A workshop that will help you write the best essays—to sell or to share.
Begins August 31, 2015. Limit 10 participants.
Annie Dillard has claimed, “The essay can do everything a poem can do, and everything that a short story can do.” While E.B. White said, “Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.” But can a form (or genre–it’s up for debate) that first emerged in the 16th century really be valid today?
Look around and the answer is obvious. From blog posts to contest entries, from magazines to Chipotle take-out cups, essays have grown ubiquitous in the 21st century. Scott Russell Sanders explains, “In this era of pre-packaged thought, the essay is the closest thing we have, on paper, to a record of the individual mind at work and play. It is an amateur’s raid in a world of specialists. Feeling overwhelmed by data, random information, the flotsam and jetsam of mass culture, we relish the spectacle of a single consciousness making sense of a portion of the chaos.”
Join this workshop, and prepare to dive into essay writing. We will wrestle with what it means “to try” in our writing, the literal definition of “essay, ” as well as exploring many of the great elements of essay writing, including the blend of showing and telling, the elaborate use of the word “I, ” and techniques of fiction and poetry that allow us to tell a story through gathered bits of experience, reading, observation, and research. Forget five paragraphs and a thesis statement. We’re moving toward riveting narrative, persuasive arguments, and masterful weaving of ideas. We’ll also plunge the depths of memory, explore the landscape of modern culture, and learn how to read with purpose.
8-Week Course Includes
● Readings from some of the greatest essayists like Wendell Berry, Joan Didion, Chang-Rae Lee, David Sedaris, Rebecca Solnit, and James Baldwin to help inspire and shape your own writing
● Weekly writing prompts, including journal entries, exercises, and progressive drafts of your essays
● Weekly online discussions about the readings, that you can participate in at your convenience
● Peer review and critique of two essays over multiple drafts, working toward finished drafts suitable for sending out to get published (possibly at paying venues)
● One of the two essays will be workshopped with all participants in a live video-chat
● One of the two essays will be edited by the workshop leader
12-Week Course Also Includes
● Four additional weeks of exercises and prompts to help you grow as an essayist
● Four additional weeks of online discussions and essay trouble-shooting
● A third peer reviewed essay
● A personal consultation with the workshop leader about how to further develop one essay into a project that you self publish or send out for publication (possibly at paying venues) or to contests
● Insider tips on where and how to get the work published, and where applicable (if the work is a fit) a personal referral from the workshop leader to publications she has connections with
Private online group settings and most class materials, including free digital copy of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts. Please buy or borrow Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature, by Bill Roorbach and Kristen Keckler, and The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White.
What You Need
Computer or mobile device with internet connection capable of accessing our interactive online class space, uploading and downloading documents, and participating in Zoom chats. Also, since participants will be providing peer review of each other’s work, Microsoft Word (with the “review” feature) or the ability to print and scan is ideal but not required.
Your Writing Workshop Leader
Charity Singleton Craig is a professional writer and editor who brings words to life through essays, stories, blog posts, and books. She is the coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts, and she has contributed essays to three books, including Letters to Me: Conversations with a Younger Self. She is regularly published through corporate clients and at various venues, including The Curator, The High Calling, InTouch Magazine, The Write Life, Grubstreet Daily, and Tweetspeak Poetry, where she is a contributing writer. Charity is ideally suited to guide you into getting published for profit (or pleasure)!
$350 + $10 Late Reg. Fee • 8 Week • BUY NOW
$420 + $10 Late Reg. Fee • 12 Week • BUY NOW
What Our Other Workshop Participants Have Said
Lakin Easterling: I recently participated in Charity’s and Ann’s On Being a Writer workshop, and it was truly liberating. The online platform was beautiful for my introverted nature, but also challenging. Watching how other writers move through their process was inspiring — and being encouraged in my own process was invaluable.
Michelle Ortega: Although I will most likely not pursue publishing a non-fiction title, I gained invaluable insights in this workshop. It answered questions for me that I have been wrestling with for my business for the past few years, and coincides with my general philosophy of developing relationships with consumers as opposed to impersonal marketing strategies.
Darrelyn Saloom: I signed up for the fiction class at a crazy/busy time. What was I thinking? With all the chaos in my life, I am so happy I did. I would NEVER have completed a 3-thousand word short story otherwise. It was wonderful to have Anthony’s guidance and feedback. And I am so pleased with the result.
Brad Grout: I am personally getting so much out of this memoir workshop…you people are AMAZING!
Lexanne Leonard: The most important step I’ve taken is to join Tweetspeak’s Poetry Workshop with Anne Doe Overstreet. I cannot begin to thank Tweetspeak, Anne, and my fellow students for this journey.
Darlene S.: I don’t think I can put into words both the overall value of the lessons learned and the encouragement I got.
Sandra Heska King: This was absolutely the single best whim I’ve followed.
Photo by Claire Burge. Used with permission.
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Looks great! I have a couple of questions though. First, is the online discussion center the same as it was for the G. Kempton workshops (Writeboard, I think it was called)? And second, what are the internet speed requirements for the Zoom portions? Third, are they video-based and live?
L. L. Barkat says
Same classroom setting, yes.
Not sure of the speed requirements. I’d think maybe they’d be the same as any live video (Skype, Google+). But even though they are live, we record them and you can then watch at your leisure if you had to miss. 🙂 (Also, you could call in by phone instead and just do the audio, and that way you could circumvent the question of Internet connection and still be part of the live session.)
We’d love to have you, Darlene! 🙂
Charity Singleton Craig says
Darlene – I missed seeing this comment earlier. Thank you for your questions. Laura answered them perfectly. Let me know if you need any further clarification. I would love to have you in this workshop. You’d make a wonderful addition.
Looking forward to this course!
Charity Singleton Craig says
Me, too, Sharon! I’m working on getting everything ready. You should hear from us in the next few days with some instructions about logging into the classroom space and getting ready to start. Thanks.
L. L. Barkat says
We’ll be in contact only a few days before the class (which means it’s not quite the next few days, just so you aren’t waiting and wondering where we are 🙂 )
Along with Charity, we’re so glad to have you joining us!