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This will be a writing lab, so bring pen and paper, or your laptop. Each of the writers who has, have problems with grammar. This session will help you refresh your grammar knowledge and polish your writing skills, so you will make less, fewer mistakes. Creating a Web Presence and Blog Are you ready to launch your writing career?

Whether you are already published and need to create an online portfolio, or you are just getting started and would like to begin blogging, an author website and blog will help you begin to build your online platform. Students should plan to bring a laptop to class to complete in-class exercises. Belinda Elliott Open to: March 9, 16, 23 Session cost: You might even discover an agent savvy enough to start a bidding war. Michele Young-Stone Open to: Subliminal Dialogue Ever find yourself laughing at actors or spokespeople who use their hands clumsily to make a point?

Now imagine reading a story and feeling the same way. To impatient editors, unpolished writing means unpolished thinking. One guaranteed tell for unsophisticated storytelling is poor dialogue mechanics. They take a reader out of a story. They are proof that a writer doesn't care deeply about the out-of-body experience that a reader really craves. We'll learn how to craft speaker attributions so stealthily they won't disturb the "continuous dream" of a reader's enjoyment. We'll understand the vital difference between action lines and speaker tags.

We'll consider lucid paragraphing as a magic pathway to reader understanding. And we'll respectfully edit a famous section of The Great Gatsby for the better the way a book editor would today, using Self Editing for Fiction Writers as our guide.

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Finally, we'll learn to take readers much closer to our characters with free indirect style. Saturday, March 16, 10 a. Colin Sargent Open to: This seminar, led by a pop culture writer with over 20 years of experience in chatting with actors, musicians, and other often-prickly creative types, will cover the process of doing your research, preparing your questions, having the right equipment, knowing what to ask, how to ask it, and what not to ask, and--perhaps most importantly--knowing when to stop asking and start listening.

Saturday, March 16, Will Harris Open to: Using Military Experience to Inform Your Fiction Many veterans and active-duty military members have profound experiences in combat, in war zones, during peacekeeping, or in exotic places--all of which they want to use in writing fiction.

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Taught by a year retired military guy with two historical novels on the street, both set during World War I and the s. Saturday, March 23, 10 a. Jeffrey Walker Open to: But they are seldom the only characters in a story. What about the other characters who live in the world of your story? Think of the Sundance Kid or Spock. Another important character type is the foil: Hyde, or the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. Then there are the characters who may appear for only a scene or two: These may be stock characters, but can be portrayed as round or flat, static or dynamic.

Learn how you, too, can make these characters interesting and integral to your story. The Nuts and Bolts of Scrivener Scrivener is a streamlined and user friendly word processor that offers more to the writer than Microsoft Word or Mac Pages ever could. You can organize your books, chapters, short stories, scenes, character sheets, setting descriptions, outlines, and anything else you can think of all in one easy-to-access document, which allows you to seamlessly switch between each element.

To use the program to its full capacity, new users to the program need to know where to start. And experienced users are often unaware of the near-limitless customization and treasure trove of advanced features available to them. Combining visual and hands-on exercises, this seminar will teach you the basics of this amazing program and allow your writing projects to soar. This is for people with little to no experience in Scrivener.

Participants must own a copy of Scrivener, to be brought to the meeting on a laptop. The program is available on the App Store, Microsoft Marketplace, and via their website: Christopher De Matteo Open to: How to Create the Crucial Central Conflict The Central Conflict forms the emotional core of your story, novel, movie, play or poem which will in turn create the initial construction and the continued growth of your dramatic production for both you and your readers.

This class will focus on the creation of a strong emotional Motive for your protagonist or poetic context and the incumbent actions which will reach into the "hidden content" of your readers own emotions. These in turn will form suggested plot shapes which will start you on the way toward the creation of a dramatic plot or poetic context.

Unfunny People Writing Hilarious Stories Humor entertains readers, but it also serves a broader purpose, or its effects wouldn't last, especially when humor depends on one-liners or toilet jokes. Humor can bring to light deeper meaning about people and their interactions in the world they live. This seminar explores key techniques in writing humor.

Whichever form of humor someone writes: We will strengthen our story's narrative by dissecting stand-up legends Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle.

PDF The Muses Lap: A collection of poetry & other writings

We will move through creative exercises and writing prompts designed to touch the different elements of humor understatement, overstatement, irony, paradox, and juxtaposition. Saturday, March 30, 10 a. After tens of thousands of years as hunter-gatherers, why did humans come together to create a radically different type of community? Where were these first cities located, and what made them possible?

