Writing workshop teach participants new skills

On Jan. 26, the Castro Valley Education Foundation held its annual creative writing workshop in the Castro Valley Library. Speakers came to teach students and Castro Valley residents their tricks for writing and publishing.

The workshop consisted of different parts, one including three guest speakers and a panel discussion at the end on how to publish your book.

Lise Pearlman, author of The Sky’s the Limit taught an important lesson on researching non-fiction. Her book tells readers of some of the most important trials of the 20th century. “What is your perspective about your writing?” questioned Pearlman. “You need to find your point of view.”

Each participant interviewed one another about their grandparents, and then wrote a short piece about them. Each speaker had one hour to teach listeners about their writing and tips for future writers. Amy Franklin-Willis was one of the speakers.

Franklin-Willis has one word of advice for new writers. “If you’re going to start writing, you need to read.”

Franklin-Willis is the author of The Lost Saints of Tennessee, which she worked on for ten years. “You need to put in a little every day,” said Franklin-Willis. “Fifteen minutes if that’s all you have.”

At the end, everyone wrote down subjects that are not supposed to be thought or said, and the papers were then torn up. “Write for five minutes about what not to think or say,” said Franklin-Willis. “Get your mind out of the box.”

Each group was moved in a cycle to meet all the guest speakers at the very end. The final words of advice were given by Franklin-Willis: “The act of writing better will make you a better person.”

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