SUNDAYS, JULY 22 & JULY 29 | These two classes will help you become a better writer, whether you already write a lot, you long to write more, or you’d like to figure out how to create better content for your job or business. Writing and storytelling are crafts, and in these two day-long seminars you will learn the essential tools that will make you a better writer right away, and over time. Note: The classes are designed so that you can take them individually or as a pair (though we recommend you take both to really improve your chops).
The Basics of Better Writing I: Story and Structure will help you start the writing process: getting over writers’ block, understanding your audience and purpose, doing research, brainstorming and creating an outline. We’ll look at how to structure your ideas so that they are engaging, logical, smooth, and satisfying to the reader. We’ll also remind you of stuff you should have learned in high school but may have forgotten: how to avoid the dreaded passive voice, weak verbs, excess verbiage, and corporate or academic blah blah blah. By the end of day one, you may come home with a realization: Hey, I can write.
The Basics of Better Writing II: Revisions and Style will help you cast a critical eye on your creative efforts to become a clearer, more compelling writer. You’ll come in with a draft that you wrote after you outlined your short (up to 800-word) piece the previous week. We’ll cover ways to cut clutter and make your writing sparkle. We’ll also take structure one step further with “reverse editing,” a technique that exposes structural flaws and ensures that your writing flows. We’ll talk about the basics of good narrative and look at a couple of examples by writers who do it well. We’ll do a few writing exercises so that you will have hands-on experience revising your work as well as editing others’ pieces. At the end of the day we’ll share what we’ve written and marvel at what better writers we’ve become.
Laura Fraser is a New York Times-bestselling author of three books who has worked as a freelance journalist since she graduated from college. She has written hundreds of articles for national publications, including the New York Times, Gourmet, Sunset, San Francisco Magazine, O the Oprah Magazine, and many others. She has taught writing at universities and writing conferences, as well as at the Grotto, for over 20 years. She conducts workshops internationally in writing and digital storytelling, for corporations and nonprofits, to help people everywhere become better writers.
Number of sessions: 2 (each can be taken individually)
Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Dates: Sundays, July 22, 29
Course fee: $300 for both classes; $175 for one class.