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2017 Summer Writing Workshop - "The Fiction Hatchery: Moving Ideas to the Page Through Characterization, Plot, Setting, and Theme" with Stacey Swann

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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.


NOTE: We are offering two fiction classes, one for writers looking to kickstart a new project ("The Fiction Hatchery") and one for writers who are already far along with a project ("Fiction in Progress"). Please read the full descriptions and choose the class that matches your experience level. And, as always, reach out to us if you'd like some help deciding.

This class, "The Fiction Hatchery," is for writers who are at the early stages of a novel or short story project, who are not looking for a formal workshop and would prefer to focus on generating new words on the page, and who would like more insight into the foundations of craft: characterization, outlining, setting, plot, and theme.

This class is also appropriate for writers who are further along with a draft (or even finished with a manuscript) but want to be reminded of (or be taught formally for the first time) about the basic essentials of great fiction writing.


"The Fiction Hatchery" Class Meeting Times:

Monday, August 14: Orientation, 6pm
Tuesday through Saturday, August 15-19: 9:30am to 3pm (one hour break for lunch)


Do you have a great idea for a novel or short story but aren’t sure how to dive in? Or have you already begun but hit an early wall?

No matter what type (genre or category) of fiction you’re writing, this course will give you the skills and confidence to jump in head first. In this class, we will cover foundational pre-writing, in which we get to know our characters and their problems. We’ll learn different ways to roadmap our novels and stories, from detailed outlines to methods with more flexibility, and what makes a plot compelling. In addition, we’ll take a close look at the expectations for opening scenes and how to engage readers from the very first page.

In the morning sessions, the class will include short lectures and class discussions on craft topics including characterization and character motives, outlining, setting, plot, and theme. We’ll explore them further using examples from published work (stories and novel excerpts) and then personalize the topics using in-class writing exercises.

In the afternoon sessions, students will form small groups to share their writing assignments for feedback and discussion. All work will be generated within the class itself rather than submitted ahead of time.

All class participants will be sent a packet of required reading prior to the retreat.

This class is appropriate for both short story and novel writers. There will be a particular emphasis on: building the breadth and depth of your fictional world, its characters, and its plot/structure.


About the Instructor

"[Stacey Swann was] knowledgeable...encouraging...(and) entertaining."
-- 2016 Writers' League of Texas Class Attendee

Stacey Swann’s fiction has appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, Covered W/ Fur, and other journals. A former Stegner Fellow, she teaches with Stanford University’s Online Writer’s Studio and in their Novel Certificate Program. She's at work on Olympus, TX, a novel-in-progress she is whittling down from Texas-sized to a more modest Montana or New Mexico size.


(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.