20 Dec

    “Exercises for Reluctant Writers” by Jane LeCroy

    Want more?  Sign up for Jane’s workshop “The Game of Poetry” Here are some ideas to reach the students who always say, “I don’t know what to write about” or “I’m done” when there are only a few words on the page.  Often these reluctant writers don’t have much confidence in their writing and this […]

    15 Nov


      First, figure out what is the next thing that happens in your story.  This is the next beat, or the next plot point, as your protagonist struggles to achieve his or her goal or desire, and to avoid his or her problems.  Usually, the protagonist will fail, and more than once, before the climax of a story. […]

      11 May


        A lot of the time we talk about writing, we describe the inner world, the magical, multi-sensory universe of your story you can only experience in your mind. Imagining your story as vividly as possible is one of the most important tools in becoming a great writer. However, the other, equally important habit all writers […]

        04 May


          This week, I want you to try a writing technique I’m going to call a “tracking shot.”  A tracking shot is actually a term from film, where a camera moves on a dolly.  It’s a great way of establishing setting, especially in a place with a lot of different things going on in different places.  […]

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          27 Jan

            MY TRUE STORY: WEEK 2!

            Hi there! In our second workshop, we talked about why setting was so important and how we can think of it as the: 1. time and time period 2. place or location 3. environment and weather 4. society of a story or event. For homework, you will do the following: 1. Select your top two […]

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            05 Jan

              MY TRUE STORY: WEEK 1!

              In our first workshop, we started off writing absurd (and hilarious) “true” stories but by the end were talking about funny/surprising/unexpected real events that occurred in our lives. We learned that a personal essay is more than just a story about a past experience; there must be a lesson that you want to share. However, at […]

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              02 Dec


                You’re down to the final week before the reading.  You’re going to go back through your story, read it out loud, tell it to yourself.  If you stumble, if it feels funny in your mouth, or to your ear, stop.  Something is wrong.  Rewrite that bit.  Read it again.  Better?  Not quite? Tweak a word, […]

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                24 Nov

                  MY TRUE STORY: WEEK 7!

                  It’s getting down to the wire, folks! Your personal essays are starting to take great shape! Let’s push to make them even stronger! In our last workshop, we started looking at effective outlines for our personal essays. In other words, we want to make sure that our essays have a “shape” that makes them easy […]

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                  10 Nov

                    MY TRUE STORY: WEEK 5!

                    Hey, everyone! Do you know what time it is? It’s DRAFTING time. So, we need to bring the rough drafts of our personal essays to our next two workshops for reading and peer review. Therefore, make sure that you EMAIL me your draft by Sunday, November 15th. Before sending me your draft, make sure that […]

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                    03 Nov

                      MY TRUE STORY: WEEK 4!

                      Hey, everyone! This week we learned about using figurative language like: – similes (comparing things using “like” or “as” e.g. “He’s as fast as a cheetah.”) – metaphors (intentionally describing things as something else e.g. “She’s a fox!”) – personifications (giving inanimate, non-human things human-like qualities e.g. “The sky grew dark and angry.”) – hyperbole (exaggerating for effect e.g. […]

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