Aspen Writers’ Network

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In keeping with Aspen Words’ commitment to working writers, AWN was formed to provide mutual support and networking opportunities for writers and aspiring writers in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond.

AWN is geared towards writers seeking to take the next step in their writing and/or to further their professional careers. It also provides a networking group for encouragement, support, camaraderie and inspiration.

Our monthly, informal meetings provide an opportunity to connect with other writers to share work, writing tips and inspiration. Each quarter will feature exceptional writer-focused content to foster connections and bring stimulating programming to members. AWN members also enjoy priority access or reduced admission to other popular Aspen Words programs.

Thanks to general underwriting support for the program, AWN membership is just $150/year. Financial assistance is available if this annual membership fee presents a barrier to participation.

  • Access to monthly, informal, AWN-exclusive meetings (typically on the third Thursday of the month).
  • Access to quarterly AWN-exclusive events with a specific program and guest speaker.
  • Access to the AWN Facebook group.
  • Highly discounted rate for a one-day writing workshop hosted by Aspen Words annually
  • 25% discount for all Winter Words author events
  • Free admission to all Writer in Residence and Community Read events.
  • Invitations to Aspen Words members-only receptions.
  • Private consultations with literary agents and editors at the Summer Words conference in June 2024.

Events

AWN: Nisi Shawl teaches Writing the Other

Writing the Other: A Practical Approach has been the standard text on inclusivity in speculative fiction for over 20 years.  Its co-author Nisi Shawl teaches writers helpful tools for the work of respectfully representing characters […]

AWN: Perfect Your Pitch a.k.a. Find the Heart of Your Story

Not sure why you need to pitch a story if it’s not even finished, yet? Identifying and being able to clearly articulate the heart of your story is key to writing and finishing your book, […]

AWN: State of the Publishing Industry

Kevin Larimer, Editor in Chief of Poets & Writers magazine, will be in-person at this meeting to discuss the state of the publishing industry in 2024. He is also the coauthor of The Poets & […]

Holiday Party & Book Exchange

Thursday, December 21 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Dawn your holiday best and celebrate the season with a festive book exchange. Bring a new or lightly used wrapped book to trade with fellow AWN members. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. 

Small Press Publication with Author of “Burr” Brooke Lockyer

Thursday, November 16 @ 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Brooke Lockyer will share her experience publishing with an indie press, as well as the long, bumpy path to publication. She will touch on the benefits, challenges, and surprises she encountered with small press publication. She will also provide some anecdotes and advice from other writers. There will be a Q&A portion. 

Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided.  The second hour will be open for networking or personal writing time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brooke Lockyer holds a BA from Barnard College and an MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She was the winner of the 2009 Hart House Literary Contest and a co-recipient of both the Peter S. Prescott and the Lenore Marshall Barnard prizes for prose. Her work has been published in Toronto Life, carte blanche, the Hart House Review, White Wall Review and Geist. Born in Southwestern Ontario, she’s lived in rural Japan, New York City, Bristol and the Mojave Desert. Lockyer currently resides with her family in Toronto. "Burr" (Nightwood Editions) is her first book.

An Evening with Adrienne Brodeur, Author of “Little Monsters”

Thursday, September 21 @ 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
In-Person at TACAW
(400 Robinson St, Basalt, CO)

Details to come!

Writing Workshop: Let the Writing Make the Rules – with Kate Milliken

Saturday, September 30
In-Person at Pitkin County Library
120 N Mill St, Aspen, CO

Registration for this workshop is now closed, all available spots have been filled. Please reach out to Mallory.Kaufman@aspeninstitute.org to add your name to the waitlist. 

Cost for AWN members: $20; cost for non-members $50. 

