FALL 2018 CLASSES & SEMINARS

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SEMINARS | FICTION | NON-FICTION | SCREENWRITING | POETRY | ONLINE CLASSES

SEMINARS

Special NaNoWriMo Prep Seminars

5 NaNoWriMo Prep Seminars in the Month of October

It’s NaNoWriMo time! From experience, we know that writers who prepare for NaNoWriMo reach their goal of 50,000 words, and we’re here to help you stay focused with five craft-focused seminars the month before NaNoWriMo begins so that you are ready to go when November 1st rolls around. These special seminars will be led by Tex Thompson, Jaye Wells, JR. Forasteros, and Blake Atwood. To register for one of our NaNoWriMo Prep seminars below, just click the registration button under the seminar and add it to the cart. All Seminars will meet at The Drawing Board in Richardson. Seminars include:

  • Dialect to Die For with Tex Thompson - October 25th

  • Writing Villains Who Beg Your Readers to Root for Them with JR. Forasteros - October 28th

  • How to Find Your Plot: A Storytelling Seminar with JR. Forasteros - Live Stream Recording Available

  • Masters of the Universe: World Building for Speculative Fiction Writers with Jaye Wells - Live Stream Recording Available

  • Scrivener 101: How to Start Using Your New Favorite Writing App with Blake Atwood - Live Stream Recording Available

Note: You can attend these NaNoWriMo seminars a la carte or buy a bundle and receive a discount. Each individual seminar is $50, or you can buy discount bundles of 2 or more Prep seminars:

  • First Package: 2 seminars at $80

  • Second Package: 3 Seminars at $120

  • Third Package: 4 Seminars at $160

  • Fourth Package: All 5 Seminars at $200

Dialect to Die For

A Special NanoWriMo Prep Seminar

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 6:30PM TO 9:00PM

When it comes to dialect, we often hear that 'less is more'. So how do you render a good Scottish brogue, or Southern drawl – and for that matter, how can you give a non-English-speaking character a voice that's distinct but still readable?  In this class, we'll examine how to represent accents and speakers of other languages in a way that captures their voices without reducing them to verbal tics, gimmicks, or stereotypes.

Instructor Tex Thompson is a ‘rural fantasy’ author, egregiously enthusiastic speaker, and professional ruckus-raiser. She is the author of  Children of the Drought – an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris, as well as an instructor for the Writers Path at SMU and ‘chief instigator’ of WORD – Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas. Now she’s blazing a trail through writers conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, catastrophically cheerful one-woman stampede. Find her online at thetexfiles.com and wordwriters.org!

Fee: $50 | Live Stream Available!

  • Tex Thompson, Presenter

  • Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 6:30PM to 9:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

How to Write Science Fiction that Sells

Sunday, November 4, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Anyone can write tales about robots and aliens, but does that really make it science fiction? The truth is modern readers and publishers of written science fiction are much more sophisticated and demanding than those in the days of bug-eyed monsters and scantily clad space pirate queens. Come join our discussion about how you can avoid these worst tropes and stereotypes, why you don't have to be a scientist to write good science fiction, get tips and shortcuts for researching the science in your story and learn why written science fiction is quite different than what you watch on TV and in movies.

Instructor William Ledbetter is a Nebula Award winning author with more than sixty speculative fiction stories and non-fiction articles published in markets such as Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Analog. He's been a space and technology geek since childhood and spent most of his non-writing career in the aerospace and defense industry. He lives near Dallas with his wife, a needy dog and two spoiled cats. His new novel "Level Five" is available from Audible Originals. Learn more at www.williamledbetter.com

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • William Ledbetter, Presenter

  • Sunday, November 4, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

Claiming Your Territory: Fiction or Memoir?

Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

This seminar will explore the formal and expressive possibilities—and limits—of fiction and memoir to address the question: Which genre might best serve the stories you want to tell, including the stories from your own life? The Nobel Laureate novelist Saul Bellow once said, “Fiction is the higher autobiography.” We’ll debate this claim and also consider the recent emergence of autofiction, a hybrid literary form that blurs if not erases the boundary between actual and imagined events. How might you exploit such boundary ambiguity to express your own felt experience, your voice, and the truth of your narrative? And what is truth in a literary context? Using, among other sources, the novelist Paul Auster’s compilation of true stories from NPR’s “National Story Project,” we’ll look at real-life narratives and then consider short fiction that corresponds to those narratives in plot and theme. As we analyze the qualities anchoring each genre, we’ll expand our sense of how the eye (perception of experience) and the mind’s eye (imagination) animate each one. We’ll generate our own fiction and nonfiction in the class, experimenting with how various elements—such as shape, voice/tone, and selective imagery—realize our intentions. We’ll also discuss:

  • The challenge of memory

  • The history of the tradition of blended literary genres

  • The classic writing advice to write what you know

Instructor Eden Elieff: Eden is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, a teacher, and private writing coach. She has published work in literary journals, the Dallas Morning News, and also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • Eden Elieff Presenter

  • Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar. Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.


Surprising Beginnings, Startling Endings

Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

We all know that beginnings and endings are tough to write. Kurt Vonnegut says we should begin a piece as close to the end as possible; essayist Ryan Van Meter believes that great endings resemble pieces of music. In this Sunday seminar, we will discuss and practice techniques for finding compelling conclusions, and the introductions that spawn them. Not sure where to start? How to stop? Let’s find out together.

Instructor Amy Bernhard is a writer whose essays appear in The Rumpus, VICE Magazine, Catapult, Hazlitt, Redivider, The Toast, Ninth Letter, The Iowa Review, and The Colorado Review, among others. She presently teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Texas-Arlington and The University of Iowa.  She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program, and her work has been awarded grants from The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Virginia Center for the Arts.

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • Amy Bernhard, Presenter

  • Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.


Legal Issues For Writers

Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Doesn't matter if you write books, articles, or screenplays, every writer must negotiate a minefield of legal issues on the road to publication or production.  Attorney Mike Farris, an expert in this field, will guide you through that minefield, addressing common questions that all writers have, plus some you may never have thought of.  Topics will include:

  • How, and why, to register your copyright

  • What is copyright infringement?

  • What is the “public domain”?

  • Defamation, invasion of privacy, and the right of publicity

  • The agency agreement

  • The publishing contract

  • How to obtain life rights

  • The option/purchase agreement for film rights/screenplays

  • How to protect your work when pitching to film producers

  • Collaboration agreements and works-for-hire

About Attorney Mike Farris: Mike was lead attorney in the Fifty Shades of Grey litigation in Fort Worth that resulted in a $13.25 million judgment in favor of his client.  He negotiated the sale of film rights to The Free State of Jones for his client The University of North Carolina Press, which was made into a major motion picture starring Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey and directed by multi-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross. Film rights to Mike's Hawaiian true crime book, A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow, have been optioned by Aaron and Jordan Kandell, two of the writers on the Disney hit Moana. Mike's latest true crime book is Poor Innocent Lad: The Tragic Death of Gill Jamieson and the Execution of Myles Fukunaga, set in the Territory of Hawaii in 1928-1929. Mike is also the author of seven published novels, including thrillers such as The Bequest and Manifest Intent, and the Hawaiian historical fiction Isle of Broken Dreams.

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • Mike Farris, Presenter

  • Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

FICTION CLASSES

8-Week Mixed Levels Fiction

Class Begins Monday, October 22, 2018

This workshop is built for short story writers and novelists. Led by Blake Kimzey, named one of D Magazine's Artists to Learn From in 2018, the course is designed around in-class workshopping of student manuscripts and discussion of some assigned outside reading. We'll study Benjamin Percy's craft essays, which will help students write stories with narrative momentum without sacrificing literary merit or voice. And we’ll use Ron Carlson's concepts of inner story, outer story, and narrative inventory and focus on fundamental techniques of fiction, including plot, characterization, scene, setting, dialogue, timeline, and point of view. Each week we’ll focus on craft and discuss published work, though the central focus of each class meeting will be the discussion of student work. Student fiction will be workshopped in a supportive, respectful, and constructively critical environment with the goal of improving an individual’s voice and vision for their piece via traditional elements of craft.

