Thursday, November 21, 2019

Publication: Teacher Voice Anthology

I'm very excited to have four poems coming out in the new anthology of work by teachers, Teacher Voice, published by Malarkey Books.

If you're interested in pre-ordering your copy, here are the details:

In collaboration with our friends at @MythicPicnic, Malarkey Books is proud to publish Teacher Voice, an anthology of writing by teachers. Edited by DeMisty D. Bellinger and Alan Good, both college teachers, this book features stories, poems, and essays by thirteen talented teachers.

We are taking preorders now (click here), and the first copies should ship in December. Please select Media Mail or First Class for shipping.

The cover was designed by Stuart Buck (@stuartmbuck on Twitter).

Featured writers:

Tomas Moniz
Shannon McLeod
Maya White-Lurie
Scott Garson
Wandeka Gayle
Noah Cain
Derek Heckman
Carman C. Curton
James Tate Hill
Chloe Yelena Miller
Siân Griffiths
Clarence Barbee
Jonathan Persinger

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Poetry for Kids

I have very fond memories of reading Shel Silverstein books as a child and was ridiculously excited when our 6 year-old came home asking to read Where the Sidewalk Ends. His teacher had read some poems in class and he thought I'd like them, too. I surprised him by pulling my childhood copy of the book down from the shelf and we started reading immediately.

Poetry has a bad reputation here in the U.S. Folks grow up scared of poetry or overly enthused that it can "mean anything" because "no grammar rules apply." Of course, there's no reason to be afraid and yes, there are some fundamental guidelines that can help a poem be a poem.

Here are some books and lists to get you started reading poetry with your child:

Shel Silverstein (author page)

About the book Poetry Speaks to Children (NPR)

10 Wonderful Children’s Poets You Should Know, article by Emily Temple (LitHub)

Gwendolyn Brooks’s Trailblazing Vintage Poems for Kids, Celebrating Diversity and the Universal Spirit of Childhood, article by Maria Popova (brainpickings)

Poems Kids Like (

Black History Month: Poems for Kids (

Children's Poetry (poetry

Joseph Coelho’s top 10 new poetry books every child must read (Guardian)

50 Must-Read Poetry Books for Kids, article by Margaret Kingsbury (BookRiot)

Friday, November 1, 2019

National Novel Writing Month

November 1st marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo! If you are working on any project (it doesn't even have to be prose), you'll find encouragement everywhere to help keep your writing every day. The official goal is to write 50,000 words of your first draft in 30 days.

Everyone writes differently. I tend to quickly write early drafts that are very long and need a lot of editing. Others write very, very slowly. If you decide to participate in this month, my advice is to use the encouragement and community to amplify what you already do well. If you tend to write a lot, do that. If you tend to write slowly, give yourself the time to do that.

Today, make a goal that is attainable for this month's schedule and then re-group at the end of the month to see what you accomplished and how you can continue this momentum. You might focus on time (how long will you write each day?) or word count (how many words on the page can you reach each day?)

Happy writing!

Some resources:
Official NaNoWriMo website
Follow the hashtag on Twitter to read what writers are accomplishing: #NaNoWriMo2019
Related events and online resources from the DC Public Library
Female identifying writers might join the Facebook Binders (and then look for the endless subgroups)
TED talks about writing
Reddit for Writers: 47 Writing Subreddits to Explore by Jess Zafarris (Writer's Digest)
NaNoWriMo Begins! 30 Tips for Conquering Your 30-Day Writing Challenge by Jess Zaffaris (Writer's Digest)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Advanced Memoir Writing Workshop at Politics and Prose Bookstore (Jan. 2020)

I'm excited to be offering a new class at Politics and Prose Bookstore this winter: Advanced Memoir Writing Workshop. The details are below; please register through the bookstore. Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

The class will be held in the condo around the corner from the flagship location (5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20008).

Advanced Memoir Writing Workshop 

Five Wednesdays: Jan. 22, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, 12, (skip Feb. 19) Feb. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m.

$250 (10% off for members)
Do you have a memoir manuscript started that you’re ready to discuss and critique in a workshop?  The first class we’ll focus entirely on the craft of writing and setting workshop critique guidelines. In the following classes, we will dedicate a full hour to each student’s submission and spend the additional time deepening our craft discussion based on the submissions. Students will submit 1,500 words (about 6 pages double spaced) and an outline (no more than 5 pages double-spaced) after the first class. Each student will be expected to write at least one page double-spaced in response to the submissions following guidelines. Each writer will receive this feedback and additional feedback from the instructor.


1.     Have taken a memoir writing workshop and/or had creative non-fiction prose published.

2.     Have 1,500 words and a detailed outline from a memoir manuscript ready to submit for feedback.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Halloween Fundraiser!

Cover of the Halloween Zine (English)

The six-year-old and I are running a fundraiser to help immigrants to the United States. If you email me (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com) a donation receipt - of any amount - to RAICES, I will send you the PDFs for his original Halloween zine in the language(s) of your choosing: English, Arabic, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Persian or Spanish. I'll also send you instructions on how to fold the paper into a zine.

We are missing our friends currently stalled in India (read more about them here in the Washington Post). We are feeling how our nation has been changing these last few years. This multi-language book project and fundraiser does its own tiny part in bridging the gap between cultures and languages. We believe in the mission of RAICES and hope to support their work through this project. 

The six-year-old is very interested in writing books. If you an adult with a kindergartener in the Washington, D.C., area and would like to make your own book together, you might be interested in taking the class that the six-year-old and I are co-teaching at the Writer's Center on Saturday, November 23. You can register through the Writer's Center directly here.

How to join this fundraiser: 

2. Email me your receipt (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com and list the language(s) of the zines that you' like emailed to you. Each zine is a single piece of paper that you can print out and then cut and fold according to the directions that I will also email to you.

3. Want to help some more? Can you translate the book into a language not listed above? Let me know and I will send you a blank version to fill in or you can email me the words. There are three sentences total, so it shouldn't be too hard. Thank you to the friends who have already helped with translations!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Publication: Poems in Two Cities Review

Thank you to Two Cities Review for publishing three of my poems:

Three Weeks Early
I Knew

These poems are from a manuscript that narrates a miscarriage, difficult birth and postpartum depression. 

Please read these poems if you are in a good place considering these subjects. If you're having a hard time, I encourage you to seek help from your doctor. I cannot express how much my doctor and therapist helped me in that period. Writing these poems also helped me to clarify my feelings at the time.

From the same poetry manuscript, you can also listen or read online: 
Composer Lauren Spavelko set some poems from the manuscript to music (here, under Baby Book)
Almost Seven Months in Crack the Spine 
Short Duet / Dualities, Figs and Objects in Literary Mama