The Foreword

BJ Hollars and the Chippewa Valley Writer’s Guild

In October 2015, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing BJ Hollars received an email from someone who was looking to join a writer’s group. Initially, Hollars referred to the directory in hopes of finding something, but ultimately was struck with the idea of creating a group in which writers and those with a love for writing can come together and explore each other’s writing and craft.

The Chippewa Valley Writer’s Guild is this group, a program that allows writers to coordinate groups and events. Hollars hopes to not only bring educational practices to those from the university, but also others from the community and elsewhere. Not only that, but he believes groups like this allow students to maintain the same level of education they have been accustomed to before less courses were offered. The CVWG not only offers monthly craft talks in a range of genres, but also open readings which pair students alongside the community.

This program also gives writers a safe haven in which they can come together to workshop. Cirenaica (Uruguayan for “siren of the sea”), is located just outside of Fall Creek and encompasses 43 acres of beautiful farmland.

This summer, six, three day residencies hosted at Cirenaica will be available in which writer’s can workshop in small groups. At the end of each day, writer’s will be able to unwind around the fire and share their work with each other, as well as get to know one another. Each residency will be hosted by a writer-in-residence who will help to oversee workshops. Residencies will also feature different types of writing such as Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Memoir Writing, and Writing and in Radio, and will be hosted by six different writing professionals, Hollars himself being one of them.

Hollars hopes that with the Chippewa Valley Writer’s Guild, students and other writers from the region will have an opportunity to invest in their art and be inspired by other writers. He also has the hope that people from beyond this region are able to come to the Chippewa Valley and see how this area really values the arts. Hollars says that he has always benefited from the help of Professors and other supporters when it comes to his writing, and that now it is his turn to recommit himself to the work of others, and give them real opportunities to find success, as his greatest joy is helping people find their words.


For more information on this great opportunity, feel free to email BJ Hollars at, or visit the Chippewa Valley Writer’s Guild website at