Current Classes

Shapes of Stories

Wednesdays, 7 to 9 PM, May 6 – June 10
Hugo House, 1634 Eleventh Avenue, Capitol Hill, Seattle
$245 general public, $220.50 members

Changing the shape can change the story. Using a series of in-class writing exercises, homework assignments, and examples from both creative nonfiction and fiction, we’ll look at popular shapes for stories, including braids, collage, the traditional narrative arc, the circle, and the frame. We’ll also look at the techniques writers use to create them: transitions, flashbacks, tangents, etc. A writer could end this class with five different versions of the same initial story or five different stories.

To register, call Hugo House at 206-322-7030 or register online here.

Creative Nonfiction Summer Boot Camp

Online through Creative Nonfiction
4 weeks starting July 6
$225 if registered by 6/15, $250 after that
but sign up early as this class is like to fill!

Somehow that writing you’ve been meaning to get around to just never seems to happen.  Creative Nonfiction’s summer boot camp is a 4-week course to ensure that you will get around to that summer writing, by providing firm deadlines, daily writing exercises, and weekly feedback.  Along the way you’ll also develop the habit of writing regularly, which will serve you well all year long.  At the end of 4 weeks, if you’ve completed the minimum number of assignments, you’ll have an essay of between 3,600 and 6,000 words, or at least a dozen passages to use as starting points for future essays (or some combination of the two).

Week 1: Generating ideas—what can I write about?
Week 2: Your writing life—creating a schedule and a support network
Week 3: Overcoming writer’s block
Week 4: Stretching your limits

You can register and learn more here.

DIY Publishing

with Annie Pearson
Saturdays, 10 AM to 1 PM, July 11 – August  15
Hugo House, 1634 Eleventh Avenue, Capitol Hill, Seattle
A series of one day-seminars on publishing topics:

Everything a writer needs to know to become an author and publisher. In six sessions, we demystify the publication process, presenting details you need to know to navigate it successfully. You will learn how to choose a successful path to publication, find and connect with your audience, work with editors, design a compelling book from cover to index, format your work for e-publishing, and set yourself up for a successful business as a publisher. Each session includes presentations and examples plus checklists that break the process into practical tasks. You can take all six sessions or just those sessions that seem most appealing to you.

You can’t register for the class yet, but you might want to put the dates that interest you on your calendar

  • July 11 Author as Publisher: Assessing your goals, manuscript and skills, reviewing expectations, brief discussion of copyright, ISBN and publishing options
  • July 18  Author as Publicist: Finding your audience, clarifying your category, writing your catalog description, using metadata, creating a web presence
  • July 25 July Author as Editor: Using beta readers, stages of editing, when and where to look for professional help, working an editor, developing a style guide
  • Aug 1 Author as Designer: Creating a compelling cover, effective cover copy, working with a graphic artist, elements of interior design (pages and conventions).
  • Aug 8 Author as Producer (Annie will be teaching this one alone, as I’ll be in Santa Fe): How to create an e-version of your book, ready for uploading. We will do some hands-on work in class so bring your laptop.
  • Aug 15 Author as Entrepreneur: Establishing metrics, working with book stores and distributors, creating a budget and establishing a break-even point, defining success

Deep Revision

Saturday, July 18, 4 to 5:30
Pacific Northwest Writers Conference
Hilton Seattle Airport Conference Center

During this one-and-a-half hour version of my six-week class, I’ll focus on helping writers get a clear vision of their manuscripts. Too often we start the revision process by working on sentences. In this session, in which we will do some writing exercises, we’ll be looking at theme, audience, purpose, genre, narrative structure, and suspense before developing a plan for approaching the scene and sentence level stages of revision.

Writing Your Non-Fiction Book Proposal

Online through Creative Nonfiction
Starts in September

I’m offering my popular and successful Book Proposal class online via the great online class platform provided by Creative Nonfiction. In ten weeks we cover all aspects of creating a book proposal, which is an art in itself. Assignments will help you clarify your idea, research the market, identify your audience, develop your credentials as an author, create an engaging overview and choose the best sample chapters for submission to publishers

It isn’t necessary to finish writing your book before submitting a book proposal. In fact, you could use this class to explore an idea, test its marketability and develop a plan for its completion. Even if you ultimately decide to self-publish rather than seek a traditional publisher, you will have learned how to make you book stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Many of the writers I’ve worked with have gone on to publication with major publishers, small publishers and through self-publishing. You can see some of their books here.

Once this class is open to registration, I will post the details here.

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