WORKSHOP DETAILS
When we talk about (and teach) creative writing we often speak in terms of the rules of craft. While it is important to have a knowledge of what has worked time and again to create compelling stories, in order to write a truly singular story you will need to move beyond convention. Often students of creative writing are so aware of how a story is supposed to be told that they fail to hear the wisdom that is already present in their own writing; its subtle whispers about how it wants to be told. In this one day intensive, through close readings of unconventional narratives, generative writing prompts, and an in-depth discussion of our own projects, we will deepen our understanding of the voice, the shape, and the themes that our work seeks to articulate. Whether you come to our meeting with just an idea of the story you want to tell or you have a full rough draft in your desk, our time together will embolden you to take the next step—from getting the first pages written to embarking on a needed revision—with a deeper connection to the material and a greater authority, moving you beyond crafting a story to making it your very own.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Milliken is the Iowa Award winning author of the short story collection "If I'd Known You Were Coming" and the novel, "Kept Animals," which was long listed for the 2020 First Novel Prize and hailed by the New York Times Book Review as a novel of “deft insights and gorgeous, sensual description.” Kate has written television and commercial advertising and taught on behalf of UCLA, the University of Michigan, and The Center for Fiction. Her work has appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine, the Santa Monica Review, Zyzzyva, and Fiction, among others and her work has been supported by Tin House, the Vermont Studio Center, Sewanee Writers Workshop, and the Ragdale Foundation. Kate is currently a freelance editor and writing coach and she lives with her family in the Midwest. 

Author Talk with Brittany Penner, August Writer in Residence

Thursday, August 17 @ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
In-Person at The Village Smithy
(26 S 3rd St., Carbondale, CO)

Join us for an in-person author talk featuring Brittany Penner, an Indigenous Métis writer and family physician at Village Smithy in Carbondale (26 S. 3rd St.). Brittany will be in conversation with Daniel Shaw, local writer and program partner.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is requested. 

DOORS: open at 6:00 pm.; conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

SEATING: On the porch of the Village Smithy, seating is first come, first served. 

Summer Soiree

Thursday, June 15 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  
In-Person at Village Smithy (26 S 3rd St, Carbondale, CO)

Come together with fellow AWN members to celebrate the accomplishments of local writers and enjoy a summer evening. More details to come! 

The State of the Publishing Industry – Part of the Summer Words Craft Panel Series

June 19 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm MDT - Purchase a pass for $30 to gain access to all events in the series. Publishing experts will help you navigate the book business, give advice on how to get published, and discuss challenges and opportunities

Practice Your Pitch Workshop

Thursday, May 18 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

This is a great opportunity to practice talking about your work. Even if you are not ready to pitch your book/essay/poem to publishers/agents, developing a pitch is a great way to determine what is most important in your writing project, which helps you with editing and even finishing the work. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. 

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are  welcome to join at the meeting.

Member Readings

Thursday, April 20 @ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Short readings from members’ work will fill the first hour.  Slots are limited. To read at this meeting (not required), either email Mark Tompkins (MarkLTom@icloud.com) signup when you arrive. Readers can receive feedback from the group if desired; indicate your preference when you sign up.

The second hour will be personal writing time. 

Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided.  

Non-AWN members are welcome to attend their first meeting to see if they want to join

The How To’s of a Non-fiction Book Proposal

Thursday, March 16 @ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. |
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

From 6;30 - 7:30 p.m. Janklow & Nesbit literary agent, Melissa Flashman will ZOOM in to discuss the how to's of a non-fiction book proposal. Q&A will follow. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. The second hour will be personal writing time.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Melissa Flashman
 is a literary agent at Janklow & Nesbit representing award-winning and best-selling fiction and nonfiction. In nonfiction, she is particularly interested in conversation-changing books including journalism, science, technology, business/finance/economics, memoir/narrative, essays and cultural criticism. Melissa’s authors have won numerous awards including the Pulitzer, the National Book Critic Circle Award, the Whiting Award, the Windham Campbell Prize, the Rona Jaffe Award, the Hugo Award, n + 1 writer’s fellowship, The Robert B Silvers Prize, and The Nation’s Ridenhour Prize among others.

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are welcome to join at the meeting.

