Writing Classes & Conferences

This is an entirely subjective selection of classes taught either by me or by writers and teachers I respect. I also include writing conferences that I am participating in, or that I think are well worth your time and money. All are listed (more or less) in chronological order, unless one item is especially newsy.

Sin and Syntax Workshop:

Grammar Brush-up for Writers

June 23 ~ SF Writers' Grotto ~ San Francisco

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Six hours, 60 bucks, free bagels, buckets of grammar.  How can you resist? Grotto member Connie Hale will lead you through a series of hilarious exercises to perk up your writing in surprising ways. (We’ll use Sin and Syntax as our guide, but dip also into Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch.) Writers will stretch new muscles, disabuse themselves of bad habits, and duke it out in a war of words. We’ll also talk about how to cultivate that most elusive of literary elements: the writer’s voice. This 1-day session is perfect for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir who want to take their prose to the next level. While we realize this is catnip for students heading back-to-school, the course is intended for adult writers and writing teachers. No grammar competency required, but a sense of humor is a must. Register here.

You recognize a literary voice when you read it. Some writers put words on pages in a distinctive way. But how do you move from clear, competent sentences to those that sparkle with your personality? Connie will explain the idea of literary voice and show you how your own experiments with vocabulary, tone, point of view, and sentence length will make your writing so distinctive that readers have to keep reading. You will learn to:
  • Avoid the seven habits of ho-hum sentences
  • Use Connie’s three spectra for choosing words for maximum impact
  • Modulate phrasing and rhythm to create emotional effects
  • Play ventriloquist to help find your voice
  • Allow your sentences to echo to your meaning
Co-sponsored by Mechanics' Institute and San Francisco Writers Conference/San Francisco Writers Foundation. Click here to register.