Writing Quality Fiction, and the Hard Work of Being a Writer: An Interview with Robert Kent

Robert Kent's Fiction Writing Workshop begins Sunday, October 21, 5 p.m.
Other workshops include: Writing the Horror Novel, The Basics of Self-Publishing, and Finishing Your First Novel (and your second).

What was the greatest piece of advice you ever got about writing?

The greatest advice about writing I ever got was actually bad advice. I won’t name the writer who gave it to me, but he’s a big deal, award-winning author whose work I greatly admire.

He taught a fiction workshop here in Indianapolis years and years ago. He gave me advice for how to “fix” my story that I didn’t agree with. In fact, his criticism led me to discover a better revision (so often this is the real value of constructive suggestions). But because he was a big deal author and I was a newbie, I rewrote my story his way.

Nobody published the story during that round of submissions because it still didn’t work and when I turned the story into another workshop, they hated it whereas the previous workshop had loved it. I revised it again, my way this time, for a third workshop and they loved it.

In addition to learning that quality fiction requires a whole lot of revision and hard work, I learned that no author, however many awards they win, has all the answers. This writer went on to write more stories and win more awards. He gave me lots of other advice that worked very well and taught me a lot about the craft.

And by giving me bad advice he taught me that there’s no one guaranteed approach to writing. We’re all of us figuring this out as we go.

Why do you write?

Because I can’t not write and no one’s stopped me yet. I’ve taken extended breaks from writing, but it calls me and I can never resist the urge for longer than a few weeks.

I tell every student that if they can imagine themselves being happy doing something other than writing, they should go do that thing and be free :) But if, like me, they have to write, they may as well master every technique they can employ to do it well.

What are you working on right now?

I’m polishing the final version of Banneker Bones and the Alligator People, the second book in my middle grade science-fiction series to be published in 2019, and—mild spoiler, I suppose—I’m drafting Banneker’s third adventure.

I’m also doing research for another adult horror novel I hope to write if I ever finish my middle grade books. Writing for younger readers is so much more challenging than writing for adults.

Favorite books or essays about the craft of writing?

I believe the most important book on writing I’ve ever read is Story by Robert McKee. That book changes lives. Grock its fullness. I reread Story every couple years to keep the information fresh and I got a little teary-eyed when the great Robert McKee liked one of my tweets.

Also very good are On Writing by Stephen KingStein on Editing by Sol Stein, and The Indie Author Survival Guide by Susan Kaye Quinn.

And writers should definitely check out Middle Grade Ninja, not just because it’s my website, but because it features interviews with better writers than me, literary agents, and other industry professionals, many of whom have also written guest posts on the craft of writing.

What’s your favorite book, or the best book you’ve read recently? What do you love about it?

I could never pick an absolute favorite, but some contenders for the top spot are The Witches by Roald Dahl, The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, and It by Stephen King.

Is there a writer whose work provided new understanding of what fiction writing is, and how it can be written? If so, who and how?

I think every piece of fiction I read changes my understanding of fiction writing at least a little, especially the stories that are badly written since they teach me what not to do. One book I read recently illustrated a clear issue in my newest project. Because I saw this poor author mess up, I knew how to fix my story. This is the importance of writers reading: it’s like watching people walk into booby traps in the path ahead of you.

One book I can think of that sparked a debate in my mind I’m still arguing to this day even though I read it when I was a teenager is I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. That book is objectively brilliant and well constructed. It has a singular message and it effectively delivers its shock to the reader and more people have enjoyed it than have ever read anything I’ve written.

And yet, I think it’s too short. Matheson is depicting the end of the world due to vampires, and he barely slows down to enjoy it.  There are no long suspense sequences or horrifying moments other than the establishment of his premise and the execution of his admittedly brilliant literary thesis: the last of the human race would be a legend to a new race of “monsters.” Bravo, sir, well done (kisses fingers and blows on them).

And yet, I would’ve spent more time with the vampires and made more use of the fantastic premise, rather than treating the book as an equation with a solution. I Am Legend could’ve easily been a series or at least a longer book with more vampire action. It’s not that Matheson was wrong (blaspheme!). But his story showed me what sort of writer I want to be. All fiction is an author’s preference (hopefully taking into account the reader’s as well), and so it’s essential to read widely to form your own writer’s preference, so you can know the sort of stories you like and want to write.

Why do you like teaching at IWC? What do you look forward to about it?

