“And The Plot Thickens” Weekend Novel Writing Workshop

Today we are excited to bring Freelance-Zone readers an up-close look at “And The Plot Thickens”, a novel writing workshop in Rhode Island taking place later this month…

LobbyA11. How did the idea for the “And The Plot Thickens” workshop come about, and when is it?

‘And The Plot Thickens… How to develop a novel’ is held on August 28 & 29 2010.

The idea came about because we are passionate about the Arts. From the regular RISDA exhibitions we hold in our lobby, our series of arts inspired events and the local arts society we support, it shows in everything we do…We wanted to help people discover their own passion and writing their first novel is a dream that many of us have. We also realized that with people taking shorter weekends because of the economy, they wanted to do something more worthwhile with their time away – this workshop allows them to pursue their dream, share experiences and make new friends while spending the weekend in a wonderful hotel in a beautiful city.

2.  Who will be leading this workshop and what are that person’s qualifications?

Joanna Howard is a published author and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver, and MFA in fiction writing from Bowling Green State University. She currently teaches fiction at Brown University. Joanna is the author of ‘On the Winding Stair’ (Boa Editions, 2009) a collection of short stories which Publisher’s Weekly described as “14 tales of startling description and beauty.”  She is also the author of ‘In the Colorless Round’ (Noemi, 2007), a short collection of prose with artwork by Rikki Ducornet . Her publications also include numerous book reviews in Review of Contemporary Fiction and American Book Review, and she has worked as a co-translator on Marcel Cohen’s Walls (Black Square 2009) and on Frederic Boyer’s Cows (forthcoming from Noemi Press). Her stories appear in anthologies and journals including Conjunctions, The Chicago Review, Quarterly West, and American Letters and Commentary. Howard is a fiction editor for Tarpaulin Sky magazine, She has also edited for Denver Quarterly and other journals.

3. What will be covered in these two days?

Each day will be structured by a series of morning and afternoon sessions, which will include a range of writing exercises, workshops, and seminar style discussions.

Budding writers will learn practical skills for how to shape their ideas into a novel, discover how to create memorable characters and compelling narratives. They will examine their favorite novels and dissect what makes them great pieces of fiction. Reading-out exercises will give them the opportunity for feedback on material they have already written and advice on how to develop and shape their drafts. Joanna will share her experience and advice on how to talk about and present ideas to an audience and how to get that first novel published.

4. Who would benefit from attending?

Anyone who has always secretly dreamed of writing a novel and those who have already began to write but are looking for support and advice. This weekend is an opportunity to learn a new skill, meet like-minded people and create a community for their writing (often a solitary profession).

Hotel Providenc Deluxe Room15. What is the Hotel Providence like and where is it located?

Hotel Providence is an intimate AAA 4 Diamond, independent, 80-room luxury boutique hotel in the historic city of Providence; a city renowned for its arts and learning.

Spaces are filled with classic novels, works of art and original local finds. The bedrooms come with Egyptian cotton sheets, home comforts and state-of-the-art facilities and the suites are inspired and named after local authors and include vintage copies of their novels.

It is a hotel passionate about the arts; showcasing a series of arts (jazz, comedy and music nights) events, most held in Aspire; the local’s favorite restaurant that serves contemporary Rhode Island cuisine featuring the freshest New England ingredients.

6. What is the area like around the hotel?

Hotel Providence is at the soul of the downtown arts and entertainment district; browse independent boutiques filled with hand-made furniture, clothes and eclectic finds; take in a show at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), Trinity Reperatory, or one of many other renowned theatres in the neighbourhood or visit buildings that keep three and a half centuries of history alive. The Providence Convention Center, Providence Place Mall, and the financial center are a short walk away. For those who want to explore the culture… Ivy League Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Johnson and Wales University beat at the heart of this historic city.

7. What is included in the workshop weekend and what does it cost?

The weekend workshop is priced at $389.00 for one person or bring a friend or partner and pay $554 for two. The cost includes overnight accommodation in one of our superior guest rooms, overnight parking, 2 days of expert instruction from Joanna Howard, lunch and dinner in Aspire on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday.

8. Is there a limit on how many people can sign up?

There is a maximum class limit of 15 to ensure that Joanna can offer one-on-one assistance and can attend to the individual needs of the attendees.

9. How can people register for this workshop—or find out more details?

Please call our Course Facilitator, Tricia Carter at 401-490-8144 for reservations, details, or questions or visit our website at www.hotelprovidence.com/courses for more information.

10. Do you have any future workshops planned?

Future workshops include ‘Composing Great Photos’ a beginner’s photographer workshop taught by acclaimed photographer Robyn Rowles. Held on October 10 & 11 2010 it has been specially scheduled so that attendee’s can capture the beauty of the New England fall and ‘Working With Watercolor ‘ held on September 11 & 12 by experienced art tutor Elizabeth Cooper. Both are priced at $369 for single occupancy and $514 for double occupancy and include your overnight stay, meals and expert instruction.

This post is sponsored by the Hotel Providence. For more information, please read our transparency policy.