May
8
Fri
Online Writing Workshop: Roll the Dice and Write
May 8 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

—New Date, Now Online—

Roll the Dice and Write: Using Dungeons & Dragons to Unleash Creativity

Writers tend to be perfectionists. Their natural inclination to control the narrative and get everything just right, from plot to dialogue to punctuation, can become a barrier that leaves some writers unable to finish a project as they continue to perfect it.

But what happens when your story is subject to chance?

With the rise of tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, writers are discovering a new way to hone their craft. All the trappings of control go out the door when the story depends on multiple players and random dice roles to carry it forward. Join us for this session to learn how playing story-based games can help you develop characters, improvise scenes on the fly, overcome story obstacles and plot holes, and more.

Author Patrick Rothfuss wrote, “Being an author is kinda like playing D&D with yourself.” But what can writers learn when they invite others to join in? Join us on May 8 and roll the dice to find out.

Matthew Phillion is the author of the YA superhero novel series, the Indestructibles and a member of the Salem Athenaeum Writers Committee. A lifelong tabletop roleplaying game fan, he has often used techniques from those games to craft his novels and characters – and even launched a new litRPG series, the Dungeon Crawlers, in 2019. When he’s not writing, he Matt can usually be found prepping for one of the several D&D games he DMs in the Salem area for both experienced and new players alike.

May
9
Sat
Book Group
May 9 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m.

View the reading list.

May
11
Mon
Writing Group: The Monday Group
May 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Monday Group offers support and feedback for adult writers under 40 at the beginnings of their careers. Those interested should contact leader Blake Campbell (blakecampbell1919@gmail.com) to assess whether this group is right for you.

May
12
Tue
Writers’ Open Studio
May 12 @ 8:40 am – 11:30 am

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.

The building will be open from 8:40-11:30 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting.

Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.

La Tertulia
May 12 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

La Tertulia is a group of members interested in keeping their Spanish speaking skills in practice.

Meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday
from 6:00 to 8:00 PM

May
18
Mon
Monday Evening Conversations
May 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Monday Evening Conversations Group meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM. All members and other interested parties are invited.

It may be of interest to know that the The Social Library, predecessor of the Salem Athenæum, was founded by a similar discussion group, called the Monday Evening Club. Edward Augustus Holyoke, Rev. Thomas Barnard, Rev. Thomas Gilchrist, Benjamin Lynde, Nathaniel Ropes and others were among the Monday Evening Club founders, who gathered to discuss current events and topics of mutual interest.

Topics for discussion are wide open, but must be amenable to good conversation. Examples include:

  • The long ranging effects of the Civil War
  • The courage to be vulnerable
  • European architecture
  • The importance/non importance of art
  • Why have friends

Meetings will start with something to help frame the discussion for the evening, such as a:

  • brief talk
  • podcast
  • video
  • reading of prose or poetry
  • music

We look forward to talking with you!

May
19
Tue
Writers’ Open Studio
May 19 @ 8:40 am – 11:30 am

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.

The building will be open from 8:40-11:30 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting.

Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.

Salem Writers’ Group
May 19 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

All are welcome to bring work-in-progress to share with the group for feedback. The group is facilitated by J.D. Scrimgeour, Professor of English, Salem State University.

May
20
Wed
Legacies of 1620 and the Mayflower: Native Americans of New England
May 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Christoph Strobel will present an interpretive history of the indigenous peoples of New England. This talk will not attempt to provide a comprehensive history, but, rather, by focusing on a few select case studies, historic sketches, and biographies from throughout New England, we will explore the story of Native Americans in the region. While this talk will not turn a blind eye to the horrendous impact that colonization, dispossession, and racism had on the lives of indigenous peoples in New England, it will also emphasize Native American resistance, adaptation, and survival under often harsh and unfavorable circumstances.

Christoph Strobel is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he teaches various courses in global and Native American history. His most recent book is Native Americans of New England. He is also the author of the Global Atlantic: 1400–1900, The Testing Grounds of Modern Empire, and, co-author with Alice Nash, of Daily Life of Native Americans from Post-Columbian through Nineteenth-Century America. Christoph has also published three books on immigration and his scholarly essays appear in many academic journals and in various edited collections.

May
26
Tue
Writers’ Open Studio
May 26 @ 8:40 am – 11:30 am

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.

The building will be open from 8:40-11:30 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting.

Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.