Carrot Ranch makes literary art accessible online and in-person. Learn more about the lead buckaroo’s philosophies on the value of literary art.
In addition to weekly literary challenges, annual writing contests, and newsletters, Carrot Ranch offers free outreach programs and paid professional workshops.
Wrangling Words is a free community outreach program to bring literary art to an underserved area. Developed by Charli Mills, the program teaches any level of writer from novice to advanced how to use the literary form of flash fiction (99 words, no more, no less) as a writing tool. Learn to write like the myth of Hemingway. Create stories, scenes, and novels 99 words at a time.
Five at the Mic is a reading event to share and celebrate the short-forms of poetry, flash fiction, and story-telling. Each participant either reads five poems, five 99-word flash fictions, or five minutes of telling a true or tall tales. It’s a collaboration between local oral creatives. It’s also a chance for the public to read or hear their favorite works by others (full credit is given before each reading). It’s an excellent way for writers to incubate works in progress, get audience feedback and learn to love the mic (not fear it). The event is free, but we do pass the hat.
A Veteran’s Journey is based on the pattern of narrative known as the Hero’s Journey. Using the story-telling model, this program looks at how a veteran answers a call to serve and how the final mission is to return to the community with something of value to share. It’s meant to be offered privately to veterans and their families. A story-telling component is included to teach flash fiction as a way to express the veteran and veteran family experience. This event is free to any veteran’s group.
Book Club Support is a way to introduce readers to the fun of writing. Even the shyest will enjoy the process of tackling 99 words, and all will be surprised at the results. The Congress of Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 will serve as the book under discussion. Speaker’s fee applies.
Writing Group Support is offered to established groups. The topics range from using flash fiction as a writing tool to anything that will help the group develop. It’s intended for groups that live in areas where access to literary art and professional development for writers is limited. Speaker’s fee applies.
#CarrotRanchRocks is a play on words — yes, the Ranch rocks! The hashtag corresponds to a new page on Facebook where literary art meets geology. Lead Buckaroo, Charli Mills, combines her passion for words and rocks by collecting Lake Superior rocks, scientifically cataloging ones to publicly share with a story. Like the popular rock art hashtags, #CarrotRanchRocks will be left in random places for public distribution. Those who find the rocks can learn what it is, read a flash fiction, sign in and pass it along. Rocks are free and most likely from the Keweenaw Penisula.
The Traveling Literary Show is a customized package designed to fit the needs of a community who wants access to literary art. The idea of the Literary Show is to get readers, writers, and lurkers working together in a community to create its own literary art revival. Carrot Ranch’s Lead Buckaroo will travel to any location within the US if three criteria are met:
- A community host to provide home-lodging during the Buckaroo’s stay;
- An available venue to set up a paid workshop or retreat (1-3 days);
- Other venues, including a public library, local coffee shops or pubs, and places where veterans gather (VA hospitals, clinics, Vet Centers, VFW, and other organizations that serve vets).
If you are interested in any of these programs for your community, contact Charli Mills for available dates, topics and applicable fees (much of the outreach is free, but requires a paid element to cover the cost of travel and the Buckaroo’s livelihood). Charli Mills is the spouse of a disabled combat veteran, and all veteran outreach is free.