Workshops for Democracy

Are you a writer who wants to make a difference in this year's election? Us, too! Which is why we're offering these amazing writing classes for adults and children with 100% of the proceeds going to the Ditch the Mitch Fund.

 

Send a copy of your donation receipt to carolyn@girlswithpens.org and let us know which class you would like to register for.

That's it! You're in. 

 

 

 

 

The Ditch Mitch or Die Trying Fund delivers donations

directly to a candidate once the state has decided who its Democratic contender is. For example, when North Carolina Democrat Cal Cunningham won his Senate primary in March,

this fund sent over $66,000 the next day. To date, they've

donated $133,578 to Theresa Greenfield in Iowa,

$148,712 to Jon Ossoff in Georgia, $53,179 to

Steve Bullock in Montana, and $80,271 to Jamie Harrison

in South Carolina. You can donate here:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/getmitch

Writing Classes

All classes are for adults unless otherwise noted

Introduction to Scrivener Writing Software with Carolyn Cohagan

ONLINE

Date: Sunday, Oct. 4

Time: 3-4:30 PM CST

To register, donate $80 to The Ditch Mitch Fund and send the receipt along with the name of the class to Carolyn@girlswithpens.org 

Have you been thinking of using Scrivener to write your next project but you're intimidated by all the features?

For years people have been asking Carolyn if Scrivener is a good writing app and her answer is YES, YES, YES. She has used it to write four novels and she would never go back to Word or Pages. In this intro class she will walk you through the basics of setting up a manuscript, chapters, and scenes. We will also discuss where to put your research, cut scenes, and notes (which is where Scrivener really shines).

 

Please make sure you have downloaded Scrivener before class begins. You can get a 30 day free trial here: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/download

 

Carolyn Cohagan began her writing career on the stage. She has performed stand-up and one-woman shows at festivals around the world from Adelaide to Edinburgh. Her first novel, The Lost Children (Simon & Schuster, 2010) is a middle grade fantasy which became part of the Scholastic Bookclub and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. The first book in her YA trilogy, Time Zero (She Writes Press, 2016), won eight literary honors, including the 2017 Readers Favorite Award and the 2017 International Book Award. She is the founder of Kids With Pens, a creative writing organization in Austin dedicated to fostering the individual voices and offbeat imaginations of kids ages 8-15.  

Delight Diggers: Writing Towards Joy (for kids 8-12) with Zoë Fay-Stindt

ONLINE

Date: Saturday, October 3

Time: 10-11:30AM CST

To register, donate $80 to The Ditch Mitch Fund and send the receipt along with the name of the class to Carolyn@girlswithpens.org 

In the ebb and flow of this uncharted world we’ve found ourselves navigating, strengthening our delight muscles can be tough. But finding joy in the every day is essential work. In this workshop, we will write our way towards levity, seeking out the big and small things that bring us delight as we charge forward into that great unknown: catching frogs along the creek, eating particularly delicious fried chicken, building the ultimate indoor fort, or full-body cannonballs into some big blue river. Whatever our delights may be, students will unearth them and rejoice, building a brighter world on the page.

Screenwriting Camp for Kids! (6th-10th grade)

with Rose Hansen Smith

ONLINE

Date: Saturday, Oct. 3

Time: 1:00-3:00 PM CST

To register, donate $80 to The Ditch Mitch Fund and send the receipt along with the name of the class to Carolyn@girlswithpens.org 

Have an idea for a TV show or movie?  This camp is for aspiring screenwriters and directors. We’ll learn the elements of a good pitch, how to write a logline, what goes into a beat sheet, and how to begin writing your first script. The class will make time for brainstorming in small groups and writing.  

Rose Smith is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her first publication was Rachel’s Wedding, winner of The Missouri Review’s Annual Editor’s Prize in 2018. Another story, Idaho, was recently named a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s Story Contest. She has worked as an independent film producer on a wide range of projects. Films have aired on PBS and Sundance Channel among others, and have screened at various festivals, including Sundance, SXSW and MoMA Documentary Fortnight. Honors include an Independent Spirit Award and a nomination for the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship. Rose regularly teaches film production and writing workshops and is currently at work on a novel. 

