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.
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.
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.
The Artists of Promise Creative Writing Competition has been extended a couple days to November 21st. If you have trouble submitting over the weekend, go in now to submit! Remember that it’s free to submit your fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or drama/one-act play,. Open to all students in the Maricopa Community Colleges. Submit here!
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
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!
With numerous competitions, workshops, and readings, November promises to be a busy month for creative writers at GCC and around the valley. Here’s a quick list of important dates and events:
November 4th: GCC is holding a series of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) writing sessions in the library. The first session is November 4th from 4PM to 5:30PM in L-138. Additional sessions will take place on November 12th, November 18th, and November 25th. Full flier here.
November 15th & November 22nd: ASU is offering scholarships for their Desert Nights & Rising Stars conference. While the conference will be held in spring, scholarship applications are due this month! More details here.
November 16th: GCC is hosting its third and final Saturday Workshop for this semester. David Martinez presents “Learning to Bleed on the Page with Style.” The workshop runs from 10AM to 12PM and is free/open to the public.
November 18th: The Maricopa County Community Colleges District is holding a creative writing competition where winners both get published and paid. The new deadline for this competition is Monday, November 18th. Read all about this Artists of Promise competition here.
November 19th: Mesa Community College is hosting Tiffany Midge for their Literary Reading Series. Midge is a bestselling author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and she will read from her book Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s. The reading begins at 7PM and will be held in the Mesa Community College Art Gallery.
November 20th: GCC is hosting its annual Poetry & Prose Slam. Participants share their original, creative work (poems, very short fiction or prose) to a live audience and a panel of judges. The top three participants earn monetary prizes! This event is free and open to the public.
November 30th: GCC’s Library is holding a Fabulous First Chapter Contest and the deadline lands on the final day of November. This competition is open only to GCC students. Full details can be found here.
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) looms and GCC is taking part. Interested in writing a novel? See the flyer below for more details on how to get involved in GCC’s events, get support for your own writing, and how to enter the Fabulous First Chapter Contest sponsored by GCC’s Library.
Each year, the Maricopa Community Colleges hold district-wide arts competitions and celebrations. A writing contest is part of these celebrations, and as writers, you are contractually obligated to submit your creative work to this contest. It’s right there in the fine print, if you look close enough, beneath the bits about imprisonment for tearing mattress labels and how breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Winning this competition not only results in publication in the district’s annual Passages magazine, but also a monetary award. Writers who place first, second, and third receive $300, $200, and $100 dollars respectively. First Place winners will be entered in the National Student Literary Competition sponsored by the League for Innovation.
Much like GCC’s Traveler competition, the district accepts work from four genres (listed below). To review the guidelines in depth, and to submit your work, follow this link: https://events.maricopa.edu/event/artists-promise-creative-writing.
The deadline is November 18th, 2019! (Updated)
- Essay: 2,000 words
- Fiction: 3,000 words
- One-Act Play/Script: 3,000 words including stage direction and/or production notes
- Poetry: 67 lines
ASU is generously offering scholarships for attendees and presenters at their annual Desert Nights, Rising Stars conference next spring. Applications for their Open Scholarships and College Student Scholarships are rapidly approaching–November 15th and November 22nd respectively. For a list of all available scholarships, click here.
The BSU is hosting an open mic night on Friday, October 25th. The “open” portion of the night begins at 6:30PM and runs until 8:00PM. Come sing, dance, or read to a supportive and energetic crowd. Find the festivities in SU104D – SU104E on GCC’s Main Campus.