Deadline Approaching: Young Writers Workshop

by web editor on June 23, 2014

Do you know a young person who loves to write? The deadline is fast approaching for the Cape Cod Writers Center’s 2014 Young Writers Workshop, August 4-8 at the Barnstable Intermediate School in Hyannis.

young writer 2This week-long workshop is a rare opportunity for writers ages 12-18 to work with professional writers to improve their skills in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students have a chance to meet and form friendships with others writers from area schools, as well as receive individual help and advice from published authors.

young writers 2Applications must be mailed by this Saturday, June 27.

For more information and to download an application, click here!

Nina Amir on being a Change Agent

by web editor on June 20, 2014

One of the more exciting and unusual courses on offer at the upcoming Cape Cod Writers Center Conference is “Writing as a Change Agent” with instructor Nina Amir. We asked Nina to tell us a little more about this class, and after reading her answers, we’re more thrilled than ever that it will be a part of the conference.

CCWC: When you use the phrases “Change Agent” or “Author of Change” to describe a writer, what exactly do you mean?

New Headshot Nina Amir tight tiltedNina Amir: A change agent is someone who wants to create change in the world on some level. Possibly they want to help people change their personal lives in some way, such as through better health, relationships or prosperity. Maybe they want to help organizations or communities improve in some manner. Or maybe they want to help heal the earth, such as by informing others about how to recycle, compost or grow their own food.

Such people tend to feel a strong sense of purpose, calling or mission. They may want to start a movement or have taken up a cause they now pursue in some way.

An Author of Change is a writer who would like to fulfill that purpose, calling, mission, movement, or cause via a book.

If you want to to write a how-to book, a prescriptive nonfiction book, an inspirational or spiritual book, or some sort of book that relates to personal development, body-mind-spirit or transformation, you probably are an Author of Change. But that doesn’t mean that someone who writes about business isn’t an Author of Change. There are many areas in which to author change.

CCWC: How does someone know if they are called to this sort of writing?

NA: First, you likely feel that sense of mission, purpose or calling.

Second, you  want to write a book that helps others in some way–answers questions, solves problems, eases others’ pain, impacts lives in a meaningful and positive manner. You want to write about the change you want to see in the world–and inspire other to take up that change because they read your book.

Third, you possibly want to be a speaker as well. Or maybe you dream of offering workshops based on your book. In other words, you want to help others or teach others, and you may have a “system” that is embedded in your book that you can take out into the world and share.

CCWC: Can you tell us about one or two Authors of Change you have worked with in the past and about their transformative projects?

NA: Ed Oakley and Doug Krug wrote Enlightened Leadership (Fireside). They changed the idea of how leaders lead organizations. They not only created a successful consulting company for themselves, they sold over 320,000 copies of their book.

Colin Tipping wanted to change people’s lives by teaching them how to forgive. When I met him, he was a real estate agent. He wrote Radical Forgiveness, self-published it and created a thriving workshop business around it (and more). After selling 100,000+ copies, he sold the book to Sounds True.

More recently, Haseena Patel worked with me in my Author of Change Transformational Coaching program. She is a Girls’ Empowerment Coach at Leave No Girl Behind and is working on a book related to this topic.

Additionally, I’ve worked with those who want to inspire people to faith, to organic gardening, to better health, to heal themselves of disease, to feel empowered, and to find the perfect job.

CCWC: What sorts of things will be covered in your class to help people realize their desire to be a Change Agent?

NA: Over the course of the three days we cover three areas:

Author of Change in Your Life: We start with an examination of what it takes to be an Author of Change–Who are you? How comfortable with change are you? What type of change do you want to inspire? What do you need to change to succeed as an author?

Author of Change in the World: Then we examine your ideal readers, the market for which you are writing, and type of community you want to gather around you. Do you know your readers? Do you know the market? How large a community do you have and want? How large a community do you need to succeed as an Author of Change–for your message to take hold and have impact?

Author of a Change-Inspiring Book: Last, we look at how to write this change-inspiring book. What is the best publishing path? What is the best format for your book? What is the best structure? How do you craft a marketable book so your idea actually sells (impacts people).

