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VA 23517 United States

September 2021

The Poetry Studio

The studio continues: Members of the group will actively write and revise original poetry, with a special emphasis on the careful review of members' work, the examination of the literary and commercial marketplace, and the submission of work for publication. Work will be submitted in advance of each meeting. All poems submitted will be critiqued during that meeting.

Tuesdays, June 15 - September 21 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

4 sessions

Write Now! with The Muse Writers Center

Find The Muse and WRITE NOW! Do you wonder if you can write? Have you always wanted to write a story? Are you looking for a little inspiration? Do you need a little creative motivation? Well, we believe that everyone has a story and everyone can write it. You just need some inspiration and motivation! Come on down, join us and Write Now! A talented Muse teacher will lead you through an easy, fun, and creative workshop full of writing…

Tuesdays, September 28 - November 23 @ 5:00 pm EDT - 7:00 pm EDT

3 sessions

October 2021

Teen Writing Level 1: Creative Writing

This class will explore the fundamentals of craft and will ground the student in the language and techniques necessary to take their writing to the next level. The class will be a mix of readings, in-class exercises, and prompts. The class culminates in a reading which friends and family are invited to attend. Students must take this class before enrolling in Writing Level 2: Intermediate Workshop.  This class is taught by Jessica Kelley and Jeffrey Hecker. Please Note: All students…

Saturdays, October 2 - December 11 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:00 pm EDT

5 sessions
Teacher: Jessica Kelley

Writing about Sexuality in Memoir

No exploration about relationships would be complete without an honest inquiry into our attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality, as well as how we express that aspect of our beings in our romantic relationships.  Everyone has had a sexual experience whether pleasant or damaging that could be included in their memoir. That’s part of being human. Yet it remains a relatively taboo, “delicate” topic to write about.  Sex is a real and important part of all of our lives.…

Sundays, October 3 - December 6 @ 6:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Lisa Cooper

The Memoir Workshop: Monday Mornings

Workshop is for writers who want to think seriously about book-length memoir or collections in the context of narrative voice, structure and improving their craft. We’ll work with prompts, exercises, and consider strategies for revision to help you see your memoir in a new light. Each week we'll look at exemplary readings and tackle issues such as characterization, description, scene vs. narrative summary, time and pacing, arc, and real-world consequences and ethical considerations when writing and publishing true-to-life stories. You…

Mondays, October 4 - December 13 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Lisa Cooper

The Fiction Studio: Monday Evenings

The Fiction Studio continues with returning members and new members with professional fiction workshop experience. We will actively write and revise original short stories and chapters of novels as well as consider various aspects of the creative and professional life of the fiction writer. All members of the group will have the opportunity to submit material for the workshop, with at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during the session. New members must receive pre-approval to register from…

Mondays, October 4 - December 20 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

8 sessions

The Poetry Workshop

The Poetry Workshop continues with returning members and new members with poetry writing experience. Members of the group will actively write and revise original poems, focusing on elements of craft and analyzing select poems by our best poets that effectively model those elements. All group members will have the opportunity to submit material for the workshop. Your instructor will make every effort to tailor the submission schedule to your individual goals. 

Mondays, October 4 - December 13 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Suzanne Rhodes

“Writers in Action” Teen Workshop

This is a collaborative class which prioritizes in-class exercises. Whether you are brand new to writing or working on a long-term project, this class will provide the space for students to hone their skills and share work in an energized, supportive environment, where the focus is not on producing a polished finished product but rather fostering creativity, sparking new ideas, and simply getting words down on the page. This class is ideal for both less-experienced writers and those teens who…

Mondays, October 4 - December 13 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Susan Deutsch
Level:

The Fiction Workshop: Tuesday Mornings

The Fiction Workshop continues with returning members and new members with fiction writing workshop experience. Members of the group will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of fiction writing. Each class will include a short craft lecture covering topics such as POV, writing scenes, dialogue, plotting, POV, and more. Students will continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique and master writing active prose. All members of the…

Tuesdays, October 5 - December 14 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

6 sessions

The Advanced Screenwriting Workshop

This workshop will focus on the all-important revision process in screenwriting, with members sharing the successes and difficulties encountered in the scripting process for feature-length, short, or TV scripts. You will have at least three opportunities to turn in pages of a screenplay for group review, workshop, and discussion—all in an atmosphere of mutual exploration and understanding. This class is open to continuing members as well as advanced screenwriting students.

