Narrators, News; things to look for, Story, Uncategorized

Where have I been? Now, there is a question which could lead to story.

Dear Friends,

I won’t tell you know where I have been. But I will tell you where I am going to be. And what I will be doing in relation to teaching writing, right here in the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

Here we go, classes first, then news of a workshop, locally in Minneapolis:

Finding the Real Story: an exploration of the essential elements of story

for both fiction and nonfiction writers


Join us for 10 sessions of intensive exploration of the essential elements of writing story, and for work on shaping these elements to embody the deeper truths and powerful emotions which move us into writing. We will work to explore the mystery of human behavior in story form, and develop ways to deepen characterization. We will work to discover plot—rather than be constricted by it. We will tap into the power of the visions and voices of our narrators and characters, and the mix of truth and fiction that creates a world both imagined and deeply real. We will explore narrative summary, active scene and dialogue, the workings of subtext; the power of your story’s context, the technique of simultaneity; dialogue; the music of prose; the story’s metaphor; revision. Begin new stories and discover ways to complete old ones in an atmosphere both supportive and challenging, with in-class and at-home writing explorations, and feedback aimed at helping each participant understand the scope of their own work.

*   10 Wednesdays, beginning early fall, 7:00-9:30 pm.

*    Lake Street and 39th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, above the Blue Moon Cafe.

*     For registration and more information:

                                       contact Anya at or 651.214.9248.

*     See her website at

Anya is a master teacher. Her grasp of world writers and of craft allows her to liberate this knowledge…, so that we can learn to wield the pen with power.”       —Demetria Martinez, novelist, poet, memoirist, journalist


The Eye of the Storm/The Eye of the Storyteller:

Locating and developing a narrator whose consciousness can hold—and whose voice can tell—the story pushing at you to be written.

October 18 and 25 (two Sundays), 10 am – 4 pm in Saint Paul, Minnesota

For writers with experience. You may be in the middle of a project, or searching for one.

This October, I hope you can join us for two very full Sundays in writing story, whether fiction or creative nonfiction, to give you a boost to help get you through the cold writing months to come.

Have you wondered why, since you have a great plot, compelling characters, and a deeply felt story, the results of your work are not as vital as you feel they should be? Or there seem to be many pieces of a book, but nothing that makes a coherent claim to story? Perhaps you get a sense that something beyond your busy life is standing in the way of your continuing to write a story you value?

Locating and developing a narrator who is up to your story and your concerns — large enough, mobile enough, interesting enough, specific enough — is very often at the heart of what is needed to free a story and its writer into full power and vision, into an original flow of language, and into a way to make creative decisions and revise one’s writing to hold and reveal the depth of meaning and emotion that make a story unforgettable.

In this intensive workshop we will explore various of the essential elements of writing story for both fiction and creative nonfiction writers. Whether you are in the middle of a writing project or ready for new writing, we aim to discover ways in which these elements embody the deeper truths and powerful emotions which move us into writing.

But our focus on narration will help each writer bring forth narrators who can fully hold, shape, and tell the story, and lend fundamental perspective for the work of revision.

These days will include a mix of discussion, writing in class to open story ideas and ways of using craft, and intensive critique of writing you bring in. Each participant will receive time for comments from other participants, and, from me: manuscript critique; guidance for developing, revising and finishing your work; and suggestions for explorations to open and deepen your writing process, and help you work past obstacles in your creative work.

Please join us as we explore individual and shared issues in craft and story development, and bring forth custom-made roads into “solutions” for your story, novel, or memoir.

2 Sundays, intensive workshop. In Saint Paul, Minnesota

For registration and more information:

            contact Anya Achtenberg at or 651.214.9248.


            for articles about the craft and issues of good writing; and for more information about Anya’s workshops, individual writer’s services, publications and awards, and more.


As we used to say, playing telephone, pass it on.

With my thanks!

Anya Achtenberg

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