Spring/Summer 2011 Workshops for The LIT


I. Writing for Story and Structure
A workshop with Neal Chandler
Saturdays, May 14- June 11, 10a-12p @ The LIT
2026 Murray Hill

Cleveland, OH 44113
Cost: $225

Both fiction and narrative non-fiction are grounded in storytelling. Plot, structure, narrative tension are in aggregate the power that keeps readers turning pages. It is a power that has made some even rather mediocre “writers” into wealthy authors. We know this without thinking when we encounter it as readers. We ought to put the book down, turn out the lamp and go to sleep. We really need to, but we can’t. That is a delicious profligacy every reader is looking for and almost every writer wants to learn to abet. (If your writing ambitions are experimental and counter-intuitive and non-commercial, the high road would still be to master this skill then choose not to use it.)

So let’s look in a systematic way at the elements of plotting, of story structure, and maintaining narrative tension. We will review and discuss these and do exercises that involve putting powerful story lines where our writerly abstractions are. And when we’ve gotten better or even good at this, there will be opportunity for everyone to go back and shape his or her own self-assignments (old or new, long or short, fiction or non-fiction) into more compelling, more marketable stories. This is a workshop in profitable sleep loss. Keeping one another wide-awake.

Neal Chandler is a former soldier, missionary, chauffeur, emergency-room orderly, furniture-store owner, German professor, and editor. He taught many years in the English Department at Cleveland State University where he administrated the creative writing program and helped create NEOMFA, a graduate writing program spanning four universities. He has published essays, short stories, and a story collection. He and his wife live contingently in Charlotte, North Carolina and/or Aurora, Ohio. Their eight children are grown and live everywhere else.

II. Write On!
Saturday, June 25
1-4 pm
$35 for LIT/MOCA Members; 50 for Nonmembers
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
8501 Carnegie Avenue
•RSVP to or to 216.245-5481

Set against the backdrop of the stunning and provocative imagery featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s latest exhibition, Delicious Fields: Ohio Photographers at Work, The LIT and MOCA Cleveland have partnered to present Write On, a day-long writing workshop on Saturday, June 25 from 1-4pm. Following a curator-led tour of the exhibition, participants will choose a workshop focused on either poetry, led by Bonnie Jacobson or prose, led by Eric Anderson. After engaging in some writing exercises to get the creative juices flowing, writers will then get down to business with a period of intensive writing before sharing and getting creative feedback. Finally, poetry and prose writers will come together for a group-wide reading to conclude the afternoon’s workshop.

Megan Lykins Reich is the Director of Education and Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Reich has organized eleven exhibitions at MOCA Cleveland as well as supervised numerous adult programs and events, including conferences and artist panels since joining the museum staff in 2004. She created MOCA’s audio-guide podcast program in 2006 (now a cell phone-delivered program) and is responsible for supervising MOCA’s technology-based education and outreach activities. She is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University’s School of Visual Arts, where she earned a BA in Art History and a BA in Studio Art and of Case Western Reserve University, where in 2004, Reich received her MA in Art History and Museum Studies.
Bonnie Jacobson is the author of two poetry collections, Stopping for Time (GreenTower Press) and In Joanna’s House (Cleveland State University Poetry Center); and two chapbooks, “On Being Served Apples” (Bits Press) and “Greatest Hits” (Pudding House invitational). Her poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Runes, Rhino, Cider Press Review--two of them nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A 1990 Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist grantee, she edited the anthology Cleveland in Prose and Poetry. For thirty-five years she worked as a commercial artist. Currently she is a member of the poetry performance group, Take Nine.
Eric Anderson's fiction and poetry have appeared in The Sun, MUSE, and Prairie Schooner, among many other literary magazines. Anderson was honored by The LIT with a Lantern Award in 2010 in the category of Single Published Poem for his work, “A Couple of Scars on my Back.” His novella, Isn't That Just Like You?, won the Ruth Anne Wiley Novella contest from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Anderson's entries in the creative nonfiction project, November 2010, are available at He also has a collection of poems forthcoming from Kattywompus Press.
•RSVP to or to 216.245-5481

III. Poetry Workshop WEST!
Fourth Wednesday of Every Month (no December workshop)
7-9pm @ Visible
Voice Books
1023 Kenilworth Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
Cost: Suggested donation of $10 per session (with current LIT membership)
Fall Session Begins Wednesday October 27, 2010.

