Greg Lilly, publisher at Cherokee McGhee Publishing and author of "Sunsets & Semicolons," to host creativity series in Yorktown

Greg Lilly, publisher at Cherokee McGhee Publishing and author of "Sunsets & Semicolons," to host creativity series in Yorktown (Photo credit: Lisa Cumming)

Are you feeling sluggish after the holidays and looking to jump start your muses? You might be interested in an upcoming creativity workshop moderated by York County’s Greg Lilly. Lilly, publisher at Cherokee McGhee Publishing and author of “Sunsets & Semicolons,” said in an email that the 13-week program will be based on Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” and will focus on creativity, rather than a specific artistic discipline.

He said he first participated in a similar workshop 20 years ago with a critique group in North Carolina and afterward had the opportunity to study directly with Cameron. Since then he’s been through this process five times and has been looking for ways to bring it to Hampton Roads.

Lilly said he found a partner in Marilyn West at Auntie M’s American Cottage on Water Street in Yorktown. “Her shop is all about creativity and empowering local artists,” he said, and anyone looking to explore the creative process – whether artists, writers, crafters or even businesspeople – can benefit from the program.

The sessions will run on Monday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., beginning Feb. 10. The cost for the 13-week program is $195. Lilly said attendees commit to all 13 weeks and are required to do assignments during the week, “but the payoff is life changing.” The deadline for registration is Wednesday, Feb. 5. Go to GregLilly.com for more information.

Got writer's block?

Earlier in February, Lilly is hosting a workshop on overcoming writer's block. From the press release:

"Whether you are working on a memoir, short story, novel, non-fiction book, or just your personal journal, you can learn techniques for finishing that project.  Each student will receive Greg’s how-to book that goes along with the class and includes examples and handouts.  Please bring pen and paper to class.  Pay materials fee at the time of registration."

Date: Saturday, Feb. 1
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Location: The Bay School Community Arts Center, 279 Main Street, Mathews
Cost: $50 (tuition, $40; materials $10). To register, call the school at (804) 725-1278.

Seeking critiques?

Looking for writing pros to critique your work? Each month, Hampton Roads Writers hosts a workshop for just this purpose. Entitled, “Show and Grow your Prose,” the session offers authors the opportunity to read ten minutes of prose (short story, memoir or novel chapter only) for professional editors.

February’s workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9:15 to noon at the Meyera Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. Critiques will be offered by Dr. Bill Ruehlmann and Lauran Strait.

The workshop is free and open to the public. One caveat: If you’d like to read, you must register in advance. Spaces are limited to six or seven readers per session. Go to http://hamptonroadswriters.org/omlf.php for additional details and to register.

Aspiring Writers

If you’re just thinking about writing, you might want to check out an upcoming workshop sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Writers chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. The course, “Time to Write: How to get started as a writer in the second half of life or anytime,” is intended to give an overview of the writing life, and covers elements and skills essential to be successful as a writer. From the news release: “Don’t miss this opportunity to get down-to-earth answers to all of your writing questions.”

This free workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gloucester County Library, 6920 Main St. To register, call the library at 804-693-2998. For additional information, go to chesapeakebaywriters.org. (Date updated. Original date was Feb. 5.)

Self-publishing help

The Hampton Roads Writers 2014 TRAVELING PEN Series is back for 2014, with its first session scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22. Author Jeff Andrews will present “Your Book in Print,” a step-by-step guide to self-publishing with CreateSpace, Amazon’s print platform.

The cost is $10 for HRW members, $20 for nonmembers. Please register in advance by sending your contact information (name, address, email, and phone number) along with a note indicating the name of the workshop and a check for the appropriate amount to: Hampton Roads Writers, P.O. Box 56228, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

The workshop will be held at the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, 1700 College Crescent, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134.

The Muse Writers Center has released its winter/spring schedule. A number of classes in creative writing--from poetry, to novel and short-story writing, to screenwriting-- are planned, some starting as early as next week.

Both daytime and evening classes are offered for beginners through advanced writers. Go to the center's website for details, including dates, times and fees. The center is located at 816-A Orapax St. in Norfolk.

Dig deep into writing craft

For an in-depth immersion into technique and craft, mark your calendar for Christopher Newport University’s 33rd Annual Writers Conference, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 1, at the Freeman Center on the CNU campus in Newport News. This year’s theme is “Empowerment through Literacy.” Watch this column for details in coming weeks or go to cnu.edu/lifelonglearning/conferences.