Creative Writing Events Cancelled

As many of you have already heard, GCC and the Maricopa County Community Colleges District have taken steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These steps include the extension of spring break for students by one week, and the implementation of distance/online learning for our classes thereafter. If you are a student at GCC or another college within the district, please check your student email for official communication from the district.

As you might expect, then, we are cancelling/postponing all of our creative writing events for the foreseeable future. That includes:

  • The Humorous Poetry Contest & Traveler Celebratory Reading, currently scheduled for March 18th, has been postponed indefinitely.
  • Our student Writing Club will not meet. Use the Discord channel if you would like to stay in touch with each other and share work.
  • Our Saturday Workshop planned for March 21st has been cancelled. The April workshop is still TBD.

Details about rescheduling postponed events will be provided once they are available. If you have any questions about creative writing events at GCC, please contact jeffrey.baker@gccaz.edu.

Second Annual Humorous Poetry Contest!

Spring is near, and soon it will once again be time to be funny and make money. On March 18th, from 6PM to 8PM, students can compete for not one, but two awards for humorous poetry. First place in the Randy Smith Award will earn $100 and second place will earn $50.

As with last year, if you would like to participate, bring an original poem, read/perform it in front of our live and supportive audience, laugh at the hilarity of your peers, and possibly take home some extra cash. Participants will be afforded three minutes to read their work, and they must be registered GCC students. See the flyer below and direct any questions to jeffrey.baker@gccaz.edu.

Humorous Poetry Flyer-page-001

English Department Scholarships Due Soon!

Every year, the English Department at GCC gives out several scholarships. Most are worth $300 apiece, and all applications for these scholarships are due by the last day of February. Some of these scholarships have specific requirements, whereas others are open to just about anyone. And, there is a scholarship specifically for creative writing students! Please consider applying for as many scholarships as you like and/or as many you qualify for.

A full list of the English Department Scholarships, and instructions for how to apply,  can be found here. If you have any questions, direct them to jeffrey.baker@gccaz.edu.

money-2082383_1920

Traveler Literary Selections for 2019-2020

After two months of reading and deliberation, we are ready to announce the selections for Issue #53 of the Traveler, GCC’s Arts & Literary Magazine. Thank you to our student and community readers, and to our faculty judges. Thank you to everyone who submitted their creative work and who made these selections so difficult.With over 100 submissions, the process was highly competitive. We hope that those who were not selected this time around will submit again when he Traveler reopens for submissions in Fall.

The authors and stories listed below will be published in the new issue, due out in April 2020. We will also have a celebratory reading on March 18th, open to the public, where the authors can read their winning work.

Fiction

  • 1st Place: “Symbology” by Malka Daskal
  • 2nd Place: “Alone” by Shannon Fernando
  • 3rd Place: “Antimatter” by Malka Daskal
  • Honorable Mention: “Heart of Ice” by Dawn Gibbs

Creative Nonfiction

  • 1st Place: “Length of a Moment” by Taylor Boucher
  • 2nd Place: “The Third Generation” by Malka Daskal
  • 3rd Place: “A Tuesday Morning Apocalypse” by Taylor Boucher
  • Honorable Mention: “Worthless” by Dawn Gibbs

Poetry

  • 1st Place: “A Decade of Yesterdays” by Bette Griffen
  • 2nd Place: “Double-Edged” by Shannon Fernando
  • 3rd Place: “Stormy Love” by Angel Fletcher
  • Honorable Mention: “Timeless” by Cynthia Herda

One-Act Play/Drama

  • 1st Place: “Sugar Script” by Jacob Nguyen

New Contest: The Robert W. Miller Award for Love Poetry

We are proud to offer yet another contest for writers at GCC–and one with a monetary reward! Because the calendar has turned to February, and because February is so frequently associated with love and romance, this new contest focuses on love poetry. Thanks to a generous donation by GCC’s English Department Chair, David Miller, we are able to offer two students $100 for their original, creative work. The contest ends on March 1st. Full details and the submission form can be found here: The Robert W. Miller Award for Love Poetry.

Saturday Workshop: How To Whip Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is an all-too-frequent complaint from aspiring and professional writers of all genres. If it hasn’t hit you yet, it probably will sometime in your writing (or student) career — maybe sooner than later.

Hopefully you’ll recover. Somehow.  Some way.