Teaching a subject is the best way to really learn it on a deeper level. Running writing workshops at the IWC in which the participants email each other every day for five weeks to state what writing they did or failed to do keeps me accountable as well, so that we all hit our writing goals. If the students fall short, I still hit my daily word count due to the pressure of leading the group, so I win either way:)

And it’s been enormously gratifying to hear from students who’ve published their first books after taking one of my courses.  I love giving writers the information I wish someone had given to me when I was starting out.

I’ve also convinced some would-be writers that they’re much happier as readers after trying out the writer’s lifestyle as writing is really, really hard. What a tremendous service I’ve provided these students! If they can be free of the notion that they need to write and enjoy the rest of their lives without carrying the guilt of not writing, I’ve done good in the world. 

Website and Social Media info:





Robert Kent is the author of the horror novels The Book of David and All Together Now: A Zombie Story, and the novellas Pizza Delivery and All Right Now: A Short Zombie Story

Under the name Rob Kent, he writes middle grade novels such as Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees and the upcoming Banneker Bones and the Alligator People.

He runs the popular blog for writers, MIDDLE GRADE NINJA, which features interviews and guest posts from over 500 authors, literary agents, and other publishing professionals, and was the recipient of Middle Shelf Magazine's Best Blog award. Robert Kent holds degrees in Literature and Creative Writing from Indiana University and owns over 900 Batman action figures. He lives with his family in Indianapolis where he teaches courses at the Indiana Writers Center and is hard at work on his next book.


Written by Rachel Sahaidachny — October 12, 2018

Meet an Author, Be an Author at the Central Library


We're providing a day full of free writing classes, programs and panels at "Meet an Author, Be an Author" presented by The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award and The Indianapolis Public Library.

10:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Central Library
40 East St. Clair Street
Downtown Indianapolis

FREE and open to the public 

Presenters include: John David Anderson, Nancy Niblack Baxter, Ray E. Boomhower, Maurice Broaddus, Curtis Crisler, Helen Frost, Devon Ginn, Allyson Horton, Angela Jackson-Brown, Robert Kent, Sarah Layden, Tracy Line, Sandy Sasso, Barbara Shoup, Robert Stapleton, and Delores Thornton.

Topics include Get Started, Children's Literature, Self-Publishing, Writing about Your Life, and Show Don't Tell. Panelists will also discuss editing, and the writing life.

For all the details visit the Meet and Author, Be an Author page.

Written by Barbara Shoup — October 12, 2018

SJ Rozan to visit Indiana Writers Center

SJ Rozan is visiting Indianapolis for the Magna Cum Murder Crime Writing Festival, and she is stopping at the IWC to teach a class before she leaves. You can join Rozan for the writing workshop, "Plot and Story: What is the Difference, and How Do You Make Them Happen?" on Sunday, October 21, 2018, 2-4:30 p.m.

We asked Rozan to answer a few questions, in preparation for her visit:

What was the greatest piece of advice you ever got about writing?

Don't ever save anything for a better place in this book or a better book. If something came to you now there's a reason. These things bubble up like water in a well -- if you don't take off what's on the top you won't get anything  else.  (Paraphrasing Annie Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE)

Why do you write?

I keep thinking of stories I want to tell.

What are you working on right now?

A thriller with a young female protagonist who's an actor and an adrenaline junkie. She's a fixer -- you have a problem, Lily Lee will fix it. Just don't ask how.

Favorite books or essays about the craft of writing?



What’s your favorite book, or the best book you’ve read recently? What do you love about it?

The book that got me started as a writer was Howard Pyle's ROBIN HOOD when I was 10. I was so sad that I was almost at the end, and my mother said, Well, maybe he'll write more. And I thought, Wait, someone wrote this? A person? People can write stories other people want to read? It was a revelation.

Is there a writer whose work provided new understanding of what fiction writing is, and how it can be written? If so, who and how?

Recently I read George Saunders's LINCOLN IN THE BARDO. The coalescing of the huge number of different voices into the same story -- it knocked me out.

Why do you like teaching at IWC? What do you look forward to about it?

The students come from such different backgrounds and are at such different levels but they're all so serious about wanting to write and they work so hard!

Where to find SJ Rozan:





SJ Rozan is the author of fifteen novels and more than 75 short stories, and the editor of two anthologies. She has won multiple awards, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Nero, Macavity; Japanese Maltese Falcon; and the Private Eye Writers of America Life Achievement Award. She speaks and lectures widely, at such venues as the 92nd Street Y and the Center for Fiction. SJ has been a Master Artist at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, Writer-in-Residence at Singapore Management University, and is a senior faculty member at Art Workshop International in Assisi, Italy.

