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Introduction to Fiction
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Introduction to Fiction

Learn the basics of fiction and start working on a short story or a novel in this recurring course taught by one of our fiction instructors. 

inspiration2publication offers this 4-week online workshop on a regular basis when we get at least three students to sign up. Let us know if you want to take this course with your writing group! 

Sign up using the form below to be notified when we offer this workshop next time! Email all your questions to

Introduction to Fiction

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Feasting on Form: Noodling around with Experimental Creative Nonfiction with Arielle Silver
| Led By June 4 - July 2, 2018
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Feasting on Form: Noodling around with Experimental Creative Nonfiction

Exploring structural inspiration for sensory writing:

From holiday feasting to grocery shopping, every bite-sized moment is ripe for narrative discovery. What’s in your pantry? What’s not being eaten? The sensory experience of simply squeaking a utensil drawer open can trigger inspiration, but how can we scoop it up? 

Constraints foster creativity. Think croissants, croutons, and loaves of challah: they’re all flour. Like a baker’s set of cake pans, here we’ll explore creative inspiration in the menu and the mess, and serve it up by way of experimental, hybrid, lyric essay.


June 4 - July 2, 2018


* Discover creative inspiration within the common minutia and fodder of everyday life.

* Study and discuss the ways in which the assigned short pieces utilize found forms.

* Explore structural constraints to generate new material with imagery and other sensory detail.

* Write and revise short pieces of creative nonfiction that incorporate structure concepts inspired by the work we’ve read in class.

* Connect with other writers by reading their work and offering feedback.


This course is a 4-week exploratory, generative writing course. Each week we will read short non-traditional essays inspired by found forms, generate three first drafts of new writing inspired by the form, and enjoy lively discussion in our classroom forum about the assigned readings and each other’s original drafts. The syllabus provides prompts to get the discussion going—but students are encouraged to come up with their own questions and food for thought.


Week 1: Menu

We will begin with a brief tutorial on lyric essay and read the first short non-traditional piece. We will discuss the use of structure, and draft an original piece inspired by this form, due by Monday of Week 2.

Week 2: Recipe

In Week 2, we will read each other’s Week 1: Menu drafts and offer reflective feedback. Additionally, we will read and discuss a new non-traditional piece in a different format, and draft a new original work inspired by this form, due by Monday of Week 3.

Week 3: Feast

As before, in Week 3 we will read each other’s Week 2: Recipe drafts and offer reflective feedback. Additionally, we will read and discuss a new non-traditional piece in a different format, and draft a new original work inspired by this form, due by Monday of Week 4.

Week 4: After Dinner

In this final week, we will read each other’s Week 3: Feast drafts and offer reflective feedback. As before, we will read and discuss a final non-traditional piece in a new format. During the week, there is the option to generate another first draft of new original work inspired by this form or to submit a revision of writing from the Menu, Recipe, and Feast weeks for group discussion and/or instructor feedback.


Arielle Silver spends half her life hunting words, the rest singing and baking pies. And though she shivered through many Boston winters, the wind was blowing west, and her last music tour ended at the cliffs above El Matador beach on a night when the Pacific shimmered under a full moon. Since, her original music has been licensed internationally for film and television, and her essays have appeared in Literary Hub, Brevity, Gulf Stream, Moment, Lilith Magazine, and others. She is former editor-in-chief of Lunch Ticket and earned her MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles, where she now teaches in the MFA, BA, and Inspiration2publication programs. She is currently at work on a memoir about (step)mother/ing and a secret project inspired by the creative process. She is the co-creator of Create & Flow Retreats and lives in Los Angeles with her sweet & snarky family. @relsilver


Be Heard! Recording and Uploading Your Writing with Robert Morgan Fisher
| Led By June 11 - June 25, 2018
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List Price: $99.00


So you’ve been published and asked to do a promotional reading at a book store or on a radio show. Or maybe you’ve seen some of the new online publications/contests asking for “audio” and you’re asking: How can I get in on that? It’s actually a lot easier than you might think. And in today’s publishing world, it’s very important to be able to step up and read your work—either in a live public forum or online.


