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Writing Workshop

Upcoming Workshops

Fiction Intensives Workshops

2024 Fiction Intensives

The 2024 Writing Intensives will focus on fiction, with in-depth workshops led by seasoned regional fiction writers. We will meet at St. John's Episcopal Church the second Saturday of each month, January to June, 2024. Participants will be required to submit one 10-20 page story, chapter or excerpt. Limited seating: registration opens November 1 and will close December 15 or when all 18 seats are filled. Check out the exciting workshop leaders and their topics!


January 13 Ann K. Howley How to Stay Active (Not Passive)

Writers hear all the time that they are supposed to stay in active voice as much as possible. But why? What is passive voice and what’s wrong with it?

In this intensive, we will discuss and do exercises to reinforce our understanding of the following:

  • The difference between writing in active and passive voice

  • Why staying in active voice is so important

  • Valid reasons to use passive voice

February 10 Chris Barzak Retellings: Reimagining Other Stories

Embark on a literary adventure in this fiction intensive focused on "Retellings and Reimaginings." Whether you're drawn to myths, fairy tales, classic literature, or historical events, this workshop will introduce you to literary remixing, where you'll learn to breathe new life into familiar tales, exploring diverse perspectives and innovative twists. Discover the art of transforming the old into the new.

March 9 Jeffrey Ford The Story Knows the Way to Go

Think of the experience of writing a story like it was driving a car. Of course, you want to write the best story you can write, and so your fingernails are dug into the leather on the steering wheel, there’s sweat on your brow, you’re leaning forward as if it is your responsibility to project the road you’re driving on. I have bad news for you. You’re never going to arrive. The gears in your engine will seize from the strain. The personality will quickly drain from your main character. She will suffer sudden-onset narcolepsy, and lay down for a long winter’s nap. The glorious architecture of your shining idea will sit bereft on the side of some lonely desert road, rusting in the rain. First off, chill out. Then let me show you how to take your hands off the wheel and let the story take the lead. It knows the way to go. It believes in the reality of its characters in a way you can’t. It will show you things you would never have pre-imagined before writing. Forget about all that bs world building. What are we, bricklayers? In the immediacy of writing a story that is simultaneously presenting itself to us, we experience the excitement of discovery, and in capturing it first-hand, convey that excitement to the reader. “You know all those things you think you gotta do? You don’t gotta do any of them.” – John Gardner

April 13 Dave Newman Your Job Is Your Setting

May 11 Meghan Louise Wagner Playing with Revision

When do you know a story is done? Where do you start with revisions? In my talk, I'll discuss the difference between revision and editing, share some strategies to make revision fun, and give the writers prompts that they can try on their own drafts after the workshop.

June 8 EF Schraeder People Talking - Dialogue and Story Structure

We'll focus on methods, impact, and approaches to craft believable and lively dialogue in fiction of any length.

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