I’ve spent over a decade immersed in the craft of teaching. And it is a craft. The stakes are high. To write, we must take risks, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, accept that the beautiful mess of it is a process, each time, for all writers. It’s been a hoot and a privilege, a risk and a challenge to engage with the process of sharing my passion for writing and stories, shaping that passion into inspiration and education. I tell my students it’s a selfish thing, really. I love what I do, and I love sharing it with fellow wordsmiths. Word by word, page by page, story by story.
I teach workshops in Portland, as well as taking my show on the road around and about my Pacific Northwest home. Stay tuned to this page for updates and upcoming workshops.
Join me this summer at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, located on the stunning Cascade Head overlooking the Central Oregon Coast, as we delve into characters, both fictional and true, and how to bring them to life on the page. Perched above Lincoln City, Oregon, we’ll enjoy two engaging, creative and fun late-summer days putting pen to page, doing what we love.
Saturday & Sunday, August 18-19, 2018
Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, Oregon
Everything has a character, from the protagonist in a novel or larger-than-life you in your memoir, to the natural and urban environments those people populate. Even the objects that inhabit our writing have personalities that give our stories vitality. During this two-day summer workshop we’ll discuss strategies for developing bold, engaging characterization in writing, both in fiction and true stories. We’ll investigate how developing description, crafting rich detail, and drawing from personal experience converge on the page to create vivid and believable written worlds.
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.
- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Saturday & Sunday, November 3-4, 2018
World Forestry Center, Portland, Oregon
Come in from the rain and join me at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon this November for a weekend of brevity at its best. We’ll learn about the craft of capturing big ideas and epic true stories with economy of words and pithy form. Memoir concentrate.
In this workshop we’ll hone our pruning skills, growing the craft of concise when writing true stories. Together we’ll investigate memoir and other personal essay forms, learning how to shape them into works that fit an online maximum of 2200 characters and other short forms. We’ll discuss how to use restrictions to our advantage, condensing and consolidating language, and trimming stories and topics into their most powerful, distilled forms.