Great River Writes Programs

Late October - Early December

Great River Writes Events Series 2018

Great River Writes announces the 2nd annual writing series to inspire writers of all levels. In conjunction with National Novel Writing Month, public libraries and literary organizations in La Crosse and Winona will host writing workshops and author chats every Saturday, October 27 through December 1.

Community write-ins, craft talks, and expert tips support both published and yet-to-be-published writers of novels, poems, short stories, and more. Guest authors visiting this year include Dean Klinkenberg, Wang Ping, and Michael Perry.

  • Living Between Two Rivers: Personal Stories and Prayer Flags with Author Wang Ping

    • November 10, 11am-1pm at Winona Public Library
    • Poet, essayist, and performance artist Wang Ping will read from her new book of essays, Life of Miracles Along the Yangtze and the Mississippi, a collection which won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs 2017 Award for Creative Nonfiction. For writers and fans of personal stories, memoir, and dual identities, Ping will explore the power of these along with how to use landscape in shaping our view of ‘home.’ She will follow the reading with a prayer flag workshop.
  • Kill Your Darlings, Resurrect Your Manuscript: The Art and Craft of Editing

    • November 17, 1-3 pm La Crosse Public Library, Main
    • Once you’ve spent a month (or eleven years) reaching the end of your manuscript, it’s time to get to work. Many scientists conclude that 88.3 percent of a professional writer’s time is devoted to the art of revision. One crucial aspect of revision, editing, can give your manuscript the makeover it needs to transform it into publishable form. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss seven key editing strategies that will help you inject your language with life, ruthlessly kill the dead spots, and create beginnings that will arrest your readers’ attention. We’ll share examples, offer a live real-time editing demonstration, discuss ways to create strong beginnings, and see where other conversations take us. Participants are invited to bring the first page of a work in progress.
  • From Page to Stage: How to Prepare, Perfect, and Present Your Work Out Loud

    • November 18, 2-4pm at Island City Brewery (Winona)
    • Lots of writers can pen a good story, but sharing it in front of others? If that sounds scary, or you’re looking to boost your skills, learn how to read out loud from our expert panelists. Get tips from storytelling, improv, acting, as well as traditional and slam poetry. Hear examples, ask questions, find new tools to try, and if you’re feeling brave, take a shot at sharing your own work with feedback from our panelists.
  • Great River Writes Presents Author Michael Perry

    • December 1, 1-3:30pm at La Crosse Public Library
    • Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist, playwright, and radio show host from New Auburn, Wisconsin. Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population: 485 (recently adapted for the stage), Truck: A Love Story, Coop, Visiting Tom, and Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. Among his other dozen titles are The Scavengers (for young readers) and his novel The Jesus Cow. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band the Long Beds. In this open Q & A, Perry will share his path into writing, how to make a living as a freelancer, talk about writing in multiple genres, and probably segue into some funny stories.
  • 2nd Annual Great River Writes Celebration and Open Mic

    • December 9, 3-5pm at Turtle Stack Brewery
    • You’ve worked hard on your writing, you’ve practiced new skills, you’ve added to that wordcount goal, now it’s time to celebrate. Come hang out with and cheer on your fellow writing community at this open mic and social! Bring your friends and loved ones and meet area writers. Food is provided, and drinks are available for purchase. Open mic readings will start at 3:30pm, and all are welcome to share a 5-10 minute portion of their work.

All events will help participants become a better reader, writer, and editor and are listed on Facebook at

Participating organizations include La Crosse Area Writers Group, La Crosse Public Library, NaNoWriMo, River Arts Alliance, UW-La Crosse English Department, Winona Public Library, and Women Writers Ink.