Archive for September, 2012

September 29, 2012

Schedule for the 2012 Maryland Writers Conference

Here is the schedule of a full day of activities at the 24th annual Maryland Writers Conference on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the University of Baltimore. 2012-MWConference-Program Schedule-Final-09-23 doc rev. 2 (KC changes)

September 28, 2012

MWA Author to be Featured at BBF, Black Authors & Readers ROCK Weekend

MWA member Deliah Lawrence will be signing her novel Gotta Let it Go at the Baltimore Book Festival in the Author’s Tent on Saturday, September 29 from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. Come on out and meet Deliah and the many other MWA authors who will be reading, signing, and participating! It’s at Mount Vernon Square in downtown Baltimore.

Deliah will also be participating in the 2012 – Black Authors & Readers ROCK Weekend, Friday and Saturday, October 19-20 at the Metro Points Hotel, 8500 Annapolis Road in New Carrollton. There will be a reception on Friday from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. with a vendor/author expo on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Gotta Let it Go was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the multi-cultural fiction category. You can find out more about Deliah on her website and by following her on Facebook at Twitter at thewritepen.

September 22, 2012

The Maryland Writers Conference Has a New Facebook Page

Don’t forget to check out and ‘like’ the new Facebook page for the 24th annual Maryland Writers Conference, Saturday, October 20, 2012, at the University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center. The page is regularly updated with news and photos that will keep you up-to-date on speakers and events as MWA’s signature annual event draws nearer.

You can find the page here.

September 22, 2012

24th Annual Maryland Writers Conference: the Official Flyer

MWA has prepared a one-page flyer for the 24th Annual Maryland Writers Conference, Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center. Please download it and share it with your friends and colleagues, and help spread the word about our flagship annual event!

You can download the flyer (PDF) here.

September 14, 2012

Morrison to Share Her Path to Publishing at the Next Carroll County Chapter Meeting

“Publication is a beginning and not an ending!” is the title chosen by the next speaker at the Carroll County Chapter, Barbara Morrison. She is the author of Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother.

Barbara will tell you why publishing can be a launching pad for an author, by taking you on a walk down the path she took in promoting her book. The meeting will be on Saturday, October 13th at 1:00 p.m. in the large meeting room at the Westminster Branch of the Carroll County Public Library, located at 50 East Main Street in Westminster.

September 7, 2012

Levin on Literary Laughs

Gerald Levin’s understated, gentle delivery of Imagehumor might bring to mind comedian Ray Romano, sans the self-pity.

But, Levin is a composed, confident writer. On Aug. 27, he delivered an hour-long seminar at the MWA Baltimore ChapterAug. 27 on how to put humor into your writing.

“There is power in taking an ordinary topic anotherway,” said Levin, who likes to inject humor intohis short stories. He has an MFA in creative writingfrom the University of Baltimore and is a writer/editor at the Maryland Office of Tourism.

Levin said that many writers think good literary humor comes down to—what else?—developing characters. For example, old Willie in Neil Simon’s play The Sunshine Boys. Willie tells his nephew that after 57 years in the business he knows what’s funny, like words with the letter ‘k’ are naturally funny, he says, like pickle, chicken, cupcake, and car keys, but not tomato. That’s not funny, according to Willie.

Humor is developed, Levin said, in juxtaposing things that don’t go together normally, he said. Absurdity works when a writer takes the normal to extremes. But exaggeration should be tempered—look to Mark Twain, he said, or Steve Martin’s “just take two pills routine.” (Google it.) Going the other way, understated humor was epitomized by Monty Python, said Levin.

Levin said satire has a moral point of view and opens doors in humor that may not be opened with other forms. “Many people say humor can be tragedy plus time. The further you get away, it is accepted, e.g. jokes about the events around the Lincoln assassination.”

Then there is mundane humor, e.g. Seinfeld. Levin cited Calvin Trillin and his novel Tepper Isn’t Going Out. Trillin expands small, mundane things such as his hero Tepper taking absurd delight in occupying NYC parking spaces for no purpose. However, Levin said never write about real life humor. It invariably becomes a “you-had-to-be-there story” not funny to others. To get a laugh, write about bad experiences not good ones, he advised.

Levin shared his favorites: Garrison Keillor says use your own voice (easy for him to say); don’t be giddy or whooping. Woody Allen likes “unsolvable problems” and the difficulty in falling in love and maintaining it. “But don’t date your daughter,” someone shouted. Thurber said with humor you have to look out for traps, so go over it to make sure it is really funny to others. E.B.White likes “the sly and almost imperceptible ingredient (of humor),” e.g. Austen or Thoreau, Levin said. He also recommended reading Melissa Bank, Aimee Bender, Dave Barry, Robert Benchley, Roy Blount Jr., Billy Collins, Noel Coward, Nora Ephron, Ben Franklin, Ian Frazier, Veronica Geng, Fran Lebowits, Patrick McManus, Moliere, P.J. O’Rourke, Dorothy Parker, S.J. Perelman, Damon Runyon, and P.G. Woodhouse.