Often when looking at writing courses as a beginner, or someone getting back into classes after years out of school, the number of options can be daunting. Not everyone enters into creative writing classes knowing which area they want to focus on – and some folk want to focus on more than one, but aren’t sure where to begin. Our newly redesigned Introduction to Creative Writing course aims to help those people, while also engaging the participants in our workshop-class model.

Below is a banquet metaphor breakdown of the class for Summer 2017, organized by instructor Harry Youtt, who teaches one section of the course with Judith Prager.

This isn’t an ordinary course. At this banquet, Judith and Harry host one table of students. The other table is hosted by Francesca Lia Block.

Each week begins at separate “tables” (classrooms). The first ninety minutes is the cocktail and appetizer part of the banquet. We hang out and talk about writing. We discuss the guest appearance from the previous week, and we exchange and discuss pieces the previous week’s assignment has generated.

After a short break, the two groups combine for the guest appearance, or main course. Each guest focuses on and talks about their specialty. At the end of the guest session, each guest presents a take-home writing assignment.

When students take this class, they sign on for a SAMPLER that can influence their entire future in the Writers’ Program. Most of the guest speakers are Writers’ Program instructors, and all are significant figures in their specialty. Students get to see how it feels to take a class that the guest speaker teaches.

Guest Speaker and Instructor, Barbara Abercrombie

Consider this the menu of weekly specials:
Storytelling – Steven Wolfson
Poetry – Luis J. Rodriguez
Fiction – Lilliam Rivera
Non-Fiction – Antonia Crane
Screenwriting – Billy Mernit
Personal Essay – Barbara Abercrombie

The course starts on July 15th. Currently, the section with Harry & Judith is full, but there’s still room at Francesca’s table. If you’ve wanted to take a creative writing course but aren’t sure where to begin, this is the sampler course for you!

Bree is the Assistant to the Director and Social Media Coordinator. You can email her at btodish@uclaextension.edu.

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