Storycatcher 2015–Save the Date!

Friday June 12th – Sunday June 14th  2015

 cropped-storycatcherworkshopnologosmall1.jpgSet in the beautiful Pine Ridge Region of Northwest Nebraska, we present a mix of hands-on workshops, critical feedback and inspiring instruction from acclaimed authors and teachers who are passionate about writing and  can help you get published!

We offer advanced workshops on revising your fiction and non-fiction, and a wide variety of sessions focused on poetry, story telling, blogging, memoir, generating new material and submitting your work for publication.

We wrap it all up with a festival celebrating the work of everyone involved in the workshop, from published authors to beginners.

Affordable, friendly and accessible! A GREAT PLACE TO CREATE!

FIND OUT MORE! Watch this site for updates! View previous workshops by scrolling through our posts, or visiting our FACEBOOK page: www.facebook.com/storycatcherworkshop or following us on Twitter: #storycatcherworkshop

Questions? Want to join our mailing list? Fill out the form below:

Stories Galore! 2014 Workshop Recap

14EnglishStoryCatcherSakaiOur third year of the  Story Catcher Writing Workshop and Festival has just concluded, focusing on the theme of “What’s YOUR Story?” What a great group we had once again this year! We learned so much from the session leaders and from the workshop participants in a truly inspiring four days!

Our workshop continues to grow, and if you follow the blogs and recaps posted here for the past several years, you will see that we have been able to attract some major talent to lead our sessions–and we have been able to provide a wide variety of activities and workshops for participants. And, as so many of our attendees told me this year, it is all offered at an incredible value.

Those of you who participated this or previous years, PLEASE share some of your thoughts and comments at the end of this blog entry. We would love to hear from you!

Come join us next June. We will post information and updates here as soon as we have the specific dates set, and the programming established.

Meanwhile–here is a recap of the 2014 Workshop:


Day One: Tuesday, June 10

Dan O’Brien met with his advanced students early on Tuesday morning and put them right to work. In the afternoon Todd Mitchell led a very informative session on beginning fiction, bringing lots of examples and tips from his experiences of teaching fiction and publishing for a wide variety of audiences. (See earlier blog entries for complete descriptions of these sessions and session leaders).

After a terrific reception where all the workshop participants were able to mix and mingle over some delicious treats, we were treated to a keynote presentation by Dan O’Brien,  “Writing the High Lonesome.”


Day Two: Wednesday, June 11

Wednesday was JAM-PACKED with sessions, starting at 8:30 in the morning over continental breakfast–the ADVANCED workshop members got to work, while the rest of the participants had the opportunity to work on writing and shaping compelling novels with Todd Mitchell, or “writing the land” with Dawn Wink.

After a fun lunch break downtown with more mixing and mingling at the Bean Broker Coffee House, writers returned to afternoon sessions focusing on Science Fiction/Fantasy, Mystery Writing and one author’s journey with her first novel.

 


Day Three: Thursday, June 12, RETREAT!

We concluded general sessions on Thursday morning, focusing on Dawn Wink’s session on getting your book published, and Rich Kenney’s poetry workshop.

For the afternoon we staged what has become one of the best features of our workshop, our nature RETREAT! This year we journeyed out to Fort Robinson State Park, home of so much history (much of which Mari Sandoz wrote about) and so much scenic beauty. What an inspiring backdrop for writing, hiking, reading, chatting and, of course, eating! We started our journey at the historic dining hall of the lodge restaurant, where most of the group dined on buffalo dishes (tacos, open faced sandwiches, even cabbage burgers–all prepared with bison). We then took a drive to some scenic parts of the park, winding up at the Ice House pond area for some writing exercises and nature walks. We concluded the evening with a cookout at the picnic shelter near the historic parade grounds in the park. What a wonderful, inspiring day!


Day Four: Friday, June 13, FESTIVAL!

While we are certainly proud of all the wonderful programming we are able to offer at the Story Catcher Workshop, the focus of all we do will always be on the WRITERS who come from far and wide to develop and share their own stories–this is why we conclude each workshop with a day to celebrate the writing of our participants. This year we adapted our “open mic” event to a “table read,” where several volunteers shared their work–and we all shared our thoughts and ideas about continuing to make writing a vital component of our lives.

Wrapping up our workshop this year was a wonderful presentation from Ron Hull on his terrific memoir of his colorful and eventful life. “Everybody Has a Story to Tell” was a great way to finish up our event–Ron has a been an ardent supporter of the Mari Sandoz Heritage society and this workshop, and the anecdotes he shared from his book, and the background he provided on the writing process, were fitting words of wisdom to conclude the festivities!

SEE YOU NEXT JUNE!!!

Story Catcher Workshop Is HERE!

What’s YOUR Story? 

14EnglishStoryCatcherSakai


Download the Final Program 2014

Registration & Costs

Chadron State College Conferencing is pleased to sign you up! Registration will be available at the door on Tuesday, or in advance  by visiting their website:   http://www.csc.edu/conferencing/upcoming/storycatcher/form/index.csc

Workshop Sessions are open to all aspiring writers of all ages and abilities.

(We recommend that High School Participants be at the Junior level or above).

General Registration:  $150

  • All workshop participants must pay the general registration fee, which gains you access to all open workshops and special sessions over the four days.
  • There is no deadline for General Registration, and you do not need to sign up for any specific sessions in advance. However, EARLY REGISTRATION IS ENCOURAGED—as materials and notices will be sent out to registered attendees in advance of the workshop.
  • Students and Mari Sandoz Heritage Society Members Receive a 20% discount

Questions? Fill out the form below…

2014 Storycatcher Workshop: What’s YOUR Story?

June 10th -13th    2014

cropped-storycatcherworkshopnologosmall1.jpg


Registration & Costs

Chadron State College Conferencing is pleased to sign you up! Full registration instructions can be found by visiting their website:   http://www.csc.edu/conferencing/upcoming/storycatcher/form/index.csc

Workshop Sessions are open to all aspiring writers of all ages and abilities.

