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Writing Prompts

Writing with Prompts

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Writing with Prompts

Writing with Prompts:
Crafting Stories through the Side Door

Prompts encourage you to approach big topics in your writing - love, death, family, addiction, health - through "the side door." The resulting stories read fresh and wildly creative.

This fall join a 8-week writing group with local writer Sarah Cyr and learn the practice of writing with prompts. Each week you’ll find community and support through facilitated discussion and small group writing. Prompts given will encourage memoir/creative non-fiction writing.

“When I signed up for Sarah’s class, I had little motivation to be creative in my personal time and seemingly no time to write. I’ve now found a way to access my creativity again with an active writing practice. Sarah makes her students feel capable and connected to a larger community of writers." - Shelby

"Sarah's authenticity and commitment to this particular writing process remain with me as a beacon of hope in the messy, muddy process of birthing my own voice." - Chelsea

8 Monday Evenings
September 24-November 12
6:30-8:00 PM
Hawthorne Healing Arts, 39 NW Louisiana Drive (next to Troy Field in downtown Bend)
$185
***In honor of its 15th anniversary, 15% of the proceeds from this writing group will be donated to BendFilm.*** 

REGISTER BY CLICKING ADD TO CART BELOW. 

Writing with Prompts

8 week writing group beginning September 24, 2018.

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What I'm Looking At

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What I'm Looking At

Natalie Goldberg introduces the prompt I'm looking at or the variation what's in front of you in every one of her books on writing. Practicing this skill - writing what's visually around you - sets yourself up to use unique, specific detail in your prose. I keep this prompt in my back pocket and use it several times a week, particularly when I've scheduled myself time to write but feel ungrounded.

Thursday, 6:20 AM, for example.  My head feels detached from my body. I am in my car. It is running. When I left the house, stars still blinked in the sky. I start to paint with words the way the barista is preparing to open the coffee shop on Newport Avenue in the darkness, his broad shouldered silhouette moving back and forth along the bar, the only light a fat Edison bulb in a square wooden lamp.

I see evidence of this prompt in use by authors I admire. Whether they are conscious of it or not, I don't know. Case in point:

An excerpt from Terry Tempest Williams' When Women Were Birds:

I am in jail because I was speeding, driving under a suspended license.

I am in jail because I didn't have the money to pay the fine. 

I am in jail because one night can't be that bad. 

I am in jail because part of me thinks I deserve to be.

INSIDE

Three sets of doors open and close behind me, then lock shut. I enter the women's pod, where twelve prisoners like myself are dressed in orange. It is a crowded room, with seven metal bunk beds; a toilet, sink, and shower; and four bolted-down tables with attached chairs that swing out from under them. The walls are cinder blocks painted white, with no windows, only fluorescent lights. The floor is covered with shiny linoleum squares.

-

Seems as though TTW asked for a pen and paper in her jail cell. Practice what I'm looking at // what's in front of me wherever you find yourself: car, prison, or otherwise. 

 

Photo by Robert Hickerson on Unsplash

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Pamela Royes to Join Fall Memoir Writing Class

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Pamela Royes to Join Fall Memoir Writing Class

We study works of literature in every class I teach. Why? The careful examination of a book influences our own writing. "We breathe the inspiration of the author," says Natalie Goldberg about this process. Sensory detail, unique punctuation, thoughtful incorporation of research  - we absorb all of this through a deep study of quality writing. 

In October, students in the memoir writing class I'll teach this fall will share this type of deep study of the memoir Temperance Creek with the author herself. On October 12, Pamela Royes will read from her book. I'll provide writing prompts in response to the readings. We'll then write for ten minutes in response to each of the prompts. There'll also be time for a Q&A with Royes.

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What I Believe In

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What I Believe In

I've never bore witness to a more challenging political climate than the one our country is experiencing right now. The months in the lead up to the Iraq war comes a close second, where I marched in protest of the war with millions of people through the streets of London in the city's largest political demonstration in history. 

It's times like these where taking stock of what we believe is vital. Turn off the TV, the radio, put down your phone. Get quiet. Pull out a notebook and a fast writing pen. Here's your prompt: what I believe in. You don't have to address political issues or candidates. Tell me what you believe at your core. Ten minutes. Go. 

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