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The shape of a story is more than just the way it is told—changing the shape can change the story. Using a series of in-class writing exercises, homework assignments, and examples from both creative nonfiction and fiction, we’ll look at popular shapes—the traditional narrative arc, braids, collages, circles, faucets, and frames—and the techniques writers use to create them, including transitions, flashbacks, and tangents. A writer could end the class with five versions of the same piece or five different stories.
Hugo House is temporarily moving! May 19 is the last date Hugo House will hold classes at its current location. Starting May 20, Hugo House classes will be held at 1021 Columbia Street, Seattle, WA 98104.
This class will be held at Hugo House First Hill: 1021 Columbia Street, Seattle, WA 98104.
Class Type: 6 SessionsFiction, Nonfiction, Prose
Start Date: 06/02/2016
End Date: 07/07/2016
Days of the Week: Thursday
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Minimum Class Size: 5
Maximum Class Size: 15
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$245.00 General Price:
Class has begun, registration is closed.
Waverly Fitzgerald loves research as much as writing, which is sometimes a problem. She has written one non-fiction book, Slow Time (2007) and fourteen novels, of which nine have been published by publishers as diverse as Doubleday and Kensington. Her essays and poems have appeared in Facere and Raven Chronicles. For her essays on urban nature, she has been awarded a fellowship from Jack Straw Cultural Center, a grant from Artist Trust and residences at Hedgebrook and the Whiteley Center. She has presented at international and national writing conferences and taught for various continuing education programs including the UCLA Writers Program and the University of Washington Extension. She currently teaches online for Creative Nonfiction magazine.
Teaching philosophy: My only goal as a teacher is to make sure my students learn what they want to learn. So I provide accountability, offer feedback and encourage writing. I set up interesting situations where writers can practice either craft skills or generate new material on subjects of their own choosing. Although I bring in examples of writing from other writers, I encourage students to choose their own models. I’m as open to genre writing as I am to literary writing. Having found the workshop model of teaching (critique from the entire group of one manuscript at time) both inefficient and sometimes damaging, I rarely use it though I do encourage camaraderie in the classroom because second to writing I think participating in a writing community is an ingredient necessary for writerly success.
Writers I return to: Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Goudge, Anthony Trollope, William Lashner, Timothy Hallinan, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Dunnett, Ellis Peters, Jorge Amado, D. J. Waldie, Robert MacFarlane, Jay Griffiths, Rebecca Solnit, Lia Purpura.
Favorite writing advice: Consider the reader.
Photo by Brian Weiss