Upcoming panel for Western Maryland Independent Lit Festival

If you’ve ever sat in a creative writing class, you’ve probably heard the old adage: “Write what you know.” While this may or may not be good advice, what about writing where you know?

This fall, I’ll be moderating “The Geography of Writing: Writing Where We Know” panel at the 10th annual Western Maryland Independent Lit Festival. The festival occurs on October 14-16, 2016. I’ll keep you updated about what day and time this panel will be held.

Our panel will focus on how place invades our writing. The panelists and I live in the DMV area, and the city of D.C. and suburbs of Maryland and northern Virginia shape our words.

My session features the incredible Diana Bolton, the editor and founder of District Lit, Meg Eden, an incessant writer and lit mag submitter, and Kelly Ann Jacobson, an author of many books and editor of anthologies. These amazing ladies will share the importance of place in their work.

The Western Maryland Independent Lit Festival occurs every year in Frostburg, Maryland — a small town in my state I’ve never been to. I can’t wait to explore and be surrounded by other writers.

I hope you can attend the 2016 festival and our panel. See you there!

My panel was chosen for Split This Rock’s 2016 poetry festival

In 2012, Regie Cabico moderated the session on stage versus page poetry, where poets Rachel McKibbens, José Padua, and Jeffrey McDaniel discussed the nuances between them.

If you’d asked 8-year-old, third-grader Marlena where her fable writing would take her, she never would have suggested that she would one day speak on a creative writing panel. But, 16 years later, I’m grateful and excited to announce that I’m on the Physical Bodies and Poetic Bones panel for the 2016 Split This Rock poetry festival on April 14-17!

My session features the incredible Leeya Mehta, Sarah Sansolo, and Tyler Vile (who I attended the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House with). Diana Bolton, the editor and founder of District Lit, will moderate the panel. I’ll keep you updated about what day and time this panel will be held. While we don’t want to give everything away just yet, our panel will focus on poetry on bodies, ability/disability, gender, and more.

The festival occurs every two years in Washington, D.C. I have attended twice, and have soaked in the rich diversity of panels, readings, workshops, and discussions over lunches. I have attended sessions on gay writers, page versus stage poetry, writing about displacement, and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. The peers you meet, friends you make from across North America and the world, and thoughts you share on writing are invaluable.

I hope you can attend the 2016 festival. Registration will open later this winter. Trust me, it’s well worth it.