Whose Point of View Is It Anyway?

with Janet Burroway

Sat. Apr 18, 2020

Point of View is the most complex element of fiction writing, the most difficult to understand and the most difficult to accomplish. It consists of many moving parts. And yet this skill is the first thing that announces to an editor the presence of an amateur or a pro.

This workshop will deal with the practice of point of view: How can you understand POV in the fiction of others and yourself? How do you choose what person to write in? How can you be consistent when the reader needs external information? Must you really be consistent? How can you show physically a character whose viewpoint we share? How do you show the backstory? How do you signal an unreliable narrator? How do you make one sympathetic?

The method will be a combination of practicum—analyzing published passages—writing prompts and Q&A.

9:30 am – noon

Online using Zoom

To use Pay Pal, click on the class fee below*.

$50

$45 (current Roundtable participants, students & WWA members)

*Please complete the registration form, too.

To register by mail, complete form & send check to: Red Oak Writing, PO Box 342, Genesee Depot, WI 53127

kim@redoakwriting or 414-881-7276 for info

Janet Burroway is the author eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk, Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. Her Writing Fiction, the most widely used creative writing text in America, recently appeared in a 10th edition from the University of Chicago Press; and Imaginative Writing is in its 4th edition. Her plays, including Medea With Child, Sweepstakes, Morality Play (a musical), and Headshots, have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Chicago; and her memoir Losing Tim appeared in 2014. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University and was chosen for the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Writing Award by the Florida Humanities Council.

Setting: Where Are We Anyway?

CLASS IS FULL, please  join us for other Craft & Publishing Workshops!

with Deb Brenegan
Saturday, Jan 25
(make-up for snow cancellation–there are still a couple openings)

Eudora Welty said of setting that it is the writerly element that “saves her.”  She calls it both a definer and a confiner of story.  Many writers agree that setting is a crucial component of any good piece of fiction, but beginning writers sometimes think of setting strictly as flowery descriptions of raindrops on elm trees or velvet parlor ornaments. Setting can do so much more than describe place. It can develop character, augment conflict, and reinforce theme.  In this session, we’ll explore the uses of setting and  practice techniques to make setting work on multiple levels.

In the workshop, we will explore how to:

~overcome resistance to writing about setting
~establish atmosphere, tone, and mood
~use setting as symbol
~create harmony & conflict between character and place

We will also have a hands-on exercise to explore the power of writing about setting.

9:30 am – noon

Red Oak Writing ~ 11709 W. Cleveland Ave, West Allis

To use Pay Pal, click on the class fee below.

$50

$45 (current Roundtable participants, students & WWA members)

To register by mail, complete form & send check to: Red Oak Writing, PO Box 342, Genesee Depot, WI 53127

kim@redoakwriting or 414-881-7276 for info

Debra Brenegan earned a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and serves as the creative writing director for the LOTUS Untold Stories Program. She taught for 30 years in higher education, most recently as an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI.  She’s received a Ragdale residency and was a recent finalist for: Glimmer Train’s Family Matters Short Story prize, the Snake Nation Press’s Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for a short-story collection, the John Gardner Memorial Fiction Prize, the Cincinnati Review’s Schiff Prose Prize, and the Crab Creek Review Fiction Prize. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart prize and has been published in Calyx, Tampa Review, Natural Bridge, The Laurel Review, Cimarron Review, Phoebe, RE:AL, The Southern Women’s Review, Knee-Jerk, Literary Orphans, and elsewhere. Her novel, Shame the Devil was named a finalist for Foreword Reviews 2011 Book of the Year Award for Historical Fiction.

Featured Author: Kim Suhr

On Sunday, October 29th the Broadway Theatre Center’s lobby will be filled with published Wisconsin authors before, during, and after performances of Renaissance Theaterworks’ production of SEX WITH STRANGERS. The authors appearing from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday are: Cari Taylor-Carson, Christi Craig, Kathy Lanzarotti, Mel Miskimen, Pam Parker, Lisa Rivero, and Kim Suhr. They represent memoir, non-fiction, humor, and short stories.

As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance (RTW) asked them questions related to their writing and some of the conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason.

Kim Suhr

RTW: Can you describe your current book? What genre is it? What do you like about that genre? And what other kinds of writing do you do?

KIM: Maybe I’ll Learn is a collection of sometimes poignant, sometimes funny pieces about the early days of parenting. It’s always fun learn which of the essays resonated with individual readers. They share their own stories with me, and soon we don’t feel quite so alone (or incompetent!). I currently write fiction, and I’m searching for a publishing home for my short story collection, Nothing to Lose & Other Stories.

 

RTW: How important is it to you that your friends, your partner, your family members read and like your writing?

