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THE WORKSHOPS
Writing workshops led by acclaimed authors Michelle Brafman, Margaret Talbot, Tope Folarin, and E. Ethelbert Miller.
“Writing the Hard Stories.”
festival workshops
our presenters
“A” Block
WORKSHOPBIO
workshop “a” block (FICTION)
Taking Your Right Brain Out for a Spin
Michelle Brafman
The goal of this multi-genre prompt workshop is simply to move the pen. No judgment. No pressure. No writing experience necessary. Guided prompts and gentle, supportive feedback will help beginners and seasoned writers find their pathways into new and existing projects. Plus, we’ll have fun.
workshop PRESENTER
Michelle Brafman

Michelle Brafman is a writer and educator. Her debut novel, “Washing the Dead,” was featured in Book Riot’s compilation of 100 essential books on women and religion. Her second work, “Bertrand Court,” showcases stories that have garnered numerous accolades, including a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology.

Michelle’s essays have graced the pages of Oprah Daily, O Quarterly, Slate, LitHub, The Forward, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Tablet, and other publications.

She instructs fiction writing at the Johns Hopkins MA in Writing program and is the founder of Glen Echo Workshops, where she leads monthly multi-genre workshops and teaches summer college essay writing classes.

WORKSHOPBIO
workshop “a” block (NON-FICTION)
Pitching Non-Fiction
Margaret Talbot
Do you have an essay, an op-ed, a memoir or any other piece of non-fiction you’ve been wanting or trying to write and/or publish? Bring us your pitch, and we’ll give you editorial feedback that could move it ahead.
workshop PRESENTER
Margaret Talbot

Margaret Talbot has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2004. Formerly a Contributing Writer at The New York Times Magazine and Executive Editor of The New Republic, her articles and essays have been featured in esteemed collections, including “The Best of the Best American Science Writing” and “The Art of the Essay.”

Talbot, a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, was a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. Her memoir/biography, “The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century,” published in 2012, received acclaim from USA Today as a “fascinating social history of America” and Slate praised it, saying “Talbot has woven a tale as romantic and vivid as any film could hope to be, while still seeing every bit of it plain.”

Her latest work, “By the Light of Burning Dreams: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Second American Revolution,” co-authored with her brother David Talbot, was released by HarperCollins in 2021.

WORKSHOPBIO
workshop “a” block (FICTION & memoir)
writing the hard stories
Monica Mische and
Jarvis Slacks
This workshop will share strategies for inspiring and supporting new writers as they tackle “the hard stories” in both fiction and memoir. Provides writing frameworks as well as tips for fostering deep engagement and vulnerability. Good for writing teachers/coaches but also for anyone interested in telling that story that needs to be told.
workshop PRESENTER
Monica Mische and
Jarvis Slacks

Monica Mische is a Professor at Montgomery College, Rockville, where she teaches composition and developmental English, coaches students with disabilities, and helps edit the Potomac Review. She holds a PhD in literature from the Catholic University of America. When time allows, she writes non-fiction.

Jarvis Slacks is a Professor at Montgomery College, Rockville, where he teaches composition and creative writing. He holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina and, in his own writing, focuses primarily on fiction. By advising students in Humanities, he hopes to give students the same opportunities that he had: “Sometimes, we only need a chance. “

“b” Block
WORKSHOPBIO
workshop “B” block (FICTION)
Rendering Your Life on the Page
Tope Folarin

In this workshop we will examine the challenges and joys of autobiographical writing, and the ethics of including your family in your work. We will read passages from autobiographical novels featuring the authors’ family members, discuss methods of transforming memory into art, and conclude with a writing exercise.

workshop PRESENTER
tope folarin

Tope Folarin is a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington DC. He serves as Director of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Lannan Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Georgetown University.

He is the recipient of the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Whiting Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other awards. His debut novel, A Particular Kind of Black Man, was published by Simon & Schuster.

Photo Courtesy of Valerie Woody
WORKSHOPBIO
workshop “B” block (NON-FICTION)
unpacking the literary suitcase and discovering the memoir beneath one’s undergarments
E. Ethelbert Miller

Everyone seems to be carrying around ideas for a memoir these days. Should you write one? Why? What mistakes should you avoid? Workshop participants will examine and discuss recently published memoirs. They will also open their literary suitcases for inspection.

workshop PRESENTER
E. Ethelbert Miller
E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist and author of two memoirs and several poetry collections. He hosts the WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and hosts and produces The Scholars on UDC-TV which received a 2020 Telly Award. Miller is Associate Editor and a columnist for The American Book Review. He was given a 2020 congressional award from Congressman Jamie Raskin in recognition of his literary activism, awarded the 2022 Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award by the Peace and Justice Studies Association, and named a 2023 Grammy Nominee Finalist for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. Miller’s latest book is How I Found Love Behind the Catcher’s Mask, published by City Point Press.
Photo Courtesy of Rick Reinhard
WORKSHOPBIO
workshop “C” block (non-FICTION)
Listing Your Way to a (Lyric) Essay
Randon Billings Noble
Explore different ways in which the humble list can be transformed into a creative – perhaps lyric – essay. In this session we’ll start by talking about the ways list-making can spur your creative practice. We’ll then look at some examples of list-based essays – from Sei Shonagon’s 11th-century classic “Hateful Things” to more contemporary work by writers like Danez Smith and Han Kang. Then we’ll do some generative writing exercises that will lead you to a list-based essay of your own. Participants will leave with a new understanding of the essay (lyric and otherwise) as well as new work. This session welcomes writers of all genres, interests, and levels.
workshop PRESENTER
Randon Billings Noble

Randon Billings Noble is an essayist who has two books published by the University of Nebraska Press: her collection Be with Me Always (2019) and her anthology of lyric essays, A Harp in the Stars (2021). Other work has appeared in the Modern Love column of The New York Times, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. Currently she is the founding editor of the online literary magazine After the Art and teaches in West Virginia Wesleyan’s Low-Residency MFA Program and Goucher’s MFA in Nonfiction Program.

You can read more at www.randonbillingsnoble.com.

contact us

111 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: +1 240-426-0770
E-mail: fscottfestival1@gmail.com