Connecting You to the World of Writing
San Miguel Literary Sala Presents

Tell Me a Story:
Evoking Narrative in Poetry & Vignette
Or, No four year-old ever climbed into someone’s lap and said, “Deconstruct my narrative”

SEP 21 & 23, 3:00–4:30 PM CDT | $80 USD (10% OFF FOR MEMBERS)

Though the lyric form may loom as the dominant mode in many poetic minds, the storytelling impulse can provide a useful electric charge. This can occur through framing a thought as fable, evoking myth, or even borrowing classic joke structure, where the punch line delivers lyric implosion instead of the comic explosion of stand-up comedy. Thus this workshop is not so much an examination of narrative poetry as it is an exploration of how story is evoked in other modes, and will be useful to writers of literary fiction as well. Our reading list will be idiosyncratic, engaging Wislawa Szymborska, Louise Glück, Russell Edson, Danez Smith, Thomas Lux, and Yusef Komunyakaa, alongside Calvino, Saramago & Suzanne Buffam. Through a series of playful experiments in narrative, students will develop a stronger understanding of how honoring the narrative impulse creates leaner writing, enhances formal dexterity, and both delights and engages audiences.

MICHAEL BASSETT’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Sun, Tin House, Copper Nickel, The American Poetry Review and The Threepenny Review. He is the author of four poetry collections  You Must Remember This (winner of the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry), Our Lands Are Not So Different (Horsethief 2017), The Interrogation (Milkweed 2017), and The Temple (Bull City 2020) as well as a recently published verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh (Milkweed), which was named one of 2018’s top ten best books of poetry by the NY Times. His fifth collection, The Echo Chamber, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2021. The recipient of the Bechtel Prize and an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, he lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.

Every Author Needs an Author Brand.
What’s Yours?

SEP 21 & 23, 5:30–7:00 PM CDT | $80 USD (10% OFF FOR MEMBERS)

Do you know what an author brand is? Is it really necessary to develop one? You don’t “do” marketing and branding. You’re a writer! Well, in this introductory how-to class you’ll learn what branding really is, what an author brand is and how it’s used in the industry to make hugely successful writing careers, and most importantly, help readers connect with your work. And of course, you’ll learn exactly how to do it for yourself, and how fun it can be. You might even learn something about yourself you didn’t know in the process. Let me show you why you need to create YOUR author brand or further develop your existing one. Whether you’re a poet, a humorist, a biographer, a memoirist, a graphic novelist, an essayist, a science writer, or a romance novelist, this class will help you!

JOE GILLARD is the founder of the History Hustle Facebook page and website, and is working on a book with Ten Speed Press based on it. Joe works in digital marketing, specializing in social media. Joe has combined experience in public relations, reputation management, digital marketing, social media, and SEO. Joe has provided PR and marketing to business executives, CEOs, attorneys, physicians, nonprofits, and works with authors on new ways to reach their audience and sell books. Joe’s journey working in marketing and speaking to countless authors along the way has given him insight into the challenges and opportunities for writers. He believes marketing should be approached pragmatically, and that data and experimentation are the new tools that can guide us.

Breaking the Rules of Fiction

SEP 20 & 22, 5:30–7:00 PM CDT | $80 USD (10% OFF FOR MEMBERS)

Years of practice, including a general knowledge of character building, conflict development, point of view, scene and setting, and style, are important while writing. All these points, like the finishing touches of any building project, when held up by a strong inner structure, make for a well-crafted novel or story. Understanding these rules before you break them, I believe, is key to being an artist as well as a craftsman.

TERRY PERSUN writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy. He is a Pushcart nominee, and has published technical articles in numerous engineering journals. His novel, Cathedral of Dreams is a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalist in the science fiction category. His novel Sweet Song just won a Silver IPPY Award. His latest novel is, Revision 7: DNA, a sci-fi thriller.

Memoir in Small Doses:
The Brilliance of Writing Briefly

SEP 20 & 23, 3:00–4:30 PM CDT | $80 USD (10% OFF FOR MEMBERS)

There is great joy and challenge in writing briefer works, and many magazines look to publish short prose. And beyond that, even if a book is your ultimate goal, brief vivid blocks of scene, characterization, dialogue, and description are your best building materials. Writing flash prose — small doses of your story in 1,000 word chunks — not only teaches you the “cooking” skills necessary to prepare a larger, book-length banquet, but also offers the sense of accomplishment every writer needs to endure. Writing a book can be a daunting task, but writing it brick-by-brick can make it less grueling and more fun. This three-hour intensive will give you a better and more workable approach to your larger project. We will review some brilliant examples of flash prose, and we’ll do some in-class writing with prompts.

DINTY W. MOORE is author of the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize. He has published numerous books on the craft of writing, including Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, as well as essays and stories in The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Iowa Review, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. He edits Brevity, a journal of flash nonfiction, and has taught workshops in Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, and Canada.
Looking for Something Else?

Upcoming EVENTS

Poetry Mesa: A Night with Walt Whitman | SEP 30 | 5:00 PM CDT | Free

Workshops Scheduled in SEPTEMBER

Memoir in Small Doses: The Brilliance of Writing Briefly | Life Story | Dinty W. Moore | SEP 20 & 22 | 3:00 PM CDT

Breaking the Rules of Fiction | Fiction | Terry Persun | SEP 20 & 22 | 5:30 PM CDT

Tell Me a Story: Evoking Narrative in Poetry & Vignette | Poetry | Michael Bazzett | SEP 21 & 23 | 3:00 PM CDT

Every Author Needs an Author Brand. What’s Yours? | Marketing | Joe Gillard | SEP 21 & 23 | 5:30 PM CDT


Memoir: How to Create Unforgettably Vivid Moments Your Readers Will Never Forget | Life Story | Laura Davis | OCT 30, 10:00 AM CDT
Invest in Your Writing Today!
Learn from world-class faculty and get invaluable feedback.
Savings of up to US$50 over individual pricing
$140 USD
2 3-hr workshops
1 Speaker Event
$225 USD
3 3-hr workshops
$350 USD
5 3-hr Workshops
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