This will give you an idea of what we will offer on

Sept. 25, 2015


Giving Voice:  A Festival of Writing and the Arts

September 26, 2014

2014 Workshops

Traveling with Poetry: Writing Exercises that Become Imaginative Journeys

  Brett Foster

(Author of two poetry collections, The Garbage Eater and Fall Run Road)

The act of writing creatively has for a long, long time been connected to different kinds of human movement, including the adventures and surprises of traveling. For the Roman poet Virgil, turning from one poetry line to another was similar to a plowman making furrows in a field, and Montaigne, that great author of the French Renaissance, described his essays as places where his mind could "meander" or walk aimlessly, considering this and that thought even as a tourist might move among a city's landmarks. In this workshop, we will carry out some writing exercises together that enact this mental and imaginative travel, including a trip into our pasts and an occasion to look ahead toward wished-for futures. One exercise will involve an "imitation" exercise based on a sonnet by the premier medieval Christian poet Dante. Every student who reads this poem by Dante and tries his or her best will soon be able to write a whimsical, touching "roadtrip" poem for 2014!


Music As a Doorway into Fictional Characters
Jessie van Eerden

“When [my body] began to tremble, I simply walked right into that Nancy Griffith song about the kids who meet in Woolworth’s!  I walked right in through the back door of that old song, and I put on my Woolworth’s uniform, and decided I was the manager.”  So writes Jane McCafferty in her wonderful story “Thank You for the Music” about a fearful woman who finds courage in music.  In this workshop, we’ll look at the various ways writers bring music into their stories, and we’ll use music to tap into our characters in a new way.

Show and Tell

Shannon Polson

Today’s writing advice is to “show, not tell” in both fiction and non-fiction. What does this really mean? Both scene and exposition play important roles in anything we write, but how should we consider the balance of the two? We will read and discuss short selected pieces to determine what works best for us as readers and as writers, and then consider the elements of scene, with focus on exploring how to write what we perceive with our senses. Bring paper and a pen to write!

  Songwriting: Experience, Emotion and Exploration of the Creative Process

Josh Harmony

Everyone has his own way to express himself and create, and even within each individual there are many ways to approach writing. I’ve been driven by experience, emotion, and even chord progressions to inspire writing a song. I’d love to show you some examples of the songwriting process in some of my own work, and help you discover ways that might inspire the songwriter within you personally.

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!

“And When I Write, I Think of You”
Becky Marietta

Many burgeoning writers are sold the old bill of goods that if they do not keep a regular private journal, they are missing out on the opportunity to flex their creative writing muscles. This workshop disputes that idea, showing students that since the desire of all authors is to be read by an audience someday, the public practice of writing informally with a specific audience in mind can enhance a writer’s creative abilities, making her or him aware of the mechanics, purpose, and sheer joy of writing. This workshop will introduce students to the value of using purposeful letter writing and blogs as tools to becoming better writers of fiction. After discussing and examining these principles, students will be given the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned by writing and sharing a creative and thoughtful letter addressed to an individual of their choosing.


Concrete and Believable: Your Best Writing Found in Everyday Experiences

Kimberly Davis and Makayla Schultz

You think there is nothing from your life worth writing about? You think nothing has happened to you? Think again. Life is happening all around you, whether it be observing a couple's interaction in an airport or picking blueberries with your family every summer. We all have family, friends, and observations, but each is unique to us. A key to being a strong writer is writing what you know, and you know about your life. Come find out how delicious writing is inspired by everyday occurrences.

Building Better Characters:  Five Things Fictional People Need

Hannah Wright

The best characters in fiction are the ones that seem like real people, and characters and people alike have five crucial and necessary elements. Come learn how to make your characters more real, relatable, and balanced.


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.

Dave Andrus

A brief introduction to lettering followed by a hands-on workshop in which we will work on Gothic letterforms utilizing flat-nib calligraphy pens, traditional turkey-feather quills, and cheap foam brushes from the hardware store.
Note: Calligraphy is a bit of 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.

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.

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

Creative Writing at the Sentence Level: Using Creative Writing
to Teach Grammar and Vice Versa

Patty Kirk

All creative writing genres—poems, stories, nonfiction, drama—are composed, for the most part, of sentences. Yet, lessons in creative writing often give little attention to sentence-level creativity,  and lessons in grammar and usage usually neglect entirely any discussion of the sentence’s inexhaustible capacity to delight. In this pedagogical workshop, participants will acquaint themselves with an array of sentence-analysis and revision strategies with which to help students transform their good ideas into great creative pieces. The workshop will culminate in a fun creative writing exercise readymade for the high school English classroom.

State of Arkansas Professional Development credit available

Creative Nonfiction Pedagogy Workshop

Harnessing Our Habits: Learning Greek Names for Rhetorical Strategies Most Writers Unconsciously Employ Helps Them Hone Their Craft

Patty Kirk

Just knowing what a rhetorical question is—no, it’s NOT a question without an answer—can help students use rhetorical questions to advance their arguments. Recognizing and naming what they themselves are doing most any time they write helps students write more effective and savvy prose. In this pedagogical workshop, participants will reacquaint themselves with a handful of useful rhetorical strategies from classics. The workshop will conclude in a fun creative writing exercise readymade for the high school English classroom.

State of Arkansas Professional Development credit available