(We recommend that High School Participants be at the Junior level or above).

General Registration:  $150

  • All workshop participants must pay the general registration fee, which gains you access to all open workshops and special sessions over the four days.
  • There is no deadline for General Registration, and you do not need to sign up for any specific sessions in advance. However, EARLY REGISTRATION IS ENCOURAGED—as materials and notices will be sent out to registered attendees in advance of the workshop.
  • Students and Mari Sandoz Heritage Society Members Receive a 20% discount

Advanced Revision Workshop with Dan O’Brien (Fiction/Non-Fiction Prose) Additional Fee: $100

For writers who have work in progress and are interested in revising and refining their writing for publication with one-on-one feedback with our 2014 Writer-In-Residence, Dan O’Brien.

Space is limited to 10 writers, so early registration is encouraged.

ADVANCED WORKSHOP REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MAY 30, 2014

Questions? Fill out the form below…

Storycatcher Writing Workshop 2014 — SAVE THE DATE!!!

 June 10th -  13th    2014 

StoryCatcherWorkshop What’s YOUR story?

Set in the beautiful Pine Ridge Region of Northwest Nebraska, we present a mix of hands-on workshops, critical feedback and inspiring instruction from acclaimed authors and teachers who are passionate about writing and  can help you get published!

We offer advanced workshops on revising your fiction and non-fiction, and a wide variety of sessions focused on poetry, story telling, blogging, memoir, generating new material and submitting your work for publication.

We wrap it all up with a festival celebrating the work of everyone involved in the workshop, from published authors to beginners.

Affordable, friendly and accessible! Check back for more details, coming soon!

Tentative Schedule

 Tuesday, June 10th

(Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center Atrium)

  • Morning: Check in & Registration for Advanced Workshop
  • Afternoon: Check-in & Registration for General Workshop
  • Evening: Opening Ceremonies and Reception

Wednesday & Thursday, June 11th – 12th

(Chadron State College and/or Locations in Region)

  • Stand Alone Workshops will be offered throughout each day focusing on Invention and the Writing Process (Generative Workshops)
  • Advanced workshops focused on revision

AFTERNOON & EVENING ACTIVITIES

Meet at designated locations for field trips and activities in the afternoon (Fort Robinson State Park, Chadron State Park, Museum of the Fur Trade, etc. Writing excursions may be arranged, as well as nature hikes/writing retreats).

Friday, June 13  — WRITING FESTIVAL

(Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center Atrium—Open to the Public)

  • Booksellers, Vendors, Sessions with Publishers, etc.
  • Activities may include readings from session participants, talks by authors, publishers and others associated with writing.
  • A Keynote address by a noted Author

Visit our Blog Pages here for a recap of  the 2012 & 2013 Workshop, or click below for our FACEBOOK site with lots of additional images: https://www.facebook.com/storycatcherworkshop

Work with Words–Get Paid for your Passion!

We are back in session here in English and Humanities at Chadron State College, and we are thrilled to be starting the school year with a brand new batch of enthusiastic majors.

Larissa Hastings (Photo by Daniel Binkard/Chadron State College)As we have been contemplating the start of the 2013-14 school year, I’ve been thinking about what we might say to prospective students considering our programs. At summer orientation, I found myself hawking our wares at information fairs, where a good number of students crinkled their noses at the prospect of a major or minor that would put them front and center in front of more books and more papers. This discipline can be a hard sell to pretty much anyone who is not already passionate about reading and writing, even though it remains one of the best general purpose degrees around. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article that made a very strong case for just such a degree program for students planning careers in law, medicine and even science (here is the link).

But I’m here today not to try and convert unwilling writers and readers into English majors, but instead to encourage those people out there who already have a passion for these disciplines, but who can’t imagine making a career out of them, to consider a future where you get to work with words every day. Where you get paid for your passion!

That is the focus of our new promotional campaign for English and Humanities at Chadron State College. We encourage our students to GET OUTSIDE THEMSELVES while they are at CSC, as the image up top illustrates. Here, one of our students is contemplating the wilderness area right behind campus, pen and  pad at the ready to record her thoughts. As the gallery below affirms, our students enjoy unprecedented access to writing and literary events throughout their college careers. We’ve recently sent students to Portland to attend conferences and share their writing with an international audience. We’ve gone to visit the childhood home of Willa Cather, and we’ve been meeting outside the school year for the Story Catcher  Summer Writing Workshop, where we have been able to bring renowned writers to campus and share their insights and inspiration with writers right here in our region.

But what about AFTER you walk across that stage and get your degree. What then? The future is wide open to you. Evidence suggests that an English Degree can land you a good job in a wide variety of fields. But if you are truly passionate about reading and writing, and THAT is where you want to make your living, then there is no better place to get started than with the training and experiences that our program can provide. We will put you on the path to careers where English and Humanities students excel, and where they can make a living working with words: Promotions, Journalism, Law, Media Relations, Creative Services, Non-Profits, Social Networking, Government, Real Estate, Clergy, Film, Teaching and Writing… these are just a sampling of the jobs where you can truly get PAID FOR YOUR PASSION.

Story Catcher Writing Workshop and Festival is HERE!!!

