CLASSES

 

Let’s Start at the Beginning: Writing a Strong Narrative Opening

Saturday, June 12, 2021

taught by Kent Lenz and Sarah K. Lenz

2 pm to 4 pm

via Zoom

Click here to register for this free event. Registration closes 1 hour before the event starts. 

We believe that literary arts education should be accessible for all, which is why we don't charge for our monthly classes. However, we appreciate a donation of $10 to defray costs.

As a writer, you know you need to hook your reader in the beginning. Most editors and readers won't read past the first page if the prose doesn't capture their interest. The problem is we often equate suspense and imagery with a good opening and forget the basics of strong narration.

 

In this class, we’ll look at several examples of effective openings in both fiction and creative nonfiction, so you’ll get a good sense of what to do (and what not to do) when you start your story.

 

During our studio practice, we’ll work on the basics of opening a story, using an innovative set of exercises. You’ll finishing this workshop with an opening to a narrative piece that will make you excited to write more.

 

The Hermit Crab Form, for all Genres

Saturday, July 31, 2021

taught by Dr. Robin Carstensen

2 pm to 4 pm CDT

via Zoom

Click here to register for this free event.

Registration closes 1 hour before the event starts. 

Writers of all skill levels welcome!

We believe that literary arts education should be accessible for all, which is why we don't charge for our monthly classes. However, we appreciate a donation of $10 to defray costs.

About this class:

The key to the hermit crab shell is to choose a non-literary form that has a known structure, and use that structure to write on your subject of choice. Just as a hermit crab will appropriate any container it feels is suitable for its abode, so too, can the writer use existing found shells. 

We'll take a look at a terrific essay, fiction piece, and poem using this form in: "The Hermit Crab Essay: Brenda Miller Unshells Her Own," with a link to Miller's own famous hermit crab essay, "We Regret to Inform You," a series of fictional/nonfictional blend of rejection letters. Fiction by Dan Brotzel: "Active and Passive Voice"   Nonfiction by R. Tiara Malone: "That Time U Wore Encye Kinda Changed My Life," and Layli Long Soldier's "Whereas."  

We'll follow-up with some exercises in our own use of the hermit crab form to get at the subjects beneath the surface. 

Some Other: Introducing Your Narrator

Saturday, August 14, 2021

taught by Oso Guardiola

2 pm to 4 pm CDT

via Zoom

Click here to register for this free event.

Registration closes 1 hour before the event starts.

Writers of all skill levels welcome!

We believe that literary arts education should be accessible for all, which is why we don't charge for our monthly classes. However, we appreciate a donation of $10 to defray costs.

About this class:

Instruction will give students a basic understanding of psychic distance, how to analyze it, and how to use it. We will begin with a simple explanation of psychic distance from John Gardner’s Art of Fiction. This will be followed by a few exercises and examples. Once a basic understanding is achieved, we will move on to more deviant examples from Hispanic literature, and analyze how John Gardner’s rules can be broken so long as the author knows how to introduce their narrator, their narrator’s capacity, and the character of their narrator. By the end of the lesson, we will have advanced beyond the basic craft tool of psychic distance, into the more general and nuanced notion of introducing ones narrator.

 

Although there will be some talk of first-person narration, this lesson will be most helpful to those interested in third-person narration.