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.

Price:
$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.

Pre-requisite:

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
Reflex

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



Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Washington, D.C., Fall Workshop

There's still time to register for my remaining 2019 writing workshop! I'd love to see you there.

If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to email me (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

Stay tuned for 2020 workshop announcements soon! In the meanwhile, check out Moonlit's open workshops and Politics and Prose bookstore for local classes.

Remington Standard Typewriter Number 2


Write & Illustrate a Picture Book (For Kindergarteners and their Grownups)
Saturday, November 23 (one morning workshop)
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Click through for the course description and to register.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Publication: 100 Things to Pack on the 100th Day of School



Thank you to MockMom (Sammiches and Psych Meds) for publishing my new piece 100 Things to Pack on the 100th Day of School. I'm sure the parent readers will appreciate the ideas for their own upcoming 100th day of school celebration (wink.)


Friday, October 4, 2019

The Power of Stories

Screenshot of the article, "A D.C. family stranded in India by our dysfunctional immigration system" by Petula Dvorak including a family picture in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

In memoir writing workshops, I open with a discussion of the power of individual stories. Individual stories have the power to make a large, complicated situation tangible and, hopefully, comprehensible.

Our dear friends are in India waiting - and waiting and waiting - for the necessary paperwork to return to their home in Washington, D.C. They spoke recently with Petula Dvorak at the Washington Post about their ongoing experience. The resulting article captures their very human response to an intensely bureaucratic experience.

Please read the article for a glimpse into this family's life in order to better understand a larger situation. Please share the article widely in an effort to educate readers about this experience which is an increasingly common one.

Let's continue to believe in our stories and believe in each other. The result of understanding ourselves and each other through our personal stories? Empathy as we recognize our emotions in others. And then, most importantly in these urgent times, action.