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Featured Online Writing Class

Melanie Faith

PROMPTED! Flex Your Writing Muscle in One Notable November by Melanie Faith

START DATE: Wednesday, November 1, 2017

DURATION:   4 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   Let’s exercise your creativity so your ideas arise easier and in more robust form! For four weeks, you will get a timed writing prompt each day. The goal is to use the daily prompt and write something (from a few sentences to a few paragraphs), even if it veers in a different direction from the prompt, which is terrific. Using your own honor system, you don’t stop until the timer does. Everyone in the class will post what she has written at a private group. Melanie will comment on each posted piece, offering supportive feedback and ideas for what may become the foundation for an entire 1000-word piece. No formal assignments are submitted, but you are encouraged to write on a minimum of 3 prompts each week and post them at the class group at your convenience. Or you can write on each prompt and pick your favorite three to post each week. Classmate-to-classmate comments are also welcome and encouraged. The instructor will provide a suggestion sheet of guidelines for constructively commenting on other students’ work.

Further inspiration will be provided in readings from the classic writing text, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. By the end of four weeks, each student will have at least 12 partially-formed ideas (and students who write each day will have 28 partially-formed ideas) ready and waiting to explore more later. Topics covered will include: First Thoughts, Writing as a Practice, Trouble with the Editor, Original Detail, Nervously Sipping Wine, Writing is a Communal Act, Talk is the Exercise Ground, Make Statements and Answer Questions, The Action of a Sentence, and more. Join us for this February frolic: your creative muscles will be stronger and larger, so negative internal editors and a blank page won’t stand in your way.

Melanie Faith’s “Spark and Sizzle Flash Fiction Class” lives up to its title. The sample stories provided were examples of good writing and served as models. Melanie’s prompts came at a rapid pace and kept my pen on the page every day. Her critique comments were sharp and encouraging and challenged me to be the best writer I could be. She is easily available for questions or discussions during and after her classes via her personal email. This is the third class I’ve taken with Melanie and I am looking forward to taking many more in the future. ~ Renee Cassese

Melanie has been a total joy as a teacher and guide. I found her feedback, critiques, and comments to be extraordinarily helpful and insightful. And the daily prompts and positive reinforcement made this writing class a wonderful experience! ~ Mary Purdy

I have to rein myself in every time I see in the WOW classes list that Melanie is teaching another essay class. And why is this? In all of my education (B.A. in English and M.A. in English), I never took a writing class. When I was in college, writing was taught only in Freshman English; after that class, we were just expected to know how to write. I learned to teach writing myself by reading books about writing. How refreshing and educational to find a teacher/mentor who exhibits the characteristics that I know an excellent writing teacher has: the creativity to come up with topics that students want to write about, the ability to critique without finding fault, the desire to encourage students to keep on writing even when the juices aren’t flowing. Believe me . . . she’s an excellent teacher. In addition, she became my friend through being my teacher. To be a friend AND a teacher takes real talent. ~ Sandy Young

The course was great. I did not want it to end. I have taken several college level creative writing courses, as well as, attended many writer’s workshops, but I have enjoyed this course the most. I really appreciated that Melanie would also critique our re-writes which was very, very helpful. This course has really helped to motivate me creatively. ~ Barb Cramer

Melanie knows how to offer on-the-mark suggestions for writing improvement while also being extremely encouraging (and a joy to work with). I've taken many classes with her, including the flash class, and I plan on taking many more. ~ Marilyn Fahey

Your course has jump-started me back into writing. I have missed it. Thank you. ~ Melissa Healy

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Duration: (1 month, November) Wednesday, November 1 – Thursday, November 30, 2017

Week One: First Thoughts; Writing as a Practice; Composting; Artistic Stability; A List of Topics for Writing Practice; Fighting Tofu; Trouble with the Editor; and Elkton, Minnesota: Whatever’s in Front of You

Reading from Writing Down the Bones:

  • From “First Thoughts” to “Elkton, Minnesota: Whatever’s in Front of You,” pages 8-31.

