Jun 04

Small Prestivus Workshops

Hello writers! So, you’re looking to sharpen your creative writing and you clicked on this page to see what is up with Small Prestivus. Great! You have come to the right place. Not only is Small Prestivus providing a space for the small press to showcase all they have to offer, but is also offering great writing workshops by small press poets and prose writers: Bill Gainer, Michele McDannold, Bud Smith, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Sarah A. Chavez, Lois Berg, and Robert Vaughan. These workshops are designed to for you to get the fullest writing workout possible in two hours. And they will be great fun! Only 10 bucks–how can you pass that up?

Small Prestivus Workshops

Session 1

Writing the Short Poem-Enjoying the Stage

1-3 PM

Franklin Center, Room A

Instructor: Bill Gainer

What is the short poem? Well it’s not haiku. In this interactive and free wheelin’ workshop, Bill Gainer will introduce the basic structure of the short poem: where to start, what you are going to tell, what you have to tell, and what you told all wrapped up in a neat little package. And when you are done figuring all of this out, Bill is going to help you present it with his no-fail advice for the stage.

Bill GainerBill Gainer contributes to the literary scene as an award winning writer, editor, promoter, publicist and poet. He has won the San Francisco Beat Museum’s Poetry Contest and the Sacramento News and Review’s Flash Fiction Contest. Gainer continues to edit for the PEN Award winning R. L. Crow Publications and is the ongoing host of Red Alice’s Poetry Emporium in Sacramento, California. His latest book, from Epic Rites Press, Canada, is Lipstick and Bullet Holes(2014). Andre Wilson says, “Bill Gainer is fantastic. I have seldom encountered a poet as inventive, as fun, or as relaxed. Now that’s a true story!” Gainer is internationally published and is known across the country for giving legendary fun filled performances – always inviting the audience to be part of the show. Visit him at billGainer.com or become a friend on Facebook.

Self-Promotion Tools and Tips for the Tragically Introverted Writer

1-3 PM

Franklin Center, Room B

Instructor: Michele McDannold

Establishing your author platform and presence should begin well before the book deal. Even after the book deal, most small presses are operating on a zero or shoe-string budget when it comes to promotion and marketing. Much of this will be left up to you, dear introverted bookworm. The days of the successful, recluse writer are over. Freakishly shy poet Michele McDannold will cover some of the self-promotional tools available in today’s digital world, tried and true tips for making the most of it within the introvert’s comfort zone, along with a few exercises that will not kill you, she promises, for stepping away even briefly from that nice, comfy dark corner spot we all adore.

MicheleMcDannold PhotoMichele McDannold was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. In 2010, she founded The Literary Underground, a grassroots effort committed to supporting independent artists, promoting diversity in creativity and fostering community in the small press. She is the editor and organizer of the “This Is Poetry” project, currently living out of the magical jeep in order to #takepoetry (everywhere). Michele’s first full-length poetry collection Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days is now available from Punk Hostage Press.


Generate Something From Nothing: Writing fiction, poetry, or personal essays without a safety net

1-3 PM

Franklin Center, Room C

Just beginning your writing journey? Wanting fresh innovative ways to create new ideas for your work? Then this is the workshop for you have been looking for! Bud Smith will take you on a journey of possibilities, make you think about what your work really is, and get you writing right here, right now. there will be talk about editing, readings, and getting it all published. Expect a lot of writing time and critique in this workshop.

BBud Smith Photoud Smith is the author of two novels F250 (Piscataway House, 2015) and Tollbooth (Piscataway House, 2013) and the forthcoming novella I’m From Electric Peak (Artistically Declined, 2016). His stories and poems have appeared at SMOKELONG QUARTERLY, WORD RIOT, decomP, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Juked, others. He is also the author of the poetry collection Everything Neon (Marginalia 2014), and the short story collection, Or Something Like That (Unknown Press, 2012). He works heavy construction in New Jersey and lives in New York City. www.budsmithwrites.com


Session 2

Delightful Duos: Collaborating with Artists to Create Books of Poetry

3-5 PM

Franklin Center, Room B

Instructor: Laura Madeline Wiseman

This workshop explores the possibilities and inspirations created by collaborations between artists and writers. Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of three illustrated books (one forthcoming), two letterpress books, several broadsides, and innovative digital media projects, each collaboratively created with Midwest artists, as well as several other non-collaborative books. She has participated in collaborative shows and readings such as the Art and Word Shows, presented in panels on collaboration, and given gallery readings at which her collaborations with artists where exhibited. To consider the unique art of collaborative, this workshop considers these questions: What are the logistics of collaborations? How do such collaborations inspire new work for artists and poets? Are artworks created first, followed by poems, or vice versa? Can collaboration be done long distance and in person? How do collaborations shape the poetic narrative? Does the vision for the project change, shift, or expand during the collaboration process? How do the possibilities of the media influence the design and visual presentation of the collaborative endeavor? How does the ongoing collaborative dialogue shape the book as a physical object? How do artists and poets publish, market, and approach other aspects of the business side of collaborative projects that challenge genre boundaries? How can residencies lead to exciting, new collaborations? And ultimately, do such collaborations between artists and poets dare? The workshop will include several ekphrasis writing prompts, is open to writers and artists, and participants are encouraged to bring work about which they’d like to write.

laura madeline wiseman, 2014Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of over twenty books and chapbooks and the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press). Her recent books are Drink (BlazeVOX Books), Wake (Aldrich Press), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink), and the collaborative book The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters (Les Femmes Folles) with artist Lauren Rinaldi. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Mid-American Review, The Iowa Review, Calyx, Ploughshares, and Feminist Studies. Currently, she teaches English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. www.lauramadelinewiseman.com


To Write the Body Electric: Figurative Language and Sensory Details

3-5 PM

Franklin Center, Room B

Instructor: Sarah A. Chavez

Octavio Paz once said, “To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.” People use their bodies, as well as their brains, to communicate and understand feelings. It is for this reason we need to understand how to engage the senses; this is a vital tool for any writer to most effectively communicate and reach the largest possible audience. What does sadness smell like? How does anger feel on the skin? What is the texture of love? This workshop will focus on generating figuratively language rooted in the sensory experiences of the body. Sarah A. Chavez will guide the group through examining examples of successful use of sensory detail, disentangle how those corporeal experiences are functioning, and explain how we as writers can replicate those types of powerful images. Please bring paper, writing utensil(s) (preferably not a computer or electronic device, though if you need to, bring both), and a piece of writing you are currently working on that could use a sensual makeover.

Sarah A ChavezSarah A. Chavez, a mestiza born and raised in the California Central Valley, is the author of the chapbook, All Day, Talking (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), which was featured on Sundress Publications’ book spotlight, The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed. She holds a PhD in English with a focus in poetry and Ethnic Studies from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Her work can be found or is in North Dakota Quarterly, Stirring: A Literary Collective, Spoon River Poetry Review, Luna Luna Magazine, among others. Her manuscript, This, Like So Much, was an Honorable Mention for the 2013 Quercus Review Press Poetry Book Contest. A selection from her chapbook manuscript All Day, Talking won the Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship in 2013. She is a proud member of the Macondo Writers Workshop. www.sarahachavez.com.

The Indie Songwriter: the art of story through song

3-5 PM

Franklin Center, Room C

Instructor: Lois Berg

Immerse yourself in the art of songwriting. Hone your craft in song forms, melodies, interaction and use of rhythm and harmony, lyric writing will receive expert support and feedback on your original material from veteran songwriter and industry professional Lois Berg. You’ll also learn about the tools you’ll need to start earning royalties with BMI live as well as Sound exchange.

lois berg

Lois Berg is a singer/songwriter carving out a niche as one of modern country’s most passionate and persuasive performers. She is a force of nature, a chronicler of life and midwife of dreams whose music meets at the corner of real country and modern art. A captivating storyteller and dynamic performer, she is adept at capturing life at its most intimate and universal. Lois has a family that has legendary country music roots and has performed from New York to Memphis.


The Art of Fiction and Witty Dialogue

3-5 PM

Franklin Center, Room D

Instructor: Robert Vaughan

Robert Vaughan’s workshops tend to be interactive, and exercise writing focused. Plan to generate the beginnings of more than just one new work and get that dialogue sounding like something real! If you are looking to spark ideas, with examples to get your pens motivated, then this workshop is for you!
Robert Vaughan is the author of three collections of poetry: Microtones (2012); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (2013); and Addicts & Basements (2014). He also edited Flash Fiction Fridays (2011) and is senior editor at JMWW and Lost in Thought magazine. His awards include Micro-Fiction (2012), and Gertrude Stein Awards (2013, 2014). He leads roundtables at Red Oak Writing in Milwaukee, WI.



Small Prestivus Workshops


  1. Jenn

    I feel so much happier now I unrnsdtaed all this. Thanks!

    1. blotterature

      Hi Jen,
      This post is about the Small Prestivus 2015 workshops. You can find information about Small Prestivus 2016 at smallprestivus.wordpress.com. All workshops this year are free and open to the public. Please take a look and we hope to see you there!

Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>