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RBWG Online Tutorials for Young Writers, Summer 2013

Each online tutorial offers a unique chance for young writers to work individually with a publishing and award-winning novelist, poet, or short-story writer who will serve as both teacher and mentor, guiding the student, through a series of readings, exercises and assignments in  poetry or fiction.

Each assignment (emailed weekly) will focus on a key element of fiction or poetry writing--the development of character, the power of line breaks, the elements of plot, the role of sensory language--while also challenging the writer to explore and experiment with these elements in his or her own work.  Students will receive extensive individualized feedback on their work along with clear suggestions for revision. Cost: $350

Session I: June 17-August 5  or  Session II: July 8- August 26. (The sessions are exactly the same--only the dates differ.)

Elements of Fiction ~ Maribeth Fischer

Students in this tutorial will write either two short stories or begin a novel (their choice), and in the process will learn:

  • how to develop fully-realized and non-stereotypical characters.
  • what makes a compelling plot
  • how a story’s setting is the key to everything else 
  • how to write dynamic scenes
  • when to use flashbacks and flash-forwards
  • when to “show and when to “tell”
  • When to slow the action, when to speed up

More about Maribeth

Elements of Poetry ~ Ethan Joella or Gail Comorat

Students in this tutorial will create a packet of six to eight poems and in the process will learn:

  • what makes a piece of writing a poem
  • how to compress ordinary sentences into poetry lines and use precise language
  • what makes a line
  • how to break a line
  • how to show emotion and memory without summarizing or telling
  • how to write in different poetic forms (prose poems, free verse, haiku)
  • how concrete imagery and metaphor can be used to engage the senses
  • why verbs and nouns work better in poetry than adverbs and adjectives

 More about Gail and Ethan



Gail Braune Comorat has had poems published in Adanna, Grist, Gargoyle, and numerous anthologies. She received a 2011 fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts as an emerging writer in poetry, and was the winner of the 2012 Artsmith Literary Award for her poem "Summer of Ladybugs." Gail taught in private schools for over 20 years. She is currently is co-leader of “Experiments in Poetry” with Ethan Joella. She lives in Lewes, Delaware.

Ethan Joella is an English and creative writing professor who writes poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in Best New Writing 2008, Berkeley Fiction Review (forthcoming), Cicada (forthcoming), The American, SNReview, The Collagist, and The International Fiction Review. Ethan is currently co-leader of “Experiments in Poetry” with Gail Comorat. He lives in Pennsylvania and Delaware with his wife and daughters


Maribeth Fischer, who founded the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild in 2005,  is the author of two novels,  The Language of Goodbye (Dutton 2001), and  The Life You Longed For (Simon & Schuster, 2007), which sold in five countries. Maribeth received an individual artist award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 1992, and a Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship for an Established Fiction Writer in 2009.  The recipient of a Pushcart Prize for her essay, “Stillborn,” she continues to write and publish literary essays, most recently in The Yale Review (winter 2013). Maribeth  has taught fiction and nonfiction at the undergraduate and graduate level for over 15 years, She currently lives in Delaware, where she serves as executive director  and teaches classes for the RBWG.

The online writing tutorial is a great way for young writers to experience the real world back-and-forth process that authors typically have with their editors/agents. Each week students will be emailed detailed assignments and readings that will inspire and instruct as they write


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