October. The moodiest of months. So dark. So brooding. With its long hair and Black Sabbath t-shirt. Its worn jeans and Judd Nelson tattoo that, with age, now looks like Al Pacino or wrinkled fruit or a wrinkled Al Pacino eating fruit. Welcome, October. Welcome the pop-up costume stores filled with glowing skeletons and child-sized Avengers and sexy iterations on mundane professions and forest critters and root vegetables. Embrace the candy, cast out the raisin-givers and the unprepared. Admire the faux spiderwebs spread across porches and balconies and tree-limbs. Visit, with perverse interest, the darker places of the world: graveyards, abandoned buildings, Walmart, and (you had to see this coming) GCC’s Main Campus on the morning of October 19th from 10AM to noon.
And why visit such a dark and dreary place as GCC on a Saturday? Because we’re having a writing workshop, of course. Our second of the year. Details below!
Whether you’re writing a memoir, a short story, or a novel, your story has a setting, a place where the events of the story happen. Your readers rely on you to provide some specific details about the setting so they can begin creating the scenes in their minds. But how much detail should you give? And where? And how might the answers to those questions depend on the kind of story you want to tell? Come to this workshop to discuss these and other important questions about your story’s setting.
Saturday workshops are free and open to the public. Water will be providing–begrudgingly. Also, maybe, treats.
While we here at GCC and in Maricopa have our own writing contests, we’d be remiss not to draw your attention to the numerous other opportunities you have elsewhere. One of these contests is hosted within our very state at the Tucson Festival of Books, and the deadline looms. Here are some details:
Hello. Is it us you’re looking for? Good. Good. Despite rumors to the contrary, the operators of this site are neither dead nor sacked, and they are (in fact) planning your doom a brand new series of Saturday Workshops and content posts for the 2019-2020 academic year. The first of those Saturday Workshops is just around the proverbial corner–assuming that corner is September 21st. Do you see it? Lurking. Waiting (a little too impatiently for our tastes, mind you). Standing outside your window with an (obviously) Bluetooth-capable Bose speaker over its head, blasting [insert modern-day romantic music here] like that one guy did in that movie long, long ago. He even wore a trench coat. It was pretty sweet. Do you know what else is sweet? Transitions.
In the first Saturday workshop of the new academic year, we will discuss what traits make a complex and compelling villain. Attendees will evaluate villains in film and literature and examine the often complicated relationship between antagonist and protagonist while using writing strategies to create their own caustic characters. Everyone leaves with a bad guy!
Saturday workshops are free and open to the public. Sometimes, water bottles and store-bought pastries spontaneously generate right there in the room.
What: Writing Vivid Villains with Jayme Cook
When: Saturday, September 21st from 10AM to 12PM
Where: GCC Main Campus, Room LA-141
Why:Give us your heart Attend the workshop. We’ll give you a pen We’ll help you craft a villain.
April is national poetry month, and this Saturday morning workshop will celebrate poetry! Poem in Your Pocket Day is part of the National Poetry month celebration, and we are going to celebrate this day at GCC. Come to this workshop with a poem in your pocket–or in your purse, your backpack, your hand. However you bring it doesn’t really matter, but choose a poem that can fit on one page. It can be a poem that you or someone else has written. Our task will be to analyze the short poem–the pocket-length poem–to see how it works. What techniques do poets use to impact the reader in a short space? We will explore the answers to this question and try a few techniques of our own.
All of our Saturday Workshops are free and open to the public.
We are just a few days away from our Humorous Poetry Contest and our celebratory reading for the 2018-2019 Traveler winners. A few of our literary winners from this year’s Traveler will lead off the night, sharing their winning work. Afterwards, participants in the Humorous Poetry Contest will read/perform their funniest, most creative poetry, making us laugh and smile and snort.
Come to compete, come to listen, come to support this great opportunity for the GCC writing community!
What: Humorous Poetry Contest (The Randy Smith Award for Humorous Poetry)
When: Wednesday, March 6th from 7 to 9PM
Where: GCC Main Campus, in SU-104 (A, B, C)
Why: First place wins $100
This event is free and open to the public, but contest participants must be GCC students. We do not restrict the subjects of creative works.
What do your characters want? What do they really want? What pushes them through their narratives? What are the motives for the crazy shenanigans that they get themselves into? What are the motivations behind their motivations?
