Tuesday, January 17 - Monday, April 3
11 weeks (unless otherwise noted)
Adult classes only (for now) in:
Complete Workshop Descriptions are below.
Once you've found the class for you,
|Workshops for Children & Teens
Kids' Creative Writing
Workshops for Adults
|Children & Teen Workshops||Adult Workshops|
Through group dynamics, imaginative prompts and role-playing exercises, students learn the basic elements of story creation and put their inspirations on paper. Children gain confidence in a fun, non-judgmental environment where everyone supports each other’s ideas. Home writing is suggested but not required. The goal is to ignite the creative spark by temporarily casting off rigid academic requirements.
Explore and create new worlds, time periods, peoples and creatures all your own! Whether you want to travel backward, forward or sideways in time, or slip off to another universe that only exists in your imagination, this is the class for you. Get ready to climb aboard your spaceships, slay your dragons, capture oompity-boops or what-nots with us. The sky is the limit—actually no, nothing is the limit! If you can imagine it, you can write it in this workshop where creativity rules!
Kids learn how to get their ideas on paper, and then how to make their stories really work. This class bridges the playful ideas of Story Magic into a more mature environment where gentle, constructive critique and group discussion introduce and refine students' understanding of the elements and challenges of story-making. Students will build confidence and improve their writing in an open-minded, positive and often exuberant atmosphere. Kids will be encouraged, but not required, to write at home and bring their work to share with their peers.
Our lives are filled with great stories. Make believe is fun, but nothing is more powerful or fascinating than real life. Or at least, it can be, if you know where to look and how to write with attitude, flair, and honesty. Through four types of nonfiction storytelling—the interview, the review, the essay, and the memoir—this class will explore each writer’s unique voice and perspective on our world. What is funny, surreal, and important to you? What gets your goat? What can’t you believe? Sometimes, the difference between a boring story and one that’s inspiring and hilarious isn’t what you write about, but how.
This invitation-only workshop is for younger students, ages 8-12, with an insatiable drive to write. TWC's author-instructors encourage their students to write on any topic, in any style and in any genre they choose. Students work on their ideas during their own time, then bring their work to share aloud and critique with their peers. The group acts as a sounding board to help students discover what works, what doesn’t, and what they might do to develop their writing. Each writer will learn to go beyond the initial exhilaration of creation through multiple revisions, working toward a polished story.
Email or call for more information about joining The Young Storymakers.
This class balances inspiration with discipline, teaching students to accept critique, revise thoroughly and work toward story completion. We will delve into story elements like plot, character, pacing, point of view and style, inviting students to explore any genre they choose. Past teens have written everything from reality-based to fantasy and science fiction and have worked on plays, poetry, memoir, essays and much more. Teens will find ease and confidence in their writing by honing their skills in a creative, nurturing environment.
Adult Writers Circles
Our Adult Writers Circles are the heart of our workshops. They're where The Writers Circle began. We provide a supportive environment where writers work freely on various forms and genres, exploring projects developed in class or on their own. Craft issues like structure, point-of-view, character development, pace, and style are addressed, as is the ever-changing publishing marketplace. With great respect for each writer, our workshops take on a life of their own as writers learn to trust each other for ongoing critique and inspiration as they move toward completion of work and eventual publication.
Where Do I Begin?
If you ever suspected that there might be a writer lurking under the skin, or perhaps harbored a secret notebook of half-started stories, this is the class for you. In this workshop you'll find your way first by releasing the writer within through creative prompts to get the words flowing, and then by discovering the elements of all good stories, including character, conflict, action, setting and more. For anyone who longs to write but doesn't know where to start, and for writers who have dabbled but lost their way. WARNING: this workshop just might seduce you into a life-long love affair with writing!
Short Story Writing
Willa Cather said, "I don’t want anyone reading my writing to think about style. I just want them to be in the story." In this class, we'll learn how to write a short story that engages your reader. We'll learn about inciting incidents, reveals, characterization, dialogue, setting, and more. Each week you'll read a short story from John Updike's classic anthology "The Best American Short Stories." And in the class, you'll read your own work outloud and receive gentle, constructive critique to improve your tale.
