From Pitch to Publication: Get Noticed with Nonfiction articles and Essays (with Alastair Gee)


Alastair Gee

Alastair Gee

Contact: ali [at] alastairgee.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10 am -1 pm

Day: Saturday, June 6

Course fee: $100

How do you get the attention of editors with a story pitch? How do you then write the story in such a way that the editors, and readers, will come back to you for more? In this workshop we’ll run through the key components of a pitch and the essentials of both reported stories and essays, and we’ll glean lessons from a few excellent examples. Participants are encouraged to bring questions about issues they’re facing, and there will be time at the end for an extended Q&A.  VIEW DETAILS →

Finding Your Story: A One-Day Workshop (with Gerard Jones)


Gerard Jones

Gerard Jones

Contact: gerardejones@gmail.com
Number of sessions: 1
Date: Sunday, June 7
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Course fee: $125

Whether you’re writing fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, or a screenplay, your most essential job is knowing just what story you’re telling and how to shape the entire work to tell it as clearly and powerfully as you can. Through his 33 years of professional work in book-length nonfiction, fiction, magazine pieces, graphic novels, and screenplays, Gerard Jones has developed techniques for finding and developing the “heart of the story.” For the past five years, he’s taught those techniques in his eight-week “Finding Your Story” workshops at the Grotto, but this is a one-day presentation of tools for cutting through the clutter and vagueness of your ideas to find your most compelling central story, growing your story outward from that core, and structuring it to keep all your elements on track.

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Get the Grant! (with Lizette Wanzer)


Lizette Wanzer

Lizette Wanzer

Contact: RoadKing1200@gmail.com

Number of sessions:  1

Time: 5:30- 8:30 pm

Date: Friday, June 12

Course fee: $75

Get the Grant! is open to writers who plan to apply to the Literature Cultural Equity Grant, the Literature Investing in Artists grant, or for a writers’ residency program. Those applying for other writers’ grants are welcome, though the focus will be on these specific grant opportunities.

We will cover:

  •  Applicant qualifications
  •  Defining a clear, feasible goal that costs a specific amount of money
  • How to demonstrate a rising trajectory (remembering that most people who are awarded local grants are on their way up, not already “there”)
  • Tips for writing clear, concise statements
  • Using headings and “buckets” to make your statement navigable
  • The dreaded Project Statement, Work Plan, or Goals and Objectives portions of grant/residency applications

 Lizette Wanzer is a San Francisco fiction writer and essayist.   VIEW DETAILS →

Revision Boot Camp: Circuit Training for your Manuscript (with Susan Ito)


Susan Ito

Susan Ito

Contact: susanito@mac.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Date: Saturday, June 13

Course fee: $125

For some writers, first drafts are the fun part. Anything is possible! After that, revision can feel overwhelming. But it can also be fun and rewarding, especially when broken down into manageable components.

Come to this one-day revision boot camp with your manuscript (two hard copies of either a fiction or creative nonfiction piece, 20 pages maximum) and you’ll go through a series of timed stations, examining and working on your pages from a wide angle and up close. Learn how to focus on one element at a time: dialogue, character emotions, sensory details, plotting, time elements, a title brainstorm and more.  VIEW DETAILS →

Blogging for Beginners: Enhanced Edition (with Meghan Ward)


Meghan Ward

Meghan Ward

Contact: meghan@meghanward.com

Number of sessions: 4 (opportunity to continue with Support option, below)

Price before June 15: $250 ($350 with Support)

Price after June 15: $275 ($375 with Support)

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dates: Mondays, June 22-July 13  (Support option continues through August 4)

Learn everything you need to know about blogging in this four-week intensive. This course will cover: setting up your blog, choosing a focus and design, writing great blog posts, and using Twitter and Facebook to promote your blog and drive traffic to your website. We will talk about best blogging practices, privacy issues, time management, and search engine optimization.  VIEW DETAILS →

Fiction Workshop: Novel and Short Story (with Natalie Baszile)


Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile

Contact: nbaszile@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Dates: Tuesdays, June 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28

Course fee: $375

 

The best fiction transports us.  We open to the first page of a novel or short story and the world falls away.  We will begin each session with a craft talk.  We’ll examine characterization, conflict, plot, and other elements that make for compelling storytelling. Then we will move into intensive, supportive workshopping of student stories and opening novel chapters. This course is best suited for students who already have a work in progress.

Natalie Baszile is the author of the debut novel Queen Sugar, soon to be adapted into a TV series by writer/director Ava DuVernay of Selma fame, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Winfrey’s cable network.  VIEW DETAILS →

Narrative Nonfiction Workshop (with Julia Scheeres)


Julia Scheeres

Julia Scheeres

Contact: juliascheeres@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Dates: Tuesdays, June 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28

Course fee: $390

 

This workshop is geared toward intermediate to advanced writers of narrative nonfiction — including memoir — who understand basic storytelling and would like to receive regular feedback on their work. Every week, each writer will read new pages aloud (usually 500 – 1,000 words) and receive an on-the-spot critique from peers. The aim of this workshop is to give participants a regular writing deadline and encouragement as they work toward finishing or polishing their manuscript.  VIEW DETAILS →

Advanced Blogging Workshop (with Meghan Ward)


Meghan Ward

Meghan Ward

Contact: meghan@meghanward.com

Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Dates: Wednesdays, June 24, July 1, July 8, July 15, July 22, August 5 (no class July 29)

Course fee: $395

If you have a blog and would like to take it to the next level, or if your blog is gathering dust, this class is for you. In this 6-Week Blogging Workshop, every student will submit a blog post for critique EVERY WEEK, including one video blog (vlog) post. In addition, we will discuss SEO (search engine optimization), Google Analytics, monetizing your blog, and making the most of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.  VIEW DETAILS →

Craft of Fiction and Memoir: Building Vibrant Characters (with Joshua Mohr)


Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr

Contact: joshuamohr76@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am-1:00 pm

Date: Sunday, June 28

Course fee: $75

Great literature is always about the main players.  Charismatic protagonists stay with readers long after finishing a text.  Yet most aspiring writers wonder: how do our imagined people morph into “real” ones?  Why is it that my characters feel so flat, passive, and obvious on the page, whereas Salman Rushdie and Alice Munro have brought theirs to life?

In this course—appropriate for short story writers, novelists, and memoirists—we’ll learn ways to dig up the secrets of our characters.  We’ll unearth the unknown inside their hearts, minds, and souls, their presents and pasts.   VIEW DETAILS →

Writing with Energy: A One-Day Poetry Incubator (with Emily Wolahan)


Emily Wolahan

Emily Wolahan

Contact: emilywolahan@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Course fee: $75

Time: 1:00 pm -4:00 pm

Date: Sunday, June 28

This one-day class will cover how to create work with energy and how to revise current work to draw out what’s at the core of the poem. An energetic poetics uses a variety of poetic tools, keeping craft at the center of making a poem, but only in service of strengthening the vision of it.

Some strategies we’ll cover include:

  • How to use repetition
  • How to incorporate language from other arenas (such as science, nature, or politics)
  • How to take focused risks when sharing personal details, and more

While these are specific to poetry, they can apply to (and benefit) any genre.  VIEW DETAILS →