Hampton Roads Writers 2016 TRAVELING PEN Series of Workshops

Each 2.5-hour workshop costs $10 for HRW members and $20 for non-members.  Please send your name, address, email, and phone number along with a note about which workshop you're registering for and payment (check or money order) to:

Hampton Roads Writers
P.O. Box 56228
Virginia Beach, VA 23456


Payment is possible at the door, but we'd appreciate an email from you ahead of time so we can assure a sufficient number of handouts for everyone. HRWriters@cox.net

All workshops held at the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshops begin at 9:30.

Workshops ALREADY presented in 2016:

January 30, 2016 -- MS Word for Writers presented by Rick Eley -- SOLD OUT!!

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- Deep within the electronic catacombs of Microsoft Word lie marvelous hidden treasures. Riches beyond compare will impel the most hardened writers to quiver with delight—and issue forth wondrous, beautiful prose. Okay, perhaps not...but many great-but-latent features of MS Word are often overlooked by the casual user. This workshop will explore lesser-known helpful tips and processes to help streamline your workflow and ease writing tasks. From quick keyboard shortcuts to strange esoteric symbols, from automatic word counters to customized manuscript templates, we'll venture into the hidden mysteries of the beast we call "Word." Join us, if you dare. Attendees are welcome to bring their own laptops/tablets and follow along with examples. (Felt hat, bullwhip, and leather jacket are optional.)

***This workshop assumes users have a basic knowledge of Word, as it is not an introductory course. Some features discussed may not be applicable to all versions.

PRESENTER BIO: -- Rick Eley is an IT professional, author, and was using MS Word before the first Windows operating system existed. He writes mainly sci-fi, has been known to dabble in literary fiction and non-fiction from time to time, and is hard at work on a new novel. To avoid writing, he organizes the Tidewater Writers critique group, and is a member of both Virginia Beach Writers and HRW. The Tidewater native's editorial on light rail was recently published in The Virginian-Pilot, and one of his short stories garnered an honorable mention in Issues in Science and Technology's first sci-fi contest.

Saturday, Feb. 20th -- Letter Poems presented by Dr. Anne Meek

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- We write "letter poems" to convey our own personal messages to someone special or to anyone. They can be love letters, or good-byes, or reflections on our lives, or memories of those we've known. We'll see examples written by Nikki Giovanni, Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns, and others, then try writing our own.

PRESENTER BIO -- Anne has had an amazing career in writing and editing, publishing a long list of articles, reviews, and books. She is now completing a book manuscript with Lynn Canady for publication by Solution Tree Press. Since she was a little girl, she has been writing poems, and so far she has had about 75 poems published in various journals and anthologies.

Saturday, March 19th -- An Alliance of Authors: How to Build & Maintain a Thriving Writers Group presented by Evelyn Wagoner

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- Though writing is a solitary act, we all need a community of other writers to survive and flourish. Discover how to draw together like-minded souls, teaching them to grow their craft, build community, and achieve their goals. As group facilitator, you will find inspiration for your own writing, sharpen your skills, and contribute meaningfully to the writing community.

PRESENTER BIO -- As a freelance writer, Evelyn Wagoner has authored several inspirational romance novels for which she’s seeking publication. She writes “Love Stories” for entertainers to present at wedding receptions, edits manuscripts, mentors fellow writers, and leads the Writers group at Kempsville Presbyterian Church. Having won several awards for her poetry, she was thrilled to find her chapbook, The Kulwicki Chronicles, a tribute to Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki, on display in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. Evelyn married her best friend, Rod, in 2008. They live happily in Suffolk, Virginia, across the street (literally) from the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge on 12 acres of woods and meadows with their toast-loving horse, Kizzy, and the ever-present threat of wisteria overtaking their back porch.

Saturday, April 16th -- "You Talkin’ To Me?": Let's talk Dialogue for Fiction, Memoir, and Poetry, presented by Jean Klein

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- Dialogue is a stumbling block for both prose writers and poets. (Yes, even poets use dialogue, either through a persona in individual poems—My Last Duchess by Browning—or as voices in longer poems such as The Wasteland by Eliot.) When or why do you use dialogue rather than description? How do you write it to reveal character? Do you write dialect phonetically? “And what do you do about those adverbs,” she asked uncertainly. Get answers to these questions and more in this workshop.

PRESENTER BIO -- Jean Klein has worked as a freelance writer and editor, winning awards for magazine articles, plays, and television scripts. She has been a semi-finalist in the O’Neill competition; A one-act play, Snapshots was a winner in the Kernodle Play competition at the University of Arkansas and a full-length play, Unreasonable Possession has had two staged readings at the Earl Hamner Theatre’s Virginia Playwrights Initiative in Nelson County, Virginia. Her play Lifeswap was produced at The Venue on 35th in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012 and at The Edge Theater in Belle Haven, Virginia. A full-length play, The Refraction Of Light was produced by the Norfolk Summer Playfest in 2012 and numerous other short plays (Heritage; Planned Parenthood; In and Out; Finals) have been produced at theaters across the country. Klein is the owner and founder of Blue Moon Plays, (http://www.bluemoonplays.com) which is aimed at providing plays for schools, community theater, and regional theater, as well as introducing new works and new forms of theaters to the public. She studied and taught playwriting and fiction at Carnegie-Mellon University, The University of Iowa, and in the MA/MFA Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She also teaches playwriting and fiction techniques at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 -- Digital Strategies for Writers, presented by Deb Markham

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- In this workshop, we’ll explore how to use social networks, blogging platforms and personal websites to help promote you and your writing. The discussion will center on strategies over procedures, so a general knowledge of the web, especially social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, will be helpful.

