The Writer’s Workshop Series

The Spoken and the Unspoken: Making Your Dialogue Sing

June 17, 7 – 8:30 p.m. FREE, Registration Required–Space is Limited

SOLD OUT

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Heather Momyer is the founding publisher of Arc Pair Press. Her fiction chapbook, How to Swim, was published by Another New Calligraphy, and her stories and essays appear or are forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine, The Forge Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, Bennington Review, and other journals. Awards and nominations include a best fiction prize from 303 Magazine, Pushcart and the Sundress Best of the Net nominations, and an honorable mention in a Glimmer Train fiction contest. She holds an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in literature and now lives in Tacoma, WA. Visit Arc Pair Press online at ArcPairPress.Weebly.com.

Abandon Your Poem: Rules for Editing

June 24, 7 – 8:30 p.m. FREE, Registration Required–Space is Limited

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ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Michael Haeflinger is the author of Low Static Rage (Blue Cactus Press, 2019), as well as two chapbooks and a spoken word album. He lives in Tacoma where he directs Write253, an organization dedicated to teaching writing to teens.

In lieu of offered compensation for his time, Michael Haeflinger is donating to the Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective, who have been doing great work in our community during COVID and the recent uprising against police violence in the US. They provide essential support by purchasing supplies such as hygiene products, food delivery, and informational resources. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/TacomaMutualAidCollective/. All events are free to attend, though donations in any amount are always welcome. For those able we have offered a  pay-what-you-wish donation format to participate — and in the spirit of making a larger impact and amplifying the messages, CC would like all donations for this course to also be made to the Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective.

Kill Your Darlings or: Mourning Clichés and Burying them Under the Stairs

July 1, 7 – 8:30 p.m. FREE, Registration Required–Space is Limited

SOLD OUT

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
James P. Stuart is an American fiction writer, based in Tacoma, Washington. He received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Colorado State University and has been writing fiction for more than fifteen years. A student of the American West, he is drawn to the history and people who have shaped the region since the first Indigenous people settled here, thousands of years ago. His work has been featured in Creative Colloquy, The Almagre Review, and Short Fiction Break, among others. He also maintains a short fiction website, The Forge (www.storiesfromtheforge.com).

I Am The Story: Writing at the Intersection of Identity, Culture and Justice

July 14, 7 – 10 p.m., FREE, Registration Required–Space is Limited

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This three-hour workshop will explore how identity and cultural context can intersect to create short works of fiction and memoir that forward the causes of justice and liberation. It is intended for all BIPOC community members, as well as White allies experienced in unpacking their own privilege. 

“I Am The Story…” is an opportunity to experiment with weaving personal experiences of injustice and justice into prose which speaks to this moment; and though the resulting pieces may not be explicitly political or justice oriented, using identity and cultural context as a jumping off point for writing can give rise to surprising and authentic results. The workshop is intended to provide new and experienced writers with the support and encouragement to take their work in new directions, or to play with new iterations of themes they’ve previously explored.  

During the three hours, writers will receive a series of prompts, and then generate a piece of flash fiction/memoir to be shared with the group. They will then offer each other feedback, focusing both on the building blocks of good prose as well as on the content and themes expressed.  All participants must come ready to write and willing to share their work with the group.

*Zoom Meeting Information will be given just prior to meeting day/time.*

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Jesi Vega  teaches fiction and screenwriting at Tacoma’s High School of the Arts and is the founder of Represent!Editorial, which provides workshops, editorial services, and creative support to emerging and established BIPOC writers. Prior to living in Tacoma, she was a  screenwriter and documentary editor in Los Angeles and received a Masters Degree in religion from The University of Chicago Divinity School. Jesi’s perspectives on race and social justice are informed by her Puerto Rican-Jewish heritage and the fact that she was raised in a Socialist housing cooperative in The Bronx. 

Poetry Critique Group for Women of Color

July 19, 9 a.m. – noon, FREE, Registration Required–Space is Limited

SOLD OUT

This poetry workshop, which is intended for women and gender non-conforming individuals of Color, is meant to deepen our writing craft and help us look critically at the underpinnings of our creative work via peer-to-peer feedback. In this three-hour workshop, poets will share up to five pages of poems at a moderated, round-table discussion led by poet and publisher Christina Butcher.

One by one, we’ll deep-dive into each writer’s work and hear comments/critiques regarding what works, doesn’t work, stands out, and can be improved upon in our writing. Aspects often considered in poetry critique workshops include (but in no way are limited to) framework, imagery, format, language and audience considerations, tone, point of view, messaging, voice, rhythm, etc. Participants should note:

All participants must submit their poems to a shared, group folder on Google Drive two to four weeks before the workshop date. This allows everyone ample time to read, make notes on, and familiarize themselves with shared work.

