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Featured Online Poetry Writing Workshop

Vigorous and Vibrant Verse: A Poetry Workshop by Melanie Faith

START DATE: Friday, January 18, 2019

END DATE: Friday, February 22, 2019

DURATION: 5 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “You can find poetry in your everyday life, your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what's in your heart,” noted Carol Ann Duffy.

In this five-week workshop, we’ll study the spark and development of poetry from first ideas to drafting and beyond. We’ll also try exercises from our text, Poetry Power! by Melanie Faith. Students will submit drafts weekly for constructive and supportive instructor feedback. There will be a private group for students to discuss the literary life and for sharing of literary resources, such as markets and quotations about the writing process.

Topics covered will include: Starting at the Very Beginning: Six Tips for Poetic Openings, Will the Real Speaker Please Stand up?, The Before-and-After Poem, On Pear Photography and Seasonal Poetry, Wild Cards: 8 Tips for Choosing Poems for Submission, 21st-Century Publishing & Guidelines for Finding Your Ideal Audience, Spring out of a Writing Rut! 8 Tips for Getting back to Business, Top-Ten Tips for a Sustained, Inspired Poetic Life, and much more.

Melanie has always shown great insight into my work. Often times, she is able to pull out deeper meanings, that even I wasn't consciously aware of while writing. Her constructive criticism has moved my writing into new directions. I find that I feel more confident and prepared as a writer by having her constant editing eye. I respect that she critiques my poetry honestly, letting me know areas that are weak as well as strong points. I wouldn't be able to grow as a writer if she always told me my poems were great. It's from her perspective of my work that I grow. I enjoy learning through her and appreciate her sharing tricks of the trade that she learned in her masters program. I'm thankful to know Melanie and hope we remain friends and a poetry support system for the rest of our lives. She's the type of person and writer that anyone would feel lucky to know. She is a great mentor and holds a wealth of knowledge in the written language. Her achievements and constant pursuit as a writer inspire so many. Her determination and skill will go very far and I suspect she'll leave a lasting imprint in the written world. She already has. ~ Courtney Burger

Melanie has been a total joy as a teacher and guide. I found her feedback, critiques, and comments to be extraordinarily helpful and insightful. And the daily prompts and positive reinforcement made this writing class a wonderful experience! ~ Mary Purdy

Melanie’s class taught me economy of words by using strong verbs and nouns, implying and showing rather than telling, and exploring topics outside of my comfort zone. Her feedback is prompt, detailed and constructive. ~ Rajni Gupta

Melanie knows how to offer on-the-mark suggestions for writing improvement while also being extremely encouraging (and a joy to work with). I've taken many classes with her, including the flash class, and I plan on taking many more. ~ Marilyn Fahey

The course was great. I did not want it to end. I have taken several college level creative writing courses, as well as, attended many writer’s workshops, but I have enjoyed this course the most. I really appreciated that Melanie would also critique our re-writes which was very, very helpful. This course has really helped to motivate me creatively. ~ Barb Cramer

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Duration: (5 weeks) Friday, January 18, 2019 - Thursday, February 21, 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019 and February 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2019 (student drafts due for instructor comments)

Week One: Lockets: Set to Work on the Mighty Small, Starting at the Very Beginning: Six Tips for Poetic Openings, Will the Real Speaker Please Stand up?, Seashell Coffee and Tea for Three: Symbolic Imagery, The Great American Eclipse: Celebrating Momentous Events in Poetry, and more

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • Introductory Note from Your Author: Why write poetry?
  • Section I: “Making Your Way in the World Today: Tools for Drafting and Daily Practice,” the first 11 chapters, from “Lockets: Set to Work on the Mighty Small” to “The Great American Eclipse: Celebrating Momentous Events in Poetry.”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any of the prompts from our text, found at the end of each chapter, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Two: The Before-and-After Poem; On Pear Photography and Seasonal Poetry; Pink Cookie Lunch at the Circus: On Choosing Between Themes; Give My Creation Life!: Poems of Longing, Loathing, and in-between Affection; Scars and Stars and Tattoos: On Symbolism; Specks: Intermittency as Theme in Poetry; and more