PRESENTER BIO: Deb Markham has worked as an content producer, social media manager and digital strategist for nearly 15 years. Up until Oct. 2015, she served as coordinating producer of HamptonRoads.com, The Virginian-Pilot’s entertainment and lifestyles website. Her freelance clients include Jefferson Labs, Studio 2C, Ciniva and others. She has spoken on the topic with college and high school classes and conducted workshops independently and at The Muse Writers Center. Learn more about her and her projects at debmarkham.com.

Saturday, July 16th -- Using WordPress for Your Author Blog or Website, presented by Star LaBranche

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- Looking to engage with readers and practice your craft online? Wordpress blogs are an easy way to set up your own website and get writing. This workshop will include how to conceptualize your blog, prompts to get you writing, basic technical instruction, and common mistakes and how to avoid them. Bring your laptop or tablet and come ready to dive in.

PRESENTER BIO -- Star LaBranche has been writing ever since she could put words on paper. She has never stopped. A blogger for 10 years, Star is currently a writer for ArticleBunny, HealthyPlace, and her personal site, StarLaBranche.Com. Studying at Old Dominion University in their graduate English program, Star is a regular contributor to the student newspaper. Her dream is to live in the desert with a rescue corgi. Visit her website at http://www.starlabranche.com

Saturday, Aug. 20th -- Driving Plot Through Revelation of Character Motivation, presented by Princess Perry

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- Motivations are a big part of plotting. Why your characters, especially your protagonist and antagonist, do the things they do often determines how your plot unfolds. It's also where your conflicts come in, and why the stakes feel high or just meh. Of course, showing those motivations without banging a reader over the head can be hard. Especially if the reasons aren't clear to the character. In this workshop, Ms. Perry will facilitate an exploration of the desires of the primary characters and how conflicting desires impact characters' decision-making and, therefore, plot.

PRESENTER BIO: Princess Perry is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at Old Dominion University. She is also a graduate of ODU's MFA program. She has been a resident at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. Her work has appeared in the prestigious journal African American Review and most recently in the anthology All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color, University of Wisconsin Press, 2014

Saturday, Oct. 22nd -- Advanced WordPress: Template Procurement and Blog Post Demonstration, presented by Star LaBranche

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION -- Ready to move ahead in your WordPress author blog or website? This class will show you what to look for in a template and how to find one that suits your needs. Whether your template is free or paid, find one that is perfect for you. Once you have your template nailed down, you need to know how to post a blog. The demonstration will include how to use a featured image, the difference between categories and tags, and how to use metadata. This workshop will address, among other things, the following questions:
  • Do you need a static page, a blog or both?

  • Are you selling your books?

  • What type of look or style do you want to convey?

  • Out of respect for everyone's time, tech issues cannot be resolved in this workshop. The specific focus is on templates that will enable you to begin or expand your webpage adventure!

    In order to take this workshop, please make sure you have done ALL of the following prior to the workshop:
  • Must set up your own WordPress (WP) account (opening an account, whether through .org or .com, and be able to access your dashboard. If you are just now setting up, pick a default theme and we will go over more options in class)

  • Have a basic familiarity with the WP site

  • MUST bring your WP password to class so you can log into your WP account while present in the class.

  • MUST do a test run prior to attending the workshop to make sure you can log on and get into your WP account

  • PRESENTER BIO -- Star LaBranche has been writing ever since she could put words on paper. She has never stopped. A blogger for 10 years, Star is currently a content marketing specialist and editor-in-chief of the Virginia Beach Odyssey branch. Her dream is to live in the desert with a rescue corgi. Visit her website at http://www.starlabranche.com"

    Saturday, Nov. 19th -- Narrative Time Warp: Managing the Passing of Time in your Fiction and CNF, presented by Valerie Wilkinson

    WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: In life, we accept time as a steady, forward-moving state, but you control time when you write. Successful movements in time add interest and depth to your story. It’s critical then to decide when to pierce the present with the past, when (or if) to flash forward, and how to keep the present action on track. We’ll discuss ways to keep the reader oriented, review flashback protocols, examine effective moments to flash forward, and analyze powerful examples in both fiction and nonfiction. We’ll then try our hands at exercises designed to help you move through time with grace.

    PRESENTER BIO -- Valerie Wilkinson earned her MFA in fiction from ODU in May 2013. She has published short fiction in Water~Stone Review and Yemassee Journal where she placed in a national short fiction contest. She has taught multiple craft seminars and fiction classes, co-authored Whispers from Our Soul, a book of creative nonfiction, served as a quarterly essay contributor to Moondance.org, and is currently working on a novel. Valerie is a founding member of HRW and serves on the HRW board.

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