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Event :: Friday Night Comics Workshops at SAW

The Sequential Artists Workshop logo image

The Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) offers free weekly online comics workshops on Fridays, each hosted by a professional cartoonist who leads participants through a structured drawing and/or storytelling exercise. The series was originally started by The Believer (‘We Believe in Comics’).

SAW is an online and in-person grassroots, non-profit comics school located in Gainesville, Florida, founded in 2011 by indie cartoonist Tom Hart. “At SAW we help budding cartoonists discover their own path in visual storytelling. Students learn core comics techniques like storytelling, character creation, panel design, storyboarding, inking and lettering.”

Numerous working groups meet via their online SAW Mighty Network Community, and the SAW Certificate Program enrolls every fall for a nine-month intensive instruction in drawing for comics, comic storytelling, comics history, and more. Many SAW graduates from the past ten years have gone on to publish full-length works.

Event :: Sarabande Books Free Weekly Zine Lunch

Zine Lunch! presented by Sarabande Books is a free weekly online workshop “designed to be a fun and low-stakes way to make time for creativity.” Each one-hour session (12-1PM EST) is hosted by an author or friend of the press who guides participants in a uniquely designed practice. A full archive of over 60 recorded sessions is available on the publisher’s Vimeo page along with video directions on folding a one-page zine.

Each workshop is unique, the presenter offers a concentrated writing and/or imaging practice (such as collage). Not every session actually produces a ‘zine’ booklet. It seems the ‘zine’ concept can also mean a condensed practice in creativity, though some presenters come a bit ‘overprepared’ for the limited time, leaving participants to finish their projects afterward.

There is also an opportunity for attendees to share their work if they would like. It’s a friendly, welcoming workshop; I have attended a live session and have viewed about half of the recordings. The series is run by Natalie Wollenzien, Publishing & Communications Assistant, who is wonderful at introducing the presenter, participating, sharing, helping troubleshoot any tech issues, and continuing to curate a superb lineup for the community.

Events :: Snapdragon Virtual Workshops

Snapdragon Workshop Poetry and Ritual with Jacinta V. White logo image

Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing offers a variety of online workshop and “popup workshops” open to the public with some accepting donations and others with set fees. Snapdragon offers a membership that includes an annual subscription to their quarterly publication, discounts on classes and workshops, members-only content, and other freebies. Upcoming workshops include “Writing the Ancestors: A Generative Online Workshop with Jacinta V. White” (July 30 & 31), “Poetry and Ritual: A Path Towards Self Awareness & Awakening with Poet, Author, & Publisher Jacinta V. White” (August 14), and “Writing & Rage: Discussion & Workshop with Jacinta White & Aginetta Mulima” (August 25). Check their website for other events and the newest issue of Snapdragon journal.

Event :: Free ELA PD 5 Days of Poetry

Ethical ELA July 2022 Open Write logo image

Every month, Ethical ELA hosts a five-day “Open Write” and invites English Language Arts teachers to join in! ELA is broadly defined to include active and retired K-12 and college/university teachers as well as teachers of English and language arts in a variety of settings. The Open Write is five days of poetry writing developed by different educators with 30 to 100 of teachers participating at various times and thousands observing and borrowing resources. Founded by Sarah Donovan in 2005, this remains a free and ad-free event. I personally participate in this event and look forward to it every month! Some months I miss, sometimes I miss a poem or two, and I know some who visit each month for the prompts but never post them to the site, and that’s okay – however you choose to approach it.

Sarah offers these simple guidelines for first-timers:

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Event :: Environmental Writers Conversation

Terrain.org An Online Conversation with Sandra Steingraber and Taylor Brorby promo image

Terrain.org invites participants to attend an online conversation between acclaimed environmental writers and activists Sandra Steingraber and Taylor Brorby. In this event, noted environmental author and activist Sandra Steingraber is in conversation with Taylor Brorby about his debut memoir, Boys and Oil: Growing Up Gay in a Fractured Land. This conversation is sponsored by Terrain.org, with Zoom hosting provided by the University of Arizona,
Monday, June 27, 2022, 5 p.m. PT / 6 MT / 7 CT / 8 ET. Registration is free.

Event :: 2022 August Poetry Postcard Festival

The Giving Tree USPS Forever Stamp image

Early Bird Registration for the 2022 August Poetry Postcard Festival ends June 4, and registration for the event ends completely on July 4, so do not delay!

Celebrating 15 years, this event invites writers to sign up to be placed in a group. Once each group reaches 32 registrants, each receives a list of names and addresses. The goal is to write a poem a day on a postcard to the next person on the list after your own name and mail it to them. In return, you will receive a poem from each participant in your group. Writers are encouraged to start in advance of August 1 to allow time for the postcards to arrive, but it’s common to have some days go by with no card arriving and others with several cards waiting in the mailbox.

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August Poetry Postcard Festival

Considering all the cancelled or postponed or modified conferences and workshops, it’s comforting to know the August Poetry Postcard Festival is up and running this year just as it has been for the past twelve years!

The concept is simple: You sign up and your name is added to a group along with 31 others. Once the group is “full,” you each get the list with names and addresses of participants in your group. The week before August, you start writing and sending you postcards (so that the first one arrives around the first of August). You write one postcard per day and send it to the person listed after your name in the group. The next day, you write another poem and send it to the next person – and so on until you go through the list. One for each day.

The idea is spontaneous writing without editing, censoring, or revision. You can use the postcard as your prompt or not. Some people choose a theme to write on for the month. The postcards vary from store bought to homemade, contemporary to vintage. It’s really wide open to your creativity, imagination, and passion. Then, throughout the month of August, you will receive poems in the mail from the others in your group.

This year – the one change in the event has been year-round registration – so you can register now. Some participants have already started sending cards instead of waiting until August – in response to the pandemic – since we could all use a bit more poetry and a bit more connection in our daily lives. A few ambitious writers have already completed their 31 cards and have signed up for another group! The organizers welcome repeat participation.

This is a safe and fun way to connect, motivate your writing, and enjoy the wonderful gifts that others will send your way. Sign up today!