Week Two: Tap the Water Table; We Are Not the Poem; Man Eats Car; Writing Is Not a McDonald’s Hamburger; Obsessions; Original Detail; The Power of Detail

Reading from Writing Down the Bones:

  • From “Tap the Water Table” to “The Power of Detail,” pages 32-49.

Week Three: Listening; Don't Marry the Fly; Don't Use Writing to Get Love; What Are Your Deep Dreams?; Syntax; Nervously Sipping Wine; Don’t Tell, but Show; Be Specific; Big Concentration; The Ordinary and Extraordinary

Reading from Writing Down the Bones:

  • From “Listening” to “The Ordinary and Extraordinary” pages 57-83.

Week Four: Talk Is the Exercise Ground; Writing Is a Communal Act; One Plus One Equals a Mercedes-Benz; Be an Animal; Make Statements and Answer Questions; The Action of a Sentence; Writing in Restaurants

Reading from Writing Down the Bones:

  • From “Talk Is the Exercise Ground” to “Writing in Restaurants” pages 84-102.

Materials needed: Students will need a copy of: Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Author Within by Natalie Goldberg (Shambhala, any edition). This text is currently available online, at used bookstores, and at Amazon.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Melanie Faith holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, NC. Her historical poetry collection, This Passing Fever, set in 1918’s influenza epidemic, will be published from FutureCycle Press in 2017 and a Regency historical novella will also be published by Uncial Press in late 2017. Her writing has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and most recently published in After the Pause (March 2016), Contemporary Haibun Online (2016, 2015), The Sandy River Review, The Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine, and Embodied Effigies. Her flash fiction, “The Slades,” placed honorable mention in the 2014 Bevel Summers Prize for the Short Short Story and was published in Shenandoah (Washington and Lee University). In addition to numerous photography publications in 2016 and 2017, her instructional articles about creative writing techniques have appeared in The Writer and Writers’ Journal, among others.

COST:  $155, which includes positive feedback on student writing, daily prompts, writing quotes, and more.

BUY NOW:  Prompted! Flex Your Writing Muscle in One Notable November (4 weeks, starting 11/1/2017) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. She will contact you via email so you can get started.

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Additional Testimonials for Melanie Faith:

I have taken three courses from Melanie and in each course I grow tremendously as a writer. The texts she uses as well as the handouts and daily writing prompts all contribute to what she refers to as “the writing life” and in her courses that’s exactly what it becomes. Her comments on the pieces go way beyond grammar and punctuation. She delves into the content and clarifies what is good and what can be adjusted to make the piece stronger. I can tell she spends time reading what I write and is prompt in returning the assignments so I always have plenty of time for revision. She treats me, and everyone in the class, like a writer. Her classes are a joy. If there is a course offered by Melanie and I can fit it in, I always take it. ~ Holly Helscher

I have to rein myself in every time I see in the WOW classes list that Melanie is teaching another essay class. And why is this? In all of my education (B.A. in English and M.A. in English), I never took a writing class. When I was in college, writing was taught only in Freshman English; after that class, we were just expected to know how to write. I learned to teach writing myself by reading books about writing. How refreshing and educational to find a teacher/mentor who exhibits the characteristics that I know an excellent writing teacher has: the creativity to come up with topics that students want to write about, the ability to critique without finding fault, the desire to encourage students to keep on writing even when the juices aren’t flowing. Believe me . . . she’s an excellent teacher. In addition, she became my friend through being my teacher. To be a friend AND a teacher takes real talent. ~ Sandy Young

I took the nature writing class a few weeks ago and it was one of the best courses I've even taken. Melanie Faith is an excellent instructor. ~ Jean Forsythe

Melanie’s class taught me economy of words by using strong verbs and nouns, implying and showing rather than telling, and exploring topics outside of my comfort zone. Her feedback is prompt, detailed and constructive. ~ Rajni Gupta

Melanie Faith’s “Spark and Sizzle Flash Fiction Class” lives up to its title. The sample stories provided were examples of good writing and served as models. Melanie’s prompts came at a rapid pace and kept my pen on the page every day. Her critique comments were sharp and encouraging and challenged me to be the best writer I could be. She is easily available for questions or discussions during and after her classes via her personal email. This is the third class I’ve taken with Melanie and I am looking forward to taking many more in the future. ~ Renee Cassese

