to get real-time feedback on their website design. During the three hour block, all participants will be able to walk away with some of their website done--maybe all of it! We may also discuss social media and other elements of having an online presence. Please bring a laptop or mobile device.

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