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Advanced Creative Nonfiction Memoir: Revision, Editing, Workshopping, and Beyond with Patrick O'Neil
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This course will focus on fine tuning your memoir with a heavy emphasis on structure, revision, critique, editing, and finding your supportive writing community. There will be four lectures to read, and we will discuss several topics each week. Students will submit an already completed short work of nonfiction/memoir at the beginning of the course. Over the next three weeks the student submissions will be group workshopped via a discussion forum and each student will give feedback on the other student’s work. Students will then revisit their original submissions and revise them using the workshop critique and suggestions, instructor notes, and the ideas and materials that have been presented and discussed each week. On the final week they will submit their revised manuscript.    

March 6 - April 3, 2017

4-Week Course

CLASS OBJECTIVES

Students will be encouraged to develop their writing and revision skills within the context of Creative Nonfiction Memoir. We will learn to discuss, edit, revise and restructure our work. Our focus will be to learn how to fine tune a working first draft into a submit-able manuscript. The course will encourage students to consider the issues raised in the process of writing memoir, aiming to uncover various methods of confronting potential problems. Through lectures, group workshops, and discussions students will be provided information that they can use to analysis and revise their own writing.

 

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER

Week 1: Editing – Trusting your editor: Learning how to accept criticism, critique, and feedback.
  • Student introductory discussion, and discussion on topic of lecture.  

  • Students submit short work of nonfiction/memoir (no more than 10 pages) to the group forum for workshopping.  

Week 2: Revision: Wordiness – Cut out the fat: Lean quick prose is the objective.
  • Student discussion on lecture topic.

  • Students workshop each other’s submissions (first half of student submissions).

  • Students work on writing exercise and revising their original submission.  

Week 3: Beginnings, Middles, and Endings – Revising structure, storyline, and all that’s in between.
  • Student discussion on lecture topic

  • Students workshop each other’s submissions (second half of student submissions).

  • Students work on writing exercise and revising their original submission.

Week 4: What’s Missing? Beta readers, workshops, and writing groups.
  • Students discussion on lecture topic, and the revision process.

  • Students submit revised original submission of nonfiction/memoir (no page limit).

ABOUT PATRICK O'NEIL

 photo patrick-oneil_zpsfj5fm1eh.jpg

Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoir Gun, Needle, Spoon (Dzanc Books), and the excerpted in part French translation, Hold-Up (13e Note Editions). His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including: Juxtapoz, Salon.com, The Weeklings, Razorcake, Sensitive Skin, Fourteen Hills, and Word Riot.

Patrick is an editor for the NYC-to-California-transplant-post-beat-pre-apocalyptic art, writing, and music anthology Sensitive Skin Magazine. And a two time nominee for Best Of The Net. He is a regular contributor to the recovery website AfterPartyMagazine, and has been blogging at Full Blue Moon Dementia for over ten years. Patrick holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, lives in Hollywood, California, and teaches at a local community college. Check out Patrick's web-site for more information www.patrick-oneil.com and his blog Full Blue Moon Dementia https://patrick-oneil.com/blog/

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Laying Down the Tracks: Jump Start Your Screenplay in Four Short Weeks with Kate Maruyama
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In this class, we will go over the basics of screenplay structure, character, and scene and will get you jump started on your screenplay in a friendly workshop environment. With your classmates, you will also work up a pitch that will not only help you move your screenplay forward but work it into a marketable entity.

June 5 - July 3, 2017

4-Week Course

CLASS OBJECTIVES

*To learn the basics of screenplay structure and scene.

*To learn how to create a pitch that will both further your screenwriting and help eventually sell others on the idea of your screenplay.

*To come away with a solid take on Act I of your screenplay.

*Obtain the tools to keep submitting on your own well into the future.

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER

Week 1: Scene

What makes a good scene? What are your basic elements and who are your main characters? Through scene you will be able to get to know your characters and what they want and be able to launch forward. Examples of great scenes will be given in class.

Week 2: The Three Act Structure

A movie’s blueprint. We will go over what needs to happen in three acts, with emphasis on the characters and situation you’ve created. We will ask questions of your story and get a solid sketch of an outline with which to move forward.

Week 3: The Pitch:

In screenwriting the pitch is everything! I will give you the basics of what makes a solid pitch, both elevator length and two page submission-worthy pitch. You will, having outlined your story, work it into a pitch to share with your classmates and workshop.

Week 4: Act I the Workshop:

By now you will have written Act I! We will discuss your work in a workshop environment and come up with an action plan for continuing your screenplay outside of class.

