Five Saturdays, Nov. 14-Dec. 19 (skip 11/28), 2-4:30 p.m. San Francisco
$185 members/$215 others
Have you always wanted to write about your crazy family? What about an accident that changed the course of your life? A discovery that changed your perception of the past? A mysterious neighbor whose comings and goings excite your imagination? If you know you want to write, but you don’t know where to start, this is your class. “By the end of class,” says Jenny Pritchett, “you’ll walk away with a rough draft of a personal essay.
“With the help of in-class writing exercises and discussions, we’ll bring your theme into focus; you may not be able to cover your entire family saga in 800 words, but you can write a funny, sad, poignant essay about the Christmas Eve your uncle got drunk and set in motion an irreparable series of events that affects your family to this day.
“We’ll expand your stories to get every last detail on the table, and through group work help each other unpack our memory suitcases. Finally, we’ll look at a series of effective published essays, examine the nuts and bolts of how they were put together, and discuss why–or why not–an essay pierces us to the core.”
Jenny Pritchett holds a degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University and an MFA in creative writing from SFSU. She has published personal essays on Salon.com and in the San Francisco Weekly, Northwestern, Girlfriends, Bitch, and XY magazines. The former managing editor of Fourteen Hills, she has taught or lectured at SFSU, California College of the Arts, and Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. Her debut story collection, At or Near the Surface (Fourteen Hills Press), won the 2008 Michael Rubin Chapbook Award.
Submit Your Work! - Get it off your computer, off your desk, & into print! Sunday, Nov. 8th, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. San Francisco
$55 members/$65 others
“When you truly believe a story or poem is finished—the best it can be–it’s time to introduce it to the world,” says writer and editor Jenny Pritchett. In this info-packed class, Jenny will tell you what you need to know about submitting your work to literary journals and contests, and applying for residency programs.
You’ll get the goods on what editors are looking for, and the basics of submitting: which journals publish new writers and which are a waste of your time, the truth about guidelines, why editors hate staples, and how to write a cover letter (and more importantly, how not to). You’ll discuss the merits of contests and what you get (and what you don’t), and how to identify–and budget for–contests and residency programs. Finally, you’ll talk about how to keep track of your submissions, and what you need to know about contracts (for when the inevitable happens!) and First North American Serial Rights.
Jenny Pritchett is a long-time advocate of sending out your work! She’s seen it from both sides: As the managing editor of Fourteen Hills, she published a few stories (and rejected thousands). As a writer she’s published her own stories in prominent literary journals and an anthology, and won a chapbook award, which led to the publication of her first book, “At or Near the Surface”. She has been awarded two fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and another from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. The first step to every success was sticking a story in an envelope and dropping it in the mail. Jenny will proudly display her pile of rejection letters from literary journals, contests, and MFA programs.
Think you want to write, but not sure where to start? “Good news,” says Jenny Pritchett, “it’s all about you!” In this fun, fast-paced class for beginners, you’ll use your own experiences and observations – your unique movement through the world – as jumping-off points to investigate all types of writing: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir, humor, essays and more. “We’ll address the intersection of reality and imagination,” says Jenny, “with a little reading, weekly writing exercises, handouts and discussion to get your pens (and brains!) flexing.
“We’ll play with basic elements of craft, such as concrete detail — is it a car, or a 1968 Buick Skylark? We’ll learn how to see more clearly with our eyes closed — and then stamp our imaginary visions onto paper. And we’ll explore the fundamental questions of all creative writing: What is story? What is conflict? What is voice? And, most importantly, What is my voice?”
Jenny Pritchett holds a degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern and an MFA in creative writing from SFSU. The former managing editor of Fourteen Hills, she has taught or lectured at SFSU, California College of the Arts, and Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. Her debut story collection, At or Near the Surface (Fourteen Hills Press), won the 2008 Michael Rubin Chapbook Award. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Southwest Review, Northwest Review, Boulevard, Salt Hill, Fiction Attic, Best of the Web 2008 and elsewhere. In January 2008 she was a writer-in-residence at the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois, where she will return in April 2009 to complete work on her novel.