Past Themes and Instructors of The Writer’s Workshop

The Spoken and the Unspoken: Making Your Dialogue Sing

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

Abandon Your Poem: Rules for Editing

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

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
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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 (

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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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
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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:

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
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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
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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.

The Pros and Cons of Pursuing an MFA in Writing: Longevity, Law at Attrition, and Can Voice Be Taught?

August 16, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., FREE, Registration is Required–Space is Limited


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Nikita Nelin was born a son of a cosmonaut and a therapist in the former Soviet Union in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to the U.S. in 1989. He has received the Sean O’Faolain prize for short fiction, the Summer Literary Seminars prize for nonfiction, and the Dogwood Literary Prize in Nonfiction, as well as being chosen as a finalist for the Restless Books Immigrant prize and the Dzanc Books prize, and is an Associate Fellow at The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities.


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Alberto Daniels is a writer born in New York City to Panamanian parents. Currently, he is at work on a collection of short stories about the Panamanian immigrant experience. His stories have been recognized in two Glimmer Train writing competitions and have been published or forthcoming in Anamesa Journal and Ruminate Magazine. Since 2012, Alberto has owned and operated a successful Allstate Insurance firm.  He and his wife Melissa live beside a lake on Staten Island with their two young children and puppy. 

Outlining By The Seat of Your Pants

September 29 thru October 22, Tuesdays at Thursdays @10 a.m. and 6 p.m. FREE.

Jack Cameron is the author of 15 Minute Stories, a collection of flash fiction, Kickstart Your Kickstarter, an e-book on crowdfunding, and Ruin Your Life, a self-help book for hooligans. He is preparing to publish his first novel, A Better Lie. His work has also appeared in Creative Colloquy, Grit City Magazine, and The Pitkin Review. His website, covers local businesses and events as well as every homicide that happens in the city. He has an Associates in Human Services from Tacoma Community College, a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College, and is currently an MFA in Creative Writing Candidate at Goddard College. You can find him online on his personal website, at @jackcameron on Twitter, He also writes a weekly newsletter called Notes From Table 30 that you can subscribe to at

Epistle Me This: Puzzling Out Catharsis Through the Letter Poem


Creative Colloquy and Tacoma Public Library Present Tacoma Reads & Tacoma Writes: Beyond Borders

Sarah A. Chavez, a mestiza born and raised in the California Central Valley, is the author of the poetry collections, Hands That Break & Scar (Sundress Publications, 2017) and All Day, Talking (dancing girl press, 2014). Her new project, Halfbreed Helene Navigates the Whole received a 2019-2020 Tacoma Artists Initiative Award. Chavez teaches creative writing and Latinx/Chicanx-focused courses at the University of Washington Tacoma, serves as the poetry coordinator for Best of the Net Anthology, and is a proud member of the Macondo Writers Workshop. Recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Xicanx: Mexican American Writers of the 21st Century, Diode, & Hotel Amerika. She recently finished a fifteen-day poetry marathon which left her heart-wrung and breathless.

Cultivating Presence

Wednesday, December 2, 7 p.m. FREE. Registration is Required and Space is Limited.

Gloria Muhammad
 is a writer, teaching artist, and educator. Currently a paraeducator, she has worked with young people and adult learners in various educational settings. As a writer, Gloria is inspired by spirituality, everyday life, nature, music, and cinematography. She is a graduate of Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab and is excited to host virtual writing workshops rooted in healing and personal development. Drop her a line: / Instagram: @whoisgloriajoy.

Writing in the Dark: Re-imagining Possibility in Crisis

Monday, December 14, 7 p.m. FREE. Registration is Required and Space is Limited.

Ever Jones (they, them) is a queer/trans writer and artist who teaches creative writing at the University of Washington in Tacoma. Their artistic work is interested in unraveling oppressive social structures, while their personal work is interested in snuggling in front of the TV. Their poetry collection, nightsong, was recently published by Sundress Publications and you can find their work everjones. com.

Stories and Poems to Heal the Trauma of this Time

Monday, December 28, 7 p.m. FREE. Registration is Required and Space is Limited.

Beverly Naidus was an angst-ridden teen when she first started writing. One of her first poems was published in a now-extinct Irish literary journal. Strangely enough, she never studied writing (rhetoric) in college (Carleton College), but she did take inspiring courses in Black Literature and contemporary poetry. By the time she had finished grad school, receiving an MFA in Intermedia (Nova Scotia College of Art & Design), she was combining her passion for words with visual art making. Whether she was scrawling texts on the walls of galleries, sketching words next to images on paper, designing artist’s books with rhythmic texts, or scripting the audio loops of installation pieces, language has played a key role in her work. Laurie Anderson was one of her mentors in grad school, urging her to record her texts about the nightmare of nuclear war on multi-track tapes. In the mid-1980s, she began writing non-fiction essays about her experiences teaching art for social change and healing and published them in magazines and journals. She was encouraged to write a book about her unique interdisciplinary studio arts curriculum at UW Tacoma, and despite the dread of writing a book, she discovered that writing a series of letters to her younger self helped her jump that hurdle. Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame (New Village Press, 2009) is part memoir, part theory, part history, and a digest of other artists’ stories. It includes an allegorical fable that came to her in a series of dreams. Her most recent non-fiction pieces discuss the role of the eco-artist and ways that art can reimagine the world. During the pandemic, she has been waking up at dawn with phrases pouring out of her, so she’s taken up writing poetry again. For some examples of her writing, check out her website:

The End of Writer’s Block

Thursday, February 25, 7 p.m. FREE. Registration is Required.

