Exciting News from Kevin Symmons

by web editor on November 19, 2015


Former CCWC President Kevin Symmons is having a busy fall in print! First, he had a great article in the South edition of the Boston Globe by Paul Kandarian this September. As a result, Babson College, where Kevin received his Master’s Degree, has chosen to profile him and his writing in their Alumni magazine this quarter. It’s the lead in a series of three articles they’ll be publishing titled “Second Acts,” dealing with careers after retirement. His fourth and latest romantic thriller, titled Chrysalis, will be reviewed in the December edition of The Big Thrill, the monthly publication of the International Thriller Writers, the world’s largest professional writing organization. His fall will be capped off by an article in the prestigious Huffington Post. More specifics as the publication dates comes due!

What motivates a group of fifteen teenagers get up early on Saturday morning, November 14 and appear at the Sturgis East Charter School in Hyannis from 9:30 a.m -3:30 p.m.? Is it football? Or soccer? No, it’s writing – the opportunity to learn new literary skills from author-teachers and publishers of the Cape Cod Writers Center’s Tomorrow’s Writers Today program (TWT).


Teachers for November’s TWT program were college writing professor and publisher Stephanie Blackman and Cape Cod Writers Center’s Executive Director, the author Nancy Rubin Stuart. Ms. Blackman taught on symbolism, setting and point of view; Ms. Stuart instructed the students on creating credible characters and effective dialogue.











From their exit surveys, the students expressed enthusiasm for the program.

Here’s a sampling of their comments.

 “ They helped me learn things I never knew before. It was fantastic!”

“ The instructors were very good at teaching this subject and I learned a lot from the program.”

“ It is a great experience working with real authors ad publishers. Thanks so much for this opportunity”

“ This was the best so far!! Keep it up!!”

“ I personally believe ever aspect of it was great.”

“Everyone shared their work and each contribution was used as specific examples on how to execute different aspects of writing.”

“ The instructors were informed and helpful in every way humanly possible.”

“ I liked the different exercises.”

‘They gave us great tips on writing.”

‘I liked that we could share what we learned with each other and shared our writing.”

Interview Tips: CCWC Writers Night Out November 11, 2015

by Artistic Director on November 14, 2015

Two dozens writers appeared at the Resort and Conference Center on Wednesday evening, November 11th for Writers Night Out to  hear former television announcer Robert Silverberg talk about how he interviews authors on Channel 18 for the Writers Center’s “Books and the World” program.


After everyone enjoyed cocktails and a buffet diner,  Bob shared several anecdotes about the way various authors responded to interview questions during the taping of his shows.  Some writers were well prepared and responded immediately to questions; others replied with “yes” or “no” answer which made Bob’s job much more difficult and did little to promote their work to listeners. Since 40 minutes can be a lot of time on the air, Bob also mentioned that  sometimes an author’s side story or anecdote related to his book can provide a tip for more discussion.

One of his techniques to calm nervous authors is to remind them that he’s ” just having a conversation with them about their book.”  Stated that way the author may become so comfortable during the discussion, he forgets about the camera altogether, resulting in a fine interview.

Lessons from Bob’s talk.  1) know your book cold  2) anticipate likely questions and prepare answers ahead of time  3) have a side story or related anecdote prepared in case there’s air time left 4) above all, try to relax and remember that the best interview is a natural one while you’re simply “having a conversation” about your book.

With thanks, Bob, for those valuable insights!

Come Have Breakfast with the Authors on December 4th

by web editor on November 10, 2015

Breakfast with the Authors

Friday, December 4, 2015, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am
at the Resort and Conference Center, 35 Scudder Ave., Hyannis

 Featuring a continental breakfast, talks by three acclaimed authors, a Question and Answer session, and a book sale and signing.



