Meet & Greet
Gather with fellow writers and illustrators to build community and get motivated to make more time for your writing and being creative in the new year. Participants will be entered into a raffle to win a watercolor, literary calendar created by local artist Cindy Adelle Richard whose work can be experienced at adellecirca1920.com.
Stop into Bunratty Tavern in Reading (located at 620 Main Street, Reading, MA) on Monday, December 30th, 6:30 to 8:30 PM for The Room to Write’s quarterly Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet. These events are a casual way to gather with a diverse group of writers and illustrators at all levels and genres. TRtW’s meet and greets have become the most accessible and reliable way to connect with creative minds in the north of Boston region.
The vibe is always casual—the people always welcoming and inspirational. Be sure to start 2020 off on a creative note!
This Meet & Greet is sponsored by The Room to Write and located in space being generously provided by Bunratty Tavern with special thanks to Cindy Adelle Richards for the accompanying image and for making her beautiful calendars available.
Contact Colleen Getty at email@example.com with questions or to let us know you will attend. See you on the 30th!
September 23, 2019:
It was another great Meet & Greet! The positive vibes and creative motivation I get from these quarterly gatherings really help propel me a little bit further forward. Last Monday's Marketing Meet & Greet bonanza was no exception. It ruled! Read my recap-turned-itty-bit-rant about putting a price tag on passion in my latest blog entry HERE.
We learned lots about marketing and the professional side of being creative. Everything from the absolute necessity of getting a head shot if you're going to take your creativity to a professional level (and that wasn't just the guy who takes head shots talkin'--it seemed pretty unanimous among the group) all the way up to how to be the person who wrote the book on it (no matter what "it" is).
For those who were there and didn't write down some of the links that were mentioned, several lovely participants forwarded them along to me to pass onto you. Here they are:
Wendy Dennis wrote, "The mention of archetype marketing reminded me of a class I took on just that subject last Spring at the Enterprise Center at Salem Sate University: https://enterprisectr.org. This organization offers a number of useful classes and programs on everything from social media skills to writing business plans, all at no charge. Feel free to forward this info to the group and/or post it online. It is a valuable resource for small business owners." I completely agree with Wendy and have taken a workshop there as well, which is how I met The Story Stylist Gayle Nowak.
Cathy Ballou Mealey shared the link she promised to send re: Copper Dog Books in Beverly. It's always great to learn about a local bookstore. Check out their story here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-bring-copper-dog-books-to-life#/
Kathy Trainor sent along the link for the Institute for Writers: https://www.instituteforwriters.com/ and the Institute for Children's Literature: https://www.instituteforwriters.com/courses/icl-writing-for-children-and-teens/
Kelly Carey mentioned some blogs and things and passed them along to me. Here they are:
* School Visit Pricing: http://www.michellecusolito.com/blog/2018/5/6/school-visits-survey-part-2-pricing
* Writing in Rhyme: https://www.joshfunkbooks.com/lesson-8
* Finding an Agent: http://www.kidlit411.com/
* Great Place for Help if You Are Just Starting Out: http://www.underdown.org/
The event was like a Marketing 101 course--but with a healthy mix of fried pickles and friendly faces. An exceedingly large THANK YOU goes out to the creative minds who joined us to make up the various "Points of Reference" armed with loads of great tips, tricks and advice to share. Thanks go out to:
Ryan Kavanagh (Kryin78) Film production and editing
AnnMarie Gallivan (Create Artisan Studio) Visual art studio, retail and workshops
Euwan Godfrey (Swampscott Neighbors) Magazine article submission and sponsorship
Kelly Carey (24 Carrot Writing) Self-management and setting goals
Meghan Bierenbroodspot (Local Marketing Coordinator) Community outreach
Cami Baker (Mingle to Millions) Networking and Marketing
This Meet & Greet is sponsored by The Room to Write with special THANKS to Meghan Bierenbroodspot and Wahlburgers for hosting the Meet & Greet at their Lynnfield location.
As always--it was a great group of creative human beings always willing to share what they know with anybody who wants to know. Thanks to all those who came out to our Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet and also to those who followed up by sending me some of the links and messages mentioned. I look forward to seeing you at the next quarterly meet and greet!