Abby E. Murray is the editor of Collateral, a literary journal concerned with the impact of violent conflict and military service beyond the combat zone. She teaches argumentation in military strategy for army officers on fellowship from the Army War College at the University of Washington, and she offers free creative writing workshops for immigrants, civilians, soldiers, veterans, and their loved ones around Tacoma, Washington, where she is the city’s poet laureate. Her book, Hail and Farewell, won the Perugia Press Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2020 Washington State Book Award. You can reach her at

How to Write a Page Turner

Tuesdays, March 9, 16, & 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m. $10 for this 3-part series. Registration is Required.

E.C. Murray (Elizabeth Corcoran Murray) teaches creative writing at Seattle Central College and wrote An Unfamiliar Guest “an enthralling mystery with twists and turns even the most astute reader won’t see coming.” She also wrote the memoir A Long Way from Paris, named an independent Kirkus Best Book of the Year; “The Urban Goatherd,” a Pushcart nominated story; and two “Tiny books” –Life Kind of Sucks and Writers Unblocked. She founded Writers Connection with interviews as varied as Erik Larson, Elizabeth George, A.J. Banner and Debbie Macomber. Murray studied writing at the University of Washington, Hedgebrook, and Stony Brook, Southampton and hold a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Paths to Publication: A Cautionary Tale

Thursday, March 25, 7 p.m. FREE. Registration is Required.

Jennifer Preston Chushcoff
would have been an astronomer or botanist, but she couldn’t do the math. So, she became an author and artist focused on scientific discovery and the environment. Her diverse work appears in children’s books, anthologies and a letterpress print. Her popup, SNOWFLAKES, won a Moonbeam Gold Medal, and her poetry collection, WA IS WATER, was awarded a TAIP Grant. She writes spooky stories for kids as, “The Fairy Gothmother.” Her visual art has been exhibited in numerous galleries, site-specific installations and public collections. For the past four years, she has contributed her design skills to Creative Colloquy. Born in Southern California and educated at UC Berkeley, she now lives in Washington State where she regularly frolics in the woods and water searching for her lost childhood. Find out more at

Poetry as Protest, as Proclamation, as Prayer

& The Poetry of Lucille Clifton: A Generative Workshop

Friday, April 16, 7 p.m. $5. Registration is Required & November 4, 7 p.m. FREE, Registration Required

Lydia K. Valentine is unapologetically Black. She is a passionate activist for equity and social justice, a proud mom of two amazing people, and an autistic, queer, card-carrying Blerd. She grew up in Aliquippa, Pa, a small, steel mill town north of Pittsburgh, and though she now calls the Pacific Northwest her home, she is a Quip for life. Through her own writing and the projects to which she contributes as a dramaturg, director, or editor under Lyderary Ink, Lydia always seeks to amplify the voices of those who are often stifled, ignored, and marginalized in what has been the accepted narrative of the United States. Lyderary Ink maintains ongoing partnerships with empathos company, The Mahogany Project, Pork Filled Productions, Speak the Magazine, Toy Boat Theatre, and the We Out Here Festival. At the end of the 2020 school year, Lydia shifted from teaching full time at the Seattle Girls’ School to focusing on creative pursuits and consulting. She is working on putting together a virtual reading of her play, Aliquippa, and developing playwrighting and poetry workshops.

Writing Interactive, Vivid Settings

Saturday, May 15, 6:30 p.m. $5. Registration is Required.

Tyrean Martinson, lifelong SFF fan and reader, fenced foil and saber in a college club at WWU where she went for a BA in English Education. She currently lives near Gig Harbor, works as a tutor and homeschool English teacher, and enjoys bicycling on flat trails. She’s the mom of two college-age daughters who are both into engineering and who don’t like Star Wars, fencing, or Shakespeare, which means her brainwashing efforts failed. Tyrean is an indie author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction, and has had over 100 short works published. She’s a volunteer admin for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a member of the SCBWI, and a volunteer podcaster for One Hope Church. She’s on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and has a blog at Her newest novella, Liftoff, was something she wrote to entertain herself during early quarantine, a “popcorn movie” style YA novella she hopes will be fun for readers, too.

Writing for Remembrance

Wednesday, June 16, 6 p.m. $5. Registration is Required

Katherine Felts is a biracial/Black poet who currently calls Tacoma home. She enjoys writing in many genres, but focuses most often on poems and creative nonfiction. She has performed with or at: First Night Tacoma, UW Tacoma, The Peoples Assembly and Creative Colloquy. She also sometimes hosts podcasts, emcees events and panels, and leads personal development workshops. 

Write What You Notice

Saturday, July 10, 4 p.m. FREE. Registration is Required. SOLD OUT

Tiffany Aldrich MacBain is a professor of English at the University of Puget Sound, where she teaches writing and literary analysis. Her creative nonfiction and published scholarship reflect her interest in finding the remarkable stories in everyday life.

You Are a Sea Cucumber, You Are a Wolf: Writing Like an Animal

Wednesday, August 4, 6 p.m. FREE – Registration is Required.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Troy Kehm-Goins is a poet and artist whose work has been published in WRISTPost DefianceRead Write PoemLes Sar’zine, and Creative Colloquy, as well as in four poetry chapbooks. In his work, he seeks to discover the holy within the everyday and ordinary. He resides in Puyallup with his wife, daughter, and two canine people, Banjo and Wrigley.

Structure & Outline

& Show & Tell 

October 18, 7 – 8:30 p.m. FREE, Registration Required – & November 6, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. FREE, Registration Required

Jenny Bartoy is an editor and writer located in Tacoma, WA. She specializes in developmental and line editing of fiction and creative nonfiction, including memoir. You can find her on Instagram @jbartoywriter or visit her website at