Each writer will have two opportunities to have his or her work critiqued in class (up to 25 pages each time) and will receive typed feedback from both the instructor and his or her classmates. A private conference with the instructor is included. Students are required to purchase a copy of Thrill Me by Benjamin Percy as the foundational text for this course.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of Thrill Me by Benjamin Percy and a Short Story Collection TBD as the foundational texts for this course.

Instructor Blake Kimzey founded and directs Writing Workshops Dallas. His short fiction has been broadcast on NPR, performed on stage in Los Angeles, and published by Tin House, McSweeney’s, VICE Magazine, Redivider, Green Mountains Review, Short Fiction, FiveChapters, The Lifted Brow, Hobart, Puerto del Sol, The Los Angeles Review, The Masters Review, Booth, Faultline, FLAUNT Magazine, Malibu Magazine, Day One, Fiction Southeast, Surreal South '13, and selected by Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions 2015. He is a graduate of the MFA Program at UC Irvine and currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Blake Kimzey, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • Meets Mondays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 22, 2018 to December 10, 2018

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

8-Week Novel Foundation Series: World Building with Jaye Wells

Class Begins Tuesday, October 23, 2018

While every genre requires some sort of world building, not every writer takes full advantage of this powerful tool to add depth and breadth to their stories. In this eight-week workshop, we’ll explore approaches to world building and discuss strategies used by bestselling authors of all genres to create and reveal them. The two foundational texts of this course represent two extremes of world building, and we’ll compare and contrast them in order to dive deep into world craft. 

We’ll also discuss the dynamic relationship between world building and story, character, and theme. Additional topics include series versus standalone worlds, macrocosms versus microcosms, and how to steal world building techniques from other genres to make your novel stand out in the marketplace.  In addition to discussion and lectures, participants will do world building exercises and have an opportunity to submit pages from their works-in-progress for critique. Special attention will be given in our workshop to ensuring writers are effectively introducing their worlds in a way that promises a fantastic story.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, which will be used to illustrate concepts explored in class.

Instructor Jaye Wells is a USA Today-bestselling author of nineteen speculative fiction books, including her most recent novel, High Lonesome Sound. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Learn more about Jaye at www.jayewells.com

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Jaye Wells, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • Meets Tuesdays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 23, 2018 to December 18, 2018 (Note: Class will not meet November 6th)

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

NON-FICTION CLASSES

 

8-Week Introduction to the Personal Essay

Class Begins Sunday, October 21, 2018

2 SPOTS OPEN

Did you know that Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, Wild, which later became a blockbuster movie starring Reese Witherspoon, was based off of one of Strayed’s personal essays? In this course we will read that piece, in addition to many others, in order to identify and investigate the fundamental techniques for writing personal nonfiction. We will also consult selected chapters from Lee Gutkind’s You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, which will guide our weekly discussions of topics ranging from narrative frame and rendering scenes to ethical concerns and fact checking.

Each week, we will talk about the assigned readings, participate in writing exercises, and—most importantly—discuss each other’s work. Students will have two opportunities to have their work critiqued (up to 20 pages each time), and they will receive feedback from the instructor as well as their classmates. In addition to providing written feedback, students will also be expected to adhere to respectful and open-minded workshopping standards. No prior nonfiction study or workshop experience is required.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction, edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone and You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, by Lee Gutkind.

