Previous events

Short Story Fest

Short Story Book Club kicks off the inaugural literary short story festival, Short Story Fest on May 15, 2021. Short Story Fest is the online literary event for people who love and appreciate short stories and reading culture. This one-day event will bring together readers and authors from across the country to create connections based on their mutual enjoyment and appreciation of short stories, literature, and writing.

Presenters and speakers involved with the festival represent a broad range of literary talent within the short story genre or are experts in the field. Featured sessions include:

• Writing Your Life’s Story with Jamie – Led by Jamie Cat Callan, author; In this session, we will talk about how to create a well-structured memoir.

• Writing Erotic Short Stories – Led by Petula Caesar, author, poet and journalist; This workshop will examine the history of erotic writing, spotlighting a few iconic works, with focus on creative uses of language and storytelling devices.

• Laughter Yoga – Led by Gerri Bohanan, author and yoga instructor; Workshop attendees will sit down, walk around, run around, and lay down with eye contact and childlike playfulness.

Additional workshops and chats include sessions with authors Christine Drawl, Kathy Anderson, Cherrie Woods, Joseph Holt, and Mildred Stokes; instructor Hank Wallace; and poet Otis Sprow.

“I agree with author George Saunders who said, ‘When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you,” Anderson says. “That’s why I’m thrilled to be part of Short Story Fest, turning more readers on to the wonder of short stories.” “By the written word, we all shall be lifted,“ says Sprow. Short Story Fest is free, and all attendees will receive a digital swag bag. Friends of the festival can access additional benefits such as breakfast with the authors, complimentary books by authors featured at the festival, and invitation to Friends-only events. Festival attendees are encouraged to register early as there are backstage and pre-festival activities for everyone to enjoy leading up to the festival, including poetry feedback with Sprow. This and other events are available only to those who register, so the earlier you join, the more you can enjoy! Learn more about Short Story Fest and register for each session at SHORTSTORYFEST.COM.

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About Short Story Book Club Our mission is simple: Promote the development and enjoyment of short stories. Short Story Book Club aims to advance the genre of short stories by making them more accessible. Founded by professionals in communications, education, and publishing, Short Story Book Club staff have extensive experience in identifying and developing short stories for a wide range of audiences. Through Short Story Book Club, we foster reading, discovery, and reflection among a community of readers who enjoy literature for the sake of it. Donna Ledbetter, Short Story Book Club, (443) 499-3638, dledbetter@shortstorybookclub.com Kathryn Montalbano, Short Story Book Club, (908) 447-1722 ¬¬, kathryn@shortstorybookclub.com

FREE! Registration required.

Govans Presbyterian Church Racial Justice Speakers' Series - Featuring Petula Caesar

TO PARTICIPATE: Please contact Lea Gilmore for the Zoom link at lea@govanspres.org

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Author and lecturer Petula Caesar will be kicking off Govans Presbyterian Church's Racial Justice Speakers Series by leading a discussion about colorism - a discussion that will be framed by the events she writes about in her memoir "She's Such A Bright Girl: An American Story." Petula writes extensively about the ins and outs of colorism, sharing her experiences growing up as a light-skinned black woman with a father who encouraged her to take advantage of her fair skin in order to ease the burdens she would face as a black woman in America. You can learn more about Petula, and order copies of the book at www.petulacaesar.com/aboutpetula.

WHAT IS COLORISM? In 1983, Alice Walker used the term colorism to describe “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color." Deeply rooted in the myth of white supremacy, colorism allows Black people access to certain levels of societal privilege based on their physical similarities to white people, especially skin color. While there are many layers to colorism, from the way it manifests itself within Black families with members of varying skin shades to the privileges White people instinctively and subconsciously afford to Blacks that seem more like themselves in appearance, colorism is one of the best examples of the power of the myth of white supremacy.

TO PARTICIPATE: Please contact Lea Gilmore for the Zoom link at lea@govanspres.org.

ABOUT THE SPONSORS: This event is co-sponsored by the Racial Justice Ministry and African American Affinity Group of Govans Presbyterian Church.

Writing Erotica - Yes you can - Erotic Writing Workshop via Videoconferencing

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ZOOM

This workshop will be held online via Zoom. You will receive the workshop link and password on the day of the workshop. Scholarships are available for this workshop along with alternative payment methods. Learn more or get in touch with us at MoonLitDC.com.