When done, you should have an action plan that includes steps you need to take to help yourself transform into an a transformational author and to craft a book that inspires the change you want to see in the world. In other words, you’ll have an plan to become an Author of Change.

If you’d like to sign up for Nina’s course, or to learn what else is happening at the conference, click here to read the conference brochure or register online.

“And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days,” once wrote James Russell Lowell, American poet, critic and editor.

In keeping with this glorious season, The Cape Cod Writers Center celebrated the June 18 Writers Night Out at Uno’s Chicago Grill on Route 132 in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Thirty-two members attended to hear readings from ten of our writers.

Among them were  humorous, historical and entertaining selections timed to last five minutes. Here’s a sampling of our writers in action!

 We look forward to hearing more readings on Friday evening, August 8th at the 52nd Cape Cod Writers Center Conference !

Summer Poetry Events from Our Friends at Calliope

by web editor on June 12, 2014

On Saturday, June 21, 11:20 to 12:20, the Steeple Street Poets will be reading in the Library Tent at Arts Alive in Falmouth (Main Street, in front of the Falmouth Public Library). See link for complete schedule of events.

Sunday, June Calliope Readings29, 3 to 5 PM, the West Falmouth Library is hosting a reception honoring Falmouth Poet Laureate, Adelaide Cummings, on the occasion of her 100th birthday. If you wish to send a poem of your own, Alice Kociemba is compiling a poetry collection from Calliope poets. Anyone who has featured or read at their open mic is welcome to send one by June 15th. She will format them and give them to Ms. Cummings at the reception. 575 West Falmouth Highway, Rt 28A, West Falmouth 02574.

Wednesday, July 9, 7 PM, A Poetry Reading with Nancy K. Pearson & Alice Kociemba, music by Ben Kushigian & Ellen Watters Sullivan at the Truro Meeting House. Sponsored by Barry Hellman’s Cape Cod Poetry Group and the Friends of the Truro Library.

Submission deadline, July 26, for the “Poetry of Pain & Survival” Poetry Contest, a poetry writing contest for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and families, sponsored by the Cancer Resource Center of the Falmouth Public Library. Email submissions, via a Word doc. to or drop off poems at the Reference Desk of the Falmouth Public Library or at 8 Cousins Bookstore, Main Street Falmouth. Christine Rathbun Ernst and Alice Kociemba, judges. Poetry Reading, Saturday August 23, 10 AM at the Falmouth Public Library.

To learn more about these and other Calliope events, visit their website:

Writing Contest: Memories of Brewster

by web editor on June 11, 2014

Favorite-Brewster-MemoryTo celebrate their 50th anniversary, The Brewster Historical Society is sponsoring a writing contest, open to all ages: “My Favorite Brewster Memory.”

The word limit is 250 words, and the deadline is July 31, 2014. The winner will receive a $100 cash prize and publication of their essay in the fall 2014 newsletter.

Please include your name, address, age, email, and phone number with your submission. Send submission to, with “Favorite Memory Contest” in the subject line, or mail to “Favorite Memory Contest” Brewster Historical Society, PO Box 1146, Brewster, MA 02631. Thank you!

Second Set of Eyes Critique Workshop

by web editor on June 10, 2014

The Cape Cod Children’s Writers (CCCW), a writing group of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) of New England, is offering a day-long workshop to perfect your first 10 pages of a novel, a picture book manuscript, or 3 poems.

The event is Saturday July 26, 2014. Space is limited to eight writers on a first registered basis. The cost is a non-refundable $75, which includes breakfast. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Falmouth United Methodist Church, 636 West Falmouth Highway, West Falmouth.

logo-scbwiSend all manuscripts to Joan Walsh at by Sunday, July 13, 2014. Interested applicants should apply to Joan Walsh for more details as needed.

This workshop may help writers who plan to schedule a critique with a professional editor or agent at the CCWC August Writers conference.

Marketing Opportunity for Local Authors

by web editor on June 10, 2014

In conjunction with The Falmouth Museums on the Green, Riverhaven Books is sponsoring the first Independents Day Fair and Festival on Saturday, July 5th, from 10-3. They are seeking authors, musicians, artists, local businesses, and other folks who would like to participate.

