082517 ARTS workshop photo

Do you have ideas for stories that have never made it to paper? Do you have a notebook full of essay starts without endings? Have you written stories, poems, or essays that remain hidden on a file on your computer? For anyone who has ever dreamed of being a writer, the Cultivating Creativity Writing Workshop is for them.

Authors Cheryl Unruh and Tracy Million Simmons are looking for writers (including those who haven’t declared themselves as such) who are interested in exploring the written word in prose and poetry in a supportive, fun, hands-on-writing-time environment.

To register for The Word Farm’s first “Cultivating Creativity” Workshop, visit them online at trmsim.wixsite.com/thewordfarm. The workshop will take place 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Prairie Dust Gallery, 330 Commercial St. The cost for the full day workshop, lunch included, is $60. Writers should bring their favorite writing utensils: pencils or pens, tablets and notebooks, or laptop computers, and be prepared to write!

Workshop participants will be introduced to writing exercises that will aid them in everything from idea generation to practical tips and tricks for getting stories, essays, and poetry from the imagination to the page. At least a few sessions should result in completed poems and short prose. Time for writing and sharing work-in-progress will be built into the workshop day. At workshop’s end, each participant will go home with a list of writing topics and at least a couple of works-in-progress.

This workshop is intended for writers who are looking for a supportive circle in which to grow in their writing life. It is ideal for those who have contemplated writing and would like some assistance and support getting started. After the workshop, attendees will be invited to a private Cultivating Creativity Group page on Facebook where they will be able to continue sharing their work and get continued motivational prompts and feedback.

The Word Farm is a joint-endeavor by Cheryl Unruh and Tracy Million Simmons. Additional workshops and book events are being planned throughout the year. Sign up for the mailing list on the website to get information on future workshops and projects.

Unruh is the author of two books of essays, “Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State,” a 2011 Kansas Notable Book, and “Waiting on the Sky: More Flyover People Essays,” a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. She has won awards from the Kansas Press Association and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. She received the 2016 Kansas’ Finest Award from Kansas! Magazine. Her first book of poetry, “Walking on Water,” was published by Meadowlark Books in 2017.

Simmons is a past mini-fellowship winner from the Kansas Arts Commission and has received an honorable mention in the Kansas Voices contest (Winfield). She is the author of “Tiger Hunting,” a 2013 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award winner, and one of three authors of “Green Bike,” a group novel. She is the founder of Meadowlark Books, an independent publisher that focuses on stories and authors from the heartland. Her collection of short stories, “A Life in Progress,” is recently published.

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