Sometimes history is right before our eyes, or under our feet. Learn why at our December 4th Breakfast with the Authors event featuring three Cape Cod authors.  First, you’ll hear from nonfiction author Theresa Barbo why one of the most famous rescues in Coast Guard history spent nearly fifty years beneath the waves of public notice. Discover which wild creature went from the 19th century soup pot to enjoying conservation protection under state law. In Hidden History of Cape Cod, Theresa Mitchell Barbo reveals perspectives and aspects of past centuries that may cause you to think about our shared past in a fresh light.



In The Trail, Paul Leroux is a serial killer who decides to escape to Canada on the Appalachian Trail, where thru-hikers use trail names and travel anonymously. His life gets complicated when Desert Storm veteran Karl Bergman, who is also trying to escape his own failure, becomes suspicious of Leroux and begins to pay careful attention to his every move. In this cat-and-mouse thriller, Ray Anderson depicts the dangerous mindset of both men as they struggle to fight their identities and confront their fears and inner turmoil.

swk front cover copyThe Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver features Ella and Maddy Lawton, identical twins who, while arguing, get into a tragic accident. Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options–confess her deception or live her sister’s life.

Admission:  $15 for members of the Cape Cod Writers Center

   $20 for non-members


Reserve your space at Breakfast with the Authors by e-mailing writers@capecodwriterscenter.org or calling 508-420-0200.



Dear Calliope Community,


We look forward to seeing everyone at our next Calliope event this Sunday (Nov. 8), when Jenifer Browne Lawrence, Alan Feldman, Mary Kane, and Kirun Kapur read at the West Falmouth Library from 3 to 5 p.m. You can learn more about each of these fine, accomplished poets below, but first we have one last “advance preview” for you, this time from Mary Kane. Mary teaches writing at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and has been active in the local poetry circles for many years. The following poem is from her collection Door (2013, One Bird Books).


How She Measured Time after That


A poem stands before me. It has mud all over its feet

and the bottom of its trousers. There’s been trouble,

I can tell. The poem hangs its head and starts moving the fingers

of its left hand like it’s looking for a cigarette. I don’t smoke

but I keep a pack around for times like this. Here, I say,

handing the poem a smoke. How about some bourbon, I ask

and pour myself a shot. When it lifts its gaze, I see

I’ve been mistaken. This poem’s been digging in a place

words never went. This poem knows the brother we gave

away. This poem knows his milk-soft hands, the brother

who never learned to speak. It’s even interviewed

my mother about the day she had to pack his clothes

and how she measured time after that. How about some tea,

I ask the poem, and the poem nods, its face filling

with puffy white clouds against the deepest blue I’ve ever seen.


Join us on Nov. 8 to hear more of Mary’s, Alan’s, Jenifer’s, and Kirun’s work. (Because of the packed schedule, there will be no open mic this month.) To learn more about each poet or get driving directions, go to  www.calliopepoetryseries.com.


See you at Calliope!


About the Poets


Alan Feldman’s new collection, Immortality, was awarded the Four Lakes Prize, and it was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in March 2015. His book A Sail to Great Island won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2004. And his previous collection, The Happy Genius won the Elliston Book Award for the best collection of poetry published by an independent press in the United States. His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2001 & 2011, and in the 2016 edition of Common Threads, the poetry discussion project of Mass Poetry. He has received fellowships in poetry from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation.  Alan is a professor emeritus of English at Framingham State University, and is a summer resident of Wellfleet, MA, where he offers free, drop-in poetry workshops at the Wellfleet Library.


Mary Kane is the author of a full-length collection, Door (One Bird Books, 2013), and two chapbooks, She Didn’t Float (Harlequin Ink) and After We Talk About the Recent Deaths of Our Parents and about Compassion as Handled by Chekhov (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press). Her poems have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal and on Poetry Daily and Poem of the Moment (masspoetry.org).  Mary received her MFA from Vermont College and teaches writing at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  She lives in Falmouth with her husband, Vincent, and her daughter, Lily.

