ASHEVILLE NC – Local writers will have the opportunity to hone their skills with UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) workshops in poetry and prose. Classes will be held in Asheville, Black Mountain and Burnsville. Class size is limited, so early registration is suggested.
10-week courses for writers of various levels of experience:
Poetry – Tina Barr will lead “Sacred Questions,” which will explore poetry that engages with the idea of the sacred. Participants will study poetry from multiple points of view on concepts of faith, and will bring in their own poems and engage in a series of optional writing exercises. Barr’s latest poems have been published in Witness, Shenandoah, The Crab Orchard Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Tupelo Press Editor’s Award for her book, The Gathering Eye (Tupelo Press, 2005). Class meets Mondays, 1-3:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 16, in Black Mountain.
Memoir – In “Remembering, Misremembering, Disremembering: Our Memories Have a Story to Tell” with Christine Hale, participants will explore the particular challenges and possibilities of writing memoir. Using brief examples from published memoirs and in-class writing exercises, participants will model some techniques for turning memory’s mischief to literary advantage. Hale’s novel, Basil’s Dream, (Livingston Press, 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in publications including Arts & Letters, Hippocampus and Still, among others. Class meets Thursdays, 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 19, in Asheville.
Fiction – Novelist Susan Woodring will lead “From Character to Plot: Creating a Story with Character at the Center.” The class will progress from each participant’s creation of multi-dimensional and compelling characters to devising a plot structure for a novel with these characters at the center. Woodring is the author of the novel, Goliath (St. Martin’s Press, 2012) and a short story collection, Springtime on Mars (Press 53, 2008). Her short fiction was shortlisted for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 and Best American Short Stories 2010. Class meets Wednesdays, 5-7:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 19, in Black Mountain.
Memoir – Brian Lee Knopp will lead “The Devil You Know: The Art, Skill and Thrill of Writing Your Memoir,” which involves in-class and at-home writing and reading assignments, and says Knopp, a chance for “a daring rescue of the truth trapped inside your life’s labyrinth.” Knopp’s memoir, Mayhem in Mayberry: Misadventures of a P.I. in Southern Appalachia (Cosmic Pigbite Press, 2009) was a Malaprop’s bestseller. He was the creator and contributing author of the collaborative 2012 novel, Naked Came the Leaf Peeper (Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 2011). Class meets Tuesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 17, in Asheville.
Fiction – Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series (Bantam Dell) and the stand-alone novel, The Day of Small Things (Dell, 2010), will teach “Forty Pages.” Each student will submit forty pages of work for discussion and critique by the class and close editing with written comments by the instructor. The goal will be to polish those forty pages until they are ready to catch the attention of an agent, an editor or a publisher. Class meets Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 18, in Asheville.
Children’s Books – Linda Lowery will lead “Writing Children’s Picture Books,” in which participants will learn specifics of the genre, including the art of weeding out words, of rhythm and rhyme, prose text and pacing for spot-on page turns, and the thinking process of an illustrator. Assignments include writing the text for two picture books, choosing one manuscript to revise and polish, and creating a 32-page book dummy. Lowery is an award-winning author of more than 60 fiction and nonfiction books for readers from preschool to middle grades. She has illustrated 13 of her books, including Trick or Treat, It’s Halloween(Random House, 2000), a bestselling picture book co-authored with her husband, Richard Keep. Class meets Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. beginning Feb. 17, in Asheville.
Children’s Books – “Heart of the Story,” with Joy Neaves and Frankie Bolt, is for writers who have prepared at least 45 pages of longer works of fiction intended for children. Participants will read and critique each other’s work, as well as develop the ability to examine their own work critically. The instructors will respond to all submissions and will cover topics from aspects of craft to ways to approach editors and agents. Neaves was senior editor at Front Street for a decade and is now a freelance editor of children’s books at namelos.com. Bolt has an MFA in creative writing from the writing for children and young adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first novel, Minus, is forthcoming from namelos.com. Class meets Mondays, 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 16, in Asheville.
Poetry– Poet Brian Sneeden will lead “Articulate Wildness: Poetry as Creative Force.” In this workshop, students will explore the work of a different poet each week, combining close reading with interactive writing exercises. Sneeden’s poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Harvard Review Online and Ninth Letter, among others. His manuscript, Ithaka, was a finalist in the 2013 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM Chapbook Award for Poetry. Class meets Tuesdays from 3-5:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 17 in Burnsville.
Poetry– English teacher Eric Steineger will lead “Poetry Made Accessible—A Timeline.” This course will examine important developments in poetry over the last two centuries and lead up to modern day. There may be short writing exercises; however, the focus is learning about this often-misunderstood genre. Steineger teaches English at A-B Tech Community College and Mars Hill University and is the senior poetry editor for The Citron Review, an online journal. Class meets Tuesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 17 in Asheville.
Short Fiction – “The Short Stories of Franz Kafka and Anton Chekhov: What They Have to Teach Us about Writing, Being Human, Being Bugs, and Being Kissed,” with Emilie White, is designed primarily for fiction writers, and will look to Kafka’s and Chekhov’s short stories as models to be emulated. White has served as an instructor of art history, composition, and creative writing at U.C. Berkeley, New Mexico State University and Warren Wilson College, where she was the 2001–02 Beebe Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in Colorado Review and has received two nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Class meets Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. beginning Feb. 19 in Asheville.
Creative Prose Workshop with Tommy Hays – For advanced prose writers who have projects underway (or who want to start something new) GSWP Executive Director Tommy Hays offers “Keeping Ourselves Company: An Advanced Creative Prose Workshop.” 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. Hays is the author of What I Came to Tell You (EgmontUSA, 2013), a SIBA Okra Pick and chosen by the Atlanta Constitution as one of best books for children for 2013. His novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, has been chosen for numerous community reads and was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award. His In the Family Way (Random House, 1999) was winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Class meets Thursdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 29, in Asheville.
Prose Master Class with Elizabeth Lutyens – Elizabeth Lutyens, editor-in-chief of The Great Smokies Review, presents this master class for experienced writers seeking an intensive writing and critiquing experience in a small-group workshop. Master Class members will begin the semester with pages ready for critique and will submit three times during the 15-week course. Admission is by invitation; for more information, contact Tommy Hays (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Elizabeth Lutyens (email@example.com). Class meets Tuesdays from 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 27, in Asheville.
The 10-week courses qualify for two UNC Asheville credit hours in Literature and Language; the 15-week courses earn three credit hours. For in-state residents, the cost is $279.68 for 10-week courses and $419.52 for 15-week courses. The costs are higher for out-of-state residents. A $20 non-refundable application fee for new students also is required. For more information or to register, visit the program website or call 828.250.2353.