Category Archives: Events & Activities

Writers’ events, critique groups, meet-ups, contests, and more.

Grand Launch BlogHop – Broken words whispered in the Dark

Grand Launch BlogHop – Broken words whispered in the Dark.

Join the Kintsugi Poets as we celebrate dark poetry…the Kintsugi Poets Society is celebrating our grand launch with a poetry blog hop. Enjoy!

The society welcomes dark poets to join…check the blog for information.

via Grand Launch BlogHop – Broken words whispered in the Dark.

Local Author Event: Schuylkill County

Mahanoy City, PA: Speculative fiction author Ash Krafton will be appearing at a book talk at 1 PM Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at the Mahanoy City Public Library, where she will share her work, sign books, and announce the release of her second urban fantasy novel BLOOD RUSH.

BLOOD RUSH: BOOK TWO OF THE DEMIMONDE continues the tale about a woman who finds herself inextricably submerged in a world of demivampires, werewolves, and mystical oracles. Set in fictional Balaton, a city in southeast Pennsylvania, Blood Rush follows an advice columnist-turned-oracle named Sophie whose empathic talents have earned her a revered place within Demivampire society.

Krafton first began the Books of the Demimonde with BLEEDING HEARTS (Pink Narcissus Press, 2012), a story that combined vampires and ancient Egyptian mythology. The story follows the race of demivampires, whose origin lies with the Egyptian god Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky. The demivampires aren’t the only supernatural beings with divine ancestry–Horus is also the forefather of Werekind. “There is a long-standing tension between the demivamps and the weres in my story,” Krafton says. “Despite their common ancestry, there is a lot of misunderstanding and prejudice. Sophie finds herself in the middle of the two races and learns that the demivamps aren’t the only ones who depend upon her for a little bit of redemption.”

Krafton also explores the demivamp equivalent of drug abuse and its consequences. Consuming blood for pure thrill is a misuse of the resource and is called “blood rush” for the high it creates. Illicit use can further a demivamp’s change into full vampire, the change known to the DV as “evolution”. Unfortunately, it’s also the only available treatment for a certain DV condition, one that has afflicted a close friend’s daughter. Sophie finds herself playing a dangerous game with Rodrian, her ex-lover’s brother, when he gets hooked on blood rush–and her.

BLOOD RUSH: BOOK TWO OF THE DEMIMONDE (Pink Narcissus Press) is available May 14, 2012 in trade paperback and e-book formats.

Pushcart Prize nominee Ash Krafton is also the author of a growing list of novels, short stories, and poetry. She resides in the heart of the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region with her family and bossy German Shepherd dog.

The book talk is scheduled for 1 PM on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Junior high to adults are welcome to attend the session. Books will be available for purchase and the author will be holding a raffle.

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Pennwriters 2013 Conference- Register Now!

2013Conferenceflyer_001 (612x792)The 26th Annual Pennwriters Conference Registration is open and filling up fast. Registration for the Pre-Conference Writing Intensives is open as well:

WRITING 21ST CENTURY FICTION with DONALD MAASS

LIFESAVER FOR NON-FICTION WRITERS with BOBBI CARDUCCI

ISLAND OF DOOM with JONATHAN MABERRY

A WRITERS WEBSITE – SETTING SAIL with BRIANA CHANIN

Check out the Pennwriters site and register while there is still space available. Don’t miss a great conference filled with workshops, industry professionals, and fellow writers.

Workshops from The Word Studio

Real Writing, Real Writers
writers in workshop at The Word Studio

The Word Studio’s mission is to enrich writers’ works and lives. Our small workshops and private mentoring attract people who aim to grow as writers, to gain support and community, to complete projects, and to publish, whether via traditional means or by self-publishing. Opened by Janet Benton in fall 2010, The Word Studio is in a lovely second-story space at 86 Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, a short walk from the Chestnut Hill East and West train stations, with plenty of parking.
Query and Pitch Clinic
with Agent Marie Lamba
Are you working on a fiction or memoir manuscript that you’d like to sell? Spend four Marie Lamba hours with an agent who’s also a novelist, and get ready to present your work to agents at this year’s writers’ conferences!  Class limited to eight participants.
Class 1: How to write a query and create a pitch. The ins and outs, do’s and don’ts, based on Marie’s working knowledge of today’s market.

Class 2: Share your query letter with the group and get feedback. Deliver your pitch and query and get an immediate response from Marie and class members.

Dates: Sunday, April 7 and Sunday, April 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Fee is $225.

Marie Lamba is associate literary agent at the Jennifer DeChiara  Literary Agency in NYC (www.jdlit.com), where she represents young-adult and middle-grade fiction, along with general and women’s fiction and some memoir. Marie is also the author of the young adult novels What I Meant . . . (Random House, 2008), Over My Head, and Drawn. Her articles have appeared in over a hundred publications, including Writer’s Digest. See www.marielamba.com.

