04 Sep STORYquest: Your story as a Human Quest and a Hero’s Journey
Heroic Writing is more important now than ever.
Sometimes I think my whole life was preparing me for teaching writing, and then everything from the moment I began teaching ten years ago prepared me to publish my workbook to invite writers to explore their whole story in segments. To not leave out the most important parts of storytelling.
The Hero’s Journey is NOT about being a great person, it’s about the stages of our personal development, the person we were before, the call to change and our resistance to our own personal growth and development. It’s about the challenges and the failures and the illnesses and the grief – the joy and the celebrations, and the wisdom lens we have looking back.
It’s about surviving, and then thriving.
True Heroic writing is sharing those important moments with our readers, and not leaving any of it out – not the shame, not the conflicting calls, the hope, and certainly not the failures.
Covid 19, the endless storms, the wildfires in California, our political division in the U.S. sometimes feel like the worst part of the journey we are all on together, but writers are emerging with strong, valiant voices, creating stories that matter – because now – more than ever in history – it’s time to create our stories and share them with the world, to walk on the ash of our lives, dust ourselves off, and show the all of it, because this is how we heal ourselves, and each other.
For all my writers who are longing to create a larger body of work – whether it’s in poetry, essays or memoir, I’m teaching the first six phases of the Hero’s Journey in my next 6-week writing course, followed by a second six week workshop where I am teaching the next six stages.
Although I am teaching from my STORYquest workbook, but the class will add more examples from poetry and literature, and I’m inviting other authors in to add two sessions to the six weeks to teach us important aspects of storytelling – authors we might not have access to any other time to offer us pearls of wisdom to help us with our own stories.
The pieces of tangled wreckage that litters our lives are challenges.
Those events invite us to the narrative
that weave the frightening and precious moments of our lives,
those moments that created the person we are today….
a little worn, a lot wiser and ready to write.
Guest Teachers – Bonus classes with Judy Bridges and Alice LapLante
Judy Bridges is the author of my favorite, most practical book on writing – Shut Up and Write. I have used her book over the years in my Words in Progress class, her Narrative Drive and Character Wheels are essential exercises when planning a story. Judy will kick off the series and give a talk on creating structure and a narrative drive in story. She will offer us exercises we can do on our own inside the class and then share with each other. Judy Bridges owned and taught for years in Minnesota at the.
Getting know Judy personally to invite her to teach all of you has been one of the most enlightening and entertaining experiences in my teaching career. She is the founder of the Redbird Studio writing center in Milwaukee, WI and is a renowned mentor and coach. You can hear Judy smile when you are talking on the phone with her.
Alice LaPlante has taught creative writing at San Francisco State University and Stanford University, where she is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow. She took the best of her classes and put it into “the making of story”, chock filled with important craft information, such as showing versus telling, why details matter. Alice has four novels, and her fiction has been published in the Southwest Review, Epoch, and Stanford Magazine, and her nonfiction has been published in Discover, BusinessWeek, and the San Jose Mercury News, among other publications. She lives in Mallorca, Spain and is coming in to teach us.
Our life stories become a beautiful mythology
When we tell our same stories over and over, those stories grow like a beautiful strong plant, the roots of the stories going deeper with every retelling. And something else happens, those stories become a powerful mythology, where the magic shines out of words and paragraphs, swirling around the reader like owls or fireflies, filled with symbology and magic.
Alchemy in story adds layers for the reader.
Four online classes and one Kauai class (online optional for Kauai students each week)
The writers who have participated in all my classes for the last ten years are influenced every week by poetic form. In a short period of time available to inspire writers, I read themed poetry and excerpts out of literature. And all my writers, sometimes without even trying, begin to bring poet form into their work.
Each group is an intimate group of 8 to 10 writers who work closely together for six weeks.
Inspiration for the Course
Years ago on a road trip from New Jersey to Illinois, my mother bought me my first poetry Anthology for children. In there was poetry by Robert Bly and T.S. Eliot. When my parents and my brothers were arguing and the tan ford station wagon was filled with cigarette smoke, I memorized Invictus, and can recite it fifty years later without missing an emotion from that time.
Inspiration from this course will come from contemporary poetry and ancient poetry. my extensive library of poetry craft books and from where we left off in our course two years ago.
“In this creative exploration
using poetry as inspiration
we will allow our brains to relax,
we will allow images and confessions and passion
to pour over us like a waterfall.
We will start at the beginning.”
— Laura Lentz
Poetic Forms explored in class include:
- The World of Before – Setting the Stage
- The Call to Grow
- How the Universe Gets your Attention – Refusing the Call
- Mentors & Angels
- Time to Go – Taking the Leap
Poetry and Books Used to Inspire:
- Examples out of Poetry & Literature
- This course is for memoir, poets and essay writers
- For writers who want to practice craft & create new material
- Exploring tragedy as a call to change
- Learn Narrative Drive and Slowing Down Writing to Speed Up Time
ABOUT MY WRITING WORKSHOPS
Syn-creation – Why writing is a communal act
There is a magic that happens with intimate groups of writers creating together. I call it Syncreation – we are all writing on the backs of writers who came before us and influenced by the energy of the writers we are creating beside. When writers of all levels join each other to create (published authors beside someone new to the craft), it is a reminder we all have something to learn from each other. Often I am asked where I learned to write and my answer is simple:
I learned to write from my students.
Our writers call into our online groups from England, Australia, New York and California. They are actors, plumbers, hairdressers and published authors. All the writers, regardless of their background, come to the groups ready to write.
The time to join our writing groups is when you know it’s time to get your story onto the page.
Breaking into Story with Unique Writing Prompts & Exercises
In each class we will explore examples for each stage of the Hero’s Journey through Literature, poetry and some student work. This is not an academic course, but rather a course to help you create the beginning of a memoir, a group of poems that intersect or a series of essays. This is an invitations to the writer who knows it is time to write and create a body of work, or step up your weekly practice. In this class, writers will explore new ways of accessing language into your story.
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting
to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. The key for writers is to look at that
shoreline again, with context and wisdom,
guiding the reader to the next shoreline, and the next
Included in classes are the following:
• Thirteen-minute live writing & group sharing
• Belong to a private Facebook group of all writers taking class
• Feedback from writing peers during class and throughout the week on FB
Two bonus Saturday morning talks with authors and writing teachers Judy Bridges and Alice LaPlante
Writing Teacher: Laura Lentz
Laura Lentz is the author of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey. Laura is a writing coach and developmental editor, teaching creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for ten years. Her workbook helps writers turn their story into a Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling memoirs and poetry. Laura helps writers create content and expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by poetry, mythology and segments from literature. Her exploratory writing workshops include Love, Skin and Eros, The Poetry Room, and The Grace of the World, soon to become an anthology of the best of her student work publishing easy 2021. The book os essays is a love letter to earth.
Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.
Share Your Writing in a Private Facebook Page
Throughout the course, you will have access to up to thirty writers in a private Facebook page who are also taking this course – writing to the same course material. You will share in a private Facebook group, and receive positive feedback from your peers.
Bonus Class with Judy Bridges
Saturday Oct. 3rd 10:30 a.m to 11:45 a.m. PDT
Bonus Class with Alice LaPlante
Saturday Oct. 17th – 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Weekly classes are limited to nine writers creating together.
Bonus classes are one class with all students taking the same course.
Bonus classes will be recorded for students who can’t make the schedule.