The Great Smokies Young Writers Workshop

A hand holding a pencil writes in a notebook. A cup of coffee is on the right; crumpled papers are on the left.

Calling all rising ninth grade through rising first-year college writers! Looking for a chance to write what you love, work alongside local writers, and meet other aspiring authors? Behold: the brand new Great Smokies Young Writers Workshop! 

How do I sign up?! 
We will have two sessions of two classes each, all taught by local writers. Both sessions will meet from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on the UNC Asheville campus. If you can only attend one session, that's great! If you can attend both, super!
Session 1: June 24-28, 2019: Nonfiction with Audra Coleman, and Genre Fiction with Jamie Ridenhour
Session 2: July 15-19, 2019: Poetry with Eric Steineger, and Fiction Workshop with Jamie Ridenhour

The cost of attendance is $300/session. Boxed lunches will be provided each day between morning and afternoon classes, as well as light snacks throughout the day. We are limiting space to 15 writers per session, so everyone will have a chance to receive meaningful feedback on their work from instructors and peers. Space is first-come first-serve, so sign up today!

Just fill out the form below for the June and/or July session, then send your check to:

The Great Smokies Writing Program
UNC Asheville, CPO 1915
1 University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804

Sign Up - Session 2: July 15-19


We are happy to answer any questions you may have! Email or call Lilly Augspurger: / 828-251-6099

Be sure to check out our course descriptions and instructor bios below!

Audra Coleman: Nonfiction

This class is for students with a passion for writing. The week will be devoted to exploring the building blocks of creative non-fiction focusing on the importance of detail and description, characterization and scene. Most importantly, students will be engaged in the discovery process! How can writing about our experiences reveal unexpected insights? How can we capture those insights in our writing so that both reader and writer are left with a deeper understanding about self and the world they inhabit? This class celebrates young writers and their voices. It seeks to
encourage, develop and support them in the telling of their unique stories.

Audra Coleman’s work in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction has appeared recently or is forthcoming in WNC Woman, Good Mother Project, Mothers Always Write, 3288 Review, Kestrel, Palaver, Quail Bell Magazine, Great Smokies Review, Five on the Fifth, Into the Void, Star 82 Review, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Penn Review, Corvus Review, Mojave River Press, Hoot and Pretty Owl Poetry. She graduated from UNC Asheville’s Master of Liberal Arts and Science Program with a concentration in creative writing and has recently been named the winner of the 2018 Confluence Award for Excellence in Creative Writing awarded by the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. She currently instructs classes in creative non-fiction for the Great Smokies Writing Program.

Jamie Ridenhour: Fiction

Genre Writing: Do you feel like you know Middle-earth, Hogwarts, or District 12 as well as your own hometown? Do you wonder how authors create worlds so rich and complex they seem like they must really exist? Have you ever wanted to do the same thing—create a nation or a dimension or a planet? Do character, setting, or themes work differently in sci-fi or fantasy novels than in “regular” writing? This class will lead you through the basics of writing what are loosely called “genre” works—science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, mystery, thriller—and help you develop the mindset to create your own spectacular worlds.

Fiction Writing: Are you a literary star in the making? Or maybe just love making up stories? This workshop will use students’ own writing as the raw material to learn the basic building blocks of writing fiction. We’ll cover effective description, plot development, and drafting/revising as well as focused work on using dialogue to develop character.

Jamieson Ridenhour is the writer and producer of the popular audio drama Palimpsest, the author of the werewolf murder-mystery Barking Mad (Typecast, 2011) and the award-winning short horror films Cornerboys and The House of the Yaga. His ghost play Grave Lullaby was a finalist for the Kennedy Center’s David Cohen Playwriting award in 2012, and his latest play, Terry Tempest: The Final Interview debuted at the Magnetic Theater in Asheville, NC in March of 2017. Jamie’s short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, TheNewerYork, Across the Margins, Mirror Dance, and Architrave, among others, and has been podcast on Pseudopod, Cast of Wonders, and Radio Unbound.  

Eric Steineger: Poetry

This class examines poetry—where it has been, where it is going, and the options one has when writing a poem. Students will be introduced to poems written in form, free verse poems, and poems that do not fit the usual criteria. The focus: To have fun while learning about poetry, and to be challenged in a welcoming, low-stress environment. Students will practice writing poems early in the week, and there will be opportunities for workshop.

Eric Steineger teaches English at Mars Hill University. He is the Senior Poetry Editor and Managing Editor of The Citron Review, while his poetry/prose have been featured in Rattle: The Poets Respond, Waxwing, The Los Angeles Review, Tinderbox, and other journals. His chapbook, From a Lisbon Rooftop, was published by Plan B Press in 2018 and chronicles themes from Fernando Pessoa's Book of Disquiet. He lives in Asheville with his wife and daughter.