September is just around the corner which means,for many, it’s time to head back to school. We writers are no exception. Once Labor Day has come and gone, educational opportunities for writers abound. Here are a few places I’ll be continuing my education this fall:
Local writing organizations
Writers and Books will begin offering their “Writing Aerobics” classes once again on Saturday mornings. For an hour and a half and a minimal fee, you get to do timed writing exercises, share what you wrote with the rest of the group, and get to hear advice and suggestions from a writer more experienced than yourself. Every week these are taught by a different writing teacher so the exposure you receive to a variety of writing styles is invaluable. It would be a mistake to think that, just because you’re sitting down, you’re not doing much. Every time I’ve been, I leave the writing room finding that both my hand and my brain are quite exhausted from the effort I’ve put forth. But I also feel that special glow of positive energy that you get after a really good workout. Which is why I keep coming back for more!
Here in my little corner of the world, Cornell University will also be resuming their reading series this September with free talks by literary agents and editorial directors, along with readings and discussions led by notable poets, fiction, and nonfiction writers. These are open to the public and students and faculty are also encouraged to attend so the audience is made up of people from all walks of life, making the Q&A sessions much livelier.
Buffalo Street Books is an independent bookstore in Ithaca which hosts all sorts of reading and writing-related activities. Next month I’m planning to hear Alison Lurie discuss her latest novel, The Language of Houses and author Edward Baptiste talk about his nonfiction book. Also on my “to do” list is a long overdue visit to Trampoline, Ithaca’s Competitive Storytelling Event, where participants get five minutes to share a story related to a chosen topic. The September theme is “Your Mom” which I have no doubt will be absolutely fascinating. After all, we all have mothers!
All of these homework assignments are geared towards making me a better overall writer. I’ll let you know if it works when October rolls around!