Instructor Mag Gabbert holds a PhD in creative writing from Texas Tech University and an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, 32 Poems, Stirring, Carve Magazine, Sugar House Review and The Nervous Breakdown, among other places. She currently teaches creative writing for the Graduate Department of Liberal Studies at Southern Methodist University and serves as an editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Mag Gabbert, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • Meets Sundays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 21, 2018 to December 9, 2018

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

8-Week Memoir & Fiction: Exploring Voice & Vision in Different Genres

Class Begins Tuesday, October 23, 2018

All stories, fiction or nonfiction, grapple with the interplay of truth and imagination. Writers strive to manifest a voice that will compel a reader’s trust but also empower their vision and drive to discover new, unanticipated meanings and possibilities in their narratives. The late Tom Wolfe, both journalist and novelist, described his hybrid work in these terms: “It’s not just that reporting gives you a bigger slice of life—lends verisimilitude to what you are doing—it’s that it feeds the imagination.”

In this spirit, we'll explore fiction and memoir as platforms from which to tell our stories. What genre might offer perspectives, form, and techniques to best realize your intentions? Or does one best suit the particular story you want to tell? You’ll have the opportunity to treat the same story in different genres, or maybe you have different ideas to pursue in both fiction and memoir. To guide our inquiry, we’ll consider the formal and expressive qualities of each genre through published short stories and creative nonfiction, along with essays on craft. The aim of this class is not to choose one genre over the other as the “right” one for you. Rather, we’ll approach our inquiry in the spirit of experimentation, guided by the questions: What domain summons your most authentic voice and ignites your most vital and powerful writing? How will you use your imagination to gain a deeper connection with your narrative and characters—whether they’re people you’ve known in life or are discovering on the page?

Each writer will have two opportunities to have his or her work critiqued during class and will receive written feedback from the instructor and classmates.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of The Stuff of Fiction, by Douglas Bauer and The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr as the foundational texts for the course.

Instructor Eden Elieff is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, a teacher, and private writing coach. She has published work in literary journals, the Dallas Morning News, and also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Eden Elieff, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • Meets Tuesdays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 23, 2018 to December 11, 2018

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class1

SCREENWRITING CLASSES

8-Week Introduction to Screenwriting

Class Begins Monday, October 22, 2018

3 SPOTS OPEN

In this 8-week course for screenwriting novices, the student will receive a comprehensive overview of the basics of screenwriting, and will leave the class with the skills needed to confidently begin the process of outlining and writing an original screenplay. Primarily lecture-based, each week we will cover/review topics that the student will have read about in the assigned readings. Topics include but are not limited to: screenplay structure, technical formatting of screenplays, the differences between TV and feature film scripts, single cam vs. multi cam screenplays, and the top 10 deadly sins to avoid when writing a screenplay. You'll round out the course by analyzing two pilot episodes (Modern Family and The Good Wife), looking at two different versions of LA LA LAND, and close the class with an analysis of the film. In our final time together, the instructor will lead a demonstration on how to use Final Draft, the industry standard screenplay writing software.

Note: Students are required to purchase The Hollywood Standard: The Complete Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style by Christopher Riley and Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.

Instructor Whitney Davis is the founder of Whitney Davis Literary, a boutique literary consultancy offering management for screenwriters and editorial/career consulting services for writers. After receiving her BA in Literature and Creative Writing, Whitney moved to Los Angeles where she started out as a TV writer, getting signed to the William Morris Agency (now WME) at the age of 26. During the writers strike, Whitney began her career as a freelance script consultant and developmental story editor for aspiring screenwriters and novelists. Over the past 10 years, Whitney has worked with award winning novelists and optioned/produced screenwriters. In the screenwriting world, she moves best in the TV space, and her clients have pitched their scripts to several studios that include HBO, FX, Netflix and Hallmark to name a few. Whitney is a sought after panelist and conference speaker, participating at events all over the country. In the last year, she has spoken at The Great American Pitchfest, the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, The Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference, The Genre LA Conference, and has paneled at events such as AWP’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Washington D.C, the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival and was selected as a guest of honor for an International Screenwriting Association event this past summer. You can find her at several more events in 2017. Whitney has a passion for storytelling and loves encouraging writers to fulfill their dreams.  You can find her across all social media platforms at @wdavisliterary.

