Teaching and Speaking

PostcardWriteYourLife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now scheduling dates for this workshop tour. Presenting a series of four “Write Your Life” workshops with award-winning instructor, Angela F. Foster. Classes will include writing assignments and feedback, with an optional fifth session on the use of research to deepen improve your personal stories. Modified one or two-day workshops are available.

Class Description:  Do you have a story to tell? Do you worry your children and grandchildren will never know the simple pleasures of growing up in a world without cell phones and Internet? Does your history include family lore that should be captured on paper? Through the use of free writes and prompts, we’ll begin putting those memories on paper. You’ll learn practical ways to create stories your family will enjoy for generations.

Classes will include worksheets with interesting and fun writing assignments. Participants will be able to use these worksheets to create a 3-ring binder of stories for their families. Class time will be used create new work, learn the basics of writing family stories, and feedback on the stories created.

Contact Angela for more information or to schedule your workshops.

Keynote Address: Angela is available for speaking engagements. Her most popular subject is the importance of writing family stories. During this talk, Angela will  read a few short poems from her book “Farm Girls” and discuss the reasons the poems were written, inspiring guests to write their stories before they are  forgotten or lost to time.

Additional speaking topics could focus on the publication journey, how to create a writing community, or  tools to help get your stories written.  Or simply make a topic suggestion and Angela will try to accommodate!

Angela has found that students want feedback on their work. During the longer session classes, opportunity will be provided for writers to read excerpts from their work and receive positive, affirming feedback.  Class length can be adjusted to fit the schedule available at your facility. All classes are appropriate for writers age 17 and up. Please contact Angela for information regarding availability and pricing. Most classes can also be adjusted for fiction and memoir students, in order to reach a larger audience.

The following are some of the classes Angela teaches:

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MY MOST POPULAR CLASS! Beginning Memoir: Finding the Story.  Do you have a memory that shimmers in your mind? One that begs to be written? Do you find it difficult to get started? Through the use of prompts and free writes, we’ll get those memories on paper. We’ll talk about the basics of memoir and the details that bring them to life. You’ll leave this class with at least three works-in-progress and ideas for many more.  (This class can be either two or three hours.)

Memoir Building Blocks. Do you have a story to tell but need a nudge to get it on the page? Or are you ready to revise some of the work you have already written? In this class, we will study the elements of writing an engaging memoir—character development, setting, dialogue, tense, story and the use of scene, summary and reflection.  (This class can be modified to work as a 2 day workshop, or a four or six week class which meets once a week for two hours.)

Beginning Fiction/Memoir Workshop   This class will cover basic writing techniques for memoir and fiction writers with in class writing exercises, writing assignments, and time to share your work.  Sessions are 2 – 3 hours, usually meeting weekly for a period of 4-8 weeks. Time can be adjusted to your schedule and availability.

Writing Class for Fiction and Memoir Writers.  Getting Started: Writing the Scene, the Basic Building Block of Story. During this class you will   learn how to create vivid scenes through the use of sensory details, dynamic prose and showing versus telling. Suitable for most levels, from beginning to mid-level writers. (minimum time 3 hours, prefer all day event or 5 hours)

A Writing Retreat for all Genres. Do you long for time to work without the distractions of daily life? Do you find it impossible to squeeze time from your week to actually sit down and write? During this one-day retreat, you’ll be given a variety of writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. We’ll talk about goals and get sensible advice to inspire you to continue writing. Class suitable for all skill levels and genres. (Day long retreat – usually from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.)

