Gaithersburg Book Festival to Feature Free Workshops on Spanish Creative Writing, Writing Techniques and Publishing | Communities

Want to self-publish or submit your work? Perhaps you are interested in honing your memoir, fiction, poetry, or creative writing skills in English or Spanish? Or maybe you thought about creating a picture book? Whatever your literary dreams, the 2022 Gaithersburg Book Festival has a workshop for you.

Free writing workshops for adults (16 and older) will be offered during the festival, which takes place Saturday, May 21 at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm (506 S. Frederick Ave.) in Gaithersburg, Md. The workshops are available on a first come, first served basis and will take place in the workshop tent for adults and teens.

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

How to self-publish your work in multiple formatsAlice Langholt, Ph.D.


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

Learn character, learn voiceLeah Henderson


The voice is the soul of the story, the element that magically draws us in, often with just a few lines. The writers want nothing more than to execute it. But which comes first, creating an unforgettable character or creating an unforgettable voice? By examining the delicate dance between the relationship between character and voice, this workshop will explore how elements like pacing, 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 MemoirsJohn DeDakis


You don’t have to be old, famous or a former president to have a story to tell. Everyone has personal experiences worth capturing and passing on to others. During this session, participants will explore strategies for identifying meaningful themes and anecdotes from their lives and then shaping them into a cohesive whole.

How to submit a short text for publicationArthur Klepchukov

1 p.m.

Perhaps you have written a few stories, poems or essays and would like to know where and how to submit your work for publication. What is the best draft to send? How do you choose from the deluge of submission opportunities? How do you make sense of the submission guidelines? Find out what tools and resources exist to help you on your journey to publication in this informative workshop for writers who want to start their journey to publishing in literary journals or magazines.

Escribiendo inicios y fronteras (Beginnings and frontiers of writing)Ofelia Montelongo

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

Durante este taller los escritores podrán tener la oportunidad de leer fragments 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 boundaries. The goal is to step out of our comfort zones and play with the beauty of language .)

Write and recite poemsJoy Jones

3 p.m.

Write & Recite is a secure space for creation and sharing. Participants will write original poems by examining examples from established poets as well as talented amateurs. The facilitator will explain the use of metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia and other techniques that help to make writing clearer, richer and more lively, and will give tips for reading aloud and managing nervousness. Teen students are invited to participate in a teen poetry slam after the workshop.

Building a writing practice that worksMelanie Figg

4 p.m.

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

Writing a picture book: 6 essentials!Carla Mae Jansen

5 p.m.

Today’s picture books are more than just a story and a few pictures. Join this workshop to discuss six essential aspects of picture books and find out how these aspects are used in some award-winning books. Also bring your own manuscripts and ideas – if there is time, the instructor will provide feedback.

For workshop schedule and more information about the instructors, visit the Page Adult & teen workshops of the Festival’s website. There will also be Children’s workshops is aimed at young writers, from primary school to high school.

About the Gaithersburg Book Festival

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual celebration of books, writers, and literary excellence. One of the Washington, D.C. metro area’s premier literary events, 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 guest appearances of authors, discussions and dedications; writing workshops; a children’s village; on-site sale of new and used books; literary exhibitors and food, drink, ice cream and more. Admission is FREE and a 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, Shady Grove Universities, Asbury Methodist Village, Web Mobile Image, C-SPAN Book TV and Washington Parent, and is hosted 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 the continued appreciation for all things literary. For more information, please visit, follow us on Twitter @GburgBookFest or like us on Facebook.