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Online Workshops

We have several creative-writing classes and series coming up, all taught by the talented and award-winning Katrina Kittle. Check back in a few months for more humor-writing courses. Or better yet, sign up at the bottom of this page to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to have course updates emailed to you.

All our courses are offered via our online webinar application, Fuze. If something comes up at the last minute and you can't log on for your live class? No problem! Each session is recorded. The link to the recording is sent to you after class and you may view it through your web browser as many times as you'd like for six months following each webinar.

Meet Katrina Kittle

OnLiten's instructor for online fiction-writing classes is the talented and accomplished Katrina Kittle. Katrina is the author of four books for adults: Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, The Kindness of Strangers and The Blessings of the Animals. And she's the author of one published novel for tweens, Reasons to Be Happy, with another in the works. The Kindness of Strangers was the winner of the 2006 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. Katrina has an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University in Louisville and teaches creative writing workshops from the third grade to universities to retirement communities. In the Dayton-Cincinnati area, she teaches regularly for Word's Worth Writing Connections. She also offers manuscript consultations through Write Sisters Consulting. Katrina has always loved telling stories in any medium, and because of her extensive background in dance and theatre, she is a firm believer in both honoring an apprenticeship and caring about craft. She lives in Dayton, Ohio, with her odd cat Joey and her out-of-control garden; has a thing for goats, gardening, and going barefoot; and is totally addicted to coffee, dark chocolate, pedicures and movies.

What Our Students Are Saying about Katrina

Our fiction-writing workshop participants are located throughout the U.S., from California to New Jersey, and from Michigan to Texas, and we've even had a participant from Germany! Here is what a few of them had to say about their experience.

"Katrina is clearly a gifted teacher. This format is a great option for those of us who are unable to make in-person classes." ~ KM, Ohio

"Katrina is an exceptional teacher and always seems to open my mind to a totally different way of thinking about writing and actually understanding the mechanics behind it all." ~ LS, Michigan

"I learned so much! I am toying with the idea of a book, but have yet to get started. This class helped me overcome some of the initial roadblocks. This was an eye opening class. I will be signing up for future sessions. Can't wait! Thanks!!!" ~ RM, Florida

"I really enjoyed it and I look forward to future classes." ~ HB, Pennsylvania

"Katrina Kittle is a wonderful instructor, with clear advice and an open temperament for questions. I look forward to taking another one of her classes to obtain more dividends of her knowledge." ~ KA, Ohio

Summer Fiction-Writing Classes

Voice and Point-of-View Series

Coming Soon!

(four 1-hour sessions, $80) Several in-class exercises (and homework) will examine the pros and cons of our choices of narration and will examine how "who tells the story controls the story." We'll look at examples of strong, distinctive character voices in published work, and also delve into prompts and exercises designed to help you create those individual voices in your work.

Refund policy: 95% refunded if canceled one week prior to the start of the first course; 50% refunded if canceled with less than a week but at least 48 hours before the start of the first class. No refunds will be given if cancellation is received less than 48 hours before the course start. Note that if you do pay for the course and your circumstances change so you are unable to log in to the live session, you will still receive links to the handouts and to the recorded class.

All courses are offered via Fuze, our high-definition video conferencing system. Each workshop consists of a live session with Katrina and the other workshop participants, including several breaks for questions and answers--just like her in-person workshops, but without having to find a parking space. After the workshop, you'll have access to all handouts used in the workshop and you'll also be able to replay the recorded workshop session, if you'd like. If you've never used Fuze, please allow an extra ten minutes before the start of your first OnLiten class to install the web-based application and to get logged in a few minutes early, as class is expected to start promptly. Fuze may be installed on Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone or Android tablet or phone. Read our Workshop FAQs for more information.

Here's Leigh Anne!

Leigh Anne Jasheway is the author of 21 funny books and books about funny, including 101 Comedy Games for Children and Grown-Ups, Not Guilty by Reason of Menopause, Confessions of a Semi-Natural Woman and Bedtime Stories for Dogs. She is the 2003 winner of the national Erma Bombeck Humor Writing Award for her true story on how her first mammogram caught on fire. She teaches comedy writing, improv, and grammar at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College, is a humor columnist for the Register Guard's Weekend section, a blogger for multiple online sites, and former host of The Giggle Spot on All Comedy 1450 AM. Sign up for her free online newsletter, "Don't Get Mad, Get Funny," for tips on learning to see the lighter side of life and work. In her spare time she tries to remember where she parked.

