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“Novel Essentials” Class Package

January 22 2022 10:00 AM - February 19 2022 1:00 PM CST

$196.00 – $436.00

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$196 for members

$436 for nonmembers

Are you ready to finally write that novel you can’t stop thinking about?

From getting started to hooking your readers to crafting compelling scenes to creating characters that will help drive your story forward, this class package has got you covered as you get ready to embark on the novel writing journey. You’ll walk away from these four classes better equipped to finally write that novel you’ve been thinking about from beginning to end.

Everyone who purchases the package will also be invited to an exclusive class package meet-up.

Before purchasing, be sure to check the dates. As always, there are no refunds on classes.

Each class can be purchased individually by clicking on the class title.

Can’t make it to every class? No worries! All registrants will have access to the class recordings for the duration of the package, plus an additional month.

“How to Begin: Embarking On Your Novel’s Journey” with Natalia Sylvester

Saturday, January 22, 2022, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CST

Wondering how to start—and sustain—the journey of writing a novel so that you actually finish?

Depending on the type of writer you are, beginning a novel is either the most daunting part of the process or the easiest. But whether you are fueled by a shiny new idea or feel overwhelmed by those first blank pages, starting your story is a thrilling step full of possibilities. In this workshop, we’ll focus on the role beginnings play in your story’s present and future. They’re unique in that they must capture a reader’s imagination while also laying groundwork for the rest of the story. With a mixture of lecture and in-class exercises, we’ll explore different ways to start a narrative and how to plant the seeds of character and plot in ways that will sustain you as a writer from the beginning to the end of the story.

Natalia Sylvester is the award-winning author of several novels for adults and young adults. CHASING THE SUN was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad and EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME won an International Latino Book Award and the 2018 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. Natalia’s debut YA novel, RUNNING, was a 2020 Junior Library Guild Selection, and her next novel for young adults, BREATHE AND COUNT BACK FROM TEN, is forthcoming in May 2022 from Clarion Books/HarperCollins. A MALETA FULL OF TREASURES, Natalia’s first picture book (illustrated by Juana Medina), will be published by Dial Books in 2024. Natalia’s non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, and McSweeney’s Publishing. Her essays have been anthologized in collections such as A MAP IS ONLY ONE STORY and A MEASURE OF BELONGING: WRITERS OF COLOR ON THE NEW AMERICAN SOUTH. Born in Lima, Peru, Natalia came to the US at age four and grew up in Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami, was a 2021 Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and was formerly a faculty member at the Mile-High MFA program at Regis University.

“Setting the Hook: Capturing Your Readers” with Gabino Iglesias

Saturday, January 29, 2022, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CST

Learn what to do—and what not to do—to ensure you quickly capture your readers’ attention.

A novel must compete with every other element of modern life. From responsibilities and significant others to Netflix and other books, our writing has to fight for attention, and that requires a strong start that gets readers hooked and makes them want to keep reading. In this class, we’ll discuss various types of openings as well as how to use you inciting incident, characters development, atmosphere, and pacing to make readers fall in love with your story.

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, editor, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of Coyote Songs, Zero Saints, and Gutmouth. He is the book reviews editor at PANK Magazine, the TV/film editor at Entropy Magazine, and a columnist for LitReactor and CLASH Media. His nonfiction has appeared in places like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the LA Times, El Nuevo Día, and other venues. The stuff that’s made up has been published in places like Red Fez, Flash Fiction Offensive, Drunk Monkeys, Bizarro Central, Paragraph Line, Divergent Magazine, Cease, Cows, and many horror, crime, surrealist, and bizarro anthologies. When not writing or reading, he has worked as a dog whisperer, witty communications professor, and ballerina assassin. His reviews are published in places like NPR, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Criminal Element, The Rumpus, Heavy Feather Review, Atticus Review, Entropy, HorrorTalk, Necessary Fiction, Crimespree, and other print and online venues. He teaches at SNHU’s MFA program. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias.

“Crafting a Vivid Scene from Beginning to End” with Chaitali Sen

Saturday, February 5, 2022, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CST

A scene can be simply defined as characters doing something in a particular place at a particular time. Vivid scenes allow the reader to live in the world of your story, forge a deep connection with your characters, and become so enthralled with the action they can’t wait to turn the page. In short, well-crafted scenes make your work memorable.

In this class for writers of fiction, we will analyze a few complete scenes from literature and use the same elements to craft our own scenes from beginning to end. We’ll discuss how to enter and stage a scene, how to introduce conflict and create tension, how to lengthen a scene so that we can do more with less, how to make the scene come alive on the page, and how to exit a scene on the right note. We will also have a chance to discuss our struggles with writing good scenes and brainstorm ideas to get past our blocks. The goal is to go home with a draft of a scene that can become an anchor for crafting more scenes.

