Summer 2023 Classes

Please read the following announcements carefully:

-We are offering some classes in-person and some classes via Zoom. Please read all course descriptions carefully before registering.
-All classes are 5 sessions long.

-To ensure that students receive individual attention from the instructor, enrollment is limited. Enrollment for all in-person classes is limited to 10 students.

In-Person Classes

Lang 371: Such A Character: A Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Heather Newton
Meets in-person at the Reuter Center in room 206

We’ve all known people whom we have called “characters” (if we haven’t said it aloud we’ve thought it). What makes these people so fascinating, and how can we harvest their traits to make our fictional characters more interesting? This class for beginning or experienced writers will focus on how to develop believable and compelling characters through effective use of point of view, voice, dialog, description and gesture. Come prepared to write and to share your writing.

Heather Newton’s novel The Puppeteer’s Daughters (Turner Publishing 2022) has been optioned for television. Her short story collection McMullen Circle (Regal House 2022), was a finalist for both the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the W.S. Porter Prize. Her novel Under The Mercy Trees (HarperCollins 2011) won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Reads Selection and named an “Okra Pick” by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. She teaches creative writing for the Great Smokies Writing Program and Charlotte Lit, and is co-founder and Program Manager for the Flatiron Writers Room writers’ center in Asheville. You can learn more about Heather on her website and on the Flatiron Writers Room website.

Mondays, 6:00-8:30pm. Dates: 6/5, 6/12, 6/19, 6/26, 7/10.
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Lang 371: Writing Ghosts: A Multi-Genre Workshop

Instructor: Jamieson Ridenhour
Meets in-person at the Reuter Center in room 206

Every story is a ghost story, whether you are writing an actual ghost story—a piece of horror or Gothic fiction—detailing events of the past, or capturing a moment in a poem. When we tell an anecdote or a funny thing that happened to us, when we talk about the way things used to be, when we look at pieces of the past. When we feel nostalgic. When we desperately try to touch the things that have faded. Any time we remember, we’re talking about ghosts. ​This generative class will explore the ways ghosts, real or imagined, can serve as metaphors, shadows, and foils for the things that really haunt us. 

Jamieson Ridenhour is the writer and producer of the popular audio drama Palimpsest, the author of the werewolf murder-mystery Barking Mad (Typecast, 2011) and writer and director of the award-winning short horror films Cornerboys and The House of the Yaga. His ghost play Grave Lullaby was a finalist for the Kennedy Center’s David Cohen Playwriting award in 2012. Jamie’s short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, TheNewerYork, Across the Margins, Mirror Dance, and Architrave, among others, and has been podcast on Pseudopod, Cast of Wonders, and Radio Unbound.  His newest play, Bloodbath: Victoria’s Secret, premiered in October of 2021. Jamie has a Ph.D. in Victorian Gothic fiction. In addition to publishing scholarly articles on Dickens, LeFanu, and contemporary vampire film, he edited the Valancourt edition of Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla (2009) and wrote a book-length study of urban gothic fiction, In Darkest London (Scarecrow, 2014). He has taught writing and literature for over twenty years, currently at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC.

Tuesdays, 6:00-8:30pm. Dates: 6/6, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27, 7/11.
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Lang 371: Flash Memoir Workshop

Class Full

Instructor: Lori Horvitz
Meets in-person at the Reuter Center in room 206

Writing flash memoir is a great way to practice the craft of writing memoir, a form that requires you to explore a deeper story within a limited number of words. It forces writers to be attentive to the most essential details in order to unearth a deeper meaning (a “flash” of insight) in their work. All sessions will include in-class writing, structured critiques, and discussion of published texts.

