Ready, Set, Write

Flagstaff Writers Connection is a big fan of NaNoWriMo. We host multiple write-ins in the month of November and encourage everyone to write their novel in the 30 days of November.

Now Flagstaff Writers Connection wants to introduce a new October tradition: 

Ready, Set, Write

NaNoWriMo Applied by Suzanne Pitner

Everyday in the month of October we will host a Zoom with 1-3 writing exercises to get you ready to write a whole novel in November. You do NOT have to be a contestant in NaNoWriMo to join the fun. Exercises will be geared to all kinds of story development at all speeds.

15 Techniques of Brainstorming for More Effective Sessions - nTask

We will cover:

  • Brainstorming an Idea
  • Filling in the Plot Points
  • Character Development
  • Setting and Worldbuilding
  • Terrible Endings
  • Twists and Reversals
  • Important Scenes
  • Problem Solving/Getting Stuck

Sessions will be everyday at 12:15-12:55 on this Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 975 7936 9345
Passcode: 5WS8M3
Bring paper and pen or a computer for writing. If you miss a session the sessions will be posted HERE.

Thinking through the keyboard | Karavansara

Get ready to smoke the competition!

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Playwriting Workshop: Bringing Your Story to Life

We're Back! Did You Miss Us? | DDO Players
Ever wondered what it would be like to see your story on the stage? 

Afflicted: Daughters of Salem by Laurie Brooks,
commissioned and premiered by the Coterie Theatre, Kansas City, MO
Flagstaff Writers Connection presents three workshops with 
Laurie Brooks.

Award-winning playwright Laurie Brooks has graciously offered to donate her time to give three workshops. Playwriting develops skills that enhance all types of writing. Participants will discover the art of playwriting through instruction, writing exercises, discussion and laughter. 
Triangle by Laurie Brooks,
commissioned and premiered by Arizona State University.
Each participant will have the opportunity to write a ten-minute play worthy of entry into Northern Arizona Playwriting Showcase (NAPS). 

 Workshop #1

 Workshop #2

 Workshop #3

 7/10/20 7/18/20 8/8/20
 10 am-2 pm 10 am-3:30 pm 10 am-3:30 pm

 Play Structure


 Dramaturgy Tutorial

 Character Development


 Informal Readings of 10 min Plays

 Dramatic Premise & Theme


 Thoughtful Feedback

 Review and Renewal 

Stage Direction                   


The first workshop is $25 and the other two Workshops costs $50
Or register for all three at once for $125. 

If you already attended the first workshop, it is FREE to attend the refresher on 7/10/20.

The Third Workshop will be held at Nancy Brehm's house on her outside patio.


9:30 am-10:00 Registration and Social
10:00-12:00 Instruction
12:00-1:30 Lunch (Brown Bag it, or eat downstairs at the Oakmount Restaurant)
1:30-3:30 Instruction

Laurie Brooks is an award-winning playwright and young adult fiction author. Her eighteen published plays have been commissioned and premiered at equity theaters across the country, including The John F. Kennedy Center. Her young adult novel is Selkie Girl, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Random House Children’s Books. The recipient of three Distinguished Play Awards and the Chorpenning Cup from The American Alliance for Theatre in Education, AT&T FirstStage Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts grants and multiple new plays supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Laurie has been Professor at New York University, where she graduated with an MA in Educational Theatre, and Artist in Residence at University of Texas Austin, Arizona State University and The Coterie Theater, Kansas City, MO. Four of her plays were commissioned and premiered in Cork, Ireland.                                                        She has presented writing strategies on theatre, playwriting and fiction writing across the country, including at Theatre Communications Group (TCG) National Conference at the Guthrie Theatre, the HYPE Institute at Alley Theatre in Houston, the ASU Piper Writing Center and the National Conference of Teachers of English, (NCTE) ALAN Conference. Above all, Laurie loves the collaborative nature of theatre and sharing the craft of writing with others.


Magical Realism and Feminist Subversion in China and Beyond

Thursday, Nov. 7, 4:00 pm in Liberal Arts Building #136

How do Chinese activists today get around increasingly repressive political censorship? While the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, and Beijing’s severe reaction to them, confirm the lack of rights in China, young people on the Mainland are creating more roundabout ways to communicate their subversive ideas. 

Online literature in China flourishes, with reinventions of traditional genres such as sword-fighting, with a subversive, contemporary edge. Young women use creative linguistic innovations to subvert censorship of feminist social media. After the censorship of the Me Too movement, they used the emojis of rice (mi) and rabbit (tu) in place of the English words (homophones for “Me” and “Too”). 