Finally! The LIT's Public Poetry Workshop comes to the West side, Poets of all ages and backgrounds are welcome once a month to bring a work-in-progress and receive recommendations for improving it. Our goal is friendly, yet serious critiques by emerging and experienced writers. Improvement of craft through reading, writing, and workshopping with Instructors Lou Suarez and Claire McMahon.

Lou Suarez is the author of two book-length collections of poetry, Traveler (2010) and Ask (2004), both published by Mid-List Press (Minneapolis), and three poetry chapbooks, Losses of Moment, The Grape Painter and On U. S. 6 to Providence. He is professor emeritus at Lorain County Community College and lives in Sheffield Lake, Ohio, with his wife Debby.

Claire McMahon has an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University (Boulder, Colorado) and a Ph.D. in 20th Cent. American & British Poetry from Kent State University. She is co-editor of MoonLit poetry journal (Drag City Press, Chicago) and the author of a book of poems entitled, Emergency Contact (Van Zeno Press, Cleveland). She has taught English writing courses locally at Lake Erie College, Baldwin-Wallace College, Cuyahoga Community College, and Chancellor University. Currently, Claire is an Adjunct Professor of Humanities at Bowling Green University’s Firelands campus.

IV. Public Fiction Workshop (Will resume in February with Sarah Willis!)
Third Thursday of Every Month
6:30-8:30pm @ Trinity Commons
2230 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114

Cost: $90
Fall Session Begins August 18, 2011

Each month of the session, the group will meet for two hours, with the majority of that time spent discussing participant work--stories, partial novellas or novels-in-progress--in a workshop setting. We'll also spend some time reading and talking through examples of professional writing, and always with an eye for craft, how we might become more familiar with and more adept at using the tools of fiction writing. Over the course of the year, we’ll be building on what we’re learning, pushing exercises into scenes, scenes into full-length stories and chapters of novels, and then discussing these pieces as a group. Participants can hope to leave the experience with an increased appreciation for and knowledge about what it means to write fiction, considerable material for individual projects, and a real sense of being part of an encouraging and supportive writing community.

THINGS TO NOTE: *Prior to the first workshop, students should read and be prepared to discuss “Getting Closer” by Steven Millhauser (published in the 1/3/11
New Yorker. * Please bring 12 copies of your own work to be distributed for the following session.

Sarah Willis' first novel, SOME THINGS THAT STAY, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000) was listed as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction 2000, and was awarded The Cleveland Arts Prize in Literature 2000. SOME THINGS THAT STAY was made into a movie which opened in Canada in October, 2004. Her other novels are, THE REHEARSAL (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2001), A GOOD DISTANCE (Berkley, 2004), and THE SOUND OF US, (Berkley 2005) Her novella, "Double Exposure" can be found on-line at books. (Although someone else's picture is on the page.) She is busy now writing her fifth novel. Sarah is a Creative Workforce Fellow.

VI. Public Poetry Workshop
Third Friday of Every Month
7-9pm @
Mac’s Backs
1820 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Cost: Suggested Donation of
$5/session with current LIT Membership ($35/year)
Ongoing Signup and Registration Available

For over thirty-five years, The LIT Public Poetry Workshop has offered Cleveland-area poets the
monthly opportunity to bring in a poem and receive useful suggestions for its improvement and to
offer the same kind of help to peers in writing. We attract a diverse group of serious, friendly

poets, ranging from teenagers and young adults to poets with decades of experience. Come
once or come every month: All are welcome!

Robert E. McDonough, one of the LIT”s founders, has been named one of the forty impor-
tant Cleveland poets since the Second World War in Cleveland Poetry Scenes. His poems have
appeared in his book, No Other World (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1988), his
chapbook, Greatest Hits (Pudding House, 2009), and numerous anthologies and little