KIM: I’d like to say not important at all, but those people have fantastic taste, so the corollary if they don’t like it…well, enough said.

 

RTW: Are you traditionally published or self-published? What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

KIM: Maybe I’ll Learn is self-published, though I have other individual stories that were published through the traditional submission-editorial process. I love the control that self-publishing gives writers. We get last say on the cover, the edits, the price. Everything. The flipside of this control, however, is the responsibility that goes with it–specifically marketing-wise. Most writers I know aren’t particularly keen on singing their own praises, and I’m no different (as evidenced by that last statement).

KIM SUHR is the author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom and Director of Red Oak Writing, which supports writers through workshops, critique groups and author readings. Kim’s work has appeared most recently in Literally StoriesThe Other Stories PodcastFamily Stories from the Attic (Hidden Timber Books, 2017) and other publications. She holds an MFA in fiction. (kimsuhr.com)

 

Follow these links to learn more about: Renaissance Theaterworks, SEX WITH STRANGERS, & Wisconsin Romance Writers.

 

 

Featured Author/Editor: Kathy Lanzarotti

On Sunday, October 29th the Broadway Theatre Center’s lobby will be filled with published Wisconsin authors before, during, and after performances of Renaissance Theaterworks’ production of SEX WITH STRANGERS. The authors appearing from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday are: Cari Taylor-Carson, Christi Craig, Kathy Lanzarotti, Mel Miskimen, Pam Parker, Lisa Rivero, and Kim Suhr. They represent memoir, non-fiction, humor, and short stories.

 

As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance (RTW) asked them questions related to their writing and some of the conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason.

Kathy Lanzarotti

Done Darkness: A collection of stories, poetry, and essays about life beyond sadness is an anthology about the triumph of hope over hopelessness for those with depression or other mental illness. These narratives, from multiple award-winning authors, reflect the daily battle with various forms of depression: clinical, postpartum, and reactive, just to name a few. Real life plays out on the pages, depicting empty nests, grief, missing children, contemplating suicide, postpartum anxiety and more. Readers will connect, think, laugh, and maybe shed a sympathetic tear while gaining a better understanding of their own experiences or perhaps of a loved one.

RTW: What inspired you to write? What kinds of fiction genres do you like reading?

Kathy: I was a quiet kid which meant I spent a lot of time observing and I noticed all of these little dramas unfolding around me and they got more interesting as I got older. These little everyday stories are the stuff of literary fiction which is my preference, although I also love horror and spy novels.

RTW: What would it mean to you to see your book for sale in an airport terminal shop?

Kathy: I think that seeing my book out in the wild would mean that it was an official book, one worthy of reaching the masses. But, as authors, we do what we can. I must confess that I have on more than one occasion slid a copy of Done Darkness into a hotel bookshelf, and there is a copy currently floating around France on a river boat.

Kathy Lanzarotti is the co-editor of the anthology Done Darkness. Her work has appeared in Creative Wisconsin and (b)OINK zine. She is a WRWA Jade Ring Award winner for short fiction.

Follow these links to learn more about: Renaissance Theaterworks, SEX WITH STRANGERS, Wisconsin Romance Writers.

 

 

Featured Author/Editor: Lisa Rivero

On Sunday, October 29th the Broadway Theatre Center’s lobby will be filled with published Wisconsin authors before, during, and after performances of Renaissance Theaterworks’ production of SEX WITH STRANGERS. The authors appearing from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday are: Cari Taylor-Carson, Christi Craig, Kathy Lanzarotti, Mel Miskimen, Pam Parker, Lisa Rivero, and Kim Suhr. They represent memoir, non-fiction, humor, and short stories.

As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance (RTW) asked them questions related to their writing and some of the conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERSZ by Laura Eason.

Lisa Rivero

RTW: Can you describe your current book? What genre is it? What do you like about that genre? And what other kinds of writing do you do?

LISA: Recently I co-edited (with Christi Craig) and published an anthology of creative nonfiction, essays, and found poetry titled Family Stories from the Attic. Collaborating with Christi, who did the bulk of the editing, was a dream, and we both were fortunate to work with twenty-two generous, talented authors from around the United States and New Zealand. The book’s concept was to showcase writing as a way to understand more fully our personal and collective pasts, by writing about objects such as diaries, letters, photographs, notebooks—even a set of family silver. Given the diversity of approaches and backgrounds of the submissions we accepted, we were delightfully surprised at how well the collection held together as a whole.

In addition to publishing, I have written non-fiction books, essays, articles, and fiction, and I’m currently doing a kind of (later than) mid-life pivot to focus on writing speculative fiction and poetry.

