Fiction Workshop — Susan Gregg Gilmore

The 7th Council for the Written Word Spring Fiction Workshop is now one for the history books. Lingering, however, are a few memories and tidbits that I hope to hold onto. First of all, the image in my mind of the venue — the Westview Clubhouse — it was beautiful … something out of a Southern movie … tall, expansive, white, with columns and gardens and oak floors that look ancient, but they’re not. Our workshop was held in Townsend Hall, upstairs. Secondly, it did my heart good to see Bill Peach carrying out the trash afterward and Jim Taulman vacuuming the burgundy carpet in that huge room. Once again, Susie Dunham made magic with two 8-foot tables; she filled them with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, trail mix, and a silver platter of red and green grapes … and also a mix of Gerbera daisies.  Currie Powers, Susan Lentz, and I waved our wands to put the other details in place, and Laurie Kay made name tags that matched the cover of our speaker’s book — Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore.


Some words of wisdom for writers from Susan:

You must spend TIME IN THE CHAIR. When you spend time there, the story takes you over and fills your head. Maybe you’ll write, maybe you’ll just think. Doesn’t matter. Spend time in the chair.

Susan’s journalism experience helped her to tell a story in a tight space, to know the importance of word choice, to use words that pull the reader in quickly, to know the importance of editing.

Write … edit, edit, edit … then it begins to sing.

First impressions matter, matter, matter. The first sentence should captivate the reader.

Think about how you can paint your story for the reader.

Four dozen writers. A speaker with a heart for her art. A good workshop.

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