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Loyola hosts new public courses for budding writers

Loyola press release - February 25, 2013

Dreaming of writing the next great American novel or memoir? Loyola University New Orleans Writing Institute is hosting eight-week classes for the community beginning March 4. New classes in creative nonfiction, memoirs and poetry will join the institute’s signature class on writing well-crafted fiction, which is back by popular demand.

Classes are available to adults 21 and older and are open to all levels—from writers who have published a book to new writers just getting started. All classes are held at Bobet Hall in room 341 on Loyola’s main campus. Hosted by Loyola’s Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing, the Writing Institute classes are not for Loyola credit and are only open to those not enrolled as a full-time student. The cost is $250 per course.

“Writing Well-Crafted Fiction,” will begin March 5 from 7 to 9 p.m., and aims to improve participants’ fiction writing whether a short story or a novel. Taught by former U.K. national newspaper journalist Stephen Rea, the class has helped students of all ages with fiction writing.

“All it takes to write fiction is imagination. All the other facets of writing—character, plot, etc.—we can work on and improve,” Rea said. “It can be daunting to have your work read and critiqued, but we create an atmosphere in which honest and constructive feedback helps the new writer thrive and leads to improvements in their story-telling abilities. No matter how many books you read or how many hours you spend at your computer, there is no substitute for having your work discussed face-to-face.”

The nonfiction course, “Platitudes of Truth – Writing Creative Nonfiction,” is held every Monday and begins March 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. Taught by Peyton Burgess, the current fiction editor for New Orleans Review, the class will focus on research and voice.

Patricia Brady, former director of publications at the Historic New Orleans Collection and author of several biographies, will teach the class on memoir writing, “Writing Your Life: Memoirs and Family Histories.” The class is held on Wednesdays and begins March 6 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Sunday course, “Poetry Manuscript: Editing & Conceptualizing,” begins March 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. and will guide participants through the process of producing a short collection of poems. It is taught by independent publisher Joseph Makkos.

To reserve a spot, send a check payable to: Walker Percy Center, Box 157, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118. Please indicate which course you are signing up for. For further information, e-mail lwi@loyno.edu or call Stephen Rea at 504-931-9902.