Stories. Our stories. What better way is there to get to know one another, to stand together, to understand our world, than to share our stories?
Over the last few years, I have had the remarkable opportunity to facilitate a variety of writing workshops at Shake Rag Alley in the picturesque town of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. In Shake Rag’s historic Cabinet Shop and Potters House and Ellery House, I have listened to the tales told by emerging and established writers, I have shared my own. I have helped writers of all levels put words to the stories they hold dear.
I am so excited to have been invited to help develop this spring’s Mining for Story, Shake Rag Alley’s inaugural retreat for writers. In consultation with the founders, staff, and volunteers of Shake Rag Alley, and with past workshop participant’s comments in hand, my colleagues and I (award-winning authors and college teachers) have developed a program of supportive, generative, immersive and accessible writing workshops.
Mining for Story is a jam-packed retreat with comprehensive workshops in fiction, memoir, and writing for young people, combined with brief seminars and introductions to blogging, self-publishing, handmade books and individual manuscript consultations. Over three days, writers will move from “Breaking Ground,” to “Digging In,” to “Excavation.” Each day will provide opportunities for further community building including shared meals, panel discussions, participant and instructor readings, and other gatherings.
The pretty and peaceful grounds of Shake Rag Alley, the handsome and art filled small town of Mineral Point, the surrounding historical mining area, will provide the perfect setting for a gathering of writers in pursuit of inspiration, community, audience, instruction, professional development, and story. Writers of all levels (from very first-timer to established scribe) are welcome. Registration is open now, but space is limited.
I do hope you will join us!
Patricia Ann McNair
Author, The Temple of Air, winner: Chicago Writers’ Association Book of the Year, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award, Society of Midland Authors Finalist in Fiction
Associate Professor, Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
Columbia College Chicago, Creative Writing Department