Literary Arts

Please bookmark this page and check back regularly as we add new classes online throughout the season. Dates and times are subject to change.

Cancellation Policy:  Occasionally classes must be cancelled if minimum enrollment is not met for our visiting instructors, there is a health or weather emergency, or other unforeseen events.  We understand that this may be a disappointment to our students, and we’ll do our best to inform you as early as we can of the cancellation.

If Oliver Art Center cancels a class, we’ll offer a full refund or credit towards another course, at your discretion.

If a student must withdraw from a class a full refund less $10 processing fee will be issued if cancellation is received at least one week prior to the first day of class. After that time, no refunds are provided. If you sign up for a multi-day or multi-week class but do not attend the entire course, we will not pro-rate the class as we need to pay our guest instructors for your spot in the class.

Writing Classes

Research Strategies for Writers - Workshop with Steven Veatch

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” —Zora Neale Hurston

Whether you’re writing fiction, nonfiction, essays, or memoir, you’re going to do some amount of research. Research not only improves your writing, it also boosts your credibility with your readers. In this class, you will learn about a variety of research methods. You will review how to work with historical sources, like old diaries, historic newspapers, and archives. Learn how to use genealogical resources such as census records, city directories, and other public documents. Master how to spot faulty information and verify your facts.

Instructor info: Steven Veatch has contributed chapters to these three books: Field Trips in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA, Field Guide 5; The Paleontology of the Upper Eocene Florissant Formation, Colorado; and The World’s Greatest Gold Camp: An Introduction to the History of the Cripple Creek and Victor Mining District. His work has been published in Kansas City Voices, The Betsie Current, Ute Country News, and Colorado Life. He holds a BS in Business Administration from Colorado State University-Pueblo, a MA in Management from Webster University, and a MS in Earth Science from Emporia State University. He is based near Kingsley, Michigan.

Tue July 9, 2024

Member Price: $40.50

Non-Member Price: $45.00

Available Spaces: 9

 
Poetry Techniques with Morgan Kelsey

Explore techniques that will inspire poetry to flow from your pen. You will have the opportunity to write multiple poems that you may share with the class if you so desire. Self-publication will be briefly discussed. No experience necessary. Bring your curiosity, a pen, and a notebook.

Instructor Info:  A lifelong resident of Michigan, Morgan finds inspiration in the ever-changing landscapes of Northern Michigan and its people and their stories. She has been making art and writing since she was a little girl. Morgan is a mother and former small business owner. She self-published her first poetry book in March of 2022, titled “The Wild Becoming.”

Wed August 21, 2024

Member Price: $49.50

Non-Member Price: $55.00

Available Spaces: 16

 
Journaling Through Art with Trevor McCauley
In this class we will connect journaling to three distinct art projects:
1. In the first project we will write what is called, A Postcard to No One.  We will write about a past experience with someone, and we will draw or paint a design that fits the narrative of the postcard message.
2. The second project will focus on the present tense.  We will journal while reflecting on what is positively going on right now and then we will create artwork using at least two different media - a scene that is indicative of what is going on right now.
3. In the last project we will focus on the future.  Classmates will be given a list of affirmations that will be used to create a journal writing that looks forward with positive intention.  The corresponding art poster will be a collage of various media, writing and cut out images from magazines.
Instructor Statement:  My artist journey really began in high school where I was introduced to ceramics and scratchboard. When I went on to the University of Michigan all my elective classes were art classes. I took a broad range of classes including drawing, oil painting, ceramics, and sculpture. I was also introduced to stream of consciousness writing as well as piano music composition during my undergraduate studies. Post college I dabbled in digital photography as well as took ceramic classes. Throughout college and beyond I have continued to write creatively and have written 5 poetry books.  Today my artistic endeavors juggle between sculpture/ceramics, painting, scratchboard, poetry, music composition and 2-D collage making.

