MONTH FOUR begins January 9, 2022 with
“Your Character in the World”

Discover techniques for building your character’s real or fictional world. What social and historical landscape do your characters live in and what is their place in it? What cultural events have influenced them? How do they navigate this landscape?

A live online writing workshop series

led by Jennifer Browdy and Audrey Kalman

Writing a book has been compared to giving birth. With both writing and birthing, you are bringing something new and beautiful into the world, and to do this well requires a tremendous amount of creative energy, along with self-awareness about the fears that might hold you back, and the need for helpers and allies in the quest for success.

In this series of live online workshops, which I am delighted to offer with my lifelong friend, memoirist and writing teacher Jennifer Browdy, you are invited to step into a non-judgmental space where you will feel safe to discover your most tender voice, so that your truest stories can take root and blossom.

Month by month, you will:

  • Discover the tools you need to “birth” your next creative work; 
  • Develop a powerful internal ally to walk with you on your writing journey; 
  • Enjoy the collaborative energy of a warm writing community; 
  • Find the courage you need to tell the story that seeks to come through you. 

Each month features a stand-alone master class on a key aspect of the writing process, along with a writers’ circle for sharing and receiving productive feedback on your work, and two office hours for group collaboration and support for the creative process.

Both Jennifer and I also offer individual author coaching and developmental editing for novelists and memoirists.

You can join for the monthly master class alone ($49), or purchase a monthly pass that includes all four sessions ($169). The master class is recorded and shared with registrants in case you can’t make the live session.


See meeting details below for dates.

TIMES


TIME: PacificTIME: EasternTIME: Atlantic
WORKSHOP9-10:30am12-1:30pm1-2:30pm
WRITING CIRCLE9-11am12-2pm1-3pm
All sessions meet on Sundays. Office hours alternate Mondays for Jennifer, Wednesdays for Audrey, once a month for each.

Are you somewhere else? Use the Timezone Converter to figure out your starting time.

“BYTS has kept me accountable, built my confidence about my story being one to persist at, and gotten me over some significant hurdles in my attempt to write a challenging memoir story. Especially helpful are the opportunities to share work, receive feedback, and voice feelings and reactions about doing the writing.”

-M.C.S., 2021

In this small and supportive group environment, you will:

  • Discover how to apply concepts from the birthing world—such as surrender, facing fears, and working with a doula (coach)—to your writing practice
  • Learn how to move beyond the fears that impede your writing journey
  • Produce new work during generative writing sessions
  • Receive monthly feedback during class from the group and from two seasoned writing teachers
  • Find community in a small, supportive group of fellow writers
  • Find accountability to the group—and to yourself

When you finish the workshop, you will come away with:

  • Deeper knowledge of yourself and your writing process
  • A reliable toolkit for tackling fear and uncertainty
  • Several thousand words of draft material
  • Confidence in your ability to serve as your own writing ally
  • A writing community to cheer you on

SESSION DATES & TOPICS

All sessions meet on live online via Zoom.

Your monthly tuition includes:

  • A 90-minute class covering a wide range of writing and revision techniques, as well as questions related to publishing
  • Two office hours sessions with the instructors, for informal group sharing about the writing process and any questions that come up
  • A 2-hour writers’ circle to share and receive feedback on your work

While you’ll get the most benefit from taking the whole series, you are also welcome to join us for just one month, or to drop in when you can.

We’re here for you!

“Being part of BYTS made me excited to move forward, confident about having begun to find my writing voice, and less fearful of facing the desk/computer. It’s also provided an emotional catharsis and the process, as painful and laborious as it has sometime been, has been joyful, liberating, and hopeful. The chemistry of the group is critical, I believe. In this group, from my perspective, the synergies have been exceptional!”

– C.C., 2021

Workshop Schedule

PLEASE NOTE: Times on the purchase page are EASTERN. Please make the necessary adjustment for your time zone. If you download events to your calendar, they will be displayed in the correct time zone. If you have any questions, let us know!

