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2017 Summer Writing Workshop - "Capturing Real Life: Long-Form Narrative in a Short-Form World" with Michael Hall

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ACC Highland Campus
6101 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78752

8/14/2017 to 8/19/2017

Online registration for the 2017 Summer Writing Workshop is now closed. If you'd like to register, please call our offices at 512-499-8914.


$329 for Members (Please log in for member pricing)
$389 Non-Members

Please read both the credit card handling fee information and the refund policy at the bottom of this page before purchasing a ticket.


"Capturing Real Life" Class Meeting Times:

Monday, August 14: Orientation, 6pm
Tuesday through Saturday, August 15-19: 9:00am to 3pm (one hour break for lunch)


With a winning combination of morning instruction & discussion and afternoon writing assignments, as well as personalized feedback from the instructor, this course will give you the basic tools to write lengthy, narrative-driven stories that are more about attitude than objectivity, more about getting at the heart of a story than just the facts.

Participants in this class will read and dissect some great sample stories, analyzing the key elements that make them sing. In addition, participants will learn: how to conduct great interviews and how to get people to open up and share intimate details; what goes into developing sources and how to be pushy--but not so pushy that you push sources away.

Class participants will discuss how to focus a nonfiction narrative so that it has one main idea that guides the story, while learning valuable practices for keeping people interested regardless of length, including an analysis of various ways to structure the narrative.

Participants will also discuss: the challenges unique to narrative nonfiction, from writing scenes that play like movies in the reader's head to creating a sense of place to using anecdotes to move the story along; the fine art of putting "you" -- the writer -- in the story; beginnings and endings; and revising and editing--killing today what seemed so essential yesterday.

By the time the class is done, students will have a better understanding of how to put their ideas together into a compelling piece. This class will be valuable for anyone looking to publish long-form articles (in print or online) and could be especially valuable to academics, bloggers looking to transition to long-form, and even writers of memoir or other types of nonfiction.

Class participants will do exercises geared towards putting together a long-form story, including working on creating lively scenes. They'll also explore character development as well as different kinds of structures, from traditional ones to atypical ones.

The instructor asks all students to bring a long-form project to the class--either a work in progress you'd like help on or an idea for a long-form story you want to write but aren't sure how to get started on.

Throughout the week, the instructor will have conferences with each student to work on their individual stories.

About the Instructor

"Michael was wonderful. He kept us thoroughly entertained, but managed to keep us engaged in
serious study of the craft."
-- 2015 Summer Writing Workshop Attendee

"I had been writing my story before the retreat and thought I was on the right track. Then came Mike Hall, who managed to find just the right beginning of my story. Because of him, I am now really on the right track."
--2015 Summer Writing Workshop Attendee

Executive Editor Michael Hall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 with a degree in Government. He wrote for various publications, including Trouser Press, Third Coast Magazine, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Austin Chronicle. In 1997 he joined Texas Monthly, where he has won two Texas Gavel Awards from the State Bar of Texas and three Stephen Philbin Awards from the Dallas Bar Association. He was named the CRMA's Writer of the Year in 2015. Hall's stories have appeared in the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sportswriting, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, Da Capo Best Music Writing, the New York Times, and Men's Journal. Hall is also a musician and has played in Austin bands such as Wild Seeds, the Setters, the Lollygaggers, and the Savage Trip.


(Note: All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee - this fee can be avoided by mailing in a check for registration with a form. Click HERE for the form to mail with your check).


(Please read this refund policy closely before registering for the 2017 Summer Writing Workshop; no exceptions will be made):

Through May 15, 2017: 100% refund available.
May 16 - June 23, 2017: 50% refund available.

All cancellations will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

After June 23, 2017: No refunds will be made, but registrants can transfer their registration to another person as long as advance notice is given to the Writers' League of Texas. If you wish to transfer your registration, please call the WLT at 512-499-8914.