Creativity

Upcoming classes: Creativity


Lisa Lerner

FRIDAYS OR SATURDAYS, JAN. 8 — 30  |  When you were a kid, you were probably obsessed with the hero of a book. You loved that book because it was hilarious, or thrilling, or made you feel as though you weren’t a weirdo living on the wrong planet. Maybe it taught you things you didn’t realize were possible. Maybe it even helped you survive.

There are a lot of categories in children’s literature. In this class, we will focus on learning the essentials: memorable characters, unique voice, strong plot, deep emotion, and a big idea.

This is a fast-paced class in which we will wrap our heads around some general children’s writing rules, do a lot of juicy, in-class writing, then draft and revise an 800-1500 word book.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner is the author of the crossover YA novel Just Like Beauty (FSG; a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, currently in development with Lars Von Trier as a movie shooting in 2021). For over 20 years, she has been writing numerous children’s stories for educational publishers such as Scholastic, McGraw Hill, and IXL. She is currently at work on her first full-length middle-grade novel that features talking bears and a very literate rat. You can find out more about her at www.lisalerner.com

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 4

Dates / Times:

Fridays, January 8, 15, 22, 29; 9:00 – 10:30am Pacific Time

…or…

Saturdays, January 9, 16, 23, 30; 10:00 – 11:30am Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Meghan Ward

TUESDAYS, JAN. 12 — FEB. 9 | Are you feeling stuck or unmotivated to finish your novel, memoir, or short story collection? Are you a procrastinator? Are you easily distracted? Do you find yourself checking email, Facebook, and Instagram when you should be writing? You’re not alone!

This class is for all levels, from beginners who want to kickstart a writing habit to professionals who need some encouragement. Incorporating lessons from Charles Duhigg’s New York Times bestseller The Power of Habit and Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning, I will help you design a writing routine that works for you and give you the tools to stick with it. You will set goals, create a plan for achieving those goals, and then get to work. This class is a five-session online version of my in-person Writing Habit class, giving you more tools and more personalized attention throughout the 28 days we’ll be meeting. Through our online class portal, you’ll have the opportunity to download class materials, upload assignments, and receive daily support and encouragement throughout the process.

This is an asynchronous learning course; classes and materials will be available via the online platform Wet Ink.

Meghan Ward is the author of Runway: Confessions of a Not-So-Supermodel, a memoir about her misadventures as a fashion model in Europe and Japan in the early 90s. She is a freelance writer, book editor, and social media consultant, and she blogs about writing, editing, and publishing at Writerland.com. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, San Francisco Magazine, 7×7, Mutha, the San Francisco Chronicle, It’s So You: 35 Women Write About Personal Expression Through Fashion and Style, and Wake Up and Smell the Shit: Hilarious Travel Disasters. Follow her on Twitter @meghancward, on Facebook @meghanwardauthor, and on Instagram at meghancward.

Contact: meghanward@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 5

Dates: Tuesdays, January 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9

Time: Modules go live Tuesday mornings at 8:00am.

Course fee: $375


Lindsey Crittenden

WEDNESDAYS, JAN. 20 — MAR. 10  |  Writing memoir draws upon all of us. We are the writer, the narrator, and the character living the events recounted. But which events, and how recounted? Many of us start with a specific period of time or relationship in mind; others memoirists travel over decades in pursuit of a thematic connection. The hardest part is deciding how to organize it all. Our stories rarely leap fully-formed to the page, however well we think we remember all the pieces.

This class will provide concrete help through exploration and practice of such craft elements as narrative distance, scene, and summary, and the handling of time. We’ll explore the challenges of writing about real people and our own lived experience, of placing our narrative in a wider context, and of examining our own motivations, perceptions, and insights.

Memoir-writing is not for the faint of heart. If you’re committed to finding your story, and telling it as only you can tell it, please join us for 8 weeks of intensive exploration. There will be regular writing/reading homework as well as in-class exercises and sharing of work in a supportive atmosphere.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lindsey Crittenden’s memoir writing has appeared in Best American Spiritual Writing, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Cimarron Review, Image, and many other publications. She is the author of the memoir The Water Will Hold You (which Publishers Weekly called “gorgeously written”) and has taught memoir-writing for more than 15 years.

Contact: lindsey@lindseycrittenden.com

Number of sessions: 8

Dates: Wednesdays, January 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 3, 10

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $495


Lisa Lerner

MONDAYS, JAN. 25 — MAR. 1  |  Personal essay writing is critical during the middle and high school years and especially for college admissions. But this type of writing goes well beyond school. In today’s world, it is becoming ever more important for us to be able to tell our own stories to get jobs, promote ideas, and effect change. It’s never too early to start exercising this important writing muscle!

In this workshop, we will learn how to choose topics, write a compelling hook and introduction, develop ideas through personal anecdotes and observations, and reflect on our experiences to create powerful conclusions. Even though these essays are memoir-type nonfiction, they use many of the same tools that make our fictional stories come alive. The workshop will feature mini craft lessons based on relevant mentor texts, lots of fun in-class writing, and the ability to submit pages and receive feedback. Note: Personal essay subject matter may include the discussion of sensitive topics.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner is the author of the crossover YA novel Just Like Beauty (FSG; a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, currently in development with Lars Von Trier as a movie shooting in 2021). For over 20 years, she has been writing numerous children’s stories for educational publishers such as Scholastic, McGraw Hill, and IXL. She is currently at work on her first full-length middle-grade novel that features talking bears and a very literate rat. You can find out more about her at www.lisalerner.com

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Mondays, January 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Lisa Lerner

TUESDAYS, JAN. 26 — MAR. 2  |  Personal essay writing is critical during the middle and high school years and especially for college admissions. But this type of writing goes well beyond school. In today’s world, it is becoming ever more important for us to be able to tell our own stories to get jobs, promote ideas, and effect change. It’s never too early to start exercising this important writing muscle!

