Writing effectively is a struggle for many of us, but in the end it can (and should) be an incredibly satisfying experience. On July 1st, Jo Wiley led a creative writing workshop at the Oshtemo Branch Library, exploring “a variety of creative writing genres.” Participants were invited to bring along their creative ideas and ask questions about the writing process and publishing.
With more than a dozen participants registered, the program was highly successful. Here are a few follow-up notes from the program facilitator that shed light on the scope of the workshop...
“After a general discussion about why we, in particular, write and then, in general, why writers write, I introduced the participants to the concept of poetry’s ‘abiding image,’” said Ms. Wiley, “and they did a multi-stepped exercise resulting in them establishing an ‘abiding image’ for themselves. Using their responses to the exercise, I then introduced development strategies for poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. I offered them the option of developing a poem at home and mailing it to me for feedback, if they’d like.”
A full-time instructor at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business, Jo Wiley was the recipient of the 2009 Community Literary Award for Adult Poetry, an annual competition sponsored by the Kalamazoo Gazette, Kalamazoo Public Library and Portage District Library.
“With poetry,” she added, “we talked a lot about language and structure; fiction we reviewed the ‘seven basic plots,’ and then creative nonfiction we talked mostly about the differences between CNF and fiction and when and why writers chose one over the other. I ended the workshop with some information and discussion on ‘the writer's life’ and publishing.”
With a primary interest in creative nonfiction, the same group plans to meet later in the month to focus on essay writing.