UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program Announces Fall 2014 Workshops


Local writers will have the opportunity to hone their skills with UNC Asheville's Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) workshops in poetry and prose. Classes will be held in Asheville, Black Mountain and Burnsville. Class size is limited, so early registration is suggested.

10-week courses for writers of various levels of experience:

Poetry – Tina Barr will lead "Sacred Praise," which will explore poetry that engages with the idea of the sacred, ranging from praise to interrogation, celebration to skepticism. Participants will write their own poems based on a series of optional exercises. Barr’s latest poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Tupelo Press Editor’s Award for her book, The Gathering Eye. Class meets Mondays, 1-3 p.m. beginning Sept. 15, in Black Mountain.

Fiction – In “We Are What We Eat: Let’s Write About Food” with Marjorie Klein, participants will use food as a touchstone for narratives. Each week’s session will concentrate on an aspect of craft, such as character, setting, description, voice and dialogue, using food as inspiration. Klein’s first novel, Test Pattern (Wm. Morrow Publishers, 2001) was a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection. Her nonfiction has appeared in various publications, and she is a recipient of a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship.  Class meets Wednesdays, 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 17, in Asheville.

Creative Nonfiction – Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Dale Neal will lead “Well-Wrought Reality.” This course will cover a variety of nonfiction formats, from press releases to profiles, op-eds to essays. Tips on interviewing, research, editing and writing for the internet will also be included. Neal is the author of the novels The Half-Life of Home and Cow Across America, winner of the 2009 Novello Literary Prize. His business reporting won first place in the North Carolina Press Association 2013 awards, and his short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals. Class meets Tuesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 16, in Asheville.

Children’s Fiction – “Heart of the Story,” with Joy Neaves, is for writers who have picture books, poetry or longer works of fiction intended for children. Participants will read and critique each other’s work, as well as develop the ability to examine their own work critically. The instructor will respond to all submissions and will direct students to relevant readings as needed. Neaves was senior editor at Front Street for a decade and is now a freelance editor of children’s books at namelos.com. Class meets Wednesdays, 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 17, in Asheville.

The Novel – Heather Newton, author of the award-winning novel, Under the Mercy Trees (HarperCollins, 2011), will lead "Gettin’ Her Done: Strategies for Planning and Finishing Your Novel" for writers who have a novel in progress or have an idea for a novel and are ready to get started. Participants will write and submit the first chapter, climax chapter and final chapter of their novels. Newton’s short fiction has appeared in 27 Views of Asheville, Crucible, Wellspring and elsewhere. Class meets Thursdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 18, in Asheville.

Memoir – Kathy Schultz will lead "Making Meaning of Our Memories," which will explore the three most significant tools used by writers in crafting memoirs that accomplish emotional impact: scene, summary and reflection. Participants will use short assignments to experiment with dialogue, detail, metaphor, imitation and verbs. Schultz has published essays in The Nature Conservancy newsletter and Oregon Quarterly, among others. She is the recipient of the Linda Flowers Literary Prize, and her debut collection of short stories, Flashes of War, won Book of the Year in Literary Fiction from the Military Writers Society of America. Class meets Thursdays from 3-5:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 18, in Burnsville.

Flash Fiction – Poet Katherine Soniat will lead “Surprise Yourself.” In this workshop, students will explore poet Mary Oliver’s collection, Dream Work, as a springboard for their own poetry and flash fictions. Soniat’s collection of poetry, The Swing Girl (Louisiana State University Press, 2011), was selected as Best Collection of 2011 by the Poetry Council of North Carolina. Her most recent collection is A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge (Dream Horse Press, 2012). Class meets Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 17 in Asheville.

Fiction – “Becoming Ourselves: From Self to Character and Back Again,” with Emilie White, is a craft-oriented, multi-genre writing workshop. Participants’ work will involve open-ended exercises in voice and character. Students will study works of fiction, essays and poetry by accomplished writers such as Flannery O’Conner, Elif Batuman and Billy Collins. White has served as an instructor of art history, composition, and creative writing at U.C. Berkeley, New Mexico State University and Warren Wilson College, where she was the 2001–02 Beebe Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in Colorado Review and has received two nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Class meets Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 16 in Asheville.

15-week courses:

Fiction – GSWP Executive Director Tommy Hays will lead “The Bare Necessities: An Introduction to the Craft of Creative Prose.” This class is for anyone interested in learning the essential elements of writing fiction and creative nonfiction. Each week will be devoted to a particular aspect of craft, which students will explore through discussion and through in-class writing exercises. Hays is the author of What I Came to Tell You (EgmontUSA, 2013), a SIBA Okra Pick and chosen by the Atlanta Constitution as one of best books for children for 2013. His novel, The Pleasure Was Mine (St. Martin's Press, 2005), has been chosen for numerous community reads and was a finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award. His In the Family Way (Random House, 1999) was winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Class meets Wednesdays from 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 27, in Black Mountain.

Fiction – Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series (Bantam Dell) and the stand-alone novel, The Day of Small Things (Dell, 2010), will teach “Time to Write.” Each student will submit three pieces to be critiqued by the group and thoroughly line edited by the facilitator. Instructor’s permission required for admittance.  Class meets Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 27, in Asheville.

Prose Master Class with Elizabeth Lutyens – Elizabeth Lutyens, editor-in-chief of The Great Smokies Review, presents this master class for experienced writers seeking an intensive writing and critiquing experience in a small-group workshop. Master Class members will begin the semester with pages ready for critique and will submit three times during the 15-week course. Admission is by invitation; for more information, contact Tommy Hays (hays@main.nc.us) or Elizabeth Lutyens (elutyens@gmail.com). Class meets Tuesdays from 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 26, in Asheville.

The 10-week courses qualify for two UNC Asheville credit hours in Literature and Language; the 15-week courses earn three credit hours. For in-state residents, the cost is $279.68 for 10-week courses and $419.52 for 15-week courses. The costs are higher for out-of-state residents. A $20 non-refundable application fee for new students also is required. For more information or to register, visit the Asheville Graduate Center website or call 828.250.2353.