In this workshop, we will learn how to choose topics, write a compelling hook and introduction, develop ideas through personal anecdotes and observations, and reflect on our experiences to create powerful conclusions. Even though these essays are memoir-type nonfiction, they use many of the same tools that make our fictional stories come alive. The workshop will feature mini craft lessons based on relevant mentor texts, lots of fun in-class writing, and the ability to submit pages and receive feedback. Note: Personal essay subject matter may include the discussion of sensitive topics.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner is the author of the crossover YA novel Just Like Beauty (FSG; a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, currently in development with Lars Von Trier as a movie shooting in 2021). For over 20 years, she has been writing numerous children’s stories for educational publishers such as Scholastic, McGraw Hill, and IXL. She is currently at work on her first full-length middle-grade novel that features talking bears and a very literate rat. You can find out more about her at www.lisalerner.com

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Tuesdays, January 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Lisa Lerner

THURSDAYS, FEB. 4 — MAR. 11  |  This class is for serious writers who have pages to share. Students will have a chance to submit work in progress at least twice during the workshop, and will learn how to give and receive feedback to help make their writing more lively and powerful

The ideal student for this class is a true lover of the written word — independently creating short stories or novels — who would like to know more about what they are doing right and how they can improve.

Mini craft lessons throughout the session will address students’ particular needs, based on their submitted work.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner has been writing since she figured out how to hold a pencil. She is the published author of dozens of children’s books for the educational publishing market, as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for adults (Just Like Beauty, FSG). Lisa has also been a writing tutor/coach for many years and has written so many lessons about how to teach writing she can now do that in her sleep. With almost no snoring! You can find out more about her at https://www.lisalerner.com/.

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Lisa Lerner

THURSDAYS, FEB. 4 — MAR. 11  |  This class is for serious writers who have pages to share. Students will have a chance to submit work in progress at least twice during the workshop, and will learn how to give and receive feedback to help make their writing more lively and powerful

The ideal student for this class is a true lover of the written word — independently creating short stories or novels — who would like to know more about what they are doing right and how they can improve.

Mini craft lessons throughout the session will address students’ particular needs, based on their submitted work.

This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Lisa Lerner has been writing since she figured out how to hold a pencil. She is the published author of dozens of children’s books for the educational publishing market, as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for adults (Just Like Beauty, FSG). Lisa has also been a writing tutor/coach for many years and has written so many lessons about how to teach writing she can now do that in her sleep. With almost no snoring! You can find out more about her at https://www.lisalerner.com/.

Contact: writingismagic100@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm Pacific Time

Course fee: $180


Jenny Bitner

THURSDAYS, FEB 4 — MAR. 18  |  What happens when we approach writing like an experiment? Our minds are open, our writing is deep, and there is no room for writers’ block or cliché ideas. Burroughs used cut-up writing, Anaïs Nin made her diary her art, the surrealists played party games, and now novels are being written in tweets and texts. Each week we will explore different experimental styles from surrealism to postmodernism to hybrid writing and do exercises to loosen our minds and push us in new directions with our writing.

With daily writing prompts and in-class exercises, this class is great for beginning or experienced writers wanting to push their writing in new directions. In the first session, we will do a group hypnosis for creativity and for opening our imagination in new directions. We will also explore how to mine our unconscious minds for inspiration and depth through class exercises and practices.

This class is for experimenting and generating writing in new styles, but I have been teaching this class many years, and students are often happily surprised by the results of these experiments.

Asynchronous learning materials for this class will be available online (via the Wet Ink platform). Scheduled class sessions will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Jenny Bitner’s fiction and poetry has been published in Mississippi Review, The Fabulist, The Sun, Fence, Corium, Fourteen Hills, Mid-American Review, and PANK. Pine Press published a chapbook of her poetry entitled Mother. Her story “The Pamphleteer” was published in Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her work was also included in the anthology Writing That Risks. Her nonfiction has appeared in Utne Reader, To-Do List, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Men’s Health. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Virginia. She is also a certified hypnotherapist. Her novel Here Is A Game We Could Play is coming out Spring 2021 with Acre Books.

Contact: jenny.bitner@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 6

Dates: Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 11, 18 (no class March 4)

Time: 6:00 – 8:30pm (Pacific Time)

Course fee: $395


Jenny Bitner

SATURDAY, FEB. 6  |  What if there was a secret to get writing and keep writing?

In this class we will learn those secrets. We will explore the top five reasons that people get blocked. You will leave with new words on paper, inspiration and a plan to keep producing work. We all have times when we can’t face the page. Whether you are just getting started for the first time, or getting started on your fifth book, there are always moments when we lose the flow, but I will help you find it again.

After the class, I will send you 23 tips to keep you writing and an audio recording on self-hypnosis to get into the flow for writing!

This class will take place via Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.

Jenny Bitner’s fiction and poetry has been published in Mississippi Review, The Fabulist, The Sun, Fence, Corium, Fourteen Hills, Mid-American Review, and PANK. Her story “The Pamphleteer” was published in Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is a certified hypnotherapist and has a special interest in using the unconscious mind to harness creativity. Her novel Here Is A Game We Could Play is coming out Spring 2021 with Acre Books.

Contact: jenny.bitner@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Dates: Saturday, February 6

Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm (Pacific Time)

Course fee: $75

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