Persecution of feminists in China is on the rise, with both activists and authors imprisoned. Through the veil of magical realism, brave women continue to voice opposition via hugely popular online novels. As repression increases, so does resistance. This is similar to how magical realism was originally used in Latin America to criticize dictatorships while avoiding political censorship and persecution. In addition to the China focus, this lecture provides keys to understanding magical realism, including how the imagination shapes our ways of seeing and acting in the world. Drawing from my book Décoloniser l’imaginaire: du réalisme magique chez Maryse Condé, Marie NDiaye; et Sylvie Germain (L’Harmattan, 2007), it includes examples from China, the Francophone world, and beyond. 

Professor of Literature Kate Rose is currently on leave from China University of Mining and Technology. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College and went on to get her PhD in Comparative Literature from Université de Montpellier, France. 

She is the author or co-author of multiple books, chapters, academic articles, and reviews on feminism, traumatic memory in literature, social linguistics, French Literature, Chinese literature, and indigenous literature of the Americas. She is also the author of several fictional short stories and one novel.

She is the editor of a forthcoming book in Routledge’s Series on Contemporary Literature, titled Displaced: Migration, Indigeneity, and Trauma. Currently she is seeking a department at NAU interested in integrating her interdisciplinary and international teaching and research. In the meantime, she works as a freelance editor, and part-time for a local publishing house. 

Write Your Novel in November

Want to be inspired to write that novel you've been planning, but feel like you don't have the time? Trying to overcome a huge case of writer's block? Want to meet other writers? NaNoWriMo  or National Novel Writing Month is you chance.

Each year on Nov. 1 about half a million writers from all over the world converge on the internet and at local Write-In locations to work toward the goal of creating a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 PM on Nov. 30. That's a novel about the size of Catcher in the Rye.

The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Young Writers Program.

In 2017:
  • 402,142 participants, including 95,912 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
  • 972 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 646 regions on six continents.
  • 1,195 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.
  • 65,962 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • In past surveys, 86% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo helped them learn what they can accomplish when determined. 89% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo made them more excited about writing and 87% of student participants in our Young Writers Program said that it made them more confident writers.
  • Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder
  • Each year, authors offer mentorship to our participants through pep talksPast author mentors have included Gene Luen Yang, Roxane Gay, John Green, N. K. Jemisin, and Veronica Roth.

Become a Participant

To get started in NaNoWriMo, use this Step by Step Guide:
  1. Fill out a Profile so other writers with similar interests can find you.
  2. Brainstorm a story for your Novel with Flagstaff Writers Connection.
  3. Announce your Novel to the world. This will help you stay the course when things get tough.

  4. Plan the plot for your Novel with NaNoWriMo, or NaNo Prep or C. Alex Smith. Or don't. Pantsers welcome!
  5. Select Flagstaff AZ as you home region.

    Each region has leaders who schedule meet and greets and writing sessions which usually take place at coffee houses or bookstores. Our leader is Cory. These sessions encourage writers to collaborate and share ideas. If you’re not into the idea of writing in public, the NaNoWriMo website also has numerous message boards so you can talk to writers from all over the world.
  6. Come November, WRITE! And earn Badges for reaching milestones.
  7. Get help when you get stuck. The encouragement that you receive is unparalleled. The website even e-mails inspirational quotes and messages to your WriMo inbox daily.
  8. Update your word count until you get to 50,000 words or more.
  9. Claim your Win by pasting the full text of the novel into the NaNo word counter. Winners can also claim prizes. You can even get a free copy of Scrivener for winning.
  10. NaNoWriMo also hooks you up with people who can help you find out what to do with your novel once it’s been completed.

NaNoWriMo Kick Off Event on 10/31/19

Start your NaNoWriMo challenge out at the stroke of midnight at the IHOP on Rte 66. Festivities start at 10 pm and last until 1 am. Costumes welcome. At midnight we settle in to write those first words of our 50,000 word challenge.

