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FCLA to Offer Spring Creative Writing Courses Beginning February 1

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Miami, January 13, 2010 - Learn to craft science fiction, write a poem or a novel this spring with the help of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts’ Creative Writing Courses, taught by talented writer/teachers with stellar publication records and classroom experience.

An acclaimed program of Miami Dade College (MDC), the Center will offer the courses from Feb. 1 through March 27. All classes will be held at MDC’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. The Center will also offer the Writers Institute, four-days of intensive writing workshops with nationally-acclaimed authors being held May 5-8, 2010.

The 2010 Spring Creative Writing Courses offered are:    

Mondays, Feb. 1 to March 22
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Speculative Fiction and Science Fiction: Writing Beyond Borders with Kathleen Ann Goonan

Writing science fiction is not unlike writing any other fiction. Character, plot, setting, style, and the intangibles that hold these together are essential parts of the tool kit. But then, of course, there are those other elements--the accepted science fiction tropes of time travel, aliens, space travel, or new and subtle differences between our lives as we know them and what might be--that must be woven seamlessly into the work. Writing science fiction is an opportunity to explore the possibilities our ever-changing present holds. This is a hands-on course in learning how to revise and refine your own short story or novel using the tools of group critiquing, personal consultation with a published, award-winning science fiction author, discussions of good published science fiction, and recommended supplementary reading.

Mondays, Feb. 1 to March 22
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Advanced Memoir with Nick Garnett

A rigorous yet supportive workshop, intended for writers who are in the process of completing a memoir, from early draft to final revisions.  In response to participant’s submissions, the class, under the direction of the instructor, will provide insightful and constructive peer critique, while also discussing important issues, such as structure, elements of craft and revision.  Participants should, at a minimum, have completed a substantial portion of a draft of their memoir and have previously taken at least one creative writing class. 

Tuesdays, Feb. 2 to March 23
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Sincerity: A Poetry Workshop with P. Scott Cunningham

Even the best bands cover other bands’ songs. Why? Not because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but because it’s (A) the best learning tool that exists and (B) lots of fun. If we’re poets who love poems and want to write better ones, the best thing we can do for ourselves is try to “cover” our heroes. And in doing so, we’ll hear our own voices that much more distinctly. In this poetry workshop, we’ll read and imitate poems we love, in addition to sharing our drafts and giving brief presentations. Plus we’ll have lots of fun.

Wednesdays, Feb. 3 to March 24
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Creating Life Stories from Photographs with Jeanne DeQuine 

It's a novel way to approach the staggering project of an entire memoir. Its focus: beginning writers or those who would like to polish scene-writing ability. The idea is to create two or three well-crafted pieces that stand on their own. We'll begin with the building block of a scene - provided by the photo - and move into describing character and finding the arc of a piece. 

Wednesdays, Feb. 3 to March 24
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
I Lie the Truth: A Fiction Workshop with Ariel Gonzalez

How do you convert fact into fiction? Where should an author draw the line between art and life? What is the advantage and disadvantage of writing only what you know? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this workshop, which will look at ways to draw from personal experience without appearing overly self-absorbed. We will also discuss techniques to overcome writer’s block and improve compositional velocity. There will be readings and writing exercises. Be prepared to submit samples of your own fiction. 

Thursdays, Feb. 4 to March 25
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Art of Abbreviation: Short-Short Stories with David Beaty 

Flash fiction? Sudden, mini, micro, postcard, short-short? These are names for very short stories, between 250 and 1,750 words long. In this workshop we’ll investigate very short stories, and we’ll write our own. We’ll read and discuss anecdotes, scenes, advertisements, jokes, parables, prose poems, and very short fiction by established writers such as Hemingway, Peter Altenberg, and Jayne Anne Phillips. Expect writing exercises in workshop, and be prepared to bring in your own very short fiction to be discussed.

Saturdays, Feb. 6 to March 27
10 a.m. to noon
Writing the Novel with Elaine Raco Chase

Welcome to the world of mass-market fiction!  Learn about the genre's, what publisher's want, how to find an agent and - how to write the novel.  You'll create compelling strong characters; learn to plot, the importance of dialogue, scene staging, foreshadowing, flashbacks plus beginnings, middles and endings; and how to research because most fiction is a blend of fantasy and facts.

Saturdays, Feb. 6 to March 27
10 a.m. to noon
The Novel Step by Step (a special workshop with Chely Lima)
Course will be taught in Spanish.

Students will plan and begin a novel, learn how to create characters and craft a plot.

All workshops will take place at the MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., in downtown Miami. Tuition for each eight-week workshop is $170, unless otherwise noted. Discounted rates are available for MDC staff and students currently enrolled in credit courses.

For more information or to register, please call 305-237-3023 or visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.