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Writing School for the brave, enthusiastic, and talented

By posted at 10:46 am on August 8, 2008 2

I’ve added some fiction writing classes to the Writing Workshops Los Angeles fall roster. If you live in the LA area, and you’re interested in participating in any of these, please email me at [email protected] to reserve a spot. All classes will be held in my Los Feliz home, where refreshments (and the occasional gourmet cheese) will be served.

I’m especially excited about the Novel Writing Workshop I’m teaching, a course I’ve been devising since the day I began my own beast of a book…

Introduction to Fiction Writing: Weekend Seminar

Saturday, September 6, 2008 and Sunday, September 7, 2008
10 am to 3 pm (includes one hour lunch break)

In this seminar we will explore the major tenets of fiction writing, including characterization, narrative voice, prose style, point of view, scene and summary, dialogue, and structure. Over the course of the seminar, we will continually return to certain questions: How can we use language to capture the uncapturable? How can a bunch of words on the page move us, make us understand what it means to be human? How can form and technique help us to improve as writers? In an attempt to answer these questions, we will look to published fiction for guidance, and dive into various writing exercises. Students will leave the seminar with the beginnings of several promising projects, as well as the skills to follow through with them.

No prior fiction writing experience is required for this course, although more experienced writers will also find the course useful.

New student rate: $125/student
Enrollment Limit: 8 Students

Novel Writing Workshop

Mondays, September 8, 2008 to November 17, 2008 (11 weeks)
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Because the novelist faces different struggles and joys than the writer of short fiction, I’ve created an 11-week course specifically designed for those students working on longer projects.

We will begin this class by discussing The Great Gatsby from a writer’s perspective, analyzing how Fitzgerald constructed (or failed to construct?) his masterpiece. From there, we will alternate weeks between critiquing students’ novels-in-progress, and discussing craft as it pertains to novel writing – in particular, structure, voice, character, and pacing. We will workshop one manuscript (up to 100 pages) every other week, devoting an entire class to each student’s work-in-progress. In our craft discussions, the writings of Aristotle, John Gardner, E.M. Forster, and James Wood will be explored; we’ll also do a few in-class exercises. On these craft weeks, there will be no outside reading or writing assignments so that students can give attention to their own novels, and to the upcoming workshop manuscript.

To qualify for this class, you must have at least 80 pages of a novel manuscript written before the class begins.

New Student Rate: $385/student
Enrollment Limit: 5 Students

Advanced Short Fiction Workshop I

Thursdays, September 4, 2008 to October 16, 2008 (6 weeks—no class on 9/11/08)
7:30 to 9:30 pm

This 6 week workshop will be a deeper exploration of various fiction techniques such as voice, character, structure and point of view. We will spend the first two weeks doing in-class writing exercises and reading published short fiction from a writer’s perspective. The remaining 4 weeks of the course will be devoted to workshopping student work in an intense yet respectful environment designed to challenge and inspire every member of the class. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop one short story manuscript.

New student rate: $325/student
Enrollment limit: 8 students

Advanced Short Fiction Workshop II (Same class as above, just a second section)

Thursdays, October 23, 2008 to December 4, 2008 (6 weeks—no class 11/27/08)
7:30 to 9:30 pm

This 6-week workshop will be a deeper exploration of various fiction techniques such as voice, character, structure and point of view. We will spend the first two weeks doing in-class writing exercises and reading published short fiction from a writer’s perspective. The remaining 4 weeks of the course will be devoted to workshopping student work in an intense yet respectful environment designed to challenge and inspire every member of the class. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop one short story manuscript.

New student rate: $325/student
Enrollment limit: 8 students





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2 Responses to “Writing School for the brave, enthusiastic, and talented”

  1. Anonymous
    at 7:15 am on August 9, 2008

    This is weird…As I started reading this post I hadn't scrolled down far enough to see the Great Gatsby. When I started thinking about examples I would use if I were teaching the class, Fitzgerald's seminal work came to mind. Talk about great prose.

  2. Edan
    at 11:02 am on August 9, 2008

    Yes, I'm looking forward to discussing The Great Gatsby in the context of a novel writing class–I think it'll be really useful, not only because of the prose (which is great), but also because of its point of view, structure, and characterization.

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