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Whitney Davis, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 10 students

  • Meets Mondays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 22, 2018 to December 10, 2018

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

8-Week Intermediate Screenwriting: From Concept to Outline

Class Begins Tuesday, October 23, 2018

In this 8-week intermediate screenwriting course, students receive a comprehensive overview of screenwriting and come away with a solid logline, synopsis and outline for their story: the necessary tools needed to begin writing an original screenplay or TV Pilot.  During class, students delve deeper into the basic topics to take their concept to the next level—from idea to the page. By studying and analyzing setting, characters, plot structure, act breaks and twists, dialogue and more, students will be ready to outline their story.  Each week, students take turns presenting ideas to the class and receiving live feedback from the class and instructor. During the last two classes, each student will pitch their concept and will feedback.  This class is for students with a basic knowledge of screenwriting who'd like to prep themselves to write a professional screenplay.

Note: Students are required to purchase Story by Robert McKee and The Anatomy of Story by John Truby.

Instructor Whitney Davis is the founder of Whitney Davis Literary, a boutique literary consultancy offering management for screenwriters and editorial/career consulting services for writers. After receiving her BA in Literature and Creative Writing, Whitney moved to Los Angeles where she started out as a TV writer, getting signed to the William Morris Agency (now WME) at the age of 26. During the writers strike, Whitney began her career as a freelance script consultant and developmental story editor for aspiring screenwriters and novelists. Over the past 10 years, Whitney has worked with award winning novelists and optioned/produced screenwriters. In the screenwriting world, she moves best in the TV space, and her clients have pitched their scripts to several studios that include HBO, FX, Netflix and Hallmark to name a few. Whitney is a sought after panelist and conference speaker, participating at events all over the country. In the last year, she has spoken at The Great American Pitchfest, the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, The Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference, The Genre LA Conference, and has paneled at events such as AWP’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Washington D.C, the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival and was selected as a guest of honor for an International Screenwriting Association event this past summer. You can find her at several more events in 2017. Whitney has a passion for storytelling and loves encouraging writers to fulfill their dreams.  You can find her across all social media platforms at @wdavisliterary.

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Whitney Davis, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 10 students

  • Meets Tuesdays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 23, 2018 to December 11, 2018

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

8-Week Advanced Screenwriting

Class Begins Thursday, October 25, 2018

Capped at 8 students, this class designed for those ready to advance their screenwriting career. Students must have at least a partial draft of a movie or TV pilot to enroll in the class.  Each week, students will not only study advanced techniques in screenwriting (format, structure, etc.) but they will have the opportunity to workshop the finished scripts, with the class reviewing one script per week.  This portion of the workshop will include a table read, feedback and detailed notes from the instructor.  This class prepares students desiring to submit their work to screenwriting contests, fellowships and/or production companies.

Note: Students are required to purchase Advanced Screenwriting by Linda Seger.

Instructor Rex McGee is a native of North Texas and a protege of the legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder. McGee has sold over 20 scripts for film and television since receiving his BA in Cinema from USC.  He has worked in both Los Angeles and Texas as a screenwriter and journalist, and he has conducted screenwriting and creativity workshops at SMU for the last 19 years. His film credits include Warner Brothers’ Pure Country, starring George Strait, Hallmark’s Where There’s a Will, starring Marion Ross and Keith Carradine, and the IMAX film, Texas: The Big Picture, for the Texas State History Museum in Austin. A member of the Writers Guild of America, West, he has collaborated on his screenplays with directors Jon Amiel, John Putch, Peter Masterson, Robert Mulligan, and Billy Wilder.  He adapted his own original screenplay of Pure Country for the musical stage, which premiered in 2017 at Lyric Stage in Irving, Texas: purecountrythemusical.com

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Rex McGee, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 10 students

  • Meets Thursdays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 25, 2018 to December 20, 2018 (Note: Class does not meet week of Thanksgiving)

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

POETRY CLASSES

6-Week Poetry I: Poetry for Beginners

Class Begins Monday, October 22, 2018

Have you always wanted to write poetry, but never found the time to give it a try? Or perhaps you aren’t sure where to start, or are nervous to share what you’ve already written? If so, this class is for you! In this jam-packed, six-week course, we’ll read poetry from historic time periods as well as the present moment in order to trace the evolution of the genre and see what’s most popular now. We will also consult selected chapters from Kenneth Koch’s Making Your Own Days, which will guide our weekly discussions of topics ranging from poetic forms and traditions to descriptive techniques and revision strategies.

