Upcoming Events

Just another day of frolicking in Key West
Just another day of frolicking in Key West

I confess.  I’ve been frolicking in Key West, attending the Key West Literary Seminar and teaching a short story workshop, escaping some very cold January temps in Minnesota. Tomorrow I head back to the frozen north, where the forecast is for a balmy 34 (above), and then down to minus thirteen by Thursday night. Oof-dah.  Beautiful full moon tonight over the water . . .

Moving on, I wanted to let you know about a few upcoming events:

This Thursday, Jan. 31st,  I’m doing a guest post on Jungle Red Writers, a website hosted by eight mystery writers.  I’ll say a few words about THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION.  The gist of my post is that, despite the title of my novel, I am more interested in the questions the book raises than providing any answers, such as who-done-it.  Mystery/crime novels are a specialized genre I know nothing about.  I do think ANSWER has suspense, so maybe I slip in under the wire.  If you comment, I’ll be sure to respond.  Unless, of course, you want some answers . . .

On Feb. 20, I will be giving a publication reading for ANSWER at 7:00 at Subtext Bookstore in St. Paul (165 Western Ave., 651-493-3871).  Pray for good weather–no sub-zero temps, no blizzards.  I’d be delighted to see you there.  There will be books for sale, and hopefully refreshments–Trader Joe wine, no doubt, and the ubiquitous cheese and crackers, unless I can come up with something more imaginative–like grits. . .

This spring I’ll be teaching an on-line course for Stanford on writing the book-length memoir.  The course is entitled “The Forest and the Trees: Getting a Great Start on a Book-length Memoir.”  Right now they still have their winter courses posted.  You’ll be able to see a course description and tentative syllabus at some point, but I don’t know when.  Registration opens on Feb. 25.  I believe there are 17 spots available.  I’ll put more information under “events” on my website as I have them.

And way next August (yes, winter will pass), I’ll be teaching a creative writing workshop called The Art and Craft of Creative Writing for the Madeline Island School of the Arts from August 19 – 23rd.  I loved teaching there last fall, and blogged about it.  This upcoming workshop will include everything I know about writing . . .  won’t matter whether you’re doing fiction or memoir, I will tell you all I know and then some.  Hope to see you there!


Paulette’s Workshop on Writing the Book-length Work

Writing at MISA
Writing at the Madeline Island School of the Arts

Dear writing friends:

I’ll be teaching a workshop called The Achievable Climb: Writing the Book-Length Work at the Madeline Island School of the Arts in Northern Wisconsin October 8 – 12th.

The workshop will be useful to those working on either a memoir or fiction project. If you have a manuscript underway, or just an idea for one you’d like to begin, I’ll give you lots of ideas, exercises, feedback, and support. It’ll be a great time to get experienced, constructive instruction from me, to join the company of others “making the climb” who can give you helpful comments, and to have free time to yourself to concentrate on your writing away from the usual distractions and temptations of everyday life. On an island, no less!

We’ll be tackling the “usual suspects”: voice; structure; what to put in and what to leave out; how to find what the book is REALLY about; where to start; how to work through drafts; and how to complete the work.

There will be 3-4 hours of classroom time each day, with exercises designed to help you with various aspects of your project; opportunities to get feedback on your work from members of the workshop; examples of successful techniques to model; and time to work on your book each day. I’ll meet with each of you for an individual conference on your project.

Island time for yourself
Island time for yourself

If you have questions you can email me at pbalden@aol.com or via my website contact form, or call me at 612-920-1896.

I’m really looking forward to it!

Fall leaves on Madeline

This is the first time I’ve taught a workshop for MISA, but I hear wonderful things about the experience there. Madeline Island, on Lake Superior, will be so beautiful in the fall! It’s about a five hour drive from the Twin Cities, or you can fly into Duluth and drive about two hours from there. You reach the island by ferry–talk about away from it all.

The workshop is limited to 15 students. You can call 715-747-2054 or email the School at misa@chequnet.net to ask questions or reserve your place. The cost for the workshop is $425.00 for non-credit, and $520.00 for 1 graduate credit from the University of Minnesota at Duluth. These links will also give you information about MISA and my workshop. You can also register online.



Milk House at Madeline School of the Arts
Milk House at Madeline School of the Arts

Various lodging is available on the island, including B&Bs, campgrounds and cottage accommodations at the school. Things fill up fast, so do think about booking now.

Please help me get the word out about the workshop. If you know of someone who is working on a book-length work, please forward this information on to them. THANKS! For writers’ groups, there is a group discount if 4 or more sign up. There is also information on my website under “events,” at www.paulettealden.com.

I hope to see you there!



Madeline Island map
Madeline Island map


Paulette’s Book-length Manuscript Workshop at MISA

Hi, folks,

I’m posting notice of my workshop next October (I know — it’s a LONG WAY OFF) because there is a limit of fifteen students, and more to the point, lodging is limited on the island and if you want to reserve a place in the workshop and a place to lay your weary head, the sooner the better.

Here’s the link to a description of the workshop: http://www.madelineartschool.com/Classes_Teachers.cfm?StaffID=133

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Key West in January…

Your rental bike in KW in January

I’ll be teaching a workshop for the Key West Literary Seminar next January, and while I realize you don’t want to think about January just when it’s FINALLY spring (I speak as someone living in Minnesota, mind you), do keep it in mind.  Come the winds and snows of November, Key West in January will be looking pretty good to you…(and me).

My workshop is called “The Truth Speaker: Developing Voice in Memoir” and you have to submit some work to be admitted.  The description and details are on the KWLS website at http://www.kwls.org/workshops/paulette_bates_alden/.   Finding the right voice for a piece of writing is what actually allows you to write it.   Voice is what melds everything together, coalescing all the disparate elements to make a whole.  And it can be developed, just as a singer’s voice can be developed (up to a point, in both writing and singing).   I have an article on my website called “Voice Lessons” that you might be interested in (click “Articles by Paulette” on my main website menu and scan down).

Check out all the Key West workshops, because there are amazing writers teaching other workshops you may want to take. I know I would.  Margaret Atwood, Billy Collins, E.J. Miller Laino, Valerie Martin, Mary Morris, Lee Smith, Robert Stone.  http://www.kwls.org/workshops/

Continue reading “Key West in January…”