Upcoming classes: Nonfiction
TUESDAYS, APRIL 4—25 | The election of Donald Trump means that the time to expand the literary and political imagination is upon us. The time to simply write is past. It’s time to fight and write. But how does the engaged writer do so? Using tried and true techniques—writing exercises, close readings, group discussion, and critique—this research and practice-oriented course will prepare you to rise to the call to fight and write. The course is designed for journalists, essayists, fiction, creative nonfiction writers, and poets. Among the techniques and questions we will explore are:
Cultivating the engaged writer’s mind.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, APRIL 30 | This one-day workshop will give you the tools to help get your voice heard, whether writing opinion pieces or doing local reporting. In challenging times, it’s important to write as an act of resistance. Over the course of the day we will help you:
- Identify issues you care most about and how to focus on them
- Figure out what you have to say about those causes, how to report them, and how to write about them
- Talk about what makes an engaging, readable opinion piece or essay
- Connect with other people who are interested in writing as resistance
- Look at potential places to be published to get your voice heard
Special guest Tim Redmond has 30 years’ experience as a San Francisco investigative reporter and editor, mainly at the San Francisco Bay Guardian and more recently at the daily digital local newspaper, 48 Hills.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, APRIL 30 & MAY 7 | Whether you have a half-written piece tucked away in a drawer, or a new story fresh out of the printer, this highly interactive, two-session workshop will give you concrete tools to strengthen your work and publish it. We’ll talk about revision as a process of “re-envisioning,” and you’ll learn how to accomplish this in do-able steps. You’ll have the chance to step back and look at your piece, assess where it would benefit from more work, and select among different in-class revision exercises to get the process going.→ READ MORE
THURSDAYS, MAY 4—25 | This is a workshopping class for people who have already taken a Personal Essay or OpEd class and want to continue refining their pieces and working on new ones. The class is also open to people who haven’t taken a previous essay class if they can show up to class with an essay in hand. Laura creates a safe, supportive atmosphere for students to help them make their writing the best it can be, focusing on structure, voice, and lively writing – with an eye toward publication. The class will be small enough for a lot of individual feedback.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, MAY 7 | Make your voice and your point of view heard! This day-long workshop will cover everything you need to know to write a persuasive OpEd piece, whether for newspapers, blogs, or other venues. We’ll talk about how to write about what you’re passionate about in order to enlighten readers or change people’s minds. We will cover the nuts and bolts of what makes a good, compelling OpEd piece, and take a look at some examples. We will also look at where and how to get your OpEd published.
Laura Fraser is a longtime journalist, Grotto member, and New York Times-bestselling memoirist.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, MAY 9 & 23 | Are your writing ideas (not to mention to-do lists and appointments) on a mess of Post-it notes, random online apps that you never use, and crumpled paper napkins? Do you forget, lose, and spend too much time looking for things? This class will introduce the bullet journal – a handwritten, analog “everything book” to plan for your future, organize your present, and track your past. Many of us writers are “creative types” with messy desks that can sometimes hinder more than help our creative life.
This class will take part in two sessions.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, MAY 28 | Breaking into the world of freelance writing can seem mysterious and downright impossible at the outset. How will you make enough money? If you currently have a job, how do you transition into full-time freelancing? When can you take the plunge? Where will you find clients? How will you successfully pitch to publications, especially if you don’t have a portfolio?
It took me several years of pitfalls, wrong turns, financial struggling, over-caffeinated meltdowns, and learning on the job to successfully make it as a freelance writer. In this one-day bootcamp, I will teach you the fundamentals of how to successfully begin freelancing for a variety of publications including magazines, newspapers, websites, and other forms of paid writing and editing work.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | Whether you’re writing about your own life in memoir or personal essay, or developing characters and situations for a fictional plot, imagery brings your material to life. Effective imagery goes far beyond flowery description to reveal character, mood, context, tone, setting, and theme. In this one-day intensive, we’ll explore how to make imagery work for you on the page. We’ll use exercises of intuition and right-brain association to harvest images, and we’ll look at how to choose and shape those images. Analyzing the uses of imagery in published pieces will help you cultivate your own voice and technique.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, JUNE 3 | Point of view is one of the most essential aspects of imaginative writing. In fact, perspective is everything in narration, but writers sometimes place the narrator without understanding the implications of the choice they’ve made. In this one-day class, we’ll talk about POV options—the use of first, second, or third person as well as the manipulation of narrative distance and its impact on characterization across the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, and even poetry. We’ll identity common POV “violations” and look at published examples, and we’ll respond to some writing prompts in class to experiment with POV.→ READ MORE