CLASSES!

Charlotte Lit’s fall 2020 classes are here! They’re listed by type—Special Events, Studios, and Live-by-Zoom Classes—then chronologically within type. (Need a more compact view? That’s here.) Charlotte Lit members save at least 15 percent on classes. Not a member? Join here. Questions? Email staff@charlottelit.org.

EXISTING CUSTOMERS — PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU REGISTER!

We’re using a new registration system this year, which means you’ll need to reset your password to log in — and members need to be logged in to get member pricing. Click here for the instructions [opens in a new tab and is printable].

Special Event

  • Setting the Scene with Mallory and Wiley Cash

    Saturday, October 3, 9:30 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 3:30 pm. $250. More Info / Register

    Mallory & Wiley Cash

    Join Mallory and Wiley Cash for a day-long, online workshop dedicated to learning from photographs and setting literary scenes on the page. Over the course of the morning you will discuss numerous photographs while considering the craft elements that translate to prose, including tone, objects, tension, and character. You’ll come away with exercises geared toward capturing scenes of your own. After a break for lunch, you’ll spend the afternoon discussing the ways in which the things we (and our characters) see in our daily lives can find their way to the page, and you will leave with writing exercises that help unlock the power of scene. When the workshop ends, you will be invited to join Mallory and Wiley in a private online community where we can all share and discuss our photographs and prose. Open to photographers and prose writers of all levels. Please note: no credits accepted for this class.

New! Studios

Charlotte Lit’s new Studios are 4-week immersions using multiple modes of teaching and learning that help you dive deeper into your craft. Here’s what you can expect:

• Deep content. Class content is delivered online, self-paced, in four weekly lessons. Each week you’ll participate in a mix of experiences, including video presentations, specially-selected craft articles, sample texts, group discussions with your classmates and teacher, and complete writing assignments—all on your own schedule.

• Instructor feedback. Best of all, you’ll receive in-depth written instructor feedback on one or more of your submissions (see the individual class descriptions for details)—the kind that enables you to move from rough draft to revision and toward a completed, polished piece of writing you can be proud of—and maybe even publish.

• Zoom sessions. Want live interaction, too? Each Studio also includes 2-4 optional Zoom sessions, where you can ask questions, have concepts further explained, and chat live with your teacher and classmates.

There are six Studios to choose from, and with just 12 seats in each you’ll want claim yours right away. Good news: until August 23, all Studios are discounted to $300 for Charlotte Lit members; and $375 for non-members (which includes a one-year General Membership).

Questions before you register? Email staff@charlottelit.org.

  • In the Beginning: Exploring Questions of Spirituality and Religion through Poetry

    Studio Dates: Sunday, Sep. 13 to Saturday, Oct. 10 (four weekly lessons, asynchronous, online, at your own pace), plus two (optional) live Zoom meetings: 6–6:45 pm, Monday, Sep. 14 and Monday, Oct. 5.

    Cost: $300 Charlotte Lit members; $375 non-members (includes a one-year General Membership) until Aug. 23 with early bird rates, discounted automatically at checkout. More Info / Register

    Jessica Jacobs

    Jessica Jacobs

    With Jessica Jacobs. We live in a time of always more, always faster, where what’s new insists on itself as what’s most important. But outside this frenzy are questions that demand slow pondering, queries old as human consciousness. Why are we here? Is there a God? How do we live knowing our lives have a definite deadline? Humans have engaged these questions most often in religious texts, where we find the stories and rituals, commandments and prohibitions that have shaped the world we live in. As a model for our own writing, we’ll delve into the work of writers who’ve grappled with these ideas and texts. This 4-week class is for writers of all levels. Each week will be a blend of close readings, spirited exchange, contemplative meditations, and generative exercises, through which we’ll add our voices to a conversation that stretches across geography and time. Jessica will provide written feedback on weekly poem submissions.

