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Workshop will help writers reminisce about the future

March 19 event, part of the Lake Oswego Story Project, will be led by author Ron Talney

REVIEW PHOTO: CLIFF NEWELL - Author and poet Ronold Talney will lead a workshop on Saturday, March 19, as part of the Lake Oswego Story Project.Local writers are being asked to reminisce about the future for the citywide Lake Oswego Story Project, and Ronald Talney believes his Lake Oswego Writes workshop can help them get there.

The free workshop is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at the Lake Oswego Public Library.

Talney, a retired trial lawyer and published writer and poet, already leads a popular memoir-writing class at the Adult Community Center, but the idea behind this workshop is something new for him: Participants are being asked to write a story, poem or performance piece that examines how actions taken today will mitigate the effects of climate change and create a better Lake Oswego — all from the perspective of a community member in the year 2050.

All of the work will be catalogued on the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network’s website ( www.losn.org/story.html ), and a selection of stories will be published by the library in various community publications and venues.

As unusual as the task is for Talney, though, he insists that good writing is still good writing.

“I don’t see the workshop as a teaching setting in a formal sense,” Talney says. “I don’t think there is much I can teach folks about the art of writing in a two-hour workshop.”

What he can do is help his writers closely examine the sustainability issues of today that will affect Lake Oswego at mid-century.

“The basic idea is that folks will project themselves to the year 2050 and ask how Lake Oswego has dealt with air pollution, water, transportation, recycling, agriculture, etc.,” says Talney, who admits to being somewhat surprised that he was asked to lead the workshop.

“I was approached by Jane Carr at the library,” he says. “That was followed up by contacts from Dorothy Atwood of the Sustainability Network. I suspect they asked me because of the memoir class at the ACC, and this seemed somewhat similar.

“My hope,” Talney says, “is that folks may find their imaginations sparked by the interaction among the group. It’s amazing how folks in such a setting gather trust in one another.”

To sign up for the Lake Owego Writes workshop, call 503 675-2540. March 31 is the deadline for submitting entries to the Lake Oswego Story Project; they can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..