"I'm having a blast--I've learned so much thus far! I was telling a friend of mine about the bonding aspect of this group, and she asked me how I could tell that was happening. When I explained about the enthusiasm, the encouragement, the respectful tone of the critiques...the reaching out to one another, she was amazed. I'm a believer now and plan on additional classes after this one."

 -- Pam S., student of Fiction 101 workshop

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Writing Fiction 101

Facilitator:  Amy Cipolla Barnes

Workshop Syllabus

You want to be a fiction writer, and you don't know where to start. Or perhaps you've been submitting stories with little success and want to improve your writing skills. This workshop was designed for you--the beginning writer. 

You'll need to have a complete short story or novel chapter of 2000 words or less for the first day of our workshop. Over the course of twelve weeks, we will study the craft intensively--from setting to scene to character to voice. You will complete assignments, and revise your story or chapter as you go. By week ten, you will have a vastly improved piece of fiction which we will then critique and prepare to market.

Our workshop philosophy is that students learn through the critique of other student's writing. If you are not prepared to read and share your thoughts on your fellow students' writing, this workshop is not for you. But if you're ready to work hard and dedicate yourself to learning the craft, we want you to join us. Are you ready to take the first step?

Week 1:  Setting: Evoking a Vivid Sense of Place and Time
Week 2:  Creating Characters
Week 3:  Plot: Strategies of Organization and Structure
Week 4:  Point of View
Week 5:  Dialog and Scene
Week 6:  Learn to Critique/Critique Workshop
Week 7:  Description and Style/Critique Workshop
Week 8:  Your Character/Story Concept/Critique Workshop
Week 9:  Conflict & Tension/Critique Workshop
Week 10:  Writing Tight: From Rough Draft to Finished Story
Week 11:  Revise Your Story
Week 12:  Marketing Your Writing/Wrapping Up

By the end of this course, students will understand the basic requirements for building fiction, including point of view, character development, plot, scene and setting. Students will be able to write and revise a short story or chapter with believable characters and a plot that will keep readers turning pages.

PrerequisiteBasic understanding of sentence structure and grammar. Successful completion of high school English courses. Completion of a short story or novel chapter.

Required Materials: Fiction Writer's Workshop, by Josip Novakovich

IMPORTANT: Students must have a completed short story or novel chapter (2000 words or less) on the first day of class. Please be prepared to submit your short story on the workshop start date!

CLICK HERE to order this book from Amazon.com

About the Facilitator:

Amy Cipolla Barnes
has been involved with Coffeehouse for Writers since 1999 as a moderator and facilitator. In March of 2000 she took a leap of faith and became a full-time freelancer. Her writing interests are diverse and include Southern literature and magical realism.  She has been published in numerous online publications including  www.women.com, www.byroads.com, www.drivethere.com, www.stampville.com, and www.lodging.com.  Print credits include upcoming articles in the Farmer's Almanac and Family Pet Magazine.  Her specialty is travel writing and her first guidebook will be published in early 2002. She has won contests for short stories, longer fiction, and poetry.  Her poetry will appear in an upcoming anthology of women's writing published by Ladybug Press.  A collection of short stories and her first novels are in progress.

Workshop Begins: February 11, 2002
Duration: 12 weeks  
Tuition: $225


To pay by check or money order CLICK HERE
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 Required Text!

This text is required for this workshop. Students should have the text before beginning classes.

Fiction Writer's Workshop
by Josip Novakovich

Consider Fiction Writer's Workshop a challenge. It's not just an ordinary "how to be a writer" book--it's an intelligent  treatise on the craft that provides  thought-provoking advice from a successful author.

Recommended Reading

Books listed below are not required for this workshop, however they are highly recommended by the workshop facilitator.

Movies in the Mind
by Colleen Mariah Rae

This little book is an undiscovered gem. Rae explores "the fictive dream" by relating it to a sort of mind movie the writer must attend, all the while taking some serious notes. Chapters include: Entering The Storymaker's Realm; Fiction's Building Blocks; Participatory Art; Digging The Clay; Whose Story Is It Anyway?; Unlocking Your Story; How To Birth A Story; and There's Always A Critic. Very highly recommended for anyone seeking to improve the quality of their fiction," Movies In The Mind" is further enhanced with a section of Exercise Pages, a Reading List; and a user-friendly index.

On Writing: A Memoir
of the Craf
by Stephen King

Okay, maybe this book isn't quite certain what it wants to be when it grows up. Is it a memoir? An autobiography? A how-to-write reference? We're not sure--we only know we love it. Whatever you want to call it, King has put together an entertaining and enlightening book for writers...one your might even consider reading twice.