Location: Creekside Books & Coffee, 35 Fennell Street Skaneateles, NY 13152
Our Fall Semester of creative writing workshops begins Thursday, October 4th (a 3:30 – 5:30 class, and a 6:30 – 8:30 one)
Our first course offered will be Creative Writing 201, a 4-week workshop that focuses on the power and playfulness of language, story and invention. It will stretch participants’ linguistic skills and their creative abilities beyond their current gifts (it’s appropriate for both beginners and seasoned writers). Talents developed in this workshop can be applied to all sorts of writing: short stories, novels, poetry, essays, experimental prose and all other forms.
We will also offer several other courses, as well (descriptions below). Instructions for signing up for any of our courses are also listed below.
Classes are limited to only 12 students, so sign up today!
To save yourself a seat in any of our classes, please visit the registration site by clicking below (there is no obligation to actually take a workshop when you register here, but ONLY those who register will be allotted a seat if they later choose to attend): CLICK HERE: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GQSDC6L
More good news: the tuition for the workshops has been slashed almost in half! Yes, now the 1-Day workshops will be only $15, and the month-long classes will be a ludicrously low $49.
4-WEEK Workshops ($49) Writing for Children & Young Adults Constructing Your Novel Writing Memoir and Autobiography Short Story Workshop Writing Creative Nonfiction: the Personal Essay Poetry Workshop
1-DAY Workshops ($15) Flash Fiction Techniques (the short Short Story) Humor Writing Essentials Overcoming Writers Block Lessons in Enhancing Your Creative Abilities Keeping a Writer’s Journal Writing Detective & Mystery Stories Style: Develop Your Own Unique Writing Voice Mastering the Publishing Process: How to Sell Your Work Lucid Dreaming for Writers, Artists & Other Designers
Classes are held at the bookstore, in your choice of afternoon or evening sessions.
The workshops, approximately two hours in length, are conducted in an informal, interactive atmosphere. They are designed for both beginners who wish to learn fundamental techniques and seasoned professionals wishing to acquire more advanced skills; there are no prerequisites.
To view what past students have said about the writing workshops, visit: http://infinitelycurious.us/Waterline/students.html <http://infinitelycurious.us/Waterline/students.html>
THE INSTRUCTOR: For 25 years Bob Comenole has taught writing, literature and communications at several colleges, including Miami University, Siena College, the State University of New York and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Mr. Comenole, author of Bushel & Lamp and the novella The Long Night of Clement C. Craggogre, just published his newest work this summer, Perplexed by the Egg & Other Stories. He is also completing two collections of essays and flash fiction. In the 1990’s, he was producer of the children’s television series, StoryBrook.
The workshops are scheduled based on demand—that is, the first workshop to fill up will be the first taught, and so on. Participants will have the opportunity to express their preferences for which class time and which sessions they desire. Students will be promptly notified when their choices are scheduled.
If you would like to ask additional questions, please feel free to phone the Academy at: 315-685-1480, or email the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you soon!
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Ben Franklin
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Writing Memoir and Autobiography:
Purpose: Everyone has a great story to tell. Our lives are unique and worthy of exploration. How will your life be documented…what will you leave behind?
This seminar is designed to help participants decide what life story to tell and the most powerful and effective way of telling it. Participants will learn to employ the various techniques involved in the craft of writing memoir and autobiography.
CONTENT FOCUS: Differences Between Memoir & Autobiography Generating Ideas Organizing Your Narrative Recapturing Memory Choosing a Voice/Style Developing a Controlling Theme Using Creative License Drafting Your Chapters
Writing for Children & Young Adults:
Objectives: You have not forgotten the great wonder and mystery of being a child… You want to extend your own imagination to the young of today… And you have 101 ideas but no clear guide to help translate them into a polished, attractive book for children. This seminar will give you the tools to transform those ideas into well-constructed products, whether you are interested in developing picture books for young children, chapter books for older youth or other creative material for those in between.
In this course we will cover all aspects of getting started: generating ideas, developing plot, character, theme and structure. We will explore how writers appeal to the sensory and verbal worlds of children. We will also look into myth, folklore, and a little child psychology.
