Catherine Friend
Writing Workshops

Writing Your Memoir: How to Avoid the Fifteen Mistakes Everyone Else Makes. Memoir—it’s not just for famous people anymore. Catherine will show you the common errors to avoid in order to lift your manuscript high above the sea of memoirs flooding agents’ offices. Learn how to turn your experience into a creative story that will inspire and encourage others. (Half day or whole day)

Catch the Magic: The Basics (and Beyond) of Writing for Children. While writing for children seems the most accessible, easiest way to get started as a writer, it’s actually one of the most challenging genres in which to write. But with the help of this workshop, and a little homework, writers can navigate the rocky road to publication. (Half day or whole day)

How to Persist: Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster Called Writing. Writers are told every day that the only way to succeed is to persist. It’d good advice, since persistence is the only way to get published. What few people explain, however, is how to persist, something that’s not always obvious. Catherine shares the tools you can use to make sure you hang in there until the day the UPS driver knocks on your door with the box containing your published book. (60 minutes)


Catherine reading from Spanish Pearl

Catherine shares stories about both her farming and writing life, complete with photos/videos of her farm. She discusses the ups and downs of publishing, and reveals the secret to getting published (One word: persistence.) She will bring her books to sell, but encourages the hosting organization to order the books themselves in order to pocket the profits. (She’s willing to buy up the unsold copies.) Her presentation is approximately 50 minutes long, and she’s happy to stay as long as necessary to answer all questions and sign books.

Book Groups and Knitting/Fiber groups

Thanks to Skype, Catherine can ‘appear’ at your group to share information about her current writing project, answer questions, and show off her latest pair of handknit socks. She also wants to know what you’re reading (she’s always looking for suggestions) and what you’re knitting (so she can be envious and admiring.)

School Visits

Lama and lamb

In her presentations to the K-6 grades, Catherine combines dynamic photos of her sheep, llamas, cattle, chickens and ducks with stories about how those animals, and living on a farm, have influenced her writing. She shares entertaining mistakes she’s made in both farming and writing. She mixes short readings with group activities so students stay engaged for the entire 40 minutes. We discuss books, writing, publishing, farming, wool, and what people can do with wool. Basically, it’s a food, farming, and fiber Festival. Catherine's objective is to make sure every child leaves knowing the basic steps required to turn a story into a book, and how to turn a sheep’s fleece into a pair of socks.

Catherine will give up to three presentations per day (grades K-2, 3-4, and 5-6) and will tailor each presentation to that age group, addressing how a book is written and illustrated, the life of a writer, and a short writing game. She will help the school with pre-appearance book sales. All she needs is a screen, microphone, and digital projector (although she will bring her own if there isn’t one available.)

She’s happy to travel anywhere (especially south during the winter) so if three schools in the same city book her, she’ll pay her own plane fare. If she can add a library presentation and a yarn store appearance, chances are even better she’ll come visit. (However, someone from your school or organization must take temporary possession of Catherine’s credit card before allowing her into the yarn shop. This point is non-negotiable.)

  Minnesota State Arts Board