Showing posts from 2015

Call for Submissions: Off the Page Character in Motion Workshop

Whether you're looking for a holiday gift for the writer in your life or to treat yourself, this free performance based creative writing workshop is just the treat to celebrate the holidays.  Brought to you by the team that gives youStories at The StoreyandNorth West Literary Salon, in collaboration with Emma Rucastle, supported by The Dukes, Off the Page/Characters in Motion is a unique workshop opportunity for Creative Writers to see their writing performed in front of an audience and to have their drafts brought to life by professional actors directed by Emma Rucastle of ELART Productions/The Rose Company. The performances are followed by feedback and discussions of issues of process, interpretation and the development of craft. The workshops are free. For more information or to submit your writing for consideration email:
submission deadline: January 4, 2016 Workshop date: January 18
Location: The Dukes, Lancaster
Time: 6-8 PM Made possible by fund…

Diary of a Creative Writing PhD Student: Creatify, Decreatify The etymology of a Word

The other day I was crafting an exercise for my Creative Writing seminar. The assignment was to have students take otherwise non-creative writing text and infuse it with creative writing tools, techniques and devices. I called the process: creatifying. 
I introduced the task: "Creatify a piece of non-creative writing..."
"Right, it means..."
Between sips of flavored coffee, I defined it like it was a real word. 
"The next step of the process is to de-creatify a piece of creative writing..."
I explained the process: to strip the elements of creative writing from creative writing text.
A word was born; well, two words.
"In my spare time I'm going to put these words on Wikipedia," I said. I'm always threatening to put something on Wikipedia.
Now, the thing is, I don't have a lot of spare time. In between Momming, researching and working, I glanced at the steps to create an article there and knew I would have to wait for som…

October Open Call: Stories at the Storey

Whether what scares you is under the bed, rattling in the closet, or lingering in the past, Stories at the Storey invites you to share your 3-5 minute true story about fear. The next true story open mic night is Thursday, October 29, 7-8 PM at the Storey.

Email us at to reserve your slot.

Hosted by Yvonne Battle-Felton and Naomi Kruger, Sponsored by Grad College, Stories at the Storey is a BBC Get Creative Event

North West Literary Salon Call for Volunteers

Whether your passion is maths, psychology, business, words, or any discipline in between, North West Literary Salon is looking for you.
Come and join the volunteer staff for the North West Literary Salon held in Lancaster the first Friday of every month. This well-known event includes live music, exciting readings by local authors and free food. You’ll be sharing the evening with a multicultural audience of all ages.
We are looking for reliable and enthusiastic people to help. Roles include setting up the space half an hour before the salon starts, checking tickets at the entrance, arranging food and making sure the authors, the musicians and the audience feel comfortable.
Youll get the chance to meet other lovely volunteers, talk personally to the guest and artists and itll look great on your CV!
Date: 2nd October. Time: 7-8pm Place: Waterstones King St, Lancaster.
Check the NWLS blog and also a clip from past salons.
Email for more information or to regis…

North West Literary Salon featuring Kathleen Jones and Monique Roffey


September Stories at the Storey: Identity


September Stories at the Storey Call for Storytellers

Negotiator, leader, follower, risk taker, thinker, planner, nurturer, dreamer, storyteller… There are as many identities as there are people to fill them. No matter who you are by day or night, Stories at the Storey wants to hear your true story about identity.
Who are we?  Stories at The Storey is an award winning nonfiction open-mic storytelling night and is looking for performers, students, community members, staff, visitors, storytellers and anyone with a true story to share.
We are interested in true, engaging stories told well. If you have an engaging story that loosely explores the theme identity we would love to hear it.
Email: for more information or for a 3-5 minute slot.
Event brought to you by Yvonne and Naomi; sponsored by Grad College. Event details
Date: September 24, 2015 Time: 7 PM-8 PM Open Mic Location: The Storey (The Music Room) Dress: Casual Stories at The Storey: Real people; Real Stories. Light refreshments will be served.
Winner LUSU 2015 Com…

