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A story is a story, whether it’s one you’ve imagined or one you’ve lived. And while there are huge differences between how writers of fiction and those who write nonfiction get that story down on the page, there are also some very useful similarities. In this workshop, novelist and memoirist Sands Hall outlines aspects of craft essential to the fiction writer—including plot, character, point of view, and scene—and, with the help of published examples, shows how these ideas can be applied to memoir and creative nonfiction.  Whatever your genre, you’ll come to recognize these areas of craft, and build confidence in utilizing them your own work.

 

Essential Craft for Writers of Fiction and Memoir – Sands Hall

Why are so many writers attracted to historical fiction? Because exploring history through the art of the novel can bring out the complexity of our human condition by recreating the past through our emotions. Historical fiction is a form of time travel, and if the novelist has done the necessary research, it can engage the reader in a fiercely imaginative experience.

 

Genre fiction, in particular historical, has a loyal fan base, but it can be challenging to attract the right combination of agent and publisher in order to sell it. This workshop will help you dust off your quills and find your unique voice in historical fiction.

 

Diving into Historical Fiction: A Primer for the Brave - C. W. Gortner

You've finished your novel or crafted a nonfiction book proposal and are ready to find a literary agent. You know a query letter must be professional and error-free, but how do you create a letter that grabs an agent’s attention among thousands in the "slush pile?" In this class, you’ll learn what makes the perfect opening, techniques to streamline your story description, and ways to enhance relevant bio information no matter your writing experience. Bring a draft of your letter for a critique during the workshop. Plus, leave with a proven list of resources to help you find reputable agents to help launch your writing career.

 

Getting Your Query Through the Slush Pile - Gina L. Mulligan

WORKSHOPS

Beginnings, Endings, and the Practiced Magic In-Between – Indigo Moor

Poetry is not naive. It is a concise language that artistically expresses an emotionally constructed moment. Getting into and out of the poem should be akin to stepping into a flame and exiting a nearly frozen stream… or vice versa. Between these precise bookends, we must exercise a balancing of image and statement that neither obscures the meaning nor presents a stale representation of the poetic intent. This presentation and workshop will cover the artistic construction of poems, groups of poems, and a manuscript. We will begin by examining and discussing the works of contemporary poets writing in myriad styles. There will be several optional exercises and a chance to share at the end. The focus of this workshop will be to teach you the ruthless, practiced beauty necessary to make your poetry move and flow in your intended direction.

 

Finish What You Started - Kathy Boyd Fellure

Map out a strategy to pick up where you left off however long ago and write through to the end of your first draft. If you have finished a draft, plow forward to the second, third, and fourth, to prepare for the query stage. We'll discuss sending out your manuscript before it is ready, the pitfalls of working in complete solitude, and suggestions for critique partners and/or groups for accountability. The class goal is to help you hit send. There will be workshop time and a short Q & A. Hand-outs available. Class limit 15.

 

 

Inviting Tony and Oscar to Dinner – Indigo Moor

Whether in poetry or prose, the desire to see our work on stage and screen is irresistible. Breaking onto these platforms takes more than desire. Similar to your primary genre, scripts have their own tools and elements that must be observed to make your work palatable to directors and producers. Understanding the common pitfalls in turning your work into scripts will go a long way to getting your work out of the slushpile and in front of actors. This presentation and workshop will examine the differences between writing poetry & prose and writing for stage & screen. We will examine and discuss the works of contemporary scripts, particularly as it pertains to turning your work into producible material. 

 

The First Page of the Novel You Were Born to Write - Antoinette May and Erika Mailman
Finding Your Voice - Kevin Arnold
Don’t Tell Me, Show Me: Film Techniques for Writers - Sally Kaplan
Sexuality on the Page - Lucy Sanna
Scene Stealer: Learn to Write Killer Scenes - Jordan Rosenfeld
How To Write With Page-Turning Tension - Jordan Rosenfeld

A no-holds-barred workshop limited to writers with books in progress, the session will center on getting those all-important early pages ready for submission.

 

Open to either fiction or nonfiction. You will send a copy of your first 10 pages to Antoinette and Erika in advance, and bring nine copies of the first page only for a seriously earnest peer critique session. Workshop limited to first 10 signups.

 

This session is for those of us who find ourselves torn between the various roles of novelist, journalist, screenwriter, poet, short story/flash fiction writer or blogger. The heart of the workshop will be listening to each other's voices and offering suggestions as to what works and doesn't work.

 

I'll begin the session by briefly discussing the marketing trends of each of the above roles, after which we'll go into readings.


Participants are expected* to bring 13 copies of a writing sample-poetry, prose; screenplay or newspaper article-no more than 250 words. Reading the work aloud will give each of us a good feel for how it sounds to read in public and how people respond.

 

* If you don't feel comfortable reading your own work, please bring copies and read 200 words of your favorite writer.

This workshop is limited to ten participants.

 

The art of fiction and nonfiction writing has a lot to learn from the craft of filmmaking and screenwriting. A compelling log line; strong visuals; rich, three dimensional characters; conflict; and unapologetic editing -- all go into making a winning film, which begins, after all, on the written page.  Using samples for illustration, this workshop builds upon these powerful techniques to inform and inspire your writing. Bring your own material, and we will enhance, slash and propel your story together.

 

Writing about sexuality doesn’t just mean sex scenes. Sexuality is also present in a person’s backstory, internal monologue, dialogue, and subtext. These motivations can range from evolutionary to emotional, from psychological to playful.

 

This workshop will explore how writers through the ages have successfully brought both sexual tension and frivolity into writings of all genres. We will play with bringing sexuality to characters and scenes; sharing is optional.

 

Scenes are the building blocks of great fiction and memoir. Scenes bring flat narrative into full color action, demonstrate compelling characters and add up to create powerful plots. When you feel connected to the characters and in the midst of action, you're in scenes. In this workshop, writers will learn scene essentials and ingredients, how to design them, how to demonstrate characters in scene, how to evoke setting, the senses and use images, and how to make every scene count toward the plot.

 

Tension in novels, stories, and even memoirs is like the connective tissue that allows muscles to attach to bones, and thus flex their might. It's the heart of conflict, the backbone of uncertainty, the hallmark of danger. It keeps readers guessing, and characters on their toes. When it's present, stories leave readers breathless and wanting more. In this workshop, writers will learn four key elements of page-turning tension, essentials of creating plot tension, how to balance scene elements for maximum tension, and more.

 

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