Friday, July 3, 2015

Fiction Friday: The Writer's Staycation

The following blog post is a shameless plug for a series of classes being offered by Words Worth Writing Center, this summer, including one I'm teaching.

Words Worth is one of the really great things about Dayton, Ohio. Most of the big corporations have shaken my little town's dust off their wingtips, leaving us with few deep pockets to back the Arts, but somehow we've managed to maintain a thriving Arts community in spite of that. There are galleries to all tastes, a symphony orchestra, an opera company and two dance troupes, including DCDC, one of the most well-regarded African American dance companies in the world. There are several professional theater associations and a whole raft of community theater groups. Even without big corporate money, Dayton's art culture thrives.

Anyway, Darren McGarvey, teacher of English and Drama at Centerville High School and a writer himself, thought it would be a good idea if there was a place in the Dayton area where writers could commune with other scribblers and have opportunities to develop their craft. I've taken several classes there. It was through Words Worth that I met my amazing critique partner, Nicole Amsler.

Anyway, the Writer's Staycation classes are as follows:

A Swift Kick in the Pants 
Instructor: Katrina Kittle  
Whether you’ve been writing a long time or are just starting out, finding (and efficiently using) writing time is nearly every writer’s greatest challenge. This class is full of tips, strategies, and motivation to manage writing time, hold yourself accountable, keep your butt in the chair, and get some words on the page! Several writing prompts for those who are stuck and in need of inspiration will also be given.    

Writing YOUR Story
Instructor: Darren McGarvey 
Ever feel like your life belongs between the covers of a book? This workshop will help generate ideas and teach some of the basic techniques of writing journal entries, personal essays, and memoirs. You’ll leave with a few starts, a number of ideas, and will be ready to put thousands of words on the pages.    

Putting a Little (or a lot) of Mystery in Your Fiction
Instructor: Sharon Short 
Your fiction may well be beautifully written and populated with interesting characters... but is it compelling enough? Mystery writing techniques will help you create suspenseful, compelling, page turning fiction... for any genre of fiction. This workshop, appropriate for mystery writers as well as writers in all other fiction genres, will explore the techniques used to create mystery novels and show how you can apply them to your own work. Writing exercises and prompts will help you discover how to make your story as deliciously page-turning as the very best who-dun-its.    

Queries and Questions About Traditional Publishing
Instructor: Katrina Kittle 
This 2-hour class will give a Traditional Publishing 101 overview, explaining the sometimes complicated and convoluted process of getting a novel published through this route. We will look at how to research agents, how to write a strong query letter, and how to construct a pitch. Participants will look at and critique sample queries and will “rehearse” a pitch for feedback.    

Building a Short Story from the Ground Up
Instructor: Erin Flanagan 

You’ve got great characters and a great idea, but how do you set them both in motion and keep the momentum going? Looking at structure and causation in short stories, we’ll discuss strategies to avoid common pitfalls in a story’s beginning, middle, and the ever-crucial end.

Plotting 101: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict
Instructor: Jeanne Estridge  

You’ve got a fabulous premise and you’re totally in love with your characters, but somehow your story isn’t shaping up to be the riveting tale you envisioned. After reviewing goal, motivation and conflict—the keys to writing compelling fiction—we’ll discuss class members’ works-in-progress and apply the techniques we’ve learned to help each other solve plot problems and ramp up the action.    

More info (like When? Where? and How Much? here.

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