13storycatcherposterpageStory Catcher Writing Workshop and Festival:

A GREAT PLACE TO CREATE!

We still have openings for folks who want to spend some time with critically-acclaimed, PUBLISHED writers starting on TUESDAY May 28. Visit storycatcherworkshop.com or simply come to the Sandoz Center on the campus of Chadron State college between 3 and 5 pm on Tuesday to register.

THE MOST UP TO DATE SCHEDULE IS BELOW

 

StoryCatcherWorkshop

May 28 to May 31, 2013

storycatcherworkshop.com

facebook.com/storycatcherworkshop

twitter #storycatcherworkshop

We are thrilled to be back again this year with a stellar lineup of professional writers to lead our second annual Story Catcher Summer Writing Workshop & Festival–special guest Jonis Agee will give a keynote address and lead two workshops on  writing about place and getting started with your prose. Advanced/Intermediate multi-day workshops will be offered by award winning novelist Pamela Carter Joern and essayist Linda M. Hasselstrom. Renowned poet Kwame Dawes will lead a poetry workshop and read from his latest work, while Marianne Kunke, Managing Editor of Prairie Schooner, will offer an “insider’s view” on publishing in journals, such as Prairie Schooner, considered one of the first and finest. Additional workshops with experienced writers focusing on fiction, non-fiction prose and poetry will be offered throughout the three days–capped with a FESTIVAL that will celebrate the writing from the workshop and the region. A summary of the program follows.

Tuesday, May 28th

(Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center Atrium)

3 to 5 pm  Check-in & Registration

5 to 6pm Reception

  • Appetizers & Refreshments will be Served
  • 5 to 5:30 Intermediate Workshop Participants meet with their instructors)
  • 5:40 Opening Remarks

6 pm  Keynote:  Jonis Agee  “To Awaken the Sleepers”

Wednesday, May 29th

(Chadron State College and/or Locations in Region)

7 to 9 am Continental Breakfast Sandoz Atrium

8 to 11 am Intermediate Workshops (1 of 3)

  • Intermediate to Advanced Level. Space is limited and additional registration fee required. These workshops take place over three mornings and focus on writing that is already in progress, with an emphasis on peer editing, revision and shaping your narrative towards publication.
  • Memoir/Nonfiction (Linda Hasselstrom)
    • Kosman Room—Sandoz Center Basemen
  • Fiction (Pamela Carter Joern)
    • Old Admin Room #238—just East of the Sandoz Center

9 to 11 am Beginning Workshops  (1 of 2)

  • These workshops take place over two mornings and focus on the elements of writing in a specific genre, generating material, and tips and techniques for shaping your work for publication.
    • Beginning Fiction (Poe Ballantine and Matthew Evertson)
      • Old Admin Room #101—just East of the Sandoz Center
  • Beginning Poetry (R.F. McEwen)
    • Old Admin Room #137—just East of the Sandoz Center
  • Beginning Non-Fiction Prose (Rich Kenney)
    • Old Admin Room #136—just East of the Sandoz Center

11 to 1 pm Lunch on Your Own

1 to 3 pm  Jonis Agee “A Sense of Where You Are”

  • Non-fiction/Fiction: writing about place. (All levels–Sandoz Center Atrium)

3:15 to 4:15 pm  Paula Bosco Damon “Get Down to Writing”

  • Non-fiction/Fiction: This hands-on workshop will demystify the perennial question of what to write about and demonstrate how to crack the code for writer’s block. (All levels–Sandoz Center Atrium)

4: 30 to 8 pm “Writing Around” Nature Hike, Cookout and Reading

We will travel 10 miles south of town to Chadron State Park for a nature hike with opportunities write. We will then gather at a the LAGOON shelter in the Park for a cookout. Participants in the “writing hike” will have the opportunity to share some of their writing from the outing. We will end the evening with readings from Story Catcher Workshop Leaders.

  • 4:30 PM: Those interested in participating in the nature “writing” hike meet in the parking lot Behind/West of the Sandoz Center. There is room for up to 12 in our passenger van—otherwise, plan to caravan. A map of our course and a sign up sheet and field trip waiver are in your packets. Please return them to the registration desk if you plan to attend.
  • 6:30 PM: COOKOUT. ALL participants of the workshop are invited to a cookout at Chadron State Park at the LAGOON SHELTER (near the pond and the park offices—see the enclosed map). Free Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and other cookout fare & refreshments will be provided by the English and Humanities Department at Chadron State College. (A sign up sheet is available at our registration desk so that we can plan the correct amount of food).
  • 7 to 8 PM: Readings from participants in the nature hike and/or Story Catcher Workshop leaders. (Our passenger van will return those who sign up back to the college).

NOTE: if you drive your own vehicle, be aware that there is a $5 Daily Park Entry Fee payable at the visitor center.

