Online Class Roundup
Coming downtown to beautiful Open Book can be a huge perk of taking Loft classes—or it can be a big pain, especially if you can only attend evening classes and have to contend with traffic. To try and be as accessible as possible, we also provide a range of online classes. I've rounded up an engaging selection of online spring options that really showcase what the Loft community can gain from this format. (Check out the website for our full listing!) Who knows, maybe you'll be able to take your next perfect class from your couch.
Well Seasoned Words: Writing about Your Food Traditions/Heritage
February 5–March 4
If there's one absolute unifier (across the world? the galaxy? the universe??), it's food. Food can represent your traditions, your heritage, your relationship to yourself and others. It can be an in to your culture or your introduction to someone else's. It's there during your happiest times and also during your worst. It's unique in the most universal way, which is what makes it such a powerful guiding topic for whatever else you may be trying to say. So don't just write about yourself and your experiences; create a recipe book of memoirs.
Write Memory: Intro to Memoir
March 4–April 15
If you're new to writing—especially writing about yourself—it can be daunting to walk into a classroom feeling like you're going to be the one student with the least experience. So what if you take the classroom element out of it? The comfort factor of online classes is that there's a veil between your person and your work, which can make taking chances so much easier. And memoir is all about taking chances. Let your new favorite group of strangers help guide your life story onto the page.
The New Idea Lab: Fiction for Beginners, Ages 13–17
July 13–August 7
You thought online classes were only for adults? Well, you thought wrong. Unless you have a high school class dedicated to creative writing, a lot of students' relationship to writing is solely influenced by academic writing (which, let's be real, can be a big snooze fest). We offer in-person youth classes year round, but it can be hard to make it downtown, and it can be intimidating to jump into a new art form surrounded by strangers. Chances are, you're on your phone anyway—why not use it to start writing?
Novel Revision: Beyond the First Draft
March 18–May 13
So you've completed your first draft. Congratulations! Take a moment to do a little dance, make a little love, get down to—wait, where was I? Oh right: take some time to be proud of what you've accomplished. Now take a deep breath, because it's revision time. Revising is hard; no way around it. But cultivating an online revision community can reinforce the idea that you're not alone in this. You might even get a life-long critique partner out of it.
Laughter through Tears: Using Humor to Process and Publish
February 5–March 18
What's that saying? You have to laugh so you don't cry? Well, here's our literary version: You have to laugh—and gain publishing credits while you're at it—so you don't cry. Life is hard for each of us in uncommon ways, but those uncommon ways all fall into common buckets: grief, death, trauma, illness, loss. And feeling connected within those buckets is what lets us know we're not alone. You can be the person who connects others—and help them laugh their way through the pain.
Storyboard Intensive: Your Book Starts Here
March 4–April 1
You want to write a book, but you don't know where to begin. Common issue. Sure, there are authors who pants their way through their manuscript, following their characters willy nilly through the pages and picking up rogue plot lines as they come. But once that manuscript is done, those authors have to spend a significant of time in revision tightening up. To avoid that, you can start with an outline—or a storyboard. In this class, you'll learn the tools to visualize the whole story before you begin writing, ensuring your characters follow guided paths forward and your plot lines tie up neatly.
Hygge Poems: Writing the Cold Away with the Cozy Danish Concept
February 5–April 1
In 2016, hygge, the Danish concept of coziness and togetherness, was a finalist for Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year. And what could be cozier than writing warmth-inspired poetry from the coziest place you know: your own home? Finding ways to keep your creative mind moving—as well as finding a supportive writing group—is imperative for keeping the cold at bay. Roll into spring with a small collection of poems, all reminders that you can get through next winter too.
What Makes a Political Poem?
February 19–April 1
There's a common saying in writing: the personal is political. Meaning you can't untangle who you are from the society that surrounds you. The immediacy of language in poetry makes it the perfect vehicle to comment on that society. Whether you're evoking an image, breaking down (or building up) an argument, or spinning an original metaphor, you can send a powerful message. The question is how to best formulate that message; this class will focus on just that.
Publishing and Career
Writing for Magazines
February 19–April 15
Being a career magazine writer isn't just about your writing prowess: it's about your nose for a popular story, your recognition of viable editors, and your ability to write a compelling pitch. Basically: you have something important to say, but you need to convince the powers that be of that. In this class, you'll focus on it all, and you'll leave with a professional bio, pitch, and story ready to send to editors.
March 4–April 14
We all appreciate the art of writing a book, but at the end of the day, publishing is a business. And being business savvy means understanding all of your options. You could go the traditional publishing route, or you could take destiny into your own hands. Enter: self-publishing—or indie publishing, if the former term gets your hackles up. Indie publishing takes hard work and serious know how. The work ethic is on you; the know how is where this class comes in. Here, you'll not only learn how to self publish—you'll learn how to be successful at it.