There will likely be many people in Falmouth the day following the fireworks, and they will be looking for something community-driven and fun to attend. There will be no charge for admission, so it is a family-friendly event.

Riverhaven LogoThe cost of participation is $30, your donation is tax-deductible, and the event should be a great deal of fun.

For more information or to receive an application, contact Stephanie Blackman at

Breakfast with the Authors a Resounding Success

by web editor on June 9, 2014

On Friday, June 6, an enthusiastic group of CCWC members and supporters met at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis for the latest in our Breakfast with the Authors series of talks and book signings.

The first author to stepchristie up to the podium was Christie Palmer Lowrance, who discussed the research and writing of her book Nature’s Ambassador: The Life and Legacy of Thornton W. Burgess, an engaging and lavishly illustrated biography of the beloved children’s author, ardent conservationist, and long-time Cape resident. During the Question and Answer session, it came out that Christie now lives in the house in Sandwich where Burgess was born!

chipNext up was Chip Bishop, who is always a hit with CCWC’s members. Chip’s latest book is Quentin and Flora: A Roosevelt and a Vanderbilt in Love during the Great War. As part of his research, Chip was able to read many of the letters written between Teddy Roosevelt’s youngest son and his secret fiancé, Flora Vanderbilt. He told a touching story for D-Day about visiting the American cemetery in Normandy, where he stood at the side-by-side graves of Quentin (who died in WW I) and his brother Theodore, Jr. (who died in WW II).

susanOur final author of the day, Susan Santangelo, gave an entertaining and funny presentation about her Baby Boomer Mystery series, including the latest title, Class Reunions Can Be Murder. (Funerals Can Be Murder is coming in October.) In addition to a delicious mystery, each book also contains mouth-watering recipes for the food that makes an appearance in the story. Susan had the audience laughing when she told a story about how classmates from her high school claimed (wrongly!) to “know” who characters in the latest book are based on.

A book signing followed the three presentations, and the assembled guests had a wonderful time chatting with the three authors. Said one attendee: “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!  I came with three other people…and, we all said it was the best experience we have had…books and subjects so interesting, and authors quite entertaining and helpful.”


It’s not too late to sign up for our Breakfast with the Authors—tomorrow, June 6, 9:30 AM at the Resort and Conference Center, 35 Scudder Avenue, Hyannis!

We have three great authors lined up to talk about their latest books: Christie Palmer Lowrance (Nature’s Ambassador: The Life and Legacy of Thornton Burgess), Susan Santangelo (Class Reunions Can Be Murder), and Chip Bishop (Quentin and Flora: A Roosevelt and a Vanderbilt in Love during the Great War).

nature's ambassadorclass reunionsCB_Q&F Cvr v8.indd






The cost—which includes a continental breakfast, three book talks, Q&A, and a book signing—is just $12 for Cape Cod Writers Center members and $15 for non-members. Reservations are recommended: 508-420-0200 or

In celebration of the imminent arrival of summer, a dozen Cape Cod Writers Center authors participated in the Town of Barnstable’s Artist Shanties program during the weekend of May 30 – June 1 to sell books to tourists exploring Hyannis Harbor.


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While the weather remained cool, CCWC participants enjoyed the opportunity to chat with tourists speak about their writing.

Here are some of their comments:

I would absolutely do it again next year as it was a fun, beautiful environment and a great outlet for making connections.  –Yvonne deSousa

I love the experience but… next year I  hope the CCWC will sign for a time later—in July or August when the traffic might be better, and sales would reflect that! –Shirley Vogel

I LOVED it. I’d do it again next weekend if I could. It’s so “Capey…..” I felt much a part of something bigger; a contributor. Yes, I only sold two books, but those two buyers connected not only with me but with the Cape, the CCWG, their memories of Hyannis, and the Shanties. Who could be blessed with more than that? –Jeannie Coco

In my opinion it was worth it, even on Friday when I did not have a sale. Of course Saturday was better…I sold 6 books! The weekend was filled with experience, exposure, and connections with the people that walked by. I would definitely do it next year. The writers center provides so many learning opportunities and general support for the writer. Thank you. –Barbara Struna