Check out this month's Gathering of Writers at the Plymouth Coffee Bean with poet and CMU Creative Writing professor, Robert Fanning. It's occuring this Thursday, May 16th, starting at 7:30 p.m. with an open mic (so bring your stuff, if you're interested). Cheers.
May 14, 2013
We had a spirited meeting this month as Sydney, Patrick, and Denise submitted a chapter from her novel, and poems. We all agreed that some extra writerly touches would go a long way toward making Sydney's work more publishable (descriptions, detailed actions instead of tags, and a greater sense of place), but the story has us hooked and we'd like to feel more of the conflict and mystery/history going on.
Patrick and Denise's poetry sparked the most spirited debate we've had in awhile (which is what writers ought to do, huh?). Even though Patrick's work seems off-the-cuff on first read, the language is chosen deliberately and must be read and considered before making final opinions. A couple of small changes can make all the difference- and we debated the need for some of those in our session.
Denise brought some intense imagery to her poetry, stemming from an episode of canning with her mother when she was young. It was a wrenching yet wonderful look at mother suffering a miscarriage, looked at from the perspective of a young daughter. One thing up for debate was the language of the daughter, whether she could actually say such things, but I think writers have to take some liberty in these regards since kids can't possibly put words to their feelings in these situations (and not many adults, either). Nice work, Denise!
We have our Skill Building Conference for Local Writers coming up on Saturday, May 11th from 9:30 - 3 p.m. All interested writers are asked to sign up at the library Events page here. For more info, check out the here link above.
We also had over 30 entries for our Westland Writes ... Poetry book this April and even more for our Book Title Poetry contest (lots of of kids and their parents submitted so the entries should be a lot of fun to read :) Look for our Book Release Party on Thursday, May 30th- it will be a lot of fun, even if you haven't submitted.
As always, send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in getting more info about the Writers Workshop or would like to join. Cheers.
May 3, 2013
A nice guide to reading Emily Dickinson and some facts you may not have known about her on this NEH page:
There are a couple of great Open Mics coming up at area coffee shops this week. The Westland Library's monthly Open Mic, which features singer-songwriters mainly but also comedians and poets, is happening this Thursday (2/21) at the Westland Biggby Coffee on Ford Rd. Biggby is offering discounted drink prices ($1 for sm. coffee or tea, and money off their fancier drinks).
The Plymouth Coffee Bean is also hosting their monthly Gathering of Writers, a more literary-based open mic and reading. This month's featured reader is Donna DeMeyer, a local writer and coffee aficionado.
Have fun wherever you decide to go.
Feb 19, 2013
This is worth a read for those of you thinking about going the self-publishing route with your work. The creator of Smashwords, an ebook community that was recently picked up by two large library systems, makes publishing (and specifically, indie and self-publishing) predictions for 2013.
We had a light turnout this month but we were able to cover Chapter 3 from Jesse's 2nd book and 4 new poems from Patrick, including his "Una" series, based on his upcoming wedding (congrats to you, Mister Pat!).
First things first, though. A big congrats (!!!!) to our own John Capraro on getting his YA novel published. An e-copy will come out in February and the hard copy will be out in early March. Awesome stuff, John! Look for an author reading/signing at the library in the near future.
Back to the meeting: Patrick's wordplay is always a delight to hear (it's worth coming just to hear him read) and his draws inspiration from quirky characters, including Cool Hand Luke. Sometimes the work needs a little less backstory to understand, but all in all very enjoyable stuff.
The Japanese setting in Jesse's work has created a nice backdrop for book 2 of her epic fantasy but the constant (or inconsistent) shape-shifting had us going googly-eyed. The story is on the right track, though, and we're looking forward to future chapters.
Our Local Authors Conference (LAC) was also discussed as I am writing a Michigan Humanities Council grant to bring in famed Michigan authors like D.E. Johnson and Mardi Link. Look for more information in the coming months, but for now the event is scheduled on Saturday, May 11th.
Hope to see you all next month. So far, we have a couple of short stories from Brendan on the docket, so anyone who has attended in the past is able to submit work for our February 20th session.
Jan 25, 2013
New Poet Laureate
Congrats to Richard Blanco, the new Poet Laureate of the U.S. Here is a recent poets.org interview with Mr. Blanco, if you're interested in learning more about him or reading some of his work:
We decided to have an un-meeting this time around, seeing as we've all been working hard on novels and stories and poems for the past year. So Patrick, Casheena, John, Cheryl, Brendan, and more showed up to drink some nog and eat up some cheese and chocolate. Of course we talked shop and Casheena got it started with her questions about publishing with an agent, which John more than capably answered. Cheryl also spoke of her publishing and writing experience, and Patrick offered the well-timed quip (which he is apt to do). We did not have volunteers yet to submit for our January meeting, probably because everyone had the holiday season ahead of them and no matter how bad we want to write at this time, family time seems to take over (in a good way, hopefully). We'll gather up the submissions just after the New Year, tho, in order to give you enough time to do your thing with the work and help our writers learn from your skills. The next meeting, btw, is on Wednesday, January 23rd from 7-8:30 p.m. Happy holidays to all! See you on the flip side.
Dec 18, 2012
Woodward Line Poetry Series
This one happens down at the Scarab Club (behind the DIA) in Detroit. They tend to get more underground and experimental artists, worth the trek if that's your bag. Here is a link to their YouTube page to see a couple of performances. Also, for more information about upcoming readings and poets, check them out on Facebook.
Nov 14, 2012
I can tell when things are backing up around here because I can't get to the Writers Workshop blog until a week before the next meeting. Ugh, sorry about that, but between Zombie Prom, International Games Day, the start of NaNo, and the re-start of Friday Movies, my plate has been fairly full. I promise to get back in the swing of things shortly.
So in October we covered 3 writers work. This may have been the first time in awhile that we tried critiquing 3 writers' pieces in one meeting but it went fairly successfully. Tom submitted 3 short pieces, including his mythic/poetic trip to the muse (which turned out to be mirrored inside of him). A lot of attendees liked the piece but thought some situational details were lacking. Tighten those up and the piece gains even more thunder.
Brendan brought in a revised version of his superhero story, minus the love interest. The language and story were certaintly tighter, but some of the emotion seemed to be sapped from the story. We didn't suggest bringing back the love story, but infusing more emotional details into parts of conversation.
Patrick brought in 3 of his poems as well for review. Everyone liked the clever wordplay and offered various suggestions for word choices and line breaks, which Patrick took into consideration (and sometimes debated :)
Next month's work will be a longer short submitted by John and the next chapter in Jesse's trilogy. This month's attendees: Cortez, Patrick, Brendan, John, Jennifer, Tom, and myself. hope to see you next week on the 14th.