Workshops

Everyone has a story. Let me inspire you to write yours!

Upcoming Workshops

TriDistrict Community Education

Making People Real: Characters

Wed. June 7 & 14, 9:30 – 11:30

Characters can make or break a story, whether it’s fiction or real life. We’ll explore what goes into writing believable, engaging characters. This is a hands-on writing workshop. Whether you just want to dabble or are in the middle of a novel, this class is for anyone interested in character development. We’ll look at examples, discuss writing techniques, and get our own people on the page. This class is for all level of writers.

Stillwater Prison

Scary Monsters & Super Creeps

Wed. July 12 & 19

Monsters have haunted the human imagination since prehistory, which makes them great material for stories! Whether you’re writing about an imaginary creature or the really scary guy next door, this workshop is for you.

We’ll look at some examples of classic and new monsters, talk about what makes them scary, and do some fun writing exercises to start creating your next best terror!

About Alida’s Workshops

My workshops are experiential and generative. Students are encouraged to share their ideas and writings. I provide a variety of examples and exercises to ensure everyone leaves with techniques that work for them, and my feedback encourages further exploration.  We might draw our childhood homes, respond to visuals or poetry, write as a doer and a witness, and other engaging and nonthreatening methods to get the ideas flowing and shape them into stories. I provide ample time for questions. Students develop a new sense of freedom and understanding of what it means to write and share their stories. Workshops consist of several cycles of presentation, reading published work, writing, sharing, and discussing.

I strive to create a casual, comfortable, and friendly environment.

Offerings

 

*Most workshop curriculums can be adjusted to fit 1 or 2 sessions of 3 – 4 hours total.

Contact Alida to discuss your specific needs.

Memory & Story

Two 3-hour sessions

Are you full of interesting memories, but aren’t sure what to do with them? We’ll explore memory, practice writing, and discuss examples from published works. This is a hands-on writing workshop. Whether you want to share your childhood memories with the kids or write a publishable memoir, you’ll get ample practice with no-stakes writing exercises and leave the course with tools that can be used every time you sit down to spin memory straw into story gold.

Bringing Time & Place to Life: Setting

Two 2-hour sessions

Whether you are writing your memoir, a gritty mystery, an intergalactic fantasy, or a literary masterpiece, you need to put your reader inside the story, using original details to build a world that comes alive! We’ll discuss the writer’s process, look at examples, practice writing, and share work. Writers of all abilities are welcome in this 2-part writing workshop.

Ready, Set, Action!: Plot

One 3-hour session

In this hands-on writing workshop, we’ll discuss the building blocks of storytelling and practice putting them together in a way that has readers asking for more! Whether you love quiet literature or fast adventure, something must happen and your characters must do something. We’ll read examples, discuss techniques, and practice building a plot arc or two. This class is for all levels of writers. Please bring a notebook, pen, and pack of index cards to class.

reVision: When Is a Story Ready for Readers?

Three 2-hour sessions

In this hands-on writing workshop, bring your drafts. We’ll address the difference between an okay piece of writing and one that you’d be proud to share with the world. We’ll look at samples and learn from professional writers. We’ll also practice giving and receiving helpful feedback in a supportive classroom. You’ll leave with how-to knowledge and the inspiration to revise that story and get it out there! For all levels of writers, fiction and nonfiction. Please bring 5 – 10 pages of your writing to class (something you’d like to improve).

The Three Legs of Story: Character, Plot, Setting

Six 2-hour sessions

What makes a character believable and engaging? How do you develop a plot that keeps readers turning pages? From the real to the fantastic, what makes a setting readers won’t forget? We will develop our story-telling skills by discussing examples and doing lots of hands-on writing exercises. Whether you are writing a novel or a memoir, whether you want to figure out your first story or have a work-in-progress that needs developing, this workshop is for you!

Making People Real: Characters

Two 2-hour sessions

Characters can make or break a story, whether it’s fiction or real life. We’ll explore what goes into writing believable, engaging characters. This is a hands-on writing workshop. Whether you just want to dabble or are in the middle of a novel, this class is for anyone interested in character development. We’ll look at examples, discuss writing techniques, and get our own people on the page. This class is for all level of writers.

Getting Your Story Out There—blogs, e-books, and paperbacks

Two 3-hour sessions

In this 2-part class, we’ll explore several ways you can get your words out into the world. All are free or nearly free. We will start a free blog on WordPress—whether you publish it is up to you. We’ll also explore e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks through free services, like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Make your work available to as few or as many readers as you’d like. You’ll leave class with a plan to get your story out there and the resources to make it happen! (Requires a computer lab and for participants to have active email and to register for a free wordpress account.

The Yoga of Writing

One 4-hour session

Writing, like hatha, is a practice. Whether you’ve always wanted to write or have been for years, this workshop is for you! During our time together, we’ll do some gentle asanas to open up the body, some pranayama to relax the senses, and some light meditation to quiet the mind. We’ll work with memory and writing practice. Whether you want to journal, craft a memoir, or write a novel, you’ll take away writing exercises that will help you access your life experiences, your senses, and your writing talent! We’ll look at published examples of works, write, and discuss process. You’ll get ample practice with no-stakes writing exercises and leave the workshop with tools that will help you get into flow every time you sit down to reflect and create. There will be time for your questions. Wear comfortable clothes and bring plenty of paper and a pen or pencil. A clipboard or lap desk is recommended. 

Alida in the Classroom

In the spring of 2014, I taught my creative writing workshop, Memory & Story, for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Participants were interested in writing nonfiction reflection pieces about their personal histories. Here I answer two participants’ questions.

We were discussing a David Sedaris essay. The first comment is about how he portrays his parents and whether that’s accurate or not. The second comment is about whether or not a work should include dialogue.

Testimonials from Workshop Attendees

I got in touch with inspiration. Very delightful and easy presentations. Alida is a charmer and really encourages people to try to write. Nonjudgmental presence.

Judy H.

Alida is pleasant, super organized, extremely competent, knowledgeable, and inspiring. Absolutely outstanding! Her “lecture” material was so helpful. I especially loved the writing exercises we did and the class discussion, which she led in the best teaching style.

Art L.

I like the idea that I don’t need to set my sights on writing a book. Using this technique is accessible and no longer daunting. Thank you.

Jeanne

Bring Alida to your conference, your classroom, or even your home!

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