Writers Workshops in the Virtual Valley

Photo of Squaw Valley with clouds clearing. Writers Workshops

Virtual Summer Writing Workshops

Although we miss gathering physically together this summer, we’re excited that the breadth of online options might allow us to come together in ways that are otherwise impossible to imagine. We’ve been hard at work putting together online offerings that allow isolated writers to come together for learning, camaraderie, and inspiration.

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Current Virtual Programs:

Navigate to our Events Page for the full list of online opportunities.

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FICTION FIRST AID 

Private 15-Minute Appointments     $25

Last Friday of each Month in 2020, between 10 am and 2 pm (Pacific)

First-come-first-served: appointments are limited.

Quick fifteen-minute consultations will be offered on Zoom with some of our finest writer-teachers. Come with a question. Or come with a page. Having a thorny problem with a story? Worried about the end of your novel? Do you have issues about the writing life? This is the place to get fresh insight. The focus of your session is up to you

Come with a question: Issues about dialogue, prose style, characterization? Come to the session prepared with a question or more than one! The time is yours. 

Or come with a page: Need help with dialogue or prose style? Submit one page, double spaced (limit 250 words), and a staff member will respond to what’s on the page and beyond.

Once you register, we immediately respond via email to confirm your placement and appointment time.
Click on the link to view who will be teaching this session.
More Details

The Film Adaptation Seminar for Writers

A special seminar led by screenwriter, Laura Harrington.

Dates: August 17 – 21, 2020
Capacity 20
Tuition: $350.00
Hours of Instruction/Discussion1 15
Seminar  9:00 AM – Noon (Pacific) M – F
Add-on Individual Conference 1 hr: $100

Led by Laura Harrington, well known screenwriter, actor and teacher.  This five-day program will focus on character development, story structure, and adapting a piece of prose (story, novel, memoir or nonfiction) into a screenplay. Please read the full Seminar Description below.

In addition to the three-hour daily group seminar, we are offering opportunities for Individual Conferences (for a $100 fee) based on a submitted brief work sample and synopsis. Participants can sign up for this now, or later, once you have met and worked with Laura.

Seminar Description

This workshop will consist of five three-hour online seminars. The focus will be on story structure, character development, scene creation, and uses of dialogue; the crucial elements of screenwriting, which will help lay the groundwork for your future book, screenplay, or series adaptation.

Even if you don’t plan on adapting your novel into a dramatic work, learning the skills vital to a screenwriter—writing visually vivid and emotional scenes; creating structure that invisibly marries plot to character development; revealing character through action; advancing connected themes; creating organic twists; creating a sense of urgency; creating a sensory, memorable world with the kinds tensions that reveal character — are useful skills for every writer

No application necessary. Simply register. Please include a one-page synopsis of your story, novel, memoir or nonfiction manuscript.
Deadline to Register: August 8
Register Now

Open Workshop

A special workshop led by Sands Hall.

Sands Hall leads the Open Workshop, which provides opportunity for alums to share their writing with their peers.  The Open Workshop is a Writers Workshops favorite. This summer and fall, we are offering an online version of this spontaneous, productive and fun workshop.

Instead of the usual “you come and take your chances,” each participant is guaranteed at least two opportunities to read their work. 

 Six 75-minute sessions: $90

Bring up to 350 words of prose, one poem, or a song (lyrics required).  

Participation is on a firstcomefirstserved basis.

Minimum eight participants. Maximum twenty. Selections are made on a lottery system, but all participants will get to read.

Every Thursday from 4 – 5:15 (Pacific). August 13  –  Sept 17

Register by August 8

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A Workshop on the Short Story:

Dates: July 19- July 24, 2020*
Capacity 10
Tuition:  $850.00
Hours of Instruction/Discussion 20.5
Registration/Opening Meeting July 19
Workshops 9:00 AM – Noon (Pacific) M – F
Individual Conferences 20 minutes. Wednesday afternoon.
Craft Discussions M-T-T-F at 4-5 pm PST
Gatherings M-W-F at 5:00 pm PST
Staff Readings T-T at 5:00 pm PST

Opportunity to be considered for the Short Story Workshop is reserved for those who applied to the 2020 Writers Workshops. 