Our characters may not know the answers to these questions, but we should. In fact, if we want them to be believable and relatable we have to know them and understand them better than they know and understand themselves. Let’s pick apart some fictional personas together so that we can try and understand what makes them tick—and in the process, try to learn what makes our own characters tick.
Saturday workshops are free and open to the public. Often, low-cost, yet impressive pastries will be provided.
What: What Do Your Characters Want? with David Martinez
When: Saturday, March 2nd from 10AM to 12PM
Where: GCC Main Campus, Room LA-141
Why: Did you see the line about low-cost pastries?
It is with great pleasure that we announce the literary selections for the 2018-2019 issue of Traveler, GCC’s Arts & Literary Magazine. From roughly 100 submissions, the following pieces have been selected for publication:
First Place: Charlie Bickel for “Creosote”
Second Place: Jordan Johnson for “Free Tea Day”
Third Place: Persephone Pilibossian for “The Price of Fitness”
First Place: Malka Daskal for “Princes in All the Earth”
Second Place: Mindee Bahr for “Without Child”
Third Place: Raushan Mateen for “The Library of Peace”
Honorable Mention: Dawn Gibbs for “Hatching Day”
Honorable Mention: Lynne MacVean for “Memorette Gum”
First Place: Persephone Pilibossian for “Reaching”
Second Place: Persephone Pilibossian for “What is Due”
Third Place: Jordan Johnson for “Mile Marker Eleven”
Honorable Mention: Cynthia Herda for “Got Faith?”
Honorable Mention: Cynthia Herda for “Imagine the Wind”
Our student staff, judges, and coordinator would like to express what an honor it has been to read all of the submissions. For those that were not selected for publication this time, please know that we value the opportunity to review your work, and we hope you will submit again for our next issue. Submissions will open up once more in Fall 2019.
We hope everyone joins Traveler staff and our literary selections for a celebratory reading on March 6th, from 7 to 9PM in SU-104 (GCC Main). Our student writers will read from their winning work. Also that night we will be holding a competition for our Randy Smith Award in Humorous Poetry (read more about that here). Between our Traveler readers and our humorous poetry competitors, we hope to have a fun and rewarding celebration of the creativity here at Glendale Community College.
The 2018-2019 issue will be available in print later this Spring. Thank you to all who submitted, and congratulations, once more, to our winners.
I’m interested in reading and analyzing literary prose or poetry.
I’m interested in writing literary prose or poetry.
I’m interested in writing better literary prose or poetry.
I’ve tried reading literary fiction — but some/most of it goes over my head.
I’ve tried creative writing — but struggle to put the good ideas in my head down on paper.
I have to/want to take a literature or creative writing course — but the idea scares me to death.
If one or more of these statements resonate with you, or describes you and your current situation, come to our Saturday CRW Workshop February 9 to learn some writing/reading “secrets” that will improve your reading, your writing, and your quality of life.
MFA and GCC Creative Writing Instructor Gary Lawrence will lead a very participative workshop on “getting more” out of any literature – either more entertainment and appreciation, or more tools to help make you a better reader and creative writer (the two are intimately connected). We’ll use a 10-question reusable template to “break open” a prose short story – and then use this same short story as an example of points made. Time permitting, we’ll use a second short story to “test” your understanding and application of the ideas presented.
Among the things we’ll explore in this two-hour workshop are:
A creative writer’s mantra: “Read like a writer. Write for the reader.”
Ten standard questions to ask to get more out of any literary piece (the keys to the “science” behind a better literary analysis and uncovering more writing tools).
The difference between a literary analysis (understanding better/quicker what a piece “means”) and a creative writing analysis (discovering writing craft methods to write better yourself).
Reading comprehension level, and why it matters.
The workshop plan includes a mix of presentation, reading, analysis, discussion and (at least a little) writing. You’ll walk away with the reusable 10-question template, a better understanding of how literature “works,” and a few tips to make you a better writer. Literary critics or writers of any genre will benefit from the methods, techniques, and ideas presented and discussed. The workshop is free and open to the public.
Gary Lawrence currently teaches creative writing online for GCC: Introduction to Creative Writing (CRW150), Introduction to Writing Fiction (CRW170), and Intermediate Fiction Writing (CRW270). Until recently he also taught composition courses at GCC and at Cochise College (Sierra Vista). Gary’s also a prize-winning, published short story author (Feast,Rockford Writer’s Guild, Short Story America, Four Chambers, Mirage, Canyon Voices). In 2011 Gary earned an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He issued his first collection of short stories, Baffled, in 2013. He is currently working on a second story collection.