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Author Susan Meyers Author Susan Meyers' workshop "Jumpstart Your Story: Building Energy from Beginning to End" takes place online October 19 and 21.

Jumpstart that novel in your drawer with online workshops taught by pros

All classes are live and interactive, conducted via videoconferencing software

Aspiring writers looking for guidance on how to finally finish that novel or memoir sitting inside them — or inside their drawer — may want to check out the San Miguel Literary Sala’s five online workshops for writers this month, where you can learn from the professionals to write descriptions that stay with the reader for days, pace your novel so your audience hangs on every word and craft dialogue that jumps off the page.

All classes are live and interactive, conducted via videoconferencing software.

Times given below are in Central Daylight Time:

  • October 18 & 20, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. — David Dykes: “The World Wants to Make You a Better Writer.” Learn to break through your blocks and limitations in this workshop with a teacher, editor and author who will show you through writing exercises, examples from great works of fiction and interactive imaginative activities how to hone your skills in using sensory details to make your fiction more vivid, compelling and coherent. Dykes has taught at Texas State University, the University of New Orleans and the University of Tennessee.
  • October 19 & 21, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. — Tom Coash: “To Be or Not To Be,” the Art of Writing Compelling Monologues.” Monologues are booming in popularity, and they can be many things, but what they can’t be is forced or fake. This seminar will take a close look at successful monologues and use playwriting and theater techniques plus writing exercises to give you a fresh look at the art of single-handed spiels. A playwright and director, Coash currently teaches at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program.
  • October 19, 4–7 p.m. — Susan Meyers: “Jumpstart Your Story: Building Energy from Beginning to End.” Get started — or recharge — your novel or memoir project by delving into several less frequently studied narrative tools like momentum, shaping, pacing and information release to improve your narrative. Meyers is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University.
  • Oct 25 & 27, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. — David Ramsey: “The Divine Details: The Key Ingredient in Creative Nonfiction.” Details are the precise notes that allow a piece of writing to sing. Ramsey, whose writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New Republic, Slate and many other publications, will help you create fictive details that show the reader something clear, specific and unforgettable. Explore how to hone your powers of observation and make your writing vivid, using three key elements: specificity, purpose, and surprise.
  • October 30, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (six-hour master class) — Laura Davis: “Memoir: How to Create Unforgettably Vivid Moments Your Readers Will Never Forget.” A writing teacher and the author of seven nonfiction books, Davis will teach you to create emotionally resonant moments that pull readers into your world on the page and you’ll leave with a powerful first draft of a crucial scene, a list of future scenes to develop and a set of new skills.

For more information about these workshops, tickets, and biographies of the instructors, visit the San Miguel Literary Sala website.

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