UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program announces summer classes

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

Press release from Great Smokies Writing Program:

UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) will present six workshops this summer in fiction, memoir, poetry and more taught by some of Western North Carolina’s finest authors. Classes will be offered in community locations in Asheville and Burnsville. Classes meet weekly for five weeks.

From Myth to Fiction: Modernizing Traditional Stories, Folklore and Tall Tales by Creating New Works with Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle – In this class, participants will analyze features of folk tales that make them lasting and relevant today. After choosing a tale and determining which genre is most appropriate for a creative revision, participants will be guided through the process of creating outlines or complete drafts of their new, original work told in an authentic voice. Clapsaddle, an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is the author of the novel Going to Water, winner of The Morning Star Award for Creative Writing from the Native American Literature Symposium, and a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. She is co-editor of the Journal of Cherokee Studies and writes periodically for Smoky Mountain Living magazine. Class meets Thursdays, 4-6:30 p.m., June 7-28, and July 12 at Hanger Hall, 64 W.T. Weaver Blvd., Asheville.

The Story Behind the Story: A Creative Prose Workshop with Abigail DeWitt – Most of us have a story from our lives that we regularly share with others. In this class, participants will look behind their own stories to uncover what may have been forgotten, especially the sensory details associated with an event. Writers also will practice viewing experiences from multiple points of view and gain new tools for developing those hidden narratives. DeWitt is the author of three novels, Lili, Dogs, and News of Our Loved Ones, forthcoming from HarperCollins in October 2018. She has taught creative writing at Appalachian State University, Harvard University Summer School and the Table Rock Writers Workshop (formerly the Duke Writers Workshop). Class meets Thursdays, 6-8:30 p.m., June 7, 14 and 21, and July 5 and 12 at Yancey County Library, 321 School Circle, Burnsville.

Freewheeling Fun: Writing to Prompts with Vicki Lane – This course offers features no take home assignments – just brief, in-class writing to a wildly varied series of prompts, adaptable to any ideas the student may already have and all based on different ways to tell a story. Students will read their work to the class for brief feedback. As an option, the instructor will offer additional written critique for two or three pages from each student each week. Lane is the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series as well as the standalone The Day of Small Things. She has taught with the Great Smokies Writing Program since 2006 and also teaches week-long summer workshops at John C. Campbell Folk School and Wildacres Writers Workshop. Class meets Tuesdays 6-8:30 p.m., June 5, 19 and 26, and July 3 and 17 at RiverLink, 170 Lyman Street, Asheville.

Summertime’s Calling You: A Memoir Workshop with Jennifer McGaha – Each week, workshop participants will complete a series of in-class writing exercises designed to jog even the foggiest memory, and identify recurring themes and symbols, with the goal of helping one another craft these literary nuggets into fully developed stories. This workshop is appropriate for beginning as well as experienced writers and all work will be done in class. McGaha’s memoir, Flat Broke with Two Goats, was chosen as April’s Big Library Read for OverDrive Library, an international digital library. Her work has also appeared in Huffington Post, The New Pioneer, The Good Men Project, PANK, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Baltimore Fishbowl, BackHome Magazine, and other publications. Class meets Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m., June 19-July 17 at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52 North Market St., Asheville.

Music in Poetry: A Poetry Workshop with Eric Nelson – This class will explore the many ways that poets create music in their poems, from the obvious – rhyme and meter – to the subtle, such as assonance and anaphora. Participants will listen to poems that rely heavily on musical elements, and to jazz, blues, folk, and hip-hop, and work on enhancing the music in their own poems through prompts, exercises, and workshop critique. Nelson’s six books of poetry include the collections Some Wonder, which won the Gival Press Poetry Award, Terrestrials, and The Interpretation of Waking Life. Class meets Mondays, 6-8:30 p.m., June 11-July 9 at the Flatiron Writers Room, 5 Covington St., Asheville.

Developing a “Voice”: A Fiction Workshop with Jamieson Ridenhour – Fiction is woven together from a multitude of voices: omniscient authors, first person narrators, and individual characters. This course will look at authorial and character voice as an integral part of storytelling, with participants receiving feedback from the instructor and fellow writers, revising 10-15 pages focusing on some form of voice. Ridenhour is the author of the werewolf murder mystery Barking Mad and two award-winning short horror films. His play Grave Lullaby was a finalist for the Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen National Playwriting award. Class meets Thursdays, 6-8:30 p.m., June 14-July 12 at RiverLink, 170 Lyman St., Asheville.

The Great Smokies Writing Program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes taught by professional writers. For in-state residents, five-week courses cost $155.81. The costs are higher for out-of-state residents. A $20 non-refundable application fee for new students also is required. For more information or to register, visit unca.edu/gswp or call 828.251.6099.

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