September North West Literary Salon Flier


North West Literary Salon featuring Jo Baker and John Schad (July)


June Open Call: Stories at the Storey

Laughter, tears, fireworks, celebrations, stories. Whether it’s political, social, economical, personal, educational, around the world people celebrate their independence in many ways. Stories at the Storey invites you to share yours.
Stories at The Storey is an award winning nonfiction open-mic storytelling night and is looking for performers, students, community members, staff, visitors and anyone with a true story to share. 
We are interested in true, engaging stories told well.
Join us as we share stories about letting go, setting off, growing up, being free, having it all or not…
If you have an engaging story that loosely explores the theme “independence” we would love to hear it.
Email: for more information or for a 3-5 minute slot.
Event brought to you by Yvonne and Naomi; sponsored by Grad College. Event details
Date: June 25 Time: 7 PM-8 PM Open Mic Location: The Storey (The Music Room) Dress: Casual Stories at The Storey: Real people; Real Stories. Light r…

Writer in Residence Opportunity (paid): North West Literary Salon

Writer in Residence North West Literary Salon is looking for a local writer for a 3 month Writer in Residence position.
About Us: NW Literary Salon is a lively evening of words. Each month two published North West writers give dramatic readings of their work. The readings are followed by a discussion chaired by Naomi Kruger and Yvonne Battle-Felton; music performed by a local musician; and locally catered food.
About the Opportunity: We are looking for a writer to blog (twice a month) about the literary salons. The writer will create two 300-350 word blogs per month (one before, one after the salon) for our blog. The blogs will succinctly capture the salons to provide an overview of the upcoming event (before) and a recap of the event (after) for a general audience.
What we offer: Editorial support, deadlines, feedback and £100.00 (£16 per blog).
What you offer: Experience, talent, time. You will attend monthly salons to capture content, write posts and have the ability to accept and im…

7 Things to Know about North West Literary Salon

Not sure North West Literary Salon is for you? Here are 7 things you should know that just might help you make up your mind.
Cost: The salon is free and includes readings from 2 published, local writers; free food and free music.What to expect: An evening of engaging stories by Jenn Ashworth and Carys Bray, locally catered food, conversation and music by local artist, Rosa Francesca. Location: The Community History Room in Lancaster Central Library conveniently located in Market Square.Who is it for? The salon is open to all members of the community.Do I have to know the authors or have read their work? No. Both writers will give dramatic readings (storytelling). The hosts, Naomi and I, will ask questions and you can too.What to wear: Casual dressHow to get tickets? Order free tickets through Eventbrite or Lancaster University Online Store

What is North West Literary Salon?

When we talk about a literary salon, people have different ideas about what we mean. To some it's writers reading drafts of their own work, to others it's readers reading someone else's work. To us, it's neither. It's living authors telling stories and dramatically reading their work to engage an audience followed by questions, answers, food and music.
North West Literary Salon is a new initiative bringing established and emerging writers with a local connection together with the public for dramatic readings (storytelling) and conversation. After the authors read, Naomi and I chair a lively discussion and invite the audience to participate. Food is provided by a local caterer and a local musician will provide music. All for free.

That's right.


The evening lasts an hour. The events will be held in Lancaster Library. What do you need to bring? Bring your thirst for story, your engaging wit and your curiosity.  
The salon is an evening engaging with story, commu…

Golden Bicycles

I could have said yes.  I could have said, I will take this glossy eight-page brochure filled with artsy wrapping paper, cutesie pizza kits, and hardened sausage that no one I know actually eats, and peddle it office to office, client to client, colleague to colleague to convince unsuspecting people that paying $12 for $3 gift wrap is a charitable cause. But, I like to think that somewhere between Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and just after ‘maybe your dad and I will get back together,’ I stopped lying to my children.  Yesterday, my son brought home a glossy brochure and dreams of winning $500 for selling whatever the glossy brochure wanted him to sell.I don’t remember ever believing that pizza, candles, wrapping paper, oranges, candy, or gigantic sausage and cheese would be my claim to riches, a new bike, or an IPOD (ok, a Walkman).I vaguely remember asking my mother to sell things at her work, but that may not be my memory.  Still, I recognize the feverish look in his eyes as he talk…

