Fiction Crossroads

I just love it when things turn out so dandy!

The Council for the Written Word‘s sixth annual Spring Fiction Workshop is March 29, eleven weeks from today, and we are good to go. Everything is perfectly in line. We even have 24 people signed up so far.

Sufficient Grace

Darnell Arnoult is the featured speaker this year. “The Fiction Crossroads: Where Imagination and Craft Intersect” is the title of her presentation. Darnell’s novel is Sufficient Grace, and her book of poetry is What Travels With Us.

Currie, Colleen, Susie, and I met yesterday at Merridee’s in downtown Franklin to put the finishing touches on the workshop. I sipped Italian coffee and unrolled a cinnamon bun, savoring each bite, letting each sweet and spicy piece melt in my mouth. We went through our checklists to make sure everyone was in gear. Susie is in charge of the food and decorations. She enlisted her husband to build birdhouses to decorate with, because there’s a birdhouse on the hardback cover of Darnell’s book. We’ll give one away as a doorprize. I’m going to make certain my name is in that drawing, as I love birdhouses and have a collection in my backyard. There are only six in that collection, so I could use another. (Maybe there will be sufficient grace for me to win.)

“Get some of those pastel malted milk candy Easter eggs to go with the birdhouses,” Colleen suggested. And thus we slid into that genuinely creative spirit that makes all our workshops so much fun to plan and to attend.

Darnell Arnoult


Darnell led our first CWW spring workshop in 2003, held in the old public library at Five Points in Franklin, as they were boxing up and getting ready to move into the brand new Williamson County Public Library. Since then, Darnell has published her novel, which got a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, a nomination for 2007 SIBA Fiction Book of the Year, and a nomination for 2006 Weatherford Prize in Appalachian Literature. Darnell was selected as the Tennessee Writers Alliance’s 2007 Writer of the Year. I saw her at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest last spring, where she was having a ball signing her books, and again at the Southern Festival of Books last October, where she was just oozing smiles and happiness. It should be a wonderful workshop!

As for the writing part of the workshop…

How do you take an impulse for a novel and give it momentum? How do you improve on an early draft? How do you infuse your work with energy?

Darnell plans to tell us how, and goodness knows, her novel is chocked full of energy, with memorable details and memorable characters! She also plans to share how to get our manuscripts in the right hands. At least two in my writing group plan to have novels finished by the workshop date. If I get my Great American Southern Novel in gear, I might be the third!

Hurry March, and bring it on!


3 Comments on “Fiction Crossroads”

  1. susie27 says:

    if you included all that we talked about at the last meeting into your novel, you’d be planning a book signing.

  2. Came across your blog post when i was doing some research on Franklin Library and Easton Press Books. Anyway – I enjoyed the post and am going to bookmark the blog – I look forward to more. Thanks

  3. Bradly says:

    I enjoy it when I find nuggets like this, thanks!

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