Writing workshop prepares future authors

The D.C. region might be producing a lot more published authors in the near future because more people are learning how to write and publish a book.

A moment of meditation, and then a writing exercise are just a few steps these writers take on the long road to becoming published authors. Judy Chow's future memoir is about growing up Chinese-American and being caught between two cultures.

“It's basically about my growing up as the family translator, my struggles and my parents' struggles with language and assimilating w/ith American culture,” Chow said.

In the last 32 years, her teacher David Hazard has written 30 books himself and launched the careers of others.

“We explore the inside of you to discover, what really is the power of your voice, what makes you interesting,” he said about his 10-month course.

Former Marine Corps pilot Dan Sheehan uses videos and journals to recall his time serving in Iraq. “I said I'm just gonna sit here and golden prose is gonna flow from my fingertips, and it didn't quite work that way,” he admits.

Teacher Hazard recommended Sheehan create a palette of sticky notes outlining his triumphs and tragedies at war. That storyboard organizes the pages of Sheehan's book. “What kept me going through those pages was maybe my kids would want to read this someday,” he said.

For almost $4,000, students attend workshops, receive one-on-one mentoring with Hazard, and preparation for presenting their books to publishers. So far, Hazard says 80 percent of students have been published or are in negotiations.