WORKSHOPS ARE NOW FULL! We look forward to seeing you this weekend. 

Presented by the Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department as part of the Mark Twain Days Festival

Date: Saturday, April 22

Location: Carson City Community Center, Bonanza Room

Max 20 participants per workshop, early registration is recommended

WORKSHOP #1: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

WORKSHOP TITLE: Nevada Inspirations – A hands-on writing workshop celebrating our people and places.

In this two-hour, interactive workshop you’ll develop a uniquely Nevadan character and then incorporate Nevada settings and landscapes as you create a story only you can write! Author Suzanne Morgan Williams will provide tips on creating layered and interesting characters, using setting to move your story forward, and prompts and visuals to inspire your work.

Choose to work alone or with a partner and leave with the structure of, or a completed story. Nevada has produced great writers. Now let it inspire you!


Suzanne Morgan Williams is the author of a dozen published books, fiction and nonfiction, including the young adult novel, Bull Rider. Set in Nevada, it won a Western Heritage Award from the National Western Heritage and Cowboy Museum. She loves textured settings, unexpected characters, and detailed research Suzanne has been giving writers workshops and classes for more than twenty-five years to adult writers as well as to students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. A former teacher, Suzanne loves combining her writing with teaching, and speaking. She believes everyone has a unique voice and a special story that only they can tell.

She is a Nevada Arts Council teaching artist, Sierra Arts Foundation Academy teacher, and Regional Advisor Emerita of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Nevada Region. Visit  Read her latest publication here: Pulse and Echo Issue 2

WORKSHOP #2: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Co-sponsored by the Resident Artist Program in Silver City and the Ray A. Isaac Endowment for the Arts

WORKSHOP TITLE: Sense of Place is Sense of Self and Community: Writing from Where You Are, Have Been, and Want to Be

With some emphasis specifically on Nevada, this workshop will encourage participants to write honestly and authentically about how place matters. For example, how does where you come from or where you currently reside affect your thoughts and actions? Are there any issues or delights specific to your place of residence or upbringing that affect you or your loved ones? Whether it is birthplace or the apartment or house we currently live in, place is a major factor in our relationship to the world. Acknowledging place as a basis of community can help us all feel less alone.

Workshop coordinators, Gailmarie Pahmeier and Courtney Cliften, will share examples from poems and poets they admire, from Nevada and elsewhere, and offer prompts to help you generate your own poems.


Gailmarie Pahmeier, now Emeritus faculty, taught creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Widely published, she’s the author of three chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry, the most recent being Of Bone, Of Ash, Of Ordinary Saints (WSC Press, 2020) which was nominated for the High Plains Book Award. In 2015, she was appointed Reno’s first Poet Laureate, in 2016 she was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, and in 2017, she was selected as Outstanding Teacher in the Humanities. In 2021, the governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, appointed her Poet Laureate, State of Nevada. In 2022, she was selected as a Laureate Fellow, Academy of American Poets.

Courtney Cliften was raised in the Nevada Desert. She writes poetry as an MFA candidate at the University of Nevada, Reno. Courtney often explores the complexity of relationships—with another person, with the self, the relationship between life and death, relationships we have to place, ideas, etc. Her writing attempts to examine inter-connectedness and deflate boundaries. Her work has appeared in The Meadow, Helen Literary Magazine, An Anthology of Emerging Poets, The Racket, The Hunger, Caustic Frolic and more.