NOTE: These classes are past. You can find the current listing of classes here.
Given what a success the first round of classes has been and how much darn FUN they are to teach, I’m going to try to make teaching those one of the things making me my daily bread and butter in 2012. So – please spread word of these if you think you know people who might make use of them, and if you’re planning on taking one, you can get ten bucks off if you point me at the place where you posted the link!
These are taught online, using Google+ Hangouts, which has proven really robust and easy to use. You need a computer with a microphone at a minimum but a webcam is best, so people can see you participate. Each class is limited to eight or nine students, depending on whether or not there will be a guest speaker.
Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories: A six week workshop focusing on the basics of writing speculative fiction short stories, including plotting, creating believable and engaging characters, world-building, what to do with a story once it’s finished, dealing with editors and markets, and other necessities. Students will have the opportunity to workshop two stories over the course of the class.
- Week One: Plots, Story Arcs and Narrative Patterns
- Week Two: Characters and Dialogue
- Week Three: World-building and Promises Made To the Reader
- Week Four: Description, Delivering Information, and Literary Devices
- Week Five: Revision and Rewriting
- Week Six: Marketing Your Stories and Yourself
Saturdays, 9:30-11:30 am PST February 11, 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17
Editing Basics: This three week workshop targets editing both other people’s works as well as your own. Topics include how to edit at both the sentence and story/book level, working well with writers, theory of ToCs, electronic publishing, copyright, and making a living as an editor. Each session is two hours and includes in-class editing exercises.
Week One: Developmental Editing
Week Two: Copy-editing
Week Three: Editing and Publishing
Dates: Sundays, 9:30-11:30 AM PST, February 12, 26, March 11
Bring On The Flash: A three-hour session focusing on flash fiction consisting of a mixture of lecture, in-class writing exercises, discussion of how to turn fragments into flash, and an overview of flash fiction markets.
Dates: Class is offered on January 28, February 25, and March 17, 1-4 PM PST – each occurrence is a separate workshop – pick the date you prefer of the three.
Your First Page: Co-taught with Louise Marley. Louise and I have done this workshop several times with great success – we thought we’d try an online version. You give us the first page of your novel and we’ll critique and discuss it in a way that will be helpful with the overall work as well as talking about agents, and editors and how important the first page is when engaging them. More than one students had told me this was the single most useful workshop they’d ever had.
Date: February 5, 9:30 AM-11:30 AM PST
Why take a class with me? As both a writer and editor, I bring a focus that lets me advise you from both sides of the desk. My experience as the fiction editor of award-winning Fantasy Magazine as well as short story collections and anthologies combined with the fact that I’m a working, selling writer helps me provide you with solid, up-to-date market advice for both online and print publishing. My teaching experience includes the Johns Hopkins University, Towson State University, and Bellevue College and I’ve studied with John Barth, Stephen Dixon, Octavia Butler, and Connie Willis, to name just a couple of people I’ve had the pleasure of learning from. Former students can testify that I’m an active, engaged, and entertaining instructor who gives careful and considered feedback on their work.
As you may have noticed, I’ve bumped the price slightly from the last time. I’m trying to make a living from this, so I’ll keep experimenting with the price over the course of the year. How can you pay less? Do one or more of the following (you can combine discounts, and they can be used on more than once class):
- If you pass along the link to this post on a social network, discussion board, newsgroup, or otherwise mention it on the Internet, send me the link to where you did so and I’ll bump $10 off the price (once only, alas).
- If you’ve taken a class with me before, I’ll bump $20 off the price.
- If you register before midnight, Friday, January 20, 2012, I’ll bump $20 off the price.
I do take Paypal; contact me at spezzatura AT gmail.com and we can work out details. If you can’t afford it and have some interesting barter to propose, let me know at the same address.
What if those times don’t work for you? Drop me a line. We can try to work something out.
Other questions? Drop me a line in the comments.