Best Resources For Aspiring Writers In Washington DC

July 29, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

As an aspiring writer, you could use a little help every now and then. A writer’s conference, critique group or simply an opportunity for unbiased feedback could do you a world of good. When you emerge from the solitude of your craft, these upcoming writing events could be just what you’ve been looking for.

Workshop Your Novel
The Writer’s Center
4508 Walsh St.
Bethesda, MD 20815
(301) 654-8664

Date: Through Sept. 4, 2013

Aspiring authors, this is the perfect opportunity to get some eyeballs on your latest writing project, and not just the opening pages or a few chapters, but the whole shebang. During this creative workshop, writers have the opportunity to share their entire novel with peers. Just submit an overview of your book-in-progress, along with two scenes–one that represents what you feel is the strongest portion of the book and the other demonstrating what you think needs a little more work. During the class, group discussions will workshop each student’s book as a whole, while writing activities will address craft. Near the end of the class, there will also be a discussion about how to get your book into the hands of readers.

National Book Festival
National Mall
Washington, DC 20565
(202) 426-6841

Date: Sept. 21-22, 2013

The 13th annual National Book Festival offers aspiring writers and readers a smorgasbord of the nation’s biggest and brightest literary talents from every genre and style–all concentrated on the National Mall. With President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as honorary chairs for the event, this year’s festival will showcase authors, poets and illustrators all stationed at various pavilions where readers and writers can meet and greet, and readers can get their books signed. Participants will also enjoy special entertainment and a variety of activities. Sponsored by the Library of Congress, this year’s event will include big names such as William P. Jones, Margaret Atwood, Khaled Hosseini, Barbara Kingsolver, Terry McMillan, Brad Meltzer, Joyce Carol Oates and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey–to name a few.

Related: Best Books About DC

Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival
Washington DC Jewish Community Center–Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts
1529 16th St. N.W. at Q St.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 518-9400

Date: Oct. 6-16, 2013

This literary festival is a great opportunity to meet and greet local authors in the DC area. At the festival’s Local Author Fair, attendees will be able to hear three-minute presentations from metro-area authors regarding their newly published books. Those books, many of which will contain Jewish themes or be of interest to the Jewish community, will be available for purchase. There will also be literary giveaways and an opportunity to network with readers and writers at a wine and cheese reception. Past participants have included authors Ariel Sabar, Alicia Oltuski, Sandra Beasely, Alan Margolis and Liliane Willens.

Related: Most Community-Centered Bookstores In Washington DC

Baltimore Writers’ Conference
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252
(410) 704-5196

Date: Nov. 16, 2013

Sponsored by Johns Hopkins University and Towson University, the 21st annual Baltimore Writers’ Conference is a program which offers seminars that focus on writing and publishing fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. There are also writing critiques provided by published authors and other professionals within the publishing industry. Past facilitators have included such authors as Jessica Anya Blau, Geoffrey Becker, Jerry Gabriel and Susi Wyss, as well as creative nonfiction writer Michael Downs. So bring your work-in-progress and prepare to gather some pearls of wisdom as you continue to hone your writing skills with this great opportunity.

Kevin Don Porter is the author of MISSING — a creepy, yet humorous, mystery novel. Visit his website at

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