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Schedule and Classes

Fall 1 (September 10-October 15, 2018)

 

Mondays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Keeping it Short in CNF

Instructor: Rae Pagliarulo

Brevity isn't just the soul of wit— it's the key to creating engaging, effective, and effervescent works of creative nonfiction. By honing our language and using sensory images, voice, and dialogue to our advantage, we can create short essays that express universal truths in as little as one page. We'll look at masters of the craft and examples of experimental process to find the forms that will let our brief stories soar, and work together to revise and edit our work towards its most authentic iteration.

Open to All Levels

 

Tuesday 6-8 P Main Campus

Find Your Writing Style

Instructor: Erin Entrada Kelly

Having a story to tell is only half the battle. To capture the attention of readers, agents, and editors, you have to write with authority, clarity, and voice. In this course, writers will learn to uncover and develop their unique writing styles. We will experiment with words as sound, imitate varied writing styles of authors like Margaret Atwood, Ernest Hemingway, and George Saunders, and workshop short pieces. We will also review and discuss theories on narrative style. At the end of the course, students will have a better grasp on their unique narrative voice and how to further develop it. Fiction and nonfiction.

Open to all levels.

 

Thursdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Exploring Poetry Forms (Poetry)

Instructor: Grant Clauser

Writing in form can be both challenging and liberating. In this class we’ll explore traditional forms, like the sonnet and less well-known forms, like the Bop. We’ll discuss how structure, meter and rhyme work in conjunction with meaning and content. We’ll look at a mix of classic and contemporary examples, work on generative exercises and have groups discussions on your assigned poems. This class is appropriate for all writing levels.

Open to All Levels

 

Saturdays 10 AM-12PM Main Campus

Novels: Planning and Executing (Fiction)

Instructor: Roman Colombo

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a novel is knowing where to begin and where to go. While it’s tempting to dive right in and start writing, this can often lead to more writer’s block. This course will tackle making a detailed plan of your novel, handling changes to that plan as you write the novel, and how to use the full plan to enrich each chapter. At the end of this course, students will have a detailed plan for their novel and at least 2 chapters written.

Open to All Levels

 

Fall 2 (October 29-December 10, 2018)

 

Mondays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Writing Creative Nonfiction and Memoirs (CNF)

Instructor: Richard Bank

This course will explore the craft of writing Creative Nonfiction and its sub-genres including memoir, personal and literary essays, opinion pieces, reviews, travel articles, and narrative nonfiction. The course will include an overview examining the components of creative nonfiction writing; samples will be read and discussed; ethical issues unique to the genre regarding how far one can stray from fact and the use of literary license; research techniques; and written exercises designed to develop specific skills needed to write effectively in the genre. Relevant legal issues such as libel and privacy will be reviewed. Students will submit work within the genre that may be short complete pieces or a portion of a larger even book length project which will be workshopped by the class. Potential markets for creative nonfiction will be suggested.

Open to All Levels

 

Tuesdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Get Past the Gate Keeper with Novel Revision Techniques

Instructor: Donna Galanti

Have you had your manuscript requested over and over only to have the door closed on your work? Based on personal experience working with editors of multiple publishers, a hired developmental editor, and as a literary agency intern, Donna shares what can get your manuscript past the gatekeeper (the intern!) and in the hands of the agent. You’ll discover the most common stop-reading mistakes Donna experienced as a first-reader intern that led her to not recommend the manuscript to an agent. In this self-editing talk, you’ll also learn how to build your revision toolkit and apply it to your manuscript, including; world building, narrative flow, character development, dialogue, backstory, and undeveloped plot lines. Donna will help you create the game plan to overcome problems that could be plaguing your manuscript and keeping you from getting published. Addressing these issues could power up your story and get it past the gatekeeper.

Open to All Levels

 

Wednesdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

The Anonymous Short Story Workshop (Fiction)

Instructor: Beth Goldner

Anonymous Short Story Workshop is a traditional short story workshop, with a twist: the process will be completely anonymous. Stories will be submitted anonymously. Stories will be critiqued (in workshop and a typed critique) with the writer being critiqued that session remaining anonymous. Each writer will have to write their own critique about their work and actively participate (anonymously) in the workshop discussion.

Open to All Levels

 

Thursdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Pop-Phrastis: Using Pop Culture to Inspire Your Poetry (Poetry)

Instructor: Autumn Konopka

Ekphrastic poems have been written for centuries, traditionally offering elaborate descriptions of paintings, photographs, or sculptures. Contemporary poets have moved away from mere description -- using ekphrastic poems to interpret, challenge, and enter a meaningful dialogue with and about works of art. However, many continue to take a very narrow definition of what art is.

In this class, we will examine and write poems that draw their inspiration from pop culture. Hip hop, action movies, Netflix, sports, whatever -- we will have no limits on what’s “allowed” in a poem. If you’ve ever written or wanted to write a poem about something you considered a “guilty pleasure,” this is the place for you. We’ll discuss strategies for making those poems speak to readers, even if they aren’t personally in touch with that element of pop culture. Students will read a variety of successful pop culture poems, and write and share their own.

