Fall Online Classes (Sept./Oct.)

Psyched to say July’s online classes went swimmingly! I learned to use Zoom and many writers showed up to make bold narrative decisions, subtle character discoveries and revive objects and people thought lost to childhood.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be on a month-long diy writing retreat (aka hiding in my house with the internet off). What kind of person would I be, though, to leave you hanging? Fortunately, no one has to answer that question because here are classes for September & October. (There’s also a lower fee for current Canadian residents because the exchange rate is bonkers.)

To register for either, fill out the form below. I will send payment details by email. (Fees are fully refundable until 7 days before the date of the first class.) Oh, and for those freaked out by online classes, Zoom is free, easy to use and very, very close to being in-person. Besides, you can wear your dog-walking sweatpants with the milkshake stains and no one will know.

IMG_20131231_234320Plot 2.0: Characters making choices – $30/1 day
Class meets once via Zoom.

Plot binds a story together and powers it forward. It emerges from our characters’ longing and fears, and makes a reader care. The hint of a compelling plot inspires agents to request the would-be author’s manuscript. A plot turns a collection of vignettes into a novel. Understanding how plot works is often the key to fixing a broken first draft, or reviving a project that got boring halfway through.

Yet many of us confuse random bad things happening to our character, with a true plot—which centers around characters, even shy ones, making choices.

Through reading and discussion of published fiction, craft essay excerpts, lecture and guided exercises, participants will learn how to use plot as a diagnostic tool in revisions, and, if you’re an outliner, how to use it from step one. We’ll also practice forming good first draft habits so plot can develop organically.

All levels of writers welcome—just bring yourself and your preferred writing implements.

Schedule: Class meets for 2 1/2 hours over Zoom. date TBD November 2018
Fee: $30usd ($35cad for current residents of Canada)

1388559360687.jpgUnder the Surface: An exploration-based class for writers at all levels – $160/6 weeks
Class meets via Zoom every other Sunday. On alternate Sundays, students will post their writing in a forum and respond to their group member’s writing any time over the following week.

Why do you write—or want to?

Like it or not, our writing reveals us. Our private questions and observations about the world surface from beneath the writing as if in invisible ink. Maybe you keep writing stories about father-daughter relationships; or betrayal lurks in every poem, popping up when you least expect it. Or maybe you can never quite get to that thing you need to say, the words always the wrong ones, the novel stalling at chapter three.

In this 6-week class, writers at all levels will write in series, digging down to their hidden questions and themes. Each week, participants will create a short piece that repeats one element (a character, an object, a form, an opening line) from their previous week’s exercise. Writers will respond to each other’s work in mini-workshops, designed especially for a deep reading of work in progress. Zoom classes will include reading and discussion of contemporary masters of subtext, including Jesmyn Ward, Eileen Myles, Hilton Als and Kayla Rae Whitaker.

Through this practice, participants will begin to uncover what they are really getting at. They will develop characters, themes, a sense of voice and even forge new metaphors to express subtext.

This class is for writers at all levels, in all genres. Ideal for generating new work and developing existing projects.

Schedule: Sundays, September 16th-October 21st. Class meets live over Zoom for 2 hours on 9/23, 10/7 and 10/21 at 3pm Eastern, 12pm Pacific Time.
Fee: $160usd ($175cad for current residents of Canada)