Was ‘write more’ a resolution for 2017? Finishing something you started? Exploring something new? (They’re all on my list and I’m not going to admit which I’ve already slacked off on…) We know sometimes resolutions crumble before January ends, but we’re here to get you back on track! Registration for spring courses is now open and classes start April 3rd. No matter your goals or experience level, we’ve got something for you. Here’s just a few of the options available, and why they speak to me:

Power Up Your Writing: Deeper Characters, Deeper Truths with Rochelle J. Shapiro
How many times have you drifted into writing pages about your characters dealing with an event just so you can understand how they cope? It’s not just me, right? Knowing what your characters desire, need, fear and strive for is integral to developing strong stories. The better we know our characters, the easier time we have getting them to do what we, the creator, want. We spend less time trying to wrangle them and their emotions, and more time getting them to contribute to the story happening around them.

Writing the Personal Essay with Antonia Crane (onsite) or Victoria Zackheim (online)
Personally, I have a difficult time managing my own voice when it comes to nonfiction. And when writing essays, opinion pieces, mini-memoirs, etc, compelling narration is key. What better way to dive in than having a knowledgeable guiding hand and the support of others striving toward the same goal?

  Moving into Stillness: A Yoga-Based Writing Workshop with Virginia Schwartz
Writing is a discipline. It is also, like yoga, a practice. Both require a surrender to ourselves, conscious intention, and a focus beyond the day-to-day to allow us to tap into truer, deeper thoughts, words and actions. Combining movement and meditation to get my head out of my… well, anything that isn’t my writing space, is definitely a balance I could use some help in finding.

Travel Writing as Literary Art Form with Mieke Eerkens
Several friends of mine are, or have been, digital nomads. It seems to be becoming a more prevalent, and desirable, lifestyle. I also don’t know anyone who doesn’t have ‘travel more’ on their to-do (or want-to-do) list. Having more life experiences and a broader knowledge of the world is great, but there’s definitely guidance needed to translate that into good writing.

Writing the Films Audiences Want to See: Film Genre and Structure Workshop with Jule Selbo
There’s a formula to movies (beyond structure, anticipated revenue and established audience) that makes the difference between hits and flops – and it differs from genre to genre. Movie audiences are savvy, but they also expect certain things from various genres and often get frustrated when those things aren’t delivered (alternately, sometimes it’s refreshing when those expectations are subverted, but there’s a formula there, too). Learning to navigate how to tell a compelling story in a fresh way while still appeasing the audience (yes, that matters) is a skill every writer should have.

NEW! Writing for Social Change with Luis J. Rodriguez
(One Day Workshop: Saturday, May 20)
No matter which side of the fence you’re on, the world is a mess right now, yeah? Yeah. Writing with a voice directed toward inspiring action and deep emotional connection is difficult when most of your brain power is taken up thinking ‘WTF?!?’ on a loop. Taking a day to delve into some reflection, history, and personal connection (literally connection to your own person) benefits you and how you react to and engage with the world.

We’re also offering a new 3-Course Short Story Series, exploring and developing skills in this challenging and powerful writing form. For me, short fiction is the most difficult discipline, and even if you can sail through telling a short story, there’s always more to learn!

Register for classes online at uclaextension.edu or by phone at 310-825-9971.
If you have any questions about specific courses, you know where to find us— writers@uclaextension.edu or 310-825-9415!

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

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