Open to All Levels

 

 

Winter (February 4-March 11, 2019)

 

Mondays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Judgement-Free Formal Poetry (Poetry)

Instructor: Autumn Konopka

Poetic forms can be a great way to contain an out-of-control subject or break through an impenetrable writer’s block. But for some of us, poetic forms feel scary because we haven’t formally studied them. For others, past classes have left us feeling intimidated and insecure. In this class, we will examine and practice a variety of poetic forms in a fun, low-pressure environment. The goal will be to understand how each form works and why it works that way, so that you can try making it work for your own poems. Will it succeed every time? Probably not, but oh well. We’ll keep on truckin’. And in the end, you’ll have written some okay poems, some good poems, and some poems that truly surprise and delight. You’ll also have a much fuller poetic toolbox.

Open to All Levels

 

Tuesdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Wooing the Muse: a Cross Genre Workshop (Fiction/CNF/Poetry)

Instructor: Liz Abrams-Morley

Stalled?  Stale?  Looking to get started?  This workshop is designed to jump-start post-graduate writers who find they aren’t writing as much, as often or as fluidly as they hoped after they leave the support of an MFA program, and, at the same time, create a launch pad for the “always loved writing but. . .” writers who want to get going and develop a writing life.   Focus will be on generating new material in response to weekly prompts, though participants will also enjoy opportunities to get feedback on work in progress in a supportive community.  The instructor will introduce, and we will all have time to discuss, strategies for keeping going in those sometimes “slogging middles” of ongoing projects, or whenever the reason we aren’t writing is “you know—life.”

Open to All Levels

 

Wednesdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

“Whose Story is it Anyway?” (Fiction)

Instructor: Cassandra (Casey) Krivy Hirsch

Have you ever drafted a short story, novel, or memoir, gotten well into it, perhaps completed a draft, and realized the character telling the story isn’t quite up to the job? Maybe one character you created has snatched the point-of-view (POV) from the narrator you intended. Maybe more than one character needs to have a narrative voice.

There are several variations on POV. Through sharing and discussing your work with your peers in the Writer’s Studio and looking at published works for examples of POV, we’ll discuss both the positive outcomes of the “wrong” narrator, and choices you can make about the narrator best suited to your work – even if there must ultimately be more than one narrator for the job.

Open to All Levels

 

Thursdays 6-8 PM

Flash Fiction Workshop (stories under 1000 words) (Fiction)

Instructor: Nathan Long

In this course we will read, learn about, writing, and briefly workshop flash fiction (very short stories), a genre that has become increasingly popular since the 1980’s.  The course will concentrate on writing stories, with a story due each class.  We will also look at a wide variety of flash fiction and learn about commonalities of flash, techniques to tell a lot of story in a few words, and how to achieve a story arc.  We will also briefly examine journals that feature flash fiction so that students have sources to send their revised work.

Open to All Levels

 

Spring (April 15-May 20, 2019)

 

Mondays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Pruning the Burning bush (CNF)

Instructor: Vernita Hall

Let us consider strategies to use language more consciously, with greater effect and economy. Ways to sharpen language till it cuts till you bleed, till it burns. We will test drive your editor’s wheels over common grammatical potholes. We will examine underappreciated tricks of rhetoric used in contemporary writing, which fly under the radar, but make dialog and prose soar; how great writers set tone with subtlety, enrich with imagery, sear with subtext and wit. We will cross genres in this workshop. Fasten your seatbelts. Sharpen your eyes and ears—and your pruning shears.

Open to All Levels

 

Tuesdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Fiction Workshop: Exploring Points of View and Developing Ideas (Fiction)

Instructor: Joe Samuel (Sam) Starnes

Discussions and readings on this course will focus on two elements of fiction writing:

  • Understanding how various points of view function in short stories and novels.
  • The working process—from the genesis of an idea through the first draft, revisions, and publication.

The first three weeks we will read and discuss numerous short stories with varying points of view in the 1995 edition of Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories edited by James Moffett and Kenneth R. McElheny. Each student will select and employ three of these points of view in short writing exercises.

 

Each student then will develop one of the exercises into a short story or novel chapter that will be workshopped in the final three weeks of the course. The revision process and possible path to publication will be discussed with each piece.

Open to All Levels

 

Wednesdays 6-8 PM Center City Campus

Foundations of World Building for Writing MG and YA Novels (Fiction)

Instructor: Donna Galanti

All stories happen somewhere. Whether you write fantasy, dystopian, science fiction, or about the “real world” for MG and YA, world building is key to creating a meaningful story in any genre for young readers. With two science fiction and two fantasy books under her belt, Donna shares methods of world building that all types of novel writers can apply. From the smallest details to the rules of your story’s universe, discover the way a considered approach to world building can govern the hearts of your characters and help drive your story. Topics and exercises include; elements of world building, using world building to support conflict and tension, rules and rituals, environment, religion and power, people and culture, and what to avoid in building your world.

Open to All Levels

 

Thursdays 6-8 PM Main Campus

Writing Poetry of Nature and Wildness (Poetry)

Instructor: Grant Clauser

Poetry and nature have been in an intimate relationship forever because the natural world is rich with metaphor and perfect for inspiration. In this class we’ll talk about some of the reasons why writing about the wild has always been popular, discuss some common themes and even examine eco-justice poetry. We’ll look at lots of examples, each session will end with a poem assignment, and we’ll discuss your poems in the next class. If the weather is good, we may venture outside for some writing exercises.

Open to All Levels