Writing Workshops

The Art of Revision

Revision is where the magic happens in writing, when you wash the mud and silt from your sliver of gold, polish it, and mold it into art. During this 5-week course, we’ll workshop your creative work-in-progress (up to twenty pages), looking at elements like form, style, voice, character, and pacing.

$125. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales: On the Trail of Timelessness

There’s a reason that ancient stories still resonate with us. In this 4-week course, we’ll look at what makes fables, myths, and fairy tales so timeless and apply these elements to modern-day storytelling. Bring your favorite stories to share and prepare to do some writing!

$75. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Flash Fiction: Writing in Snapshots

Flash fiction is a form of writing that embraces the short-short story, typically fewer than 750 words. Like any flash writing, it requires a careful economy of language in which every word, every line of dialogue, and every movement matters. Good flash fiction also has the ability to hint at a larger story without giving away all its secrets, leaving the reader satisfied yet fully engaged.

This 4-week course will explore some of the best examples of flash fiction. We’ll play around with the six-word story, the 140-word story (“twitterature”), the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words), focusing on the barest, stripped-down elements of fiction.

$100. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Flash Memoir: Writing in Snapshots

Flash memoir is a form of creative nonfiction that tells a true story about your life in under 1,000 words. If the memoir essay (see below) is a slice of your life, the flash memoir is a snapshot in which every detail, every light and shadow, every word and gesture is saturated with meaning. Flash memoir requires a unique interplay of discipline and poetry, which is excellent training for any kind of writing.

During this 4-week course, we’ll look at examples of effective flash memoir, and then play with the genre using a combination of journaling, free-writing, and using actual photographs.

$100. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

The Memoir Essay

The memoir essay, short nonfiction writing that draws from a particular memory, has become one of the most popular forms of creative nonfiction. It allows you to write creatively and deeply about a period of your life–an afternoon, a summer, or a period of five years, for example–that gives you cause to reflect. The most successful memoir essays speak to something universally relatable; they give us another way to understand how to be human.

This 8-week course will guide you through generating material (it’s okay if you already have some ideas), sifting and refining your memories, and structuring them into an artistic, literary form. You will leave this course with a polished draft.

$200. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Prose From Poetry

This is a series for the writer interested in generating new material. We will gather once a week for 8 weeks to read, write, and share with a unique method guaranteed to produce writing fuel. At each meeting, we’ll share some poetry, think deeply, then write in short bursts without editing or censoring ourselves. At the end of the writing segment, each of us will share our work. Because these workshops produce very rough writing, this is not a place for critique, only for gratitude and fellowship.

The Prose From Poetry series is a great way to get unstuck, set writing goals, and build a tribe. Because each series is different, you can take this course over and over whenever you need a jumpstart.

$100. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Reinventing the Hero

Mythologist Joseph Campbell is best known for his theory, based on Jungian psychology, of the journey of an archetypal hero that can be found in cultures around the world. Writers and filmmakers like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Richard Adams, and Dan Brown have achieved enormous success using Campbell’s work as a blueprint for plot and character development. However, Campbell’s theory has been criticized as outdated and simplistic, ignoring the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and politics.

In this 2-week course, we’ll look for what is useful in Campbell’s theory, but also imagine what a different archetypal hero might look like. This course will come with a reading list of books that follow the journey of Campbell’s hero as well as books that reinvent that journey and, consequently, the hero.

$50. Limit 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Spark: Everyday Creativity

If you find yourself thinking, “I’m just not a creative person,” or wishing you could see the sparks of artistic magic others seem to find without effort, this is the class for you. Creativity is not fixed trait, like being born with blue eyes or curly hair; it is a skill, a practice, and a way of life that can be cultivated.

This 4-week course is fast-paced and fun. Because play is at the heart of creativity, we’ll dig deep to unbury your inner child and let it loose. Come prepared to laugh, experiment, look a little silly (but not too silly), and, of course, write.

$100. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Voicing the Land: Environmental Writing

America has an especially rich history of environmental writing. Although many of us think of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden as the forerunner of modern environmentalism, writing (and storytelling) about the land extends much further back and crosses cultures.

This 8-week course will look at the different ways writers have approached the land and life that surrounds us and write our way into the ongoing conversation.

$200. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.

Water’s Edge: Writing That Heals

This 8-week creative writing workshop focuses on the therapeutic powers of deep, reflective writing.

Building on Brené Brown‘s work on the power of vulnerability and Elizabeth Gilbert‘s insistence that we all have a creative genius inside us, we will gather as a comfortable group once a week to nurture our creativity, to listen and reflect, and to write in ways that can support healing. This class does not offer feedback or critique, but uses writing as a form of therapy, self-knowledge, and even spirituality.

Whatever you are healing from–loss, addiction, abuse, or an unnamed pain–bring your courage, your vulnerability, your empathy, and a pencil with a good eraser.

$200. Limit: 5. Contact Crystal to register. More details coming soon.