CONTENT FOCUS: Methods for Generating Ideas Plotting & Character Development Character Archetypes Case Studies: the Fairy Tale and the Quest Story The Fears & Hopes of Children Characteristics of Young Adult Literature Readability Developmental Stages of Children Process for Publishing Your Work
Novel Writing Workshop:
Goal: To teach the techniques involved in planning and structuring a novel. The course will cover the craft of creative writing in general, with an emphasis on crafting solid plots, believable characters and satisfying dramatic action. Students will also learn how to write scenes. The workshop will include units on: Voice & Style, Viewpoint, Dialogue, and Narrative Credibility. The principles involved can, of course, be applied to several other forms of writing, including short stories, children’s books, creative nonfiction and memoir, among others.
Description: You have ember-like memories, rich experiences…you often make startling or mystifying observations and you want to transform them into memorable verse. In short, you have something to say! This workshop will give you the tools & techniques to convert your discoveries, your insights, your fragments of thought & emotion into vivid and moving poems. Participants will learn how to shape sound, image, diction, meter and theme into well-crafted poems. This workshop is designed to enhance poetic skills whether you are a beginner simply looking for a place to start, or a poet looking to refine or perfect your creative work. Participants will also learn how and where to market their work. There are no pre-requisites for this course.
Course Includes Focus On: Poetic Invention Sonic & Sensory Levels Rhetorical Tropes Creative Typography Developing Voice/Style Symbols, Details & Imagery Lyrical, Narrative & Dramatic Modes Rhythm & Metrics Traditional and Non-Traditional Forms
Purpose: To impart all the literary techniques involved in crafting memorable essays. Personal essays are all about exploration and discovery: of the self and the world that surrounds the self. Personal essays celebrate and make sense of experience; they form intimate relationships with readers.
Creative Non-Fiction uses the techniques of fiction to report on actual persons, places, ideas or events. The form includes nature and travel writing, biography, memoir, as well as humorous writing and cultural commentary. Its assets have been described as offering “flexibility and freedom while adhering to the basic tenets of reportage. In creative nonfiction, writers can be poetic and journalistic simultaneously. Creative nonfiction writers are encouraged to utilize literary and even cinematic techniques, from scene to dialogue to description to point of view…to write about themselves and others, capturing real people and real life in ways that can and have changed the world. What is most important and enjoyable about creative nonfiction is that it not only allows but also encourages the writer to become a part of the story or essay being written.”
Here’s what Annie Dillard wrote about the form: “When I gave up writing poetry I was very sad, for I had devoted 15 years to the study of how the structures of poems carry meaning. But I was delighted to find that nonfiction prose can also carry meaning in its structures, can tolerate all sorts of figurative language, as well as alliteration and even rhyme. The range of rhythms in prose is larger and grander than it is in poetry, and it can handle discursive ideas and plain information as well as character and story. It can do everything. I felt as though I had switched from a single reed instrument to a full orchestra.”
In this course, the student will learn how to discover strong topics, shape them into meaningful drafts and revise them into polished and moving prose. Personal essays require the skills of the storyteller and the research ability of the conscientious reporter. This workshop will provide students with just such abilities.
The Art of the Short Story
The workshop is designed for both beginning writers who wish to learn fundamental techniques and seasoned writers wishing to acquire more advanced skills; there are no prerequisites.
Purpose: Participants in this course will learn how to generate ideas for short fiction and how to shape those ideas into highly condensed tales with finely rendered characters. The goal of this seminar is to deepen the participant’s understanding of the fundamentals of fiction in general and the critical elements of the short story in particular. We will cover both traditional and unconventional approaches to form and structure, as well as strategies for revision. Participants will also learn how and where to market their material.
Flash Fiction Techniques (the short Short Story) Flash fiction—also known as sudden fiction, short-shorts, micro-fiction and pocket-size stories—is all the rage. This form of story-telling is identified by its extreme brevity, with tales ranging in length from 50 to 1,000 words. As Charles Baxter said, it is a form that occupies many dimensions: a cross between poetry and fiction, the story and the sketch, prophecy and reminiscence, the personal and the public. It’s said that the best flash fiction lingers in the mind long after the piece has been read. Students in this seminar will learn how to quickly establish setting, character and conflict, how to write effective hooks and conclude with meaningful resolutions. We’ll focus on producing resonate images and allusions, as well as on crafting highly condensed prose most likely to achieve the writer’s desired effects.
Humor Writing Essentials
This seminar will help participants find their own comic voice: to discover what is original and different about their sense of humor. We will cover basic writing techniques that may be applied to wit, sketch comedy, satire, and farce, among others.
