Past Instructors

Wendy Gavin Porter Meet Wendy Gavin Porter, who will be teaching a morning seminar on dialogue Saturday, November 21. As always, WriterHouse members receive a discount on enrollment.

Is there a particular book or essay (or screenplay) that made you want to write?

I couldn’t possibly pick one! Especially since, because my dad is a novelist, our home as my sister and I were growing up was permeated with the assumption that One Writes, just as one reads, talks, or, for that matter, breathes. But if pressed, I’d mention Kipling’s Jungle Books, T.H. White’s Sword in the Stone, Richard Adams’ Watership Down, Jane Eyre, Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, anything by Nancy Willard, and many, many others. Books that have shaped the course of my life, that have given me comfort, turned my brain inside out, felt like friends to me, have also inspired me to write.

What's the number one thing that distracts you when you're trying to write?

That would be the clamor of my two young children!

If you could write from any location, where would it be?

I used to love going to writing/artist colonies during the summers for a month at a time. My favorite of all, I think, is the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, even though no air conditioning in the studios poses something of a challenge. Nothing more wonderful than having all the unfettered, uninterrupted time in the world to work, night and day. But those days are gone (see above), so my second favorite location in which to write is most definitely WriterHouse. I’ve had a fabulous summer there, working away whenever I can get away. It’s ideal.
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