Mon August 26, 2024

Member Price: $91.00

Non-Member Price: $99.00

Available Spaces: 11

 
How to Win NaNoWriMo - Writing & Publishing Workshop with David Alan Brown

Getting a first draft of your book on paper is an enormous task. Many people commit to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as a process for getting it done. Over 11,000 authors sign up to participate, striving to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Only about 12% reach the goal. (I was one!). Professionals and hobbyists alike know the creative process expands far beyond the word on the page - from inspiration and intent to planning and editing, there’s a lot to think about in the midst of creating. This workshop is about preparing to write. By the end of the session, you will have an understanding of many aspects of story structure, theme, audience, character development and practical tools for getting the work done. Our time is spent with lessons, sharing and feedback, exercises and work time, and celebration of being an artist. Registrants should bring a project they are considering that is in early stages of development, any genre, fiction or nonfiction. Completed works or drafts will not be read or critiqued.

Instructor Info:  David Alan Brown holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is the author of two nonfiction books (The Self-Help Paradox and Answer The Call), and has also written a YA novel, short stories and freelance journalism through American Media Distributors. His play Beginning Again was chosen Best New Play by the Alleyway Theater of Buffalo, NY and the world premier was staged there in February, 2018. The same play, under the title Lily’s Blue, was a winner of the Landing Theatre’s 2015 New American Voices competition and was a semifinalist in Kitchen Dog Theater’s 2014 New Works Festival. In 2009 The Manhattan Theatre Source chose It Is What It Is, a full-length drama, for its Playground Development Series. His comedy shorts have been performed by The Actor’s Project of New York and Frogs With Fangs Comedy Troupe. David lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thu September 19, 2024

Member Price: $112.50

Non-Member Price: $125.00

Available Spaces: 12

 
How to Win NaNoWriMo - Writing & Publishing Workshop with David Alan Brown

Getting a first draft of your book on paper is an enormous task. Many people commit to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as a process for getting it done. Over 11,000 authors sign up to participate, striving to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Only about 12% reach the goal. (I was one!). Professionals and hobbyists alike know the creative process expands far beyond the word on the page - from inspiration and intent to planning and editing, there’s a lot to think about in the midst of creating. This workshop is about preparing to write. By the end of the session, you will have an understanding of many aspects of story structure, theme, audience, character development and practical tools for getting the work done. Our time is spent with lessons, sharing and feedback, exercises and work time, and celebration of being an artist. Registrants should bring a project they are considering that is in early stages of development, any genre, fiction or nonfiction. Completed works or drafts will not be read or critiqued.

Instructor Info:  David Alan Brown holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is the author of two nonfiction books (The Self-Help Paradox and Answer The Call), and has also written a YA novel, short stories and freelance journalism through American Media Distributors. His play Beginning Again was chosen Best New Play by the Alleyway Theater of Buffalo, NY and the world premier was staged there in February, 2018. The same play, under the title Lily’s Blue, was a winner of the Landing Theatre’s 2015 New American Voices competition and was a semifinalist in Kitchen Dog Theater’s 2014 New Works Festival. In 2009 The Manhattan Theatre Source chose It Is What It Is, a full-length drama, for its Playground Development Series. His comedy shorts have been performed by The Actor’s Project of New York and Frogs With Fangs Comedy Troupe. David lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Sat September 21, 2024

Member Price: $112.50

Non-Member Price: $125.00

Available Spaces: 12

 
Refining Your Words: The Craft of Editing and Revision - Writing Workshop with Steven Veatch

Revision is “re-seeing” a piece of writing from a fresh, critical perspective. This part of the writing process is where good writing becomes great. Revision involves making major changes to a document’s content, structure, and organization. A writer skilled in revision work will make sure that everything fits the purpose of the document - looking at the organization of paragraphs and their relation to one another, or moving sentences or paragraphs from one part of the text to another. As a last step in the revision process, the writer decides if there are parts of his or her work that can be eliminated, ranging from words, sentences, paragraphs, to entire pages. In this workshop we will discuss all stages of revision and how to become comfortable revising your work.

Instructor Info:  Steven Veatch is a writer of poetry, essays, book reviews, science and history articles, and professional papers His work has been published in Kansas City Voices, The Betsie Current, Ute Country News, and Colorado Life. He holds a BS in Business Administration from Colorado State University- Pueblo, a MA in Management from Webster University, and a MS in Earth Science from Emporia State University. Steven also coordinates our annual ARTiFACTORY poetry event in collaboration with the Benzie Area Historical Society. He is

based near Kingsley, Michigan.

Tue September 24, 2024

Member Price: $40.50

Non-Member Price: $45.00

Available Spaces: 12