summer workshops at the nashville public library

Join us for free summer workshops across Nashville at your local library branches! Classes for adults, teens, and kids—all free of charge.

Poetry: The Art of Getting Messy

Have you ever seen a painter's jeans? Usually it's splattered in specks of gold and white and rouge--all evidence of the artist letting go and getting just a bit messy. Sometimes we don't allow ourselves to get messy enough in our poems, though. Together we will explore what it means to write the messy thing, read/hear some poetic examples and then follow some prompts to create new messy work.

Monday, July 15th — 3:00 pm
Nashville Public Library: Bordeaux Branch **Session for Teens Only

Writing scary stories — For Kids and Teens

This one is for students who love a good fright. We’ll examine what makes good scary stories scary and practice different ways to scare our readers. Students will learn about suspense, world building, character creation, and creative word choice, all while having fun inventing spooky ghosts and monsters.

Tuesdays, June 11th, & 18th — 2:30 pm
Nashville Public Library: Southeast Branch ** For Teens Only

Tuesday, June 18th — 2:00 pm
Nashville Public Library: Inglewood Branch

Wednesday, June 19th — 2:00 pm ** For Teens Only
Nashville Public Library: Hermitage Branch

Monday, June 24th — 3:00 pm ** For Teens Only
Nashville Public Library: Madison Branch

Saturday, August 17th — 10:30 am
Nashville Public Library: Goodlettsville Branch

writing 101: getting started

Sometimes the hardest part is to begin. In this session, we’ll discuss the habit and the why of writing before jumping right in with writing prompts and story starters. The goal of the session is simply to get the juices flowing and to have some fun letting ideas scribble their way out of our pens.  

Monday, June 17th — 6:00 pm
Nashville Public Library: Inglewood Branch

telling your story

In this introductory workshop to creative nonfiction, participants will be guided through instruction, examples, and prompts to elicit the important stories of one’s life.


Saturday, June 15th — 1:00 pm
Nashville Public Library: Green Hills Branch

Tuesday, July 9th — 10:30 am
Nashville Public Library: Hermitage Branch

creating character through voice

Character is the heart and soul of story; voice is the personality that comes off the page. The two—character and voice—are inextricably married and are essential to the pulse of any work of fiction or nonfiction.  In this ninety-minute workshop, we’ll explore this marriage by looking at the essential ingredients of effective characterization, narrative voice, and the relationship between them. Participants can anticipate discussion, writing exercises, and opportunities to share work.


Saturday, June 15th — 2:00 pm
Nashville Public Library: Richland Park Branch

Documentary poetics

Is there a story you've been itching to tell, but a novel or memoir just isn't your way to tell it? Sometimes the poet is storyteller, creating a narrative all through verse. These stories are sometimes autobiographical, about a story you heard on the news or a tale your grandmother told you about her life back in the day. We will check out examples of poets who document personal and general narratives in their work and then start putting some of our must-tell stories onto the page.


Tuesday, June 18th — 6:00 pm
Nashville Public Library: Bellevue Branch

writing 101: story basics

This class is designed to be a crash course in fiction writing. By engaging in a guided, extended writing exercise, we’ll put into play the basic ingredients of fiction—characters, plot/conflict, setting, and aboutness.


Saturday, July 13th — 10:30 am
Nashville Public Library: Southeast Branch

Fiction 101 (For Kids!)

In each session, a Porch instructor will present a new, fun approach to writing fiction. Students tap into their imagination to invent worlds and write their own stories. Students will leave the workshop with either a finished story or a beginning that they can continue exploring on their own.


Monday, July 15th — 2:00 pm
Nashville Public Library: Inglewood Branch