Thursday, May 30th

(Chadron State College and/or Locations in Region)

7 to 9 am Continental Breakfast Sandoz Atrium

8 to 11 am Intermediate Workshops (2 of 3)

  • Intermediate to Advanced Level. Space is limited and additional registration fee required. These workshops take place over three mornings and focus on writing that is already in progress, with an emphasis on peer editing, revision and shaping your narrative towards publication.
    • Memoir/Nonfiction (Linda Hasselstrom)
      • Kosman Room—Sandoz Center Basemen
    • Fiction (Pamela Carter Joern)
      • Old Admin Room #238—just East of the Sandoz Center

9 to 11 am Beginning Workshops  (2 of 2)

  • These workshops take place over two mornings and focus on the elements of writing in a specific genre, generating material, and tips and techniques for shaping your work for publication.
    • Beginning Fiction (Poe Ballantine and Matthew Evertson)
      • Old Admin Room #101—just East of the Sandoz Center

 

  • Beginning Poetry (R.F. McEwen)
    • Old Admin Room #137—just East of the Sandoz Center
  • Beginning Non-Fiction Prose (Rich Kenney)
    • Old Admin Room #136—just East of the Sandoz Center

 

11 to 1 pm Lunch on Your Own

1 to 3 pm  Jonis Agee “The First Five Pages”

  • Non-fiction/Fiction: how to open your story with a lasting impression. (All levels–Sandoz Center Atrium)

3:15 to 5 pm  Kwame Dawes “Chameleons of Suffering”

  • Poetry: Beginning with a half-hour exploration of empathy through a short lecture, Kwame will then lead a hands-on workshop for poets through a series of exercises and discussion. (All levels–Sandoz Center Atrium)

7 pm “Reading at the Bean”

  • Readings from Story Catcher Workshop Leaders at the Bean Broker Coffee House, 202 W. 2nd Street. The Bean Broker serves a selection of sandwiches, baked goods, coffee, beers, wine and mixed drinks.

 

 Friday, May 31st

(Chadron State College and/or Locations in Region)

7 to 9 am Continental Breakfast Sandoz Atrium

8 to 11 am Intermediate Workshops (3 of 3)

  • Intermediate to Advanced Level. Space is limited and additional registration fee required. These workshops take place over three mornings and focus on writing that is already in progress, with an emphasis on peer editing, revision and shaping your narrative towards publication.
    • Memoir/Nonfiction (Linda Hasselstrom)
      • Kosman Room—Sandoz Center Basemen
    • Fiction (Pamela Carter Joern)
      • Old Admin Room #238—just East of the Sandoz Center

9 to 10 am Poe Ballantine “Writing Life”

  • Stories from a working author and a life of writing (All levels–Sandoz Center Atrium)
    • (Because Mr. Ballantine will be on book tour, this will be a discussion recorded for presentation at this workshop)

10:15 to 11:15 am Paula Bosco Damon “Journaling, Blogging and Writing Environment”

  • Non-fiction/Fiction: This workshop will touch on the benefits of establishing a journaling routine, the ups and downs of blogging and the importance of writing environment. (All levels–Sandoz Center Atrium)

11 to 1 pm Lunch on Your Own

WRITING FESTIVAL  1 to 5 pm

(Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center Atrium—Open to the Public)

  • Booksellers, Vendors, Displays all afternoon

1 to 2:20 pm Open Mic for Workshop Participants: SHARE YOUR WRITING!

  • We encourage you to consider celebrating and sharing some of your writing from the workshop at the OPEN MIC session during the Festival. Those interested will need to sign up at the registration desk any time prior to Friday morning. We will then know how much time to allow for each reader.  This is your workshop—so please take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate your achievements!

2:30 to 3:30 pm  Marianne Kunkel “Publishing in Journals: An Insider’s View”

  • Seminar—strategies of publishing poetry and prose in contemporary literary journals, and her talk will be followed by a  Q&A on the subject. (All levels–Sandoz Center Atrium)

3:45 to 4:45 pm Special Reading—Kwame Dawes and Marianne Kunkel

  • Kwame Dawes and Marianne Kunkel will read from their work and from recent issues of Prairie Schooner, followed by a Q&A.

4:45 pm Book Signing

  • Workshop Faculty will be available to sign books.

 

Faculty and Workshop Descriptions

ageeSpecial Guest:  Jonis AgeeJonis Agee was born in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in Nebraska and Missouri, places where many of her stories and novels are set. She was educated at The University of Iowa (BA) and The State University of New York at Binghamton (MA, PhD). She is Adele Hall Professor of English at The University of Nebraska — Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing and twentieth-century fiction. She is the author of twelve books, including five novels — Sweet Eyes, Strange Angels, South of Resurrection, The Weight of Dreams, and her most recent, The River Wife — and five collections of short fiction — Pretend We’ve Never Met, Bend This Heart, A .38 Special and a Broken Heart, Taking the Wall, and Acts of Love on Indigo Road. She has also published two books of poetry: Houses and Mercury.In her newest novel, The River Wife (Random House, 2007), five generations of women experience love and heartbreak, passion and deceit against the backdrop of the nineteenth-century South. The book has been selected by the Book of the Month Club, the Literary Guild, and as a main selection by the Quality Paperback Book Club.Jonis Agee’s awards include ForeWord Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for Taking the Wall and the Gold Medal in Fiction for Acts of Love on Indigo Road; a National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction; a Loft-McKnight Award; a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction; and two Nebraska Book Awards (for The Weight of Dreams and Acts of Love on Indigo Road. Three of her books — Strange Angels, Bend This Heart, and Sweet Eyes — were named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times.Jonis owns twenty pairs of cowboy boots, some of them works of art, loves the open road, and believes that ecstasy and hard work are the basic ingredients of life and writing.(Author’s Website: http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/ncw/agee)Keynote Address:  “To Awaken the Sleepers”Afternoon Stand Alone Sessions: “A Sense of Where You Are”  (Non-fiction/Fiction: writing about place) “The First Five Pages”  (Non-fiction/Fiction: how to open your story with a lasting impression)
hasselstromLinda M. HasselstromLinda M. Hasselstrom is the full-time resident writer at Windbreak House Writing retreats, established in 1996 on her ranch. Her latest nonfiction book, No Place Like Home: Notes from a Western Life, won the 2010 WILLA in creative nonfiction from Women Writing the West. Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, poetry with Nebraskan Twyla Hansen (The Backwaters Press)  received the Nebraska Book Award for Poetry 2012. The book was also a finalist for best poetry book, High Plains Book Awards, Billings, MT, and finalist, WILLA award for poetry, Women Writing the West, both in 2012. She was recognized for Distinguished Service to the Humanities by the South Dakota Humanities Council in 2011 and is special consultant to the Rural Literature RALLY initiative, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY. Her writing has appeared in dozens of anthologies and magazines. A poetry collection, Bitter Creek Junction, won the Wrangler for Best Poetry from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK. Bison: Monarch of the Plains, was named best environmental and nature book of 1999 by the Independent Publishers Association. Formerly visiting faculty for Iowa State University, Ames and online mentor for the University of Minnesota’s Split Rock writing program, Linda is an advisor to Texas Tech University Press.(Author’s Website: http://www.windbreakhouse.com/index.htm)Intermediate Workshop: Memoir & Non fictionUPDATE: by popular request, we will be offering a unique take on this workshop tailored to the special interests of the region:

