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.
Shapes of Stories
with Waverly Fitzgerald
Sat/Sunday, February 25/26. 10 to 4 PM
Max: 12 participants
The shape of a story is more than just the way it is told—changing the shape can change the story. Using a series of in-class writing exercises and examples from both creative nonfiction and fiction, we’ll look at popular shapes—including the traditional narrative arc, braids, collages, circles, faucets and frames—and the techniques writers use to create them, including transitions, flashbacks and tangents. These shapes can help you generate new pieces or you can bring one story and try rewriting it five ways. Appropriate for long and short-form fiction and non-fiction writers.
BIO: Waverly Fitzgerald has written one non-fiction book, Slow Time (2007) and fourteen novels, of which nine have been published by publishers as diverse as Doubleday and Kensington. For her essays on urban nature, she has been awarded a fellowship from Jack Straw Cultural Center, a grant from Artist Trust and residences at Hedgebrook and the Whiteley Center. She has presented at international and national writing conferences and taught for various continuing education programs including the UCLA Writers Program and the University of Washington Extension. She currently teaches for Hugo House in Seattle and online for Creative Nonfiction magazine.
Breaking Form: Alchemies in Essay Structure
with Melissa Febos
Sunday, March 12th, 10:00-4:00pm
Conventional essay forms offer us familiar containers in which to pour our content. And essays are traditionally driven by content. It is a formula that works. The problem with formula and the familiar is that they lull the imagination and protect the psyche. But what happens when we lead with structure? How does our content emerge when it meets an unfamiliar container? In this class, we will generate work using unconventional forms, and find the hidden corners of our content. Examining the works of essay innovators and borrowing structures from sources that include playlists, bestiaries, instruction manuals, lists, and letters, we will surprise ourselves. Participants will leave this generative workshop with multiple drafts to revise and develop. Bring paper/pen. Laptop optional.
Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has appeared places including The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Salon, New York Times, Guernica, Dissent, Lenny Letter, Poets & Writers, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers, and she has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, Anderson Cooper, and elsewhere. She is a three-time MacDowell Colony fellow, and has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Ragdale, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). She serves on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and co-curated the Manhattan reading and music series, Mixer, for nine years. She was raised on Cape Cod and lives in Brooklyn.
POINT OF VIEW: The Clueless Narrator
POINT OF VIEW: The Clueless Narrator
with Kathleen Alcalá (aka The Clueless Eater)
Saturday, March 25th
10 am - 4 pm
Max: 12 participants
No one likes to be told what to do or think. But since time immemorial, writers and storytellers have used naive protagonists to demonstrate the results of different types of behavior.
In exploring topics for my last book, I used an alter ego who knew very little about food or the environment. The Clueless Eater was a non-threatening character who could experience a variety of situations on the reader's behalf. This is a didactic voice, but by using personal experience and interviews with real people, a lot of information can be conveyed in story form.
Bring material you are working on, whether fiction or nonfiction, and we will
1) read and discuss examples of the naive narrator (Candide, Aesop's Fables, child narrator of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) as a vehicle for exploring topics both heavy and light.
2) examine the role of storytelling in different cultures that use this technique
3) explore at least three different voices or forms based on the examples
4) write drafts of stories or essays using this technique
5) read our new writing out loud for comment
Kathleen Alcalá is the author of six books, including The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, a collection of short stories, three novels set in 19th Century Mexico, and a collection of essays. Her work has received the King County Publication Award, the Governors Writers Award, two Artist Trust Fellowships, the Western States Book Award, and others. She has served as a writer in residence at Richard Hugo House, and an instructor through UW Extension, Fields End, the Centrum Writers Conference, Clarion West, and on the faculty of the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island. One of three founding editors of The Raven Chronicles, she has been an active part of the literary scene in the Northwest for over 25 years. More (including the Clueless Eater blog) at kathleenalcala.com
Essays That Connect: Writing about Animals and Emotion
with Leigh Calvez
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Max: 12 participants
In nonfiction writing about science and nature, it has been considered taboo to write about animals and emotion. Yet, the more we learn about the science of emotion in animals, the more we are crossing this final boundary between “us” and “them”. As a nature writer with a personal bend toward conservation, my goal with anything I write is to connect the reader to the animals I am writing about. What we understand and love, we will protect. How we choose the language we use in writing about animals has a direct impact on how any given action toward animals or the earth is perceived. Calling an animal “it”, for example, rather than “he” or “she”, gives us just enough distance to cut down a forest without considering the other the creatures with whom we share the planet. Sharing the beauty we find in nature is often enhanced by being able to write about the emotion of the animals we encounter along the way.
In this workshop we will:
Leigh Calvez is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Hidden Lives of Owls: The Science and Spirit of Nature’s Most Elusive Birds. Leigh studied humpback whales in Massachusetts and on Maui, along with spinner dolphins on the Big Island of Hawaii. Her interest in the natural world led her to nature writing. Leigh’s work has been published in American Nature Writing: 2003 by Fulcrum Books and in an anthology for Sierra Club Books entitled Between Species: Celebrating the Dolphin-Human Bond. She has also written articles and essays that have been published in the Ecologist, Ocean Realm, the Christian Science Monitor, the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Bainbridge Island Magazine. She is a writing coach and teaches private writing classes.
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.
Bring paper and pen and/or laptop.