Faculty Spotlight: Nicholas Reading

The IWC is happy to feature Nicholas Reading in conversation about his writing life and his upcoming course with us, “Going Places: A Discussion of Momentum.

Dates: 4 Thursdays: April 11, 18, 25; May 2
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: Indiana Writers Center
Cost: Nonmember: $300; Writer/Reader Members & IPC Members: $210; Senior, Teacher, Student, Military/Veteran, Librarian: $190
*The cost of this class includes a $50 manuscript fee that is remitted directly to the instructor*

About the Class

Going Places: A Discussion of Momentum

This workshop will focus our attention on momentum. We will consider how authors create momentum in their own work (in poetry & prose), how we might establish momentum in our own writing, and strategies, tricks, and practices to foster momentum in our writing life.

Our time will be spent considering selections from other writers, allowing time for us to write, and sharing successful writing practices:

This workshop will focus our attention on momentum. We will consider how authors create momentum in their own work (in poetry & prose), how we might establish momentum in our own writing, and strategies, tricks, and practices to foster momentum in our writing life.

Our time will be spent considering selections from other writers, allowing time for us to write, and sharing successful writing practices:

*The first meeting will be spent discussing readings selected by the instructor. Our discussions will be focused on our observations, keeping in mind the writerly strategies we might apply to our own work.

*At our second meeting participants will have the opportunity to share drafts of work generated from our first session discussions and readings. We will describe our responses so that the author has a sense of the reader’s experience.

*At our third meeting participants will continue to share original work. Discussion will also focus on successful writing practices.

*Our fourth meeting will discuss publication opportunities and the submission process.

The collaborative nature of our course offers writers a space to be heard and provides an opportunity for us to share ideas and work in a productive and safe environment. After the conclusion of our final class, participants are invited to submit a 5-page portfolio of writing and receive feedback from the instructor.

We dedicate our meetings to the wonderful task of reading and writing. We foster one of the most essential elements of the writing and reading life – community.

Register here!

Talking with Nicholas

Nick Reading is the author of Love & Sundries (Split Lip Press) and The Party In Question, winner of the Burnside Review Chapbook Contest. His work has appeared in many journals including Barrow Street, Cincinnati Review, Gulf Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly and jubilat. He serves as poetry editor for Sport Literate and lives in Indianapolis where he is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Butler University. For more, visit nickreading.com 

What writing accomplishment are you most proud of?

Seriously, I still remember the first story I wrote. I was in kindergarten. I was more excited than proud. Amazed, even. Making something was new and wonderful. I’ve been fortunate to have found encouragement along the way and I’ve found people who loved the same process. The magic of the creative process has never left me, and I’ve been stubborn enough to never let it go. At the same time, I’ve learned to keep a thing you ought to give it away. It’s a gift to share my delight.

What is your personal motto, or something like a proverb that you live by (writing related or not)?

The Roman proverb, “Quid vesper ferat, incertum est,” is about the only thing that stuck with me from Latin 101. “What the night holds is uncertain.” 

I see more adventure than foreboding. I appreciate the reminder that expectations mean little, preparation means more. It’s not the plan we have for our writing, or even a day, it’s the discovery and being ready when it arrives. It’s a nice way to start an evening, a morning, or a poem.

What’s the best thing students can take away from this class?

Writing can be a solitary act and it is easy to become consumed by our own voice, impeded by challenges, worries, or ambition. The echo chamber is real, and it’s important to find new ways of reading, listening, and writing. It’s nice to meet writers and searchers on the same path. In our writing and risk taking, I hope we leave with some new tricks and writing strategies. I hope we are adventurous enough to use a few new tools from the toolbox. We all show up with an urgency and desire to share our voice. I hope folks walk away knowing their urgency is seen, and their voice is heard.

What’s your favorite thing about the IWC?

The people! There is no art, no community, no readers, without the people. Through class offerings, salons and readings, and most importantly, its support for writers, the IWC understands the community it serves and the value of giving us a space for our voices to grow. 

What are some of your favorite books on writing craft?

Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town made an impression on me. Ranier Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, is humbling and life changing. A good friend was telling me about The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, and some of her advice is, “Just jump. The net will appear.” I love that idea. All three books offer advice on living a creative life. With so many craft books available, I also remember the best teachers are the poems and stories and novels we read. The way to learn craft is to read good stuff and try to write good stuff. And you should do a lot of it. Good news – it’s quite fun.  

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