‘Celebrating a sense of place’ for creative writing

Ursula LeGuin

Ursula LeGuin signs a copy of her book, “The Tombs of Atuan,” during the Terrior Creative Writing Festival on May 1. The event was a day-long literaray celebration with workshops and lectures. Photo courtesy of Brad Thompson.

The Terroir Creative Writing Festival featured a full day of literary celebration with workshops, lectures, readings and book signings at the McMinnville Community Center on May 1.
The festival, sponsored by The Arts Alliance of Yamhill County, featured an array of authors sharing writing knowledge and experiences. They also revealed how to become a published author and what steps are necessary in creating a book. Many of these authors, along with Marilyn Worrix, founder and director of the Book Arts Center of McMinnville, led workshops throughout the day.
“The goal was to provide an opportunity for writers in our area to come together and celebrate their love of writing and to have the opportunity to learn from more accomplished writers,” Lisa Weidman, assistant professor of mass communication and the festival publicity chair, said.
Participants chose four out of the eight workshops to attend.
“I attended the book-making workshop,” freshman Rachel Go said. “I got to sew a handmade book together and create a cover piece for it.”
Go was one of two Linfield students sponsored by the English department to go to the event. Sophomore Katherine Allum was the other, but she was unable to attend the festival.
After the first four workshops, there was a break for lunch when Bill Siverly spoke about his perspective of poetry. He also discussed what he and his co-editor, Michael McDowell, look for when selecting pieces to publish in their work, “Windfall: A Journal of Poetry of Place,” which comes out twice a year.
Following the workshops were the closing ceremony and an open mic for festival participants to read some of their own work.
Weidman read two poems during the open mic. One poem was written by her father, a published poet; the other poem was an original work of Weidman’s that she wrote several years ago about love.
“My father’s poem came from one of his books about why he is a poet, so I thought that it would be good to read to a room of aspiring writers,” Weidman said.
Weidman, who is on The Arts Alliance of Yamhill County Board of Directors, became involved with the festival after board member and Linfield Professor Emetitus Barbara Drake pitched the idea to the board. Once everyone agreed to go through with it, Drake asked Weidman if she would be willing to be a part of the planning committee as the publicity chair, and Weidman agreed.
Drake and a former student of hers, Linfield alumna Emily Chadwick, were two of the key organizers who formed the idea for the festival. Both had connections with the featured authors.
The organizers’ goal for the festival was to have 100 people attend. The festival reached its maximum capacity with 180 people, including volunteers.
“The festival was a big success, and there is a lot of enthusiasm for doing it again next year among the committee members,” Weidman said.

Jessica Prokop
Culture reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

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