Designed for those who applied with a short story, and led by five workshop leaders (writers) who specialize in short fiction, this will span six days: One day of registration and orientation followed by five days of workshops, craft discussions and individual conferences. Each day the workshop will be led by a different staff member, and will treat one short story each by two participants (5,000 word limit). A different staff member will be assigned to each participant for a 20-minute brief individual consultation about the same manuscript. We will present hour-long conversations on the writing craft, or on publication, daily. A number of social hours will also be scheduled. Financial Aid available.

The Teaching Staff

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Tom Barbash Michael Jaime Becerra • Dana Johnson •  Krys Lee •  Kirstin Valdez Quade  •  Oscar Villalon
Several industry professionals will join us for afternoon sessions and individual conferences, TBA.

*Short Story and Novel will run concurrently, and will have some overlap.


 


A Workshop on the Novel:

Dates: July 19- July 24, 2020*
Capacity 10
Tuition:  $850.00
Hours of Instruction/Discussion 20.5
Registration/Opening Meeting July 19
Workshops 9:00 AM – Noon (Pacific) M – F
Individual Conferences 20 minutes. Wednesday afternoon.
Craft Discussions M-T-T-F at 4-5 pm PST
Gatherings M-W-F at 5:00 pm PST
Staff Readings T-T at 5:00 pm PST

Opportunity to be considered for the Novel Workshop is reserved for those who applied to the 2020 Writers Workshops. 

Designed for those who applied with a novel excerpt, and led by five workshop leaders who specialize in the Novel, this will span six days: One day of registration and orientation followed by five days of workshops, craft discussions and individual conferences. Each day the workshop will be led by a different staff member, and will treat one novel excerpt each by two participants (5,000 word limit).  We will present hour-long conversations on craft and/or publication each day. A number of social hours will also be scheduled. Financial Aid available.

View as a list

Janet FitchDevi Laskar •  Tom LutzMargaret Wilkerson SextonGregory Spatz
Several industry professionals will join us for afternoon sessions and individual conferences, TBA.

*Short Story and Novel will run concurrently, and will have some overlap.


A Workshop on the Memoir:

Dates: August 2 – 7, 2020
Capacity 10
Tuition:  $850.00
Hours of Instruction/Discussion 20.5
Registration/Opening Meeting August 2
Workshops 9:00 AM – Noon (Pacific) M – F
Individual Conferences 20 minutes. Wednesday afternoon.
Discussions of Craft / Writing Business M-T-T – F at 4-5 pm PST (More details to come)
Staff Readings Thursday at 5:00 pm PST

Opportunity to be considered for the Memoir Workshop is reserved for those who applied to the 2020 Writers Workshops. 

Led by five workshop leaders who specialize in the Memoir, this conference spans six days: One day of registration and orientation followed by five days of workshops, craft discussions, and other literary offerings. Each day, the workshop—led by a different staff member—will treat memoir manuscripts (limit 5000 words) by two participants.  Each participant will also be paired with a different staff member for 20-minute virtual individual conference. Each afternoon, we present hour-long events of interest, including conversations on writing craft, publication, and readings. Three days a week, including our final day, Friday, these events will be followed by social hours. Financial Aid available.

Memoir Teaching Staff

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Michael Carlisle  •  Alex Espinoza •  Sands Hall •   Elizabeth Rosner  •   Grace Talusan

Additional Visiting Agents & Editors

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George Gibson  •   Michael Mungiello  •   Dan Smentanka

Special Guests

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Debra Gwartney  •   Christine Hemp  •   Michael Mungiello  •   Dan Smentanka  •   Amy Tan

 


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Take me to the 2020 Writers Workshops page. (Now cancelled due to COVID-19.)