Free writing workshops at 2017 Lewisburg Literary Festival

(Photo courtesy of Lewisburg Literary Festival)
Huntington writer Eliot Parker

The Lewisburg Literary Festival will be offering two free writing workshops as part of its Saturday schedule this year. All workshops will be held in the Greenbrier County CVB’s Rahall Room.

On Saturday, Aug. 5, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Huntington writer Eliot Parker will offer a workshop entitled “Amp Up the Antagonists.” Writers often spend more time fleshing out their protagonist, but it is the antagonist – the enemy – who helps define the hero. Some of the more terrifying of literary antagonists are those who appear the most human – ones the reader might secretly cheer for. In this workshop, participants will learn six techniques and principles to make their antagonist(s) relatable and multi-dimensional in addition to being a memorable force and obstacle for the protagonist. Parker is the author of three novels: Breakdown at Clear River (Mid-Atlantic Highlands Press), Making Arrangements (Sunstone Press), and  Fragile Brilliance (Roundfire Books), a 2016 finalist for the Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize. He is also a teacher consultant with the National Writing Project and his a certified online course reviewer for Quality Matters.

(Photo courtesy of Lewisburg Literary Festival)
Alderson writer Mesha Maren

Then, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Alderson-based writer Mesha Maren is teaching “Write More Now.” This workshop will focus on exercises aimed at creating new, unexpected work. Maren will explore constraint-based writing techniques that will help writers surprise themselves with their  writing, avenues toward that white-hot flame of risk that resides at the center of all great writing. Maren’s short stories and essays appear in Tin House, The Oxford American, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial and other literary journals. She was chosen by Lee Smith as winner of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and is the recipient of a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. She currently teaches fiction for the MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College.  Her debut novel, Sugar Run, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in 2018.

Now in its sixth year, the Lewisburg Literary Festival is a two-day celebration of books, writers and the arts, focusing on promoting reading and literacy. All events are underwritten by local sponsors. This year’s festival will take place from Aug. 3–5.

Workshops at the Lewisburg Literary Festival are free and open to the public. Space can be reserved by calling 888-716-5082 or by emailing

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