Tuesdays, October 5 - December 14 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Diane Fine

The Memoir Workshop: Tuesday Evenings

Workshop is for writers who want to think seriously about their book-length memoir or essays in the context of narrative voice, structure and improving their craft. We’ll use exercises, discussion, readings, and peer review to give you strategies for revision or help you see your memoir in a new light. Each week we will workshop pieces from class members and discuss characterization, description, scene vs. narrative summary, time and pacing, arc, and real-world consequences and ethical considerations when writing and…

Tuesdays, October 5 - December 14 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Cynthia Davis

The Fiction Workshop: Tuesday Evenings

The Fiction Workshop continues with returning members and new members with fiction writing workshop experience. Members of the group will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of fiction writing. We will refine the understanding of POV and the limitations & benefits of those choices, learn revision on the sentence level, continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique, and master writing active prose. All members of the group…

Tuesdays, October 5 - December 14 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Rebekah Coxwell

The Fiction Studio: Wednesday Mornings

The Fiction Studio continues with returning members and new members with professional fiction workshop experience. We will actively write and revise original short stories and chapters of novels as well as consider various aspects of the creative and professional life of the fiction writer. All members of the group will have the opportunity to submit material for the workshop, with at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during the session. New members must receive pre-approval to register from…

Wednesdays, October 6 - December 15 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Kelly Sokol

Writing Children’s Books

 Do you have an idea for a children’s book? This fiction workshop will focus on children’s picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels.  Our discussions will include the unique voice, character development, plot, and world building needed to write in these different age categories. You will actively write and revise original picture books or chapters for book-length projects and submit them for review. You will have at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during this course.  This…

Wednesdays, October 6 - December 15 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Jennifer Malia

Poetry 2

Returning students and new members with poetry writing experience will actively write and revise original poems, focusing on elements of craft and analyzing select poems by our best poets that effectively model those elements. All group members will have the opportunity to submit material for the workshop. Your instructor will make every effort to tailor the submission schedule to your individual goals. 

Wednesdays, October 6 - December 15 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Amanda Gomez

Teen Writers Fellowship Fall 2021 Workshop

Fall workshop for those who have completed the Teen Writers Fellowship in 2020 or 2021, and have not yet graduated from high school. Only Fellows who match these criteria are eligible for this workshop. Fellows will need to be signed into their Muse accounts in order to register. If you have issues with signing up please contact our Youth Coordinator Remy Smidt at rsmidt@the-muse.org.

Thursdays, October 7 - November 18 @ 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Jessica Kelley

The Comic Book & Graphic Novel Workshop

For comic writers and artists looking to hone their works in progress, this workshop will emphasize critique and accountability. While retaining an element of lecture from How to Write Comics & Graphic Novels, we will delve deeper into each student's comic project of choice, with the goal of polishing and revising our work. 

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Kristin Mehaffey

The Fiction Workshop: Thursday Evenings

The Fiction Workshop continues with returning members and new members with fiction writing workshop experience. Members of the group will workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of fiction writing. Each class, topics such as POV, scene writing, dialogue and more will be explored through short lecture or study of published stories. Students will continue to develop critiquing skills and master writing active prose. All members of the group will have the opportunity to submit…

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Alicia Dekker

The Advanced Poetry Workshop

The Advanced Poetry Workshop is open to students who have completed previous workshop-level classes at The Muse or those who have extensive workshop or graduate-level experience. This class focuses on writing, criticism, and the exploration of contemporary poetic discourse. Students at this level are writing poetry with an increased focus on creating an individual voice and emotional richness. Students will be expected to submit regularly and provide thoughtful feedback to classmates. 

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Noah Renn

Songwriting 2

When a song lyric hits you, it can take you back in time. In that mystical blend of melody and carefully crafted imagery, we can, for a time, be transported somewhere else. In Songwriting 2, we’ll bridge the gap between the tune and the lilt of the line, while finding our own, unique narrative voices. We will write 4 original songs during the class and workshop them during weeks 3-6. Students will be invited to perform their work at a…

Thursdays, October 7 - December 16 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Skye Zentz

Teen Writing Level 2: Writing Workshop

In this class, teen students will encounter the model that serves as the basis for writing at the college and graduate level: The Workshop. They will be required to submit work for review and to offer constructive, kind feedback to their classmates. This is the perfect class for serious writers who want a rigorous look at what the writing world is like post-high school.  The prose sessions of the workshop will be led by Susan Deutsch. The poetry sessions of…

