Tag Archives: writing place

I’ll Be on the Radio Today!

29 Aug

WIOX

The lovely Simona David interviewed me for WIOX Community Radio to discuss the writing workshop — Literary Relationships: Writing In, Into, and To Community — I’ll be leading at the Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers. Tune in this Monday at 1pm to hear about why I love Hobart Book Village, why you need literary friendships like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac‘s, and how to deal with jealousy in the industry.

The Hobart Festival of Women Writers takes place September 9th through September 11 in the Catskills. Here’s a description of the writing workshop I’ll be leading:

Surveying famous literary friendships throughout history—Dickinson and Higginson; Lewis and Tolkien; Hurston and Rawlings; Kerouac and Ginsberg …. we’ll discuss the value of friendship among writers from both a personal and professional perspective as well as how writers today can achieve this type of community through such avenues as residencies, writing groups, and social media.

We’ll also consider the notion of dialoguing with writers past, present, and future through parody, homage, collaboration, and criticism. In-class writing exercises will explore these ideas and more.

Tune in to WIOX Community Radio today at 1pm to learn more!

Festival of Women Writers Shines Spotlight on Me

26 Aug

fww

The Festival of Women Writers in Hobart, New York, recently featured me in their newsletter! You can read it in full here.

I can’t wait for to get up to this cute little town of books up in the Catskills. It’s such an honor to be included in this year’s festival. The line-up is spectacular:

I’ll be reading from Burning Furiously Beautiful as part of the Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writer opening readings on Friday, September 5th at 3:30pm. Then on Saturday, bright and early at 9:30am I’ll be teaching my popular workshop The Role of Place for Reader and Writer. Workshop participants will look at several examples of great setting from literature and then do writing exercises to explore unique ways to imbue the story with a sense of place. You can register here.

Find out more on the Hobart Festival of Women Writers website.

Check out the blog.

Help support women writers by contributing to this event.

* * *

For my other upcoming events, check out my appearances page. If you’re interested in booking me for a reading or hiring me to lead a writing workshop, you can contact me at snikolop {@} alumna.scrippscollege.edu.

Michigan Writers

19 Apr

Do you think writers are defined by where they were born?  Where they live?  By whether or not they’ve moved?  By how much they’ve traveled?

Yesterday, I wrote about how at the Faith & Writing Festival Circle we’ll be discussing is the idea of how where you write can actually affect your writing.  Today, I’m bringing you another little preview.  This time on writers from Michigan.

I’ve only been to Michigan the one other time I was at the Festival of Faith & Writing, and from what I’ve seen, it’s pretty unique.  It’s a rather large and diverse state.  Michigan is definitely Midwest — so different from where I grew up on the East Coast.  Yet each city and town seems to have its own culture and identity.  I think if two people from Michigan meet they’d probably judge each other based on where they live.

Yet, Michigan seems integral to America’s history as a whole because of the car industry in Detroit and the way cars began to define a certain type of American identity.

Below is a list of Michigan writers.

 

Books Set in Michigan or Written by Michigan Authors

  • Mitch Albom, born in New Jersey and now lives in Detroit, is the author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
  • John Malcolm Brinnin, raised in Detroit, is the poet credited with bringing Dylan Thomas to the US.
  • Bruce Campbell, born in Royal Oak (MI), wrote a New York Times bestselling autobiography; he also has written a novel and writes about the film industry and politics.
  • Jeffrey Eugenides, born in Detroit, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Middlesex.  His most recent book is The Marriage Plot.
  • M. F. K. Fisher, born in Albion (MI), is a preeminent food writer.
  • Robert Frost, moved to Ann Arbor for a teaching fellowship at the University of Michigan, and his home can be viewed at The Henry Ford museum near Detroit.
  • Nancy Hull is a Calvin College professor and children’s book author.
  • Jerry B. Jenkins, born in Kalamazoo (MI), is the co-author of the Left Behind series.
  • Ring Lardner, born in Niles (MI), is best known as the author of the baseball novel You Know Me Al; he was also a friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s.
  • Elmore Leonard, raised in Detroit, is the author of Get Shorty.
  • Philip Levine, born in Detroit, is the 2011 – 2012 Poet Laureate for the US; the Pulitzer Prize winner is known for writing poems about Detroit’s working class.
  • Joyce Carol Oates, born in New York and lived in Detroit for a decade, is a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and the winner of a National Book Award for Them.
  • Theodore Roethke, born in Saginaw (MI), is the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet of The Waking and the National Book Award for Poetry winner for Words for the Wind and The Far Field.  His immigrant father owned a greenhouse, and Roethke went on to use natural imagery in his work.
  • Gary D. Schmidt is a Calvin College professor and children’s book author.
  • Freshwater Boys, by Michigan author Adam Schuitema, is a collection of short stories about Michigan.

