Archive for Seattle Writing Classes

Fall Seattle Writing Classes: Revising Your Life

Bird by Bird in Seattle Writing Classes.

Bird by Bird in Seattle Writing Classes.

Revising Your Life: Turning True Events into Compelling Stories

It may happen in the shower. On the way to work. Taking a crowded elevator. Suddenly a story idea seizes you. You must write it down! You find a pen and piece of paper, plunge into the story, and write nonstop until you finish a first draft. You put it aside. A day goes by. Two days. You pick it up again.  Sure there’s some good stuff there, but the rest of it is, well, less than perfect.

If you’re like most writers, you put the material in the drawer and hope someday to get around to finishing it. How do you push beyond the messy first draft most writers produce to craft a compelling story or book chapter? This eight-week class in nonfiction and fiction will show you how to make that happen. You’ll learn essential techniques of research, interviewing, leads, profiles, structuring, revision, and how to put the finished manuscript into the hands of the right editor.

The course will run Oct. 11 to November 29 on Wednesday evenings and one Monday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 221 of the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.)

There will be six assignments, including a 150-word story idea, a 250-word research assignment, a 150-word lead, a 1500- to 2500-word first person story, a revised first person story, and a 250-word cover letter. In addition to the classroom work, I will schedule individual conferences with each student. This will give me a chance to go over your work with you one-on-one and suggest ways to improve it.

Texts: Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, available at the Elliott Bay Book Company or other bookstore.

To enroll, please send me check for $625 to 201 Newell St., Seattle, WA 98109 or you can pay with a credit card through the paypal link on my website. www.thewritersworkshop.net. Enrollment is limited to 15. For more information, contact me at nick@Thewritersworkshop.net or 206-284-7121.

Winter Seattle Writing Class: Follow the Story

follow the storyThe Seattle Writing Class Follow the Story will explore the genres of fiction and nonfiction. The eight-week course will introduce you to a wonderfully diverse mix of writing–personal essays, memoirs, profiles, travel stories, short light pieces and short stories. What are the “rules” and conventions of each genre? How can you use genre to deepen and enrich your own work? How can genre help you hit all the right notes in your writing? You’ll also learn essential techniques of narrative writing–dramatic scenes, dialogue, characterizations and scene by scene construction. The Seattle writing course will run January 11 to Feb. 15 on Wednesday evenings  and two Monday evenings, (Jan. 23, 30) from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 221 of the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford (4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.)

In addition to the classroom work, I’ll schedule individual conferences with each of you after the Seattle Writing Class. This will give me a chance to go over your story or book chapter with you one-on-one and suggest ways to improve it. There will be six assignments: a 150-word story idea or book concept statement, a 250-word scene, a 250-word genre exercise, a 1500- to 2500-word story or book chapter and its revision, a publication report for your story or book. The cost will be $625 per person. Texts: Follow the Story by James Stewart; Best American Essays of the Century edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Both titles are available at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

To enroll, send a check for $625 to Nick O’Connell, 201 Newell St., Seattle, WA 98109. The course is limited to 15 participants and usually fills several weeks prior to the start of class. For more information, see my website, www.thewritersworkshop.net or contact me at nick@thewritersworkshop.net or call 206-284-7121.