Last Thursday, Lit Cleveland had the honor of hosting an open mic in conjunction with The Cleveland Museum of Art’s MIX event. Poet Damien Ware served as emcee as writers of all levels braved the mic and recited original poetry. The event's atmosphere felt like an homage to street culture. Jean Michele Basquiat’s exhibit was free for attendees as the DJ spun music from the likes of Grandmaster Flash, A Tribe Called Quest and The Wu-Tang Clan. The packed audience clearly enjoyed the mix of street culture and poetry partnered with the sophistication of the art world.
Writing about family history is more than creating a tree. It’s about becoming a detective and historian. That was one of the main takeaways of Lit Cleveland’s recent “Writing Your Family History” workshop, held on Sat. Feb. 4th from 10 am – 12 pm at Lake Erie Ink.
Writer Amy Breau shared her story of discovering her Acadian family history. Breau suggested that when researching family history, writers should be sure to pay attention to photo albums and journals as well as legal documents like marriage certificates. She explained that your family history is a narrative and should be treated as such.
Afi Scruggs focused on the history of struggle that so effortlessly intertwines with the individual black experience and how that can affect a person emotionally. Missing documents and the effects of the social climate in America towards blacks can create many unforeseeable problems when researching their history.
Scruggs’ point on researching family history was quite different from Amy Breau’s. Scruggs told the attendees to “go beyond looking for facts” and to “look at society.” She also pointed out how important libel laws are when writing about family history, and that writers need to be cautious in revealing private details.
Mary Helen Petrus closed out the workshop. She highlighted the importance of digging for the truth. She shared how the grandfather she knew growing up was not her biological grandfather. Similar to what Scruggs said, Petrus believes that it is important to try to “fill in the blanks” of what you don’t know about your family while accepting that there are limits to your knowledge.
Lit Cleveland recently leased an office in the Gordon Square Arcade building, enabling us to better serve our members and customers and offer a west side hub for workshops. Since its creation in August 2015, Literary Cleveland has promoted the literary arts by hosting a variety of writing workshops, classes, readings, and networking events at libraries, independent bookstores, and other venues around town. In addition to helping local writers develop their craft, the organization aims to build a strong network of writers and connect them to opportunities and readers in their community.
Director Lee Chilcote, marketing and programming coordinator Jay Rosen, and several interns work in the office on a daily basis. The organization uses the atrium conference room for workshops. Going forward, Literary Cleveland is excited to join forces with businesses and organizations in Gordon Square in order to to build on its prior successes, expand its base, and continue to provide quality programming to Northeast Ohio's literary community.
For more information on Literary Cleveland's upcoming workshops and special events, check out our website http://www.litcleveland.org/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/litcleveland/?fref=ts/
Cleveland, OH – Literary Cleveland, a non-profit organization committed to building a vibrant community of readers and writers in Northeast Ohio, is excited to announce its upcoming January workshops and events.
The workshops cover a wide range of literary subjects and genres, including creative nonfiction, poetry, marketing, speculative fiction, blogging, and strategies for submitting original work to literary journals. Here they are in chronological order:
In addition to these new workshops, Literary Cleveland will continue its monthly "Between the Lines" event at The Happy Dog Euclid. Each event features a local author who reads from original work, speaks on the craft of writing, and engages in conversation with audience members. January's "Between the Lines" event features "True Crime Addict" author James Renner, and takes place 7pm on Wednesday, Jan 18th.
Literary Cleveland strives to advance the literary arts by offering classes, workshops, readings, and networking events at libraries, bookstores, and other venues around town. In addition to helping local writers strengthen and develop their craft, the organization aims to build a strong network of writers and connect them to their community.
2016 marked a year of exciting growth and development for Literary Cleveland. The organization welcomed over 300 new and founding members, was awarded 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and offered 50 workshops and networking events that served more than 1,600 participants.
In the year to come, Literary Cleveland looks forward to building on these successes, expanding its base, and continuing to offer quality programming to Northeast Ohio's literary community.
For more information on our upcoming workshops and special events, check out our website (http://www.litcleveland.org/), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/litcleveland/?fref=ts), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/litcleveland).
Mission statement: Literary Cleveland helps writers develop their craft, builds a strong network of writers, and connects writers to the community.
Vision statement: Literary Cleveland serves writers and readers through a collaborative network of services that inform, advance and elevate the literary arts for the benefit of all in the Northeast Ohio region.
