Creative writing workshop to be held in Richwood on Saturday

Any writers, or aspiring writers, are invited to a free creative writing workshop this Saturday in Richwood.

Diana Clarke, originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, is an AmeriCorps volunteer at High Rocks, and she’s helping to organize the program. Clarke said the first event in the three-part series took place last weekend, and it was actually one our DJs, here at AMR, that helped host the program last year.

“Coming up in the next month are parts two and three of the New Voices Writing Workshop Series which Megan Moriarty actually organized last spring,” says Clarke. “So we had one actually last weekend at the Hillsboro Library with poet Erica Weaver, and this coming weekend, from 1:00-4:00 at the Richwood Library, fiction-writer Rowan Buchanan is coming in to teach, and then on May 10, at the Greenbrier Public Library in Lewisburg, the third writing workshop will be with poet Chloe Campbell.”

Clarke said it was the warmer weather last weekend that might’ve affected turnout.

“It was only a small crowd,” admits Clarke. “I think there were about six people there. To be fair, it was the sort of first really, really beautiful weekend and I got a number of very sweet, last minute e-mails saying ‘this sounds great, but my garden needs me!’ It was a lot of fun. It was really nice to have kind of a small group. We did a lot of really interesting generative exercises to come up with new work and new poems that people shared and we kind of talked about how we came to what inspired us and so because it was so small I think we have a lot of space to kind of explore and experiment.”

According to Clarke, they’ve tailored the program to appeal to writers of all ages and skill levels.

“The idea is definitely that it’s something really open to the community and for all ages,” explains Clarke. “There’s no requirement to come with any work beforehand or even really have done this before, but also to have the exercises be open enough that people with a lot more writing experience can get something out of them too. Or just kind of giving people a jumping point to start writing or try it out if they haven’t before, or in a long while.”

Clarke said the workshops are conducted in a very open-ended manner.

“Saturday’s workshop, and also the one in May, will both be very sort of open-format-teaching led by the visiting writers,” she says. “Materials, snacks, everything provided. The idea is just to bring in writers who are also really excited about teaching, really excited about sharing work and traveling. This weekend’s teacher is primarily a fiction writer, so writing exercises and discussion will certainly be kind of tailored more toward fiction, but I think pretty open regardless.”

For Clarke, what she enjoys most, is meeting other like-minded people at the workshops.

“The most fun about it is meeting people from the community,” Clarke says. “Sort of finding out what they’re interested in and what they’re working on, and the more people we have from different backgrounds, and different interests, the more fun it’s going to be.”

Anyone wanting to take part in this Saturday’s New Voices Creative Writing workshop is invited to join the writer’s group at the Richwood Library this Saturday.

“It’s at 8 White Avenue, right in downtown Richwood,” offers Clarke. “It starts at 1:00 and goes until 4:00. No cost of any kind. If folks are looking for more information, probably the best thing to do is e-mail me at”

Story By

Angelo Jiordano

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