SJ was born in the Bronx and lives in lower Manhattan. 

Written by Rachel Sahaidachny — October 08, 2018

Break Out: Voices from the Inside, September 10, 2018

The Indiana Writers Center held “Breakout: Voices From the Inside” in partnership with PEN America on Monday, September 10, 2018 from 7-9 PM. Though the audience was small, all who attended, including the readers, agreed that they were moved by the presentation, which included work by PEN Prison Writing Contest winners, people incarcerated in the Indiana prison system, and Jeremy Richard, who is incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, LA. Poems by Indiana poet Etheridge Knight, as well as poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts, who made it out of prison and are an inspiration to all of us. The work was read without interruption, as a program gave biographical information about writers and readers.

The program was as follows:

“Cell Song” by Etheridge Knight
Read by JL Kato

“discovery after twenty years in prison” by Sean J. White
Second Place, Poetry, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by Karen Kovacik

“My Mind” by Dave
Read by Debra Des Vignes

“Five Haiku Plus Two” by Geneva J. Philips
Honorable Mention, Poetry, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by Devon Ginn

“This Poem” by Etheridge Knight
Read by Celeste Williams

An excerpt from the writing of Jeremy Richard
Read by Barbara Shoup

“Going Forward with Gus” by Sterling Cunio
Second Place, Essay, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by Michael McColly

“Break Free” by Brandon
Read by Debra Des Vignes

“Fragment of a Dream” by Gary K. Farlow
Honorable Mention, Poetry, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by JL Kato

“The Idea of Ancestry” by Etheridge Knight
Read by Angela Jackson Brown

“The Storm” by  Edward Ji
Honorable Mention, Poetry, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by Celeste Williams

“Remembrance” by Foosie
Read by Debra Des Vignes

“Grace Notes” by Matthew Mendoza
First Place, Poetry, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by JL Kato

An excerpt from the writing of Jeremy Richard
Read by Barbara Shoup

“At a VA Hospital” by Etheridge Knight
Read by Devon Ginn

“Only Human” by Daniel
Read by Debra DesVignes

“Regret’s Tragic Romance” by Annmarie Harris-Romero
Honorable Mention, Nonfiction PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by Angela Jackson Brown

“The Glitter Squirrel in Me” by Elizabeth Hawes
Third Place, Poetry, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by Rachel Sahaidachny

“Dimensions” by Albert
Read by Debra Des Vignes

“The Swallow War” by St. James Harris Wood
First Place, Essay, PEN America Prison Writing Contest, 2018
Read by Michael McColly

“Ode to a Kite” by Reginald Dwayne Betts
Read by Karen Kovacik



Read an excerpt of "The Swallow War" by St. James Harris Wood

After fifteen years down, I assume that prison life can't get any more off-kilter or annoying; but then, some cruel functionary starts a war against the local swallows. Each early dawn and during the fading light of dusk I love to watch the hardy little birds hurtling in tandem by the hundreds, coasting and whipping around the sky, exercising or herding bugs maybe, or perhaps just flying for the joy of it. I enjoy it, watching their huge swarm, a thousand strong, wheeling around like drunken feathered acrobats, breathtaking and beautiful as they pursue and eradicate every bee, fly, mosquito, moth, and whatever else is in the air and smaller than the hungry little assassins. Watching the sparrows is better than tv or pinochle and has the distinct bouquet of freedom.

In the hills surrounding my home, the California Men's Colony, dwell macabre flying spiders who contrive to get to the top of our absurdly high (50 yards) light towers. The ambitious spiders lay thousands of eggs up there, and when the babies hatch, windy days are a signal for them to make web kites, and all at once the entire spider congregation takes off, mostly to be killed and eaten by the swallows, thank God; but last year the flying baby spiders launched themselves while the sparrows were off somewhere else, having heard of special mud for their nests in another county. The spiders spread across the sky, the yard, all over the buildings and grass, landing on our clothes and hair for an hour, until finally the sparrows returned home. It was a scene, or more properly an outburst of nature (a tantrum?) to see a thousand swallows dodging about en masse, performing maneuvers, eradicating the remaining spiders, still aloft. The baby spiders take it stoically as a countless number of their comrades had made it to the ground before the massacre. Like everyone, I can't help but wonder how the swallows manage to perform their complicated mass dance and aerial gyrations—spinning, swirling, churning, clouds of feathers and grace so unlike our clumsy human world—without ever crashing into each other and falling to the ground like Icarus, or me.

