UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program announces fall 2018 classes

Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

Press release from UNC Asheville:

UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program Announces Fall 2018 Classes

UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) will present 11 workshops this fall – fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, children’s fiction, poetry, and the business aspects of writing – taught by some of Western North Carolina’s finest authors. Classes, which range from five to 15 weeks, will be offered in many community locations in Asheville and Burnsville.

The Literary Ecosystem: How It Works and the Writer’s Role with Caroline Christopoulos and Lauren Harr – In this course, writers will hone their goals for their work, craft an elevator pitch, learn the difference between an agent and a publicist, and practice talking about their work as a finished product rather than a manuscript-in-progress. Instructors Christopoulos and Harr are co-owners of Gold Leaf Literary Services, which provides a range of pre- and post-publication assistance for authors. Both have worked as booksellers at Malaprop’s, and Christopoulos is on the programming committee of the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival. Class meets for five weeks on Wednesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Flatiron Writers Room in West Asheville, beginning Oct. 10.

Taking the Long Way Home: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Audra Coleman – In this class, participants will explore the many different narrative structures available to creative nonfiction writers. Students will have an opportunity to write and revise memoir and essay pieces using a variety of narrative structures including braiding, collage and frame. Class will include discussion based on assigned readings, writing exercises, and revisions trying out numerous arrangements and sequencing to find how the puzzle pieces fit together best to make the greatest impact on the reader. Coleman is a graduate of UNC Asheville’s Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program with a concentration in creative writing, whose poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction has been featured in numerous publications. Class meets for five weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Flatiron Writers Room in West Asheville, beginning Oct. 30.

A Beginner Begins: Introduction to the Creative Writing Workshop with Jordan Dolfi – This class will offer a supportive environment to learn the basics of writing and critiquing fiction or creative nonfiction in a workshop setting. Students may have a project in mind or one they’re already at work on, but it is not required. The class includes in-class writing exercises, and each student will also submit work – short stories, novel excerpts or creative nonfiction – during the course. Dolfi, sought by professional writers for her detailed feedback and hawk-eye editing, is a lifelong reader and writer. She earned a Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree with a concentration in creative writing from UNC Asheville and is now working on her education doctorate with NC State University. Class meets in Asheville, location to be announced, on Monday evenings, 6-8:30 p.m. starting Sept. 10 for five weeks.

Your Novel Starts Here: A Fiction Workshop with Vicki Lane – This beginning class focuses on character development, setting, dialogue, point of view, plotting, etc. with a brief overview of the road to publication. Brief at-home writing assignments are shared via email and discussed in class, with some in-class writing. Students are encouraged (but not required) to decide on a main character and a setting and write all their assignments pertaining to these, with the hope of having the opening of a novel by the end of the course. Lane is the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series from Bantam Dell: Signs in the Blood, Art’s Blood, Old Wounds, In a Dark Season, and Under the Skin, as well as a standalone, The Day of Small Things.Class meets for 10 weeks on Tuesday evenings, 6-8:30 p.m., at RiverLink Asheville, beginning Sept. 11.

Fall into Writing: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop with Jennifer McGaha – This creative nonfiction workshop is for intermediate-level writers looking to take their work to the next level. Each session will include a discussion of the assigned reading (The Best American Essays 2017, edited by Leslie Jamison and Robert Atwan), and participants will take turns leading this discussion. The cornerstone of this course will be the workshop experience, and students should be prepared to submit at least 30 pages of prose (memoir, personal essay, etc.) during the semester. McGaha is the author of the memoir, Flat Broke with Two Goats, and her writing has also appeared in The Huffington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Class meets for 10 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, beginning Sept. 11.

Heart of the Story: Writing for Children Fiction Workshop with Joy Neaves – This workshop welcomes students at all stages of the writing process who are interested in writing literature for children and young adults, including novels, picture books, and short fiction. It focuses on ways to use all the essentials aspects of craft to develop dynamic characters and compelling plots with an emphasis on generating powerful scenes. A portion of the workshop will focus on the business of publishing and the best ways to approach editors and agents when you’re ready to submit your work to the market. Special topics related to children’s fiction and picture books also will be discussed. Neaves has over 18 years of experience as an editor of children’s picture books, poetry, middle grade, and young adult fiction, first from Front Street, an award-winning publisher of books for children and later at Boyds Mills Press. She is currently a freelance editor of children’s books at namelos. Class meets for 10 weeks on Thursday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. at RiverLink, beginning Sept. 13.

