Mississippi river workshop announces authors

The 2015 Mississippi River Creative Writing Workshop, a tradition since the 80’s at St. Cloud State University, has announced its dates as well as its featured authors that it will be hosting.

Bill Meissner, the director of St. Cloud State University creative writing program, was at the very beginning of the workshop and has seen the effects that it has on the students who have attended in past years.

“It has a great reputation throughout Minnesota, the growth of the program has expanded from just poets to more novelists in recent years and more multicultural authors,” said Meissner.

The workshop offers students many different exercises to help cultivate their creativity in writing by conducting discussions between professional authors and students, while also including motivational speeches by published novelists and authors. These elements help to create a higher degree of another ingredient that Meissner said it’s essential to making the workshop critical for writers.

“The workshop offers some very solid inspiration as far as tapping into the students’ creativity, as well as a slightly different appreciation of literature and [for] different kinds of literature.”

Many prominent authors will be attending the workshop including:

  • Margaret Hasse—author of poetry pieces, “Stars Above, Stars Below ” (Minnesota Voices Award), “Milk and Tides” (Midwest Book Award), and “Earth’s Appetite.”
  • Thomas Maltman—novelist and author of the award winning “Little Wolves” and “The Night Birds.” Maltman teaches creative writing at Normandale Community College.
  • Lorna Landvik—Minnesota novelist, actress, playwright, and comedian. Author of many novels, including and The New York Times best-seller “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons.”
  • Wayne Nelsen—Minneapolis filmmaker will help to discuss his process of making animated videos and film collages in collaboration with various poets, authors and musicians from the metro area and around the state.
  • Shannon Olson—author of renowned novels “Welcome To My Planet (Where English is Sometimes Spoken),” and the sequel, “Children of God Go Bowling.”
  • Alexs Pate—African-American author of a novel for the feature film, Amistad, (with Steven Spielberg’s company). Also author of four other novels and a book about the art of rap music.
  • Susan Power—Author of the best selling novel “The Grass Dancer,” a short story collection, and a forthcoming novel. Her writings and presentations are centered on Native American culture.

“I attended the workshop a few summers ago, and the entire four days offer a phenomenal, enriching experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their writing, develop networking, or gain insight from successful authors,” said Chelsea Christman, a St. Cloud State University senior who has taken the workshop prior to this year.

The workshop is a two-credit class that will take place from June 15 through 18 and will go from 10:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. each day of the workshop.

“People who are interested in developing their creativity is a major focus of the class, and secondly people who are interested in reading, novelists, and literature so really anyone across the board is welcome to sign up,” said Meissner.

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