Upcoming classes: Fiction
SUNDAY, JUNE 2 | Whether you’ve always dreamed of writing professionally, you already do, or you’d like to figure out how to create better content for your job or business, this class will improve your writing in one day – guaranteed! After some coffee, we’ll start off with Story and Structure in the morning. This will help you start the writing process: from getting over writers’ block, understanding your audience and purpose, doing research, brainstorming ,and creating an outline so that your writing is engaging, logical, smooth, and satisfying to the reader. We’ll also remind you of stuff you should’ve learned in high school but may have forgotten: how to avoid the dreaded passive voice, weak verbs, excess verbiage, and a corporate or academic tone.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, JUNE 11-JULY 2 | Gritty. Pithy. Dark. Urban. Mysterious. These elements combine to create stories that captivate readers in the seamy world of literary noir. This workshop is for folks with a bit of writing experience (they’ve taken a class or two but may not be published) and who want to learn to craft stories that call to mind the prose of noir masters like Raymond Chandler and the contemporary short noir found in books like San Francisco and Oakland Noir.We will explore the genre using the Noir Series by Akashic Books. Students will generate shorts that take readers down dark alleys and into the underside of their imaginations.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JUNE 22 & 23 | “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” This weekend course will explore the implications of this statement for anyone interested in fiction writing. (And no, we’re not talking about plagiarism.) You’ll find practical solutions and inspiration by looking at such models as newspaper headlines, fairy tales and myth, short-story classics, and non-narrative forms such as recipes and to-do lists. You’ll examine stories such as David Foster Wallace’s “Good People,” and Nathan Englander’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,” with an eye to what their writers have “stolen” and how they’ve made their tributes fresh.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, JUNE 25; JULY 2-23 | Life proliferates at the continent’s ragged edge, where sunlight illuminates the water and a wide variety of species flourishes. Such is the case with writing, which grows most vivid at the roughest spots. Regardless of your genre, this is where you too will find your richest material.
Over these next five weeks, we’ll explore ways to connect with what lies within and bring it to the surface through the power of the written word. This will take the form of reading assignments from diverse authors including Persimmon Blackbridge and Mark Doty, handouts, writing prompts and feedback from me as well as from your peers.→ READ MORE
WEDNESDAYS, JUNE 26; July 3-31 | This course is designed for students who have experience in a fiction writing workshop and want to go deeper in developing their writing. In our intimate workshop, we will discuss the direction your work is taking and how you can move it towards publication. Your will have the opportunity to have your work discussed in the workshop at least three times. We will discuss craft issues as they relate to strengthening your individual writing. I will give you written feedback on all of your submissions. You will be expected to read and give feedback on other students’ work.→ READ MORE
MONDAY, JULY 8-29; AUG 5-12 | Do you want to write the Great American Novel but find it hard to finish a short story? Maybe you need to ease into writing with something you can write a first draft of in a few hours. I believe that before we can tackle a longer piece of writing, it’s important to learn the elements of what make good writing, and the perfect practice ground for this is short fiction.
This class will focus on learning these elements by writing flash fiction (stories under 1500 words). We will discuss different aspects of craft and read some of the best examples of flash.→ READ MORE
MONDAYS, JULY 8-29; AUGUST 5-12 | You have a story to tell about your life, but don’t know where to begin. The tendency is to start at the beginning and plod along, but that rarely makes for a compelling read. Writing guru William Zinsser suggested starting the process by writing vivid scenes, the moments that have the most emotion – the most juice – and then slowly letting the memoir take shape in theme and structure. In this class, we will work on those beginning scenes, and over time, see where your memoir, fiction, or essay is going.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, JULY 13th | 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, 10 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, setting, sensory details, plotting, time elements, a title brainstorm and more.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, JULY 20 | Writing is wonderful when it flows, but how can we regularly tap into the flow state? In this class we will explore ways of accessing the unconscious for our writing. We will brainstorm, explore, play writing games, look at our dreams, and explore guided meditation for creativity. I will give you ten activities that you can use outside class to get inspired when the inspiration is not happening, and you will create 23 Ideas for Me — a book that we will brainstorm together with individualized prompts for your writing. This will be three hours (with a 10-minute break) of intense brainstorming, creating, idea-making, and writing that will leave you inspired to write NOW.→ READ MORE
SATURDAYS, JULY 20-27; AUGUST 3-17 | This class is designed as a follow-up to Work in Progress Workshop. It is limited to students who have taken the Work in Progress Workshop (or the equivalent) by the end of June 2019. Students will need to have 10-15 pages ready for workshop by the first class session. If you have not taken Work in Progress Workshop, please write to me to see if this class meets your needs before signing up.
This class focuses exclusively on the exchange and reading of your fiction or narrative nonfiction (including memoir).→ READ MORE