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September 2020

Wednesday

Sep 16

Writing Classes

Fall 2020: Nine-Month Novel Intensive

Wed, Sep 16, 2020 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm PDT

This course for dedicated writers is designed to guide you through the writing and/or revising of your novel. It begins in September, with the goal of completing a draft of a novel, or rewriting a draft of a novel, by May.

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Thursday

Sep 17

Writing Classes

Fall 2020: Nine-Month Novel Intensive: Section 2

Thu, Sep 17, 2020 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm PDT

This is the Thursday night section of the Nine Month Novel Intensive. We've added a second section! This course for dedicated writers is designed to guide you through the writing and/or revising of your novel. It begins in September, with the goal of completing a draft of a novel, or rewriting a draft of a novel, by May. You’ll read excerpts from published novels by authors including Han Kang, Tommy Orange, Lina Meruane, Mitchell S. Jackson, Deborah Levy, and Susan…

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Saturday

Sep 19

Writing Classes

Fall 2020: Nine-Month Memoir Intensive

Sat, Sep 19, 2020 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT

Waiting List only. The class begins in September, with the goal of finishing a complete draft of a memoir by June. Participants do not need to be published writers; however, they should have some experience with elements of memoir, including character, setting, dialogue and scene, and have a clear project in mind that they will devote nine months to.

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Sunday

Sep 20

Writing Classes

Fall 2020 Online:September Writer of Color Workshop

Sun, Sep 20, 2020 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT

One-day Workshop: Open to writers of color at all levels writing in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. A variety of prompts will be presented as avenues for generating and sharing new work in an informal setting. You can also bring your own prompts and questions about the writing process, and explore them with the group.

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Sunday

Sep 20

Writing Classes

Fall 2020 Online: Memoir Infusion!

Sun, Sep 20, 2020 from 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm PDT

This class is meant to get you moving, excited and deeply engaged with your memoir project.

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Monday

Sep 21

Free Events Writing Classes

An Appointment with Emily and Your Chair: Free Writing Session

Mon, Sep 21, 2020 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Writing, even on a good day, is hard. So how do we do it on the not-good days, on the days when it feels like the world is upside-down? “Butt in chair” is the simple answer. We make ourselves sit down, and we don’t get up until we’ve gotten a few sentences down at the very least. But sometimes it feels impossible to even get to the chair. We’d honestly rather throw the chair out the window than sit in…

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Wednesday

Sep 23

Writing Classes

Fall 2020: Fragmentation and Joy: Writing for Resilience in Hard Times

Wed, Sep 23, 2020 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm PDT

Following in the tradition of Ross Gay, we will focus on writing about joy in the midst of pandemic, protest, and looming election. We will explore the lyric essay as a celebration of the fragment and the collage. This is a generative writing class, where most of our time will be spent writing to prompts; at the end of our time together, we will offer feedback to each other on our work.

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Wednesday

Sep 30

Writing Classes

Fall 2020 Online: Writing the Non-Fiction Book Proposal: Second Section

Wed, Sep 30, 2020 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

This six-week class will take you step-by-step through the major parts of the nonfiction book proposal: the query letter, overview, competitive analysis, marketing and promotion, author background, outline and sample chapter. Bring an idea, and be ready to write. The class includes extensive handouts and questionnaires to guide your work.

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October 2020

Saturday

Oct 3

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

Looking Back to Look Forward: A Daily Writing Practice

Sat, Oct 3, 2020 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT

This class will help you adopt crucial creative habits using your memory of the past to build a practice for the future. Using a series of daily in-class and at-home prompts that focus on ideas of home, trek childhood, and position memory as present, you will generate new work and use research-based ways to bring a sustainable practice into your life.

