Choose the exotic. Or choose the everyday. Either way, take a journey with author, editor, and university teacher Laura Lynn Brown, in this special “Writing the Journey” workshop—and step into discovery!
8 or 12 Weeks. Begins September 3, 2018. Limit 10 participants. Register by Friday, August 24, to avoid a $10 late registration fee.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” — Ursula K. Le Guin
“Travel writing” is a capacious category. At its best, it is all about discovery. In this workshop, though we’ll be intrigued by the idea of going to exotic locations and telling potential visitors how to navigate there, we’ll also travel deeper by exploring the journeys, short and long, that are part of life.
Often these journeys involve travel—sending off a loved-one; moving to a new home; taking your first road trip with a friend or beloved; exploring a city or countryside where you’ve never been before. And often they are more interior than exterior.
We’ll read a range of writing and use the language and metaphor of travel as we re-envision our life journeys and explore their contexts. “We observe, we calculate, we inquire, we look for a link between what we already know and what we’re about to learn,” says Tom Miller. “The finest travel writing describes what’s going on when nobody’s looking.”
This workshop is designed to offer what you need—roomy as a duffel or practical as a travel wallet— to help you put your life travels into words.
8-week Course Includes
• Weekly readings (nonfiction, occasional poetry and a bit of fiction) from writers like Annie Dillard, John Hodgman, Isabella Bird, Michael Chabon, Sigrud Undset, William Least Heat-Moon, Elizabeth Tova Bailey, and others, to help inspire and shape your own writing.
• Writing prompts, assignments, and occasional activities to help you identify and begin to write your journeys
• 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 and/or critique
Basic 8-week Material
Week 1: Quest
Week 2: Packing
Week 3: Guides and Guideposts
Week 4: Flying Solo
Week 5: Adventure
Week 6: Inner Passage
Week 7: Detours / Rest Stop
Week 8: Letters Home
12-week Course Also Includes
• Four more weeks of lessons and hand-selected reading assignments related to journeying
• 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 article or poem you hope to get published
• Continued access to the private classroom space after the course is completed
Additional 12-Week Material
Week 9: Obstacles and Escape
Week 10: Companions, Unaccompanied Minors
Week 11: Arrived
Week 12: Unpacking
Note to Teachers
You may be able to get professional development units for our courses. We recommend this service offered by Courses4Teachers (and that you check with your district beforehand).
Private online group setting that includes a free digital copy of Gillian Marchenko’s Sun Shine Down, the story of an interior journey that takes place across two continents.
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: pencil, pen, crayon, notebook paper, Moleskine, spiral, Post-It notes, tablet, computer, or other creative tool.
Your Workshop Leader
Laura Lynn Brown, a writing instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, is also an author, editor and writing coach who honed her writing and editing talents at The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Her work was named as a Notable Essay in the 2013 Best American Essays. Laura has an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of Everything That Makes You Mom. One of her loves is writing about her current city, Pittsburgh.
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.
Photo by Igor Krivokan. Creative Commons, via Flickr.