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Lighthouse Literary Guild

A Resource for Aspiring and Working Writers

Lighthouse Literary Guild ImageThe Lighthouse Literary Guild brings together lifelong learners of all ages to enhance their writing skills. Through short courses, retreats and visiting scholars the Guild offers opportunities for the casual and serious writer. The Guild is a writing community celebrating the shared solitary experience of “putting pen to paper.” The goal of the Guild is to be the destination on the Eastern Shore for both local and vacationing writers. In addition, the Guild will promote the works of local writers through readings, book launches and social media.

The Lighthouse Literary Guild is an evolving concept. We are looking for your feedback, so if you have an idea for a course or instructor, please let us know. Our department email is and subscribe to our emails to keep up to date on news and events. 

 The Lighthouse Literary Guild is supported in part by an anonymous donor through the Salisbury University Foundation, Inc.

Spring 2018

Nancy MitchellPoetry Writing with Nancy Mitchell

 Mondays • 4:30-6 p.m. 
 Session II: APRIL 2-MAY 7

 In weekly workshops, we will critique writing with an eye/ear/mind/heart to how successful fellow writers have been in articulating intention with a variety of literary techniques. Writing will be generated by prompts given at the beginning of each class.

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Nancy Mitchell is a 2012 Pushcart Prize winner and the author of The Near Surround (Four Way Books, 2002) and Grief Hut (Cervena Barva Press, 2009). Her recent poems appear, or will soon appear, in Poetry Daily, Agni, Washington Square Review, Green Mountains Review, Tar River Poetry, Columbia College Literary Review, and Thrush, among others. She, with Danny Lawless, is the co-editor of and contributor to Plume Interviews I, forthcoming in February, 2017.

Mitchell teaches at Salisbury University and serves as the Associate Editor of Special Features for Plume. She can be reached at



 Pat ValdataStarting Your Novel or Memoir with Pat Valdata

 Thursdays • 6:30-8 p.m. 
 Session II: April 5 - May 10

This six-week class will cover essential skills to help writers who want to produce a good novel. Topics include planning the book, developing interesting characters, how to sequence a plot, composing vivid scenes, tips for writing dialogue, and how to sustain momentum on a big writing project. The class will use a mix of discussions, examples, exercises, and workshops. Writers with a novel in progress are welcome!

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Pat Valdata is an award-winning novelist and poet with an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Goddard College. Her books include two novels, Crosswind and The Other Sister (2008 Arpad Academy gold medalist) and two poetry books, Where No Man Can Touch (2015 Donald Justice Poetry Prize) and Inherent Vice. She lives in Crisfield, MD and is an adjunct professor teaching creative writing online for the University of Maryland University College.



Publishing: Beyond the Fear with Tara Elliott

Saturday, April 21 • 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
$60 ($10 off for ESWA and MWA members)

Publishing... does the word both excite and frighten you?  Interested in submitting your poetry and short stories to magazines and journals, but not quite sure how?  Bring your laptop or tablet, a digital submission-ready piece of writing (poets, please bring 3-5 poems), and join Tara Elliott as she answers your questions about the process, and teaches how submit in today's online market.  What exactly is a simultaneous submission?  What format should I use?  What are First Serial Rights?  Where do I find places to publish?  How long do I have to wait to see if they accepted my work?  How do I fit submissions into my schedule?  Find out the answers to all these questions and more!  Participants will actually submit work during this hands-on workshop! 

Tara A. Elliott is a poet, and the director of Salisbury Poetry Week.  She is honored to serve as a Wicomico County Public Library Light of Literacy Educator, a facilitator for SU's Lighthouse Poetry Society, and a board member of Eastern Shore Writer's Association.  

The former editor of Triplopia magazine, her recent poems have been published in The Ekphrastic Review, The TAOS Journal of International Poetry & Art, and The End of 83, among others, and are forthcoming in Wildness Journal, Triggerfish Critical Review, MER, The Summerset Review and The Broadkill Review.

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This is a logo with the words "SU at the Beach" in fun maroon font, a few water drops splashed around and a stylized starfishWriting Your Memoir: From Draft to Craft
with Emily Rich

Beginning on Thursday, April 5 from 9 - 10:30 am. 
$60 per six-week session. Ocean Pines Community Center.

Join us for this six-week writing course offered by Emily Rich, Executive Editor of The Delmarva Review. Having a great story is just the first step to writing a compelling piece of memoir. In this class, we will explore what takes a piece of personal writing “from draft to craft,” looking at elements such as character development, incorporating sensory detail, and writing in scenes. We will focus on the importance of taking a story that’s true and connecting it, as Cheryl Strayed says, “to the greater, grander truth.” In addition to workshopping each others’ writing, participants will read essays on craft and sample works of successful memoirists. When the course is over, participants will come away with an appreciation of what makes a piece of memoir stand out and appeal to an audience beyond themselves.

Emily Rich is the Editor of Delmarva Review. She writes mainly memoir and essay. Her work has been published in a number of small presses including Little Patuxent Review, r.kv.ry, Delmarva Review the Pinch and Hippocampus. Her essays have been listed as notables in Best American

 Essays 2014 and 2015. Her story "Black Market Pall Malls" won the Biostories 2015 War and Peace essay contest.

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Author Fran Severn is pictured in color. Fran has short medium blond hair and is pictured with a wide and confident smile.Creativity and the Craft of Writing
with Fran Severn-Levy

Beginning Tuesday, April 3 from 9 - 10:30 am. 
$60 per six-week session. Ocean Pines Community Center.

Want to recharge your creative energies in the New Year? During this six week course Fran Severn will lead an exploration of that nebulous concept. We’ll share what makes us feel creative, what keeps us from tapping into our creative side, and how to activate our imaginations. Be ready for real world examples of creativity to start brainstorming and play with thinking “5 degrees off center line.”

Fran Severn-Levy loves to play with words and images. Her sense of wanderlust and curiosity is seen in over 200 published articles on subjects ranging from the National Scrabble Championship, participating in medical clinical trials, a school for butlers in London, and training horses for Civil War reenactors. She’s the author of “Art Drives on Delmarva” a guide to galleries and art venues in the region. She lives in Salisbury with her husband, three dogs, and two horses.

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Why Write? Keeping Your Reader Interested
with Susan Canfora

Beginning Wednesday April 4 from 6 - 7:30 pm.
$60 per six-week session. Ocean Pines Community Center

In a friendly, enjoyable atmosphere students will review the basics of grammar and punctuation that are the foundations of effective writing, write "spills" using prompts, and critique well-known writers. There will be discussions of what interests readers and how to write in a concise, engaging manner that will maintain their interest. There will also be discussion about how and where to get published. 

Susan Canfora is a news reporter for the Salisbury Independent. An adjunct professor in SU’s Communication Arts Department, she has taught journalism, writing, grammar and related courses at SU since 1998. She's also an adjunct at Wor-Wic Community College. 

Register Now!

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