Seductive Beginnings with Suzy Vitello

In four weeks, you'll learn to identify your strengths as a writer—and how to capitalize on those strengths in pursuit of publishing success.

Your Instructor: Suzy Vitello (The Moment Before) and Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 20 Students Maximum

Price: $375

Class Description

Want to know how to hook your reader?

To get the attention of an agent or editor?

Editors and agents are barraged by queries and openings. In order to get the attention of a literary gatekeeper, your work needs to muscle through the pack and get noticed.

Are you on the finishing draft of a project? Starting your novel anew? Maybe you’re just looking for some tools for a future project. Suzy Vitello can help.

In this four-week intensive class, Suzy Vitello—critique partner of writers like Chuck Palahniuk and Lidia Yuknavitch, den mother of Portland's hottest writing group, and author of The Moment Before—will help you find the fresh eyes your project needs.

Suzy will show you how to identify and capitalize on your strengths. She'll show you how to look at fiction with the discerning eye that lets you learn as you read. She'll help you push your writing in new and exciting directions.  

Oh, just one more thing. Something amazing, actually. CHUCK PALAHNIUK will be joining Suzy as the Seductive Beginnings guest instructor!

Yup. Chuck Palahniuk.

Chuck will field your questions on the craft of writing*. He'll contribute to the second week's lecture, where you'll examine successful, effective openings. And during the second week, you will be invited to submit the opening to something you wrote! (one page, 300 words max). Chuck and Suzy will both critique your work.

* You'll be invited to submit 1 question on the craft of writing on the first day. All of Chuck's answers will be shared with the class, posted on or before the final day.

What This Class Covers

Lecture/Assignment Week One:

The inaugural lecture/assignment will focus on your seductive strengths RIGHT NOW.

As part of the kickoff, you will be invited to send your first three pages of whatever you're working on, or trying to sell, to Suzy. She'll critique them like an agent/editor/reader will.

Lecture/Assignment Week Two:

You'll examine the openings of amazing books, and discuss what makes them work. You'll look at this granularly, deconstructing the syntax, the plot promise, and the voice.

In this week, you'll be welcomed to submit the opening (one page, 300 words max) of a story or novel you're working on. It'll be critiqued by both Chuck and Suzy. 

Lecture/Assignment Week Three:

You know it when you read it, don’t you? A successful scene that sucks you in? Is it all smoke and mirrors? Yes. Yes, it is.

Learn how to flex your narrative muscle by playing with distance, objects, voice and tone. We’ll take your beginnings and revise, working in small critique groups.

Lecture/Assignment Week Four:

Each one of you will construct a pretend query letter with your “first three pages” as part of the package.

Suzy will review each one and let you know where it stands—and so will your peers!

Goals Of This Class

  • Find your strengths that exist RIGHT NOW
  • Get your work critiqued by Suzy Vitello and Chuck Palahniuk
  • She'll show you how to look at fiction in a way that lets you learn as you read
  • Construct a successful query letter for your work in progress
  • Learn the secrets of what makes successful writing work
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