Story concert to be held at ArtWorks Center

Published 10:25 am Monday, October 17, 2016

A group of Austin writers will showcase their work for friends, family and the community on Wednesday night — and they’ll give other area residents a taste of another upcoming program.

The five writers participating in the “Writing Memoirs and Personal Stories” workshop at Austin Public Library will hold a story concert on the second level of the Austin ArtWorks Center, 300 N. Main St., at 7:30 p.m.

For six weeks, the group has been writing memoirs and personal stories, and Wednesday’s concert is seen as a chance to celebrate.

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The class teaches various techniques and methods of writing a personal story, and teacher Kevin Stauss said the class includes people with a variety of experience — some have wanted to write their story for many years and never gotten the chance, while others have been writing for several years and are looking to hone their craft.

Since most stories are written with the intent to either be shared with family or published, Strauss said the concert is a good chance for the people to share their work and gauge an audience’s reaction with a crowd consisting largely of friends, family and positive faces.

“Getting a chase to read them in front of an audience helps them, I guess, see the work as a public piece of work,” Strauss said.

He said the class has gone well, as people began working on rough drafts and have since worked on crafting characters, settings and other aspects as the classes continue.

“It’s always great to see the second and third and fourth drafts getting better and better,” Strauss said.

The concert and class is part of a larger series made possible through state grant funds and a series of 14 classes through the SELCO system.

Strauss and Austin Public Library officials are discussing ideas for the next class to be held later in the winter or next spring. Ideas include a fiction writing, poetry writing or publishing workshop, and Strauss invited people to contact the library to voice their ideas and opinions.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.