Monday, April 16, 2012

Normandale Writing Festival Returns for its Third Year!

Harriet A. Washington and Cheryl Strayed to Speak at Normandale Writing Festival on April 19, 2012

April 19, 2012, marks the third year of the NORMANDALE WRITING FESTIVAL. (Click link for full schedule!)  Sponsored by the Normandale Writing Center, the free, daylong event features hourly presentations on all aspects of writing. Sessions take place between 9:00 and 4:00. The panels are conducted by professional instructors and published authors. Sample topics include: “Hip Hop: Culture, Poetry and Self-Expression,” “Social Media Writing for Beginners,” and “Fish Cheeks: Writing About Your Life in Two Cultures.” The Normandale Writing Festival is cross-curricular, including professional, literary, and creative modes of thinking and writing. All panels and events are free and open to the public.
Harriet Washington 
will be the keynote speaker at the Normandale Writing Festival on Thursday, April 19, 2012. She will be speaking from 1:00-2:30 at the Fine Arts Auditorium, room F1265. Harriet Washington is an award-winning medical writer and editor, and the author of the best-selling book Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. During her keynote address, Washington will discuss her work and the art of writing for the sciences. Her most recent book is Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself--And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future.

Medical Apartheid, the first social history of medical research with African Americans, was chosen as one of Publishers’ Weekly Best Books of 2006. The book also won the National Book Critics Circle Nonfiction Award, a PEN award, 2007 Gustavus Myers Award, and Nonfiction Award of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It has been praised in periodicals from the Washington Post and Newsweek to Psychiatric Services, the Economist, Social History of Medicine and the Times of London and it has been excerpted in the New York Academy of Sciences’ Update. Experts have praised its scholarship, accuracy and insights.

Figure 1:  Harriet Washington in Her Home Library (

Washington wrote Medical Apartheid while she was a Research Fellow in Ethics at Harvard Medical School. She has worked as a Page One editor for USA Today, as a science editor for metropolitan dailies and several national magazines, and her award-winning medical writing. Her work has appeared in Health, Emerge and Psychology Today, as well as such academic publications as the Harvard Public Health Review, the Harvard AIDS Review, Nature, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The American Journal of Public Health and the New England Journal of Medicine. Her awards include the Congressional Black Caucus.

Cheryl Strayed will also appear at the Normandale Writing Festival to lead a discussion on “Writing Memoir” and read from her latest work, Wild. She will be speaking from 11:00-11:50 in room F 1265. Her appearance at the festival is co-sponsored by the Normandale Reading Series. Strayed is the author of three books: Wild, a memoir (Knopf, 2012), Tiny Beautiful Things, a selection of her "Dear Sugar" columns from (Vintage, July 2012), and Torch, a novel (Houghton Mifflin, 2006). Wild has been optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon's production company, Pacific Standard.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Join Us at Normandale's Midwinter Writing Festival

Next week, on Thursday, February 17th, the Midwinter Writing Festival returns to Normandale Community College. Now in its second year, this year’s festival includes over thirty-six sessions on all aspects of writing taking place throughout the day. James Levine, author of The Blue Notebook, delivers the keynote address from 1:30-2:50. Click on the attached schedule to sample the sessions students, faculty, and visitors to Normandale have a chance to attend.

The keynote speaker, James Levine, is a world-renowned author who recently served as professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He has worked with the World Health Organization and the United Nations, his research focusing on child labor. It was this very research that took him to streets of Mumbai, India, where a real-life encounter with a young girl on the infamous Street of Cages haunted him and led to his first novel, The Blue Notebook. To hear more, listen to this interview on Minnesota Public Radio: ttp://

Besides the keynote address, there are many other wonderful offerings throughout the day. At noon, NCC faculty member Mark Plenke facilitates a panel called “Writing for a Living: Working Journalists in the Twin Cities Scene,” that brings together Star Tribune Higher Education Reporter Jenna Ross, Rieta Buttaro from Kare-11, and local journalists Caitlin Burgess and David Brauer. Other sessions will show you “Magical Realism for Beginning Spell-casters,” introduce you to “Sherlock Holmes and the Victorian Age,” or allow you to sample an ancient art form by learning about “Haiku and You.”

The Midwinter Writing Festival is organized by the Normandale Writing Center’s WCAC committee. A full program will be available soon. Below, you'll find a listing of events. We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Midwinter Schedule

*For an easy-to-print PDF schedule please email

Midwinter Writing Festival: February 17, 2011


  • Running Away from Run-On Sentences  Anna Gajdel     Room C1107
  • Writing as Community Action   Michael Berndt &Pat McGowan   Room C1022
  • How to Think Like Da Vinci!   Thomas Maltman   Room C3140
  • Writing in the Fine Arts    Molly, Skjei, Anne Byrd & Mark Jaros Room C1022
  • Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Writers   Lynette Reini-Grandell, Kari Fisher, &Patrick O’Donnell Room C3142
  • I’ve some Good News and Some Bad News Kris Bigalk Room C1020 
  • 10-Minute Playwriting Layla Dowlatshahi Room A2554

  •  Grammar Bloopers   Molly Skjei & Debra Whited Room L1747 
  • A Sentence Diagrammed is a Story Excavated   David Pates Room F2264
  • How to Cite Sources &Use Quotations Phil Lowry Room C3061
  • How Queen Elizabeth I & Her Age Contributed to the Genius of Shakespeare     Patrick O’Donnell C 1020
  • Why Writing Matters in the Business World Gretchen Scherer-Luebke +Panel C 3140
  • Normandale AFA Alumni & Faculty Reading   Assorted Panel C1022
  • The Business of Creation John Reimringer C2018

  •  Zombies and Essay Writing Kim Socha S2320 
  • Borrowing, Not Stealing: How to Use Sources Eric Mein C1107 
  • The Faces of Evil in American Film Michael Bielmeier S1328 
  • Creative Brainstorming Kurt Burch C1105 
  • Magical Realism for Beginners Melissa Siebke C3145
  • Pathways to Publication Alicia Conroy +Panel L1753 
  • Normandale’s Creative Writing Degree Kris Bigalk C3148
  • Performing Your Poem Matt Mauch C2018

  • Small Steps to Great Writing Writing Center Tutors L1780 
  • Paragraphs Beyond the Pale Thomas Maltman F2264 
  • Making Your Own Journal Cindy Koopman F2250 
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Victorian Age Lynette Reini-Grandell C3147
  • Writing for a Living Mark Plenke S2336
  • Poem Generators Kris Bigalk and Anna Meek C3053
  • Creative Writing and the Immigrant Experience Nina Rosenfeld& Kari Fisher C3148



  •  Showing Versus Telling Matt Mauch C2040 
  • Summary Versus Analysis Linda Tetzlaff & Kate Anderson C1107
  • Battle of the Books Common Book Panel F1265
  • Student Writing: Clear Expectations,Great Results Anna Gajdel & Debi Whited C1105
  • Haiku and You Richard Brown C2042

Monday, February 7, 2011

Midwinter Writing Festival Returns on February 17, 2011

On February 17, 2011, Normandale Community College hosts its second annual Midwinter Writing Festival. Sponsored by the Normandale Writing Center and the Normandale Reading Series, the free, daylong event features hourly presentations on all aspects of writing. Sessions take place between 9:00 and 4:00, with a keynote discussion by James Levine, author of The Blue Notebook, at 2:00.

The hourly sessions are conducted by professional instructors and published authors. Sample topics include “Sherlock Holmes and the Victorian Age,” “Ten Minute Playwriting,” “Haiku and You,” and “Magical Realism for Beginners.” The Midwinter Writing Festival is cross-curricular, including professional, literary, and creative modes of writing. A full schedule is coming soon! All sessions and keynote presentations are free and open to the public.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Midwinter Writing Festival Schedule

Here is the schedule for the festival.  A final version along with program descriptions and a map of campus will be available at the door. 

Time           Session            Room


10 habits to Jumpstart Your Creative Writing  A2556
Art About Writing  C2042
Shakespeare  C2038
What Haiku Can Teach You  S2322
Before You "Send"  C2018
Avoiding Plagiarism Because Big Brother Always Knows  C2018


Performing a Poem A2556
Crazy English:  The How, the Why, and You C2018
How to Write a Scholarship Application C3145
Zombies Attack:  Essay Skills C3053
Land of 10,000 Writers C3147
How to Write about a Movie C3101
Getting an "A" on Essay Exams C3061


How to Find a Poem Anywhere A1550
What Does the Professor Want? L1785
Freelance Writing S1326
Thunderstorm Sentences Sc1410
Jane Austen C3145
Writing for Math F2231


Writing for a Living A1550
Memoir and the Personal Essay A1550
Finding the Deep Magic in Your Fantasy and Sci-fi Story C3145
Arguing Strategies C1101
Letters of Recommendation C1105
Hamburgers and Ice Cream:  Essays  C2042
Exploring World Cultures F2231


Kao Kalia Yang, The Late Homecomer, a Keynote Presentation F1265


How an Idea Finds its Form C2032
Research:  Beyond the Classroom C2018
Intercultural Communication L1785
Thunderstorm Sentences C1107
Young Adult Literature at the Movies C1105
Writing a Theatre Review F2231
Writing As Political Resistance F2264


Against the Odds:  Getting Published C2032
Grant Writing C1107
Reading TBD
Fairytales C2040
Making Your Journal F2231

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Exciting Things Happening at Normandale!

On February 11, 2010, Normandale Community College will host its first ever Midwinter Writing Festival. Sponsored by the Normandale Writing Center and the Normandale Reading Series, the daylong event will feature hourly presentations on all aspects of writing. Panel presentations will take place between 9:00 and 4:00, including a keynote discussion from Kao Kalia Yang, author of the award-winning memoir The Late Homecomer at 1:00.

There will be over forty panels by professional instructors and authors with topics such as “Memoir: Writing Your Life Story,” “How to Find a Poem Just About Anywhere,” “Jane Austen is not Just for Zombies,” and “Intercultural Communication.” The emphasis of the writing panels will be cross-curricular, including professional, literary, and creative modes of thinking.

A full schedule is coming soon!