The Art of Revision

March 2021

Crafting the Perfect Pitch

April 2021

Excavating the Travel Essay

May 2021

The Art of Revision

Four sessions; March 7, 14, 21, 28 / 12-2:30 pm ET

$295

You’ve finished a rough draft of your essay or article—great! Now what? How many drafts does it take for a piece to be done—two or twelve? Navigating rewrites is so much more than dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s: sometimes it’s re-envisioning the entire story.

 

We’ll transition from writer to editor as we cover the essentials of the revision process. The workshop begins with a toolkit for assessing a rough draft, from plot and character development to premise and prose, and tips for editing your own work. Next, we’ll unpack how to re-envision and rebuild a story so that ultimately it can reach its potential. We’ll conclude with guidance on fine-tuning and polishing a story for publication, and how to submit it.

 

Half of our time will be dedicated to applying these techniques in our group workshop. Participants will provide one nonfiction story or essay of up to 2,000 words prior to the start date and the group will read, discuss, and generate thoughtful feedback on each others’ drafts.

This course is limited to 8 participants.

VIRTUAL

Crafting the Perfect Pitch

Four sessions; April 4, 11, 18, 25 / 12-2pm ET

$295

What does it take to translate a good story idea into an irresistible pitch? In this workshop we’ll learn how to get an editor to greenlight your pitch by covering the tenets of a solid story and matching it to the right publication. Whether you’re just starting or you’re a seasoned writer aspiring to bigger publications, this course provides clear guidance on crafting effective pitches for quality publications.

This workshop will survey methods for generating story ideas and tips to make them successful. We’ll cover the essential components of a pitch letter, from a catchy subject line, to a captivating hook, and a walk-off that leaves the editor wanting more. We’ll also discuss editor etiquette, navigating the assignment process, and how to land the best publication for your story. 

 

The course culminates with a private consultation with feedback on your final pitch, as well as feedback generated as a group. By the end of the workshop you'll have one polished pitch letter and a list of publications to pitch.

 

Between sessions, participants can join the community forum for daily writing exercises, Q+A, and craft discussions led by the instructor.

This course is limited to 10 participants.

VIRTUAL

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Excavating The Travel Essay

Five sessions; May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 / 12-2pm ET

$365

This course is for anyone who wants to write travel essays that are as vivid as they are insightful. We'll mine old travel journals, photos, correspondences, and conduct original research to write a rich and layered essay. Perhaps it's a story of transformation abroad, of a place that moved you or a stranger who changed your life, a journey that still haunts you, or simply of a distant meal you'll never forget. Or maybe it's a story of migration and identity in a foreign landscape. Over four sessions we’ll push the boundaries of the genre while remaining committed to the heart of the story.  

 

The course begins by reading a broad range of travel essays to understand how different techniques impact the reader. When would an anecdote be more effective than a statistic? How should a writer portray a culture they know little about? We'll break away from the clichés, tropes, and stereotypes that plague travel writing in order to tell an authentic and dynamic story.

 

Next, we'll dive deep into structure and craft. Whether you're writing a chapter in a memoir, a magazine feature, a letter, or deep captions for a photo essay, we'll cover the pillars of a solid travel story—curiosity, sense of place, a moment in time, local characters, rich context, narrative arc, sensory details—as well as techniques to illustrate it skillfully.

 

During the course, each participant will write an original travel essay of up to 2,000 words. The stories will be shared with the group and we’ll generate feedback together. Each student will meet virtually with the instructor for comments and edits, including a personalized list of recommendations for places to submit it to.

 

Between sessions, participants can join the community forum for daily writing exercises, Q+A, and craft discussions led by the instructor.

This course is limited to 10 participants.

*One full scholarship is available for a promising writer with a background historically misrepresented or underrepresented in the

travel writing genre.

VIRTUAL

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Testimonials

"Jenna offers a game-changing class. The daily prompts helped me focus and generate while delving into this new territory. Not only did I write a substantial draft of an essay during this time (one I have been putting off!), I feel that I can take what I have learned in this class and apply it to my future writing. I would take the class again simply to be in an atmosphere that helps me get the essay out of me. Jenna fosters a collegial and supportive environment where classmates come together to share work and ideas. The class material is well-organized, thorough, and meaningful, and peppered with inspirational words from those who have walked the path before. Plus, Jenna is knowledgeable, sincere, and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend this class."

—Jennifer Kircher Carr

"Jenna takes the desire to be a travel writer and skillfully plots the course to make it real. In an encouraging , safe and stimulating environment she walks you through at a pace that allows you to develop and flesh out your ideas. Her breadth of knowledge in the field of travel writing allows you to sample writers and be inspired by their techniques.  This is simply the best, most  satisfying , practical  and least pretentious writing course I have ever had the pleasure of joining." —Julia Booth 

"Jenna's pitch workshop was informative and insightful. I came away from it with actionable advice for how to pitch stories to editors and bigger publications." —Sara

"Jenna's classes and one-on-one writing consultations have become somewhat of an addiction! I feel that she helps me look at my stories in new ways, and I come away from each session thinking about writing with an entirely different perspective. Plus she's always a joy to work with." —Cheryl

"This class was a delight! I'm a beginner and Jenna provided me with enough structured info, examples, daily prompts and community space to feel like a pro. In a short amount of time, she managed to dive deep on aspects of travel writing with refreshing ease. And it was fun! I definitely recommend this class for experienced writers as well as newcomers like me." —Turna Mete

Photography by Danielle Villasana
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