FOR YEARS NOW maybe you’ve heard the whisper: Write. Maybe it’s a novel, maybe it’s an essay for a magazine you favor or maybe it’s a memoir about your own life. Because nobody has lived a life quite like the one you’ve lived. But then the harpies strike. What makes you think your life is worthy to be written about? What makes you so special? What makes you think you can write, period?
I understand. For nearly 15 years, I’ve listened to, inspired, equipped and encouraged nearly 1,500 writers, many of whom arrived with the same sort of defeatist attitudes. Some people have never recovered from the high school teacher who made fun of their essay in front of a class. Or from the parent for whom nothing was good enough. Or from the self-doubts with which people subconsciously sabotage themselves.
I’d like to invite you to take a single day this fall to invest in yourself as a writer. Not in some giant hotel ball room where nobody knows your name, but here in the Welch Fam’s Great Room, where you’ll be one of only seven students—and everybody will know your name. Where everybody is there for the same reason you’ll be there: to be inspired and encouraged. Where the goal isn’t about competition and one-upping someone else, but about learning to grow in an atmosphere of affirmation. Where the view isn’t of some blank wall with cheesy art on it but of autumn leaves from the maples out back. And where, if there’s a chill in the air, the flames of a fire may be flickering.
Here’s what I believe: Every life is a string of stories worthy of being told. Every person is special. And every would-be writer can become an actual writer if he or she dares to commit to the process. I’ve taught a 102-year-old woman who, two years later, had a memoir of her life during the Depression published, a 14-year-old girl bent on writing sci-fi, and nearly everyone in between. I’ve seen people with no confidence beam as their fellow writers praise a piece they’ve read out loud. (Optional, by the way!) And I’ve seen writers groups, friendships and meet-for-coffee twosomes come together because of relationships built in our groups.
So take a chance on yourself. On a single day of inspiration. And on a group of people who, history suggests, will, like me, become your ally in your quest to write.
— Bob Welch
What: “Autumn Inspiration: Turning Over a New Leaf as a Writer,” a one-day workshop designed to inspire seasoned writers to new levels and to equip first-time writers with the tools to get started.
When: Choose from one of two days: Friday, October 11, or Saturday, October 12. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Welch’s house in Eugene. Address and directions supplied later to attendees.
Why: Life is short. And writing can enrich your life and the lives of those around you. It can help you understand yourself better and help others understand you better. It can inspire people to take action about a cause, take your readers on a magical mystery tour or bring laughter to a world that desperately needs it. In big ways and small but still significant ways, writing can change the world.
Who: Beginning writers who hunger to simply get a foothold, or intermediate writers who want to take a new step in their quest to tell stories with words.
How: Welch’s teaching, Welch’s (pre-workshop) editing of a 1,500-word piece of your work, discussions with the other students and reading a selected piece of your work aloud (optional).
What you’ll learn: How to write more vividly, powerfully and engagingly. How to understand the true essence of story. And how to create motivation that will bring new energy and enthusiasm to your writing life.
Me with students at one of our recent in-home gatherings.
—A full day of instruction, discussion and writing challenges by a seasoned, award-winning writer and editor who’s had nearly two dozen books published.
—A pre-workshop critique of 1,500 words of your work.
—A great lunch prepared by She Whose Soup Warms the Writer’s Soul.
—An atmosphere that’s fun, welcoming, relaxing, encouraging and non-competitive.
—$199 for those who sign up by August 23, 2019.
(Only seven slots open for each of the two days; first-come, first-served.)
Can be paid with a check, credit card or PayPal.
—Is the author of nearly two dozen books.
—Spent 40 years as a columnist, features writer and features editor at three Northwest newspapers, including 25 at The Register-Guard.
—Is a two-time winner of the National Society of Newspaper Columnist’s “Best Writing” award. His latest book, The Wizard of Foz: Dick Fosbury’s One-Man High-Jump Revolution was recently named the Track & Field Writers of America’s 2019 “Book of the Year.”
—Is winner of the Seattle Times’ C.B. Blethen Memorial Award for Distinguished Feature Writing.
—Is founder of the Beachside Writers Workshop in Yachats, which drew more than 1,000 students in its 11-year run.
—Taught eight years as an adjunct professor in the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism & Communication.
—Has taught at the National Writers Workshop.
What They’re Saying
“I have never experienced such a workshop where I was pampered, validated for who I am, inspired and invigorated.”
— Carole Linneman Eugene
“Bob gave me one of the most precious gifts anyone has ever given me: validation as a writer! ”
— Cara Zane McKenzie, Eugene
“An inspirational kick in the pants.”
— Kirk Kneeland, Eugene
Please join us either Friday, October 11, 2019, or Saturday, October 12, 2019, for a workshop that will help you take your writing to all new levels. And help you enjoy the writing process more deeply.
—Feed off the energy of a teacher with a passion for writing, people, heart and humor.
—Realize you’re not the only one who experiences writer’s block.
—Learn from your fellow writers — and perhaps even teach them a few things yourself.
You’ll find yourself:
—And re-dedicated to the pursuit of writing.
E-mail Welch at:
Or phone 541-517-3936
If not now, when? If not you, who? We’d love to have you join us. Take the leap!