Looking forward to warmer days and working in my treehouse this summer. I’ll be taking a workshop at Fishtrap again this summer. Last year I worked with Gary Ferguson, the author of The Carry Home, about writing nature based non-fiction. It was a really refreshing break in my routine to spend some time thinking about what makes non-fiction work. This year I’m going to take a workshop from Erika Wurth and I’m looking forward to working on a group of adult short stories I’ve been fiddling around with over the last year or so. Fishtrap is held in one of the most beautiful spots on earth, Wallowa Lake, and it’s staffed but the least stuffy literary crowd you’ve ever met. I’ve grown as a writer and felt more connected to writers in my region every time I’ve gone. If you’re looking for something different in a summer workshop, Fishtrap is still taking applications. They’ve got great stuff for young writers too so if you’re not the only writer in the family this makes a great family vacation.
I’m also looking forward to doing a little teaching in Portland at a brand new young writers workshop headed up by Kari Nelsestuen, a passionate advocate for young writers. I’ll be guest teaching a session for both the younger and older students. It’s called PDX Young Writers Camp and I’d love to send you to the website to sign up but I believe it’s already full. If you have a young writer who’d be interested in future writers camps send me note via the contact button here and I’ll get you on Kari Nelsestuen’s email list for next summer.
I’ll also be teaching two brand new interactive workshops at the Willamette Writers Conference August 7th to 9th. They are on plotting and revising novel length fiction. Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of plotting long form fiction, ideas for how to strengthen setting, theme and voice, and an interactive outline for their own work in progress. Willamette Writers always puts on a terrific conference with lots of options no matter what kind of writer you are, and they always bring in a huge range of producers, agents, and editors to take pitches.
My personal goal is to finish up the Heart of a Shepherd screenplay in May so that I’ll have all summer to delve into new work. My book that’s coming out in January is one I’ve been work on bit by bit for more than 4 years. It actually morphed into two completely different books, so it’s been a very long time since I’ve started brand new work. But now I’m debating between a story about a young Irish harper and the famine era migration of unaccompanied children from Ireland, and a story told from the point of a view of a wolf but also about migration.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about which story sounds like more fun. How do you make up your mind about which story to write next?