Sheila Bender Leads November Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Writer Sheila Bender will be leading Centrum’s 2014 Autumn Creative Nonfiction Workshop at Fort Worden, November 6-9.

Sheila Bender’s essays and poems appear online and in numerous North American literary magazines and anthologies including Poetry Northwest, The Seattle Review, The Bellingham Review, Tiny Lights, and Tidepools, among others. Her passion is helping those who want to break their writing out into new forms, revise effectively, generate more writing, or facilitate the writing of others. In the last three decades, she has worked with hundreds of people in colleges, universities, and workshops helping them write personal essays, poetry, and writer’s journals and allow writing a serious place in their lives.

Sheila’s slogan when it comes to work-in-progress is that there is no bad writing, only opportunities for good writing.

Listen to Sheila discuss the Personal Essay on The Writing Show:


At the Workshop, we’ll explore memoir and other forms of creative nonfiction. We write to explore meaning in our human experiences and observations. To do this and gain insight, we must not only relive our experiences as we write them, but shape these experiences for the page. What to include? What to leave out? Where to start and where to end? There are tricks of the trade that help writers find shapes for writing toward insight and holding surprises for themselves and for their readers (remember Robert Frost said, “No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”)

Together, we’ll experiment with and evaluate many strategies for generating and shaping work in ways that help us arrive at the deepest and most vivid levels of our writing  (as Emily Dickinson famously advises if we want to find and tell the truth, we must “come at things slant”). Join us for starting new work, getting unstuck on older work and for gaining the skills needed to revise toward insight.

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