Summer Camp (For Your Muse)


The last couple of years have been strange, difficult, unpredictable, too predictable, isolating, stressful, and sometimes just plain boring.  Your muse has been stuck in the house along with you.  At this point, you may not on speaking terms. Your muse might be calling in sick.  Or vacationing somewhere else, perhaps a beach in the tropics, while you are still at home hoping it will return. 

This course is designed to be a vacation you and your muse will take together.  Let’s call it a week at summer camp.  There will be fun!  Challenges!  Canoeing and swimming, (metaphorically)!  And the chance to hang out with other writers and their muses.  It will be a week to re-experience the pure joy of creativity, (if you prefer a less anthropomorphic way to look at it).

Each day will consist of a fun, low-pressure mix of creative prompts, mini-lectures, and exercises, all aimed at stimulating your most creative self.  We will study the habits of great authors.  We will explore the rare occurrence of feeling “in the zone,” when words magically seem to flow, then we’ll experiment with ways to get you in the zone more often.  Topics will include writer’s block, starting new work, and how to continue even when your muse is on hiatus. 

We will also take several outings to get out of the classroom for a prompt in a surprise stimulating place.  (Which ones?  It’s a surprise!)  Just a short 5-10 minute walk from the classroom.

There will be opportunities to share some of your new work out loud, but this is optional.  We are here to build trust with each other, and our muses.  Also take chances!  Jump from that high dive!  Here is your opportunity!

I have taught variations of this class and it is hands down my favorite topic to teach.  I love seeing the excitement on people’s faces when they realize they’ve just written something absolutely brilliant without even trying, or thinking too hard about it.  And often in a genre they hadn't considered before.

You will go home with a notebook full of strategies and the beginnings of many new stories and essays.  You will also have a renewed spirit of possibility, confidence, and a playful happy muse who trusts you again.  We’ll have fun.  Your muse will too.  (Bonus:  you won’t go home with annoying summer camp songs in your head,  just email addresses of new friends.)

This class is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced writers with mfas who are revising their novels.

In this workshop, we will generate new writing through exercises and assignments; provide feedback on writing you produce in our week.

Hybrid Forms
Middle Grade
Science Fiction
Short Story
Speculative Fiction
Young Adult
June Melby snorkel photo
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