June 11 - June 25, 2018


In this two-week intensive, we’ll look at the rapidly-expanding world of literary audio. We’ll download and listen to podcasts, find out what sort of equipment you need (don’t worry, it’s not that expensive and very low-tech) and explore submission opportunities (contests, publications, et cetera). Plus, we’ll also learn some practical tips on how to voice your writing. And if at the end of the course, you still don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, we’ll learn about alternate methods of recording your work.


* Study and discuss several literary audio podcasts and online audio literary journals.

* Learn how to download and use the right program and what kind of USB microphone to use.

* Learn how to convert a file to MP3.

* Learn how to create a “portable acoustically-correct studio” for less than $20.

* Demystification of the audio literary process and increased confidence in getting your own work properly recorded and out there.


Over the course of two weeks, we’ll explore literary audio on the web and discuss it in detail. I’ll also direct you to resources (many of them free) that you can bookmark for when you’re ready to record your work. The syllabus provides prompts to get the discussion going—but students are encouraged to come up with their own questions and avenues of thought.

Week 1

The New Yorker Fiction Podcast, Golden Walkman Magazine and other purveyors of literary audio. (At the end of the course, students will be asked to share and discuss their favorite pieces).

* Practical list of what you’ll need to record your work and the general cost. If you feel inspired to acquire equipment, I’ll walk you through setup during week two.

Discussion: What are the advantages of voicing your own work? How do the stories affect us when read by someone other than the author?

Week 2

* The important technical sites to bookmark and programs to download.

* How to create a “portable acoustically-correct studio” for less than $20.

* How to use recording programs like Audacity; how to edit and create an MP3.

* How to troubleshoot technical problems.

* How and when to record your work at a professional studio, the advantages/disadvantages.

* How to submit to audio literary magazines/contests.

Discussion: Do you feel more confident about recording your own work? What audio pieces did you like, if any, and why? What’s your plan for jumping into the world of literary audio?


Robert Morgan Fisher’s fiction has appeared in The Arkansas ReviewRed Wheelbarrow, The Missouri Review Soundbooth Podcast, Dime Show Review,0-Dark-ThirtyThe Huffington PostPsychopompThe Seattle ReviewThe Spry Literary Journal34th ParallelThe Journal of MicroliteratureSpindrift,Bluerailroad and many other publications. He has a story in the 2016 Skyhorse Books definitive anthology on speculative war fiction, Deserts of Fire and in the forthcoming Winterwolf Press Howl of the Wild Anthology. He’s written for TV, radio and film. Robert holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and is currently on the teaching faculty of Antioch University Santa Barbara. Since 2016, Robert has led a twice-weekly writing workshop for veterans with PTSD in conjunction with UCLA. He often writes companion songs to his short stories. Both his music and fiction have won many awards. Robert also voices audiobooks. (


Subvert the Trope! Storytelling Workshop with Haley Isleib
| Led By June 11 - July 9, 2018
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Get ready to write! This course will take you from freewriting to peer-reviewed pages of a new story. Along the way, we’ll be intentionally using, subverting and smashing common tropes to generate and revise our work.

The course is intended for all writers. Many of the published stories we will examine will be from genres such as fantasy, fairytale and science fiction. We will also use film and television references in our discussions. However, tropes and archetypes are identifiable across all genres and the class will be useful whether you write contemporary literary fiction or epic undersea dystopias set on far away planets.


June 11 - July 9, 2018        


  • Write and receive feedback on up to 10 pages of prose.
  • Explore archetypes, tropes and clichés to discover ways to use these concepts to spark ideas for stories, build and structure stories, and create delight and surprise for readers.
  • Build skills to identify story tropes in stories you read and in your own writing.
  • Receive and provide useful feedback on writing assignments, which will help you revise work.
  • By the end of this course, you will be able to identify tropes that resonate for you, and have tools to use this knowledge to create new fiction.


