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Featured Online Sensory Writing Workshop

Writing from the Senses by Melanie Faith

START DATE: Monday, April 9, 2018

END DATE: Monday, May 14, 2018

DURATION: 5 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Janet Fitch notes: “A good writer will tell us what the world smells like, what the textures are, what the sounds are, what the light looks like, what the weather is.” Whether you’re a story writer, essayist, or poet, writing from the senses is one important aspect that can bring your writing to a whole new level. Most authors write wonderful visual imagery, but there’s so much more to fleshing out scenes, poems, paragraphs, you name it.

In this five-week workshop, we’ll explore tips and techniques for tapping into multi-sensory writing that will hook readers as well as exercises within our text, Writing from the Senses: 59 Exercises to Ignite Creativity and Revitalize Your Writing by Laura Deutsch. Students will submit drafts of 1500 words or less, within any genre the student picks, weekly for constructive and supportive instructor feedback. We’ll examine sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, a symphony of senses, motion, and reworking your material. 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: Our Homes, Ourselves; Writing on the Road; The Sounds of my Childhood; Sounds of the City; My Body is My Instrument; Chants Encounter; Scents of the Season; A Slice of Life; Olio Nuovo; Hothouse Flower; Clay Idylls; Mood Ring; Altars and Rituals; Succulence; Verbs in Motion; A New Way to See It; Editing and Polishing; and Wrapped in Attention.

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) Monday, April 9, 2018 - Monday, May 14, 2018

Friday, April 16, 23, 30, and May 7, 14, 2018 (student drafts due for instructor comments)

Week One: You Ought to Be in Pictures; Seeing is Believing; The Palette of Place; Let There be Light; Wherever Music Takes You; He Said, She Said; Voices within my Words; At Water’s Edge

Writing from the Senses Text Reading:

  • Part One Sight and Part Two Sound, pages 9-86.

Assignment: Use one of the prompts from our reading this week to write a new piece in a genre of your choosing (fiction, essay, poetry, journaling, flash, hybrid) for instructor feedback.

Week Two: Rose in Bloom; Cleopatra isn’t Welcome Here; Odors of Time and Place; Kitchen Aids; Savoring Life, One Bite at a Time; The Bounty of the Season

Writing from the Senses Text Reading:

  • Part Three Smell and Part Four Taste, pages 91-136.

Assignment: Use one of the prompts from our reading this week to write a new piece in a genre of your choosing (fiction, essay, poetry, journaling, flash, hybrid) for instructor feedback.

Week Three: Sybaritic in Sonoma; Kiss and Tell; Oh My Darlin’ Clementine; Victoria’s Secret; Altars and Rituals

Writing from the Senses Text Reading:

  • Part Five Touch and Part Six A Symphony of Senses, pages 139-200.

Assignment: Use one of the prompts from our reading this week to write a new piece in a genre of your choosing (fiction, essay, poetry, journaling, flash, hybrid) for instructor feedback.

Week Four: Actions Speak Louder than Words; Shall We Dance?; Horseplay; Water, Water Everywhere; In a Heartbeat

Writing from the Senses Text Reading:

  • Part Seven Motion, pages 205-234.

Assignment: Use one of the prompts from our reading this week to write a new piece in a genre of your choosing (fiction, essay, poetry, journaling, flash, hybrid) for instructor feedback.

Week Five: Composting; A New Way to Say it; Editing and Polishing; The Sixth Sense

Writing from the Senses Text Reading:

  • Part Eight Reworking Your Material, pages 237-252.

Assignment: Use one of the prompts from our reading this week to write a new piece in a genre of your choosing (fiction, essay, poetry, journaling, flash, hybrid) for instructor feedback.

Materials needed: Students will need a copy of: Writing from the Senses: 59 Exercises to Ignite Creativity and Revitalize Your Writing by Laura Deutsch (Shambhala 2014). This text is currently available in print online at Amazon and other bookstores.

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 September 2017 (available at Future Cycle Press and Amazon and signed copies by writing to the author), and Vine Leaves Press will publish her craft book about writing and editing flash fiction and nonfiction in May 2018. Most recently, her shorter pieces appeared in After the Pause, Contemporary Haibun Online, The Sandy River Review, The Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine, and Embodied Effigies. Her flash fiction, “The Slades,” placed honorable mention in the 2014 Bevel Summers Prize for the Short Short Story and was published in Shenandoah (Washington and Lee University). In addition to numerous photography publications, her at 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. Visit her website at 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:  Writing from the Senses by Melanie Faith (5 weeks, starting 4/9/2018) 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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