Photo by Jakob Lawitski, Creative Commons, via Flickr.
A special creative writing workshop with author and editor Megan Willome.
February 5th – April 27th. Limit 10 participants. $10 late registration fee after January 29.
Children’s stories lead us into our most imaginative selves. None that endure can be called mundane. From Lewis’s wardrobe door (that I’m still looking for!) to Carroll’s rabbit hole (that we each could use to fall down, from time to time, for Imagination’s sake), our childhood stories took us places that piqued our curiosity, encouraged our whimsy, and left us with visions of new ways to think and be.
To write well, we need to read well. To spark Imagination, we need to kindle curiosity. There’s no better place to do so than in the context of children’s stories, old and new. In this writing workshop, we’ll read both picture books and chapters from longer children’s stories. Sometimes we’ll pair those readings with selections from novels for grownups that include similar themes with a different slant. And then we’ll write.
This is a writing workshop, whether your audience is big people or little people and whether you work in fiction, nonfiction, essays, or poetry. We’ll use children’s literature to infuse imagination and energy into our grownup writing and experiment with using adult books as a springboard to writing for children. With the help of such eternal guides as Winnie-the-Pooh, Ramona Quimby, Max, Frances, Charlotte, and others, you’ll learn to write so that even little people will want to keep reading.
Whether you’re in the 8-week or the 12-week option, we’re opening the opportunity for you to submit a “fantasy or fairy tale” style story for a collection we’re putting together from T. S. Poetry Press. This submissions opportunity is not open to the general public. And, of course, we encourage you to use your workshop time to refine your submissions.
8-week course includes
• Weekly readings from books for children and grownups to help inspire and shape your writing
• Writing prompts, assignments, and activities to help you tell your stories
• A theme of the week to explore and write about
• Six asynchronous discussions you can participate in at your convenience and two live Zoom video chats (recorded, in case you need to miss)
• Pairing with a peer for weekly individual feedback, along with a video from your instructor to help you learn how to give and receive critiques
Basic 8-Week Material
Week 1: Better than anywhere (specificity & theme of quiet)
Week 2: People without hope (theme of identity, for writer & reader)
Week 3: House and gardens (structure & theme of mystery)
Week 4: Fated and free (beginnings and endings & theme of change)
Week 5: Bless your heart (character & theme of feelings)
Week 6: The heroic mode (dialogue & theme of family)
Week 7: Your attention please (setting & theme of home)
Week 8: Two and two (voice & theme of sleep)
12-week course also includes
• Four more weeks of lessons and hand-selected reading assignments
• Four more weeks of exercises and prompts to help you grow as a writer
• Three more asynchronous discussions that you can participate in at your convenience and one more live Zoom video chat (recorded, in case you need to miss)
• Professional critique of one story or essay or poem you hope to get published
• Continued access to the private classroom space after the course is completed
• One group session with Susie Jaramillo, children’s book illustrator and Chief Creative Officer of Encantos Media Studios, a company now partnering with Nickelodeon
Additional 12-Week Material
Week 9: Not boring (tone & theme of play)
Week 10: Not easy (plot & theme of horror)
Week 11: Not cliché (creativity & theme of friendship)
Week 12: Not sentimental (truth & theme of glory)
Private online group setting that includes a free digital copy of one of T. S. Poetry Press’s newest books for children: A is for Azure.
You Will Need
A computer or mobile device with an internet connection capable of accessing our interactive online space, clicking on documents, and participating in Zoom chats. And you’ll need your favorite writing devices: computer, tablet, pencil, pen, crayon, notebook paper, Moleskine, spiral, or other creative tool. We also recommend a library card because this workshop includes many children’s books.
Your Workshop Leader
Megan Willome is the author of The Joy of Poetry: How to Keep, Save & Make Your Life With Poems and is a contributing writer to the Wacoan magazine, the Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post, and Tweetspeak Poetry. She still reads children’s books and has written about them too.
From Past Tweetspeak Workshop Participants
Sharon Gibbs: Thank you for making Tweetspeak Poetry such a rich area of living and learning. The workshops are not only life-changing, but they have blessed me with friendships and community outside the classroom(s).
Laura Lapins Willis: The writing workshop I’m taking with Tweetspeak Poetry has been transformational. I’ve had a great teacher/mentor who has encouraged our group with interesting readings and assignments. My classmates have broadened my perspective and challenged me to be a better reader and writer.
Brad Grout: I am personally getting so much out of this memoir workshop…you people are AMAZING!
Lane Arnold: I struck gold. An afternoon session of writing poetry is good for the soul. The poetry workshop is a catalyst for creativity.
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.
Debra Hale-Shelton: My writing had become formulaic after so many years having to write the facts and just the facts. For the first time in years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my craft, again dreamed of becoming what I dreamed of at age 18—a writer, not a reporter.
Rhonda Owen: Both of the Tweetspeak workshops I’ve taken this year have nourished me on so many levels. I also feel energized and revitalized through the relationships I’ve formed with the lovely, talented, kind people I’ve met in the workshops. Transformative is the best word to describe it…
Sandra Heska King: This was absolutely the single best whim I’ve followed.
8 week • BUY NOW $350 + $10 late registration fee = $360
12 week • BUY NOW $420 + $10 late registration fee = $430
Photo by Jakob Lawitski, Creative Commons, via Flickr.
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- Children’s Book Club: ‘Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime’ - February 14, 2020