Free Writer’s Workshop


2020 festival program coming soon!


2019  program below




To further the festival’s mission over the year from one festival to the next, we offer a free writer’s workshop, as well as other events and partnerships.  This year, 2019, the Writer’s Workshop, “All the Write Stuff”, will take place on Saturday, March 30th, at Kensington Park Library.




WHEN: March 30, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Kensington Park Library – 4201 Knowles Ave, Kensington MD 20895

MODERATOR: Steve Piacente, author, life coach, & communications consultant


To register please click —> HERE

Questions?  email Felicia at



  • When you sign up, you can attend one or as many sessions as you want
  • Each author will do a presentation, plus Q&A
  • Bring materials to take notes
  • Refreshments will be served
  • Each session will be valuable for beginners, intermediate and advanced writers


10-10:15 – Welcome, coffee, meet and greet

For more information on the authors/presenters please click —> HERE


Bob Levey

Topic: If you’re a writer trying to make a switch from non-fiction to fiction, this is the session for you! Bob Levey was a longtime columnist for The Washington Post and an almost-as-longtime radio and TV commentator and talk show host. He has taught journalism at six major research universities. LARRY FELDER, CANDIDATE is his first novel.



Elise Bean

Topic: Public policy writing isn’t just for wonks. Your writing can make a difference! Elise Bean worked for U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., as a congressional investigator for nearly 30 years, including 15 at the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Appointed the panel’s staff director and chief counsel in 2003, she is the author of Financial Exposure: Carl Levin’s Senate Investigations into Finance and Tax Abuse.


3 – POETRY FOR ALL LEVELS (11:45-12:30)

Katherine Smith

Topic: Looking for tips to take your poetry to the next level? Katherine Smith’s poetry and fiction have appeared in a number of journals and reviews, among them Journal of the Motherhood InitiativePloughshares, Measure, and Shenandoah. Her first book, Argument by Design, won the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Poetry Prize. Her second, Woman Alone on the Mountain, is available from Iris Press. She currently teaches at Montgomery College in Germantown, where she is poetry editor of the Potomac Review.


LUNCH BREAK – 12:30 – 1 p.m.

3 – WRITER’S SURVIVAL SKILLS (1 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.)

Paul Dickson, author of Leo Durocher

Topic: Every writer knows how difficult it is to make a living at the craft. Join someone who’s survived and prospered as a writer for decades! Paul Dickson has been an independent writer for almost 50 years during which time he has produced more than 60 non-fiction books and numerous newspaper and magazine articles on a variety of subjects. Paul’s latest is the biography, Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son.


4 – WRITING YOUR MEMOIR (1:45 p.m. – 2:25)

Joram Piatigorsky

Topic: They say everyone has a story to tell. But how do you convert your personal story into compelling prose? Attend this session to hear from an author who has turned his story of science into the relatable and well-received memoir, The Speed of Dark. A retired molecular biologist and eye researcher at the National Institutes of Health, Joram was an NIH Distinguished Scientist and the founding Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology at the National Eye Institute.


5 – SOS FOR YOUR SELF-HELP BOOK (2:30 – 3:15 p.m.)

Steve Piacente

Topic: If you’re writing – or considering writing – a self-help book, there are several steps that will help establish your credentials, relate to your audience, and hone your message. Join this session and learn how to fit all the pieces into the puzzle. Steve is the author of three novels and a certified life coach and communications consultant. His new self-help book is, Your New Fighting Stance.



Here are tips on writing from one of our past workshop leaders:

Writing Your Memoir by Patricia Earnest 3/17/2018

Many of us have had someone say, “you need to write a book.” Or we think that we will write about our thoughts, experiences or ideas, someday.

Do you have a deep desire to write your story? If so, think about what your motives are for doing so. Do you want to tell an interesting story and dream of becoming published some day or do you want to make money? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, keep in mind, that getting published and making money on a memoir do not often come to fruition.

I have spoken and consulted with numerous folks in the publishing, script writing and editing profession. Most of them will tell you that almost everyone believes they have a unique story to tell.

If you are committed to this journey, here are my recommendations based on my experience.

  1. Consider your time management. Do you have the time for a writing project? Honestly, I started writing my story as my sons were growing older and did not need me as much. Despite my being a single mother and working, it was an emotionally difficult time for me. Writing gave me solace. It was a distraction. But once I started the undertaking, I was committed to finishing.
  2. Begin with an outline. This will become your roadmap throughout your writing.
  3. Keep a notebook with you for thoughts, memories or events that you think are worth including in your story.  Write down everything that comes to mind. There will be moments when you remember something relevant and you don’t want to forget.
  4. Write as many vivid memories and events that you feel are noteworthy. At the beginning of each chapter, draw in your audience so they will want to keep reading. At the end of each chapter, provide a summary in the last paragraph.
  5. A memoir is your perception of the truth. This doesn’t give permission for falsehoods.
  6. Interview people to confirm facts. Most individuals are happy to provide information for your story.
  7. Make your reader present. Describe smells, sounds, scenes, colors, etc. You want your audience to feel like they are there.
  8. Is there a theme or beating heart that is threaded through your story?  
  9. Decide if you want to change names of people, institutions, etc. If you are using real names of family or acquaintances from your life, request permission. Additionally, see if you can get written approval that you can use real names.
  10. Consult with an attorney. They can advise you on the legalities of using names and particular facts that may be harmful to others or their reputation.
  11. Edit, edit, edit! I cannot say this enough. Find someone locally or a student who can assist you with this. Be aware you will need content and grammatical editing of your work. This will be an expense.
  12. Happy writing.