The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, celebrates its 40th Anniversary Birthday on Saturday, December 17, with the last in a series of celebration programs. The program will run from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m., and include time for book fair browsing, readings, and editor “speed dating.” Both my husband and I will be joining in the celebration and exhibiting and signing our books along with other authors.

The center has celebrated its 40th anniversary with readings and special events starting in 2015 and continuing through this year. It opened with a program honoring Richard Ford, with readings by Jeffrey Eugenides, Robert Olen Butler, Howard Norman, and Susan Shreve. Later events included a Poet Lore reading by visiting poets Bruce Weigl and M. Nzadi Keita;

a craft lecture by Alice McDermott; readings by Ethelbert Miller and Martin Espada; a reading/performance by Martin Moran; and lectures by Jim Lehrer and Chris Matthews.

Takoma Park Book Fair:
Next weekend, we’ll be at the Book Fair in Roscoe’s Pizzeria in Takoma Park, MD. The fair goes from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in a large and pleasant Italian restaurant. Hope to see you there.

Scam Watchdog Needed: We were dismayed to learn that http://www.pred-ed com, a site I’ve often visited to find out if an agent or a publisher or an award was the real deal or a scam, is seeking a new caretaker. Writers, desperate to get their opus published, are easy targets for con artists. Unfortunately, much of the data on the P&E site has become stale and outdated, and needs a new caretaker with the time required to update the site. The listings are being removed until they can be updated by a new caretaker. Until then, they refer you to the following:
GENERAL THOUGHTS—set of guidelines & tips on how to avoid scams
SFWA’s Writer Beware
The “water cooler” forums at Absolute Write
• Other forums you might find googling on writers’ forums, and googling for reviews on specific companies you might be considering to do business with

If you are interested in taking the reins of P&E, and possess what’s needed — at least 20hrs/week to volunteer, excellent investigative skills, in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry, ability to detect scams from not-scams, thick skin, good web site skills, good writing ability — please get in touch.

Mark your calendars for March 25, 2017 and make plans now to attend the conference of the Maryland Writers’ Association. Keynote speakers will be Jeffery Deaver and Maria V. Snyder. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Annapolis, MD.