Published on March 10th, 2017 | by Galen Holley0
Sharing the Craft: Oxford Writes welcomes emerging author and offers interactive learning at spring workshop
An Oxford group that brings together writers to hone their craft will offer tips on sports writing and welcome an up-and-coming author at its free, spring workshop. Daniel Connolly, author of The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America, will be the featured presenter for the morning session, presented by Oxford Writes, Saturday, March 25, starting at 9 a.m. at The Orchard. Connolly is a reporter for The Commercial Appeal and published The Book of Isaias, a nonfiction work about Mexican-American teenagers growing up in Memphis, in 2016. The book took him five years to write. “It involved countless interviews, months of observations and lots of reading,” said Connolly, who has toured the country and spoken at numerous events promoting his book. “At the Oxford Writes session I’ll share some of what I learned about organization, finding an agent or publisher, and how to stay motivated during such a long process.”
Oxford Writes is a mentoring and development venture that began last year. At meetings, aspiring or published writers interact with others who share their interests, work, and ideas. “From published writers and authors to those who just seek to improve, we believe that everyone will find some value in our fellowship,” said founder Jeff Roberson. “We want to explore all possibilities of writing as a part of what we do, including fiction and nonfiction, magazine and newspaper stories, online and social media writing and blogging, songwriting, sports writing, even book publishing and marketing.”
Last spring more than 50 participants took part in the group’s first workshop, and more than 100 attended the four events throughout the year. “Pulling from the talent that calls Oxford and Mississippi home, we were able to attract a lot of people,” said Roberson. “They came from as far away as Memphis and the Gulf Coast to be part of Oxford Writes.”
After Connolly completes his presentation and answers a few questions, attendees will be dismissed for a short lunch break and will reconvene at 1 p.m. at The Orchard. There, a panel of sportswriters from throughout Northeast Mississippi will conduct an interactive learning session. Roberson, along with Webb Lewis of Southern Elite Sports, will facilitate the discussion, covering all areas of sports writing as well as providing an opportunity for questions and answers and writing exercises. The panel will include Parrish Alford of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Chase Parham with the OleMissRivals.com website, and Brian Scott Rippee, editor of The Daily Mississippian. “We welcome writers of all skill levels,” said Roberson. “Interaction with other writers is especially important to our mission.”
Water, coffee, and other light food offerings will be provided. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to contact Oxford Writes at firstname.lastname@example.org and to visit the group’s webpage, oxfordwrites.com and Facebook page.