We help writers of all genres and experience levels to produce and promote professionally published work. We do this by providing read-and-critique sessions, educational activities, ongoing author support, networking opportunities and a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere.
The Three Elements of a Powerful Narrative with Shawn Scarber
Have you ever found yourself bogged down in the minutia of storytelling? Do you get lost in the words, struggling to find your way back to the story's emotional core? Would you like a set of tools to help plan and revise your story? Never fear! In this hands-on, interactive workshop, all-star instructor Shawn Scarber presents the “big three” elements of great narrative fiction and demonstrates how to use them in works of any size, with a special emphasis on short stories. Don’t despair: a strong story is as simple as 1 -2-3!
Click here for directions to the Writers Bloc classroom. Presentation will run from 2 to 3/3:30, with appetizers and social hour to follow in the adjoining art gallery. RSVP below to guarantee your seat!
"Writing Powerful Emotions" presented by Kathleen Baldwin
Fiction is all about Emotion. If you want to sell – study how to convey Emotion. Award-winning author, Kathleen Baldwin will open her Emotional Writing Toolbox and illustrate the use of several powerful devices, including: Getting ‘em in the gut with visceral reactions; Tricking the heart with emotionally charged props; Milking character specific metaphors and similes; Punching it up with irony, denial & twisted clichés.
Location: Frisco Public Library — McCallum Room | 4th Floor
My favorite movie of 2016 so far – oh heck, my favorite movie of the whole decade – is an Irish, coming-of-age story called Sing Street. Sing Street is about a 14-year old boy named Conor Lalor, who overcomes his parents’ disintegrating marriage, the family’s worsening financial situation and the two bullies terrorizing him at his new school to start a band—with the all-important goal of impressing a girl. The movie is reminiscent of the 1991 Irish movie, The Commitments. But whereas The Commitments were a band of late teens/early twenties musicians playing soul music in the tradition of 1960s African-American recording artists, Sing Street is a band of young teen-aged boys writing and recording “happy-sad” songs, in the tradition of the 1980s New Wave music. Conor and his song-writing partner, Eamon easily pass as young twins of Paul McCartney and John Lennon and Conor's quest for young love is wonderfully done. But it’s Conor’s brother, Brendan who steals the show. It’s Brendan’s who sets us straight. Brendan is a classic mentor archetype, coaching Connor to do what he wants to do and become what he wants to become. His mentorship resonated with Conor. It resonated with me, too. After hearing the first recording of Sing Street’s music, Brendan yanks the tape from its spool and stomps on the cassette. “That was bad, bad music,” he says. “And there’s nothing as bad in this world as bad music…That was a novelty act…It’s all about the girl, isn’t it? And you’re going to use someone else’s art to get her? Are you kidding?” Conor’s attempt at a defense fails. “We’re just starting. We need to learn how to play.” “Did the Sex Pistols know how to play? You don't need to know how to play. Who are you, Steely Dan? You need to learn how NOT to play, Conor. That's the trick. That's rock and roll. And THAT takes practice…Rock and roll is a risk. You risk being ridiculed.” There are other sources for this type of “encouragement" in the music world. In a “get off my lawn!” kind of way, former Eagles’ guitarist, Joe Walsh put it like this: “All these kids (today) are a legend in their parents’ garage but they can’t play in front of people. You gotta play live in front of people and at first, you’re awful. And you stink…and that’s why kids are afraid to do it. (They’re afraid to fall on their face). But you bring that up. You don’t really get better. You just bring awful up. So you’re not that awful.” Isn’t it the same with writing? Sure, we don’t want to stink. We don’t want to be ridiculed. For some reason, though, at first some of us don’t appreciate that writing is a craft. That it’s something to be learned and nurtured. Instead, most of us sit down, write that first draft of our first novel – our “masterpiece” – and then we sit back and wonder when the royalty checks will start rolling in. As one thriller author once put it to me: “Authors are the only artists who’d think that their first painting should hang in the Louvre.” The truth is, it’s very likely that when we start out we’re not that good. In fact if you’re like me, you probably made some bad, bad writing. And it isn’t until we get out of our “parents’ garage,” until we take that rock and roll risk and let people hear our work—people who understand the craft of writing—that we can bring awful up. That we can learn how NOT to write. That’s the benefit of an excellent critique group, like the DFW Writers Workshop and solid stable of beta readers. They’re the ones who help transform our writing, often through tough love. And if we’re smart, we forego our egos and take our medicine. Then we take the risk again. Even after all of that, it’s not over. Once our writing isn’t awful and we put it out there for the world to read, people will then judge the quality of our stories, the value of our opinions and everything else about what we’ve written. Some people will still ridicule us. Some people will still think we stink. But that’s rock and roll. So take the risk. And rock. Brian Tracey, DFWWW Member since 2012; Board member since 2015.read moreOn September 22, over 2000 nonprofits in the North Texas area will join forces to raise both funds and awareness for their organizations. This year we are excited to announce that DFWWW will be participating for the very first time. As an organization, we're growing faster than ever and expanding our programming in exciting ways, and we need your help to fulfill our mission and reach new goals. You may be wondering: "Why donate to the DFW Writers Workshop?" Great question. Our answer: "Booklovers will go hungry without us." See, our mission is to help and encourage North Texas writers of all genres and experience levels to produce professional quality writing suitable for publication. We like to see books made, stories told, poems printed, and we do this by offering year-round programming and networking opportunities for authors. The core of the DFW Writers Workshop experience is our weekly read & critique sessions, and we've been doing it since 1977. We invite you to come visit any time to catch a slice of a story in the making. Since our humble beginnings, we've grown. Nowadays, we also host the largest writer's conference in Texas, DFW Writers Conference. We attract authors from all over the world by bringing in literary agents, editors, keynote speakers and best-selling authors to teach. Many an author has found representation at DFWCon, and many a book has been born as a result. But that's not all. We also host an annual, free DFW Teen Writers Workshop, to jump-start teens on their writing journey. We have a monthly Writer's Bloc program, giving attendees "conference-like" classes at no cost. And next year, we're kicking off our new Residency Program, giving an author the ability to focus completely on his work for two whole weeks without interuption. The experience will culminate with attendance to our 10th Anniversary DFWCon. So now you're probably thinking: “I'm a booklover or love someone who is, so I must donate! But why should I donate on this particular day? Can't I part with my hard-earned cash any old day?” Another excellent question. Our answer: "Your money is welcome any day, of course, but it's worth more on September 22nd." North Texas Giving Day is put on by the good folks over at the Communities Foundation of Texas. They organize this amazing day and also raise a separate stash of bonus funds that is later divided among the participating nonprofits. Like us! In other words, the more money you give on this day, the more extra money they give us in turn. They also offer an array of cash prizes throughout the day. The question that’s probably on your mind now is, “Well gosh, how can I help?” Another excellent question. You're on a roll. First and foremost, we'd love your generous donation. Donations must be made online on September 22. Donations anywhere from $25-50,000 are acceptable. If you can’t donate yourself, nudge your booklover friends and family, rich acquaintances, that guy who owes you a favor for slightly dubious reasons, anyone. We don’t discriminate. You can also help by promoting this event on social media. Aside from raising awareness, it also can land us with one of the coveted cash prizes for most retweets, so keep an eye on our feed that morning. Festivities have been planned all over the area for the 22nd; stay tuned to our website and social media channels for info on where you can find us! If nothing else, NTGD it’s a great way to learn about some of the amazing work that’s done by organizations right here where we live, so head over to the North Texas Giving Day website and check out some of the other participating nonprofits. Ben Marshall is the Secretary of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He has been a member since 2014.read more