Wednesday, June 29, 2022

What happens at the lake . . . . a prompt.

 “Nature Writing: Telling the Lake, Story by Story” with Mary Cuffe Perez explores the critical role that setting plays in poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Mary will teach ways of capturing the story a setting wants to tell according to time of day, weather, light and shadow. 

A writing prompt you might get in Mary’s class: “A rowboat tied to the dock at Pyramid Lake is beckoning you to get in and row out to the island.  What happens next?”

See the full workshop description here.

Picture Book Prompt for "Tell Me a Story"

 “Tell Me a Story: How to Write a Picture Book in 4 Easy Lessons” with Linda Marshall explores the magic of the earliest books we share with children - and the ones we still remember vividly. Linda is an award-winning author with almost 24 traditionally published picture books. She will be teaching her method of creating memorable picture books.

Here’s a writing prompt you might get in Linda’s class: “Is there someone in your life whose story you want to tell? What part of their story do you want to share with children?”

See the full workshop description here.

"Double Booking"

Two of the Fall Writerfest faculty, the two Mainers, have recently signed book contracts. Clif Travers has signed with Down East Books for The Stones of Riverton, his collection of linked stories based on cemetery markers in a small Maine town. Due out in the summer of 2023.

Ellie O'Leary has signed with North Country Press for her memoir, Up Home Again, due out before the end of 2022.

No cover reveals yet, but they're coming.


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

2022 Workshops

 Here are all the workshops listed together. Note: After the First Draft with Jeff Campbell has sold out. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Nature Writing: Telling the Lake, Story by Story

Writing authentic nature stories, articles, or poems means having a keen awareness and knowledge of the environment that is the setting or focus of our writing. During this workshop we will learn how to tap into our senses and sharpen our awareness of the natural world by observing and learning from the most enlightening of storytellers – Pyramid Lake and its environs. We will spend time walking the shores of this pristine, wild lake and the surrounding woodlands journaling the plant and animal life, and opening ourselves to the stories the lake tells according to time of day, light and shadow, and shifts of weather. Notes and sketches will
be used to create or enhance poems or prose pieces which will be shared and discussed. This workshop will be held both out-of-doors along lake shores and indoors. Participants are strongly encouraged to venture out on their own outside of workshop time –to find a dock or rock or bench to observe and write.
Most of this workshop will be held out of doors. Bring notebooks and pens/pencils, rain gear (let’s hope we don’t need it), sturdy rain-proof footwear, knapsack, insect repellant.
Mary Cuffe Perez is a “woods roamer” and author of books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, children’s novels and has published natural history articles in Adirondack Life, Northern Woodlands, the Conservationist and Blueline magazines.

Writing Across the Genres

Good writing is good writing, regardless of the topic. Whether you’re working on fiction, memoir, nonfiction, or a combination of styles, the fundamentals are the same. We’ll polish our skills through workshopping, exercises, and discussions on the craft of words. Most importantly, we’ll write with the goal of advancing our stories, whatever the genre.

Clif Travers is a visual artist and writer who has relocated to his home state of Maine after years in Brooklyn, NY. His writing has been featured in Underwood Press, freeze frame fiction, Crack the Spine Anthology, and Coffin Bell Journal, among others. He received his MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. His forthcoming collection of short stories and novellas, The Stones of Riverton, are tales inspired by the gravestones in his hometown in western Maine and are based on the rumors of the suspicious deaths of those who lie beneath them.  

Friday, January 21, 2022

Tell Me a Story… Or, How to Write a Picture Book in Four Easy Lessons

            Ahhh….Picture books! Deceptively-simple, these illustrated books tell a complete story in about 500 words. These are tiny books that speak volumes – that reach our hearts and provide bite-size bits of philosophy. The Little Engine that Could, Where the Wild Things Are, A Snowy Day… These are stories kids want to hear over and over (and over). But, how does this magic happen? What are the keys to writing picture books? And do you have a story that only you can tell? One that needs telling?

            In this workshop, we’ll cover different types of picture books. Participants will gain an understanding of the form, hear a brief history of picture books, and (begin to) learn how to write a picture book. Come with an idea (or two) for a story to tell in picture book form. Recommended text: Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul, Writers Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio. Participants are encouraged to read recent, traditionally-published picture books (i.e., not self-published and preferably books not written by the same person who illustrated them) prior to class. In addition, please bring a favorite (traditionally-published) picture book to the class. No drawing skills required.

             Linda Elovitz Marshall is the award-winning author of almost two dozen traditionally published picture books, fiction and non-fiction. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, French, Russian, and Italian.