  • The Art of Detail for Fiction and Nonfiction Writers

    Studio Dates: Sunday, Sep. 13 to Saturday, Oct. 10 (four weekly lessons, asynchronous, online, at your own pace), plus two (optional) live Zoom meetings: 6–6:45 pm, Monday, Sep. 14 and Monday, Sep. 28.

    Cost: $300 Charlotte Lit members; $375 non-members (includes a one-year General Membership) until Aug. 23 with early bird rates, discounted automatically at checkout. More Info / Register

    Megan Rich

    Megan Rich

    With Megan Rich.  For most writers, bringing the rich world inside your head onto the page is a challenge. Yet fully fleshing out details is precisely the skill that enables readers to connect with your work. Though we don’t often acknowledge it, it’s also what connects us as writers to our creativity. But how, precisely, do we do it? In this course, we’ll explore the importance of sensory details and the clever, diverse, and artful ways they can be employed in prose. Along with weekly readings to inspire and instruct us, there will be exercises and prompts to help generate rich, memorable passages for our work. In addition to delivering inspiration and practical craft advice, Meg Rich will provide feedback on weekly assignments. This course is perfect for anyone struggling with rendering details, whether in a first or fiftieth draft.

  • Short Story Studio

    Studio Dates: Sunday, Sep. 13 to Saturday, Oct. 10 (four weekly lessons, asynchronous, online, at your own pace), plus two (optional) live Zoom meetings: 7–7:45 pm, Monday, Sep. 14 and Monday, Sep. 28.

    Cost: $300 Charlotte Lit members; $375 non-members (includes a one-year General Membership) until Aug. 23 with early bird rates, discounted automatically at checkout. More Info / Register

    Ashley Memory

    Ashley Memory

    With Ashley Memory. Have you ever read a short story in one sitting and wondered how the writer managed to hold your attention? In this four-week class, Ashley will reveal the formula behind irresistible stories by writers such as Shirley Jackson, John Cheever, and contemporary voices. You’ll use Ashley’s unique “story triggers” to generate a premise for your own story, and then you’ll write it, following the guidance provided in bi-weekly video lectures. But you won’t be alone. You’ll receive teacher feedback on your premise and at three more stages during the class, for up to 3,000 words, including revision and submission tips. We’ll have weekly Zoom sessions for check-in and questions, and you’ll also have the option of peer engagement on our discussion board. By the end, you’ll have a technique you can use for life to write the kind of stories that will captivate your own readers, page by page.

  • Memoir Studio

    Studio Dates: Sunday, Oct. 18 to Saturday, Nov. 14 (four weekly lessons, asynchronous, online, at your own pace), plus two (optional) live Zoom meetings: 6–6:45 pm, Monday, Oct. 19 and Monday, Nov. 2.

    Cost: $300 Charlotte Lit members; $375 non-members (includes a one-year General Membership) until Aug. 23 with early bird rates, discounted automatically at checkout. More Info / Register

    Kathie Collins

    Kathie Collins

    With Kathie Collins. In her instant classic The Art of Memoir Mary Karr writes, “Memoir done right is an art, a made thing. It’s not just raw reportage flung splat on the page.” In this four-week online course, we’ll explore what goes into turning hard-won experiences into works of art. Instructor Kathie Collins has curated essential advice on the form from the genre’s best teachers and writers and assembled it into engaging, easy-to-grasp lessons that will inspire and prepare you to write your own. We’ll take a look at memoir’s many shapes and structures, from hybrid forms like micro-memoir to personal essay to full-length books. Each week, you can expect stimulating lectures, readings from classic and contemporary memoirs, and online group discussion. You’ll also develop a 750-word piece and receive feedback on first and second drafts.

  • Scene Studio

    Studio Dates: Sunday, Oct. 18 to Saturday, Nov. 14 (four weekly lessons, asynchronous, online, at your own pace), plus two (optional) live Zoom meetings: 7–7:45 pm, Monday, Oct. 19 and Monday, Nov. 2.

