Books, tools, gifts and workshops
to inspire your inner writer.
Open every day 10 am - 5:30 pm
To register, simply call The Writers' Workshoppe @ 1-360-379-2617. Open 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. everyday.
Over the last few years I have offered several generative workshops at Anna's store where we have talked about strategies for facing the blank page, for taking the glimmering experiences of our lives and turning them into story. This class is the next step...in which you have got a good solid first draft written (of an essay, a story, a chapter of a novel or a memoir) and you are ready for it to receive serious (and compassionate) critique from a group of your peers and me. Writers will receive each other's work in advance and will come to the workshop ready to talk about each piece. We will discuss structure, scene, dialogue, metaphors and how they complicate themselves throughout the story, narrative arc, tension, character, beginnings and endings, tension---whatever the piece is doing best and also what it could do better. Come ready to work hard, because great critiquing is hard work. Writers will turn in no more than 4000 words of prose by March 18th, so that we will all have time to read the work in advance. Manuscripts should be double spaced, 12 point. Once you sign up for the class you will receive info about where to send your manuscript. Shortly after Mar. 18th, you will receive all the manuscripts of the other participants.
The class will be limited to 10 students so we have time to be thorough with each manuscript.
Now more than ever, it is important that we fill our communities with rich and detailed human stories. Let's get some of yours one big step closer to entering the world.
Pam Houston’s most recent book is Contents May Have Shifted, published in 2012, by W.W. Norton. She is also the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, and The Evil Companions Literary Award and multiple teaching awards. She teaches at writer’s conferences around the world. She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
Burning Down The House
with Sonya Lea
Saturday, Apr 22rd and Sunday April 23rd
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
A ten-hour (two-day) workshop for excavating your truth. Burning Down The House includes generative writing exercises designed to leave behind pretense. We will write honestly and directly in a safe setting oriented to your emergence. We will work toward producing a finished piece, in whatever form you’re working. This program includes working with essays by master writers, strategies for accountability, and developing skills to trust your emerging voice. Some of the forms we will experiment with include a dreamoir, fiction inside non-fiction, and you'll come away with tools to help you work with liminal experiences. Bring paper/pen. Laptops optional.
Participants will also be invited to read with Sonya, Sat. night @The Writers’ Workshoppe.
Sonya Lea writes on memory and identity. Her memoir, Wondering Who You Are, about what happened after her husband lost the memory of their life, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Wondering has won awards and garnered praise in a number of publications including Oprah Magazine, People, and the BBC, who named it a “top ten book.” Her essays have appeared in Salon, The Southern Review, Brevity, Guernica, Cold Mountain Review, The Prentice Hall College Reader, Good Housekeeping, The Los Angeles Book Review, The Rumpus and The Butter.
Lea teaches writing at Hugo House in Seattle, and to women veterans through the Red Badge Project. She speaks at conferences, universities and festivals.
Her short film, Every Beautiful Thing, won two awards for direction, and several awards for score. She has also written screenplays.
Originally from Kentucky, she lives in Seattle and the Canadian Rockies. You can find her at www.wonderingwhoyouare.com.
Haiku, Haibun, and Beyond
with Michael Dylan Welch
Saturday, May 6, 2017, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (plus evening reading)
Maximum 12 participants
“Haiku has this rather fantasmagorical property: that we always suppose we can write such things easily.” —Roland Barthes
How can haiku and the increasingly popular genre of haibun (prose with haiku) help improve your writing? Whether you write poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, a deeper understanding of haiku and haibun techniques can help. We’ll start by dispelling the myths and misunderstandings of haiku (which is widely mistaught in English), explore some of haiku’s history, and dig into literary techniques that apply to both Japanese and English (seldom taught or understood in American schools). You’ll know what kigo, kireji, and shasei are after this class, and why they’re important. And we’ll explore how you can spice up your writing with concrete images, sensory and seasonal awareness, juxtaposition, controlling objectivity and subjectivity (and learning the difference between description and inference), and building a bed of immediacy and accessibility. We’ll focus on haiku in the morning session, then broaden into haibun in the afternoon, with writing exercises and optional sharing. Ample handouts, and you can contribute to a class trifold of our haiku after the workshop.Please bring paper/pen.
Michael Dylan Welch has had his haiku recited for the Empress of Japan and performed at the Baseball Hall of Fame. A poetry translation from one of his books appeared on the back of 150,000,000 U.S. postage stamps. His haiku, tanka, and longer poetry have appeared on buses and balloons, and in hundreds of journals and anthologies in twenty languages, and he has been keynote speaker for the Haiku International Association convention in Tokyo. He has served two terms as poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, and curates monthly readings for the Redmond Association of Spokenword and SoulFood Poetry Night (now in its eleventh year). He is a past vice president of the Haiku Society of America, cofounder of the American Haiku Archives and the biennial Haiku North America conference (held in Port Townsend in 2005), founder of the Tanka Society of America, and founder of National Haiku Writing Month (every February—the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry). Michael’s latest books include Seven Suns / Seven Moons (in collaboration with Tanya McDonald; NeoPoiesis Press), Off the Beaten Track: A Year in Haiku (Boatwhistle Books), Fire in the Treetops: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Haiku North America, and Becoming a Haiku Poet (both Press Here). Earlier books include Here, There, and Everywhere: Redmond Association of Spokenword Poetry Anthology (RASP), Tidepools: Haiku On Gabriola (Pacific Rim Publishers), Fifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku by a Bunch of Our Friends (Press Here), and several translations from PIE Books in Tokyo, including Furoshiki, Bonsai, Noh, and 100 Poets: Passions of the Imperial Court (a translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu). He also served as editor for Haiku Journey, a computer game published by NStorm / Hot Lava Games (now MumboJumbo). Michael’s websites are www.graceguts.com and www.nahaiwrimo.com.
