Community Workshops

New Fall Schedule for Fall 2015

Writers practice journaling during a Vachel Lindsay Association workshop at Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, November 2013.

Writers practice journaling during a Vachel Lindsay Association workshop at Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, November 2013.

Vachel Lindsay expressed on many occasions his firm belief that educating the community in the appreciation and creation of literary arts was a worthy pursuit, and as such the VLA is committed to offering workshops to local writers of all levels who want to explore the craft of writing with a group of other interested individuals.

Writing for Children: Memory, Mentors, and Meditations

Saturday, October 17              2 to 4 p.m.

During this two-hour community workshop, you will start that children’s book you’ve always wanted to write. Participants will complete writing exercises, share their work, and use personal memories to trigger storytelling. Attendees will be eligible to win a free copy of one of Ms. Harrington’s children’s books through a drawing held by the author. ($10)

Guest Instructor: Janice N. Harrington writes poetry and children’s books. She grew up in Alabama and Nebraska, and both those settings, especially rural Alabama, figure largely in her writing. Her children’s books, The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County (2007) and Going North (2004), both from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, have won many awards and citations, including a listing among TIME Magazine’s top 10 children’s books of 2007 and the Ezra Jack Keats Award from the New York Public Library in 2005. Harrington’s poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines. She now teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois.

Beginnings and Endings: Tips for Writing the Trickiest Part of Narrative

Sunday, November 8               1 to 3 p.m.

For many people writing short stories, narrative essays, memoirs and novels, the two most challenging aspects are composing a beginning that starts at an effective point and grabs the reader’s attention, and composing an ending that satisfies the reader’s expectations and avoids being merely repetitive. This workshop will offer tips for overcoming these hurdles as well as examples of especially effective beginnings and endings from published works of literature. ($10)

Instructor: Ted Morrissey


Workshop participants in daylong workshop at Lincoln Memorial Gardens.

Fiction Flash Lines

Sunday, December 13              1 to 3 p.m.

In this generative workshop, we will consider the unique possibilities of short short stories, especially those that straddle the line between fiction and poetry. We’ll read a few published examples and draft new stories of our own. Bring a laptop or a sturdy notebook! ($10)

Instructor: Meagan Cass

The registration fee for each workshop is $10 (or $7 for Vachel Lindsay Association members). Registration forms are due one week prior to the workshop. Download the Fall 2015 Workshop Registration.

Contact VLA at or via the Contact page if you have questions.


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