Around the Writers’ Table – The Martha’s Vineyard Times

In a few days, Islanders Write will begin. This MV Times-sponsored event brings together writers and publishing professionals (with ties to the island) for panel discussions and writing workshops focusing on the arts, crafts and business of writing.

We intervene on Saturday July 30 at 7:30 p.m. Director Doug Liman, who recently visited Ukraine – he joined the frontline troops and filmed profiles of Ukrainians – and journalist Joshua Hammer, whose article “Ukraine’s Last Chance Brigade” appeared in the latest GQ, will discuss their experiences covering Ukraine with a seasoned journalist Bob Drogin, who during his career has reported in 60 countries.

Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. Judith Hannan returns to Islanders Write to kick us off with a Wake Up and Write! Workshop. (The Chilmark Cafe and Scottish Bakehouse will be on hand for your morning needs.)

At 10 o’clock, famous children’s book authors Mark Brown and Richard Michelson will have an eye-opening conversation about writing for children.

At 11 a.m., we’ll be joined by best-selling novelists whose stories and characters have transcended a single book. E. Lockhart (“We Were Liars” and “Family of Liars”), Nicole Galland ( “The Rise and Fall of DODO” and “Master of the Revels”), Gregory Mone (his latest “Atlantis” series and the “Jack and the Geniuses” series), and Jennifer SmithTurner (currently working on a sequel to her debut novel, “Child Bride”) will discuss the ins and outs of writing sequels and prequels.

At 12:15 p.m., six writers with book projects will stand up in front of the public to pitch their books to four publishing professionals. Agent Rosemary Stimola, editor Gretchen Young, publishing director Torrey Oberfest, and novelist John Hough, Jr. critique their pitches and projects.

At 1:30 p.m., Nancy Slonim Aronie (“Memory as medicine”), Merissa Nathan Gerson (“Forget Prayers, Bring Cake”), and essayist and novelist Elizabeth Benoit will address the timely subject of writing about bereavement.

Saturday’s roundtables end with three writers who hid their voices, and sometimes their identities, to write the stories of others. At 2:30 p.m., Fran Schumer, James Dale, and Laura Holmes Haddad will talk about ghostwriting and co-authoring books.

Throughout the day there will also be writing workshops focusing on tips for getting published with Alice Early, the complicated task of writing about your family with Laurie Linden, use personal photos for inspiration Kelly DuMar, and how to reduce stress and improve your writing process with Noel Foy.

Monday morning, we will resume with by Judith Hannan Wake up and write! workshop at 8:15 a.m., before starting with the first round table of the day.

The pandemic has given us plenty of time to reflect and write about our own lives, and we wanted to discuss various approaches to memoir writing. At 9 a.m., Philip Weinstein (“Soul Error”), Frank Bergon (The toughest kid we know”)and Joshunda Sanders (Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans”) will explore non-traditional memories.

Moving from telling your story through non-fiction to fiction, the NY Times bestselling novelist Susan Wilson (what a dog knows“), early novelists Mathea Morais (“There you are”) and Hannah Halperin (“Something Wild”)and bestselling author of “Listening to Prozac” turned novelist Peter Kramer will discuss what has been called auto-fiction, and the techniques and minefields of combining autobiography and fiction, at 10 a.m.

At 11 a.m., famous cookbook author Dr. Jessica B. Harris and Dawn Davis, editor-in-chief at Bon Appétit, will join us for a one-on-one conversation about food writing.

At 12:15 p.m. we focus on writing about race and politics with WGBH’s Callie Crossley and Frye Gaillard (“The Southization of America”).

We are thrilled to announce an Islanders Write first! At 1:15 p.m., Tony Award-winning playwright, author and director James Rabbit and Screenwriter and Academy Award Winner Sarah Kernochan, who are married, will take us into the intimacy of their writing process and unveil an upcoming collaborative project.

The final roundtable for 2022 will focus on examining contemporary issues through historical fiction with the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks, whose latest book, “Horse”, is a NY Times bestseller, Nicole Galland, who is prolific enough to duplicate and is on two panels, first novelist Elisa Speranza (“The Italian Prisoner”), Catherine Sherbrooke (“Leaving Coy’s Hill”) and award-winning screenwriter Misan Sagay (“Beautiful”).

Monday’s writing workshops include two editing-focused workshops — Drafting the agent’s query letter with Mathea Morais, and hybrid publication with Jennifer Smith Turner. There will also be three craft-focused workshops. They are: The six senses of memory with Laurie Linden, and two workshops led by Moira Silva: Setting the table: Building stories around food and dealing with the pandemic.

Islanders Write takes place at the Featherstone Center for the Arts. It is open to the public and free. First come, first seated. Please do not join us this year if you are feeling ill or have had recent direct exposure. For more information and the full schedule of events: islanderswrite.com.