Each week, we will talk about the assigned readings, participate in writing exercises, and—most importantly—discuss each other’s work. Students will have two opportunities to have their work critiqued (up to 2 poems each time), and they will receive feedback from the instructor as well as their classmates. In addition to providing written feedback, students will also be expected to adhere to respectful and open-minded workshopping standards.

Note: Students are required to purchase The Best of the Best American Poetry: 25th Anniversary Edition, edited by Robert Pinsky and David Lehman and Making Your Own Days, by Kenneth Koch.

Instructor Mag Gabbert holds a PhD in creative writing from Texas Tech University and an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, 32 Poems, Stirring, Carve Magazine, Sugar House Review and The Nervous Breakdown, among other places. She currently teaches creative writing for the Graduate Department of Liberal Studies at Southern Methodist University and serves as an editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.

Fee: $395 for new students; $370 for returning students.

  • Mag Gabbert, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • Meets Mondays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 22, 2018 to November 26, 2018

  • Class meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

ONLINE CLASSES

ONLINE 8-Week Novel I with Jaye Wells

Class Begins Monday, October 22, 2018

2 SPOTS OPEN

Writing a novel is a complex and time-consuming endeavor that requires mental stamina. Writers who want to master the form need a toolbox of craft techniques, a supportive network, and mentoring from a pro who has been there and can offer proven strategies for success. This course, taught by USA Today Bestselling author Jaye Wells, is for writers of all levels and genres who are serious about learning the craft of writing great novels. Each week, we will explore the fundamental building blocks of novels, including characterization, world building, plotting and story structure, themes, and point of view. In addition, we’ll focus on building the skill of reading like a writer as we analyze a classic published novel and by critiquing each other’s work to underscore craft concepts. Students will have two opportunities to have pages of their novel-in-progress workshopped in a supportive environment with the goal of improving craft, voice, and clarity. In addition, each student will receive one-on-one mentoring from the instructor to address individual goals and challenges.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller, which will be used to illustrate concepts explored in class.

Instructor Jaye Wells is a USA Today-bestselling author of nineteen speculative fiction books, including her most recent novel, High Lonesome Sound. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Learn more about Jaye at www.jayewells.com

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Jaye Wells, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • October 22, 2018 to December 10, 2018

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

ONLINE 8-Week Planning Out a Novel or Series

Class Begins Monday, October 22, 2018

This is a workshop in fiction writing for beginners with no experience and intermediate students who want to streamline their writing process. Led by Amber Royer, whose debut novel Free Chocolate has been named one of the Barnes & Noble SFF Blog’s 25 Debuts to Watch for in 2018, the class is designed to make you a more methodical and organized writer of long-form fiction. The course focuses on techniques that can be used to assemble a complete story bible (a document, wiki or other interactively-formatted file that keeps data about your story universe and characters consistent and accessible) and a workable, detailed outline.  Time will be spent  doing both individual and group hands-on activities, and homework will be assigned to further develop ideas generated during those activities.  Homework will be workshopped interactively via Wet Ink, and students will have opportunities to read much of what they write in class for further peer input.  Student fiction will be workshopped in a supportive, respectful, and constructively critical environment with the goal of improving an individual’s voice and vision for their piece.

Each week we will focus on the theory found in Terry Brook’s Story Engineering and Nancy Kress’s Dynamic Characters (along with excerpts from additional works) to explain WHY writers need to think specifically about things such as plot structure and worldbuilding, and WHY you really need to get to know your characters if you want them to drive the story.  The main focus will be on generating, evaluating and organizing original student content (much of which will belong only in the story bible, not necessarily the novel itself). 

