Training & Workshops

[learn_more caption=”May 2008 to September 2009″]
The Writer’s Loft – Middle Tennessee State University
A certificate in creative writing program, The Writer’s Loft offers three semesters of study on any genre of writing. I was paired with a different mentor (which I chose) each semester. I worked with Alvin Knox (TN) on poetry during the summer of 2008, Betsy Woods, (LA), on fiction during the fall semester of 2008 and Bill Brown, (TN) on poetry during the winter/spring semester of 2009. I graduated in September 2009.

This was an invaluable program for me. It was run by Charlotte Rains Dixon and Terry Price, two talented writers and able administrators. The secret to the program was the fabulous mentors. I worked closely with each mentor, learning from them, asking questions, receiving critique and was challenged to be a better writer. I had much to learn, still do, but this program gave me the confidence to dive in and try. My life has been all the richer because of this experience.

[learn_more caption=”August 2009″]
Learning Events Poetry Workshop with Bill Brown – Sweetwater, TN
This one day writing workshop is full of prompts and time to write. As I am not good at coming up with great ideas on the spur of the moment, I took many of the prompts home and wrote several poems from them when I had more time to think. It was fun and the poets here are very talented.

[learn_more caption=”December 2009″]
Character Workshop with Lori Fischer – Nashville, TN
Lori grew up in Nashville and now lives as a writer in NYC. She presented some great ideas on how to make your characters real and I learned a lot that I can use for a short story I was working on.

[learn_more caption=”January 2010″]
The Writer’s Loft Winter Orientation Weekend and Workshops – Murfreesboro, TN
Another 2 days packed with interesting speakers and lots of learning opportunities. This is a great environment with an encouraging atmosphere.

[learn_more caption=”March 2010″]
Tennessee Mountain Writers’ Annual Conference – Oak Ridge, TN
My first writing workshop where I didn’t know a soul. The folks here are warm and welcoming, and the speakers were great. Linda Parsons Marion was the poetry speaker and she was first rate. I loved that I got to have a one on one meeting with her. I had submitted some poems and she commented on them – very valuable words that I took to heart. I submitted 2 poems for the contest and won 1st and 2nd place, the first time I ever won any money for my poems. It was a huge thrill.

[learn_more caption=”June 2010″]
John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC – I found out about this school from a blurb on the newsletter of the TN Writer’s Alliance. I went online and signed up for a writing class called “From Journaling to Publishing in Journals.” Eric Nelson (Georgia Southern) was the teacher. I didn’t know what to expect, but the experience was way better than what I could have imagined. First of all, the folk school is amazing. They teach all kinds of crafts, predominantly the Appalachian folk crafts that would die off if someone didn’t make it a priority to teach them. You can check out their website if you want to know what kind of things are available. My writing class had 8 female participants and 1 male teacher. We had a wonderful time. Eric would give us prompts and we would take some time to write a poem or a beginning of a poem and then share it with the class. We usually had an overnight assignment and we would come to class the next day with printed copies of what we had written, ready to share. The class would comment and critique each poem read aloud and the feedback was truly significant and worthwhile. The best part of the class was the camaraderie and bond established. Each person contributed their own sense of writing style and personality. Some of us were published poets and some had never written a poem before but each was valued for their own uniqueness and spirit. Eric’s accepting nature had a good deal to do with how well this class worked. I loved every second of it. To Eric, Barbara, Carole, Lee, Lory, Ashley, Janice, and Wanda – Love you guys!!

[learn_more caption=”August 2010″]
Learning Events Poetry Workshop with Bill Brown – Sweetwater, TN
Bill is a staple at this August workshop and does a great job. Basically, the same people come every year and it’s a great kickstart to fall writing with all the great prompts and ideas.

[learn_more caption=”September 2010″]
The Writer’s Loft Fall Orientation Weekend and Workshop – Murfreesboro, TN
Another 2 days at the Loft learning, getting new ideas, and meeting some great folks.

[learn_more caption=”April 2012″]
Magic Time Retreat. Led by Terry Price and Carolyn Flynn.
This weekend retreat intends to reflect its name – Magic Time. Lots of time to center yourself and ponder your own writing life.

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