Participants will learn the basic principles of comedy, particularly how to: * recognize the six major triggers for human laughter; * view the world with a humorist’s eye; * develop the capacity to identify incongruities and absurdities, the cornerstone of comedic writing; * create comic characters and effective comic premises; * use sources to create sketches from current events and personal history; * write jokes and comedy routines about anything; * develop a structured process to maintain a comic journal;
Power Writing: adding Grace, Clarity & Muscle to your Everyday Writing:
Overview: You want, pure and simple, to become a better writer. You desire to more accurately capture your deepest thoughts, to wow your grandchildren or co-workers, to persuade the unpersuadable. To be, in short, more competent. Great writing moves people, and lasts a long, long time. And you want yours to meet that standard.
In this workshop, you will learn how to apply techniques used by professional writers to make your writing more precise, more expressive, more arresting. You will learn to develop your own unique voice and style, as well as how to avoid common mistakes made by amateurs. In addition, the workshop will cover strategies to add depth and intensity and authority to your work. You will also learn how to analyze your own prose to discover weaknesses, and then turn those weaknesses into opportunities to make your work sparkle.
The lessons offered here can be applied to any kind of writing, public or private. No matter what kind of writing you choose to pursue—whether letters, diaries, stories, creative essays, autobiographies, blogs, business reports, professional correspondence, marketing brochures, novels, editorials, or even late-night doodles—this course will enhance the skills required to make your writing stand out. There are no echoes of your grandfather’s high school English class here! This is not a rules-oriented seminar. Rather, it emphasizes the skills necessary to write more self-satisfied prose. It is at heart a study of the most effective practices of accomplished writers. You may be a fine writer, even a very fine one; this course will make you even better!
Creative Writing 201
This workshop focuses on the power and playfulness of language, story and invention. It will stretch participants’ linguistic skills and their creative abilities beyond their current gifts (it’s appropriate for both beginners and seasoned writers). Talents developed in this workshop can be applied to all sorts of writing: short stories, novels, poetry, essays, experimental prose and all other forms.
Overcoming Writers Block
This workshop looks into the various causes of writers block and offers the most proven remedies for defeating this dreaded condition, one that, sooner or later, almost all writers face. It accounts for lack of inspiration, lack of creativity, and lack of production. If you have been blocked, this workshop will help you understand why, and-most importantly-will offer practical and specific solutions. Join others who have struggled as you have. This workshop will offer techniques that will put the spark back into what drew you to creative language in the first place.
Keeping a Writers Journal
Great writers keep notebooks. Beginning writers ought to! Writers’ journals come in all flavors, and this workshop will explore a variety of techniques and strategies most useful for capturing & generating material that will ultimately prove useful in your polished works, no matter your chosen genre. Journaling is an indispensable aid to creativity. It also does more, much more: journaling frees you from the demands of always needing to be in control of perfect prose. It helps you monitor your progress as a writer, helps you discover patterns and meaning in the observations you make….and not least of all: helps you keep your writing commitments. It is probably the best tool in allowing you to trust in your own writing…and, naturally, to make sure you keep writing! The practice sharpens your vision and creates a wealth of material from which you can draw for your major works, enabling you to produce far more vivid and compelling material than those who begin with a cold page, unsupported by the depth of a good journal.
Lessons in Enhancing Your Creative Abilities
You want to think further ‘out of the box,’ to blow open every pigeon hole you encounter, to generate novel & breathtaking ideas worthy of your craft, whatever that may be. This workshop is fueled by the notion that creativity is a skill that can certainly be learned and developed. We will journey our way through various techniques of lateral thinking and innovation that will increase both your productivity and your sense of self-satisfaction. The tools acquired here can be applied equally to all, whether you are a poet, a potter, a teamster, a business owner, a carpenter or just a die-hard doodler, all in an approach that is relaxed and playful.
Lucid Dreaming for Writers, Artists & Other Designers
The subconscious is a colossally priceless engine for creative design, but very few are able to access it directly for their own benefit. In this seminar you will learn to harness the subconscious—primarily through controlled dreams—in order to solve artistic problems, whether applied to writing, fine arts, music, invention, or any other imaginative act. Drawing on the best research and methods of neuroscience (not mysticism), we will explore how to task our subconscious with helping us in any creative endeavor. You will learn how to shape and then mine your dreams for solutions to enrich your creative activities. Can this truly be done? Consider that Otto Loewi once dreamed of an intricate experiment regarding the transmission of nerve impulses; he reproduced it and it led him to the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Paul McCartney overheard a classical string ensemble playing in a dream; he woke and transcribed the melody: the song turned out to be “Yesterday.” Even Jack Nicklaus dreamed of a new golf swing that led to him to improve his game by ten strokes. Anyone can be taught to tap into their subconscious and enrich their imaginative life. We start with this seminar.
