Workshops and Presentations


Available for
Workshops, Author Readings, Small Group Meetings, Conferences

Contact Nancy to Request Workshops


Readings from If the Creek Don’t Rise and Washed in the Water, tales from the Deep South

Readings from her two collections of short stories, Washed in the Water and If the Creek Don’t Rise, are available for library gatherings, conference presentations or book club discussions. These slice of life tales chronicle a time past that is poignant, vivid, and sometimes brutal. The reader stares into the eyes of people struggling with living, grasping for understanding, doing the best they know how. The hard-used characters, tangled relationships, family angst, and fortitude reflect lives and hardships, hopes and dreams of folk who have noting except grit–and sometimes love– to offer.

Writing Short Stories: Five Essential Elements

Writing a short story is different from writing a novel. Length is a factor, but what other elements distinguish short fiction? Workshop participants will examine five criteria required of a short piece. Concrete tips for how to hone sentences and distill your work–fiction and non-fiction—into pieces for magazines, anthologies, journals or a book length collection. Participants will complete in-class exercises as well as deconstructing well-known examples of short work. The workshop concludes with suggestions for successful submission toward publication.

Developing Characters

Think Huck Finn, Captain Ahab, or Scarlett O’Hara— personalities that live on long after the story and plot fades. That’s the power of character. This interactive workshop explores tools specific to character development using worksheets, discussion, writing exercises, and reading suggestions.

Southern Customs and Folklore

Nancy Hartney writes about the Deep South chronicling a time not quite past influencing society today. She discusses folkways and social mores in the South that find traction in today’s society.  These customs, illustrated in her acclaimed books, introduce the regional newcomer to southern traditions while connecting home folks to past memories.

Critique Groups: Power and Limitations

Friends think you have a gift for writing. Your spouse says your work is “fine.” Is it time to consider vetting your work with a larger audience? This workshop explores critique group pros and cons: meeting options, dos and don’ts of participation, how to critique the work of others, and submission guidelines. Finally, the most critical element of reviewing is your emotional preparation for constructive, honest feedback that strikes the best balance for your writerly growth. Interactive exercises, take home resources, reading lists, and how-to suggestions conclude this workshop.

Nancy Hartney in downtown Tahlequah, Oklahoma 2014
Christmas book tree at Fayetteville Public Library, Arkansas 2016

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