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Saturday

Oct 3

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

Writing Along the Seam

Sat, Oct 3, 2020 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT

Consider the sphinx: head of a woman, haunches of a lion, wings of a bird. A creature powerful and wise enough to guard the seam between the sacred and the secular, life and afterlife. Hybrid forms of writing possess a similar power, harnessing two or more established forms to create something new, unique, and potent. When we reunite these forms, we welcome new, transformative forces into our work. In this course, we will consider various hybrid literary forms: lyric essay,…

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Sunday

Oct 4

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

Kindling the Story: Experiments in Research

Sun, Oct 4, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT

What surprising roles can research play in helping to generate new ideas or complement the telling of our own personal life stories? In this five-week class we will explore readings and prompts that utilize research in lyrical and innovative ways—sometimes as a seed that launches a surprising investigation, sometimes as the metaphorical connective tissue between memories of something unrelated, sometimes as structural scaffolding. Looking to journalism, ethnography, archives, found material, and our own repositories of memory and observation, we will…

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Sunday

Oct 11

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

Using Persona To Reveal Our Many Selves

Sun, Oct 11, 2020 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT

In “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman wrote, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” We’ll follow in Whitman’s footsteps by reading and writing poems that explore the multiple people we have been, are, and could be. We’ll also blend autobiographical and fictional details and invite in personae—selves who seem vastly different from us—to discover new strategies for writing from the fullness of our messy, contradictory lives.

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Monday

Oct 12

Fall 2020 Free Events Writing Classes

An Appointment with Emily and Your Chair: Free Writing Session

Mon, Oct 12, 2020 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Writing, even on a good day, is hard. So how do we do it on the not-good days, on the days when it feels like the world is upside-down? “Butt in chair” is the simple answer. We make ourselves sit down, and we don’t get up until we’ve gotten a few sentences down at the very least. But sometimes it feels impossible to even get to the chair. We’d honestly rather throw the chair out the window than sit in…

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Tuesday

Oct 13

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

Writing with Constraints:Discover the Unexpected Working with Limits

Tue, Oct 13, 2020 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Sometimes freedom is found within the boundaries of constraints. In this workshop, we are going to write to prompts, but with a twist. Each prompt will also come with some form of constraint or a series of constraints (i.e. write in the present tense, write only in second person, write the experience from end to beginning, etc.) We will be working towards a series of prose poems, or a lyric essay, or a personal essay, but all the while using…

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Thursday

Oct 15

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

Storytelling Intensive: Stories of Healing

Thu, Oct 15, 2020 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

This six-week intensive will help you master the art of live true personal storytelling. The workshop covers crafting stories with a five-part story arc, guiding a story using theme and tone, honing your delivery for a live audience, as well as a treasure trove of secrets to this satisfying art form. This particular intensive will dive into stories of healing. How do we talk about the events of our lives that truly shaped and transformed us, change how we saw…

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Sunday

Oct 18

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

October BIPOC writer workshop

Sun, Oct 18, 2020 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT

One-day Workshop: Open to writers of color at all levels writing in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. A variety of prompts will be presented as avenues for generating and sharing new work in an informal setting. You can also bring your own prompts and questions about the writing process, and explore them with the group.

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Monday

Oct 19

Fall 2020 Free Events Writing Classes

An Appointment with Emily and Your Chair: Free Writing Session

Mon, Oct 19, 2020 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Writing, even on a good day, is hard. So how do we do it on the not-good days, on the days when it feels like the world is upside-down? “Butt in chair” is the simple answer. We make ourselves sit down, and we don’t get up until we’ve gotten a few sentences down at the very least. But sometimes it feels impossible to even get to the chair. We’d honestly rather throw the chair out the window than sit in…

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Friday

Oct 30

Writing Classes

Fall 2020: Six-Month Short Story Intensive: Starting the Story Collection

Fri, Oct 30, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT

FULL WAIT LIST ONLY This class is for experienced writers who are dedicated to starting the first draft of a story collection over the course of 6 months. We will have 22 class meetings between October and April, with a four-week break from mid-December to mid-January to focus on generating and revising our work.

Participants should have experience writing stories and familiarity with the elements of literary short fiction including scene, character, conflict, place and revision. We will study individual stories by authors, read craft essays, and discuss several published collections and how the stories unite to form a book.

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November 2020

Thursday

Nov 5

Portland Book Festival Writing Classes

The Writers’ Gymnasium: The Writing Workout

Thu, Nov 5, 2020 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST

Six-week Class: This prompt-driven generative workshop will give writers an opportunity to flex their literary muscles. Classes will provide an intimate, structured, and supportive time to broaden basic and complex writing skills.

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Saturday

Nov 7

Portland Book Festival Writing Classes

November 2020: Jump-starting Your Poems With Wonder

Sat, Nov 7, 2020 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PST

Lony Haley-Nelson notes: “Wonder is valuable…because it leads us to learn and remember.” Using the language and vocabulary of myth, folklore, science, and natural history as inspiration for poems, this generative workshop will help you jump-start the blank page in front of you.

