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Improve Your Chances of Getting Published: Tips from a Magazine Editor

An award-winning essayist, poet, and translator, Daniel Simon is the editor in chief of World Literature Today magazine at the University of Oklahoma, where he also serves on the affiliate faculty in English, International Studies, and Judaic Studies. His third collection of poems, Under a Gathering Sky, is forthcoming from SFA Press in April 2024. Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867–2017, which he edited, won a 2018 Nebraska Book Award and was included on NPR’s “50 States” summer booklist (2022). The grandson of Czech and Irish immigrants, Daniel grew up in Nebraska along the banks of the Platte River. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets, PEN America, and Nebraska Center for the Book.

Stories Your Collection Can Tell: A Larksong Bootcamp for Poets

Amy Haddad is the 2019 recipient of the Annals of Internal Medicine poetry prize for “Families Like This” for the best poem published in the journal. She won third-place for the 2019 Kalanithi Writing Awards from Stanford University for her poem “Dark Rides.” Her chapbook, “The Geography of Kitchens,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2021. Her first poetry collection, “An Otherwise Healthy Woman,” was published by Backwaters Press, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press in early 2022. “An Otherwise Healthy Woman” was awarded twice in the 2022 AJN Book of the Year Awards: first place in the Creative Works Category and second place in the Professional Issues Category.

Make it Strange (Again) Poetry Workshop

Make it Strange (Again): A Poetry Workshop with Ae He Lee

One of the wonders of poetry is how it can reawaken us to the world. The familiar can be reignited with color, metamorphosed into creatures, landscapes, and sounds that can astonish us into beauty and/or resist desensitization. In this generative poetry workshop, we will use writing prompts to look upon what we may have rendered as quotidian in our lives and make it strange again and again. Both beginners and advanced writers are welcome.

In Search of Home

March 1, 2024
Instructor: Pamela Petro, a finalist for the Wales Book of the Year Award and named to the Telegraph's and Financial Times's Top 10 lists for travel writing, Pamela Petro's "The Long Field" is an unforgettable exploration of “the hidden contours of the human heart.”

The Engine of Narratives: Openings, Metaphors, and Characters

February 21, 2024
Join Tommy Dean for a 2 hour generative writing session focused on The Engine of Narratives: Openings, Metaphors, and Characters.Make dreading the blank page a thing of the past!   There are many ways to write a story, but these three elements can make the writing easier and more dynamic.  We'll look at model texts and get inspired by the writing prompts! Past students have published stories inspired by my prompts in today's best literary magazines. Will you join them?

Come Play(wright) with Me! A Playwriting Class for ALL Writers

February, 2023

Instructor: Jennifer Blackmer, Judges' Citation, PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Emerging American Playwright Award
This class is for all writers, not just those writing for stage and screen - though those writers are welcome too! In this workshop and discussion, accomplished playwright Jennifer Blackmer will share her techniques for building an excellent playground (i.e. structuring a story) and inviting interesting people (i.e. complicated characters) to connect with audiences there. Topics and activities will include tips for utilizing non-traditional story structures, infusing character backstory seamlessly into action, and writing compelling dialogue.

On Memory and Metaphor: Bringing the Past to Life

February 2024
Instructor: Sue William Silverman
On Memory & Metaphor

How do we translate a vague memory in our thoughts into a vivid memory in an essay or memoir? Sensory knowledge, written descriptively, assists in memory, in recalling past events. From here, we metaphorically string memories together. By reflecting on our lives, we see truths not initially observed in the past. Memories are dynamic, not static. They change as we change. When we write our sensory memories, they present us with fresh perspectives. This second life doesn't just recapture past actions, it gives them depth and meaning.

Novel Writing: Structure and Content

October 2023
Instructor: Nick Salestrom

NaNoWriMo Prep Time is NOW! 

So, you're writing a novel in a month?!  But what's going to happen in all of those pages?

Join an experienced writing teacher to learn about different approaches to structuring and planning your story--from the simple to the specific--and to talk about which approach might work best for YOUR NaNo novel.

Larksong's Bootcamp for Prose Writers

Are you looking to “level up” on your writing? Maybe you’re looking for a workshop of like-minded writers who want to be the best they can be and you want to join them? Maybe you want just enough instruction and guidance on a particular piece of writing to prepare it for the submittal process. If any of that is true, a Larksong Bootcamp workshop is for you. The Bootcamps are taught by various teachers and in various genres at various times, so if you can't make one, keep coming back to see if the next one fits your needs. 

Larksong's Bootcamp for Poets with Matt Mason

Instructor: Matt Mason
Are you looking to “level up” on your writing? Maybe you’re looking for a workshop of like-minded writers who want to be the best they can be and you want to join them? Maybe you want just enough instruction and guidance on a particular piece of writing to prepare it for the submittal process. If any of that is true, a Larksong Bootcamp workshop is for you. The Bootcamps are taught by various teachers and in various genres at various times, so if you can't make one, keep coming back to see if the next one fits your needs. 

Intro to Kindle Direct Publishing

September 30, 2023
Instructor: Brittany Brauer
Offered as hybrid: online and in person

As the publishing landscape changes, self-publishing is more viable than ever. Whether you’re just getting started, or you have a complete novel ready to go, this intro course will acclimate you to the independent publishing world. 

In this two-hour course, you will learn all about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). We will cover your publishing options, including print and Kindle Unlimited, discussing which option is best for you and your book. We will also take a look at the steps an author takes to get their book up and running on Amazon’s storefront.

Intro to Kindle Direct Publishing

September 30, 2023
Instructor: Brittany Brauer
Offered as hybrid class: online and in person. 
Our objective is to send you home with the tools and confidence you need to publish your book.

Exploring the Essentials of Creative Nonfiction

September, 2023
Instructor: Steve Edwards

Sometimes what holds us back as writers is what we think we already know—about ourselves, about our stories, about our craft. On the blank page, certainty is a dead-end road. But how do we move beyond it? How do we enter that vulnerable space of unknowing from which compelling and necessary work emerges?

Once Again - With a Twist

August 2023
Instructor: Marcia Forecki

In conjunction with Lincoln City Libraries' One Book One Lincoln program.

Retelling a favorite story is as old as literature. Barbara Kingsolver reimagined a classic in her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Demon Copperhead. Join us in a generative workshop where we consider this outstanding novel, and explore ways to construct your own story on the scaffold of a classic.

Relatable Songs: A Songwriting Workshop

August 2023
Instructor: Cliff Eberhardt

"In another age, Mr. Eberhardt would have found his niche on Tin Pan Alley or writing for Broadway shows. His songs display the highest level of craftsmanship, his guitar playing is superb and his singing deeply emotional." - The Washington Times

This class is about making your song more accessible to more people. We all want to share our feelings in song with the world. Most want to hear a song that we can identify with. I want everyone to bring in a song (with lyrics) and we will explore the message of your song and discuss different ways to approach redirecting your message so that everyone can relate to your story. We will consider irony and juxtaposition to make your work more interesting and concise.

Learning to Survive in a World Not Your Own

August 2023
Instructor: Michelle Pierce Battle
In conjunction with Lincoln City Libraries One Book One Lincoln programs

In Four Treasures Of The Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang, we travel with Daiyu on her journey as she morphs and navigates through 19th century China and America. Join us as we dive into her survival story of gender, patriarchy, and ethnicity and then allow her story to help us explore similar (or very different!) experiences in our own lives through a series of writing exercises.

“PLAYING WITH POINT OF VIEW: What Reading a Novel Can Teach Us About Writing Our Own Stories

July 29, 2023
Instructor: Wendy Weitzel

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt is told from two points of view—one, a traditional third-person narrative, and the other, a first-person epistolary narrative featuring Marcellus, a Giant Pacific Octopus. This workshop will discuss how Van Pelt’s narrative style affects tone, voice, and characterization, and how we can improve these skills in our own writing. In addition, we will delve into how the novel addresses loss, grief, loneliness and aging, and how we might successfully incorporate such difficult themes into our own writing.

Owning Our Obsessions: Writing a Manifesto of Self

Writing the Six-Minute Memoir

"Stalking the relationship between stored image and hidden emotion--that's the real job of memoir." --Patricia Hampl (I Could Tell You Stories; A Romantic Education; Virgin Time)

Publishing in Literary Journals: Building a Writerly Presence

In this workshop, you'll learn how to approach publishing in literary journals (both online and in print) through organizing and selecting work, finding places to submit work, navigating terminology and potential traps, managing submission tracking, and sending out materials so that they shine! We'll also talk about rejections to be proud of (not all rejections are the same). You'll walk away with insights, practical tools like sample cover letters, and templates for keeping track of work that is ready to go, under consideration, and decided upon (and hopefully accepted).

This workshop is geared towards people who have never published, those who have had some experience, and even folks who have had more experience but could benefit from some fine-tuning in terms of process or simply being rejuvenated in the journey!

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Follow the Coyote

Kelly Madigan
June-July 2021

Coyote, industrious scavenger and alert opportunist, has much to show us about creative writing. Deeply revered by some and equally despised by others, who knows more about dealing with critics, or finding a way when the way appears blocked? We will learn more about this remarkable animal and use coyote wisdom to launch writing that is surprising, ingenious, and durable. This is a generative workshop, where we will be producing new drafts together each week, guided by exercises that make it easy to get started.  We will also be visited by local and national experts for educational components about coyote behavior and the need for good practices to achieve coexistence.

This workshop is part of the The LoHi Series, writing workshops that utilize the Loess Hills and their inhabitants as inspiration for writing that is deeply connected to the natural world.




Make Your Readers Sit Up and Take Notice

Lucy Adkins
March-April 2021

Want to take your writing to the next level? This five-week intensive workshop designed for fiction and memoir writers will help you do just that. We’ll look at basic narrative elements such as dialogue, point of view, scene vs. summary, interiority, use of the significant detail, and more. And by study of accomplished writers and in-class writing exercises, learn to master these elements of the craft, and write to keep readers turning the pages. You will also have an opportunity to discuss the ups and downs of the writing life, have a little fun, and receive kind and constructive feedback on your work.