Kirun Kapur 
is the winner of the Arts & Letters Rumi Prize in Poetry (2012), and the Antivenom Poetry Award for her first book, Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist (Elixir Press, 2015).  Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Poetry International, FIELD, and many other journals. Kirun is the founder and director of the North Shore arts program The Tannery Series, and she serves as Poetry Editor at The Drum Literary Magazine.  She has taught creative writing at Boston University and has been awarded fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony.  She was recently named an “Asian-American poet to watch” by NBC news.  Kirun grew up in Honolulu and now lives north of Boston.

Jenifer Browne Lawrence
 is the author of Grayling and One Hundred Steps from Shore. Her awards include the Perugia Press Prize, the Orlando Poetry Prize, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Potomac Review poetry award, and a Washington State Artist Trust GAP grant. Jenifer’s recent work appears in Los Angeles Review, Narrative, North American Review, Rattle, and elsewhere. She was raised in Alaska, works in civil engineering, and lives on the Puget Sound in Washington State, where she edits Crab Creek Review.


About Calliope: Poetry for Community

Founded in January 2008 by Alice Kociemba, Calliope seeks to foster and celebrate community through a shared appreciation of poetry. The readings have featured both well-known and emerging poets, and many have included an open mic for local poets. For more information about upcoming events, go to calliopepoetryseries.com.calliope

TWTTomorrow’s Writers Today is a program designed to enhance the literary skills of Cape Cod students in grades 7-12. It provides young people an opportunity to work with published authors and journalists who oversee their work, share concepts, and provide insights into the realities of professional writing, literature, journalism, and communications.

Our next Tomorrow’s Writers Today workshop is scheduled for November 14th, 2015.

The workshop is free and will be held at Sturgis East High School in Hyannis from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM on Saturday, November 14th. The teachers are author and CCWC Executive Director Nancy Rubin Stuart and college writing professor and founder of Riverhaven Books Stephanie Blackman.

Click here to download the application!

Member News for November

by web editor on November 2, 2015

Check out the latest from our talented members:

The Retirement Boom: An All-Inclusive Guide to Money, Life, and Health in Your Next Chapter, by local author Catherine Allen from Orleans and Santa Fe, NM, was published by Career Press and hit the bookstores and online October 19th.

Ray Anderson achieved a successful launch of his thriller The Trail. Over a hundred people attended, and 92 copies were sold at Hingham Public Library. Future events can be viewed on his event page at www.RayKAnderson.com.

Sid Bennett has published a family memoir, OEDIPUS MAX, through CreateSpace. It can be found on Amazon and Kindle.

The Saltwater Marsh, a Magical Place by Consie Berghausen has been published by Riverhaven Books and is available on Amazon.  It is a children’s picture book (ages 3-7) about the animals of the marsh.  It is in rhyming verse with lovely illustrations by Nina Berghausen.

Hugh Blair-Smith’s first book, Left Brains for the Right Stuff: Computers, Space, and History will be published by SDP Publishing on 16 Nov 2015.

Anita Caruso will be featured in a radio interview for the Author’s Show, which will play for 24 hours from midnight Monday, Nov 2nd to midnight Nov 3rd. Go to www.theauthorsshow.com and click on the book title Brayden’s Magical Jungle to listen. Please also join her as she will have a space selling her memoir, As Ever, Pudd, and her children’s book, Brayden’s Magical Jungle, at the Country Christmas Bazaar at the Corpus Christi Parish, 324 Quaker Meeting House Road, East Sandwich, Ma. on Saturday, November 21st from 9am-2pm.

MY BIG TOW-The Adventures of Captain Recovery, by Kyle Chirgwin, earns the CLC Seal of Approval. The Children’s Literary Classics has given MY BIG TOW a Five Star review.

Rick Cochran just released his book Wellfleet Tales, a collection of his short stories about growing up in Wellfleet in the fifties and sixties.  Rick used Createspace to publish his work, which is now available on Amazon or through Rick.  One of his stories was just published in Good Old Days magazine.

