In 2018, the festival will be offering two days of writing laboratories and workshops on Thursday, September 13 and Friday, September 14. Thursday’s addition is optional, free and open to the public; designed to engage thoughtful, guided interaction with water in our Island environment. Lane Hall will lead attendees toward the creation of their own epistolary poems dedicated to water.  It will culminate in filmed sharing of poetic creations, toward the creation of an artifact representing the Festival’s shared concern for, and celebration of, Words on Water


On Friday, our Festival attendees may wish to participate (for an additional charge) in workshops dedicated to writing craft and literary appreciation.  As a branch of our Festival offerings devoted to writers and readers who wish to practice and evolve their craft, these workshops are offered by our authors and other invited workshop leaders. Four separate, two hour long workshops will be offered on Friday afternoon, giving newcomers time to get settled on the Island before the festival on Saturday.  

These workshops will be lead by festival authors Marion Boyer (Poetry), Jean Pendizwol (Historical Fiction), Bonnie Jo Campbell (Fiction), and Douglas Wood (Memoir), respectively. Each workshop will cost $75.00, though a $15 discount will be applied to Island residents. 


Bonnie Jo Campbell:  Mining the Material of Your Life

Friday, 14 September, 12:30-2:30, Hotel Washington, 354 Range Line Rd.

You have stories to tell, and we’ll spend a couple of energetic hours together chatting, plotting, and figuring out what our rich lives have taught us and shown us so far. Poets, essayists, fiction writers, and anyone interested in taking joy in story-telling are welcome.  Let’s get obsessed together, make friends, and enjoy the fruits of the writing life. Warning:  I won’t let you leave unless you show me you’ve got a dozen ideas.


Douglas Wood: A Writer's Path

Friday, 14 September, 12:30-2:30, Trueblood Performing Arts Center Stage Area

A Writer’s Path is loaded like an over-stuffed Duluth pack with Douglas Wood’s tips and insights from 25 years of writing, publishing and teaching.  It comes with plenty of opportunities for questions and personal sharing, including:  the quest for ideas, overcoming “writer’s block,” discovering your confidence, the glory of “re-writing,” the art of picturesque language, the importance of “getting to the point,” and more.  The workshop follows Douglas Wood's journey from a shy child-- the worst reader in the class, who suffered from ADHD and dyslexia--to NY Times best-selling author of 37 award-winning books with over 2.5 million copies sold. Not only a literary journey, the path also winds from the Boundary Waters to the Northwest Territories, as Doug became a renowned wilderness guide and educated countless explorers on the values and meaning of wild things and wild country, from trees, wildflowers, and geology to the simple sharing of a sunrise.  The workshop is warm, educational and inspirational—and plenty of fun, too!  


Jean Pendziwol:  The Facts of Historical Fiction

Friday, 14 September, 3:00 to 5:00, Fons Boathouse, 1330 Sunrise Road (look to the water!)

Writing a novel that is rooted in history can become a balancing act for the author who becomes at once both historian and storyteller. While it's important to remain true to facts, there is also a need for the characters to be able move through their lives and for their story to take shape on the page. Explore the process used by award winning author, Jean E. Pendziwol in writing her bestselling debut novel The Lightkeeper's Daughters set on Lake Superior during the years leading up to and during WW2. 


Marion Boyer:  Navigating the Undercurrents in Poetry

Friday, 14 September, 3:00 to 5:00, Hotel Washington, 354 Range Line Rd.

Story, structure, music, and imagination are undercurrents within poetry.  Gregory Orr proposes that we are each born with a natural inclination to use these four dynamics in different proportions in our writing.  In this workshop we will examine Orr’s framework with a view of how to deepen, broaden, or vary the natural flow of our writing. 

Open to all poets who wish to ease their writing into deeper waters and anyone new to poetry, interested in learning ways to consider and respond to poems. Poets, please bring 6 copies of one or two poems you’re willing to read and share with the group. (This will be nonthreatening -- flotation jackets for all)