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writing workshop

Write & Chat Day in Raleigh

Back in March, a Triangle Writers event organizer held a full day of writing in downtown Raleigh. As part of Triangle Writers, Laura Rose Shank runs a regular critique group and ‘write nights’ in Cameron Village (which recently moved to Cary). She planned a special day at the Cameron Village Library called a ‘Write & Chat’ that was free for anyone to attend. Everyone was welcome to stay for morning only, afternoon only, or full day. Here was her schedule:

Morning Session
10:30am-11am: Meet & Greet
11am-1pm: Writing prompts & discussion
1pm-2:15pm: Share work from the day, get feedback, & wrap up morning session

Afternoon Session
2:15pm-3:30pm: Lunch break (on your own)
3:30pm-5pm: Meet at Benelux coffee for discussion and work time for current projects

I was sad I didn’t stay for the full day and only stopped by for the morning. I was present for three prompts and wrote two full stories during the short time I was there.

cards against humanity promptOne of the prompts Laura gave us was a card from Cards Against Humanity. (If you haven’t played it yet, get on that!) My card said something about what you find in Kung Pao Chicken. Somehow that inspired me to write a story about a murderer.

Another prompt she gave was based on an exercise artist Barbara Hengstenberg and I did at our writing/art retreat last year that Laura attended. (Registration for 2017’s retreat is open, by the way, and closes this month!) Last year, Barbara read an excerpt from a book, and then everyone wrote based on what they heard. Inspired by this, Laura read from one of her favorite books (I forget the title!) and a phrase about purple cigar smoke stuck with me and I wrote a story about an old maid in Central Park.

The other prompt was to start a story, and then another writer finished it – which was fantastic and hilarious! I offered to print a small anthology of the co-authored works to memorialize the day. Laura has been kind enough to type them all up, so I plan to get hard copies to everyone, and offer a copy to the library where the stories were written, in the next few months.

Every story comes in its own time, but I’ve never written two stories in such a short time. Plus, I’ve never written two stories one after the other like that! The day Laura planned was so thoughtful. She creates a great environment for everyone to focus on their writing. If you get an opportunity to attend her events, do! She may have another Write & Chat at some point. Keep an eye on the calendar.