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Put Pen to Paper

Truckee, Every other Wednesday starting Feb. 7
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INFO: $50/four pack; $20/drop in, Word After Word Books, 10118 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, (530) 536-5099,

Can’t make it Word After Word on Wednesdays? Several other great workshops are available in the area

TANGLED ROOTS WRITING: Monday Night Creative Writing Workshop, Truckee, Long-time professional writer Karen Terry leads a series of creative workshops aimed at improving writing practice. Tea and chocolate are provided.

HIGH SIERRA WRITERS OF RENO: Mapping Your Character’s Internal Landscape for Feb. meeting, This membership group of serious writers meets once a month or more to practice specific elements of the craft.

When Dumbledore died, we all cried our eyes out. When Tina Fey’s Bossypants came out, we laughed with her through the witty accounts of success and failure. Authors have a unique ability to take audiences for a wild ride via words on a page.

Word After Word Books, alongside writing coach Tara May Flanagan, wants to empower both new and experienced writers through their new writing workshop series. Co-owner Andie Keith says that creating a personal connection with her community was part of the goal of opening the shop in 2016 with partner Nicolle Sloane.

“Most of the people are just coming to experience what it means to write, and we are trying to help them develop where they want to go,” Keith says. “Enabling that space for people is something magical, and I love being a part of that process.”

Through a series of writing exercises, Flanagan — self proclaimed “grammar nerd,” professional writer, and author of Moonshine’s quarterly column Book It! — encourages attendees to hone their craft, be it poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or something in between.

Each workshop consists of several timed sessions, short and long, of writing based on prompts. This encourages people to “exercise the muscle” just like learning to run, Flanagan says. The idea is not that participants pick a certain style of writing but come to practice the craft in an open format, then decide where they want to go from there.

The workshop is suitable for all, and designed for both drop-ins or repeat attendees, although repeats get a great deal of just $50 for a four-pack of classes. No writing experience is necessary. Participants can write by hand or bring a laptop.

Previous attendees have ranged from experienced novelists and creative teenagers to seniors interested in finding a new hobby. Some folks come to develop ideas for existing works, and others to find inspiration for writing something new.

“Writing is a way for people to tackle all different kinds of challenges … a way to get all those thoughts on paper and manage them. It’s exciting to think that anybody can write, and anybody has the ability to use that writing towards something,” Flanagan says, adding that she’s “in love with writing and reading about writing.”

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January 10, 2019