Family History: Dancing Skeletons

Students will submit up to 20 pages of writing about family or local history by May 10. I will write line-by-line comments in the text of each submission. Class time will focus on evaluating and revising the writing with the assumption that each student will eventually publish a collection of writings about family or local history in some form. I will bring examples of the many ways family history can be made relevant to general readers. We will discuss memoir and autobiographical writing in general, as well as various elements of good nonfiction writing including language, sentence structure, beginnings and endings. Please bring to class one copy of your submission for each student in your class. Please also attend the opening ceremonies to receive additional information. (Full submission instructions will be provided to participants of this workshop after they register).

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”

–George Bernard Shaw, Immaturity

OR—you can submit material focused on the following workshop theme:

Clean as Bone, Pure as Water: Revising Your Writing

Students will submit up to 20 pages of nonfiction writing by May 10. I will write line-by-line-comments in the text of each submission. Class time will focus on evaluating and revising essays for potential publication with emphasis on language, sentence structure, editing, beginnings and endings and abundant individualized handouts. Please bring to class one copy of your submission for each student. Please attend the opening ceremonies to receive additional information. (Full submission instructions will be provided to participants of this workshop after they register)

The written word is to be clean as bone / pure as water, hard as stone.

Two words are not as good as one.

–Old Elizabethan rhyme

joernPamela Carter JoernPamela Carter Joern is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, playwright, and a teacher of writing. The
Plain Sense of Things
, (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) was a Midwest Booksellers Association Connections
Pick. The Floor of the Sky (University of Nebraska
Press, 2006), was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, winner of an Alex Award and the Nebraska Book Award.Pam won the 2001 and 2008 Tamarack Awards for the short story, sponsored by Minnesota Monthly Magazine. Her work has appeared in the Red Rock Review, South Dakota Review, Water~Stone, Laurel Review, Feminist Studies, Great River Review, Minnesota Monthly Magazine and an anthology,
Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace ( Backwaters Press). She has received a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship and a Career Initiative grant from the Jerome Foundation.Pam has written six plays that have been produced in the Twin Cities area. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University and teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.(Author’s Website: http://www.pamelacarterjoern.com) Intermediate Workshop: Fiction You will have the opportunity to respond respectfully to others’ work and to receive feedback on your own. We’ll focus on what works well and what questions are generated for further development. We’ll venture into elements of craft as they arise, i.e. using sensory detail, capitalizing on point-of-view, developing character, writing successful dialogue, creating tension, mining your setting. There will be handouts for your future reference, and in addition to the workshop comments, I will provide written feedback. Please submit up to 20 pages, double-spaced, by May 10, either a short story or excerpt from a short story or novel. If from a novel or longer story, please include a one paragraph synopsis. Ideally, participants will receive copies of submissions in advance of the workshop so we can be adequately prepared. You’ll receive further instructions once you’ve registered. Please also bring to the workshop a printed copy of your submission for each participant. (Full submission instructions will be provided to participants of this workshop after they register)
dawesKwame DawesGhanaian-born Jamaican poet, Kwame Dawes is the award-winning author of sixteen books of poetry (most recently, Wheels, 2011) and numerous books of fiction, non-fiction, criticism and drama. He is the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner, and a Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska.   Kwame Dawes also teaches in the Pacific MFA Writing program.  Dawes’ book, Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems will be published by Copper Canyon in 2013.(Author’s Website: http://www.kwamedawes.com)“Chameleons of Suffering” Poetry WorkshopBeginning with a half-hour exploration of empathy through a short lecture, Kwame will then lead a hands-on workshop for poets through a series of exercises and discussion.Reading & Book Signing (with Marianne Kunkel)Kwame Dawes and Marianne Kunkel will read from their work and from recent issues of Prairie Schooner, followed by a Q&A. 
 kunkleMarianne KunkelMarianne Kunkel is the Managing Editor of Prairie Schooner and a Ph.D. student in poetry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a specialization in women’s and gender studies. Her poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, River Styx, and elsewhere, and her chapbook is The Laughing Game (Finishing Line Press).Publishing in Journals: An Insider’s ViewSeminar—strategies of publishing poetry and prose in contemporary literary journals, and her talk will be followed by a  Q&A on the subject.Reading & Book Signing (with Kwame Dawes)Kwame Dawes and Marianne Kunkel will read from their work and from recent issues of Prairie Schooner, followed by a Q&A.Founded in 1927, Prairie Schooner is a national literary quarterly published with the support of the UNL English Department. It publishes fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews by beginning, mid-career and established writers. For more information, visit http://prairieschooner.unl.edu. 
mcewenR.F. McEwenR.F. McEwen has been a tree trimmer since 1963 and English teacher since 1972. He is currently a professor of English at Chadron State College, in Chadron, Nebraska, where he has taught since 1986. His poems have appeared in the South Dakota Review,  Kansas Quarterly, Melville Extracts, Prairie Schooner, Rural Voices, Midwest Quarterly, The Literary Journal of the Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry, Belfast, and other journals. His Heartwood and other Poems was featured on CBS “Sunday Morning.”  He co-produced “Tell a Story: Joe Heaney in the Pacific Northwest” (Camsco), a two-CD collection of the stories of Joe Heaney, the noted Irish sean nos singer and storyteller. His forthcoming Bill’s Boy’s and other Poems is being published by Black Star Press, Lincoln, Nebraska. And his poem “Stacking Rick Wood: Getting On” is the poem for November in the current (2012) Nebraska Poets Calendar.  His poems are written for the most part in blank verse and are more often than not narrative.(Author Info: http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/?q=fusion/work/quare-garden-dry-end-state)Beginning Poetry (all levels)This workshop will be devoted to writing narrative poetry, poetry that tells a story, rather than confessional, emotive poetry that explores one’s own feelings. Narrative poems explore the feelings of fictional characters involved in fictional plots that carry the weight of universal themes. We will do quite a bit of writing, some reading and, I hope, discussion of the persistent problems involved whenever one attempts to tell a story that will change, mystify, and provoke an audience of strong readers and listeners.
