Coming Events and Workshops

2016-fall-eventsOne of the perks of being awarded a fellowship is the opportunity to offer free public readings and workshops. (And you have funds set aside for promotional postcards!)

The following are my coming events for October and November, 2016. Some require registration, but all are open to the public.

How to Prepare for an Intensive Month of Writing Workshop, October 8, 2016 from 11:00 – 1:00 at the Newark Free Library, Meeting Rooms 1&2

The workshop offers tips for writers planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November–and for anyone looking ahead to a deadline, retreat, or focused writing time. Topics include carving out a time and place for daily writing stints; getting help and support from friends and family; practical issues such as  meal planning and car pooling; and how to begin on November 1 with strategies you start in October. Ages 12+. Register at Adult Reference Desk or call 302-731-7550.

The Writing Hour: a workshop on establishing a productive and pleasing  writing practice, Saturday  October 29 at 3:00 p.m, Kent County Public Library, 497 S Red Haven Lane, Dover, DE 19901


Join the Delaware Division of the Arts’ 2016 Masters Fellowship in Fiction awardee Ramona DeFelice Long for a discussion on how to incorporate writing into your daily life. The workshop will focus on finding your most creative time of day; ironing out the challenges between work, family, and writing; the benefits of writing at the same time, same place every day; and selecting what you really want to write—today and every day. Open to any writer at any level of experience.  This workshop is free and open to the public. To register for this event, please call 302-744-1919 or visit

Delaware Literary Reading Series – Prose and Poetry reading on Sunday, October 9, at 1:00 p.m. at the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover, DE.


Poets, prose writers, and essayists who contributed to the award-winning anthology CURRENTS: Selected Poetry & Prose form the 2014 Cape Henlopen Retreat Writers will share their work at one of Delaware’s most treasured historical sites. Guests can enjoy the reading, plus a tour of the historic plantation owned by the “Penman of the Revolution.” This reading is free and open to the public.

Readings by the 2016 Delaware Division of the Arts’ 2016 Literary Fellowship  Winners at the Newark Arts Alliance, Saturday, November 9, at 7:00 p.m.


Featured readers will be Ramona DeFelice Long:  Master, Fiction; Siobhan Carroll:  Established Professional, Fiction; Lisa Dill:  Established Professional, Creative Nonfiction; Abby Millager:  Established Professional, Playwriting; Maggie Rowe:  Established Professional, Poetry; Joyce Barbagello:  Emerging, Fiction; and Sherry Gage Chapelle:  Emerging, Poetry. The reading is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception.

Unless I get a last-minute offer I can’t refuse, the Newark Arts Alliance reading above will be my final appearance as a DDoA Fellow. I received my first grant in 1990, from the Pennsylvania State Arts Council, and since moving to Delaware, have benefited greatly from the support of the Delaware Division of the Arts, the State of Delaware, and the National Endowment for the Arts. I have tried to use that support wisely, and I am always happy to give back. Bien Merci.


Award Winners XVI

The annual Award Winners exhibition featuring the talents of the Delaware Division of the Arts’ Individual Artist Fellows opens today, August 5, at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover. The exhibition runs through October 23.

Award Winners XVI

5 Minutes in Jamaica by Zaneta Zubkova

The 2016 Artist Fellows were recommended by out-of-state jurors based on the high quality of their artwork and receive Delaware State Arts Council approval. Each year, the Biggs Museum invites the award winners to the only group exhibition honoring their combined accomplishments in visual and media arts, literature, and music.

I am honored to have been awarded a 2016 Masters Fellowship in Fiction and to have my work displayed alongside other fine artists from the First State. The Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 1, when I and two other literature fellows will share some of our writing. There will also be a trombone performance!

To read about the artists and their work, visit the DDoA’s 2016 IAF interviews page.


4 Tough Questions for Your Critique Group

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgCritique groups are great. I have participated in several, of different sizes and styles, and each one taught me to be a better writer. Reading works in progress allowed me to see how stories grew and, from those lessons, I became a more astute reader. Continue reading

What’s not to like about not?

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgI gave a brief, impromptu lecture this past weekend on avoiding the “nots” when discussing your writing. This took place at a Read & Critique. For those who may not be familiar, a Read & Critique is an on-the-spot evaluation of the opening of a novel or nonfiction work. The critiquers—three of us this time—do a blind read of a half page synopsis and 2-page opening of a work. The writers in the session listen while the critiquers offer their gut responses to these openings. Continue reading

Self-Myths in Character Building

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgYesterday, I wrote about self-myths and the “I’m not” sentences we sometimes blithely—and other times insightfully—use to describe ourselves.

I joked that I’m not good at math. My neighbor, a pediatrics ICU nurse, uses algebra all the time at her job. She likes numbers, and I’m glad she does. You want someone who enjoys algebra calculating your meds. Someone who is not me. Continue reading

The Merry Month of Self-Myths

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgI attended a food truck party this past weekend, an event to support the local arts alliance where I participate in open mics, enjoy exhibits and classes and, this summer, will offer a multi-week course on novel writing.

The party was a smashing success. Despite the drippy skies, we arrived (late) to a parking lot full of students, art patrons, and locals patiently standing in loooong lines to the food trucks. The atmosphere was upbeat. A musician sang. Dogs wagged their tails. Children played around the tents. Even the lights of the firetruck closing off the street seemed festive. It was as much a community block party as it was a fundraiser. Continue reading

Fellowship Interview

DDoA 2016 banner

Each year, the Delaware Division of the Arts creates a page to highlight the 16 artists who are granted Individual Artist Fellowships. The IAF page features interviews with each artist by Christopher Yasiejko as well as work samples. You can read my interview with Christopher as well as the opening pages of my (then) work in progress, LEST I FORGET.

As always, I am grateful to the Delaware Division of the Arts, the State of Delaware, and the National Endowment for the Arts for their support of my work and the arts community.

On Sunday, April 3, 2016, fellow IAF recipient and poet Maggie Rowe and I will share our work with the public at the Judge Morris Estate, White Clay Creek Park, in Newark, Delaware. Built in the 1790s by the , it was the  home of distinguished federal judge Hugh Morris and is now a showcase in the 600-acre estate. Our reading will begin at 1:00 and will be followed by a reception for our friends and kind listeners.

Continue reading