State of the Publishing Industry

Thursday, February 16 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Gillian Blake, SVP, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Crown and Currency will be in-person at this meeting to discuss the state of the publishing industry. Hear from a longtime publishing professional on the state of the industry in 2023. Moderated by Adrienne Brodeur, author and Executive Director of Aspen Words. Q&A will follow. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Gillian Blake is SVP, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Crown and Currency. Previously she was Editor-In-Chief at Henry Holt. She also acquires and edits select titles. Her editorial focus is on narrative nonfiction, history, memoir, science, current events, popular culture, and biography. She has edited many prize-winning and bestselling authors, including Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Kolbert, Matthew McConaughey, Susan Cain, Tina Brown, Adrian Nicole Leblanc, Ai Weiwei, Andy Cohen, Elton John, Jaron Lanier, Peggy Orenstein, Pamela Paul, Steven Johnson, Bari Weiss, Russell Brand, Rob Lowe, Brandi Carlile, Kate Walbert, Anthony Doerr, A.J. Jacobs and Harold Bloom.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR

Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the memoir,Wild Game,” which was a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, NPR, People, and the Washington Post and is in development as a Netflix film and the novel “Little Monsters,” which will publish in July 2023. She founded the literary magazine, “Zoetrope: All-Story” with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, was an acquiring editor at HMH Books, and served as a judge for the National Book Award. Her essays have appeared in Glamour, O Magazine, The National, The New York Times, Vogue, and other publications. She has been the Executive Director of Aspen Words since 2016.

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are  welcome to join at the meeting.

Craft workshop with Rachel Weaver

Thursday, January 19 @ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. | 
 at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Rachel Weaver will provide a short, targeted craft workshop virtually for the first hour. The second hour will be personal writing time. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. 

WORKSHOP DETAILS

7 Ingredients for a Compelling Plot: so often as writers we get loads of feedback on small sections of our novels or memoirs. But what about how the book is working as a whole? It’s easy to get lost in the trees and not be able to see the forest. This class will give you the tools you need to take a step back, see the book as a whole, and begin to identify where the tension is sagging, where your reader will start thinking about all that laundry they should probably get started on, and what to do about it. We’ll talk about seven key ingredients that work to create a book a reader has a hard time putting down. Whether you have a lot or a little plot in your novel or memoir, this is a class that will help you strengthen that through thread.

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are welcome to join at the meeting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Weaver is the author of the novelPoint of Direction which Oprah Magazine named a Top Ten Books to Pick Up Now. She is on faculty at Regis University’s low-residency MFA program, and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop where she won the Beacon Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018. 

A Conversation About Memoirs with authors Adrienne Brodeur and Courtney Maum

Thursday, Nov. 17 @ 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

The first hour will be a conversation with memoirists Courtney Maum ("The Year of the Horses") and Adrienne Brodeur ("Wild Game") about their careers and writing life. They will be joining us virtually. 
The second hour will be for AWN members to connect. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided.  

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are  welcome to join at the meeting.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Courtney Maum is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking publishing guide "Before and After the Book Deal" and the memoir "The Year of the Horses," chosen by The Today Show as the best read for mental health awareness. A writing coach and educator, Courtney's mission is to help people hold on to the joy of art-making in a culture obsessed with turning artists into brands. You can sign up for her publishing tips newsletter and online masterclasses at CourtneyMaum.com

Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the memoir, “Wild Game,” which is in development for film. During her 15 years in the publishing industry, she founded the literary magazine “Zoetrope: All-Story” with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, was an acquiring editor at Harcourt and HMH Books, and served as a judge for the National Book Award, among other literary contests. Her essays have appeared in Glamour, O Magazine, The National, The New York Times, Vogue and other publications. She has been with Aspen Words since 2013.

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are  welcome to join at the meeting.

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

Member Readings

Thursday, June 16 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | 
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Short readings from members' work will fill the first hour.  Slots are limited. To read at this meeting (not required), either email Mark Tompkins (MarkLTom@icloud.com) signup when you arrive. Readers can receive feedback from the group if desired; indicate your preference when you sign up. The second hour will be personal writing time. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided.  

Non-AWN members are welcome to attend their first meeting to see if they want to join.

