October Class Bulletin

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Lindsey Crittenden

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Oct 16, 2014, 7:50:17 PM10/16/14
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Class Bulletin

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.

Fall classes are in full harvest, and we’ve still got several terrific shorter-term offerings in writing dialogue, crafting effective cover letters, experimental writing, “stealing” from existing models, a poetry incubator, and a day of screen hikes.   Scroll down to Note four, or check our offerings at  http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster.

Litquake’s in full force this week, capped off with Litcrawl this Saturday 10/18.  Mark your itinerary for The Grotto’s event, hosted by Faith Adiele and Meghan Ward: “Earth, Wind, Water, Fire: A Night with the Elements,” from 7:15-8:15 at the Chapel, 777 Valencia St.  RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/361310144025716/ 

And for those of you thinking ahead to spring, Lit Camp — the juried writers conference co-sponsored by The Grotto — is accepting submissions for 2015.  Faculty will include Pulitzer Prize winners Adam Johnson and Paul Harding, NY agents Ellen Levine and Amy Williams, and editors from Riverhead, The Rumpus, McSweeneys, Zyzzyva -- plus many more. Applications accepted until January 31, 2015. The conference runs from May 14 - 17, 2015 at Mayacamas Ranch in Calistoga. Visit http://litcampwriters.org


Note one: Writing tips from our teachers
From Vanessa Hua (Gettin’ on the Gravy Train: How to Win a Writing/Reporting Fellowship, 1 session Oct. 26)

After you’ve revised and revised your work, where should you submit? Send to places that publish writing you admire. Seek out paying journals (they do exist!), those with interesting business models, and outlets that strongly promote the work of their authors on social media, at readings, and provide other kinds of support.  You can also enter contests. Your chances might be slim, but if you don’t enter, you have no chance at all.

Note two: Our latest favorite book on writing

From Sasha Cagen (Writing Your Hero—or Heroine’s—Journey, 1 session Nov. 8)

Are you an intuitive writer with many pages of deep and beautiful disconnected writing, or are you more logical? Do you plan out the map of your work in advance? I have always been an intuitive writer, and most writers fall in the intuitive camp. We need help with plot and structure in a longer work like a memoir, novel, or screenplay--or even an essay. The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler takes Joseph Campbell's ideas about the Hero's Journey and translates them for writers, teaching classic story structure that will give you greater insight into how stories work, and how to write the best, most effective and emotional story possible. A story that hits a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, and dreams creates a satisfying experience for the reader. Many writers credit finishing a longer work after discovering these story structure ideas.  My one-day class in November will draw on these ideas.

Note three:  What we’re reading now
From Janis Cooke Newman (November Novel Marathon - NaNoWriMo or Not, beginning Nov. 4)

Publishers Weekly said that, "No book this fall is more impressive than A Brief History of Seven Killings, and I would have to agree. Marlon James' multi-voiced Caribbean novel breaks every rule you thought you knew about novel writing, yet keeps you up at night turning pages. I could try to describe it, but I couldn't do better than New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani: "It’s like a Tarantino remake of “The Harder They Come” but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner, with maybe a little creative boost from some primo ganja." And what's even more fun, author Marlon James is represented by upcoming Lit Camp faculty member, literary agent Ellen Levine!

Note four: Our Fall Classes & Workshops
For full descriptions, and to enroll, click on each class or visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster.

Sundays

Spiritual Writing Workshop with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, beginning Oct. 19, 2014)

Gettin’ on the Gravy Train: How to Win a Writing/Reporting Fellowship with Vanessa Hua (1 session, Oct. 26, 2014)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Stealing: Using Existing Models to Craft Short Fiction with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, Nov. 8 & 9, 2014)

Tuesdays

The Art of Change: A Poetry Incubator with Genine Lentine (4 sessions, beginning Oct. 21, 2014)

Pushing the Boundaries: Experiments in Writing with Jenny Bitner (6 sessions, beginning Oct. 28, 2014)

 November Novel Marathon — NaNoWriMo or Not with Janis Cooke Newman (4 sessions, beginning Nov. 4, 2014)

Wednesdays

How to Write an Effective Query Letter with Chelsea Lindman (1 session, Oct. 29, 2014)

Saturdays

Screen Hikes: Weekend Excursions In Film Story & Craft, Session One: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure with David Munro (1 session, Oct. 25, 2014)

Writing Your Hero’s (or Heroine’s) Journey with Sasha Cagen (1 session, Nov. 8, 2014)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Stealing: Using Existing Models to Craft Short Fiction with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, Nov. 8 & 9, 2014)

Weekend workshops

Spiritual Writing Workshop with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, beginning Oct. 19, 2014)

Screen Hikes: Weekend Excursions In Film Story & Craft, Session One: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure with David Munro (1 session, Oct. 25, 2014)

Characters Talking: How to Craft Great Dialogue that Lives on the Page and Moves Your Plot with Seth Harwood (2 sessions, Oct. 25 & Nov. 1, 2014)

Writing Your Hero’s (or Heroine’s) Journey with Sasha Cagen (1 session, Nov. 8, 2014)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Stealing: Using Existing Models to Craft Short Fiction with Lindsey Crittenden (2 sessions, Nov. 8 & 9, 2014)


Note five: Hearing from you
We’d like to hear from you.  What would you like us to include in the Grotto Class Bulletin?  What classes would you like to see offered at the Grotto?  What books about writing have been particularly useful for you?  Send your thoughts/comments/kudos & complaints to Lindsey Crittenden at lindseyec...@gmail.com 

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

Thanks for reading!



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