Saturday, April 25, 2020

On Line Class

As you may know, my spring writing class moved online a while back. Night before last was our 6 or 7th meeting and I asked the group for a candid assesment of the online format. All of them agreed it was better than not having the class at all and all of them indicated that they would not be opposed to taking another online class with Great Smokies Writing Program. Some even said they preferred the online format -- no commute, wear whatever, have a glass of wine with class...

I agree. I've been pleasantly surprised at how personal the format can be-- see and hear the speaker, meanwhile others can insert comments in the captions at the bottom of the screen. And the normal commute for me is about an hour each way so it's nice not to have to do that. Plus the bedroom slippers.

I told the director of the program all this and he was pleased. The summer classes will all be online but no real decision has been made for fall. I suggested that there might be some who'd be happy for the online alternative, even if the university was offering in person classes. He asked if I'd like to lead another online critique workshop. Of course I would.

So we're going to give it a go. It will begin in September and meet one night a week-- probably Tuesday or Thursday -- from 6 to 8:30 E.S.T. Over the years, a lot of my online friends have said they'd like to take one of my classes--if only they didn't live so far away. Well, this is your opportunity . . .

Tentative class description:

Workshoppers at Home: Online Creative Prose Workshop - 15 weeks

Here’s your chance to have up to sixty pages of your creative prose – novel excerpts, short stories, essays, memoir – carefully line edited by the instructor and thoughtfully assessed by a group of your fellow writers, concentrating on what is working and what needs attention. And all in the comfort of your home! We will meet online though Google Hangouts, a venue that allows you to see and hear your fellow classmates with the option of captions as well.

This fifteen-session workshop is aimed at writers with work (novel, short stories, memoir, or other creative prose) in progress, almost completed, or completed but in need of a final polishing. Each student will submit up to sixty pages (twenty at the beginning of the course, twenty during weeks 6-10, and the final twenty during weeks 11-15) for discussion and critique by the class and close editing with written comments by the instructor. We will focus on the effective use of key techniques such as creating an intriguing opening line and a compelling first chapter, creating a likable and/or engaging protagonist, weaving in back story in small, manageable doses, setting up a dilemma that begs to be resolved, making the most of action scenes -- in general, producing a page-turner. We will attempt to weed out the mistakes that mark the amateur writer and turn each student into a discerning editor of their own work.  The goal will be to polish those pages till they are ready to catch the attention of an agent, an editor, a publisher and make them ask for more. The reference text will be the highly acclaimed Don't Sabotage Your Submission by career manuscript editor Chris Roerden (Bella Rosa books --ISBN 978-1-933523-31-6.

The classes are through University of NC-Asheville. They are for credit and tuition is charged. You can find more info HERE


Anvilcloud said...

I do wonder how many things, such as this, will change forever after this.

Vicki Lane said...

Lots, I expect, as employers realize they don't have to maintain office space.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Some wonderful creativity has come out of this crisis.

jennyfreckles said...

I suspect there will in future be much more of this kind of thing - and that's good. It will enable more people to join in and will save a lot of travel pollution too. Glad it's working for you and your students.