Is There a Place For a Writers’ Place In Lincoln?

Karen Shoemaker

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

At a few minutes after 9 a.m. on Monday, July 12, 2021, 1600 N. Cotner Blvd. in Lincoln NE became the official home of Larksong Writers Place. By about 10:30 a.m. I had changed out of my business clothes into my painting clothes and started the process of announcing our presence to the neighborhood by painting the front door of the former bank Larksong yellow. That’s not the official name of the paint, nor is “Color Us Happy to Be Here” but both seem appropriate to the mood.

On Thursday, July 15, the Larksong board hosted an Open House to invite the public to see where we were starting out and join us in dreaming and planning where we will go.

To be honest, I didn’t know how that event would play out. It’s true we have an on-line presence – we’ve been leading workshops via Zoom for more than a year and hosting weekend writing retreats for more than five – but to stake a claim on a physical space and say, “Here we are!” well, we didn’t know what to expect.

The Open House was scheduled from 4 to 7. I thought if all went well about 50 people would come through our doors. Fortunately, I was raised by a woman who prepared every get together with a backup plan to feed an army if they happened to show up, so I’m accustomed to overstocking treats and drinks. And boy am I glad I did! People started coming around 3:30 and they didn’t stop coming until after 7.

We don’t have an official tally, but by counting how many name tags were used and estimating how many people didn’t use tags, we feel pretty confident we had about 175 guests come through. Reports from the field (i.e. people who stood around outside when it got too crowded inside) said the parking lot was full, the streets around us were full, and people were walking blocks to get to us. It looked and felt like a party from start to finish!

We felt welcomed into our new home in the Bethany neighborhood and cheered on by the writing community. The dream that started it all felt as if it were coming true in ways that were better than the dream itself. We are so happy to be here.

Our question: is there really a need for a writers’ place in Lincoln? Seemed to be answered with a resounding yes!

We're So Excited We Can Hardly Contain Ourselves!

Karen Shoemaker

Friday, May 28, 2021

So much to tell you!

1.         Workshops! Workshops! Workshops! Four new this summer and more on the way this fall. Registration now open.
2.         Larksong is going to Greece! Join us! Our first international writers’ workshop is back on! September 4-12, 2021.
3.         Larksong Writers Place has a place! A physical address!

Workshops: Let me start off by saying that even though I’ve been a writer for the better part of 45 years and teaching for several decades, I learn something valuable every time I sit in on one of Larksong’s workshops and the upcoming workshops look just as promising as the ones we’ve held this past year.  This past session we welcomed writers from all over the U.S. and Canada, and even one joined us from Portugal! We will continue to offer on-line workshops even though we now have a real home.

Registration is now open for the following workshops, with more coming in a hot minute:
                  1. “Follow the Coyote” with Kelly Madigan, a generative workshop that includes writing and visits by local and national wildlife experts for educational components about coyote behavior and the need for good practices to achieve coexistence.

                  2. “And the Beat Goes On: A Writing Workshop with Universal Intentions” with Barbara Schmitz. Slightly influenced by poets and writers of the Beat Generation, this workshop will offer opportunities for each participant to explore personal connections to universal themes via writing, readings, and discussions.

                  3. “Are You Writing About Your Mother Again? Formal Poetry to Tame the Demons of Obsession” with Maria Nazos. In this five-week course, we’ll use formal poetry as a way to tame and set loose our obsessions. From the pantoum to the triolet to the sestina, we’ll inhabit a series of contained forms, then work against them

You can find registration forms on our website:


Shhhh – listen closely and you can hear it – the Muse is calling “Come With Me!”

While we’re on the subject of writing workshops, let’s talk traveling! We got the official word just yesterday that our pandemic-postponed trip to Greece is back on! There is still time to join us! Our travel agent tells us that airline tickets are low right now but will be going up soon, so if you’ve ever wanted to write in the land of Homer and Sappho, myth and sunshine, now is the time to act. September 4-12, 2021 hosted by Executive Travel, this trip is the brainchild of Larksong Board Member Dorothy Ramsey, author of Milly for Mayor. Everyone is welcome – writers and non-writers alike. For more information go to our  Traveling Workshops page  

And last but not least – Larksong has a real home! A physical address! Bricks and mortar you can touch! And soon we will gather there and write and read and basically be a community of writers! Okay, I’m going to be honest with you, having this part of the Larksong dream come true feels a little like being the dog that caught the car. I have moments of complete stillness when I think, Oh my gosh. This is really happening. I have other moments of crazy racing thoughts and excitement so intense I think someone switched out my decaf for the real thing. (Excitement in your 60s is different from excitement in your youth.)

We have so much to tell you about this exciting development that it won’t fit in this already over-long post. We’re planning an open house shortly after our closing date in mid-July when you can come see what we have and offer suggestions for what we should do with the space. We will also be starting a volunteer list for those who want to be involved in making Larksong Writing Place all it can be.


Larksong is committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a tax-deductible donation.