Lori Horvitz is the author of two collections of memoir-essays: Collect Call to My Mother: Essays on Love, Grief, and Getting a Good Night’s Sleep and The Girls of Usually. Her personal essays have appeared in a variety of journals, including Under the Sun, Hobart, South Dakota Review, The Laurel Review, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Hotel Amerika. Professor of English at UNC Asheville, Horvitz has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, Cottages at Hedgebrook, VCCA, Ragdale, Blue Mountain Center, and Brush Creek. She holds a Ph.D. in English from SUNY Albany, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

Wednesdays, 6:00-8:30pm. Dates: 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28, 7/5. 
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Lang 371: The Poem’s Architecture: A Poetry Workshop

Instructor: Luke Hankins
Meets in-person at the Reuter Center in room 206

In this workshop, we’ll aim to help each participant see their poems more objectively and improve the mechanics of their poems. We’ll focus on first developing our ability to describe what is already present on the page before offering comment or critique, as this will help the author understand how the existing poem is perceived and will help all participants sharpen their attention to details of form and content. Topics likely to arise include syntax and its interaction with lineation, diction as it impacts tone and mood, rhetorical strategies and the arrangement of information, sonic and metrical effects, etc. Each participant will have three poems discussed over the 5 weeks.

Luke Hankins is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Radiant Obstacles and Weak Devotions, as well as a chapbook, Testament (Texas Review Press, 2023). He is also the author of a collection of essays, The Work of Creation, and volume of his translations from the French of Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, A Cry in the Snow & Other Poems, was published by Seagull Books in 2019. Hankins is the founder and editor of Orison Books, a non-profit literary press focused on the life of the spirit from a broad and inclusive range of perspectives.

Saturdays, 3:00-5:30pm. Dates: 6/10, 6/17, 6/24, 7/1, 7/8.
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Virtual Classes

Lang 371: Written in the Body, Rooted in the World: A Poetry Workshop

Instructor: Whitney Waters
Meets online via Zoom

As poets, our work often braids external sensations of the body with the internal landscape of thoughts and emotions to create a moving experience for the reader. But often, merely placing the two side-by-side isn’t enough to achieve the level of resonance we seek. What, then, can be done to ensure our intent isn’t lost in the translation from corporeal to immaterial?  This class will investigate how poems successfully shift between internal and external worlds, how to choose the right images and language for the task, and strategies for increasing somatic awareness in our own writing practice with the goal of writing poems that are vivid with emotion while rooted in experiences of the body and the physical world.  

While this is a workshop-based class, we will begin by examining strategies other poets use to convey external and internal experiences on the page. We will read work by Jorie Graham, Jessica Jacobs, Victoria Chang, and Oliver Baez-Bendorf, and other contemporary poets. Optional writing prompts will be provided. 

Whitney Waters is a poet and educator living in Asheville, NC. She has an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and an MA in Literature from Western Carolina University and teaches writing at Western Carolina University and Mars Hill University. Her work has appeared in Twelve Mile Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Great Smokies Review, and elsewhere. 

Mondays, 6:00-8:30pm. Dates:  6/5, 6/12, 6/19, 6/26, 7/10.
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Lang 371: The Power of Place in Fiction

Instructor: Jacqui Castle
Meets online via Zoom

The setting of a story is more than simply a backdrop. Whether it’s a far-off fantasy kingdom, a bustling city, a patch of forest, or a small town in middle America, a place can hold tremendous influence over your characters. It can serve as a trap they need to escape, a home that they yearn for, a catalyst for memories, or an ally that needs protecting. In speculative fiction, a place may even be its own character with motivations and desires – think of the sentient Overlook Hotel in The Shining or the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin

Emotions are tied to place, and by viewing your setting as an element of the story that deserves all the love and attention of a supporting character, and its own arc, you can build a world that not only influences your protagonist but also your readers. Just like your characters, places are not static. Through a variety of generative, prompt-based exercises, we will explore our settings, allowing them to change and grow, and leave with a firm grasp of their power over our stories.

Jacqui Castle is an educator and novelist living and writing in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. She has been published in a variety of publications including Mountain Xpress, WNC Woman, Asheville Grit, and Explore Asheville. Her novel The Seclusion, which School Library Journal called “A must-have for all libraries and fans of scifi,” garnered Jacqui the title of 2020 Indie Author of the Year through the Indie Author Project (a collaboration between Library Journal and Biblioboard). Jacqui has taught creative writing workshops through the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, the Young Eager Writers Association, Indie Author Project, the Writing Heights Writers Conference, and more. When not writing, Jacqui can be found hanging out with her family and consuming far too much caffeine.

Thursdays, 6:00-8:30pm. Dates: 6/8, 6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/13. 
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