I find with my fiction, which tends toward the historical, I read and research pretty thoroughly before I start a draft. For example, my story “Beyond Love” tells of the horrors a terrorist bomber suffers while detained in a Jordanian prison and eventually, Guantanamo Bay. As a basis of research, I studied Guantanamo: An American History by Johnathan Hansen, Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedu Ould Slahi, My Guantanamo Diary by Mahvish Khan, Inside the Wire by Erik Saar, and others, but most importantly, peer-reviewed, psychological analyses of Islamic terrorists that showed that many are educated, financially stable family men radicalized in the wake of personal, domestic failures. I found this fascinating when writing “Inheritance,” a story about IRA terrorists. Their characterization by historian Tim Pat Coogan as well as undercover interviews in SPIN magazine and scholarly journals like the UK’s Studies in Conflict & Terrorism depict most of “The Lads” as having barely graduated high school. They are part of a legacy, and instead of keeping activities secret from their spouses, many IRA wives know the organization in detail and provide emotional, and at times physical aid.
Teen Writers Workshops (Zoom) 2nd Mondays 7-8:30: December 14
Teen Writers Workshop facilitated by Carrie George is an informal, respectful gathering for writing and creative expression. All experience levels welcome. Teens only, please. Register one time here for the Zoom meeting room, attend any number of workshops.
Meet the teaching artist: Carrie George is a poet, photographer, and MFA candidate at the Northeast Ohio MFA program. She is the current graduate fellow for the Wick Poetry Center, where she teaches poetry in local schools and various community programs.
Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by Cleveland poet and journalist Lee Chilcote and Kent poet and creative nonfiction writer David Hassler. Wednesday, January 13 at 7:00 PM EST. Open mic to follow. Co-hosted by Christopher Minton. Register here for the Zoom room, or watch live on Lit Youngstown’s Facebook page.
**This workshop is now full. If you register, we will add your name to a waiting list. Thank you!**
Whether you write prose or poetry, you have your own natural skill set – it may be for storytelling, or for writing a lyrical line, or perhaps you have a gift for generating strong images. This workshop is designed to explore and develop ways to stretch and build upon what comes naturally to you and to find new ways to complement your own writing style. Generative prompts and exercises will encourage you to experiment and share your writing in a relaxed and supportive way.
Building Upon Your Natural Writing Style. Mondays, January 11-February 8, 1-3 PM EST, on Zoom. Course fee is $25 (scholarships are available). Register here by January 8.
Meet the Teaching Artist: Marion Boyer is a poet and essayist with four published poetry collections; her most recent book is The Sea Was Never Far. Boyer is an emeritus professor and has conducted poetry workshops for Lit Youngstown’s Winter Writing Camp, Wisconsin’s Washington Island Writers Festival, Lit Cleveland, and the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival.
We’re trying out a new format for the Writers Circle. We sure do miss meeting with a few dozen of you around a cluster of tables to talk and share ideas. We’ve tried a few online formats, to limited success, so let’s try something completely different.
Sign in here with your google account (simple to open one). Post poems, short fiction, long fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, plays or screenplays. Give and receive gentle, constructive feedback. Open year-round. Many thanks to board member Josh Nauman for building the page. Questions? Check out the FAQ, or let us know.
Scenes are dramatized moments that engage characters or speakers in action and dialogue. Scene writing is one of the essential building blocks of prose writing and can be vital to plot development. Used by both fiction and creative nonfiction writers, scenes pull readers into the work and help them to “see” the characters and the world the writer has developed. This workshop will focus on the important elements needed to write a strong scene and will provide some tips on how to make scenes in your own writing stand out. Come ready to write a scene or two!
Elements of Scene. Tuesday, January 5, 6:30 to 7:30 PM EST, on Zoom. Course fee is $15 (scholarships are available). Register by January 2.
Meet the Teaching Artist: Meredith Doench is the author of the Luce Hansen thriller series from Bold Strokes Books. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in literary journals such as Hayden’s Ferry Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Gertrude. Her nonfiction essay “South Carolina, 2012” was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize by The Tahoma Literary Review. She served as a fiction editor at Camera Obscura: Journal of Literature and Photography and is a senior lecturer of writing at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
Many folks write anticipating joy, but instead encounter doubt, fear, or defeat. 2020 was an especially difficult year to cultivate space for creating what we love. With a new year comes new possibility. In this session, we will invigorate writing habits, pursue happiness, and open our eyes to the ways writing can change us… and the world.
Writing for Happiness. Saturday, January 23, 1 to 2 PM EST, on Zoom. Course fee is $15 (scholarships are available). Please register hereby January 18.