Spring Workshops: A Fresh Look at Craft
by Marilyn Rhoads, OCW Program Coordinator
A. Jane Kirkpatrick will present “The Four Threads of Fiction.” This workshop will explore ways to bring landscape, relationships, spirituality, and the work of characters into your writing to weave an inspirational fabric for your readers. Jane wants to give you words of encouragement to help you discover the wealth granted in the writer’s life. Learn to season your writing with new craft skills to carry your WIPs forward. (Fiction)
B. “Grammar Nazis: Good, Bad, or a Necessary Evil?” will feature Dan Kline as the presenter. Even one small goof in your opening paragraph can doom your novel to the reject pile. Is high school the last time you really nailed down those oddball rules and exceptions? Do any of them still apply … or help? What’s the difference between “affect” and “effect”? Are “discreet” and “discrete” optional spellings, like “canceled” and “cancelled”? Is one a misspelling, or do they actually mean different things? When do you hyphenate prefixes? Come learn the answers to these puzzles. (All genres)
Dan has been inspiring, motivating, entertaining, and informing audiences since 1990. During his 24-year career, Dan has consistently received outstanding evaluations from the more than 200,000 people he has addressed in the US and 22 other countries. As an author, Dan has written books on relationships, booklets for writers, and numerous seminars, CDs, and DVDs. With his wife, Kay Marshall Strom, he is also co-founder of an international speaking and consulting business, specializing in workplace communication issues.
C. “Partying with Words: Poetry, Puzzles, and Play” will feature Mary Hake’s teaching. Planning, practice, and performance with the wonders of words should be fun and fulfilling. Join us for a time of word exploration and adaptation. We may include alliteration, personification, and celebrations too—along with inspiration, of course. Figures of speech are optional, but you’ll enjoy your writing experience by using them. Playing with words is suitable for any writer, as a break from regular work or a possibility for additional income. Bring your writing tools. (All genres)
Mary began penning “poems,” stories, and puzzles at age six and has never ceased. A freelance writer and editor, she has hundreds of pieces published in books and periodicals, including poetry, articles, stories, devotions, puzzles, activities, and curricula. She earned a degree in journalism and mass communications and took all the creative writing classes her college offered. She has been a reporter and feature writer for a weekly newspaper and for a monthly regional paper. Mary is an OCW past president and has been a member for more than 27 years.
D. Ann Shorey will teach “Synopsis Simplified.” Does the word “synopsis” strike fear in your heart? Do you wish someone would come along and write the dreadful thing for you? This class doesn’t promise to write your synopsis, but by following this simple three-step method, you might even enjoy the process. You will learn the three key steps to focusing on your plot and telling your story in a few concise paragraphs. Bring your laptop or a notebook and pen. You’ll be sketching out a plot development worksheet. (Fiction)
Ann has been writing for more than 20 years. Her popular historical romance titles include Where Wildflowers Bloom, When the Heart Heals, and Love’s Sweet Beginning, as well as the At Home in Beldon Grove series for Revell. Her latest project is the novella Lessons in Love, included in the Sincerely Yours collection. Ann and her husband are empty-nesters (if you don’t count their dog, Amber) and make their home in southwestern Oregon.
E. “Quick Critique” is Jane Kirkpatrick’s “positive” workshop promising “nothing to fear.” Submit in advance (until noon), anonymously, the first page of your work. Jane will choose at random out of the stack and ask the group what’s strong and what might be made stronger in this opening work of fiction or nonfiction. Submission is not required, but strongly encouraged. (Fiction or nonfiction)
F. “It Was a Dark and Stormy Plot” will be taught by Dan Kline. Dan will illustrate the overall flow of a plot line featuring the movie, The African Queen. Learn how to introduce the main character, her goal, and set up the story conflict. Did you include the story question? Add it now, and be sure to develop sympathy for her. Begin Act II and create a series of beats, scenes, and sequences building ever-increasing tension toward the climax. Learn how to tie up loose ends, answer the story question, and resolve the goal in Act III. Ready, set, go … write that novel. (Fiction)
G. “Who Am I? Who is My Reader?” Wanda Fisher will teach the four basic personality types and how to communicate with each one. Make your writing believable and understand how your character/reader thinks, feels, what their vulnerabilities are, the things they fear, and their body language. Learn to define the primary and secondary traits you, your readers, and your characters use. Nothing is more disconcerting than to use the wrong personality characteristics or behaviors and throw your reader out of the story line. Know your audience and characters. (All genres)
Wanda Fisher teaches an interdenominational Bible study at Eugene’s Faith Center for 100 women. She has been a pastor with Foursquare International for 20 years. She has counseled for more than 30 years and has been active in training and teaching lay counselors and pastors in Oregon. She has taught the Word for 35 years. She and her husband, Bob, have reared four children, have seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She has published five books, including Who Am I/ Who Are You? and is writing her sixth book now.
H. Nicole Miller will teach “Facebook Intensive for Authors.” With more than one billion users, Facebook is a powerful marketing and networking tool for authors building a platform. You’ll walk through the ins and outs of business pages, dissect the factors that get your posts noticed, and touch on the basics of Facebook Ads. (Are they even worth it?) You’ll explore free tools to help optimize your efforts online so you can spend more time writing. (All genres)
Nicole is a former rodeo queen and a historical fiction writer who stumbled into social media, marketing, graphic design, and website development. She works at the University of Western States as their online media manager and recently redesigned their 500+ page website on a short timeline. She operates her own graphic design company, Miller Media Solutions, and is the head of marketing for Ashberry Lane Publishing. She and her husband live in Milwaukie.