Photo: Workshops


Giving Voice:  A Festival of Writing and the Arts

September 22, 2017



Sticks and Stones and Breaking Bones
Lisa Ohlen Harris, Nonfiction

         Words are powerful. The ability to wield that power comes through practice, and practice starts with play. Relax. In this writing workshop, the stakes are low. We’ll put one word down, then another, until we see something fresh. Perhaps you’ll toss a fistful of words into the fire, watch them smolder, then blow away the ashes to find something plain and strong and true. Tomorrow we will take up our words and change the world. Today, we’re out to have fun. To discover. To laugh. To taste the power of words.   


Songwriting:  Telling a Story
Jen Edwards

          Although there are many songwriting techniques, this workshop will focus on story songwriting. Students will explore meter, form, and rhyming techniques that are often employed when telling individual stories through music and lyric.  Students will then work together to compose a song, carefully crafting lyrics to communicate a specific story with characters, locations, actions and emotions. This workshop is offered only in the morning.


What’s in a Scene?: Screenwriting Fundamentals
Brad Gambill

          In fiction, scenes can be quite fluid without concrete boundaries;  in screenplays, however, scenes are much more distinct.  More importantly, the scene is the essential building block of the script. Without them, the script will have little form and progression. In this workshop, we will examine the parameters of scenes in feature-length scripts by looking at a few examples and then practice scene-making strategies in scenes we create from scratch. This workshop is offered only in the afternoon.


What I Said but Didn't Say: The Art of Writing Between the Lines
Becky Marietta 

        Most of us have heard the admonishment to “show, don’t tell” in our writing, but even experts sometimes struggle with this concept. Our workshop is designed to demonstrate the skills needed to present plot through evocative description and action, allowing readers to sense what is happening in a story without being told outright. After discussing principles of technique, students will be given the opportunity to practice what they have learned by writing a short fictional scene using description to illuminate action and motivation. This workshop is offered only in the morning.


Readers Theater
Jan Lauderdale

         If you are interested in acting, come and try Readers Theater, a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form. Readers read from a script, so there is no memorization. The focus is on reading the text with expressive voices and gestures. Participants will work on characterization, facial expressions, and use of inflection.  Limit 12 students per workshop.


Drama I: Intro to Improvisational Theater and Other Scary Things
Donna Rollene

          All participants will be encouraged to exercise their creativity through drama games and improvised settings. Presentation will be improvisational within framework decided by instructor and will include all participants. Limit 15 students per workshop.


Calligraphy: The Medieval Art
David R. Andrus

          The very shape of our Roman alphabet depends, in part, on the kind of marks made by a quill from the 3rd feather on the left wing of a goose. Carve it right with a pen knife, dip it in ink and start to write like a medieval scribe. We will have some goose quills, a lot of flat-nib pens and some calligraphic markers for you to experiment with and some printed materials you can take with you. Come learn to make some 500 year-old letters. (Alas, scribes are typically right-handed and this skill is a bit of  a challenge for lefties.)


Squeegee Time: A Screen Printing Workshop  
Kyle Agee

          This class gives students a basic introduction into the “Art Poster“ screen printing process.  We will look at “gig” and “art" posters, talk about the techniques of producing the posters, and then practice those techniques by pulling a few prints during the class.  Limit 15 students per workshop


Introduction to the Traditional Dark Room
Neal Holland

          Students will have the opportunity to study the traditional process of gelatin silver development as conducted in the traditional (chemical) darkroom.  Each group will receive a film negative and will themselves develop an 8x10 silver print that they may keep as a memento of the day.  The workshop does not require any previous knowledge of tradition.  Limit 12 students per workshop.


Bobby Martin

          A basic introduction to creating prints by hand using an etching press. We will create artwork with ink on plexiglass, and then transfer those images to paper to make a unique "monotype" print. This fast but interesting process does not require any previous drawing or painting experience.  Limit 12 students per workshop


 Tools of the Trade
Steve Snediker

          Discover the magic of making a short (very short) stop-motion film — the lights, camera, and action.  Students will experience and participate in the animation process using the same software and camera gear used by Laika Studios for the films Kubo and the Two Strings, BoxTrolls, and ParaNorman, just to name a few.  Tons of fun at 24-frames-a-second.


Songwriting as a Habit of Mind
Travis Chaney

           Songs are an ever present part of modern life. They can serve any number of purposes: wooing lovers, selling used cars, working through pain, praising the divine. Many of these songs rely on tired turns of phrase to explore only a handful of common experiences.  A well-crafted song, however, has the power to enliven by giving the listener a new way of expressing the complexity of the human condition. In this workshop, we will focus on developing habits of mind that songwriters can use to practice seeing the world poetically while avoiding clichés.


Pedagogical Workshops for Teachers
Patty Kirk


Morning Workshop: Making Poems within the Constraints of the Classroom

          Teacher participants will perform a selection of brief poetry emulation exercises and discuss/plan doing the same with their students.


Afternoon Workshop: “Attention, Taken to Its Highest Degree”: Generating Wonder and Nonfiction in the Classroom

          Nonfiction often gazes inward, especially in the hands of inexperienced writers. This workshop aims to inspire and assist teacher participants and, by extension, their students to scrutinize the world around them. We will visit Karl Ove Knausgård’s newly released Autumn, a collection of very brief, intensely attentive and unrevised epistolary essays for his unborn daughter. Then we'll do some writing ourselves and discuss how to develop wonder through scrutiny of small.

State of Arkansas Professional Development credit available.


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