The Maryland Writers’ Association created the Writers’ Round Table Program to encourage writers, poets, playwrights and authors through monthly articles and activities.
The Notable Maryland Author articles and associated Fun With Words writers’ prompts are the centerpiece of the program. Each month, The Enterprise and other newspapers in the state will feature a Maryland Writers’ Association article about an author. Marylanders are encouraged to read the articles and try their hand at the writing prompts each month.
Author Jake Marcionette
“I have my Mom to thank for my developing my love for writing.” Jake Marcionette
Genre: Middle grade fiction — Books that feature a 10- to 13-year-old protagonist. Middle grade fiction deals with what kids go through at those ages: friendships made and lost, family relationships changing, physical changes, a wide range of school experiences and a growing awareness of the wide world outside of oneself and the injustices it often contains.
A partial reading list of Marcionette’s books includes "Just Jake," "Just Jake: Dog Eat Dog," and "Just Jake: Camp Wild Survival."
Jake Marcionette, born March 20, 2001, released his debut book, "Just Jake," when he was 12. It a middle grade, loosely autobiographical, laugh-out-loud comedy adventure. In doing this, Marcionette made history by being the youngest author to hit the New York Times Bestseller list and the youngest author in the history of Penguin Books to land a publishing deal.
Marcionette, 18, started writing as a result of his mom making he and his sister write every day during summer vacation. At first, he hated writing, but eventually he got into it and wrote about how his day was going and how he was feeling. He soon realized he wanted to write books about a kid, for kids, and weave into the books his experiences being a kid. At the time, his family had just moved from Florida to Maryland and he was adjusting to a new school, so he wrote his first book about a kid named Jake who moved from Florida to Maryland who has to adapt to a new school.
About how he landed a publisher, Marcionette said, “I printed out a list of agents and called them. I would say 'My name is Jake. I’m twelve. I have a cool book. Do you want to read it?' I got a lot of hang ups and noes. Then I called Dan Lazar, an agent at Writer’s House in New York City, and he said, 'Email it to me, sure.' A couple days later, he said he liked it and wanted to represent me. Then a month after that, I was in New York meeting with four major publishers."
Marcionette has written three books and has become popular as a speaker at schools. “A lot of young people are scared to write a book because they think they can’t do it, but let’s face it — It’s either 'no' or your dreams come true. I tell kids to be fearless and be passionate and take all the chances you have and do it with an open mind. I tell them to set a goal and work towards it. My goal was to get published. "
Fun with words
Maryland Writers’ Association invites readers to have fun writing. Using just 100 words, write a middle grade story that takes place in the present day and includes a 10- to 13-year-old boy, a strange neighbor, a snowshoe, a physical change and a boat show.
Readers can submit their responses at the website www.marylandwriters.org/Notable_Maryland_Authors by the 20th of the month to receive an MWA Writers’ Round Table submission certificate. Selected prompts will be published next month.
Last month’s reader selections
In July, readers were asked to write poetry to describe human emotions, feelings or soul inspiring interaction with nature.
Here are some regional selections:
The Lost Shepherd
He knows his sheep; his sheep do not foresee
His trickster ways. What love he bears he bares
For sin. His mantra: "Harm my flock and starve
My sheep and rend my lambs." He hates the field,
Resents the sheep. With crosier clutched, he strides
Among the flock, congratulating himself,
Deceiving foolish beasts, so needy, dumb.
He smirks at dewy eyes that, dark, reflect
A face he cannot help but recognize.
The sky above him trembles, shocked by blows
From hammers gripped by Thrones who carve for necks
Once loosely ringed in Rome's collars millstones.
Lawrence P. McGuire of Waldorf
Taking hold of the umbrella,
that I never am without.
I try to protect myself from water
that feels it’s being thrown at me
and flying all about.
My walk is brisk as I try to get inside
Once inside, I drip with wet
my hair and makeup are ruined,
damn I’m upset.
I jiggle and shake like a dog trying to get dry.
I’m still soaked, but it was worth a try.
A man entering the room,
looking flushed, rushed and in dismay,
says with sarcasm:
“Here in the State of Maryland,
it’s just another beautiful day.”
Tara Lambert of La Plata
Emergency Room commotion couldn’t pull Sam from the nightmare.
“A bookie? My Little Sammy? Not a chance.” Overflowing the student-sized chair, his whole body bounced with laughter at the teacher’s suggestion. But it was true, and Little Sammy was headed for a correctional facility if his fledgling career didn’t come to an immediate halt.
“Damn,” Detective Sam Perkins picked at his mustache and banged his fist against the steering wheel as he drove home, wishing he’d been the parent who’d died too young.
Wipers erased the rain from his windshield, but they couldn’t clear the blur from his eyes.
Barbara Hurwitz of Charles County
A bluebird sings
It flaps its wings
The Sun shines bright
It steals the night
Summer is here!
For that, I cheer
The RV roars
I’m out the door
The roads are clear
The beach is near!
The ocean is blue
This place is new
The moon is high
But so’s the tide!
I dream of fun
Under the sun
I dig a hole
The water’s cold
I pass a ball
“Stay away, Fall!”
Tanner George of Leonardtown
Mossy St. Patrick’s Chair
There comes a time when a man feels his fire
has danced so far
that it can’t be reached
each and ev’ry hour;
and he finds that no one’s left
with whom for him to conspire.
But if that man can still draw upon his spiritual air;
his mind'll run to remembrances that he mightn’t dare.
Then wake he will in life’s forest
where the trees've become bare,
yet the clime keeps the moss
as green as a mother’s stare.
It's then that he curls himself up for care
at the foot of grand ole St. Patrick’s Chair.
TC Lancaster of St. Inigoes