Here are just a few links to places that have been important to my writing process. It does not include the enormous list of individual writers who have helped me – I’m just afraid it would become one of those dreadful award show lists and I would be sure to miss someone important (visions of bad fairies and spinning wheels haunt me).
Gaithersburg Book Festival.The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an ambitious project, built to become the premier annual literary event in the southern Maryland region. It will feature presentations, book sales, and book-signings from Authors of both national and local acclaim, as well as workshops for aspiring writers and activities for children.
The Festival will be an all-day, outdoor event set on the grounds of Gaithersburg’s City Hall, on May 15, 2010.
The Southampton Writers Conference is where I spent several summers learning from a line-up of incredibly well-known and talented writers. This is a working conference, not a schmoozefest – you’ll be treated like a colleague by all the writers and perhaps even get in some beach time between intensive workshops, elective seminars, craft lectures and readings.
I loved the writers and the writing community at Southampton so much that I signed up for what has become the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature. Part time, full time and/or summer programs, as well as a special Manhattan-based option, make this a super flexible program. The faculty is a rotating group of incredible writers who love coming out to the Hamptons to teach. Tell Director, Bob Reeves, that Helen sent you!
Other writing resources I recommend in New York and the DC area:
92nd Street Y has great writing workshops and a stellar reading series.
Paragraph New York, a workspace for writers offers 24 hour desk space and coffee. You have to be a serious writer with a real project and references to join but it’s a great garret writing room that provides a real writing community.
Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Eat, Drink and be Literary Series offers great readings – don’t be shy as you dash for the buffet line.
PEN/FAulkner Foundation Reading Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library in downtown D.C. presents very prestigious writers in a beautiful setting and raises money to send writers into inner city schools.
The Writers Center based in Bethesda offers writing workshops, events and readings.
Online writing resources:
Tim Hallinan has web pages on how to finish your novel that will take you from start to finish and bust you through those writing blocks. Great advice and it’s free!
The Kipling Society – Major Pettigrew is a big fan of Rudyard Kipling and during my book research, I was delighted to discover that a worldwide network of scholars and readers stands ready to answer all things Kipling. They compile scholarly works, arrange conferences and are a valuable resource to the scholar and the general reader.