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Featured Online Poetry Writing Workshop

Jump-Start Your Poetry Practice During National Poetry Month!

Jump-Start Your Poetry Practice with Melanie Faith

START DATE: Friday, April 21, 2023

END DATE: Friday, May 26, 2023

DURATION: 5 weeks

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

DURATION: Weekly instructor feedback of exercises

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Whether you’ve consistently written poetry for years or if poetry is something you’ve always wanted to try or you’d like to get back into writing more poetry, in this five-week class, we’ll explore poetic techniques and inspire new poetry from your pen. Enhanced with plenty of tips and prompts from our two texts, How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts and Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage To Tell Your Stories, along with posts and resources at our optional, private class Facebook group, students will find motivation for submitting drafts weekly for constructive and supportive instructor feedback.

Topics covered will include: Finding the Poet Inside You, Origins, Imagery, Line Breaks, Tone, Persona, First and Last Lines, Narrative Impulse, What Will People Say?, Poetry of Place, Object Poetry, Revisiting Your Work, and much more.

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

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

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

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Duration: (5 weeks) Friday, April 21, 2023 - Friday, May 26, 2023

Friday, April 28 and May 5, 12, 19, 26, 2023 (student drafts due for instructor comments)

Week One: Finding the Poet Inside You, Learning to Let Go, Translating Our Lives, Trusting Yourself, Reading Poetry Aloud, Keeping a Journal, Go on a Retreat , Origins, Imagery, Metaphor and Simile, Engaging the Senses, Diction and Syntax, Line Breaks

Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Text Reading:

  • Introduction
  • Reading from Parts One and Two: Chapters 1-7, from “Finding the Poet Inside You” through “Go On a Retreat”

How to Write Poetry Text Reading:

  • Foreword
  • How to Use This Journal
  • From “Origins” through “Line Breaks”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any one of the prompts found in Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Chapter 22 (“Prompts to Keep Your Writing Flowing”), any prompt from the pale green boxes of How to Write Poetry, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Two: Sounds of Poetry; Lyric Impulse; Rhythm and Meter; Rhyme; Tone; Persona; Read, Read, Read, and Read Some More; Write It Down Immediately; Poetic Voice; Specificity

Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Text Reading:

  • Readings from Parts Two and Three: Chapters 8-11, from “Read, Read, Read, and Read Some More” through “Specificity”

How to Write Poetry Text Reading:

  • From “Sounds of Poetry” through “Persona”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any one of the prompts found in Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Chapter 22 (“Prompts to Keep Your Writing Flowing”), any prompt from the pale green boxes of How to Write Poetry, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Three: Style and Voice, First and Last Lines, Narrative Impulse, Repetition, Personification, Truth and Lies, Don’t Worry—Form Doesn’t Matter, Simplicity

Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Text Reading:

  • Readings from Part Three: Chapters 12-13, from “Don’t Worry—Form Doesn’t Matter” through “Simplicity”

How to Write Poetry Text Reading:

  • From “Style and Voice” through “Truth and Lies”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any one of the prompts found in Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Chapter 22 (“Prompts to Keep Your Writing Flowing”), any prompt from the pale green boxes of How to Write Poetry, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Four: What Will People Say?, Writing What You Know, The Dangers of Concentrating on Publication, The Tough Subjects, Surrealism, Imitation, Poetry of Protest, Poetry of Place, Ekphrastic Poetry

Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Text Reading:

  • Readings from Part Four: Chapters 15-18, from “What Will People Say?” through “The Tough Subjects”

How to Write Poetry Text Reading:

  • From “Surrealism” through “Ekphrastic Poetry”

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any one of the prompts found in Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Chapter 22 (“Prompts to Keep Your Writing Flowing”), any prompt from the pale green boxes of How to Write Poetry, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

Week Five: Getting to the Heart, Writing Poetry to Save Your Life, The Block Method of Unlocking Writer’s Block, Object Poetry, Occasional Poetry, Found Poetry, Revisiting Your Work

Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Text Reading:

  • Readings from Part Four: Chapters 19-21, from “Getting to the Heart” through “The Block Method of Unblocking Writer’s Block”

How to Write Poetry Text Reading:

  • From “Object Poetry” through “Found Poetry”
  • Revisiting Your Work

Assignment: Write a poem on a topic and in a form of your own choosing. You may use any one of the prompts found in Writing Poetry to Save Your Life Chapter 22 (“Prompts to Keep Your Writing Flowing”), any prompt from the pale green boxes of How to Write Poetry, or your own topic to inspire your poem.

OR

Students may submit a revision of one of the previous four poems you've penned during this course.

Materials needed: Students will need copies of: How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts by Christopher Salerno and Kelsea Habecker (Rockridge Press 2020) and Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage To Tell Your Stories by Maria Mazziotti Gillan (MiroLand Publishing 2013). The text is currently available in print and e-book copies online at Amazon.

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. Her full-length, historical poetry collection set in the 1918 flu epidemic, This Passing Fever, was published by Future Cycle Press. She’s also published a Regency novella (Uncial Press). Vine Leaves Press has published six of her writing craft books about such diverse topics as flash fiction, poetry, photography, teaching online, and writing a research book. In addition to numerous photography publications, her instructional articles about creative writing techniques have appeared in The Writer and Writers' Journal, among others. To learn more about Melanie’s writing, teaching, and photography, please visit: www.melaniedfaith.com, Twitter: @writer_faith, and Instagram: @writepath99.

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

BUY NOW:  Jump-Start Your Poetry Practice with Melanie Faith (5 weeks, starting 4/21/23) 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 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

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

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

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.

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

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


 

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