"Have Words, Will Travel"
I lead workshops for children, teens, adults, and teachers. Have words will travel! I will come to your library, school, or youth group. I have taught in many locations, but probably the most fun was hanging with the wonderful teens at McLaughlin Youth Center, Anchorage's juvenile detention center. If you are interested in bringing a workshop to your group, please contact me.
Life and Literature Mini-Mag
This project is very special to me. It's designed to connect kids and teens with their friends, their community, and with new friends in new places. It's all about their lives, literature, and what matters them them. All it takes is another group, some effort, and a little adult guidance. The kids are creative enough to do the rest.
Participants will produce a mini-magazine containing short pieces ranging from news articles, flash fiction, comics, art, poetry, and will especially focus on topics about their lives. For example: how to throw a good party, talk to a girl/boy, earn money, or celebrate a birthday; top ten lists of what not to say to boy/girl, favorite music, good games or books; what is a fandom? what is a meme? a good college? summer camp? Their mini-mag will be shared with other groups from around the state, and other states, or even other countries, with groups who are producing similar mini-mags. The groups will get to know each other and what life is like in different places, similar to pen pals.
Can you tell your story in 400 words or less? What about exactly 55 words? Flash fiction---also known as nano fiction, short shorts, and drabble---is all about "less being more". In this class you will be asked to write as little as possible! Imagine writing your memoir in just six words. Besides being fun, why is this valuable? Writing concisely gets your message across in today's media-drenched world, where every word counts. A variety of prompts will guide students in the exploration of short fiction forms as they learn to stuff strong words into sentences that flow or careen into a tight story.
Plotting need not strike the death knell on creativity. Learn how and when to use classic plot points to fill gaps, smooth out rough spots, and strengthen the structure of your novel. Workshop appropriate for writers preparing to write, in progress, or editing completed manuscripts.
Archetypes don't have to be stereotypes. Learn how to identify and employ classic character forms to ground your story, separate your characters, and tap into the mojo of timeless appeal.
Beyond the Brainstorm
Learn how to help your students generate ideas for fiction, reports, and essays. This presentation bursts with activities and hand-outs. You get to experience what your students will encounter, so you leave ready to teach them what you have learned. We walk you through ways to brainstorm for ideas from solo projects, to group, to whole classroom participation. But raw ideas are not enough. What do you do with all the stuff the storm kicks up? Knowledge of simple story and essay structure will help. Then students can sort through the ideas, focus on what is important, and build their stories, poems, or non-fiction work.