ADMIN’s NOTE: New member Katie Caliando submitted this review of a fall conference right in our backyard for writers and readers in paranormal, fantasy & horror genres. If you want to write for TWP, get in touch.

Hallowread is a really awesome, yearly”book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, and Horror.” They welcome crossover and fusion genres, as well – like paranormal romance.  Rachel Rawlings, Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, is the creator of this gathering, and head honcho. The website stays up year-round, so you can check out the authors who were there, this year.  The list includes both self-published and traditionally-published authors.

It runs Friday afternoon through Sunday, and is usually held the weekend before Halloween.   Friday and Saturday feature workshops/roundtables, including a book fair with author signings on Saturday afternoon, ghost/paranormal tours and other entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings, and an author’s tea on Sunday.  The first two years it was in Ellicott City, and this year it was in Havre de Grace (the change in location was made before the flooding). Next year is still TBA.  As far as I know, there’s no limit on how many people can sign up for it, but it hasn’t been very large (less than 100 people, including the various authors).

Everyone is really nice and supportive, and the subjects discussed run the whole gamut, from coming up with ideas, making the paranormal “believable”, gardening vs architecture (another way of saying pantsing vs plotting, taking George R.R. Martin’s terminology for it), and related topics, to getting published, and working on marketing.  This year, there also was a lady from the Maryland State Arts Council, who told us about the still-quite-new grants for writers.  (see www.msac.orgThey give grants to individuals as well as to organizations.

I totally recommend Hallowread. It’s not expensive (this year, an all-event ticket cost about $60), I learned a lot, and I was really inspired.  The first time I went authors at the mini-con really helped me to find the nerve to start putting my writing out there (although I’m still “toe-ing in the shallows!”) .

Oh, and I’m actually Katie or Kathy, whichever you prefer.  I didn’t realize when I named my newly-minted blog “discoveries4writerstoo”on WordPress that that would be my screen-name, too.

Thanks, Katie for the report! We look forward to another great year of AWWG, including more contributions to our blog!


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 

NaNoWriMo at AWWG & Beyond!

November: It’s National Novel Writing Month!


sponsor lots of NaNoWriMo action this year.

Wednesday Nov 2
6:30-8:00 pm Accokeek Library
15773 Livingston Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607

Refreshments and celebration, get a writing buddy, resources for writers, and more

WRITE INS at the Library during November:   Accokeek Library
15773 Livingston Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607 Mondays 6:30-closing (9:00pm) Nov. 7, 14, 21, & 28

Come Write In! at the local library. It’s great to write with company – the words fly onto the page!

6:30-8:00 pm Accokeek Library
15773 Livingston Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607

Refreshments and celebration, readings from NaNo participants (last year’s party was great – some HOT stories!)

Please check our calendar for any updates.


nano-logoOfficial NaNoWriMo website:  nanowrimo.org – sign up and pledge your intentions. Join the forums, get pep talks from successful authors. and More!!

PEP TALKS from successful Authors!! nanowrimo.org/pep-talks

Plotting Resources The WriterSaurus

NaNo Prep: 30 Tips from Writers Digest

NaNoWriMo has groups on Facebook – here’s our Maryland group and the National

Twitter has NaNo Coaches at @NaNoWriMo and writing sprints 24 hours a day for 30 days at @NaNoWordSprints!!!

 Nano Founder Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! on sale this week for only $1.99!

Medium’s NaNoWriMo articles

It’s National Novel Writing Month!


Did you know?

…that every November over 300,000 writers start their word counts at midnight on Halloween and challenge themselves to 50,000 words in 30 days?  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) believes stories matter. The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Come Write In, and the “Now What?” Months.


And did you know that in 2014:

325,142 participants worldwide, including 81,311 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, students and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists. How awesome is that?

Locally, our group is hosting a public Kick-Off  in partnership with the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

NaNoWriMo Kick Off Party

Monday November 2 6:00 – 8:30 pm

  • Meet local writers
  • Learn more about NaNoWriMo
  • Enjoy refreshments
  • learn about library resources

Please share this with your family and friends and encourage participation. Even if you are not writing for NaNoWriMo this year, help raise energy for writers and writing in general and support your local Library. Let’s have a party!!

Oh, What a Week it Was!

2015 Summer Camp Report

What an AMAZING week!

While I knew we would have fun and inspire each other, Summer Camp 2015 exceeded my wildest expectations for participation, enthusiasm, creativity and just plain FUN!

Some facts:

  • 5 days
  • 10 events
  • Multiple media & formats including:
    • Teleconference
    • Book discussion
    • Movie Night
    • 3 Workshops
    • Guest author
    • Readings
    • Celebration!
  • 5 Venues
  • 3 Meals


  • Every event was fully attended
  • New events were planned, including:
  • And Monday’s regular meeting was still packed with enthusiastic members! (plus we were visited by a reporter from the Independant)

I am so proud of us!