Who are your favorite Michigan-based authors?

Places to Write, Drink Coffee, and Buy Books in Grand Rapids

18 Apr

As most of you know, at the Festival of Faith & Writing I’ll be leading a Festival Circle called Holy Grounds: The Role of Place in Your Spiritual and Literary Life.  One of the things we’ll be discussing is the idea of how where you write can actually affect your writing.

We’ll be talking about writing in such places as quiet home offices, caffeine-fueled coffeehouses, musty old libraries, in the serene beauty of nature, awe-inspiring churches, on the subway, in prison, and while you’re traveling.  Where do you like to write?

I’ll be providing those who registered for the Holy Grounds Festival Circle with a list of literary(-ish) places near Calvin College in Grand Rapids.  Places to relax, get inspiration, study Midwestern scenery and characters, and write.  A lot of us are traveling from out of state so I thought this list would be helpful.  There are plenty of places on campus to write and grab a cup of coffee, and the Festival will probably keep everyone busy enough that they won’t need this list, but sometimes it’s nice to break free from the bubble and see something outside the Festival grounds.  This list may also be helpful to writers who live in the area and are looking for a change of scenery from where they normally write.  I haven’t actually been to any of these places, so tread carefully!  Haha.  If you’re a Michigan writer, tell us your recommended writing places, coffee shops, bookstores, and literary havens.

Literary(-ish) places in Grand Rapids:

Ladies Literary Club (now a performing arts center)

61 Sheldon Blvd SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

(616) 459-6322

 

Bookstores in Grand Rapids

Argos Book Shop – Grand Rapids’ Oldest and Largest Used Book Shop!

1405 Robinson Rd SE; Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1722
616-454-0111

argos@argosbooks.com

Business Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 6pm; Sunday: Noon to 3:00 pm


Family Christian Bookstores

3343 Alpine Ave. NW, #A; Grand Rapids, MI

 616-784-7179

 

Literary Life Bookstore & More

758 Wealthy Street SE (the southwest corner of Wealthy and Eastern); Grand Rapids, MI

Business Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am to 8pm; Sunday closed

 

Schuler Books & MusicCelebrating 30 years as your local, independent bookstore!
2660 28th Street SE; Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-942-2561
info@schulerbooks.com
bookgroupsgr@schulerbooks.com
Manager: Tim@schulerbooks.com

Business Hours: Monday to Saturday: 9am to 10pm; Sunday: 10am to 7pm

 

Schuler Books & Music
40 Fountain N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: 616-459-7750
Promotions: Emily@schulerbooks.com
Manager: Neil@schulerbooks.com

Business Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 9am to 6pm; Thursday and Friday: 9am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 5pm

 

Coffeehouses in Grand Rapids

76 Coffee

1507 Wealthy St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

616-301-2226

 

Ferris Coffee & Nut

227 Winter Avenue NW; Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616-459-6257

 

Rowster New American Coffee

632 Wealthy Street, SE; Grand Rapids, MI 49503

(616) 780-7777

info@newamericancoffee.com
Business Hours: Monday to Friday: 7am – 7pm; Saturday: 9am – 5pm; Sunday: 11am – 3pm.


West Coast Coffee

55 Monroe Center NW; Grand Rapids MI 49503

Business Hours: Monday to Friday: 6:30am – 5:00pm; Saturday: 9am to 5pm; Sundays: closed

  

Writing Wednesday: Writing While Sailboats Float By

24 Aug

 

 

There are days when I’m in the mood to write, to let the words flow freely onto the paper, only to end up feeling all angsty sitting up in my room, all alone in front of the computer.  Writing can feel so isolating sometimes.  In the summer, when the weather’s warm, I want to sit outside in the grass or at the beach, instead of in my room or in a café.  To remedy my desire to both write and enjoy some sunshine I’ve been taking my work outdoors.

The other day I packed up an essay I’d been working on and went to Central Park.  If you enter in the East Seventies, there’s a man-made pond, where you can rent toy sailboats.  There are a ton of benches and lots of sunshine even in the evening hours, so it makes for a great writing spot.

Being outside writing made me feel so productive!  I felt like I was not only getting my writing done but that I was still taking advantage of the last month of summer and the beauty of living by Central Park.