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Saturday

Nov 7

Portland Book Festival Writing Classes

November 2020: Build Your Own Publicity Plan

Sat, Nov 7, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm PST

Many authors shy away from self-promotion, but a strong public persona and publicity plan is one of the best investments you can make in your forthcoming book. This class takes the guesswork out of promotion and guides you to develop a sustainable plan, wherever you are in the publication process. We’ll cover timelines, target markets, tools, and industry expectations, as well as how to collaborate with your press, and when (or whether) to hire an outside publicist.

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Wednesday

Nov 11

Portland Book Festival Writing Classes

November 2020: Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Wed, Nov 11, 2020 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

This six week fiction workshop is open to students with some experience writing fiction of any length (flash, short stories, novels). Emphasis will be on the workshop and supporting each other to bring our fiction to the next level. Students can expect to submit substantial writing for workshop twice during the course, and to complete 1-2 hours of reading or outside work each week, in addition to writing time. Outcomes: Students will complete generative exercises and short readings for greater…

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Thursday

Nov 12

Portland Book Festival Writing Classes Young Adult Youth Events

Youth Workshop: Hopes/Fears/Feathers: The Art of the Notebook and the Bird in Your Yard

Thu, Nov 12, 2020 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST

In this workshop we’ll identify and then banish fears, generate new work on the page and examine ways the writer’s notebook can help to focus our attention, capture stories and make sense during unsettled times. We’ll look at poems by Claudia Rankine and Emily Dickinson and watch New York birder Christian Cooper nerd out on birds. Bring a notebook, a pen and your fledgling hopes. Grades 9-12. Instructor: Laura Moulton   Register with "get tickets" button below. Add student name…

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Saturday

Nov 14

Fiction Middle Grade Nonfiction Picture Book Poetry Portland Book Festival Writing Classes Young Adult

Collaborative Writing for Educators

Sat, Nov 14, 2020 from 9:00 am - 11:00 am PST

Explore cooperative exercises in this workshop aimed at encouraging shy writers and offering a variety of ways to look at subjects to stimulate every student. You will learn how to teach group projects that practice a range of writing techniques. We will write team poems, working together from brainstorming to polished pieces, and you will leave with ideas for additional collaborative pieces. No stress, just fun. Come join us! For educators or those simply interested in the subject. Instructor: Amy…

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Saturday

Nov 14

Alex Behr
Free Events Picture Book Portland Book Festival Writing Classes Youth Events

SOLD OUT: Youth Workshop: Portal to an Alternate Universe

Sat, Nov 14, 2020 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm PST

Young writers will find an ordinary object, indoors or outdoors, that can magically transform into a portal to an altered universe! We’ll sketch it out and add descriptive words. Then we will use a guided visualization and literary models like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Wildwood to help create a scene. It can be Portland with a twist, or something entirely from a fantasy world. Prompts will be offered to help participants, if needed, such as: Imagine…

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Saturday

Nov 14

Portland Book Festival Writing Classes

November 2020: Fear and Writing

Sat, Nov 14, 2020 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST

Zoom webinar: Fear is a natural part of the creative process. Instead of fighting it, work with it. Through stories, mindfulness, and free-writing, you will discover simple, realistic ways to face your fear, get to know it, and use it to propel your writing, rather than hinder it.

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Saturday

Nov 14

Middle Grade Portland Book Festival Writing Classes Youth Events

Youth Workshop: Writing When We’re Far Apart

Sat, Nov 14, 2020 from 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm PST

For most of us, this year has made it hard to say all the things we want to share with family and friends who don’t live with us. Even if we get to stay in touch with texts or Zoom or TikTok, there are always more stories to tell! In this class, we’ll write about memories of times we spent with family and friends who are far away, remembering big and small events with them that mattered to us.  We’ll…

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Saturday

Nov 21

Fall 2020 Writing Classes

Writing Fairy Tales

Sat, Nov 21, 2020 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PST

The fairy tale is a fanciful storytelling genre that uses supernatural elements, personification, transformation, repetitive plot lines, and unambiguously good and evil characters to speak to social and cultural violence, oppression and shifts in power. How do we write an effective, inspiring modern fairy tale? We will read from the original Brother’s Grimm,Italo Calvino’s fairy tales,and Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber with the form, tapping into its nuances and reach as we find inspiration for our own fairy tales. Class…