Write-Ins and More

11/1 Noon-3 pm Lowell Observatory Pizza Party and Write-In 
11/2 3-5pm A Writer's Toolbox Workshop at Main Library in Flagstaff
11/4 1:30-3:30 pm Literacy Center Write-In
11/5 Noon-1pm Writers Who Lunch at Main Library and 6-9 pm Write-In at Bookmans
11/7 12-2 pm East Side Writers at East Library on 4th St. 
4-6 pm Magical Realism Lecture at Liberal Arts Building, NAU Rm 136

6-9 pm The Written World at Mother Road Brewery on Butler 

6:30-8:30 pm Shut Up and Write at Flagstaff Main Library
11/8 Noon-1 pm Writers Who Lunch in Flagstaff Main Library
11/9 9am-Noon Cline Library Write-In at Room 131
Inspiration on Tap at Uptown Pub 3-6 pm
11/11 1:30-3:30 pm Literacy Center Write-In
11/12 Noon-1 pm Writers Who Lunch at Flagstaff Main Library
6-9 pm Bookmans Write-In
11/14 Noon-2 pm East Side Writers at East Flagstaff Library on 4th St
6:30-8:30 pm Shut Up and Write at Flagstaff Main Library
11/15 Noon-1 pm Writers Who Lunch Flagstaff Main Library
11/16 9 am-Noon Cline Library Write-In Room 131
3-5 pm Surviving the Last Half of NaNoWriMo Flagstaff Main Library
11/18 1:20-3:30 pm Literacy Center Write-In
11/19 Noon-1pm Writers Who Lunch Flagstaff Main Library
6-9 pm Bookmans Writer-In
11/21 Noon-2 pm East Side Writers at Flagstaff East Library on 4th St.
5:30-?? Special Written Word at Charley's Bar and Grill
6:30-8:30 Shut Up and Write at Flagstaff Main Library
11/22 Noon-1 pm Writers Who Lunch at Flagstaff Main Library
11/23 9 am-Noon Cline Library Write-In Room 131
11/25 1:30-3:30 pm Literacy Center Write-In
11/26 Noon-1 pm Writers Who Lunch, Flagstaff Main Library
11/28 Thanksgiving
11/30 10 pm-1 am Close Out Bash at IHOP on Rte 66

More from


Library of the Damned

Image result for banned book week 2019

The Literary Community comes together each year in the last full week of September to honor our freedom to read and share ideaseven unpopular ideas. Banned Books Week spotlights historic and current attempts to censor literature in schools and libraries.

Related image
You might be surprised at some of the books that have been banned in the past. Here is a short list:
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Some people have an underdeveloped sense of irony.)
Think of how much poorer your life would have been if the censorship of these books had been successful.

This year Flagstaff Writer's Connection invites you to read a brief excerpt of your favorite previously or currently banned book and post it to our website in the comments below. Or you can post it to our Facebook Page. You can also put it on You Tube and submit it to the National Virtual Read Out.

Here are some lists of Banned Books:

10 Classics
50 Books that were Banned
Banned and Challenged Classics
Top 11 Challenged Books of 2018
33 Must Read Banned Books

Learn More about Banned Books Week:

Banned Books Week Org
Banned Books Week on Facebook
American Library Association
Support the Right to Read
Bookmans of Flagstaff

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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Nature Writing Retreat: Eco Poetry & Prose

poet, author, and writing instructor
Pam Davenport
“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
~Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
Spend the day remembering you are part of Nature. This all day retreat in a Garden Setting will break down the barriers between you and the natural world. See things differently and discover how to use your Poetry and Prose to live and breathe and even to facilitate change.
Saturday, September 14
Check-In at 9:30 am
Instruction 10 am-4 pm

Fee $50 before Sept 1 
and $60 in Sept.
(Includes entrance to Arboretum)
Participants limited to 25

Register by mailing Registration Form and Check payable to  Nancy Brehm
925 N. Sinagua Heights Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

For more info call or email Nancy at: 


Arrive early and stay until 5 pm to enjoy the gardens. The Arboretum has lots of paths, a butterfly garden, a mushroom garden, art, a pond, and a climate change center. Maps and tours will be available after 9 am.

Participants should bring a brown bag lunch. Coolers will be available. Coffee, tea and muffins will be furnished in the morning. Healthy snacks and desserts will be available during the day. Participants are asked to bring a water bottle for refilling.

Pam Davenport's writing is inspired by the mountains and deserts of Arizona. After decades of teaching college writing and literature classes, Pam earned a Masters of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University in Oregon. Her chapbook, A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith won the Slipstream Chapbook Competition and will be published this summer. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and recipient of Arizona Authors' Assc. Annual Award for Poetry. Her poems have been published in Nimrod, Tinderbox, Slippery Elm, Poetry of the American Southwest, Chiron, New Verse News, and Pittsburgh Poetry Review.

After the Workshop

We had a great group on Sat for this workshop. The facilities were beautiful and the weather was perfect for our outside writing. Thanks to all who participated for making the workshop and the readings extraordinary.

Mark James, Flagstaff Arboretum Docent, gave a wonderful talk prior to our workshop on Sat. Plants discussed included columbine, yarrow, larkspur and puke weed. Thank you Mark for all the interesting info.