Week 1 - We will develop a solid definition of a story trope (and cousin concepts like archetype and cliché) through reading assignments and discussion. Our writing this week will be informal freewriting to loosen up our trope-muscles and explore which tropes you might use for future assignments.

Week 2 - In our readings, we’ll examine methods for subverting tropes and upending expectation. Our writing this week will be up to ten pages of new fiction using a trope as a starting point. Write a short story or start something longer!

Week 3 - We’ll take a closer look at how story tropes arise from their cultural context and storytelling milieu. We’ll read and give feedback on each other’s pages and work on revising our own pages. You may be given personalized exercises tailored to your story.

Week 4 - We will explore a case study of one recent trope and how it evolved. We will turn in our revised pages and discuss what’s next for your story.


Haley Isleib writes in Portland, Oregon. She’s a fan of Story, all kinds in any format--books, movies, games, graphic novels, poems, miscellany found abandoned at bus stops, etc. Her writing has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Plasm and Fireweed: Poetry of Western Oregon, and she is the recipient of a fellowship in poetry from Literary Arts of Oregon. Her script Drones & Drivers won the Feature Script category at the Other Worlds Austin screenwriting competition in 2015 and her short films have screened in festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. She is currently a judge for the NYC Midnight Writing competitions.


She holds an MFA in Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, with a focus on Writing for Young People. She’s the Programming Coordinator for the Oregon Writers Colony Annual Conference and volunteers with the Cascade Writers Workshop. Find more at


Shaping the Queer Voice: A Collaborative, Multi-Genre Writing Class with Ken Pienkos
| Led By July 2 - July 30, 2018
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Where LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-gender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) Characters Intersect, Involve & Interact with Story for All Writers.


July 2 - July 30, 2018


How do you define Queer Voice? This course speaks to most writers from a unique and emerging perspective. John Waters was quoted in June of 2015 to say, “Gay is not enough anymore.” Let’s ask: What do Queers have in common if they no longer share oppression?

Consider Borich’s definition of the aesthetic, “by queer aesthetic I mean not just the work of queer authors but all voices and forms that are equally open to pleasure and injury, that are not afraid of the body, that are both sex-positive and self-critical, that are as interested in intersections and critique as they are in the personal politics of memory.” Barrie Jean Borich, 2012.

These four weeks will support writers through the process of individual and specific craft prompts to explore character and situation development with their voices. We encourage an open dialogue that is not prescriptive; rather it will be supportive of a wide range of style, theme, and personality among writers who embrace “otherness.”


* week one: Consider, talk about, and compare Queer voice in historic development and trending movements.

* week two: Speak out, experiment, and integrate characters in three-dimensional stories with weekly writing prompts and peer responses.

* week three:respond to other writer's methods for character development, setting, and structure.

* week four: full cycle of draft, collaborative critical analysis, and revision of one original work over the four weeks.


Consider, talk about, and compare Queer voice in historic development and trending movements.

Speak out, experiment, and integrate characters in three-dimensional stories with weekly writing prompts and peer responses.

* Listen and respond to other writers methods for character development, setting, and structure.

* Complete a full cycle of draft, collaborative critical analysis, and revision of one original work over the four weeks.

Each week there will be a lecture, a discussion forum, a writing assignment, and optional extra reading material. Instructor will give detailed feedback on the first assignment and works with participant to revise and edit that assignment for a final draft.


Ken lives in Los Angeles with his dog Scooter and his husband, James. He holds a BS and MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Antioch University Los Angeles MFA in Creative Writing Program and works at Antioch University as Reference & Instruction Librarian.Recent Publications and Spoken Word Performances include: Arts & Letters Literary Magazine, Rose Red Review (pending), Queerwise: Beloved Fictions, HIV Here & Now, SoloMojo and Shades of Disclosure On Stage at Skylight Theatre.