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app 

Practice Your Pitch Workshop 

Thursday, May 18 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. |
In-Person at
Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

This is a great opportunity to practice talking about your work. Even if you are not ready to pitch your book/essay/poem to publishers/agents, developing a pitch is a great way to determine what is most important in your writing project, which helps you with editing and even finishing the work. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided.

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are  welcome to join at the meeting.

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

AWN Member Reading

Thursday, September 15  @6:30 - 8:30 p.m. |
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Short readings from members' work will fill the first hour.  To read at this meeting (not required), either email aspenwritersnetwork@gmail.com or signup when you arrive. Readers can receive feedback from the group if desired; indicate your preference when you sign up. The second hour will be personal writing time. 
Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided.  

Non-AWN members are welcome to attend their first meeting to see if they want to join.

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app 

Workshop: The Magic of Sudden, Micro and Flash: Very Short Stories led by Pam Painter

ALL DAY SUNDAY, OCT. 23 
Workshop: The Magic of Sudden, Micro and Flash: Very Short Stories led by Pam Painter

Sunday, Oct. 23 @ 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. | 
In-Person at Pitkin County Library (120 N Mill St, Aspen)

Pam will be teaching the workshop in-person. Space is limited.

AWN members receive a discount ($40 for AWN members; $90 for non-members).

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: 

This workshop will explore the elements of stories under 750 words.  To begin, we’ll discuss the concept of the unstable situation.  Plot and conflict sit like boulders on these tiny stories although the tension in an unstable situation is the only drama necessary.  And because first sentences are windows into worlds, we’ll write a lot of first sentences in a short amount of time.  Next, we’ll experience the mystery and magic of prompts and how they arrive out of nowhere and immediately will conjure up six or seven new stories.  Then we’ll discover how the words “what if” can lead to startling ways to continue and even complete a story.  Finally, we’ll ride some of these new story beginnings to satisfying ends. The class will be fast-paced and exciting and most of all productive.  I’ll send you home with a list of my favorite Flashanthologies and collections, places to submit your work, and inspiring quotes by writers to serve as future signposts.  We have a whole day to write.   A luxury.  Let’s do it.   

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

Workshop: Writing Dialogue that Works led by Tiffany Tyson

Thursday, August 18 @ 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. |
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623) & Virtual 

Tiffany Tyson will be teaching the workshop virtually. Both in-person and virtual attendees will be able to join. 

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION:
Dialogue can be a powerful tool for characterization, motivation, plot advancement, and emotion, or it can be a clunky thing that bogs down the action and takes the reader out of the story. How can you be sure your dialogue elevates rather than deflates? We’ll look at examples of effective dialogue, discuss what makes these examples work, and use what we learn to practice writing dialogue on our own. In the process, we’ll explore subtext, rhythm, pacing, attribution, and more. Students should bring their preferred writing tools.

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are welcome to join at the meeting. 

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tiffany Quay Tyson will lead this workshop virtually. AWN members are invited to participate online or in-person at Bonfire Coffee Company in Carbondale.

Author Talk with July Writer in Residence Jamaica Baldwin

Thursday, July 21@ 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. |
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

July writer in residence, Jamaica Baldwin will speak about her writing life, her upcoming book "Bone Language" and her current poetry project which traces the legacy of her female ancestors from the deep south to the west coast. As a bi-racial woman she is particularly interested in how the legacy of colonialism and the global plantation machine impacted her female ancestors on both sides of the racial divide. 

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamaica Baldwin (she/her) hails from Santa Cruz, CA by way of Seattle. Her first book, “Bone Language,” will be published by YesYes Books in 2023. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Prairie Schooner, World Literature Today, The Adroit Journal and The Missouri Review, among others. She is a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, winner of the 2021 RHINO Poetry editor’s prize and winner of the 2019 San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference Contest in Poetry. Her writing has been supported by Hedgebrook, Furious Flower and the Jack Straw Writers program. Jamaica is currently pursuing her PhD in English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a focus on poetry and Women’s and Gender Studies.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR

Lindsay DeFrates is a former freelance writer and current PR and Media Specialist with the Colorado River District. She lives in Glenwood Springs with her three kids and a husband, and when she is not dragging them all outside for the adventure du jour, she is revising her science fiction novel. www.lindsaydefrates.com

Craft workshop with Rachel Weaver

Thursday, April 14* @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | 
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)
*Note: this is the 2nd Thursday of the month

Rachel Weaver will provide a short, targeted craft workshop for the first hour. The second hour will be personal writing time. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. 

