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Ko‘olau Writers Workshop offers experiential learning


    Shawna Yang Ryan is the author of “Green Island” and “Water Ghosts.” She is one of the writers participating in the annual Ko‘olau Writers Workshop at the Hawai‘i Loa Campus of Hawai‘i Pacific University.

It’s spring, the season of creativity and the annual Ko‘olau Writers Workshop, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hawai‘i Loa Campus of Hawai‘i Pacific University. Writers of all levels are welcome.

“The sessions are intensive, but we try to keep them fun,” said Tyler McMahon, workshop chairman and associate professor of English at HPU.

Teachers advise on craft and critique students’ in-class writing.

Morning workshops, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., include:

>> Fiction with Stephanie Han, author of “Swimming in Hong Kong.”

>> Poetry with Christy Passion, author of “Still Out of Place.”

>> Creative nonfiction with Don Wallace, author “The French House” and “One Great Game.”

Afternoon workshops, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., include:

>> Fiction with Katharine Beutner, author of “Alcestis.”

>> Script writing with Tali Ariav, who has a master’s degree in playwriting from the University of Iowa.

>> Poetry with Eric Paul Shaffer, author of “A Million-Dollar Bill” and “Lahaina Noon.”

Enrollees get one morning and one afternoon workshop, parking, lunch and admission to the keynote address by Stuart Coleman, author of “Eddie Would Go.” Cost: $50; students, $20.

Register by Wednesday at


Rooms (including board) and workshop spaces are still available at the 5th Annual Writers Retreat at Camp Mokule‘ia, May 7-12.

Participants hail from the mainland and Hawaii. “The thing I’m the happiest about is the number of island writers who are participating,” said founder Constance Hale, author of “Sin & Syntax” and a North Shore native. “We see the original dream of the retreat — to foster cultural and artistic exchange and help launch careers — coming to fruition in this fifth year.”

Teachers include Zoe FitzGerald Carter, author of “Imperfect Endings”; Shawna Yang Ryan, author of “Green Island” and “Water Ghosts”; Bridget Quinn, author of “Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order)”; and Lynn Young and Tamara Moan blending visual art and poetry.

Packages range from $300 to $1,300; evening events are free and open to the public, including readings and a performance by kumu hula Patrick Makuakane, subject of Hale’s “The Natives Are Restless: A San Francisco Dance Master Takes Hula into the Twenty-First Century.” Click here for more information, or email


A short story by Hawaii native Lisa Horiuchi has been published as an e-book by Ploughshares, the Boston literary journal, in its “Solos” series.

In Horiuchi’s story, “Bones,” Kyle, a just-retired Los Angeles executive who’s bored with his wife, meets a young archaeologist who sends him on an Indiana Jones-style quest.

Like so many before him, the clueless foreigner goes into the jungle, “crouched at the helm of an old fishing boat, sputtering across the jade skin of the Mopan River,” with a smartphone-wielding Belizean guide, another tourist and her Harvard-student son whose affect makes Kyle happy he never had children.

As atmosphere and plot thicken along with the vegetation and rain, encounters with vigilantes and local children alter Kyle’s outlook in this comic and suspenseful tale.

“Bones” can be downloaded for $1.99 at

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