Writers on Craft

Do you long to dive more deeply into your characters? Are you in need of some new methods to invite the reader into your work? Do you wish to get over your fear of dialogue? Do you want to write at the intersection of the personal and the political? Have you always wished you understood the poetic line? Please join our favorite Writing By Writers faculty members online on Monday nights as we offer two-hour topic-specific craft seminars in character, structure, dialogue, and all the elements of style and storytelling. Choose your favorites or sign up for the whole series. Classes will be offered via Zoom and capped at 20 participants. More writers being added.

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Toni Jensen Picture1 (1)
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Kim B
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Joe Wilkins - Best Smiling
Author photo 2013 copy
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Amy Irvine Headshot
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John M
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
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Paul Lisicky
Chip Livingston foto
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abigail
Toni Jensen Picture1 (1)
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Kim B
headshotroberts2
Kate_edited
Joe Wilkins - Best Smiling
Author photo 2013 copy
author photo sweater_credit_John Ricard
Amy Irvine Headshot
author%20pic%20credit%20franco%20vogt_ed
John M
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
ginger-gaffney
Paul Lisicky
Chip Livingston foto
lidia authorphoto1
pamnew
Aimee_NezhukmatathilBlack-240x360_edited

Bearing Witness with Abigail Chabitnoy

Online Seminar - $75

January 25, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT

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In 1939, German playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote "In the dark times / Will there also be singing? / Yes, there will be singing. / About the dark times"; nearly one hundred years later, his lines remain relevant. In this craft class, we will look at a variety of poems from poets representing diverse backgrounds and experiences to explore how to bear witness beyond the current moment, to write work that lasts, while also questioning the very narrative behind what it means to write out of a poetics of witness. Participants will have an opportunity to write during the course and also leave with additional ideas to get started. A few writers we might look at: Timothy Donnelly, Ross Gay, Paul Celan, dg Okpik, Mai C. Doan, Natalie Diaz.

 

Abigail Chabitnoy is the author of How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry. She was a 2016 Peripheral Poets fellow and her poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Gulf Coast, LitHub, and Red Ink, among others. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Witter Bynner Funded Native Poet Residency at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, CO, and is a mentor for the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA in Creative Writing. She is a Koniag descendant and member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak. Abigail holds a BA in Anthropology and English from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Combining the Personal and the Political: Weaving your Stories with the World's News with Toni Jensen

Online Seminar - $75

February 1, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT

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We're all influenced by the political--whether as a source of inspiration or outrage. This seminar provides structures and advice on how to blend the news from the world into your own personal narratives.

Toni Jensen’s Carry is a memoir-in-essays about gun violence, land and Indigenous women’s lives (Ballantine, September 8, 2020). An NEA Creative Writing Fellowship recipient in 2020, Jensen's essays have appeared in Orion, Catapult and Ecotone. She is also the author of the short story collection From the Hilltop. She teaches at the University of Arkansas and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Métis.

Finding Your Master Narrative in Personal Nonfiction with Kim Barnes

Online Seminar - $75

January 11, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT (Class Full)

February 22, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT (Class Full)

Class Full

Who am I, and why? Just as is the case with fiction writers and their characters, this is the question that writers of personal nonfiction must ask of themselves. “What we are is stories,” William Kittredge writes. “We do things because of what we call character, and our character is formed by the stories we learn to live in. Late in the night we listen to our own breathing in the dark and rework our stories…reinventing reasons for our lives…. We are like detectives, each of us trying to make sense and define what we take to be the right life.” In this conversation, we will explore ways for you to identify your Master Narrative and how that narrative informs and defines your personal writing at every level, from tone to content to structure. At the end of our session, I will provide a writing prompt that will help illustrate how you might apply awareness of your Master Narrative to future writing projects.

Kim Barnes is the author of  In the Kingdom of Men, named a best book by San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, and The Oregonian, and long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second novel, A Country Called Home, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, was named a best book by The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, and The Oregonian. She is a recipient of the PEN/Jerard Award in nonfiction for her first memoir, In the Wilderness, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including The New York Times, WSJ online, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Fourth Genre, The Oprah Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is a University of Idaho Distinguished Professor of English Emerita.

Let Obsession Be Your Muse with Steve Almond

Online Seminar - $75

March 1, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT 

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Most good writing—whether fiction or nonfiction—arises from a writer’s obsessions. In this intensive session, we’ll discuss how to explore our obsessions on the page, without falling prey to self-absorption or sentiment. We’ll start by looking at the work of folks such as Joan Didion, George Saunders, and others, and then generate some work in class by confessing to our own obsessions. Check your inhibitions at the door.

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. Last year, he published Bad Stories, a literary investigation of what the hell just happened to our country, which he wrote to keep from going crazy.

His new book, which came out in June, is called William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. It’s about reading and writing and the struggle to pay attention to our lives. For four years, Steve hosted the New York Times Dear Sugars podcast with his pal Cheryl Strayed. His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series. He also publishes crazy, DIY books.

More writers being added each week. Check back often for new craft seminars!

REGISTRATION INFORMATION & CANCELLATION POLICY: When you register you will receive an immediate confirmation email with the zoom link. If you do not receive this please check your junk mail folder. If it is not there, send an email to info@writingxwriters.org and we will confirm your registration. Please note, we DO NOT record the craft seminars. If you cancel your registration more than 48 hours before the start time of the seminar, you will receive a full refund. If you cancel within 48 hours of the start time, we will refund you based on our ability to refill your spot. To cancel please send an email to info@writingxwriters.org. 

Our Mission

To create a rigorous and compassionate environment to learn the art of reading and writing from accomplished authors.

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info@writingxwriters.org