Allied Arts & GCSU MFA Present:

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November 7th, 10-2 EST

FREE - Preregistration Required

Registration Deadline November 6th

(keep scrolling for full session details)


  • Door to the Labyrinth: Setting as Tension: Kelly Piggott 

  • Cooking Something Up with Allied Arts: Mary Alsobrooks



  • Nonfiction Workshop: Movement Journalism is the Move: Denechia Powell

  • Echo in Poetry: Avery James

  • The Secret Color: Natalie Mau



  • Starting Your Script: William Warren

  • Speaking Truth to Power – and To Ourselves: Shannon Yarbrough



  • Nonfiction: Mapping It Out: Megan Duffey

  • Fantastical Settings and Alternate Worlds: Paul Bryant

  • Food in Narratives: Courtney Schmidt

Registration is required so that you can receive the link to the virtual meeting space (will be held via Zoom). Please click here to register, on or by November 6th.

10am - 11am Sessions

A. Door to the Labyrinth: Setting as Tension: Kelly Piggott

   Audience: Teens and Adults

Imagine that there is a door in your home that you are afraid to open but want to anyway. Think about what the door looks like: is it old and decrepit? Is it new and is the paint still fresh? Is the wood rotting away or is it made of metal? And what is beyond that door? Is there something magical beyond the door, like a kingdom covered in snow, or some dark, bloody secret that only a rusted old key can open? The door can lead into a real or imaginary, fantastical place: because even in our reality, there are doors we are hesitant to open. 


The purpose of this workshop is to use the setting of your story as a place of tension and suspense, using specific sensory details and imagery. While this workshop can be centered on the door itself, the door is simply part of a much larger whole in the setting of your story: you may come into this workshop with a story already in mind, or begin to craft a new story based around the temptation of a door you want to open, but hesitate to.


Bio: Kelly Piggott is a graduate student candidate in the MFA program at Georgia College and State University, with a focus in fiction. She is currently teaching English Composition and has been a writing tutor and creative writing poetry instructor for seventh graders. She loves dogs, flannel, too much coffee, and the weird, creepy, and fantastical. Her prose has been published with Body Parts Magazine. 

B. Cooking Something Up with Allied Arts: Mary Alsobrooks

Audience: All Ages

A workshop that asks participants to bring in their favorite recipes as inspiration for poems! Will it be a poem to celebrate your famous tater tot casserole? A poem of triumph after finally mastering those vanilla bean macarons? A love letter to Julia Child, Kroger, or pumpkin spice lattes? Don't come to this workshop with an empty stomach ;) All ages welcome, with parent participation encouraged.


Bio: Mary Alsobrooks (they/them) is a teaching fellow and graduate student in the MFA program at GCSU, with a focus in poetry. Mary is currently teaching English Composition at GCSU and creative writing through the Early College program; they also work as a graduate assistant for the Flannery O'Connor Review.


11am-12pm Sessions

C. Nonfiction Workshop: Movement Journalism is the Move: Denechia Powell


Are you frustrated with how mainstream media outlets cover social injustices in middle Georgia and beyond? Do you feel like the voices of those most impacted by oppression are being left out of the news? 


If you answered "yes" to these questions, it may be time to try your hand at movement journalism—journalism that sheds light on the issues of communities on the margins and their movements for justice. 


In this one-hour workshop, Denechia Powell will guide you in writing a lede—a fancy name for an opening paragraph—for an article in service of liberation. You will also gain advice on how to pitch your article and how to get it published. No journalism experience necessary! This workshop is intended for adults and teens.


One last thing: Come prepared with ideas and topics you want to write about. For example, Powell has covered issues such as toxic waste sites in coastal Georgia, voter suppression in the South, and reproductive justice activism.


Bio: Denechia Powell is a Georgia born and raised movement journalist, creative nonfiction MFA student at GCSU, cat parent, spouse, and auntie living in Atlanta (occupied Creek territory) who conspires in the name of liberated Black futures, queer and transgender Black/Indigenous/people of color power, solidarity economics, and transformative justice & community accountability. Powell’s writing has been published in various online and print publications, including Autostraddle, Harper’s BAZAAR, Prism, Scalawag, VICE, YES Magazine!, and Monday: the Journal of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery.



D. Echo in Poetry: Avery James

Audience: Teens and Adults


Why do your favorite songs have refrains? Why did Martin Luther King Jr. weave "I have dream" throughout his famous speech over and over? 


When we want to convey our ideas, frustrations, passions, and concerns, we might lean towards the rhetorical device of repetition. It stresses our thoughts and reinforces the importance of what we want to say.


One advantage of poetry is its ability to express the urgency behind our feelings and memories in only a few words.  For this workshop, we will be examining poems and songs that make music from the repetition of words and phrases. We will then be creating poetry that echoes itself. This workshop is a space to say what's on your mind-- to say it with an attention towards the rhythm and music of language.


Bio: Avery James is a teaching fellow and MFA graduate student at Georgia College & State University. She loves sharing her passion for language with others, and has experience as an instructor in poetry and English composition.  You can find her work in journals and magazines such as The Forum, Ramifications, and Q/A Poetry.



