Saturday Workshop: Who Are Your Characters?

Aaaaaaand, we’re back for the 2018-2019 academic year. If you’re a newly-subscribed follower of the blog, welcome! If you’ve been with us for a while, welcome back! If you have no idea why you’re on this page or receiving an email notification, consider our meeting destiny/fate/true love and be welcome too. For our first event of the year, Jeff Sanger is going to put on a free Saturday workshop. Description and details below. Hope to see you there!


Certainly, you have an idea who your story is about, but do you know what your protagonist’s favorite color is? If they were sentenced to death, what would they order for their last meal? Trivial considerations? Perhaps. But the better you, the author, know your characters, the more fully they come through on the page for your reader. And readers across all genres love vivid characters. But how do you learn more about your characters? Can your characters be further revealed to you as you write about them? Many writers believe they can.

Even if you know your characters well, the other challenge, of course, is delivering this information to your audience, making sure they understand who your characters really are. Page after page of exposition (telling) about your characters typically leads to a disinterested audience that puts the story down unfinished, that outcome every writer fears. How do you show your readers who your characters are?

Visit our characterization themed Saturday workshop to implement some proven techniques to learn more about your characters and bring them to life on the page.

  • What & Who: Who Are Your Characters?, with Jeff Sanger
  • When: Saturday, September 8th from 10:00AM to 12:00PM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, Room LA-141
  • Why: Power! Unlimited power!

Saturday Workshop: Using the Dramatic Arc

You’ve got a story to tell! You know what you want the audience to take away from your work. The question is, how do you keep them engaged along the way? Whether you’re writing a short story, a novel, or even a play, tightening up your plot using the dramatic arc as a guide can lead to greater reader engagement with your work. In this workshop we’ll learn about how the dramatic arc works and how you can use this knowledge to create a riveting plot in any work of fiction.

  • What & Who: Using the Dramatic Arc – How to Keep Your Audience on the Edge of Their Seats, with Jeff Sanger
  • When: Saturday, April 14th from 9:30AM to 11:30AM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, Room LA-141
  • Why: Kittens
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Open Mic: Featuring Mike MacDee

It’s taken several years, over thirty open mic readings, the tears of numerous children, an eye of newt, an uprooted and discolored patch of crabgrass, careful deconstruction of the lyrics of Phil Collins, and your credit card numbers, but we have finally achieved what we sought out to achieve with these open mics: a featured reader with the first name Mike. How could we possibly top this? (Incidentally, if you or someone you know goes by the name “Open” and is interested in a featured reader spot at March’s event, please contact us.)

Even if your name is something other than Mike, we still want you to show up, we still want you to share your creative work with us, and we still want you spend an hour or two commiserating with other creatives at GCC. We hope you’ll read, but if you’d rather listen to the works of others, that’s fine too. We don’t restrict content, so these events aren’t normally suited for young humans. Water and snacks with high sodium content might be provided.

  • What: Open Mic Event, Featuring Mike MacDee
  • When: Wednesday, February 21st from 7:00 to 8:30PM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, SU-104E
  • Why: Open mic events are how Phil Collins got started*

*Editor’s note: This probably isn’t true.


About the Featured Reader: Mike MacDee has been trapped in Arizona for as long as he can remember, not unlike General Zod was trapped in the Phantom Zone in Superman II. He even has a cool beard just like Zod. Unlike Zod, he is a pretty nice guy, and also a published author, cartoonist, comic author, and game designer who works with dogs as his day job. You can check out all of his projects at MikesToyBox.net!

Tonight: Poetry & Prose Slam

Don’t forget that tonight is our annual Poetry & Prose Slam. It’s a free and open competition to the public. Bring and read any of your short creative work–poems, flash fiction, song lyrics, whatever you have! There are monetary prizes for the top three performers/readers, as determined by a panel of judges. Either print out the registration form from our site, or show up a little early and fill a form out at the event.