ballantinePoe BallantinePoe Ballantine’s work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, regularly in The Sun Magazine, Kenyon Review, and The Coal City Review. His second novel, Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire, won Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. The odd jobs, eccentric characters, boarding houses, buses, and beer that populate Ballantine’s work often draw comparisons to the life and work of Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac. In addition to garnering numerous award nominations including The Pushcart Prize and The Pen/O. Henry Prize, Ballantine’s work has been included in the 1998 Best American Short Story and 2006 Best American Essay anthologies. His memoir, Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, is being published by Hawthorne Press this September (and is now available for preorder).(Author Info: http://hawthornebooks.com/authors/poe-ballantine)Beginning Fiction (with Matthew Evertson, All Levels)This workshop will offer a blend of “theory” and “practice” in the fundamentals of writing fiction. The “theory” will be introduced through Matthew Evertson as he shares the “nuts and bolts” lessons he has gleaned over the years from both taking and teaching fiction writing classes. Poe Ballantine will then share his insights from years of honing his craft as a working writer, publishing his stories and novels to critical acclaim.Writing Life (All Levels)My workshops are inspired by my years of itinerancy,  “Mining the Lost Years,” “The Life of a Drifter,” “The Importance of Being an Outsider,” and so on.  I’m frequently lumped in with the Beat Movement, though I don’t share much with them (except the traveling). My non-fiction work is almost entirely emotion-based, and I will share my insights about process, the importance of the small press (breaking in), reader psychology, and any other questions, problems, and concerns the budding writer might have. 
evertsonMatthew EvertsonMatthew Quinn Evertson is Professor and Chair of the Department of English and Humanities at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, where he teaches American Literature, Native American Literature, Western American Literature and Writing. He is currently working on a book-length comparative study of Stephen Crane and Theodore Roosevelt and is also currently teaching, researching and writing about the regional influences upon the literature of the Great Plains.  More recently he has focused on expanding creative writing opportunities at Chadron State College, complementing his scholarly work with his long interest in writing fiction (he has studied fiction writing at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and has completed several writing workshops). His publications include “Fields of Vision: Human Presence in the Plain Landscapes of Terrence Malick and Wright Morris” in Terrence Malick Film and Philosophy (New York: Continuum, May 2011) “Cather in the Rye: ‘Paul’s Case’ in Anticipation of Holden Caulfield” in Critical Insights: The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger (New York: EBSCO/Salem Press, 2011), “Strenuous Stories: The Wilderness Tales of Stephen Crane and Theodore Roosevelt” which appears in Stephen Crane Studies (2005); and “Love, Loss and Growing Up in J.D. Salinger and Cormac McCarthy” which appears in The Catcher in the Rye: New Essays (Peter Lang, 2002).Beginning Fiction (with Poe Ballantine, All Levels)This workshop will offer a blend of “theory” and “practice” in the fundamentals of writing fiction. The “theory” will be introduced through Matthew Evertson as he shares the “nuts and bolts” lessons he has gleaned over the years from both taking and teaching fiction writing classes. Poe Ballantine will then share his insights from years of honing his craft as a working writer, publishing his stories and novels to critical acclaim. 
kinneyRich KenneyRich Kenney is a former Little League centerfielder from Boston, Massachusetts. As a social worker, radio talk show host and newspaper columnist, he has worked with people like Big Ray, the cigar-smoking, twenty-year-old special needs student with a heart bigger than his 48-inch waistline; and Edgar, the elderly slide trombonist dying of cancer with a scheme to retrieve his horn from a hock shop. Kenney writes about hawks herding clouds or old ticket stubs caught in cobwebs. He writes about tiny canes the color of clouds hanging on a wall outside a preschool classroom for kids who are blind.The recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Kenney has also contributed commentaries to National Public Radio. Recent publications include nonfiction prose in The New Social Worker and Social Work Today; and poetry in Rockhurst Review and Third Wednesday.Kenney holds degrees from the University of Texas (MSSW), and the University of Arizona (BA). He is currently an assistant professor and Director of the Social Work Program at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska.Beginning Creative Nonfiction (all levels)Creative Nonfiction is the place for all writers to come clean. But don’t sweat the interrogation lights… In this workshop, we will use other techniques like language, setting and detail to help you tell your story.  You’ll fish for the moon with kites (metaphor), write “Dear Johns” to snappers (clarity), or mix sweet literary martinis (form) to uncover insights and truths. With focus on the word, creative, in creative nonfiction, you will tap into memories and life-changing moments to awaken the stories inside waiting to be told.
 damonPaula Bosco Damon Paula Bosco Damon is an award-winning author, whose short non-fiction has won countless honors, including first place in national and state writing competitions.Damon has taught writing courses at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion; Briar Cliff University, Western Iowa Tech Community College and St. Luke’s College, all in Sioux City, Iowa. Additionally, she has led numerous writing workshops in South Dakota. In 2011, Damon conducted a writing workshop at the National Federation of Press Women’s annual convention.A popular keynote speaker, the writer has conducted readings in New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska, including Chadron State College and Chadron Public Library, among others.Currently, Damon is the director of marketing and communication at Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, where she is on the editorial staff for the University’s award-winning literary and art publication, The Briar Cliff Review and a guest lecturer in the University’s writing classes.A regular contributor to the Vermillion [S.D.] Plain Talk and the Carroll [Iowa] Times Daily Herald, the author submits a creative non-fiction piece to both papers weekly.  She holds a master’s degree in English and bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Dakota. For samples of Damon’s work, please visit her story archive at http://my-story-your-story.blogspot.com/. Her chapbook, Look. Don’t Look. [Briar Cliff University Press], is available upon request.Get Down to Writing (all levels)This hands-on workshop will demystify the perennial question of what to write about and demonstrate how to crack the code for writer’s block.Journaling, Blogging and Writing Environment (all levels)This workshop will touch on the benefits of establishing a journaling routine, the ups and downs of blogging and the importance of writing environment.