More at Ken's web-site:


From Paper to Pixels: Writing Online Content that Matters and Gets Noticed with Seth Fischer
| Led By July 2 - July 30, 2018
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To many writers, the Internet is a scary place: we spend more of our lives on it than we'd like to admit, it lacks that delicious book smell, photos of fluffy cats and sloths seem to eat up more and more of our time, and no matter how many social networks we join, we can't shake this feeling that we're not doing enough. Other writers see endless potential in the Internet, envisioning blogs and clever Twitter handles turning into book contracts turning into millions of dollars in royalties.

This class aims to look past all this fear and improbable expectation to ask a different set of questions we writers should be well-equipped to answer: How can you use the Internet to tell the best possible story? What tools does the Internet offer that print books do not, and how might those be useful for you? What sorts of articles and stories have the Internet powers-that-be come to expect in online writing, and how can you use that information? What online publications might be the best fit for your writing? Is your writing a good fit for these publications, or might the Internet be better used in other ways to further your projects? In sum, how can you, as a writer, use the Internet to create the best writing and storytelling while reaching as large an audience as possible?

4-Week Course

July 2 - July 30, 2018

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore ways that we can use the Internet to best achieve our goals by sharing our knowledge about its changing landscape

  • Identify best practices for writing and living online, discovering ways to best use the Internet as a tool rather than vice versa.

  • Compose a short piece of writing that incorporates these practices, identifying the best venues for potential publication.

Week 1: An Internet Accounting

We will explore and discuss, through examples and through an assignment, what our online diet consists of and why we are attracted to the parts of the Internet we most often find ourselves in. We will analyze the patterns of this diet and begin to rethink our online habits. 

Week 2: A New Plan

In this second week, after having taken an accounting of our online habits, we will work to develop a plan for how to alter our online habits to best achieve our writing goals. Then, we will begin to plan a writing project that will allow us to use the Internet to achieve them.

Week 3: Practicing Writing Online

In this third week, we will explore in detail the differences between writing online and writing in print, as well as the similarities. Each student will develop a plan for their writing project and they will write a rough draft.

Week 4

In the final week, students will share their final projects and provide feedback for one another. We will polish this into a finished piece, which we will ideally submit to online publications or post on our own blog or website. 

About Seth Fischer:

SETH FISCHER'S writing has appeared in Guernica, Joyland, Buzzfeed, PANK, and Best Sex Writing and listed as notable in The Best American Essays. He is a developmental editor for independent publishing houses and individual clients. Seth is also the nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown and was a contributing editor at The Rumpus, and he teaches for Antioch University Los Angeles, UCLA-Extension, and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. 


Let's Write a Short Story with Natalie Truhan
July 9 - August 6, 2018
Let's Write a Short Story with Natalie Truhan
| Led By July 9 - August 6, 2018
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“When seriously explored, the short story seems to me the most difficult and disciplining form of prose writing extant. Whatever control and technique I may have I owe entirely to my training in this medium.”~ Truman Capote, interview to The Paris Review.


July 9 - August 6, 2018

4-Week Writing Course

This course will take you from story inception to a finished draft through several stages of revision. Along the way, you will learn elements of a short story. Our goal is creating a story that, as the writer Michael Swanwick put it, “is like a knife–strongly made, well balanced, and with an absolute minimum of moving parts.”

I want you to become a radical explorer of your story and its possibilities. I will encourage you to approach your story from different angles, striving to better understand your artistic intention and ways to realize it. 

The course is designed for writers of fiction who want to explore a structured approach to developing a traditional story, as well as for writers of creative nonfiction and poetry who want to delve into writing short fiction.


By the end of this course, the students will be able to:

• identify the initial idea for a short story;
• develop a short story by exploring point of view, characterization, timeline, sensory detail, imagery, and more;
• share their work in progress and provide feedback which will help their peers write the best possible story.


In Week 1 we will learn to identify the protagonist and the story.

In Week 2 we will do what Antonya Nelson calls “putting a clock on the story”.

In Week 3 we will explore theme and imagery.

In Week 4 will do something crazy and discuss what’s next for your story.