The issue is what to DO about writer’s block when it does inevitably hit you.

None of us are immune to writer’s block. Unfortunately, never having been hit by writer’s Block, and/or having been hit by writer’s block once (or twice) does not make you immune to being hit with a case of writer’s Block in the future.

Let’s talk more about our dirty little secret disease and explore ways to eliminate writer’s block with Gary Lawrence, short story author and GCC CRW instructor.  Gary will present ten steps any writer can take to loosen the grip of writer’s block, building upon his Writerly Advice post on the same subject.

pexels-photo

Analyze and discuss Gary’s short story “Writer’s Block” in the second half of this participative workshop. Read the story HERE before coming to the workshop, or read the story at or before the workshop (copies provided). Gary will read the story out loud if enough time is available, and will field your  questions regarding the story and his writing process for this story from the author’s point of view.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided (BYOC = bring your own coffee or beverage).

  • What: How To Whip Writer’s Block, by Gary Lawrence
  • When: Saturday, February 8th from 9:30AM to 12:00PM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, Room LA-141
  • Why: Writer’s block is like termites around here: You either have them or you’re going to get them sometime soon.

 

Writerly Advice: Whip Writer’s Block Once and For All

Like death and taxes, perhaps, writer’s block is an all-too-common writer’s affliction that can be counted on to rear its ugly head in the worst of times.

But all is not hopeless. You can whip writer’s block by using a regular writing process – a series of steps, a procedure, a recipe, a plan — to achieve good results each and every time you write.

Without writer’s block.

pexels-photo-1268161

Continue reading

Saturday Workshop: Learning to Bleed on the Page with Style

Semesters grow so fast. One day, you’re semester-proofing the electrical outlets in your home, and the next day you have to pause your post-retirement remodel to weep over faded pencil marks on a doorframe meticulously tracking your once-young semester’s height. Where did the time go? Can this really be the final Saturday workshop for Fall 2019? Yes, yes it can. David Martinez describes the workshop’s focus below. As always, workshops are free and open to the public.

Everyone has a story to tell. True stories. Some of them are harrowing, some funny, some insane, but the fact is it doesn’t matter how harrowing, funny, and insane a story may be if it’s not told with style. It doesn’t matter how true. It’s unfortunate, but that doesn’t take away the veracity of the problem. What, then, do we do? We learn the best ways to tell our stories, we find that crucial and often eluding spot between emotion and craft, and we work. How well we tell our stories is as important as the stories themselves. How do we navigate? Join me as I begin to explore this question and search for what it means to tell our personal tales the way we need them to be told, the way they need to be told.

  • What: Learning to Bleed on the Page with Style, by David Martinez
  • When: Saturday, November 16th from 10AM to 12PM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, Room LA-141
  • Why: Because the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

pexels-photo-3034869

GCC’s Annual Poetry & Prose Slam

cantaloupe-42903_1280

Like a helicopter parent or a cantaloupe defiant of gravity, GCC’s Annual Poetry & Prose Slam draws closer–looms, one might say. Do you hear it? See it? Smell it? There is no ignoring the Slam. No pretending it isn’t there, nestled in your kitchen cabinets, between the cushions of your ride-share, in your Twitter mentions questioning the earnestness of your contributions. There will be no ducking, no hiding, no avoidant behavior of any kind.

And why would you want to avoid the Slam, especially when all it wants to do is award you with fame and money and expired chicken dinner coupons? Therefore, you are going to attend the Annual Poetry & Prose Slam. You are going to share a few of your original, creative pieces with a supportive audience and eager panel of judges. Open to the public, and with some free refreshments provided, there is no reason not to attend!

  • What: GCC’s Annual Poetry & Prose Slam
  • When: Wednesday, November 20th from 7:00PM to 8:30PM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, SU-104

Basic Rules of the Slam:

  • Arrive a few minutes before 7PM so you can sign up to compete.
  • Each round, read one original piece, keeping under the three-minute time limit. Performances that exceed this limit will have their scores penalized.
  • Expect at least two rounds, with the potential for more if time permits. Meaning, you can enter more than one piece in the competition, but always perform your best pieces first.
  • Once all competitors have read/performed their work, the judges will tabulate scores. The top three performers will earn $100, $50, and $25 prizes respectively.
  • Have fun!