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Featured Online Flash Writing Workshop

Leaping Worlds: Writing Historical Fiction and Time-Travel Stories, 5-week workshop with Melanie Faith

Leaping Worlds: Writing Historical Fiction and Time-Travel Stories with Melanie Faith

START DATE: Friday, September 30, 2022

END DATE: Friday, November 4, 2022

DURATION: 5 weeks

LOCATION:  Private Facebook group and email student provides when registering for the class

FEEDBACK:  Weekly instructor feedback of exercises

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Have a favorite historical era? Love to research and read and write about different time periods or future worlds? Both historical fiction and time-travel stories keep pages turning by exploring worlds unlike our own. At the same time, these stories resonate with timeless characterizations that underscore the deeper struggles and joys of being human in any era. As Guy Vanderhaeghe has said, “History tells us what people do; historical fiction helps us imagine how they felt.”

In this five-week class, we’ll discover the exciting diversity of settings, characterizations, and genres that encompass both historical fiction and time-travel/sci-fi/fantasy narratives. We’ll also explore numerous topics from how and why historical fiction and time-travel stories appeal to writers and readers alike, tips for research, ideas for fleshing out believable and dynamic settings and characters, imagining the past or future in fresh ways, alternate histories, increasing the stakes, story openings and endings, point of view and narrative distance, different forms for telling your story, tips for developing your protagonist through action, and much more. Our two class texts will be Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction by Emma Darwin and The Time Traveler’s Guide by Simon Rose.

Students will submit exercises weekly for constructive and supportive instructor feedback. Whether you’d like to craft a story where characters whirl through epochs in a time machine of their own making or take a steam engine across state lines, this class is sure to spark ideas aplenty and inspiration for character and setting development in your next stories!

I highly recommend the writing courses offered by Melanie Faith. She is one of the most engaging instructors I’ve ever worked with—her passion for her craft, and for nurturing other writers, is evident from the very first contact, and she maintains that level of energy and engagement throughout the course. Her feedback is superb; her praise is specific and helps validate the choices I make with my writing, and her suggestions for improvement are gentle and equally specific. Either way, her suggestions and comments always make my work stronger, and increase my confidence that perhaps I do have something to say after all. If you have a chance to take one of Melanie's courses, by all means do it! I'll be back for another one as soon as I can. ~ Karen V

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

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

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 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

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Friday, September 30, 2022: class begins, instructor sends link to private group

Friday, October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, 2022: student drafts due for instructor comments

Week One: Why historical fiction?, Characters in Action, What is time travel?, Time travel stories

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction (reading):

  • Why are you drawn to historical fiction?
  • Characters-in-action

The Time Traveler’s Guide (reading):

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: What is time travel?
  • Chapter Two: Time travel stories
  • Chapter Three: Creating your time machine

Assignment: Pick a Snapshot exercise of your choice from both chapters of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction to submit for instructor feedback. (Two exercises total, one from each chapter.)

Week Two: Imagining the past, Researching eras

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction (reading):

  • Imagining the past
  • Researching the past

The Time Traveler’s Guide (reading):

  • Chapter Four: Setting and historical eras
  • Chapter Five: Historical research
  • Chapter Six: Researching eras—Medieval medicine

Assignment: Pick a Snapshot exercise of your choice from both chapters of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction to submit for instructor feedback. (Two exercises total, one from each chapter.)

Week Three: Story and Plot: Structure, Characters

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction (reading):

  • Hearing the voices : prose (i)
  • Story and plot: structure

The Time Traveler’s Guide (reading):

  • Chapter Seven: Characters

Assignment: Pick a Snapshot exercise of your choice from both chapters of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction to submit for instructor feedback. (Two exercises total, one from each chapter.)

Week Four: Different shapes of story: form, Telling your story, The trouble with time travel

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction (reading):

  • How might you tell your story? prose (ii)
  • Different shapes of story: form

The Time Traveler’s Guide (reading):

  • Chapter Eight: Telling your story
  • Chapter Nine: The trouble with time travel

Assignment: Pick a Snapshot exercise of your choice from both chapters of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction to submit for instructor feedback. (Two exercises total, one from each chapter.)

Week Five: Different kinds of story: genre, Bringing it all together: process, Time travel into the future, Alternate history

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction (reading):

  • Different kinds of story: genre
  • Bringing it all together: process
  • OPTIONAL: What’s next?: going further, getting published

The Time Traveler’s Guide (reading):

  • Chapter Ten: Time travel into the future
  • Chapter Eleven: Alternate history

Assignment: Pick a Snapshot exercise of your choice from both chapters of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction to submit for instructor feedback. (Two exercises total, one from each chapter.)

Materials needed: Students will need copies of: Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction (John Murray Learning 2016) by Emma Darwin Rose and The Time Traveler’s Guide (Sorcerer’s Letterbox Publishing 2016) by Simon Rose. These texts are currently available in print online, at Amazon and other bookstores.

Melanie FaithABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Melanie Faith holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, NC. Her writing has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. Vine Leaves Press has published her craft books about numerous writing topics, including her latest books, From Promising to Published: A Multi-Genre, Insider's Guide to the Publication Process (May 2022), a book about crafting a reference book that sells (April 2022), and a book about creating an online creative-writing class (February 2022) as well as books about writing and editing flash fiction and nonfiction, her craft book about writing poetry, and Photography for Writers. She’s also a published photographer and frequent doodler who loves reading graphic novels. Her instructional articles about writing techniques have appeared in The Writer and Writers’ Journal, among others. Her full-length, historical poetry collection set in the 1918 flu epidemic, This Passing Fever, was published by Future Cycle Press. She is also the author of a series of narrative poems, set during WWII, called Catching the Send-off Train (published by Wordrunner eChapbooks), as well as a Regency novella under a nom de plume (Uncial Press), entitled Her Humble Admirer. To learn more about Melanie's writing, teaching, and photography, please visit: www.melaniedfaith.com.

COST:  $200, which includes e-mail critique and positive feedback on student writing, and access to a private group for student interactions.

BUY NOW:  Leaping Worlds: Writing Historical Fiction and Time-Travel Stories by Melanie Faith (5 weeks, starting 9/30/2022) 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:

Five Star review for Melanie Faith's In a Flash class! I learned a great deal from her book In a Flash, and feel more confident than ever to take the leap and try submitting work. Melanie offered thorough, encouraging and constructive insight and guidance. I'm looking forward to more! ~ Lynn H. Powers

I enjoyed Melanie’s 5 week class very much. She was always encouraging, helpful in the grammar area, and gave great plot suggestions that I will use from now on in my future writings. Throughout the course she listed excellent submission suggestions. She makes the course worth every penny. I highly recommend e-course: In a Flash. ~ Marilyn W (Previous WOW In a Flash! student)

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

I decided to try Melanie Faith’s WOW! poetry class because writing and creating in different genres helps my writing. I am so glad I did! Melanie is upbeat, inspiring, supportive, professional and an incredible instructor and writer. Now I see poetry as always being a part of my life. I don’t know how she does it with all the demands on her professional and writing life, but Melanie makes you feel like you are her only student. Her comments are always on point and she strikes the right balance of teacher and colleague. Months after the class has ended she continues to answer questions and cheer on us budding poets. She has an amazing and giving spirit. I will take another writing class from Melanie, no matter what the subject. She has so much to offer on so many different levels! ~ Kate Bradley-Ferrall

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

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

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

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 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.

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 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.

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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