June 26, 2019:
We were gifted with perfect weather for June's Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet up at Susie's Stories in Rockport, MA. Bearskin Neck has a real knack for making me feel a whole lot taller than I actually am. It's so much fun walking among all the little shops. What a perfect location for a Children's Bookstore!:) It was a treat to see some old friends and new faces. Thanks to Susie and her husband, Doug, for hosting the event. Susie shared the adventurous side of opening a bookstore as well as some of the lessons she learned along the way.
It was so inspiring to see a fellow writer take an idea from a dream to a reality. Susie would love to see you, so stop by!
I can't wait to go back with my kids to Susie's Stories Children's Bookstore at 51 Bearskin Neck (right across from the General Store). That bookstore was so adorable I would have pinched its cheek if it had one. It's a cozy spot where kids will feel right at home surrounded by books individually selected by Susie and Doug, who are both so welcoming and open to hearing your ideas and book selection suggestions. If you're a children's author, it's the perfect spot to have a reading or author event.
March 28, 2019 (For Young Writers:) &
March 20, 2019 (For Adult Writers):
The first Meet & Greet in March was for adult writers and illustrators. We met at Cedric’s Studio and it felt great to pack over twenty people into a comfortable space on a winter’s eve. No matter how many Meet & Greets The Room to Write organizes, it is still pleasantly surprising to experience such a healthy mix of friendly faces and new faces, published writers and emerging writers, visual artists representing everything from photography to painting, and storytellers from every age and outlook.
The second Meet & Greet event was for young writers and illustrators of every age from preschool to high school. Adults aren’t the only ones who crave creativity and the need to be surrounded by others who want to talk shop. With sports and science being the big money-makers these days—kids don’t always get a chance to tuck themselves into words or to sit one-on-one with published writers and illustrators who stand as proof that real human beings are behind the creative words and images kids connect with.
A whopping fifty people popped into the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield on March 28th and thirty-five of them were young people. Thirty-five! How refreshing. The best part is that every parent and grandparent who I have spoken to since that event tells me how their child or grandchild could not stop talking about the experience.
The young people who came out to revel in words and illustration walked away with a journal and pen as well as a free book, signed by the author. The young people in attendance were smitten—smitten with storytelling, both the creation of stories and the act of taking them in.
March turned out to be a wonderful celebration of words for old and young alike. It is always inspiring to see how the simplicity of words and endless possibility of creativity can still win the day despite all that beeps, bumps and blurts around us.
Thank you to all the authors and illustrators who joined us for our youth event, giving so generously of their time on a weekday night: Carol Gordon Ekster, Jannie Ho, Rajani LaRocca, Dianna Sanchez, Laurie Stolarz, Dirk Tiede and Rob Vlock.
Thank you to the Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham and Wakefield, The Savings Bank, Whitelam Books and Follow Your Art Community Studios. Last, but not least, a very special thanks to Jeanne McGonagle for volunteering to help with this event.
If you know a young person who would like to read any of the books given away at the youth event, a copy of each book is being donated to the Beebe Library in Wakefield, along with the second and third volume of Paradigm Shift donated by Dirk Tiede.
The Room to Write was bursting with excitement for our first-ever Book Bash. It was a Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet with a twist towards the holiday shopping spirit. It gave our organization an opportunity to demonstrate to communities north of Boston what our mission is and how we intend to work toward fulfilling it. Readers had the opportunity to meet fifteen local writers and illustrators, to ask them about their books, and to personalize books with a message if it was a gift. The illustrators went one step further and even included an on-the-spot sketch along with their signatures.
Since it was a meet and greet as well as a book signing--several others came by to enjoy community among fellow writers and illustrators. Some took the opportunity to introduce us to their books as well. Beth Costanzo came by with her Scuba Jack series of books for preschool and Kindergarten aged children and Brett Fleishman stopped by with his collection centered around poetry for kids.