When not meeting with the Independent Writers group in Falmouth, Thomas D. Kersting coordinates Lake Writers, a writing workshop in Lake Carmel, N.Y. and records his blog posts on Pawling (NY) Public Radio, WPWL, 103.7 FM. His blog, “In the Shade,” can be found at thomasdkersting.com.

Diane McDonough’s poem, When the Goldenrod Fades, has been published in the 20th Anniversary Issue of the Aurorean, Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Melanie P. Merriman has published a cookbook written with her brother-in-law Peter Merriman, a well-known chef in Hawaii.  Merriman’s Hawaii features recipes that reflect the culture and flavors of the islands, along with stories about the farmers and ranchers that supply Chef Merriman’s restaurants. More information at www.merrimanshawaii.com.

J Bean and Chris Palmer’s Cape Cod Witch Series of middle grade fantasy adventures received the Mom’s Choice Award for excellence and was just announced a winner in the New Book Awards contest 2016, following a successful introduction to industry professionals at Book Expo America in New York this spring. The Cape Cod Witch website has received a magical makeover by the Cape’s own web wizard Jody McNamara; check out the enchantment at www.CapeCodWitch.com.

Check out Wendy Shreve’s interview on her book Dark Sea: http://www.sandiegobookreview.com/dark-sea-an-interview-with-author-wendy-shreve/.

Besides writing 1000 words a day to finish her third novel, The Old Cape’s Hollywood Secret, Barbara Eppich Struna will be selling, signing, and talking about her books during a Christmas Fair in Sandwich on Sat.& Sun, November 21, 22, 10–3:30. Location: Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School on Sandwich Road.

Former CCWC President and best-selling author Kevin Symmons met two exciting milestones recently. His best-selling Cape Cod techno-thriller Out of the Storm broke into the Amazon top 100 in that category at #84. Kevin also felt honored to become a member of the Authors Guild, a goal he has sought since becoming a writer.

Author Ric Wasley has been tapped by the Academy of Lifelong Learning to teach one of his popular “Marketing for Writers” classes for their spring semester at Cape Cod Community College.


Current CCWC members are invited to submit their news to the next Member News Roundup, which will be posted to our blog and Facebook page on the first Monday in December. To have your news included, please email a one or two sentence announcement to writers@capecodwriterscenter.org no later than Friday, December 4th. Write “Member News” in the subject line, and be sure the announcement includes your name exactly as you would like it to appear. We do not have room for longer articles or reviews, but you may include an email or website link so readers may contact you or find further information. If you have multiple events, signings, etc. coming up, the best way to publicize these is with a link to a calendar on your own blog or website. (Please note that we reserve the right to edit any announcement for length or for potentially offensive or controversial content.)

National Novel Writing Month on Cape Cod

by web editor on October 27, 2015

Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiResImage courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Halloween is coming, and with it come goblins and ghosties, banshees and beasties, and, of course, the scariest monster of all: midnight, November 1st, and the blank page that you must fill with 50,000 words before the month ends.

National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo to its friends and acolytes, is a yearly writing challenge that encourages you to finally write that book you’ve always dreamed of but have never quite gotten around to. Stuck for ideas? Don’t know your main character’s motivation (or name)? No plot? No problem. Pantsers, planners, those who have never written a word in their life, authors with 20 books to their name: all are welcome to join the fun and insanity of trying to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Find out more about this free event here.

On Cape Cod, we’re lucky enough to have a fantastic Municipal Liaison who coordinates events and get-togethers for all participants on the right side of the bridge. Lori, known as Flyleaf on the boards, writes, “We believe in the power of story and the mutual benefit found in coming together as a community to create. It doesn’t matter if you’re an established author or a brand new hobbyist, NaNoWriMo is about telling your story and encouraging others to do the same. The month of November is a challenge, yes, but it’s also fun. We’re a rambunctious group of varying skill levels who love writing and stories and connecting with others who share the same passion.”

