Celebrity Saturdays

Writing Studio

At AllWriters’, we strive to bring you the best! Several times a year, we offer a Celebrity Saturday, which brings in a better-known, better-published author to work with you for one intensive day. Celebrity Saturday authors have included Jane Hamilton, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Michael Perry, A. Manette Ansay, Marilyn Taylor, Ellen Kort, and many, many more! Celebrity Saturdays run from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and cost $95, which includes a lunch catered by Cafe De Art in Waukesha!


March 10 2018: Carter Hunnicutt


“My goal is to help students discover the songs that are just lying there all around us, pick them up and shake them til they sing.” – Carter Hunnicutt

If your heart beats and your lungs breathe, you already have cadence and phrasing.

If you can write a post-it note, you can put your thoughts into words. You are a song-writer! This workshop for all experience levels will get you started or move you forward in your own songwriting. We discuss what to do once you have a living, breathing song on your hands.

The class will be conducting dissections but you won’t need a lab apron. Songs will be dismantled to see how they work. We may sing, dance or bang on the table to ob-serve literary principals at work and learn just enough music theory to make us dan-gerous! You will hear songs in their native habitat and develop strategies to capture and train wild ideas (also known as verb husbandry). While many songwriters work alone, collaboration can offer new ideas, insights and support that may improve your work. Each student is requested to bring at least to share: an idea for a song, a title, a band or album name, a lyric, a melody, a poem, or a complete set of lyrics with or without music. You may wish to have a dozen copies. While you don’t need to have ever written a lyric or a note, you are encouraged to bring an instrument and your lyrics.

Extra Credit: Students who would like to have a set of lyrics, music or a song featured in the workshop should submit either lyrics, music, sheet music or recordings at least two weeks in advance. If you are willing to perform the song live, I will have a guitar and keyboard available. The work can be finished or in any stage of development. We will examine several of these as a group which will either convince you that your song is perfect or help find ways to make it more “perfecter.”

Legal disclaimer: Songwriting is invigorating, exhausting, infuriating and immensely rewarding. Rules will be broken.

“To be human is to think
Writing is thinking
Putting words to music separates us from the whistling birds and growling beasts.
But not by much!” – Carter Hunnicutt

CARTER HUNNICUTT has been songwriting for four decades. His 2016 release Dangerous World showcases his funky style of rock and roll infused with island accents. He currently performs solo and with the Dangerous Band. His music credits include: songwriter and keyboardist in One Way Records, recording artists Those XCleavers, lead singer and songwriter for The Flat Rabbits and writer and synthesist with The Xposed 4heads. Carter lives in Milwaukee where he writes, records and teaches music. Find Carter Hunnicutt on You Tube, Itunes and CD Baby.

Join Carter on the web at www.carterhunnicutt.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/xposed4heads

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May 5 2018: Christopher Mohar


We’ve all heard the advice that as a writer you must “find your voice,” and it’s commonplace for book reviewers to refer to a trendy debutant novelist as a “hot new voice.” But what exactly makes a compelling voice? And how can you strengthen your own voice on the page? This course seeks to de-mystify the nebulous notion of voice by giving writers practical tools for understanding its two key ingredients—syntax and diction—without resorting to those painful grammar exercises your sophomore English teacher marked up with red pen. We’ll place a special focus on revising your own prose to make it more graceful and efficient, and you’ll get pro tips on sentence construction, imagery, sound, rhythm, and metaphor. We’ll also dissect the techniques of successful published writers to see what makes their prose sing and how you can borrow similar strategies in your own work, with the aim of transcending mere imitation and moving onward to new inspiration and innovations all your own.

CHRISTOPHER MOHAR is the author of The Denialist’s Almanac of American Plague and Pestilence, winner of the 2017 Etchings Press Novella Contest. He has been the recipient of a Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowship and The Southwest Review’s McGinnis Ritchie Award for fiction. Selected recent works can be found in The Mississippi Review, North American Review, Creative Nonfiction, Arts & Letters, Gastronomica, and New Stories from the Midwest (Indiana University Press). He is an adjunct instructor of creative writing at Mt. Mary University, and he lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, daughter, and a chicken named Duck.

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June 2 2018: Christine Swanberg


How do themes and concerns in your poetry change as you change? What is that poem you have been meaning to write? The workshop will focus on themes that surface in your writing. Perhaps some are urgent. Perhaps others become nuisances. What seems important and compelling to write about? Where do themes and ideas come from? Christine will discuss her discoveries about themes and issues that emerge over a lifetime of writing and publishing poetry. Writers will glean various themes, issues, and concerns that keep emerging in their own poetry and be encouraged to write what they are most passionate about or to strike out in a new direction.

Are these themes you want to continue or can some be shelved for fresher ones? What is the most urgent and important idea for your next poem? Are they fodder for a collection or chapbook? Participants will have time to write and share a rough draft of a new poem, based on something that matters deeply. Finally, we will talk about ways to organize a poetry collection thematically. Some prefer a short chapbook on one theme fully developed. Others lean toward longer books with several themes incorporated. We’ll discuss the value of both approaches.

The goal is to emerge from the workshop with a stronger sense of power of themes in the poetry process and a new poem!

CHRISTINE SWANBERG’s books include Tonight On This Late Road, Invisible String, Bread Upon The Waters, Slow Miracle, The Tenderness Of Memory, The Red Lacquer Room, Who Walks Among The Trees With Charity and The Alleluia Tree, and most recently Wild Fruition: Sonnets, Spells, and Other Incantations. Hundreds of her poems appear in literary journals. Recent essays appear in Women On Poetry and Writing After Retirement. She gives readings and workshops throughout the USA, most recently Palm Beach Community Center, FL; Sedona, AZ; Poetry Rendezvous in Taos, NM; Dickinson Series; Door Country, WI. She has been a writing teacher and mentor for forty years and was an instructor at the Clearing. Find more about Christine at www.windpub.com/authors/swanberg.

