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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Night of Learning

Cecilia Dockins

 Rippavilla Plantation

November 29, 2012
7:00 p.m.

Writing a linear sketch (detailed outlining)

Part I: Discussion and development of a linear sketch
Part II: Linear sketch workshop

LWC Education Coordinator and author, Cecilia Dockins, leads our Night of Learning with a lesson on plotting. Please bring a basic story premise to the meeting. You can bring a story you are working on or just a basic idea (have an idea of characters, setting...). You will not have to share your ideas with the group. This is for individual writing practice and learning only. 

Feel free to bring your laptops—I will bring some extension cords in case anyone needs to plug in. If you already have a work-in-progress, bring it either in hard copy or on your laptop. 

If you have an idea, but haven’t yet started writing, that’s okay—just bring your fresh brain.

Read Cecilia Dockins at "Dark Side of the Womb" in paperback or Kindle.

Post By: LWC Director, Karen Aldridge 
(connect with Karen at or at

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Educator to Speak at LWC

Living Writers Collective
Creative Writing

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD

Presentation and Prompt
November 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Rippavilla Plantation

I’m so excited to announce that Rabbi Rami will be speaking at our November creative-writing session on writing from an educator’s perspective and on The Writer’s Loft, MTSU’s creative-writing program. He will also be leading our creative-writing prompt. This will be an awesome opportunity for you to ask an educator any questions you might have about writing. Also, I often get questions from LWC members about The Writer’s Loft, so this will be your chance to get that information first hand.

From The Writer’s Loft: “Dr. Rami Shapiro is an award winning author, poet, essayist, rabbi, and educator. In addition to directing The Writer's Loft, Rami is adjunct Professor of Religion at Middle Tennessee State University, and Director of Wisdom House, a center for interfaith study, dialogue, and contemplative practice at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville.

This is a very special opportunity for our group, so I hope to have a VERY LARGE LWC turnout.  

The Writer’s Loft:
Rabbi Rami Shapiro:

 Post By: LWC Director, Karen Aldridge 
(connect with Karen at or at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Feast


Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6:00 p.m.
Eric Gannon’s House

The LWC event of the year, Fall Feast 2012, is just around the corner. This will be potluck, so bring a yummy dish (we get everything from dessert to appetizers to main dishes—anything goes for a potluck). Soft drinks will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own festive beverage, wine, or beer. And bring a guest—adults only, please.

This year our fun focus will be genres. So for our fun picture, bring a prop or dress in something that portrays your favorite genre to write or read. For example, if you love to write clue mysteries, you might have a Sherlock Holmes hat, a pipe, and a magnifying lens. If you love to write horror, you might go the zombie or ghost route with your props or costume. If you like to write romanticomedy, you might wear a wedding veil and a clown nose. Tragiromance, maybe wear a wedding veil and carry a bloody knife. Just a few ideas. And, yes, I think I completely made up the words “romanticomedy” and “tragiromance”—just wanted to show that you could blend genres if you’d like. Have fun with your creations. For a little added fun, we’ll vote for the most creative genre getup this year.  

If you know you’re coming, let me know. I just want to get a general idea of how many to expect. Also let me know if you will be bringing a guest. See you at the party!

Karen Aldridge

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Signing--Larry Walker


September 22, 2012
Spring Hill Library
1:00 p.m.

In COURAGE TO RETURN a man when faced with the diagnosis of his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease gives into his weaknesses and chooses the easiest course—he runs. As he sojourns in Brazil embarking on new adventures and a journey of faith, the reader follows him wondering if he will find the Courage to Return.

Dr. Larry Walker earned the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. After serving ten years in the parish ministry, he entered the U.S. Army as a Chaplain and retired after twenty-six years at the rank of Colonel. He was married to Ellen, his first wife, for forty-three years and cared for her until her death from Alzheimer's disease. Later, he served as a hospice chaplain in Columbia, TN for two years. Also an accomplished artist, he has presented his watercolors in two notable one-man exhibits. He lives in Florida with his wife Natalie.

Dr. Walker is a member of LWC. LWC is listed in the acknowledgements of Larry’s book because of the editing and suggestions we offered Larry over a couple of years as he was in the process of writing and revising this book. So I encourage you all to come out and give Larry your support on Saturday.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August Night of Learning

Living Writers Collective


Guest Author: Stephanie Faris

Author of 30 Days of No Gossip
TOPIC: Persistence in Traditional Publishing
and Tips on Building Blog Readership

At Rippavilla Plantation in the Excel building
Thursday, August 30, 2012
7:00 p.m.

