Posts Tagged ‘writing workshop’


Beth Nguyen’s thoughtful article on writing workshops appeared at Literary Hub this week. She describes how her approach to critique changed when she began teaching nonfiction, work in which the integration of context and author with the text is more obvious than is sometimes the case with other genres.

Especially interesting to me was the way this reshaped feedback (emphasis mine):

The workshoppers, in turn, are asked to do less prescribing (I want to see more of this; I want this or that to happen; I didn’t want that character to be here) and more questioning. Why did you use first-person? How important is the sister character supposed to be? Instead of a typical old-school workshop comment such as “I want to see more about the mother,” there’s a question: “We don’t see much about the mother—how important of a character is she?” The former is a demand; the latter is an opening.

Even in settings where time or other constraints make full-blown conversation among participants impractical, feedback phrased this way invites reflection rather than defense. We best serve one another when our comments encourage thinking about the art and process of writing, from choices and techniques to audience and intention.

Implementing this in our own critique practices will require some adjustments, for both respondents and authors. But it seems like work worth doing if it allows each writer “to leave feeling heard and feeling motivated to keep working and revising, with ideas (rather than demands) in hand.”

“Unsilencing the Writing Workshop,” by Beth Nguyen


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What is it about autumn that seems to energize the writing community? Maybe it’s the break in summer temperatures; maybe it’s the changing foliage or receding light; maybe it’s the general back-to-school vibe (here in the northern hemisphere). Whatever the reason, there are lots of opportunities to get your writing into gear.

fall 2018 catalog coverLocally, the Carnegie Center has an entire catalog of classes, workshops, readings, and other events to stimulate those creative juices. You can get more information and  register at their web site: http://carnegiecenterlex.org/.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, The Writers’ Workshop of Asheville, NC, is offering several one-day intensive workshops this fall on poetry, voice, creative non-fiction, memoir, and publishing. Details and registration can be found at https://www.twwoa.org/workshops.html.


nanowrimo shieldLast but not least, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and Lexington has a very active and engaged Wrimo community. Check out their calendar of events and other connections at https://nanowrimo.org/regions/usa-kentucky-lexington.

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Chuck Sambuchino, editor of Guide to Literary Agents and Writer’s Digest’s Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, will be the featured presenter at a workshop in Louisville on Friday 6 February. Entitled “How to Get Published,” the day-long event will include sessions on publishing options, queries and pitches, critique, and marketing. Agents and editors will be also available to meet with authors throughout the day.

For more information and registration, visit http://kentuckywritingworkshop.com/.

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This Thursday 9 October, past ECWG member Jesse Sisken will speak at the Tates Creek Library in Lexington about writing and publishing his novel, Cavanila’s Choices, the first in his Minoan Gold Trilogy. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. Call 859-231-5500 to register.

On Saturday 18 October, ECWG member Christopher Kelder will take part in the second annual Local Kentucky Author Book Bazaar at Bakery Blessings & Books, 1999 Harrodsburg Road in Lexington. The event, which runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., features authors reading as well as signing and selling their books.

ECWG facilitator Jennifer Barricklow will lead a pair of writing workshops at two Lexington Public Library locations this week. The first will be held at the Eagle Creek Library on Wednesday 9 October, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; the second will be held at the Central Library on Saturday 11 October, from 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Both hands-on workshops will explore using tarot (and other pictorial systems) as a tool for writing. Neither workshop is a requisite for the other. The second workshop will feature different techniques from the first and will allow more time for writing and practice. Call 859-231-5500 to register.

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Creative Nonfiction: How to Make the Truth Come Alive!

Date: Thursday 21 October
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Tates Creek branch of the Lexington Public Library
Cost: Free

Neil Chethik, author of the hit nonfiction books FatherLoss and VoiceMale, shares the secrets of compelling nonfiction writing. Whether you’re working in memoir, history, columns, how-to, or some other nonfiction genre, you’ll learn what editors are looking for and how you can provide it.

Reservations required: (859) 231-5580

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Writing for the Education Market

Date: Saturday, October 23
Time: 10:00 am-noon
Presenter: Evelyn Christensen
Cost: $30

Are you a teacher who has developed instructional materials you would love to see published? Or a writer who has creative ideas for ways to help kids learn? Have you wondered how to approach educational publishers? In this seminar, Evelyn will talk about her experiences with educational publishers, share strategies and tips on writing for them, and answer your questions about the process.

Register online at  http://www.CarnegieCenterLex.org

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Writing the Expert Book

Everyone’s an expert in something! If you’ve wanted to write a book to share your expertise or passion on a topic, be it cooking, gardening, technology, parenting, or your career field, here’s your chance. We’ll spend this fall planning, organizing, writing, and workshopping your book individually and as a group, then talk about publication and marketing options. Come join us!

Date: Mondays, September 13-November 22
Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location: Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning
Presenter: Doris Settles
Cost: $132 (11 weeks)

Space is limited; reservations required.

For more information and to register, go to http://www.carnegieliteracy.org/workshops/writing.

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Character Development: A Tarot Workshop for Writers

Tarot is a great tool for creating and fleshing out characters — bring writing supplies and tarot cards (loaner decks will be available) for this hands-on workshop.

Date: Sunday 19 September 2010
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Eagle Creek branch, Lexington Public Library
Presenter: Jennifer Barricklow

Reservations required: 859-231-5560

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