This Writing Workshop focuses on writing and publishing your very own Chapbook in a unique, comfortable, casual and creative space.
Meetings are Monday nights from 7:00pm - 8:30pm starting January 9th to February 13th.
See the venue: https://www.facebook.com/vinylartsbar/
A chapbook is a uniquely short book containing about twenty pages of themed poetry or prose. In these pages, audiences can navigate through a scaffolded structure that guides them to a unique understanding of that chapbook’s miniature world. One of the most important things about chapbooks, whether they be focused on prose or poetry or both, is this adherence to a set unified theme.
Chapbooks are about collecting poems, stories, and essays with the greatest possible punch in the briefest manuscript space while maintaining a cohesive story. Central to chapbook content creation is the study of character development, narrative structure, and tone. Once these elements are present in drafted pages, attention can be paid to the language and voice of the individual poems, stories, or essays within the chapbook, all building toward a central narrative arc. By studying these concepts, as well as the writing included in other chapbooks, you will have the tools necessary to build and workshop your own chapbook draft across a period of six weeks. Once that draft is finished, we will move on to the submission and publication of your work.
Instructor: Nicole Oquendo
Nicole Oquendo is an artist, editor, and educator interested in both traditional works and hybrid forms such as multimodal compositions. She currently teaches creative writing at Full Sail University. Her essays and poetry have appeared in the chapbooks some prophets, self is wolf, wringing gendered we, and Space Baby, and the hybrid memoir Telomeres. Her visual poetry collection we, animals is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in 2017. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Sundress Publications, and as the Nonfiction Editor of the Best of the Net anthology and The Florida Review.
Six Weekly 1.5 hour Sessions:
Session 1: We’ll cover a brief history of the chapbook, and then move into narrative structure and how it translates to short work. We will end the session by brainstorming a “big idea” that can fit into a chapbook sized space. Each attendee should leave this session with the outline of a plot for their chapbook regardless of what genre they’re working within.
Session 2: This week, we’re moving into character development and what makes characters tick. Even poetry chapbooks contain characters and developing protagonists. To that end, we’ll be discussing Negotiating with Objects and dissecting the main character’s goals and conflict. We’ll also be looking at the first five pages of your manuscript.
Session 3: Structure and setting are two ways you can influence the tone of your writing and the mood of the audience. We’ll continue our discussion of Negotiating with Objects by analyzing how the author navigated the tone and mood of the work, including her use of structure. We’ll spend the last part of the session workshopping the next five pages of your manuscript.
Session 4: Language and imagery are the last pieces of the chapbook puzzle. We’ll be discussing repeated images in Negotiating with Objects and how you can use repetition to tie together the theme of your chapbook through cohesive language. Also, by now you know the drill: we’ll also be looking at the five pages you wrote leading up to this week.
Session 5: By now, ideally, you’ve finished your chapbook. Bring all of your finished pages with you so that we can spend the session looking at the cohesive whole you’ve made. You’ll also get a one-on-one session with me to ask any questions you may have about theme and opportunities for improvement.
Session 6: We didn’t write this book together just for it to collect dust in a drawer (physical or virtual). In our last session, we will discuss strategies for getting your chapbook into the hands of readers, whether that be through self-publishing or publishing through a reputable press.