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Beginning Creative Writing: A Learning Experience

In 1999, I began writing weekly 500-word articles for the Gravette News-Herald in Arkansas. In my search for topics, I initiated a series on Creative Writing. Illness interrupted my progress, but nonetheless I was able to self-publish two books on the subject, Creative Writing for Seniors and Creative Writing Workshop. My work came to the attention of Banyon Publishing owner Jay Johnson in Tampa, Florida who published the articles on the Internet in a book format called The Book Doctor Series. In 2003, having recovered from my illness, I presented four-hour seminars free of charge at public libraries throughout my immediate four-state area. I also offered weekly free-school lectures at the Jones Center for families in Springdale, Arkansas. Over time the lectures evolved and improved with a noticeable increase in attendance, ending in 2007, largely due to exhaustion from the constant pressure and travel. The present book is a consolidation of my best ideas evolved from an exhilarating learning experience for my listeners, my students and myself.

Appreciations . . .

From Jack and Jill, Marie and Donnie, and Jiggs and Maggie to nine superlative articles on creative writing by Stephen Byers, an engineer who published his first novel at age 74, now fourteen years later offers thoughts on the formula for creative writing . . .

Storyweaving = Storyforming + Storytelling

. . . introducing his “Who? What? Where?” game and asking, “Does this work for all stories?” His answer is a resounding YES, no exceptions! It makes no difference if the subject is Little Miss Muffet, Old King Cole, or two gentle old ladies who wouldn’t hurt a fly. But it is not a comic book, nor a replay of old nursery rhymes. It’s a serious attempt to help those seeking help.

A senior high school student, Grove, OK.
“I learned more in a four-hour class by Stephen Byers than in a whole year at school.”

An author, Mountain Home, AR.
“The best lecture on creative writing I ever heard,”

A housewife, Bella Vista, AR.
“Before Stephen’s lecture, I never knew how to begin. He made it so simple.”

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