April 24, 2024

15th Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 18 to Offer Workshops for Aspiring Writers, Poets and Illustrators

15th Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 18 to Offer Workshops for Aspiring Writers, Poets and Illustrators

The 15th Gaithersburg Book Festival, which has become one of the region’s most prestigious book festivals by annually bringing more than 100 authors to Montgomery County to talk about their works and adventures, on Saturday, May 18, will continue its tradition of offering free workshops to aspiring writers, poets and illustrators.

Those interested in writing thrillers, finding the inspiration to finish their first novel, looking to develop their own comics or graphic novels and even people who just hope to see their byline in the media are likely to find a workshop that will help.

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is a free, all-day celebration of books, writers and literary excellence. It will be held at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm at 506 S. Frederick Ave. in Gaithersburg.

In addition to the writing workshops, activities at the book festival will include author appearances; discussions and book signings; a Children’s Village; onsite sales of new and used books; literary exhibitors and vendors selling food, drinks and ice cream.

Parking is limited on the site, but there will be free shuttles from the Shady Grove Metrorail Station and from the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg.

The workshops, which are 55 minutes long, will be held during the festival in the Adult and Teen Workshops Tent. No pre-registration is required for the workshops.

The schedule of writer/illustrator workshops on May 18 will include the following:
  • Getting Out of Your Own Way to Forge Your Best Writing Life. 10 a.m. In this interactive workshop, presenter Amy L. Bernstein will explore psychological and emotional factors that hold you back from committing to your writing craft fully and authentically. Identify and confront the “tape loops,” values and cultural tropes that prevent you from finding time to write, taking your writing seriously and/or pursuing publication. Participants will take away fresh insights into their identity and behavior as writers along with basic techniques for turning their red light green.
  • Memoir as Haiku. 11 a.m. Presenter Nancy Arbuthnot will talk about the classic Japanese haiku. You will leave with the poetic techniques of imagery, alliteration, assonance and consonance, and be able to create vignettes of significant life moments.
  • Comics and Graphic Novels for Grown Ups. Noon. Whether through comics, manga, graphic novels, webtoons or beyond, words and pictures combine to tell dynamic stories that draw in readers of all ages. This workshop, led by Dave Roman, will explore how you can put your ideas on paper to tell creative, visual stories.
  • How to Submit to Magazines and Newspapers. 1 p.m. Many writers dream of seeing their work published in newspapers and magazines, but are unsure how to achieve their goal.. Learn the tips of the trade from Laura Sturza, who will talk about how to prepare work for publication, researching prospective magazines and newspapers, writing a compelling pitch, learning best practices for keeping track of submissions and celebrating the successes and heartaches that come with the process.
  • Creating Memorable Characters. 2 p.m. Learn how to create characters that pop off the page in this prompt-filled workshop designed to create distinctive and memorable characters. This workshop, led by Caroline Bock, will provide fast and fun exercises on description and dialogue.
  • How to Write a Thriller. 3 p.m. Learn how to write a thriller with John DeDakis. This workshop offers an overview that demystifies and deconstructs how it is done—from the germ of an idea, through the creative process, with an eye on getting a finished book into the hands of potential fans. Discover the necessary components that make up a thriller and look at how to tap into your subconscious and life experiences to transform them into a book-length project.
  • Finish Your Novel. 4 p.m. Have you been working and reworking the beginning of your novel but cannot seem to push past a certain point? This workshop, led by Eva Langston, will discuss common writer roadblocks and practical tips for overcoming them. It will talk about making a plan for finishing your novel, setting deadlines and learning ways to hold yourself accountable to your goals. This workshop is for anyone who is ready to finally type “the end.”
For the workshop schedule and more information about instructors, visit the Adult & Teen Workshops page of the festival website. There also will be Children’s Workshops geared to young writers, ages elementary school through high school.

More information about the book festival is available at gaithersburgbookfestival.org.