Each writer will have an opportunity each week to have his or her work critiqued (up to seven pages), and will receive feedback using through Wet Ink from both the instructor and his or her classmates. A private conference via Skype with the instructor is included. This course is also OPEN to EXPERIENCED writers who want to add new techniques to their skill set

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of Story Engineering by Larry Brooks and Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress as the foundational texts for this course.

Instructor Amber Royer's debut Science Fiction novel, Free Chocolate (June 2018), was named one of Barnes & Noble SFF Blog’s 25 Debuts to Watch for in 2018!

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Amber Royer, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • October 22, 2018 to December 10, 2018

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

ONLINE 8-Week Intro to the Personal Essay

Class Begins Monday, October 15, 2018

CLASS IS FULL - CONTACT US TO KNOW WHEN CLASS RETURNS

There is no form more timeless, or more timely, than the personal essay. But without guidance, writing narrative about your own life can be daunting. People often worry, Is it really ok to admit to things I'm not supposed to have done or felt? What if my boss reads it? What if my dad reads it? What if I hurt someone's feelings? What if my memory of events doesn't line up with someone else's memory? This class will explore those questions and others. You will get weekly writing prompts, a fun community of fellow essayists, and two chances to have your work critiqued by the group and the instructor. You will read great essays and discuss why they work (the instructor will provide links, so you won't need to buy books). Most importantly, you will do plenty of essay-writing. By the end of the course, you will have at least one polished essay. This class is for all writers, whether you've hardly written a word or have been writing for years. All you need is an Internet connection. No prior nonfiction study or workshop experience is required.

NOTE: The instructor will provide links to assigned reading material, so you won't need to buy books for this course.

Instructor Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who by Fire and Skinny, of the New York Times column Going Off, and of a nonfiction book forthcoming from Crown Publishing. Her work has appeared in GQ, the Wall Street Journal, Harper's, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, Tin House Open Bar, Paris Review Daily, Travel & Leisure, Glimmer Train Stories,  The Southern Review, Lenny Letter, Playboy, and many other publications. She is the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships, including a Hawthornden Castle Residency and the Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation. She is also a seven-time Moth Story Slam winner who has been featured on NPR.

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Diana Spechler, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • October 15, 2018 to December 10, 2018

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

ONLINE 8-Week Flash Fiction: The Art of Suddenness

Class Begins Monday, October 15, 2018

ENROLLING NOW

This ONLINE fiction writing workshop is for those with no knowledge of or intermediate experience with flash fiction. Over eight weeks, writers will examine the constrictive yet artistically expansive form of flash fiction. Participants will read published examples of flash fiction and discuss efficiency of prose, economy of language, white space/subtext, structure, sentence beauty, and debate the importance (or unimportance) of narrative to determine how flash fiction is sometimes story, and other times, perhaps, a reflection of an idea, a thought, a feeling, or stressing the complexity of an experience.

Though each week will include self-paced and peer-discussions of craft and published works, the central focus will be the discussion of student work. Writers will generate four new works of flash fiction (under 1,000 words) that will be workshopped every 1-2 weeks to further flex their aesthetics in a brief space. Student fiction will be workshopped in a supportive, respectful, and constructive environment by both peers and the instructor. Writers will leave class with four new works of fiction with peer feedback and a broader knowledge of the form, setting up writers to continue revising and polishing in the months to come.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories by Robert Shapard (Editor), James Thomas (Editor) and Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories by Tom Hazuka (Editor), Denise Thomas (Editor), James Thomas (Editor) as the texts for this course.

Instructor Zachary Tyler Vickers is the author of Congratulations on Your Martyrdom! [Indiana University Press]. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop where he was the Provost's Fellow. He is the recipient of the Richard Yates Prize and the Clark Fisher Ansley Prize for excellence in fiction. He has been a finalist for the Calvino Prize, the Gertrude Stein Award, and the ProForma Prize. His work has appeared in numerous journals. You can learn more at www.ztvickers.com.

