Giving Voice:  A Festival of Writing and the Arts

September 25, 2015

2015 Workshops





Finding Your Voice
Andrea Palpant Dilley

             Have you ever thought about sharing your life story with others? Your experiences are unique to you and writing about those experiences is part of owning your own story, both the pain and the joy. In this workshop, we’ll talk about taking pride in the power of your own story and finding beauty in the particularities of your world—in the dinner conversation you had with your strange aunt, in the fight you had with your dad. Your story matters and can make a significant impact.



How To Give a Very Close Haircut: Immediacy and The Art Of Poetry
Benjamin Myers, Poet

          Emily Dickinson famously said, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” How does a poet pack that sort of immediacy into a poem? This workshop will address techniques for bringing poetry to life on the page. Workshop participants will learn how to utilize concision of diction, precision of image, and directness of presentation to connect more urgently and immediately with the reader. Aspects of craft to be considered include: the poetic line, diction, imagery, figurative language, rhythm, sound, and syntax.


Writing with Tension: Crafting Words that Leap off the Page 
Jonathan Friesen

              How often do you find yourself reading along, only to find you’ve lost interest and skipped huge chunks of narrative? We all do it, but why? I’ll tell you; the author forgot to add the most important ingredient to his/her story … tension. Tension involves emotion. Tension involves the unexpected. But most importantly, tension-filled writing can be learned. Come learn techniques to make even your driest passages unforgettable.


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!


Says Who?: Point of View in Fiction
Becky Marietta 

     One of the first important decisions an author must make when writing fiction is deciding who will narrate the story. During this workshop, participants will learn how choosing first person POV (point of view) over third person (and vice versa) can completely change the direction of a story in terms of tone and emotional connection with the reader. After a brief lecture, students will be given the opportunity



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


State of Arkansas Professional Development credit available


Creative Nonfiction Pedagogy Workshop

Patty Kirk


State of Arkansas Professional Development credit available