Photo: Workshops


Giving Voice:  A Festival of Writing and the Arts

September 23, 2016

2016 Workshops





Marilyn Nelson, Poetry




Chris Hoke, Nonfiction



Drawing From a Deep Well:  Story Invention and Process 

Gina Ochsner, Fiction

          Writing is an act of faith. Writers not only believe, but rely upon words availing themselves when needed.  But what can a writer do when the words don’t arrive? This session addresses a phenomenon nearly every writer encounters: the need to write while simultaneously feeling unable to do so.  We will talk about where story ideas come from, how to “jump-start” writing when ideas seem absent, and how to develop ideas.  We’ll be trying out techniques and don’t be surprised if you leave this session with several story starts in hand.



Songwriting:  Telling a Story
Jen Edwards

          Although there are many songwriting techniques, this workshop will focus on story songwriting. Students will explore meter, form, and rhyming techniques that are often employed when telling individual stories through music and lyric.  Students will then work together to compose a song, carefully crafting lyrics to communicate a specific story with characters, locations, actions and emotions.


What’s in a Scene?: Screenwriting Fundamentals
Brad Gambill

          In fiction, scenes can be quite fluid without concrete boundaries;  in screenplays, however, scenes are much more distinct.  More importantly, the scene is the essential building block of the script. Without them, the script will have little form and progression. In this workshop, we will examine the parameters of scenes in feature-length scripts by looking at a few examples and then practice scene-making strategies in scenes we create from scratch.


Writing Poems: "The Soul is Like a Buffalo"
Traci R. Letellier   

         How do poets use metaphor, associations, and the repetition of words and sounds to create layers of meaning within a poem? How can you use these same techniques?  Come to this workshop with pen and paper; leave with a poem!


Becky Marietta 




Readers Theater
Jan Lauderdale

         If you are interested in acting, come and try Readers Theater, a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form. Readers read from a script, so there is no memorization. The focus is on reading the text with expressive voices and gestures. Participants will work on characterization, facial expressions, and use of inflection.  Workshop is limited to 12 participants


Drama I: Intro to Improvisational Theater and Other Scary Things
Donna Rollene

          All participants will be encouraged to exercise their creativity within through drama games and improvised settings. Presentation will be improvisational within framework decided by instructor and will include all participants. Workshop is limited to 15 participants.


Calligraphy: The Medieval Art
David R Andrus

          The very shape of our roman alphabet depends, in part, on the kind of marks made by a quill from the 3rd feather on the left wing of a goose. Carve it right with a pen knife, dip it in ink and start to write like a medieval scribe. We will have some goose quills, a lot of flat-nib pens and some calligraphic markers for you to experiment with and some printed materials you can take with you. Come learn to make some 500 year-old letters. (Alas, scribes are typically right-handed and this skill is a bit of
a challenge for lefties.


Squeegee Time: A Screen Printing Workshop 
Todd Goehner

          This class gives students a basic introduction into the “Art Poster“ screen printing process.  We will look at “gig” and “art" poster, talk about the techniques of producing the posters, and then practice those techniques by pulling a few prints during the class.  Limit 15 students per workshop.



Introduction to the Traditional Dark Room
Neal Holland

          Students will have the opportunity to study the traditional process of gelatin silver development as conducted in the traditional (Chemical) darkroom.  Each group will receive a film negative and will themselves develop an 8x10 silver print that they may keep as a memento of the day.  The workshop does not require any previous knowledge of tradition.  Limit 12 students per workshop.


Bobby Martin

          A basic introduction to creating prints by hand using an etching press. We will create artwork with ink on plexiglass, and then transfer those images to paper to make a unique "monotype" print. This fast but interesting process does not require any previous drawing or painting experience.  Limit 12 students per workshop.



Digital Sculpting
Peter Pohle

         An introduction to digital sculpting using Sculptris for creating an organic 3d character on the computer.  Sculptris provides a very intuitive approach in creating 3d models on the computer.  This application can be downloaded for free at:



The Tools of the Trade
Steve Snediker

Discover the magic of making a short (very short) stop-motion film — the lights, camera, and action.  Students will experience and participate in the process.


Cross-Genre Pedagogy Workshop

Patty Kirk

                    Writing well is about paying attention more than anything else: paying attention to the world around you, paying attention to what you think of it, paying attention to other people’s writing and what makes it interesting. Paying attention takes practice, of course, as does articulating what you notice in such a way that others can see through your eyes. Teachers attending this workshop will come away with a quick, fun pedagogical approach to creative writing that will help students pay attention to and write well about the world around them.


State of Arkansas Professional Development credit available


Creative Nonfiction Pedagogy Workshop

Chopped Lit: Cooking Up Exciting Poems and Short-Shorts out of Ordinary Classroom Offerings
Patty Kirk

                In the spirit of the reality-based cooking show Chopped, students are invited to compete with one another to cook up the best poems and stories from shared “baskets” of words serendipitously provided by their textbooks. A rotating panel of student-judges lead mini-workshops in creative writing.


State of Arkansas Professional Development credit available

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