 

Registration & Costs

Workshop Sessions are open to all aspiring writers of all ages and abilities.

(We recommend that High School Participants be at the Junior level or above).

General Registration:  $150

  • All workshop participants must pay the general registration fee, which gains you access to all beginning workshops and special sessions over the four days.
  • There is no deadline for General Registration, and you do not need to sign up for any specific sessions in advance.
  • Students and Mari Sandoz Heritage Society Members Receive a 20% discount

Additional Fees:

Intermediate Workshop Tuition: $100

For writers who have work in progress and are interested in revising and refining their writing for publication with one-on-one feedback with your workshop leader. When registering, please select ONE of the following options :

  • Linda Hasselstrom (non-fiction prose/memoir)
  • Pamela Carter Joern (fiction)

Space is limited to 12 writers per workshop, so early registration is encouraged.

INTERMEDIATE WORKSHOP REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MAY 10, 2013

  • Late registration and on-site registration may be available for intermediate workshops—depending on enrollments. There will be a 20% surcharge on any late or on-site registrations for this workshop.
  • In order to fulfill our workshop commitments to faculty and other participants, we cannot cancel your reservation or offer refunds after May 10.
  • You need to pay both your general registration and your intermediate workshop fees ($250 total) when you register.

Scholarships:

A limited number of scholarships are available for student applicants based upon written samples of their work. Please follow the instructions in the application at the end of this document.

HOUSING

In order to provide the utmost value and flexibility for our workshop participants, housing costs have NOT been added to your workshop registration fee. Instead, participants will have the following options for securing their own accommodations while in the region:

  • A limited number of dormitory-style rooms will be available for rent at Chadron State College during the Workshop and Festival. Costs are approximately $13 per person, per night, double occupancy, and $17.50 per person, per night, for a private room.
  • A list of hotels in the region will be provided. Several of these will be partnering with us to provide a discount rate to our conference participants.
  • Chadron State Park (approximately 9 miles south of CSC) and Fort Robinson State Park (approximately 25 miles to the south of CSC) have cabins, camping facilities and other forms of lodging as well.

MEALS:

Workshop participants often find that they need a relaxing break between sessions. Some may want to gather socially with other workshop members over a leisurely lunch, while others may want to grab a quick bite and work on their writing in solitude. In order to provide the most value and flexibility for your workshop experience, meals have NOT been added to your workshop registration fee.

  • As part of your registration fee, snacks and refreshments WILL be provided for the Opening Ceremonies and Reception on Wednesday afternoon.
  • As part of your registration fee, continental Breakfast with coffee and tea service (and other light refreshments) WILL be available each morning before the workshop sessions in the Sandoz Center Atrium. Coffee and Tea service will also be provided throughout the day for breaks during the workshop sessions.
  • Tickets for the NOON banquet at the Saturday Festival will be $12
  • Noontime lunches and evening dining will be on your own. A list of dining options will be provided, with several restaurants in the region providing special rates or discounts for workshop participants.

LOCATION

The workshop sessions will take place on the campus of Chadron State College, which lies within the southern boundary of the city of Chadron, Nebraska, with a population of approximately 6,000 residents.  Chadron State College is located about 290 miles north of Denver, Colo., and 100 miles south of Rapid City, S.D. U.S.  Highways 20 and 385 intersect in Chadron. For driving directions and regional and campus maps, please visit this website:  http://www.csc.edu/visitors/location.csc. The city of Chadron has a municipal airport with daily flights to Denver International Airport.