This workshop is intended to give writers thoughtful, meaningful feedback on submitted work and suggestions on how it might be improved. While praise can be helpful toward gauging how a poem is received by an audience, oftentimes, it isn’t enough to help a poet strengthen or craft their work. Nor is criticism when offered without suggestions for improvement or change. With this in mind, please come to the table having read other poets’ submitted work, and if at all possible, with thoughtful feedback for them.

*Zoom Meeting Information will be given just prior to meeting day/time.*

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Christina Butcher is a Chicana poet, publisher and veteran from New Mexico. She has a passion for storytelling and community involvement. She’s also a bookseller at King’s Books and a teaching artist at Write253. Her non-fiction writer has appeared in City Arts, Creative Colloquy, Grit City Magazine, Hilltop Action Journal, OLY ARTS, The Ranger, VOICE Magazine and Weekly Volcano. Christina’s first book of poetry, Still Clutching Maps, was published in 2017 by Blue Cactus Press. Visit Blue Cactus Press to see her work and more: https://bluecactuspress.com/.

From Your Head to the Page: How to Actually Write and Finish Your Book

July 29, 7 – 8:30 p.m., FREE, Registration Required–Space is Limited

SOLD OUT

Author and Tacoma native Erik Hanberg has published ten books over the last ten years, not to mention a play and a few novellas. His books have sold more than 60,000 copies and have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Arabic (long story). What’s the secret to starting, writing, and actually finishing a project? Erik talks about his process from the initial spark of an idea for a novel to planning and outlining, to actually getting his butt in the seat to write and finish it. Erik will use examples from his own work and from other authors to talk about how to write your book.

This class is well suited for someone who wants to write a book but either hasn’t started or hasn’t finished. Attendees are encouraged to share more about their writing at least a week in advance of the class. If you have a first chapter (or any chapter!), an outline, or even just a character or a concept, please send it in advance. There will also be time to talk about our writing during the session.

*Zoom Meeting Information will be given just prior to meeting day/time.*

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Erik Hanberg
is the author of four sci-fi novels, several mysteries, a play, and some literary fiction. He has also written three books for small nonprofits about nonprofit boards, fundraising, and social media. He has served in elective office on the Metro Parks Board of Tacoma for the last ten years, run several small businesses including Channel 253, a Tacoma-focused podcast network, and is currently working in marketing at KNKX Public Radio.

Reckoning and Reclamation: Owning Our Narrative

August 8, 9 a.m. – noon, FREE, Registration Required--Space is Limited

This poetry workshop is designed to support emerging and seasoned writers of color in navigating and creating in this tumultuous and painful time in American history. For the purposes of this workshop, I define People of Color as those who identify as, live their daily lives as, and understand themselves as people of color, and it includes gender nonconforming, white-passing and light-skinned people of color.

James Baldwin said, “To be a negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” He also said, “Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”

COVID-19 already exacerbated existing -isms and systems of oppression. In addition, the increase in murders of Black people and state sanctioned violence against people of color has many of us creatives vibrating with rage and grief. This workshop will take participants through series of prompts and exercises to identify and name some of the feelings and experiences they are encountering right now. We will look back to look forward, and experiment with ways to ground ourselves and reclaim our humanity despite what the world around us says. We will unpack the notion, sensations and trappings of “home” and tap into our unique lived experiences to create a poem. Participants should be prepared to engage with empathy, authenticity and openness as we mine for opportunities and openings to craft new work. Lastly, we will examine strategies to move through creative paralysis during please turn off yours times.

*Zoom Meeting Information will be given just prior to meeting day/time.*

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Kellie Richardson
is a writer, artist and educator born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. Her work explores the intersection of race, class, and gender with specific emphasis on themes of love, loss and longing. As the 2017-2019 Poet Laureate for the city of Tacoma, Kellie worked to ensure literary arts are both accessible to and representative of the diversity of the community. Kellie believes her work has one purpose: to be used as a tool for liberation and healing. Sometimes through provocation or confession, other times through belly laughs or tears, Kellie works to center the beauty and power of everyday folk, and put some funk into the dread we call survival. Her most recent collection, The Art of Naming My Pain (Blue Cactus Press, 2019) combines poetry, prose and mixed media collage to offer readers an honest account of her struggles with identity, relationships, mental health and self-love.