WORKSHOP DETAILS
20 Questions to Strengthen Your Novel or Memoir

This class will cover twenty important questions that will help you identify and strengthen weak points in your novel or memoir with regards to structure, characterization, arc, scene work and thematic elements. This is appropriate for writers of all genres at any point in the drafting process. Open to fiction and memoir writers of all levels. This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are welcome to join at the meeting.

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel is the author of the novel Point of Direction, which Oprah Magazine named a Top Ten Book to Pick Up Now. She is on faculty at Regis University’s low-residency MFA program, and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop where she won the Beacon Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018. 

State of the Publishing Industry

Thursday, March 17 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. |
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Todd Doughty, SVP, Publicity and Communications at Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group will be in-person at this meeting to discuss the state of the publishing industry. This is an incredible opportunity to hear from a longtime publishing professional on the state of the industry. Moderated by Adrienne Brodeur, author and Executive Director of Aspen Words. Q&A will follow. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Todd Doughty is currently SVP, Publicity and Communications, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and has worked at Penguin Random House for more than two decades. A graduate of Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) and former bookseller, he lives with his partner in Westchester County, New York.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR

Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the memoir, “Wild Game,” which is in development for film. During her 15 years in the publishing industry, she founded the literary magazine “Zoetrope: All-Story” with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, was an acquiring editor at Harcourt and HMH Books, and served as a judge for the National Book Award, among other literary contests. Her essays have appeared in Glamour, O Magazine, The National, The New York Times, Vogue and other publications. She has been with Aspen Words since 2013.

This meeting is for AWN members only; interested writers are  welcome to join at the meeting.

All attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

In-Person Group Meeting: Writer Introductions and Optional Readings

Thursday, February 17 @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | 
In-Person at Bonfire Coffee Company (433 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623)

Think Aspen Writers' Network might be a good fit for you?  Learn about the exciting in-person programs AWN has planned for 2022, weigh in on what you'd like to see from the program this year, and meet your fellow Roaring Fork Valley writers. Snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine will be provided. An interest poll will be conducted for future meeting topics.

After introductions, there will be short readings from interested members. Slots are limited.

To read at this meeting (not required), either email Mark Tompkins (MarkLTom@icloud.com) or sign up when you arrive. Readers can receive feedback from the group if desired; indicate your preference when you sign up.  

Non-AWN members are welcome to attend their first meeting to see if they want to join; however, all attendees must upload their proof of vaccination in advance on the ReturnSafe app

Aspen High School Only – Heather Hansman in the Schools

February 23, 2022 @ 9:15 am - 10:15 am MST - “Powder Days” author Heather Hansman will visit Aspen High School to discuss her book and career as a ski journalist and environmental writer. This event is for AHS students and faculty; not open to the general public.

Presentation by Author Rachel Weaver

Thursday, January 20  @ 7:00 p.m. | Zoom Meeting 

Kick off the new year by joining AWN for a zoom meeting with author and editor Rachel Weaver as she shares tips on writing in 2022, and meet other local writers from the Roaring Fork Valley. You will also learn more about the exciting in-person programs AWN has planned for 2022, starting in February! This virtual meeting is open to anyone interested in AWN. All genres welcome.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Weaver is the author of the novel Point of Direction which Oprah Magazine named a Top Ten Books to Pick Up Now. She is on faculty at Regis University’s low-residency MFA program, and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop where she won the Beacon Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018. 

The quarterly meetings in 2021, thus far, include a virtual self-publishing workshop; monthly Third Thursday meetings on Zoom; and one-on-one agent/editor meetings at Aspen Autumn words.

