Odyssey Writing Workshop's online classes
- Dear Myth Soc Yahoo Group Owner,
Hi. I thought you might be interested in our press release, below,
announcing the Odyssey Writing Workshop's online classes for Winter 2013.
If you know any writers who might be interested, I hope you'll pass the
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Thanks for helping to spread the word!
Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust
P.O. Box 75
Mont Vernon, NH 03057
Phone (603) 673-6234
ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOPS CHARITABLE TRUST
ANNOUNCES WINTER 2013 ONLINE CLASSES
For seventeen years, Odyssey has pursued its mission to help developing
writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror improve their work by
holding its annual six-week, in-person workshop in Manchester, New
Three years ago, Odyssey expanded its mission, taking the teaching
techniques that are so effective at the workshop and adapting them to create
online classes. Director Jeanne Cavelos explains, "Technology allows us to
hold live online class meetings, so students can ask questions and
participate in the class. Each course is designed to provide intensive
focus on a particular aspect of fiction writing, and challenging homework
assignments help students to improve their skills. Feedback from the
instructor and from classmates allows students to gauge their progress.
Each student also has an individual meeting with instructor." Courses
provide a supportive yet challenging, energizing atmosphere, with class size
limited to fourteen students. While courses are designed for adult writers
of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, interested writers of other genres
are welcome to apply.
Last winter, Odyssey had a huge response to the three online courses
offered. Writers from all over the world applied. This year, Odyssey is
offering three different online courses covering some of the most critical
issues for developing writers:
Three-Act Structure in Fantastic Fiction
Course Meets: January 2 - 30, 2013
Instructor: Jeanne Cavelos
Application Deadline: December 7, 2012
When we first offered this course in 2011, we received more interest than in
any course taught before or since. So we're offering it again, to provide
more writers the chance to learn the exciting possibilities inherent in this
plot structure. One of the greatest weaknesses of developing writers is
plot. One of the best tools for strengthening plot is the act. Plotting in
acts creates a more suspenseful, unpredictable, and emotionally satisfying
experience for the reader. This course will start by defining key units of
structure--the scene, chapter, and act--and explore why we need acts. We'll
discuss the effect of acts, the importance of acts, how acts work in short
fiction and novels, and how acts are used in science fiction, fantasy, and
horror. How does one identify an act? When are three acts appropriate? Why
are three acts so popular and powerful? We'll learn how to plot in three
acts. We'll explore what makes a strong three-act plot and what makes a weak
three-act plot. We'll look at powerful methods and weak methods of ending an
act. We'll explore how to create a causal chain that generates escalations
and a strong climax, how subplots work within three-act structure, the
connection between structure and character transformation, and the unifying
role of theme.
Getting the Big Picture: The
Key to Revising Your Novel
Course Meets: January 7 - February 4, 2013
Instructor: Barbara Ashford
Application Deadline: December 11, 2012
Barbara Ashford believes the most important skill a novelist needs is to be
able to see the "big picture" of the novel, to understand where that big
picture is lacking or weak, and to make the major changes necessary to
create a coherent, complete, powerful, and unified novel. Barbara believes
this skill made all the difference in her writing, transforming it from
promising but unsalable to compelling and published. Writers often approach
revisions as an opportunity to polish their manuscripts rather than to take
a hard look at the story itself. If your plot meanders and your
protagonist's goals are unclear, polishing your prose won't help. This
course examines the "big picture" elements at the foundation of every novel:
premise, promise, theme, world, character, and plot. Whether you've already
completed your first draft, are still working on it, or are struggling with
revisions, analyzing and strengthening those elements can lift your novel
out of the slush pile and onto an agent's desk. Award-nominated author
Barbara Ashford will examine each of these big picture elements and the ways
that linking them can create a unified, compelling, powerful story. Through
lecture, discussion, and writing exercises, students will analyze their
premise, the promise that the novel is making to readers, the themes that
arise from the novel, the world they have created, their protagonists'
backstory, motivations, and goals, and the plot events they have chosen to
lead the reader from the story's promise to its climax.
Bodies and Heartbeats:
Crafting Character from the Inside Out
Course Meets: January 23 - February 20, 2013
Instructor: Elaine Isaak
Application Deadline: December 27, 2012
"If you will try being fictional for a while, you will find that fictional
characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats."
In her critiques as a guest lecturer at the Odyssey Writing Workshop and as
a critiquer for the Odyssey Critique Service, Elaine Isaak has become
legendary for identifying weaknesses in character and suggesting brilliant
yet simple ways to strengthen characters. This course will help you to
develop a clearer sense of what makes a powerful character and will teach
you the techniques you need to develop strong characters. The first duty of
the fiction writer is to make the reader care about people that don't exist.
In this course, we'll talk about how to create the core of a sympathetic
character and bring that character to life through words so that the reader
invests in the dreams and challenges of your imagined people. Students will
study and discuss examples, perform exercises to practice creating
sympathetic and believable characters, and write short-shorts that put these
new skills into practice. Students will also provide critiques of their
More information about our online classes can be found here:
http://www.sff.net/odyssey/online.html or by emailing jcavelos@....
If you've visited the Odyssey site recently, you may need to click REFRESH
on your browser to see the new content.
PLEASE NOTE: Those application deadlines are coming up soon! If you would
like to apply for more than one course, you must apply separately for each
Odyssey's Online Classes pack valuable content into each session, allow for
significant interaction with the instructor, and provide assignments that
challenge students. The classes provide the tools students need to improve
their writing, along with feedback on their work that reveals whether they
are successfully using those tools. Cavelos says, "If you're ready to hear
about the weaknesses in your writing and ready to work to overcome them,
you'd be welcome to apply to our online classes."
In addition, the Odyssey Web site,
www.odysseyworkshop.org, offers many resources for writers, including free
podcasts, writing and publishing tips, a writing blog, a critique service,
and information about the six-week in-person workshop.
The journey to take your writing to the next level starts now!