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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Kim B
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Joe Wilkins - Best Smiling
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Amy Irvine Headshot
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John M
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
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Paul Lisicky
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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
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John M
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
ginger-gaffney
Paul Lisicky
Chip Livingston foto
lidia authorphoto1
pamnew
Aimee_NezhukmatathilBlack-240x360_edited

Turning Your Trips Into Tales: The Art of Travel Writing with Suzanne Roberts

Online Seminar - $75

November 30, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT

Register

Have you ever wondered how to become a travel writer? If so, this generative workshop will help you write about your journeys and adventures, past and future. We’ll discuss different kinds of travel writing opportunities, as well as how to craft an effective travel piece. Topics covered will include keeping a travel journal; sensory detail in setting; the use of effective dialogue; and the development of action and arc. 

Suzanne Roberts is the author of the travel essay collection Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel (University of Nebraska Press, October 2020) and the memoir Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (winner of the National Outdoor Book Award), as well as four books of poems. Named "The Next Great Travel Writer" by National Geographic's Traveler, Suzanne's work has been listed as notable in Best American Essays and included in The Best Women's Travel Writing. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, CNN, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Rumpus, Hippocampus, The Normal School, River Teeth, and elsewhere. She holds a doctorate in literature and the environment from the University of Nevada-Reno and teaches for the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at Sierra Nevada University. She served as the 2018-2020 El Dorado County Poet Laureate and currently lives in South Lake Tahoe, California. 

An Infinite Number of Divisible Pieces, An Infinite Number of Possible Arrangements: Why Revision is Infinitely More Fun Than Writing with Pam Houston

Online Seminar - $75

December 7, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT

Register

In this two hour class we will explore revision in all its stages, from full scale throw the baby out with the bathwater overhaul to mid stage revision where we are making sure we are not telling what we have already shown to the kind of late stage compression that turns a good manuscript into something that really sings. 

Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, as well as two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Short Stories of the Century among other anthologies. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award and several teaching awards.  She teaches in the Low Rez MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is Professor of English at UC Davis, and co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers, which puts on between seven and ten writers gatherings per year in places as diverse as Boulder, Colorado, Tomales Bay, California and Chamonix, France. She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level on a 120-acre homestead near the headwaters of the Rio Grande. A book of letters between Pam and environmental activist Amy Irvine was published by Torrey House Press in October of 2020.

Horror Writing with Stephen Graham Jones

Online Seminar - $75

December 14, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT

Register

Horror works best when it provokes a visceral response, and it does so through a variety of techniques — suspense and surprise, manipulating dread, offering pressure release valves, showing the monster at this point, not that point. In this two-hour workshop, Stephen Graham Jones will walk you through enough of those techniques to get you started in horror, to render the monsters we all know are out there walking around, or, if you're already writing the horror, then maybe some of the pitfalls associated with these techniques can help you be scarier on the page. Format: a craft talk via sharing a slideshow, followed by Q&A

Jones is the author of twenty-five or so novels and collections, and there’s some novellas and comic books in there as well. Stephen’s been an NEA recipient, has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, a Bram Stoker Award, four This is Horror Awards, and he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the World Fantasy Award. He’s also made Bloody Disgusting’s Top Ten Horror Novels. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Finding Your Master Narrative in Personal Nonfiction with Kim Barnes

Online Seminar - $75

January 11, 5:00pm - 7:00pm PDT

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, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is a Distinguished Professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Idaho.

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