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Thursday, March 30, 2017
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Writing Workshop Set Saturday at Stillwater Library


STILLWATER — The Stillwater Public Library and writer Trey Barker will be holding a writing workshop in conjunction with the Stillwater Writers’ monthly meeting, Saturday, March 11, at 1 p.m.

Barker, author of the Jace Salome police procedural mystery series and an investigator for the Illinois Attorney General’s Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, will discuss topics like editing, dialogue and self-discipline. Writers from all genres are welcome to the free event.

“I’ll be speaking about writing in general,” said Barker. “I want everyone, the poet and the journalist, the frontier writer to the crime writer, all the short story writers, to come hang out with us. I am hopeful the session is driven mostly by nuts and bolts questions from writers, though I have some topics. Either way, you can’t write mysteries well until you write well.”

According to Barker, good writing develops from being around other writers.

“The greatest thing a writer gets from attending is fellowship with other writers, the reminder that writing is a lonely business and we all need to reach out,” said Barker. “Simply getting in a room with others who write and want to write is an act of affirmation that, almost by itself, makes one’s writing better.”

Ultimately, Barker just hopes to pass along some of the lessons he has learned to other writers.

“There are so many lessons I’ve learned all the years long; from the technical to the emotional,” said Barker. “I guess overall, the lesson most deeply internalized is both the simplest and hardest: be honest. In everything you write, be honest. Be honest with your characters and your plots, with the settings and time lines, with everything about a story. Yes, you are the creator and you can do anything you want, but readers can tell when a writer is not being honest with them or when a writer is banging out a quick and easy story for a buck.

“It’s hard to do, this honesty thing, and it’s something that every writer I know, from the New York Times bestsellers to those who haven’t published yet, works on every day with every word they craft.”

Barker’s books will be available for purchase at the event for $15 each, and include the newest addition to the Salome series, “East of the Sun,” as well as older titles like “No Harder Prison,” “Hostage,” “Slow Bleed,” and his memoir, “The Cancer Chronicles.”

To register for the writing program, visit the library’s website at For more information about the class, contact the library Help Desk at 405-372-3633 x8106 or

AUTHOR AND investigator Trey Barker leads a writing workshop at Stillwater Public Library March 11.

AUTHOR AND investigator Trey Barker leads a writing workshop at Stillwater Public Library March 11.

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