Summer is my favorite time of year. I love soaking up the warm sunshine, wearing strappy sundresses, dancing salsa during sultry nights, and losing myself in a good summer read. But most of all, I love the frame of mind…that sense of “school’s out for summer” (even though I’m no longer in school) when everything seems a little freer and anything feels possible. It’s the combination of summer’s sensory pleasures and laidback vibe that, for me, makes it the season ripest for great writing.
For the past several summers, I’ve taught a month-long summer writing “camp” for adults through the Los Angeles Writing Project at Cal State LA. We meet twice a week for 2 1/2 hours and immerse ourselves in the craft of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and memoir. The course is like a “toolbox” of writing techniques that can be applied to any genre: evoking a strong sense of place, describing people and characters vividly, crafting convincing dialogue, and understanding narrative structure. The course is open to anyone but is especially recommended for teachers of all levels looking to incorporate creative writing curricula into their classrooms and earn continuing education units. For more information about the Summer Creative Writing Intensive, visit the LAWP website.