The right time to write is right now.
The Rose Center is hosting a creative writing class taught by Leslie Conner, a published author and instructor at Walters State Community College. The classes will be held on Thursday nights starting on June 24.
Conner said she observed a need in the community that she could help meet.
“I saw an opportunity at the Rose Center to bring some creative writing classes to the community because I know there were no other offerings for writing,” she said. “There are a lot of art classes and dance classes and I thought, ‘I know there are writers here.’ There are creative people and maybe people who don’t want to or can’t go all the way to UT to take a class. They need something local.”
The four classes will be for beginners and will lead into an intermediate series of classes starting in August. Each class is $30 or $100 all four.
Conner said each class will focus on a different element of storytelling:
• Class 1: Character (June 24) - Creating compelling characters is the first order of business for any story. Find out how to make your characters complex, flawed, and intriguingly human. We’ll focus on character arc and different techniques of “revealing” character.
• Class 2: Plot Structure (July 1) - In this class, you will learn the importance of creating a beginning, middle, and end to your story. Along with those major foundational elements, you’ll learn about how to set-up the story, have a catalyst event, the major conflict, and “the rock bottom moment” before the resolution.
• Class 3: Dialogue (July 8) - Dialogue is a major element in any work of fiction. Find out the pitfalls of bad dialogue (a tool for information dumps) and learn how to write good dialogue that feels real, moves the plot forward, and reveals the characters.
• Class 4: Show Don’t Tell (July 15) - This is a popular phrase in creative writing workshops, but it remains one of the most difficult concepts to grasp. Good fiction relies on the senses, and writers need to “show” their story without stating everything in literal language. Learn how to write compelling prose that uses figurative language and sparks the imagination of your reader.
The intermediate classes that follow in August will have students writing a work of fiction of no less than 6 pages as they learn how to evaluate others’ work, write an original short story and receive constructive feedback on that story. For consistency and to make sure everyone’s work is evaluated, Conner said it is best to attend all four meetings.
Conner was born and raised in Morristown. After she graduated from Morristown East and went to college, she lived a few different places around the country, but eventually she found her way home. Conner currently teaches English at Walters State Community College while pursuing her writing career.
In addition to having her short stories published in journals, Conner had her first novel published in 2018 WordCrafts Press, a mystery/suspense thriller with a dose of the supernatural titled “Devil’s Charm.”
The sequel and her second novel, “The Darkness Within,” was published in 2020.
For more information or to sign up for the class, people can call the Rose Center at 423-581-4330.