A Place for Writers
Books, tools, gifts and workshops
to inspire your inner writer.
To register simply click here and fill out the Workshop Inquiry Form. Anna will get back to you to complete your registration.
All workshops are held at the Writers' Workshoppe, 234 Taylor Street. Right in the center of town, across from the Rose Theatre.
How do we create space for writing in a world crowded with so many distractions? How can we find time to be creative with that massive "to-do" list staring us down? How can we gain access to our deeper selves in the work-a-day world, and bring forth this authentic self in our writing? Using their recently published book, The Pen & The Bell, Brenda and Holly will offer you both contemplative and writing practices that will provide immediate support for your creative life. Writing can be a rich, active form of paying attention to the self and the world, and we hope that by creating more contemplative space in your life, you will also naturally find more detailed, original material to draw upon for your writing. Bring your favorite writing instruments and an object from nature that resonates with you. No meditation experience necessary; please wear comfortable clothing.
Brenda Miller is the author of three essay collections: Listening Against the Stone (Skinner House Books, 2011), Blessing of the Animals (EWU Press, 2009), and Season of the Body (Sarabande Books, 2002). She is also co-author of Tell it Slant: Creating, Refining and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, 2nd Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2012) and The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World (Skinner House Books, 2012). Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes and has been published in numerous journals. She is a Professor of English at Western Washington University and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Bellingham Review.
Holly J. Hughes is co-author with Brenda Miller of The Pen and The Bell: MindfulWriting in a Busy World (Skinner House Press, 2012), editor of the award-winning anthology, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease (Kent State University Press, 2009) and author of the chapbook Boxing the Compass (Floating Bridge Press, 2007). Nominated for several Pushcart prizes, her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies. She teaches writing at Edmonds Community College, where she co-directs the Convergence Writers Series, and has spent over thirty summers working on the water in Southeast Alaska, most recently as a naturalist.
In this workshop we have two goals:
1. To locate the heart of your story and shape it into a throughline for your story or book.
2. To develop the key strategies you will need to structure your story or book.
To that end we will engage in intensive shots of writing over the course of two days as well as fierce collaborations and discussions meant to shake you apart and put you gently back together again. Swear. By the end of the workshop you won't just have a real plan for your story or book project, you might just have an idea or two for your next.
Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the anti-memoir The Chronology of Water, the novel Dora: A Headcase, and three books of short fictions. Her essays and stories have appeared at the Rumpus and in The Sun most recently. She teaches, writes, mothers, and loves in Portland, Oregon, and is the recipient of an Oregon Book Award, a PNBA award, and was a finalist for the Penn Center Prize in nonfiction. She is a very good swimmer.
One can compose a work of any length, given writing solitudes of any brevity, by designing a cell-like structure to cradle a set of lively fragments. Is there a story you have been carrying, something so important, so mysterious, so daunting you need a year of quiet retreat to write it? Do not despair! There is a way to make steady progress toward this worthy goal, even in a busy life of frenzy, by fitting your writing practice to the time you have now. In this workshop we will practice this empowering process: writing the table of contents for your book by titling key memories from your life, beginning to compose the little stories that please you, and thus designing a way forward from faltering silence toward generous abundance.
Kim Stafford is the author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared (Trinity University Press, 2012) and The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft (University of Georgia Press, 2003).
He is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute and is the literary executor of the Estate of William Stafford.
The goal of the workshop is to help writer's understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various routes to publishing and consider some of the new methods for publishing and developing an audience. Day one of the class will explore the current state of the publishing industry, agent contracts, publishing contracts, and self-publishing. Writers will be encouraged to experiment with Amazon's CreateSpace program. Day two of the class will help writers trouble shoot using CreateSpace and similar online publishing systems by reviewing both technical problems of effective formatting and broader issues of development and marketing. By the end of the class, writers should be able to make more informed decisions about how they want to bring their finished works to market.
Wes Cecil is a student of language and literature. He has a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University and lectures extensively on writing, literature, philosophy, economics and the creative milieu. Cecil organized and promoted the Water Street Writers Series bringing in more than 300 community members into the college to hear readings from over 15 authors including Tom Jay, Tim McNulty, Carmen Germain, Alice Derry, Clement Starks, and Michael Daly. He’s an instructor at Peninsula College and when not working, reading or writing, spends much of his time in his garden.
This session is designed for writers at all levels from beginner to further along or even very well published. It will mentor you on how to better reach your goal of realizing accomplished works and putting them out into the world, whether you write poems essays, articles, novels, plays, creative nonfictions, or stories. Open to writers at all levels as well as to creators in other genres. The principles and strategies put forward here are based on the instructor's year's long study of the choices and practices of world-class visual artists and on strategies and practices included in her book, The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Class, and the Writing Life. Bring a notebook to write in and be prepared to write, reflect, and re-organize some of your systems and practices to better serve your creative work.
Priscilla Long's most recent book is The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life. Her science column, Science Frictions, appears each Wednesday on The American Scholar website. Her poems, stories, and creative nonfictions appear widely in journals such as The American Scholar, The Southern Review, Raven Chronicles, Web Conjunctions, The Alaska Quarterly, Fourth Genre, Tampa Review, North Dakota Quarterly, and Passages North. Her awards include a National Magazine Award and Seattle and Los Angeles arts commission awards. She teaches writing and is author of a history book, Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry. She serves as Senior Editor for www.historylink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history. For more information please visit www.PriscillaLong.com.
