Webinar Library


Creating a (quirky) narrator/character in memoir and essay

Instructor: Kimberly Crum


In his essay, "On the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character, Phillip Lopate says, "You need to be able to see yourself from the ceiling: to know, for instance, how you are coming across in social situations, and to assess accurately when you are charming, and when you seem pushy, mousy, or ridiculous." Your job as writer is to make yourself believable—neither a hero not a victim. 


This video conference workshop will provide the resources, practice and craft tools to re-create yourself as a major (quirky) character in your true story. As part of this workshop, the instructor will provide a follow-up critique for each participant.



Introduction to Writing the Lyric Essay

Instructor: Amy Miller


Lyric essays offer the writer freedom to play with structure and language, much like a poet. Together we will explore the many styles that lyric essays take, observing along the way the use and importance of imagery and motif, repetition and lists, blank space and word placement. We will investigate the why's and how's of lyrical nonfiction with examples from AshleyRose Sullivan, Jonathan Lethem, Nancy McCabe, Crystal Wilkinson, and more. You will leave this webinar with an assignment and an opportunity to share your work on the LLA blog.



Creating fictional characters from real life

Instructor: Katy Yocom


Where do the best fictional characters come from? If they're authentic creations, they likely contain elements drawn from the writer's friends and relations, observations of others--even a bit of the writer herself. But it can be tricky to create a fictional version of Mom or Dad, your first love, or your mean big sister. Creating a fully fleshed-out fictional character is much more than just an attempt at transferring our impressions of a real person to the page. In this webinar, we'll explore how you can draw on real life and then transform it to create fresh, complex fictional characters. 



Bigger Than They Appear: How to Write Very Short Poems

Instructor: Katerina Stoykova


This workshop will focus on the tools and the faces of tiny poems ranging from five to 50 words. We will study and enjoy numerous examples as well as take the time to write our own short poems. Writing very short poems requires a particular way of thinking and by the end of the session we will have tuned in to that way of thinking.



Writing in Distracting Times:

Strategies to Boost Your Word Count

Instructor: Andrew Shaffer

We've all been there: you sit down at your computer, determined to bang out a chapter or finish drafting a short story...and the next thing you know, four hours have passed, and all you have are a couple of paragraphs. Where did the time go? Facebook...news sites...teacup pig videos on YouTube. The list of distractions is endless. In this class, students will be introduced to the various productivity strategies used by some of the world’s most prolific authors, such as Stephen King and Nora Roberts. Andrew Shaffer—who wrote his first published novel in just ten days—will discuss timed writing sprints, word count goals, productivity apps, and other ways to maximize the time you spend at your keyboard.



Docu-poetics: Putting the Past to Work in Your Poems

Instructor: Lynnell Edwards

Do you hear voices in your poem? Do landscapes of the past rise up in your stanzas? Are the maps and legends from forgotten places limning the line breaks? If so, then you are in the country of docu-poetics, a creative space where artifacts of the past can fuel our poetry. In this webinar we’ll explore examples of contemporary poetry shaped by the urgencies to document the lost voices, landscapes, and events of a particular past. We’ll touch on issues of voice and verisimilitude as well as our responsibilities to our understanding of history and our complicity in it.


We’ll conclude with a brief generative exercise based on an artifact of your choosing, so please come prepared with an artifact that resonates for you with a particular recent or distant historical past. The artifact should be something that is publicly accessible not a personal memento or correspondence. Some example artifacts include:

  • A newspaper account of an historical event.

  • A published diary or memoir. 

  • Posters, paintings, or photographs that document an historical event.  

  • Memorial statuary, such as a war memorial. 

  • Maps and architectural plans. 

  • Legal documents like treaties, contracts, or certificates of birth/death/marriage.



Teri's Play Date: How To Write a 10 Minute Play

Instructor: Teri Foltz

In this webinar, you will learn about the structure of the Ten Minute Play by analyzing one of instructor Teri Foltz's most popular short plays. You will also have time to brainstorm ideas for short plays through writing exercises and discover submission opportunities.



The Poems of Our Dreams and Daydreams

Instructor: Katerina Stoykova

In this webinar we will explore the dream quality in poems based on dreams. We will discuss ways to get started recording dreams and best practices in using the raw material in poetry. I believe poets are dreamers and visionaries and daydreaming could be an integral part of our process. We will talk about the poets' abilities to stay connected to real and imagined worlds and to capture "visions" onto the page. We will go over a series of brilliant examples, then write our own dream poems as a class exercise.  



Embracing Multitudes: On Imagination + Imagery in Poetry

Instructor: Ashley Taylor

“We think in both images and words, and since words are imaginary enactments (the word ‘tree’ is not a tree), thinking and imagining are one.” —Mary Ruefle, On Imagination

Images—built with sensory details—immerse readers into the experience of our poems and stories. This one-hour webinar is open to any writer interested in learning more about imagery and how poets use sensory details to create specific images that saturate and echo throughout their work. We will talk about what an image is, how we experience images as readers, and how to build and echo an image in our own writing. We will learn how to move from cliché expressions to specific experiences, and how to balance abstract concepts (such as joy, time, memory, identity, etc.) with concrete details. Poetry is an attempt to express the inexpressible, to name the unnamable, and the image is one of the most significant building blocks for our creative writing.


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