I’m a 2017 Novel Finalist in Pirate’s Alley Competition!

Fiction writers, like other artists, must write because they love the creative process. At least, this particular fiction writer must write for that reason! Any success in finding an audience for the work or making it big is just an added bonus to the joys of crafting a story and playing with words.

However, getting validation that what I have created is worth reading is an amazing feeling! Finding a home for a story or novel, or, ahem… becoming a NOVEL FINALIST in the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Contest, provides the validation to keep up with the creating!

I’m humbled and honored for my latest manuscript to have earned this accolade. I’m looking forward to the Words & Music Festival in New Orleans next month! Stay tuned for updates.

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45 for 45 by Lisa L. Leibow

#Commit to sharing my resistance via tweet-length stanzas – 140 characters max. #Resist

#Commit to the careful choice of words. #Resist

#Commit to finding truth amidst the lies. #Resist

#Commit to understanding that “alt-right” is a euphemism for white nationalist movement. #Resist

#Commit to understanding that “45” is a euphemism for the current POTUS. #Resist

#Commit to understanding that “current POTUS” is a euphemism for @realDonaldTrump. #Resist

#Commit to discerning when a euphemism disturbs me and when it comforts me. #Resist

#Commit to finding and not falling for fallacies. #Resist

#Commit to contesting the fallacy of changing the subject. #Resist

#Commit to refuting the fallacy of attacking the person instead of the argument. #Resist

#Commit to defying the power of the fallacy of “Alternate Facts” to convince me I’m crazy. #Resist

#Commit to countering the fallacy of ruling opponents “out of order.” #Resist

#Commit to ignoring 45’s blurts until fact-checked. #Resist

#Commit to ignoring 45’s tweets until spell-checked. #Resist

#Commit to denouncing hatred in all its forms. #Resist

#Commit to denouncing bigotry. #Resist

#Commit to denouncing racism. #Resist

#Commit to denouncing Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. #Resist

#Commit to denouncing misogyny. #Resist

#Commit to denouncing homophobia. #Resist

#Commit to denouncing sexism and xenophobia. #Resist

#Commit to intolerance of prejudice. #Resist

#Commit to judging individuals based on character, words, and deeds. #Resist

#Commit to loving individuals based on character, words, and deeds. #Resist

#Commit to learning from history. #Resist

#Commit to learning from the inhumanity of slavery. #Resist

#Commit to learning from the oppression of women. #Resist

#Commit to learning from the rise of Hitler. #Resist

#Commit to learning from the internment of Japanese Americans. #Resist

#Commit to learning from World Wars, Unjust Wars, and Cold Wars. #Resist

#Commit to learning from the Hollywood blacklist. #Resist

#Commit to learning from the strength of abolitionists and suffragettes. #Resist

#Commit to fighting the fear that “we the people” are powerless to halt the rise of hate. #Resist

#Commit to being proactive instead of reactive. #Resist

#Commit to teaching students to think critically and write clearly. #Resist

#Commit to teaching students to evaluate sources and find their voices. #Resist

#Commit to freedom of expression through the arts. #Resist

#Commit to finding emotional truth in the fiction I fashion. #Resist

#Commit to approaching my writing as an exercise in empathy. #Resist

#Commit to finding surprising similarities between seemingly opposite humans. #Resist

#Commit to mind that Orwell’s 1984 & Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
are cautionary tales, not guidebooks. #Resist

#Commit to acting as a writer of witness in prose and in poetry. #Resist

#Commit to encouraging artists to record on canvas or clay,
and musicians to compose, to sing, and to play. #Resist

#Commit to the notion:
140 characters or less is the only chance “45” might discover my commitments. #Resist

#Commit to exploring emotional truths in 80,000 word novels
instead of reducing my heart to 140 flippant characters. #Resist

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Must See: Thursday, March 3rd, 8 p.m. Twitter Performance of Lisa Leibow’s “45 for 45”

I spent the month of February 2017 as a merit-based grant recipient and resident of The Vermont Studio Center. What an amazing opportunity. Spending a month in a community of artists and writers is a magical experience. I highly recommend it. Most of the month, I have been working on a new novel manuscript. However, our community of artists, thrown together for a short period during this extraordinary time in our nation, produced a grassroots Zine collecting visceral work resisting the agenda of orange man in the oval office. My contribution to that Zine is a poem titled, “45 for 45.”

Please join me for a Special Performance. I have written a poem in 140 character or less lines, to be posted on Twitter, published in a Vermont Studio Center Resident Zine, and published on my blog.

So this week, I’ll begin publishing my poem “45 for 45,” in segments on Twitter. Starting Thursday night, March 2, 2017, my Twitter handle, @LLLeibow, will post a new tweet of text from my 45 line poem every minute between 8 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Readers will also find the poem posted on my blog at 9 p.m. blog.LLLeibow.com.

Join me on Twitter and/or my blog! Your audience, hearts, and re-tweets are appreciated!

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I’m Teaching a Spring 2017 Fiction Writer’s Workshop at the JCC of Northern Virginia

I’m back by popular demand at the JCC of Northern Virginia this Spring.