    Cost: $300 Charlotte Lit members; $375 non-members (includes a one-year General Membership) until Aug. 23 with early bird rates, discounted automatically at checkout. More Info / Register

    Paul Reali

    Paul Reali

    With Paul Reali. We begin with this proposition: If you can write a scene, you can write a novel (or memoir). And if you can write a good scene, you can write a good novel or memoir. In this four-week online course, we’ll explore the art of writing scenes. You’ll learn what a scene is and isn’t; you’ll learn the purpose of scenes and how to determine your scene’s purpose; and you’ll get hands-on experience with an eight-step method for writing and editing a scene. Each week you’ll view two stimulating lectures, read and study published scenes, participate in an online group discussion, and get instructor feedback on a scene you’ve written, and feedback on your revision of that scene.

  • Creating Characters That Reflect Our World

    Studio Dates: Sunday, Oct. 18 to Saturday, Nov. 14 (four weekly lessons, asynchronous, online, at your own pace), plus two (optional) live Zoom meetings: 6–6:45 pm, Monday, Oct. 19 and Monday, Nov. 2.

    Cost: $300 Charlotte Lit members; $375 non-members (includes a one-year General Membership) until Aug. 23 with early bird rates, discounted automatically at checkout. More Info / Register

    Paula Martinac

    Paula Martinac

    With Paula Martinac. It’s challenging to write fiction or nonfiction that includes characters different from you in race, gender, sexuality, or other ways. Yet representing a broader spectrum of characters offers you an opportunity to deepen your writing and create powerful work. If you’ve shied away from it for fear your characters will be flat and readers will call you out, you’re not alone. This four-week class weaves together mini-lectures, discussions, readings, and writing exercises to present four principles for crafting a vibrant, believable, diverse community of characters that truly reflect the world you’re part of. You may choose to flesh out a character you’ve already created for a work in progress or to generate new work. We’ll also touch on in-the-headlines issues such as “cultural appropriation” and “sensitivity readers.”

New! Live Classes via Zoom

Single-session classes just $25 for early bird members!

Looking for the Charlotte Lit experience from home? Our new remote classes combine the great teaching and great community you’ve come to know from our in-person classes. These classes are live, interactive, and just the right size: 90 minutes. Be sure to check the description: some of our Zoom classes are a single session, and some have multiple sessions.

Early bird rates for members on most Zoom classes until August 23! Save $5 on single-session classes, $10 on 2-session classes. Discounts applied automatically at checkout.

  • C.R.E.A.T.E.

    Dates: Four Mondays, September 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 7-8:30 pm

    Cost: $150 Charlotte Lit members, $195 non-members. Includes a 30-minute private coaching call. More Info / Register

    Cathy Pickens

    Cathy Pickens

    With Cathy Pickens. Creativity is not a mysterious muse-bestowed gift but a discipline that can be developed. Writers already know they are creative.  For both beginners and long-time creatives, this workshop will help you understand and predictably tap into your own creativity. To develop your individual creative process, we’ll explore:

    • Creativity myths and misunderstandings
    • Discoveries in brain science
    • The secret of the notebook
    • The power of both play and mastery
    • Techniques for starting or continuing your own projects

    Participants will receive a copy of Cathy’s just-published book, CREATE: Develop Your Own Creative Process. The exercises will help fill your creative well and focus on your own creative growth, even in this time of social distancing. What better time to start that new project? Or return to something you put on a shelf? Or explore different creative outlets?

  • Generating Story Ideas

    Date: Tuesday, September 15, 6-7:30 pm. 

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    Kim Wright

    Kim Wright

    With Kim Wright. Linus Pauling said it well: “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” Successful writers will tell you they often make multiple false starts before settling on a concept that can really go the distance––but exactly where do those original ideas come from? In this class novelist Kim Wright will teach you how to separate the concepts that are mere glimmers from those that hold narrative gold. We’ll talk about stealing ideas from real life, snatching inspiration seemingly from mid-air, and how a combination of reality and fantasy often leads to the best stories.

  • Hip Hop Songwriting

    Date: Thursday, September 24, 6-7:30 pm.

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    Tarik Kiley

    Tarik Kiley

    With Tarik Kiley. Rap music, once considered to be a fad, is now over 40 years old. Through the years, rappers have contributed to the form and shape of the music. This class will introduce participants to the classic form of a rap song. We’ll learn how to count in 4/4 time, explore 16-bar verse and 8-bar hook formats, and cover end rhyme, internal rhyme and the concept of rhyming couplets. We’ll also look closely at the idea of cadence. Our goal is to learn from what has already been established in rap music, while also learning to develop a personal style of artistic expression.

  • Making It Strange, Making It Real: Writing Literary Fantasy

    Date: Thursday, October 1, 6-7:30 pm.

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    George Hovis

    George Hovis

    With George Hovis.  In this class, we will explore ways to represent the world we know in the fullness of its reality, both the “real” and the surreal. We will discuss examples of magical realism, in which inner lives manifest as strange external phenomena.  Through discussion and exercise, we will see how inner lives are formed from composites of individual and community modes of seeing.  By pairing conflicts based in human relationships with fantastical plot elements, this class will provide writers with new ways of generating stories.

  • Journaling in Times of Uncertainty

    Date: Tuesday, October 6, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    Elizabeth West

    Elizabeth West

    With Elizabeth West. Letters written to family members and friends during the 1918-19 Spanish Influenza pandemic provide historians with a large archive of that time period. Since so much of today’s communication happens virtually, however, historians fear that we will leave behind few written records of our individual experience. As writers living during this unusual and difficult time, we have an important role to play in history. We need to tell our stories for future generations.

    In this class, we’ll talk about the role observational journalism plays in the historical record. Then we’ll explore the works of Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, and other creative nonfiction authors, allowing them to serve as guides in a practice of journaling through these difficult and uncertain times. We’ll talk about how to create journals that might one day morph into publishable works of creative nonfiction, from short essays to full-length memoirs. All writers are welcome, whether you’ve journaled your entire life or want to try it for the first time!

  • Rasā – Flavors of Life

    Dates: 4 Wednesdays, October 7, 14, 21, & 28, 9:30-11 am

    Cost: $100 Charlotte Lit members, $140 non-members. More Info / Register

    Surabhi Kaushik

    Surabhi Kaushik


    Jyotsna Srikant

    Jyotsna Srikant

    With Charlotte Lit volunteer Surabhi Kaushik & Jyotsna Srikant. An invitation to explore the essence of emotions through creative movement and spontaneous writing. Rasā is a Sanskrit word that translates to juice, taste, or essence. Rasā in the traditional Indian dance and drama forms denotes the aesthetic flavor that evokes a feeling or an emotion in the audience. These diverse emotions are what we experience in our daily lives. The impact they have shapes our personality and makes us who we are. In this four-part series, you will traverse four powerful emotions – Love (Shringāra), Fear, (Bhayānaka), Peace (Shāntha), and Compassion (Karunā) – through movement and writing. Tune into yourself, indulge in a treat for your senses, and embark on a journey towards self- exploration and self-awareness through new avenues.

  • Read Like a Poet

    Dates: Two Thursdays, October 8 & 15, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $60 Charlotte Lit members, $70 non-members. More Info / Register

    Julie Funderburk

    Julie Funderburk

    With Julie Funderburk. Explore the world of verse by learning to read poems with the eyes (and ears, nose, heart, and lungs) of a poet. Readers will come away understanding what they missed in high school and college lit classes. Fiction and nonfiction writers will gain a deeper appreciation of the form and some inspiration for ways to integrate poetic devices into their prose. And, poets will find their poetic vision sharpened and their founts replenished. For poets (all levels) and serious readers who want to develop a love for reading verse.