ABOUT KATE MARUYAMA

Kate Maruyama

Kate Maruyama’s twenty years in the film industry started when she was an agency assistant at William Morris, where she learned the ins and outs, from contracts to deals, indie movies to studios films, indie releases to negative pickup. She moved on to Jon Peters Entertainment where she worked as a development assistant, developing pitches, giving notes on screenplays and finally was Director of Development at Sylvester Stallone’s company White Eagle at Universal where she worked with writers and executives developing pitches and screenplays for production. She was a script consultant for Demarest Films and for Village Roadshow Pictures for ten years. She then quit to write and learned the other side of the screenwriting world, with a number of scripts in development and had one screenplay produced. She has consulted on numerous screenplays since and has a knack for developing them into the type of material producers and actors are looking for.

Her first novel Harrowgate was published by 47North, and she appears in numerous print and online journals as well as in anthologies.

Kate holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles in fiction where she is adjunct faculty in the BA program and Affiliate faculty in the MFA program. She teaches with Writing Workshops Los Angeles and is part of the team behind Antioch’s inspiration2publication program.

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Page Turners: Writing Compelling Fiction with Eduardo Santiago
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Creative writing is one of the most fulfilling ways to express yourself, and you're never too young or too old to give it a try. But writing the kind of book that keeps readers turning pages requires a special set of skills. Today’s books are in competition with 3D movies, five hundred television channels, and thousands of video games. Far-flung travel and adventure are just a credit card away. But nothing grabs your imagination and holds it as firmly as a well-written book.

In this four-week course we'll focus on the balance of craftsmanship and imagination essential to creating compelling fiction while keeping your own, unique voice. In this class you will learn the time-tested elements of fiction and, through consistent instruction and practice, you'll discover which tools best serve your individual style and voice. Are you unsure which point of view to choose? Structure a problem? Writing convincing dialogue is a challenge? You've come to the right place!

This course is designed for those who have an idea for a book but are having trouble getting started, and for those who have started a book and are looking for guidance and mentoring to see them through to The End.

4-WEEK WRITING COURSE

October 8 - November 5, 2018

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

Explore the untapped power of your imagination.

Discover what your book wants to say.

Create compelling characters.

Choose the right narrator.

Bring bland prose to life.

Write precise and sparkling dialogue.

Identify the selling points of your work.

WHAT THIS CLASS OFFERS:

How do writers create tension and anticipation without pandering or cheapening their writing? Together, we will examine and identify the essential elements in the compelling novel, and how to apply these elements to your work.

WEEKLY ACTIVITIES:

Week 1: Story structure and plot. Moving towards a complete, original, satisfying story sure to get your readers hooked. 

Week 2: Escalating conflict. Selecting character journeys and creating credible, stimulating conflicts.

Week 3: Tension, suspense, shock and surprise. Devising reversals and planning dramatic situations more like thrilla than vanilla.

Week 4: Fear and dread are your friend! Weighing emotional tension against physical tension. Looking at your life for suspense. 

YOU TAKE AWAY:

* Lessons that you can implement immediately, and a comprehensive resource that includes everything you need to write a successful novel.

* Sharpened creative writing skills, including improved narrative arc, world-building, authentic dialogue, and character development.

* A portfolio of twenty-five peer-critiqued pages.

* An overall story-focused critique of your pages by Eduardo Santiago.

ABOUT EDUARDO SANTIAGO:

Eduardo Santiago's first novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss was an Edmund White Debut Fiction Award finalist and won Latino Book Award for Best Historical Novel. His next book, Midnight Rumba, won the New England Book Award - Best Fiction. His short stories have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Slow Trains, and The Caribbean Writer, his nonfiction was published in the Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, and Out Traveler Magazine. A sought-after book coach and story editor, Mr. Santiago has helped dozens of writers reach The End.

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Feasting on Form: Noodling around with Experimental Creative Nonfiction with Arielle Silver
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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.

4-WEEK WRITING COURSE

CLASS OBJECTIVES

* 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.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

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.

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER

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.

ABOUT ARIELLE SILVER

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. www.ariellesilver.com @relsilver

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Writing the Community: Write to Effect Change! with Precious Rasheeda Muhammad
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"I'm interested in the way in which the past affects the present and I think that if we understand a good deal more about history, we automatically understand a great more about contemporary life."  —Toni Morrison

Explore what it means to write the community as a means of effecting change. We will study successful authors' stylistic approaches to writing for the community. We’ll examine how figures in our local communities have valuable stories that too often go untold, simply because they do not have national acclaim. We will learn creative approaches to documenting and sharing the stories of these people and how this is an effective means to “building community through history” across seemingly intractable divides. 

4-WEEK COURSE

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

Articulate ideas about approaches to writing as a means to effect change in the community

Compose a short piece to submit for publication or donation to a local community organization or institution, for benefit of the greater community

Receive and give constructive feedback, as a trial run for engagement with larger audiences and engagement with the work of other authors

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER:

Week One: Got Character?

We will explore and discuss, through a brief lesson and assigned creative writing pieces, the key role effective characterization can play in writing the community. We will explore and discuss, through a brief lesson and assigned related texts, writing the community and writing to effect change. We will each draft an original piece based on what we learned in week one.

