Fall Writing Workshops in Annapolis

This fall, The Writer’s Center is offering several one-session workshops at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, at 801 Chase Street next to Bates Middle School:

Subject and Voice: New Tips
Saturday, September 14, 2013
1:30-4:00 p. m.
Tuition: $50
Workshop Leader: Laura Oliver

(Tip One: bad choices make great stories.) Experiment with genre, subject and voice using published examples, writing exercises and lively discussion. Find the story you want to tell and learn techniques for discovering the voice in which to tell it.

Laura Oliver, M.F.A., is the author of The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers. Her essays and short stories appear in numerous regional and national periodicals such as The Washington Post, Country Living, and Glimmer Train. She has taught creative writing at the University of Maryland and currently teaches writing at St. John’s College. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her work has won numerous distinctions, including a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction. Her M.F.A. is from Bennington College. More information is available at thestorywithin.com.

Is It a Story or a Novel?
Saturday, October 19, 2013
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Tuition: $40
Workshop Leader: Lynn Schwartz

The short story is not just the novel’s poor relation, nor a chapter lifted from your longer writings. The short story form is pure and magical, standing on its own with power and economy. Let’s explore what constitutes a compelling short story. Why is it different from the novel? How are characters depicted? Most of all, does the short story structure serve your narrative needs?

Lynn Schwartz’s plays have been performed in Atlanta and New York City, including the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center. Her stories have appeared in literary journals, and she has authored numerous lifestyle features. She founded the Temple Bar Literary Reading Series in New York City and received an Individual Artist Award in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council. She is a graduate of The City College of New York, Columbia University, and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. She teaches fiction at St. John’s College.

How to End a Poem
Saturday, October 19, 2013
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
Tuition: $60
Workshop Leader: Sue Ellen Thompson

Is there a right or wrong way to end a poem? A better way? This workshop will focus on closure — the strategies that poets have traditionally used to bring their poems to a clear, resonant conclusion. We will also discuss anti-closure — the resistance that so many contemporary poets feel toward poems that “click shut.” Bring a poem of your own and get feedback on your approach. Open to poets at all levels.

Sue Ellen Thompson is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Golden Hour (2006), and the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, read on NPR by Garrison Keillor, and featured in U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s nationally-syndicated newspaper column. She taught at Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, State University of New York at Binghamton, and Central Connecticut State University before moving to the Eastern Shore in 2006. She was awarded the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association.

All About Tone
Saturday, November 16, 2013
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
Tuition: $60
Workshop Leader: Sue Ellen Thompson

Robert Frost said, “It’s tone I’m in love with; that’s what poetry is, tone.” The ability to control tone in a poem is what makes the poet credible and his or her intention clear. But tone has not always been easy to define, let alone control. In this workshop we will attempt to distinguish tone from voice, style, and mood. We will explore what contributes to a poem’s tone and how these elements can be used to convey attitude and emotion.

What Sounds Effects Can Do for Your Poems
Saturday, December 7, 2013
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
Tuition: $60
Workshop Leader: Sue Ellen Thompson

Assonance, consonance, internal rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia — there are countless ways to underscore meaning in your poems by paying more attention to the way words sound. In this workshop we will look at the emotions associated with certain vowel and consonant sounds and how other poets have used various “sound effects” to make their poems more musical as well as meaningful. We will also examine the difference between strategies involving sound that work and those that are merely clever.

If you have any questions or need more information about the classes, contact Sunil Freeman, Assistant Director of The Writer’s Center, at (301) 654-8664 x204 or at sunil.freeman@writer.org.

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