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"Fill That Blank Page" Class Package

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Location
St. Edward's University
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

1/18/2020


$147 for members (sign in for member pricing)

Whether you're starting a book as a new year's resolution, continuing a book started during National Novel Writing Month, or digging back into a manuscript that had previously stalled out, it's helpful to take stock of what strategies allow a narrative and imagination to thrive.

The classes will be held in Austin. The deadline to register is January 16, 2020. Before purchasing, be sure to check the dates. As always, there are no refunds on classes.

Each class can be purchased individually by clicking on the class title.

 

"The Novel Hatchery: Moving a Novel Idea into Its First Draft" with Stacey Swann

     Saturday, January 18, 2020, 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

Writers often have a great idea for a novel but aren’t sure how to dive in. Or they have already begun but hit an early wall. No matter the type of novel, this class will increase students' skills and confidence to jump in head first. Discussion will explore the following areas:

  • Foundational pre-writing, getting a clearer sense of characters and their problems
  • Roadmaps, whether they be detailed outlines or a handful of bullet points
  • Crafting effective opening chapters
  • Using craft elements to expand drafts: stakes, theme, and setting

Stacey Swann’s debut novel, Olympus, TX, is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2020. Her short fiction has appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, and other journals.

 

"Twisting Facts into Stories: Reality in Fiction and Nonfiction" with Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

     Saturday, February 15, 2020, 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

Writers are often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” The answer is usually some version of this: “All around me.” We draw upon current events, personal memories and family anecdotes, and weird news from all sorts of media for our storytelling material. It’s an impulse that comes naturally, to hear a story on the news and think, “I should write about that.” The best writers know how to turn those random, unexpected pieces of inspiration into fully developed essays, stories, and novels. This class will teach students to observe reality with the eyes of a journalist and imagination of a fiction writer in order to translate facts and events into riveting stories in any genre.
 

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho was born and raised in Toluca, Mexico. He moved to the U.S. at the age of 31 and began to write in English at 35. A former Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University and a Dobie Paisano fellow in fiction by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, he earned his MFA from The New Writers Project at UT Austin. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Texas Monthly and elsewhere. He is the author of the story collection Barefoot Dogs (Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction 2015) and the forthcoming novel The Healing Room.

 

"Writing Beyond What You Know" with Richard Santos

     Saturday, February 29, 2020, 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

     St. Edward's University, Austin, TX

This class will review the common pitfalls of autobiographical writing. How do you know what to include? How do you know what to cut? Why isn’t it enough to tell an interesting story? And what happens once I finish the thing? This class picks up where Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's class, "Twisting Facts into Stories" leaves off: with strategies for develop the stories your own life and experiences have generated.

This is not quite a class for memoir writers—although it will discuss memoir best practices.  And this isn’t quite a novel writing workshop—although it will look at examples of successful autobiographical novels. This is a class for writers learning how to shape their own knowledge and experiences into a well-written book. Participants will explore their writing goals, undertake generative writing exercises, and make a plan for their future work.

 

Richard Z. Santos is the author of the forthcoming novel Trust Me. He has an MFA from Texas State University. His fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in multiple publications including The Morning News, The Texas Observer, The San Antonio Express News, The Rumpus, and many more. He is a regular reviewer and features writer for Kirkus Reviews. Authors he has interviewed include David Mitchell, Sandra Cisneros, James McBride, Daniel Alarcon, Kevin Powers, and others. He moderates panels for the Writer’s League and the Texas Book Festival. He has judged a category, or two, for the WLT Manuscript Contest multiple times. In a previous career, Richard worked for some of the nation's top political consulting firms, national campaigns, and labor unions.

 

LOCATION

St. Edward's University, 3001 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704. You can find a St. Edward's University campus map here.

 

REGISTRATION

$147 members only (sign in for member pricing)

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Registration will close at the end of Thursday, January 16, 2019. After that you can register for the classes individually at the regular rate - $49 for members and $109 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.

 

HOW WRITERS' LEAGUE OF TEXAS CLASSES WORK:

Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.

 


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

 


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to
www.arts.texas.gov.


 

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.