September Humor-Writing Classes

[Insert Funny Here] Series

Thursdays, September 11, 18 & 25, 8:00-9:00pm EDT, 5:00-6:00pm PDT

Do you wish you could be as funny on the page as people say you are in person (even if they do say that behind your back)? Is your writing so serious you've had to use the defibrillator paddles on it more than once? Are you just totally stressed out and looking for a way to turn your everyday tragedies into giggles? Well, you've come to the right, uh, write, place. Nationally known comedy writer and instructor Leigh Anne Jasheway will teach you the tricks of the comedy-writing trade, including why visiting your dark side can help boost your funny, how to think outside the box by drawing a box (what?), and why Coke is funnier than Pepsi. This three-week class will give you plenty of tools for adding humor to your blog, your tweets, your novel, your screenplay, your presentations, your classes, your relationships, and your visits to the chiropractor. This series contains brief optional assignments after the first and second classes with instructor feedback included in the registration fee. Join in for the fun!

All courses are offered via Fuze, our high-definition video conferencing system. Each workshop consists of a live session with Leigh Anne and the other workshop participants, including several breaks for questions and answers and some optional participation—just like her in-person classes, but without having to deal with traffic. After the workshop, you'll have access to all handouts used in the workshop and you'll also be able to replay the recorded workshop session, if you'd like. If you've never used Fuze, please allow an extra ten minutes before the start of your first OnLiten class to install the web-based application and to get logged in a few minutes early, as class is expected to start promptly. Fuze may be installed on Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone or Android tablet or phone. Read our Workshop FAQs for more information.

Future Fiction-Writing Classes and Series

The Fiction-Writer's Toolbox

(six 60-minute sessions, $120 for the series or $25 for individual classes) Includes one session each on Character, Dialogue, Plot, Point-of-View (PoV), Voice and Description. Whether you have a work-in-progress (short story or novel) or are just beginning, each week we'll focus on one aspect of craft that you can apply to your existing work or can use to jumpstart a new project. This series is an overview of craft, which is a perfect starting place for a beginning fiction writer or an experienced writer craving a review.

Character

(one 60-minute session, part 1 of the Toolbox series or $20) It's difficult to say which aspect of the craft of fiction is most important, but focusing on character is by far the easiest starting place. Your main character is responsible for giving the reader some reason to care and keep reading, and that responsibility begins on your very first page. This hour-long course will look at ways to evoke that kind of identification with the reader. We'll examine motivation and personal stakes, ways to develop backstory, and how to handle physical description.

Dialogue

(one 60-minute session, part 2 of the Toolbox series or $20) Every aspect of the craft of fiction is equally important, but nothing makes a reader cringe at an otherwise promising story more than unnatural, clunky dialogue. This hour-long class will cover ten tips for improving dialogue in your novel or stories. Plenty of passages, both published and rejected, will illustrate each tip.

Plot

(one 60-minute session, part 3 of the Toolbox series or $20) No matter how compelling your characters or how beautiful your language, you don't have a strong story if it doesn't have a structure. This hour-long class will look at some of the most common plot shapes as well as keys to building effective openings and evocative endings (and pitfalls to avoid with both).

Point of View*

(one 60-minute session, part 4 of the Toolbox series or $20) During this hour, we'll look at the styles of narration you have in your toolbox, and at the pros and cons of those choices. We'll also discuss how to choose a point-of-view character, considerations when using multiple point-of-view characters, and how who tells your story controls your story.

*The Point-of-View course includes the option to receive feedback on your exercises from Katrina. For an additional $20, you may send two exercises to Katrina for detailed feedback. Exercises must be sent no later than Tuesday, Oct 21 and will be limited to specific word count detailed during the class.

Voice*

(one 60-minute session, part 5 of the Toolbox series or $20) Whether we're writing in first person or third, it's vital for our characters to have distinctive voices. Even if you're writing with an omniscient narrator, eventually there will be dialogue, and when your characters talk, they should sound like individual people. We'll use this hour to discuss what makes up a voice, look at examples of strong character voices in published work, and delve into exercises designed to help you create those individual voices in your own work.

