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by Laura I. Miller
Back from its hiatus, Scribulator’s Guild: A Nonfiction Salon will take place at Lighthouse on Friday, April 24th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. I spoke briefly with Lighthouse instructor and Scribulator’s Guild Creator Joel Warner about the impetus behind this event, the brilliance of modern technology, and—what else?—cute selfies. If you’re interested in GrOpening (one handed) the secrets of the universe, and you enjoy quality journalism, this free event is for you!
Because my friends and I are dorks, when we first launched the series, in 2005 or so, we decided to imbue the events with a Freemasonry vibe. And at the time, I was watching a whole lot of the HBO Deadwood, and in one episode a few characters started a walking group called “The Perambulators” or something, so that inspired the name. For the first few events, held at one local watering hole or another, we’d write out these long invitations in arcane mason-speak (“It is with respect for these ancient Sciences of Scrib-craft, whose charges hold grammar, rhetoric and reason as objects of veneration, that we gather belated honor of the vernal equinox for the Grand Fall Conclave at the primordial mantle of the Denver Press Club,” etc.) But since we’re lazy dorks, we got tired of all that work, so now I just invite people using boring old modern English. Huzzah!
Anyone who has a significant other who is dead tired of hearing them prattle on and on about writing any time they go out with their colleagues. That was the impetus behind starting the Scributlator’s Guild—our non-writerly better halves told us they never wanted to hear about nut graphs or copy editors or word rates again, so we decided to form our own little club, like we did when we were five and just wanted to talk about Star Wars.
But really, the events are for anyone who wants to talk and learn about the craft of nonfiction writing—both in the form of the Q&A we have with a local nonfiction writer, and the mingling that will come afterwards. Also, anyone who likes free/donation-accepted booze should definitely come. We’ll be giving away a few GrOpeners, magic one-handed bottle openers designed by former scribulator-turned-brilliant-inventor Mark Manger. Thanks to the GrOpener, you can crack open your beer with one hand while reporting with the other—a dream come true for scribulators everywhere. Huzzah!
The first secrete of the universe that will be learned is how to spell “secret.” After that, attendees should learn a thing or two about both the business and art of nonfiction writing. Our special guest, Scott Carney, illustrates both of those concepts perfectly. On one hand, he’s written some incredibly beautiful nonfiction for publications like WIRED and Playboy and Outside, not to mention two killer books, The Red Market and A Death on Diamond Mountain. On the other, Scott is working to actively reform the freelance writing industry for the benefit of writers. Both of these subjects will be explored in our Q&A.
Another secret we’ll explore? How to use a GrOpener. Did I mention we’ll be giving away GrOpeners? Because we will.
It doesn’t, but since the Friday 500 will wrap up right before our event, I’m hoping maybe we can mix it up with that crew a little bit—maybe a rap battle, or a dance-off.
I could say he’s doing research for his next investigative journalism project, which may or may not come up in our discussion on Friday, but instead I am going to say that recently, on a walk through the wintry woods, Scott found himself with a beer in one hand and his reporting utensil in the other, and no GrOpener to solve his conundrum. In a fit of rage, he tore off all his clothes, Hulk-style, then took a cute selfie, because technology. All of this could have been avoided if he only had a GrOpener.
Did I mention we will be giving away GrOpeners? Because we will. Huzzah!
Five by Five is a new flash-interview series that poses five brief questions to instructors and members with upcoming workshops and community events at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
Laura is Lighthouse’s Program Assistant. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Arizona where she served as co-editor-in-chief of Sonora Review and managing editor of Fairy Tale Review. She also teaches occasional workshops at Denver Writes and contributes to the Books section of Bustle.