Jan 18 2018
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Teacher feature: Helena Clare Pittman on affirmation through teaching

Teacher feature: Helena Clare Pittman on affirmation through teaching

Writing for Children teacher Helena Clare Pittman shares some insights into both her teaching and creative processes. Director Stacia M. Fleegal: What excites you, inspires you, makes you grin from ear to ear about your Center class? Where is the joy for you in the teaching? Is there any relationship between the pleasure you feel teaching and the pleasure you feel when you’re writing? HCP: It excites me terribly to read student work in response to…

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Jan 13 2018
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American Life in Poetry #668

American Life in Poetry #668

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE I’ve had a couple of aquariums (or is the plural aquaria?), but I didn’t take very good care of either one.  The glass clouded over with algae, and the fish had to live on whatever they could scrounge because I’d forget to feed them.  Some liked eating each other.  But here’s a poem (a sonnet!) about an aquarium you can actually see into.  The poet, Kim Addonizio, lives in…

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Jan 09 2018
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3 steps to banish blocks through expressive writing

Banish blocks through expressive writing

Writing through Trauma to Truth teacher Shawna Ayoub Ainslie touts the efficacy of expressive writing for moving past blocks and getting your creativity flowing again. In my teaching practice, writers most frequently come to me with the question of how to get the words out. They feel stuffed so full of their own stories they are choking, or their stories flee as soon as they have the time to look at them. Expressive writing is…

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Jan 03 2018
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Letter from the director, January 2018

Letter from the director, January 2018

Dear writers, When one year closes, another one opens. In Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Burning the Old Year,” the poet writes Where there was something and suddenly isn’t, an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space. I begin again with the smallest numbers.

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Dec 31 2017
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Winners of our holiday small press giveaway

Winners of our holiday small press giveaway

We had 175 entries to our holiday giveaway, resulting in lots of new likes and follows on social media and new subscriptions to our email list. Thank you for helping to promote the Center’s efforts to help beginning and blocked writers find their way with words. A little about tallying: I tracked names and corresponding entries in a spreadsheet, giving one line for a one-entry action (like a Twitter follow or FB page like), five lines…

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Dec 06 2017
Comments Off on Our holiday small press giveaway runs NOW through Dec. 30

Our holiday small press giveaway runs NOW through Dec. 30

Our holiday small press giveaway runs NOW through Dec. 30

Help us get the word out about the Center and be entered in a random drawing for a literary gift! Between now and Dec. 30, the below actions will earn you entries into our drawing. One winner will receive a small press title or literary magazine subscription of their choice (up to $35), and a second winner will receive a Moleskin journal. Here’s how to earn entries:

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Dec 01 2017
Comments Off on Letter from the director: December 2017

Letter from the director: December 2017

Letter from the director: December 2017

  I don’t know about you, but as the end-of-year holidays approach, the largest and loudest feeling I feel is gratitude. The festive season and the longer nights make me cozy up to awareness of what I have, rather than focusing on what I don’t have. And I don’t mean material possessions. I am grateful for good relationships with my friends and family, especially my young son; but beyond my support system, I am most…

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Nov 22 2017
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3 self-care tips for writers

3 self-care tips for writers

  What is self-care, and why and how should you practice it while writing? A brief history of the term “self-care” according to Slate tells us that its origins are in the medical community in the ’60s, when doctors encouraged patients to develop healthy habits and contribute to their own treatment. Soon after, “academics began to look for ways for workers in more high-risk and emotionally daunting professions—trauma therapists, social workers, EMTs, and so on—to…

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Nov 15 2017
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Should you compose on paper or screen? 3 ways to tell

Should you compose on paper or screen? 3 ways to tell

  Remember journals? Remember filling notebooks with drafts of poems and stories? Remember typing them all up when you were sure they were “finished”? Or do you still keep those journal and notebooks? For many writers, paper and pen were our original method of composition. Technology has given us word processing software and even writing apps that have replaced pens with key strokes—for some of us. If you’re trying to organize your creative process and…

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Nov 08 2017
Comments Off on 5 techniques for accessing your creative flow

5 techniques for accessing your creative flow

5 techniques for accessing your creative flow

A guest post by Center teacher Shawna Ayoub Ainslie (Writing through Trauma to Truth), reposted from The Honeyed Quill with permission A main struggle I face as a writer is letting go. Sitting down to write has become easy. I have trained myself to get words on the page. But writing authentically, giving value to words and recording or creating a story with integrity–well, I know writers who seem to have mastered that skill. I…

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