• March 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. EST
    Taught by Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, soon to be a movie produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey
    Rebecca Skloot’s best-selling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has a complicated and satisfying structure. Through writing it, Skloot became a master of the art of this important tool that all books need in order to be successful. In this course, Rebecca shares secrets, insights, and direction that writers of narrative works of any genre can incorporate now—whether you’re just starting or already through an entire draft of your book. It’s never too late to give yourself and your project the game-changing gift of a supportive structure. *Please note that Rebecca's course is subject to a possible change of date due to her commitments to Oprah and team around the upcoming HBO film.
  • March 9, 2017 at 7 p.m. EST
    Taught by Aya de Leon, author, professor, slam poet and director of Poetry for the People
    As a busy mom who teaches and is contracted for four Justice Hustlers books in four years, Aya still manages to find time left over to write shorter pieces and work on other novels. But it wasn’t always this way. In both her teaching and in her personal experience, Aya has learned some proven strategies for writing success. In this course, Aya will share for outlining, writing fast drafts, and building a support system to stay productive.
  • March 16, 2017 at 7 p.m. EST
    Taught by Dani Shapiro, bestselling memoirist and novelist chosen by Ariana Huffington to appear at the THRIVE conference
    Often our lives feel like one random event happening after another, and we long to create a shape, a narrative that makes sense of things. This is why we tell stories, after all—whether they’re stories we tell a new friend over a cup of coffee or stories we tell ourselves in the light of retrospect or hindsight. But when we attempt to write memoir, what we are doing is more than shaping our stories to our own satisfaction, we are also shaping our stories so that they will make a larger sense, a universal sense. So that they may reach across time and space and reach a reader who, though she may not have lived the same circumstances, will have that profound feeling of identification and connection. Through a powerful series of exercises and the inspiration and encouragement that Dani Shapiro is widely-known for, students in this course will come away with a sense of direction and clarity about their work—and even their lives.
  • March 23, 2017 at 7 p.m. EST
    Taught by Asra Q. Nomani, author, former Wall Street Journal reporter and contributor to Washington Post, The New York Times and TIME
    Authors pour their heart and soul into books that can run anywhere from 20,000 words to 100,000 words long. As singer Rachel Platten captures, there is a “fight song” in all of us—and that extends to our writing. Wrapped up in this is the passion that has many of us writing for hours on end, for years on end. In this course, participants will learn how to sell key ideas, themes, and to create a “fight song” that will wow the world, connecting them to the headlines of the day, from 900-word opinion pieces to 120-character tweets and hashtag campaigns.
  • March 30, 2017 at 5 p.m. EST
    Taught by Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar, adapted for screen by Ava Duverney (Selma) that was co-produced by Oprah
    Whether it be the gritty streets of 1920s New York’s East Village, Wyoming’s windswept plains, or the vast reaches of Alaska’s Yukon Territory, there’s nothing more satisfying than reading a story that tips us headfirst into another world. In this workshop, Natalie will support students to develop strategies to engage readers more deeply in the invented world of a book. Through readings and prompts, you will be led on a journey to deepen the connection between place and character, tighten the link between place and emotion, and breathe life into your settings. Although this course is geared toward fiction writers, memoirists will benefit from the strategies presented in this course.
  • April 6, 2017 at 7 p.m. EST
    Taught by Regina Brooks, founder of Serendipity Literary Agency, author and faculty at Harvard University, Whidbey Island Writers MFA and more
    In this class, literary agent Regina Brooks offers insider tips and best practices for approaching the process of pitching and selling your book project. In this competitive marketplace, authors need every advantage, and veteran agent Brooks has a few secrets up her sleeve to help authors navigate this process and secure a book deal. This class will cover the pitching and shopping process for fiction and nonfiction writers.
  • April 13, 2017 at 5 p.m. EST
    Taught by Fiona McCrae, publishing veteran and current publisher of Graywolf Press, recipient of the AWP Best Small Press of the Year award in 2015
    Publishers these days tend to favor the familiar and what has worked before. While this can be frustrating for aspiring authors, knowledge is power. In this session, Fiona McCrae, publisher of the award-winning small press Graywolf, will take students on an insider’s tour of the world of small presses. In this climate of consolidation, the Big Five can be a worthwhile but lofty goal, whereas small presses can be uniquely positioned to get attention for new authors, and unfamiliar works of fiction and nonfiction. Fiona will unveil both the opportunities and challenges that come when you publish with a smaller house, sharing a few recent Graywolf success stories and how those stories might help you in your own pursuit of a book deal.