Saturday, June 27, 2009

Emotion Words

For memoir, you need to show emotion. Here is a list of emotion words that might be helpful!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Places to Publish Short Memoir

* Thin Threads
* Chicken Soup for the Soul
* Cup of Comfort for the Soul
* Skirt!
* Brevity

To find places to publish memoir:

* Funds for Writers
* Writers Market

Some Cool Writing Prompts

[Being Unprepared] Because you have been sick, out of town, busy at work, or working on other homework, you didn't have as much time to study for an important test as you needed. Everyone going to school has been in this situation. Think of a specific test that you took that you felt unprepared for and narrate the events. Tell your readers about the preparation that you were able to do, the reasons that you didn't get to prepare as well as you wanted, taking the test, and any significant events that happened after you took the test. Your paper should help readers understand what it felt like to be unprepared.

[Lightbulb Moment] Think of an experience when you realized that you suddenly understood an idea, a skill, or a concept you had been struggling with -- it might be something related to a class that you took or a specific athletic skill you were trying to perfect. For instance, you might think about trying to understand how to identify iambic pentameter in a poem or how to complete a Taylor Series problem in your Calculus class. Or you might consider trying to perfect your free throws and suddenly understanding how your follow-through was affecting your success. Write a narrative that tells the story of your movement toward understanding. How did you finally come to understand? What changed your perceptions and gave you a new understanding? Your paper should help readers understand how you felt to struggle with the idea or skill and then to understand.

[Childhood Event] Choose a vivid time from your childhood — You might think of the first time that you rode a school bus, of a time when you went to the principal's office, the first A you earned on a test or paper, earning money to buy something that you really wanted, and so on. Narrate the events related to the childhood memory that you've chosen so that your readers will understand why the event was important and memorable.

[Achieving a Goal] Think of a time when you achieved a personal goal — you might have finally completed a marathon or triathlon, or you might have bettered your score on the SATs or another test, or you might have learned how to use a piece of software like Microsoft Word or Excel. Tell your readers about the story of how you met your goal. Be sure that your readers understand why the goal is important to you.

[The Good and the Bad] Think about an event in your life that seemed bad but turned out to be good. Maybe you got injured and while you were waiting for your broken leg to heal, you learned how to use a computer. What makes the event change from bad to good may be something that you learned as a result, something that you did differently as a result, or something that happened that wouldn't have occurred otherwise. Tell the story of the event that you experienced and help your readers understand how an event that seemed negative turned out to have valuable consequences.

[Being a Teacher] Teaching someone else how to do something can be rewarding. Think of a skill that you've taught someone else how to do. Perhaps you taught someone else how to swim, showed someone how to bake a souffle, or helped someone learn how to study more effectively. Think about the events that made up the process of teaching the skill, and narrate the story for your readers.

[Changing Places] Every place has things that change — sometimes as the result of economics, sometimes because different people are involved, and sometimes for no clear reason that you know about. Think of a change to a place that you know well. Perhaps the local grocery store you grew up with as Smith and Bros. Grocery was bought out by a regional chain like Food Lion or Winn Dixie. Maybe the First National Bank of Smithburg suddenly becomes NationsBank. Perhaps the change was more personal -- an older sibling moves out of the house and your family changes the room to a guest room or an office. Think of a specific change and narrate the events that occurred. Readers should know the details of the change, and they should know how you feel about the changes that occurred.

[Personal Rituals] Describe a personal ritual that you, your friends, or your family have. Think about the personal steps that you always go through when you prepare for an exam. Do you sit at a desk, spread books and notes across your bed, or use the kitchen table? Do you have to have something to drink...soda, water, jolt? There are numerous things that we do for which we create our own personal rituals. Choose one event — studying for a test, writing a paper, dressing and warming up before a game, or preparing and having a special family meal. Narrate the events that take place when you complete your ritual so that your readers understand the steps that the ritual includes and why you complete them.

[Standing Up] Choose a time when you did something that took a lot of nerve, a time when you didn't follow the crowd or a time when you stood up for your beliefs. Perhaps your friends were urging you to do something that you were uncomfortable with and you chose not to cave into peer pressure. Maybe you took a stance on a political issue that was important in your community, or you might have Whatever you choose, think about the details of the event and write a story that tells about what happened. Your narrative should show your readers why you decided to make a stand or try something that took nerve, give specifics on the events, and share how you felt after the event.

[Disagreeing] Think of a time when you disagreed with a decision that had been made and did something about it. The decision might have been made by someone you know personally — your Biology teacher announced a new policy to grade for spelling and grammar on your quizzes and homework, or an older family member decides to cancel a subscription to a magazine that you liked to read. You might have responded by discussing your concerns with your principal or dean, or you might have decided to get a part-time job to earn enough money to buy the magazine yourself. Or the decision could have been made by someone you never met — perhaps your school board decided to change the lines in your school district so that you would have to go to a different school, or your state legislature has passed a bill that you disagreed with. Your response might have been to write a letter to the editor, to your state representative, or to the school board. Whatever happened, your job is to write a paper that narrates the events that occurred -- from the decision that was made to your response. Be sure that your paper gives enough details that your readers understand why you disagreed with the decision and why you felt that your response was appropriate.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Memoir Daily Log

Submitted by Lilless McPherson Shilling

Journal. Delores led us in our journal writing. She asked us to write a six-word memoir based on some of the following topics: your first job, your first kiss, what you were like in elementary school, secret of being in a good relationship or marriage, your biggest regret, the best trip you ever took.

Delores gave us a handout of personal history questions from Real Simple magazine and suggested a website for six-word memoirs:

Snacks. I introduced the snacks, including some that were “memoir” snacks: orange slices, ginger snaps, fig bars, popcorn, and fruit cocktail.

Odds & ends. We talked about plans for the October writing marathon.
Book discussion. We discussed Bret Lott’s memoir, Before We Get Started. The conversation centered on Lott’s reliance on faith and the similarities and differences between Lott and Stephen King.

Similarities: Both authors discuss rejection, the influence of their wives, and the importance of discipline and honesty in writing. Both admire the writing of Raymond Carver, a short story writer.

Differences: King uses humor and profane language to humorous effect. While both referred to other writers, Lott uses much longer quotes.

Mini-lesson. Amy led us in a mini-lesson on dialog. She asked us to think about when to use it, when not to use it, how to use it, and how to make it sound realistic. She said, “In memoir, it’s a way of bringing other peoples’ voices into your text.” Our exercise was to create a dialogue between Stephen King, Bret Lott, and William Zinsser. She handed out “12 Exercises for Improving Dialog.”

We devoted the rest of our session to response group and writing time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24, 2009 Daily Log

8:30am- class started with another gorgeous sunrise over The Citadel Beach House on IOP.

Journal exercise by Lynda Biel used art to release the literary muse. We used crayons to color & draw images inside a mandala circle. Our guided imagery was to answer the questions: How do our 'masks' help us with our writing? When do our 'masks' hinder our writing?

A visitor to the beach club provided Amy with a potential opportunity to do some future interviewing of a WWII veteran. This could lead to an oral history project for the Lowcountry Writing Project.

Amy led us in a mini-lessons on seeing objects in a new way. This produced a writing assignment that we shared with each other.

We had a time to share our current writing project. Many meaningful remarks were exchanged.

Delicious snacks were enjoyed throughout class.

We talked about future assignments: the Brett Lott review and meta-text, in letter form.

Have a creative evening,

Volunteer at a Creativity Summer Camp at Edisto


Hey you!
What are your summer plans?
Want an excuse to go to Edisto Island and have a blast, all while making a difference in the lives of some of the coolest
kids you’ll ever meet?

SideWalk Chalk presents CREATE, a summer art and writing camp for the students of Jane Edwards Elementary in Edisto.

We are looking for volunteers to assist us in this adventure!

If you are an artist, writer, gardener, actor, or athlete, AWESOME! We’ll put your skills to use. If you are not any of those, AWESOME! We’ll still put you to use!

CREATE is to take place over the month of July and will include workshops in short story writing, painting, poetry, photography, gardening, and much more! We will also be putting on a play and creating a mural for the school.

Come help out for a day, a week, or the whole month.

Here are the dates and times that are available to volunteers:

Monday July 6 Monday July 20
Tuesday July 7 Tuesday July 21
Wednesday July 8 Wednesday July 22

Monday July 13 Monday July 27
Tuesday July 14 Tuesday July 28
Wednesday July 15 Wednesday July 29
Thursday July 30
Friday July 31



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daily Log Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Prepared by Delores Schweitzer

We started today’s class with a journal prompt by Grier. She explained how she uses and grades journals in her classes, emphasizing the importance of give students some choice and flexibility in how they approach the assignment, while still holding them to high expectations in length, specificity, and commitment to following directions. Grier brought a stack of folders that held postcards or pictures clipped from magazines and books. Typically, the students choose a folder (sometimes, she lets them choose a second time if they don’t like what they pick), and then they get instructions on what to write. Examples are:

• Write a letter trigger by the picture. Who is the letter to? Who from? What is it about?
• Write a story about what you see. Make sure there is a beginning, middle and end.
• Describe what you see in sentences (or brainstorm clusters, for younger students).
• Draw your own version of the picture and change some element. Then tell about that change.
• Use the picture as a bridge to a personal experience or other art (music, book, movie) or idea you have encountered in the news, science, the Bible, etc.

Grier invited us to choose whatever approach we wanted. Our pictures ranged from photos to portraits to landscapes, providing for lots of interesting stories.

Snacks were provided by Delores, featuring Latte Poundcake with coffee glaze (all decaf, so as not to give us the shakes), fruit tossed in lavender syrup, Fig Newtons and packages of trail mix. The recipe for the lavender syrup is as follows:

Boil one cup of water. Remove from heat. Steep two tablespoons of lavender flowers in the water for at least ten minutes. Strain flowers from water, or better still, use a tea ball to contain them while steeping. Reheat water to boiling, remove from heat, and add one cup of sugar, stirring until it is dissolved. Allow syrup to cool and store in the refrigerator. Use as a dressing for fruit salads – together, they make a great fruit compote to go on top of pancakes, pound cake or vanilla ice cream!

Next, we discussed our readings from In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal and On Writing Well by William Zinsser. We started with the stories from In Brief that we liked, considering the techniques that worked for us and why. Some of the favorites were “Swimming with Canoes,” “A Sense of Water,” “Bobcats,” and “The Indian Dog,” while none of us seemed particularly crazy about “The Missing Star.” We spoke at length about the virtues of creating short pieces that convey feelings and events in a variety of different ways, and how these stories might be used in a class situation. Upon reviewing our experience of the Zinsser book, we found it closer to a style manual than the Lott or King books. Having signed up for a memoir class, it is not surprising that we prefer Lott’s and King’s approaches to teaching the craft of writing with carefully chosen examples from their own lives. However, we agree that Zinsser has many valuable things to say about writing, and it is a text well-suited to college classes.

In today’s Mini Lesson, Amy asked us to visualize one particular object and write it down. After checking that we had all done this, she asked us to explain how our mothers were like the objects we chose. We did so, and then shared what we wrote. Amy explained that there was power in unexpected comparisons, as shown in some of the originality of pairings, and our challenge as writers is to avoid the schmaltzy and cliché, looking for original ways to present ideas and paint visual pictures for our readers. She also emphasized the importance of looking at the hard stuff – the unattractive parts of the people we are describing – because this lends credibility to our objectivity as storytellers.

After the Mini Lesson, Teri and Lynda went to the computer lab, as their King discussion was completed yesterday. Grier, Lilless and Delores met to plan the discussion of Bret Lott’s book on Thursday. After this, we spent the last hour of class writing and/or revising our memoirs.

Amy closed class with reminders of what to bring and how to prepare for the Beach House activities tomorrow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Daily Log, Monday, June 22, 2009

Submitted by Lilless McPherson Shilling

Today we moved to a new room because the Young Writers Camp has so many people. (Good news for them.) Our new room is more intimate.

Teri asked us to write about mentors and mentoring. This led to a good discussion of who have been our mentors and whom we have mentored.

We discussed Stephen King’s book On Writing. Following are some of the key points people made:
I trusted his judgment because I saw his journey.
He shared his imperfections. People don’t want to read about perfect people.
I liked that he talked about four to five hours a day of reading.
It’s okay to copy someone else’s style.
We have a tendency to separate our writing from literature.

Amy led us through a mini-lesson where we combined character and place and added plot by using filmmaking techniques. She asked us to visualize a person with whom we have had a complex relationship. First we described the person’s hands. Then we visualized something characteristic those hands would do. Then she said, “Take the camera lens and focus on where this person is.” Finally she asked us to introduce a story, a plot line. Our work based on this exercise was creative and emotional.

We spent the rest of our time working in the computer room until we met to discuss our homework for Tuesday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Writing Marathon

The Summer 2009 Memoir Class went on a writing marathon in downtown Charleston today. The participants can leave pieces of writing from the marathon on the blog by:

* clicking on the "comment" link below
* typing or copying and pasting text into the editing window
* clicking on "publish"

You can read them by clicking on the "comment" link.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Memoir Class Update

Daily Log—Lowcountry Writing Project—Memoir Class
Thursday, June 18,2009

Lilless opened class with a guided imagery journal prompt. She told us to close our eyes and picture our favorite place. She read a series of instructions mixed with questions: she helped us relax our bodies and then helped our minds come up with details of the place. Then she told us to open our eyes and write about the place and we did. Amy discussed shifting the schedule a bit since she could build on Lilless’ prompt. We read our journals aloud—we’d chosen beaches, reading, a city in Italy.

Then came Amy’s mini-lesson on writing. She had us look through our journal entry for sensory details; the lesson worked since most of had few or primarily visual ones. So she talked about “show not tell” and emphasized that we should incorporate details that go beyond the visual since the reader relies heavily on them.

Next came an exercise…a guided meditation involving snacks. Amy instructed us to choose a snack, take a bite, and then write what it tastes like. Then we read our responses.

The book groups met:

Lyn and Teri—King
Dolores, Lilless, and Grier—Lott

Response group time followed; we stayed with our book groups.

Then we went up to the computer lab to read and write and to learn how to post Assignment 1 to the class blog. Kudos and thanks to Amy for making the process easy.

Memoir Class Update

Daily Log for June 17, 2009
Prepared by Delores Schweitzer

Today, we took our first class trip to the Citadel Beach House. We started the day with a journal prompt by Delores, where we explored our perceptions of water as a means of comfort or transformation. After writing, we shared and discovered many different ideas of water, from threatening to soothing, secular to spiritual.

Delores brought a friend along, Deanna Ryan, who is a teacher and writer from Georgia that happens to be visiting her this week. Deanna introduced herself and we all introduced ourselves. Because we now had six participants, we broke into two Response Groups: Grier, Lilless and Deanna were in one group, and Lynda, Teri and Delores in the other. In these groups, we shared our first drafts of Assignment #1.

At 10:30, we gathered with the students of the Summer Institute for a talk and Q&A with author Bret Lott. He shared his story of how he went from being a park ranger wanna be to an RC Cola salesman to a writer and teacher. His story kept us entertained and gave us much to ponder, especially in the form of some of these quotes:

“To be a writer is to sit on your butt alond and write things down.”

“The writer doesn’t know anything but is trying to find out.”

Advice on teaching: “Remember the basics.”

Advice on self-editing: “It’s hard to do because you like what you wrote. Get people who are cold and calculating and ruthless and intelligent who love you. Develop another part of your mind that is cold. Read each time like you never have seen it before and keep cutting to make your writing stronger.”

Flannery O’Connor said every time she sits down to write, she imagines a reader saying, “I don’t see it. I don’t get it. I don’t see it.”

On the difference between truth and fact: “You can’t stray from fact. The variable factor in writing that is untrustrworthy is me. Fess up early that this is me and I am doing the best I can not to alter things to make me look good.”

On teaching reading in school (SI book group on Readicide): We think books are important and we try to jam too much down their throats when they are not mature enough to understand. Catcher in the Rye and Catch-22 are heirloom books, passed down as important by another generation of teachers. We accept the offering rather than finding other books more relevant and teachable. We need to keep reading contemporary lit – dipping in to find something that speaks to them.

On the writing process:

• “Your imagination comes from your experience.”
• “No one knows what makes your mother tick. But you know what buttons to press.”
• Faulkner, when asked if he ever had the desire to get his characters out of trouble, said, “By that time, it’s too late and I’m chasing them with my pencil.”
• The high point of writing is when your characters do something unexpected, because then they have taken a on a life of their own.
• A writer must have empathy for others’ actions, not be judgmental.
• When writing a novel, each chapter is a kind of short story. Characters move forward, have an epiphany or miss an epiphany.

On how we can carry techniques of writing fiction into other types of writing:

• Have a personal stake in whatever you are writing.
• Be as specific and detailed as possible.
• Have fun.
• Communication clearly and from the heart what you think.
• To stay focused, write the question you are trying to answer or address at the top of each page.
• Realize that all your opportunities to write can hone your skills. For example, he views his comments on student papers as little persuasive essays.

The visit with Bret Lott wrapped up at about 12:00. We closed with Author’s Chair on the back porch and departed.

Revision Checklist for Memoir

Revision Checklist for Memoir

____ Is the opening engaging?
____ Does it start with action?
____ Does the memoir piece focus on one moment, one time, one specific incident? (as in “One day I..” and not “I often do this…..”
____ Does it tell a story, with a clear beginning, middle, and end?
____ Do flashbacks (if there are any) make sense? Do they provide context for the story being told?
____ Can you find sensory details?
____ Do you feel transported to the place where the story is happening?
____ Does the piece include dialogue?
____ Do you feel that you know the characters? Do you care about them?
____ Does the author use multiple techniques to reveal the character to the reader (characterization)?
____ Does the author reflect on the significance of the story?
____ Does the “I” learn something from the experience described in the story?
____ Has the author used any key objects for symbols?
____ Does the author use figurative language?
____ Does the author use varied sentence structures?
____ Does the author limit use of adverbs? Adjectives?
____ Does the author use strong, specific, and active verbs?
____ Is the piece free from grammatical and spelling errors?
____ Does the ending provide a sense of closure?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daily Log - Lowcountry Writing Project - Memoir Writing Course
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Only one complaint about the course: Amy has set too high a standard with all the healthy food she brought on Monday.

We agreed that all the objects Lynda brought for prompts stimulated the creative writing process. We wanted to be able to choose more of them to write about. The end of the table was covered: tiny Japanese dolls, paper stars, antique eyeglasses, sacred Hawaiian beads, beads on a string, costume jewelry, a crystal ink well, and much more.

Amy gave a mini-lesson on the difference between character and characterization. The former is the description of a person; the latter is an an explanation of how the person changes over time and the techniques used to reveal the character, i.e., compare and contrast.

Next the blog lesson following the booklet that Amy authored. We wre too proud of ourselves! Some of us blogged for the first time.

Not much time left for working on Assignment I. That will keep until the afternoon or evening.

Memoir Course Daily Log

We started the Open Institute -- "Creative Nonfiction: Crafting Short Memoir." We got off to a strong beginning!

Daily log June 15: We started off with introductions and journal writing using this prompt: "What is memoir and what do I want with it?" Next, we discussed different definitions of memoir, and debated the question of "truth" in memoir, pointing to current scandals in which writers have claimed to have written nonfiction, but really didn't. We also discussed how family members react to appearing in our writing, with many of us telling stories about how people have had different perceptions of the same event. Next, we did a mini-lesson on using focal points such as character, place, and symbol, and completed a listing exercise. Finally, we went over the course writing assignments, looked at models for assignment 1, "You and Yours (writing about character), and got started on it. We got a great deal done!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer 2009 Literary Events

Monday Night Blues

Monday Night Blues is a free, weekly poetry event with a featured poet and an open mic. Hosted by Ellie Davis and Jim Lundy. At four years, it is Charleston's longest running poetry event. Every monday night at 8pm.
East Bay Meeting House, 159 East Bay Street, Charleston
For more information contact Ellie Davis 843-437-1958

Richard Garcia’s poetry discussion group, 7:30pm Circular Church, Charleston.

Richard Garcia leads a poetry discussion group on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Circular Church. 7:30, Lower Lance Hall, Circular Church, 150 Meeting. Free. For information or to confirm: - 843-795-0115

Poetry Series at the Charleston Public Library

The South Carolina Poetry Society, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, and the Charleston County Public Library are proud to present a poetry reading series at the Main Library. For further information, call 805-6930.

June 13 – The Poetry Society of South Carolina Writers’ Group. 2:00pm, Mt. Pleasant.

The PSSC Writers’ Group has been meeting in one form or another since the 1920s (they were originally called “Study Groups”). It is a wonderful forum to get insightful critiques of a poem of yours that perhaps has been eluding greatness. The meeting is Sunday, June 13 at 2:00 at The Palms, 937 Bowman Rd., Mt. Pleasant, 29464. Bring 6 copies of an original poem so everybody will have one to mark up. If you have questions or want to RSVP, contact Moderator, Connie Pultz, at 216-2964.

June 23rd 2009

Philip Bowman lives in Florence, SC, where he practices psychiatry. His chapbook, The Museum of Childhood, was published by USC in 2008. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and The Medical College of Virginia and studied at the Sorbonne and The Goethe Institute. He served in the U.S. Army for eight years. He has received several national awards in poetry and has been published in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Southern Humanities Review, Journal of the American Medical Society, and elsewhere.

Barbara G.S. Hagerty is a Charleston native whose chapbook, The Guest House, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Books in 2009. In 2008, her poetry appeared on The Best American Poetry blog, in the anthologies Aftershocks and Kakalak, in ART, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She is also the author of two books that explore the metaphors and cultural meanings inherent in the bags we carry. She has an M.A. degree in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University.

David Treadway Manning is a Pushcart nominee with poems in a number of journals and six chapbooks including The Ice-Carver, winner of the 2004 Longleaf Chapbook Competition, and most recently Light Sweet Crude (Pudding House, 2009). His full-length collection, The Flower Sermon (2007), is available from The Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

For the fiction writers

THREE JULY FICTION CONTESTS lists more than 600 contests & awards. Here are three fiction contests with July deadlines:

Bard Fiction Prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and to provide an opportunity to work in a fertile and intellectual environment. Deadline is July 15. The winner receives $30,000 and appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester.

National Writers Association Short Story Contest is intended to encourage fiction writers and to recognize those excel in this form. Deadline is July 1. Charges $15 fee. This contest awards prizes for 1st place ($200), 2nd place ($100), and 3rd place ($50).

Writers' Journal Annual Romance Contest is previously unpublished romance fiction. Deadline is July 30. There is a $7 reading fee. This contest awards prizes for 1st place ($250), 2nd place ($100), and 3rd place ($50). lists more than 6,000 magazines, book publishers, literary agents, contests and more. Log in (or sign up) at to get instant access.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Still time to enroll in this summer's Memoir Class

Eng. 551: Special Topics in Composition
Creative Nonfiction: Crafting Short Memoir
Summer LWP Open Institute
3 Graduate Credits
$300 Fee (the rest of tuition and books paid for by LWP)
Two week session: weekdays 8:30-12:45 June 15-26

Course Description

Memoir.  Personal narrative.  Narrative Nonfiction.  Personal essay.  Short memoir.  We can call what we will be writing in this class by any of these names, but they all share one central element – a first person narrator who reflects on what Barrie Jean Borich calls “the actual” in his or her world.   She writes: 

“We begin a work of creative nonfiction not with the imaginary but with the actually, with what actually is or actually was, or what actually happened.  From this point we might move in any direction, but the actual is our touchstone.” 

Short memoir tries to tell what actually is or was; however, it is not journalism.  Short memoir differs from journalism in that it uses elements of fiction and poetry – characterization, setting, symbolism, figurative language and more – to tell a story. 

What will we do? We will read.  We will write.  We will discuss.  We will explore memories, places, and significant objects.  We will go out into the community for a writing tour of downtown Charleston, and to the Citadel Beach House on Isle of Palms for inspiration from nature.  Brett Lott will be joining us as a special guest, and we will meet up with other LWP groups.  We will write online, explore how to identify markets for your work, and work toward publication (three beginner writers got published out of last years’ class). We will have fun in a non-stressful, supportive, word-friendly environment. We will give you permission to be a writer.

Course Texts


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft  by Stephen King
In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal  by Judith Kitchen & Mary P. Jones
Before We Begin:  A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life  by Bret  Lott

Course Syllabus

Monday, June 15
Citadel campus
         Journal Writing
         Creative Nonfiction Discussion
         Writing Assignments for Course:  Focal Points
         Writing Time
         Final Discussion

Tuesday, June 16
 Citadel campus
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Mini-lesson — Blogging (meet in computer lab)
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Response Group
         Final Discussion

Wednesday, June 17
Citadel Beach House IOP
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing time
         Writing Response Group
         Author’s Chair
Thurs, June 18
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing Response Group
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Assignment 1 due
         Final Discussion

Fri, June 19
Starting Place East Bay Coffee House
         Writing Marathon
         Presentations at end
         Lunch together

Monday, June 22
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Response Group
         Final discussion

Tuesday, June 23
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing Response Group
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Assignment 2 due
         Final discussion

Wednesday, June 24
Citadel Beach House IOP
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Guest Speaker:  Bret Lott
         Writing time
         Writing Response Group
         Author’s Chair

Thursday, June 25
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing Response Group
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Final discussion
Friday, June 26
Citadel Campus Last Class
         Mini-lesson:  submit for publication (in computer lab)
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Final read around
         Assignment 3 due
         Final Discussion

Plan to meet for a dinner or lunch together and to pass out the Anthology Collection and receive back all graded assignments.
Course Instructor

Amy Hudock, Ph. D., is a writer, teacher, and editor who lives in South Carolina with her daughter. She is a co-founder of Literary Mama, an on-line literary magazine chosen by Writers Digest as one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers (2005 and 2009) and by Forbes as one of their 100 Best of the Web (2005). She is also the co-editor of Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal Press 2006) and of the book American Women Prose Writers, 1820-1870 (Gale 2001). Her work has been anthologized in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort series, as well as in Ask Me About My Divorce, Mama, PhD, Single State of the Union, and Mothering a Movement. Read about her at