Navigating the Maze of Your Fiction
with Nomi Eve
 Writing novels or stories can be like entering a maze. Writers are often unsure of what paths to follow, and blind alleys and false corridors beckon. Whether you are a veteran writer or new at the craft, this short course will provide you with some highly effective “navigation” tools. This will be a skills-based, roll-up-your-sleeves experience. All writing will be done in class, and at each of our six sessions, we’ll explore an essential and often overlooked quality of good writing. Topics include these:

  • What the heck should I write about?
  • Sensory writing
  • Scenic writing
  • The stop-motion technique
  • The effective use of timelines

You’ll leave the course with concrete and effective tools to help you navigate your own creative maze. Class is limited to seven members.

DATES: Meets six Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. , on April 7, April 14, April 21, April 28, May 5, and May 12.

Fee is $300.

Nomi Eve is a graduate of Penn State University Nomi Eve photo and of Brown University’s MFA program. Her first novel, The Family Orchard (Random House, 2000), was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and an L. A. Times bestseller and has been translated into ten languages and published in twelve countries.  Her next novel, Henna, is forthcoming from Scribner’s in 2014. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train and other journals. Nomi teaches creative writing and literature at Penn State Abington.

Writing from Life with Ilene Raymond Rush
This course will teach you how to shape your experiences into meaningful first-person essays and articles using the techniques of fiction writing. We’ll cover how to generate ideas, how to employ narrative techniques, and how to expand personal (and sometimes minor) experiences to achieve a more universal meaning that readers and editors can appreciate. We’ll look at some eIlene Raymond Rushxamples of published essays to see how they succeed. Students will write in-class and out-of-class writing assignments and will end up with one finished 750-word piece and ideas for five personal essays. Ilene’s intention is to help each writer create publishable work. To learn about Ilene, see column to left. Class is limited to seven members.Dates: Meets five consecutive Mondays, 7 to 9 p.m., January 28 and February 4, 11, 18, and 25.Fee is $250.
Writing Intensive with Janet Benton
Now in its 14th year! Looking for a supportive, engaging community of writers? This private workshop offers one, along with structure, feedback, guidance on craft and process, and concrete goals to enable you to make real headway. Of seven published area novelists profiled in a 2010 Inquirer article, two spent years in this workshop.At each meeting, we critique the work of two writers; Janet also leads a discussion of techniques related to those works and supplies writing prompts to sharpen skills and awareness. Each submission receives written critiques from Janet and members. Each writer can submit up to 20 pages of a novel, a short story, or a work of creative nonfiction (such as a memoir) twice. See info. on Janet to left. Class is limited to seven members

Dates: Meets eight times, every other Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. (but first class will be on a Wednesday). Wednesday, January 23, then February 7 and 21, March 7, April 4 and 18, and May 2 and 16.

Fee is $480.

Private Mentoring with
Janet Benton
Would you like someone to help carry your book? Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but working with an editor will ease the isolation and bring an invaluable outside perspective to your efforts. Whether you’re on your first book or your fifth, drafting the first chapter or holding a heavy manuscript in your hands, this work will sharpen your writing, your awareness, and your skills. Doing this work with someone you can trust will also increase your chances of publication. Here is some of what you’ll get from working privately with Janet:Due dates The writer’s best friendEncouragement What keeps writers going

Input Detailed, useful suggestions that will move the work along and fuel the fire

Technical know-how  Up-close information to help you become more aware of your methods and to increase quality and power

Meaningful and effective, this work gets books written and strengthens writers! Email janet.thewordstudio@gmail.com.

Upcoming Writing Workshops

There are many upcoming workshops in the Area and I thought it best to post about them here in more detail rather than only in emails and on the calendar. Permission to post granted but not an endorsement.

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Journaling Workshop with Kathleen Pooler & Susan G. Weidener

Have you always wanted to explore the light and the dark, the small and large moments of your life, but weren’t sure how to go about it? Have you felt the need to keep a written record of your thoughts, experiences, dreams and desires? One way to gain awareness and discover feelings is through the creative art of journaling. But what exactly is journaling and how does it transport us on a voyage of self-discovery? Start off the new year by taking this journey with a workshop that offers insight, discussion, techniques and writing time to begin your voyage of self-discovery through journaling.

