Each creative writing workshop is focused on building the writer’s toolkit. Weekend classes focus on specific skills (e.g., imagery, symbolism, character development, foreshadowing). Regular weekly classes focus on creating and workshopping a particular piece of writing (as chosen by each participant). These workshops will be limited to 10 participants to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to engage deeply with the curriculum. Occasionally, we’ll hold special-interest seminars focusing on more specific topics. These will be limited to 7 members and will be held on an interest-level basis. If you’ve got an idea for a seminar that you’d like to see included, send us an email! Finally, I can’t stress this enough: The Quintessential Quill is an inclusive, supportive space. Everyone (and I mean everyone) is welcome. We encourage boundary-pushing and the exploration of weird and wonderful themes. However, we will not tolerate bigotry of any kind. Upcoming Regular Classes: 8 Thursdays, Starting January 7th: Fresh Flash Fiction ($349 +HST; $100 deposit required) This 1-hour recurring workshop will focus on creating – you guessed it – Fresh Flash Fiction. The ultimate goal is to emerge from the course with 2-5 pieces of polished flash fiction (ranging from 500-1,000 words). Classes will begin with a 10-minute writing prompt, with an open and supportive discussion to follow. Each workshop will focus on a specific component of what makes flash fiction work. As the course progresses, special attention will be paid to editing and polishing previously-written pieces. Participants will be encouraged to share their work and to give constructive feedback. 8 Tuesdays, Starting January 12th: Plotting Your Story ($349 + HST; $100 deposit required) This 1-hour recurring workshop will focus on the necessary elements of a tight and engaging plot. Participants should begin the course series with at least a general concept for a story idea and will end the course with a cohesive roadmap for their story. (Note: short story writers may choose to plot a new story each session, with the idea that the writer will focus on that week’s theme during the exercises). Course topics will include themes and symbolism; pacing; rising action; incorporating twists; building tension; meaningful climaxes satisfying resolutions; and editing for cohesiveness. Participants will be encouraged to share their work and to give constructive feedback. Upcoming Weekend Workshops: January 3rd & 17th: Poetic Imagery for Fiction Writers ($129 + HST; $50 deposit required) In this 3-hour workshop, we will explore how writing poetry can improve the imagery within our fiction. The workshop will feature three 10-minute free writes based on specific images or written imagery. Following each free write, participants will be encouraged to share excerpts from their writing during an open, collaborative discussion. Other workshop elements will include poetic readings, passage readings, and writing exercises focusing on poetic and prosaic techniques designed to strengthen the imagery used in fiction pieces. January 10th & 24th: Characterizing Characters ($129 + HST; $50 deposit required) In this 3-hour workshop, we will explore what makes – and breaks – realistic characterization. Participants will be sent character worksheets prior to the workshop beginning but are not required to complete these worksheets before the session. The first segment of the workshop will include a discussion on the mechanics of building a realistic character. Participants will be encouraged to fill in their worksheets as the discussion unfolds, with the intent of having a basic character established within the first 30 minutes. The workshop will then feature three 10-minute free writes based on situational prompts. Following each free write, participants will be encouraged to share excerpts from their writing during an open, collaborative discussion. Other workshop elements will include passage readings and writing exercises focusing on characterization techniques.