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)





Online Creative Writing Classes (July 2018)


All classes meet live via Zoom from the comfort of your wifi connection. Fill out the form below to register. (Fees are fully refundable up until 1 week before class meets.)

I ran a survey a few weeks back and got some awesome responses from writers who have piles of projects they want to deepen or develop with more craft skills, to used-to-be writers and beginners in search of a jumpstart. There’s hopefully a little for everyone in the classes I’ll be offering in July. In any case, I am inappropriately excited about them.

Sense & Memory: A generative writing workshop
(2 1/2 hours; meets once) $30
Sunday July 15th at 3:30pm Eastern/12:30pm Pacific Time

This one-day intensive will use the writings of Saeed Jones, Rita Dove and Terese Mailhot to inspire explorations into our personal past. We’ll focus on childhood—when our sense impressions were most vivid, and use immersive exercises to revive smells, voices and muggy days lost to conscious memory.

Participants will learn techniques for translating dim impression into sharp details and will have the option of receiving feedback from peers on work generated in-class. (There will also be an option to continue meeting beyond the initial session if the group wants to.)

This class welcomes writers at all levels, especially those seeking to play and discover.

Character Development: Obsessives, Dreamers, Secret Keepers & Moody Mothers (2 hours; meets twice) $50
Sunday July 22nd and Sunday 29th at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific

The believable but bland character is the writer’s nightmare. Whether we’re writing a poem cycle, biography or a novel, we want readers to feel strongly about our characters. That starts with characters who feel strongly themselves, whether they are organizing a prison break, on a mission to alphabetize the Chef Boyardee at Rally’s, or desperately trying to keep their safe life from changing.

This intensive class will use a mix of craft lecture, discussion of fiction and non-fiction examples from Rachel Kushner, Jamaica Kincaid, Tommy Orange and Claudia Rankine, writing exercises and constructive feedback to explore ways of finding our characters’ hot core and translating it to the page. Participants will bring short homework assignments to each class (assignments will be provided a week in advance).

This craft class welcomes writers at all levels who want to be challenged.




Survey! Wanna take an online creative writing class?

IMG_20180505_094117_521 (1).jpgStarting this summer, I’ll be offering (live), small group (max. 10-12) online creative writing classes over Zoom. My priorities are that online classes be affordable, challenging and have the lively, focused discussions of the in-person experience.

Right now, I’m guessing that classes will include deep dives into craft and technique and workshopping, but that all depends on what potential class-takers are interested in!

If “potential class-taker” sounds like you, I’d love to hear your (multiple choice) preferences on this 2-minute survey.