Hello Writers. We have some exciting writing workshops planned for Lit Fest 2018 with critically-acclaimed writers, poets and esteemed instructors. To attend a workshop, participants must have purchased a Weekend Festival Pass. Workshops are $150 for a four hour workshop, which includes 10a-12noon Saturday April 14 & 10a-12noon Sunday April 15, 2018.
Scholarship applications being accepted thru February 28th, 2018.


WORKSHOP I: What If? The Art of Speculation W/ ANA MARIA SPAGNA


In writing as in life, the deepest truth often lies in possibility. Not just what is or what was, but might be or might’ve been. Whether in fiction, poetry, or even nonfiction, when we speculate on the page we can add depth, dimension, and dynamism to our work. We can explore the future or revisit the past. We can probe motivation and spur empathy, make peace with our former selves, “walk a mile in another’s shoes,” and/or ponder the non-human world in new and interesting ways. The possibilities are truly endless.

In this workshop you can expect:

  • practical tips for how to speculate on the page
  • a variety of examples from contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry
  • prompts for creating space for possibility on the page
  • fresh direction for drafting and revising across genre


INSTRUCTOR: Ana Maria Spagna is the author of several books including Reclaimers, the story of people reclaiming sacred land and water, the memoir/history Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: A Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey, winner of the River Teeth literary nonfiction prize, The Luckiest Scar on Earth a novel for young people, and three essay collections, Potluck, Now Go Home, and Uplake: Restless Essays of Coming and Going. Her work has been recognized by the Society for Environmental Journalists, the Nautilus Book Awards, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, as a three-time finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and appears regularly in journals and magazines including Orion, Creative Nonfiction, Ecotone, Brevity, The Normal School, and High Country News. She teaches writing in the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and in 2017/018 at Whitman College.


“I believe Ana Maria Spagna is one of our most versatile writer/teachers of contemporary literary nonfiction. Her writings and talks on/about issues of craft have deeply influenced my own teaching and writing.” —Michael Steinberg, Founding Editor, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, Author, Still Pitching, 2004 ForeWord Magazine/Independent Press Memoir of the Year
“Ana Maria Spagna’s deep understanding of story and craft makes her one of the most gifted writing teachers I’ve ever encountered in a myriad classes and workshops. Her teaching in online classes, writing retreats and, eventually, one-on-one mentoring were crucial in my two memoirs finding publishers.”— Amanda Webster, author of The Boy Who Loved Apples and A Tear in the Soul
"Ana Maria Spagna brings warmth, kindness and encouragement to every participant in her workshops.  Her feedback is well-thought out, constructive and honest.  Her informative handouts and writing prompts are still my favorite go-to resources a year after our last workshop together."—Kandi Maxwell, attendee Surprise Valley Writers Conference

WORKSHOP 2: Writing IN Persona with KEVIN CLARK


Write what you know, they always say… And so, since childhood, most of us have written poems that are about what we know best─i.e., the Wonder of Me. After a while, however, we may have become a bit bored with the ever-present highway of our interior lives. Maybe a tree has fallen across the road and there’s no getting by. Maybe we don’t like writing about our experiences on Uncle Jake and Aunt June’s swan and mule farm, that home in which we grew up while our parents traveled the globe. Maybe we’ve always preferred the sound of someone else’s voice, anyone’s voice not our own?  What then? Writing persona poems about people we make up or people who actually exist (or once existed) can liberate us and juice up our imagination. While reading persona poems by several contemporary poets, we will examine helpful ways to begin poems that engage the first person voice of the Other. Spend two days in an intimate and supportive setting, and enjoy an infusion of new craft techniques, island charms, and the stimulating conversation of other serious writers. Open to poets, the poetry curious, and prose writers who want to explore new approaches to voice and dialogue, the workshop takes place at the North Beach Inn on Orcas Island and includes a festival pass to the Orcas Island Lit Fest. Limited to twelve participants, the workshop is likely to sell out quickly, so reserve your spot as soon as possible. 

TIME & LOCATION: 10a-12noon at North Beach Inn, Orcas Island

Winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Series Book Competition, Kevin Clark’s Self-Portrait with Expletives was published by Pleiades Press and distributed by LSU Press. His first full-length collection, In the Evening of No Warning (New Issues Poetry and Prose), earned a grant from the Academy of American Poets. Clark also won the Angoff Award for best contribution to The Literary Review, an Artsmith fellowship, and a Bread Loaf fellowship. The author of three chapbooks, Clark’s poems and essays about literature have appeared in such journals as the Georgia ReviewIowa ReviewAntioch ReviewCrazyhorsePloughsharesGulf CoastdiodeNew York QuarterlyDenver Quarterly, and Contemporary Literary Criticism. A semi-regular contributor to The Georgia Review, he has published essays in books about Ruth StoneCharles Wright, and Sandra McPherson. He and his son, the actor and artist Joe Hewes-Clark, have cowritten a play, Brick’s Last Call. Recipient of two teaching awards, Clark’s textbook on writing poetry, The Mind’s Eye: A Guide to Writing Poetry (Pearson Longman), guides students through a variety of discussions and prompts designed to give them fluency in the major aspects of contemporary poetry writing. Website: