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!


February 4 2017: Lauren Fox

WRITING YOUR NOVEL: From Spark to Fire with Lauren Fox

You want to write a novel, and maybe you have a pretty good idea of what it’s about. But a novel is made up of more than just a good idea, and sometimes it can be difficult to move from the initial spark to the actual writing. The job of a novelist is to come up with vivid moments, to map the moments into scenes, and to shape those scenes into a cohesive narrative. In “From Spark to Fire,” we’ll talk specifics. We’ll read some short fiction and talk about how the small moments work for the larger purpose of the story. We’ll talk ideas. And we’ll do some fun writing exercises to generate scenes and details, all for the purpose of taking that first spark of a good idea and creating something bright and substantial.

LAUREN FOX is the author of the novels Still Life with Husband, Friends Like Us, and Days of Awe, which was one of Amazon’s top 100 books of 2015. She earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota, and her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Parenting, Psychology Today, Salon, and Milwaukee Magazine. She lives in Milwaukee with her family.

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March 11 2017: Cristina M. R. Norcross

DIVING INTO THE DEEP: Exploration of the Self Through Creative Writing with Cristina M. R. Norcross

When we give ourselves permission to exist in each moment, just as we are, the world becomes more vibrant, more supportive of our soul’s purpose, and richer in spirit than ever before.  If life is a banquet, then we must accept the invitation to this bountiful feast!

Through round-table style discussions, as well as group and individual work, we will explore what it means to know and accept the self, whole-heartedly, in order to follow the path of our highest calling.

  • Hands-on poetry writing exercises
  • Round-table style discussions
  • Group and individual work
  • Useful handouts on the art of writing, submissions, and further reading
  • If you enjoy the works of Brené Brown, Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, or Rebecca Campbell, this is the course for you!

CRISTINA M.R. NORCROSS is the founding editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review (www.blueheronreview.com) and the author of 7 poetry collections.  Her most recent books include Amnesia and Awakenings (Local Gems Press, 2016), and Still Life Stories (Aldrich Press, 2016).  Her works have been published, or are forthcoming, in: The Toronto Quarterly, Your Daily Poem, Lime Hawk, The Poetry Storehouse, Red Cedar, Right Hand Pointing, Verse-Virtual, The MOON Magazine, One Sentence Poems, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others.  Cristina’s work also appears in the anthologies, Contemporary Women’s Literature (2007), Verse & Vision (2011, 2012), Sounds of Solace (2013), A Touch of Saccharine (2014), An Ariel Anthology: transformational poetry & art (2014, 2015), Twice Upon a Time (2015), Poets4Paris (2016), and Secrets and Dreams (2016). She was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition and a finalist in the 2015 Five Oaks Press Chapbook Contest.  For 3 years, Cristina was the co-organizer of the PAAC sponsored project, One Vision: A Fusion of Art and Poetry in Lake Country.  She is currently the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day (celebrated annually on Feb. 20th).  Cristina teaches creative writing workshops in Southeastern Wisconsin to beginning, emerging, and established writers – across all age ranges.  Find out more about this author at: www.cristinanorcross.com

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May 6 2017: Tom Montag


The luminous poem is not about what the poet might feel, but about the thing revealed; not a diary passage, but a journal entry perhaps. It is spare, clear, and loyal to reality; it allows the “ten thousand things” of this world to resonate with each other; it always seeks to let the thing itself shine from within. Poems from Czeslaw Milosz’s international anthology, A Book of Luminous Things, will provide the starting point for this workshop. We will discuss the various categories Milosz believes luminous poems rise out of: epiphany, nature, the secret of a thing, travel, place, the moment, people among people, situations, the other’s skin, non-attachment, and history. Discussion of a variety of poems from the anthology and elsewhere will help us understand Milosz’s categories and let us define what makes the luminous poem glow. And, finally, participants will spend time in class writing their own luminous poems and sharing these with one another in a supportive environment. Poets should arrive at the workshop with their pen and poetry notebook in hand; and they will leave with an enlarged sense of what their poems can be.

TOM MONTAG is recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013; This Wrecked World; and The Miles No One Wants. He has been a featured poet at Atticus Review, Contemporary American Voices, Houseboat, and Basil O’Flaherty Review, and in the past two years received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review, Blue Heron Review, and The Lake. He has been writing and publishing poetry and creative nonfiction for more than fifty years in a wide variety of little magazines. He blogs at The Middlewesterner.

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July 8 2017: Summer Hanford


Do thoughts of self-publishing sometimes make their way into your head? Do you wonder, what’s the big deal about getting a publisher anyhow? Summer Hanford is author of a traditionally published five book young adult fantasy series as well as co-author of nearly twenty self-published works. She has appeared in the number one bestselling spot on Amazon in her self-publishing genre both in the United States and abroad. With one foot in each world, she can tell you the truth about self-publishing be it good, bad or in between.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the pros, cons and pitfalls of self-publishing, and how it compares to being traditionally published. You’ll also receive tips for navigating both self and traditional publishing. To the workshop, please bring a device to access the internet (phone, tablet, computer) if possible and a 250 word (or fewer) overview of a project you are tempted to self-publish. You will workshop your goals for your work and for yourself as a writer, and learn some of the possible pitfalls of self-publishing by brainstorming potential titles and covers.

SUMMER HANFORD is primarily a fantasy author, but also enjoys science fiction, Regency and adventure. The first four books in her five book Thrice Born series are: Gift of the Aluien, Hawks of Sorga, Throne of Wheylia and Plains of Tybrunn. Book five is forthcoming in 2017. Shorter works appear in various magazines and anthologies, including Aoife’s Kiss, Something Wicked Anthology Vol. II, Daughters of Icarus, The Ampersand Review and Nightmare Walkers and Dream Stalkers Vol. II, as well as in her Thrice Born Chronicles, a collection of short stories designed to augment her Thrice Born series.

Starting in 2014, Summer was offered the privilege of partnering with fan fiction author Renata McMann on her well-loved Pride and Prejudice variations. To date, they have over twenty popular Pride & Prejudice Fan Fiction stories available, with more to come. McMann’s original and diverse interpretations of this classic love story, combined with Hanford’s descriptive skills, create new and exciting versions of everyone’s favorite tale that readers all over the world can’t put down.

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August 12 2017: Stacey Ballis

EATING YOUR WORDS: Food in narrative fiction and creative non-fiction with Stacey Ballis

Guess what? Food isn’t just for eating! You can use food as a way of developing character and driving narrative, as well as looking at food writing beyond restaurant criticism and recipe development.  Participants should be interested in exploring “foodie fiction”, how to write effective cooking and eating scenes in fiction, food related non-fiction long form essay work, or memoir with food themes.

STACEY BALLIS  is the author of 10 foodie novels, and two cookbooks, as well as a decade-old food and lifestyle blog.  Before committing herself to a full time writing career, she was an educator for over 15 years.

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November 18 2017: Jane Hamilton

THE END? THE END. THE END! with Jane Hamilton

As difficult as beginnings can be, and vexing as middles are, endings often seem like an impossible feat. The question in any work as it is drawing to a close: has the writer used what she has set in place to complete the plot? (And sometimes: does the writer know what he’s set in place?)  We’ll discuss the endings available to us as a species, take a look at a fraction of the infinite variety within our limitations to end a narrative, do several in-class exercises, and discuss your ending anxieties.

lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin. Novels have won literary prizes, been made into films, and become international bestsellers; two of them, The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, were selections of Oprah’s Book Club. The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel. Her short stories have appeared in Harper’s magazine and her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Allure, O: The Oprah Magazine, Elle, and various anthologies. Her most recent novel is The Excellent Lombards.

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This event is Sold Out! If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please contact AllWriters’ Director Kathie Giorgio at kathie11@aol.com.