  • Writing Reviews: Curiosity Over Verdict

    Date: Tuesday, October 13, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $60 Charlotte Lit members, $70 non-members. More Info / Register

    John Amen

    John Amen

    With John Amen. We often turn to reviews with a bottom-line attitude: thumbs-up or thumbs-down. In this workshop, we’ll consider that the purpose of a review is more to stimulate curiosity and inspire engagement in a reader, observer, or listener than it is to offer a verdict. We’ll examine templates we can use to fertilely offer critical commentary, including thematic, comparative, and historical approaches. The techniques with which we experiment will have broad applicability, relevant to various types of reviewing, including literary, film, music, and art.

  • Five Generations: Collecting Family Memories

    Dates: 4 Tuesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, 10, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $100 Charlotte Lit members, $140 non-members. More Info / Register

    Melinda Ferguson Sherman

    Melinda Ferguson Sherman

    With Melinda Ferguson Sherman. In this four-session class you’ll learn strategies for uncovering and writing short family stories that you can pass on to future generations. During the first class, we’ll talk about how passing on family history through stories strengthens our children’s resilience. Then, we’ll explore ways of organizing and researching our family “archives” for material. Each week, you’ll write at least one family story based on memory, memorabilia, photographs, history, and hearsay. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have a minimum of four short, polished pieces to share. You’ll also have a structure in place to motivate you to continue collecting, constructing, and writing about family history after the class ends. Everyone (including beginners) interested in preserving their past in story is welcome.

  • Dramatizing Your Poetry

    Date: Thursday, October 22, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    David Radavich

    David Radavich

    With David Radavich. Contrary to what many think, lyric poetry contains surprising dramatic elements (just as drama, at its most intense, becomes poetic).  Even Shakespeare’s sonnets enact rivalries and love triangles. How do we enhance these elements to make poems exert a greater emotional impact? In this virtual workshop, poet and playwright David Radavich will lead us in considering the oft-ignored theatrical elements in poetry and examine a range of poems that demonstrate both the loud and the quiet conflicts inherent in this most retiring of genres.

  • Using Place in Your Writing

    Date: Thursday, October 29, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    Charles Israel, Jr.

    Charles Israel, Jr.

    With Charles Israel, Jr. Remember the place? Maybe it’s the background in a selfie you took on vacation or a room in the house you grew up in or even some place that resides only in your imagination. Whatever it is, this place resonates with you. It is, in its own way, inviting you to use it in your own writing. In our workshop, you’ll learn how to emphasize place in your poems, fiction, and creative nonfiction. You’ll discover how to use setting in ways that can drive—or reflect—character and plot and imagery. You’ll explore some fresh avenues for crafting various settings as powerful components in your own writing. Then, with the help of writing prompts, photographs, and drawings, you’ll compose a setting or two. Also, we’ll discuss passages by known writers that emphasize setting and employ it in novel ways.

  • How to Create Your Own Audiobook

    Date: Thursday, November 5, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    Landis Wade

    Landis Wade

    With Landis Wade. In this 90-minute class, author/podcaster Landis Wade will discuss a process authors can use for making audio versions of their books using the ACX platform. ACX is part of Audible, a subsidiary of Amazon that serves as an online marketplace where authors, literary agents, publishers, and other rights-holders can connect with narrators capable of producing a finished audiobook. Class topics include the process of finding a narrator, legal considerations, exclusivity versus non-exclusivity, the process of completing the audiobook, distribution options and the cost of producing an audiobook. Landis also will share how he used the process to turn his trilogy into audiobooks and how he elected to distribute them.

  • Novel Structures

    Date: Thursday, November 12, 6-7:30 pm

    Cost: $30 Charlotte Lit members, $35 non-members. More Info / Register

    Paul Reali

    Paul Reali

    With Paul Reali. Every novel is a unique work, but there are a few common story structures that most novels follow. Humans have told stories for thousands of years, so it makes sense that we’ve come to like (and repeat) certain forms. In this session, you’ll learn: the simple five-part structure that underlies almost every story; the Hero’s Journey structure made famous by Joseph Campbell; and Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat,” with three acts and 15 “beats” that most films and novels share. And you’ll get to try these structures on your own novel project.

Some things you might wish to do now…

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