These American Cliff Swallows have been coming to San Luis Obispo for a thousand years, flying up from Goya, Argentina (if we are to believe them), and once here they frantically, industriously search out little globs of mud and build nests that resemble tiny brown desert igloos. The prison is smack dab in the middle of the little birds' centuries old customary nesting grounds. Figuring that we've placed the prison here for their convenience, the swallows build their nests in the infrastructure of the steel girders—imagine a bridge built in a square with all the little caches, tiny lairs, and small dens that three stories of steel beams offer. This singular edifice sits in the center of the prison; it's open air and we call it the plaza. There are a couple of trees, some sickly grass, and a 100 yard circular sidewalk in the plaza connecting our four yards. All the cops, free staff, and convicts (around 3,000 people) march through it to work, to school, to the library, and everywhere else we are compelled to go during the day, from four in the morning until around ten at night. Right above the sidewalk is the metal structure with its niches, nooks, and crannies—about every four-five inches—where the swallows build their nests, and there are a couple thousand of these spaces in the plaza. It is a wonderfully odd and happenstance open air aviary—except of course for the barbed wire and incarceration. The swallows are free and the humans are trapped. As we walk back and forth beneath their nests to school and work, the swallows, who apparently aren't afraid of humans, stare grumpily at us, trespassing in their prison.

For nine years I've watched the whole process: birds arrive, build nests like tiny lunatic construction crews, at dawn and dusk they twirl and swirl through the sky (often feinting and mock fighting for obscure reasons), and conveniently patrol our little valley and eat countless bugs. Out here in the near wilderness there are bugs galore and I am grateful that the mosquitoes, midges, and spiders are dealt such a blow, the swallows keeping them from my flesh. They have to maintain their high pitched metabolisms, fuel up for all the precise turbulent aerial displays, and when the time comes, feed their fledglings. Eggs are laid and the mock fighting increases as they defend their nests from imaginary threats. Soon (two weeks), frighteningly tiny swallows are hatched, mindlessly cheeping for bugs and whatever else is on the menu.

A bit more info about the program and those involved in Nuvo, "Indiana Writers Center Highlights Prison Writing."

Presented by Indiana Writers Center in partnership with PEN America


Written by Rachel Sahaidachny — October 08, 2018

2018 Gathering of Writers-Yes, we are here at the Indiana State Library. Please join us!

Story, Poem, Essay:  Which Door Will You Choose

Whether you think of yourself as a poet, fiction writer, or essayist, sometimes you have an idea that just doesn’t seem to fit into the usual genre. Or maybe you’d like to take a break from the usual and try something new with an idea begging for words. Fiction writer and essayist Susan Neville will explore new ways to think about your ideas that will enrich your creative process and expand your understanding of what your material might become in her keynote address, “Poem, Story, or Essay: Which Door to Choose?”

Join us at the Indiana State Library when Indiana's best established and emerging writers will meet for a full day of classes on the writing craft.  Sessions in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction will be presented by nine accomplished Indiana writers, including Nancy Botkin, Jill Christman, Curtis Crisler, Angela Jackson-Brown, Sarah Layden, Sean Lovelace, Mark Neely, Kelcey Parker-Ervick and Barbara Shoup.  You’ll leave full of inspiration, armed with writing drafts ripe for experimentation—along with a hundred other writers who feel the same way. 

Gathering Location and Parking

Susan Neville is the author of four works of creative nonfiction: Indiana Winter, Fabrication: Essays on Making Things and making Meaning; Twilight in Arcadia; Iconography: A Writer’s Meditation and Sailing the Inland Sea. Her prize-winning collections of short fiction include In the House of Blue Lights, winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize and Invention of Flight, winner of the Flanner O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and in other anthologies, including Extreme Fiction and The Story Behind the Story. Recent stories and essays have appeared or will appear in The Southwest Review, The Missouri Review, The Collagist, Diagram, and Image. She lives in Indianapolis and is the Demia Professor of English at Butler University.


$80 Members / $150 Nonmembers

Full-time Students (with ID) are eligible for a discounted registration. They may be requested with a teacher recommendation. Email rachel@indianawriters.org 

Lunch will be guaranteed for all attendees who pre-register by 03/21/2018.
(Please brown bag your lunch, if you decide to register after this date.  We will not be buying extra meals this year.)


