Steve Kemp Writer’s Residency offers Creative Writing Workshop

Press release from Great Smoky Mountains Association:

CHEROKEE, NC – Poet, artist and teacher Elise Anderson will lead a Great Smoky Mountains Association creative writing workshop on Wednesday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to noon at Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, N.C.

Anderson was selected, along with Latria Graham, to be part of GSMA’s Steve Kemp Writers Residency program, which is designed to connect writers with the Smokies in meaningful ways and to inspire some of their best work. The program is named for 30-year GSMA veteran Steve Kemp, who retired in September 2017 after directing the publication of hundreds of books, magazines, brochures and newsletters that continue to support the preservation of the national park.

This creative writing class titled “The Write Experience: Creative Ways to Record your Days” is designed to teach attendees – through a series of examples, methods, instructions, and activities – how to re-ignite their creative mind and see (and record!) the world in fresh, new ways that lend themselves to more successful creative writing. Attendees will leave this event with at least six new methods for creative journaling, some fresh ideas for observing the outside world, and a better understanding of what specific elements of creative writing are most compelling to readers and why.

“Often as adults, we let our ability to create and think creatively atrophy under the weight of responsibility and routine,” said Anderson. “Creativity is not something you can command into existence; it arises from a combination of memory, external stimuli, and mental/psychological processes. You can’t force it, but you can learn to encourage it by altering the way you approach the world through observing, writing, and note-taking.”

As part of the six-week residency, both Anderson and Graham have the opportunity to explore the park and spend time interacting and learning from Steve Kemp himself. A requirement of the program is also to provide public engagement opportunities centered around their craft.

Interested individuals can call or email Membership Events Specialist Dana Murphy at (865) 436-7318 Ext. 349 or to register. Registrations can also be made on the Great Smoky Mountains Association website at

Since its inception in 1953, Great Smoky Mountains Association has supported the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park by promoting greater public understanding and appreciation through education, interpretation and research. A nonprofit with its headquarters inside the national park, GSMA has contributed more than $44 million during its 65-year history.

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