November is fast disappearing!

nano-logoDear NaNo writers!

We have a write-in planned at Lyn’s house, “Ducks,” from noon-6pm. RSVP to Lyn HERE for directions. Also, one more Monday night Write-in at the Library, 6:30-closing, 11/28.

Here are some tips from the latest Pep Talk, this one from Maggie Steifvater of the Raven Boys series.

  1. Know my project. I need to know what I want that final project to look like. Where it sits on the shelf, why I’m writing it, how it will make the reader feel. Then I ask myself with each chapter: does this belong in the book I said I was writing?

  2. Never sit at my computer without knowing what I’m going to write. If I’m stuck, I need to stimulate my physical body so my mind can play: drive, walk, shower.

  3. Unwind each day with thirty minutes of reading something that feels like what I’m trying to make, to remind myself how others accomplished it.

  4. [brackets]. If I know I need a beat but can’t quite get the details yet, I place brackets around the words [fight here] or [scene], so that I know I can go back and fix it later.

  5. Move forward and backward. I go back and edit; I go forward and outline. Rereading and scanning ahead helps me keep #1 in mind.

  6. Ignore word count. I get through the plot first, then I go back and flesh out or cut down as needed.

From NaNoWriMo Pep Talks by well-known NaNo authors 


It’s NaNoWriMo Time!


It’s that time again:

Time to get ready to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The marathon for first drafts, the inimitable NaNoWriMo. Nano is the writing event that taught me that “I can’t run a marathon, but I can write one!”

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Some resources to help you get ready:

If you’re not a novelist, non-fiction and other genres are more than welcome to the party.

Last year AWWG had at least 5 participants, and several members used all the inspiration to advance existing projects. You can make it work for you! There will be Write-ins several times a week in various locations, and lots of online encouragement.

Ask me about NaNoWriMo!

A Woman Writer Walked into a Bar…

… and answered the question “What do you do?” This is a collection of the comments that she received from men. Have you ever heard any of these lines?

An edited selection reblogged from LennyMen in Airport Bars Ask: “What Do You Do?”

“My daughter is a literature major.”

“If you heard my story … oh, boy. I’ll tell you this: if you wrote even half my story, you’d never have to work another day in your life.”

“Do you have anything published? Oh, yeah? Where do you sell your books? Can I get one at my library? I’m going to promise you something: I’m going to get your book from my library and read it and then I’ll give you my honest opinion. Stop looking at me like that. You think I’m not going to borrow your book from the library?”

“I thought about doing something like that. But then I realized, you know what? I gotta make a living. The real world doesn’t let you sit around scribbling in a notebook.”

Continue reading “A Woman Writer Walked into a Bar…”

Take a Risk

There’s a wonderful essay in this month’s Poets & Writers Magazine, Dangerous Writing by Tom Spanbauer. Alas, it’s not available online, only in the Jan.—Feb. 2016 print issue.

This author defines ‘Dangerous Writing’ as “not serial killers or speed crazed race drivers” but something much more personal.

“To write dangerous is to go to parts of ourselves we know exist but try to ignore —parts that are sad, sore; parts that are silent, and heavy. Taboo. Things that won’t leave us alone.”

Spanbauer, who teaches a course called Dangerous Writing in Portland, OR, is describing something more intimate. He relates that most of his students arrive thinking that he wants an adventure or horror story from them, and he has to bring them around to confront their humanness in a new way.

“We are set down on this earth bewildered. Someone once asked me why I write and I explained ‘Because I cannot speak and cry at the same time.’ It has been the battle of my life to speak what is in my heart openly and with a clear voice.”

His favorite prompt to give new arrivals is to write about a moment after which you were different. That’s an intriguing assignment. Anyone willing to take it on?

Remember you can contribute to this blog! Consider writing for us – let me know if you need to set up a login.

Tonight! AWWG hosts NaNoWriMo KickOff Party

Celebrate Writing in Your Community Tonight!

