WRITING WORKSHOP SCHEDULES and FEES 2018 [For free meetings, see below]
January 18, 19 Memoir Writing workshop 9:00-12:00 $60 or $35/day
February 23 Memoir, Novel workshop esp. for beginners 9:00- 2:00 $45
March 14, 15 Poetry workshop 2:00 to 5:00 $60 or $35/day
April 14, 15 Finish Your Writing Project 9:00-12:00 $60 or $35/day
Discounts given to attendees bringing another participant.
Pre-register at my e-mail site (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least two days before. No need to pre-pay; bring payment to meetings at the Lowe House. Fees include donation to keep afloat the non-profit meeting place. Address all questions to the e-mail address above or call Bill: (828) 557-2527.
FREE WRITING MEETINGS
Creative Writing Group meets weekly or bi-weekly on Thursdays, 4:00-6:00 (this is a continuing small group for reading and critiquing works in progress).
Poetry Alive meets monthly on the last Sunday 4:30-6:00 (a new public forum for reading and listening without critiquing).
All free meetings are held in the Lowe House. No registration needed but modest donations are welcomed.
ALSO check out many other relevant offerings at the Lowe House Project website, (lowehouseproject.com).
WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION and ACTIVITIES
Finishing Your Writing Project, (4/14 and 15; 2018)
Are you stuck? I have been, on two different novels. Maybe you can help me, or we can all help each other. I have some good ideas about what we need to do, but can’t always put them into practice. Physician, heal thyself. Anyway, these two-day sessions should create enough synergistic flow to help take us through our work. Some things can’t be done alone…so this workshop will include a lot of reading and critiquing. We’ll start by examining the difference between simple closure and denouement, plus discussing how to move from upswing to downswing on the character/plot/theme arc. Please bring not only humility and patience to the workshop, but copies of your work. If you’re too shy to admit you’re having difficulty, come instead to one of the poetry workshops.
Golf: Why Do We Obsess Over the Game? (to be scheduled with enough interest)
Yes, I obsess over it, and No, I still don’t know why. But after studying M.Scott Peck’s Golf and the Spirit and Thomas More’s The Guru of Golf and being encouraged by fellow golfers, I offer this “Playshop” geared to helping us find and give voice to whatever it is that keeps us coming back–braving rain, wind, and cold, not to mention anger, frustration, and disappointment. Maybe finding answers won’t change our scores, but it might help us enjoy the game even more. The two writers, at any rate, insist there can be a spiritual as well as physical and emotional component to it. We’ll play in the morning, talk in the afternoon, then maybe go out for dinner. Our afternoon talks will be jump-started by selections from the books’ selections that I’ll give you. Originally this workshop was to be a male thing, but I’ve been persuaded females should be allowed to join our insanity. The $10 fee of this workshop will go to help support the non-profit Lowe House, where we may hold our afternoon talks over beer or wine. Needless to say, we will pay our own green fees (usually $45 at the Tubac Resort, whose fees are often twice that) and organize into appropriate foursomes.
Note: this “playshop” has been abandoned but could be revived with enough interest.
Poetry: What Oft Was Thought but N’er So Well Expressed. (3/14 and 15; 2018)
I didn’t start enjoying poetry until after I’d finished my Ph.D. and had started teaching it. A grad student taught me what it was really all about, and how to write it. After it stopped being academic and became personal, I fell in love with poetry. Now I don’t write poems all the time, like Rumi, but when the fit comes on, I can’t stop; I enjoy rewriting and revising poetry as much as prose. I hope you like poetry and want to get better at it. Bring some of yours, especially some you’re working on, to the workshop. During these two days, we’ll study masters as different as Billy Collins, Richard Wilbur, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Mary Oliver, or Robert Frost, learning their techniques like enjambment, internal rhyme, and sprung rhythm. We’ll practice reading as well as analyzing, and should cover four important things: what makes a good—or bad—poem; how to speak a poem; parsing and understanding poetry; revising a half-decent poem into a memorable poem.
Memoir: Writing from Dark to Light. (1/18 and 19; 2018)
There will be some exercises here, but this is mainly a learning workshop. Learning the different features of the six quite different types of memoirs will help you imitate or exploit. Maybe more importantly, it will teach you what to avoid. The subtitle, Writing from Dark to Light, applies to only two of the six types–the most common ones. People engaged in overcoming grief or tragedy may profit most from this workshop, but even those trying to write a simple family memoir can learn here how to organize or find a theme. The two meetings should help all emerging writers transform their casual journal entries or random boxes of memories into something that traces a curve of self-discovery. The goal is finding your natural voice and learning the importance of rewriting. Writers who have already rewritten and revised multiple times might wish to take the workshop on Finishing the Writing Project instead, and those–like me—who fear they’ve overstepped the bounds of a memoir proper may wish to consider the February workshop on the hybrid memoir…but if you’ve collected too many memories to know where to start, or are just having difficulty creating a coherent whole, this may be what you need now.
Memoir or Novel: Which Are You Really Writing and Why Does It Matter?
Many writers draw on their own experiences. All memoir writers try to honestly recreate and understand what happened to them. Some are writing to learn how life changed them; others, just sharing unusual experiences. Both kinds of writers wear the t-shirt that says, “It Took Me by Surprise.” Those who turn their lives into novels wear a different t-shirt that says, “I Make Stuff Up.” Is it possible to wear two? I am, and in the process, have learned a lot about the hybrid memoir/novel. It’s demanding because you need to control different reader expectations. Which shirt are you wearing—or both? If you don’t know, you should. In this two-day workshop, we will learn how to create and control the different demands of the memoir, the novel, and the hybrid. The workshop will open with spontaneous writing from prompts—so bring pen and paper (or I-Pad).