Next Saturday: “Writing from Experience” with Carol Roan and Steve Mitchell
Writing is more than something that happens in our heads. The experience we draw upon in order to write lives in every part of our selves. How do we engage the full wealth of our experience in our writing?
That’s the question former WSW president Carol Roan and board member Steve Mitchell will help you answer at their intimate workshop “Writing from Experience.” They describe it like this:
“When our writing is not going well, when we’re blocked, lots of thoughts are running around in our heads (all of which we discard) and that’s where we are – in our heads. When it’s going well, we find that our bodies – our breathing rates, our pulses – are also involved. When our writing is going really well, we often feel as though we are in a different state of being.
“Artists – and athletes, who write best about this creative state of being – call it ‘flow.’ Our sense of time and space changes. Our brains, emotions, and bodies are completely engaged and in sync.
“And guess what our readers want? To lose their sense of time and space, to have their brains, emotions, and bodies completely engaged.
We can’t always get into flow, so we tend to think of it as magic. If we’ve experienced it once, we tend to wait around – not write – until it happens. We seldom think of flow as a discipline that can be learned – that we can, by trial and error, find rituals, processes, that can get us close to, if not in, that ideal state every day.
How do we go about creating such rituals for ourselves? By consciously engaging our emotions and bodies as well as our brains.”
Carol and Steve will use short exercises and prompts to help writers get started. This workshop is next Saturday, Mar. 8, from 1-3 p.m. in the Community Arts Cafe conference room. Attendance is limited to 12 people, so you must register in advance. The cost is $20 for WSW members, $25 for nonmembers. Register on our website here.
Scholarships now available for WSW paid programs.
Want to attend one of our paid programs but finances are tight? Scholarships are now available, and while there are no strings attached, recipients can receive credit by volunteering at events.
On a related note, we’re looking for volunteers to help coordinate the 10-Minute Play Staged Reading on April 12. If you write screenplays, or just want to learn how writers get words into action, this is a terrific event to attend. Where do we need help? We need someone to connect winning playwrights with directors and readers…we’ll need someone to help with props and minimal stage set-up…and someone to work the “ticket booth.” Here’s a fun way to become involved in our organization while helping “get the job done.” If you can help, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our next membership meeting is Wednesday, March 12.
Monthly membership meetings seemed too often. Annual membership meetings seemed too seldom. Now we’ve decided to have quarterly meetings, and that feels just right. So we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming meeting at 7 p.m. on Wed. Mar. 12 at the Community Arts Cafe.
We have activities planned to help you get to know other members, find out who’s writing in your genre, and more. We’ll preview our busy spring season, and get you inspired to be the best writer you can be. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit, here’s a chance to be energized by visiting with so many others who share your passion!
Meet Mattie Dorsey, WSW Member of the Month
(Each month one of our members is chosen at random to be featured in our newsletter and website. Read the rest of Mattie’s answers here.)
When did you first decide you wanted to write?
“I have always had a desire to write but never pursued it until my age and health left me unable to pursue other forms of activities.”
Tell us about your last publication.
“‘He Is’ All that a man should be. This is really a dream, an answer to so many prayers. You always hear women saying they want a good man, well here he is. Some women are never satisfied because after reading the book they say he is too good.
It seems we can’t accept that which is good without questioning and look for fault in it? Some of us are never satisfied. Although it is a fictional book the reactions are real.”
Where can we find it? (Amazon link, website, blog, etc.)
What do you enjoy about writing and why?
“I enjoy the reactions I receive from my readers; I was told by one reader that she believes the book is about my life and that I am living a double life. When my readers get enjoyment from reading my books it’s uplifting to me.”
Come celebrate the poets recognized for their PIPS-winning poems at Saturday’s 4 Poems & A Party.
Congratulations to the poets whose work will be featured on posters throughout downtown Winston-Salem during the month of March. They are:
- Malaika King Albrech for “The Present Moment”
- John Thomas York for “Cold War”
- David E. Poston for “The Kiss”
- Karin S. Wilberg for “Aesop’s Children”
4 Poems & A Party will be at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Mar. 1, at Barnhill’s.
Our children’s literature program with Dr. Joe Milner has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 19.
Now that the snow has gone away, we’re looking forward to hearing Dr. Joe Milner discuss the use of irony in children’s literature. Dr. Milner will offer a brief review of the research, including his own, on children’s recognition of irony in stories. He will read and explore with the group some amazing books such as Fix-it Duck, Brave Potatoes, A Fairy Tale, and stories for K-12. We can think about how irony is used in these fine books in considering the writers’ interest in their own craft. It will be held in the auditorium of the Reynolda Manor Library, and will begin at 7 p.m.
Are you preparing your entry into the WSW Anthology Contest? Entries must be submitted by March 31.
It’s our fourth annual contest, and in all three prior anthologies we’ve discovered some wonderful writing. All the contest rules are now posted on our website, but if you have any questions, they should be directed to email@example.com.
Writing with Anne
(WSW Board Member Anne Civitano has long been curating all sorts of writing tips, websites, and ideas. In this feature, Anne shares some of her “finds” with us.)
What’s the difference between an idea, a concept and a premise (all of which you need)? Larry Brooks has a short version, and he gets into it with more depth in his books, Story Engineering and Story Physics. He uses the example of how Suzanne Collins came up with The Hunger Games.
Jane Friedman’s long piece speculates whether the future of storytelling (or, more importantly perhaps, Author Discoverability) lies in a new (non-Dickensian) mode of serialization.
The Missouri Review Blog offered this piece (from August, 2013) on 10 Things Emerging Writers Need to Learn.
We’ve all heard the expression “kill your darlings,” haven’t we? This piece hit home with me because not long ago I realized that in my case it meant killing the entire draft of my novel. Daunting, to be sure.
Writing opportunity of the week.
THE PATTERSON PRIZE FOR BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Deadline: Mar. 15…Prize: $500 (each category)… Entry fee: None
Categories: Pre-K to Grade 3; Grades 4-6; Grades 7-12. In each category one book will be selected, which in the opinion of our judges, is the most outstanding book for young people published in 2013. Get more information here.
Helen Losse’s third full-length poetry book Facing a Lonely West will be released by Main Street Rag in May. It is now available for advance order.
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