Lori has compiled an impressive calendar of events consisting of the annual Kick Off Party this Wednesday, October 28th; write-ins where you can get together with fellow madpeople and compete for the highest word count; and, of course, the Thank God It’s Over Party on Wednesday, December 9th, open to all survivors. Come Write Ins are also being hosted at the Marstons Mills and West and South Yarmouth libraries throughout the month. Check out the Cape Cod region page on the NaNoWriMo site to peruse the calendar, meet fellow Cape writers, and RSVP for events.

The Cotuit Library will also be holding an open mic NaNoWriMo reading on Saturday, November 14th, with snacks and wine served. Email cotuitlibrarian@gmail.com for more information.

Know of any other events we’ve left out? Have a question or concern? Just want to say hi? Comment on this page or send us an email at writers@capecodwriterscenter.org. We’d love to hear from Cape Cod Writers Center members who are interested in participating in this fun, crazy, and inspiring challenge.

In Memory of Zachary Burrage-Goodwin

by web editor on October 26, 2015

The Cape Cod Writers Center is devastated to learn that one of its young members, Zachary Burrage-Goodwin, son of member Melissa Burrage, has recently passed away. A creative, intelligent, and sensitive young man, Zachary won scholarships to the CCWC Conference two years in a row and his poetry has appeared in Inklings from Cape Cod.

Zachary spent summers on Bass River and Kelly’s Pond with his family.  He enjoyed kayaking, grilling burgers and steaks, going to estate sales and antique shops, camping at Nickerson State Park, reading books, attending the Brewster Library book sales, going to classic car shows with his grandfather, and playing games and making music with his sisters in the old family barn in West Dennis. His obituary may be found here: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150902/OBITUARIES/150909802.

The following poem, written by Zachary, can be found on page 258 of Inklings from Cape Cod, compiled by Stephanie E. Boosada.

Mother Earth as I Know Her

By Zachary Burrage-Goodwin

I live on the land where my grandfather lived
And where his grandfather before him lived
Where they farmed the land
And struggled with oxen and dirt
And labored to pile stones into walls

This land gives food
Clean air
The water flows through pipes
Once copper, now plastic
Into the sink for me to drink

This land is beautiful
A place to come to after school
Where I run with squirrel and chipmunk
And create my imaginary home
With rock and rotted log

This land has crabapple, oak and pine
Planted by my family
And shoots of those
Grow wildly nearby

I am surrounded by people
Who descend from farmers,
Or who moved to town recently
From other parts of the world

I am lucky to be here
Comforted by the spirit of my ancestors
Energized by the land
And by my friends

At times I feel unsettled too
The roads are filled with cars
The rumble of tractor-trailer trucks
Shake the foundation of the house
A film of smog can be seen from the sky

Newcomers unhappy with small houses
Tear down the trees and forests
To build mansions
While deer, raccoon, fox and coyote are displaced

I see packs of deer on my way to school
Standing in the road
Wondering where their forest has gone

And I worry why the temperature is so warm
In December
And why the rivers and streams are so low
In summer

I see injustice in school
Asians separate from blacks separate from Jews
I feel worry
I feel sad
I feel outrage
I write it down


Pathways to Publications Workshop October 17, 2015 Praised

by Artistic Director on October 17, 2015

Self-publishing is hot! With that in mind, members of the Cape Cod Writers Center and several nonmembers arrived at the Resort and Conference Center on Saturday morning, October 17 , for advice, suggestions, and instruction from self-publishing guru and best-selling author Kate Conway.


Step by step Kate explained the mysteries of major self-publishing engines Create Space, Kindle Self-Publishing and Lightning Source. By the the time the session ended at noon, the writers understood the challenges and the rewards of self-publishing today.


How does even the most inventive writer keep the sparks of creativity burning?  Those who attended Olivia Miller’s afternoon Pathways sessions learned how creative people do and had a lot of fun along the way during her inspiring workshop.

Olivia Miller IMG_2859

The CCWC looks forward to seeing books in print and on screen from those who attended these workshops.