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Let's Write a Short Story with Natalie Truhan
July 10 - August 7, 2017
Let's Write a Short Story with Natalie Truhan
| Led By July 10 - August 7, 2017
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List Price: $199.00


“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 10 - August 7, 2017

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.    


Be Heard! Recording and Uploading Your Writing with Robert Morgan Fisher
| Led By August 7 - August 21, 2017
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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.

August 7 - August 21, 2017

2-Week Course


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. (


Shaping the Queer Voice: A Collaborative, Multi-Genre Writing Class with Ken Pienkos
| Led By August 14, 2017 - September 11, 2017
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List Price: $199.00


Shaping the Queer Voice: A Collaborative, Multi-Genre Writing Class

Where LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-gender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) Characters Intersect, Involve & Interact with Story for All Writers.

August 14 – September 11, 2017


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 fiancé, 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, and SoloMojo On Stage at Skylight Theatre.

Before his enrollment in the MFA in Creative Writing program Ken was the Executive Director of the Oxford Public Library in Oxford, PA. While there he was involved in the community by serving on the Oxford Arts Alliance as a Founding Director and also on the Board of Directors of Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. and Locally, Ken’s community service includes the Los Angeles Aids Project, AHF and Queerwise.

Awards and Grants given to Ken include ALA Library Journal 2009 “Movers and Shakers” National Recognition; National Endowment for the Humanities, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, 2010; and the Mayors’ Citizen of the Year: Oxford, PA – 2010 & 2011.

Ken volunteers with the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum in Culver City, Ca. You will also discover that Ken was nominated by his MFA cohort to be the AULA 2014 MFA Commencement Speaker.

More at Ken's web-site:


Art of the Query Letter: How to Woo an Agent from the Slush Pile with Lilly Barels
| Led By September 11 - September 25, 2017
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List Price: $99.00


So, you wrote a book and now it's waiting to be on bookshelves. If you aren't planning to self-publish and the owner of Penguin Random House isn't your cousin, then you probably need a literary agent. Join me for this 2-week crash course that'll get you down and dirty with the elusive query letter. We'll use real examples that worked--including mine! And create a plan of action for taking your query into the world of literary agent slush piles. 

(P.S. if you aren't sure what the heck a slush pile is, I'll be sure to explain that too).

September 11 - September 25, 2017

2-Week Course


-- Complete a final draft of a query letter
-- Understand how to find the right agent for the manuscript being queried
-- Recognize when to query
-- Create an action plan for the querying process
Learning Activities:
-- Research/read successful query letters and understand why they work
-- Write a complete query letter
-- Share query drafts with peers to discuss strengths and opportunities for growth


Week 1:
-- Read real samples of successful query letters
-- Become familiar with the essential paragraph structure of a query letter
-- Write the first draft of a query letter
-- Trade queries with other students and provide/receive feedback
-- Start the query action plan
Week 2:
-- Understand the slush pile of a literary agent's inbox
-- Identify three agents that the student would like to query
-- Discover the general process of querying, which includes setting realistic expectations regarding the email process and receiving manuscript requests
-- Complete the final draft of the query letter
-- Complete the query action plan


A decade after receiving her BS in neuroscience from UCLA and being named Valedictorian, Lilly decided to pursue her true passion for writing and received her MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2014. She resides on Oahu as a full-time mother of two sandy children and a part-time writer of three novels. Lilly enjoys being an active member of the SCBWI and incorporates avocado into every possible meal. She is represented by Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency. Connect with Lilly on Twitter @lillybarels


Introduction to Fiction
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Course Details
List Price: $199.00


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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