Because writing is so ubiquitous in our lives—from emails and reports to social media and text messages—it’s easy to forget that writing, in the way that we are called to it, is an art.
In this eight-week introduction to creative writing, we’ll explore our writer selves as artists, taking time to discover the basic elements of fiction and nonfiction craft and holding space to better understand who we are as inspired, dedicated creatives called to the literary arts.
Each week features reflective writing prompts paired with lessons in craft that encourages writers to build confidence in themselves as artists while adding new approaches, techniques, and ideas to their writing process. Our work together will also include short reading assignments, take-home writing exercises, and small group workshops to help us further practice and develop our skills.
This is a generative writing course that encourages writers to embark on new work, so all you need is something to write with, something to write on, and a creative spirit that’s ready to explore and expand.
Week 1: Giving Yourself Permission
What does it mean to be a “writer?” What challenges and opportunities exist in claiming our writer identity? What does it mean to acknowledge writing as an art form?
Week 2: The Unshakeable
What do you want to write about and why? What are those stories, those moments, those details that you just can’t shake? What are they trying to tell you and how do we get them on the page?
Week 3: When and Where
What role does setting play in story and character development? How do we establish a strong setting in our work? Why does the when and where of a story matter?
Week 4: Who are You Again?
Complex, unforgettable characters and clear point of view drive good storytelling. How do we render nuanced, compelling characters on the page? And whose story is this anyway?
Week 5: Desire, Discovery, and Decision
What does your character want? Who or what is standing in the way? How do the discoveries and decisions your character makes move plot forward?
Week 6: Talking Loud but Saying Nothing
Dialogue can make or break a scene. When is dialogue useful and when is it a distraction? How does dialogue work and what makes it authentic?
Week 7: See It, Tell It
Seeing our characters and our scenes as clearly as possible creates memorable experiences for both writer and reader. How can make we sure our stories are detailed and descriptive enough to make a connection?
Week 8: The Artist at Work
We’ll share our work and discuss next steps for ourselves as writers, as artists. We’ll talk building community and what it means to be good literary citizens.