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About Writing Workshop

[This site was constructed for the Writing Workshop that took place in the summer of 2012 and has been left online for archival purposes.]

Who’s Afraid of Being a Writer?


Are you a closet writer, scribbling away each evening but afraid to show your work to others? An experienced writer looking for a different approach to your writing? A writer ready to take the plunge and start the process of publishing your work? Somewhere in between? Regardless of your level of writing experience, “Who’s Afraid of Being a Writer?” can offer you some new ideas about the craft and business involved in the writing life.
The workshop is co-sponsored by The Pharmacy and the Vachel Lindsay Association.


This summer workshop series, to be held at The Pharmacy at 401 South Grand Avenue West in Springfield, includes:

“Mining the Writing World: Keeping Contemporary” May 22, 2012 @ 7 p.m.

Introductory seminar for writers in any genre. Presenters will discuss literary journals, small presses and websites that can help you discover contemporary work and learn more about current trends in each genre. Followed by ...


Four workshop-oriented sessions, featuring short craft-specific talks that will generate writing exercises and a discussion of individual participants’ work. Two of the workshops will focus on fiction and be led by Meagan Cass and Ted Morrissey. Two will focus on poetry and be led by Lisa Higgs and Tracy Zeman. All participants are welcome to attend any session, regardless of the genre in which they most frequently write. A private Google Group has been established so that participants can submit their work for comments by the workshop leaders and other participants.


“Thickening the Plot with Some Real Characters” June 5, 2012 @ 7 p.m.


“Burning at Both Ends: What Lights Your Poetry?” June 19, 2012 @ 7 p.m.


“Setting the Mood with Setting” July 10, 2012 @ 7 p.m.


“As Precise as Geometry: Poetic Exactness” July 24, 2012 @ 7 p.m.


“Fearlessly Struttin’ Our Stuff” August 7, 2012 @ 7 p.m.

 All interested participants will have an opportunity to share their work with a broader audience.


There is no fee for this workshop series, but a limited number of spaces are available, making registration required. Please contact the Vachel Lindsay Association via email at vachellindsay@gmail.com for more information or to secure your place.


Workshop Leaders


Meagan Cass grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, and a Ph.D. in English, specializing in Creative Writing and Modern American Literature, from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Her fiction has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Grist, South Carolina Review, and elsewhere; and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  She was a founding editor and editor-in-chief of the literary journal Rougarou, has served as head fiction editor for Stirring, and is currently fiction coordinator for the Best of the Net Anthology. She holds the post of assistant professor of English at University of Illinois Springfield, where she directs the department
s Creative Writing Program.


Lisa Higgs has taught poetry and composition courses at the University of Illinois Springfield since 2008. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and her chapbook of poetry, Lodestar, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011.  A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has been included in PMS poemmemoirstory, Water~Stone Review, Oyez Review, and numerous other journals.  She reads poetry submissions for Quiddity international literary journal and public-radio program, and is president of the Vachel Lindsay Association.

Ted Morrissey is the author of the novel Men of Winter (2010) and the novella and story collection Weeping with an Ancient God (2012), both from Punkin House; and his short fiction has appeared in journals such as Glimmer Train, The Chariton Review, PANK, and the Tulane Review.  He holds a Ph.D. in English studies from Illinois State University and has taught writing and literature courses for 28 years, including at University of Illinois Springfield and Benedictine University Springfield.  He is a former editor of and current reader for Quiddity international literary journal and public-radio program.


Tracy Zeman has over six years of experience teaching poetry, literature and composition in college and junior high classrooms. Her own work has been published in journals such as Beloit Poetry Journal, jubilat, and Cutbank. She has been awarded two writing fellowships in the last three years at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing from George Mason University. See her Poet's Forum on the Beloit Poetry Journal blog.
Ted Morrissey,
May 1, 2012, 9:05 AM