Behind the Scenes

Community Novel Project 2017 handouts

Writing Techniques: Show, Don’t Tell: A Skills and Techniques Workshop
Monday, April 3, 2017 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Marvin Auditorium 101B
Using the story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, Professor of English Literature Anthony Funari will teach writers to “show” rather than just “tell” important details to readers. Learn to analyze from a writer’s perspective and improve your writing. Sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council.


Writing Memoir Essays: A Skills and Techniques Workshop
Monday, February 13, 2017 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Marvin Auditorium 101C
Washburn Professor Louise Krug teaches writers how to “write about something that only you can” in a workshop on crafting memoir essays that resonate with readers, using short examples of memoir from published writers and providing guidelines for new and experienced writers.

Notes from Writing Memoir Essays (PDF)

We also encourage you to read examples in this genre, and recommend this collection of 50 online memoir essays and also storytelling podcasts like The Moth  and their tips.


Create the Community Novel: Premise and Organizational Meeting
Saturday, January 28, 2017 | Noon-2 p.m. | Marvin Auditorium 101BC Adults
Learn self-publishing from premise to paperback or ebook. Writers will create thematically connected narrative nonfiction, peer critique, revise, copy edit, layout, publish and market the book. Focus on collaboration, planning and project management skills.

Premise of the 2017 Community Novel Project Collection

A rebellion, a radical act, a renewal, a turning point, an unexpected challenge, an epiphany which occurred in your life that made you who you are and influenced or impacted where you are at now in your life. Your work should connect to local, Topeka, or Shawnee County or northeast Kansas, or to our state generally.

This collection of personal memoir essays will appeal to readers because each essay will be locally connected to our community/region and will focus thematically on a specific moment/event in the writer’s life. Memoir is one facet of the creative non-fiction genre–your first-person true story, well-told.


What Publishing Insiders Wished Authors Knew
Wednesday, January 4, 2017 • 7-8:30 p.m.
Marvin Auditorium 101C
Julie Meidinger Trelstad, a 30-year NYC publishing veteran, talks about publishing myths, including what agents and publishing houses want, when to choose self-publishing, and the author’s role in publishing. Bring your questions to a facilitated conversation.

Questions submitted in advance for “What Publishing Insiders Wished Authors Knew” – read the questions submitted in advance by community writers which were answered at the event

Additional advice from Julie Trelstad:

Previous year handouts