Said and Unsaid: Dialogue in Fiction and Memoir (with Laurie Ann Doyle)

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Laurie Ann Doyle

Laurie Ann Doyle

Contact: doyle.l@berkeley.edu

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 10:00 am–4:00 pm (includes break for lunch)

Date: Sunday, May 17

Course fee: $75

Is dialogue meant to reveal or conceal? In this interactive one-day workshop, you learn dialogue actually accomplishes both, revealing your characters by what is said and not said in fiction and memoir. We’ll read work by masters of dialogue, examining how artfully crafted speech, gesture, and silence helps you not only develop character, but generate tension, subtext, and move the plot forward. You’ll learn how to take full advantage of your characters’ expressive tics, favorite phrases, and complete withdrawal to build an immersive world for the reader. As the workshop progresses, you’ll have the chance to free-write dialogue yourself, trying on different personas of talkative, quiet, and completely uncommunicative characters, with the opportunity to share what you’ve created in a supportive atmosphere. There’s also plenty of time to address your questions and concerns. My twin goals for this workshop are for you to come with concrete strategies for creating a variety of kinds of dialogue, and to experience for yourself what writers like to keep secret: dialogue can be a whole lot of fun.

Laurie Ann Doyle is the winner of Alligator Juniper’s National Fiction Award, as well as nominations for Best New American Voices and the Pushcart Prize. Her stories, personal essays and poems have appeared in Jabberwock Review, Arroyo Literary Review, Dogwood Journal, Under the Sun, and many other literary journals. She earned an MFA at University of San Francisco and has had the pleasure of teaching creative writing at UC Berkeley since 2007. www.laurieanndoyle.com

Creative Nonfiction: Crafting the First 10 Pages of your Memoir or Nonfiction Book (with Julia Scheeres)

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Julia Scheeres

Julia Scheeres

Contact: juliascheeres@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 9:00 am – 12 noon

Date: Sunday, May 31

Course fee: $85

The first ten pages of a book are arguably the most important. The author must set up the story, infuse it with drama, and captivate the reader. Crafting a successful opening will help you set the stage for the rest of your book. What works? Strong characters. Artful language. Drama. A clear sense of theme and direction. A mystery.

In this seminar, we will dissect the first ten pages of two notable works of narrative nonfiction, discussing the underlying structure. We will review the building blocks of story: scene, summary and musing. You will leave with better understanding of how to craft the opening of your own book. There will be plenty of time for questions. This class is for writers of any level who are writing memoir or narrative nonfiction. Free coffee and pastries included!

Julia Scheeres is the New York Times-bestselling author of the memoir Jesus Land and of A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown. She contributes to the New York Times Book Review and teaches creative writing for many venues, including Stanford University.

Telling Your Story: Personal Essays for Publication (with Laura Fraser)

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Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser

Contact: laura@laurafraser.com

Number of sessions: 3

Time: 6:30 pm-9:00 pm

Dates:  Tuesdays, May 19, 26, June 2

Course fee: $225

Everyone has a story–or many stories–to tell. Whether you’d like to write about your travels, relationships, crazy relatives, life challenges, or just put your cocktail party stories into writing, this workshop will help you shape your stories. Laura will offer practical advice about how to take the leap from writing in your journal or on a blog to crafting a publishable personal essay (or better blog posts!). For experienced writers, Laura will help you take your writing to the next level. Laura brings inspiring exercises and tips, an overview based on decades of experience, and a sense of humor to what will be a memorable–and useful–workshop.

Laura Fraser is an award-winning essayist, the editorial director of Shebooks.net, and author of the memoirs An Italian Affair and All Over the Map. She has published personal essays in such publications as the New York TimesO the Oprah Magazine, Sunset, ElleTricycle Buddhist Review, Afar, and many others. Laura has taught magazine writing at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and at many other venues. She brings her practical sensibility, compassion, and sense of humor to every class.