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The Rose O'Neill

Literary House

Creative Writing Workshops

Our motto is “Write Your Truth.” Creative writing workshops at the Cherry Tree Young Writers’ Conference are designed to help you discover the stories that matter to you. What is your truth? What is the voice you will use to tell it?

POETRY WORKSHOP, with Jehanne Dubrow

We experience the world through our five senses. But, sometimes when we’re writing, we can become so focused on big, abstract ideas like love, sadness, or anger, that we forget our job is to put readers inside the poem. In this workshop, we’ll read published poems that are rooted in vivid images, poems that feel so three-dimensional we could almost walk through them. We’ll also use a variety of writing prompts to draft new poems that connect with what we can see, taste, touch, hear, and smell.

FICTION WORKSHOP, with H.G. Carrillo

Fiction is the lie that brings the truth to light. Of the millions of worlds we might go—the billions of eyes, ears and hearts we may see them through—fiction is the opportunity for all of us to try on space suits, meet zombies, work in the fields next to Cesar Chavez, kiss royalty, and have our hearts broken and repaired, our backs snapped and healed, and our spirits lifted—our minds opened—to the experiences of others. The four parts of this workshop focus on essential characteristics of the making of make-believe for the purpose of mining and exposing the reality of the imagined.


Creative nonfiction is sometimes known as ‘the fourth genre’ to distinguish its various forms from the genres of poetry, drama, and fiction. This class will give us ample opportunity as creative nonfictionists to sample and incorporate elements from a range of literary genres into our unique personal essays, lyric essays, and memoirs. Over the four days of workshop, we will read and write about topics as rich as personal identity, family lore, and the self in relation to the larger world.