Ask Me Anything: Esther

Using my Ask Me Anything page, Esther wrote:

I notice that you will be teaching Creative Writing Course (6/12-16) at UGA this summer. My daughter (13 yrs old) is an avid reader (especially mythology and science fiction) and burgeoning writer. She wants more writing opportunity this summer so your course may be a wonderful fit. Could you tell me a little bit more about the course in terms of instruction time (time duration, morning, afternoon?), any homework/writing assignment of the course, and anything else that may be relevant? Thank You

Thanks for your interest Esther! The UGA Creative Writing Courses are one of the highlights of my year. I love teaching creative writing. You can learn more about the program in general here. There’s a residential program, where the students attend classes, enjoy activities around campus, and stay overnight in the dorms, there’s an extended day program, where the students come in the morning, go to my class, and then participate in different activities around UGA’s campus before going home, and there’s a class only option, where the students are dropped off before class and picked up after.

No matter which option you choose, the class is the heart of the program. Students spend all day working with myself and another very talented author, Elizabeth Sadler, to hone their craft. There are several creative writing camp options, but the one offered the week you specified is our introductory class, plot and structure. I teach the content of this class to adults and students alike, and my adult writers are always blown away by how incredibly helpful it is. That’s not to toot my own horn, it’s very much the techniques themselves, because I had the exact same experience when I learned them. Completely focused and enhanced my writing.

Here’s the camp description:

Have you ever wanted to write a story or novel but had no idea where to begin? Using the Snowflake Method and applying the 3-Act Structure, we will transform our ideas into finished, publishable work! Join us for a week of creative writing as we hone our craft as writers through lessons on refining ideas, creating a scene and setting, writing dialogue, describing actions, and creating cohesive texts. We will combine hands-on activities to develop details, workshops with fellow writers, and time to write every day! By week’s end, you will have everything you need to take your story from idea to finished product!

I’ve written several blogs on the snowflake method if you wanted to preview what we’ll be learning. I really wish I’d had a camp like this when I was thirteen. I’d have far fewer trunk novels.

We also collect feedback at the end of every day to see what specific questions students have for their projects, and we adjust the next day’s lessons to make sure we cover that. So if a student wants to focus more on, say, dialogue, we would make room for that. The course changes depending on the needs of the students.

I hope that answers your questions. Feel free to send me an email if you’d like to know anything more specific.

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