 

RTW: What inspired you to write? What kinds of fiction genres do you like reading?

LISA: For as long as I can remember, I knew I would be a writer, even when I was making my own childhood poetry chapbooks on construction paper, tied together with yarn. Over the years, that persistent beacon has taken several forms, from being a journalism and then English major, to technical writing, teaching composition to budding engineers, writing a food and wellness column, and writing about psychological topics. I love to read almost anything (including old-fashioned hard cover encyclopedias), but really enjoy quirky authors, such as George Saunders, Flannery O’Connor, and Haruki Murakami, as well as science fiction, fantasy, poetry, and all stories and novels that offer a glimpse into parts of the universe—real or imagined—that I previously did not know.

 

RTW: Have you ever been tempted to use initials to disguise your gender as a writer?

LISA: As I’m making the transition to trying my hand at more speculative fiction, I’ve thought about using initials or a gender-neutral pseudonym, as that’s a genre does seem to experience some gender-bias, and also to make a more defined transition from one aspect of my writing career to another. Right now, however, I’m leaning towards using my real name, whether from laziness or principle.

Lisa Rivero is the co-editor (with Christi Craig) and publisher of Family Stories from the Attic (Hidden Timber Books), an anthology of essays, creative nonfiction, and poetry inspired by family letters, objects, and archives. Lisa has written professionally for over two decades and taught college writing and creative thinking courses at the Milwaukee School of Engineering for many years. The author of four non-fiction books, a middle-grade historical novel, and several articles and essays, she is currently focusing on writing poetry and speculative fiction.

Featured Author: Pam Parker

On Sunday, October 29th the Broadway Theatre Center’s lobby will be filled with published Wisconsin authors before, during, and after performances of Renaissance Theaterworks’ production of SEX WITH STRANGERS. The authors appearing from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday are: Cari Taylor-Carson, Christi Craig, Kathy Lanzarotti, Mel Miskimen, Pam Parker, Lisa Rivero, and Kim Suhr. They represent memoir, non-fiction, humor, and short stories.

 

As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance (RTW) asked them questions related to their writing and some of the conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason.

Pam Parker

RTW: Can you describe your current book? What genre is it? What do you like about that genre? And what other kinds of writing do you do?

PAM: The book, DONE DARKNESS, is an anthology, a collection of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. I like anthologies for the variety of the writing, but understand it’s not a high-sales genre. Within the anthology, my piece is an essay, which I also performed as an audio essay on Lake Effect on Milwaukee Public Radio, WUWM. In addition to essays and creative nonfiction, I have also published short fiction, including excerpts from my novel, which is not yet published.

 

RTW: What inspired you to write? What kinds of fiction genres do you like reading?

PAM: I’ve written, and read, for most of my life. My first diary, when I was nine years old, was a small one with a lock and psychedelic flowers in pinks and yellows on the cover (very 1969). Throughout my school years, I enjoyed writing for myself and for school. My teachers often read my essays and stories aloud to my classes. I was shy then and while this embarrassed me, it also helped me gain some confidence about my writing. So, though I write often, I didn’t think of myself as a writer until my early forties when I left teaching due to illness.

My favorite fiction genre to read in is literary fiction. I adore the slower pace and character-driven stories of Marilynne Robinson, Elizabeth Strout and Kent Haruf.

 

RTW: How heavily does “New York Times Best Seller” weigh in an author’s favor? Will that sell books? Make your book legitimate? Make you a legitimate author?

PAM: Being on the NYT Best Seller list of course weighs in an author’s favor as that placement does affect many readers’ choices and some book clubs. Obviously, it helps sell books. I don’t consult the NYT list as I’m more interested in word-of-mouth and Goodreads reviews for determining what I will read. I don’t think landing on the prized list bears any weight on a book or an author’s legitimacy. An author is a creator, an artist, and awards, prizes or lists can enhance an author’s reputation, but legitimacy? I don’t think so. If an author has had a publication, which was vetted, meaning chosen and selected from among other submissions by a reputable publisher, then said author is legitimate in my opinion.

 

Pam Parker is a New England native who calls suburban Milwaukee, WI home. Her work has appeared in numerous print and online publications and has been featured on WUWM, a Wisconsin Public Radio Affiliate. She co-edited the anthology, DONE DARKNESS, about surviving depression. She tries to chip away at the stigma of mental illness by being open about her personal struggles. She has received awards from the WI Broadcasting Association, the WI Writers Association and the WI Academy of Arts, Sciences & Letters. Learn more about Pam and her work at pamwrites.net.

Follow these links to learn more about: Renaissance Theaterworks, SEX WITH STRANGERS, Wisconsin Romance Writers.

