“What’s Your Story?” is the theme of the 2014 Story Catcher Summer Writing Workshop and Festival, June 10-13 at Chadron State College.
Six writers will offer hands-on workshops, critical feedback and instruction about writing and getting published. The workshop, co-sponsored by the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society and the college, celebrates the spirit of prominent Nebraska author Mari Sandoz. “The Story Catcher” was her last published novel.
Dan O’Brien will be the keynote speaker and writer-in-residence at the workshop. Described by the New York Times “as a writer with a keen and poetic eye,” O’Brien is one of the most powerful literary voices on the Plains, author of numerous novels and memoirs, including Buffalo for the Broken Heart and The Contract Surgeon, winners of the Western Heritage Award for best nonfiction in 2001 and for best fiction in 1999, respectively.
Buffalo for the Broken Heart, which explores the history of his ranch and the conversion from beef to buffalo, was chosen as One Book South Dakota in 2009. He is currently working on a sequel.
Workshop participants can choose from workshops on revising fiction and non-fiction work and a wide variety of sessions focused on poetry, storytelling, blogging, memoirs, generating new material and submitting work for publication. Morning and afternoon workshops, a field trip “writer’s retreat” to historic Fort Robinson and an evening cookout there are all geared toward helping writers tell and write their stories. A Friday afternoon festival celebrates the work of everyone involved in the workshop, from published authors to beginners.
General registration for the four-day event will be $150 with an additional $100 for the advanced workshop. Rooms are available on the college campus. More information and registration forms are available at: www.storycatcherworkshop.org
In addition to O’Brien, others leading sessions include: Colorado State University instructor Todd Mitchell; writer Dawn Wink from New Mexico who teaches on themes of place and environment; mystery writer Shannon Baker who recently relocated to Nebraska from Arizona; Chadron State College faculty member Rich Kenney who has also been a social worker, newspaper columnist and radio talk show host; and Ron Hull of Lincoln, Mari Sandoz Heritage Society President Emeritus, who recently wrote Backstage, Stories from My Life in Public Television.
—CSC Information Services