Workshopping the Novel with Janis Cooke Newman (1/25 – 3/21, no class 2/22)

Janis Cooke Newman (Photo by Chris Hardy)

Instructor: Janis Cooke Newman
Contact: j-newman@comcast.net
Number of sessions: 8
Meeting time: Wednesday nights, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Dates: January 25 – March 22, No class February 22.

Course fee: $485.

To register, contact the instructor. All deposits are non-refundable.

Description: This 8 week workshop is designed to give novel writers the 3 things they need most; useful feedback, a willing audience for their work, and deadlines. Plus enough discussion of craft each week to help make them better writers.

Each week we will look at the work of 4 writers in the class, concentrating on what works, places the writing can be deepened, how the story is being pushed forward, and what does and doesn’t make us want to keep reading. While we’ll be focusing on individual students each week, I’ll be sure to bring up plenty of up craft points and writing techniques that will apply to all the writers in the room. I’ll also be suggesting lots of exercises and experiments meant to help everyone go deeper into their own work.

The goal of this class is to help everyone learn how to be a better reader of his or her own work, and to generate a lot of new writing. Over the course of the 8 weeks, each student will have the opportunity to be workshopped at least twice.

This class is equally appropriate to writers who are just beginning a book-length work of fiction, as well as those who are in the final stages of revision. Class size will be limited.

Instructor Bio: Janis Cooke Newman is the author of the Bay Area Bestseller, Mary, a historical novel about Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, chosen as USA Today’s Best Historical Fiction of the Year in 2006, and a Booksense Year-End Highlight. Newman is also the author of The Russian Word for Snow, a memoir about adopting her son from a Moscow orphanage, which was published internationally. Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, as well as in several magazines, and newspapers including the NY Times, LA Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.