The Writer’s Voice

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COMMUNITY ARTS HOME >Visual Arts | Theater Arts | The Writer's Voice | Dance | Special Events | Arts Camp | Conversations On The Arts | Meet Our Instructors | Contact Us | The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater


ADULT PROGRAM SCHEDULE

Founded in 1981, the West Side YMCA Writer’s Voice is one of New York City’s longest-running and well respected creative writing programs. Each class offers writers a great opportunity to generate new or hone existing material with the support of our faculty and writing peers.

"At the Writer’s Voice you have access to some of the most outstanding and inspiring teachers who will fuel your imagination, spark your creativity, and challenge you to be better."– Juliann Garey, author of Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See

"...insightful feedback, coaching, generous sharing of resources and nurturing spirit." - Writer’s Voice student

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LIFE STORIES
Mark Twain said the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the "difference between lightning and lightning bug." The goal of this class is to help you find the right words. This workshop provides students the opportunity to generate, share, and get feedback on writing inspired by personal experiences. All levels of writers welcome. Maximum enrollment is 8 students.

Patty Dann
Tuesdays or Thursdays 10 AM - 12 PM
SESSION 175, 176 | 8 weeks, starts 9/5, 9/7; 10/31, 11/2
Fees: $265 Members; $425 Non-Members

SHAPING THE STORIES IN OUR LIVES
Every life has stories worth writing. This class provides tools to overcome fear of the blank page and writing prompts to jump-start the creative process. Inspired by collaborative discussion and examples of great writing, participants will hone in on their stories and explore elements of craft. No pre-registration requirement: Open to writers of all levels.

Mindy Lewis
Tuesdays 1:30 - 3:30 PM
SESSION 175 | 7 weeks; 9/12-10/24
Fees: $232 Members; $373 Non-Members
SESSION 176 | 6 weeks; 11/7-12/12
Fees: $200 members; $320 Non-Members

THE ART OF PERSONAL NARRATIVE
This open-level class is for anyone interested in writing personal narrative in any form: memoir, creative nonfiction, or personal essay. Through insightful critique and focused discussion, we hone the tools of strong writing: distinctive voice, precise language, resonant imagery, vivid sensory description, dramatic scene and dialogue, and inventive form. No pre-registration requirement: Open to All Levels.

Mindy Lewis
Tuesdays 6:45 - 8:45 PM
SESSION 174 | 4 weeks; 7/11-8/1
Fees: $133 Members; $213 Non-Members
SESSION 175 & 176 | 7 weeks; 9/12-10/24 & 11/7-12/19
Fees: $232 Members; $373 Non-Members

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ADVANCED MEMOIR AND CREATIVE NONFICTION
Already working on a memoir, creative nonfiction, and/or a personal essay? This class will help take your writing to the next step by addressing issues of voice, style, structure, pacing, dramatic arc, and thematic focus. Each student will submit new or revised writing for critique, with the option of also working on query letters, book proposals, and chapter outlines. Pre-registration requirement: Instructor approval.

Mindy Lewis
Wednesdays 6:45 - 8:45 PM

SESSION 175-6 | 15 weeks; 9/6-12/20 (no class 9/20 & 11/22)
Fees: $500 Members; $800 Non-Members

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SCREENWRITING/PLAYWRITING
This workshop covers fundamentals of the craft of Dramatic Writing including; writing dramatic scenes, story structure, character, dialogue and revision. The instructor creates a supportive and participatory workshop environment. Students bring in new pages of their script-in progress on a weekly or biweekly basis and hears their material read out loud. In class writing exercised tailored to individual needs help students who do not yet have a script in progress. All levels are welcome.  For more info, contact: theschulberts@gmail.com.

Charlie Schulman
Mondays or Tuesdays 6:45 - 8:45 PM
SESSION 175 | 8 weeks, starts 9/5. 9/11
Fees: $265 Members; $425 Non-Members
SESSION 176 | 5 weeks; starts 10/30, 10/31; no class 11/13, Class ends Dec 11.

Fees: $166 Members; $266 Non-Members

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HOW TO THINK AND WRITE FUNNY
Humor is a skill that can come in mighty handy – especially since we’re all gonna die. Whether you’re trying to punch up your online dating profile, become an amusing public speaker, find success as a stand-up comedian so you can have an excuse to drink all the time (or sleep around), or write the next (and first ever) Pulitzer Prize winning comic novel, this class is most definitely for you. Along with sharing student writing, class will involve writing prompts, brief lectures, and discussion. We’ll explore such topics as surprise, exaggeration, hostility, risk, understatement, word choice, syntax, conflict, reversal, and perhaps most importantly, our inner censor. Free extra bonus included if you sign up now -- or at the last minute: it promises to be a lot of fun. 

Stephanie Lehmann
Thursdays 6-8 PM
SESSION 174, 175, 176 | 8 weeks, starts 7/6, 9/7, 11/2
Fees: $265 Members; $425 Non-Members

FILLING THE WELL
In this class, the goal is to feed imagination and create good, raw fiction material through weekly writing exercises and missions. Writing exercises provide fun and challenging prompts to generate new work or advance pre-existing stories/chapters. The class works well for both beginning and more experienced writers. Limited to 10.

Beth Ann Bauman
Tuesdays 6:45 - 8:45 PM
SESSION 174 | 4 weeks; 7/11 - 8/8; no class 7/18
Fees: $133 Members; $213 Non-Members

 

STRANGE AND FANTASTICAL TALES
In this class, we’ll look an assortment of genres—fairy tales, fantasy, ghost stories, and other speculative fictions.  Readings and exercises will be assigned, and in the final weeks student works-in-progress will be workshopped. Class limited to 10.

Beth Ann Bauman
Tuesdays 6:45 - 8:45 PM
SESSION 175 | 10 weeks; 9/26-12/5 (10 students)
Fees: $332 Members; $532 Non-Members

INTRO TO FICTION
In this class, beginning and intermediate-level fiction students work toward building short stories and novel chapters and learning the elements of craft. Whether you are a new beginner or want to sharpen up your basic writing technique, this is the class for you. Student work is discussed in a warm atmosphere. Limited to 8.

Beth Ann Bauman
Wednesdays 1 - 3 PM
SESSION 175 & 176 | 6 weeks; 9/13-10/25 & 11/1-12/13 (no class 9/20 & 11/22, 8 students)
Fees: $200 members; $320 Non-Members

GOING DEEPER-FICTION WORKSHOP
Writing sample (up to 8 pages of fiction) and permission of instructor required. In this class, students working on novels and short stories learn to improve craft, deepen fiction, and identify and tackle common storytelling problems. Students must have work ready to present.

Beth Ann Bauman
Wednesdays 6:45 - 8:45 PM
SESSION 174 | 4 weeks; 7/12-8/9 (8 students, no class 7/19)
Fees: $133 Members; $213 Non-Members
SESSION 175 & 176 | 6 weeks; 9/13-10/25 &11/1-12/13 (6 students; no class 9/20 & 11/22)
Fees: $200 members; $320 Non-Members

FICTION 202
This is a great workshop for writers new to fiction or returning to the genre. The workshop will focus on the basics of fiction through exercises and assignments. Exercises will cover character development, dialogue, plot/storyline, and beginnings and endings. Substantial class time will be reserved for detailed critiques of works in progress (any projects students are working on). Open to everyone.

Thad Rutkowski
Mondays 6:30 - 8:30 PM

SESSIONS 174 & 176 | 8 weeks, starts 7/10 & 10/30
Fees: $265 Members; $425 Non-Members

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