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RBWG Classes, Fall, 2014

If there is a class that you are interested in, but do not see listed, please email Maribeth, for we’ll try to consider your wants in future choices about what to offer. We are also taking a hiatus from the online classes for the fall so that we can better focus on the in-person classes, but this isn’t set in stone--if there is something you want and you don’t see it, email fischer.maribeth@gmail.com

Because we are committed to keeping our classes small and because we can only continue to do this if participants commit to and pay for all classes, we ask that you pay for the full class amount up front.  If you are interested in a class and cannot pay for it up front, just send Maribeth an email and we’ll work out a payment plan.  The classes are not yet listed on our PayPal page but will be shortly. .Click here for more information about RBWG class policies.

Scroll down to read more about classes being offered.

Registration and Payment

To register for any class, email contactus@rehobothbeachwritersguild.com to specify which class you are interested in. Maribeth will respond to you by email within 2 days. Click on this link to pay using Pay Pal: http://rehobothwriters.com/rbwg-classes

Note: Before signing up for a class on Pay Pal, please register first with Maribeth at fisher.maribeth@gmail.com to make sure that the class is running (at times we do not have enough participants to make the class work) or is not already filled. Maribeth will respond to you within a day. 


FOOD WRITING ~ Ethan Joella (3 sessions)
Thursdays, October 9, 16, and 23; 5:45-8:00 pm
Locations: TBA
Cost: RBWG members $135; Non RBWG members $150

It is no accident that writers have done terrific things with food (think A Moveable Feast, The Joy Luck Club, The Hungry Ear). Food appeals to the senses and is tied to nostalgia. Food can be a symbol and a metaphor, and food can produce striking images and strong characterization. Add in the many opportunities for setting that restaurants and bars provide, and the writing possibilities are endless. Whether you write fiction, memoir, or poetry, come and learn the art of food writing. We’ll be meeting at three different locations (tentatively two restaurants and one bar) for this class. We’ll order appetizers and drinks and do some writing exercises that involve the food you’re eating and the food you’ve eaten. We’ll also look at some example works that convey food and atmosphere.  After each class, you’ll have a short assignment to complete, and through the three weeks, you can either expand this into a longer project or complete several short pieces.  Bring your appetite. Class is limited to eight participants. 

THE ART of MEMOIR ~ Fay Jacobs (6 sessions)
Thursdays, 10:30-12:30, October 30, November 6, 13, 20 and December 4, 11,
Location: Bay Coast Realty (behind Walgreens on Rt. 1--near super G.
Cost RBWG members $270; Non-RBWG members $300

This is a class for those who have a true story they want to tell, but are struggling with how to tell it--how do writers decide what to include, what not to include, how much to tell, what is fair to tell? Through specific writing assignments that help writers break their story into manageable chunks, writers in this class will learn to focus their memoir on what is essential while also honing the editing and descriptive writing skills crucial to all good writing. And it’s Fay Jacobs--so they’ll have fun doing it!

WRITING ABOUT FAMILY ~ Danielle Ariano (3 sessions)
Sundays, October 19, 27 and November 2, 1-3 pm
Rehoboth Location TBA
Cost RBWG members $135; Non RBWG members $150

So often in memoir, we are writing about our families, which means that we’re also negotiating all kinds of issues: What is our story and what is their story? What are the ethics of writing about family--do we give them  a chance to read it, to comment on it? And how do we balance presenting family members and also presenting ourselves, keeping in mind that even the horrible, terrible family members have redeeming qualities or moments and that characters must be revealed to the reader in all their complexity. In this workshop, participants will begin by bringing to the first class the start--just the start--of  some piece of writing about a family member, then work to develop it--while also considering the above issues--into a  polished literary essay.  

THE ART OF THE HUMOROUS ESSAY ~ Fay Jacobs (1 session)
Saturday November 1, 10:30 - 12:30, Location TBA (but easy-to-get-to Rehoboth location)
Cost: RBWG members $45; non-RBWG members $55

The ability to be funny in writing, to tell a story so that readers actually laugh out loud, is not, as many think, something that “writers either have the gift for or they don’t.”  Even the most serious writer can learn how to find the comic twist to a story, and in this class, humorist and author of four--yes, four!--books of humorous essays, Fay Jacobs, will share some of the many tricks and techniques that she uses to move from a serious draft to a humorous essay.



Gail Comorat/Ethan Joella (6 sessions)
Saturdays, 10:30-12:30: 9/20, 10/4, 10/18*, 11/8, 11/22 and 12/6
Lutheran Church of Our Savior (behind big fish Grille)
RBWG members $300; Non-RBWG Members $340

If there were no poetry on any day in the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be intolerable hunger.  —Muriel Rukeyser

This class is for both new and experienced poetry writers. After the successful first and second sessions of this class, we'll continue to use The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (second edition, edited by Michael Simms) as we study new poets not yet covered. We’ll focus on two poets each week and learn about them as we discuss how each uses such techniques as style, line length, and theme. Then, using this knowledge,
This class will meet on six Saturdays in fall, and it will be wrapped up with in-person meetings in early December. An online revision session will be built in so you can take the feedback you've gotten from the instructors and classmates to work on some rewrites.
* class on 10/18 will be scheduled at a different time or might even meet on 10/19 this will be arranged with the students in the class...