Monday, November 2
6:00 – 8:30 pm

PGMLS Accokeek Branch Library & AWWG present a NaNoWriMo Kickoff Celebration.

  • NaNoWriMo leaders, veterans and newbies share their ideas!
  • Learn about your Library’s resources for writers of all ages
  • enjoy refreshments
  • Everybody is welcome

Accokeek Branch Library
Main Conference Room
15773 Livingston Road
Accokeek, MD 20607

Support your local NaNo writers!

NEXT MEETING: Monday November 9th, 1:15 pm

Special Guest Author Jennifer Handford speaks about her new novel The Light of Hidden Flowers

Submit Your Work Workshop begins!!

Join us for the first of a series of Submit Your Work Workshops! 

We’ll meet for the next two 4th Mondays at the Potomac Library (Bryans Road) from 1:00-3:00 pm.

We’re working to develop a regular practise of submitting our work to contests and for publication, or any other opportunities to get our work out there.  Leader will have The Writers Market and latest issue of Poets & Writers magazine

Come with your challenges and successes, and bring work to submit, and ideas or listings to share.


It’s Almost NaNo Time again!!!

What is NaNo, you ask? National Novel Writing Month comes every year in November, and that’s when I join over 300,000 of my closest writer friends in the quest to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Can it be done? Of course! I’m a four-time winner!

Now, truth be told, winning means I met my goal, and exceeded the 50,000 word count. (That means I have a pile of rough drafts!) Some writers set other goals. In the Young Writers Program, kids work with a teacher or mentor to set an achievable goal. Not everyone writes a novel, either. NaNo Rebels have their own Forum hangout and pursue their memoirs, essays, poetry and plays with the enthusiastic support of the community.

It’s a global event, and there are local and state organizers who help us track our progress and hold meetups everywhere there are NaNo writers. Including Accokeek, MD.

This year I am so proud: our host library is an official Come Write In location! We’re having a big Kick-Off event on Monday November 2 from 6:o0 to 8:30 pm! Come and meet WriMo participants from the past, present and future, and get motivated to write like you never have before. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

Mark your calendar for  Monday December 7 when we’ll celebrate our achievements from 6:o0 to 8:30 pm. There will be party fare and author readings, and more! Stay tuned to this blog for details as they arise.

Feel free to get in touch with me with any questions you have about NaNoWriMo – I love to share and encourage more writers to join in the fun.

Here’s a pep talk from the NaNoWriMo blog:

Wrimos Around the World: “Swallow Your Fears and Keep Moving.”

One of the best parts of NaNoWriMo is the incredible community of writers behind it. Today, Lise Quintana, creator of the Lithomobilus platform and head of Zoetic Press, shares how the lessons she’s learned from NaNoWriMo have applied to her many entrepreneurial projects:

When did you first participate in NaNo, and what drew you to it?

I found NaNoWriMo in 2002, when a colleague emailed me an article in early October saying “These people are crazy.” I signed up before I responded to his email. For my first NaNoWriMo, I have to admit:

to read Lise’s confession and the rest of her article, click here for more: “Swallow Your Fears, con’t.”

More Goodies from Summer Camp

Here are the links

to a variety of treasures shared at Summer camp:

Writers retreat Accokeek 4

Delicious Tea goodies at Jo’s house for Tuesday’s book discussion

Dr. Judith Briles, host of the Monday Author & Publishing teleconference. Free book download, Useful blog, Events & more

Books recommended by AWWG members – a new page we can keep a running list of recs!

Movie: Midnight in Paris 2011, directed by Woody Allen, at his witty best. Cameos by a who’s-who of 1920’s Paris, this charming and silly-sweet film is lovely to look at. Oscar for Best Screenplay.

DocumentProfiling systems to consider using to understand your characters

TJ Ritter’s author web site, including how to get her book, etc.


I don’t have any handouts from Friday, when we did:

  • Tarot for Writers
  • Writing Great Dialog
  • Reading Your Work Aloud

But I have pictures! Go see the entire set at my Flickr AWWG album, and send me more if you have them, from any of our events!