Through The Room to Write's efforts to support local writers, we hope to support every step of the writing process--from motivating young and emerging writers to facilitating the process that gets words onto paper, then from polishing those words for an audience to helping books find their way into a reader's hands. The Room to Write's Book Bash had three points guiding it:
Meet & Greet: Writers and Illustrators of all genres and abilities can chat, network and build community
Support Local Art: Writing is art. Illustration is art. We want to help locals purchase local art.
TRtW Fundraiser: A percentage of the total sales were donated back to The Room to Write through B&N's Book Fair program.
Young readers in attendance could complete an author/illustrator scavenger hunt offering them an excuse to go around and find out a little more about the human beings behind the books. It was a wonderful event to promote youth literacy and inspire the next generation of writers and illustrators.
The authors and illustrators in attendance selling and signing their books were Sally Chetwynd, Lyn Wells Clark, Eileen Doyon, Alice Gardner, Lorena Mary Hart, Elaine Magliaro, Jen Malone, Gloria and Merrill Mezikofsky, Sarah Lynne Reul, Susie Rich, Casey W. Robinson, Dianna Sanchez, Marcia Strykowski & Dirk Tiede. It
was a group with a good variety of genres in addition to a healthy mix of traditionally published and self-published authors and illustrators. Sally and Eileen represented adult fiction and non-fiction, while Jen, Susie, Dianna, Marcia and Dirk represented middle grade and young adult. Children's picture books had the biggest showing being very well represented by Lyn, Alice, Elaine, Gloria, Merrill, Sarah, Susie (both middle grade and picture books), and Casey.
We are so grateful for all the talented writers and illustrators who came out to share their love of words and art with all of us and to connect with their readers personally. It really was a great group and an important reminder that there are many ways to support local artists of all mediums--that includes writing. In addition to absorbing words--visitors also got the rare treat of watching art happen right in front of them. Merrill Mezikofsky demonstrated how he turns a blank page into a sketch and then into a vivid piece of artwork. Special thanks to Merrill for the illustration that accompanied our fliers and press release. See his work HERE.If you didn't have time on Monday to get to the Peabody location of Barnes & Noble there still may be a few copies of the books signed by the authors available to purchase, but you'll have to hurry. Check the links to the names listed on the home page of this site to see if there are still copies available or call ahead. Thank you to The Room to Write's board members Roberta Hung, Jeanette Murray and Emily Seward who were in attendance as well as Barnes & Noble for hosting this event.
September 17, 2018:
Over twenty writers and illustrators joined The Room to Write at Whitelam Books located at 610 Main Street, Reading MA for the September installment of our quarterly Meet & Greet, which is a free and casual way to get together with other local writers and illustrators of all genres and levels--this time with the added bonus of meeting Liz Whitelam, owner of Whitelam Books. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions, introduce published books, share the exciting details about books soon-to-be-released, as well as purchase a book or two to support the important role that independent book stores play for local authors and artists.
There was a near 50/50 ratio of writers and illustrators, which is always refreshing and a great opportunity for connecting and possibly sparking future collaborations. A couple of playwrights evened out the mix! Several published authors introduced their books to those in attendance: Susie Rich brought several of her children's books including the timely DUANE: Don't Underestimate Any Natural Elements, Carol Gordon Ekster held up her latest children's book You Know What?, Elaine Magliaro brought Things To Do, Marcia Strykowski had her latest tween novel Roller Boy, Gloria Mezikofsky brought her children's book A Perfectly Snowy Day AND her illustrator (who happens to be her talented husband, Mel:), Sally Chetwynd had a copy of her first novel, Bead of Sand, handy while announcing The Sturgeon's Dance was coming out in November, Hayley Barrett talked about her picture book, Babymoon, being released on April 2, 2019 and sharing the excited anticipation for a new release was Rajani LaRocca with her middle grade novel Middsummer's Mayhem set to release in the summer of 2019.
It was a wonderful event that included sweet treats and even sweeter conversations with some talented individuals. Those writers and illustrators in attendance who are new to the publishing world or who are trying to gather inspiration and information as they increase their creative output enjoyed a warm and welcoming atmosphere in which they were able to do so. Attendees came from as close as "down the street,"Reading, Wakefield, Melrose, North Reading, Peabody, and as far as Bradford, Concord, North Andover, Somerville and even Framingham.
