Still time to sign up for a Spring Class

45 views
Skip to first unread message

Janis Newman

unread,
Apr 16, 2014, 9:23:54 PM4/16/14
to Grotto Class Notes
Class Notes
Welcome to our monthly e-newsletter including tips about writing, what we're reading now, our favorite books about writing, and the latest news about our classes.

There’s still time to sign up for a Spring Class. Check out all of our Spring Session classes at http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster, or scroll down to Note four.

Note one: Writing tips from our teachers
From Jenny Bitner (Pushing the Boundaries, Experiments in Writing, beginning April 28 ) 

Prompt + Writer = Flow
 
We all get stuck with writing. Its part of the process. Sometimes all you need is a nudge, or a shove. A writing prompt can help you move out of the zone of no time to write or no idea what to write about into the flow of writing again.  Here are six websites to inspire you and help you get the words out of your head and onto the paper.
 
Awesome writing prompts that dont suckTrue to their word.
 
Gives you a setting, phrase and four words to use in your story.
 
A years worth of writing prompts
 
Used in a 9th grade class, but these are uber-sophisticated freshmen with a cool teacher.
 
From the writing program at Warren Wilson
 
Maybe a little tongue-in-cheek, but thats why we love McSweeneys.
 
Good luck with your writing!


 
Note two: Our latest favorite book on writing 
From Ethel Rohan (Kickstart Your Short Story with Ethel Rohan 1 session, Sunday April 27 or May 4 or May 18)

WritersCorps Youth Writing Program at San Francisco Arts Commission launched a laudable online fundraising campaign for Words Within the Walls, a creative writing journal for youth in jail.

Words Within the Walls is my latest favorite book about writing. As someone who has recently written a short memoir about surviving trauma, I can testify to the benefits of revealing and recovering ourselves through the written word.

The journal, created by artist and teacher, Anhvu Buchanan, not only contains blank pages to allow inmates write out their feelings, experiences, truths, and traumas, but also contains inspirational poems and writing prompts to help get them started.

The campaign goal is to fund the printing of five thousand journals to send to thirty-five juvenile halls and programs nationwide. I urge you to please donate to this great initiative. Every dollar counts. Donate here:  http://igg.me/at/wordswithin

I leave you with three writing prompts. Prompts I’ve shared with students with wonderful results. I hope these prompts also draw great work out of you. It’s critical in your writing to be surprising and to twist expectations at every turn:

o   Write the story you’re most ashamed to tell.

o   Your character is attached to an object—a hat or sock or key or sword etc.—that gives him or her a source of wellbeing—strength or calm or courage etc.

o   Put three people, who don’t like each other, in a small space together.


Note three: What we're reading now
From Janis Cooke Newman (How to Write a Novel (and Not Stop Halfway Through) beginning April 22)

Technically, I’m not reading it now — but it not only won the PEN/Faulkner, but it just came out in paperback — so I’m recommending it now. Karen Joy Fowler’s masterful (and very fun) We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. And if those weren’t two good enough reasons, Karen will be on staff at Lit Camp, our writers’ conference this year. Go. Get. Read. 


Note four: Our Spring Classes & Workshops

(Find full descriptions click on each class or visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster.)

Sundays:

How to (Profoundly) Move Your Readers: The Craft of Developing Dramatic Emotions with Junse Kim, (5 sessions beginning April 20)

Change Your Life, Change the World: Writing & Meditation for Activists & Educators with Faith Adiele (2 sessions, beginning June 8)

Building a Great Memoir: The Nuts and Bolts with Louise Nayer (2 sessions, beginning June 1)

Kickstart Your Short Story with Ethel Rohan (1 session, Sunday April 27 or May 4 or May 18)

Harnessing a Cloud, and Other Challenges of Spiritual Writing with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, on June 8 & June 15)

The Art of Compelling Dialogue with Joshua Mohr (1 session, on April 27)

Mondays:

Pushing the Boundaries: Experiments in Writing with Jenny Bitner (6 sessions beginning April 28 – No class Memorial Day)

Finding Your Story with Gerard Jones (6 sessions, beginning April 28)

Tuesdays:

How to Write a Novel (and Not Stop Half-Way Through) with Janis Cooke Newman (6 sessions, beginning April 23)

Developing Your Comedic Voice in Prose with Zahra Noorbakhsh (6 sessions, beginning April 22)

Screenwriting Workshop with Xandra Castleton (8 sessions, beginning April 29)

Thursdays:

No padding: the E-single Memoir with Laura Fraser (6 sessions beginning April 17)

The First 10 Pages (Nonfiction) with Julia Scheeres (8 sessions, beginning May 1)

Finding your Best Literary Agent with Chelsea Lindman (1 session, April 17)

Saturdays:

How to Write Quirky, Weird, Fabulist, Surrealist, Magical Realist Short Stories with Ali Eteraz, (1 session, Saturday April 26)

Writing the Crime Fiction or Thriller Novel:Practice Makes Plot Perfect with Seth Harwood (2 sessions, Saturday April 26 & Saturday, May 3)

Writing the Ancestor with Lyzette Wanzer (1 session, this class is offered twice: Saturday May 10 & Saturday June 7)

Edit Yourself: Tools & Tactics for Revising Your Own Drafts with Frances Lefkowitz (1 session, on May 17)

Character Development, Motivations & Dialogue, Thinking Like an Actor with Zahra Noorbakhsh (1 session, Saturday May 17)

Short Story Bootcamp with Elizabeth Bernstein (1 session, on June 7)

Weekend Workshops:

Kickstart Your Short Story with Ethel Rohan (1 session, Sunday April 27 or May 4 or May 18)

How to Write Quirky, Weird, Fabulist, Surrealist, Magical Realist Short Stories with Ali Eteraz, (1 session, Saturday April 26)

The Art of Compelling Dialogue with Joshua Mohr (1 session, on April 27)

Writing the Crime Fiction or Thriller Novel:Practice Makes Plot Perfect with Seth Harwood (4/26 & 5/3)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Stealing: Using Existing Models to Craft Short Fiction with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, on May 3 & May 4)

Writing the Ancestor with Lyzette Wanzer (1 session, this class is offered twice: Saturday May 10 & Saturday June 7)

Edit Yourself: Tools & Tactics for Revising Your Own Drafts with Frances Lefkowitz (1 session, on May 17)

Character Development, Motivations & Dialogue, Thinking Like an Actor with Zahra Noorbakhsh (1 session, Saturday May 17)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Food: Food Lit with Faith Adiele (1 session, Saturday, May 31)

Harnessing a Cloud, and Other Challenges of Spiritual Writing with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, on June 8 & June 15)

Short Story Bootcamp with Elizabeth Bernstein (1 session, on June 7)


Note five: Hearing from you

We'd like to hear back from you. What would you like us to include in Grotto Class Notes? What classes would you like to see us offer at the Grotto? What books about writing have been particularly useful for you? Send your thoughts/comments/kudos & complaints to the Grotto Class Czar at janiscookenewman@gmail.com


Note six: Subscribing & unsubscribing
And of course, if you'd like to opt out of Grotto Class Notes, you can always do so at http://groups.google.com/group/grotto-class- notes, just click on Edit my membership, and then Unsubscribe. 


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages