Writing the Short Story (with Glen David Gold)


Glen David Gold

Contact:glenxgold@gmail.com 

Number of sessions: 8

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Tuesdays, January 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 1

Course fee: $525

Jealous of the glittering jewel of a small, precisely-timed short story? Or amazed at the entire world fit into 5,000 words and bursting at the narrative seams? The way short stories work—when they work—is mysterious but not impossible to crack. There are ways to enhance the almost alchemic way a writer can engage a reader’s imagination. This workshop will bring out the best in your prose, considering factors like structure, elision, and the “racetrack” theory—and above all managing the interplay of empathy and intellect that all great short stories traverse.

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Intensive Novel Writing (with Glen David Gold)


Glen David Gold

Contact:glenxgold@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 8

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Wednesdays, January 13, 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 2

Course fee: $525

When you’re working, there is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. One of them is telling you the work is great; the other is telling you it’s terrible — but which is which? There is no place better for a novel to go from good to great than in a room of concerned, interested, contrary, helpful people who all agree that for the evening per week we meet that fiction writing is the most important thing you can do.

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Screenwriting Workshop (with Xandra Castleton)


Xandra Castleton

Xandra Castleton

Contact: xcastleton@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 8

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Mondays, February 8, 22, 29; March 7, 14, 21 (no class Presidents’ Day), 28; April 4.

Course fee: $540

This course provides clear guidance on the fundamentals of successful screenwriting within an open and encouraging workshop format, and is designed to accommodate all levels. Weekly writing exercises, readings, and script analysis will demystify the mechanics while guiding each writer toward the most compelling aspects of their screenplay idea or work in progress. Writers will learn how to use the rules of screenwriting structure, character development, scene writing, etc, in order to apply them to their particular original vision for a screenplay without losing the sense of originality and emotional truth that rules sometimes inhibit.

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Finish That Story and Send It Out! (with Jenny Bitner)


Jenny Bitner

Jenny Bitner

Contact: jennybit@yahoo.com

Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Wednesdays, January 13, 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17

Course fee: $395

Do you find yourself stuck at the beginning of writing stories and never finishing them? Or never getting around to taking that final step of sending them out for publication? In this class for students with some writing experience (including former Grotto students), we will go deeper into finishing our work and sending it out for publication. We will learn how to edit our own work, develop buddy relationships for sending things out, and explore markets for our work.

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This Year I Will Write More: Create a Writing Habit in 2016! (with Jenny Bitner)


Jenny Bitner

Jenny Bitner

Contact: jennybit@yahoo.com

Number of sessions: 2

Time: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Date: Saturday, January 16 & Sunday, February 7

Course fee: $190

Have you read about writers who write every day and felt envious of them? Well, I did, too, until I decided to create a daily writing habit. I had tried to do it alone and couldn’t (even after 20 years of writing). In order to create my habit, I hired a creativity coach to check in with every day for a few months. It worked! So, I decided to create a class that gives you the accountability to get started and also draws on my training as a hypnotherapist to channel the unconscious to help you.

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Gesture Writing: What Writers Can Learn from Artists about Capturing Life on the Page (with Rachel Howard)


Rachel Howard

Rachel Howard

Contact: rachel.howard@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Date: Saturday, March 12

Course fee: $88

Would you like to get more life in your writing? In this practical workshop based on the hit New York Times Draft column, you’ll learn to think as visual artists do, then use your notebook to “sketch” scenes, chapters, and whole book outlines. Capturing the vibrancy of life on the page means moving your brain out of “information organizing” mode, into an intuitive way of finding subtle organic connections. Artists practice this way of working through “gesture drawing.” Many of the best writers practice this way of working through “sketching” in their notebooks–and I don’t think they could achieve the richness of their writing any other way.

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Fabulist Worlds: Exploring a New Genre (with Jenny Bitner)


Jenny Bitner

Jenny Bitner

Contact: jennybit@yahoo.com

Number of sessions: 6

Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Date: Tuesdays, February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 1 & 8

Course fee: $395

Many contemporary writers are playing with the boundaries of what is real and what is magical. Writers like George Saunders, Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, and Aimee Bender combine elements of fantasy and reality in their works. Speculative fiction, magical realism, slipstream—there are many names for the school of writing that blends the ordinary world and the mythic. In this class we will read writing in this new genre and write our own fabulist stories.

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Said and Unsaid: The Intersection of Character and Dialogue in Fiction and Memoir (with Laurie Ann Doyle)


Laurie Ann Doyle

Laurie Ann Doyle

Contact: doyle.l@berkeley.edu

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Date: Sunday, March 13

Course fee: $95

Is dialogue meant to reveal or conceal? In this one-day hands-on intensive, you will learn how dialogue in fiction and memoir actually accomplishes both, revealing your characters by what is said and not said. We’ll read work by masters of dialogue, examining how artfully crafted speech, gesture, and silence help you not only develop character, but generate tension and subtext, and move the plot forward. You’ll learn how to take full advantage of your characters’ expressive tics, favorite phrases, and utter withdrawal to build an immersive world for the reader.

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Plaracterization: Marry Plot & Character (with Joshua Mohr)


Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr

Contact: joshuamohr76@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Date: Saturday, March 5

Course fee: $75

The best plots aren’t controlled by the author. They spring from the characters themselves. The writer masterminds all things, yes, but the more we as writers realize that our characters are sovereign beings with independent consciousnesses, the better prepared we are to traverse what Joshua Mohr calls plaracterization.

Plot + characterization = PLARACTERIZATION.

Get it?

In this one-day intensive, we’ll ponder characters’ decision-making, the causality between plot points, and how to keep a reader excitedly flipping pages. We’ll also delve into specific tactics for constructing a present action, and how to fold backstory into it.

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How to (Profoundly) Move Your Readers: The Craft of Developing Dramatic Emotions (with Junse Kim)


Junse Kim

Junse Kim

Contact: junse6@gmail.com

Sessions: 5

Time: 6:30 pm -9:00 pm

Dates: Sundays, January 24, 31; February 21, 28; March 6 (no meetings Superbowl Sunday & Valentine’s Day)

Course fee: $325

One of the most difficult narrative issues in fiction writing is how to emotionally move your readers. Often, what we writers render on the page are concepts of drama meant to profoundly affect the reader, but it does not. In this 5-week process class we will dissect the intricate concepts of how emotions are developed in fiction, and master how to recognize and apply narrative craft that develop dramatic emotions in ways that can move our readers. 

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