November will be bringing our library community both Veterans Day and NaNoWriMo. If you’ve thought of trying your hand at writing about the war experience, you’ll want to attend our workshop, “When Fiction Goes to War: Creating Characters in and after Combat.” Steve Watkins, award-winning local author and past instructor of journalism, creative writing, and Vietnam War literature at the University of Mary Washington, will lead this program for veterans, their family members, and anyone else who wants to hone their writing skills. To be held at Porter Branch, 2001 Parkway Boulevard, Stafford, November 11, 9:45-10:45 am, this program is part of our larger Writers Conference.
Writing tends to be a solitary activity. From hours of research to even more hours of honing one’s prose or choosing just the right word for a new poem, writers spend a lot of their time working alone. That’s what makes a writers' group so helpful and refreshing. You can get together with other writers who understand what you’ve been doing, learn something new to improve your work, make connections for future marketing or partnerships, and get some feedback on your current project.
Are you inspired by life, whether light or dark, to mark moments or passages with words that dance, shout, or whisper your personal truth? You might be poemcrazy. Author (and poet) Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge certainly is. In her book, she shares how she sees the world as a poet as she’s progressed from shy teen to mother to writing workshop presenter.
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an annual Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November, challenging participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel. If you're thinking of participating, you’ll find plenty of helpful writing tips at the library and on nanowrimo.org.
In recent years, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring October 20th to be the National Day on Writing. The National Writing Day Project is sponsored by NCTE—National Council of Teachers of English. Check out their site for the National Gallery of Writing where you can submit stories, poems, recipes, emails, blogs, audio, video, and artwork. The gallery will open to the world on October 20 so now is the time to get going. The site features an online tutorial to aid you when making your submissions.
Have you ever wanted to become a writer and brave the strange and confusing world of trying to sell your work to the publishing industry? Do you feel you might need a refresher course in creating a marketable thriller or romance novel? If you are curious about improving your writing technique to make your work more compelling, concise, or appealing to publishers, you may benefit from How Not to Write a Novel, a writing guide from Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman. This guide is a compilation of examples of common writing mistakes that can make novels confusing, boring, or unappealing to read. Humorous and well-organized, this book is both a great educational resource and a good comedic read.