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Featured Online Writing Class

Chelsey Clammer

HUMOR: Your Best Defense Against the Hot Mess That Is the Holiday Season by Chelsey Clammer

START DATE: Monday, November 13, 2017

END DATE: Sunday, December 10, 2017

DURATION:  4 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Holidays are stressful. We know this. What’s the best way to battle the annual holiday-induced chaos? Humor! Because making your relatives die of laughter does not carry the same prison sentence as actually killing them. Starting a few weeks before Thanksgiving, this four-week class will gleefully prance around the different techniques that make a piece of writing humorous.

Participants will be provided with 3-5 essays/stories/odd visuals to read every week that will be our tour guides of sorts in an exploration of literary humor. Focusing on imagery, word choice, format, tone and structure, we’ll discover the various ways we can give readers—and ourselves!—a good chuckle just from the inventive ways we put words on a page. The goal of this workshop is to understand the function of humor in literary texts and how it reaches beyond the ability to entertain. More important, the class will probably become a type of therapy to get you through the holidays. You’re welcome.

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

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’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)

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: OMG! Did You See That?!?

Reading is a type of seeing, and visuals create a story we can read. For this first week, we’ll take a look at the importance of how a text actually looks. Discussing the ways that images, font, and structure can together create some sly humor, we’ll begin our conditioning of those thinking-out-of-the-box muscles that are the foundation of all things funny.

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 (1000-word limit). Comment on your peers’ essays as assigned.

Week 2: That Girl Needs Some Structure in Her Life

Out-of-the-box thinking for sure rocks, but there’s also something to be said about working within the confines. Similar to needing to know the rules in order to break them, this week we’ll look at how authors can take a common narrative structure and tweak it to bring some humor and energy to any piece of 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 (1000-word limit). Comment on your peers’ essays as assigned.

Week 3: Gee, I’ve Never Heard That One Before

On more than 8 million occasions, my husband and I have argued because of a miss-heard text message. When you can’t pick up on someone’s sarcasm, you’ll think they’re rude and then question why you keep that person in your life. Thus, creating and conveying your intended tone of voice in humor writing is super-important. This week we’ll enhance our sarcasm skills and work on perfecting our narrative voice—with the added bonus of perhaps saving a marriage.

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 (1000-word limit). Comment on your peers’ essays as assigned.

Week 4: Word Choice & the Microscopic Mechanics of Humor Writing

Making something funny doesn’t necessitate volumes of extended jokes or maze-like narratives that will one day lead to laughter. In fact, sometimes just a single word choice can shift an LOL to an ROTFL. Whether it’s unusual imagery, quirky metaphors, a well-placed cuss word, or witty one-liners, for this last week of the class we’ll look at how going short can create long-lasting laughs.

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 (1000-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.

Chelsey Clammer ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Chelsey Clammer is the 2016 winner of the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award for her creative thesis, Circadian (publication in Fall 2017). She is a Pushcart Prize-nominated essayist who has been published in 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 Founding Editor of Inside-Out Editing. Her first collection of essays, Body Home, was released in 2015. Her second collection, There Is Nothing Else to See Here, is forthcoming from The Lit Pub. Clammer is currently enrolled in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. 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: HUMOR: Your Best Defense Against the Hot Mess That Is The Holiday Season with Chelsey Clammer (4 weeks, starting 11/13/2017) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check out Chelsey’s upcoming class, Women Writers Anonymous starting January 2.

For Class Session Starting 11/13/2017

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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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