Writing Workshops

Vachel Lindsay Association
Writing Workshops 2013
The Vachel Lindsay Association has organized a series of workshops for the fall.  Unless otherwise noted, workshops will be held in the library of the Dana Thomas House, 301 E. Lawrence Avenue, Springfield, Illinois. (Map)  See the Workshop Leaders Page for biographical information.  Download and print the attachment below to register for one or more workshops.  All fees are donated to the Vachel Lindsay Association and the hosting organization.
Contact vachellindsay@gmail.com with inquiries.

Poetry of Your Blood:  Ancestry and Identity -- Jim Warner
Sunday, OCTOBER 27, 2-4 p.m.
"I am all of them, they are all me," writes the poet Etheridge Knight in his poem "The Idea of Ancestry."  Our capacity to reveal the "them" through writing allows us a point of entry into who we are beyond memoir.  Participants will be reading a selection of poems about the connection to the "them" as well as participating in writing exercises.  Attendees will also have the option to workshop their own work related to identity.
Calling Art Out:  Ekphrastic Poetry  -- Lisa Higgs
Sunday, NOVEMBER 3, 2-4 p.m. at the Vachel Lindsay Home (Map)
Using for inspiration the artwork of John Webster -- artist-in-residence at the Vachel Lindsay Home -- participants will explore the realm of ekphastic poetry (poems that provide a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art). Examples of ekphrastic poetry will be discussed, and time will be given for participants to write (and share, if willing) their own drafts of an ekphrastic poem.
Natural Narrative  -- Nikki Overcash, Ted Morrissey, Tracy Zeman
Saturday, NOVEMBER 16, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Adams Wildlife Sanctuary (Map)
9  to 9:30 -- Welcome
9:30 to 11 -- Autobiographical Narrative (Nikki)
Tell your story!  In this session, we will examine a variety of approaches to writing about the self and discuss how each approach ultimately impacts the final narrative.
11 to 12:30 -- Incorporating Research into Historical Narrative (Ted)
The devil is truly in the details when it comes to writing historical fiction.  This session discusses how to target research for the needs of your writing, and how to integrate those historical details into your narrative without weighing it down with unnecessary factoids.
12:30 to 1:15 -- Lunch
1:15 to 3 -- Writing Nature's Narrative in Poetry (Tracy)
This portion of the workshop will focus on environmental poetics, that is, poetry that explores both the beauty of nature and the environmental challenges we currently face.  Participants will tour the Adams Wildlife Sanctuary grounds and the draft poems based on their observations.
Write Short:  How to Write and Publish Your Flash Fiction and Prose Poetry -- John McCarthy
Sunday, NOVEMBER 24, 2-4 p.m.
Who wears ... that is, writes short shorts?  Flash fiction and the prose poem have established themselves as popular mediums that magazines and journals are publishing with more and more frequency.  If you have little vignettes of writing that you aren't sure what to do with or have short stories under 1,000 words, you can learn how to make those singular narratives stand out among larger works.  Participants will explore the nuances of writing in these mediums, read examples of successful flash fiction, as well as have the option to workshop their own writing.
Facing Fear in Your Fiction -- Ted Morrissey
Sunday, DECEMBER 8, 2-4 p.m.
Do you fear a blank page?  Many writers do.  But have you ever considered the psychological underpinnings of fear and how you might incorporate a deeper knowledge of fear into your writing?  This workshop explores our primal fears and how writers can weave those fears into their narratives.  Participants will read examples of writing that taps into these deep-seated emotions and practice exploiting these fears themselves via specific exercises.
Bad Fruitcake, Burnt Turkey, Good Stories:  Writing the Holidays -- Meagan Cass
Sunday, DECEMBER 15, 2-4 p.m.
For many of us, the holidays are a time of celebration and stress, of relaxation and anxiety.  The pressure to enjoy ourselves, and to be cheerful with one another, can cause buried resentments, regrets, and desires to rise to the surface, leading us to do and say things we wouldn't normally do and say.  In this workshop, we'll explore the holidays as a powerful source of narrative tension.  Through focused writing exercises and a discussion of published examples, we'll turn bad fruitcake and burnt turkey into narrative gold.