|Hollins University - June 2012 - Photos: Jan Bowman|
Last week I was at the Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. This was my fourth visit to this wonderful workshop set in the rolling hills and mountainous terrain of North Western VA, on the beautiful Hollins campus, and once again, it did not disappoint.
Hollins University offers a wonderful setting for workshop participants to escape the modern world's distractions. Writers can devote their time and thoughts to serious writing. The workshop includes classes in poetry and prose, for nonfiction and fiction.
|Classes and Dorms Surround a Shady Quad - photo: Jan Bowman|
|Early Arrivals for Panel on Publishing|
After a short break writers gather for dinner and then go back for prose and poetry readings and panel discussions presented by the writing faculty. Later - back at the dorms - writers talk about their writing and readings. Being totally submerged for a week with other writers is a great way to grow rapidly in 'writerly skills' and build confidence. So here's a broad look at the process that duplicates the patterns and process I've experienced at summer workshops at Iowa - Summer Writing Festival, Gettysburg Review Writers Conference, and Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop in recent years.
|Hollins Univ. Porch Rockers Attract Writers & Readers|
Here's a list of craft seminar topics at Tinker Mountain this year - just to give you an idea of the range of these presentations:
o Jim McKean: "Creative Research and the Art of Facts"
o Pinckney Benedict: "Things Writers Can Write Besides
Just Stories and Novels"
Just Stories and Novels"
o Thorpe Moeckel: "Looking at You: Using Second Person - in Poetry"
o Fred Leebron: "From Page to Screen"
o Dan Mueller: "Turning to Literature for Writing Prompts:
An Exercise in Reading as a Writer"o Akiko Busch: "The Written and the Made: Thoughts on Ceramics and Writing"
Wednesday (6/20/12) I read a New York Times Restaurant Review by Pete Wells, and the following quote, which he applied to cooking, made me laugh but then I began to think about whether it applies to the process of writing.
Pete Wells said, "Creative people should never explain their process to anyone except their biographers, who care, and their spouses, who have to listen. The rest of us ought to be left guessing."
The more I think about it - the more I think writers would be at a loss if other writers did NOT share their knowledge about process with each other. A community of writers provides richness far beyond that which one finds in a good cream sauce.
What do you think? Feel free to comment.
Jan Bowman’s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, Broadkill Review, Trajectory, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes, and others. She won the 2012 Roanoke Review Prize for Fiction. Her stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories and a story was a finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories and currently shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection. She has nonfiction work pending publication in Spring 2013 Issues of Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers. Learn more at:
Website – www.janbowmanwriter.com
Blogsite – http://janbowmanwriter.blogspot.com