Author and writing instructor Jill Murphy Long, left, will lead several writing workshops this summer. An informal creative writing workshop starts at 3 p.m. today near Third Street next to the Yampa River, and Long will teach two writing classes at Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Author and writing instructor Jill Murphy Long, left, will lead several writing workshops this summer. An informal creative writing workshop starts at 3 p.m. today near Third Street next to the Yampa River, and Long will teach two writing classes at Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus.

Summer writing workshops offer tips at all levels

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If you go

Drop-in writing groups

What: Creative writing workshop with Jill Murphy Long

When: 3 to 4:30 p.m. today and Tuesdays during the summer

Where: Gazebo next to the Yampa River, near Third Street behind Rabbit Ears Motel

Cost: $12 per session

Call: Jill Murphy Long at 846-1428

What: Steamboat Springs Writer's Group

When: Noon to 2 p.m. Thursdays

Where: The Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

Cost: Free

Call: 879-9008 or e-mail info@steamboatwri...

What: "Expressions of the Spirit" writing group, led by Susan de Wardt

When: Noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays

Where: 465 Anglers Drive, Suite 2C

Cost: $15 per week; topics vary but are focused on writing practice

Call: Susan de Wardt at 846-6562; calling ahead is recommended as the group might change meeting locations

— A series of summer classes that starts today is meant to inspire "writers in waiting," said instructor and author Jill Murphy Long.

"I just want people to enjoy the writing process, and I find ways to make that happen, hopefully," Long said. From 3 to 4:30 p.m. today and every Tuesday through the summer, Long will lecture about the writing process and give tips about getting work published.

Assignments could include eavesdropping on conversations to learn how to write dialogue and on-the-fly creative writing exercises. Writers are encouraged to bring as many as five pages of their work to the sessions, which cost $12 each. Meetings are at the gazebo next to the Yampa River near Third Street, and they will be at Steaming Bean Coffee on rainy days.

Two classes offered through Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus further break down the writing process. In a course for aspiring writers, Long said she hopes to "introduce people to whatever they want to do - a book, a play, a screenplay or just creative writing for themselves." The six-week session is from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 16 through July 23; tuition for the noncredit class is $140.

The college also offers a Wednesday evening class for writers who "have all these pages and all these charts and they don't know how to put the puzzle together," Long said. Course tips include how to establish a writing ritual, how to contact publishing companies and how to self-publish work. Classes are from 6 to 8 p.m. starting Wednesday and running through July 29; tuition is $95. Register for either class by contacting CMC at 870-4444.

Long has written five books in her "Permission to :" nonfiction series, just finished a novel and is shopping around five screenplays. For each workshop, Long will share her theory that "if you have 30 things in the air, hopefully one will hit."

"I'm living this, I am pitching, I'm bringing my rejection letters, I'm having people say, 'Yes, please send us a manuscript,'" she said. "I am happy to share what I've learned to date and what I'm learning."

Steamboat Writer's Group

During weekly meetings, the Steamboat Springs Writer's Group offers all levels of writers a chance to read or hear work. The group holds free sessions that are open to the public at noon every Thursday at the Depot Art Center.

"It's a writer-friendly critique group. You can bring something to read and receive feedback from authors that have diverse experiences in a wide range of genre," said group member and writing instructor Susan de Wardt. Participants read for about 10 minutes on a first-come, first-read basis, she said.

On July 18, the group hosts its 29th annual Day for Writers, featuring young adult novelist Wick Downing and short story writer Erika Krouse. Each featured author will lead two workshops, with topics including writing from a point-of-view outside your own; exercises to inspire stalled writers; transforming an idea into a real product; and creative revision exercises.

Steamboat Writer's Group member Susan de Wardt will lead a workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. July 17 about removing barriers to creativity and success. There's also a barbecue at 6 p.m. July 17, with a reading workshop at 7:15 p.m.

Registration for the workshop is $50 for members of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council and $60 for nonmembers. The cost includes workshops and a catered lunch July 17; other events have additional fees. The day has a 36-person registration limit and tends to fill up early. For more information, call de Wardt at 879-8138, or e-mail susan@steamboatwriters.com.

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