*The Voice course includes the option to receive feedback on your exercises from Katrina. For an additional $20, you may send two exercises to Katrina for detailed feedback. Exercises must be sent no later than Tuesday, Oct 28 and will be limited to specific word count detailed during the class.

Description*

(one 60-minute session, part 6 of the Toolbox series or $20) Best-selling author Elmore Leonard said, "I try to leave out the parts people skip." Nothing makes a reader skim more than long, flat passages of description. This class is chock-full of exercises designed to make your descriptions come to life. We'll give tired old cliches a makeover, bolster our figurative language, and embrace concrete, sensory details.

*The Description course includes the option to receive feedback on your exercises from Katrina. For an additional $20, you may send two exercises to Katrina for detailed feedback. Exercises must be sent no later than Tuesday, Nov 4 and will be limited to specific word count detailed during the class.

Characterization Series

(five 1-hour sessions, $100) Of all the elements of fiction, character is the most important. From the very opening pages of your story, your main character is responsible for giving the reader some reason to care and keep reading. But how do you evoke that kind of identification with the reader? This five-week series will provide several exercises to strengthen your characters, develop their backstory, handle their physical description, and create their voice. We'll examine how motivation affects character, and all the techniques available in a writer's toolbox to develop a protagonist (and antagonist) a reader can't forget. This series will help you create a character, or give more depth to a character you're already working with in a work-in-progress.

Description Series

(three 1-hour sessions, $60) Best-selling author Elmore Leonard says, "I try to leave out the parts people skip." Nothing makes a reader skim more than long, flat passages of description. But writers have to describe settings, characters, and action, so how can we make sure we're following Leonard's advice? This class is chock-full of exercises and light homework that will make your descriptions come to life. We'll give tired clichés a makeover, bolster our figurative language, and embrace concrete, sensory details. Each little "tip" will seem so simple on its own, but will have the accumulative effect, giving your writing spark and originality that no reader will want to skip.

Inspiration & Motivation Series

(five 60-minute sessions, $100) For writers of any level who either need help kicking off a new piece of fiction or a kick in the pants to continue or finish a work in progress, this class is chock-full of inspiration and motivation. Each week will focus on some aspect of the writing life (such as creating and defending a writing schedule, and dealing with your inner critic). Writing prompts and exercises will lead to the development of a character, the structure of a plot and several story ideas. Writers can build the shape of a story or simply practice craft. And for writers who complete our Inspiration & Motivation series, we offer our six-week Motivation & Momentum option for some one-on-one personal coaching and feedback with Katrina. Note: You must have completed Inspiration & Motivation to enroll in Motivation & Momentum.

Make It Exist! Creating a First Draft in One Month

(one 60-minute session, $20) Operating under the strong belief that "You can always make it better later; first, you must make it exist," Katrina is a strong supporter of speedy first draft pushes, such as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Is this the year you're finally determined to write a novel? Or maybe you've tried it before but ended up with pages and pages of words…but no real story? Either way, this class can help you move through a draft with a clear roadmap for your novel. We'll focus on questions about character motivation, conflict and personal stakes that will help you keep a plot moving forward and keep your story focused. Like a literary GPS system, this workshop will help you get your bearings before beginning your draft and will prevent you from taking (quite so many) detours along the way. (Hey, the writing process always involves some creative U-turns!)

Revision Checklist

(one 90-minute session, $30) Have you reached the wonderful, celebratory goal of completing a manuscript? Did you take part in National Novel Writing Month and now you're looking at a giant stack of paper? Are you wondering: What next? Do you find the process of figuring out how to improve the story overwhelming? This 90-minute course will give guidance and direction for the revision and editing process. Practical guidelines and checklists will be given for approaching changes both big and small in your own work. We'll also discuss how to find good, trusted readers, and the pros and cons of writing groups. NOTE: You do NOT have to have a completed manuscript to take or benefit from this class.

Voice and Point-of-View Series

(four 1-hour sessions, $80) Several in-class exercises (and homework) will examine the pros and cons of our choices of narration and will examine how "who tells the story controls the story." We'll look at examples of strong, distinctive character voices in published work, and also delve into prompts and exercises designed to help you create those individual voices in your work.

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Not able to register for the current offerings, but interested in attending a future workshop? Sign up for our mailing list below to be notified of upcoming events. We will never, ever share your contact information or use the email list for anything besides announcing new workshops. And you may unsubscribe without hassle at any time. 

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