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Making the Story: Observation, Perception & Process



  • Saturday, September 22nd: 1:00 - 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 23rd: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Kimberly will be giving a reading at the Corporeal Center on Saturday night

WHERE: The Corporeal Center: 510 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204

This workshop focuses on memory, sensation and social connection – how we find stories and create an endless cache of inspiration rooted in a social ground and a flow of human history with no beginnings and endings.  During our time together we’ll focus first on generative writing, practicing and learning about observation and perception, about how to use our bodies and consciousness to ride memory and sensation into creative expression.  There will be homework on the first night (including an assignment to complete in your sleep).  On the second day, we’ll write again - and revise, continuing to explore expanded awareness, sleep wisdom and distributed intelligence.

Think about your own distributed intelligence.  The octopus, for instance, doesn’t locate thought and understanding just in the brain, but in every part of physical experience and consciousness – so much so that a limb can be released and still carry on with its connected business. We’ll explore our octopus-sense. We’ll practice with processes to tap a deeper understanding of characters, time, storyline and resolution using work we’ve just begun, or perhaps a troubling piece of writing in progress. We’ll work with our bodies (gently, nothing aerobic) and our shifting consciousness. We’ll write together and reflect on what happens when we use these tools and what can be learned from community in creative process.

Preparation in advance: Find a popular film that was released when you were five years old.Not a children’s film – a regular hit movie.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it before or not. Enjoy watching it.

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Two workshop offerings with Liz Prato!

Submit to Journals Like a Pro


WHEN: Tuesday, September 25th, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

WHERE: The Corporeal Center

FEE: $70*, includes handouts


Do you want to submit your stories, poems, and essays to literary journals, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve already submitted to a few places, but a handful of rejections has you doubting if you’re on the right track. This class will streamline and demystify the sometimes confusing submission process for you. We'll cover researching and targeting markets, formatting work, how to interact with editors, whether to enter contests, decoding vague rejections, and what happens when you get accepted. After this fun and information-packed class, you’ll be ready to charge the world of publishing. (Note: Not for book-length publishing). All levels welcome!

* A limited number of sliding-scale fee slots are available; just ask! Send an email to Daniel at

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PERFECT YOUR FIRST TWO  PAGES: How to Keep Your Reader Reading


WHEN: Saturday, October 13th, 10:00am - 4:30pm, includes a 45 min lunch break and two 10-minute breaks

WHERE: The Corporeal Center

FEE: $150, includes handouts

OTHER: This workshop is limited to 8 students!


The first two pages of your story or essay determine whether an agent or editor keeps reading, or sends a rejection. Two pages – that’s all you have to grab their interest! But what makes them turn the page, or hit the “decline” button? Liz Prato will read the first two pages of your manuscript in class and evaluate what’s working, and what might send your piece into the recycling bin. The good news is, you won’t be left hanging. You’ll learn practical tools for sharpening the critical beginning of your piece, using published examples and classroom discussion. This fun and information-packed class is a rare opportunity to get an intimate look at what makes a piece stand out in the submission pile. 


Liz Prato's short story collection, Baby's on Fire, was published by Press 53 in 2015. Her stories and essays have appeared in dozens of literary journals and magazines, including Hayden's Ferry Review, Carolina Quarterly, Baltimore Review, The Rumpus, Salon, Hunger Mountain, and ZYZZYVA. She is the Editor at Large for Forest Avenue Press, where she edited the anthology, The Night, and the Rain, and the River (2014), and she has guest-edited for VoiceCatcher and Prime Number Magazine. Liz has been sharing creative writing tools and inspiration with other writers since 2008, teaching workshops from Portland to Boston and places in-between. 

Liz's newest book, Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege: Essays on Hawai‘i, will be released by Overcup Press in April 2019.

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