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The Intentional Tourist with Janice Deal, Sandra Jones, and Katie Shonk

The Intentional Tourist with Janice Deal, Sandra Jones, and Katie Shonk

  • Miller Art Museum
  • Fish Creek, WI 54212

For centuries, travel has been inspiring writers – from Ernest Hemingway to Jane Austen to Elizabeth Strout. What can we learn from our travels to motivate and enhance our creative writing? How do we capture and translate observed details and experiences in writing that is compelling, authentic, and new? In this workshop, we will discuss ways in which travel can richly inform narrative, including the why, the where, and the how. We will begin by exploring why using our travel experiences in our writing is worthwhile. For example, by removing us from the day-to-day, travel heightens our senses, pushes us outside our comfort zone, and allows for a “reset”—all of which are key to creating interesting characters and scenes. Turning to where, we will explore why it can be just as fruitful to visit places close to home as those far away. (You don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive trips to get the benefits of travel!) In addition, the places we visit don’t have to be conventionally positive or beautiful to inspire interesting art – a dead mall, or a third-tier amusement park can be just as inspiring. Finally, how can we transform our travel experiences into compelling creative work? We will explore the value of taking notes and photos to draw from back at home. We will also discuss the common practice of writing scenes set in a specific place before visiting it and then revising that writing after travel to that setting. In this workshop, we will examine passages from published writing inspired by authors’ travels and encourage participants to share writing of their own that is located in places they have explored.

Class meets in person Saturday, December 14, 10 am – noon

Class size:?Minimum 5. Maximum 12.

Member discount:?Members of Write On receive a 10% discount on all classes and workshops. To become a member, please click here. To receive the discount, members must log in to the website using their unique password and enter?member10?in the promotion code box. The code is case sensitive.


Janice Deal is the author of a novel, The Sound of Rabbits (Regal House, 2023), and two short story collection, The Decline of Pigeons (Queen’s Ferry, 2013) and a linked collection, Strange Attractors (New Door Books, 2023). Janice has received an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship Award for prose. She lives with her husband in the Chicago area.

Sandra M. Jones is a writer and editor working in higher education. She was a business journalist for two decades at the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business and Bloomberg News before joining the University of Chicago Booth School of Business as a media relations and communications director. She is currently executive director of content strategy at Aurora University where she oversees the university’s digital content and serves as editor of the alumni magazine. She is a winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Award for Enterprise Reporting.

Katherine Shonk is the author of the story collection?The Red Passport?and the novel?Happy Now?, both published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her writing has appeared in?Tin House,?Best American Short Stories,?McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. Shonk has received awards from the Illinois Arts Council, and?The Red Passport?was a?Chicago Tribune?Best Book of the Year. She is the co-editor of?We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor, a collection of personal essays by solo moms. She lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband and daughter, and works as a writer and editor for Harvard University. She is currently revising a novel,?Just So You Know, about motherhood and immigration in the Trump era, and writing stories.


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