Writers Workshop

Over the course of two days, a group of Newport natives who have had success across a wide range of writing genres, from fiction to poetry to nonfiction to children’s literature, will return to the Sunshine Town to conduct a workshop at the Richards Free Library and Library Arts Center, perform readings, and talk about how they became published writers.

Registration is required for the Breakout Sessions.  Click on the date to register.


Breakout Sessions – 10:00-12:00

1: “Jump-Starting the Muse: Poetry and How to Beat Writer’s Block” – Robert and Matt

2: “Stranger Than Fiction: Writing Nonfiction” – Derek

Lunch Session

“So, You Want To Be a Writer?” Potential topics: Making a Living in Writing [Kind Of]; Nuts and Bolts; publishers, agents, freelancing, reviewers/reviewing – All

Breakout Sessions – 2:00-4:00

3: “More True Than the Truth: Writing Fiction” – Susan

4: “Looking at Blank Pages: Choosing a Topic” – Derek and Robert


Special Evening Event

The Newport Native Writers Group will read and then take questions from the audience.

7:00 in the Main Gallery of the Library Arts Center

The event is free and no registration is required for this special evening event.



Breakout Sessions – 10:00-12:00

5: “It Was a Dark Stormy Night? Finding a Voice as a Writer” – Matt

6: “Once Upon a Time: Writing Children’s Books” – Christine

Lunch Session: So, You Want To Be a Writer?

Breakout Sessions 2:00-4:00

7: “Of Aliens, Monsters, and Wizards: Sci-Fi and Fantasy” – Susan

8: “Wait, I Need to Know What I’m Talking About? Researching Your Project” – Derek

Christine Almstrom is a Children’s and Young Adult author and illustrator who enjoys reading, roaming, and all things Steampunk.  When not working on one of her own tales, she can usually be found with her head buried in someone else’s book. Christine is a member of the Society of Children’s Writers & Book Illustrators and an advocate for CLiF (the Children’s Literacy Foundation), an organization striving to put books in the hands of underprivileged children and families in New Hampshire and Vermont. To learn more about Christine, her current projects and upcoming events, please visit her at: www.christinealmstrom.com. You can also follow her on Facebook (ChristineAlmstromAuthor) and on Twitter (@calmstrom13).

Derek Charles Catsam is Professor of History and the Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor in the Humanities at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and is Senior Research Associate at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where he spent 2016 as the Hugh Le May Fellow in the Humanities. He is the author of Freedom’s Main Line: The Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides, (2009, paper 2011), Beyond the Pitch: The Spirit, Culture, and Politics of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup (2014) and Bleeding Red: A Red Sox Fan’s Diary of the 2004 Season (2005). He is currently working on books on bus boycotts in the United States and South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s and on the 1981 South African national rugby team’s tour to the United States.

Susan Cunningham is a local author of fantasy fiction, short stories, and poetry, as well as a blogger and freelance journalist.  Her professional career in the Human Resources field has spanned over 25 years. Susan holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation and is a certified analyst in Predictive Index Behavioral Theory. As part of her writing and workshop facilitation, Susan blends her technical expertise with story development to sculpt characters that pop off the page.  Susan holds Associate and Bachelor Degrees in English, and her first fantasy novel, The Kingdom of Belamour, was released in 2015. For more information about Susan visit her blog at www.scunninghamnhwriter.com or her author page at www.beyondthehiddenrealm.com.

Matthew Guenette is the author of three full length poetry collections: Vasectomania (University of Akron Press, 2017), American Busboy (University of Akron Press, 2011), and Sudden Anthem (Dream Horse Press, 2008). He is also the author of the chapbook Civil Disobedience (Rabbit Catastrophe Press, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems have appeared in numerous journals and reviews. He has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Hessen-Wisconsin Fellowship. A graduate of the MFA program at Southern Illinois University, Matt currently teaches composition and creative writing at Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife, two kids, and a 20 pound cat named Butternut.

Robert Stanhope is the owner of Social Songbirds Publishing LLC in Bradenton, FL, a freelance journalist, a ghost blogger for motorsports and automotive clients, and a writer of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. His first poetry collection, Salty Eyes, will be published in May 2017. Robert got his start in writing at Claremont Speedway, producing the weekly race reports for local and regional trade papers. His creative writing can be found on a number of online literary forums and on his blog at www.RobertStanhope.com.