The idea of beginning a novel is both exhilarating and intimidating. This class deconstructs the craft basics of plot and structure, description, character, dialogue, creating conflict, and more, and helps you learn how to tell the story that's burning within. Whether you're still contemplating what to write about, or have already begun your first draft, this is an excellent choice for any writer confronting the challenge of a long work.
Now that you've begun your novel, the work is far from over. Novel writing is like a marathon - you have to be in it for the long haul. This class will include "off the page exercises" to help solidify description, dialogue, character, plot, and more. And we will critique your work in progress, in a constructive, supportive environment that will help you keep moving towards the finish line: a completed first draft! Note: This class is by invitation or submission only. Limited to eight seats per section. Please email or call for more information. If you are a first-time writer, we recommend taking Beginning Your Novel before considering this workshop.
This class is geared for the writer who is deep in a first draft or has already embarked on revision. Critique of work in progress is ongoing in a constructive, supportive environment . Note: This class is by invitation or submission only. Limited to six seats per section. Please email or call for more information. If you are a first-time writer, we recommend taking Beginning Your Novel and Continuing Your Novel before considering this workshop.
In this craft-based workshop, you will turn the stories of your life into essays, poetry and memoir. We’ll review the fundamentals of creative writing, search for structure and meaning, and share our work in productive round-table sessions.
Using targeted exercises, you will brainstorm for material, create compelling characters from life, write dialogue, scenes of action and description, and gain an understanding of plot. We will foster an atmosphere of trust and encouragement through gentle critique. The goal is generating polished writing that has integrity, honesty, and emotional impact.
Writing a memoir requires the diligence and stamina of a long distance runner and the skills and craft elements of a novelist. This class is for those who are at least halfway through a full-length memoir, either in prose narrative, poetry or essay form. We will continue our discussion of creating yourself as a character; finding the challenge, focus and arc of your story; and bringing the memoir to completion that is both satisfying and true-to-life. We'll consider ourselves and our tales with humanity and (perhaps also) humor.
This class is by invitation or submission only. Limited to eight seats per section. Please email or call for more information. If you are a first-time writer, we recommend taking The Art of the Memoir before considering this workshop.
There's more to writing a memoir than just writing your life story. A memoir isn't one long diary entry. Rather, it's a well-crafted story about a crucial, often exceptionally difficult, time in someone's life. This class will take readers through the process of telling their most personal stories in a compelling, relatable, and readable manner. You’ll learn to craft a good “hook”, self-edit, use structure creatively, find your voice, and develop your marketing plan and author platform. Our goal is to show writers how to approach the genre with love, respect, and know-how without sentimentalizing it.
Writing Your Life
Writers are keepers of memory, and memoir is a powerful way to record life's many stages, joys and experiences. In this workshop, you will learn to use detail and scene to make the past come alive. You will develop voice, and focus not just on events but on the people involved in those events. Through discussion of classic and contemporary published memoirs and critique of personal writing, this class will explore the many ways in which memoir writers can strive for a deeper interpretation of their own lives. Whether your aim is to write informally, as part of a family history for your children and others, or to create a literary work for potential publication, this course will help you write your own truths.
Explore the multi-faceted genre of creative nonfiction, which encompasses writing about real events, from your personal past to the world at large. Learn about the many possible forms and styles, and write your own short pieces, transforming true stories into compelling literary works. Several categories, including personal essay, memoir, feature articles, reviews/criticism, travel, humor, and nonfiction narratives. Review published examples, get craft instruction, and learn to bring techniques and skills of storytelling to the nonfiction page, including dialogue, character development, narrative arc, scene building, and telling details. Stretch your writing muscles with weekly assignments and receive private instructor feedback. Work with prompts, get reading suggestions, and enjoy in-class discussions.
One way to effect change in this challenging world is to use writing as a tool for advocacy. Op-eds, reaction pieces, and calls to action can draw attention to subjects you feel most passionate about, and amplify the important work of others. In this new workshop, we'll use targeted exercises, brainstorming sessions, and group critiques to generate work with a message. We’ll develop focused subject matter, experiment with different types of stories, conduct market research, generate ideas, and, of course, write. By the end of the session, you'll walk into the world with a collection of polished writing, plus query letters and a list of places where you might publish your work. If you’re looking for new ways to make a difference with your writing, join us.