Creativity 201: Advanced Techniques
This seminar offers dozens of unique techniques for increasing your Creative Output. All are welcome to join us in Creativity 201, whether you took the first workshop (Lessons in Enhancing Your Creative Abilities) or not. This session leaves behind the theory of creativity, and dives straight into the practical application of the best known and most effective methods for generating quality ideas & products in any field. Students will be equipped with conceptual tools designed to shatter routine (and dull) patterns of thought. In short, the workshop is all about increasing your observational and imaginative powers. The class will be highly interactive, with many small group activities; there are no prerequisites.
STYLE: How to Develop Your Own Unique Writing Voice
How to distinguish yourself from the hordes of other writers, most of them voiceless and indistinct? That is the question. This seminar is the launching point for the answer. We’ll analyze techniques of the masters of our language to discover how they created moving & memorable voices. We’ll then develop a set of our own tools, using an array of linguistic and rhetorical choices, to create a style that captures that voice within… This seminar fits the needs of writers in every genre.
Writing Successful Grant Proposals
The norm for most grant applicants is rejection. In this seminar, participants will learn how to reverse that trend. We will analyze why grants—even well-written ones—are frequently not funded; we will then probe the entire spectrum of what it takes to produce a quality grant that wins approval: from how to research available funds—whether from philanthropists or governments—to preparing a persuasive budget. The seminar will focus particularly on the application of good research, a sound rhetorical presentation, and a project design that meets the interests of the funders. Wherever possible, the seminar will be tailored to the current needs of the participants. This course is appropriate for individuals, non-profits, municipalities, and businesses small and large. And will be conducted in an informal, interactive atmosphere.
As a professional grant writer, Bob Comenole has raised millions of dollars for various agencies throughout New England. Since 1986, he has taught communications at various colleges, including Miami University, the State University of New York and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A former executive director of a non-profit, Mr. Comenole also consults with businesses, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and educational institutions, specializing in organizational and strategic development. He has been the recipient of several awards for his teaching, scholarship, writing and organizational development. He is also the author of several books.
Mystery & Detective Fiction
Everyone has at least one good whodunit in him or her. This is your year to write yours! In this course the student will learn how to conceive and structure a mystery or detective story. The workshops will focus on creating: · a unique crime; · a detective hero; · an interesting time period, locale and atmosphere; · solid plots; · unusual suspects and alibis; · clues and red herrings; · clever subplots; · Motive, Method & Opportunity in the criminal; · memorable hooks; · effective pacing; · elements of suspense; · an effective climax;
The Hero’s Journey for Storytellers: (Using Myth and Archetypes in your Writing Project)
Purpose: This workshop explores the relationship between mythology and storytelling, as a means to create better and more dramatically powerful stories.
In the workshop, participants will learn how to structure their tales—whether short stories, novels, fables, ballads, children’s books or other creative works—and how to create significant and memorable characters based on the most common archetypes of legend and literature.
Broadly based on the psychology of Carl Jung, the philosophy of Joseph Campbell and the contemporary writings of Chris Vogler, the workshop highlights the 12-stage journey of all mythic heroes, and demonstrates how that journey can be applied to the participants’ own works. At the end of the workshop, students will be equipped with the tools to invent and craft highly entertaining, psychologically rich, and linguistically satisfying stories.
No previous understanding of myth, psychology or literature is necessary in order to master the elements of this workshop.
Creative Writing 101
Purpose: To help the participant more fully understand and employ the various techniques involved in the craft of creative writing, with an emphasis on generating, evaluating and revising stories of all forms and lengths. The principles involved can, of course, be applied to various forms of writing, including novels, short stories, children’s books, creative nonfiction and memoir, among others.
Content Focus: Plot Characterization Scene Exposition Setting Voice/Style Viewpoint Details & Imagery Planning/Outlining Dialogue Pitfalls of Bad Stories Revision Conflict/Dramatic Tension Language, Symbol & Rhythm Narrative Credibility