We will explore the environmental and cultural conditions which led to their foundation, the improvements to agriculture which supported their expansion, and the human and natural factors which led to their decline--or their destruction. John Aguiar Open to: It's not only the film and television industry standard, but offers all sorts of screenwriting and production perks you can't get in any other screenwriting software.

From outline to production, ScriptNotes to SmartType, learn how to take full advantage of Final Draft on your journey from script to screen. Saturday, March 30, Diane Fine Open to: Demystifying Voice So many tweedy writers' retreats and oceanfront summer writing camps fuzzily add the word "voice" to their brochures. Understanding the basics of voice is a promise many of these seminars can't keep.

#ZeeJLF2017: In Search of a Muse - On Writing Poetry

There's a lot of shapeless talk about cadence, feeling, and rhythm--even the word "special" is invoked--but you emerge without a bedrock knowledge of what 'voice' is--specifically what your voice is or your character's and how to take advantage of it. Voice shouldn't be a subject for self-indulgent discussion. It's the accidental usually or purposeful revelation of self through the fragrance of what you write. But how do we determine the fragrance?

There's a method as sure-fire as a Geiger counter to test the power of voice in your work. Come to class to experience a vivid scan of your personal Word DNA.

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I promise a revealing look in the mirror that will make your future stories far more knowing and memorable for readers. Through drills and direct discussions of your work, we'll identify what you're saying--even if you're unaware you've been saying it. Then, you'll learn how to weaponize voice for good and use it to lift your stories to a new level. Saturday, April 6, 10 a. Imagine all of the benchmarks of a classic mystery: Now imagine all of that crammed into a mere pages. Come join us for a discussion on the craft of mystery in short story format.

We will be using examples from the work of William Gay, Sarah Cortez, and more. Saturday, April 6, Can you imagine reading a story with no punctuation? It would be like driving with no traffic signs to guide you. Those little commas, semicolons, apostrophes, hyphens, quotation marks and periods help us navigate written work. Correct use of punctuation marks is governed by specific rules.

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Learn them in this seminar. You must be part Sherlock Holmes, part Sigmund Freud. After a presentation, ample time will be available for questions and answers. Saturday, April 13, 10 a. Michael Lovely Open to: The Deep History of Words Many writers know that English draws its core vocabulary from Old English, supplemented by French, Latin and Greek, with contributions from many other languages over the past thousand years. But where did the Old English vocabulary come from? Where did Latin and Greek come from, and why do they have uncanny similarities with Sanskrit, the ancestor of many languages in modern India?

In this Research for Writers seminar, we will explore the Indo-European languages and trace them back through time to their ancient source: Proto-Indo-European, the language which gave rise to the major language families of Europe and northern India. We will trace individual words across thousands of years, from their ancient roots to their modern forms, and we will explore what these words reveal about Proto-Indo-European culture. We will also search for clues of even earlier languages--and consider whether Neandertals, who spoke radically different languages, might have contributed words as well as genes to our modern world.

We can excavate our favorite texts to understand the elements of craft master writers implement and how they use them. Instead of getting caught up in a story, we will identify what makes them successful and consider how we, as writers, can use these same techniques in our work. April 13, 20 Session cost: Researching Your Novel Once your Muse has inspired your novel, nothing adds value for the reader like complete and well-conducted research. Quality research frees your creative thinking, eases writers block, expands your vocabulary, identifies plot direction and provides a sound framework for the creative work ahead.

Sloppy research can make or break your novel in terms of believability. Learn sound research strategies, identify sources, including how to avoid those "research traps" that can bog down your writing. Saturday, April 13, Malcom Massey Open to: This two-session seminar will guide you through the world of submitting to literary journals and magazines from start to finish. First, we'll discuss our individual publishing challenges, review our work in an optional short workshop, and then start pulling together a submission while we learn about file organization, proper formatting, crafting a cover letter, finding markets that fit our work, and how to utilize social media.

Then after we've had time to research and hone our submissions we'll meet again to review our cover letters, share the markets we found, discuss copyright, fees, paid markets, time management, review some exercises to help you keep writing and submitting. By the end of this two-session seminar you will have learned everything you need to know to confidently send your work into the world!

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April 14, 28 Session cost: Hominid Heresies In both fantasy and science fiction, we often see worlds with multiple intelligent species coexisting, such as the classic fantasy races of elves, dwarves, orcs and halflings. But how realistic is this? Can several different humanoid species coexist peacefully, or will one species eventually drive the others to extinction?