Fee: $495 for new students; $470 for returning students.

  • Zachary Tyler Vickers, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • October 15, 2018 to December 10, 2018

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

ONLINE 6-Week Advanced Poetry Writing

Class Begins Monday, October 22, 2018

What’s your aim? Revive your love of poetry? Assemble a poetry manuscript? Prepare for graduate school? Connect with a community of poets? Whatever your goal, I welcome you to six-weeks of poetic challenge, encouragement, and inspiration! Through a combination of principles of writing, psychology, poetics, and play, this course will help you to dispel writer’s block, develop figurative and sensory language, and drive, structure, revise, and publish your poems. Each session includes writing exercises, craft lectures, open discussions, and reading assignments. Topics we’ll tackle include the writing practice, associative leaps, deep-imagery, prosody and poetic forms, tension and juxtapositions, the poetic line break, diction, compression, deep revision, and ideas for poetic engagement beyond our class. “The poets? The poets lie too much.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Note: Students are required to purchase a copy The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux (W.W. Norton, 1997) .

Instructor Janée J. Baugher is the author of two ekphrastic poetry collections, Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books) and The Body’s Physics (Tebot Bach). Baugher’s books are collected in libraries around the world, including the British Library. She holds an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and her writing has been published (or forthcoming) in 100 journals, including Tin House, The Southern Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Boulevard, Nano Fiction, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Her work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, as well as Best of the Net. She’s taught at Northeastern University; University of Phoenix; Seattle Public Library; Port Townsend Writers’ Conference; Richard Hugo House; Interlochen Center for the Arts; University of Washington–Experimental College; and Eastern State Hospital, among other places. Her interdisciplinary collaborations include work with visual artists, composers, dancers, and choreographers. Her poems have been adapted for the stage and set to music at University of Cincinnati, Contemporary Dance Theatre (OH), Interlochen Center for the Arts, Dance Now! Ensemble (Florida), and University of North Carolina-Penbroke. As a spoken-word artist, Baugher has performed at arts festivals around Seattle, and in 2011 she presented her poetry at the Library of Congress. Currently Baugher is a Poetry Reader for Boulevard Magazine. http://JaneeJBaugher.wordpress.com.

Fee: $395 for new students; $370 for returning students.

  • Janée J. Baugher, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • September 26, 2018 to October 31, 2018

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

ONLINE 5-Week Finding Your Material in the Real World

Class Begins Monday, October 15, 2018

This online course will give writers new tools to generate, track, and develop a bank of unique story ideas. How do great writers come up with their ideas? How can we control the finicky process of inspiration? How do we find the material we were meant to write? In this class, students will learn to use an idea tracker to manage and expand their ideas, and create an individualized media diet that provides a steady flow of inspiration. We’ll also use Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook to unpack the demystify the way a writer’s imagination works. And we’ll learn to develop and combine those ideas into the right beginning for a draft. Students will leave the class not only with dozens of new ideas, but also methods to keep ideas flowing in perpetuity. Avoid cliché stories and writers block by having a ready stable of stories. This class is open to writers of all levels and genres.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer.

Instructor Ethan Chatagnier is the author of Warnings from the Future, a short story collection forthcoming from Acre Books in fall 2018. His stories have been awarded a 2018 Pushcart Prize and named a notable story of the year in the 2011 Million Writers Award. His work has been published or is forthcoming in literary magazines including the New England Review, Glimmer Train, Georgia Review, Cincinnati Review, Five Points, Kenyon Review Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, Barrelhouse, Ascent, and Necessary Fiction. He is a graduate of California State University Fresno, where he won the Larry Levis prize in poetry, and of Emerson College, where he completed his M.A. in Publishing and Writing.

Fee: $325 for new students; $300 for returning students.

  • Ethan Chatagnier, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • October 15, 2018 to November 12, 2018

  • Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.