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • Section I: “Making Your Way in the World Today: Tools for Drafting and Daily Practice,” the rest of this section, from “The Before-and-After Poem” to “Penmanship Party: Mining the Past for Poetry.”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any of the prompts from our text, found at the end of each chapter, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Three: The Art of Offering Feedback: Real-World Tips for Helpful Poetry Critiques, If the Shoe Fits: Meditations on Poetic Form, The Plandid and Other Splendid Editing Options, Wild Cards: 8 Tips for Choosing Poems for Submission, and more

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • From Section II: “It’s Time I Made it to the Top: Editing, Workshopping, and Publication,“ from “The Synaptic Surge of a Writing Challenge: 5 Tips for Initiating and Enjoying a Work Swap” to “76 Rabbits out of a Hat: or: The Quirky Tale of How One Poem became a Whole Book”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any of the prompts from our text, found at the end of each chapter, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Four: 21st1 Century Publishing & Guidelines for Finding Your Ideal Audience; Spring out of a Writing Rut! 8 Tips for Getting back to Business; Tough Times, Tougher You: Writing about Adversity; Repeat after Me: I am a Writer: Beyond Playing Identity Dress-up; and On Poetic Tenacity: 6 Tips for Increased Poetic Productivity

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • Section II and Section III, from Section II: “Keeping the Wolf from the Door: Careers in Poetry,” “21st century Publishing & Guidelines for Finding Your Ideal Audience,” and “Spring out of a Writing Rut! 8 Tips for Getting back to Business” and from Section III, “Maybe Think of Me Once in a While: The Poetic Life and Identity,” the first five chapters, from “Tough Times, Tougher You: Writing about Adversity” to “On Attention” (8 chapters total).

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any of the prompts from our text, found at the end of each chapter, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Five: Write Opportunity, Wrong Timing; Dealing in Disappointment without Wielding the Hatchet: Calming the Confessional; Sparkling Stone or Peach Macaron: The Trying-on-a-New-Persona Exercise; Top-Ten Tips for a Sustained, Inspired Poetic Life; and more

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • The rest of Section III: from “Write Opportunity, Wrong Timing” to “Woot! A Humble, Jumbled, Rollicking Resource List, Just for You”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any of the prompts from our text, found at the end of each chapter, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

OR

Students may submit a revision of one of the previous four poems you've penned during this course.

Materials needed: Students will need a copy of: Poetry Power! by Melanie Faith (Vine Leaves Press 2018). This text is currently available in print and e-book copies online at Amazon. Also, signed copies are available from the instructor—please contact writer[at]pa[dot]net if interested.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Melanie Faith holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, NC. Her writing has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. Her full-length, historical poetry collection set in the 1918 flu epidemic, This Passing Fever, was published by Future Cycle Press in October 2017. Vine Leaves Press published her craft books about writing and editing flash fiction and nonfiction and her craft book about writing poetry, Poetry Power! (both 2018). Her short stories are forthcoming from Red Coyote (fall 2018), and her poetry will appear in Up North Lit (October 2018). In her free time, she loves crossword puzzles, photography, and visiting her darling nieces. She's a monthly flash fiction judge at Sweek. In addition to numerous photography publications, her art made the cover of both OVS Magazine and Chantwood Review in 2017. Her instructional articles about creative writing techniques have appeared in The Writer and Writers’ Journal, among others. To learn more about Melanie’s writing, teaching, and photography, please visit: www.melaniedfaith.com.

COST:  $185, which includes e-mail critique and positive feedback on student writing, and access to a private group for student interactions.

BUY NOW:  Vigorous and Vibrant Verse: A Poetry Workshop by Melanie Faith (5 weeks, starting 1/18/2019) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

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

Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. She will contact you via email so you can get started.

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Additional Testimonials for Melanie Faith:

I took the nature writing class a few weeks ago and it was one of the best courses I've even taken. Melanie Faith is an excellent instructor. ~ Jean Forsythe

Your course has jump-started me back into writing. I have missed it. Thank you. ~ Melissa Healy

Melanie Faith’s “Spark and Sizzle Flash Fiction Class” lives up to its title. The sample stories provided were examples of good writing and served as models. Melanie’s prompts came at a rapid pace and kept my pen on the page every day. Her critique comments were sharp and encouraging and challenged me to be the best writer I could be. She is easily available for questions or discussions during and after her classes via her personal email. This is the third class I’ve taken with Melanie and I am looking forward to taking many more in the future. ~ Renee Cassese

Melanie knows how to offer on-the-mark suggestions for writing improvement while also being extremely encouraging (and a joy to work with). I've taken many classes with her, including the flash class, and I plan on taking many more. ~ Marilyn Fahey

Melanie has always shown great insight into my work. Often times, she is able to pull out deeper meanings, that even I wasn't consciously aware of while writing. Her constructive criticism has moved my writing into new directions. I find that I feel more confident and prepared as a writer by having her constant editing eye. I respect that she critiques my poetry honestly, letting me know areas that are weak as well as strong points. I wouldn't be able to grow as a writer if she always told me my poems were great. It's from her perspective of my work that I grow. I enjoy learning through her and appreciate her sharing tricks of the trade that she learned in her masters program.

