News Saturday Sessions Of Writers Institute To Focus On Historical Fiction And Research - Garrett College
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Campus News

July 2, 2018

Saturday sessions of Writers' Institute to focus on historical fiction and research

Saturday, July 28th will be the second day of the workshop series as part of the 2018 Mountain Maryland Writers' Institute at Garrett College, with themes centering on historical research, topic selection, and genealogy. Participants will visit locations throughout Friendsville and Grantsville.

Dr. James Rada, Jr. has written many works of historical fiction and non-fiction history, which include the following books: Saving Shallmar: Christmas Spirit in a Coal Town, Canawlers, and Battlefield Angels: The Daughters of Charity Work as Civil War Nurses.

A resident of Gettysburg, Pa., Rada currently works as a freelance writer. He has received numerous awards from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, Associated Press, Maryland State Teachers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc. for his newspaper writing. To see his other books or to order copies online, visit

Dr. Neal Brooks brings a life-long interest in all phases of history, particularly in aspects of Maryland and the local community. His experiences as a published writer include co-authorship of a History of Baltimore County and Baltimore County Panorama, both of which sold out in the original press runs.

Dr. Brooks will encourage participants to take on writing projects that can be expanded by looking at them through a broad historical overview.

Their workshop sessions, ‘Historical Landscape: Research and Use of Local Resources' will take place on Saturday, July 28th from 10 a.m. until 12 noon at the Friendsville Heritage Museum and Genealogical Library and from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Grantsville Community Museum. Upon their arrival at the Friendsville Heritage Museum, participants will be greeted by historian Ina Hicks, who will provide a history and overview of the museum.

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction or just want to research your family roots, getting the history correct is important. This course will take participants into local historical societies to explore what type of information is gathered and how it can be used to recreate historical settings. The workshop session will also look at other types of research information that is available online and how to apply it to local settings.

Resources contained within the two local museums will be used to explore myriad topics. The workshop will remain flexible enough to encourage unique inquiry and investigation of topics that maintain individual approaches and creativity. Both authors will encourage participants to see this as an experience in the art and practical directions that produce results.

Lunch will be provided at midday and will be followed by afternoon sessions at The Grantsville Community Museum. At the conclusion of the afternoon workshops, participants will be transported to nearby Spruce Artisan Village at Penn Alps, and will have free time to explore the village's artisans and crafts. The day will conclude with an evening meal at Cornucopia Café and a brief presentation on the history of the cafe.

Transportation to and from the day's venues will be provided by the college.

Limited workshop registration spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration closes on July 20, 2018. More information on the Mountain Maryland Writers' Institute, including the Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule and presenters' biographies, can be found online at or by calling 301-387-3333.