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July 7 2018: Tom Montag


If words have power, how do they move the world? What kinds of poems might do that? While we can’t pretend to be wizards or witches or shamans, this class will examine and foster poetry which takes the form of prayer, spell, chant, and mask in order to work its magic. Students will read and discuss a selection of these various kinds of poems, and will write their own in their own voices, from the position of their own powers. Oftentimes we think the poem is about that which is within us; this workshop is meant to take the poet beyond himself or herself to where the word encounters the world. You might already be familiar with the power of prayer to move mountains, but we will add spell and chant and mask to the methods available. Students should bring a notebook and favorite pen and should expect to draft at least four new poems and to share this work in a supportive environment.

TOM MONTAG most recent collections of poetry are: In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 (2014); This Wrecked World (2015); The Miles No One Wants (2016); and Imagination’s Place: The Old Poet Poems (2017). Over the past few years, Montag has been the featured poet at Atticus Review, Contemporary American Voices, Houseboat, Basil O’Flaherty Review, and Blue Heron Review. He regularly teaches poetry and creative nonfiction for The Mill: A Place for Writers (Appleton, WI). He blogs as The Middlewesterner. With David Graham he is currently co-editing an anthology of poetry about small town America, which is expected to be published in late 2018.

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September 22 2018: Jerry Apps


Jerry Apps has been writing for more than 50 years, full time for the last 23 years. He will share practical tips for writing: newspaper columns, children’s picture books, novels, memoirs, and books about rural history—all of which he has written. He will emphasize the importance of journals, marketing strategies he uses, his approaches for doing research and his organizational strategies. Above all he will stress the importance of the story and its several components. The discussion will be informal with ample opportunities for questions.

JERRY APPS, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 45 books—both fiction and nonfiction. He has published seven novels (all from University of Wisconsin Press), the most recent, Cold as Thunder. His recent nonfiction books include Whispers and Shadows, Never Curse the Rain, and Once a Professor. Jerry has completed five hour-long documentaries with Public Television, which include: Farm Story, Farm Winter, The Land, Never Curse the Rain, and One-Room Country Schools. Farm Winter won a regional Emmy award.

Jerry is a former publications editor for University of Wisconsin-Extension, an acquisitions editor for the McGraw-Hill Book Company, and an editor of a national professional journal. He has won awards for his writing from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Library Association (the 2007 Notable Authors Award), American Library Association, The Wisconsin Council for Writers (the 2007 Major Achievement Award), and Upper Midwest Booksellers among others. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Science. He was named a Fellow by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters in 2012, and inducted into the Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2016, Jerry won the White Cedar Outstanding Teaching Award from The Clearing, where he has taught creative writing for 28 years. For more about Jerry, visit www.jerryapps.com.

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October 6 2018: Kathie and Michael Giorgio


Well-known for their ability to stir students’ imaginations into a whirling dervish of productivity, AllWriters’ director and founder Kathie Giorgio and faculty member Michael Giorgio join forces to bring you a day of complete creativity immersion. Designed to fill your notebook with new ideas and pathways, you will leave the studio on October 6th exhausted…but raring to write.

Starting inside the AllWriters’ classroom and then moving out into Waukesha’s historic downtown, you and your imagination will be trotted through several invigorating creativity exercises, using the environment, the weather, artwork, literature, the five ancient elements, and food. Wait a minute…food? Sure. We are even going to use our lunch hour.

Ready for some brainwave calisthenics? Imagination aerobics? Heavy lifting of the creative muscles? Okay, you get the picture. Come join us for a day of great fun.

KATHIE GIORGIO is the critically acclaimed author of four novels, two story collections and a poetry chapbook. Her fourth novel, In Grace’s Time, was released on 9/7/17. Her first novel, The Home For Wayward Clocks, received the Outstanding Achievement award by the Wisconsin Library Association and was nominated for the Paterson Fiction Award. Learning to Tell (A Life) Time debuted at the 2013 Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books, where Kathie served as Keynote. The story collection, Enlarged Hearts, was selected for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s 99 Summer Must-Reads by in 2012. Rise From The River debuted at Carroll University, where Kathie served as Visiting Author. River was on several “Must-read” lists during the summer of 2015. Oddities & Endings; The Collected Stories of Kathie Giorgio, was selected for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s 100 Must Reads for the Summer list. Giorgio’s short stories and poems have appeared in countless literary magazines and anthologies. She’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Write Well Award, the Million Writer Award, and for the Best of the Net Anthology. In September 2017, her short story, Snap Dragon, was presented live on stage for the Stories On Stage series at Su Teatro theatre in Denver, Colorado. For more about Kathie’s work and to sign up to receive Today’s Moment of Happiness Despite the News, visit www.kathiegiorgio.org.

Giorgio’s teaching career spans 21 years. She is the director/founder of AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, an international creative writing studio located in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Michael Giorgio

MICHAEL GIORGIO got his start in writing in what many consider a dead, or at least a lost, art: Radio Drama. His first work won a national scriptwriting contest and a love of writing was born. Since then, he has had over a dozen audio scripts produced in Newark, Los Angeles, Akron, San Francisco, and Tennessee. Michael’s second full length novel, The Memory Swindlers, was released in 2016 by Black Rose Writing and is the sequel to his first full length novel, Justice Comes Home, released in 2014. An Active Member of the Mystery Writers of America and the Short Fiction Mystery Society, Michael has had both mystery and mainstream short stories published in magazines anthologies. He’s taught for AllWriters’ since the studio’s birth in 2005. For more about Michael’s work, visit www.michaelgiorgio.org.


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