Saturdays, October 9 - December 18 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Jeffrey Hecker

How to Write a Novel (and Get it Published)

A practical 15-point plan that demystifies and deconstructs novel-writing -- from the mere germ of an idea all the way through the creative process, with an eye on getting a finished book into the hands of potential fans. We'll discuss how to tap into your subconscious and life experiences to transform them into a book-length project, populated with interesting characters, a twisty-turny plot, snappy dialogue, and an interesting setting. We'll also look at strategies for finding an agent, marketing the…

October 9 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

Teacher: John DeDakis

Young Writers Workshop

In this afternoon class writers, aged 9-11 will engage in exercises that will allow them to explore their creativity. Every class will be a little different, with rotating teachers giving guidance in their area of specialty. Topics including Poetry, Fiction, and Music will be explored. Please Note: All students under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please review and complete this form with your parent or legal guardian: Youth…

Sundays, October 10 - November 21 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Skye Zentz

Patchwork Party: A Creative Play-Session for Writers, Artists and Musicians

Grab your Crayolas and Moleskines for an afternoon of fun! In our modern world of social media and rapid sharing, it’s hard to avoid imposter syndrome and the feeling that our art is only valid once it’s been “liked” and commented on by the public. At Patchwork Party, we invite you to grab some simple art supplies, headphones, and notebook and give your internal and external critics the day off as we engage the spontaneous side of our creativity. Using music, visual art and…

Sundays, October 10 - December 12 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT

3 sessions

The Memoir Inventory

The Memoir Inventory is a class in perception, a way to distinguish between what works in our lives and what is no longer useful or necessary. Being aware of what we did yesterday can help us understand and accept who we are today, so that tomorrow we can become the people we want to be. We may have lost sight of our personal goals, neglected our potential, and become too concerned with our past failures to be able to fully see…

Mondays, October 11 - December 20 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Lisa Cooper

Nonfiction in a Flash

In this workshop, creative nonfiction and memoir writers will explore the genre of flash creative nonfiction (between 500 and 1,000 words). We will discuss and discover the many craft elements that make flash nonfiction an engaging, experimental and exciting genre! Every session we will generate and critique our small memoir and nonfiction stories and essays and focus on the unique opportunities that flash gives every creative nonfiction writer. Working in a shorter form allows you to take a fresh look…

Mondays, October 11 - December 20 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Cristina Foss

Write Now! with The Muse Writers Center – for Kids & Teens!

Find The Muse and WRITE NOW! Do you wonder if you can write? Have you always wanted to write a story? Are you looking for a little inspiration? Do you need a little creative motivation? Well, we believe that everyone has a story and everyone can write it. You just need some inspiration and motivation! Come on down, join us and Write Now! A talented Muse teacher will lead you through an easy, fun, and creative workshop full of writing…

Tuesdays, September 14 - November 9 @ 5:00 pm EDT - 7:00 pm EDT

3 sessions
Level:

The Art of Spoken Word & Slam Poetry

Learn the art of spoken word poetry and become a better writer, reader, speaker. Explore the history of poetry’s oral tradition including the cultural influences of the African Griot, the Irish Limerick, the Japanese Haiku, Gospel Preaching and American RAP. Through discussion and practical exercise, students will also learn proven techniques in composition, memorization, and the performance of both individual and group poems for competitive Slam poetry. Please Note: All students under the age of 18 must have permission from…

Tuesdays, October 12 - November 23 @ 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT

4 sessions
Level:

The Screenwriting Workshop

This workshop will focus on the all-important revision process in screenwriting, with members sharing the successes and difficulties encountered in the scripting process for feature-length, short, or TV scripts. You will have at least three opportunities to turn in pages of a screenplay for group review, workshop, and discussion—all in an atmosphere of mutual exploration and understanding. This class is open to continuing members as well as students who have either taken the Introduction to Screenwriting class, completed an early…

Tuesdays, October 12 - December 21 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Diane Fine

Fiction 2

The fiction writing journey continues where Fiction 1 left off. Returning students and writers new to The Muse (who have fiction writing experience) will be encouraged to produce and submit original work for discussion by the group. Using the students own work and stories published by established writers, the participants will take a deeper look at the essential craft elements of fiction writing. We will refine the understanding of POV and the limitations & benefits of those choices, learn revision on the sentence…

Tuesdays, October 12 - December 21 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Jacob Gregory

