Richard teaches an 8-week Writers Studio Workshop in Tucson, Arizona for writers of fiction, poetry, memoir, and creative nonfiction. Registration is open for his next workshop that begins Saturday, January 25, 2019.
He also teaches an occasional 6-week “Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds” workshop online for writers of speculative fiction and poetry, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror, using The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. More information will be provided when this workshop is offered again.
Full course descriptions below.
Writers Studio Tucson Workshop
The Writers Studio Tucson Workshop, the first of our three levels, is designed for students at all levels who are new to The Writers Studio method. This Workshop is open to both beginning and experienced writers eager to learn the elements of craft, including first- and third-person narrators, tone and mood. An important goal of the workshop is to help writers understand that a narrative voice is born out of conscious creation and not merely the voice we use when speaking or keeping a journal. We encourage students to turn autobiographical fragments into publishable work by using different narrative personas to tell their story in fiction and poetry.
Through exercises, students experiment with narrative and poetic techniques. Our exercises are designed to stimulate students’ imaginations while also teaching a lot of nuts-and-bolts narrative strategies They focus on both fiction and poetry, and use published examples of both genres as models.
Each week we assign a brief reading combined with an exercise, and the teacher explains the technique that makes the piece effective. The following week students bring their written exercise to class, where it is read aloud. Classmates offer feedback, and then the teacher, who has been trained for three years in The Writers Studio method, gives the final supportive critique. A few of the eight weeks are spent revising and deepening exercises written during the term.
Crafting Fantastic and Imaginative Worlds
Masters of speculative fiction and poetry (including science fiction, fantasy, and horror) make use of narrative techniques like persona narrators, point-of-view, tone, mood, and world-building to craft fantastic and imaginative worlds that parallel, reflect, and critique our own real world. Imagining utopias, dinosaurs, dystopias, aliens, terror, time travel, sentient starships, and magical beings and cities to speculate about past and future possibilities might also help writers and readers of speculative works to transform our present for the better.
Every week, students will look at narrative techniques used in classic and contemporary short stories and poems by writers such as N.K. Jemisin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Rachel Swirsky, Alyssa Wong, Ray Bradbury, Christina Sng, Linda Addison, Mary Soon Lee, Mimi Mondal, Shirley Jackson, Sam J. Miller, and Neil Gaiman. Students will then practice these techniques in their own speculative pieces with practical, hands-on exercises based on the readings. These exercises will help students define who is telling their story, how the story is being told, where and when the story takes place, what details are important, and why their particular story needs to be told.
This workshop is open to writers of all levels and experience who are interested in writing speculative fiction and poetry. Students will share their fiction or poetry with their fellow writers and the instructor in a safe place online and can expect helpful and encouraging feedback in return, using The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. Students will have the opportunity to join a weekly hour-long chat with the instructor where they can find additional support and join conversations about narrative techniques and favorite speculative genres.
As a student, I attended two Writers Studio Tucson workshops taught by Lela Scott MacNeil in the spring and summer of 2016, moved on to Phil Ivory’s Intermediate workshops, and then Janelle Drumwright’s Advanced workshop. I now regularly attend Director Reneé Bibby’s Master workshops.
Instructors at The Writers Studio are talented published writers who have attended all levels of workshops as students and are passionate about The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. I became a writing instructor and began teaching workshop in Tucson in April 2019 and online workshops in July 2019. I was delighted to be asked to join the team and now I get to share with new students the same joy and encouragement I received along the way.
The Writers Studio also offers workshops and crafts classes in New York—where the school was founded by poet Philip Schultz in 1987—and in Hudson Valley and San Francisco. Online courses you can take from anywhere are also available! Check here for a full list of courses.