| Some Information About Me
I recently retired from twenty-eight years of teaching creative writing
at El Camino College in California, from beginning fiction writing to workshops
for advanced students. For much of that time, I've also been giving workshops
at writers' conferences all over Southern California, including several
week-long workshops in the mountains at the Idyllwild Arts summer programs.
I've been invited twice to teach fiction writing for Oxford University
Discovery Programme aboard the Queen Mary 2.
For most of that time, I didn't have the luxury of being a full-time writer;
I taught and raised a family and fitted in my writing where I could. But
I've published eight novels, more than thirty short stories, dozens of
poems and a number of articles, and I've been the recipient of several
awards (for more information, see my extended bibliography).
I'm a long-time member of the Asilomar Writers Consortium, founded by C.
Jerry Hannah, a professional workshop where I continue to learn about the
craft and to hone my own skills.
Can Writing Be Taught?
Many people ask whether fiction writing can be taught, feeling perhaps
that it's a talent that one either has or doesn't have, and if that's
true then nothing a teacher does can have any effect. I'll begin by
saying that I've seen dozens of my students publish short stories professionally
in national and international publications such as Asimov's Science
Fiction Magazine, Amazing Stories, Reader's Digest, and many more.
Many have also gone on to have their novels published by reputable
publishers. (Self and vanity publishing are not good options if you
want to establish a professional career. See firstname.lastname@example.org
if you're not sure whom you're dealing with.)
So my answer to that question is obviously “yes.”
* You bring to a class or workshop whatever talent you were born with
and the determination to work at the craft.
* I'll teach you the craft of fiction, the basics of plotting and character
building, and I'll show you how to research markets that are right for
How Does This Work?
To see how my method works, read, “Creativity
in the Fishbowl,” and
the story it refers to, “Miles to Go.” is available from
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