Detroit, MI: "Turbo-Powered Narratives--A Master Class"
1:00 PM13:00

Detroit, MI: "Turbo-Powered Narratives--A Master Class"

Good writing shares a common element regardless of genre: powerful storytelling. This three-hour class will explore the critical elements of storytelling, and look at examples of story arc in poetry, fairy tales, micro fiction and even jokes! Participants will learn how to deploy language to take readers on a journey, whether writing poetry, essays or short stories. The class will be generative and experimental, no need to bring in previous work. Perfect for those who are stuck in their writing and looking for new inspiration, or for new writers who don’t know how to get started. 

Click here to sign up now! Spaces are limited!

Sponsored by: Writing Workshops Detroit


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6:00 PM18:00

Detroit Workshop: "When Art Makes You Lose Your Mind"

“The Ethical Parable,” by permission, Patricia Izzo Photography, copyright 2017

When Art Makes You Lose Your Mind

(Save this date! Registration information to come!)

In these tumultuous times, artists are not only responding to internal demons, but external, socio-political ones as well. All of these muses are fraught with inherent mental stress. When you are motivated to dig deeper than ever before to deliver urgent art—even at the expense of your own mental health—who will witness the witness?

This workshop is for those who are undertaking art that is forcing them to encounter deep-seated personal/social/political pain, grief, fear and/or anger. While art often touches these emotions, there are times when an artist feels compelled to express them before the emotions have been harnessed, processed or even survived. There are times when the artist is creating art about a shipwreck while the ship is sinking. At other times, a seemingly dispassionate work may strike an unexpected vein of emotion that is difficult to manage while continuing to create.

Artists in all genres who are having difficulty balancing their art with their mental health will benefit from this exploration. Panelists will address the pitfalls of creativity and mental health, and how they coped while delivering emotionally wrenching projects. THIS WILL NOT BE A THERAPY SESSION to discuss personal traumas and/or specific mental health diagnses. This session is about how to survive the deep cut of artmaking, and how to preserve sanity when doing your hardest work.

Panelists: Desiree Cooper (fiction/memoir), Sherina Rodriquez (playwright), Kelly Fordon (poet), Debra Ann Brodie (licensed psychologist)

Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, former attorney and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist. Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother (Wayne State University Press, 2016), has won numerous awards, including a 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award. The book explores the gender norms which press down upon women’s lives, especially the mantle of “mother.” Her current project is The Relative Past, a creative nonfiction book exploring intergenerational trauma. The book will interrogate the persistence of generational memory as her mother succumbs to Alzheimer’s, and how trauma is passed from mother to daughter.  

Kelly Fordon’s work has appeared in The Florida Review, The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle and various other journals. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks. The first, On the Street Where We Live, won the 2012 Standing Rock Chapbook Award. Her latest chapbook, The Witness, is a collection of poems based upon the testimonies of SNAP members (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). The Witness won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for the Chapbook and was shortlisted for the Grand Prize. Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, deals with the issues of classism and racism in a majority-white community. It was chosen as a Michigan Notable Book, a 2016 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, an Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. She works for The College for Creative Studies, Springfed Arts and The InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit.

Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe is a Cave Canem Fellow and a 2014 Kresge Artist Fellow in Theatre/Film. With her 2015 play, "On Becoming Unfukwitable," she forged new dramatic territory with a searing insight into how a daughter transcends molestation by her father. The production blends healing practices and multiple genres to create a group story-telling experience. Her ability to create a safe space for survivors makes “Unfukwitable” an insightful, evocative, liberating and transformative experience. 

Debra Ann Brodie, PhD is a fully-licensed, Detroit psychologist who integrates psychodynamic theory (for increasing awareness) with cognitive-behavioral techniques (for breaking the hold of old, previously helpful, cognitions). All of this is couched within the framework of positive psychology, the new science of thriving. She has been practicing for more than 30 years.

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9:00 AM09:00

Michigan: Interlochen Writers Retreat One-day Writers Practicum

Registration Fee: $45 (no tutorial) / $115 (with 25-minute tutorial) 

*K-12 Educators: Earn 4 State of Michigan SCECH clock hours by attending this workshop.

Register for Writers Practicum with Tutorial

Register for Writers Practicum (no tutorial)

This one-day Writers Practicum is ideal for those who are curious about publishing and want to advance their professional writing careers. Whether you’re considering an independent press, university press, major publishing house, or digital books, the experts presenting at this practicum will provide true publishing stories, real-life tips, hard facts and numbers, and take questions at every session throughout the day. Come with questions, leave with answers and strong leads.

This year’s theme is INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING. Join us as our faculty discusses the “nitty-gritty” of the independent publishing world, with a nod to trade publishing as well. Consider contracts, marketing plans, beta readers, book reviews, agents, and more. All presentations are described in the schedule (see Schedule tab). Two different pricing options are available: the full day option PLUS one 25-minute one-on-one tutorial offered with the faculty member of your choice; or attendance at the Practicum events that excludes the one-on-one tutorial time.

Please note: For those interested in the full day option with the 25-minute tutorial, space is limited and early registration is highly recommended. Tutorials will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants selecting the tutorial option will have 14 days from the time of registration to submit a writing sample they wish to discuss with the faculty member at their appointment. (Those registering after May 15 must submit their writing sample within 24 hours of registration.) Formatting requirements for up to 10 pages of prose or 5 pages of poetry, as well as confirmation of your tutorial appointment, will be emailed upon registration. Failure to submit a writing sample by the required deadline will forfeit your tutorial appointment and will convert your registration to the “Writers Practicum (no tutorial)” option, where you may enjoy the remainder of the day’s activities. Any applicable refund will be issued according to ICCA’s standard refund policy.

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to Jun 15

Michigan: Interlochen Writers Retreat

  • Interlochen Center for the Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Short Story Editing with Desiree Cooper:  "Kill Your Darlings"


Are you stuck with a short story that feels finished, but something still isn’t quite right? Over the week we will look at a handful of editing strategies that will help you identify what may be bugging you about your story. It’s not easy to switch from writer to editor, which may require you to “kill your darlings.” But with concrete, hands-on exercises, we will identify the hidden cracks in the foundation of your stories, and inventive ways to correct them. We will apply these techniques to in-class writing prompts, while also analyzing selected readings and sharing insights as a group.  For the last session, you will be asked to use the tools introduced over the course of the week to edit one of your stories, and we will discuss what you learned as a group. Please bring at least three pages of that story to share. For the daily classes you will need loose paper and/or notebooks with tear-away pages, or your laptop. Oh—and don’t forget your scalpel!



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3:00 PM15:00

Detroit: Coffee & (___) Reading

Detroit authors Desiree Cooper, Kelly Fordon, Terry Blackhawk, Linda Sienkewicz, Kim Fairley, and Karen Simpson will each read a piece dedicated to our favorite Valentine theme: Devotion. There's free street parking or a free lot on Jefferson and Chalmers.

Pages Bookshop will be present to sell books, and an author signing will be held afterward.

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7:00 PM19:00

Detroit Writers in the Stacks

“Detroit Writers in the Stacks” will feature Wayne State Press authors Desiree Cooper, Terry Blackhawk and Kelly Fordon.

They will talk about their work and style, but they’ll also be mingling with the audience at the reception, so there will be opportunities for informal discussion.

$30 per person, includes food an drinks. All proceeds go to library programming.

Buy tickets here:

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