Gathering of Writers Refund Policy


If you need more encouragement, read what attendees had to say about the 2017 Gathering of Writers.

Thank you to our 2018 Sponsors:




Written by Roxanna Santoro — February 28, 2018

Writers Center to Host Reporters Who Exposed USA Gymnastics Scandal

The Indiana Writers Center (IWC) will host a public discussion with the team of investigative journalists from The Indianapolis Star who uncovered decades of sexual abuse in a series, “Out of Balance” — reporting that ultimately led to the conviction Dr. Larry Nassar and the resignations of officials whose actions and inaction enabled the continued abuse of dozens of female athletes.

Funded by a grant from the PEN America’s Press Freedom Incentive Fund, and in partnership with the Arthur M. Glick JCC, “In the Balance: Press Freedom & the Public Good in the USA Gymnastics Investigation,” will take place 7-9 p.m., March 22 at the Arthur M. Glick JCC, Laikin Auditorium, 6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis.

John Krull, chairman of Franklin College’s Journalism Department and host of the WFYI show, “No Limits,” will moderate the panel, featuring Mark Alesia, Tim Evans and Marisa Kwiatkowski, the Indianapolis Star journalists who investigated and wrote the stories about widespread sexual abuse in the USA Gymnastics organization.

Other panelists include Steve Berta, editor for the series, Robert Scheer, visual journalist, and Gerry Lanosga, professor of journalism at Indiana University.

The Star’s investigation began in 2016. It provided the first comprehensive look at the pervasiveness of the abuse in gymnastics, revealing that at least 368 gymnasts had alleged sexual abuse over the past 20 years. As a result of the team’s reporting, Nassar, former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, will serve a minimum of 125 years in prison up to a maximum of 275 years, after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over two decades.

The series was among the top award winners in the 2016 Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) contest, which recognizes the best watchdog journalism of the year. Reverberations from the scandal continue. The entire leadership of Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics resigned, and institutions such as Michigan State University and the United States Olympic Committee have been accused of mishandling complaints.

The series also resulted in proposed national legislation addressing the reporting of abuse.

Barbara Shoup, executive director of the IWC, said the PEN America Press Freedom Incentive Fund grant is designed to stimulate programs, projects, events and activities that will mobilize local communities around press freedom advocacy.

Panelists will discuss the origin of the series and how it developed, addressing such issues as First Amendment issues, obstacles encountered, ethical concerns, and the role of investigative journalism in an environment in which mainstream media is often attacked as “fake news.”

The national grant is a first for the IWC, a small Indianapolis non-profit organization dedicated to writers and writing. For more than 30 years, the organization has offered classes in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and playwriting. It also publishes anthologies of Indiana authors, and books highlighting the voices of individuals whose voices aren’t often heard.

Shoup said she hopes that the panel discussion will not only address the public policy and press issues, but will also highlight a goal of community outreach of the IWC. The organization not only advocates for freedom of expression, press freedom and the power of the written word, but advocates for those at the margins.

To that end, as part of the PEN grant, the IWC will develop writing classes during the weeks following the panel discussion that will explore some of the issues of abuse and trauma brought out in the IndyStar investigation. Writers will also be introduced to some of the “tools” of journalism useful to any writer.

For more information about “In the Balance,” call 317-255-0710 or email barbshoup@gmail.com

Free Tickets available through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-the-balance-press-freedom-the-public-good-in-the-usa-gymnastics-investigation-tickets-42767065444

Written by Roxanna Santoro — February 26, 2018

"The Write Life: making the cut in Indiana publishing"

"I write from my heart, for myself-the only way I know how to write. Writing novels is a way of looking "sideways" at the joys, sorrows, fears, regrets, and unanswerable questions of my own life. It's a way of living more than one life: imagining the inside of my head, I see a circle of doors, each one with the whole life of a novel behind it. Mine." 

Barb Shoup Signature

If you go here, you can read the feature article in Nuvo "The Write Life: making the cut in Indiana publishing" online.

Written by Roxanna Santoro — June 04, 2016

Being an Emerging Playwright by Andrew Black

Being an emerging playwright is hard.  Very Hard.

If you are an emerging musician, you can write a new piece of music at your piano and then invite friends over to your house and play it for them.

If you are a visual artist, you can go into your garage, put paint on a canvas and then show it to people and see what they think.