June 18, 2018:
Shortly after participating in Wakefield's Festival by the Lake we enjoyed gathering with other artists at our quarterly Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet which was held at the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library in Wakefield. We had a near even split of writers and illustrators--which was exciting!
Thanks again to the Wakefield Library for allowing us to use their beautiful Trustees Room and to local illustrator Kari Percival for lending us her beautiful illustration below to add some fun and style to our fliers and press release
Thirteen of us attended and nearly everybody brought something to share. This was the first time we incorporated an opportunity to share writing or visual art with the group and it was well received and something we hope to do again in the future.
Local artist Ned Connors brought his portfolio which included a variety of styles and pieces he allowed us to pass around and take a closer look at. It was an inspiring evening.
March 19, 2018
The Room to Write's first-ever YOUNG Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet was a bright spot in this cold, snowy winter! Some young people came for the refreshments but stayed for the creative expression and friendly camaraderie. Others were there to create first and foremost.Over 20 young people brought their curiosity for creativity and their appetite for some sweet treats and hot cocoa. A couple of parents even joined in and got creative alongside their budding artists.
Kidcasso Art Studio brought a variety of art supplies and paper along with their talented teachers: Caitlin, Erin and Jacob to help motivate and guide youth. The Boys & Girls Club's own Barrett, who does the visual art programming at the Wakefield Club, also gave some illustration pointers and motivation--and he LOVED those Watercolor Colored Pencils if anybody is looking to donate a wish-list item to the Club.
Kids really enjoyed using the 6 typewriters available (3 manual and 3 electric). Thanks to Jack Canavan, Fred Kolack, and Jean & John Leary for allowing us to put their retired typewriters back to work with help from one of the few remaining typewriter sales and repair shops, owned by Wakefield native Tom Furrier, in nearby Arlington. Cambridge Typewriter got all the typewriters oiled, inked and ready to rattle off words. PJ Carmichael from Mass Love Distro was on-hand for anybody interested in learning about Zines. Casey, the youth librarian from Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, saw a lot of familiar faces and was able to share information about upcoming library programs for youth with attendees.
All in all it was a great reminder of how a little hot cocoa and a lot of art in its many forms (written, visual, tactile, theatrical and musical) can draw a community together and that young people really enjoy being creative in the real world through very simple and tangible forms. Special thanks to youth artist Erin Rosa for accompanying image.
December 18, 2017:
Fifteen artists had a very festive time at Harrington's Pub in Wakefield, MA on Monday, December 18th. It was so nice to see some familiar faces as well as to meet new faces from the world of writing and illustrating. In addition to Wakefield, artists gathered from Melrose, Winchester, Waltham, Lynn, North Reading, and Stoneham.There was a great representation of a variety of genres and attendees enjoyed getting to know each other as well as being introduced to various projects and ideas to ponder heading into the new year. Gathering with other writers and illustrators is always an opportunity to be both inspired and in awe of the local talent around us.
This Meet & Greet is sponsored by The Room to Write with special thanks to Harrington's Pub for providing a cozy corner to gather along with some tasty treats and especially to to local artist Alice Gardnerfor the accompanying image she allowed us to pair up with our announcements.
Meet & Greets are held on a quarterly basis with the next one planned to be held in March and focused on young writers ages 18 and under.
Pictured in the photo above were the first 7 attendees to arrive ready to enjoy a casual evening sharing conversation with fellow artists.
September 18, 2017:
September's Meet & Greet hosted by The Room to Write at the Albion Cultural Exchange in Wakefield welcomed an enthusiastic group of writers and illustrators who live in Wakefield as well as the neighboring towns of Melrose, Lynnfield, Winchester, Burlington, Bedford, Watertown, Beverly and Salem. The event was a casual way to connect, get motivated and be inspired by other local writers and illustrators while enjoying coffee, tea and something sweet. In addition to having the opportunity to meet other writers and illustrators, attendees had opportunities to network and learn about some local resources available to them. Roberta Hung was in attendance representing the Massachusetts State Poetry Society
that has some local chapters that meet in Beverly and Winthrop. Information was also provided about the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Wakefield Community Access Television, the Wakefield Cultural Council, the Arts Collaborative of Wakefield, as well as a flier to inform people of the Community Conversation organized by Senator Jason Lewis being held Tuesday, September 26th at the Stoneham Theatre titled "Investing in Arts and Culture to Strengthen Our Local Economies."
