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Sharpen Your Skills & Your Pencil: Take a Writing Workshop at the Writers’ Colony

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) is celebrating 20 years in 2020 with new programming, including a vibrant schedule of fun and informative workshops. Instructed by accomplished, experienced instructors and open to writers and prospective writers of all levels, these workshops are excellent opportunities to develop a wide range of writing skills without a significant investment of time and money.

Bring your work to life on the stage! WCDH is partnering with Five & Dime Drama Collective to offer “Page to Stage,” a comprehensive five-day workshop designed for writers of poetry, prose, flash fiction, and short stories. During this workshop, writers will learn everything you need to know to adapt your writing for the stage. Using your work, you will create a micro-play of five to ten minutes. The workshop will run Monday, February 24 through Friday, February 28.

On Saturday, April 18, WCDH will present a memoir writing workshop instructed by Cassandra Clark. Cassandra is a highly accomplished author with a diverse literary background. Cassandra’s been a ghostwriter and collaborator for numerous memoirs and blogs, and she wrote screenplays and teleplays during a 20-year career as a Comedy Writer/Producer for TV sitcoms including the Emmy-award-winning TV show, “Designing Women.”

Chris Brethwaite will instruct a humor writing workshop on Sunday, May 3. Chris was a lead writer for the popular character, Maxine from Hallmark’s humor line, Shoebox Greetings. Since retiring in 2015, he continues to work on freelance humor and screenplay writing. Whether your goal is to add a little extra humor to your writing, include more levity in your public speaking, or try your hand at stand-up, this workshop is for you.

Matt Jones is the WCDH 2019 Moondancer Fellowship recipient awarded to an author who expresses love of and concern for the environment through their writing. On Saturday, June 6, Matt will teach a workshop called “Science and Storytelling,” in which attendees will learn to translate complex scientific concepts for general audiences while finding hidden narratives that enthrall readers. Matt is an environmentalist, a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, and teaches English, composition, and rhetoric at the college level.

Jenna Laurenzo will teach a four-day workshop called “Page to Screen” from July 28 through July 31. Jenna received WCDH’s 2019 Getting it Write LGBTQAI fellowship and won Best Narrative Feature jury award for her movie Lez Bomb at the 2018 Bentonville Film Festival. This workshop will inspire writers to take control of their screenwriting career. It will cover how to create that first piece of content and use it to open doors and persuade agents, producers, and casting directors to read your next script. This workshop is a must for first-time screenwriters!

A three-day weekend workshop titled “Structuring the Novel” will start Friday, August 21, and run through Sunday, August 23. It will be instructed by Philip Cioffari, a novelist, story writer, playwright, and filmmaker. He’s also a tenured professor at William Paterson University in New Jersey, where, among other duties, he teaches the MFA program in Creative Writing. This workshop is designed for novice to accomplished writers, writers who are well along with a book or ready to get the story out of their head and onto the page.

Another weekend workshop will run Friday, September 11, through Sunday, September 13. “The Artful Writer: Exploring the Connection between Image and Word,” will be a mix of writing and hands-on art. Instructor Sandy Coomer is an award-winning poet, artist, WCDH alumni, and founder and director of Rockvale Writers’ Colony. Participants will discover new ways of experiencing their unique creativity by practicing ekphrastic writing and creating artwork in the technique of acrylic pour paintings to take home with them. No prior experience is necessary, only an adventurous and creative spirit, curiosity, and willingness to try new things.

Learn how to stand out from the competition! “The Path to Authorship,” instructed by award-winning author and writing coach, Nikki Hanna, will instruct writers of all levels and genres in the critical components of the writing craft. The morning session will cover topics from Nikki’s new book, Listen Up, Writer: How Not to Write Like an Amateur. The afternoon session will focus on printing, publishing, and marketing. Nuances of the industry and the pros and cons of various publishing strategies will be discussed so writers can make sound, informed decisions. The class is on November 14 and includes lunch and a copy of Listen Up, Writer: How Not to Write Like an Amateur.

Find out more about these workshops and register at Participants are encouraged to schedule residencies at The Writers' Colony to coincide with workshops so they can practice the new skills and techniques they learn. Eight unique, private writing suites are available in two adjacent buildings on Spring Street in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. All food for meals is included. WCDH provides writers-in-residence a nurturing environment and quiet inspiration so they can reflect and focus on their writing away from the distractions of family, home, and work.

Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities, providing uninterrupted residency time for novice and accomplished writers of all genres, including culinary, composers, and artists, without discrimination. The WCDH has hosted over 1,400 writers from 48 states and 12 countries. For more information, please visit or call Michelle Hannon or Chad Gurley at (479)253-7444.

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