FIRST TRIMESTER – Gestating

Month One

  • 9/26, CLASS: Conception – What is the story asking to be born? What’s your story’s form: fiction, nonfiction? Length? Genre?
  • 10/04, Office Hour
  • 10/10, Writers’ Circle, Share your writing & received structured, productive, encouraging feedback
  • 10/20, Office Hour

Month Two

  • 10/24, CLASS: Characters – Explore issues of character development, point of view, voice, and conflict.
  • 11/01, Office Hour
  • 11/07, Writers’ Circle, Share your writing & received structured, productive, encouraging feedback
  • 11/17, Office Hour

Month Three

  • 11/21, CLASS: Get Inside Your Character’s Head – Master Class on How Psychology Drives Plot. Create rich, living characters that compel readers to keep turning the page. Uncover your character’s personal and family history and lineage. Articulate your character’s burning emotional needs and desires and discover how these drive the plot, scene by scene.
  • 11/29, Office Hour
  • 12/0, Writers’ Circle, Share your writing & received structured, productive, encouraging feedback
  • 12/15, Office Hour

SECOND TRIMESTER – Developing the Story

Month Four

  • 1/09, CLASS: Your Characters in the World. What social and historical landscape do your characters live in? Build your characters’ real or fictional world.
  • 1/19, Office Hour
  • 1/23, Writers’ Circle
  • 1/30, Office Hour

Month Five

  • 2/06, CLASS: Narrative Arc – Where is your story going? What is the relationship of plot to character? What are the prototypical structures (hero/heroine’s journey, 3-act structure, seven steps). Explore your book’s structure and timeline and different ways to put your book together.
  • 2/16, Office Hour
  • 2/20, Writers’ Circle
  • 2/28, Office Hour

Month Six

  • 3/06, CLASS: Writing Style – Finding and cultivating your unique voice. How can your use of language help readers understand emotion? What do we mean by “show vs. tell?” What’s the right balance of scene vs. narration? Explore the use of sense-based writing and putting your words in service of your story.
  • 3/16, Office Hour
  • 3/20, Writers’ Circle
  • 3/28, Office Hour

THIRD TRIMESTER – Laboring and Delivering

Month Seven

  • 4/03, CLASS: Audience and purpose
  • 4/10, Office Hour
  • 4/20, Office Hour
  • 4/24, Writers’ Circle

Month Eight

  • 5/01, CLASS: Revision–Trusting your most tender voice, integrating feedback
  • 5/11, Office Hour
  • 5/15, Writers’ Circle
  • 5/22, Office Hour

Month Nine

  • 6/5, CLASS: Birthing your work into the world
  • 6/12, Office Hour
  • 6/15, Office Hour
  • 6/19, Final Writers’ Circle & Celebration!

FAQ

Q: Is this class only for women or mothers? 

A: Not at all. We are using birth as a metaphor. You need not have direct experience with giving birth to benefit from this class.

Q: Do I have to attend every session? 

A: We hope you’ll be able to attend our live sessions to participate in the community, especially during the “second trimester,” when we’ll be sharing our work and giving feedback. However, if you need to miss a class, you will have access to a recording so you can catch up.

Q: What if I’m not a writer but I would like to be?

A: This class is intended for anyone with a story inside (which we believe is everyone!) that wants to be told. There are no prerequisites. And we will cultivate a welcoming atmosphere of non-judgment that will help everyone feel safe bringing their most vulnerable selves and stories to the class.

More questions? Contact me.

This class is intended for anyone with a story inside (which we believe is everyone!) that wants to be told. There are no prerequisites. And we will cultivate a welcoming atmosphere of non-judgment that will help everyone feel safe bringing their most vulnerable selves and stories to the class.

About the Workshop Leaders

Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D., has taught literature, writing and media arts at the college level for more than 30 years. Her memoir was a finalist for the 2018 International Book Awards; her writer’s guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir, won a 2017 Nautilus Silver Award. She provides coaching and manuscript review for authors in fiction and nonfiction, and offers memoir workshops nationally and internationally. Find out more at JenniferBrowdy.com.

Audrey Kalman writes fiction with a dark edge about what goes awry when human connection is missing from our lives. Her most recent book, the collection Tiny Shoes Dancing and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the 2019 Rubery Book Award. She is the author of two novels, and more than a dozen online and print journals have published her fiction and poetry. In early 2020, she was selected as one of 21 literary residents at the newly formed Shuffle Collective. A member of the San Francisco Peninsula Branch of the California Writers Club since 2011, she currently serves as branch president. She offers editing services for both fiction and non-fiction, as well as coaching. Find out more at audreykalman.com.