E. The Secret Color: Natalie Mau

Audience: All Ages

Close your eyes and pick a color. When you think of this color, what do you see, hear, feel, and taste? Was your childhood bedroom painted green? Is your favorite time of the year when the leaves turn red? We live in a world full of wonderful colors- many of which we associate with certain memories or feelings.

In this workshop, we will examine imagery and association by identifying these memories and feelings and then writing a poem or short piece of prose that reflects the color of your choosing without ever mentioning that color explicitly. This workshop is best suited for teens and adults.


Bio: Natalie Mau is a graduate poetry student at Georgia College & State University, where she also currently works as a Writing Center consultant. She loves music of all sorts, doing home projects, and taking walks with her family throughout town.


12pm - 1pm Sessions

F. Starting Your Script: William Warren

Audience: Teens and Adults

Do you have a great idea for a script, but don't know how to start it? All scripts, whether you are writing a play, a screenplay, a musical, or a teleplay, depend on having a great opening scene. But what does it take for a scene to work? In this workshop, we will break down the individual elements of an opening scene to better understand how to construct your script. We will also talk about the individual constrains of writing scenes in each genre of script writing. During our hour, you will begin drafting/revising your opening scene and will leave with a foothold in your script-writing journey. 

Bio: William Warren is a filmmaker, playwright, and MFA Fiction candidate at GCSU. He has written and directed nationally and internationally distributed movies, written plays produced by multiple Atlanta area theatres, as well as writing, directing, and producing industrial and training videos for the CDC and the US Navy. He has taught writing in the GCSU Writing Center, and is the current Managing Editor at Arts & Letters.

G. Speaking Truth to Power – and To Ourselves: Shannon Yarbrough

Audience: Teens and Adults

When we feel frustrated or disempowered, we may ask, “what do my words matter anyway?" If we allow it, writing can lead us to uncover our innermost truths and access the power within.  

In this workshop, I'll guide you through several fast-paced writing prompts aimed at breaking through to your most honest self. The goal of each prompt will be to write what comes to mind first without time to edit and overthink. As you write, you may see themes repeat. Acknowledging these themes will help unlock insights about both your needs and values. Sharing is encouraged and completely optional. 

Bio: Shannon Yarbrough is a Decatur, Georgia based writer and teacher with a passion for helping people find their voices through writing. She has taught writing for over a decade in a variety of contexts, from the Writing Center at Georgia College to the Harpswell Foundation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is a Creative Nonfiction student in the MFA program at GCSU.


1pm - 2pm Sessions


H. Nonfiction: Mapping It Out: Megan Duffey

Audience: Teens and Adults


In this workshop, we will work to realize the multiple meanings of home: as a foundation of our roots and as a physical space. To start, everyone will draw a map of a neighborhood they have lived in. After this exercise, the writing portion will be to create a story based off of the maps that were made. What streets, people, and places are sparked by memory from drawing a map? Where did you have your first kiss, break a bone? Which place had the best food? Is there a place you never went but always wanted to? What places have appeared and disappeared over the years? Memory is a powerful tool. This workshop could spark many story ideas to start you on your journey into creative nonfiction or perhaps be the missing puzzle piece for your memoir. 


Bio: Megan Duffey is a MFA graduate student at Georgia College who currently teaches English 1101 and writes creative nonfiction. In the past, she has taught seventh grade poetry and has worked as a writing tutor. She loves her dog, haunted houses, coffee, and traveling. Her work has been accepted by the literary journal The Magnolia Review and she was a nominee for the AWP Intro Journal Awards in 2019. 

I. Fantastical Settings and Alternate Worlds: Paul Bryant

Audience: Teens and Adults


Have you ever wondered what the world would look like in the next 50 years, or how the world would look if it was ruled by unicorns? In this workshop, we will examine how authors create believable worlds that are much different from our own. We will view examples from different genres, spanning from science fiction to isekai (part of the manga and anime genres), and examine how authors effectively establish world building for completely fantastical or futuristic lands. Then, we will write about ourselves living in our own imagined worlds. The goal of this workshop is to help you produce fantastical or futuristic settings that are both believable and intriguing enough to make readers want to learn more about your world.

Bio: Paul Stephen Bryant currently works as a teaching fellow at Georgia College and State University. His prose has been published in literary journals such as The Esthetic Apostle and Wraparound South. 

J. Food in Narratives: Courtney Schmidt

Audience: All Ages


Food writing encompasses a lot: restaurant reviews, recipes, food blogs, travel writing, etc. Food is also attached to so much memory, oftentimes strong. This workshop will take the subject of food to center a narrative. In this workshop we will look at different examples of food writing. We will also have the opportunity to cook up some stories of our own; showing how an ordinary time of the day, or routine action can be the scaffold for a larger story, investigating how stories can be built from something as regular as preparing or consuming breakfast. Any age or experience level is welcome.


Bio: Courtney Schmidt is a teaching fellow and graduate student in the MFA program at GCSU, with a focus in fiction. She is currently teaching English Composition at GCSU and works as an assistant genre editor for GCSU's literary journal "Arts and Letters". Courtney has taught creative writing through the Early College program through GCSU and now co-facilitates the course.