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Taking Control of Your Stories: A Ritual in Writing Resilience 4-Week Zoom Class, Starts Thursday, February 8th, 2024
Regular price
$515.00

Taking Control of Your Stories: A Ritual in Writing Resilience 4-Week Zoom Class, Starts Thursday, February 8th, 2024


Unit price per

Class Starts Thursday, February 8th, 2024

The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Thursdays, 7:00PM EDT - 9:00PM EDT / 5:00PM MST - 7:00PM MST).

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Led by Hillary Leftwich, the author of two books, Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock (Agape Editions, 2023, new edition) and Aura (Future Tense Books and Blackstone Audio Publishing, 2022), with a third collection of experimental/hybrid forms TBA. Her latest work can be found or forthcoming in The Sun, Santa Fe Writers Project, and The Rumpus. Hillary is also certified as a Trauma-informed, Survivor-Centered Advocate through the State of Colorado: Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

Read an Interview with Hillary on Taking Control of Your Stories.

This generative workshop will focus on using the hermit crab, art collage, and braided essays to craft writing in the disguise of familiar forms, which serve as a protective shell for vulnerable writing that can be hard to access.

The hermit crab is a house used to contain the most defenseless of words. The braided essay can weave topics that help buffer harder topics, and the art collage allows more creative play within essays. Participants will learn the techniques to construct their narratives in a way that allows them to control their stories by practicing the following:

  • Creating distance between ourselves and the subject, allowing for objectivity
  • Learning to write in a non-traditional form, releasing the writer from expectations that often come from more traditional writing forms
  • The hermit crab essay offers a disguise from which participants can write from an honest and imperfect position

We’ll read examples from writers Brenda Miller, Dorothy Bendell, Randon Billings Noble, Gwendolyn Wallace, and several others as examples of this form's wide range.

With guidance, participants will choose their own house to build their words while sharing their narratives in a form that encourages vulnerability. Hermit crab essays require a balance of control and lack of control. This form is perfect for applying order to chaos and releasing authority to locate form and voice.

Participants will be able to construct their own hermit crab essays with the goal of creating new words that previously have not been accessible. Each week will focus on learning the different forms of the lyric essay as well as generative writing exercises with space for workshopping. Google Docs will be used for presentation/lecture materials and a shared Google Drive Folder to upload work.

COURSE OUTLINE:

WEEK 1: LYRICAL LOVE & LOUDNESS (YOUR WRITING VOICE WITHIN) We will review the lyric essay form and learn to appreciate what makes it one of the most imaginative and creative writing genres around. We’ll discuss the key elements of a good lyric essay and what traditional forms we need to unlearn as writers before we enter this new world of wonderment.

WEEK 2: BLUEPRINTS & BRAIDS Literary architecture. How does what we want to build look on the page? We will review and learn the techniques of the BRAIDED ESSAY using examples and readings from essayists who use this form as an act of resistance, modeling their techniques to identify braids to use in our own lyric essays – giving voice to those vulnerable writings hiding from the page.

WEEK 3: WHALE FALLS & WONDERMENT What limits have you placed upon yourself—whether you’ve been scared to try something intimidating, or you just weren’t sure of your own writing prowess? What are you afraid to write? We’ll explore the fearless space the elusive and often misunderstood HERMIT CRAB ESSAY embodies and channel the inner animal within us all, releasing our own writing tigers on the page.

WEEK 4: TRUSTING OUR GUTS & GUILE The traditional essay is steeped in transitions and logic—leading the reader (gently) by the hand from one blocky paragraph to the next. The lyric essay is the radical teenager, playing with leaps that connect and are inspired from intuition and form. We’ll explore the use of the ART COLLAGE ESSAY and how to blend/blur/break genres using the lyric essay as the backbone to widen our worlds in experimentation using art, forms, found objects, and more—the possibilities are endless when it comes to the lyric essay and there are no rules!

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

  • Working in multiple modes of expression.
  • Finding nuanced ways to face the blank page and to handle difficult, complex subject matter.
  • Experimenting with organizational strategies.

SELECTED COURSE TEXTS:

Course texts will be provided by Hillary as PDFs or Google shared docs from craft books and anthologies, including Brenda Miller, Dorothy Bendell, Randon Billings Noble, Gwendolyn Wallace, and several others.

TESTIMONIALS:

"This course was very useful to my manuscript project, and I appreciate the resources that Hillary used and shared about this memoir methodology." -Former Student

"The writing prompts helped to silence my inner critic. The number of different types of prompts helped to get different types of writing. I also loved the encouragement to share without judgment." -Former Student

"The in-class writing prompts were great." -Former Student

"Hillary was warm and gracious, the creative flash prompts were fantastic, and the sample pieces were great." -Former Student

"Loved the teacher, Hillary, and the class!" -Former Student

"The reading lists Hillary shared were most helpful. I got a wealth of information from the research she has done into this form." -Former Student

"I thought Hillary's feedback was great, and she provided a supportive space for all participants. Her homework questions, in particular, always seemed to be spot on, and this was a seminar where I feel my writing actually advanced." -Former Student

ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:

This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!

PAYMENT OPTIONS:
You can pay for the course in full or use Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Hillary Leftwich
  • Class Starts Thursday, February 8th, 2024
  • The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Thursdays, 7:00PM EDT - 9:00PM EDT / 5:00PM MST - 7:00PM MST).

Instructor Hillary Leftwich is the author of two books, Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock (Agape Editions, 2023, new edition) and Aura (Future Tense Books and Blackstone Audio Publishing, 2022), with a third collection of experimental/hybrid forms TBA. She owns Alchemy Author Services and Writing Workshop and teaches creative writing at several universities and colleges along with Lighthouse Writers, a local nonprofit for adults and youth. She teaches Tarot and Tarot writing workshops focusing on strengthening divination abilities and writing. Her latest work can be found or forthcoming in The Sun, Santa Fe Writers Project, and The Rumpus.