During this episode, host Bethany Hegedus tackles the topic of critique groups, including what they are, how you find one or start one, how you keep one going, how you disband one when it's not working or leave one that isn't working for you. She also goes over reasons to join a group such as accountability and companionship. How should you structure the group meetings, and how can a group best function to include all members equally? You can be in any stage of your career and benefit from a critique group, and guess what? You don't have to take every critique you're given to heart. Learn how to best participate in a critique group to enhance your work and your community in this episode of Courage to Create.
In segment two of the special Courage to Create episode Bethany recorded live during her Write. Submit. Support. class’s summer retreat, the group of writers delve into what drives their literary lives at the moment and what, if anything they’d like to change about that. How can community help our work? Why is it so important to balance craft techniques like pace and structure with the emotion of the story? How do we unblock ourselves when we’re creatively stuck? The writers explore all these topics as they continue on with writing exercises meant to unlock and investigate these areas of the literary life. Bethany also gives a shout out to middle grade author Ann Braden, who was a Courage to Create guest on episode 52, and her heartfelt debut, THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN OCTOPUS, and how much Ann overcame to get that book out into the world. The group discusses the importance of sharing your struggles with your writing community as a way to lessen their impact. Listen also to part one if you haven’t already, and be sure to find out more about The Writing Barn’s online Write. Submit. Support. programming at http://www.thewritingbarn.com/upcoming-classes/#online
In this special first segment of a two part Courage to Create, Bethany leads the group of writers from her pilot program of Write. Submit. Support. during their most recent retreat. This group of writers has worked together for three years now, and they continue to retreat together twice yearly at The Writing Barn. The theme of this retreat was “Reclaiming Your Brave,” and during this episode, listeners will hear Bethany and the ten retreat participants discuss various aspects of how they are doing that in their creative lives and how they plan to add more bravery to their work. Listeners can also engage in the various writing exercises Bethany led the group in over the course of their afternoon workshop. Participants were asked to use elements of their childhood selves that they wanted to reclaim and embrace anew in themselves and their characters. The group discusses the challenges and the importance of trying new things as well as looking honestly not just at your weaknesses as a writer but also at your strengths. “Having a want can be scary because it means for a time we’re going to go unfulfilled,” Bethany tells the class who then expounds on how to cope with this knowledge and not let it stop you from starting or continuing your work. Tune in next week for part two of this episode, and meanwhile, check out The Writing Barn’s online Write. Submit. Support. programming at http://www.thewritingbarn.com/upcoming-classes/#online
Nancy Churnin is the author of eight picture book biographies, including her newest release, MARTIN & ANNE: THE KINDRED SPIRITS OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND ANNE FRANK. Nancy is a native New Yorker who now lives in Texas. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a master's from Columbia University, and she is a former theater critic for The Dallas Morning News. During their conversation on Courage to Create, Bethany and Nancy discuss how they both write about people who have made a positive difference in the world and who inspire them personally. When Nancy realized Anne Frank and Dr. King were both born in 1929, she started to see the other parallels between them and how both responded with love and hope even in the face of hate. Their hearts beat with the same dreams and desire for justice. Nancy and Bethany believe there is now, and always will be, a need for books about what has happened in our world and how people have dealt with it. Nancy wants to teach children that all their dreams are valued and that we can embrace our anger but use it to act and be change makers like Anne Frank and Dr. King were. Nancy is also teaching two upcoming online classes at The Writing Barn. For information on those, please go to www.thewritingbarn.com/upcoming-classes. For more information about Nancy, her books, and her school visits, go to www.nancychurnin.com.