“The work that is being undertaken at Larksong is remarkable! My experience was truly exceptional and I have taken many online workshops. The environment was replete with writers who felt comfortable presenting and talking about their writing. Lucy Adkins is a gem of an instructor and has a wealth of knowledge. I highly recommend Larksong to beginning or experienced writers. Something to be gained by everyone.” Linda Y.




How Can It Be A Poem If It Doesn’t Rhyme? A Celebration of Poetry with Marjorie Saiser

April 2021
Marjorie Saiser

Kick off Poetry Month with Marjorie Saiser, the author of seven award-winning books and one of Nebraska’s most beloved poets. Marjorie will recite some of her favorite poems – both her own and others - and talk about what makes them poetry. An educational and entertaining way to dive into April’s celebration of poetry! The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by Karen Gettert Shoemaker.




Long Story Short: A Micro-memoir Workshop

Patricia Henley
March 2021

If you want to write a memoir but don’t know where to begin, this workshop is for you. We will excavate your most memorable biographical events and write short lyric essays distilling those memories into one to five pages. We will also take the time to read and discuss examples of micro-memoir, and discuss possible places to submit.

“I loved working with Patricia. The examples she used were thought provoking and helpful.” Lea P.

“An excellent introduction to the micro-memoir format for personal essays.” Herbert D.




What’s “I” Got To Do With It:Writing Beyond the Personal

Grace Bauer
February 2021

Portraits. Personas. Epistles. Ekphrasis. And more. This workshop will explore possibilities for writing poems that go beyond speaking in the writer’s personal voice. While many wonderful poems have been written (and will continue to be written) in that traditional lyric style, trying approaches that go beyond speaking in what we might think of as “our own voice” can expand the range of that voice, open up a world of subject matter(s), and new ways of making poems.

“Another excellent offering from Larksong! The instructor was an accomplished teacher. I came away with excellent prompts for future application and helpful feedback.” Kathy J.

“It was a great workshop experience for me, in all aspects. The content was appropriate for the time we had and it was highly educational. I felt great about what I got out of the few hours of this workshop.” Herbert D.




So You Want to Find a Writers’ Group: A Best Practices Workshop

Karen Gettert Shoemaker
February 2021

There comes a point in most writers’ lives where the page gets just a little too lonely and we want to connect with other writers. Picture us, blinking in the bright light of day as we search for a partner or a group we can trust with our small creative flames. Like the little duckling in the children’s tale “Are you my mother?” we’re too often as likely to find a kitten, a cow, or a Snort as we are our mother. Maybe there’s a way to increase our chances at the outset to find the ones who can nurture us and listen carefully to our stories. This two-hour workshop will discuss the best practices to finding, and more importantly, maintaining a productive, nurturing workshop that fits your needs. 




The Loess Hills: A Place-Based Writing Workshop

Kelly Madigan
January-February 2021

From the Black Angel statue in Council Bluffs, to a cave in Sergeant Bluff, to a lighted star on a bluff in Turin, to a young female cougar with a radio collar, a long-lost uncle with a steep driveway, a badger letting you know to back off, a voice heard in the night, the view from a turkey blind, or a miraculous harvest of morel mushrooms, the Loess Hills are alive with stories. Using a variety of examples, prompts and exercises, we will explore the hills creatively, crafting poems, stories and short memoir that reflect the unusual terrain and the experiences held there. Participants will be invited (but not required) to share a sample of their completed work at a Loess Hills Writers event.

This workshop is brought to you by The LoHi Trail, a network of people coming together to explore a sustainable, long distance walking route through the Loess Hills, combined with ideas and enthusiasm for preservation of the steep slopes and fragile ecosystem. We recognize that there is also a trail of stories.

“Working with Kelly revived me as a writer. She holds space with honesty and compassion, and she guides writing and discussion with thought-provoking insight. As someone seasoned in writing workshops, I can say with certainty Kelly’s are among the best being offered!”

“Kelly Madigan brings a genuine sense of joy to her writers workshops. She is a distinguished poet and author, and her experience and her ear for language are important, to be sure. But her greatest asset is in “team building.” The members of the workshop were genuinely excited over one another’s progress. No ‘writer’s block’ when Kelly makes it all so damn much fun!”




Jump-Start Your Creative Writing

Twyla M. Hansen
January 2021

Creative writing is a process that thrives on practice. This writing workshop focuses on the creative writing process for poems and short prose, and tools for jump-starting this process. Twyla will use readings of her own and others’ writing— along with prompts, guided writing exercises, and assignments— to create an interactive and supportive workshop. Through these exercises, participants will retrieve their own and others’ experiences to generate new writing that can be shaped into poems, essays, or stories.

“Twyla was a great workshop leader. I enjoyed her readings, writing tips, and writing exercises. I also enjoyed hearing from the other participants whether it was something about writing or reading from something written.” Kate C.

“I loved all the writing prompts and ideas for unlocking my memories and making my writing come alive, Also loved the reading selections and hearing the other folks in the class read their work and talk about their writing.” Gwendolyn M.


Larksong is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are 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.