Writers' guild offers six-week short story writing classRegister by March 4; first class March 14
The Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild has begun registration for a unique short story writing class that works more like a game or a race than a traditional class. In Write Your Short Story in Six Weeks, writers, whether novice or experienced, will all begin in the exact same place when they are given the first sentence of their story.
From this opening sentence, the writers will take off on a six-week journey, experimenting with attention-grabbing openings one week and developing characters another, until by week six, every participant will be closing in on the finish line and working on the story’s end.
The class will take place from 1 to 3 p.m., Thursdays, March 14 to April 18, in a central Rehoboth location. Taught by short story writer Sarah Barnett, the course is based, in part, on First Line Journal, www.thefirstline.com, a unique literary magazine which four times a year offers writers an opening sentence with which to begin a short story. The best stories written with that first line are then published in the journal.
Barnett, who taught the class in fall 2012, successfully led six writers, including herself, to complete stories with the given first line: There must have been thousands standing in the rain that day.
"We all started with the same words, but we ended up with such drastically different stories,” said Maribeth Fischer, one of the participants. Fischer’s story took place at a rainy Polar Bear Plunge event, Barnett’s on a rainy night in Coney Island. Another woman wrote about a drought that had shut down the city of New York until the rain brought thousands into the street. “It was so much fun each week seeing where the stories were going,” Fischer said. “And it was a great way to learn the craft, by looking at the different decisions we were all making.”
“The hands-on, do-as-you-go class is structured so that it works for beginners as well as experienced writers,” Barnett said. The goal is for participants to have a completed story to submit to First Line Journal at the end of workshop. Barnett, who already knows what that first line will be, won’t reveal it until the first class.
The cost of the class to RBWG members is $150 for all six weeks and for nonmembers $180. To register go to www.rehobothbeachwritersguild.com and click on classes (a PayPal option is available) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange payment by check. Classes are kept to a maximum of eight, and participants are registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration closes Monday, March 4.