Creative Nonfiction 2

Returning students from Creative Nonfiction 1 and new writers with intermediate CNF writing experience will actively write and workshop original work while taking a deeper look at the essential craft elements of writing that polishes the truth. We will learn the power of the first person and the limitations & benefits of writing in the third, practice and refine research and memory habits and techniques, continue to learn how to give and take constructive critique, and master the writing of…

Wednesdays, October 13 - December 22 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

9 sessions
Teacher: Lizz Schumer

How to Write Comics & Graphic Novels (for Artists)

Comics are a magical blend of visuals and writing. Come explore this incredible medium of storytelling through sequential art! This introductory class will cover scripting, thumbnailing and layout, all the way to character design and getting your work into the world. Our sessions will comprise of fun exercises and lecture, along with some case studies and games to mix it up. Artists are encouraged to sign up as the class will feature a heavy drawing aspect. Excited? So are we.…

Thursdays, October 14 - December 9 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Kristin Mehaffey

Songwriting 1

Songwriting is an ancient form--one of the earliest means of passing on oral history. Over thousands of years, it has evolved into a many faceted art-form, a source of entertainment, catharsis or escapism. In this workshop, we will explore the songwriting process through listening, writing and editing. We will examine songs from a variety of genres and time periods to investigate what it is that makes a song “stick” with us or not. Through both individual and collaborative efforts, we will explore fun new…

Thursdays, October 14 - December 9 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Skye Zentz

The Salvation of Science Fiction: Imaginary Technology

Writing in 1978 amid fears of nuclear apocalypse, Isaac Asimov wrote, "The core of science fiction has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all." Salvation. This is a compelling description of a popular genre pioneered in interwar pulpwood magazines, a mass medium traditionally allied with the same technological acceleration that brought about the very existential crisis that premises Asimov's statement. In our seminar, we will explore this ambivalence, seek to understand how SF celebrates…

October 16 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Jason Carney

Advanced Scrivener

Scrivener is a streamlined and user friendly word processor that offers more to the writer than Microsoft Word or Mac Pages ever could. It’s designed for writing projects. But you know that, already. You’ve started your project; you’ve written your story. You know how to create and organize your binder and maybe even have some experience with compiling. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In this seminar, participants will learn the deeper mechanisms, offering a whole new level…

October 16 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Chris De Matteo

Writing the College Application Essay

In this seminar, high school students will learn how to develop an effective essay for their college admission applications. We will begin by exploring the importance of this process in order to better understand the features that make a successful essay. Then, participants will go through the process of breaking down the prompts, brainstorming ideas, and writing a first draft. Every participant will receive detailed feedback and suggestions for revisions to strengthen their final product.   https://youtu.be/i3Yym9Fd1-k Please Note: All…

October 16 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Cristina Foss
Level:

Poetry of Bliss

Cheap thrills, escape, the sense of participating (without really participating); courage: willful financial, psychological or physical self-flagellation embarked upon by those who’ve been sold some hollow version of a quest; confusion, the medicine show, spending more than one can afford on snake oil, or a situation in which your tormentors come with smiles and trays and congratulate you on your good taste as they rip you off. Intoxication, obviously. Hydrocephalac didacticism, the old maladroit chimera coming again into prominence with…

Saturdays, October 16 - November 6 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Tom Yuill

To Joy

In a recent interview, to answer the question “how can we be joyful in a moment like this?” — poet Ross Gay said “It is joy by which the labor that will make the life that I want, possible. It is not at all puzzling to me that joy is possible in the midst of difficulty. …There’s some kind of tenderness that might be possible — not always gonna happen, because I might just get scared and do something else.…

Sundays, October 17 - November 7 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

4 sessions
Teacher: Luisa A. Igloria

The Fiction Studio: Tuesday Evenings

The Fiction Studio continues with returning members, and new members with professional fiction workshop experience. We will actively write and revise original short stories and chapters of novels as well as consider various aspects of the creative and professional life of the fiction writer. All members of the group will have the opportunity to submit material for the workshop, with at least two to three opportunities to be critiqued during the session. New members must receive pre-approval to register from…

Tuesdays, October 19 - December 14 @ 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT

8 sessions

The Poetry Studio

The studio continues: Members of the group will actively write and revise original poetry, with a special emphasis on the careful review of members' work, the examination of the literary and commercial marketplace, and the submission of work for publication. Work will be submitted in advance of each meeting. All poems submitted will be critiqued during that meeting.

