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A Four-Week Creative Writing Workshop Series

(July 11-August 1, 2020 | Saturdays from 11:00 am-2:30 pm Mountain Time)

Week One: The Voice | July 11     *     Week Two: Monologues & Soliloquies | July 18

Week Three: Dialogue | July 25     *     Week Four: Body Language | August 1

Culminating Ceremony & Celebratory Salon on Sunday, August 2 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

After a "Silent Spring," we continue to face a brave new world as shaped by the pandemic and all the challenges that accompany it, thus (W)rites of Passage has decided to devote this forthcoming series to expression. For those of us privileged with the abilities to see, speak, and hear we suddenly find ourselves challenged to best communicate through our masks while the fabric muffles our voices and conceals our intent by hiding certain crucial facial cues. Safe-distancing further separates us as we attempt to connect in cyber-space or from the same physical distance a corpse is to be buried in a cemetery. As writers we have always been faced with the challenge of how to emote upon the page, especially without telling; instead we are tasked with the translation of the sensory experience, a technique known as showing. In other words, what better time than now to focus our attention on improving such skills?


Through a montage of exercises and ritual (as well as carefully curated readings), we will explore the power of the voice and all that it entails. Via the art of  eavesdropping we will learn to listen as we also practice mimicry. Sitting inside the echo, we  will consider the verbal and the vernacular through the study of slang and the discourse of dialect. We will collect colloquialisms and catch-phrases as we simultaneously summon the soliloquy and seek the subtext as we pay attention to the limits of linguistic relativism and the limitlessness of expression. Then we will attempt articulation through recitals of alliteration and assonance  we will learn how to make exclamations and all the rules regarding exclamation points and adverbs. We will stutter on purpose and trail off as we talk about talking; we will work on mastering interruption that is to crafted to feel natural as we move from monologue to dialogue without info-dumping or ever boring the reader. We will learn to tag and punctuate said dialogue just as learn to write the language of the body and the truths it tells as a vehicle that makes the present moment forever a complicated intersection of past and future. We will  investigate the mysteries of somatics and the speech patterns conjured from the interiority complex of the visceral reaction that is often hidden within a person just as we will work on capturing the exterior gesture the reader gets to then interpret. We will unpack the quick intake of breath, the slouch of her shoulders, the quivering lip of the stranger in the seat across the aisle, the  fidget of a child's finger, or the secret someone confesses when their pupils dilate. 


This workshop is open to prose writers and poets alike just as it is for both the seasoned writer and the novice. Sarah Elizabeth Schantz serves as a writing midwife to participants as they embark on a journey of self-expression and the artist's task to convey the human condition.


For the sake of safety, this workshop will be held remotely using the technologies of the Zoom, email, Track Changes/Google docs, and/or scanning. Space is limited to 8 writers per Saturday, but unlike past workshops anyone in the United States with internet can join (video capabilities recommended).  $200.00 for all four weeks (includes a 10 page critique) or $60.00 per Saturday. Register now to guarantee a seat by either hitting the contact tab above or emailing us at

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