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Writing workshops starting in February

The Writers’ Workshop is offering classes and contests for beginning and experienced writers. Each class meets on Saturdays, 10-4 pm, at 387 Beaucatcher Road, Asheville. Registration is in advance only, at www.twwoa.org. Classes are $75 each, or $70 for Workshop members. Financial assistance is available for low-income writers in exchange for volunteering. For more info, contact writersw@gmail.com or call 828-254-8111.

Feb. 9: Write Your Life with Richard Krawiec — In this supportive writing-intensive class, participants will learn how to draw on the “material” of their lives to write and revise memoirs, stories, or plays. Elements covered include time compression and expansion, theme, recognizing your purpose, and developing your piece professionally. Krawiec is the founder of Jacar Press, and the author of numerous books such as “Breakdown: A Father’s Story,” “Faith in What?” and “Time Sharing.” His work is published in Shenandoah, Florida Review, and N.C. Literary Review, among many others.

Feb. 23: Writing the Young Adult Novel with Constance Renfrow —Participants will learn how to shape plot, character, and voice suitable for a young adult audience. Other topics include how to write a compelling first chapter, common clichés to avoid, and what YA Twitter and Goodreads reviews might mean for your novel. This class will include writing exercises and a Q&A. You may bring up to 3 pages and a synopsis to the class for review.  Renfrow is the former lead editor of Three Rooms Press. Her short stories have appeared in Litro, Red Earth Review, Two Cities Review and elsewhere. Her first book, “Songs of My Selfie,” an anthology of millennial fiction, was a 2016 IndieFAB finalist.

March 9: Polishing Your Work for Publication with Julia Day — Advanced writers with a completed first draft will learn how to revise and polish their work. In this workshop, participants will learn editing techniques to add depth to characters, build relationship arcs, tighten plot, and clarify character voice through dialogue. Participants may bring the first 3 pages of their manuscript to the class for review and revision. Day is the award-winning author of “Whisper Falls,” “I Wish,” “The Possibility of Somewhere” and “Leaving Eden.”

March 16:  Fiction & Creative Non-fiction Writing with Karen Ackerson — Writers of both fiction and creative non-fiction will learn how to create realistic dialogue and unforgettable characters with flaws, idiosyncrasies and unique ways of speaking. Examine how a character’s strengths and weaknesses form the backbone of any good story, and how to write a character sketch in class. The importance of describing the setting, or sense of place, will also be discussed. Participants may bring 3 pages (double-spaced) to the class for review. Ackerson teaches writing and editing courses throughout the Southeast. As senior editor at The Renbourne Editorial Agency, she has edited over 500 novels and memoirs.

March 30: Memory & Myth: A Primal Source for Poems with Jan Harrington — Our early memories and family relationships can be lifting-off points for complex, many-layered poems. Revisiting family myths and collective stories can also yield fertile material. We’ll look closely at poems from well-known poets and consider voice, form, points of view, image, metaphor, irony and other tools of the craft. You may bring a family photograph that you find intriguing. Through prompts, questions and exercises, you’ll generate ideas for your own poems and strategies for developing them.

Harrington’s book of poems, “Waiting for the Hurricane,” won the 2017 N.C. Poetry Society award. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies in the US and Europe, including Kent State University Press, New Southerner Anthology and The Homestead Review.

Annual Poetry Contest Deadline: March 31 (emailed or postmarked). Open to any writer regardless of residence. Awards and guidelines are posted at www.twwoa.org

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