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.

Writers’ Showcase

Listen to work written by Red Oak Penmonkey members.
Connect with others who love reading and writing.
Support local writers.

Kim Suhr
Jan Wilberg
Bruce Campbell
Donna Rewolinski
Myles Hopper
Marjorie Pagel
Dan Lanzdorf
Connie Malloy
Jim Nitz
Jeannee Sacken

Thursday, Nov 10, 2022  7 pm
420 S 1st St., Milwaukee, WI 53202 


Food and beverage available for purchase starting at 6 pm

We will accept cash donations to benefit Chudnayshun,  an organization dedicated to drug addiction solutions


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.




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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.

2023 Camp Dates

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

2023 Dates TBD
check back in Jan 2023

Mon – Fri, 9 am – 2:30 pm



Price: $400*
Registration deadline: June 30, 2022


Camps will be held at the Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wisconsin barring any changes to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. 

Masks and vaccinations are encouraged but not required. We want to keep our staff, our campers, and their families safe, so please stay home if you have symptoms of covid or have tested positive. (We’ll provide some fun at-home writing activities and keep campers as connected as possible through technology.) If you have had a close contact with someone who has Covid (but you don’t have symptoms AND have tested negative), we ask you to wear a mask and socially distance. (The room offers plenty of room for this!)

*If you need financial assistance, visit our website to learn how to apply

Refund policy



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. 

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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. 


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