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.

Making Your Writing Unforgettable:

Finding the Voice That Makes Your Readers Keep Turning the Pages with Constance Hale

February 20, 2017, 2-5 p.m.

Mark Hopkins Hotel ~ San Francisco

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. Handouts.

You will learn how 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
Fee: $79. Register at sfwriters.org. 

Fundamentals of Freelancing

March 7- March 28 (online)

UC-Berkeley Extension

This compact seminar offers inspiration and practical advice to help you design the writing life you want. You examine the changing media landscape and develop strategies to both survive and thrive in it. We'll deepen your understanding of what magazines, newspapers, books and websites look for, and discuss where and how social media and blogging fit in. You also consider how to support dream projects with good work that pays the bills—whether it's tech writing, teaching, ghostwriting or corporate editing. Guests share their unvarnished experiences, and innovative course materials help you define your goals, sharpen your skills and develop a personal strategy. The presentations are rich in wisdom, the exercises rigorous but fun. Departmental contact: extension-letters@berkeley.edu | (510) 643-1110. Full description here.

Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival

May 6 & 7 2017

Honolulu, HI

The 12th Annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival will take place in Downtown Honolulu on the Civic Grounds by Honolulu Hale. This two-day celebration of storytelling, books, and music features panels, presentations, and performances by authors and musicians from Hawai‘i and beyond. Find more details here.

Mokule‘ia Writers Retreat

May 7 to 12, 2017

On Oahu’s North Shore

This intimate gathering is led by Constance Hale, a native of Mokule‘ia. Daily workshops with Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Bridget Quinn, and Zoe FitzGerald Carter cover poetry, fiction, nonfiction and memoir. Additional sessions include elements of fiction, poetry, children’s literature, and a special visual workshop. Kumu Hula Patrick Makuakāne will discuss the tradition—and the edges—of hula. The retreat also features Hawaiian music, yoga, swimming, coaching, beachcombing, readings, and a hike to a very special site. Cost (includes lodging, meals, workshops & activities): $900-1,300, with a day rate for locals also available. Details on packages here.