You want it. We've got it.

Whether you need motivation to write or a craft workshop, we've got a class for you. Take a poetry workshop with Carolyn Forche. Learn how to write a query letter to an editor or pitch to your favorite magazine. Figure out how to structure your memoir, then take a break to sit by the pool or go for a walk in a native palm grove. Or kick it in Virginia City with 14 other women writers at a 19th-century infirmary. Check out our schedule through spring 2017, and join the Wordy Girls!


WORDY GIRLS WINTER WRITERS WEEKEND

A WEEKEND INTENSIVE IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS • WINTER 2016-17 TBD • $225
Friday, 4-6 pm: Join the Wordy Girls for wine, appetizers, and a craft talk that will prime you for a weekend of writing.    

Saturday, 9 am-12 noon: Memoir That Matters: How to Get to the Story Behind The Story with Suzanne Roberts
Have you always wanted to tell your story but worried that no one would want to hear it? We all have stories that matter, and this workshop will help you shape the details of your life into a story that will connect to readers. We will look at how to get to the real story, the story behind the story, the narrative that matters not just to you, but to a greater audience. The workshop will include writing exercises, a craft discussion, and helpful tips to help you write your memoir and find your readers.

Saturday, 1-4 pm: Breaking into Travel and Food Writing with Ann Marie Brown
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a travel or food writer? Maybe you already write your own travel or food blog and you’d like to take the next step and get paid for your byline. This class will teach you how to make your work attractive to magazine, newspaper, and web editors, including how to focus your topic, how to find and write timely “news hook” stories, how to locate the right publication and audience for your story, how to write a pitch letter, and how to negotiate fees and contracts. 

Sunday, 9 am-12 noon: Preparing Your Work for Publication with Kim Wyatt
You've written a novel or have an idea for a non-fiction book. What next? In this session, you'll learn the steps necessary to get a manuscript noticed by a publisher, and how to avoid the most common mistakes when writing your query or preparing your proposal or manuscript. We'll also discuss the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. 

Sunday, 1-4 pm: Take a Walk with the Wordy Girls
Unwind with the Wordy Girls under a canopy of massive palm trees at the Coachella Valley Preserve. Bring a pen and a notebook. As we walk, we'll offer up a few writing prompts to see what words the desert scenery inspires. This easy nature walk is suitable for all levels of hikers.  

$225 for all sessions and Friday night event, or $75 per workshop.


WORDY GIRLS WEEKEND IN THE WILD WEST

A THREE-DAY TRAVEL & ADVENTURE WRITING WORKSHOP IN VIRGINIA CITY, NV • JUNE 9-11 • $350
Friday, June 9: Join the Wordy Girls for wine, appetizers, and a craft talk that will prime you for a weekend of writing.    

Saturday, June 10                                                                                                                                                

Food Writing: Everyone likes to eat, and almost everyone likes to read about eating. The genre of food and beverage writing includes everything from wine reviews and recipe collections to chef profiles and how-to pieces. The market for culinary writing includes memoir, essay, historical fiction, nonfiction, and of course, snarky restaurant reviews. Whether your tastes run toward gourmet or gourmand, there’s an audience out there waiting to devour your words. Come read and write about food with us—snacks will be served! 

Writing Travel Essays: A close cousin to memoir writing, travel essay writing is a way to explore "place" from a first-person point of view.

Writing Travel & Adventure Stories That Sell: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a freelance travel writer? Maybe you already write your own travel blog and you’d like to take the next step and get paid for your byline. This class will teach you how to make your work attractive to magazine, newspaper, and web editors, including how to focus your topic, how to find and write timely “news hook” stories, how to locate the right publication and audience for your story, how to write a pitch letter, and how to negotiate fees and contracts. 

Sunday, June 11: Individual consultations with independent press publisher.


Past and Future Classes

Turning Your Trips into Tales
Do you want to travel the world and tell stories about it? Join award-winning authors Suzanne Robert and Ann Marie Brown for a four-week travel writing workshop. In this workshop, we will discuss the basics of writing travel and adventure essays, including crafting your work for an audience and publishing opportunities.

Getting to the Story Behind the Story: Writing a Memoir that Matters
Have you always wanted to tell your story but worried that no one would want to hear it? We all have stories that matter, and this workshop will help you shape the details of your life into a story that will connect to readers. We will look at how to get to the real story, the story behind the story, the narrative that matters not just to you, but to a greater audience. The workshop will include writing exercises, a craft discussion, and helpful tips to help you write your memoir and find your readers.

How to Develop a Committed Writing Practice
Explore the blocks that keep you from writing what and when you want, and learn how to build a fortress around your writing time that will keep life’s other demands at bay. We’ll discuss how to counter critical inner and outer voices—the ones that say that writing is selfish and that our families or jobs are more important. We’ll learn how to break through self-imposed barriers, how to write when we’re feeling tired or uninspired, and how to establish a daily writing routine

Novel Beginnings: How to Start Your Novel
Why do we quit reading some novels before page 3, and what literary magic makes us say, “I couldn’t put down that book”? We’ll read the beginnings of several novels and examine the question of how those first pages engage us, intrigue us, and set us up for the story ahead. We’ll look at how writers introduce their characters, initiate plots, and establish tension. We’ll consider what makes us care, or not care, about the people and predicaments we encounter at the start of a novel.