This “hands on” creative writing workshop will explore different elements of fiction and memoir, and/or poetry, based on direct observation and interaction. Each day, we will spend part of our time visiting parks, strolling along Water Street, or hanging out in cafes (to name but a few possibilities) all the while closely observing people, settings, smells, noises, and a myriad of human mini-dramas. The purpose is to both sharpen our sensory perceptions and help develop the mindset of the writer in which no experience is wasted or useless. Hence, everywhere we go we will take our notebooks, the contents of which will be the raw material from which we write new work when we re-convene at Writers’ Workshoppe. Ideal for both beginning and more experienced writers.
Anna Bálint is the author of “Horse Thief,” a collection of short fiction, and two earlier books of poetry. Her poems and stories have been published in numerous journals and magazines. She is currently working on a novel, “The Invention of Mária Horváth,” rooted in the Roma experience of the Holocaust. She is also the non-fiction editor for “Raven Chronicles,” and an alumna of Hedgebrook and the Jack Straw Writer’s Program. Her extensive teaching in the field of creative writing includes Antioch University, Seattle; Richard Hugo House, Seattle; Muckleshoot Tribal College, Muckleshoot Reservation; and the School of Recovery, Recovery Café, Seattle.
How can writers use social media without cutting into their writing time? This class will show you how to effectively use your writing skills to build a social media “platform” of your choice using a minimum amount of your time. Blogging, posting, pinning and liking can be interwoven into your current writing project. Topics covered include: crafting a single blog entry you can post onto multiple sites, and tagging reviews, books, classes you offer, or information about your upcoming activities onto such sites as Facebook, Pinterest, Wordpress, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Social media can be a powerful tool to expand the range of your words. However, it can also be a “time suck.”
This class will provide live demonstrations on how to discipline your use of social media tools and use them to full advantage. Requirements: There’s no need to have accounts on social media sites, but if you do, bring your laptops and make sure you know your passwords. Note: Instructor’s fee goes to Writers’ Workshoppe scholarships.
Cheryl Merrill’s essays have been published in Fourth Genre, Pilgrimage, Brevity, Seems, South Loop Review, Ghoti, Alaska Quarterly Review, Adventum and Isotope. “Singing Like Yma Sumac” was selected for the Best of Brevity 2005 and Creative Nonfiction #27. It was also included in the anthology Short Takes: Model Essays for Composition, 10th Edition. Another essay, “Trunk,” was chosen for Special Mention in Pushcart 2008.
She is currently working on a book about elephants: Larger than Life: Living in the Shadows of Elephants. Her website can be found at HYPERLINK "http://www.cherylmerrill.com" www.cherylmerrill.com - a WordPress website!
This workshop will show you how to design your own free website/blog and how to have fun with it, using WordPress.com, (not WordPress.org). We’ll explore topics such as why you may want a blog and/or web site, and how to use your site to connect your writing projects to search engines on the web using effective tags -your own statistics will tell you who is viewing your content and what they are viewing. Other topics include domain names, web hosting, security, links to other websites, and how to get others to follow your blog. We will do a blog post during class, so bring a short paragraph and/or picture you’d like to post. Everything we do in this class can be easily undone, and none of it will be out there on the web unless you wish it to be there. Come prepared to play and investigate whether WordPress is right for you.
Requirements: Bring your laptop, or be prepared to share one with a friend. If you already have a WordPress account, bring your password. WordPress requires your email address (this is so they can send you notifications, such as when someone comments on one of your posts.) If you are not comfortable using your personal email address, you’ll need to set up another one to use for this purpose. Note: Instructor’s fee goes to Writers’ Workshoppe scholarships.
In this workshop we will look at manuscripts up to 15 pages in length from all writers attending. We will use these manuscripts as springboards to talk about various revision strategies. How to cut the throat clearing, how to push harder in a scene that wants expansion, how to be more particular and precise. Also how to trust your reader, how to stop throwing your body between your reader and the story you have to tell. We will also discuss story structures: this one wants to be a slinky, that one a Spirograph flower, that one a Rubix cube. Please read, in preparation for the class, Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins. If 15 pages sounds like a lot, feel free to bring 3 or 4. There is something to talk about in every manuscript, no matter how polished or how new.
Saturday October 12th, Sunday October 13th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $200
By creating a powerful sense of shape, you gain freedom on the level of content--you’re able to travel almost anywhere. On Saturday, we’ll read poems by masters of shape and freedom and write new poetry via some exercises: a “rhythmic template” piece based on a master poem, a “fake translation,” a serial image piece, and others. (I’ll explain during the class, of course!) Sunday involves a workshop, individual consultations, and a group reading. Bring two poems. If an exercise generate something you like even better, bring it to the workshop.
Greg Glazner’s books of poetry are From the Iron Chair and Singularity, both published by W.W. Norton. His awards include The Walt Whitman Award, The Bess Hokin Award from Poetry, and an NEA Fellowship. He has recently completed a genre-bending novel, Opening the World. Excerpts have appeared recently in Poetry, Blackbird, The Idaho Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, and other magazines. He teaches at UC Davis and in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.
Loved ones die, moves uproot us, some of us lose our birth language or culture. We may lose treasured possessions in a fire. Whatever it is, loss is universal and often life changing. Our losses haunt us, and so we write, want to write about them. But how? How to create something beautiful and meaningful, and avoid melodrama and sentimentality? In this workshop we will use writing exercises and experimentation to bring these most personal of stories—or poems—to the page in ways that are fresh, unexpected, and sometimes funny. Not intended as a workshop about personal healing, although it might help that process. All genres and all levels welcome.