AWN – Third Thursdays Zoom Writing Meetups

Third Thursday of (almost) Every Month
7-8 p.m. MT

Writing is a solitary endeavor that can leave us feeling isolated. What has this meant for you in your writing life during this time when we’ve all been asked to isolate and stay at home?
The theme for these 60-minute informal gatherings is “Communing”. We ask that writers (that are comfortable) to share 1-3 ways that they’re nourishing their creativity and writing practice with the group. Feel free to bring a beverage!

Agent/Editor Consultations at Autumn Words

October 1, 2021 | Individual appointments
The Gant in Aspen

Featuring representatives from the top publishing houses and literary agencies. Each year, AWN members receive information on how to sign up for a private consultation and how to submit their work.

Practice Your Pitch

August 3 | 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Red Brick Center for the Arts

To help prepare for the upcoming agent, editor meetings at Aspen Autumn Words we are hosting “Practice Your Pitch” at the Red Brick Center for the Arts (Dance Studio space). This session is for AWN members who are interested in the art of talking about and selling their book, whether you’re just beginning to think about the publishing industry or have a meeting scheduled with an agent or editor at Autumn Words this fall. We’ll practice with one another, go over some tips and hear some input from Adrienne Brodeur, executive director of Aspen Words and former editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Members should reach out to Marie Chan (marie.chan@aspeninstitute.org) to indicate your interest and confirm your AWN membership is up to date.

Self Publishing Zoom Workshop

May 20 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Zoom

Self-publishing workshop with editor, typographer and designer Barbara Scott (Be). Engage in a conversation about the process and design stages of taking your project from manuscript to finished book, via Amazon. This workshop is intended to answer writers’ questions about what it takes to self-publish a book.

The quarterly meetings in 2020 included a virtual revision focused workshop; access to the virtual “Life of a Book” Summer Words panel presented exclusively to AWN members and workshop students; as well as a two-day virtual personal essay workshop. Monthly community meetups (Third Thursdays) began in January in-person at Here House, Aspen and moved to Zoom in May.

AWN – Third Thursdays Zoom Writing Meetups

Third Thursday of (almost) Every Month
7-8 p.m. MT

Writing is a solitary endeavor that can leave us feeling isolated. What has this meant for you in your writing life during this time when we’ve all been asked to isolate and stay at home? The theme for these 60-minute informal gatherings is “Communing”. We ask that writers (that are comfortable) to share 1-3 ways that they’re nourishing their creativity and writing practice with the group. Feel free to bring a beverage!

Personal Essay Workshop (Virtual Workshop)

Tuesdays, September 22 & September 29
both days 6-7:30 p.m. MT

Led by award-winning author Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, this generative workshop explored the powerful possibilities of memory, experience and reflection inherent in the personal essay. Through a close study of traditional and more experimental expressions of narrative, participants worked towards creating and workshopping original work that was nuanced, complex and effectively written. The group looked at work from writers like Maggie Nelson, Rebecca Solnit, Gloria Anzaldúa and others for inspiration. Participants were asked to look closely at their own lives to find the tremendous potential hidden in their stories.

The Life of a Book (Virtual Panel)

Tuesday, June 9 | 5:30-6:30 p.m. MT

It takes a village to publish a book. This presentation will offer a behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes into turning a manuscript into a book — from the acquisition process to selecting a cover, distribution channels and the thousand other decisions that are essential to publishing a book. Presenters: Becky Saikia-Wilson, SVP, trade associate publisher at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  + Lauren Wein, editorial director at Avid Reader Press.

Writing is Rewriting (Virtual Workshop)

May 11, 2020 | 6-8:30 p.m. MT
Zoom

Are you lost in the hazy fog of revision? Not sure what to do next? Have you been cutting and pasting, rewriting and moving things around and moving them back? It’s easy to get caught in addressing surface problems rather than evaluating the backbone of the story from a crafting standpoint. The most difficult part of writing is often revisions. In this spring workshop, Rachel Weaver (“Point of Direction”) will discuss concrete stages of revision, help you figure out where you are and what’s next, and discuss solid techniques to make your revisions as efficient and effective as possible. You will leave class with a long checklist of things you’ve done, and things you’ve got left to do.

