On the first Friday of every month galleries and shops in the Town of Leesburg, Virginia, remain open into the evening, showcasing the town’s historic and artistic heritage. Visitors and locals stroll the quaint brick walkways and wander in and out of art studios, specialty stores, and restaurants, often to the lively music of a fife and drum corps. Meanwhile in the lower level of the Leesburg Town Hall, writers and those who love the written word gather to enjoy programs focused on craft.
Northern Virginia Writers is a special committee of the Writer’s Center. Formed in 1998 with the help of a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund to “expand participation in arts and culture,” we offer these literary First Fridays in partnership with the Town of Leesburg. Everyone is welcome.
NVW audiences range from beginning writers to seasoned professionals. Our long list of distinguished past speakers includes Ursula Le Guin, Henry Taylor, Tony Horwitz, and Geraldine Brooks. We’ve heard Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward P. Jones talk about the “power of place” and best-selling author Diane Chamberlain explain how to create characters so real we’d be tempted to claim them as dependents on our tax returns. Last fall we held a “Leesburg Idol” contest, our own writer’s version of the popular TV show. A team of literary agents led by head judge Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management), one of NVW’s founding members, presided over the event. The winner received a free eight-week Writer’s Center workshop.
NVW programs start at 7:30 pm, so there is time to walk around historic Leesburg and enjoy dinner beforehand. Our 2009 season begins with our February 6th “Icebreaker.” Warm up with a cup of cocoa, unleash your creativity, and meet other area writers. Programs continue on the first Friday of each month with the exception of July, August, and December. This year we’ll talk about ways to hook your readers, explore strategies to help you write every day, and look at creative tools such as word collages to keep your writing fresh. We’ll discuss the often circuitous route to publication and share tips on writing the personal essay. Visit our page on the Writer’s Center Web site for more information: https://www.writer.org> click on the “About” tab> Northern VA Writers.
General Admission is $6; Admission for Writer’s Center members and Town of Leesburg Residents is $4. You may pay at the door or register in advance online. This year, we are offering a Season Pass for all eight 2009 NVW First Friday programs. To purchase the pass, please go to the Writer’s Center’s Web site. https://www.writer.org
We hope to see you out in Leesburg in 2009!
Ellen Braaf and Louise Baxter, NVW Co-chairs
About Ellen Braaf:Ellen R. Braaf: MS, freelancer, ghostwriter, reviewer, teacher, has published fiction, nonfiction, and humor for children and adults. Author of six science books for PowerKids Press, Ellen has been a columnist and feature writer for ASK magazine (Arts and Sciences for Kids) since it was launched by the Cricket Group and Smithsonian magazine in 2002. She serves as Mid-Atlantic Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and as Co-chair of Northern Virginia Writers. Ellen is a Writer’s Center instructor and serves on the Board of Directors.