This Fall, I am going to try something a little different, which is to offer private workshops for anyone who is interested in taking a writing class without the fuss of having to leave home, or deal with a harsh environment.

After over a dozen years in front of the college classroom, I’ve been itching to teach a college-quality course outside of academia, and to offer writing community for folks who might not have access, for one reason or another, to the creative writing classroom. If I get enough local interest, I may offer a class in Atlanta, where I live, but for now, I’m sticking to a digital classroom.

As a trial run, I will offer a 4 session class on Wednesday evenings in August (7:00-8:30 EST). The class is aimed at “Getting Started,” either on a new project or on a writing practice in general. Please share with anyone who has expressed interest in taking a friendly writing class.

I added a webpage under the tab: “Classes and Consultations,” which offers info on classes and private consultations. You can check there for updates on future courses. Feel free to fill out the interest form here or on the bottom of that page if you’d like to offer input about what kinds of courses you might want to take in the future, or if you’d like to get on a mailing list.

Also–several folks have asked if I would teach their teens or older children a creative writing class. Although I don’t have a lot of experience teaching high schoolers, I would be happy to do so, or to help your high schooler with their writing in a private consultation. I have a lot of experience giving grammar lessons, tutoring English as a Second Language, and working in a writing center. Just send me an email and we can talk about a price that makes the class or tutoring session accessible to your teen or child.

The flyer for the August course is attached below. Feel free to email me for more info about any of it at

Thought for Day 30: Don’t Be That Person

I’m thinking a lot about awareness, lately. Self awareness.  Knowing my flaws, being able to take criticism, and working towards self-improvement.  Of course, as you can tell from the way I’ve been writing these blog posts, I believe that most life wisdom can also be translated into writing wisdom.

If you’ve been in a workshop, you know what it’s like to spend 45 minutes talking about someone’s work and then listening to the author for 15 minutes defend their work against all points of criticism.

Don’t be that person.

It doesn’t matter if the story “actually happened.”

It doesn’t matter if the characters dictated the story in some mystical writing process.

Part of serving the work is improving the work.  A huge part, actually.  I’ve seen writers get slaughtered in workshop and then limp around–I’ve been one of these.  I’ve been slaughtered in workshop and then limped to the bar.  I was less mature then.

It’s a matter of maturity, of course, but an ideal writer already knows what the flaws in the story are before anyone reads the draft.  An ideal writer takes unanticipated criticism home, sleeps on it, and then, when the emotional response has dissipated, re-reads the story to see if the critic is right.

Writers must be ruthless at self-improvement–self-writing-improvement.  A professional chooses story over ego. The critics aren’t always right, but a writer who defends their work to critics is always wrong.