Reading Like a Writer (8-Class Series) - (Note: Each session is also offered as a single class)

Facilitator: Annette Januzzi Wick and Tina Neyer

  • Date: 02-23-2018 to 04-20-2018
  • Time: 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Tuition: $349.00
  • Open to: All Genders 18+

Want to write the great American novel? First, one must investigate the great American writers and their approaches to craft. Reading is one of the great pleasures in life. It is pure magic when a story is built with such depth to invite the reader to escape to another realm or time.

In this 8-week series, we will study aspects of writing through critical reading of short pieces related to individual topics to attain that depth in one's own writing. Participants will implement new techniques in their own work and use the art of critique to examine published authors and the participant's own work. Each session includes fastwrites, instruction, a longer writing time to apply new principles, and short readarounds to test new techniques.

Requirements: Ability to commit to take-home reading and analysis.

Week One: Scene Construction and Its Use in Novels and Memoir - February 23
Scenes are stories within larger stories. Can you identify a scene, or perhaps action within a story? In this session, participants will examine the seamless transitions between narrative exposition, summary, interior thoughts, and action. Participants will construct a scene, layer by layer, learning how to put action to a story, rather than just recounting. Through the study of scene construction, we learn about the importance of the active voice. 

Week Two: Who Is The Narrator? - March 2
Establishing a narrator is important to developing three-dimensional writing. The assignment doesn’t flow automatically from author to reader. The author’s job is to create the space where a narrator’s voice can develop a clear point of view. In this session, we will look at examples of an essay and a short story to find where and how the narrator is used as a device to define the viewpoints of characters within the piece. 

Week Three:  Descriptive Language - March 9
The artful use of description can bring the reader to any emotion without telling the reader that the character is angry, sad, happy, depressed. In this session, we will focus on how description makes a story come alive, using an excerpt from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. Participants will learn how to write / read passages that a reader can see and hear, and also how to incorporate the sense of taste, touch, and smell. 

Week Four: Dialogue - March 16
Dialogue indicates that story is in scene. Dialogue is active. Dialogue helps to create three-dimensional characters, giving the reader sounds, language, gestures, and inflections to experience. In scenes, whether in a novel, memoir, short story or essay, dialogue moves a story along in ways other devices cannot attain. In this session, will examine one short story’s critical use of dialogue and create more of our own.

Week Five: Structure and Plot - March 23
Cause and effect, dramatic action, character development are components of plot in novels and creative nonfiction. Why does the structure of a story matter? If a story is void of scenes, active voice is it still a good story? In this session, participants tackle the task of understanding how construction of a novel or memoir works, or doesn’t work. Participants also have an opportunity to map out an idea of their own, drawing a plot line to set the course of their story. 

Week Six: Theme - March 30
A thematic concept is what readers think the work is about. It might be the subject matter or it might present itself as a message within a larger story. In this session, we will focus on how an author creates theme, and how the use of language establishes the particulars. The hero’s journey is an example of theme that has a universal quality to it. Through discussion and practice, participants will begin to understand the course a writer takes to bring a project to its conclusion.

(Note: We will have a break on April 6)

Week Seven: Point of View - April 13
Omniscient third person, third person limited, first person, second person. In an excerpt from a novel, we will study the variations of point of view (POV). This session focuses on the difference between who is speaking, who is observing a situation, and why the author would choose to write characters and situation in such a way.

Week Eight: The Art of Critique - April 20
For seven weeks, participants have developed a critical eye. In this session, participants will try on the art of critique by analyzing a piece of their own work with the provided lessons throughout this series. Participants will examine the strengths and weaknesses of their own story. Remember, that famous authors have editors and reading fellows who help them to see what they can’t see themselves. 

NOTE: If you register and pay through this page, you will be registering for the 8-Week Series for $349.  If you would like to register for individual classes (for $55 each) please click HERE, scroll down and select the appropriate class(es).

Tina Neyer, a skilled facilitator and writing workshop instructor, brings a wide array of instructional materials to this series. Annette Wick is a WWf(a)C facilitator, striving novelist, and convener of the circle.

Location & Special Instructions

Women Writing for (a) Change
6906 Plainfield Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236


Scholarships in varying amounts are available for our programs depending on need and availability of funds. If you would like to apply for a scholarship for one of our classes, click here to download our PDF application. Call 513-272-1171 if you have further questions.

Please include your contact information and the class you are interested in taking. Thank you!