FALL 2018 CLASSES & SEMINARS

All Writing Workshops Detroit instructors are professional writers, teachers and editors, and many have taught at major universities and attended top MFA programs across the country. Our instructors are dedicated teachers who have a passion for the craft of writing. All of us believe in community, mentorship, in-depth feedback, and finding a readership beyond the workshop table.

We love our award-winning instructors, but we’re most proud of our Student Testimonials, which speak to the quality of our classes and the dedication our instructors demonstrate as mentors. We offer classes that accommodate every schedule, skill level, and budget and they’re inclusive and intentionally small.

All returning writers receive a discount on course offerings.

CLICK ON A LINK BELOW TO NAVIGATE TO THE GENRE COURSE OFFERING OF YOUR CHOICE:

SEMINARS | FICTION | NONFICTION | POETRY | SCREENWRITING | ONLINE CLASSES

SEMINARS

Turbo-Powered Narratives: A Master Class

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 1:00PM TO 4:00PM

1 SPOT OPEN

Good writing shares a common element regardless of genre: powerful storytelling. This three-hour class will explore the critical elements of storytelling, and look at examples of story arc in poetry, fairytales, micro fiction and even jokes! Participants will learn how to deploy language to take readers on a journey, whether writing poetry, essays or short stories. The class will be generative and experimental, no need to bring in previous work. Perfect for those who are stuck in their writing and looking for new inspiration, or for new writers who don’t know how to get started. 

Instructor Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, former attorney and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist. Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother (Wayne State University Press, 2016), is a 2017 Michigan Notable Book that has won numerous awards, including the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Cooper’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, Callaloo, Hypertext Review, Best African American Fiction 2010 and This is the Place, among other online and print publications. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. She is currently a Kimbilio Fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers.  

Fee: $55 or $40 for former/current students

  • Desiree Cooper, Presenter

  • Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 1:00PM to 4:00PM

  • Seminar meets at Bamboo Detroit at 1420 Washington Blvd #301, Detroit, MI 48226

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

Marketing Your Book to Indie Bookstores

Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

ENROLLING NOW

Did you know that self-publishing your book through CreateSpace virtually guarantees it will not be picked up by indie bookstores or even Barnes & Noble; or that bookstore buyers do most of their work in the early spring and late summer, reviewing thousands of books from hundreds of publishers? In this seminar, we will look at the process for getting a book into your local independent bookstore. Indie bookstores are responsible for the successes of major bestsellers like The DaVinci Code and even Harry Potter. Having a cadre of independent booksellers handselling your book could put you on the path to being a bestselling author. But the process can be daunting. We’ll look at how most independent bookstores make decisions around what to carry in their stores, what typical policy is with regard to self-publisher books, and how to work within the bookstore’s policies to get your book on their shelve.

Instructor Lori Tucker-Sullivan holds an MFA from Spalding University with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction. Her essays have appeared or been anthologized in The Washington Post, The Sun, Now and Then: The Journal of Appalachia, The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook, Red State Blues, and other publications. Her essay “Detroit, 2015,” about her decision to return to Detroit after the death of her husband, appeared in Midwestern Gothic and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and honored as a Notable Essay of 2015 in Best American Essays, 2016. She spent eighteen years as the Executive Director of the Independent Booksellers Consortium, a group of large indie bookstores around the country. As such, she has a breadth of experience working with booksellers, publishers, and authors as they market and sell books.  