More about Gail
More About Ethan

MEMOIR AS POETRY ~ Gail Comorat (5 sessions)
Mondays  10:30 -12:30
Sept. 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, and 20
Location: TBA (Rehoboth location/easy parking
RBWG Member $225 Non RBWG $250

A writer is like a tuning fork: We respond when were struck by something  ~Roxana Robinson
If you have a story, it can become a poem. Memoir doesn’t always have to be told as prose. Think about how Joan Wickersham broke her father’s death into small bits to be able to write about him in The Suicide Index. In this class, we’ll look at the themes we keep choosing and search for other ways to present them. We’ll write poems that illuminate moments rather than spotlight them. We’ll learn that sometimes we have to let go of detail and allow instinct to take over. 
Often the most difficult part of writing memoir is deciding what to include. What if there was a way to condense our vast experiences into smaller more powerful segments and arrange those segments—like photos in an album—side by side so only the most compelling, powerful images remain? Poetry as Memoir aims to do just this. To help us, we’ll look at poems that use fragments to tell difficult stories and poems that allow other speakers to provide details. We’ll talk about voice as we look at poets who write from their own realities. We’ll look at example poems that narrate the stories of others. 

You need no experience in writing either poetry or memoir for this class. You need only a story. We’ll take it from there.

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October 4, 10:00-12:30 Location: Luthern Church (behind Big Fish Grille)
RBWG members $70; Non-RBWG members $80

Publishing a book takes more than just good writing. You also need market savvy, professionalism, and drive. In this 2.5-hour workshop, veteran editor Katherine Pickett offers the inside scoop on how you can improve your market savvy and craft a manuscript that catches the eye of readers and publishers. You’ll learn why you should prepare a book proposal before you write and how to avoid the most common mistakes new authors make. You’ll also get practical advice on how to research your competition, define your target audience, and solidify your marketing hook. A guided discussion at the end will help you formulate and organize your marketing plan.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from an insider and find out what it really takes to achieve publishing success.  (Katherine Pickett is the owner of POP Editorial Services, LLC (www.POPediting.net) and the author of Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro (www.HopOnPublishing.com).  

THE MAGIC OF 300 ~ Paul Dyer (3 sessions)
Wednesdays, 10:30-12:30, October 1, 8, 15
Location: Bay Coast Realty (behind Walgreens on Rt. 1--near super G.
Cost RBWG members $135; Non RBWG members $150

Have you presented a piece at a RBWG reading? Did you struggle to find the words to cut to get to the magic limit of 300? Have you been interested in reading, but didn’t think you could get your poem, story or thoughts across in so few words? 300 word veteran, Paul Dyer, thinks you can do it. The challenge will be to go from idea to a reading-ready 300 words in three sessions, with the ultimate goal of presenting at the October RBWG reading (if you feel you’re ready).

ESSENTIALS OF CREATIVE WRITING ~Maribeth Fischer (8 sessions)
Mondays 5:30-7:30,  September 15, 22, 29 (NO CLASS Oct. 6) Oct. 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3 and 10
Rehoboth Beach Library, RBWG Members: $360 Non-RBWG members $400

This is a class for both beginning writers and those who, although they may have written creatively for a long time, want to review the fundamental techniques and skills that can make writing both easier to write--and more compelling to read.  Each week we’ll explore a key aspect of creative writing (prose) doing brief exercises in class that will allow participants to better understand the techniques and how to apply them in their own work. We’ll  look at how to create three-dimensional characters who “seem to breathe on the page” (yes, there are specific techniques and rules that help writers to do this), we’ll discuss how to create compelling plots and what constitutes plot (in both fiction and nonfiction), discuss point of view, look at how and when to write flashbacks--or flash forwards; review the essential ingredients of good dialogue, when and how to use setting effectively and much much more. 

Participants will be given a short assignment each week (and if the writer is currently working on a project--novel, story, memoir or essay--these assignments can be used to develop the writing of that specific project)  and Maribeth will offer individual feedback, but this is not a workshop and participants will not be critiquing one another’s work

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EXPERIMENTS in CREATIVE WRITING II ~ Maribeth Fischer (8 sessions)
*You don’t need to have taken Experiments 1
Tuesday mornings 10:30 - 12:30, Sept, 9, 16, 23, 30, October 14, 21, 28 and Nov. 4 (no class Oct. 7)
Location: Bay Coast Realty (behind Walgreens on Rt. 1--near super G.

You know you want to write something--but you aren’t sure what to write. OR you’ve started that memoir, that novel, that story and keep getting stuck, though you aren’t sure why...  Numerous RBWG writers have used the “experiments” in this class to tell their memoir in a new way, to jump start their novel, or simply to take a leap and try something they’ve never done before.  And numerous RBWG writers--many for the first time ever--have ended up with published pieces from these exercises.

In this eight week course, we will experiment with various creative structures and techniques—a different one each week—any one of which could be the jumping off point into a more polished piece of writing. Examples of things we will explore: a “collage” story or essay; a story or essay that uses repeating first lines in each paragraph or section; a story or essay comprised entirely of dialogue,  another called the “jigsaw essay, made up of bits and pieces of story, research, etc. that when put together creates a whole. Along the way, we’ll study examples of great short stories and essays that use the structures and techniques we are trying to imitate, and we’ll experiment as well with unique methods of description, the use of the long long sentence, effective use of fragments, and more. Participants will be invited to complete a short assignment each week and will receive personalized feedback from Maribeth on every assignment.

When I teach fiction I often start a workshop with one of my favorite exercises called Two Truths and a Lie. I tell my students to write the first paragraph of a short story. The first sentence of the paragraph must be true (My sister has brown hair.), the second sentence must be true (Her name is Lisa.), but the third sentence must be a lie (Yesterday she went to prison.). What I forgot when conceiving of this book is that it’s the lie that brings the story to life, makes it hum. The lie is the steering wheel, the gearshift and the engine. The lie takes your two true sentences and makes a left turn off road and straight into the woods. It slams the story into fifth gear and guns it. - Maribeth

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