Mennonite/s Writing VII: Workshops

Mennonite/s Writing VII will provide several opportunities for participants to learn about and practice writing skills taught by accomplished and acclaimed authors. These workshops are open to everyone interested in exploring writing in several genres. Whether you are a novice or have some experience in writing, you are welcome to attend and learn more about the process.

Both workshops are free with conference registration. Please sign up for the workshops when you complete your online registration.


The pre-conference workshop will take place Thursday, March 12, 2015, 1-4 p.m. There are three workshops from which to choose:

Poetry- taught by Fresno poet and essayist, Jean Janzen, and Jesse Nathan, poet and poetry editor of McSweeney's Publishing in San Francisco.

Creative nonfiction- taught by Raylene Hinz-Penner, creative writing instructor at Bethel College and Washburn University in Kansas. She has published poetry, essays, the story of the Cheyenne peace chief Lawrence Hart, and has just finished a deep history of the land in southwest Kansas/the Oklahoma panhandle where she grew up.

Children'€™s Literature- taught by Annie Winston, Fresno author of the Heroical Storicals series for children.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the writing process under the instruction of authors who have written and published in their genre. Students should submit 1-3 pieces of writing (if available.) This is not for screening purposes, but will provide a way for instructors to understand the class and tailor the workshop to the group.

Send works (1-3 poems; or 3-5 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction) to Hannah Keeney at

TO HAVE A PLACED IDENTITY: Writing a Very Short Memoir

This workshop will take place on Friday, March 13, 9:45-11:15 a.m.

David "Mas" Masumoto will lead a creative nonfiction workshop on writing about place. Location and relocation are important aspects in our understanding of the world. How does one incorporate place into his/her writing the very, very short memoir? Participants will engage and write, sharing their stories and writing their lives.
Masumoto, a Fresno County third-generation farmer, is the author of seven books and is a columnist for the Fresno Bee. In 2013, President Obama appointed him to the National Council of the Arts.

See more about Mas and his writing at