The quarterly meetings in 2019 included a writer-focused marketing talk; a session where members practiced pitching their book; and a one-on-one meeting with an agent or editor at Summer Words.

How to Promote Your Writing

February 28, 2019 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
Basalt Region Library

Elizabeth Anderson, senior marketing manager at publisher Houghton Mifflin, will discuss, via Skype, what authors need to know to effectively promote their work and get their writing noticed. Also, social media pro, Melissa Wisenbaker of PROMO Communications will share tips for navigating the world of Twitter and Instagram and launching a successful social media campaign.

How to Write a Page-Turner: A Workshop for Fiction, Memoir + Narrative Nonfiction Writers

October 19, 2019 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Red Brick Center for the Arts

High tension is probably the No. 1 reason readers keep reading. Whether you’re writing fiction, memoir or narrative nonfiction, if you can keep your reader on the edge of his or her seat by creating and maintaining tension throughout scene after scene, that reader will stay up way too late reading your book and tell all his friends to go out and buy it. In this workshop, we’ll delve into the interplay of all the elements that raise tension and create conflict and explore how to craft your story to capitalize on each within scenes as well as across your entire plotline. The workshop will include short readings, craft discussion and lots of writing prompts.

Special price for Aspen Writers’ Network members: $40. Non-members: $95.

Registration is closed and the workshop is at capacity. Please email Ellie Scott to be added to the waitlist.

Agent/Editor Consultations at Summer Words

June 18-20, 2019 | Individual afternoon appointments
The Gant in Aspen

Featuring representatives from the top publishing houses and literary agencies. Each spring, AWN members receive information on how to sign up for a private consultation and how to submit their work.

Practice Your Pitch

May 21, 2019 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Aspen Institute Campus

This session is for anyone who’s interested in the art of talking about and selling a book, whether you’re just beginning to think about the publishing industry or want to meet with an agent at Summer Words this June. Members discuss tips for crafting and delivering the right message, while also taking the opportunity to practice their own pitches with Aspen Words Executive Director Adrienne Brodeurand local author Scott Laser.

Quarterly meetings in 2018 included a writer-focused talk; a one-on-one meeting with an agent or editor at Summer Words; a fall writing workshop; and an opportunity for networking amongst local writers. Detailed event information will be available soon.

Publishing Talk with Novelist Amy Meyerson

July 19, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Bookbinders in Basalt

Novelist Amy Meyerson will discuss everything you need to know about what happens after you finish writing your book–but before it’s published. She’ll talk about what’s it like to work with an agent + editor and how to market a book as a first-time author, among other topics.

Fiction Writing Workshop with Daryl Gregory

October 13, 2018 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Pitkin County Library in Aspen

Award-winning author Daryl Gregory’s college acting teacher once told him that you can’t play running from a bear—you can only run to what’s going to save you: the tree, the shotgun or that spot just past your slower brother Louie. In this workshop you’ll learn how to create compelling stories by focusing on the essence of drama: characters who want something specific and fail to get it–or realize it’s not what they needed after all. Through exercises and discussion you’ll learn practical techniques for creating dynamic plots, believable characters and scenes that matter.

Agent/Editor Consultations at Summer Words

June 19-21, 2018 | Individual afternoon appointments
The Gant in Aspen

Featuring representatives from the top publishing houses and literary agencies. Each spring, AWN members receive information on how to sign up for a private consultation and how to submit their work.

Spring Workshop: How to Write Great Dialogue

May 16, 2018 | 15:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Pitkin County Library in Aspen

Learn the essentials of crafting compelling dialogue in a one-hour workshop presented by award-winning novelist Tiffany Quay Tyson, who will join us via Skype from Denver, where she teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. The session will include lots of practical advice as well as hands-on exercises.

Thank You

Thank you to the 2024 steering committee: Mark Tompkins, Lisanne Rogers, Eme Cole, and Andrea Chacos. Thank you to our program sponsor Bonfire Coffee Company.

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