Writing Groups

Writing With Courage: An Invitation to Write the Unspeakable

by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on July 14, 2016

stop sign with bullet holes

Pat Spears, author of It’s Not Like I Knew Her, and Nylda Dieppa, author of  Alborada, A Poetic Memoir, will speak to the Maitland Writers Group at the Maitland Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14th.  Free and open to the public. The following is from MWG’s July newsletter:

Pat Spears and Nylda Dieppa

Writing With Courage: An Invitation to Write the Unspeakable

June 12, 2016, will be forever remembered as the day Orlando, Florida, crystalized its identity as an inclusive and loving city. On that day, a young man who cloaked his internalized homophobia under the mantle of terrorism massacred forty-nine people and seriously injured many more at Pulse nightclub. The story he never shared with others traumatized a city and touched the world. Following this tragedy, the secret stories of people who had not yet been able to share their experiences as closeted individuals in the GLBTQ spectrum were heard for the first time. Untold stories of fear, insecurity, and grief were transformed into healing, loving, and unifying tales, but others motivated family members to eschew their loved ones and refuse to accept their bodies for burial because they were gay, perceived as shameful or disgraced.
Because the consequences of sharing our truths do not promise a clear, rosy outcome, we may be terrified to share with ourselves (never mind others) important accounts the world needs to learn from. Untold stories, however, can grow into distorted, festering, and deformed excuses for evil. By telling our difficult, “unspeakable” stories, we communicate our deepest thoughts, teach the fruits of our experiences to others, and heal our own and our communities’ profound hurts. Stories of all kinds and on all topics help us grieve, grow, forgive, and be able to love and be loved once again.

Pat Spears: Writing with Courage
Several years ago, Pat Spears began writing a book about living gay in the south. The book, although not autobiographical, incorporated much her own experience of growing up in a society that despised her for who she was. Once the manuscript was finished, she put it aside for several years, unsure about risking the exposure publication could bring, until 2015, when she placed the manuscript with Twisted Road Publications. In her presentation, Pat will talk about the journey that allowed her to write honestly about being an outsider and about the decision to make her story public.

Nylda Dieppa: Writing the Unspeakable
Nylda’s interactive workshop following Pat’s talk will inspire participants to write about the unspeakable in their own lives. Through private writing exercises, attendees will come away with one-paragraph starting points on the topic of their choosing. (Only those who want to share will be asked to do so.) The results should help writers mature, heal, and develop healthy (and new) relationships with themselves and their readers.

The Presenters
Pat Spears’s second novel, It’s Not Like I Knew Her, was released in July 2016 by Twisted Road Publications. Her debut novel, Dream Chaser, was released in 2014. She has twice received honorable mention in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, first in 2013 for “Stranger At My Door” and again in 2015 for “Free Ride.” Pat’s short stories have appeared in numerous journals (including North American Review, Appalachian Heritage, and Seven Hills Review) and anthologies (Law and Disorder from Main Street Rag, Bridges and Borders from Jane’s Stories Press, and Saints and Sinners: New Fiction from the Festival 2012). Her short story “Whelping” was a finalist for the Rash Award and appears in the 2014 issue of Broad River Review. Pat is a sixth-generation Floridian and lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Nylda Dieppa is the author of the 2014 Royal Palm Literary Awards winning poetry collection Alborada: A Poetic Memoir Across Cultures, which also garnered an award from the 2016 International Latino Book Awards for her cover illustration. She has read her poetry at Cornelia Street Café and the Ear Inn in New York City as well as Bookmark It! and Infusion Tea in Orlando. She participated as a panelist at the Enzian Theater’s fund raiser for Pulse victims screening of the documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart, which unearths a new and healthier story about the relationship between Nylda’s gay brother Miguel and their devout mother, Carmen. Nylda’s work has been published in America magazine and other corporate publications. She is completing a second collection of poems and gathering the courage to finish Amada (Beloved), a historical fiction novelization of her ancestors’ lives in Puerto Rico. Nylda writes for the College Park Community Newspaper and leads the Maitland Writers Group, an affiliate of the Florida Writers Association.


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Pat Spears, author of It’s Not Like I Knew Her, will speak at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14th at the Maitland Writers Group.  Host Nylda Dieppa invited Spears to speak to the group because, although written well in advance of Orlando’s recent tragedy, the book resonates with themes that will help us understand the challenges and beauty of living LGBT, and of learning to express the inexpressible.




Directions to the Maitland Public Library

501 South Maitland Avenue

Maitland, FL 32751

(407) 647-7700


From I-4, take Maitland Boulevard exit. Head East on Maitland Boulevard until it crosses Maitland Avenue. Turn right on Maitland Avenue. Turn right onto Ventris Avenue after crossing the railroad tracks. The library is located at 501 S. Maitland Ave on the corner of Ventris.

From the Orlando/Winter Park area, take U.S. Hwy. 17-92 North to the intersection of Maitland Avenue. Turn Left. The library is on the left, next to the Maitland Civic Center. Turn Left onto Ventris Avenue to access our parking lot.

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TV Time

by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on April 18, 2016


Your Scribbler had a good time this morning with Peggy Kassees of the Tallahassee Writers Association, when we appeared together with Christine Souders on ABC27 WTXL to discuss my upcoming talk, “Change the Names and Make Stuff Up,” which will be this Thursday, April 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall at Lake Ella. I was able to give a shout out to Twisted Road Publications and the Florida Writers Association, and to mention my debut novel, Sewing Holes.  I appreciate it!

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Los Angeles, California Book Club Group Enjoys Sewing Holes

by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on March 30, 2016

It’s great fun when a book club buys, reads, and discusses your book (for three hours!) It’s even more fun when they send you a picture:

Sue Moynahan writing group with Sewing Holes

That’s Sue Moynahan, second from right, holding Sewing Holes. Thanks, Sue!

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