Journaling: A Voyage of Self-Discovery
Co-Created by Kathleen Pooler and Susan G. Weidener
Saturday, February 23, 2013
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fairfield Inn, Exton, PA
For more information: http://www.susanweidener.com/2013/01/why-journal-workshop.html

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CREATIVE NONFICTION WORKSHOP with Minter Krotzer
“Truth is stranger than fiction.” – Mark Twain

In this workshop we will explore the exciting world of creative nonfiction including memoir, the personal essay, flash nonfiction, and the micro essay. We will focus on all phases of the writing process, from discovering and generating creative nonfiction material, to revising and shaping written work. Selected readings will be provided for discussion as well. Open to beginners and
to those who already have written creative nonfiction. The workshop includes a private writing consultation with Minter.

Saturday afternoons from 3-5pm, for 6 meetings, from January 26th-March 2nd or Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm, for 6 meetings, from January 29th-March 5th

Workshop Registration Details:

If you are interested in registering for a workshop, or if you have questions about them, please email Minter at minterk@gmail.com . A $50 deposit (or full payment) will be required to secure a spot and it is recommended that you register soon since space is limited. All workshops are $200. Electronic participation is also available for those who are unable to attend in person. Note: a minimum of five participants is required for workshops to run. Also, we are now offering a $10 discount for those who refer new participants.

About Minter: Minter Krotzer’s prose has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Many Mountains Moving, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Arkansas Review , Upstreet, Night Train , Before and After: Stories from New York ( WW Norton), Louisiana in Words (Pelican Press), God Stories (Random House), and Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Twenty-Five Words or Fewer (WW Norton). She has received creative writing fellowships at the New School, where she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, Bennington College, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, the Moulin à Nef in France and Ragdale. Click here to read a recent interview with Minter on Apiary literary magazine’s website. (www.minterkrotzer.com).

Big Blue Marble is an independent bookstore located in Mount Airy at 551 Carpenter Lane, Phila, PA 19119 (215) 844-1870 (www.bigbluemarblebooks.com)

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Poetry Workshop with Hal Sirowitz at Big Blue Marble Bookstore

“Hal Sirowitz is the bard of the deadpan delivery. His poems are like a mad combination of the haiku and the Borscht Belt – they make me laugh and smile with happiness at the pain of being alive.” -Jonathan Ames (Author and creator of the HBO series “Bored to Death”)

The poetry workshop you’ve been hearing about. Led by poet Hal Sirowitz (with Minter Krotzer’s accompaniment), we will mostly read and write poems in free verse although at times we will explore other forms. Selected poetry will also be read and discussed. The former Poet Laureate of Queens, NY, Hal has taught poetry across the country and abroad. The workshop concludes with a private writing consultation with Hal and Minter.

Wednesday evenings from 7:15-9:15pm, for six meetings, from February 6th-April 3rd (excluding February 27th, March 6th, and March 27th)

Workshop Registration Details:
If you are interested in registering for a workshop, or if you have questions about it, please email Minter at minterk@gmail.com . A $50 deposit (or full payment) will be required to secure a spot and it is recommended that you register soon since space is limited. All workshops are $200. Electronic participation is also available for those who are unable to attend in person. Note: a minimum of five participants is required for workshops to run. Also, we are now offering a $10
discount for those who refer new participants.

About Hal: Hal Sirowitz is the author of six books of poetry, Mother Said, My Therapist Said(Crown/Random House), Father Said , Before, During & After (Soft Skull Press), the newly released Stray Cat Blues (Backwaters Press) and a recent completed collection of prose poetry, A Hole in My Heart. His work has been translated into nine languages including Icelandic and Turkish. Garrison Keillor has read his work on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac and he has included Hal’s poems in his anthologies, Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times . Hal has performed and appeared on MTV’s “Spoken Word Unplugged,” PBS’s “Poetry Heaven,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” Awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, Hal is the former Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. Click here to read a recent interview with Hal on Garrison Keillor’s website. (www.halsirowitz.com)

About Minter:
Minter Krotzer’s prose has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Many Mountains Moving, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Arkansas Review , Upstreet, Night Train , Before and After: Stories from New York ( WW Norton 2002), Louisiana in Words (Pelican Press), God Stories (Random House 2008), and Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Twenty-Five Words or Fewer (WW Norton). She has received creative writing fellowships at the New School, where she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, Bennington College, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, the Moulin à Nef in France and Ragdale. Click here to read a recent interview with Minter on Apiary literary magazine’s website. (www.minterkrotzer.com).

Big Blue Marble is an independent bookstore located in Mount Airy at 551 Carpenter Lane, Phila, PA 19119 (215) 844-1870 (www.bigbluemarblebooks.com)

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Philadelphia-based author/journalist Anndee Hochman is offering a local version of her popular Mexico writing workshop.

Heart & Craft: Write Out of Your Comfort Zone will take place on Sundays from 2-5 p.m. starting February 3, at Anndee’s home in Mt. Airy (Northwest section of Philadelphia).

Beginning and experienced writers of fiction, poetry and memoir will find inspiring readings & discussions, provocative prompts and thoughtful critique of ongoing work.