Join me for a Fiction Writer’s Workshop

Thursdays, March 16–May 4 (8 weeks)

Instructor: Lisa Leibow, JD, MA
Participants will explore the writing process and elements of fiction such as character, setting, point of view, and dialogue. This is a hands-on writing lab, where students will complete writing exercises that emphasize various fiction techniques. Students will also workshop a story or chapter, and will write and workshop several shorter pieces written to prompts. We will discuss aspects of crafting fiction writing. Ideally, students will leave this course with ideas on how to improve the particular stories, novel chapters, or scenes examined during the session, as well as how to improve their fiction writing in general. Limited to 15 students – beginner to intermediate level.
Fee: $230/ $200 J member

Register on-line

Register by telephone:
Code #8131

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Reading at Writers Resist

“Our democracy is at risk. Growing public cynicism and an alarming disdain for truthfulness is eroding our most dearly held democratic ideals. As writers we have tremendous power to bypass empty political discourse and focus public attention on the ideals of a free, just, and compassionate society.” – Writers Resist, #WriteOurDemocracy


Sunday, I was part of the powerful Writers Resist #WriteOurDemocracy Movement. I had the privilege of reading at Writers Resist, Split the Rock’s Sunday Kind of Love Reading at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC, featuring two amazing poets Annie Kim and Samantha Thornhill. I read an abridged version of “Waiting on the American Dream,” originally published in Sand Hill Review. The piece was inspired by Virginia’s former Governor’s efforts to stand in the way of The American Dream Act. I have been so proud of our current Governor Terry McAuliffe’s efforts to provide children raised in the United States with in-state tuition. I will continue to write and share stories that explore the emotional truths and shared humanity of  of the diverse members  of our American community. This effort is crucial to fighting against racism, misogyny, xenophobia,  antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and bigotry of all kinds, especially in the face of an incoming Federal Executive Branch that seems determined to use its power to incite hatred and abandon reason.

Don’t worry if you missed the event. You can read the text of my unabridged story using the hyperlinked title.

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New Fiction Writing Class at the JCC of Northern Virginia

I’m thrilled to be teaching a creative writing class at the JCC of Northern Virginia this fall.

The Fiction Writer’s Toolkit
Thursdays, October 20–December 1 (6 weeks)
(no class Nov. 24)

Here’s a description of the course:
Participants will explore the writing process and elements of fiction such as character, setting, point of view, and dialogue. This is a hands-on writing lab, where students will complete writing exercises that emphasize various fiction techniques. By the end of the course, students will have added a number of fiction techniques to their writer’s toolkit and will be ready to participate in a Fiction Workshop to be offered in the spring. Class is limited to 15 students.

Click here for more details/registration information.


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RANDOM RANT: Incompetent DIY Website Builder

The headline refers to yours truly.

When it comes to web design and web hosting, I know just enough to be dangerous! I’m in the process of redesigning my website. I thought it would be simple — silly me. I own two domain names: LLLeibow.com and LisaLipkindLeibow.com. I used GoDaddy Website Builder to build a new site hosted on the longer of the two names, with plans to leave up the old site on the shorter name until after the new one was complete. MY GOAL: have users type in the shorter web address to reach me. MY FIRST PROBLEM: when I set up forwarding of the LLLeibow.com domain to the LisaLipkindLeibow.com domain where my new website lived, I lost the ability to reach this blog! MY SECOND PROBLEM: Apparently, I don’t understand the difference between a domain forwarding and a hosting redirect. MY THIRD (AND ULTIMATE) PROBLEM: I tried to wing it and I made the problem worse.

To make a long story short, I’m going to try one more fix on my own. But if I can’t figure it out, I’ll be calling a professional!

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Meet and Greet The Authors (That’s me!)

I’m really looking forward to appearing at the Barnes and Noble in Reston, VA with two other authors at a special Meet and Greet the Authors. Stop by to see me. It will be a great afternoon!

Here’s a little more about the event (borrowed from the Reston Barnes and Noble website)

Meet and Greet Virginia Writers’ Club Authors Trio

Author Event
Take advantage of this opportunity to meet a fabulous trio of authors: Dr. Patricia Daly-Lipe, author A Cruel Calm, Lisa Lipkind Leibow, author of Double Out and Back and Dorothy A. Spruzen, writer of Not One of Us.
Saturday September 15, 2012 1:00 PM
Spectrum Center
1851 Fountain Drive, Reston, VA 20190, 703-437-9490

As you may know, DOUBLE OUT AND BACK is available for purchase and reading on the Nook! Click here to buy now!

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Read House On Narcissus Street in Eleven Eleven

I’m quite excited about the release of Issue 12 of Eleven Eleven Literary Journal. It features my short story, House on Narcissus Street. 

Here’s a link to it on-line.

House on Narcissus Street by Lisa Leibow, Eleven Eleven Journal of Literature & Art, Issue 12

There are so many hurdles to cross on the path to publication. Crossing hurdles of coming up with an idea, completing a first draft, perfecting the structure, enhancing the characters, bringing a setting to life, honing the language, getting brave enough to share it, identifying potential markets, drafting query letters, waiting, developing a thick skin when rejections roll-in, celebrating at an offer for publication, more waiting… But when the issue is released with my story in print: Yippee! It feels like I won the race! — Well at least I have won a qualifying round on the road to becoming an overnight success — even if it takes me decades.


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The VOLLLT Chronicles. Volume 3

My First Public Charging Station

I recently read an article in the Washington Post announcing new public electric vehicle charging stations at BWI airport. So, when preparing for my trip, I thought I’d check it out. I called in advance to confirm the location of the stations, the cost for parking, and to see if I needed to reserve a spot in advance. My call to the airport parking authority went something like this:

Me: I drive a Chevy Volt and I understand you have electric vehicle charging stations. Where are they located?

Them: On the first floor of the Daily Parking Garage.

Me: How much does it cost to use them?

Them: It’s free. There’s no fee other than the normal Daily Parking fee of $12.00 per day.

Me: Do I need to make a reservation in advance?

Them: No, so far they’re always empty.


Well, here goes… take a look-see. I arrived at the airport and headed directly for the first floor of the Daily Parking Garage. The EV Charging stations were right near the entrance to the stairs for the shuttle stop. Great location, no hassle, sold! I plugged in, locked up, and left to catch my flight. When I returned a few days later, VOLLLT was safe and sound, and fully charged with enough battery power to get me home from the airport. Cool!


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