Accokeek Women’s Writing Group ROCKS!! 



Short Story or Novel?

from the excellent blog Write on, Sisters, I offer you 

Is Your Idea a Short Story or Novel?

This is a question I ponder when plot bunnies come to me, as characters settle in and begin to unfold. Do they have enough ‘something’ in them to go the long haul? How do you know when a story has the potential to grow into something larger?

Author Heather Jackson suggestions it is just ONE of these basic story elements that determines long form potential:

  1. A Protagonist – who leads the story.

  2. A Goal – what the protagonist wants.

  3. A Problem – what prevents the protagonist from achieving the goal.

  4. Objectives – how the protagonist tries to solve the problem.

  5. Obstacles – what/who prevents the protagonist from solving the problem.

  6. Stakes – what disaster will happen if the protagonist fails to solve the problem.

  7. Resolution – how the protagonist overcomes the obstacles to solve the problem and avertdisaster.

Which element? take a guess, make your case, then go read the rest of Heather’s blog. It makes a lot of sense!

PS: also check out this cool post on 6 things every short story should have

Crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line, but…

I will accept your applause, dear writers. I just crossed the 50,000 word threshold and became:

But, there’s a BIG but: I am not done with the book! I’m deep into the exciting life of the novel. I am in love with writing thousands of words a day. I am thrilled with my decision months ago to take a beach trip with fellow writer TJ Ritter, so that now I can listen to the endless waves roll in and write like the wind. I don’t want to stop.

One of the great things about NaNoWriMo (and there are MANY, many great things, seriously, this is only one tiny, little one) are the pep talks by writers you may have read. This weeks, by author Jim Butcher of the Harry Dresden series, was a hoot. He says, and I quote:

First and foremost, and I cannot stress this enough: do not sit down at the keyboard and write on a regular basis. This is a trap. You can tell yourself that you’re only doing it to scratch an itch, that you only need to get a few hundred words written and then you can set it aside—but the siren clickclickabulation of the dancing keys will do more than merely produce words on a page. It will condition you to want, nay, to need to do it each and every day.

And if that happens, there is simply no way, in the long run, to avoid the most lamentable and horrible fate of finishing a novel.

I feel the addiction creeping into me, wending its way into my nerves in a way that means it’s  becoming an integral part of me. I will never be the same. I am already in love with my ridiculous characters, who are riddled with characters flaws, all of which seem suspiciously familiar. I have to carry them on. They need to live, to meet their fates, to find love. Don’t they?

I’m going now. Going back to the novel, which isn’t done, because we’re in the middle of a dramatic courtroom scene, a romance that just suffered the reveal of a difficult secret, and some dangerous shenanigans that involve fomenting a revolution. So forgive me if I don’t have time to watch TV.

love to you, and Write On!

Write-In with NaNoWriMo tonight

National Novel Writing Month

Wednesday November 5, 12 & 19
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Accokeek Branch Library in Accokeek, MD
15773 Livingston Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607

Come early if you like!

Alas, we didn’t get the big meeting room, but bring food & drink, there are 2 tables and chairs for 10 in the “cafe” area outside the room, and lots of quiet nooks for diligent word sprinters throughout the library if you are already coffeed up, and don’t need too much boisterous cheerleading.

I’ll see you in the Cafe at 7:00 to celebrate your writing, to 50,000 and beyond!

November Meeting & Novelist’s Progress Report!

NOVEMBER meeting next week!

Monday, November 10
1:15 pm until 3:15 pm

Accokeek Branch Library
15773 Livingston Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607
(301) 292-2880

Monologues due!

If you haven’t finished it already, write your monologue — a 2-3 paragraph, first person exercise, where you write in your character’s voice about an experience or story they’ve lived. We’ll share these aloud, if you like, in the group. I can’t wait to hear them!

Remember: just play! And explore how your character would talk, share, explain… you get the idea. Click here for examples.

Lots of Writing Action in the ‘hood Recently!!

With the advent of National Novel Writing Month, desks have been cleared, sleeves have been rolled, quills have been sharpened, and at the stroke of Midnight on All Hallow’s Eve the challenge began: can I write 50,000 words in 30 days, with the help of a few friends around the block and around the world?

I am so proud to report that besides myself THREE of your  AWWG sisters are taking part in NaNoWriMo this year! I’ll let them brag about it themselves at next week’s meeting. **is mysterious**  I can tell you that as of early Monday morning, your Accokeek WriMos have written over 11,000 words in just two days.

I’ve met amazing writers who are living in the golden woods all around us, and a new Librarian at our Accokeek branch who writes. Words, ideas and imaginations are growing and flowing!
So, get yourself to November’s meeting next week