Courses

Choose your genre from among the following four course offerings. Once you have decided on the workshop that is right for you, head over to the registration page to register for the class.

WICE Owl

The Essentials Of Screenplay Writing with Writer-In-Residence Judith Merians

Course Description: Learn what makes a screenplay work and how a film hooks an audience. The workshop will study story, structure, developing a captivating theme, character creation, dialogue and subtext, plot and subplots, visual story telling techniques, scene development, conflict creation and resolution. The participants will view scenes of a film and study the related scenes in the underlying screenplay to analyze the script writing essentials. Further the participants will also study how all the non-written creative elements such as music, costuming, set décor, casting, color palette, and locations contribute to the story telling and marry into in a harmonious totality. The workshop members will participate in writing exercises to build these essential screenwriting skills and will critique each other’s work. Time permitting, the instructor will discuss the screenplay in the marketplace including agents, readers, submissions procedures, marketability, targeting buyers.

Requirements: Submit either a step-outline of a screenplay or a three act story outline by May 31, 2014.

A step-outline of about 12-20 pages simply and clearly describes what happens in each scene, e.g. She opens the door to her apartment pulling her suitcase behind her and finds papers and items strewn on the floor, furniture overturned, and no one home. 

If you are not that far along in the development of your project then you can submit a story in a three act structure:

Act one: The set up setting out who the main character is, where/when the story is located, what s/he wants and what his/her unconscious need is, what/who is standing in his/her way (antagonist), what event sets this story in motion.

Act two: How does the protagonist overcome the ever increasing and more difficult obstacles to satisfy his/her want and what does he/she learn about his/her need, what event happens that leads to the climax.

Act three: How is the problem solved, the want satisfied or not, the issues resolved, and enlightenment gained with respect to the unconscious need.

(e.g. Tootsie - 

Act one: Difficult but talented actor cannot be hired because no one wants to work with him. Dressed and made up as a female he auditions for the part of a woman and gets the role.

Act two: His character becomes hugely popular but he wants to leave the role since he has fallen in love with the leading lady who thinks he is a woman and rejects him while her father proposes marriage to him.

Act three: He finds a way to “come out” in the role, reveal on camera that he is a man, and then pursues the lead actress who initially reviles him then comes around to start a “beautiful friendship” or more.)Notting Hill

Additionally, before the first day of the workshop please watch the film Notting Hill and read the screenplay. Bring the screenplay to the first class and thereafter. The film will be used as a teaching tool.

Visit the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page for additional submission details.

WICE OwlThe Art Of Writing Novella And Short Story With Writer-In-Residence Nahid Rachlin

Course Description: Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced writer, the challenge in this course will be to hone your skills for writing a novella and/or a short story, from brainstorming to writing to editing. This will be done through discussions of character, voice, point of view, structure and other craft elements. We will comment on the pieces you hand-in as well as on in-class writing exercises.

We will study two published short stories, one by William Trevor and another by Alice Munro. We will recall the great novellas like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the Old Man and the Sea, Of Mice and Men and The Third Man. The aim is to get your story to the point that it is as good as it can be.

Requirements: Submit a 15-25 page draft of your work by May 31, 2014. Visit our Manuscript Submission Guidelines page for additional submission details.

WICE OwlThe Art Of Non-Fiction Writing With Writer-In-Residence Eric Freeze

Course Description: For both veteran and beginning writers alike, this workshop will explore the various forms of creative nonfiction: memoir, literary journalism, personal narrative, travel and food writing, and essay writing.  We will pay special attention to shape, finding new ways to infuse your writing with scene, voice, setting, and character.  Besides engaging in exercises designed to jumpstart your work, we will also address issues of ethics, research, and imagination.  How do you overcome the limitations of memory?  Where do you draw the line between invention and fact?  How do you ethically transform experience into story?  This workshop will appeal to people working on a variety of projects, whether you’re writing a memoir, interested in becoming a globe-trotting travel writer, or simply wanting to revel in the sublime discovery of a Montaigne-like essay.

Requirements: Submit a manuscript of 10–25 pages by May 31, 2014. The work can be a stand-alone essay or an excerpt from a larger work. If it is an excerpt, please provide a synopsis to help us understand its place in the book. Visit the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page for additional submission details.

WICE Owl

[FULL] The Art Of Novel Writing With Writer-In-Residence Samantha Chang

Course Description: Every novelist is confronted with the challenge to write a story that will seduce, thrill, and please readers enough that they will be compelled to finish it. In this summer course we will develop ways to make readers fall in love with your book. The discussions will focus on techniques for creating compelling characters, and a gratifying narrative structure. We will discuss successful novels of the past and present, and explore the creative processes involved in writing long works. The workshop is designed for writers who have a full-length project underway.

Requirements: Submit a manuscript of 12-20 pages by May 31, 2014. This excerpt should include a scene involving one of the novel’s main characters. Along with your excerpt, please include a one-page synopsis that contains the following information – a summary of the narrative arc, a description of where the attached pages fit within that framework and a question that you’re currently facing as you contemplate your novel. Visit the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page for additional submission details.