Writing, Writing classes

Writing Classes

     There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought writers just wrote. They picked up a pen or put their fingers on the keyboard, and off they went, into their novel. 
     Hah-What planet do you live on-Oh, please- I can hear you all say.
     But that was my mindset, BW (before writing). We all know that writing is hard work. Here’s three quotes and a picture that says it all:

    “There’s nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” Walter “Red” Smith.
    “Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Gene Bailey.
     Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. George Orwell

     And because it’s not easy, I thought I’d do a post on the classes and instructors that have helped me in the past three years. If you are within Ventura County these are within reach. The instructors charge varying rates and I believe they are pretty reasonable considering their expertise. If you’re not in Ventura County, look up these instructors blogs and websites. 

Ventura Adult Education. Most communities have Adult Ed, maybe they have writing classes. I signed up for my first class three years ago and it was free. I stayed with this group for close to a year until I felt it was time to move forward. Great experience and even better people.

Amada Irma Perez: She has published several children’s books and is an awesome teacher. I was fortunate enough to be invited to her women’s writer’s group, that is now closed to others. Her ongoing open group is: writersgroupsofventuraandbeyond@groups.facebook.com. Her website is http://amadairmaperez.com/ 

Shelly Lowenkopf: Professor Emeritus, instructor in the masters writing program at USC, and nationally renowned book editor. His book “Fiction Writer’s Companion,” comes out in July. His blog is http://www.lowenkopf.com/ You can find him on Wikipedia too. Best for intermediate and advanced writers.

Susan Hart Hellman: freelance writer, editor, and publicist. I heard her at Ojai’s Wordfest, for $5 which included wine tasting. Which reminds me to tell you to attend writing conferences. You can find free and low cost presentations. Susan has several classes at the Ventura Community Education Center.

May 18 & 25, 6:30-9:30: Submit Your Column – Get it Published,June 1, 6:30-9:30:  Working with the Media:  Getting Free Publicity for Your Writing    Community Education Center, 71 Day Road, Ventura, Room 3A.  (Info/Registration:  805.654.6459 or www.communityed.venturacollege.edu)

Toni Lopopolo. She used to be an editor and is now an agent. I’ve attended two of her “Boot Camps,” and learned more than I could just through books on writing. My first manuscript was near completion and I took the plunge into boot camp. Toni is a taskmaster. Her website is: http://lopopololiterary.com/ Look under “Tea with Toni,” for her next session of classes. She also has Oovo classes (like Skype sessions) with small groups of writers. Best for intermediate and advanced writers, IMHO.

I hope this is helpful. Now I need to go back to my MS and continue with revisions, my wrists aren’t burning yet. Good writing until next time. 

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