Tuesdays, October 19 - January 18 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

4 sessions

Memoir 1: Wednesday Mornings

The journey of memoir is mapped out by the events along life’s way that transform the primary character—you. Memoir begins with memories and then formulates those memories into a story of transformation. This course teaches the tools needed to craft memories and events into truth filled stories that resonate with the lives of your readers. Through exercises, studies in craft, and utilizing successful memoirs as models, you will obtain the knowledge and confidence to shape your story. We will aspire…

Wednesdays, October 20 - December 15 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

8 sessions

Memoir 1: Wednesday Evenings

The journey of memoir is mapped out by the events along life’s way that transform the primary character—you. Memoir begins with memories and then formulates those memories into a story of transformation. This course teaches the tools needed to craft memories and events into truth filled stories that resonate with the lives of your readers. Through exercises, studies in craft, and utilizing successful memoirs as models, you will obtain the knowledge and confidence to shape your story. We will aspire…

Wednesdays, October 20 - December 15 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

5 sessions
Teacher: Melissa Franić

Screenwriting 1

This course is designed as both an introduction for students who are new to screenwriting, and as continuity for those who have already started writing a screenplay and wish to further develop their scripts. No matter your level of experience, everyone will benefit from the groups’ members sharing their experiences they encounter. Class activities will include: discussing and developing story ideas, and sharing comments and suggesting solutions; an introduction to the three-act structure and the critical importance of the first…

Wednesdays, October 20 - December 15 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

8 sessions
Teacher: Matt Friedman

Words Bear Witness: Writing About Trauma

We are walking wounds, but I am not sure any of us know quite how to talk about it. --Roxane Gay As human beings, we’ve all experienced trauma—simply defined as the significant events that have shaped our lives and identities, no matter how big or small. During this immersive writing workshop, we will explore the complex relationship between trauma, language, and healing. We will focus on how to write about the significant events of our lives, moments which often leave…

Thursdays, October 21 - December 16 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

8 sessions
Teacher: Libby Kurz

Creative Nonfiction 1

“True Stories Told Well,” is the definition given by Lee Gutkind, the founder and publisher of Creative Nonfiction Magazine of the 4th genre known as Creative Nonfiction. Whether it be a memoir, the personal essay, or a literary journalistic article in The New Yorker, the truth can be told in a compelling way that keeps the reader engaged. In this class, we will move toward uncovering the true stories about ourselves and the world and telling them well. We will learn, through published texts…

Thursdays, October 21 - December 16 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

8 sessions
Teacher: Rachel Maher

Build Your Online Platform: Websites & Blogs

Are you ready to launch your writing career? You’ll need an online presence where readers can find you. In this class, we’ll work through the step-by-step process of setting up the typical three-page author website. Plus, we will explore how to start a blog and examine ways to keep a blog fresh and successful. Students should plan to bring a laptop to class to complete in-class exercises.

Saturdays, October 23 - November 6 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

3 sessions
Teacher: Belinda Elliott

Fiction 1

We all have stories to tell, whether we’ve never written anything before, or we’re dusting off the old writing muscles and getting back in the game. This class is a foundational course to get started or begin writing fiction again. We will learn and explore all of the essential fundamentals of the craft of fiction writing. We will discover and begin to understand how to write an active scene, define a character, and move your story from A to B,…

Mondays, October 25 - December 13 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

8 sessions
Teacher: Abi Putnam

Write Anything 

This general creative writing class is an invitation to hone your unique writing voice in a creative and open atmosphere. You will have the unique opportunity to explore what you enjoy, be it fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry. This multi-genre workshop is an excellent first writing class as well as a place for seasoned writers to explore different forms and techniques or work in whichever style of writing seems most appropriate for each inspiration. We’ll move through creative exercises, prompts,…

Tuesdays, October 26 - December 7 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Sarah Pringle

Real Med. True Psych.

Stories in all genres often feature medical scenarios or characters with psychological challenges. This class will explore common medical mistakes that writers make, how to correct them, and how to craft medical scenes that serve the author's plot and character objectives. Using examples from literature and film, the class will also explore various psychological conditions relevant to character and plot development, including thought, mood, and personality disorders.

