Spring Writer’s Workshop

Workshop co-director Jesse Morse speaks to a packed audience. The event had several break-out sessions focused on poetry, nonfiction, fiction, imagery, and developing story stakes.

Clark Creative Writing welcomed over 120 attendees for the annual Spring Creative Writing Workshop. 

The third annual event, hosted on May 11, invited the Southwest Washington writing community to Clark for free workshops, readings, and lectures. Participants chose three events to attend from the 12 offered and received free lunch, coffee, and pastries. A mix of Clark employees, students, and community members joined. This year, attendance notably increased. 

Alexis Nelson, creative writing lead and Clark faculty said, “We wanted it to be something special for Clark students and employees, something that would add even more value and enrichment to our Creative Writing program, and something that would also bring more of the community to campus and help build the sense of Clark as a center for the arts within the area. And we wanted the event to be welcoming and open to all, just like the college. It felt like we accomplished all that.” 

Clark faculty Jennifer Denrow and Jesse Morse are workshop co-directors. 

Workshop instructors came from as far as Southern California. Sessions focused on poetry, nonfiction, fiction, imagery, and developing story stakes. Vintage Books, a local bookstore, set up a space to sell books by workshop instructors (pictured below)

Instructor Stephanie Adams Santos, a Guatemalan-American writer living in Oregon, taught Dreamscape of the Altar, inviting participants to create their own altar with art supplies, a candle, and an oracle card. She then led poets through an altar meditation to inspire language. 

Another workshop led by HR Hegnauer, a poet and book designer specializing in independent publishing, covered the crucial aspects of book cover design and invited participants to design their own book covers. 

Poet Mathias Svalina, founder of Dream Delivery Service, which delivers personalized poems by bicycle to subscribers, taught participants to write with dream logic. 

Clark’s own Joe Pitkin shared industry knowledge, including using the resource Duotrope to connect with publishers. 

Other workshop leaders included: 

  • Sara Jaffe 
  • Lisa Bullard (Clark instructor) 
  • Emily Chenoweth 
  • Michael Guerra (Clark instructor) 
  • Debra Gwartney 
  • Meredith Kirkwood (Clark instructor) 
  • Pauls Toutonghi 
  • Claire Vaye Watkins 

About Clark Creative Writing 

Clark Creative Writing, part of the English department, offers a creative writing associate of arts track with electives in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, graphic fiction, and publishing. Clark Creative Writing: 

Photos: Clark College/Carly Rae Zent