The Michigan Authors' Workshop Series: Midland, MI; Three days of readings and writing workshops by Michigan Writers. July 21—July 23, 2020

Writing Workshops

All workshops are held at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, 1710 West Saint Andrews Street, Midland, MI. Each workshop runs from 1–4 p.m.

The fee for the adult workshops is $25; the fee for the middle school workshop is $10. Registration for these events will open mid-May.

Tuesday, July 21

“The Kindest Cut: Ruthless Editing 101” (An All-Genre Workshop for adults)

When you’ve toiled to get words on paper, how do you find the courage to cut them? Editing is integral to writing, and good writers welcome the invention, refinement, and creativity that editing can inspire. Together we’ll learn specific ways to sculpt and shape your work into sparkling prose—and it won’t hurt at all! 

Workshop leader Desiree Cooper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of a collection of flash fiction, Know The Mother, along with numerous essays and poems.

Note: This workshop will focus on generating new writing, so there’s no need to bring any of your current work.

Wednesday, July 22

“Little Things, Big Differences” (A Poetry Workshop for adults)

Can you imagine “the” having more of an impact than “a”? Or what about having your line break be on the word “shot” instead of “shot photographs”? What difference does it make if the bird in your poem is a “wren” rather than a “chickadee”? In this workshop, we will have fun playing with your own poems, seeing what happens when you make changes that are easily overlooked.

Workshop Leader Jack Ridl is the author of several poetry collections, including St. Peter and the Goldfinch, Practicing to Walk Like a Heron, Losing Season, and Broken Symmetry.

Note: Come prepared to be surprised and to have fun. If you have them, bring along a half dozen of your own poems, which can be in draft form. No polish or expertise needed, just an openness to be experimental.

Thursday, July 23

“Inkhearted:  Writing with Intention, Liveliness, and Flow” (An All-Genre Workshop for adults)

Do your words YAWP, bedazzle, and glissade? In this workshop, learn how words work to create flow, sense, mood, and music by examining the emotional baggage, cultural upbringing, physical sensibilities, and historical context of the words we choose to use—and how we use them. These techniques, which can be used for writing to any age group and in any genre or format, will help you showcase the beating heart of your stories.

Workshop leader Shutta Crum is the author of picture books and young-adult titles, including Dozens of Cousins, Thunder-Boomer, and Thomas and the Dragon Queen.

Note: If you have them, bring a couple of pages from something you've written (verse or prose) to this workshop for us to begin.

“Writing Scenes That Pop” (A Fiction Workshop for middle school students)

Novels and screenplays are built from scenes: fleshed-out moments in time where things happen. In this workshop, we’ll investigate and create scenes that have precision and power and that move a story forward. We’ll read a few scenes and talk about what makes them work, we’ll write some scenes and share them, and you’ll get good feedback on how to make scenes work better. There will be time at the end for questions and discussion about writing novels.

Workshop leader H.M. Bouwman is the author of the young-adult novels A Crack in the Sea and A Tear in the Ocean.

Note: If you have a work in progress, feel free to bring it along for the workshop; if you are just thinking about or beginning a project, just bring yourself!