October 30 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Michael Krentz

Writing Compelling Heroes

Creating a hero (protagonist) for a story sounds simple. This is the person we care about, root for, want to protect. But it is one thing to write a likeable character and another to write a compelling character. Many writers have difficulty rounding out their heroes, warts and all. Most of us have picked up a book, been interested for a few pages, or even chapters, and then put the book down, never to return. In this class, we will…

October 30 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Jean Klein

November 2021

Start Writing, Keep Writing… Write Now 

Creative writing is fun! And finding your voice doesn’t have to be hard work. It’s just a matter of letting your words and ideas flow onto the page without tinkering and re-tinkering your way into a creative cul-de-sac. In this class, you’ll write--in the moment--to cues and prompts and then share your work in a safe and positive environment. (You can always opt out.) You can write in whatever form inspires you, from prose (memoir, nonfiction, fiction) to poetry. Class…

Mondays, November 1 - December 6 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Alison Schoew

Poetry 1

Whether you’re brand new to poetry or just need a refresher on the craft of writing poems, this class will focus on the fundamentals of what makes a great poem. With a strong emphasis on how to read a poem as a writer, this class mixes both traditional and formal poetry with modern contemporary examples and covers the basics of form and language. This class will help you build your toolbox of literary devices to begin crafting poems on your…

Mondays, November 1 - December 6 @ 7:00 pm EDT - 9:30 pm EDT

6 sessions
Teacher: Kindra McDonald

Five Amazing Ways to Improve Your Writing

Most writers, both new and experienced, have heard advice such as: “Write in the active voice; show don’t tell; don’t filter experiences; don’t use vague words.” Excellent wisdom, but how do you implement these ideas? What one word can you search for that highlights major improvement opportunities? What simple principle guarantees you’ll write in active language? Join us and explore five methods to improve any prose, build an “in the now” narrative experience, and create scenes that MOVE–keeping your readers…

November 6 @ 10:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Rick Eley

Writing the High Concept Short Story

Description coming soon.

November 6 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

Teacher: Steven Salpeter

Patience and Publishing: A Guide to Getting Published

Most writers dream of publishing a book with a hard cover, amazing cover art, and their photo on the dust jacket. But how do we get there? In this seminar, we will discuss various paths to publishing–the successes, the failures, and even more of the failures. We will learn strategies for presenting our stories to magazines, agents, and publishers, from choosing the best agency for your work to developing an attention grabbing query letter. We will also discuss specific markets…

November 7 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Patrick Dacey

Journaling for Self-Discovery

Surprise is an important element in any writer’s work. One reason? It’s a good lie detector. When we’ve failed to surprise ourselves, it’s often because we haven’t surrendered control. Instead, we allow our fears to dictate where we should go, what we should think, and especially how we should write. The danger in this passivity is we lose ourselves, which is why surprise focuses our attention. It demands action. Surprise is what helps us loosen our grip on the world,…

Saturdays, November 13 - December 11 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST

4 sessions
Teacher: Amanda Gomez

Chiaroscuro: The Poetry of Memory

Our lives and our sense of life are made up of what we remember of lived experience. Though we may not be conscious of the effort, we spend our lives constructing a library of recollections that chronicle what we’ve learned to love, fear, crave, and despise. We imagine the future—for better and for worse—in terms of how we feel about what we remember. In this workshop, we will use memory as fuel for writing. This will allow us to engage…

Saturdays, November 13 - December 11 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST

4 sessions
Teacher: Tim Seibles

Plotting with a Twist

Readers love a good plot twist or reveal, but what makes one good--or bad? Learn how to use foreshadowing, clues, and red herrings to direct (and misdirect!) your reader's attention so that when the big reveal comes, they aren't angry at you for hitting them out of nowhere with something they never could have predicted, they're mad at themselves for not having seen what was obvious.

November 13 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST

Teacher: Erin Beaty

Writing Police Reform

How have police forces and police work changed in the US over our 200 year history? And how do we make our stories of crime and punishment or social outrage and heroic sacrifices ring true to a reader, no matter the era? In this Research for Writers Seminar led by a noted police officer, take a journey from the policing concepts set forth by Sir Robert Peele in England to the reforms of today. We will discuss the role of…

November 13 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Mike Lovely

The Ultra-Talk Poetry Workshop

Often you feel the sensation it’s not only completely natural to write lines in poems as if you’re seated next to a fun passenger through a long Amtrak tunnel ride (like weeks) and these seats are so comfy and roomy the both of you are moving mouths, actually speaking to one another. Most of your tangents aren’t even sliding into politics, and if the conversation tilts a little one-sided, it balances fast, sun is going down, wow it’s really getting…

