Encouraging aspiring authors | SteamboatToday.com

Encouraging aspiring authors

Wednesday workshops designed to help writers be successful

Margaret Hair

Workshops schedule

¤ Get Published! Your Byline on Books and Articles: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday

¤ Making Characters Memorable: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22 and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29

¤ Write/illustrate Children’s Books: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5 and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12

¤ Book Brainstorming and Promotion: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 19 and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 3

— Sitting at a long white table in Colorado Mountain College’s Bristol Hall, aspiring writer and one-time elk rancher Doug Weers introduces a piece to the class:

“I actually did write something – it has nothing to do with my book,” he said about an autobiographical short story that set Weers on a timeworn tractor in Routt County. Like the other writers in Jill Murphy Long’s creative writing workshop at CMC, Weers is looking for the direction and motivation he needs to write a longer work. And although his story of a misplaced Swiss banker taking up ranching doesn’t relate directly to his planned topic, he finds it helpful to share his work.

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“For me, it’s something completely different; it’s going from engineering and ranching to writing a book,” he said. “It’s almost like a third phase.”

In a series of writing classes and workshops throughout the fall, Long said she wants to help beginning scribes through the difficulties of putting ideas together and getting them printed.

“Basically, I am trying to support and inspire writers, so I’m offering various classes to answer any questions they might have,” Long said. “I’m hopefully a positive resource for them to say, ‘Yes, you can do it. Yes, you can get published.'”

Along with a set of weekly seminars at CMC on topics such as memoir writing, writing a successful nonfiction book proposal and starting a book, Long started a series of weekly drop-in writing workshops Wednesday. Each session, covering topics including character development and children’s books, is offered twice – once from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again the following week from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“You can go to some of these highfalutin classes across the nation, and I’m not sure they encourage writers,” Long said, explaining that each of her classes is based on student input and is meant to encourage writers to live up to their title and start writing.

For Mary Robards, a student in Long’s Tuesday morning creative writing workshop, the classes are the push she needs to tell the stories she’s been harboring.

“I used to do a lot of writing in my younger days, and then life just kind of happened,” Robards said. “I took this class to make me accountable, to hold me in a chair and make me write.”

Long’s Wednesday Writers’ Workshops are available on a drop-in basis for $10 per session. Call CMC at 870-4444 to sign up.

Key points

¤ Wednesday Writers Workshops with Jill Murphy Long

¤ 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22; times alternate by week through Dec. 3 (see schedule)

¤ Locations vary

¤ $10 per session

¤ Register through Colorado Mountain College, 870-4444; call Jill Murphy Long with questions, 846-1428

Workshops schedule

¤ Get Published! Your Byline on Books and Articles: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday

¤ Making Characters Memorable: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22 and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29

¤ Write/illustrate Children’s Books: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 5 and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12

¤ Book Brainstorming and Promotion: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 19 and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 3