Laurie Hosford is still teaching Writers Workshop after 17 years and a pandemic. Teaching, Laurie says is “Fun! A good reason to get up.” His class of a dozen or so writers garners success in the publishing world. Although most may see their stories in a local format, a former class attendee, Sam Higgins’ got connected with a major agent and saw his WWII book published. Laurie is proud of Sam’s success story with Survival: Diary of an American POW in World War II. “His book was a best seller,” says Laurie. 

Teachers want to see their students succeed and Laurie is no exception. “Sharing their work aloud and improving what they’ve written offers encouragement and hones skills when they critique each other and help one another become more proficient,” explains Laurie. “I try to get people published. It’s an amazing thing,” he modestly quips. We work together to secure an agent when writers are ready. Laurie is ready with names of current and former students who have seen their work in print.

You can hear the pride in Laurie’s voice when he talks about a student’s success. Theresa Pepe, a young and longtime class member worked 16-17 years on a book. “She’s a dynamo writer and very bright lady,” says her class leader, “with three books in print,” he adds. 

Laurie and his wife Karen do escape often to the seaside. It refreshes. He shares, “My wife loves the beach.” Together, they began to visit islands years ago. Hawaii was one of the first. Then, in 1985 they bought a condo at Cape San Blas, on the beach of course. “I do a lot of my work there,” the instructor says. The view from his writing perch offers a scenic view and a great environment to get creative.

The professional writer, editor, and Florida State University graduate is glad that his Writers Workshop is back on the Tallahassee Senior Center schedule every week on Thursdays. Workshop participants span a range of ages from 30s to mid-80s. Anyone can attend the class if they have the desire to write. 

By Rosetta Stone Land