$200 for 10 weeks. Contact Anndee at aehoch@aol.com to register.

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Writing Events Hosted by Kelly Writers House

The Writers House is proud to host a number of ongoing writing and reading groups. For more information about joining the following groups, contact the
group organizers listed below.

F-Word
A journal of feminism, gender,  and sexuality. For more information contact fwordinfo@gmail.com.

Jabberwocky: Writing for Children
Interested in writing for kids — stories, poetry, picture books?

Jabberwocky will bring together all those interested in writing,
illustrating, or otherwise being involved in the world of literature for  children. If you’ve ever considered writing for kids, come check out  Jabberwocky! For more
information please contact both Tracy Byford at tbyford@sas.upenn.eduand Kermit Oswald III at chaosthethird@gmail.com.

Lacanians
A Lacan discussion group. For more info contact Patricia Gherovici at pgherovici@aol.com.

Penn Appetit
A journal of food and food writing. For more information contact
pennappetit@gmail.com.

Penn and Pencil Club
A creative writing workshop for Penn employees. For more information, contact
Luellen Fletcher at luellen@upenn.edu.

Pennomicon is a writing group for those who create worlds of fantasy,
science fiction and horror. Whether your medium is short story, novel, or screenplay, bring an idea to discuss, pages to read, or a writer’s block to smash, in the company of like minded visionaries. Please contact Matthew Spizuco (pennomicon@comcast.net) for details.

Penn Review is the premier mainstream magazine devoted to the literary
and visual arts on Penn’s campus. The magazine accepts literary and visual arts
submissions for annual publication. For more information, contact pennreview@gmail.com.

The Plays’ The Thing
An open-ended monthly play reading and thinking group, designed to get people together to study the genre of writing for theater and to share
and discuss their work. For more info contact Amy Freeman at plays.philadelphia@gmail.com.

Writers Workshop
For writers, published or working in that direction, interested in sharing their stories while giving and receiving feedback. This is a mixed genre group —
fiction writers, memoirists, creative nonfiction writers and essayists.
Writing is submitted via the Internet, but critiqued in person using a
traditional writers workshop format with scheduled meetings. For more
information, please contact Martha Turner (m-turner@verizon.net).

Suppose An Eyes
A  poetry workshop where poets can come to share and discuss their work. For
more information contact Pat Green at patricia78@aol.com.

34th Street Poets
Meets weekly to workshop poems that range from experimental forms to carefully crafted sonnets.

Virginia Woolf Discussion Group
For Virginia Woolf, the politics is in the writing. With this in mind, our
discussions will focus on Woolf’s language and how it functions in her
texts. For more information, contact Judith Allen at woolfgroup@mindspring.com.

Write On!
Is a group for Penn students working with middle school students on expository and creative writing projects. For more information contact wh@writing.upenn.edu.

The Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour (October 24-31, 2011)

Attention horror-writing Pennwriters! It’s time for a web tour!

The Coffin Hop is an excellent way to promote your work, to gain traffic to your website or blog, and also to meet more horror/spooky fiction authors to network a bit.

The Coffin Hop site will be the “base site” and from there visitors can “hop” from website or blog to visit the various authors’ sites who are participating during the week of October 24-31, 2011.

During that week the participating authors should have either a blog post or something on their blog or website that’s in the Halloween/Horror spirit and that somehow promotes their work in the genre, along with a contest for visitors (you could give out halloween treats, digital copies of your books, name a character after your winner, email previews of an upcoming project, send out an autographed copy of one of your books, perhaps? All up to you, Hoppers!).

The only set requirements for your blog entry are that you include the GORY DETAILS listed below, as well as a link back to the “base site” (http://www.coffinhop.blogspot.com/). You will also need to comply with the prize disbursement guidelines listed.

Your Coffin Hop-specific blog or website does not need to be live on your site until 10/24/2011, when the hop starts, but you’re encouraged to register now. Registration for the Coffin Hop will close at the end of the day 10/23/2011.

Starting the 15th of October we would also encourage all involved authors to begin to heavily promote the Coffin Hop in whatever ways possible – Facebook it, tweet the bejeezus out of it, put it on your front page and dare everyone you know to hit all of the sites on the list. Remember – the more traffic any one of us gets, the more traffic we’re all likely to get. That is why it is so very important to prominently display the link to this site, where we host the link list.

Now go forth and hop those coffins!

(Post this – in full – in your Coffin Hop blog post)

THE GORY DETAILS:
1) HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME!
2) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND SPREAD THE WORD!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, October 24, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, October 31, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
Winners will be drawn and posted November 1, 2011
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE AUTHORS! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SITE’S CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL SITES IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. THE MORE SITES YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES.
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME?

***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this tour is subject to these rules***