The University of Akron Wayne College in Orrville is hosting its 12th annual Writers Workshop, Saturday, April 11, 2015.  (Open to the public)

Registration Form Coming soon!

This year's workshop allows writers and aspiring writers to meet published authors and participate in sessions about poetry writing, true crime, building and maintaining suspense, adding depth and vitality to a novel, and writing and photographing for a magazine.

As a participant, you will enjoy a continental breakfast followed by our authors’ concurrent workshop sessions, a panel discussion with the presenting authors, and lunch followed by special guest Mindee Arnett.

Each workshop session runs 75 minutes (topics are detailed in this brochure). Please choose two sessions to attend. Your $40 fee, due by March 28, covers everything for the day. Registration after the deadline will be $45 (including walk-ins that day).

After the awards ceremony recognizing student and regional writers, our speakers will have books for sale. Plan to spend time talking with them during the concluding sell-and-sign opportunity.

For program information or to register contact:
Susan Ackerman 330-684-8985 or 1-800-221-8308, ext. 8985


2014 Featured Speaker - Mindee Arnett - Write Deeply, Stay Humble: a Writer's Survival Guide
Mindee Arnett reflects on her writing journey and offers advice to writers - both aspiring and published - on how to break through, continually improve, and stay sane in this challenging endeavor.

2014 Workshop Sessions

Structure of Suspense – How to Keep the Reader Turning the Page - Mindee Arnett
With so many distractions trying to draw a reader away from the page, the writer must fight to keep them tuned in. One strategy is to build and maintain suspense. This hands-on session will explore techniques for using suspense to drive the story forward, starting with the opening scene, through the climax, and everything in between.

Biography: Mindee writes young adult fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Her book The Nightmare Affair is the first in her The Arkwell Academy series published by McMillan. The sequel, The Nightmare Dilemma, will be published this March. Her sci-fi thriller Avalon (Harper Collins) was released in January 2014. Mindee has a B.A. and M.A. from Wright State University. She lives on a horse farm near Germantown, Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats.


Telling (and selling) the Outdoors Story: Writing and Photographing for Magazines and Books - Chip Gross
Award-winning Ohio outdoors writer/photographer W. H. “Chip” Gross will detail the one major difference between simply writing stories about the natural world and actually getting paid for your work. Come find out the secret!

Biography: Chip is a freelance writer, speaker, and editor. He earned a B.S. degree in wildlife management from Ohio State and went to work with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. While with ODNR, he began to write and publish hundreds of articles and photos to regional and national publications. He has written four books: a novel Home, at Last, is the Hunter; Pro Tactics: Steelhead & Salmon; Ohio Wildlife Viewing Guide; and Guide to Shooting & Archery. Chip and his wife Jan live near Fredericktown, Ohio surrounded by 13 wooded acres at the end of a one-lane gravel road where he can "sit on my front porch and listen to wild turkeys gobble."


A House Tour of Sorts - Claire F. McMillan
How to use place to create and enhance plot. How to deploy setting, and houses in particular, to add depth and vitality to the novel. Examples, particulars, and exercises will be discussed.

Biography: Claire is the author of Gilded Age (Simon and Schuster), inspired by Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. She grew up in and around Pasadena, California, though people often ask her if she is from Philadelphia. She is a ‘recovering attorney,’ having practiced complex corporate law in San Francisco for six years. Claire earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Bennington College. She currently lives with her husband and their two children on her husband’s family farm about a half hour outside Cleveland.


Visions and Revisions: Embracing the Poem's Journey - Philip Metres
This presentation will take us on the journey of how poems move from initial conception through their various drafts and revisions, through to completion. Examples from Elizabeth Bishop (“One Art”) and from my own work will provide our compass through the thorny way of writing.

Biography: Philip was born in San Diego and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross and M.F.A and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Indiana. He has published seven books of poetry, most recently A Concordance of Leaves (2013, The Cleveland State Press). His writing, which has appeared widely---including in Best American Poetry---has earned two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award, the Anne Halley Prize, the Arab American Book Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is a professor of English at John Carroll University where he teaches American literature and creative writing.


From True Crime to Thrillers - James Renner
How to publish murder mysteries without killing yourself.

Biography: James is a former journalist who now writes novels and short fiction while also dabbling in film and comedy. His first book, Amy: My Search for Her Killer (Gray & Company) was published in 2006. His second, The Serial Killer’s Apprentice (2008) is a collection of feature-length true crime stories. His mystery novel The Man From Primrose Lane (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012) received wide critical acclaim as has The Great Forgetting (2013). His most recent work, It Came From Ohio is a collection of 13 tales of mysterious, creepy, and unexplained events in the Buckeye State. Jim lives in Akron.

Writers Workshop

Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
• Continental breakfast

9:00 – 9:10 a.m.
• Welcome and introductions

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.
• Concurrent workshop sessions

10:45 – 12:00 noon
• Concurrent workshop sessions

12:05 – 12:35 p.m.
• Panel of all presenters – Q & A

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.
• Light lunch

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
• Keynote speaker
• Presentation of awards to winners of the Wayne College writing competitions and Writer of the Year
• Book Signing/Selling

Wayne College Writers Workshop 2014 Sponsors:

  • Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels
  • Books in Stock – Used & Rare
  • College Hills Honda
  • Jeff Wiles Realty
  • Lehman's
  • McIntire, Bradham & Sleek
  • Orrville Printing Company
  • Shisler's Cheese House
  • The Daily Record

The University of Akron Wayne College

1901 Smucker Road, Orrville, OH 44667
Phone: 330-683-2010
Toll Free: 1-800-221-8308
Contact us