ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) has announced its fall lineup of workshops for local writers in poetry and prose. Classes will be held in Asheville, Black Mountain, Burnsville and Hendersonville.
10-week courses for writers of various levels of experience:
Tina Barr, a newcomer to GSWP, presents a poetry workshop, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” She will lead writers through a series of exercises using the external natural world as inspiration for poems which bridge into writers’ internal arenas of place. Barr is the author of “The Gathering Eye” (Tupelo Press 2004), a book of narrative poems selected from among 1,000 manuscripts by the publisher as winner of the Editor’s Prize. This 10-week course meets from 1-3:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning September 13, at Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain.
Novelist Christine Hale will lead “Remembering, Misremembering, Disremembering: Our Memories Have a Story to Tell.” Using brief examples from published memoirs and in-class writing exercises, this class will model techniques for turning memory’s mischief to literary advantage. Hale is the author of “Basil’s Dream” (Livingston Press, 2009), which received an honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. This 10-week course meets from 4-6:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning September 13, at the Mountain Heritage Center, 113 Green Mountain Dr., Burnsville.
“We Are What We Eat: Let’s Write About Food!” is a workshop led by novelist and creative nonfiction author Marjorie Klein. Participants will use food as a touchstone for fictional narratives and memoir. Klein’s novel, “Test Pattern” (Wm. Morrow, 2000; HarperCollins/Perennial 2001), was a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection. Her narrative nonfiction has appeared for 20 years in “Tropic,” the Miami Herald’s Sunday magazine. This 10-week workshop meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.
Brian Lee Knopp, will teach two workshops: “The Devil You Know: The Art, Skill and Thrill of Writing Your Memoir,” and “Detective Fiction: How to Bury the Bodies with Style and Credibility.” Knopp is the author of the memoir “Mayhem in Mayberry: Misadventures of a P.I. in Southern Appalachia,” (2010 and 2011 Malaprop’s bestseller), and also the creator and first-chapter author of the collaborative 2012 mystery novel “Naked Came the Leaf Peeper.”
“The Devil You Know: The Art, Skill and Thrill of Writing Your Memoir,” involves in-class “lifestorming” sessions and writing, at-home writing and reading assignments, and says Knopp, a chance for “a daring rescue of the truth trapped inside your life’s labyrinth.” This 10-week class meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.
In “Detective Fiction: How to Bury the Bodies with Style and Credibility,” participants will mine the pages of Asheville newspapers for crime stories and lawsuits providing material and inspiration in creating compelling fictional characters and plausible, intriguing mysteries. By class end, a 3000-word first chapter will be reviewed by classmates and instructor Knopp. This workshop is intended for writers with prior creative writing courses, and meets for 10 weeks, 6-8:30 p.m. Mondays, beginning September 10, at Grateful Steps, Inc., 159 S. Lexington Ave., Asheville.
Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series (Bantam Dell) and the stand-alone novel, “The Day of Small Things” (Dell, 2010), will lead “The First Forty: A Fiction Workshop for Intermediate or Advanced Writers.” This course is for writers with a novel in progress or in need of final polishing who want their first 40 pages to catch the attention of agents, editors and publishers. This 10-week class meets 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.
“Terra Story: Setting Personal Narrative in Place,” will be taught by Sebastian Matthews, author of a memoir and two books of poems. He teaches at Warren Wilson College and the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program at Queens University, Charlotte. Matthews will begin with cinematic techniques and then lead participants through a series of fiction-based exercises to help develop sense of place. Participants should come away with a completed, revised personal essay, memoir chapter or autobiographical short story. This 10-week class meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning September 12, at Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain.
Jennifer McGaha will lead “Digging Deep: The Difficult and Delightful Art of Writing Memoir.” The course will focus on delving deep into past events participants have forgotten or avoided, to discover the stories that linger there waiting to be told. Sessions will include in-class writing, workshopping of memoirs, and exploration of craft issues. McGaha’s memoirs about relationships, parenting, and growing up in Appalachia have appeared in over two dozen magazines and literary journals. She also serves as creative nonfiction editor for The Pisgah Review. This 10 week class meets from 2-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at UNC Asheville’s Kellogg Center, 11 Broyles Rd., Hendersonville.
Joy Neaves will teach “Heart of the Story: Writing for Young Readers,” for serious writers working on picture books, poetry, or longer works of fiction intended for children and young adults. Students will explore writing exercises related to various aspects of craft, read and critique each other’s work, and discuss how to break into publishing, how to think like an editor, and how to market published work. Neaves was senior editor at Front Street for a decade and is now freelance editor at namelos.com, and assistant director of the University Writing Center at UNC Asheville. This 10-week class meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning September 11, at Montford Books & More, 31 Montford Ave., Asheville.
“Use of Imagery and Simplicity in Writing Poetry and Flash Fiction” will be led by Katherine Soniat, whose fifth collection of poems, “The Swing Girl” (Louisiana State University Press), was given the A.O. Young Award as Best Collection of 2011 by the Poetry Council of North Carolina. Using photographs and Jung’s “The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetype,” the workshop will help participants create a rich visual context for their work, and allow a starkness and simplicity to arrive in their poems. This 10-week course meets 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.
15-week courses for advanced, experienced writers only:
Novelist Tommy Hays, executive director of the GSWP and lecturer in the Master of Liberal Arts Program at UNC Asheville, will lead “Keeping Ourselves Company: An Advanced Creative Prose Workshop.” This course, with an emphasis on reading and critiquing each other’s work, is for advanced prose writers embarking on new works or with projects in progress. Hays, the author of “The Pleasure Was Mine,” “Sam’s Crossing,” and “In the Family Way,” will respond at length to participants’ submissions. This course meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning August 30, at Asheville School, 360 Asheville School Rd., Asheville.
The “Prose Master Class,” taught by Elizabeth Lutyens, is a next step for experienced writers working on or about to begin a substantial project – essays, stories, a novel or memoir – looking for an intensive writing and critiquing experience. This workshop is for those who are committed to writing well and writing a lot, who are ready to commit to giving the best possible attention to others’ works. Lutyens is editor of “The Great Smokies Review,” and a graduate of the MFA in Writing Program at Warren Wilson College. A draft of her in-progress novel was semi-finalist for the 2011 William Faulkner – Wisdom Competition. Admission to this “Prose Master Class” is by invitation from Lutyens or Tommy Hays. This course meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning August 28, at Asheville School, 360 Asheville School Road, Asheville.
The 10-week courses qualify for two UNC Asheville credit hours in Literature and Language; the 15-week courses earn three credit hours. In-state cost for 10-week courses is $ 260.82 and cost for 15-week courses is $391.23. The costs are higher for out-of-state residents. A $20 non-refundable application fee for new students will also be charged.
For more information or to register, visit the program website or call 828.250-2353.