What They Don’t Tell You About Publishing: the Secrets of Agents and Editors

1:00 – 4:00 pm
At LitMore

What They Don’t Tell You About Publishing: the Secrets of Agents and Editors with Meg Eden is a workshop that will equip you with everything you need to jump into the publishing industry. We’ll discuss the roles of agents and editors, what they’re looking for in work, and how you can make your work stand out through strong query letters and pitches. We’ll also discuss some key tips for how to get to know agents and editors better. No project required for this workshop; however, students who have a manuscript in mind will have opportunities to create and practice a mini pitch for the class.

Please register at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1438614, or contact LitMore at 443-595-7548, or at info@litmore.org.

Meg Eden’s work has been published in various magazines, including B O D Y, Drunken Boat, Mudfish, and Rock & Sling. Her work received second place in the 2014 Ian MacMillan Fiction contest. Her collections include “Your Son” (The Florence Kahn Memorial Award), “Rotary Phones and Facebook” (Dancing Girl Press) and “The Girl Who Came Back” (Red Bird Chapbooks). She teaches at the University of Maryland.

Getting Published, Getting Read with Michael B. Tager

At LitMore

Getting Published, Getting Read is a workshop for new writers starting to publish their work. Questions such as How do we start? or How do we determine what the most important elements are? will be answered in seven sessions, taught by published author and MFA graduate, Professor Michael B. Tager. You will learn how to properly address submission guidelines, enter contests, and how to understand the motivations of writing in this course.

Register at http://soundingsea.com/index.php/writing-classes/getting-published-getting-read/ .

Professor Michael B. Tager’s work has appeared or forthcoming from Ambit, Timber, Baltimore Fishbowl, Theater’s Quarterly, Atticus Review, Typehouse Literary Magazine, The Light Ekphrastic, and Empty Sink Publishing amoung others. He is the Managing Editor of Writers and Words, a monthly Baltimore reading series and is the founder of two literary journals, REJECT and The Avenue. He writes book reviews for JMWW and video game essays for Cartridge Lit.

LitMore Writer’s Retreat

At LitMore

Looking for a distraction-free place to write? Come to LitMore every third Sunday to focus and enjoy a quite place with fellow writers. Full kitchen with free coffee and tea. Bring a bagged lunch, or visit one of the many lunch options within a block or two. $5 for LitMore members, $10 for nonmembers. Free parking in the lot across the street.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT/ Barbara Westwood Diehl

Barbara Diehl (2)

We are delighted to feature Barbara Westwood Diehl today. Hers is another voice we are excited to share from our community of members. Did I mention becoming a LitMore member is easy? Just click here http://litmore.org/join/ for more information and all the perks of joining Baltimore’s center for literary arts. Full disclosure: membership may or may not include my asking about the edibility of your writing.

Barbara Westwood Diehl is founding editor of The Baltimore Review. Her fiction and poetry have been published in journals including MacGuffin, Confrontation, Potomac Review (Best of the 50), Measure, Little Patuxent Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Gargoyle, Superstition Review, Word Riot, Bartleby Snopes, Penduline Press, NANO Fiction, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

When did you first suspect you may be a writer?
Oh, very young. As a kid who pretty much ran wild in Hampden and Wyman Park, I was always concocting stories with high drama, usually with Barbie and Ken dolls on my grandparents’ porch or hiding in the pine and cherry tree branches. Shortly after that, I started writing short stories and plays. Awfully melodramatic stuff, as I recall. Poems came a little later, early high school. I think one of the English teachers suspected I was writing my boyfriend’s poetry assignments. After 44 years or so, I think I can confess that.

If your best writing were edible, what meal would it be?
A good beef stew, a little on the salty side, with red wine. Hearty. Complicated. Filling.

What is the most unconventional thing you ever did for a piece you were working on?
I’ve done some crazy research. My Internet search histories might give people the wrong impression. For example, I spent a lot of time researching child beauty pageants once. But I think most writers probably have crazy search histories. I also got a couple of good stories out of husband #2, a con man, but I didn’t marry him with the intention of using him for writing material. I’m dedicated to my art, but not that dedicated. My imagination can do a lot of the work. Oh, and so no one gets the wrong idea, husband #3 is fabulous.