I'm thankful to know Melanie and hope we remain friends and a poetry support system for the rest of our lives. She's the type of person and writer that anyone would feel lucky to know. She is a great mentor and holds a wealth of knowledge in the written language. Her achievements and constant pursuit as a writer inspire so many. Her determination and skill will go very far and I suspect she'll leave a lasting imprint in the written world. She already has. ~ Courtney Burger

The course was great. I did not want it to end. I have taken several college level creative writing courses, as well as, attended many writer’s workshops, but I have enjoyed this course the most. I really appreciated that Melanie would also critique our re-writes which was very, very helpful. This course has really helped to motivate me creatively. ~ Barb Cramer

Melanie demonstrates particular qualities in a writing teacher/coach that I would recommend for anyone looking for focused attention to help move their writing forward.

I had not taken an on-line course previously, and didn't know what to expect, but Melanie melted the distance, was always accessible, and never missed a beat with out on-line communication. I always felt like I had Melanie right here around my writing table, or knocking on my door saying—“I had a few thoughts..." She provided a wealth of resources and provided us with course materials that were tuned to our course level.

Her insight into my work, in terms of critique, were extremely thoughtful, thorough, and eye-opening. I feel that working with Melanie has allowed me to be braver with my writing and editing—as she was supportive of experimentation and taking chances with style, vocabulary, and theme. She provides serious critique in an atmosphere that, well, just makes me want to keep on writing!” ~ Mary Ellen Sanger

I have taken three courses from Melanie and in each course I grow tremendously as a writer. The texts she uses as well as the handouts and daily writing prompts all contribute to what she refers to as “the writing life” and in her courses that’s exactly what it becomes. Her comments on the pieces go way beyond grammar and punctuation. She delves into the content and clarifies what is good and what can be adjusted to make the piece stronger. I can tell she spends time reading what I write and is prompt in returning the assignments so I always have plenty of time for revision. She treats me, and everyone in the class, like a writer. Her classes are a joy. If there is a course offered by Melanie and I can fit it in, I always take it. ~ Holly Helscher

I have the normal anxiousness of sharing my work while so excited to have Melanie Faith’s critical eye read my writing. It is always reviewed with an eye to improvement and an eye to the thoughts the words contain. This is the first computer class I have ever taken and want to take many more. I also look forward to many more classes with Melanie Faith. ~ Benita Cervantes

Because I love memoir writing, I have taken two memoir/personal essay classes from Melanie. I can’t believe this, but because I enjoy the teacher herself and her method of teaching so much, I’ve even taken a poetry-writing class. I’ve always steered away from writing poetry of any kind ever since I wrote a poem in college (an assignment, not a by-choice piece) and the class laughed because I wrote about a controversial topic and was so naïve that I didn’t even know it was controversial. Every time I’d mention to Melanie that I’d never write a poem, she’d encourage me to take her class, assuring me that I’d be successful. I took the class, and sure enough, I was successful, thanks to Melanie’s velvet critiquing, encouraging comments, and thoughtful suggestions, many times seeing in my writing what I couldn’t see for myself.

I have to rein myself in every time I see in the WOW classes list that Melanie is teaching another essay class. And why is this? In all of my education (B.A. in English and M.A. in English), I never took a writing class. When I was in college, writing was taught only in Freshman English; after that class, we were just expected to know how to write. I learned to teach writing myself by reading books about writing. How refreshing and educational to find a teacher/mentor who exhibits the characteristics that I know an excellent writing teacher has: the creativity to come up with topics that students want to write about, the ability to critique without finding fault, the desire to encourage students to keep on writing even when the juices aren’t flowing. Believe me . . . she’s an excellent teacher. In addition, she became my friend through being my teacher. To be a friend AND a teacher takes real talent. ~ Sandy Young

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


 

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