Writers and illustrators also received information about the Writers' Critique Group that meets every 3rd Thursday of the month and writing hours on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield. Additionally, this was the first opportunity to introduce the idea of a collaboration between The Room to Write (TRtW) and Wakefield Cable Access Television (WCAT) to share the tangible and intangible journey of writing and publishing in a documentary-
This Meet & Greet was sponsored by The Room to Write and located in space being generously provided by the Town of Wakefield’s Albion Cultural Exchange with thanks to Committee Member Doug Henning for helping with setup and breakdown of the event and illustrator Rebekah Bonner for use of her art on the flier and advertisements. If you would like more information about TRtW or anything mentioned above, please contact Colleen Getty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781)621-8056.
June 5, 2017:
The Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet held on Monday, June 5th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, in the Wakefield Community Access Television (WCAT) Studios was a great opportunity to see what a wonderful resource we have here in Wakefield as well as to connect with some new faces.
Six writers gathered--four of which had published books and one with a book going to the printer--to enjoy a sense of community among other writers as well as to talk about their books and the journey a book takes from idea to finished product. We enjoyed a tour of the studio space and were able to meet the staff at WCAT who so graciously allowed us to utilize their conference room for our meeting.
The group discussed some ways in which we could celebrate and present the written word on screen. There was talk of one-on-one interviews with authors, round table author discussions, interviews conducted by student writers, as well as the idea of walking the audience through writing a book by showing the process through revealing the drafts that are written and demonstrating how an idea will start in one place and journey to a very different destination based on various leads as well as a sort of stream-of-consciousness process.
There was also the idea of discussing some of the older and cherished books contained in public libraries as well as the various ways that a writer can publish their work: self-publishing, independent publishing, traditional, online, and on and on.
This event was sponsored by The Room to Write with support from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and located in space generously provided by Wakefield Community Access Television (WCAT).
Thank you to Rebekah Bonner for use of her illustration from the book From the Heart by Rafaela Atkinson.
Read this article from the SCBWI Bulletin to learn more about video marketing:
April 3, 2017:
The Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet held in The Savings Bank’s Community Room on Monday, April 3rd drew another healthy batch of writers and illustrators. The Room to Write is grateful for the support of the many talented individuals in attendance as well as to The SavingsBank and to SCBWI for supporting these outreach efforts. To get the creativity flowing we included a simple writing exercise during this meet and greet where each participant took a few minutes to free-write with a humble fruit or vegetable as their inspiration. It is amazing how ordinary objects can be seen for the first time and transformed by our imaginations.
This event was sponsored by The Room to Write with support from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and was held in a beautiful Community Room generously provided by The Savings Bank.
February 20, 2017:
The Writers and Illustrators Meet & Greet held in the Teen Room at the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield on Monday, February 20th was a refreshingly casual and cordial opportunity to meet some local artists. The Room to Write would like to extend a thank you to all the talented artists in attendance as well as to the Boys & Girls Club ofWakefield and to SCBWI for their support. There was a wonderful mix of writers and illustrators already established or published as well as writers whose talents have lain dormant while starting families and working to pay the bills. Connecting in person remains an invaluable exercise—a source of both inspiration and motivation. There was even mention of notebooks being unearthed from closets and dusted off, reminding us that we can only go so long before something begins to gnaw at us until we can no longer ignore it and realize we need to nourish our minds, bodies and that sleeping giant within—our souls.
This event was sponsored by The Room to Write with encouragement from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and was held in meeting space generously provided by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham and Wakefield. The event was free of charge but attendees were asked to bring a children’s book to donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield’s member library. The writers and illustrators who gathered brought with them nearly 40 books, two that were signed by the authors and illustrators who created them, that will be enjoyed by the young people who benefit from the Wakefield Club as a home away from home. There are few greater gifts than that of words and a comfortable, safe place within which to read them.