Festival Oct. 19 To Encourage Creative Writing

The Lowell Milken Center is located at the corner of First and Wall Street and is the site of the Fort Scott Writing Festival.
A collaborative project to encourage creative writing in the community is taking place this Saturday, Oct. 19 at Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes at Main and Wall Street.
“It was a culmination of several peoples ideas in thinking about how to support and encourage writing in our community,” Jan Hedges, owner of Hedgehog.INK, said. “Writing is an aspect of the arts that is not often recognized.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Bourbon County Arts Council, Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, Books and Grannies Book Store and Hedgehog.INK!
It is a one-day event for gathering published authors to share their writing and publishing experiences with the community.
The morning session is a series of one-hour workshops  that is open to high school and local college students as well as adults.
There is no cost for students to attend the workshops.
In the afternoon, there will be a fair for authors to showcase their work and answer questions from aspiring writers.
Also in the afternoon there will be three mini-lessons, 30 minutes each for the public to view.

Program Schedule

Registration: 8:30 and refreshments (inside front doors)

Opening Remarks: 8:50 Little Theater

Finding Your Writing Plan – 9:00 Little Theater

Presenter R.J. Thesman

Are you stuck between writer’s block and the fun of procrastination? Maybe you’re not blocked. You just don’t have a writing plan. Finding Your Writing Plan helps you develop a discipline for your writing craft and keeps you from avoiding that blank page. Especially for bi-vocational writers who work another job, Finding Your Writing Plan gives you a structure for each day’s work. You can still nurture your creative side by choosing more than one plan or by changing your plan, depending on your circumstances. RJ Thesman will present 12 different options for your writing plan with best practices to help you finish your Work in Progress and move toward your publishing dreams. 

RJ Thesman, CLC, BSE Author / Writing Coach / Editor Speaker

* * * * * * * * *

Writing FOR a Child Requires Thinking LIKE a Child” – 9:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Cathy Werling

Have you often thought you would like to write a children’s book? With the current self-publishing opportunities available, the goal of writing and publishing a children’s book has become much more attainable. Through this presentation, you will learn how to get started, some important steps you need to consider before you actually start writing, and some available resources to help your children’s book become a reality.

Cathy Werling is a retired elementary educator, who works part-time at the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes. The opportunity to provide positive role models for children led to the Center’s Unsung Heroes book series for children. Cathy is the author of the first four books in the series, with plans to continue sharing more of the amazing stories of Unsung Heroes through additional books. Her goal is to, not only provide inspirational role models for elementary students, but to encourage them to be people who can also make a positive difference in the world around them.

* * * * * * * * *

Self Publishing – 10:00 Little Theater

Presenter: Sally Freeman Jadlow

Come learn how to publish your own book, step-by-step, in paperback or ebook through Amazon.com. Handouts will accompany the class.

Sally Jadlow has published eleven books which have gone through the process Amazon offers authors. She writes award-winning historical fiction, inspirational short stories, non-fiction, devotionals and poetry. Sally has also been published in many magazine articles and anthologies. She teaches writing for the the Kansas City Writers Group in the spring and fall.

Know Your Sources – 10:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Ronda Hassig

Primary sources can be mysterious, exciting, and lead to creative writing at its finest.  If you want to write non-fiction or historical fiction you will need to know your sources!  When you leave this session, you will know what a source is, where to find it, how to use it and how to document it. 

Ronda Hassig is a retired Kansas Master Teacher and middle school librarian.  She is the author of two books including “The Abduction of Jacob Rote” and “The Greatest Test of Courage.”  Ronda loves reading, writing, and walking her three feral dogs!  

* * * * * * * * * *

Workshop Drawing – 10:55

Transformative Works & the Online Writing Experience – 11:00 Little Theater

Presenter: Qwen Salsbury

Discussion of the popularity and opportunities in online writing. How to build an online following, locate writing e-communities, and the bridge to publishing. Exploration of the importance of transformative works in society’s need to own its own stories. Presentation by author Qwen Salsbury, Amazon #1 Best-Selling author, whose online works have over 5 million unique hits. 

* * * * * * * * * *

Writing the Poetic Image – 11:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Laura Lee Washburn

Laura Lee Washburn will lead this workshop on imagery.  Poets will participate in a poetic game as well as write a short lyric or narrative free verse poem.  

Washburn is the author of two books of poetry, This Good Warm Place (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Poet Lore and The Sun.  Harbor Review’s Washburn Chapbook prize is named in her honor.  She directs the Creative Writing Program at Pittsburg State.

12:00 – 1:30 Lunch Break

Authors set up for the Authors Fair

Afternoon Mini-Sessions – Conference

1:30 Thomas Yoke

2:15 Kate Emmett-Sweetser

3:00 Jan Hedges

Why I Just Now Write” – 1:30 Conference Room

Presenter: Tom Yoke

It took me 60 years to fulfill the dream of becoming an author. The roadblocks and obstacles I had to overcome, are the motivation for telling my story. I want to encourage anyone of any age or circumstance to pursue that dream.

The main points of the talk are:

  • Listening to the right voices
  • Daring to believe in yourself
  • Dreaming big dreams
  • Following your heart’s hidden desire

* * * * * * * * * *


NaNoWriMo and Poem-a-Day: Write. Every. Day. – 2:15 Conference Room

Presenter: Kate Emmett-Sweetser

Though raised by a professor of British literature and a poet, Kate Emmett-Sweetser prefers to write non-fiction. She has worked as a free-lance journalist in both English and Spanish, as a translator, and as a Spanish adjunct at Pittsburg State University. She is currently working on a book about the Jewish families who lived in SE Kansas in the decades following the Civil War. Her biggest challenges are perfectionism and procrastination; she will share ways to adapt fiction- and poetry-writing prompts and goals to all genres of writing. 

* * * * * * * * * *

The Art of Journaling – 3:00 Conference Room

Presenter: Jan Hedges

We each have a great deal to write about already tucked in our own heads. Journaling is a way to keep track of and organize these thoughts, musings and ideas. This session will cover the many aspects of journaling, how-to’s, inspiration and motivation. A drawing for a journal will be held at the end of the session.

Jan Hedges is a retired teacher and school administrator. She and her husband Dick opened Hedgehog.INK! Gently Used Books and So Much More… in October 2018. She has dabbled in writing for over 50 years. I write because I must.

* * * * * * * * * *

Author Fair Participants: (Tentative List)

Ronda Hassig Young Adult Historical Fiction

Gerri Hilger Adult Historical Fiction

Sally Freeman Jadlow Adult Christian Living/Memoir/Poetry…

Joyce Love Children/Young Adult Historical Fiction / Devotional

Eric Reynolds Adult Historical Fiction

Carol Russell Young Adult Historical Fiction

Sally Smith Adult Christian Living

R.J. Thesman Adult Christian Living / Fiction…

Laura Lee Washburn Poetry

Cathy Werling Children Children

Thomas Yoke Adult Fiction

 Shirley Fessel

Jena Fellers



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *