Many among us have had the itch to write the great American novel, to put pen to paper and tell our grandparent's WWII story. Perhaps we want to chronicle everyday life for a magazine or create and design a groovy blog or children’s book. No matter the genre, the desire to write is a calling.
Recently, I heard a story on NPR about the writer who dropped out of high school, then worked at a meat packing plant and a paper mill for thirty-two years. At age forty-five he quit it all to go to graduate school and later became a writer.
Donald Ray Pollock is the writer; his book of short stories Knockemstiff was published in 2008 to critical acclaim. His most recent work is a novel, The Devil All the Time.
In the Fresh Air Interview Pollock said, "I'd always been a big reader, and I loved books, and I always thought writing would be a great way to get by in the world. The principle reasons for me, as far as being a writer, were: You were your own boss; you could do it anywhere; and you made lots of money. It wasn't until I actually began writing that I found out that wasn't really true."
Here is what is true: It isn’t too late for those of us who want to sharpen up our writing skills or pursue the dream to write.
On Monday August 29th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Hudson Valley Writer’s Center will have their fall Open House and Reception. It is free and open to the public.
HVWC has added six new instructors and additional workshops including Comedy Writing (John Marshall), Breaking into the Magazine World (Alix Strauss), and Girl’s Best Guide to Writing Stories (Kate Vogel).
Also included are classes on Blog Writing (Ilana Arazie); Variations of Bookbinding, which is a primer to making your own chap books (Shanna Yarborough); as well as Ritual Writing, (Steven Sher).
The Executive Director of the HVWC, Frank Juliano expressed his goals for the Fall Open House: “It gives current and new students a chance to mingle with the instructors, staff, and HVWC board, and to really feel, and get a sense of ownership in the Center and all that we do.”
And for those among us who have dreamt and desired to write there’s nothing like the present. And what’s even better news you can both take a class and keep your current job.
You can check out the Hudson Valley Writing Center’s website for further information.