Bring paper and pen and/or laptop.
Writing in Response to Our Times
with Sarah Zale and Gina Marie Mammano
May 20, 1-4 pm
Has the aftermath of the election affected you personally? Are you feeling the need to wrestle and rumble with your thoughts and emotions—as well as connect with others in reflective and transformative ways? In this writing workshop, you will explore your stories and feelings with two facilitators from eclectic backgrounds: poetry, Compassionate Listening ®, social justice theatre, meditation, and spiritual leadership. Participants will be invited to share their writing on a voluntary basis in a supportive environment; no experience is necessary. All writing styles welcome.
Gina Marie Mammano: Inspired by the ancient spiritual practices of lectio divina and walking meditation, Gina’s book Camino Divina: Walking the Divine Way helps readers explore whole new worlds inside themselves. Gina is an award winning poet whose work has been published in journals and magazines such as the Dos Passos Review, Poetica, Pilgrimage Journal, Bearings, and Crucible. Her training as a spiritual director, work as a retreat leader, and experiences gleaned from the Opening the Book of Nature program have allowed her the ability to create interactive and intuitive listening exercises both in the interior and exterior landscapes.
Sarah Zale teaches poetry and writing, social justice, and intercultural competence in Seattle. A certified facilitator of Compassionate Listening ® and facilitator of Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback, she brings the skills of deep listening and interactive theatre to her students. Sarah is a passionate believer in the power of poetry and the arts to transform and heal ourselves and the world. She has published two collections of poetry: The Art of Folding (2010), which was inspired by her travels to Israel and Palestine, and Sometimes You Do Things (2013, Aquarius Press, Living Detroit Series) which highlights the history of Detroit and celebrates its rebuilding.
What Your Body Has to Do with Writing
with Susan Landgraf
10-4, Sat. May 27th-Sun. May 28
We live in our bodies. Our bodies hold us, our organs, brains, muscles, bones and blood, our ability to breathe, move, think, feel. We know our bodies, some of us better than others. Some of us accept injuries, arthritis, failing eyesight; others wish for better, thinner, healthier, more muscled bodies and even go so far as to hasten inevitable aging or death. The fact is: There are poems waiting to come out of our bodies and their experiences.
This workshop will prod you into looking for the stories and truths your bodies can tell. We’ll start with poems by Margaret Atwood, Lucille Clifton, Robert Hass, Cesare Pavese, and Alberto Rios, among others. Some are snappy, saucy, and downright funny. Others are didactic, sad or shocking. We’ll do several warm-up writing prompts, including Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, then write a poem that likely will show a relationship to your body and/or something larger in the world that you didn’t know before.
On Sunday, Day two, we’ll revise what you produced Saturday
As May Sarton said, “…a triumph means toward growth and understanding…revision is not going back and fussing around, but going forward into the highly complex and satisfying process of creation.” I’ll give you a number of excellent revision strategies. Bring 3 photocopies of the work you’ll be revising, a dictionary, a pair of scissors, tape, and an open mind.
Susan Landgraf has published more than 400 poems, essays, and articles in more than 150 journals, magazines, and newspapers, including Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Margie, Nimrod, The Laurel Review, and Ploughshares. She’s given more than 150 writing workshops, the most recent being the San Miguel Writers’ Conference, Centrum, and the Marine and Science Technology Center; A book of writing exercises and a full-length manuscript of poetry are forthcoming next year from Two Sylvias Press and Tebot Bach respectively.
THE MAGIC OF THE POETIC LINE: A GENERATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP IN WHICH WE EXPLORE THE CRAFT OF LINE BREAKS & OTHER VISUAL AND AUDITORY EXPERIENCES
With poet, Sawnie Morris
Saturday, June 3 – Sunday, June 4, 2017
10am-4pm, both days
Part of what makes poetry a magical art is the poet’s ability to orchestrate language in a way that creates an unforgettable experience in a reader. Line breaks, spacing, and punctuation provide cues intrinsic to that orchestration. How do we determine when and why to break the lines in our poems? How might visual spacing or punctuation further reveal a poem’s meanings? We’ll consider a sampling of exciting free-verse possibilities available to us in the shaping of our poems and we’ll write, keeping in mind that every turn of the line is a turn toward deeper meaning. Participants will be provided with multiple prompts for new poems, throughout the weekend, and can expect to complete 4 draft poems by the end of our time together. Please bring paper and a pen you enjoy writing with, as well as a lap-top (if you have one). You will also have an hour and ½ off for lunch, but it will be a working lunch—we’re using every minute available to us!
Sawnie Morris won the 2015 New Issues Poetry Prize for Her, Infinite, (judge: Major Jackson), which was released by New Issues Press in 2016. Recent honors include the 2016 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize (judged by Lee Upton); inclusion in the online edition of BAX: 2016, Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press); and a feature in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine’s focus on five-over-fifty debut books in 2016. Sawnie has received a Poetry Society of America George Bogin Memorial Award and been a co-winner of the New Mexico Book Award. Her writing about poetry and poets has appeared in Boston Review, Contemporary Literary Criticism, and Kenyon Review, and she has served as Book Review & Essay Editor of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art. Sawnie has extensive experience teaching poetry writing workshops in universities, at conferences, online, and face-to-face in her studio in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.