Seduced by Opportunity

When I wrote this post I was anticipating moving my family for one year. Revising the post after uprooting my family for a four year PhD program in the UK made me smile. 

I do not live without attachments.
I am not free to follow my dreams, wherever they lead unencumbered by the hopes of others, the responsibilities of realities, the tassels of life.
There are few of us so transient or selfish or lacking longitude and latitude that we are able to uproot our lives to spend a year seduced by words in a library.
I have children.I have a job.I have responsibilities.I have one thousand and one reasons to say no.
And, yet.
Yesterday, I submitted my proposal to be considered for a Radcliffe Fellowship.If selected, I will spend a year researching the diaries, memoirs, letters and lives of five women and their relationships with mothers, daughters, neighbors, friends, lovers, strangers: the women who helped craft their lives.
I am seduced by words.
Yes, No, It’s over, I’m leaving, don’t go, d…

Diary of a Community College Professor: A Day in the Life (Repost--revisiting the past)

I don’t tend to view moves emotionally. In my experience, they have always been for positive reasons—even if I didn’t understand them at the time.As an adult, I’ve been blissfully emotionally and physically unavailable throughout my moves.I can barely remember my move to Maryland over 15 years ago.  Later, for my move from my first townhouse to a townhouse with my then-boyfriend (and now ex husband) I was physically unavailable—I was at work.I was nine months pregnant for the move from the townhouse to our home.Packing and unpacking, moving, rearranging, these things are handled, typically, ideally, not by me. Today, at work, we are in the final stages of closing the 23rd floor.Clients are settled into their new offices on the 27th floor.Technology is uninstalled.Furniture is moved out.The furniture move, despite requiring little actual physical energy—from me—was emotionally exhaustive. Selecting a mover, while contingent on estimates and availability—became a matter of which moving co…

Maybe It's the Winter: Dating Advice from a Single Woman

Maybe it’s the winter.
For some reason—and I doubt it’s a flattering one—something about the sunless, cold mornings, the dreary days or the bitter nights, reminds people of me.
And, not in a flattering way.
The deeper the snow, the lower the temperature, the icier the air, the more texts, instant messages and emails I get from men who for whatever reason, I chose not to pursue relationships with.
I have never responded with, ‘while you weren’t good enough then, I’ve recently lowered my standards…’
That they think the cold temperatures might drive me to desperation is either a fault of theirs or one of mine.
That I think, ‘hmmmm’…. when I receive these unwelcome e-memories is a fault of mine.I have—but do not suffer from—selective memory.Still, each time I get a text from an unsaved number that I seldom recognize as a deleted number, I typically resist the urge to respond, “who are you?”
Because, I know.
While I may not remember the name, the face, or the exact reason.I know for whate…

Will Write for Change

Each minute we are presented with ample opportunities to settle: we accept less than acceptable behavior in children, spouses, dates, friends, family; we justify poor service from waiters, delivery people, taxi drivers; we excuse unpleasant attitudes of teachers, coworkers, and bosses.As we accept less from those around us we become in danger of expecting less from ourselves. I was recently given the opportunity to write a children’s book for a group I enjoy working with in various creative capacities.Because the character has no back story, I would be responsible for creating both a history and a story that engaged the wide age range of their expected target audience while delighting parents and educators. It was an exciting project. At once, I began sifting through the information, researching, and mentally plotting. Anxiously, I began writing.I was well into the first chapter when the negotiations began.This was to be my first book so when asked what terms I expected and what price I …