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The USTMAX Center Offers Third Creative Writing Workshop

Texas Poet Laureate to Teach Again

Back by popular demand, the USTMAX Center in downtown Conroe announces its third Creative Writing Workshop led by 2011 Texas Poet Laureate Dave Parsons. Classes begin March 25, 2022, and are held on Fridays, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. through May 20.

Military veteran Marcey Phillips shared her experience in Parson’s previous workshop held in fall 2021. 

“The class was awesome,” said Phillips, a wife and mother who has enjoyed writing since she was a contributor to her high school newsletter. “I went into Parsons’ class open to learning something new, and I loved it. I wanted a new way to write, a new spin on things.”

 Learn How to Never Run Out of Interesting Perspectives

 Phillips, who served in Iraq, does volunteer social media writing for the VFW on the post and district levels.

 She said, “Sometimes, you run out of things to say when the audience is similar, and I don’t want my writing to be robotic. The creative writing class gave me new approaches to how I can change things up and bring more depth to my work. I also do some speaking about PTSD, and the workshop taught me how to add some depth there as well.”

 In last semester’s workshop, Phillips received four writing assignments. Two involved poetry, and the remaining two were “whatever you wanted.”

 “Parsons challenged us to try to put ourselves into different styles of writing. It gave me new views of how I could use my voice. For instance, we had to write a poem about a piece of art and put ourselves into a state of imagining what was going through the artist’s mind. The piece of veteran art I used was called ‘Our Lady of Veteran Suicide.’ For me, the exercise was hard and cathartic too.”

 So Much to Learn from the Critiques

 Among the most enriching parts of the workshop for Phillips were the critiques.

 “It was amazing what we learned from Parsons and each other,” she remembered. “I ended up loving the critical part, because it changed and improved my work.”

 The workshop is not just for veterans. It is open to any writers of all levels and is a brief study of poetry, essays and short fiction. Dave Parsons designed it for students interested in imaginative writing as a means for interpreting their world.

 “The community has responded positively to the adult continuing education options at USTMAX, and the Creative Writing Workshop is definitely a favorite,” said USTMAX Center’s Senior Director Dr. Carla E. Alsandor. “Anyone who has been putting off taking a writing class would do well to sign up for Professor Parson’s workshop.”

 Just Do It

 To all who are considering signing up for the class, Marcey Phillips said, “Just do it. You learn so much about yourself when you write.”

 The cost for the class is $250, and scholarships are available for military veterans. Registration is easy. Just go here