Chaitali Sen is the author of the novel The Pathless Sky and numerous short stories and essays published in Ecotone, Shenandoah, New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, Electric Literature, LitHub, Los Angeles Review of Books, Catapult, and many other publications. Her story, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” received a special mention in the 2019 Best American Short Stories anthology. Kirkus Reviews called Sen’s debut novel The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions, 2015) “a searingly vivid portrayal of the depths of human emotions-from the first glow of young love to the deeper strength of middle-aged commitment. A poignant and sophisticated work couched in lyrical, effervescent prose.” The novel was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Best First Fiction, and included on Idra Novey’s Buzzfeed list “10 Books That Challenge Our Political Landscape by Inventing New Ones,” Library Journal’s “Top Fall Indie Fiction,” and Mic.com’s “25 Essential Reads to Make Women’s History Last Longer than a Month.” She lives in Austin, Texas.


“Creating Authentic Characters in Narrative Fiction” with John Pipkin

Saturday, February 19, 2022, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CST

Learn how to use your characters to drive your plot forward.

In this class, you will learn how to establish and develop compelling characters that will help to push your story forward. The choices that your characters make are what makes your plot come alive, but to know what kind of choices your characters will make, you need to understand the lives of your characters both on the page and off the page. This class will present strategies for creating characters that have rich and authentic selves, and we will make use of writing prompts and writing exercises to help you get to know your characters better.

John Pipkin’s first novel, Woodsburner, was published to national acclaim by Doubleday in 2009. Woodsburner won the New York Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Massachusetts Center for the Book Novel Prize, and the Texas Institute of Letters Stephen Turner Prize for First Novel. His novel The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter was published by Bloomsbury in 2016.  John has been a Dobie Paisano Fellow at UT-Austin and a fellow at the MacDowell Artist’s Colony in New Hampshire. John teaches at UT-Austin and in the Low-residency MFA Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY.

Instructors

Natalia Sylvester is the award-winning author of several novels for adults and young adults. CHASING THE SUN was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad and EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME won an International Latino Book Award and the 2018 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. Natalia's debut YA novel, RUNNING, was a 2020 Junior Library Guild Selection, and her next novel for young adults, BREATHE AND COUNT BACK FROM TEN, is forthcoming in May 2022 from Clarion Books/HarperCollins. A MALETA FULL OF TREASURES, Natalia's first picture book (illustrated by Juana Medina), will be published by Dial Books in 2024. Natalia's non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, and McSweeney's Publishing. Her essays have been anthologized in collections such as A MAP IS ONLY ONE STORY and A MEASURE OF BELONGING: WRITERS OF COLOR ON THE NEW AMERICAN SOUTH. Born in Lima, Peru, Natalia came to the US at age four and grew up in Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami, was a 2021 Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and was formerly a faculty member at the Mile-High MFA program at Regis University.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, editor, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of Coyote SongsZero Saints, and Gutmouth. He is the book reviews editor at PANK Magazine, the TV/film editor at Entropy Magazine, and a columnist for LitReactor and CLASH Media. His nonfiction has appeared in places like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the LA TimesEl Nuevo Día, and other venues. The stuff that's made up has been published in places like Red FezFlash Fiction OffensiveDrunk MonkeysBizarro CentralParagraph LineDivergent MagazineCease, Cows, and many horror, crime, surrealist, and bizarro anthologies. When not writing or reading, he has worked as a dog whisperer, witty communications professor, and ballerina assassin. His reviews are published in places like NPRVol. 1 BrooklynCriminal ElementThe RumpusHeavy Feather ReviewAtticus ReviewEntropyHorrorTalkNecessary FictionCrimespree, and other print and online venues. He teaches at SNHU's MFA program. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias.
Chaitali Sen is the author of the novel The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions, 2015) and short stories and essays which have appeared in Boulevard, Colorado Review, Ecotone, LitHub, Los Angeles Review of Books, New England Review, Shenandoah, and other publications. Her story collection A New Race of Men from Heaven was selected by Danielle Evans as the winner of the 2021 Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction and is forthcoming from Sarabande Books in January 2023. The Pathless Sky was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Best First Fiction, and included on Idra Novey’s Buzzfeed list “10 Books That Challenge Our Political Landscape by Inventing New Ones,” Library Journal’s “Top Fall Indie Fiction,” and Mic.com’s “25 Essential Reads to Make Women’s History Last Longer than a Month.” She holds an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College and lives in Smithville, Texas.
John Pipkin is the Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas-Austin and also teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Spalding University. Originally from Baltimore, he holds a Ph.D. in 19th-century British Literature and is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels: Woodsburner (Nan A Talese/Doubleday 2009) which won the New York Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter (Bloomsbury 2016). He has received fellowships to MacDowell, Yaddo, Dobie-Paisano, and the Gullkistan Center for Creativity in Iceland. He is also the recipient of the 2021 Harry Ransom Award for Excellence in Teaching at UT-Austin.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.

HOW WLT CLASSES WORK:

Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email WLT Program Director Sam Babiak at sam@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.

HOW ONLINE CLASSES WORK:

Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform several hours before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.

Details

Start:
January 22 2022 10:00 AM CST
End:
February 19 2022 1:00 PM CST
Cost:
$196.00 – $436.00
Event Categories:
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Venue

Online via Zoom