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December 2020

Saturday

Dec 5

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Writing Flash Prose

Sat, Dec 5, 2020 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST

In this 2-day intensive participants will create a mini scrapbook of vibrant vignettes, short short stories that tell tall tales. Mini epics. Through a series of experimental exercises focusing on key literary and poetic devices, students will bust through standard forms to draft vivid snapshots of life. We will also dig deep. Go behind the scenes, explore and bring to light what lies beneath. This is a generative workshop for flash fiction or non fiction. All genres welcome. Access Program…

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Monday

Dec 21

Fall 2020 Free Events Writing Classes

An Appointment with Emily and Your Chair: Free Writing Session

Mon, Dec 21, 2020 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 pm on Monday, repeating until Mon, Dec 21, 2020

Writing, even on a good day, is hard. So how do we do it on the not-good days, on the days when it feels like the world is upside-down? “Butt in chair” is the simple answer. We make ourselves sit down, and we don’t get up until we’ve gotten a few sentences down at the very least. But sometimes it feels impossible to even get to the chair. We’d honestly rather throw the chair out the window than sit in…

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January 2021

Wednesday

Jan 6

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Intermediate Poetry Workshop

Wed, January 6 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST

An individually focused poetry workshop designed to give committed writers a chance to meet, connect, and give and get feedback in a supportive, guided environment. Our focus: Personalized assignments and feedback suited to each poet’s needs. Reading recommendations and assignments, both from contemporary poets and essays on craft. Weekly in-class writing exercises. An understanding of what it’s like to make things and how writers tend to get stuck (and unstuck). A community of others committed to doing this strange and…

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Thursday

Jan 14

Fiction Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Collisions: Short Story Workshop

Thu, January 14 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

For writers at all levels In this fiction workshop, we will explore how to use all manner of combustible collisions, both small and large, as generative fuel. Have a slew of disparate ideas stewing in your brain? We’ll investigate the power of unexpected pairings—how colliding seemingly unrelated images or ideas can spark something entirely original and point your work forward. And we'll study different ways authors can open up possibilities for a story and introduce tension that keeps readers engaged.…

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Saturday

Jan 16

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Intersections of Identity and Experience

Sat, January 16 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PST

In this webinar, open to prose writers and poets of all ages and backgrounds, participants will use freewriting, revision, and in-depth feedback as tools to create work that can spark new writing possibilities or build on an existing project. The class will address these types of questions: How do we synthesize our experiences and histories with acts of imagination? How do we break silences and heal from trauma through storytelling? How do we write about intersections between race, gender, sexuality,disability,…

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Sunday

Jan 17

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Building a Writing Habit

Sun, January 17 from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm PST

For writers at all levels Using The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron as a resource, this workshop gives writers the tools to establish a disciplined writing practice full of healthy habits so they can keep writing. Class time will be spent in discussion, writing and learning strategies for establishing a consistent writing practice. Access Program We want our writing classes to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for…

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Tuesday

Jan 19

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Writing the Non-Fiction Book Proposal

Tue, January 19 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

This six-week class will take you step-by-step through the major parts of the nonfiction book proposal: the query letter, overview, competitive analysis, marketing and promotion, author background, outline and sample chapter. Bring an idea, and be ready to write. The class includes extensive handouts and questionnaires to guide your work.

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Tuesday

Jan 26

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Essay Intensive: Lyric and Personal

Tue, January 26 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

In this eight-week intensive workshop, we will generate writing to prompts, finding our way into some lyric or personal essays. Participants will share drafts for focused feedback on specific craft issues and overall essay structure. The first four weeks will focus on one project, the second four weeks on another. Join this class to produce and workshop two essays and deepen your understanding of the essay form. I'm a strong believer in writing together and the kind of alchemy that…

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February 2021

Wednesday

Feb 3

Winter 2021 Writing Classes Writing for Children

Kick Start Your Picture Book

Wed, February 3 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST

Do you have an idea for a picture book that you’ve never had the chance to get on paper? Or a work in progress that you want to polish into picture book form? This 6-week intensive class will take you through the most vital steps in picture book writing. Through studying the picture book form, reading successful picture books, and focused writing exercises that help you develop your characters, narrative and voice, this workshop will help you write a picture…