How to Attract Readers (or Publishers) With an Engaging First Page: The first paragraphs of your manuscript have an important job—to hook the reader and keep him turning the pages. So how do you make your opening page a grabber? During this workshop we will discuss the components of an effective first page, view examples of current works and end with practical advice to help implement these details in your own work.  Bring your first page of a memoir or novel for critique. This workshop is suitable for all genres. (2-3 hours)

Re-Imagining Memoir: In this workshop, the focus will be on the building blocks of memoir: scene, summary and reflection. We’ll talk about the different strategies a writer can use to re-imagine a story. While geared towards memoir writers, this class will be helpful to anyone attempting to tell a story, real or imagined. (Two or three hours)

Writing Family Stories. Do you want to write  family stories for future generations? Do you worry your children and grandchildren will never know the simple pleasures of growing up in a world without cell phones and Internet? Through the use of free writes and prompts, we’ll begin putting those memories onto paper. I’ll give  practical advice to help you write stories your family will treasure for generations. (two or three hours)

Intermediate Memoir: Beg, Borrow, Steal. How do you re-create your life on the page? How do you write stories that keep readers wanting more? In this intermediate class, we will study the techniques of well-known writers and examine how these authors use tension, story arc and structure to create great stories. We will “steal” these ideas and use them to improve our own writing. There will be ample opportunity for students to share their writing and give feedback to others. (six weeks/2 hour sessions)

Writing Description. Writers strive to tell great stories. A descriptive setting immerses readers in your story world, but too much becomes boring. How do you keep your reader feeling as if they have stepped into your book’s world? How much setting do you need? During this class we will explore the use of description and learn methods to create a vivid world. Suitable for anyone who strives to tell a great story. (2-3 hour session)

Writing Dialogue. Dialogue allows the reader to hear directly from a character. It needs to sound realistic, but it can’t be like an actual conversation. A good story has dialogue fluidity—it must flow like clear water, without lumps and bumps. How does a writer achieve this? During this class we will look at examples from successful writers, learn techniques, and attempt to create great dialogue in our own work. (2-3 hour session)

How to Find, Enter and Improve Your Odds of Winning a Writing Contest. Winning a contest or having an entry selected for an anthology is a powerful affirmation of a writer’s ability and offers encouragement to any level of writer. Angela has an arsenal of personal experience to assist writers who want to get started in the contest game. Attendees will learn where to find contests, gain an understanding of how to determine which ones to enter, instruction on how to prepare submissions and tips on detecting scams. (2 or 3 hours)

Creative Writing Boot Camp: Strive to Tell Great Stories!
During this one-day workshop, creative writing teachers Angela F. Foster and her sister, award-winning author Candace Simar, will discuss the components of a great story—a setting that immerses the reader in your story world, conflict that keeps your reader turning the pages, and dialogue with fluidity, flowing like clear water without lumps and bumps.  The class will include discussion of the common missteps writers make and how to avoid them, along with instruction on point of view, writing that important first page, and creating interesting characters.  For information regarding Candace Simar, please visit her website at www.candacesimar.com.  A copy of the successful grant written for the Crossing Arts Alliance is available.
For information regarding other classes I teach or questions about class content and availability, please contact me.
Tame the Memoir Monster: What to Put In, What to Leave Out. Alfred Hitchcock said, “Drama is life with the dull bits left out.” That’s a good lesson for memoir writers. But how do we know what is important enough to leave in and what can be left out? During this class, we’ll discuss memoir and do some quick writing exercises. You’ll leave with a better understanding of story and how to hone it down to the best it can be.
Advanced Memoir Workshop: During this 8-12 session class, writers will have an opportunity to submit up to 20 pages for review from the teacher and students on a rotating basis (depending on number of participants and hours of class).  Participants will be asked to read 4 manuscripts of 20 pages each week and offer critique and review.
Business Writing –  How to Get your Point Across in a Clear and Interesting Way.  During this fun and fast-paced class, we’ll read and discuss actual newsletters, blogs, and letters to the editor. We’ll tear them apart and put them back together again to create interesting reads. You’ll walk away from this class with an understanding of the pitfalls to avoid and the skill to create work your readers will enjoy.
Business Writing – Common Writing Errors and How to Avoid Them.  This workshop focuses on creating confidence in your business correspondence. A PowerPoint presentation will point out many common errors and some short and easy rules to avoid them.