In addition to our workshop sessions on campus, other events will take place in the rugged beauty of the surrounding region. The scenic Pine Ridge of northwestern Nebraska has long been recognized as the most beautiful portion of the state.  The prairie and hills around Chadron are rich in pioneer history, and the town was founded in 1885.  Fort Robinson, twenty-eight miles away, was once a colorful frontier military post and provides a variety of activities amid its historic buildings, including the Post Playhouse, sponsored each summer by the college’s theatre department. Chadron State Park, the Pine Ridge, the Museum of the Fur Trade, the Sandhills of

Nebraska, the Hudson-Meng Bison Site, the Agate Fossil Beds, the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Hot Springs Mammoth Site provide opportunities for exciting day trips, including sight-seeing, fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking and skiing. In 2000, Sports Afield designated Chadron as one of the “top 50 outdoor sports towns” in the nation and one of the four best

mountain biking towns in the United States.  Outside Magazine has selected Dawes County, where Chadron is located, as one of the nation’s top 100 counties in which to live.    The climate in the Pine Ridge Region during late May/Early June is typically pleasant, with clear skies and moderate temperatures—with highs in the low eighties and lows in the upper forties.

The Chadron State College residential campus, occupying two hundred eighty-one acres, is bound on the south by the tall, pine-clad buttes of the Pine Ridge.  Twenty-four major buildings with more than one million square feet of floor space provide state-of the art facilities for residential students. A highlight in the last decade was the  development of the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, which pays tribute to the western Nebraska native who became one of America’s leading authors—and which will be our “headquarters” for the Workshop and Festival this year.  The center focuses on the settlement and development of the High Plains region, including the history of the cattle industry in the C.F. Coffee Gallery.  The center houses an archive of important historical documents and artifacts, as well as a state-of-the-art digitizing laboratory, the Kosman electronically mediated classroom, a gallery of rotating artistic and historical exhibits, permanent exhibits on Sandoz and the high plains environment, and the outdoor Heritage Gardens that feature Sandhills and pioneer plantings.

About the Workshop


The Story Catcher Writing Workshop and Festival takes its inspiration from one of Nebraska’s most prominent writers, Mari Sandoz (1896-1966), who grew up in the region on the homesteads her family settled in the late 1800s. In addition to building an impressive career as an author, Sandoz went to great lengths to encourage other writers, conducting summer writing workshops on college campuses, reviewing manuscripts sent to her by aspiring authors from all over the nation, and teaching creative writing through programming produced by Nebraska Public Television. A prolific writer and dogged researcher, her works crossed the boundaries of history, fiction, biography, memoir, journalism, ethnography, ecology, activism and advocacy for marginalized groups, such as Native Americans. It is fitting, therefore, that this passionate teacher of writing who captured so many stories from this region should be the inspiration for our workshop.

The workshop and festival itself takes its name from The Story Catcher, Sandoz’s last published novel, and winner of the Levi Strauss Golden Saddleman Award in 1963 and the Western Writers of America Spur Award for best juvenile fiction in 1964. Set in the same high plains region of our workshop, the novella follows the trials and tribulations of a young Oglala Sioux searching for his place within a mid-nineteenth century tribal society facing white encroachment and continued conflict with neighboring tribes. Turning his back on the glory he might gain as a warrior, he instead wins honor and a new name: “Story Catcher,” recorder of the history of his people.

It is our goal to channel this spirit of Sandoz and The Story Catcher—to guide and encourage the participants of our workshop in capturing their own creative ideas, to help transform those ideas into written works that can then be shared, discussed and revised, and to celebrate the best qualities of writing from this workshop—and this region—in a festival that may inspire the story catcher in all of us.

In response to requests from our previous workshop participants, this year we are offering a greater mix of workshops that focus on getting started/generating writing, workshops that focus on revising work in progress towards publication, and general sessions on writing, creativity and getting published.

Sponsors:

 Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Society

The vision of the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society is to perpetuate and foster an understanding of the literary and historical works of Mari Sandoz, and to honor the land and the people about which she wrote: Native Americans, ranchers, farmers and the people who settled the High Plains country. The Society hosts a conference and presents the Pilster Great Plains Lecture

Series. Additionally, the society provides collections on loan to the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center at Chadron State College. Contributions to the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society are tax-deductible. To join the Society, or for more information, e-mail marisandoz_society@windstream.net or visit our website: www.marisandoz

Chadron State College Department of English and Humanities

Chadron offers a wonderful setting for the study of English literature and the humanities, with abundant beauty, natural resources, and open spaces to help open our minds. Many of our English major course offerings, such as Great Plains Literature, Literature Across Borders, and Environmental Literature have been developed with an eye towards the natural spaces of the High Plains where we live, teach, and learn. Our unique partnership with the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center offers further opportunities to read and write within a regional and environmental context. In other words, English majors at CSC benefit from an unfettered exposure to the great outdoors; here, you can literally get outside yourself. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.csc.edu/english/

CONTACT INFORMATION

Please visit our website for updates and the most current information, as well procedures for registering for the workshop or attending the festival

http://www.storycatcherworkshop.com

Story Catcher Summer Writing Workshop and Festival Staff:

Dr. Matthew Evertson, Director

Chadron State College

Department of English & Humanities (ADM 206)

1000 Main Street

Chadron, NE. 69337
(308) 432-6462   mevertson@csc.edu

Cindy Evert Christ, Communication Coordinator

Mari Sandoz Heritage Society

(402) 304-8103 or marisandoz_society@windstream.net

Planning Committee:

Matthew Evertson, Professor,

Chadron State College Department of English and Humanities

Katherine Bahr, Professor,

Chadron State College Department of English and Humanities

Elisabeth Ellington, Assistant Professor,

Chadron State College Department of English and Humanities

Sarah Polak, Director,

Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center