Paying Attention: The Art of Crafting Unforgettable Description
How many times do we see or hear something, or have some insight we want to remember, only to tell ourselves we’ll record it later? How often do we lose it or forget we ever noticed it in the first place? Whether crafting fiction, memoir, nonfiction, or poetry, the most memorable description occurs when language seems to match experience, when as readers we feel language "clicking into place," as the poet Mark Doty put it. Such descriptions are instantly recognizable. They don't sound made up but rather come from a writer's commitment to accuracy, to slowing down and observing the world, including ourselves, with care. Join Maria in this three-hour generative class devoted to crafting unforgettable, on-the-nose description. Appropriate for all genres and levels. Limited to 12 writers.
WHEN: 3 Hours: Saturday, December 17 (1 - 4pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference (live)
1. Practice paying attention as a writer, that is, noticing what you want to take back to your desk.
2. Begin to establish, or refresh, a regular habit of note-taking
3. Practice turning brief and sometimes hurried notes into descriptive passages
4. Generate new descriptive passages for use in your own writing
5. See examples of great description in short fiction.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
MARIA BLACK has written literary fiction for over twenty years and has seen her stories published in numerous literary journals. She was awarded a 2022 Pushcart Prize for “Mark on the Cross,” a story published by The Sun Magazine and a Bentley Prize by The Seattle Review. Her fiction has been included in several books on writing. Maria was born in Houston and graduated with an honors degree in English Literature from The University of Texas at Austin. She worked on Capitol Hill for six years, then earned her MBA at Yale University before moving first to Boston and later to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Maria earned her MFA in fiction in 2015 from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where she taught freshman writing and creative writing. She currently lives in Northampton, MA with her husband.
RECEIVING THE ZOOM LINK: For one-day workshops, we send out the link to attend the Zoom session 1 - 2 days before the event, via email. For multi-week workshops, you should receive info and the link about 3 - 5 days before. Please mark your calendars when you first register and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the class, please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org before contacting us. We have found that very often our emails end up in those folders. This is based on your own email settings, and you can prevent this by adding our email as a contact.
ONLINE SESSIONS happen remotely, via Zoom video conference. All you need is a laptop, computer, or phone with functioning audio and a webcam. Those who RSVP receive directions and a link to "join" the session via email (please see above note about receiving the Zoom link). All online instructors will log on to the video conference a few minutes before the start of the session, so please plan to log on early if you'd like assistance! We'll do everything in our power to help you get comfortable with the Zoom format, though we are not able to offer technical assistance beyond basic Zoom orientation.
REFUND & CREDIT POLICIES AT PVWW
Because of non-refundable fees that we, PVWW, must pay for every transaction that happens, we are not able to give full refunds to those who register then withdraw from a workshop or class. If you withdraw from a workshop ten days or more before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop or class of equal value OR a refund minus 10%. If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive full credit toward another class OR a refund minus 30%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We are not able to offer you credit toward another class or a partial refund, unless in the case of a medical emergency. If we have to cancel a class for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or if you choose, a credit in the amount of your payment, to be used for any future PVWW class. Anyone who does not specify whether they would like a refund or a credit for a cancelled class within 3 months will automatically be refunded. Please contact Joy (email@example.com) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.