Stephanie Faris is represented by Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary Agency and recently received a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster's Aladdin M!X imprint division. Her middle-school novel 30 Days of No Gossip will publish in the spring of 2014. Faris is also a ghostwriter and freelance writer, and she writes articles for and She began blogging on MySpace in 2006 and reached top blogger status averaging 10,000 daily views on her blog Steph in the City. In total, she has authored more than 300,000 articles and blogs. 

In her non-writing time, Faris works as the multimedia coordinator and help desk supervisor for the Department of Health. 

Links to Stephanie:

Stephanie Faris (her current blog and author site)

Steph in the City (moved from MySpace to Blogger in 2009 - no longer blogging here, but all her top-blogger posts are still available to read)

Stephanie Faris on Twitter

Stephanie Faris on Facebook

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Southern Bookhounds Book Sale

Eric Gannon is having another Southern Bookhounds book sale on July 14. All books are $1. Save the date. I'll add more information to this post soon.

Facebook link: Southern Bookhounds

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Clarksville Writers Conference

If you’re looking for a good general writers' conference in Middle Tennessee this year, the Clarksville Writers Conference, June 7-8, is the place to be.
Registration to this conference also gets you a meeting with a literary agent (two to choose from) while time slots are available—so register soon. Mary Ann Weakley and Karen Aldridge have registered, and we’d love for you to join us. There are some excellent speakers scheduled including Writer’s Digest’s Chuck Sambuchino and Pulitzer-winning author Alex S. Jones. And there are many hot-topic sessions to choose from: poetry, publishing (traditional, self, and e-publishing), YA and children’s, platform building, genre and literary, freelancing, truth as fiction, nonfiction, literary journal publishing, biography, social media and promotion, and so much more.

This is Clarksville's 8th annual writers conference. Here is some interesting information straight off the conference website about the literary connection to Clarksville:

Clarksville, Tennessee was a pivotal center of the Southern Renaissance of the 1920's and 30's. Writers of the era living in Clarksville included: Robert Penn Warren, Evelyn Scott, Caroline Gordon, Allen Tate. Additional writers, Cleanth Brooks, Ford Maddox Ford, Donald Davidson, Katherine Ann Porter, Robert Lowell, Andrew Lytle, Malcolm Cowley, Frances and Brainard Cheney and others gathered to write and discuss their work at "Benfolly," Tate's home overlooking the banks of the Cumberland River. Their Clarksville home became a Mecca for writers of the Southern Renaissance and from that site poured literature that enriched the American Scene.

In that great tradition, we offer you the 2012 Clarksville Writers Conference.

Clarksville Writers Conference:

Let me know if you register. I'd love to see you there.

Post and prompt by: Karen Aldridge -

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Personification Prompt

(This prompt was given at our creative writing session on April 19, 2012.)

Writing from the Object’s Point of View

Choose one of the following objects or come up with your own object, and write a story from the object’s point of view.

• An inflated balance ball in a busy gym’s group-fitness class

• A ball of yarn being chased by a cat

• A race car at NASCAR currently in last place

• A well-worn pole on the stage of a New Orleans strip club

• The most often checked-out book at the local library

• A bloody pickax that has no idea how it got bloody

• A ball in play at the World Series

• A red crayon on the art table at a full daycare

• The full scalp belt of a Native American returning to his tribe

• The scarred boots of a soldier who fought in Vietnam

• A pitcher of peach margaritas at a southern belle’s bachelorette party

• A tracking device on the back of a free Bald Eagle looking for a mate

• A fly swatter trying to swat a fast and clever fly

• A beaded necklace worn by a jilted lover (the necklace made by the lover who did the jilting)

• A writer’s keyboard

Post and prompt by: Karen Aldridge -

Monday, March 26, 2012

Night of Learning - March 2012

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, in the Excel building at Rippavilla for our first 2012 Night of Learning.


The Fundamentals of Fiction:
How to Write with Style, Edit with Grace, and Publish with Pride

Video by: William Bernhardt

This video contains a series of fiction-writing lessons. We will be watching the introduction, which includes a "Ten Wrongs Don't Make a Writer" set, along with sections on plotting and polishing. Click on the title above to read more about the video.

Popcorn, movie candy, and soft drinks will be provided.

If you are a nonfiction writer, this video will appeal to you as well. Fiction and nonfiction writers alike should be plotting and polishing. Come out and join us. You do not have to be a member to attend any LWC events or meetings.

Special thanks to LWC education coordinator, Cece Dockins, for putting together this fantastic Night of Learning.

Post by: Karen Aldridge -