Conscientious Revision with Claire Campbell

ONLINE

Date: Tuesday, Oct 6

Time: 7-9:00 PM CST 

To register, donate $80 to The Ditch Mitch Fund and send the receipt along with the name of the class to Carolyn@girlswithpens.org 

This jam-packed two-hour session will offer you new ideas + tools for drafting and revision.

 

This workshop is a chance to practice both drafting and revision skills by listening to our own needs as artists and applying that reflection to the writing process. We’ll practice prompts that help you generate ideas as well as refine them. Writers will gain a renewed sense for how our creative needs often blend with our characters’ needs, and how we can harness this seemingly mystical connection to write bolder, better words. Feeling stuck at the beginning? The end? The middle? This class is for you. Want new strategies for drafting and revision? This class is for you.

Claire Campbell is a novelist and performer with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. For fifteen years, her work has centered on teaching and developing educational programs for learners of all ages. When she isn't writing grants for her day gig in development at the Texas Land Conservancy, she loves working with writers through her regularly sold-out Write NOW! sessions, as well as her Conscientious Revision series. Claire is all about that cosmic blend between artist needs and character quirks; she believes that the writing process should be uplifting and illuminating if at all possible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science is the chemistry behind our emotions, the physics behind our movements, the biology behind our behaviors. Science is central to so much of what matters in the world today, which makes it a critical subject for exploration. And science is experienced by all of us, which means it’s fantastic fodder for metaphor. Yet, reading science can seem distant and clinical, removed and impractical. In this two-hour class, we will discuss ways to square the universality of science with the human disconnect—ok, even boredom—of science in writing.

By reading excerpts and discussing them, we will explore how great writing about science dovetails with some of the best elements of essay writing: using a personal point of view, testing ideas, taking the reader on a journey, and finding truths about the larger world. And we will also examine how great science writing benefits from some of the most evocative elements of fiction: scene, dialog, sensory detail, and voice. Finally, we will make use of these ways to consider science writing in a short writing exercise.

Juli Berwald is a science writer based in Austin, Texas. She has written for The New York Times, Nature, National Geographic, and Slate, among other publications. In 2017, she published the science-based memoir Spineless: the Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone, which was a finalist for the Indies Choice Book Awards and the Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards. Juli was a math major at Amherst College and received her Ph.D. in Ocean Science from the University of Southern California. She’s currently working on a book about coral. 

Science as Muse ONLINE with Juli Berwald

Date: Wednesday, Oct 7

Time: 6:30-8:30 PM CST

To register, donate $80 to The Ditch Mitch Fund and send the receipt along with the name of the class to Carolyn@girlswithpens.org 

Using the 3-Act-Structure to Construct A Riveting Novel with Carolyn Cohagan

ONLINE

Date: Sunday, October 11

Time: 3-5:00 PM CST

To register, donate $80 to The Ditch Mitch Fund and send the receipt along with the name of the class to Carolyn@girlswithpens.org 

Do you have a great plot idea, but you're stuck after page fifty? Are you in love with your characters, but no one else seems to be?

 

The three-act-structure has been used in screenwriting for decades, and it can be a vital device in a novelist's toolbox. Thinking about an "inciting incident," "turning points," and a "rock bottom revelation" can help you create an outline before you begin a manuscript or sort out writer's block after it's begun. Participants will leave this class with an outline of their book or a structure format to consult during revisions. Carolyn will be using "The Wizard of Oz" as her main talking point. Please make sure you are familiar with the film.

 

TAKE THIS CLASS IF

  • You're looking for a flexible structure for your novel.

  • You're interested in a backbone for your novel but not a prescriptive beat-by-beat approach.

  • You love to outline before you begin writing.

  • You have written yourself into a corner and don't know what to do next. 

Carolyn Cohagan began her writing career on the stage. She has performed stand-up and one-woman shows at festivals around the world from Adelaide to Edinburgh. Her first novel, The Lost Children (Simon & Schuster, 2010) is a middle grade fantasy which became part of the Scholastic Bookclub and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. The first book in her YA trilogy, Time Zero (She Writes Press, 2016), won eight literary honors, including the 2017 Readers Favorite Award and the 2017 International Book Award. She is the founder of Kids With Pens, a creative writing organization in Austin dedicated to fostering the individual voices and offbeat imaginations of kids ages 8-15.