Ever since my first visit to the Antioch Writers’ Workshop in 2009, I’ve been convinced that the inspiration-packed week in July couldn’t possibly get any better.
I’m always wrong. Maybe I’m a slow learner, but I don’t think so. AWW, led by Executive Director Sharon Short and a stellar Board of Directors, keeps outdoing itself.
I just finished my sixth year with the workshop, and it was a fantastic week. As a workfellow (AWW-speak for a volunteer worker bee), I wasn’t able to attend as many of the morning instructional sessions as I would have liked, and even though the afternoon intensives (led by Gayle Brandeis, Eileen Cronin, Hallie Ephron, Erin Flanagan, Katrina Kittle, Mike Mullin, and Marly Youmans) weren’t available to workfellows, I still had a great week. Imagine how much better the participants had it!
From a Saturday stand-alone session that started with Gayle Brandeis’ inspiring lecture and ended with a keynote by the wonderfully approachable Andre Dubus III (who also presented an unforgettable master class Sunday morning), through the full-week morning craft sessions (Tara Ison on fiction, Chris DeWeese on poetry, Matthew Goodman on creative non-fiction, plus Editor Nathan Roberson and Literary Agent Hannah Brown Gordon – all fantastic!) and evening readings, AWW packs more information into seven days than should be possible.
And the people: 120+ writers of all sizes, ages, and skill levels, including a newspaper editor, a counter-terrorist officer, and a Benedictine monk, among many other delightful characters, are what make AWW so very special.
I ended the week exhilarated and exhausted, motivated and humbled.
But always inspired. Write on!