GREENVILLE—"I teach because writing isn’t easy, and I wish I’d had someone to mentor me when I started out," says Emily Colin, who'll lead the fiction workshop at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2019 Squire Summer Writing Workshops, July 18-21, on the campus of East Carolina University in Greenville.
"I teach because my first creative writing professor was cruel, and discouraged me from writing fiction for over a decade," she says. "I vowed to do everything I could to help other writers, so they’d never have to feel the way I did in his class: As if their voice didn’t matter."
The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer a limited number of attendees the chance to spend fifteen hours studying one genre with one instructor in a small-group setting, along with ample time to attend programs and readings, write, reflect, and dine with one another. In other words, the chance to live a literary life, at least for one long weekeend.
Emily Colin will lead the fiction workshop, "Writing Fiction that Resonates with Your Readers."
The core of this workshop, to which attendees will return again and again, will be their own work. They will explore the crucial elements that make readers want to keep turning pages, including stellar character development, a tightly-knit plot, and vivid descriptions that give insights into your characters and storyline. They’ll discuss what makes readers care about characters, how to include details that drive the story rather than bogging it down, and what to do when writer’s block strikes. Through the lens of their own writing as well as that of others, participants will pay attention to what makes certain authors so good at what they do . . . and then sharpen your prose to reflect these discoveries. They'll try their hand at new, short fiction in response to what they’ve discussed over the course of the workshop, then cap off the weekend with a conversation about the business of publishing, and how to find their niche in an ever-evolving industry.
Each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the workshop.
"I teach because it gives me joy to share what I’ve learned with others—and to learn from them along the way," Emily explains. "I teach to create a safe space for students to share their ideas, to listen and to be heard, to create community and confidence. As the great Albus Dumbledore once said, 'Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.'"
Emily Colin is The New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Thief, selected as a Target Emerging Authors Pick, and The Dream Keeper’s Daughter (Ballantine Books), which Publisher's Weekly called "a splendid mix of romantic yearning, time travel, and moving on after grief." She is also the editor of the young adult anthology Wicked South and the author of the upcoming Seven SinsYA trilogy, both from Goldenjay Books.
A former independent bookseller, Emily has served as an editor for both magazines and small presses. She was the co-founder of Carolina Women's Partnership, an imprint of Coastal Carolina Press through which she published two books featuring women leaders throughout North Carolina. Emily is a recipient of the 2018 GFWC-NC Lucy Bramlett Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and the 2017 North Carolina Sorosis Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. A fervent believer in paying it forward, Emily served as a 2017 Pitch Wars Writing Mentor and is a 2019 TeenPit Mentor. Her diverse life experience includes organizing a Coney Island tattoo and piercing show, hauling fish at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, and roaming New York City as an itinerant teenage violinist. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading anything with a good love story; traveling; drinking too much coffee; and hanging out with her son, whose hair changes color as regularly as his moods.
Additional workshops include Creative Nonfiction led by Alex Albright and Poetry led byLenard D. Moore.
Registration for the Squire Summer Writing Workshops is open. Register now.