What inspires you to start a poem or story?
Oh geez. Anything and everything. A sentence that comes to me with a gorgeously musical sound. An image. Something from the news or a chunk of my life that stuck in my head. Usually being forced by some deadline and/or having some structure to work with. I need the discipline. Workshops of all sorts are great for that.

How do you know when you are finished with a poem or story?
When I have a sense of satiation, like with that beef stew and red wine on a winter evening, as mentioned above. You just know.

What writer are you particularly influenced by and why?
Never sure how to answer that one. Any influence I feel may be a desire to write the type of writing, or to write as wonderfully, as someone else, but I’m not sure how far that influence actually extends in practice. I think I’ve been influenced by a number of writers, and by instructors, to write with more concision and precision. To strip the language down and make sure the sentences flow. That’s something I’m more aware of as I write and revise.

What objects do you keep close to your writing space?
There are an awful lot of books in my office, and pens and notebooks. Nothing much on the walls. I’m always attached to a computer or iPad. The birds at the feeder outside my window are a distraction, but I need distractions. My brain fogs up if I stare at the computer screen or worry words around in my head for too long.

What do you consider your greatest success as a writer, how do you define success?
I’ve been fortunate to have my stories and poems published in some respectable publications—and a real mishmash of publications. Maybe I’m not terribly focused in my writing. I’m fickle, jumping back and forth between genres. But as long as the writing gives me pleasure, and I’m occasionally rewarded with publication, I’m fine with that. And I want to give readers pleasure, of course. And as a publisher myself (The Baltimore Review), I want to give other writers and readers pleasure. Shake them up a little, too.

How have you made use of the resources at LitMore?
I attended a writing retreat there—good to get an afternoon of quiet time—and I’ve attended a couple of events there. I’d like to attend more. And LitMore was kind enough to let The Baltimore Review have an event there. Hope to get to some creativity workshops. Again, I need the structure, and you’re never too old to learn new tricks.

What is your favorite LitMore moment so far?
A couple of favorite moments: listening to BR editor Holly Morse-Ellington play ukulele in her band with author Jason Tinney. And there was an actor at a LitMore event who gave an incredible performance of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.”


Tom Glenn, 2013

I’m delighted to introduce Tom Glenn. Here at LitMore, we are grateful to Tom for his early and continuing support for LitMore. He gave one of our first readings, an intense and moving experience that I, for one, will never forget.

Tom has worked as an intelligence operative, a musician, a linguist (seven languages), a cryptologist, a government executive, a care-giver for the dying, a leadership coach, and, always, a writer. Many of his prize-winning short stories came from the better part of thirteen years he shuttled between the U.S. and Vietnam on covert signals intelligence assignments before being evacuated under fire when Saigon fell. For his work during those final days, the U.S. Government awarded his the Civilian Meritorious Medal. With a BA in Music, a master’s in Government, and a doctorate in Public Administration and trained as a musician, actor, and public speaker, he toured the country lecturing on leadership and management, trained federal executives, and was the Dean of the Management Department at the National Cryptologic School. His writing is haunted by his five years of work with AIDS patients, two years of helping the homeless, and seven years of caring for the dying in the hospice system. These days he is a reviewer for The Washington Independent Review of Books where he specializes in books on war and Vietnam. His web sites are http://tom-tells-tales.org; http://vietnam-tragedy.org; http://friendly-casuatlties.org; and http://no-accounts.com.

When did you first suspect you may be a writer?
When I was six years old. I was already writing down stories.

If your best writing were edible, what meal would it be?
The hors d’oeuvre would be a tickler, something to awaken the taste buds without hinting at what’s to come, maybe anchovies and avocado. The entrée would have to be something dark and bold—lamb curry or spicy beef kung pao. The dessert would be designed to leave a sweet taste of hope, perhaps cream pie with strawberries.

What is the most unconventional thing you ever did for a piece you were working on?
Visiting a series of gay bars for background to No-Accounts. Not a comfortable experience—I’m straight and looked out of place. But I had to do it because key incidents in the story occur in those venues. I found, fortunately, that the bars vary greatly. When I couldn’t find the right locale for an event, I’d learned enough about the bar culture to invent a believable gay bar. The only comparable thing I ever did was to return repeatedly to the Calvert Street bridge (now known as the Duke Ellington Bridge) over Rock Creek Park in D.C. I set several scenes, including an attempted suicide, there and needed to know what it felt like and smelled like at different times of the day and in different weather.

What inspires you to start a novel or story?
My memories. Sometimes an event in my past is so powerful that I have to write about it to find peace. A speaker of French, Chinese, and Vietnamese, I was in Vietnam on and off for thirteen years doing clandestine intelligence in support of combat troops, then lived through the fall of Saigon, escaping under fire after the North Vietnamese were already in the streets. I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Injury. As a consequence I turned to helping others worse off than I was—AIDS patients, the homeless, the dying (hospice), and now wounded and dying soldiers at the VA. I don’t have to search for story ideas; I have to ward them off.

How do you know when you are finished with a novel or story?
It’s not something that happens at a conscious level. I work and work on a novel or a story, revise it, run it through critique groups, share it with other writers, put it away to cool for as long as a year, revise again. Then one day, I know it’s finished. I don’t know how I know.

What writer are you particularly influenced by and why?
Hemingway, as much as I hate to admit it. His outlook on life and mine are totally at odds, but his clipped, economical style captivates me. I try to hone my work down to the minimum, use as few words as possible, depend on two or three well-chosen details to set the stage and create the emotional flavor.

What objects do you keep close to your writing space?
Paper and pencil to make notes to myself. Nothing more. All my tools—dictionaries (English and other languages), thesauruses, atlases, encyclopedias—are on my computer.

What do you consider your greatest success as a writer, how do you define success?
I define success as helping people to understand and be deeply moved by what they have never experienced in life. My three published novels—Friendly Casualties, No-Accounts, and The Trion Syndrome (due out October 2015)—deal with the Vietnam war, AIDS, and combat trauma, all subjects alien to most Americans. The book I’m currently hawking, The Last of the Annamese, is set during the fall of Saigon. The only people I know who lived through it are the two guys who were with me at the end, one now deceased. But when my editor came to me in tears after finishing the book, I knew I had succeeded.

How do you use LitMore?
Two ways: to introduce my writing to others and to honor other writers by attending their presentations.

What is your best line ever written at LitMore and/or a favorite LitMore moment so far?
I don’t write at LitMore; I only write at home. My favorite moment came while I was reading: I paused to take a breath and listened. No coughs, no throat clearing, not even any breathing. The audience was with me.

Sounding Sea Writer’s Workshops at LitMore

Announcing a new series of workshops at LitMore presented by Sounding Sea.

    • Nonfiction Writing with D. Watkins

Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., 6/30/15 to 8/4/15

    • Fiction Writing with Kate Angelella

Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., 7/9/15 – 8/13/15

    • Getting Published, Getting Read with Michael B. Tager

Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m., 8/5/15 to 9/9/15

For more information see our Events page: http://litmore.org/events/
And Sounding Sea’s website: http://soundingsea.com

Upcoming Kensington Row Bookshop Poetry Readings

Kensington Row Bookshop Poetry Readings. 3786 Howard Avenue. Kensington MD 20895. 301 949 9416. Last Wednesdays of the Month, 7 pm, Jan.-March, May, June, Sept.,Oct.; 2 Dec. 2015. Come early to browse & chat. An open reading will follow. Free & open to all. www.kensingtonrowbookshop.com

The 24 June 2015 Kensington Row Bookshop Poetry Reading will feature Miles David Moore & Nancy Allinson.

Miles David Moore is a poet, journalist, and founder and host of the IOTA poetry reading series in Arlington, Va. He is also film reviewer for the online arts magazine Scene4. His books of poetry are The Bears of Paris (Word Works, 1995); Buddha Isn’t Laughing (Argonne House Press, 1999); and Rollercoaster (Word Works, 2004).

Nancy Allinson is a Maryland poet whose work has appeared in Poet Lore, The Federal Poet, Minimus, Potomac Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, District Lines and elsewhere. “Harmony Not Yet Broken” Finishing Line Press, is her first chapbook. Nancy is also a winner of the “Bethesda 8″ Trolley Poetry Bench contest. You can see her poems on benches in Bethesda, MD.

On 30 September 2015, Martin Dickinson and Barbara Crooker will read at Kensington Row Bookshop.