This Friday (September 2), I'm avoiding Labor Day traffic and getting on Route 7 to drive to Leesburg, Virginia.
Now, an aside. Route 7 holds a special place in my heart. Many associate it with the Gordian-knot nightmare of Tyson's Corner. But for me it is the winding stretch that goes from my grandmother's house in Seven Corners, out to my family's house adjacent to the Wolf Trap National Park and Filene Center, and then all the way out into the rural areas around Harper's Ferry. It was the first road I ever drove, and it took me everywhere a high schooler could need to go (except, er, my actual high school--had to use the Beltway for that).
Anyway, I'll hop into the car with my mom and drive out Route 7 to Leesburg to be part of the "First Friday" entertainments in their historic and walkable downtown. This is a really cool mix of live acoustic music, wine tasting, art gallery openings, letter press demonstrations, even a comedy hour called "Last Ham Standing." So even if you're not a writer, there will be lots to do. But if you ARE a writer, you might consider joining us for this...
"Projecting Your Voice on the Page" with Sandra Beasley
Northern Virginia Writers First Friday ~ September 2, 2011 ~ 7:30 PM
in the Leesburg Town Hall, 25 W. Market St., Leesburg, VA 20176
Voice: It is perhaps the most elusive element of strong writing. In this presentation, award-winning author and poet Sandra Beasley will discuss how to develop a voice that is immediate, compelling and precise.
Beasley is author of I Was the Jukebox, winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her debut, Theories of Falling, was selected by Marie Howe as the winner of the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. In July of this year, Crown published her memoir, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, which offers a cultural history of food allergies in America and was declared a great summer read by Health magazine. Sandra also is an essayist whose work has been featured in The Washington Post Magazine. She serves on the board of the Writer's Center.
Cost: $4 for members of The Writer's Center and residents of Leesburg; $6 for the general public. For more information, visit www.writer.org or call #301-654-8664.
I'm going to offer a mix of practical tips and observations that will apply to working in both prose and poetry. We'll look at some great examples of clear and forceful voices of authors past. If you've ever found yourself frustrated by a slow opening to your essay--all background, no hook--or a poem idea that feels so alive in your head but falls flat on the page, this seminar is for you. And we'll have fun. It's a Friday night on a holiday weekend! We're going to make this Friday-night worthy.