Fee: $55 or $40 for former/current students

  • Lori Tucker-Sullivan, Presenter

  • Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at Bamboo Detroit at 1420 Washington Blvd #301, Detroit, MI 48226

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

This Must Be the Place: Developing Setting in Fiction

Sunday, December 9, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

ENROLLING NOW

James Joyce said of Ulysses, "I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book." Whether you’re writing short stories set in contemporary Detroit or a historical novel set in 17th Century France, this three-hour class will help you build vividly-realized settings—the essential air your characters breathe.  There will be time for writing exercises, discussion of reading selections, and brief in-class workshopping. Participants are encouraged to bring their own short stories or extracts from their novels-in-progress. In this seminar we’ll explore:

  • The ways setting informs character and plot

  • Establishing time and place through authentic and surprising details

  • Interior and exterior landscapes

Instructor Kelsey Ronan holds an MFA in creative writing from Purdue University and is the former writer-in-residence of the Hub City Writers Project. She grew up in Flint, Michigan and lives in Detroit. Her stories and essays have appeared in many magazines and literary journals, including Michigan Quarterly Review, New Ohio ReviewUtne ReaderKenyon ReviewBelt MagazineIndiana Review, and others. Her essay on the Flint Water Crisis, "Blood and Water," was honored as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2017, and she was the winner of New Ohio Review's 2018 Nonfiction Contest, judged by Roxane Gay. She recently completed a collection of linked short stories set in Flint, and is working on a memoir.

Fee: $55 or $40 for former/current students

  • Kelsey Ronan, Presenter

  • Sunday, December 9, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at Bamboo Detroit at 1420 Washington Blvd #301, Detroit, MI 48226

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

Writing Poetry like Hemingway Might Have

Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 5:30PM

ENROLLING NOW

Simple language. Vivid details, selected carefully. Focused subject matter treated in a way that brings in any reader. While Ernest Hemingway may be known for his fiction, his exquisite, unique style is a great tool to inspire compelling poems that connect with readers in their crafty simplicity. This seminar will walk us through how to write like Hemingway in the poetry genre, using key excerpts of some of his most celebrated works to inspire new poems that leap off the page. Join poet Lynne Golodner, who claims Hemingway as her favorite author (despite his controversial misogyny), for the unique voice, tailored word choice, and simplicity that elevates his work and draws in readers in the most unlikely of ways.

Instructor Lynne Meredith Golodner is an award-winning author and entrepreneur with thousands of articles and eight books, including The Flavors of Faith: Holy Breads (2013). Her public relations and business messaging development firm, Your People provides strategic storytelling, relationship-building and higher purpose as the keys to success. In 2016, Lynne formed One Earth Writing, a 501c3 public charity that uses writing to build confidence in teens while connecting them with peers from different races, religions and socioeconomic origins. A Fulbright Specialist, Lynne is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Goddard College. Find her online at lynnegolodner.com.  

Fee: $55 or $40 for former/current students

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

Dare to Dream: Set Your Writing Goals for 2019!

Sunday, January 13, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

ENROLLING NOW

So you have a goal to write more. To finish your thing. And you want to do it this year. You're sick of waiting, daydreaming, thinking about the story in the laboratory of your mind. Maybe it is a short story, maybe a novel, maybe a screenplay. Maybe even your memoir! Or: you might not have a clue what you want to do exactly, but you do know more than anything that you want to try. You want to get to THE END and survive the draft. To do that, you'll need to START. Even if you don't know where to start, this seminar is for you. We'll come up with a road map forward in 2019 just for you. So, if you want to:

  • Figure out your writing goals for 2019

  • Set your goals

  • Receive a tailored plan to achieve those goals

Come jump-start your writing in 2019 with this amazing seminar and walk away with a solid plan for the year! 

Instructor Lynne Meredith Golodner is an award-winning author and entrepreneur with thousands of articles and eight books, including The Flavors of Faith: Holy Breads (2013). Her public relations and business messaging development firm, Your People provides strategic storytelling, relationship-building and higher purpose as the keys to success. In 2016, Lynne formed One Earth Writing, a 501c3 public charity that uses writing to build confidence in teens while connecting them with peers from different races, religions and socioeconomic origins. A Fulbright Specialist, Lynne is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Goddard College. Find her online at lynnegolodner.com.  