• Writing exercises: Each week students will complete writing assignments that will take their stories from the initial idea to the finished draft.

• Share work and provide feedback in discussion forums: Students will post their writing and give feedback on each other’s work.

• Assigned readings: Students will read assigned short stories and discuss them in forums to develop a better understanding of elements of short fiction.

• Progress discussions: Students will be encouraged to discuss their progress and reflect on their process.



Natalie received her MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. She is a former Translation Editor of The Lunch Ticket literary journal. She lives in Los Angeles where she writes fiction and translates poetry. Connect with Natalie on Twitter or on Instagram.    


The World in a Flash: Flash Prose with Kate Maruyama
| Led By July 9 - August 6, 2018
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Flash fiction, flash prose, sudden fiction, micro fiction. The definitions vary: “work under 1500 words” or “work under 1000 words,” and sometimes, “work under 500 words.” The good news is these small spaces can be quite dynamic and the creative possibilities within this form are endless.

Journals are looking for flash prose, and, as the pieces are so short, they can fit more in each issue, which ups your chances of publication. In this course we will do exercises which will generate your own flash prose and look at different ways in which various forms of flash prose work. We will workshop through revisions and you should come away with a few solid pieces, and, most important, the tools to keep generating flash prose that resonates.

This class is aimed around continuously generating new material over the course of the month. A writer CAN generate up to five new pieces a week, or choose to focus on a few pieces for the duration of the class.

4-Week Online Writing Course

July 9 - August 6, 2018


• Generate new pieces of flash prose, fiction and non-fiction.

• Look at examples of flash prose that work and discuss in depth the variety of ways in which it can work.

• Workshop pieces of your flash prose with your instructor and peers.

• Rewrite your prose and prepare it to send out. Discuss marketplaces that take different kinds of flash prose and come up with a plan for submission.


Week 1. Flash Prose: Inside and Out

We will look at the variety of flash prose available, discuss its flexible form and talk about the ways in which it can compress time or slow it down. Using prompts, you will generate first draft pieces of flash prose.

Week 2: Workshop!

Workshop! You will workshop a piece of flash prose you have generated and rewritten in the prior week. Your peers will respond to your work and give you suggestions and tools to use to create a new draft. During this week, using prompts, you will continue generating new flash prose.

Week 3

Workshop and generating new work continues. In this week we look at examples useful to specific pieces generated by the group.

Week 4: Submit!

We talk about appropriate places to submit your work. Prompts are available for continued generation of work and we wrap up the workshop section.


Kate Maruyama's novel HARROWGATE was published by 47North. Her short work has appeared in Arcadia, Stoneboat, Whistling Shade and on Salon, Duende, The Rumpus among other journals as well as in two anthologies: Winter Horror Days and Phantasma: Stories. She teaches in the BA and MFA programs for Antioch University Los Angeles as well as for Writing Workshops Los Angeles and the inspiration2publication program. She writes, teaches, cooks and eats in Los Angeles where she lives with her family.


"As a poet, I have always wanted to explore more deeply the difference between prose poems and flash prose. When I won the raffle for a free class with I2P, I knew Kate’s class was the one I wanted to take. Kate is a talented and smart instructor. Her knowledge and love of flash prose were evident in the variety of reading assignments and her feedback. Her ability to balance leading a class and adapting to students’ interests and schedules is exceptional. She makes teaching an online class seem effortless! I completed the class with a better understanding of flash prose, but also with several workable pieces. Above all, Kate knows writers and particularly the type of writers that would enroll in an I2P class — writers with full lives around which we are trying to find those precious moments for writing. I told her I wanted to generate new pieces in the four weeks and each week she gave us five engaging prompts each week. Moreover, Kate encouraged us to choose if we wanted to post more in the generative discussions or the workshop discussions. This is essential in working with writers because we cannot always control when and where our writing will be within a 4-week workshop. I would highly recommend this course for writers of all genres who want to dig in for some close writing and work with a seasoned writer and editor like Kate."

~Lisa Cheby