  • What: The Annual Poetry & Prose Slam
  • When: Wednesday, November 15th from 7:00 to 9:00PM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, Room SU-104
  • Why: Money

The Poetry & Prose Slam Looms

  • What: The Annual Poetry & Prose Slam
  • When: Wednesday, November 15th from 7:00 to 9:00PM
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, Room SU-104
  • Why: Money

The final GCC CRW event for Fall 2017 draws near, and with it comes money. As we do every year, we’re concluding our event schedule with the Poetry & Prose Slam. Unlike our open mic events, the Slam is a competition, and as a competition, there will be prizes. Prizes, as in, money. We do not promise big, floppy checks, but we do promise letter-sized envelopes filled with prize money for the top three performers. Via a highly complex algorithm involving quality of writing and quality of performance, our illustrious judges will select these winners. Competitors can enter short stories, poetry, drama, essays, song lyrics, creative nonfiction, or any other kind of creative writing so long as you can read/perform it in three minutes or fewer! Time permitting, interested parties will be able to enter up to three separate pieces of writing.

In order to participate, you’ll need to fill out a simple entry form that you can download and print right here: Registration Form. Or, pick up a copy on campus from the English Department office in the 05 building. If you forget to grab a form, we’ll have extra entry forms available before the event begins.

So, come read, come perform, come listen, come get paid!

Witness Writing Workshop Tomorrow!

As Loverboy proudly declared in 1981, “Everybody’s working for the weekend.” Well, with Friday here, the weekend has arrived, so you can officially stop working. It’s true. Stop, right now.

Good.

Now, as all of you get to planning your sleep cycles and recreational activities and Netflix binging, leave room for tomorrow’s free creative writing workshop here at GCC.

Enjoy the weekend, and see you tomorrow!

District & GCC Writing Competitions

Friends. Fall is here, winter approaches, and with these seasons come the usual visitors: 90 to 100 degree weather, National Novel Writing Month, existential dread, and writing competitions within the Maricopa Community College District and here at GCC.

First up is Maricopa’s competition, which is open to all students within the Maricopa district. The contest accepts submissions in essay, fiction, one-act play/script, and poetry categories. The deadline for this contest is November 17th, 2017.  

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended to December 1st, 2017 by 10:59PM.

Read through the official entry guidelines and submit here: Creative Writing at MCCCD.


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Not to be outdone, GCC has our own writing contest through the Traveler, our arts and literary magazine. We accept the same genres as the district competition above–essay, fiction, one-act play/script, and poetry. Plus, we also accept submissions of flash fiction (500 words or fewer) as a separate category.

To read the full entry guidelines and submit your work, head here: Submissions


Don’t know which competition to submit to? Simple: submit to both.

Any work you enter into the district competition can also be entered in the Traveler competition, and the reverse is also true.

Problem solved. Now, get your work ready, polish it up, and submit!

Reminder: Open Mic & Kimberly Williams Tonight!

kwilliams-bookcoverDon’t forget that tonight (Wednesday, 10/18) GCC is hosting our October Open Mic event. This event is free and open to the public. Come share your own creative work, be it poetry, prose, or some other genre. Or, simply come listen to the creative endeavors of your peers and neighbors.

In addition to the Open Mic, poet Kimberly Williams will read from her new collection of poetry Finally, the Moon. She is our featured reader for the night, and will take to the stage after the Open Mic portion ends.

All of this begins at 7:00PM on the GCC Main Campus, in SU104. Follow the signs! We’ll have some light refreshments. Have questions? Contact Jeff Baker at jeffrey.baker@gccaz.edu.

September Open Mic: Featuring L.M. Reker & Traveler Winners

We know we’ve spent some time apart of late, Wednesday. First it was Tuesday that came between us, and then the summer months with their delirium-inducing heat. There arose in us the notion (far-fetched, we know that now) that Wednesday night readings were antiquated, a thing of the past, a glory day from a touch-too-long Springsteen concert, a near-real picture of you inside Robert Smith’s damp and neglected photo albums, Bryan Adams’ little-known second real six-string from 1972. As the great balladeers Skid Row once sang, “Remember yesterday, walking hand in hand. Love letters in the sand, I remember you.”

Well, Tuesday is gone, things done changed, and we remember you, Wednesday.

To celebrate the reborn commitment to our sacred union, we’re having a reading on–you guessed it–Wednesday. There’ll be an open mic, readings from our most recent Traveler winners, and excerpts from our featured reader L.M. Reker. Come to read, come to listen,  come to make semi-obscure references, come to dramatically perform lyrics to forgotten songs about love and nostalgia. There’s something for everyone!

  • When: Wednesday, September 20th from 7:00 to 9:00PM.
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, SU104.
  • Why: Because if society accepted Skid Row as artistic talents, it sure as hell will accept you!

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