If you are a new playwright, and you write a 30-minute one act with five characters, you have to know five reasonably talented actors who are all available at the same time, have a place that is big enough to accommodate a cast of five and at least five of your friends if you want to experience your own work in a very minimalistic setting.

If you want to see a real production of your 30-minute play, good luck!  You have to find a theater company which is willing to invest in new work and has a space, and some design professionals (costume, director, set design) in order to experience your creation.  And you find that very few theaters (which work on shoestring budgets anyway) are willing to work with you on your project.

That is why the Indiana Writers Center (IWC) in its partnership with Indy Fringe is so important for emerging playwrights.  The Indiana Writers Center provides a setting where playwrights can take a playwriting class.  In these classes, professional actors come and read new work at no charge. The playwrights can re-write based on what they learn.  Professional theater companies partner with the IWC to help develop work through low-cost staged readings (rehearsals and blocking, but no sets, costumes or props).

Finally, Indy Fringe offers festivals where playwrights can see and experience fully realized workshop productions of their own plays, complete with stage, basic set pieces, and an audience.

This year (2016), DIVAFEST features workshop productions of plays by eight emerging playwrights who have come up through this IWC/Indy Fringe connection.  (April 1-April 10)

The next week (April 15-16), The Short, Sharp and Twisted play festival features work by six additional emerging playwrights, four of whom are having their first-ever production of a play.

When you come to DIVAFEST or Short, Sharp and Twisted, you are supporting a process which is making life easier for the emerging playwright in Central Indiana.  Much Easier.

Andrew Black has an MFA from Ohio University’s School of Theatre, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Trisolini Fellowship. His first full-length play Porn Yesterday (co-written with Patricia Milton) has been produced across the country. Since that play reached the stage, it has been a non-stop, full-on adventure! Many productions of short plays and full-lengths followed. Now in Indianapolis, Indiana, Andrew has developed a full playwriting curriculum for the Indiana Writers Center, and is on the teaching staff of the Indiana Repertory Theater and the Young Actors Theater. He is currently developing a one act play, Iceberg, and has a short play in the upcoming Phoenix Theater Holiday Show. Strange Bedfellows (co-written with Patricia Milton) will be produced in Indianapolis in 2016 by Khaos Company Theater.


Written by Barbara Shoup — April 04, 2016

Help the IWC Celebrate Our New Poet Laureate!

We hope you can join us!
Go here to get your facebook invitation and reply. Thanks for your RSVP!

Parking Info for the Event

The Indiana State Library is located at 315 W. Ohio Street. Parking is available for $5 at the state employees parking garage, just across street. (Enter from New York Street, one block north.) Metered street parking is also available.         
 Click here for a map

In order to get the $5 parking rate in the State Employees Parking Garage, you will need to click here and print the voucher for this discounted rate.  (If you are unable to do this, just let the parking cashier know that you are attending the reception for the new Poet Laureate and they will honor the special rate when you check out of the garage.)

Written by Roxanna Santoro — March 02, 2016

Women Veterans’ Memoirs: A Writing Workshop

Women veterans of all ages are invited to join this free memoir-writing workshop designed to help them craft their military stories through prose or poetry. Led by Shari Wagner, a published writer and instructor for the Indiana Writers Center, each two-hour session will include prompts and models, in-class writing activities, discussion, and feedback. Women at all levels of writing experience are welcome. It’s only necessary that they have the desire to develop their writing skills and share their stories. Workshops will be held twice a month at The Kurt Vonnegut Library (340 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis) and will run from October through March. The best work from each veteran will be published in a book by the Indiana Writers Center and celebrated at a public reading in May.  Contact Shari Wagner at sharimwagner@aol.com for more details and to register. Shari’s faculty bio is available here.


This 12-session class, running from October 2015 until March 2016, will meet the first and third Tuesdays of each month, from 1:30-3:30 p.m., at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, 340 N. Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Dates: October 6 & 20; November 3 & 17; December 1 & 15; January 5 & 19; February 2 & 16; March 1 & 15

The Indiana Writers Center (IWC) educates, inspires, connects, and supports Indiana writers working at all levels and in all genres.  It recognizes the power of stories and advocates for writing and literature as essential to a community that values clarity of communication, honors diversity, and fosters tolerance and compassion.

Sponsored by: Indiana Writers Center in partnership with Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Veterans Antiquities, and the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

Written by Roxanna Santoro — August 14, 2015

© Indiana Writers Center 2012