Sundays, November 14 - December 12 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

4 sessions
Teacher: Jeffrey Hecker

Querying 101

You are ready to start querying your manuscript to agents. That’s so exciting! But what exactly is a query? What do you include in it? How do you even figure out who to query? If you make a mistake, will you be on some publishing blacklist forever? (The answer to that last one is absolutely not). There’s a lot of information online and it can be confusing. This seminar with Caitie Flum will teach you all of the querying basics…

November 14 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Caitie Flum

The Craft of Heroic Fantasy Fiction

Whether you’re writing swashbuckling fantasy or sending readers into another world of your own imagination, it’s essential to keep your plot moving without neglecting your characters. This workshop discusses the essential ways to bring your heroes and villains to life, convey a vibrant setting without slowing your pace, and fashion a tale that will have your readers eager to turn every page.

November 20 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST

Experimental Forms: Poetry, Prose, and Beyond

This class will engage with exemplary poetry, prose, and visual art with a particular interest in hybrid and experimental forms to help broaden our understanding of what constitutes a story. We will consider experimental movements such as Dada and Oulipo as well as contemporary experimental writers and artists who work to dissolve our conception of genre boundaries. These readings will potentially inspire multimedia possibilities in our own writing, as the class will allow time for students to generate their own…

November 20 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Sierra Foltz

How to Self-Publish Your Book

You’ve written a great book, but the query letter/literary agent/publisher game isn’t your cup of tea. Have you considered self-publishing? With print-on-demand, it's easier than ever to get your book into print—and e-books are even easier! From platform choice to formatting and cover design, this workshop will answer your questions and walk you through the process of getting your manuscript ready to market in both print and e-book formats.

November 20 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Lisa Ray

Creating Your Author Brand

Everyone has a personal brand these days: authors, writers, comedians, storytellers of all kind have some kind of brand and/or persona. My seminar will help attendants learn what a brand is, how to identify theirs, and ways to use it to promote their work or storytelling.

November 21 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Lauren Hope

December 2021

Creating Believable Dialogue in Fiction

This seminar is designed for writers who want to sharpen their ability to write engaging and realistic dialogue. The class begins with examples of dialogue from various writers such as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Jamaica Kinkaid, Toni Morrison, Kelly Link, and Lorri Moor. After some examination and discussion, students will work on prompts and write a scene including dialogue that reveals character development. Students will have a chance to share and provide feedback for each other’s work.

December 4 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST

Writing the Universe Outside Our Galaxy

What lies beyond the spiral arms of the Milky Way? What other kinds of galaxies exist besides our own? Could intelligent life have developed in any of them, and could we ever travel there? In this Research for Writers seminar, we will explore the universe beyond the confines of our own galaxy. Beginning with the Magellanic Clouds, we will consider our closest neighbors to the Milky Way, and see how they are connected to our galaxy by a tenuous bridge…

December 4 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: John Aguiar

How to Submit Your Work to Magazines and Journals

You’ve crafted your writing; now it’s time to get it published! This two-session seminar will guide you through the world of submitting to literary journals and magazines from start to finish. First, we'll discuss our individual publishing challenges, review our work in an optional short workshop, and then start pulling together a submission while we learn about file organization, proper formatting, crafting a cover letter, finding markets that fit our work, and how to utilize social media. Then after we've…

Sundays, December 5 - December 12 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

2 sessions
Teacher: Shannon Curtin

Making Sci-Fi and Fantasy Digestible

Elaborate worldbuilding is a hallmark of science fiction and fantasy, but so is the plethora of confusing, unpronounceable, made up words and concepts. With so much information needed to tell your story, it's easy to overwhelm your audience. This class will discuss ways to build a fantastical world and ease readers into it, making it more likely they'll remember characters, places, and events. We'll also address how to put complex ideas into a concise, understandable, and intriguing pitch for agents…

December 11 @ 10:00 am EST - 12:30 pm EST

Teacher: Erin Beaty

Writing About Family

Family. What word could be more evocative when thinking about writing memoir? And what better timing for a class like this than sandwiched between so many holidays when our interactions with family are often more intensely fraught? Our sense of family is inextricably linked to our sense of home, both of which are foundational to memoir. Family is experienced and internalized in deeply personal and intimate ways yet institutionalized within our culture. While we may experience our own families in…

December 11 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST

Teacher: Deborah J. Cohan
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