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Featured Online Writing Class

Chelsey Clammer

WHAT OUR BODIES HAVE TO SAY: Writing About, Writing with the Body by Chelsey Clammer

START DATE: Monday, May 13, 2019

END DATE: Sunday, June 9, 2019

DURATION:  4 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The body is an unavoidable fact of our lives. As writers, we also know that the need to write is also an unavoidable fact of our lives. In this four-week class, students will read a variety of authors to explore the different ways that the body can be a part of our writing.

Participants will be provided with 2-3 essays to read every week that will get us to explore different narrative structures. We'll also look at a number of craft techniques such as juxtaposition, tone, use of metaphor, integrating research, and gestures that can all influence the essay in subtle, yet very significant ways. The goal of this workshop is to discover how the way we decide to tell a story is just as important as the story itself.

Throughout the course, participants will take turns giving and receiving feedback on each other’s writing, and each participant will receive line edits on her own writing from the instructor every week. Members will also engage in discussions online through the course’s website. The group will be coordinated through email and a private forum.

testimonials

I have taken two of Chelsey Clammer’s classes and I cannot wait to take my third. She is a very accomplished author and is so generous about sharing her talents with her students. The materials are timely, relevant and inspirational. I have no problems balancing coursework with other commitments; in fact, the work is so much fun that I find myself easily pushing everything else out of the way to write. Thanks to Chelsey and the feedback of classmates, I have several new writing projects that I plan to submit soon for publication! ~ Ashley Memory (Previous WOW class participant)

Having Chelsey for a writing teacher happily exceeded my expectations. She a gifted and accomplished writer, fully dedicated to the writing life and to sharing her talent and knowledge with others, and it felt to me she was a much a member of our class as she was the instructor, which allowed me to trust her and take risks with my writing. ~ Patricia Heim

Chelsey Clammer is one of the best writing teachers I’ve ever had. When I signed up for this course, I had hit a dead period in my writing, when I felt I might not be able to write another essay ever. After 20 years as a publisher of a magazine I founded and years of coming up with a personal essay and a prose poem for the cover every month, I simply hit a wall. I was convinced I’d lost my mojo, but a friend had taken the same class with Chelsey and raved about it. This course was a major breakthrough for me, and I came up with drafts for three essays over the course of the four weeks! Thank you, Chelsey, for helping me find my words and my self-confidence. ~ Nikki Hardin (Previous WOW class participant)

Chelsey’s class has been absolutely amazing. I have produced three refined and excellent pieces—one has already been pubbed by The Nervous Breakdown, and I just got an acceptance from Hippocampus for the second (pub in January)! The third is still out there, submitted to three places. Chelsey provided me excellent edits and emailed back quickly when I had questions. The class was fun, I learned a lot and was inspired to continue writing after it ends using the prompts she gave. She was even generous enough to answer questions I had about MFA programs. I am thankful that I ended up in her class. ~ Sarah W. (Previous WOW class participant)

This past August I signed up for Chelsey Clammer’s four-week WOW! course, The Women Writers’ Book Group: Furiously Happy. Not only have I never participated in an online book club or writing class, but I have never tried my hand at flash/short fiction or humorous fiction. But I can read, and thought it would be fun to dissect the book with an instructor and other writers. And laugh a little along the way. I was blown away. Not only was the online class a lot of fun and very informative, but Chelsey’s exceptional insights into the book combined with her weekly exercises and feedback gave me some confidence and inspiration to try my hand at writing humor. She kept the pace and energy level of the class high, not easy to do online. Chelsey also expertly guided me with her edits and encouragement. She suggested I submit a couple of my pieces that came out of her exercises. I was so new to all this, I didn’t even know where to begin to submit. Chelsey walked me through that process, too! I thought you’d like to know that one was published online. I couldn’t have been published without Chelsey and the WOW! classroom. Thank you so much for offering the opportunity to grow as a writer! ~ Kate Bradley-Ferrall (Previous WOW class participant)

