Looking to self-publish or submit your work? Maybe you are interested in honing your skills writing memoirs, fiction, poetry, or creative writing in English or Spanish? Or perhaps you've considered authoring a picture book? Whatever your literary dreams, the 2022 Gaithersburg Book Festival has a workshop for you.

Free writing workshops for adults (16+) will be offered during the Festival, taking place Saturday, May 21, at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm (506 S. Frederick Ave.) in Gaithersburg, Md. Workshops are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be held in the Adult and Teen Workshop Tent.

Attendees are invited to participate in any or all of these workshops:

How to Self-Publish Your Work in Multiple Formats – Alice Langholt, Ph.D.

10 a.m.        

Learn how to create e-books, paperbacks and audiobooks quickly in this inspiring workshop that will get you started self-publishing immediately. Everyone will have the chance to work within a framework that will be instantly applicable to creating your first e-book, and on the way to self-publishing with ease. Inspiration and practical application are combined in this productive hour.    

Learn Character, Learn Voice – Leah Henderson

11 a.m.

Voice is the soul of the story, the element that magically pulls us in, often with only a few lines. Writers want nothing more than to execute it. But what comes first, creating an unforgettable character or crafting an unforgettable voice? By looking at the delicate dance between the relationship of character and voice, this workshop will explore how elements like rhythm, life experience and word choice play into creating a distinct character voice that becomes the undeniable and unforgettable soul of the story.     

Capturing Your Story: The Art of the Memoir – John DeDakis


You don’t have to be old, famous, or an ex-President to have a story to tell. Everyone has personal experiences worth capturing and conveying to others. In this session, participants will explore strategies for identifying significant themes and anecdotes from their life, then molding them into a coherent whole.

How to Submit Short Writing for Publication – Arthur Klepchukov

1 p.m.

Perhaps you've written a few stories, poems or essays and want to know where and how to submit your work for publication. What's the best draft to send? How do you choose among the deluge of submission opportunities? How do you make sense of submission guidelines? Learn what tools and resources exist to help you on your journey to publication in this informative workshop for writers who want to begin their paths to publication in literary journals or magazines.


Escribiendo inicios y fronteras (Writing Beginnings and Borders) – Ofelia Montelongo

2 p.m. - Note: This workshop will be fully conducted in Spanish for writers who write in Spanish.

Durante este taller los escritores podrán tener la oportunidad de leer fragmentos de prosa y poesía para practicar inicios y escribir sobre fronteras. El objetivo es salirnos de lo cotidiano  y jugar con la belleza del lenguaje.  (During this workshop writers will have the opportunity to read excerpts of prose and poetry to practice beginnings and writing without borders. The goal is to get out of our comfort zones and play with the beauty of language.)

Write & Recite Poems – Joy Jones

3 p.m.

Write & Recite is a safe space for creating and sharing. Participants will write original poems by looking at examples from established poets as well as talented amateurs. The presenter will explain the use of metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia and other techniques that help make writing clearer, richer and more vivid, and will give pointers for reading aloud and managing nervousness. Teenage students are invited to participate in a teen poetry slam after the workshop.      

Build a Writing Practice that Works – Melanie Figg

4 p.m.

Want to write more often? Learn how to create a sustainable writing routine in this workshop led by a certified professional coach. The group will discuss goals, obstacles to success, bust some myths that hold writers back, and take note of some common pitfalls. Leave with a renewed commitment to your work and a strong plan to put in place.

Writing a Picture Book: 6 Essentials! – Carla Mae Jansen

5 p.m.

Today's picture books are much more than just a story and some pictures. Join this workshop to discuss six essential aspects of picture books and discover how those aspects are used in some award-winning books. Bring your own manuscripts and ideas too – if there's time, the instructor will give you feedback.   


For the workshop schedule and more information about instructors, visit the Adult & Teen Workshops page of the Festival website. There will also be Children’s Workshops geared to young writers, ages elementary school through high school.

About the Gaithersburg Book Festival

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual all-day celebration of books, writers and literary excellence. One of the premier literary events in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the 2022 Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm (506 S. Frederick Ave.) in Gaithersburg, Md. Activities will include author appearances, discussions and book signings; writing workshops; a Children’s Village; onsite sales of new and used books; literary exhibitors and food, drink, ice cream and more. Admission is FREE, and free accessible shuttle service will be available from Shady Grove Metro and Lakeforest Mall. The Gaithersburg Book Festival is sponsored in part by the David and Mikel Blair Family Foundation, The Universities at Shady Grove, Asbury Methodist Village, Web Mobile Image, C-SPAN Book TV and Washington Parent, and is put on in partnership with Politics & Prose Bookstore, Montgomery County Public Schools, Washington Independent Review of Books, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton, rio, and Dawson's Market. The Gaithersburg Book Festival also hosts author events in Montgomery County throughout the year as a way to encourage continued appreciation for all things literary. For more information please visit www.gaithersburgbookfestival.org, follow us on Twitter @GburgBookFest or like us on Facebook.

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