Follow your wonder in this special workshop with author, editor, and university teacher Laura Lynn Brown.
Begins May 13, 2019. Limit 10 participants. Register by May 6 to avoid a $10 late fee.
As poet-philosopher David Whyte has said, “The ability to ask beautiful questions, often in very unbeautiful moments, is one of the great disciplines of a human life. And a beautiful question starts to shape your identity as much by asking it, as it does by having it answered. You just have to keep asking.”
As children, we’re full of questions—like these: “Could we Xerox the moon? … What happens at the end of numbers?” from Nancy Willard’s poem “Questions My Son Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Him.”
Sometimes along the way, though, we forget to keep asking, or think we have no time for questions. Or we stop listening to our own questions. Other times, it seems all we have are questions. Some too shy even to use a question mark. They might simply start, “I wonder …”
In this workshop, we’ll recapture our childlike sense of wonder and rekindle our curiosity. We’ll listen to our persistent questions, and to what they might be hiding (including beauty). We’ll use our life experience to create new questions, explore the ones that promise to move us forward, and stir surprising answers through writing.
Though we’ll focus on short nonfiction in our writing, you may be inspired to write poems, too. After all, who can say what will bring us the questions we need or the answers they want?
There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.
— Zora Neale Hurston
8-week *Basic* Level Course Includes
• Select readings each week to show what’s possible when we follow our questions. In some cases, we’ll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the writers followed their curiosity. With readings from Naomi Shihab Nye, Ross Gay, Leslie Jamison, Kenneth Koch, Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, William Stafford, David Whyte, Jesse Donaldson, and others
• Writing prompts, assignments, and occasional activities to help you write and explore your questions
• A variety of exploratory techniques like collage, map-making, walk-taking, and flash writing on sticky-notes
• Six asynchronous discussions you can participate in at your convenience and two live Zoom video chats (recorded, in case you need to miss)
• Pairing with a peer for weekly individual feedback and co-exploration
8 Week *Premium* Level Course Includes
• All aspects of Basic level
• A mailed mystery package with a handwritten postcard and items to help in the pursuit of questions and curiosity
• Continued access to the private classroom space after the course is completed
• Choose one:
-Professional editing of one article you hope to submit for publication
-A one-hour phone or Zoom consultation or coaching session after the course
Themes We’ll Cover
WEEK 1 • Anatomy of a Question
WEEK 2 • Oh, Do Not Ask What Is It: Talking a Walk
WEEK 3 • Is There a Pouch of Rain?: Questions We Forgot to Ask
WEEK 4 • Xeroxing the Moon: Asking Like a Child Again
WEEK 5 • The Coy Question: How Like You This?
WEEK 6 • One Train May Hide Another: Concealment and Collage
WEEK 7 • Why, Oh Why, the Doily? Questions Objects Ask
WEEK 8 • Do You Hear Yellow? Puzzles, Riddles and Unanswerable Questions
By which window or door may future days enter?”
– Naomi Shihab Nye
Note to Teachers
You may be able to get professional development units for our courses. We recommend this service offered by Courses4Teachers (and that you check with your district beforehand).
Private online group setting that includes a free digital copy of Spin: Taking Your Creativity to the Nth Degree
You Will Need
A computer or mobile device with an internet connection capable of accessing our interactive online space, clicking on documents, and participating in Zoom chats. And you’ll need your favorite writing devices: computer, tablet, pencil, pen, crayon, notebook paper, Moleskine, spiral, or other creative tool. We also recommend a library card because this workshop includes many children’s books.
Your Workshop Leader
Laura Lynn Brown, a writing instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, is also an author, editor and writing coach who honed her writing and editing talents at The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Her work was named as a Notable Essay in the 2013 Best American Essays. Laura has an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of Everything That Makes You Mom. Writing about her own place (Pittsburgh) is one of her great loves.
From Past Tweetspeak Workshop Participants
Sharon Gibbs: Thank you for making Tweetspeak Poetry such a rich area of living and learning. The workshops are not only life-changing, but they have blessed me with friendships and community outside the classroom(s).
Laura Lapins Willis: The writing workshop I’m taking with Tweetspeak Poetry has been transformational. I’ve had a great teacher/mentor who has encouraged our group with interesting readings and assignments. My classmates have broadened my perspective and challenged me to be a better reader and writer.
Brad Grout: I am personally getting so much out of this memoir workshop…you people are AMAZING!
Lane Arnold: I struck gold. An afternoon session of writing poetry is good for the soul. The poetry workshop is a catalyst for creativity.
Lexanne Leonard: The most important step I’ve taken is to join Tweetspeak’s Poetry Workshop with Anne Doe Overstreet. I cannot begin to thank Tweetspeak, Anne, and my fellow students for this journey.
Darlene S.: I don’t think I can put into words both the overall value of the lessons learned and the encouragement I got.
Debra Hale-Shelton: My writing had become formulaic after so many years having to write the facts and just the facts. For the first time in years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my craft, again dreamed of becoming what I dreamed of at age 18—a writer, not a reporter.
Rhonda Owen: Both of the Tweetspeak workshops I’ve taken this year have nourished me on so many levels. I also feel energized and revitalized through the relationships I’ve formed with the lovely, talented, kind people I’ve met in the workshops. Transformative is the best word to describe it…
Sandra Heska King: This was absolutely the single best whim I’ve followed.
8 week *Basic* • BUY NOW $350
8 week *Premium* • BUY NOW $429
Photo by Joel Olives, Creative Commons, via Flickr.