Literary Cleveland is seeking submissions of original work by Cleveland area writers on the theme of immigration. Selected works will be included in an original staged reading that will be produced on Sat. March 18th and Sun. March 19th 2017 as part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival. These events are being produced in collaboration with Cleveland State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and will be held in the CSU student center ballroom. We especially encourage submissions from individuals who may not consider themselves writers but have a story to tell.
Submissions can be in any genre and ideally should be less than 2,500 words. Writers are encouraged to broadly interpret the theme. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Lit Cleveland board members and community members. Payment for accepted works will be in two free tickets to the staged performance as well as recognition on stage and in the program. Unpublished and previously published pieces are eligible. Adult and teen writers are welcome to submit their original work.
Lit Cleveland will engage a local professional director who will work with actors to provide a dramatic interpretation of the selected works. To garner additional community responses and educate the community, Lit Cleveland will organize a free workshop on researching and writing about family history and immigration on Sat. Feb. 4th.
Deadline for submissions is Feb. 15th, 2017. Please send submissions to email@example.com and use “Crossing the Border: Immigrant Narratives in Cleveland” as the subject header. If you have questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond within 3-4 days at most.
The events are cosponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and Cleveland State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Immigration has shaped Cleveland’s history from Eastern European immigrants coming to Northeast Ohio in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to African-Americans moving north during the Great Migration. Additionally, immigration continues to be a hotly-contested political issue that affects our country’s present and future. What are Cleveland’s immigration stories? How has the issue of immigration affected people who live in our region? And finally, how can we gain a better understanding of our immigrant heritage through storytelling? These are the questions Lit Cleveland seeks to explore in a staged reading of poems, stories, histories and dramatic monologues on the theme of immigration.
For more information or to answer questions, contact Lee Chilcote, Executive Director of Literary Cleveland at 216 406 3750 or email@example.com.
On Thursday, October 27th, participants in Writing Out Loud, Lit Cleveland's storytelling workshop led by Dana Norris of Story Club CLE, told their tales at CLE Urban Winery.
None of them had EVER done this before. They were nervous. With the help of storytelling veteran Norris, they did great. The stories were about joining a roller derby team, losing a parent, finding love later in life, and other personal topics.
Over 50 people came out to listen to what they had to say and cheer them on. Check out the inspiring photos below!
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture recently informed Literary Cleveland that we've been recommended for full funding of our Project Support II grant application, which we submitted in August after becoming a tax exempt 501c3 organization in May.
CAC has informed us that the organization’s grant award amount will be made available pending approval by CAC’s Board of Trustees at their meeting on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 4 pm at the Mandel Jewish Community Center of Cleveland.
With support from the Cleveland Public Library, CAC and donors and members of Lit Cleveland, we plan to expand the successful Cleveland Inkubator into a weeklong festival for writers and readers in 2017. Stay tuned for more details!
"Even though I'm telling my own personal story, the voice I use isn't my everyday speaking voice," write Sue William Silverman in her essay "Innocence and Experience: Voice in Creative Nonfiction. "In fact, my observation, both from writing essays and memoir, is that most writers employ two major voices in their work. I've defined these voices by reimagining phrases originated by William Blake, labeling one a song (or voice) of innocence, the other, a song (or voice) of experience."
Drawing on writing by Silverman, Vivian Gornick and others, University Heights writer and 2016 Creative Workforce Fellow Amy Breau kicked off Lit Cleveland's "Tell it Slant" workshop with a discussion of voice in creative nonfiction. Then she asked the 15 participants to complete a writing exercise where they experimented with using the voices of innocence and experience in their own work.
Essayist and journalist Sharon Holbrook led participants in a helpful discussion of the tools and tricks of revision. Then they practiced revising an unfinished essay by an individual who is in a writers' group with Holbrook.
At the "Writing from the Heights" poetry workshop on Monday 9/19 at the Heights main library, local poet laureate Christine Howey invoked Emily Dickinson in asking participants to "tell it slant." Dickinson writes, "The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind - ." Telling a story in an indirect, surprising way can often help people see it more clearly and leave a more powerful emotional impact. Howey shared a poem she'd written at the Provincetown Arts Center entitled "The Missing Floor" about being transgender. Participants wrote about unique aspects of living in the Heights -- from the tree outside of Lopez to the way the angled streets meet together to fixing up an old house on Edgehill.
To create a strong community of readers and writers in Cleveland, Ohio through workshops, classes, readings and other events.