Erotica. Some say it is the dirty side of literature without redeeming value that no serious author would engage in. But many time-honored literary works fall into the category of sensual and/or sexual writing. The Bible’s Song Of Solomon. Molly Bloom’s closing soliloquy in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The historically iconic John Cleland’s Fanny Hill. Poetry by Rumi, Audre Lorde and John Donne. Writing that examines the pleasures, the mechanics, and the emotional impact of sex have always existed in literature – though some say the most famous examples of modern-day erotica aren’t necessarily well-written. But how does one write about sex in a way that isn’t awkward and awful? From carefully selecting your words and skillfully crafting your phrases and metaphors to finding the writing voice that conveys what you want to deliver to your reader, there is a special kind of wordsmithing that makes erotica happen successfully.

This workshop will examine the history of erotic writing, spotlighting a few iconic works, with a lot of focus on creative uses of language and storytelling devices. We will discuss how writers find that “sweet spot” in their writing that touches on the sexual/sensual elements in exactly the manner they intend. There will be writing exercises and other surprises. Whether you are an experienced writer or a first-time erotica writer looking to stretch your writing muscles, the workshop will inform, engage, and will be a lot of fun!

Maryland Citizens For The Arts Presents ARTSLAB 2019

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Horowitz Center , 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia

ARTSLAB IS A TRAVELING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SYMPOSIUM, PRESENTED BY MCA EACH YEAR, IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE STATE. ARTSLAB IS A PLACE WHERE ARTISTS, ARTS PROFESSIONALS, ADVOCATES AND MORE, COME TOGETHER TO DISCUSS CURRENT ISSUES AND CONCERNS FACING THE ARTS SECTOR. IN ADDITION TO THRILLING PERFORMANCES, THE MORNING PORTION HIGHLIGHTS AN INDIVIDUAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER WHICH EXEMPLIFIES BEST PRACTICES FOR THE TOPIC AT HAND. THE AFTERNOON PORTION OF THE DAY IS A MIX OF HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS, PANEL DISCUSSIONS, AND CASE STUDIES. THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S SYMPOSIUM WILL BE “ARTS ECOSYSTEM”. IT WILL FEATURE PRESENTATIONS BY, AND CONVERSATIONS WITH ARTISTS, LAWYERS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT MAKE UP THE INNER-WORKINGS OF THE ARTS ECOSYSTEM. ATTENDEES WILL COME AWAY WITH RESOURCES THAT WILL GIVE THEM A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THEY INTERACT WITH THE ARTS ECOSYSTEM. COME AND ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE CONVERSATION!

I will be presenting a workshop on Self Promotion and Development.

Shade - A Conversation About Colorism (THE LADIES EDITION)

Hotel RL - Inner Harbor, 207 East Redwood Street, Baltimore

Join author Petula Caesar as she leads a conversation about colorism and its impact on the African American community. Her recently published book "She's Such A Bright Girl: An American Story" chronicles her own story of gowing up in Baltimore as a light skinned girl and how her dad encouraged her to assimilate.

Special guest will be Dr. Tonya Phillips.

There will BE SOME VERY HONEST TALK about how colorism especially affects Black women. From redbones to cafe au lait to caramel to ebony to milk chocolate and everything in between, from the "good hair" to the "d**ck sucking lips", let's talk about all the ways in which Black women's beauty is measured in valued. How does colorism cause Black women to oppress themselves and each other? How does it impact how we relate to men, and how they relate to us?

WE'LL BE RIGHT BY THE BAR - GET A DRINK, HAVE A SEAT, FREE YOUR MIND!

Books will be available for purchase at a discounted rate.

Baltimore Book Festival - Invisible Majority Tent

Baltimore, Maryland

Join me on a panel of local authors talking about our autobiographical works.

"You Can Sit With Us"

Join authors Victoria Kent and Petula Caesar each month as they discuss their books, publishing in general, and how to successfully be a creative in today's world!

Book Discussion - Enoch Pratt Free Library

Walbrook Branch, 3203 W North Avenue, Baltimore

FREE!

Join me at the Walbrook Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library as Petula Caesar, author of “She’s Such A Bright Girl: An American Story” leads a conversation about colorism based on the experiences she recounts in her book.

Born to a very light-skinned African-American man, Petula was raised in a household that encouraged/insisted that she take on as many “White” attributes and attitudes as she possibly could. He believed the combination of this alongside her skin complexion would help her avoid the trials, tribulations, and traumas of life that would be unavoidable as a Black person. The conversation will include frank discussion around topics like light-skinned privilege (does it exist?), how skin complexion impacts economic, health and educational outcomes, and what role does colorism play when it comes to dating?