Melanie knows how to offer on-the-mark suggestions for writing improvement while also being extremely encouraging (and a joy to work with). I've taken many classes with her, including the flash class, and I plan on taking many more. ~ Marilyn Fahey

Melanie has always shown great insight into my work. Often times, she is able to pull out deeper meanings, that even I wasn't consciously aware of while writing. Her constructive criticism has moved my writing into new directions. I find that I feel more confident and prepared as a writer by having her constant editing eye. I respect that she critiques my poetry honestly, letting me know areas that are weak as well as strong points. I wouldn't be able to grow as a writer if she always told me my poems were great. It's from her perspective of my work that I grow. I enjoy learning through her and appreciate her sharing tricks of the trade that she learned in her masters program.

I'm thankful to know Melanie and hope we remain friends and a poetry support system for the rest of our lives. She's the type of person and writer that anyone would feel lucky to know. She is a great mentor and holds a wealth of knowledge in the written language. Her achievements and constant pursuit as a writer inspire so many. Her determination and skill will go very far and I suspect she'll leave a lasting imprint in the written world. She already has. ~ Courtney Burger

The course was great. I did not want it to end. I have taken several college level creative writing courses, as well as, attended many writer’s workshops, but I have enjoyed this course the most. I really appreciated that Melanie would also critique our re-writes which was very, very helpful. This course has really helped to motivate me creatively. ~ Barb Cramer

Your course has jump-started me back into writing. I have missed it. Thank you. ~ Melissa Healy

Melanie demonstrates particular qualities in a writing teacher/coach that I would recommend for anyone looking for focused attention to help move their writing forward.

I had not taken an on-line course previously, and didn't know what to expect, but Melanie melted the distance, was always accessible, and never missed a beat with out on-line communication. I always felt like I had Melanie right here around my writing table, or knocking on my door saying—“I had a few thoughts..." She provided a wealth of resources and provided us with course materials that were tuned to our course level.

Her insight into my work, in terms of critique, were extremely thoughtful, thorough, and eye-opening. I feel that working with Melanie has allowed me to be braver with my writing and editing—as she was supportive of experimentation and taking chances with style, vocabulary, and theme. She provides serious critique in an atmosphere that, well, just makes me want to keep on writing!” ~ Mary Ellen Sanger

I have taken three courses from Melanie and in each course I grow tremendously as a writer. The texts she uses as well as the handouts and daily writing prompts all contribute to what she refers to as “the writing life” and in her courses that’s exactly what it becomes. Her comments on the pieces go way beyond grammar and punctuation. She delves into the content and clarifies what is good and what can be adjusted to make the piece stronger. I can tell she spends time reading what I write and is prompt in returning the assignments so I always have plenty of time for revision. She treats me, and everyone in the class, like a writer. Her classes are a joy. If there is a course offered by Melanie and I can fit it in, I always take it. ~ Holly Helscher

I have the normal anxiousness of sharing my work while so excited to have Melanie Faith’s critical eye read my writing. It is always reviewed with an eye to improvement and an eye to the thoughts the words contain. This is the first computer class I have ever taken and want to take many more. I also look forward to many more classes with Melanie Faith. ~ Benita Cervantes

Because I love memoir writing, I have taken two memoir/personal essay classes from Melanie. I can’t believe this, but because I enjoy the teacher herself and her method of teaching so much, I’ve even taken a poetry-writing class. I’ve always steered away from writing poetry of any kind ever since I wrote a poem in college (an assignment, not a by-choice piece) and the class laughed because I wrote about a controversial topic and was so naïve that I didn’t even know it was controversial. Every time I’d mention to Melanie that I’d never write a poem, she’d encourage me to take her class, assuring me that I’d be successful. I took the class, and sure enough, I was successful, thanks to Melanie’s velvet critiquing, encouraging comments, and thoughtful suggestions, many times seeing in my writing what I couldn’t see for myself.

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Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
classroom[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com

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