Breaking into Freelancing
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a freelance writer? Maybe you already write your own blog and you’d like to take the next step and get paid for your byline. This class will teach you how to make your work attractive to magazine, newspaper, and web editors, including how to focus your topic, how to find and write timely “news hook” stories, how to locate the right publication and audience for your story, how to write a pitch letter, and how to negotiate fees and contracts.

Fine-Tuning: Editing for Style
The revision process is where the most important work of writing gets done—the polishing that makes for miraculously shining sentences. But few of us excel at self-editing mostly because we’ve never learned the basics of fine-tuning our words—deciding what to embellish and what to pare down. The good news is that you don’t need to perform literary somersaults to create elegant prose. This class will teach you the easy-to-learn rules of diction, rhythm, emphasis, sentence variation, word choice and positioning.

Hike and Write
Both walking and writing are a journey and adventure into the unexpected. Writers from William Wordsworth to Ernest Hemingway to Henry David Thoreau have extolled the virtues of meandering in nature as a way to spark the subconscious, and modern psychology has proved that walking outdoors lays the groundwork for dream-like reflection and creative thinking. This class consists of a meditative hike and a guided writing session. Come walk with us, let your mind relax, and see what secrets your imagination will reveal.

How to Submit Your Work
Are you hoping to publish your work but aren’t sure where to get started? This workshop—taught by published writers and editors—will provide you with the basics for magazine and literary journal submissions, as well as what to do (and not to do) in agent queries and book proposals.

Successful Self-Publishing
Thinking about self-publishing, but not sure it's for you? In this workshop, we’ll cover the the pros and cons of self-publishing; how to design your book; how to market and promote your book; details of book production and distribution; and common mistakes to avoid.

Developing Compelling Characters
When we think of the books that we’ve read and loved, we often remember their characters as if they were our friends or family members. As writers, how do we create the type of characters who seem real enough to live and breathe? In this class, we’ll move past the physical appearance, speech, and mannerisms of characters to examine the way writers create “real people” by revealing their beliefs, attitudes, worries, wants, and desires—even those that are unknown to the characters themselves.

Establishing Setting: Building Your Story World
Setting is one of the most critical elements of any story, and it’s much more than just a depiction of physical place. A well-conceived setting gives writers and readers a road map, a context in which to ground the characters and the action, and it offers critical physical, emotional, and societal details—without seeming obtrusive or affected. We’ll examine how writers integrate a vivid sense of place and time into their stories to create a textured, authentic world.

Reading Like a Writer
One of the best ways to become a better writer is to become a better reader. We will look closely at texts from a variety of writers and find out how to borrow from their plot structures, points of view, and narrative voice, style, and tone. By learning how to deconstruct stories from a writer’s perspective, you’ll be able to apply the tools and techniques of the masters to your own work.

Writing Fiction from Your Life
This fiction writing workshop will explore ways to incorporate autobiographical elements into our fiction writing. By using our lives, or what we know, as a starting point for writing fiction, we will better be able to lie our way to the truth.

Writing Humor
This workshop will explore the use of humor in writing, including exaggeration and understatement, the right specifics, tone and irony, surprise, and the disruption of decorum. There is a fine line between the humorous and the silly, and we’ll try to strike the right balance of funny and serious in our writing. We will study the humor in funny stories, essays, and poems, as well as trying to add humor into our own work.

Your Narrator as Character in Memoir
You know yourself, but does your reader know you? How do you convey yourself as a character in your work? This workshop will provide helpful tips and techniques to a make a character out of yourself in both personal essays and memoir.
        
Creative Writing Sampler
In this workshop, we will play with three genres: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, exploring the relationship between the genres and learning how they work together to convey your story.

Editing and Grammar Brush-Up
This workshop will help you get your prose into tip-top shape. Learn how to use make your writing more active, eliminate redundancy and wordiness, and make your language flow. We will also talk about how to use grammar and punctuation to effectively tell your story.

Beyond POV: The Art of Perspective
One of the most important, but often the most difficult, elements of fiction and poetry is the effective use of point of view. In this workshop, we will play with perspective and narrative distance to make your poems and stories the best that they can be.

So You Want to Be a Writer?
When you tell someone you’re a writer, do you feel like an imposter? Have you always wanted to be a writer but find yourself unable to say the words: I am a writer? Are you frustrated because you don’t have time to write? If so, this workshop if for you. This workshop will cover the writing life, motivation and writer’s block, and how to own your writer self.

Memoir Boot Camp
Have you always wanted to tell your story? When you talk about your life, do people say you should write a book? Are you already writing your memoir, hoping to submit it for publication? No matter where you are in the writing process, this workshop will offer you support and guidance in getting to the heart of your story and writing a memoir that matters both to you and your future readers.

Look Who’s Talking! Using Effective Dialogue
One of the most important components in good writing is the use of believable dialogue. In this workshop, learn how to use dialogue to reveal character and drive your story forward.

Generative Workshop for Prose Writers
As T.S. Eliot said, good writers borrow but great writers steal. In this workshop, learn how to steal from the masters to get started in your own writing and find your voice.