Upcoming Workshops

Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 6-9pm MT

Unreliable narrators are great fun! They might be tricksters or liars, or simply oblivious and unobservant. Or, as novelist Upton Sinclair famously said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” However, when writing an unreliable narrator, no matter how slippery that narrator is, the writer must know what is true. The trick is to write your narrator in such a way that a) the clues the reader needs are interspersed throughout; b) the reader feels engaged, not cheated, when the truth is revealed; and c) the reader’s pleasure is enhanced when they read the story a second time, now with the truth in mind.Those are some tall orders—so how do you accomplish it? In this mini-workshop, we’ll look at examples and try writing some unreliable narrators of our own! This workshop is perfect for beginner and intermediate writers of any length or genre.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform. Register here.

Thursdays for 10 months, starting September 21, 2023 | 7-9 pm

Enjoy the consistency, accountability, comradery, and support, of a small group for ten months as you work on your writing project. Chapter by Chapter is designed to encourage and motivate writers to complete a first, second, third, or final draft of their current work in progress. This is a weekly commitment with one class focused on discussion, skill building, exercises, and the next class focused on workshopping. You will be expected to write a lot of words, edit your existing work, give and receive feedback in a way that keeps one another motivated.

This class is recommended for intermediate to advanced level writers with a significant piece of work in mind – whether at the idea stage or well on your way to completion – previous participants in The Three-Month Novel Project, and those familiar and comfortable with group critique. You should be committed to finishing a bigger project and comfortable giving feedback on a variety of genres – such as, but not limited to narrative nonfiction, memoir, mystery, literary/upmarket, speculative fiction, romance – from young adult to adult – short story collections or memoir through essays also welcome.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform. Register here.

Past Workshops

It’s Got a Beat and You Can Dance to It: Rhythm and Pacing

Monday, June 12, 2023 | 6-9pm MT

Pacing and rhythm go hand in hand. When the action ramps up in a story, the sentences get shorter and choppier. When the pace slows down, longer sentences that linger on details are the way to go. In this three-hour workshop for beginning to intermediate writers, we’ll take a look at how to construct a scene that has a specific pace. We’ll discuss how to edit a scene to make its rhythm evoke the desired emotions in the readers. We’ll examine how to use dialogue and beats to vary pacing. And we’ll find the “golden moments” when a story slows to a crawl to focus on a life-changing moment for the characters. This workshop will use exercises and discussion, and will focus on sentence-level writing.

Clichés and Tropes: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Monday, May 15, 2023 | 6-9pm MT

Clichés and tropes are those tired old phrases and plot devices that we’ve all seen a million times. Not to beat a dead horse, but clichés are so last week. Or are they? What if clichés are clichés for a reason, and we could all stand to take a second look? What are the uses and benefits of clichés? How do we twist them and subvert them—or should we? When we find ourselves falling into the same old plot patterns, are we failing to be original or are we succeeding at telling tales as old as time? This workshop is for beginner and intermediate writers who’d like to look a gift horse in the mouth and get off the beaten track. Bring some clichés and some questions and we’ll break them down to their component parts to find out what’s old hat and what keeps us coming back for more.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform. Register here.

Meet Cute To Misunderstanding: Characters Who Spark

Monday, April 17, 2023 | 6-9pm MT

One of the best drivers of a story’s momentum can be the relationship between characters who have an intense chemistry with each other. What kind of chemistry? Anything from attraction, to friendship, to sworn enemies. While these types of relationships may seem different on the surface, they all rely on similar story beats. Learn how to intrigue your readers by showing your characters bouncing off each other and then circling back into each other’s orbits. In this three-hour workshop, we’ll talk about the beats of a relationship, from the first encounter to the final resolution. We’ll discuss how to deepen a love interest or an antagonist so that they provide a strong, relatable contrast to the main character. We’ll use exercises and discussion to bring those sparking relationships to life.

This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform. Register here.

Creative Writing Basics

8 Weeks, 7 PM – 9 PM

Start learning the foundation of creative writing. Creative Writing Basics 1 is designed for individuals new to the craft, or writers who may have taken a creative writing class in the past and are looking for a refresh. Topics will include: free writing, establishing a writing practice, story arc, character, setting, conflict, POV, dialogue, description and writing mechanics. Students can expect lecture, discussion, writing exercises, and writing outside of class. Sharing is encouraged but always optional. By the end of this class, students will have the basic tools to write compelling short stories or creative nonfiction.