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Wednesday

Feb 17

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Hybrid Writing Along The Seam

Wed, February 17 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Consider the sphinx: head of a woman, haunches of a lion, wings of a bird. A creature powerful and wise enough to guard the seam between the sacred and the secular, life and afterlife. Hybrid forms of writing possess a similar power, harnessing two or more established forms to create something new, unique, and potent. Hybrid forms are actually ancient, preceding all genres — genres are forms into which the hybrid was broken. When we reunite these forms, we welcome…

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Sunday

Feb 21

For Bipoc Writers Winter 2021 Writing Classes

February BIPOC writer workshop

Sun, February 21 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PST

One-day Workshop: Open to writers of color at all levels writing in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. A variety of prompts will be presented as avenues for generating and sharing new work in an informal setting. You can also bring your own prompts and questions about the writing process, and explore them with the group.

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Monday

Feb 22

Free Events Writing Classes

An Appointment with Emily and Your Chair: Free Writing Session

Mon, February 22 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:00 pm on Monday, repeating until Mon, Feb 22, 2021

Writing, even on a good day, is hard. So how do we do it on the not-good days, on the days when it feels like the world is upside-down? “Butt in chair” is the simple answer. We make ourselves sit down, and we don’t get up until we’ve gotten a few sentences down at the very least. But sometimes it feels impossible to even get to the chair. We’d honestly rather throw the chair out the window than sit in…

Find out more
Thursday

Feb 25

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Four Letters: The Epistolary Form

Thu, February 25 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

To write a letter is an inherently generous act that rewards both the writer and the recipient. Letters are also an accessible, relational, and forgiving form; everyone can write a letter. Letters bridge distance by slowing us down and fostering deep connections. In this class, you will write four letters. These four letters will serve as the four posts in the foundation of your new letter writing habit. You’ll receive inspiration, prompts, support, and guidance. We’ll learn from each other’s…

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March 2021

Tuesday

Mar 2

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Nature Writing Now

Tue, March 2 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

What does it mean to write about nature now? We are living at a time of great ecological peril and promise, when some are questioning whether “nature” still even exists. How to write about this complexity in authentic and evocative ways? How to convey both the beauty and the corruption of beauty? Together, we will consider a wide sampling of historical and contemporary nature writing. Noticing how the genre has changed over time will help us understand how our cultural…

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Wednesday

Mar 3

Free Events Writing Classes Youth Events

Pop Culture Poems! a Youth Poetry Slam Workshop | #Virtualandia! 2021

Wed, March 3 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm PST

This workshop will take a look at the ways poetry and pop culture intersect. We will practice inhabiting the voices of fictional characters, historical figures, and celebrities when tackling important themes in the work we create – from the likes of Mario to Frida Kahlo, Beyonce to Jon Snow. Led by Julia Gaskill, this workshop will experiment with using pop culture in writing, particularly in slam poetry, and will also do a quick rundown on how to write a slam…

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Saturday

Mar 6

Winter 2021 Writing Classes

Craft Conversations: Focus on Scenes: Build Back Better

Sat, March 6 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST

The scene is a building block of fiction and memoir. During this discussion we will take a deep dive into the components of scene writing. What makes a scene compelling? How can we make scenes vivid and earn their place on the page? If scenes must move stories forward, and reveal character, how can you include both external events and interiority? What about handling time? Character's goals? Obstacles? And, when is it best to use summary? Through writing examples, prompts…

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Monday

Mar 8

Free Events Writing Classes Youth Events

All About Slam! a Q&A Session | #Virtualandia! 2021

Mon, March 8 from 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm PST

Learn about the slam poetry process, #Virtualandia, and ask any questions you have whether it's about form, performance tips, or inspiration sources. This Q&A session will be led by local experts in slam poetry—Jacque Dixon, an educator and coach for our Brave New Voices team, and Jordan Wolmut, 2019 Verselandia! grand slam champion and Brave New Voices poet. Olivia Jones-Hall, Youth Programs Manager, will also be in the session to answer any logistical questions about submission, prizes, competition rules, or…

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