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Antioch Writers’ Workshop 2016 – My 20-Year Reunion

This year’s Antioch Writers’ Workshop marks the 20-year anniversary of my attendance as a participant. 20 years! This fact make me feel old. But it also makes me feel accomplished. It was a true honor to join the workshop as a seminar leader this year, taking on an afternoon session of fiction instruction. It’s amazing how close these small groups become over the course of the week – everyone putting everything out there, sticking with that uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability that only a writer can understand.

My group was amazing, ranging from the ages of 18 to 70-something, each participant supportive and inspiring, even while offering a critique. And boy were they brave, sharing their pieces without the anonymity of a screen name or the ability to hide in the murky waters that the internet provides. No, these people met live, face-to-face, for really really real. I had more than one student approach me in a complete, shaky-handed, My-piece-is-being-workshopped-tomorrow! panic. But they all worked through the fear and came out on the other side feeling like they had made some lifelong friends in the process.

I’d forgotten that part – the magical feeling of connection and unity that a workshop provides, with everyone there for one collective reason, to geek out on writing. And now, two weeks later, I’m missing my new friends who feel quite a bit like family, wishing them the best of the best in all endeavors, but especially when it comes to writing.


Workshop days start with some very early mornings, which make for some gorgeous drives through backcountry farmland. The dew glistening on the grass and cornstalks feels like a million stories ripe for the picking.



Antioch University Midwest, the site for the annual Antioch Writers’ Workshop.



Dinner with some lifelong sister friends, Katrina Kittle and Sharon Short, just before my first ever reading from, A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT.



My group of fiction writers. Lots of love here!



All of us leaping for writerly joy. 



Two exceptionally talented ladies, both chosen by my group to participate in the public evening reading.




More lifelong writer friends – Sharon Short, Janet Irvin, Me, and Erin Flanagan.



This iconic barn graces the field next to AUM. It’s been there as long as I can remember, going back decades to when I first visited the village of Yellow Springs, Ohio when I was in high school. (And now I feel even older.)

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