A notebook and a favorite writing utensil are all that is required to attend free creative writing classes at the Writers’ Studio – Corpus Christi.
The Writers’ Studio was founded by Sarah K. Lenz, instructor of English at Del Mar College, in 2019 with the mission to provide quality, creative writing instruction to the Coastal Bend and to build a vibrant, inclusive community of writers.
“A lot of people want to write creatively but have trouble getting inspired or finding a way to sustain the practice of writing. Our classes are aimed at helping participants write more and feel more confident about writing,” Lenz said. “Sitting down to write is also a very lonely and solitary endeavor, so having a place to meet, talk, and commiserate with other writers is also tremendously helpful.”
The monthly classes, taught by volunteers, are offered with a different theme each month. Poetry classes will be added in September. Lenz hopes to add weekly classes that run for four to six weeks for an enrollment fee. These weekly classes will provide writers with more focused feedback and individual coaching.
Sara Kaplan, associate professor of English, is one of the volunteer teachers for the Writers’ Studio.
“Oftentimes, when working with the community through volunteering, I get to work with folks I would not otherwise get to meet as writers. I love working with other people who also love poetry as much as I do,” Kaplan said. “I would like to show folks new, contemporary techniques for honing their craft and introducing them to new poets.”
“Every class is themed around an issue related to the craft of writing creatively. This month’s class topic is ‘Crisis and Conflict in Narrative Writing,’ for instance. Courses are structured around two major components: writing exercises and prompts that students do in class — either individually or in collaboration with others — and a lesson involving analysis of a short literary work,” Lenz said.
Lessons include a short lecture; however, Lenz and Kaplan believe it’s important for participants to have a chance to talk to each other and share ideas.
“Writers need other writers and they need to read other writers. We do not write alone. Attending the classes enables folks to stay engaged in new ways to write by reading new work and getting new inspiration,” Kaplan said.
There are several writing groups in the Corpus Christi community, but Lenz said none were addressing the nuts and bolts of how to write creatively, how to keep writing when it’s hard, or how to write better.
“I wanted to bring people together to build a diverse community of writers — where we can learn and inspire each other,” Lenz said.
The classes are aimed toward all skill levels and genres. More information can be found at www.writersstudio.org.
“These classes are for writers of ALL skill levels. In fact, I think that’s the beauty of these classes–something magical happens when get a group of people together of all ages, all backgrounds, but all with the same desire to write,” Lenz said. “People start to learn from each other and encourage each other too.”