October 2017

Writer-in-Residence Program

Emma Carlson Berne and Naomi Tucker Gerwin Emma Carlson Berne and Naomi Tucker Gerwin

Children’s and YA Author Emma Carlson Berne Named as Library Foundation’s New Writer-in-Residence

Emma Carlson Berne has lived in a lot of places—Wisconsin, South Carolina, England and Israel. But the author, who was born in Clifton and raised in Wyoming, heeded the longing of her heart to return to Hamilton County ten years ago, where she embarked on a prolific career writing children’s and young adult novels and nonfiction. That love for this city, and Berne’s passion for writing and telling stories will be the focus of her next big adventure as the 2017-2018 Library Foundation’s Writer-in-Residence.

Berne holds an M.A. in Composition and Rhetoric from Miami University-Oxford and is the author of dozens of YA and children’s fiction and nonfiction books including Never Let You Go, the Star Wars Forces of Destiny series, the Beforever series from American Girl Publishing, the Cub Reporter Meets Famous Americans series, and the Laugh Your Socks Off! World’s Best (and Worst) Jokes series.

“One of my goals is to work with those who may feel that storytelling is not for them,” said Berne. “Over my many years as a writer, I have learned that writing is simply a set of tools and I’m excited to share those tools with others.”

Library Foundation’s 2016-2017 Writer-in-Residence

Kurt Dinan Kurt Dinan

Kurt Dinan is a busy man. The father of four teaches sophomore English and creative writing at William Mason High School and serves as advisor for the school yearbook. Dinan has a passion for writing and telling stories. He will spend the next year sharing that passion as the Library Foundation’s Writer-in-Residence for 2016-2017.

Dinan was named to the post at a donor event on Friday, Oct. 21, at the Madeira Branch Library. As the Writer-in-Residence, Dinan will conduct a writers’ workshop, speak at community events, host a podcast, write a blog and participate in Library promotions during his residency, which runs from October 2016 through September 2017. He will receive a $10,000 stipend for his efforts. The Writer-in-Residence program is made possible through the generous support of Naomi Tucker Gerwin.

“I’m just really thrilled,” Dinan told the crowd during his acceptance speech. “It’s quite an honor. I started writing at 30 and I think when you find your passion you want to be able to share it with people. And now I’ll have the opportunity to help other writers in the community and to support the Library.”

About Kurt Dinan

Dinan published many short stories, one of which, Plink, appears in 2015’s The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7. His first young adult novel, Don’t Get Caught was released in April by Sourcebooks Fire. Don’t Get Caught tells the story of Max, who receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club. With a 2.5 GPA and no social life, Max wonders why he was chosen and becomes suspicious. Max along with four fellow students—who also received invites—are standing on a newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. They believe it’s a setup and plan to get payback by unleashing a prank war.

Connect with Kurt

  • Writing Workshops at the Main Library with Kurt.
    • February 4, 2 p.m. - So You’ve Lost Your Mind and Want to Write a Novel. Most readers at one time or another have considered writing a novel. Well, maybe now’s the time to start doing it instead of just thinking about it. This workshop will not only cover novel-writing basics (Novel 101), but will also include hands-on strategies and tips regarding brainstorming and dealing with writer’s block.
    • March 4, 2 p.m. - Plotting versus Pantsing: How to (Maybe) Outline a Novel. So you’ve got a great concept for a novel and a whole bunch of characters you’re ready to manipulate and torture...what’s next? In this workshop we’ll talk about plot construction, scene crafting, and other things to consider as you start writing.
    • July 29, 2 p.m. - Fiction Writing Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts I’ve Learned. They say that the more you write, the more you learn. With that in mind, I’ll share with you the strategies and lessons I’ve learned (many the hard way) in the fifteen years I’ve been writing. Tips on writing dialogue and description, plotting, revising, brainstorming, even when and where to write…all of it, and other things, will be covered.
    • August 26, 2 p.m. - Yay, I Have a Finished Draft! Now What? Good news/bad news--The good news is you’ve finished a novel, something most people will never do. The bad news is, it’s probably not sellable…at least not yet. In this workshop I’ll cover my approach to revising a novel, the hard questions I ask myself, revision strategies, and how I ignore the temptation to light my computer on fire before crawling into the closet for a long crying session.
    • September 23, 2 p.m. - The Long and Tortuous Road to Publication: A Roadmap to Traditional Publication. Now that you have a finished novel, you can probably picture it on the shelf at your local library. Before that happens though, there’s a lot of work to be done. In this workshop I’ll cover the process to researching agents, writing (the nightmare that is) a query letter, what happens once you sign an agent, and, if you’re a masochist, great ways to sabotage your chances at ever getting your book published and being blacklisted forever.
  • Inside the Writer's Head Blog. Weekly posts on books, writing, and creativity.
  • Inside the Writer's Head Podcast: Season 2. Conversations on books and writing with Kurt Dinan.

Past Writers-in-Residence: