Beachside March Schedule

Beachside 2013: “Saying what needs to be said”

“The secret of good writing is to say an old thing a new way or to say a new thing an old way.”
— Richard Harding Davis


All sessions in the the gymnasium unless otherwise noted.


6:30 p.m. Registration, settling in and saying goodbye to real life for the weekend.

7:00 p.m. Who we are: Introductions to Jane, Bob and 50 visiting writers.

7:30 p.m. Session 1: “What I’ve Learned About the Writing Journey Since Last Year.” (Jane and Bob)

8:20 p.m. 10-MINUTE BREAK

8:30 p.m. Session 2: “The Annual Surprise, Surprise Writing Assignment.”

9:00 p.m. Session 3: Readings: Bob and Jane offer exclamation points of
inspiration with words from their respective books.

9:20 p.m. Campfire s’mores out back in the covered (and Plexi-glassed)
picnic area.

10:00 p.m. Wipe that gooey marshmallow off your face and shuffle into the
night to fall asleep to the sound of pounding surf.


7:00 a.m. Village Bean coffee shop opens half a mile north of the Yachats Commons.

8:00 a.m. Coffee, hot chocolate, tea at the Commons amid talk of bad
nights of sleep, burned marshmallows and other writers’ laments.

8:20 a.m. Breakfast is served, courtesy of Ann Schar and her able-bodied
assistant, Sally (“She Who …”) Welch.

9:00 a.m. Session 4: “Things I Wish I’d Known Before I started Writing Novels.”
Gym. (Jane Kirkpatrick.)
The basics of structure and story. You’ll discover the power of simple things like when to end a chapter or how to eliminate scenes that don’t support the theme. Jane’s practices and lessons learned will find adaption to your novel writing whether you are just beginning or in revision.

“The Triathlon of Writing the Non-Fiction Book.” North Room. (Bob Welch.)
Journey with Bob as he takes you through the research, writing and editing of the true story. Less theory, more practical advice, ranging from creating information data bases to keeping track of facts that’ll save you gobs of time in the end.

10:00 a.m. 10-MINUTE BREAK

10:10 a.m. Session 5: “The Wonder of Print on Demand.” North Room. (Roger Hite.)
Recent trends in POD book publishing technology, focusing on his experience with the Expresso Book Machine recently acquired by Powell Books in Portland. Roger will also share examples of working with several writers on publishing their works through POD. 

“Going the Traditional Publishing Route: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
Gym. (Bob and Jane.)
Reports of the death of traditional publishing have been greatly exaggerated. Not that it’s an easy route to go. But Bob and Jane answer your questions about ways to get someone to publish your book.

11:10 a.m. 10-MINUTE BREAK

11:30 a.m. Session 6: Writing Assignment #2.

12:30 p.m. OREGON COAST LUNCH. Menu TBA, but we can assure you it will
rock your seashore socks. Music by Yachats’ own Richard Sharpless,
a regular at The Drift Inn, including his song written just for the Beachside
Writers Workshop: “Writers are Righters.” (Do other such workshop have
their own songs? I don’t think so.)

1:30 p.m. Session 7: “Negotiating with Hostage-taking Harpies: The Graduate Program.” Gym. (Jane.)
At past Beachside weekends, Jane wove her mental health experience with her writing life helping writers discover the negative harpies that hold us hostage. This session will go deeper into exploring what keeps us from experiencing the joy of the writing life at whatever phase of it we’re in, even if those harpies are telling us things like “You’ll never get a real publisher to look at your work” or “Self-publishing isn’t real publishing” or “What? Oprah Still doesn’t know your name?” See how we can use our imagination and inventiveness to free the harpies from holding us hostage and instead celebrate this thing we do called writing.

“The Art of the Interview: How to Get People to Give You the Ingredients
for Great Stories.” North Room. (Bob.)
Whether we’re writing fiction or non-fiction, trying to write a family memoir or a non-fiction
book, getting information from other people is often key, Welch uses his nearly 40 years
in journalism to help you better understand what really boils down to building a relationship of trust — in a hurry.


2:40 p.m. Session 8: Writing Session #3

3:30 p.m. Session 9: Organizing “Genre Groups”
In recent years, we’ve heard from workshop attendees who wished there were a way to
spend at least a little time huddling with people who share a specific type of writing interest. Since Beachside’s unofficial motto is “As Traditional as S’Mores but Always Searching for More” — what, you didn’t know? — we’re going to give this a try. This final
half an hour of the day will be spent with people funneling into what we hope to be at
at least six special-interest groups. During this time, you’ll just get to know each other
a bit and talk about where you might want to go with a one-hour meeting of your
genre group on Sunday. Self-publishing buffs, for example, will use this half-hour to meet
again with Roger Hite for more hands-on-(the-mouse) experience in going the POD route. Possible other groups: Memoir writing, sci-fi, essay/blog, non-fiction, historical
fiction, contemporary fiction, poetry and children’s books.

4:00 p.m Relax. Dinner on your own.

7:00 p.m Session 10: Reading aloud from your work.
Optional. Five-minute limit, strictly enforced! Sign up at the registration desk starting Saturday morning. Given a two-hour time limit, if we have more than 20 people
sign up we will use a lottery to choose who gets to read aloud. (Either that or hold a
marathon rock, paper, scissors contest.)

9:00 p.m. End of the day. Whew.


7:00 a.m. The Village Bean opens.

8:00 a.m. Coffee, hot chocolate and tea at the Commons.

8:20 a.m. Session 11: “Keys to a Great Novel.” Gym. (Jane Kirkpatrick.)
Joyce Carol Oates once said the three elements to a great story are creating empathy for a character; giving voice to voices seldom heard; and memorializing. Theologian, novelist and non-fiction author Frederick Buechner wrote that a great story should seek, treasure and tell secrets. Jane believes an engaging story will give us new information, help us connect and provide spiritual support. In this session she’ll explore how all those elements are met through developing character, integrating conflict, showing change and creating compelling conversations. She’ll also explore some of those secrets Frederick Buechner mentions.

“Why I Don’t Believe in Writer’s Block and Nine Other Things That People Commonly Believe about Writing But Are Actually Myths.” North Room. (Bob Welch.)
“Writer’s block is real.” “If you’re good you’ll make it.” “Reading a lot will make you a better writer.” False. False. False. In this session, Welch will peal away some layers of misconceptions and help you better understand what makes for great writing. Attendees
encouraged to e-mail Bob ( one commonly held belief about writing,
a few of which he’ll choose as his “wild card” misconceptions. (He hopes.)

9:20 a.m. Oregon Coast Brunch.
Honoring of the Third Annual “Metaphors Be With You” contest winner by a representative from Mari’s Books.

10:00 a.m. Session 12: “Negotiating with Hostage-taking Harpies: The Graduate Program.” Repeat. (See Session 7 for description.) Gym. (Jane.)

“The Triathlon of Writing the Non-Fiction Book.” North Room. Repeat. (See Session 4 for description.) (Bob Welch.)


11:10 a.m. Session 13: Genre Groups. Individual groups will be announced early in
the workshop. Roger’s POD group will meet in the North Room and other
groups will huddle wherever they choose. (Yes, you can even take a walk
and, thus, have “a moveable feast” of learning.)


12:15 p.m. Session 14: Final questions for Bob, Jane and Roger (15 minutes); final thoughts from each of you. (Thirty seconds each to tell the key lesson you’re taking home with you.)

1:00 p.m. Group photo at the Yachats Commons sign out front. (Weather permitting!)
Goodbyes (sniff, sniff.)
Somebody will leave a cell phone or jacket.
Leon (The Greatest Facility Manager on Earth) will help us clean up.
Some of you will take long walks on the beach and decide, after three days of being with fellow writers, that you want to go back to school to become a pharmacist.
Some of you will go home with so much enthusiasm that you will drive
your spouse, significant other, friends or cats nutty with Beachside
All of you will leave changed, we hope, in some way!