Week Two: Do You See What I See?

We will explore and discuss, through a brief lesson and assigned creative writing pieces, the key role effective imagery can play in writing the community. We will explore and discuss, through a brief lesson and assigned related texts, writing the community and writing to effect change. We will explore and discuss, through a brief tutorial, how to give and receive constructive feedback. We will read and discuss week one’s original piece and each draft a new original piece (or take the option to build on the previous week’s piece) based on what we learned in week two.

Week Three: Make a Scene! 

We will explore and discuss, through a brief lesson and assigned creative writing pieces, the key role effective dialogue and balancing of scene versus summary can play in writing the community. We will explore and discuss, through a brief lesson and assigned related texts, writing the community and writing to effect change. We will read and discuss week two’s original piece and each draft an original piece (or take the option to build on the previous week’s piece) based on what we learned in week three.

Week Four: It's a Wrap (Up)! 

We will read and discuss week three’s piece. We will each pick one of the submitted pieces from the past three weeks to revise and polish into a final piece. We will receive one last round of feedback from each other. We will discuss submission or donation options of the final piece.

ABOUT PRECIOUS RASHEEDA MUHAMMAD

Precious received her MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California Riverside, Palm Desert in 2016. She received her Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University. She is an author, lecturer, and researcher on religion in America, among other topics, and is known by many as “The History Detective.” She lives in Virginia with her family but travels frequently for research projects and speaking engagements. Her motto: “building community through history.” Her favorite craft-related, self-motivational saying: “write mama write.”

Sign up using the form below to be notified when we offer this class next time! Email all your questions to i2p@antioch.edu

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Writing Through Trauma with Patrick O'Neil
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Writing Through Trauma

4-Week Online Writing Class

CLASS DESCRIPTION

When we experience a traumatic event, our memories are affected. Our perception of that event, and previous events can be negatively influenced. This negative influence can manifest itself as fear, resentment, and anger. All, or any of these, will affect our behaviors, relationships, abilities, and self-esteem—in short, our entire lives.

By learning to decipher what are actual memories and what are imagined, we can navigate the emotional obstacles of guilt, fear, shame, ego, and resentment; while exposing whatever secrets we are holding onto that are causing us emotional pain. And, as writers, working through our trauma will open up vast areas that we previously feared to explore. This will not be therapy. It is more an honest evaluation of self that will result in writing an in depth personal essay.

CLASS OBJECTIVES

• Participants will be encouraged to honestly write about their own traumatic event.

• Group discussions will focus on the way that we remember traumatic events by analyzing memory and how it is often at times faulty due to emotional input of resentments, the passing of time, and fear.

• Writing exercises will help examine perspective. By exposing the past we prevent it from continuing to influence the present. Allowing us to live healthier, more functional lives.

• Posting our work to the discussions will allow participants the opportunity to engage in divulging our secrets so we can lessen their influence on our present, and ascertain what is reality as opposed to our unhealthy misconceptions.

• Instructor will take the participants through the revision process from a first draft to a well-crafted personal essay.

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER

Week 1: Personal Experiences

Lecture: My Personal Experience with Writing About a Traumatic Event. Students will complete the first writing assignment. Student introductory discussion.

Week 2: Memory

Lecture: Memory, The Reliability of, and The Influence of Emotions. Students will complete the second writing assignment. Discussion on lecture topic.

Week 3: Shame, Guilt, Secrets

Lecture: The Emotional Effects of Shame, Guilt, Fear, Ego, Anger, Resentments, and Keeping Secrets. Students will complete the third writing assignment. Student discussion on lecture topic.

Week 4: Forgiveness

Lecture: Forgiveness: Of Self and Others. Writing assignment: revision. Student discussion on lecture topic, and the process of revision.

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

ABOUT PATRICK O'NEIL

Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoir Gun, Needle, Spoon (Dzanc Books). His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Juxtapoz, Salon, The Nervous BreakdownAfter Party Magazine, and Razorcake. O’Neil is a contributing editor for Sensitive Skin Magazine, a Pushcart nominee, a two time nominee for Best Of The Net, and a PEN Center USA Professional and former Mentor. He holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles where he is an instructor for the inspiration2publication program. Most days you can find him teaching some form of creative writing at various rehabs, correctional facilities, institutions, and workshopsand he is the co-coordinator for the Why There Are Words, Los Angeles reading series. O’Neil currently lives in L.A.’s monument to broken dreams, the über hip downtown district, with his fiancé and two giant Maine Coons. For more information, please visit: patrick-oneil.com.

 

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From Paper to Pixels: Writing Online Content that Matters and Gets Noticed with Seth Fischer
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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 Onlinw Writing Class

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. 

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Let's Write a Short Story with Natalie Truhan
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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.

 

4-Week Writing Class

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.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

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.

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER: 

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.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES:

• 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.

ABOUT NATALIE TRUHAN: 

natalie-truhan

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.    

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