Poetry by Example: A Writing Workshop with Eric Nelson – Each week, participants will read and discuss poems that illustrate a specific type of poem. These models then serve as prompts for each writing assignment, and by the end of the term, students will have read and written poems in a variety of styles. The class is helpful for poets of all levels, skills and experience. 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 for 10 weeks on Monday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m at RiverLink beginning Sept. 10.

Shaping the Stories of Our Lives: Personal Essay/Memoir with Catherine Reid – This class looks at decisions seen in contemporary essays with a focus on the form that works best when putting ideas on paper. Discussions will include ways to start and stop scenes, layer moments, integrate research and weave in other voices) along with experiments in writing lyric essays, epistles, prose poems and flash fiction. Reid is the author of several works of nonfiction, including The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables, Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst and Falling into Place: An Intimate Geography of Home. She also has received numerous grants and awards for her writing, including fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Class meets for 10 weeks on Monday afternoons from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Yancey County Library in Burnsville starting Sept. 17.

The Poet as Witness: A Poetry Workshop with Pat Riviere-Seel – This class looks at examples of a wide variety of poems of witness to discuss strategies, techniques and craft elements for writing. Prompts each week help students consider the poet’s role and poet’s obligation in making art, and the class is appropriate for beginning as well as experienced poets. Handouts of poems will be provided. Riviere-Seel is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Nothing Below but Air. She also served as the Distinguished Poet for Western North Carolina from 2016-2018 in the NC Poetry Society’s Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series. Class meets for 10 weeks on Wednesday afternoons from 4-6:30 p.m. at Hanger Hall School beginning Sept. 12.

Keeping Ourselves Company: A Creative Prose Workshop with Tommy Hays – This class is for prose writers who’ve been in at least one writing workshop and have projects they are working on or who want to start something new in either fiction or creative nonfiction.  Emphasis will be on reading and critiquing each other’s work.  The instructor will respond at length to submissions three times with a limit of 15 pages for each submission. Hays is executive director of the Great Smokies Writing Program and core faculty for the Master of Liberal Arts & Sciences Program at UNC Asheville. He is the author of four novels including What I Came to Tell You, a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Okra Pick and a nominee for the North Carolina Young Adult Award; The Pleasure Was Mine, which has been chosen for numerous community reads and was a finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award; and In the Family Way, which won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

Instructor’s permission required for admittance. Applicants should contact Tommy Hays at tommyhays321@gmail.com. Class meets for 15 weeks on Wednesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Asheville School beginning Aug. 29.

Prose Master Class with Elizabeth Lutyens – The Prose Master Class is a next step for those seeking an intensive writing experience. This small-group workshop is limited to experienced writers who are working on an ongoing project: a collection of essays or stories, a novel, a memoir. The writer should have at least 60 pages ready to submit for three critiques during the semester. Each class begins with a craft session requiring outside reading, with the focus on the theme for the semester, which explores the resonance of the writing as well as craft. Class meets for 15 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Asheville School beginning Aug. 28.

Admission to the Prose Master Class is by permission from Tommy Hays or Elizabeth Lutyens, who has led this class for nine years. A former journalist, Lutyens is a graduate of the MFA in Writing Program at Warren Wilson College and is completing her own work: a novel set in Boston and the Port Royal islands of South Carolina during the early 1860s. She is editor-in-chief of The Great Smokies Review, the online literary magazine published by The Great Smokies Writing Program and UNC Asheville. For more information about the Prose Master Class, contact Hays (tommyhays321@gmail.com) or Lutyens (elutyens@gmail.com).

The Great Smokies Writing Program is committed to providing the community with affordable university-level classes taught by professional writers. For those who qualify for in-state tuition, five-week courses cost $155.81; 10-week courses cost $311.62; 15-week courses cost $467.43. 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 828.250.2353.

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