Authors Lab Weekly Update

Cohort Letter

Week of August 7

Writers: Thanks to those who joined us for “In-between Working Social” (held in between monthly workshops). We asked for and received a lot of great feedback from the group, as we keep working to make Authors Lab great. And speaking of great…

1. Nickole Brown comes down from Asheville this Saturday, August 12, for “Putting Poetry in Your Prose.”

“Where the boundary between prose & poetry lies, I shall never be able to understand…. Poetry is verse: prose is not verse. Or else poetry is everything with the exception of business documents and school text books.” Leo Tolstoy wrote this over a hundred years ago, and not only did he not find an answer to this conundrum, writers are still today debating this predicament of genre.

What happens when the barriers of form are broken down, when poetry is knocked from its pedestal, so to speak, and the pragmatics of prose are finessed to carry the lyricism of poetry? What happens when the democratic, accessible form of prose is dressed up in the garb of poetry? What word experiments and subversions and surrealistic meanderings can ensue? This liminal, uncharted space between the genres is the focus of this discussion that will study experiments in literature for a deeper understanding of what’s possible.

Learn more about Nickole here. Not coming? Remember to opt out here.

2. The Saturday schedule is the same as most: Doors open at 9:45, workshop runs from 10-1, lunch from 1-2, and workshopping (and other matters) from 2-4. If you want to have some of your work critiqued, send it to me by Friday so that I can print copies. And you might want to read your pages this week because…

3. We have a special guest to lead our workshop session: our good friend Sarah Creech, Authors Lab coach, and author of two novels, Season of the Dragonflies (William Morrow, 2014) and the just-released The Whole Way Home (William Morrow, 2017). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The Cortland Review,, StorySouth, Literary Mama, and others. She lives in Charlotte with her husband and children and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte.

See you Saturday!


Q: When was the moment that you thought, “I can do this,” about poetry?

A: Honestly? Last night. A few minutes before midnight. I had piddled all day, procrastinating and scared as ever to get back to the white expanse of yet another blank page. So after hours of cleaning the house and emailing and walking the dog and futzing around on Facebook and well, doing everything except what I most needed to do, I finally caved, got over myself, and found the courage to sit in my blue chair again. About halfway through a new draft, I thought, “Yes, yes, I can do this.” It wasn’t the first time I’d thought that but, like always, that realization is a revelation every time.

From: “Ask A Poet: Nickole Brown,” on the website of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Next Authors Lab Event

August 12: Monthly Cohort Gathering

9:45 am: Doors Open

10:00 am-1:00 pm: Workshop: Putting Poetry in Your Prose, with Nickole Brown

1:00-2:00 pm: Lunch

2:00-4:00 pm: Workshopping, with Sarah Creech

Planning Ahead

August 30: Cohort Working Social

Snacks, beverages, and a mini-workshop. 6:30 pm, location TBA.

September 9: Monthly Cohort Gathering

Workshop: The Arc of a Human Life:  How to Create Characters Readers Can Believe In, with Judy Goldman + Workshopping and other cohort activities

Not a current cohort member? Curious About Authors Lab?

Authors Lab is a Charlotte Lit program designed to help you to get that book out of your head and onto paper. Our model: Coaching + Classes + Community = Creative Success.

Authors Lab is an open-ended program: new cohorts begin in January, and you stay in for as long as you need. When you join, you will meet with your coach to decide your target time frame, usually from 9 to 24 months. At the end of your chosen time frame you will have either a completed first draft, or, if you began the year with a completed first draft, a final draft that is ready for submission or self-publication.

Learn more about Authors Lab here.