CREATIVE WRITING CLASSES

Upcoming: Saturday, June 25, 10–11:30 a.m.

Don’t Submit, SHARE: How to Manage the Process of Effectively Submitting to Literary Journals

Many well-intentioned writers have enthusiastically set out to submit their work to literary journals, magazine, and quarterlies only to find themselves stymied by numerous roadblocks on their way to hitting the “Send” button…never mind the challenge of getting to the post office with an actual paper submission.

In this Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance presentation, I will accessibly demystify the submission process by offering strategies for overcoming obstacles, clarifying personal goals, and creating a simple, actionable plan to get one’s writing in front of editors and, ultimately, readers.

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance

Upcoming: September 7–October 12, 2022

Narrative Elements Part 1: Scene Writing & Characterization

Say you’ve written several short pieces or even a book-length manuscript. You know you’ve got a humdinger of a story, but somehow, it fails to gather momentum on the page. Or maybe the events of your story and what they mean isn’t yet clear to your readers.

Whether the problem is too many plot points or too few, getting a better handle on the essential building blocks of story—scene, summary, exposition, and interiority—will help you write and revise memorable fiction (or nonfiction!) and finish your current drafts.

Drawing on Sandra Scofield’s essential craft primer, THE SCENE BOOK—among other texts—Narrative Elements Part 1, Scene Writing & Characterization is a six-week online workshop that will help you create captivating scenes and memorable characters. Through craft lectures, selected readings, real time writing exercises, and guided critiques, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate between an occasion for a scene and an event
  • Clarify beats of action and turning points in scenes for better control of pace and tension
  • Revise scenes to sharpen overall story structure
  • and develop nuanced narrators and characters

Offered via Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 5:30–8:30 p.m. ET, the cost for Part 1 is $295. The course is capped at 12 participants.

Join the waitlist for Fall 2022 workshop!

Upcoming: October 5–December 14, 2022

Narrative Elements Part 2: Summary, Exposition, & Interiority

Suppose you’ve written a draft (or two) of a story. The events are clear and the action is vivid. But for some reason, your pacing is still wonky. Readers say they want to know more about your narrator, or your characters. They want to feel grounded in a particular time and place.

This is where the other key narrative elements—summary narration, exposition, and interiority—come in. These are the tools that will help you get a handle on time; convey information with authority; and manipulate point of view to create characters with greater depth and nuance.

Drawing on Sandra Scofield’s essential craft book, THE LAST DRAFT—among other texts—Narrative Elements Part 2, Summary, Exposition, & Interiority is a six-week online workshop that will help you get a handle on overall structure, the unique setting and context of your story, and point of view.

Through craft lectures, selected readings, real time writing exercises, and guided critiques, participants will be able to:

  • Clarify story scope and tighten pacing
  • Decide when and where to include backstory
  • Situate readers in a unique story world
  • and add depth and nuance to narrator and character POV

Offered via Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 5:30–8:30 p.m. ET, the cost for Part 2 is $295. The course is capped at 12 participants. (Note: there will be a break during Thanksgiving week, and classes will resume November 30.)

Join the waitlist for fall 2022!

PAST CLASSES

Writing Craft

The Things People Say: Writing Effective Dialogue in Fiction and Memoir

Do you ever find while writing fiction or memoir that your dialogue feels “flat” or uninspired?

Dialogue can contribute to character development, summarize situations, and reveal emotional subtext (often in direct contrast to character action!). Using a series of examples from literature and film, we will analyze and discuss a variety of approaches to getting at the things people do (and don’t) say.

Writing Craft

Being There: Defining Sense of Place in Poetry & Prose

For both poets & prose writers, a clear sense of place—one that accesses not only geographical features, but also elements of memory, cultural identity, and regional character—can ground writing in concrete detail, while allowing for the complexity of subjective experience.

This talk will examine the essential elements of defining and writing place; participants will then investigate place in their own work through guided writing exercises.

Panel Discussion

Substance as Style: What Noir Writing Can Teach Us about Literary Form

As a genre, noir fiction explores flawed protagonists, individuals attempting to negotiate a corrupt society, and propulsive, plot-driven language that embraces the vernacular. What can this very American literary form teach fiction writers about nuance in character development, innovative approaches to building tension in a narrative, and the ways setting impacts plot?

Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference

Presentation

Two for the Road: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration, Travel, & Identity

This talk explores different approaches to the collaborative process through the lens of several projects undertaken by writer Tanya Whiton and photographer Heidi Killion (Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine). Touching on the different ways artists can work together across disciplines, it also addresses some of the challenges inherent to cross-disciplinary collaboration—and ways to overcome them.

Professional Development

Don’t Submit, Share! How to Manage the Process of Publishing in Literary Journals

Many well-intentioned writers enthusiastically set out to submit their work to literary journals, only to encounter numerous roadblocks.

This seminar demystifies the submission process by offering strategies for overcoming obstacles, clarifying personal goals, and creating a simple, actionable plan to get one’s writing in front of editors and, ultimately, readers.

Professional Development

Start Where You’re Standing: How to Create & Develop Your Writer’s Platform

Whether you’re just starting out, on the road to publication, or have already published a book, creating and maintaining your “author platform” is part of the business of being a writer. Simply put, a platform is defined by a) who you are and b) who you want to reach.

This talk will outline the essential functions and elements of an author platform (focusing on web sites, social media, and events); share tools for participants to assess their own efforts; and offer tips for integrating creative and promotional work to reflect one’s unique vision and mission as a writer.

What are you working on?