Free workshops for readers and writers at Brooks Library

BRATTLEBORO — As March roars in, author and teacher Barbara Morrison is offering workshops to hone reading and creative-writing skills at Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St.

The first workshop is for readers, though writers, too, might find it useful, according to a news release. The other three are primarily for writers. These stand-alone workshops are open to teens and adults. All take place over four Saturdays, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the library. Participants may attend one or all, and no prior registration is required.

• March 7, Thoughtful Reading: Many have trouble describing a book they've read beyond saying they liked or didn't like it.

Knowing how to evaluate a story is useful, whether in a book club or a writing critique group, posting comments on Amazon and Goodreads, or simply recommending books to friends.

In this workshop, participants will examine the elements in a story and consider questions to ask about stories, including genre questions, and then practice applying these skills.

• March 14, Writing Dramatic Scenes: Writers of fiction or creative nonfiction (e.g., memoir, personal essays, narrative nonfiction) need to be able to create dramatic scenes, as they are the building blocks for a story.

In this workshop, participants will work on creating and revising scenes that capture the reader's interest and contribute to an outstanding story.

• March 21, Building A Strong Story Structure: Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, working on short pieces or a book-length manuscript, outlining or simply forging ahead, at some point in the writing process, writers have to make sure their story has a sound structure.

Participants will look at multiple ways to structure a story to make it so compelling that a reader cannot put it down. They will also practice analyzing the structure of several stories.

• April 4, Revision: Opening The Door: Stephen King suggests writers should shut themselves in a room and write a first draft for themselves, but that with the second draft, they must open the door and consider the reader.

Participants will discuss and practice ways to revise fiction or nonfiction so that it entertains and inspires. Factors such as pacing, reminders, transitions, and consistency will be discussed, and those skills will be practiced.

Sponsored by the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library, all sessions are free, open to the public, and accessible to people in wheelchairs. To learn more, call 802-254-5290 or visit

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