Which of these statements describes you best?
- I like reading for fun.
- 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.
- Who: Gary Lawrence, MFA – GCC Instructor
- What: How to “Get More” Out of Any Literature
- When: Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 10:00 am to noon
- Where: Language Arts building, GCC Campus (LA 141)
- Why: Because this workshop will make you a better reader, writer, and person.
Workshop materials and handouts:
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.
A week ago, we hosted our annual Poetry & Prose Slam competition. During the night, numerous competitors read and performed the best of their poetry as well as their flash and short fiction. It took three rounds, nearly two hours, and a surprising amount of math to determine the victors. Congratulations to:
- First Place: JJ Gathings
- Second Place: Francisco Ayón
- Third Place: Lynne MacVean
Thank you to the many participants, to our judges, to Laura White for hosting, and to those that simply came to listen and support our community of writers. We hope to see all of you, and more, in February for our Traveler readings and for a new competition for comedic poetry. Stay tuned to the GCCAZCRW blog for more information.
- What: The Annual Poetry & Prose Slam
- When: Wednesday, November 14th from 7:00 to 9:00PM
- Where: GCC Main Campus, Room SU-104
- Why: Money, vague threats involving Mountain Dew (see below)
The Poetry & Prose Slam is upon us, looming on the horizon like a bird or a sun or a hitchhiker you’re desperately trying to avoid locking eyes with. Well, it’s too late. We see you. Sitting there, all comfortable and “mobile” in your Ford F-150s and your Toyota Priuses and your non-descript mountain bikes. Listen, either you pull over now or we follow you back to your house, tip over your refrigerator, and soak all your dish towels in Mountain Dew Code Red.
What we’re trying to say here, figuratively, is that you should attend this event.
More than that, you should read and compete in this event. Bring your original and creative writing–poetry, short fiction or nonfiction, song lyrics, and any other genre we haven’t listed that you can read in about three minutes or less. Read it before our friendly, Mountain-Dew-drinking judges and guests, and then maybe win a little money. It’s not often we get paid for our creative work, after all, so take advantage.
In order to participate, you’ll need to fill out a simple entry form that you can download and print right here: Registration Form. If you forget to grab a form, no worries, we’ll have extra entry forms available at the event. The slam is open to everyone, student and non-student alike.
With October behind us, it’s time to look at all the great November events and news relevant to CRW at GCC.
Spring classes are open and ready to be filled. We have our usual stalwarts of CRW150, CRW160, and CRW170. Plus, we also have more unique and special offerings like CRW202: Witness Writing and CRW251 – Worldbuilding. Whether you’ve taken courses with us before, or you’re thinking of taking that first step, we have plenty to offer. See our full list of offerings and course descriptions here: Spring 2019 Classes.
Our final Saturday workshop for Fall 2018 lands this weekend on November 3rd. Laura White, in all her clever glory, presents Fight Die Love: The Hardest Scenes to Write. In this workshop, which is free and open to all, Laura will talk about scene doctoring, making sure you get the most out of your prose, be it short-form fiction, long-form fiction, or creative nonfiction.
Our annual Poetry & Prose Slam falls on Wednesday, November 14th from 7 to 9PM. Come read your work, come win some money, and come have fun at GCC after dark. The competition is open to the public, GCC student and non-student alike. There’s money on the line! Stay tuned for more details and guidelines, coming very soon.
The Magical Library writing competition, put on by the kind and creative folks in GCC’s library, ends on Friday, November 2nd. They’re accepting short fiction, flash fiction, and poetry incorporating the theme of “magical library”–all interpretations welcome, but only GCC students may submit.
The Traveler, GCC’s Arts & Literary Magazine, is still accepting submissions for this year’s issue. The Traveler accepts short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and one-act plays, but only GCC students may enter. The deadline is November 18th! For full guidelines, and to submit online, head here: Submit to the Traveler!
And not to be outdone, the Maricopa Community Colleges are holding an even bigger contest: The District Writing Competition. If you’re a student at any of Maricopa’s community colleges, you’re eligible to enter. Much like The Traveler, you can submit your short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and one-act plays. So, whatever you decide to submit to the Traveler you should also submit to the District Writing Competition! Enter here!
Know of a creative writing or artistic event taking place in November? Let us know and we’ll add it to the calendar.
As everyone goes through the process of determining their Spring schedules and registering for classes, we’d like to highlight some of our special creative offerings. The first course we’d like to spotlight is CRW202 – Witness Writing. This is an online course, taught by Kimberly Williams. View the flyer below for more information, and contact Professor Williams for questions, or if you have any trouble registering.
The GCC Libraries seek your creative writing submissions on the theme “Magical Library.” Enter your flash fiction, short fiction, or poetry submissions for publication on the GCC Library website and a small prize. What is “magical” to you, and how might magic manifest (either literally or figuratively) in a library setting? Let your imagination loose! All genres welcome. The deadline is November 2nd.
To review the full submission guidelines, and to submit online, head here: https://guides.gccaz.edu/creativewriting/writersconnect
Did you know that frogs, like birds, have migratory patterns? It’s true. Each year, as summer gives way to autumn, frogs travel north. Sometimes for business meetings, and other times for academic conferences and awards ceremonies and predatory debt collecting and spas and definitely-not-extra-marital-affairs. Did you hear that, Diane? Definitely. Not. Extra. Marital. Affairs. You’re being ridiculous. Call the hotel.
And the frog has a suitcase.
And the suitcase has wheels.
As we work through the final weeks of Spring 2018, we encourage everyone to take advantage of our special April events. The last reading for Spring 2018 is Wednesday, April 18th from 7PM to 9PM outside GCC’s Student Union. There are more details in the flyer below.