Books will be on sale.

FREE!

APPLE CARNEGIE LIBRARY OPENING

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APPLE STORE/APPLE CARNEGIE LIBRARY OPENING, 801 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

ON SATURDAY, MAY 11TH THE APPLE CARNEGIE LIBRARY WILL OPEN AT 801 K STREET NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001. THIS SPACE WILL BE INSPIRED FOR THE RICH HISTORY OF THE CARNEGIE LIBRARY. THE APPLE CARNEGIE LIBRARY WILL BE A BRAND-NEW RETAIL STORE AS WELL AS A PLACE WHERE EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO COME AND DISCOVER ALL KINDS OF CREATIVITY, CONNECT WITH NEW IDEAS, AND SHARE THEIR STORIES. THE WEEKEND WILL INCLUDE A GROUP OF STORYTELLERS, AND PETULA WILL BE ONE OF THE STORYTELLERS. SHE WILL BE SHARING A STORY FROM HER BOOK, "SHE'S SUCH A BRIGHT GIRL: AN AMERICAN STORY." THERE WILL BE OTHER ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND.

ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY WAVERLY BRANCH PRESENTS PETULA CAESAR

Waverly Branch - Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 East 33rd Street, Baltimore, Maryland

FREE EVENT!

Caesar Productions and The Enoch Pratt Free Library Present “Shade: A Discussion About Colorism” Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2 p.m. Enoch Pratt Free Library – Waverly Branch – 400 East 33rd Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

Moderated by Charles Jackson - Community Outreach Coordinator/ Diversity Practitioner

Petula Caesar, author of “She’s Such A Bright Girl: An American Story” leads a conversation about colorism based on the experiences she recounts in her book. Discussion topics include: • Does “light-skinned privilege” exist? • How does skin complexion impact economic, health and educational outcomes? • What role does colorism play in family relationships and dating?

Panelists include Dr. Donna Oriowo, LICSW, LCSW-C, LCSW, M.ED., a clinical social worker and sex therapist, and Dr. Marilyn Martin, M.D., M.P.H., a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.

Refreshments will be available, and books will be on sale. FREE!

Get more details at http://calendar.prattlibrary.org/event/meet_the_author_petula_caesar_shes_such_a_bright_girl_an_american_story#.W743QmhKjIV

Nov7

Petula Caesar on The LaDawn Black Show

WEAA 88.9 FM, Baltimore

DETAILS COMING SOON!

STOOP STORYTELLING SERIES: Getting it Wrong: Stories about Mix-ups, Mistakes, and Misunderstandings.

The Senator Theater, 5904 York Road, Baltimore, Maryland

Petula will be sharing one of the stories from the book as part of the evening's theme of "Getting it Wrong: Stories about Mix-ups, Mistakes, and Misunderstandings." Go to https://www.stoopstorytelling.com/event/getting-it-wrong-stories-about-mix-ups-mistakes-and-misunderstandings/ to learn more about the event, and to purchase tickets!

Sep28

BALTIMORE BOOK FESTIVAL

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Inner Harbor

I have been selected to be an exhibitor at the 2018 BALTIMORE.BOOK FESTIVAL!

The Baltimore Book Festival features hundreds of author appearances and book signings, 100+ exhibitors and booksellers, non-stop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, poetry readings and workshops, panel discussions, walking tours, storytellers and hands-on projects for kids, street theater, live music, and a delicious variety of food, beer and wine.

Jul19

COLORISM AND THE BLACK WOMAN

Impact Hub, 10 East North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland

White supremacy has manifested itself in many ways in the Black community, including the skin complexion hierarchy it has created - a hierarchy that makes light skin and physical features related to Whiteness more preferred, with dark skin and physical features related to Blackness less preferred. As a result, Black woman often do great harm to each other as they've dealt with the baggage each side of the fence presents. In "She's Such A Bright Girl: An American Story", author Petula Caesar describes being raised as a very light skinned African American girl in a household that instructed her to ignore everything that made her a Black person - from Black literature and music to language and activities. This discussion will specifically address the bullying Petula experienced as a child from dark skinned girls, and the bullying she learned they were also experiencing when she spoke to them as adult women. The discussion will also unpack how this particular manifestation of White supremacy damages relationships between women of color of all ethic backgrounds

To contact Petula for bookings or additional information, please email petula@petulacaesar.com.