Blog

ONLINE: Short Story Fiction Writing

July 12, 2022

Explore short story fiction writing by studying narrative craft elements like story, plot, character, scene, structure, archetypal patterns and dialogue. We’ll examine professionally published pieces and your own work. By the end of the course, you’ll be ready to begin a story based on a word or an idea. You’ll also understand how to evaluate […]

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ONLINE: The Tough Stuff: Healing Through Writing

July 12, 2022

This class is for the conversations that still need to happen. We’ll talk about the barriers that keep us from writing what we need to write. We’ll also examine works by Chanel Miller, Jeannette Walls, and Layli Long Soldier to take lessons from the ways in which they make difficult topics easier to access. Students […]

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ONSITE: Humor in Memoir

July 12, 2022

Whether you're an adherent of David Sedaris and Patricia Lockwood, or just a total goof-around whackadoodle, this class will take you through a step-by-step process of drafting and refining a humorous tale in prose form.

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ONSITE: Introduction to Prose Storytelling

July 12, 2022

Whether you are interested in getting started telling your story in memoir, fiction, or some twisted combination of the two, this generative workshop will serve as a gentle and fun way to push yourself creatively. Through prompts, mini-lectures, readings, supportive discussion, and maybe even prestidigitation, students will work towards realizing their prose visions.

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ONSITE: Advanced Poetry Workshop

July 12, 2022

Have you taken poetry workshops at VisArts? Do you feel ready to deepen your craft? Work with other experienced writers to study, learn new forms and critique your classmates' work.

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ONSITE: Writing the Shadow

July 12, 2022

Explore the dark self, what Carl Jung called the “shadow” part of our psyche. Sometimes we see it in our dreams, sometimes it appears in dark imaginings. We’ll learn what the shadow can add to our creative writing by experimenting with timed writing, dream journals, guided imagery and Active Imagination.

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ONSITE: Unpacking Humanity Through Spoken-Word

July 12, 2022

The art of expressing joy, pain, triumph, or tragedy by painting pictures with words.  This series journeys the human experience through the lens of poetry as performance art. Richmond's first poet Laureate,  Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems unpacks captivating poetry slam performances and guides participants to create dynamic pieces of their own. 

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ONSITE: Writing the Memoir

July 12, 2022

Thomas Larson writes that “memoir is most successful when it is not the ‘story of a life,’ but a focused part of that life—a dozen summers spent working on a grandfather’s farm, a long relationship with a dying relative, the first year of law school.” You’ll work with writing prompts and timed writing exercises, and […]

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ONLINE: Freewriting Intensive: All Genres

July 12, 2022

Calling all poets, fiction and nonfiction writers! Are you looking for new ways into the work? Are you curious about using craft to challenge your instincts and skill set? In this two-day intensive, we dismiss genre distinctions and experiment with a series of vigorous craft exercises that seek to push us outside the bounds of […]

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ONSITE: Sharpening your Craft: Writing Short Fiction

July 12, 2022

Take a deep dive into the craft of writing fiction. With a particular focus on short fiction, this class will explore key craft elements such as characterization, setting, tone, conflict, and structure through discussion and generative writing exercises. This is a craft and generative writing class, not a workshop. However, the instructor will offer each […]

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ONSITE: The Creative Spark

July 12, 2022

Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about el duende, “the goblin wind,” that can breathe the creative spark into fire. The goal of this creative writing class is to fan your ideas and inspirations into flame. We’ll use timed writing, dream journals, guided imagery, Active Imagination, and anything else we can think of to get in touch […]

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ONSITE: Poems, Prose + Pictures

July 12, 2022

Explore the relationship between words and pictures in a collaborative setting. We’ll use a wide range of visual images (including, but not limited to: photographs, paintings, postcards, and comics) to prompt new creative writing, in the style and genre of your choosing.

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ONLINE: Writing Home

July 12, 2022

What does it mean to write about home? We’ll examine the many kinds of homes that exist, ranging from houses to nations to the body itself. Our conversation will take us from the Grimms’ Fairytale “Hansel and Gretel” to the present day as we write about our changing relationships with home in the time of […]

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ONSITE: Freewriting Intensive: Creative Nonfiction

July 12, 2022

Are you curious about translating real-life events onto the page? Do you have personal stories that seem like they could work together holistically? Are you a consummate journaler who wants to experiment with craft? In this two-day intensive, we break down specific craft elements (structure, characterization, time management, etc), and then use what we’ve learned […]

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ONSITE: Summoning Ghosts + Writing Their Stories

July 12, 2022

What do ghosts and the things that haunt us tell us about ourselves and our society? In this class, we will take a deep dive into writing and reading ghost stories, all while learning more about key craft elements such as character, setting, theme, and conflict. By the end of the 4 weeks, every student […]

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ONSITE: Screenwriting

July 12, 2022

Experiment with or continue developing screenwriting for film through exercises and workshops. Students will work towards completing a short screenplay or TV pilot ready for production or begin/continue working on a feature length screenplay. This class is suitable for writers of any level and can be repeated.

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ONSITE: Freewriting Intensive: Fiction

July 12, 2022

Do you have story ideas but don’t know where to start? Are you wondering what to do with those completed story drafts that need revision? Or, maybe you’re a first-time writer looking for a way into the work? In this two-day intensive, we break down specific craft elements (POV, time management, characterization, etc), and then […]

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ONSITE: Haunted Poems

July 12, 2022

Dickinson once wrote that "Nature is a haunted house–but Art–is a house that tries to be haunted." Come explore some poems that make space for ghosts, monsters, and other such spooky creatures, and write some haunted poems of your own.

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ONSITE: Storytelling in Comics

July 12, 2022

Explore the artistry and mechanics of comics by reading and discussing contemporary works and completing guided exercises to create our own pieces. Learn how text and image collaborate to tell a story that is greater than the sum of its parts. We will work on fast and fearless in-class exercises to stretch our minds and eventually […]

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ONLINE: Submitting Writing to Literary Journals

July 12, 2022

Sending writing to literary journals can be an intimidating process. In this two-hour class, we'll take a step-by-step tour through the world of journal submissions. Learn directly from Samantha Steiner, MFA, who has served as an editor for Lumina Journal and Breadcrumbs Magazine and has had over 40 works of writing published including fiction, nonfiction, […]

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ONSITE: Our Whole Black Selves

July 12, 2022

Whole Black Self is a one-day workshop using the poem “Whole Black Self” from Kristina Hamlett's book of poetry and prose “She Lives Here” to examine the challenges and joys of living as a Black person in this country, especially in the wake of COVID-19 and the rise of social justice advocacy. There will be […]

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ONSITE: Intermediate Poetry Workshop

July 12, 2022

This workshop is for students who have some experience writing poetry and are looking to dig deeper into their writing practice. In this poetry workshop, we'll read published poems (written by contemporary and historical poets), and we'll use this work to inspire our own creative writing work. We'll write poems, and we'll spend time discussing […]

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ONLINE: Short Story Fiction Writing

April 15, 2022

Explore short story fiction writing by studying narrative craft elements like story, plot, character, scene, structure, archetypal patterns and dialogue. We’ll examine professionally published pieces and your own work. By the end of the course, you’ll be ready to begin a story based on a word or an idea. You’ll also understand how to evaluate […]

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