Thursday, October 29, 2015

DC-Area Poets: See Your Work on a Bus!

From my friend, Kim Roberts:

Call for Poems: Moving Words 2016

Thousands of commuters could be reading your poetry!

Poetry in Arlington is quite literally on the move.  The annual poetry contest Moving Words is now open for submissions. Deadline: January 11, 2016.  The work of six winning poets will be printed on colorful placards and displayed prominently inside area buses, enlivening the ride for thousands of commuters. This year’s Moving Words competition is juried by poet, editor and literary curator, Francisco Arag√≥n.

Six winners will have their poem displayed inside Arlington Transit’s (ART) Buses for three months between April and September 2016 where it will be seen by thousands of riders. They will also each receive a $250 honorarium, and will be invited to give a public reading of their work in April 2016 during National Poetry Month.  The Moving Words Program was launched in 1999, conceived by award-winning poet and literary historian Kim Roberts (co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly), who continues to consult with the program.

Poets who live in the D.C. Metro transit area and are over 18 years old are eligible to enter.  There is no fee to enter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November 4: Shop Opp at Union Market in DC...Shopping Extravangaza!

This looks like a fun time...I'll be here selling/signing books, but I'm going to find it hard not to stray a bit to see what else is going on!

From the My Little Bird website:

Save the Date–November 4!

COME TO MyLittleBird’s first Shop Opp, a pre-holiday gift-shopping extravaganza!

We’ll be at Dock 5, the cool industrial-vibe event venue at DC’s verrrry cool Union Market in the city’s wholesale district off New York Avenue NE. 2 to 8 pm. Be there or be . . . very sad.

Who’s going to be selling at the sale?

Well, to start, the outrageously popular Scout BagsCore 72, bringing activewear and lotsa gifts for the active lifestyle; Yinibini Baby, with cute cotton clothes; Erwin Pearl, whose accessories last month made their local debut at Tysons; the National Museum of Women in the Arts gift shop; Via Umbria, with fabulous Italian imports; for guy gifts, The Grooming Lounge;The Cheeky Puppy (woof!); great selections from Sophie Blake New York,Urban Pearl and J.McLaughlinJoe Elbert‘s hand-crafted furniture, made from hardwood trees felled by the 2012 derecho. And how could we forgetShoeLaLa and the online home decor store Mintwood Home!? And more, of course–about 30 vendors.

We’ll offer skincare analysiscustom-color lipstick, rugs, vintage jewelry, and much more. Oh, and two tables of DC authors signing and selling their new books (thanks to Upshur Street Books). [That's me!!!!!!!!!]

Have we forgotten something? Yes: refreshments from Teaism and Occasions and goodie bags from Bluemercury and Follain.

So please come! Wander by in the afternoon. Stop by after work. We’ll be there waiting for you. Bring girlfriends. Bring boyfriends. Bring your holiday shopping list. (And on top of all this wonderfulness, there’s lots of free parking plus a whole market full of vendors downstairs–hear me, Salt & Sundry and Righteous Cheese?)

MyLittleBird Shop Opp, at Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, 2 to 8 pm. More information: 202-213-6916.


VA Classes on Memoir & Publishing

Some local classes of note for VA writers:

From Memory to Memoir: Writing Your Life's Stories(NOVA Annandale). Explore the literary elements of plot, setting, character, and theme, and use them to recreate some of the events and relationships that have influenced your life. Instructor: Nina Sichel, Nov. 4-Dec. 16, 7-9 p.m. Call 703.323.3168 to register or register online at

On Creative Change and Transformation: A Guided Writing Program (Vienna Community Center).  This six-part workshop combines writing exercises and discussion to explore personal change and creativity. Instructor: Nina Sichel, Nov. 5-Dec. 17, 1-3 p.m. Call 703-255-6360 to register or register online at

Publishing Your Manuscript (Fairfax County ACE). Guidance for authors who wish to sell their writing, including digital and other forms of self-publishing. Instructor: Joanne Glenn, Saturday, Nov. 7, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Call 703-658-1201 to register.

The Smart and Savvy Writer (Fairfax County ACE). How do you know if the "contract" you've been offered is a sweet deal or a scam? This class will present lessons learned, from writers who've "been there," so you can learn from their experiences. Instructor: Joanne Glenn. Saturday, Nov. 7, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Call 703-658-1201 to register.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

DC Reading!

Join me if you can:

~reading and conversation and celebration!

Saturday, October 17
6PM ~ 7PM
Politics & Prose Bookstore
Washington, DC
Free & open to the public


Monday, October 5, 2015

Why Readers Ask "Did It Really Happen?"

I have a piece up on Literary Hub today, pondering why readers always want to know if the events in a novel or short story “really happened”:

As a fiction writer, it’s my job to fool you, to trick you into thinking that something happened, that the woman riding the Greyhound with the ring of mosquito bites on her upper arm exists, that the just-baked pie cooling on the cork trivet on the table is apple not pumpkin. We want to believe. That’s why we pick up stories, because we want to be carried off into this distant world; what happened next, we whine, did the boy get the girl? So why can’t you relax into the story, why must you ask the question, oh readers, or wonder in the secret places of your heart, or pretend you don’t care but then do a little research into the author’s life: Did it really happen? If writers were leading the complicated and conflicted lives they write about, they wouldn’t have much (any?) time for writing. We love to think writers are more interesting than the average person, but I’m not sure that’s true. Some are, some aren’t—just like average people. No one is average anyway. Readers are nosy. People are nosy. Part of the question is simple nosiness. But only part. 

Also, you really should subscribe to Literary Hub. Their daily email pulls together the most interesting essays/interviews/literature on writing and writers from around the web. And there’s always something you must read on the Literary Hub itself…in short, perfect for procrastination! Here’s more info:


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.