ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) announces its spring 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 all writers:
Prose Poetry – Poet Vievee Francis will lead a prose poem workshop entitled “Consider the Centaur.” The course will examine the fraught history of the prose poem as each student builds an interconnected suite of their own work. Francis is the author of two books of poetry, “Blue-Tail Fly” (Wayne State University, 2006) and “Horse in the Dark” (Northwestern University, 2012). Class meets Tuesdays, 6:00-8:30 p.m., beginning February 12 at the Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Avenue, Asheville.
Memoir – Memoir will be explored in a workshop entitled “Remembering, Misremembering, Disremembering: Our Memories Have a Story to Tell.” Instructor Christine Hale will call on things we remember clearly, as well as the things we “misremember” (accidentally or intentionally), and the things we disremember, where we recall only fragments. Hale’s debut novel “Basil’s Dream” (Livingston Press, 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Class meets Thursday evenings 5:30-8:00 p.m. starting February 14, at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State Street, Black Mountain.
Poetry – Blue Ridge Parkway Poet Laureate Laura Hope-Gill will lead a workshop entitled “Sustenance and Sustainability,” addressing the question: What can poetry teach us about our relationships to nature and ourselves? Those seeking a means to authentic life apart from digital media and harried multitasking will enjoy this course. Hope-Gill’s books include “The Soul Tree: Poems and Photographs of the Blue Ridge Parkway” and two architectural histories of Asheville, “Look Up Asheville,” vols. I and II. Class meets Wednesday afternoons, 2:00-4:30 p.m. starting February 13, at Montford Books & More, 31 Montford Avenue, Asheville.
Characterization – Explore the creation of complex characters in a workshop entitled “Heroes, Villains, and the Nutcase Next Door: Creating Fictional Characters.” Instructor Marjorie Klein will offer techniques to awaken the imagination and revive flatlined characters. The class will assemble a congregation of unforgettable characters, some of which may populate the short story students complete by the end of the semester. Klein has served as a judge for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. She recently completed a novel, “Shifting Gears,” and is working on another. Class meets Wednesday evenings, 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning February 13 at Montford Books & More, 31 Montford Avenue, Asheville.
Popular Fiction – For those who wish to write a novel with popular appeal, novelist Vicki Lane will offer “A Practical Guide to Writing Popular Fiction.” The class will consider the basics of setting, plot, characterization, and dialogue with practical information about seeking an agent, submitting a manuscript, and building a career. Lane published her first novel in 2005, at the age of 62; in 2009, her fourth novel was nominated for an Anthony—one of the mystery genre’s most prestigious awards. Class meets Wednesday afternoons, 3:00-5:30 p.m., beginning February 13 at the Mountain Heritage Center, 113 Green Mountain Drive, Burnsville.
Editing / Revision – David Madden will present a workshop entitled”The Art of Revising Fiction.” The crucial assumption of this workshop is that you have written the first draft of a short story and that you will bring it to the first, very important meeting. Madden will then pose a problem that arises in the revision process and students will revise their stories through exercises applied directly in class. Madden’s 11th novel, “London Bridge in Plague and Fire,” has just been published. He is at work on two short novels and a memoir, “My Intellectual Life in the Army.” Class meets Wednesday evenings, 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning February 13, at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State Street, Black Mountain.
Creative Appalachian Nonfiction – In a course designed for newcomers as well as long-time residents, WNC native Jennifer McGaha will present “The New Appalachia: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop.” Participants will consider readings about this rapidly changing culture, then complete prewriting exercises to evoke a sense of place.McGaha’s work has appeared in many magazines and literary journals; her essay “Leanin’ Back” received runner-up in the 2009 New Southerner nonfiction contest and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Class meets Tuesday afternoons, 2:00-4:30 p.m., beginning February 12 at The Kellogg Center, 11 Broyles Road, Hendersonville.
Children’s Literature – Join a community of supportive peers exploring the world of writing for children, as Joy Neaves leads a workshop entitled “Is There a Children’s Book in You?” Participants will write, read, share, and coach one another through the process of creating captivating children’s literature. The workshop will also cover how to prepare and submit manuscripts for publication. Neaves has over ten years’ experience as an editor of children’s picture books, poetry, middle-grade and young adult fiction. Class meets Tuesday evenings, 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning February 12, at the Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Avenue, Asheville.
Creative Nonfiction / Family Stories – The issues faced in writing deeply personal stories will be explored in a congenial and supportive environment in “Writing Family Stories: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop,” led by Molly Walling. The workshop will cover scene-setting, characterization, dialogue, ethics, truth-telling, structure, respect for living characters, and the vagaries of memory. Pre-writing techniques will help participants inhabit their stories, incorporating historical context, social environments, politics, and the ethos out of which stories grow. Class meets Tuesday evenings, 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning February 12, at the Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Avenue, Asheville.
15-week courses for advanced, experienced writers only:
Creative Prose Workshop with Tommy Hays – Advanced prose writers who have projects underway (or who want to start something new) may consider “Keeping Ourselves Company: An Advanced Creative Prose Workshop,” offered by GSWP Executive Director Tommy Hays. Emphasis will be on reading and critiquing each other’s work. The instructor will respond at length to submissions. Instructor’s permission is required for admittance. Tommy Hays’ novel, “The Pleasure Was Mine,” has been chosen for numerous community reads, including on NPR’s “Radio Reader,” and was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award. His other novels are “Sam’s Crossing” and “In the Family Way,” winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Class meets Thursday evenings, 6:00-8:30 p.m., beginning January 24 at Asheville School.
Prose Master Class with Elizabeth Lutyens – Elizabeth Lutyens, editor-in-chief of The Great Smokies Review, presents this master class for those seeking an intensive critiquing workshop. Experienced writers are invited to bring an ongoing project: a collection of essays or stories, a novel, a memoir. Class members will submit at least three times during the 15-week semester. This is a workshop for those who are committed to writing – not just to writing well, but also to writing a lot. Each class begins with a craft session requiring outside reading, or with spontaneous writing based on a craft element the group has been examining. Admission is by invitation; for more information, contact Tommy Hays ([email protected]) or Elizabeth Lutyens ([email protected]). Class meets Tuesday evenings, 6:00-8:30 p.m., beginning January 22 at Asheville School.
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 is also required.