Blue Heaven

Last week I attended Blue Heaven, a novel workshop held on Kelley’s Island, Ohio. Here’s how the workshop worked:

For the first few days, the 12 of us sat in a big circle and critiqued the first 50 pages of everyone else’s novel. From Thursday on, we broke into small groups to discuss full novels. Each of us read a minimum of two other novels. At night and between sessions, we talked craft, art, and business.

The critiques were intense and incredibly helpful. The discussions were pure gold. The new friendships are priceless.

Add in long morning walks conducted at a brisk pace; spotty wireless and cell phone reception; too much fried food; a big friendly dog; puffs of cotton perpetually swirling through the air; off-key sing-a-longs; fossil hunting; and long good-byes on the ferry ride home.

Yeah, okay. Even if I hadn’t learned a damn thing about writing, I would have had a fantastic time. The fact that I got so much out Blue Heaven, both personally and professionally, makes me a happy camper. Not a particularly well rested camper, mind you, but there’s only so much one workshop can do.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some novel revisions to attack…


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