Volume 12
An Online Literary Magazine
January 31, 2018


Editor's Note


Nick O’Connell


Writer's Workshop founder Nick O'Connell on assignment in Denali National Park.


ew writers have influenced Northwest literature as profoundly as Richard Hugo, who brought the region to life in his poetry and prose, including the White Center area where he was born and raised as well as rural Montana where he moved to become head of the University of Montana’s creative writing program. Other than Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, there hasn’t been much local celebration of his work until a recent “Homage to Richard Hugo Night” sponsored by The Writer’s Workshop.


On December 21, what would have been Hugo’s 94th birthday, I had the pleasure of reading my essay on Hugo from On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature at Mac’s Triangle Pub, in White Center, south of Seattle, one of the poet’s favorite hangouts. Jeff Smoot read from his essay, “Finding Richard Hugo in White Center,” published in this issue of The Writer’s Workshop Review. Richard Hugo House Director Tree Swenson read poems and told wonderful personal stories about Hugo. Near the end of the evening, the pub owner Geoffrey "Mac" McElroy, placed a framed photo of Hugo on the wall, commemorating the poet.


At a time when Seattle’s history is disappearing in waves of new development, it was gratifying to ensure that this part of it would remain. For more: https://www.westsideseattle.com/robinson-papers/2017/12/22/famed-white-center-poet-richard-hugo-remembered-macs-triangle-pub.


Smoot’s essay proved the catalyst for the event. He wrote it in one of my Seattle writing classes, submitted it to the review and reworked it several times before completing it. One of the pleasures of editing this review has been discovering the riches that pour in over the transom. This issue serves as a great example, with a wonderful mix of fiction and nonfiction, including David James’ puckish, “A Lost Interview with Samuel Beckett”; Kassie Ritman’s reflection on the scrumptious and surprisingly contentious nut roll, “Learning Potica”; Molly Hashimoto’s essay on Karl Bodmer, which I helped develop, and marvelous “plein air” watercolors from her new book, Colors of the West: An Artist’s Guide to Nature’s Palette; my celebration of an early mentor, Wallie Funk, “Remembering a Champion of the Value of Newspapers”; and finally an excerpt from the recently reissued I Heard the Owl Call My Name, Margaret Craven’s classic tale of Native American life on the Northwest coast.


I'd like to thank the following people for their help with this issue: all the writers who contributed, Managing Editor Kathleen Glassburn for keeping things on track, and Irene Wanner for careful reading and editing of manuscripts. We’re looking for an additional reader, so if you’re interested, please let us know. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the world of contemporary literature.


We hope you enjoy the twelfth issue of The Writer's Workshop Review. Please let us know what you think, and if you have a story that might work for us, please send it. We read all year and welcome submissions at any time. We look forward to hearing from you!



All best,

Nicholas O’Connell

Publisher/ Editor

The Writer’s Workshop Review




Travel Writing Classes in Tuscany take place in beautiful Montalcino, Italy.


RAVEL WRITING CLASSES – Travel writing, Food writing and Wine writing are some of the most appealing genres of nonfiction, calling on all of an author’s skills—dramatic scenes, character sketches, concrete detail, point of view, scene by scene construction—to compose compelling, engaging travel narratives. This six-day intensive class will introduce you to essential techniques of travel, food and wine writing and give you expert, insider advice about how to submit and publish finished travel stories.


In addition to learning these skills, you’ll dine at outstanding restaurants, visit some of the world’s best wineries, and explore fascinating historic sights during the travel writing classes. You’ll enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes tours unavailable to the general public. Best of all, you’ll receive up-to-date story ideas from local industry experts that you can turn into finished travel, food and wine stories by the end of the class and submit to newspapers and magazines for publication. And now, I will personally edit and recommend your stories to a well-known food and beverage magazine for likely publication.


The one week travel writing class will take place in Montalcino, a lovely town in Tuscany and a center of the region’s cultural and epicurean life since before Roman times. The cost will be $2600 per person, including accommodations and most meals. (Single supplement, $500 per person) Plane fare, transit to and from Montalcino and some meals extra (see itinerary below).


To enroll, please send me a non-refundable deposit of $800 to 201 Newell St., Seattle, WA 98109 or you can pay with a credit card via the Paypal link of my website. The balance for the class will be due April 1st. After that date, there will be no refunds except in the case of medical emergency. Enrollment is limited to 10. For more information, contact me at nick@thewritersworkshop.net, 206-284-7121, or take a look at my website: http://www.thewritersworkshop.net/travel.htm.








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