Fee: $55 or $40 for former/current students

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

FICTION

8-WEEK MIXED LEVELS FICTION WRITING

Next Class Starts Mid-January, 2019

JOIN THE LIST OF INTERESTED STUDENTS HERE

Anyone who’s had a literary crush knows the power of a well-crafted character to beguile, frustrate, and perplex. As writers, we tend to be observers with rich inner lives, and we’re naturally drawn to psychologically complex characters. Done skillfully, characters’ vulnerabilities and obsessions drive the plot forward and make things happen. Done with a heavier hand, character development halts forward motion and turns a story into a case study.

If you’re a beginning or intermediate fiction writer who creates complex, poetic, richly textured characters but struggles to keep them occupied, this workshop is for you. Instructor and inveterate armchair psychoanalyst T.M. De Vos will help you balance character development with plot so your collection of beautiful souls can move out into the world.

We’ll use Josip Novakovich’s Fiction Writers’ Workshop as a lens for exploration as well as a source of prompts and re-imaginings. Each writer will have two opportunities to workshop up to 25 pages and receive typed commentary from the instructor and peers.

NOTE: Students must purchase a copy of Fiction Writers’ Workshop by Josip Novakovich as a foundational text for the course.

Instructor T.M. De Vos has taught at the University of Michigan, New York University, and in the New York City public school system. She holds an MFA from New York University and a Hopwood Award from the University of Michigan, and is currently inching toward a PhD at Wayne State University. De Vos is the recipient of fellowships by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, Murphy Writing Seminars, Summer Literary Seminars, and Cullman Center for Teachers at the New York Public Library. Her short story, 'The Wrong Sort of Woman,' received the 2018 Paper Darts Short Fiction Award, judged by Carmen Maria Machado. She is currently wrapping up Face Control, her first novel.

Fee: $425 for new students; $400 for returning students.

  • T.M. De Vos, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • NEXT CLASS WILL START MID-JANUARY, 2019

  • Class meets at Bamboo Detroit at 1420 Washington Blvd #301, Detroit, MI 48226

JOIN THE LIST OF INTERESTED STUDENTS BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW. Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

NON-FICTION

8-WEEK INTRODUCTION TO THE PERSONAL ESSAY

Next Class Starts Mid-January, 2019

JOIN THE LIST OF INTERESTED STUDENTS HERE

In his memoir, Haruki Murakami writes, “The fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets.”  But how do we craft our unique experiences into a compelling narrative? In this class, we’ll explore the personal essay as a way to tell our own stories. We’ll explore the essay as a form, with selections from The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, and explore topics such as characterization, crafting scenes, and developing voice. Along the way, we’ll try out many generative exercises to trigger memory.

Each week, we will discuss the assigned readings and each other’s work. Students will have two opportunities to have their work critique, and they will receive written feedback from the instructor as well as their classmates. No prior creative writing study or workshop experience is required, but courage is highly recommended. 

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr.

Instructor Kelsey Ronan holds an MFA in creative writing from Purdue University and is the former writer-in-residence of the Hub City Writers Project. She grew up in Flint, Michigan and lives in Detroit. Her stories and essays have appeared in many magazines and literary journals, including Michigan Quarterly Review, New Ohio ReviewUtne ReaderKenyon ReviewBelt MagazineIndiana Review, and others. Her essay on the Flint Water Crisis, "Blood and Water," was honored as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2017, and she was the winner of New Ohio Review's 2018 Nonfiction Contest, judged by Roxane Gay. She recently completed a collection of linked short stories set in Flint, and is working on a memoir.

Fee: $425 for new students; $400 for returning students.

  • Kelsey Ronan, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • NEXT CLASS WILL START MID-JANUARY, 2019

  • Class meets at Bamboo Detroit at 1420 Washington Blvd #301, Detroit, MI 48226

JOIN THE LIST OF INTERESTED STUDENTS BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW. Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

8-WEEK FORM & STRUCTURE IN PERSONAL ESSAY

Next Class Starts Mid-January, 2019

JOIN THE LIST OF INTERESTED STUDENTS HERE

For the writer of personal essays, especially memoir-based or longer works, there is a great temptation to write chronologically. However, many of the best works don’t follow a straight timeline structure. How can essay writers begin to experiment with different ways of structuring their writing? The essayist and nature writer Barry Lopez said that he sees structure in his writing as the scaffolding on which he can hang his ideas. Once the scaffolding is solid, it frees him to suspend his writing within the structure of the scaffold. John McPhee similarly visualizes the structure of his works, and has said they appear to him as circles, spirals or V's.

