I started the season in May with a one day workshop lead by Joan Paquette from the Erin Murphy agency. Joan, a senior agent and an author, discussed writing with ten writers that came from Island and off about what she likes and looks for in submissions. (A strong lyrical voice, tight plotting with surprising twists and turns, and stories told with heart and resonance that will stand the test of time.)
On finding voice, she said, you must find your truth and have an understanding of human nature.
At the heart of writing, it is, I believe, to understand the human connection, we weave empathy within our words. We put ourselves in many different pairs of shoes, we walk in them. This part of writing really interests me.
Joan is also an author and I liked how she shared her experience from the agent POV and the author POV.
The next workshop I chose was in July, the Emma Dryden workshop. I'm a fan of Emma's, she edited Chesca and the Spirit of Grace. This was a week of mornings at Noepe with a great group of talented writers. I took every note, hand out, and suggestion, all rolled together with Emma's words of wisdom on writing, editing and submitting, and put them in a folder to revisit and study. Emma knows the children's market.
The big question she asked. Why do we write?
The last workshop I took was the in first week of September with Perry Garfinkle, NY Times travel journalist. His workshop of fun, smart, all-Island-girls, (bar one, Sheila, from DC, she was fun and smart too, just not living on the island.) This was a complete change of pace for me, zooming in on pitching and interviewing people and shorter articles. We did a class with an editor from the local paper, a visit to the Harbor View Hotel and brain storming session about how to write a hotel piece, we visited and met Chef Tina Miller and discussed writing about a new establishment in town, called Rosewater, and finally we went bird-watching which turned out to be a perception changer. Birding is fun.
Perry (author of Budda or Bust) talked about the here, and the now, and the...I am.
He encouraged us to use our senses in writing.
I'll be writing about an upcoming visit to Ireland's Ballinasloe Horse Fair, October 4th and 5th. In search of the last traditional travelers (Gypsies) with photographer Adrianne Ryan.
OK, I sound like a workshop junky, but I loved every one of them. I would strongly recommend talking a look at the Noepe website. There is a creative outlet and writing source for everyone.
The human connection. Why we write. Here and now...I am.
Thanks to Justen Ahern for such a beautiful vision and for building a writing community and Jack Sonni for turning the wheels.
Writing on MV...is the great here and now.
@joanpaquette @drydenbks @PerryGarfinkle @Noepelitcntr