Upcoming Workshops for Writers & Poets

TWO CLASSES Starting Soon!

Take a Workshop by Victoria M. Johnson

Any writers and poets in the Santa Cruz Area will be interested in these workshops.

Social Media For Authors And Poets

March 7, 2017

social media class by Victoria M. Johnson

Social media has become a crucial element for authors and poets in promotion and branding, finding opportunities, and fundraising. But those new to social media may not understand what platforms are best for them and what they can do once they are up and running. Some don’t understand the benefits of social media at all while others have opened accounts but don’t know what they’re doing there. This class will showcase a variety of social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, websites and more! Though the class focuses on writers and poets, all artists will benefit from this exciting workshop.

For more information or to register, click here.

Held at Capitola Community Center from 1:00pm to 4:30pm. One Day Only.

Flash Fiction Writing Bootcamp

Mar 15, 2017 to Apr 5, 2017

Flash Fiction Workshop by Victoria M. JohnsonCome learn how to create very short stories, also known as short shorts and flash or sudden fiction. Flash fiction stories have all the elements of fiction and have the power of their longer cousins to transform the reader. Discover tried-and-true techniques, look at great examples, and free your creativity to write your own flash pieces. For beginning writers or pros, this is a fun and motivating class that will help you improve your storytelling skills. Following a lecture each session, students will write new pieces based on the topics covered and prompts to get the creative juices flowing. You’ll also learn editing tips and opportunities for publishing your polished works.

For more information or to register, click here.

Held at Capitola Community Center from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. 4 Wednesdays.

Instructor Bio: Victoria M. Johnson is a published author, poet, and filmmaker. She is the writer and director of four short films and two micro-documentaries. Avalon Books published Victoria’s fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, in 2011 (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist). McGraw-Hill and General Publishing Group published her in non-fiction. In 2012 Victoria entered the indie publishing arena with a collection of romance short stories and in 2014 a how-to book on fiction writing techniques. Her poetry appears in online literary journals and print anthologies.

 

Workshop: Social Media for Authors and Poets

Any writers and poets living in the Bay Area will be interested in this workshop

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Social Media for Authors and Poets

social media collage

Social media has become a crucial element for authors and poets in promotion and branding, finding opportunities, and fundraising. But those new to social media may not understand what platforms are best for them and what they can do once they are up and running. Some don’t understand the benefits of social media at all while others have opened accounts but don’t know what they’re doing there. This class will showcase a variety of social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, websites and more! Though the class focuses on writers and poets, all artists will benefit from this exciting workshop.

For more information or to register, click here.

Instructor: Victoria M. Johnson is a published author, poet, and filmmaker. She is the writer and director of four short films and two micro-documentaries. Avalon Books published Victoria’s fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, in 2011 (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist). McGraw-Hill and General Publishing Group published her in non-fiction. In 2012 Victoria entered the indie publishing arena with a collection of romance short stories and in 2014 a how-to book on fiction writing techniques. Her poetry appears in online literary journals and print anthologies.

Creative Spaces — Guest Post by Ksenia Anske

Creative Spaces

My writing space is more than just a physical place. It’s my pattern, my routine, my specific mood to settle into when writing. You know how when you put on your exercise attire, you’re more likely to actually exercise? Yeah, same with me and my writing space. When I’m in it, with the door closed, I’m more likely to do actual writing. It’s nothing special, really. A typical desk with a lamp and a stack of books in the corner. And an exercise ball instead of a chair because I like to bend back, crack my back and hang with my head upside down when thinking. I imagine because of all the blood rushing to my head, when stuck, within a few minutes of inverting myself I usually get an idea or two on how to proceed.

And I like my space clean, orderly and spartan. When it’s organized, I feel like my mind is organized. I tend to outline my novel before diving in, and I like tracking my character’s journeys on a map, so I have maps on both walls facing the desk and small square sticky notes with scene reminders and character traits. I also pin index cards corresponding to each Chapter next to the map and like to rearrange them when early in the Draft. It felt so awesome to get rid of them on Draft 3!

Another thing I like doing is gazing out the window at the woods that are usually pretty foggy and creepy looking in the winter, but also very green and full of squirrels in the summer. Plus, our house sits really high on a hill, so the whole neighborhood is sort of below us. I love it. It’s quiet and serene and very much ME at the same time. By that I mean, the stranger a forest looks, the more I would want to go in and attempt to get lost in it. So I constantly take pictures of the trees and bushes around my house and post them online as inspiration, be it sunny or rainy or foggy or, you guessed it, creepy.

Creatives Spaces by Ksenia Anske

Ksenia Anske in her creative space

I usually go in my space and close the door at about 8am and do about 2 hours of social media, then at 10am turn everything off except my Sigur Ros or Bjork or Radiohead radio station on Pandora, play my 6 or 7 Words with Friends games, and then start by reading out loud what I wrote the day before, typically 1/2 of a Chapter, correct minor details as I go, and then seamlessly drift into new writing, next 1/2 of a Chapter. I don’t let myself out unless I either wrote for 4 hours or wrote at least 2,000 words. Oh, and I have a large cup of black coffee with me!

I’m currently working on my 1st novel, SIREN SUICIDES, Draft 5, which should be done by April of this year. It’s a story about a teenage girl, Ailen Bright, who lost her mother to suicide by drowning, hates her controlling father and decides to escape reality in the same way. On her 16th birthday she attempts to drown herself, but instead of dying turns into a siren and discovers that her father is a siren hunter. She also discovers that she wants to eat the soul of her best friend Hunter Crossby, because it sounds irresistibly delicious. To figure all of this out, she dives into an adventure akin to Alice in Wonderland, except it’s all things water, rain, songs, and magic that’s both sinister and dreamy.

Despite my beautifully set up creative space, many mornings I go through crying bouts of anxiety before starting, usually lasting 30 minutes (it’s getting better now that I’m gaining confidence), typically being afraid that what I write is complete shit and nonsense and horrible absurdity and nobody will ever be interested in reading it. I have to drag myself through these either by breathing or by bugging my boyfriend over Skype (while he’s at work), sending him messages like “I CAN’T DO THIS, I SUCK!” and him calmly responding, “YES, YOU CAN. YOU DON’T SUCK.”

And in I go, into my daily pattern. Write. Read. Repeat.

BIO:

Ksenia Anske was born in Moscow, Russia, and came to US in 1998 not knowing English, having studied architecture and not dreaming that one day she’d be writing. She lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and their combined 4 kids in a house on top of the hill that they like to call The Loony Bin. Visit Ksenia’s website or her facebook page.

 This post marks the launch of the Creative Spaces 11 part series.  Come back to hear about other writers and their creative journeys.