 

Writers’ Showcase

Listen to work written by Roundtable participants.
Connect with others who love reading and writing.
Support local writers.

Judy Bates
Jim Nitz
Lynne Austin
Darlene Junker
Laurel Landis
Jennifer Rupp
Jennifer Vanderheyden
Mark Lucius
Carolyn Toms-Neary
Marjorie Pagel

Thursday, April 15 on Zoom   7 pm   (CT)

The event is free
but registration is necessary 

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0tfuiurjorHNfqWNvVX81W7yfgrN07XcsG

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Red Oak for Schools

Choose from the programs described below:


school visit 1Pizzazz! Sparking Ideas for Creative Writers

Nothing to write about?!? Impossible! In “Pizzazz!” writers will participate in activities and exercises that “wake up” the creative side of their brains and open up a world of writing ideas. Ideas are all around us if we train our eyes to see them. (Teachers will come away with loads of writing ideas and topics, too!)

 

 

The Book You Publish Tomorrow Begins Todayschool visit 3

It’s time to begin your book, so put on your jacket — your book jacket, that is. In this engaging workshop, participants will learn what other young authors have published and participate in creative exercises to help them focus their great ideas into book-worthy material. Whether they like to write poetry, fiction or non- fiction, this workshop will give young writers a sense of direction and a plan for making their writing dreams come true.

 

school visit 2

Writers’ Circles and Deep Revision

Moving beyond simple “peer editing,” this workshop trains young writers to give, receive and use feedback to make their writing come alive for their readers.

 

 

 

Custom ProgramRO 26

The instructor will craft a program that meets your group’s specific needs.

Rate: $350 for a half-day, $500 for a full day. (25 students at a time. Add $15/student for additional participant.) The rate includes prep time, mileage (within 30 miles of Milwaukee), materials and instruction. Call 414.881.7276 or email: kim(at)redoakwriting.com to learn more and schedule your workshop.

 


Instructor: Kim Suhr
is the Director of Red Oak Writing and the author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom. She leads the Red Oak Creative Writing Camps in the summer and Teen Writers’ Circles during the school year. Kim holds English and Education degrees as well as an MFA in fiction.

2021 Camp Dates

**We’re sorry. Camp registration for 2021 is closed. Please try us again next year.**

 

 

A glorious week with others like you who love to write!

Each week is a stand-alone session, but some campers attend both weeks for their age group because they love it so much. To stay up-do-date on camp status, please sign up for our eNewsletter list

 

For Writers Entering Gr. 6-8 (In Person*)
(Sorry, no registrations accepted after July 15)
July 26 – 30, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

For Writers Entering Gr. 9-12 (In Person*)
(Sorry, no registrations accepted after July 15)
Aug 2 – 6, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Price
$375 

*In-Person Camps will be held at the Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wisconsin; however, because the situation with Covid-19 is always changing, we may find that we need to shift from face-to-face to online. If this happens before camp begins and you no longer want to participate in the camp, we will refund your tuition. (Though we hope you’ll stay, of course!) Also be aware, there is the slight possibility that we’d need to shift online after camp has begun. Unfortunately, if this happens, we will be unable to refund your tuition.

We want to keep our staff, our campers, and their families safe, so we appreciate your flexibility during this uncertain time.

What safety precautions will be in place?

To Register

Step 1: Print, Complete and Mail Red Oak Youth Reg Form 2021

A signed paper copy of the registration form is required for ALL campers regardless of their form of payment.

Step 2: Send Payment

Pay online using credit card

Use Venmo: @Kim-Suhr-2

OR

Send Check & Reg Form to:

Red Oak Writing,
PO Box 342
Genesee Depot, WI 53127

 

Creative Writing Camps for youth entering grades 6-12

Time, Space, Support, Community…

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Led by accomplished writing coaches who tailor activities to the age and interests of each group, Creative Writing Camps provide young writers with the time, space, support, and community they need to nurture their passion for writing.

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Each day includes some light-hearted activities, age-appropriate lessons on the craft of writing and, best of all, time to write. The grounds outdoors provide a lovely setting for gathering inspiration and listening to the writer within. We work outdoors as much as the weather will allow. (For online camps, writers are encouraged to find a special outdoor location near their homes for solitude and inspiration.)

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During the week, our writers share their work with others in a small writing circle to receive valuable input and support. Many list this as their favorite part of the week because they may not have writing friends at school or in their neighborhood. Friendships form quickly and last beyond the end of our week at camp.

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On Friday, young writers present a reading of their favorite writings. Participation is optional. Friends and family are encouraged to attend. (Due to the pandemic, this will be done virtually in 2021.) 

 

Use the drop-down menu under “For Youth” to learn more