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Course Description

This five-day workshop is for teens (grades 8 through 12) who love writing fiction in any genre. Each day, participants will begin with a different group writing activity designed to develop a particular area of storytelling, such as character development or plot and structure. Writers will set a goal for the week (e.g., “finish a short story” or “write the first three chapters of my novel”), and they will have time to work on these projects every day. The final hour of each meeting will be for sharing and feedback. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to share their writing with the group for positive and constructive feedback from the instructor and their peers.

Writers must provide their own laptops or tablets that can connect to Wi-Fi. Stories and activities will be written using Google Docs, which allows the instructor and participants to leave comments on all stories. If the writer doesn’t have a Gmail account, the instructor will help set one up for use during this workshop. Writers who prefer to write by hand are welcome to do so.

Students who complete Teen Writing I will be prepared to take Teen Writing II course.

This workshop is in offered in partnership with Writing Workshops Dallas.

Please note times are in Central Standard Time (CST).

Course Outline

Monday
Story Starters. After a brief ice-breaker activity, the instructor will lead a discussion on where story ideas come from and how to turn an idea into a plot. Writers will participate in the Character-Obstacle-Want activity, then work quietly on their own stories. In the final hour, writers will workshop their stories with the group.

Tuesday
Perspective and Tense. The instructor will lead a discussion on the different perspectives and tenses writers use and how to choose the right combination of each for their stories. After participating in a perspective/tense-swap activity, writers will work quietly on their own stories. In the final hour, writers will workshop their stories with the group.

Wednesday
Character Motivation. The instructor will check in on how close writers are to reaching their goals for the end of the week, then lead a discussion on finding protagonists’ internal and external wants and needs. After a characterization activity, writers will work quietly on their own stories. In the final hour, writers will workshop their stories with the group.

Thursday

Narrative Voice. The instructor will lead a discussion on the elusive topic of “voice” in fiction and provide an exercise designed to help students understand the concept and hone their stories’ narrative voice. Writers will work quietly on their own stories, and share with the group in the final hour.

Friday
Reaching the End. The instructor will lead a discussion on figuring out the end of a story. After a writing roundtable activity, writers will work quietly on their own stories. In the final hour, writers will workshop their stories with the group and set new goals for their writing beyond the workshop.

Notes

Stories and activities will be written using Google Docs, which allows the instructor and participants to leave comments on all stories. If the writer doesn’t have a Gmail account, the instructor will help set one up for use during this workshop. Writers who prefer to write by hand are welcome to do so.

Recommendations

  • Online registration closes at noon 4 days prior to the start of the class.
  • For late registration options, please contact SMU College Prep at 214-768-2267 for assistance.
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Enroll Now - Select a Section
Section Title
Teen Writing I
Type
Online
Days
M, T, W, Th, F
Time
9:00AM to 12:30PM
Dates
Jul 12, 2021 to Jul 16, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
17.5
Location
Delivery Options
Live Online  
Grades 8-12  
Course Fee(s)
Registration Fee non-credit $425.00
Section Notes

The well-being of our students, instructors and community is our top priority. We are excited to deliver dynamic and engaging courses in a fully online format to provide the best possible learning experience for our students.

Students will interact with instructors and other students through Zoom and SMU's Learning Management System (Canvas). To maximize classroom instruction and your learning experience, we encourage the use of video and audio devices during the Zoom meeting, if available.

Registered students will receive individualized communication with further instructions to help prepare for class.

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