Thursday, January 5, 2012


As you may or many not know, Seton Hill Writers had its origins at the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University. Coming up very soon, we have our winter 2012 residency. What goes on at such a residency you may ask? Well, I'll tell you. :)

We start off by discussing the genre novel that we all read. This year it was the mystery The Snowman by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. (This was awesome by the way; I will be blogging about it later at some point.) It's always a kick to discuss a novel in detail with other diverse people who study writing. Invariably, we disagree about various aspects of the novel.

Then, we split up into various classes. Classes generally vary each residency. This time, the first day they include: Critiquing and Clarity, The Business of Writing, Character in YA and Middle Grade Fiction, How Much is Too Much: Boundaries for Dark Content in Horror and Fantasy, or The Four-Layer Method of Revision. Then, this time, after dinner there are Masters Thesis Presentations.

On the ensuing day, we have morning Writing Workshops, where about 3 folks have submitted a short story or chapter and everyone (groups of 6 to 12 people) critiques them. This is always very interesting. It's really neat to read all the new creative projects.
After lunch we have classes: Character and Dialogue, Point of View, YA Dystopian: The New Young Glums, Deep Characterization For the Romance Hero/Heroine, or Endings and Beginnings. After dinner students meet with their mentors.

The next day starts with more Writing Workshops. Lunch is with the new semester's email critique partners. These are your critique partners for the entire semester and you have to plan out how you will handle submissions, etc. Afternoon classes include: Conflict Plot and Scene Building, Setting and Research, Origin of the Species: Creating Other Races, Putting the Thrills in your Thriller, or Writing and Marketing Cross-Genre Books. After dinner are more Thesis Presentations and Alumni Panel Presentations.

The subsequent day again begins with Writing Workshops. Then we have guest speakers after lunch. This time Sophie Littlefield, Rachael Herron, and Juliet Blackwell, all authors, are our guests. The guest speakers are often authors and usually teach some kind of class or workshop in the afternoon. That evening these guests will do a talk "Gender and Publishing" with a book signing and reception afterwards. Sounds fascinating! :)

The following day begins with classes: Structure and Synopsis Writing, Revision, Empowering Female Characters, Marketing Mystery and Current Trends or The Language of Fear. That afternoon we have Writing Workshops, followed by a graduation ceremony and a reception. (Congrats grads!)

As you can see, it's a jam-packed week. Phew. I'm worn out just from writing about it. :) It should be a blast!

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