In this eight-week class, students will analyze examples of structure as used in a selection of essays and how those structures allow the essays to be more effective. We will look at approaches like braiding disparate subjects, moving back-and-forth through time, or circling around it, considering one topic from multiple perspectives, or tying together seemingly unconnected topics to write about a broader subject. Students will have the opportunity to brainstorm various structures for essay topics they’re considering. Each student will have the ability to present twice in workshop and will receive written critique from the instructor and fellow students. 

NOTE: Students are required to purchase Writing Life Stories: How To Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays And Life Into Literature 2nd Edition, by Bill Roorbach. A PDF of selected essays will also be distributed before the beginning of class .

Instructor Lori Tucker-Sullivan   holds an MFA from Spalding University with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction. Her essays have appeared or been anthologized in The Washington Post, The Sun, Now and Then: The Journal of Appalachia, The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook, Red State Blues, and other publications. Her essay “Detroit, 2015,” about her decision to return to Detroit after the death of her husband, appeared in Midwestern Gothic and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. It was honored as a Notable Essay of 2015 in Best American Essays, 2016. She has taught writing and speaking classes at Wayne State, Oakland University, and Jackson College.

Fee: $425 for new students; $400 for returning students.

  • Lori Tucker-Sullivan, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • NEXT CLASS WILL START MID-JANUARY, 2019

  • Class meets at Bamboo Detroit at 1420 Washington Blvd #301, Detroit, MI 48226

JOIN THE LIST OF INTERESTED STUDENTS BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW. Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

SCREENWRITING

8-WEEK INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING

Class Begins Monday, October 15th, 2018

ENROLLING NOW

In this 8-week course for screenwriting novices, the student will receive a comprehensive overview of the basics of screenwriting, and will leave the class with the skills needed to confidently begin the process of outlining and writing an original screenplay. Primarily lecture-based, each week we will cover/review topics that the student will have read about in the assigned readings.

Topics include but are not limited to: screenplay structure, technical formatting of screenplays, the differences between TV and feature film scripts, single cam vs. multi cam screenplays, and the top 10 deadly sins to avoid when writing a screenplay. You'll round out the course by analyzing one screenplay and two pilot episodes. In our final time together, the instructor will lead a demonstration on how to use Final Draft, the industry standard screenplay writing software. 

Instructor Ted Houser is a screenwriter and independent filmmaker. After working in Hollywood where he developed scripted projects for The Hallmark Channel and Lifetime, Houser moved to Detroit to focus on independent filmmaking. His films have played in film festivals around the country. He is an active member of the Detroit filmmaking community, and sits on the board of DAFT (Digital Arts, Film & Television) and the Detroit Film Society, where he served as the founding Director from 2016 to 2018. Houser has taught dozens of writers through the screenwriting groups of the Detroit Film Society, and is passionate about helping local filmmakers turn their ideas into finished films. In 2018, he co-founded the Short Film Block Party, a quarterly film festival dedicated to screening locally made work.

Fee: $425 for new students; $400 for returning students.

  • Ted Houser, Instructor

  • Enrollment limit: 8 students

  • Meets Mondays 6:30PM to 8:30PM / October 15, 2018 to December 10, 2018 (NOTE: Class does not meet the week of Thanksgiving)

  • Class meets at Bamboo Detroit at 1420 Washington Blvd #301, Detroit, MI 48226

Register for 8-Week Intro to Screenwriting using the button below. Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.

POETRY

CLASSES FORTHCOMING

Contact us using the button below to know when new Poetry classes will be offered.