Issue #18  November 4, 2013

The Village View

A Publication of The Village Writing School
Note from Alison
Why Do a Holiday Story? 
We're all busy and struggling to write on a regular basis. So why did I add yet another something for us to do, right when the holidays will make most of us crazy?

Of course, I think it's good for us, as a group, to give to the public. It will make people happy, and we will be blessed by their stories. Enough reasons.

But, mostly, because really I'm all about us us us. I think it will be a great learning tool.

We need to learn to write a short story.That's going to be a big focus for us in 2014. Writing these stories will be great practice for us. We'll be forced to ask ourselves questions like: do I tell this in first person or third? Do I have the right sensory details? What dialogue do I need? How can I convey the time and place? Where does the story begin and end?

This is not going to be a walk in the park. We're going to have to summon up all our skills and hone them. I see this as a great teaching opportunity and expect to see these stories popping up in our writers' circles and newspaper pieces. 

The retreat at Winslow will be a great place for those of us there to brainstorm the holiday story told to us. 

So don't miss what may be the best writing exercise ever. Go with the first group of writers attending the meeting at PeachTree Retirement Center at 10 am this Thursday (Nov 7). If you can't make that one, email me that you want to help someone write a story, and I'll set you up an interview.

To Give is to Receive 
Highest Point in the Ozarks!!
Sky-Vu Lodge, Winslow, Arkansas
Rooms still available (take 15% off price) for the Nov. 14 Road Trip:
  • 1-room lodge room with twin beds $65
  • Cabin #6  2 twins, bunk beds, and a sleeper sofa   $90
  • 2 bedroom cabin        $95
Share a room for under $30! 
Need a roommate? Let Alison know.
This will be a great time of sharing, working on holiday stories, and enjoying the serenity.  
Thursday is a Big Day!!
  November 7
  • 10 am:  You are invited to join us when we go to Peachtree Retirement Center to interview residents and begin to work on their holiday stories. We will go to lunch afterward to brainstorm how to begin and tell the stories.
  • 4:00 pm:  The new Children's Writing Group, which spun off our last workshop, will meet at 4 pm in the back room of the Pizza Hut.  
  • 5:00 pm:  Writers' Night Out at its NEW TIME of 5 pm.
This week we will be in the back room of the Pizza Hut on Hwy 62 in Eureka Springs. We'll order our food at 5 and start our program at 5:30. Richard Schoe will present info from the book Writing with Power by Peter Elbow and talk about the act of writing, the process by which you grow into the experience of the craft. Then, we'll discuss what we are writing and how we are benefitting from being a part of our community of Village Writers.
Mark Your Calendar for Nov. 24 !

A reception and book signing for Welsh photographer Ray Worsnop and local poet Mary Shaffer will be held at the Village Writing School on November 24. Worsnop and Shaffer have authored a book entitled Across the Pond, You Hear what I See.

Worsnop, who lives in Rhyl on the north coast of Wales, will be visiting Eureka Springs for the first time. Housebound with a broken leg in 2007, in an apartment overlooking the Irish Sea, Worsnop began to photograph the constant changing of the sand, sky and water. His photographs are now sold worldwide.

The public is invited to the wine and cheese reception at our building from 2-4 pm.

Saturday's Childrens' Story Writing with Craig Froman was a great success. Twelve Village Writers submitted stories to Craig (New Leaf Press) in advance. He read them carefully and commented directly to each writer. For those who sent stories in late, Craig promised to work privately with those writers. 

Craig gave us so many ideas and such wonderful encouragement that the Village Writers formed a Childrens' Writing contingency on the spot! We are going to meet once a month, one hour before Writers Night Out on Thursdays. The first Thursday of each month. Everyone is welcome.

At the Childrens Writers get together, we will focus on accountability. We'll talk about our work, our progress, and our aspirations. Already, many possible ways to share our stories with kids have been generated. 

Craig will join us for the December Children's Writing meeting where he will critique our individual query letters.  So we need to get to work on those!

Thanks, Craig and Alison, for providing this opportunity.
On Halloween Night, Village Writers discussed the differences in Point of View between cinema and written story. Thanks to all who brought snacks and to Shiva for the wonderful hot ginger tea.
Update on Building
From a junky storage room . . . . . . . to an up-to-date workshop space in which Craig Froman gave a great session last Saturday afternoon on Writing for Children.  

Editor's Note: We're wondering who reads our newsletter from top to bottom. I'll try to make it worth your while for the next few weeks. 

This week, the first person on Thursday night, after 5 p.m., to ask me about these glasses will win . . . 

wait for it . . .

a FREE drink at Pizza Hut.

Warning: I'll probably talk about my book called Happy Birthday.
P.S. You won't be penalized for giving me a critique of the newsletter. We want it to be useful to you, and we care what you think of it.

Upcoming Events
Writers at Work Night Out
5 - 7 NEW TIME   
Everyone Welcome

November 9

Village Writers drive to Winslow for a nice retreat.
Wine & Cheese Reception and Book Signing -- 2 -4 p.m. at Village Writing School
Public is Invited

YOUR Christmas Story - A free gift from the Village Writing School

JANUARY 18, 2014
Getting Started
     The first 2 pages, research, to outline or not, story arc, writing rules to live by.
For more information or to register for any workshop, contact Alison at or 479 292-3665.
You are receiving this email because you asked to be kept informed about writing workshops and coming events.

Contact Information:

Publisher: Alison Taylor-Brown
Editor: Alice French
Copyright © 2013 Village Writing School
All rights reserved.