In May, I took Chelsey Clammer’s course on writing memoir based on the empathic writings of Leslie Jamison. Discussion and analysis of Jamison’s essays, formed the backdrop for our approaches to our essays. I worried; I’d been writing only poetry for the past five years. Would I have enough ideas and skills to shape a coherent essay for feedback from the mentor and classmates? Ms. Clammer taught me that, whether published or not, all of my writings are important. She showed me how rewarding it is to investigate a portion of one’s life and share it with an audience. I discovered I could write about a tiny segment of my past. The resultant essay gave information and a degree of entertainment to my readers. Two of the essays completed during the four-week course are now under consideration by editors: one at an essay contest at Under the Gum Tree and the other at Mom Egg Review. ~ Carole Mertz (Full review at 1888 Center.)

Working with Chelsey I feel I’m in a rich partnership that as much about preparing essay drafts for publication as it is about growth, discovery, and the joy that comes from telling the stories that matter to me. ~ Kineret Yardena

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Week 1: Writing about the Body, Literally

Our brains are constantly processing physical sensations, which means the body is our vehicle for experiencing life. When writing about our life’s stories, we can use the body as a way to ground the narrative. This week we’ll look at how it is that we can include the body in our writing—both as a main topic and as a supporting narrative thread.

Assignment: Read the assigned essays, and complete at least one of the writing exercises on your own. Post your response to one of the discussion questions online. Email the instructor your writing-in-progress for the week (800-word limit). Comment on your peers’ essays as assigned.

Week 2: The Body as Metaphor

Now that we understand how to get our bodies on the page, it’s time to bring in new meanings of and through them. When you use the body as a metaphor in your writing, the reader can become more engaged in the essay because she has something in common with the narrator—she, too, has a body. This week we’ll look at the different ways we can get the body to create larger meanings in our work.

Assignment: Read the assigned essays, and complete at least one of the writing exercises on your own. Post your response to one of the discussion questions online. Email the instructor your writing-in-progress for the week (800-word limit). Comment on your peers’ essays as assigned.

Week 3: Writing from the Body

Bringing the body into our work can create a more visceral feel to an essay. We can use the five senses as a way to construct different aspects of a story such as setting and characterization. This week, we’ll understand how descriptions of physical sensations can enhance the larger narratives and themes at work in our writing.

Assignment: Read the assigned essays, and complete at least one of the writing exercises on your own. Post your response to one of the discussion questions online. Email the instructor your writing-in-progress for the week (800-word limit). Comment on your peers’ essays as assigned.

Week 4: Styles of the Body

From fact to poetic, the body can be written about using a number of tones and styles. In this last week of class, we’ll look at different examples of how to approach writing about the body: poetic, matter-of-fact, humorous and vulnerable. From this, we’ll be able to establish different tones in our work and understand the variety of effects that specific language can have on our body narratives.

Assignment: Read the assigned essays, and complete at least one of the writing exercises on your own. Post your response to one of the discussion questions online. Email the instructor your writing-in-progress for the week (800-word limit). Comment on your peers’ essays as assigned.

Sample Lesson: Click to view a sample lesson from one of Chelsey’s classes: The Women Writers’ Book Group: Empathy Exams: Week I.

Materials needed: The instructor will provide the participants with all of the reading materials.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Chelsey Clammer is the award-winning author of Circadian (Red Hen Press, 2017) and BodyHome (Hopewell Publications, 2015). A Pushcart Prize-nominated essayist, she has been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Normal School, Hobart, The Rumpus, Essay Daily, The Water~Stone Review and Black Warrior Review, among many others. She is the Essays Editor for The Nervous Breakdown and a reader for Creative Nonfiction magazine. You can read more of her writing at: www.chelseyclammer.com.

COST:  $125, which includes weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor. You will also be invited to a private group for student interaction and discussion.

BUY NOW: WHAT OUR BODIES HAVE TO SAY: Writing About, Writing with the Body with Chelsey Clammer (4 weeks, starting 5/13/2019) Limit: 12 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check out our current schedule here.

For Class Session Starting 5/13/2019

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Notes:  Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. Just before class begins, she will e-mail you with instructions on how to get started.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
classroom[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com

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